Talking Points from the B's 4-3 loss to Winnipeg

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Talking Points from the B's 4-3 loss to Winnipeg

Here are my talking points from the Bruins’ 4-3 loss in Winnipeg . . .

GOLD STAR: Mark Schiefele was in the middle of just about everything for the Jets while factoring in three of their four goals, finishing with a goal and three points in his 19:08 of ice time. Schiefele had just the one shot on net and finished with just 6-of-15 face-off wins in the game, but he also used his elite skill and high pace of play to create tons of offense for Winnipeg straight out of the transition game. The goal was a tap-in midway through the first period, but his biggest play of the game was putting the gas pedal on the transition game while feeding a puck through that eventually led to a Jacob Trouba power play strike.

BLACK EYE: The entire fourth line wasn’t very good in the loss to the Jets, and Chris Wagner was saddled with the team-worst minus-2 in defeat. Wagner, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari were all caught below the goal line on the first goal of the game when Winnipeg caught them too deep, and attacked with the transition game going the other way. The fourth line can’t make those kinds of aggressive mistakes looking for offense when job No. 1 for them is keeping the puck out of their own net, and job No. 2 is playing with energy and making chipping in some offense. They can’t play that kind of high-risk game once it gets to the playoffs, and Wagner will need to tighten things up along with his other two regular energy linemates.


TURNING POINT: Once again it was the first period as the Bruins allowed the first goal of the game at the 1:08 mark of the period, and then found themselves down 2-0 once again just as they’ve been in each of the last few games. The Bruins simply aren’t starting on time, and that’s going to be death against good, playoff-caliber teams like the Jets. Once they got things going, the B’s scored a goal in the first period to bring back some of the momentum, and then really played well in the second period to even up the score. But it took too much of an effort to get back there and that resulted in the B’s falling short when it was all said and done after 60 minutes.

HONORABLE MENTION: Joakim Nordstrom has faced his share of criticism for staying in the B’s lineup without scoring, while younger players like Peter Cehlarik and Karson Kuhlman get shuttled back to Providence. But Nordstrom has proven his value as an experienced 200-foot player, and finally broke through the scoring slump to tally a goal in Thursday night’s loss. Nordstrom followed the play, crashed the net and shoveled in the rebound of a Kuraly shot to snap a 25-game goal-scoring drought and tie the game up in the second period. The Swedish forward finished with a goal, a plus-1 rating, three shots on net and a couple of hits in 9:51 of ice time, and finally has the monkey off his back.  

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – The number of regulation losses in a row for the B’s after defeats to Pittsburgh, Columbus and Winnipeg, the first time they’ve lost three in regulation in a row since way back in December.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I liked our effort. We didn’t start on time again. Their best players beat our best players early on, but then we finally got going. But we need to find a way to keep the puck out of the net whether it’s better team defense, better goaltending or better puck management. Whatever it is, we need to fix it." -- Bruce Cassidy, on NESN talking about the B’s 4-3 loss to Winnipeg where they still didn’t completely get the job done defensively. 

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Who are the top 10 right wings in the NHL right now?

Who are the top 10 right wings in the NHL right now?

With another two-goal effort against the Devils Tuesday night, David Pastrnak upped his league-leading total to 19 this season — in just 21 games.

That's a 74-goal pace, a total that no player has reached since the 1992-93 season (Alexander Mogilny, Teemu Selanne).

Even if Pastrnak doesn't maintain this ridiculous pace, a 50-goal season seems all but assured, assuming he stays healthy.

But has the 23-year-old established himself as the best right wing in the game, or does he still slot in behind established talent like Patrick Kane or last season's Hart Trophy winner, Nikita Kucherov?

Joe Haggerty is kicking off a series of positional rankings by stacking up the best right wings in the NHL.

Click here for Haggerty's Top 10 right wings.>>>>>

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Devils

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Devils

GOLD STAR: Matt Grzelcyk kicked off the scoring for the Bruins and finished with the first two-goal game of his NHL career in the win over the Devils. Grzelcyk had the two goals along with a plus-2 rating in 19:16 of ice time while showing exactly what he can do offensively with Torey Krug out of the lineup. The second score in the third period was a highlight-reel goal as he faked out PK Subban at the offensive blue line and then rocketed a shot under the crossbar past Mackenzie Blackwood to ice things for the Black and Gold. Grzelcyk finished with three shots on net, a hit and a blocked shot in the biggest offensive game of his career.

BLACK EYE: PK Subban looked bad against the B's. Subban finished with a minus-2, took a lazy tripping penalty in the third period that led to David Pastrnak’s insurance power-play goal and then got completely posterized by Grzelcyk on a third-period goal where he dangled right around the New Jersey D-man. Subban didn’t do much of anything at the offensive end either aside from one shot in the slot area that Tuukka Rask made a pretty routine save on. It all underscores just how much Subban’s skills have apparently eroded due to either age or injuries because he sure isn’t the same guy that he was in his younger years in Montreal.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a solid 2-1 lead after the first 40 minutes, but they had given up a goal late in the second period that ate away at their momentum a little bit. So, it was important for them to come out guns blazing in the third and that is exactly what they did while blowing the Devils out of the water. The Bruins scored three goals and took advantage of some sloppy mistakes from the Devils to pull away in a game that felt a lot closer than it ultimately ended up being on the scoreboard. Certainly, seeing the B’s pull away from teams in the third is a much more welcome sight than the third-period implosion we saw against Florida a week ago.  

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci was excellent sliding in as the top center between Brad Marchand and Pastrnak, just as he was last season when Patrice Bergeron also missed time with an injury. Krejci got the secondary assist with a great backhanded pass on Grzelcyk’s first-period goal and then he set up Pastrnak for his first-period score as well. Krejci finished with a couple of assists, a plus-3 rating and 7-for-14 on face-offs in 15:49 of ice time. Krejci is again showing exactly what he could do if he was ever centered between a pair of elite offensive wingers instead of the carousel of right wings the Bruins have provided him the past couple seasons.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19 – the number of goals for Pastrnak this season after another two-goal outburst. That leads the NHL. There have only been seven games this season for the Bruins where he hasn’t scored a goal.  

QUOTE TO NOTE:  “I don’t think we made one mistake in the third [period]. We just played winning hockey in the third.” –David Pastrnak, to NESN on the B’s pulling away from the Devils in the final 20 minutes.

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