|10.28.10 at 11:04 pm ET|
The Maple Leafs had a tough night on Thursday as they were shut out by Tim Thomas, but nobody got it anywhere near as badly as Phil Kessel. The former Bruins’ fifth overall pick left town after the B’s, unable to strike an extension with him prior to last season, sent him to the Leafs for a package of draft picks. Since the trade, Kessel has been unable to muster a single goal against his former club, much to the delight of Bruins fans. Tyler Seguin, chosen second overall with Leafs’ first-round pick acquired in the deal, put the cherry on top by scoring against his hometown Leafs in the second period.
The reaction to that? The loudest “Thank you, Kessel” chant that one could imagine.
“I was on the bench and I was trying not to laugh,” Seguin admitted. “All the guys were kind of cracking up because it just stayed together so well. It was surprising.”
While Seguin and teammates were amused (“It was kind of funny,” Nathan Horton said), Kessel himself stuck to his pre-game attitude. After the Leafs’ morning skate, he said that Bruins fans can “do whatever they want.” And they did.
“I could care less, to tell you the truth,” Kessel said. “It doesn’t matter to me one bit.”
Asked after the game whether he felt bad for the former Bruin, Seguin noted that with such a reception comes a level of respect.
“He was getting booed every time he touched the puck, so he’s obviously doing something right,” Seguin said. “Hopefully I get booed in a rink, too. Hopefully not in Boston.”
|10.28.10 at 10:26 pm ET|
“He’s here to stay,” Julien said of the second overall pick of the draft and former OHL MVP, relaying a message from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.
Seguin scored his second goal of the season in the second period of Thursday’s 2-0 victory over the Maple Leafs, beating Toronto netminder Jonas Gustavsson with a wrister from the circle. It was his first goal at TD Garden, and he now has four points on the season.
The Bruins gave Seguin the news after he spoke with reporters on Thursday, but his comments on the subject before finding out his fate were the same as they have been all along — that he wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“I think I came out here and I think I worked my hardest, and in the end, that is all I can really ask of myself,” Seguin said. “I think I’ve been improving with that kind of situation.”
Last season with the Whalers, his second OHL season, Seguin scored 48 goals and added 58 assists for 106 points. He was chosen with a pick acquired from the Leafs in the Phil Kessel deal, which also netted the B’s Toronto’s second-round pick in 2010 and a first-rounder in 2011.
|10.28.10 at 9:44 pm ET|
A Brampton, Ontario native, Seguin grew up rooting for the Leafs and admitted that his friends from home were torn between rooting for their hometeam or Seguin. The rookie made it a little easier to choose, beating Maple Leafs netminder Jonas Gustavsson from the circle in the second period.
Patrice Bergeron picked up the B’s first goal, his first of the season and what proved to be the game-winner. The Bruins are now 5-2-0 on the season, winning each of the five games Thomas has started. Kessel was able to muster nothing on six shots, much to the delight of the Garden crowd all night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Don’t lose sight of what has kept this team going. There was plenty of pizazz thanks to the Kessel/Seguin storyline, but Thomas will be the story until his dominant stretch ends. It didn’t on Thursday night, as he posted another shutout in the victory, his second of the season. In the games that he’s allowed a goal, he’s allowed, quite literally, and in the spirit of Wayne Campbell, “a” goal. Three goals allowed and five wins on the season isn’t too shabby for a guy people were praying to have traded over the offseason.
– Bergeron’s goal was the 100th of his career. It took him longer than he would have liked to pick it up, as the tally was just his first of the season. He picked up the goal on the power play, which was the Bruins’ sixth power play goal in the last four games.
If the Bruins want to truly be as improved a scoring club as they hope, they’ll need more than just the first line to produce. It was good to see Bergeron net the tally, and perhaps just as impressive was his play on his own line. Both Jordan Caron and Blake Wheeler showed flashes throughout the game, and once the second line can emerge as a serious scoring threat from night to night the B’s will naturally be a formidable club offensively.
– All apologies for not stirring the pot when it came to Seguin going back to juniors, but it just seemed too ridiculous, even for someone who has kept their job despite blogging about candy bars and Mighty Ducks movies.
Seguin had an opporunity for his second goal of the game with about seven minutes remaining in the game, but was taken down while coming in on Gustavsson on a breakaway.
– From a standings and overall team standpoint, the 17,565 on hand at the Garden had to be pleased with what they saw and what the victory meant. Nathan Horton, the scorer the Bruins didn’t have a season ago with Kessel gone, proved his ability to do more than score rally the by dropping Dion Phaneuf. Seguin, the player picked with one of the first-rounders acquired in the Kessel deal, scored his first regular season goal at the Garden, and the “Thank you, Kessel” chants couldn’t have been louder. Oh, and the B’s picked up two points in a division game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Brad Marchand looked good offensively in the second period, but he took two penalties in the game. The undersized winger first went off in the first period for passing a stick to a teammate and saw two more minutes in the bin for hooking Kessel in the second.
