By Joe HaggertyCSNNE.comNEW YORK CITY Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins dominating the Rangers to a 2-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play at Madison Square Garden.1) Been talking quite a bit about Daniel Paille lately, and he continues his recent strong play with another very good first period against the Rangers. The Bs came out flat against the Rangers in the first the last time out in Boston, and it appears the Bruins were determined to not let that happen again. Paille got behind the Blueshirts defense for a breakaway bid that was turned away, but he scored his third goal in the last six games when he redirected a shot pass from Johnny Boychuk to the front of the net. Doing a lot of dirty work in front of the net that the Bs will need come playoff-time, and the Bs coaching staff notices that kind of work ethic. Paille, Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci all had three shots on net for the period.2) Milan Lucic took a puck off the head during pregame warm-ups and needed a handful of stitches before hopping out on the ice to start the game. But Lucic wouldnt be stopped from playing in the game against the Rangers, and notched an assist on Nathan Hortons goal in the first period. Hes definitely a hockey player.3) Johnny Boychuk makes a play on the Daniel Paille goal to start things out, and is another of many Bruins players to be kicking into high gear with the playoffs right around the corner. Boychuk is a plus-2 in the game and has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) along with a plus-8 in his last 10 games.4) Bruins seem to be proving a point to the Rangers tonight if they do end up playing them in the playoffs. They dominated the first period and outshot the Rags by an overwhelming 19-5 total over the first 20 minutes.5) No worry about the Bs letting up with only four games to go. They can get within two points of the Eastern Conferences top teams tonight, and they look like they want it.
BUFFALO – The Bruins went off the board to make their second choice in the first round, and selected big, gritty center Trent Frederic from the U.S. National Team Development Program. Frederic was ranked 47th among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, and is ultimately viewed as a solid bottom-six two-way center with limited offensive ability.
A nice Bruins-style player to be sure, but also the kind of player that can easily be picked in the second, or third, round rather than with the 29thpick in the first round. It’s pretty clear the B’s were hoping to package up the 29th pick along with a prospect to acquire a top-4 defenseman, and that they didn’t have many designs on actually choosing a player.
That led to a surprised Frederic, who was happy to be a first round pick if not a little blown away by his good NHL fortune.
“I guess I was a little surprised. If you could hear my whole family's reaction then you get the gist of it,” said Frederic, who listed David Backes and Justin Abdelkader as the NHL players he most models his game after in his career. “They were pumped, and I am pumped. As a player I’m a two-way physical player that’s good with the puck.
“I’ve had some tournaments in Boston, and some family vacations there. I visited Boston University when I thought about going there, and I’ve been to Fenway Park and TD Garden. It’s one of my favorite cities.”
The Frederic pick might have been off the beaten path a bit, but it was a pretty special selection for a number of other reasons: Frederic was the record-setting 12th US-born player taken in the first round, and the fifth player taken in the 2016 first round from the St. Louis area. The Bruins have to hope that he develops into a more dangerous, effective player during his college hockey days at Wisconsin, and that he feels a little less like the Bruins reaching for players in the first round for the second draft in a row.
Photo via Joe Haggerty
Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.
The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.
I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.
As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.
BUFFALO – The Bruins took their highest-rated defenseman when the pick came to them at the No. 14 spot, and they selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who tore up Hockey East as the young player in college hockey last season.
The 18-year-old Charlie McAvoy had three goals and 25 points in37 games for the Terriers while skating in a pairing with Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk, and showed off the kind of elite skating and offensive skills that will play well at the NHL level. It was thought the Bruins would take McAvoy or fellow BU-recruit Dante Fabbro at the 14th spot when they held onto the pick, but that was perhaps shaken a little bit when Jakub Chychrun fell all the way down to their spot.
The Bruins stuck with their scouting instincts and took the offensively gifted McAvoy, who profiles as a next generation NHL player with his sturdy six foot, 208-pound frame and ability to skate like the wind. He was understandably excited, and even said that he’s come around from hating some of the Boston teams as a native New Yorker after spending the year at Boston University.
“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the Bruins. I’ve gotten close to [the Bruins] in the past year. I’m sure some of my friends back home aren’t happy I’m cutting the ties with New York sports, but Boston is an unbelievable city with great sports and great people. I’m glad to be staying there,” said McAvoy. “You grow up and taught not to like [Boston teams] because of the rivalry. But I've got a Red Sox hat and that’s the first step. Now I'm got that Bruins jersey and it’s pretty cool. I’ll just keep going, but I don’t know if I could ever be a Pats fan, but we’ll see."
Give McAvoy a little time and perhaps he’ll come around to the right side of the New England Patriots argument after some years spent with the Black and Gold.
Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs