Talking Points: Bruins don't take foot off pedal versus Sens


Talking Points: Bruins don't take foot off pedal versus Sens

GOLD STAR: Ryan Spooner had to move to the wing to make room for David Krejci in the lineup, but made a huge statement tonight that he wants to keep playing. His strong play fends off teammates like Anders Bjork and Frank Vatrano chomping at the bit to get back in. Spooner scored a pair of goals to earn his third career two-goal game against his hometown Senators. He played with a fantastic combination of speed and skill both during 5-on-5 play and on the power play. Spooner scored two goals, earned a plus-1 rating, and netted six shots on net in 17:07 of ice time. He now has two goals and seven points in his last seven games since coming back from injury. Perhaps the most promising signs Spooner has shown is his competitiveness, aggressive speed and assertiveness on the ice. This will keep him in the lineup for as long as that remains the case. It’s a win-win situation for the Bruins if it continues as they can utilize him as a veteran top-6 winger, and they could also decide to potentially deal him from a position of strength if he’s playing full-tilt hockey like he is right now.


BLACK EYE: Erik Karlsson has enjoyed some very good games against the Bruins as of late, but Saturday night was not one of them for the two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman. Instead it looked like there was a whole lot of resignation in the games of both Karlsson and the rest of the Senators players once things started rolling away from them in the second period. Karlsson finished a team-worst minus-2 with just two shots in net in 26 plus minutes of ice time, and had five of his seven shot attempts blocked by a Bruins team that was going all out for the win. Karlsson has elevated his game for the Senators as of late, but that wasn’t really the case in Saturday’s shutout loss.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes, but they really pulled away in the second period against an Ottawa team that appeared to pack it in. The Bruins scored three unanswered goals in the second period, finally started getting their power play unit in sync and then totally buried the Senators underneath continuous waves of quality shifts from all four lines. The Bruins outshot the Senators by a 23-15 margin over the final 40 minutes of the game, and Ottawa could manage only four shots on net in the third period. Ottawa was left waving the white flag in a sad final 20 minutes for them. This was a tale of two hockey teams going in very different directions this season, and the Bruins clearly asserted their authority over the Sens.


HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci returned after missing the last six games with an upper body injury and made an immediate impact with a goal, two points, and solid powerplay effort on Saturday night. Krejci looked no worse for the wear health-wise and had very little rust in his game as he totaled a goal, two points, a plus-1 rating, five shots on net and a 10-for-18 performance in the face-off circle. It was very clear that Krejci’s presence really elevated the man advantage and gave the Bruins exactly the kind of high wattage special teams play they’re going to need to keep carrying things offensively as they move forward.  


BY THE NUMBERS: 10-2-2 – The Bruins record during an excellent month of December where they climbed up the standings and ended on a high note with the blowout win over the Senators.


QUOTE TO NOTE: “Everyone showed up, we played well and we didn’t give them much. Offensively I thought things were clicking, and the power play was amazing from the [David] Krejci unit. It really got us going.” –Patrice Bergeron to NESN on the blowout win over the Senators that ended a 3-of-4 point performance on the two-game road trip.  


Jakub Lauko banged up in Bruins practice after strong start

Jakub Lauko banged up in Bruins practice after strong start

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins may have dinged up the brand new sports car that they just zoomed out of the show room.

Standout rookie winger Jakub Lauko had a collision with Noel Acciari during drills in the second session of Thursday’s camp practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and got “banged up” according to Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco. The 18-year-old didn’t return to the practice session on Thursday and is currently being evaluated by the Bruins medical staff in a set of events that doesn’t look all too encouraging.

“He got banged up in one of the drills in the second half there, so he’s being evaluated as we speak now and we’ll know more later,” said Sacco.

It could be a “Welcome to the NHL” moment for Lauko colliding with the rock-solid Acciari as a friendly fire incident in practice, and the hope is obviously that it doesn’t hinder the momentum that the third round pick has already built in training camp. Lauko has two goals in two games and has shown blazing skating speed, an ability to finish around the net, tenacity and a bit of an edge to his game that has him playing much older than his teenage years would initially indicate.

With the rest of Boston’s China contingent coming back to camp at the end of this week, the rest of camp would have been a great chance to show if Lauko is nearing NHL readiness or if he’s merely a young guy flashing his skill at the start of the preseason.  

In other injury news, Torey Krug and Acciari returned to taking contact at training camp and remain on schedule to get into some preseason games toward the end of camp. Anders Bjork is still being held out of contact in camp practices, and both Sean Kuraly (lower body) and Ryan Fitzgerald (lower body) are missing from practice after suffering injuries in preseason games. Patrice Bergeron (back spasms/groin surgery) has yet to make an appearance in training camp this date, but still has a couple of weeks to get ready for the season. 


Morning Skate: When a Domi sucker punch isn't really a sucker punch at all

Morning Skate: When a Domi sucker punch isn't really a sucker punch at all

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the China trip is finally over for the Bruins.

--Something feels right again in the NHL when somebody named Domi is sucker-punching another NHL player. Though I would agree with Nick Kypreos here that what Domi did isn’t really a sucker punch because Aaron Ekblad saw it coming, he just chose not to defend himself. I wouldn’t slap Domi with supplemental discipline with this, and I actually kind of like seeing the Canadiens playing with a little piss and vinegar in their game. It should make the Bruins/Canadiens games somewhere in the entertaining category again this season, which they haven’t been in the past couple of seasons.  

--So the Islanders are pinning this season’s team identity on a fourth line led by Cal Clutterbuck? Yeah, they’re pretty screwed.

--Good piece by Dave Stubbs on a bittersweet moment every so often when legendary names leave the Stanley Cup forever.

--Good Q&A with reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall about what lies ahead with the New Jersey Devils and for him as a player.

--The San Jose Sharks aren’t expecting Erik Karlsson to need to make too many adjustments to become an impact player in the Western Conference. I would say it may be others adjusting to having such a unique talent on their roster, but he could do a lot of damage with the talent already on that team.

--For something completely different: Boy, the drama just never ends for the New England Patriots does it?