BOSTON — Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Philadelphia Flyers by a 3-1 score after the opening 40 minutes at TD Garden.
- Close call with Patrice Bergeron as he dove head-first to break up a 2-on-1 and crashed into the post with his left shoulder. He had to leave the ice momentarily, but returned for the final shift of the game before the second intermission. So it looks like he’s going to be okay.
- A couple of goals for the third line as it looks like the Bruins are onto something with Charlie Coyle, Craig Smith and Trent Frederic. Coyle fed Smith for his first goal in a Bruins uniform earlier in the period and then Frederic led Coyle, who used a lunging one-handed poke attempt to redirect a puck up and over Carter Hart for the B’s third goal of the night. Frederic has clearly worked on his skating game and that added to his physical element is making him a very effective player.
- First NHL point for Trent Frederic on the assist to Coyle. It’s crazy to think it took Frederic this long to finally get a point given that it’s his 22nd career NHL game. But it’s appropriate given the leap that his game has taken this season.
- Three hits and a blocked shot in 11:33 of ice time for Connor Clifton as he looks good in his first appearance of the season. There haven’t been any major difficulties playing his off side and he’s shown all the usual things he brings to the table in terms of puck-moving and sandpaper.
- Quietly good night for Jaroslav Halak. His best stop came right at the end of the second period when he shut down Kevin Hayes on a 2-on-1 off a slick feed from Jakub Voracek. It was the same play where Patrice Bergeron crashed into the goal post, so there was a lot of things happening there at the end of the second period.
BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Philadelphia Flyers by a 1-0 score after the opening 20 minutes at TD Garden.
- Nick Ritchie has been a significant factor in every game thus far for the Bruins. He picked up another assist as the net-front guy on the PP on Boston’s first period goal scored by Patrice Bergeron after Ritchie battled in front. That was after Ritchie and Bergeron both grinded out a face-off win in the offensive zone during a scramble after the puck was initially dropped. Ritchie has two goals and four points in five games for the Boston Bruins and three power play points. It sure looks like the Bruins have found their net-front guy on the top PP unit and they’ve found a big body in Ritchie that can hit, take up space in front and even make a play or two with some pretty good hands. I hate to say I told you so, but I liked the Ritchie deal when they made it last year. Two shots on net, four hits and a primary assist in one period worth of work for Ritchie.
Nick Ritchie exchanges pleasantries with James Van Riemsdyk. pic.twitter.com/JeM9icB2rM
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 24, 2021
- Bruins outshoot the Flyers 10-4 in the first period and held them without a shot on net for pretty much the first half of the opening 20 minutes. One area the Bruins seem to be having very few issues since the departure of Zdeno Chara is in the defensive zone. They are so much quicker about clearing pucks and getting it out of their zone with the personnel that they have now. It’s very noticeable even if some individual D-men (Brandon Carlo, Jeremy Lauzon) still have some things that need to be ironed out in their games.
- The Boston Bruins are struggling in the face-off circle with just 7-of-22 won draws in the first period and even Patrice Bergeron is under the 50 percent mark with a 4-for-9 performance in the opening period. But the Bruins won the only one that really mattered when they secured the puck on the offensive zone draw on their power play, and that led to the game’s only goal. Still, credit the Flyers with stepping up on face-offs with Sean Couturier out of the lineup. That’s not easy to do.
- Not a ton of traffic or bodies getting to either net during 5-on-5 play thus far for either team. That’s a far cry from the first game where both teams got pretty much whatever they wanted around the net. Clearly both coaches made a big of an adjustment from that wild, wide open third period on Thursday night. Maybe it’s time for another intermission speech from Bruce Cassidy?
- I continue to be impressed with the work of Trent Frederic and Jakub Zboril. Frederic is playing well enough that he earned a bump up to the third line ahead of Anders Bjork and he had a pretty good first period tonight. Zboril is moving the puck efficiently, avoiding big mistakes and has shown a shot that he’s been able to get traffic toward the net a little bit. It sure looks like both will be fixtures on the team this year and that’s good news.