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.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night.
*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list.
*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.
*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody.
*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star.
*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag.
*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars.
*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!
*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good.
BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak.
The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them.
Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals.
The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period.
It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss.
“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that.
“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”
The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort.
“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”
The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.