BruinsLightning: 5 from the Third

BruinsLightning: 5 from the Third

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins riding the Lightning to a 2-1 victory at the TD Garden after 60 minutes of playoff atmosphere at the TD Garden.1)Steve Kampfer took a heavy hit from Mattias Ohlund earlier in the game and never came out for the third period. Well have an update after the game.2)Goal no. 28 of the season for Lucic by the side of the net in a mad scramble in front of the net. Nathan Horton and David Krejci both battling in front while Lucic flicks puck in while Mike Smith was down in the net for the go-ahead goal. Lucic turning into a game-breaking force on offense.3) Johnny Boychuk has turned up the intensity and threw a series of big hits all around the ice through the game. His hip check on Nate Thompson was both thunderous and text book, and thats exactly the kind of game that Boychuk brought to Bruins during playoffs.4)Goals aside, Tampa goaltender Mike Smith played very well in his first game back in Boston following what was perhaps the worst goaltending performance these eyes have seen all year. Hes a rough go of it over the last few months, but it looks like hes bounced back for Tampa.5)Five shots and an assist for Nathan Horton. Once again hes looking engaged and confident offensively. Theyre a different team when thats happening.

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.