Hits and Misses from B's 4-1 win over Carolina

Hits and Misses from B's 4-1 win over Carolina
November 19, 2013, 2:00 am
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Here’s another edition of hits and misses after the Bruins 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center that snapped a three-game losing streak for the Black and Gold on the road.

The Hits

*Carl Soderberg has enjoyed a handful of high impact games for the Bruins this season, and Monday’s effort was among the best. He’ll never be the fastest or most graceful looking player on the ice, but the Big Swede is highly effective with his 6-foot-3, 215-pound body anchored around the net. He spotted Reilly Smith cutting to the net while dusting the puck down low for a power play goal, and then paid the price to redirect a Dennis Seidenberg point blast for his second goal of the season. His five shots on net tied with Torey Krug for the team-high total, and Soderberg has 11 shots on net in Boston’s last two games. The Big Swede seems to be picking it up a notch.

*The Bruins penalty kill hasn’t allowed a power play goal since Oct. 30, and has killed off 32 straight penalties – including all four of Carolina’s power plays on Monday night. The big moment arrived in the second period with both PK unit members Johnny Boychuk and Gregory Campbell in the box for a Hurricanes 5-on-3 advantage, and Dennis Seidenberg teamed with Zdeno Chara to kill the thing off. Both defensemen won battles in the D-zone and cleared pucks in the middle of a one-goal game, and deserved the credit for winning Monday’s game when they also get saddled with blame when things don’t go right for them. The B’s were fourth in the NHL in penalty kill percentage entering Monday night, and that number keeps getting better and better.

*Above and beyond the performance of Carl Soderberg, the Bruins third line did a nice job of responding to a down game against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night. After Chris Kelly, Reilly Smith and Soderberg were on the ice for a pair of goals against without any offensive production on Friday, they responded with a pair of goals in the first period and an energetic shift at the end of the second period to keep up the intensity headed into the third period. Both the Kelly line and the David Krejci line brought the good stuff into Monday night’s game, and went from zeroes to heroes in the span of just one hockey game. The third line has the potential to be much better for the Black and Gold this season, and they won the game for the Bruins on Monday night.

*For all of the talk about Phil Kessel as the skilled sniper that got away from the Bruins many moons ago, Milan Lucic has just one fewer goal (9) and three fewer points (16) this season than Phil the Thrill with half as many shots on goal. His empty-netter on Monday night added to his team-leading total of nine goals on the season.

*Loui Eriksson now has a six-game point streak going for the Bruins with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) during that time period after his first period helper on the power play. It’s taken awhile, but the Swedish forward is beginning to get comfortable with his surroundings and new teammates.

The Misses

*Brad Marchand had a couple of pretty good games, but he was right back in the doghouse on Monday night. By the second period, Marchand had been dropped to the fourth line while Jordan Caron was promoted to second line duty while working through his own struggles. The turnovers from Marchand were much too prevalent, and there wasn’t enough offensive involvement around the net against a defensemen corps that should have allowed plenty of space to operate. No shots on net, two giveaways and a minus-1 in 13:39 of ice time for the Nose Face Killah could put him down on the bottom six for a while.

*Jordan Caron finally had a good shift at the end of the third period, but until that point had done very little while playing in place of the scratched Shawn Thornton. He moved up to the second line in place of Marchand on his way down to the fourth line, but that was more a reflection on the agitator’s slumping effort levels than any impact Caron was providing. He wasn’t ready on a Gregory Campbell pass to his area on a rush toward the end of the second period, and Caron can’t afford to miss on those kinds of opportunities. It’s difficult for any 22-year-old playing the extra forward role like Caron currently is, but that’s reality for No. 38. He needs to make something happen every time he gets into the lineup if he wants to stick around in Black and Gold. Perhaps part of the push to get Caron into the lineup is a potentially interested suitor on the trade market, but that remains to be seen.

*It’s a disappointment anytime Mike Komisarek and Milan Lucic are suited up in the same game and don’t drop the gloves in a long history of hate between the two players. But nobody could blame Komisarek, who has been on the severe receiving end of a few of those beatings when the players were wrapped up in the Bruins/Habs rivalry.

*Just not a fan of scratching Shawn Thornton, as the Bruins did on Monday night. He brings a different kind of attitude and toughness to the table when he’s in the lineup, and the team takes on more of those traits than they otherwise might if No. 22 wasn’t around keeping people honest. The Bruins won the game on Monday in Carolina, but it had very little to do with swapping in Caron for Thornton.