BOSTON - CSNNE.com Bruins insider Joe Haggerty breaks down the B's opening night matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.
Here are five thoughts from the third period after the Bruins 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in their season opener:
1) I like this Radko Gudas for Tampa. Got into a fight with Jarome Iginla after crushing him with a hit in the neutral zone, and caught Shawn Thornton's attention with a shift in the third period. Lightning need more gritty guys like that.
2) Anders Lindback just doesn't impress me. Feels like he's just another 6-foot-7 Scandanavian in oversized pads. Rebounds galore and that final shorthanded goal for Patrice Bergeron should never squirt through an NHL goalie.
3) Two shorthanded goals and a crappy first period power play. Same old Bruins.
4) Good to see Bergeron, Marchand and Eriksson start to gather a little chemistry toward the end of the third period. Time is the only thing that's going to make them better, and Tampa Bay was a good team to ease in with.
5) Tuukka Rask looks like he's good to start every game for the next few weeks and get into a really deep goaltending groove.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Lightning 2-1 after the first 40 minutes:
1) Jordan Caron was robbed of a goal in the second period when the ref lost sight of the puck and blew the play dead with the puck actually sitting right in the middle of the crease. Caron had created the whole play by taking the puck strong to the net from the left wing and creating the loose puck in front. He roofed the rebound in a play that should have made it a 2-0 game, but instead the goal was waved off to the chagrin of the Bruins fandom. Caron had another bid turned away at the very end of the second period, but has generated three total attempted shots while also racking up a couple takeaways.
2) Tough play for Adam McQuaid on the Valtteri Filppula goal as he pinched to throw a hit at the offensive blue line after Torey Krug had already pinched. That left Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille trying to cover for them as defenseman, and an easy 2-on-1 for Eric Brewer and Filppula that turned into a goal.
3) Milan Lucic gets on the board early this season with a goal on a high stick-side shot from the left circle off a nice drop-back pass from David Krejci. That Lucic/Krejci/Iginla line has looked pretty good tonight, and they’ve been a physical presence as well. Lucic has been on a mission to make certain that last season was an aberration in that it was disappointing, and he’s off to a good start in the first game.
4) Jarome Iginla is already endearing himself to the Bruins fans with a fight in his first game. Radko Gudas clocked Iginla with a perfectly timed hit in the neutral zone, and Iginla went right after the Tampa Bay defenseman looking for a fight. They scrapped with Iginla hitting Gudas over the head with a bunch of right hands, and the Bruins saw another incoming player that isn’t averse to playing their style of hard-nosed hockey.
5) Too much East/West from the Patrice Bergeron/Brad Marchand/Loui Eriksson line right now. Claude Julien made a point to say that Marchand had an “average” training camp Wednesday at B’s Media Day, and he hasn’t been that much better on opening night. Clearly they’re still trying to get their chemistry in the right place as Eriksson gets comfortable with Marchand/Bergeron, but they also aren’t playing with the same kind of speed and energy that one is accustomed to. Could the subtraction of Tyler Seguin have really slowed this line down that much?
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Lightning 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of the season opener:
1) Chris Kelly with one of the only two bright spots in the first period while earning himself a penalty shot with some good, old-fashioned PK work. Then Kelly unveiled the rarely seen Gordon Bombay triple deke to completely fake out Anders Lindback before throwing the backhand into the open net. It was the first successful penalty shot of Kelly’s NHL career, and a beauty at that
2) Tuukka Rask was also the star of the first period while turning away 15 shots from the Tampa Bay Lightning, including his best stop on Teddy Purcell right at the end of the first period during a 5-on-3 advantage for Tampa Bay. Rask looked a little shaky early while fumbling a couple of gloved attempts on pucks, but he was locked in after seeing so many quality chances thrown at him.
3) All of the forward lines are looking a little disjointed right now. Jordan Caron, Reilly Smith and Kelly probably looked the best of the four forward groups, and the Bergeron/Eriksson/Marchand line finally created a couple of scoring chances toward the end of the first. But it’s to be expected with so many new players getting used to the teammates they’ll be playing with.
4) Fight between Shawn Thornton and Pierre-Cedric Labrie with both combatants keeping their helmets on. Good to see they’re adhering to the new rules like a couple of good doobies.
5) Three shots apiece for Teddy Purcell and Nate Thompson, who have both been incredibly active for the Lightning in the early going.