BruinsLightning: 5 from the First

BruinsLightning: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Lightning locked in a scoreless tie at the TD Garden after the first 20 minutes of playoff atmosphere at the TD Garden.1)A lot of posts in the first period during a rocking back-and-forth playoff-style first period between the Bruins and the Lightning. Fast-paced with some good offensive chances for both sides, and you cant help but see that the Bs no longer look outclassed in the speed department playing against skilled teams like the Lightning. Thats not a coincidence: those trades have really changed their speed and transition abilities significantly. Milan Lucic and Steve Stamkos both hit posts in the first period of a game that could very easily be 1-1.2)Milan Lucic has really turned up the intensity dial in the last few weeks as winning time has arrived down the stretch, and he threw a signature hit at Dana Tyrell near the benches right at the end of the first period. That was Loochs only registered hit of the first period, but he was all over the ice.3)Three blocked shots for Tomas Kaberle in the first seven minutes against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I continue to be impressed with the work Ive seen out of Kaberle in Bostons end after he arrived with a pretty damning defensive reputation. Hes not going to crush anybody by any means, but he hasnt looked like a turnstile in his own end either.4)Tyler Seguin scratched most likely for a couple of different reasons: to rest an ankle that got a little banged up against the Edmonton Oilers and to put a better defensive unit out onto the ice against an offense-heavy Tampa Bay Lightning squad in a pretty important Eastern Conference showdown. Dont think theres any reason at all for Seguin to be in the doghouse.5)Two shots for Brad Marchand, who took a high elbow in the late portion of the first period and looked a little fired up afterward. Milan Lucic and Victor Hedman also engaged in a little bit of a shoving match after one whistle in a game that appears like it could get a little gnarly.

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.
 

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden.