By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Lightning wrapped in a scoreless tie during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a Stanley Cup Finals date on the line at TD Garden.1)Adam McQuaid wins the award for the Most Nervous Looking Game in Conference Final Game Seven. He had issues keeping his skates early in the period and nearly coughed up a puck with Lightning players close to the Boston net. Luckily Tim Thomas was able to support his defenseman. McQuaid also whiffed on a puck later in the period and looked a little shaky in his 4:52 of ice time.2)Nathan Horton is hurt. It appeared that he collided with Blair Jones as he attempted to hold onto a puck at the blue line in the offensive zone, and then stumbled again as he tried to get on his skates and get toward the bench. He moved very gingerly, didnt return to the ice and left the bench for the dressing room with about seven minutes to go in the period. Michael Ryder moved up in his place during most of the missed shifts.3)Claude Julien mixing things up early and substituting Rich Peverley for Mark Recchi on the Brad MarchandPatrice Bergeron line when it was pretty clear Recchi didnt have his legs. Recchi and Peverley have alternated shifts with that line since then, but its looking more and more like there isnt much left in the 43-year-olds tank after a long and glorious run.4)No penalties in the first 20 minutes of the game despite a physical tone and plenty of intense action on both ends. It looks like the refs have put the whistles away and theyre letting the boys play and that is to the Bruins distinct advantage.5)Fifteen shots on net in the first period for the Bruins. Two things about that: Dwayne Roloson has looked sharp making those 15 saves, and thats more shots than the combined output of the second and third period of Game 6. Rolosons closed pad stop on a Milan Lucic breakaway midway through the first period off a sweet Peverley feathered pass has been the play of the game thus far. Andrew Ference leading the way with three shots on net.Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.
The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.
“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”
McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”
That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.