BruinsThrashers: 5 from the Second

BruinsThrashers: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Thrashers tied at 2-2 after the first 40 minutes of play on a day the Bs can clinch the Northeast Division with one point.1)Another strange defensive zone coverage situation with the Patrice Bergeron line where the opponent takes advantage for a goal. This time its Evander Kane that takes advantage early in the second period, but you dont see the reliable, responsible Bergeron line run around like that on a regular basis.2)Mark Stuart hasnt lost any of his intimidating game after going to Atlanta. His play in Boston came rushing forward in a flashback when he leveled Tomas Kaberle in front of the Boston bench near the end of the first period with one of his signature bone-rattling hits. The Bruins might miss his toughness around the net a bit, but he was never a guy that played significant minutes in the playoffs anyway.3)Shane Hnidy looked like he was kicking some rust off in the first couple of periods played this season. He was having a few issues keeping up with bodies flying around the net, and did take a delay of game penalty when he flinged a puck into the stands under some pressure from Atlanta.4)Daniel Paille has two goals and an assist in his last five games, and is really making a strong statement that he wants to be a part of the playoff roster once the postseason gets going. The play to intercept a Zach Bogosian pass while shorthanded and fight off Dustin Byfuglien while roofing a wrist shot gives a glimpse of what Paille can do as a member of the penalty kill unit when hes going well.5)Looked like Tyler Seguin was taken off the Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly after watching them skate around for two periods without getting any production and Michael Ryder was put in his place. Thats a sign that Claude Julien is looking for goals out of that line, and thats his first experimentation with it.

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.