B's deliver knockout punch to Montreal, 8-6


B's deliver knockout punch to Montreal, 8-6

By Danny Picard

BOSTON -- It took eight Boston goals and just as many total fights, but the Bruins were able to take care of the rival Montreal Canadiens, 8-6, on Wednesday night at the TD Garden, securing their Northeast Division lead.

The Bruins took a 2-0 lead into the second period, after getting goals from Brad Marchand and Dennis Seidenberg 12 seconds apart in the first, but the second period saw a total of eight goals four for Boston and four for Montreal.

Brian Gionta and P.K. Subban tied the game at 2-2, but Adam McQuaid quickly put the Bruins back on top, 3-2, with an open look from the high slot, just 1:18 after Subban had tied the game.

It didnt take long for Yannick Weber to tie the game at 3-3 with a slap shot from the right point, but once again, the Bruins answered, thanks to goals from Michael Ryder and Lucic, just one minute apart, giving the Bs a 5-3 lead.

The second period also saw a complete, every-player-on-the-ice melee with 7:24 left in the period a mere five seconds after Lucics goal that put Boston up 5-3. It concluded with Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas skating all the way down to Montreals zone, and dropping the gloves with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.

It wasnt much of a fight, as only one punch was thrown by Price and Montreal converted on its 5-on-4 power play following the 6-on-6 brawl, and cut Bostons lead to 5-4, just 11 seconds into the man advantage, thanks to a goal from David Desharnais, who took beat Thomas with a shot from the goal line.

But Milan Lucic answered just two minutes later, and scored his second goal of the game on a wrister from the high slot that beat Price to the top-left, giving the Bs a 6-4 lead heading into the third period.

Max Pacioretty cut the Bruins lead to 6-5, seven minutes into the third, sniping the top-right corner from the slot, while on a 5-on-4 power play.

But as the theme of the night went, Ryder made it 7-5 midway through the third, scoring his second goal of the night, while on the power play.

Nathan Horton added Bostons eighth goal with 5:06 left in the game, after sniping the top-left corner from the right circle.

Pacioretty scored with 13.9 seconds left to make it 8-6, just seconds after another 5-on-5 brawl.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations


Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible. 
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan

 -- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. 

-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website. 

-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often. 
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network. 


List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names


List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.