Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins-Hurricanes

Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins-Hurricanes
November 23, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Carolina Hurricanes by a 2-1 score after the first 40 minutes of action at TD Garden.

1)    The Carolina Hurricanes have four shots on goal in their last 30:47 of this game. That’s either a dominant job by the Bruins defense, or a complete no-show by the Hurricanes on a Saturday afternoon matinee in Boston. You decide. The one thing that nags: the Bruins should have a much bigger cushion than they do right now headed into the third period.

2)    Reilly Smith just keeps making plays. He picked up a loose puck cutting through the slot after Carl Soderberg flung a shot at the net, and he beat Cam Ward with a backhander in close. Smith has 4 goals and 15 points in 23 games, and has been a real pleasant surprise for the Black and Gold.

3)    Kevan Miller continues to impress. Both Miller and Matt Bartkowski made good pinches in the offensive zone to keep puck possession going on the Smith goal, and Miller still hasn’t made a discernible gaffe in his first two NHL games.

4)    The Bruins last six goals have been scored by bottom six forwards or defensemen, which tells you two things: the B’s are getting plenty of secondary scoring, and that it’s time for the top-6 to get things into gear. Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic have had pretty good chances in this game, but Cam Ward has been pretty solid between the pipes for an overmatched Carolina club.

5)    Bruins have won 31-of-45 face-offs while dominating the Hurricanes, and Chris Kelly has apparently cleared up whatever physical malady was affecting his face-offs in the last game. He’s won 10-of-11 draws against the Hurricanes without needing Carl Soderberg to stand in for him.

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes tied at a 1-1 score after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden.

1)    So much for the Bruins having a big special teams advantage: the Canes were 1-for-25 on the power play entering Saturday afternoon’s matinee, but scored on their first chance after a Ryan Murphy embellishment-aided tripping call. Andrej Sekera got a point shot through traffic, perhaps got it tipped and was definitely aided by a Zdeno Chara screen for the goal. Credit Sekera for a quick recovery after he’d left the ice following a big Shawn Thornton shot off his leg.

2)    One shot on net for Patrice Bergeron/Brad Marchand/Loui Eriksson in the first period. They need to do better than that, though they did have a good suffocating shift on the fore-check keeping Carolina hemmed in.

3)    Good patience by the Bruins power play to finally cash in after it seemed like they were going to struggle through a four minute man advantage that included Torey Krug breaking a stick while passing the puck. Krug quickly got another twig from Matt Falconer, and set up Milan Lucic with a nice pass from the top of the umbrella. Lucic created a rebound with a rifled shot from the slot, and Zdeno Chara had the easy tap in. Chara has an outside chance at 20 goals this season based on his power play role collecting the loose pucks in front of the net.

4)    The Bruins media spent most of the first intermission trying to answer the trivia question: who was the Hurricanes’ first captain? After floundering with answers like Rob Brind’Amour and Ron Francis, I went to Carolina radio guy Charles "Chuck" Kaiton, who quickly snapped off “Kevin Dineen” as the correct answer. Chuck is the man when it comes to Carolina Hurricanes hockey.

5)    Tough first period for Carl Soderberg. Couldn’t put him a chance right in front of the net early, and then took the tripping call that set up the Hurricanes only goal of the game thus far. Far cry from his dominant performance vs. the Blues on Thursday.