Bruins

BruinsBlackhawks: 5 from the First

BruinsBlackhawks: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Blackhawks locked in a scoreless tie at the TD Garden after a fast-paced first 20 minutes.1)Bruins dominated the first period by a 12-5 shot count, but couldnt get anything past Corey Crawford. Great rebound chance for Patrice Bergeron and breakaway chance for Brad Marchand during a great start for that line, but couldnt get anything past Crawford despite some very good chances allowed by Chicago.2)Six of Bostons 12 official shots on net were from Bergeron and Marchand, who were all over the ice from beginning to end. A hard fore-check by Marchand and Bergeron is really putting pressure on the Chicago defense in the second night of back-to-back games for the Hawks. Would imagine wearing down Chicagos already weary legs is the plan heading in, but in normal hockey circumstances, failure to cash in on some of those chances can come back to bite a team later on in the game.3)Still no shots for Milan Lucic, who know hasnt had a shot on net in almost a week dating back to last Thursday nights win over the Montreal Canadiens. Lucic isnt getting into the corner and fighting to control the puck, and thats made him pretty passive shift-to-shift on his line. Its not a good look for Looch.4)Not much of a test for Tim Thomas yet in this one, but good to get him in against a quality opponent with teams like the Thrashers, Maple Leafs and Islanders coming up on their schedule. Should be Tuukka time for at least a couple of those games.5)Some very good shifts from the Shawn ThorntonDaniel PailleGregory Campbell line in the first period against the Blackhawks. I can see why Claude Julien is loathe to break them up given the way theyre providing energy and cycling pucks down low each time they get on the ice. Combine that with the occasional goal and the odd fight, and thats a fourth line simply getting their job done.

There will be extra satisfaction if Bruins can help put a nail in Habs coffin

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There will be extra satisfaction if Bruins can help put a nail in Habs coffin

MONTREAL – It’s not often the Boston Bruins get a chance to literally deal the death blow to their arch-rival Montreal Canadiens.

But that’s really where the B’s stand on Saturday as they visit the Bell Centre for a third meeting in eight days against the hated Habs after winning each of the first two rivalry match-ups. The Canadiens are nine points out of a wild card playoff spot with four teams ahead of them, and sit 11 points out of an Atlantic Division playoff spot more than halfway through their season.

It would take an epic hot streak like the one engineered by Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond and the Ottawa Senators three seasons ago for Montreal to simply get into the postseason. It would also require the Canadiens to actually start winning divisional games like the one facing them on Saturday night against Boston. So the Bruins know they could plunge the dagger into the Habs by sweeping the third game this weekend, and they’re taking just a little bit of pleasure at the position they’re in while on an 11-0-4 run in their last 15 games.

“We’re aware of the standings. We know that we want to keep climbing up and trying to catch up to Tampa. That being said, you look at Montreal and whichever teams that are behind you and you want to push them down,” said Patrice Bergeron. “When you face them it’s big games for them, and it’s the same for us. It will be a big battle. They had a big win last night and are feeling good about their game, so we need to make sure that we’re ready.”

They’ll take even more please out of it if they leave Montreal tonight with two points secured in their column while pushing the Habs deeper into their tailspin.

“I don’t think we’re going into the game talking about that, but if works out that way at 10:30 when we’re getting ready to get on a plane out of town…I think there would be a little extra satisfaction,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think some of our young kids are still getting a taste of it. Last Saturday [Jake] DeBrusk and Charlie [McAvoy] got an idea of how loud it is in here, and how passionate [the fans are].

“But at the end of the day we play 82 times a year, and this one of them to get two points and keep climbing up in the standings.”

While the Bruins are rested and ready after getting a full day off on Friday, the Habs were battling until the final buzzer in Washington on Fridaynight to eke out a win against the Capitals. It was a nice win for the Habs after the embarrassment of dropping a stink bomb in Boston on Wednesday night, but it also should leave them as fatigued, easy pickings if the Black and Gold come armed with their killer instinct on Saturday.

“They know [the importance of the game] on the other side. I expect a desperate effort tonight from them, and giving it their all in front of their home fans,” said Bruins rookie winger Jake DeBrusk. “It’s a four point game and it’s against Montreal, and we got the first two [games]. It would be nice to get the third one here, but we just want to keep things going. It doesn’t really matter who we play except for games like this. We just need to keep our head on straight and play the way we can play.”

It’s true the Bruins/Habs rivalry loses a little juice when one of the teams is really down as Montreal is this season, and the real revenge factor for Boston was getting a decisive win in former coach Claude Julien’s return to Boston in mid-week. But there’s little doubting that having been the one kicked around so many times in the long, storied history of the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry, any chance for Boston to really put a hurting on Montreal still means a little something to those in Black and Gold. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Morning Skate: R.I.P. Red Fisher, Montreal legend

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Morning Skate: R.I.P. Red Fisher, Montreal legend

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while knowing that I’m in Canada because I’m watching women’s curling on a Saturday afternoon.

*Rest in Peace to Red Fisher, a legendary figure in the Montreal media who added to the atmosphere every time I saw him at the Bell Centre over the years. When you talk to people about him, you realize they just don’t make sportswriters like that anymore.

*Here’s a good piece on local hockey player John McCarthy, who will be on the USA Olympic hockey roster after a solid career at BU and in the San Jose Sharks organization.

*Cabbie Richards visits with Brayden Schenn as the St. Louis Blues player chats about important hockey stuff like dessert.

*I’ve got to be totally honest with you: The idea of an NHL expansion team called the Seattle Kraken is pretty awesome. Just think of all the Clash of the Titans tie-in possibilities.

*Looks like the Providence Bruins are finally getting into the "Star Wars" Night, and why not given how popular it’s been across hockey’s minor leagues?

*For something completely different: I spent part of my day yesterday tweeting back and forth with Star Wars director Rian Johnson and ended up in the Twitter “Moments” section yesterday. Just another day in social media Shangri-La, right?  

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE