BruinsThrashers: 5 from the First

BruinsThrashers: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Thrashers tied at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes of play on a day the Bs can clinch the Northeast Division with one point.1)Good response from the Patrice Bergeron line after they were challenged a bit by Nathan Horton in practice on Friday. They buzzed around the net and supplied the first goal for the Bruins with a Mark Recchi stuff job in front after Brad Marchands shot pinballed in front of the net and Ondrej Pavelec. 2)Speaking of Marchand, a well deserved Seventh Player Award for the Bs agitator after an outstanding rookie season that really surprised many people. Everybody knew about the sandpaper in his game, but perhaps the skill was a little underrated headed into this year. With Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask and Marchand as the last four Seventh Player Award winners, that says quite a bit about the Bs draft-and-development history in recent years, doesnt it?3)Alexander Burmistrov up to his antics against the Bruins today. Some may remember his embellishment on a Daniel Paille hit from behind helped the Thrashers earn a win in Atlanta earlier in the season, and this time he earned himself an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by firing a puck at Tuukka Rask long after the whistle had been blown. That little infraction earned the ire of Tomas Kaberle and the rest of the Bs, and gave Boston their first power play of the game. After having watched Burmistrov a number of times, the Russian has a lot of weasel in his hockey game.4)So Tuukka Rask flips a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, and then gets handcuffed by a Dustin Byfuglien Frisbee point shot that skimmed off a stick or skate on its way to being his 20th goal of the season. Does Rask yell and flap his arms at himself for that one? Got go give my man at Pro Hockey Talk, Joe Yerdon, credit for coming up with that one in a tweet. Well done.5)Ten total shots in the first period. This BostonAtlanta action late in the season is fantastic, isnt it? Yes that was sarcasm.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.