Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Boston Bruins leading the New York Rangers by a 3-0 score after the opening 40 minutes at Madison Square Garden.
- The Boston Bruins best players are setting the tone today, and they broke through in the second period when a Patrice Bergeron offensive zone face-off win led to David Pastrnak feeding Charlie McAvoy for a point bomb. That was a big goal that gave the B’s a three-goal cushion headed into the third period. McAvoy has a goal, two points and five shot attempts in over 15 minutes of dominant ice time through two periods.
- Four blocked shots for Urho Vaakanainen through two periods of play as the point seems to have gotten through to the rookie that he’s going to need to play tougher in the defensive zone to succeed at the NHL level.
- Four hits apiece from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to lead the Bruins through two periods, which is your best players setting the tone for everybody else to follow on the roster both top and bottom.
- Good energy from Greg McKegg and Karson Kuhlman subbing in for Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner in this game. That’s nothing but positive for Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy when it comes to getting the attention of the entire team, even if Jake DeBrusk perhaps deserved to be scratched as much, if not more, than some of the fourth line guys.
- Colin Blackwell with four shots on net for the Rangers, including a good tester in tight on Tuukka Rask that created a scoring chance for the Blueshirts. The local kid is playing very, very well for the Rangers.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins leading the New York Rangers by a 2-0 score after the opening 20 minutes at Madison Square Garden.
- Clearly, the Bruins received the message about Friday night’s game being unacceptable. They have made a notable effort to pound Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren physically with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand both going after him, and even Jake DeBrusk taking the body against Lindgren in front of the benches later in the period. Clearly that’s a response to Lindgren hammering David Pastrnak repeatedly the other night, and it’s something they should do a lot more often.
Patrice Bergeron with a big hit on Ryan Lindgren. pic.twitter.com/fWLXyNA7yH
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 28, 2021
- Excellent game for Charlie Coyle, who has looked a lot more assertive than usual looking to create offense for himself and his teammates. Coyle used speed to beat K’Andre Miller to the outside before snapping one inside the far past post Alex Georgiev to open up the scoring. He’s played with speed, second-effort energy and determination in the offensive zone, and he’s actually been better for the Bruins as of late. Coyle leads the B’s with two shots on net after the first period.
- Urho Vaakanainen is still having some issues in the defensive zone and containing the physicality down low, but on the whole the Bruins have been much better today. It’s telling that Vaakanainen is now on the third pairing with Steve Kampfer, and that Jakub Zboril has been elevated with Charlie McAvoy on the top pair. That seems to have stabilized things in the D-zone.
- The offense is coming now for Trent Frederic, who didn’t hesitate to run to the front of the net to screen on a Connor Clifton shot that deflected off him for Boston’s second goal. The Bruins aren’t messing around the net area at either end of the ice and it’s paying big dividends for them this afternoon. It was a great, patient play by Clifton to set up all up after he was one of the players called out by Bruce Cassidy the other day following an embarrassing loss to the Rangers.
- Speaking of which, Nick Ritchie was whistled for roughing after crowding the net and landing on Georgiev’s head in a flurry that knocked the Rangers goalie of the game with a nasty cut around his eyebrow. The Bruins were able to kill off the shorthanded situations and it sent a message that the Boston Bruins brought their hard hats today. That’s exactly what they needed to do after the last two sloppy losses, so there are good signs abounding everywhere for the Bruins right now.