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Game 3 Live Blog: Boston Bruins Vs. New York Islanders

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Boston Bruins lose to the New York Islanders by a 1-0 score on a third period goal from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and the B’s now have failed to score a single 5-on-5 goal in the first 189:58 of the season. To make matters worse, the Bruins appear to have lost Matt Grzelcyk after he exited the game with an apparent right arm injury after getting tangled up with Jordan Eberle midway through the third period as well. We’ll have much more breakdown shortly…

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders locked in a 0-0 after the opening 40 minutes at what I’m still going to call the Nassau Coliseum.

 

  • The Bruins are playing pretty good hockey through two periods, but it’s 169:58 and counting to start the season without an even strength goal for the Black and Gold. They’re funneling pucks and getting some pretty good looks today, but they aren’t finishing any plays during 5-on-5 play at all. It really underscores how much of an issue it was expected to be for the Bruins this season and is absolutely exacerbated by the absence of David Pastrnak.

 

  • Only 10 shots on net for the Islanders allowed by the Boston Bruins, so that’s something they can hang their hat on this afternoon/evening. They’ve also killed 10 straight penalties to start the season, so it seems pretty clear at this point that the Bruins aren’t missing anything defensively or PK-wise with Zdeno Chara no longer in the mix.

 

  • Boy, this team probably could have used Mike Hoffman and the 18 even strength goals that he scored last season, couldn’t they? The chorus on this is just going to get louder and louder as the even strength offensive woes continue for the Boston Bruins.

 

  • I really like Trent Frederic-Sean Kuraly-Chris Wagner on the fourth line. It’s not pretty, but they are hard on the puck and bodies start flying in the offensive zone when they’re cycling the puck against other teams. Frederic adds a little bit of offensive polish to Kuraly and Wagner, and he is now winning battles all over the place while playing an excellent two-way game.
  • Four shots on net for Nick Ritchie through two periods. He’s been pretty good to start this season and a victim of a super weak sauce slashing call when he one-handed a puck carrier behind the Islanders net. I’m not even sure he made contact with his stick. Woof. Maybe the refs are just angry after this happened earlier.

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders locked in a 0-0 after the opening 20 minutes at what I’m still going to call the Nassau Coliseum.

  • The second half of the first period was the best that the Boston Bruins have played this entire season to date. They outshot the Isles by an 11-3 margin and seemed to be sparked by some very energetic PK work by Sean Kuraly and Anders Bjork midway through the first period. Each line after the other carried over and controlled the puck possession while peppering Semyon Varlamov. The problem now becomes finishing off some of those plays and scoring, but it looks like the Bruins are finally getting into the flow of the season.

 

  • The Bruins have heeded the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach that Bruce Cassidy was preaching the last couple of days when it comes to putting pucks on net. They finished with 11 shots on net and even had a couple of weird angle testers from Craig Smith and Brad Marchand in there. But they were also looking to shot for rebounds as soon as they entered the offensive zone and that seemed to energize the entire Bruins group. Marchand didn’t have a single shot on net in Saturday’s loss to the Devils and he’s already fired three pucks on net this first period.

 

  • Johnny Boychuk in the house at the Coliseum taking in the game with Lou Lamoriello while watching his old Bruins team. Always good to see Johnny Rocket hanging around the rink even after his retirement this offseason.

 

  • I think Bruce Cassidy may have found a new PK combo in Sean Kuraly and Anders Bjork. It was their speedy, aggressive and disruptive penalty kill work that really perked up the Bruins while killing off a Brandon Carlo cross-checking call. If Bjork can do the gritty parts of the PK job description and block some shots when called for, this is something I could see Cassidy going with as a duo.

 

  • Jake DeBrusk was noticeable for the first time this season after getting bumped up to the right wing with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. DeBrusk had a shot on net and was flying around the ice while battling for pucks and showing some energy. Now, DeBrusk always seems to play pretty well whenever he faces Mat Barzal and the Islanders, so perhaps that’s got something to do with it. But DeBrusk’s game vs. the Isles is a little more like what the Bruins expect from him this year.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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