Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins locked in a scoreless 0-0 tie after the opening 20 minutes at PPG Paints Arena.
- Playoff-style game between the Boston Bruins and Penguins where everybody is hustling, mistakes are being covered up by rotating teammates and there is not a ton of empty space on the ice. No penalties either. You can tell both teams had this one circled as an important statement game ahead of the looming playoffs.
- Taylor Hall has been better than advertised away from the puck. It seems like just about every game he makes a defensive play that you stand up and take notice of in addition to the six points in seven games since arriving in Boston. His hustling backcheck broke up a potential 2-on-1 rush for the Penguins and was part of a very well-played period by both teams.
Great backcheck from Taylor Hall here. pic.twitter.com/eiqPGz0ZJU
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 25, 2021
- I’m not sure what’s going on with Charlie Coyle, but he’s really struggling in all facets of the game right now. He had a defensive zone turnover near the blue line that would be a killer in the playoffs. He was able to recover and block a shot attempt with his stick to make up for it, but the turnovers along with another period with zero shot attempts is really not bringing any positive impact to the game.
- One positive sign: David Pastrnak had a couple of shots on net and connected on a one-timer early in the first period that have given him trouble lately. Maybe he’s started to gather together that confidence with his bread-and-butter plays that’s been eluding him as of late. Also Patrice Bergeron looked to be okay in his return after missing Friday night’s game following a shot off his left foot.
- Another good period for Jeremy Swayman, who had 10 saves and looked confidence in the crease for the Bruins.