I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
Henrik Lundqvist managed to shut out the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1, but he could only do so much as the Habs had the New York Rangers on their heels to open Game 2.
The Canadiens kept applying pressure behind a raucous crowd until Jeff Petry finally broke through for Montreal’s first goal of this young series, and a 1-0 lead for the Habs.
Petry enjoyed far too much time to pick a spot against Lundqvist, yet that might not be the only reason that the star netminder seemed a little upset. Lundqvist’s stick broke during that sequence, and while there’s no full replacement for a goalie stick, no skater gave him a makeshift option in the moment.
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Considering those two factors and the early rush from Montreal, you can kind of understand why Hank was a little flustered.
It didn’t throw him off though, really, as Lundqvist robbed Paul Byron on a breakaway attempt later on in the opening frame. Not long after, Michael Grabner scored a beautiful breakaway goal on his try to make it 1-1. Byron eventually got his goal back later on in the first, allowing Montreal to go into the intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Here’s a GIF of the goal itself (video above), if that’s what you prefer:
At the moment, the Boston Bruins recalling a goalie on an “emergency basis” isn’t anywhere near as bad as it sounds.
That’s how the move is labeled as the Bruins bring up Malcolm Subban and demote Zane McIntyre to the AHL on Friday, but the move could easily be just to get McIntyre some seasoning.
The Bruins face the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, and reporters such as NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin indicate that this isn’t a bad sign for Tuukka Rask. It likely comes down to who will back up Rask’s backup.
Considering all of the bad injury news for the Bruins lately, this seems instead to be more of a paperwork move.
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In case you’re wondering about Subban’s development as the 24th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, he’s been solid in the AHL … just not as impressive as McIntyre at that level.
Subban: 11-14-1 with a respectable .917 save percentage in 32 games with Providence; allowed one goal on 13 shots in an abbreviated NHL appearance.
McIntyre: .935 save percentage with 21-4-1 record in AHL; 0-4-1 with .858 save percentage in shaky NHL showings.
It’s promising that McIntyre’s been so solid with Providence, but judging by his struggles with the big club, the narrative that the Bruins are going “Rask or bust” still fits regardless of who suits up as the No. 2 for now.
The Boston Bruins threw 19-year-old defenseman Charlie McAvoy right into the deep end … and that unusual debut went swimmingly.
His first NHL appearance was Game 1 of the Bruins’ first-round series against the Ottawa Senators, and it’s not as though McAvoy was eased into the mix. Only Zdeno Chara logged more ice time (25:32 to McAvoy’s 24:11) for Boston. He actually led all skaters in ice time through the first two periods.
That’s what you call a trial by fire for the 14th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft.
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And, again, he fit in remarkably well. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy put it simply when he said that McAvoy was “terrific.”
Now, it’s one thing for your own coach to provide praise, even if some bench bosses sometimes want to keep a player’s head out of clouds. It’s another when P.K. Subban comparisons come about, and they’re not unreasonable:
As a reminder, Subban made an immediate impact for Montreal in 2009-10, playing a significant role in that run after appearing in only two games during the regular season.
The rave reviews are quite abundant.
With Colin Miller possibly added to an extensive injured list, the Bruins need all the help they can get. For all we know, these tough breaks might allow McAvoy to emerge as an immediate difference-maker.
The playoffs are a time for stars to cement their statuses as legends. Still, there are also moments that raise your eyebrows and games where it’s better to be lucky rather than good.
The Ottawa Senators kept the Boston Bruins from even managing a shot on goal for more than a period of time in Game 1. Bobby Ryan scored a tremendous goal to put his team up 1-0, and with Colin Miller added to the Bruins’ growing injury list, things looked grim.
Those injuries aren’t wiped away by winning … but for at least one night, that bad stuff didn’t really matter.
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Frank Vatrano broke that lull with a key third-period goal and (you guessed it) Brad Marchand delivered the game-winning dagger goal as the Bruins beat the Senators 2-1 to win Game 1.
Much like with the Rangers in Montreal, the Bruins managed to take away home-ice advantage and leave the crowd stunned.
Plenty of people expected a goalie duel between Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price. In Game 1, Lundqvist took the advantage in a 2-0 win.
Basically no one expected that Tanner Glass would own the game-winning goal (and the first tally of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs) as the New York Rangers stunned the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
It’s the first time the Canadiens have been shut out at home in a Game 1 of a series since 1983, according to Hockey Night in Canada.
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By no means was this a poor effort by the Canadiens, especially considering that they carried big chunks of play. Still, they couldn’t solve a game Lundqvist, and that Glass goal surprised Price as much as anyone else.
Moments like these increasingly frustrated the Canadiens:
It was also a pretty nasty game, something to watch as this series goes along.
Considering the Rangers’ advantage in standings points during the regular season, it might be a misnomer to consider this an “upset,” but Habs fans left the building in some disbelief on Wednesday night.
Ultimately, they have Lundqvist – and, yes, Glass – to thank for that.