– Taylor Hall scored his first career goal Thursday. Safe to say Bruins fans aren’t concerned?
|10.28.10 at 8:56 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin has scored on both his hometown team and the club that traded the pick used to select him, and it’s a 2-0 lead for the Bruins over the Maple Leafs after two periods of play.
You didn’t find a word about Seguin getting sent back to juniors in this space for a reason, and the rookie showed it to a crowd that gladly responded with a “Thank you [Phil] Kessel!” chant. The 18-year-old beat Jonas Gustavsson from the circle with a beautiful wrister and increased the B’s lead at 12:26. Dennis Seidenberg and Michael Ryder picked up the assists.
Nathan Horton got in his first fight in a Bruins uniform, squaring off with Dion Phaneuf a little over halfway through the period. Though Horton took Phaneuf down, the Leafs got the better of the exchange, as the B’s leading goal scorer was handed a 10-minute misconduct.
Tim Thomas saw only four shots in the period, and has now stopped all 12 Leafs shots.
|10.28.10 at 8:03 pm ET|
After an awesome ceremony to honor the 92-years-young Milt Schmidt, the Bruins and Leafs skated to a competitive first period, with the B’s jumping out to a 1-0 lead thanks to Patrice Bergeron‘s first goal of the season. Bergeron picked up the goal, a power play tally, on a slap shot off Jonas Gustavsson, at 19:19. The goal was the 100th of Bergeron’s career.
– The Bruins tinkered with the defensive pairings they opened the game with, as Matt Hunwick saw time with Dennis Seidenberg (remember the season-opener?) and Andrew Ference skated alongside Mark Stuart.
– Tim Thomas stopped all eight shots he faced, and got some help when a Luca Caputi shot rang off the right post.
And now for a D2: The Mighty Ducks are Back reference:
Move over, Dwayne Robertston: Brad Marchand laughs at your two minutes for roping. The B’s fourth-line winger took the always interesting two-minute minor for “shooting a stick to a teammate” at 8:46. As rule 10.3 states, “a player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides, or shoots a stick to a teammate on the ice. … A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.”
The audience let out a collective laugh of confusion at the penalty’s announcement, but the B’s were able to kill off each of the two penalites on the period. Mark Stuart went off for interference at 1:03.
|10.28.10 at 6:23 pm ET|
The Bruins are set to face off against the Maple Leafs, who are off to a 5-2-1 start to the season. The biggest difference in Thursday night’s lineup for the B’s will naturally be the presence of Adam McQuaid, who has been called upon to dress after Johnny Boychuk suffered fractured forearm on Saturday. McQuaid has been a healthy scratch for the first six games of the season.
McQuaid has skated on the third pairing with Matt Hunwick in practice this week, with Andrew Ference jumping up to the top pairing with Zdeno Chara. Claude Julien cautioned against expecting the pairings to stick throughout the games, as the Bruins have had no problems with switching them up over the course of a game.
“I think you’ve seen enough games by now that we don’t really stick with pairs. We mix and match,” Julien said Thursday.
With that being said, here is the anticipated lineup for Thursday:
Zdeno Chara – Andrew Ference
Matt Hunwick – Adam McQuaid
|10.28.10 at 1:33 pm ET|
Defenseman Adam McQuaid has seen plenty of ice time in practice. A healthy scratch in each of the Bruins’ first six games of the season, the 24-year-old recently inherited a spot in the lineup when the Bruins received news that Johnny Boychuk would be out for approximately a month with a fractured bone in his forearm. Now that he can expect some playing time, the practices have had a little more meaning for McQuaid, who had previously used them to stay sharp for if and when he got the call.
“They’ve been good,” McQuaid said of the last three practices. “It’s been good to kind of get into the rotation a little bit more in practice. It’s been a while, so I’m just looking forward to getting in there.”
It has been a while. McQuaid last played in the playoffs for the Bruins last season, an experience he speaks highly of given that being exposed to such a high level of intensity has prepared him for just about anything.
McQuaid laughed when asked if he was fully prepared to step in and serve as a clone for Boychuk, but did note that the two share one major similarity. After all, it wasn’t long ago that Boychuk, now a top-two defenseman paired with Zdeno Chara, was sitting out games as a healthy scratch as he himself itched for playing time last year. Once he did get the opportunity, Boychuk posted a plus-10 rating in 51 regular season games.
“He did an amazing job last year as far as when he sat out there for a while and then came in and did an awesome job,” McQuaid said of Boychuk. “I’m just looking to come in, get my feet wet and if I can do as well as he did, I’d be extremely happy.”
In 19 regular season games last year, McQuaid had one assist and he dressed in nine playoff contests for the B’s. Claude Julien hasn’t been able to see a difference in McQuaid’s game given that he simply hasn’t been able to play, but that doesn’t seem to deter the coach from having confidence in his young defenseman when he does take the ice.
“He hasn’t played a regular season game yet, so it’s hard for me to stand here and throw flowers at the guy, but I think if anything, he’s a player that’s matured and we like what we saw from him last year when he was called upon. He was a good slid player for us. He plays safe. He plays a good strong game, he’s very physical, he’s a tough individual and he doesn’t cost you. So those things put together make him a great candidate for a hockey club.”