The Bruins have been given today off. They will practice tomorrow at Ristuccia Arena at 10:30 a.m. Because of the return of the NBA, there will be more practices in Wilmington once the Celtics resume games at TD Garden. Ristuccia practices are free and open to the public.
With no media availability today, here’s the latest version of Plus/Minus:
+ The consistency of the No. 3 line. Opposing coaches will send out their top defensive pairings and matchup threesomes against the Bruins’ first two lines. In theory, Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kelly, and Rich Peverley should skate most of their shifts against depth players. On Kelly’s second goal, Winnipeg had two defensemen named Mark Flood and Arturs Kulda on the ice. Between those two gentlemen, they have 29 combined games of NHL experience. The third line should do further damage if playing against such opponents.
+Timely goaltending by Tim Thomas. For the bulk of their 10-game winning streak, the Bruins didn’t need perfect netminding from Thomas or Tuukka Rask. Lately (think last night and Montreal), they’ve required seamless play from their puckstoppers. Thomas’s best work last night came when he booted out Bryan Little and Evander Kane late in the third. Thomas acknowledged he wasn’t at his sharpest early. But Thomas stood tall when his team needed him the most.
+ Claude Julien’s performance. Just about every move has worked. Pouliot in the shootout. Benching Brad Marchand for most of the second period against New Jersey, then seeing the agitator score on his first third-period shift. Last night’s timeout after Winnipeg scored two quick goals. Julien should be writing the first draft of his Jack Adams acceptance speech today.
– A high-risk, high-reward night from Joe Corvo. Not the smoothest game for the team’s second-pairing defenseman against the Jets. Corvo made the wrong move to engage in a puck race instead of staying at home prior to Winnipeg’s first goal. Corvo made several defensive-zone turnovers. Corvo needs to flush last night from his system quickly.
– David Krejci’s cold streak. In the last eight games, Krejci has zero goals and two assists. Not the production of a top-two center. If anything, the first quarter of 2011-12 has set the market for Krejci’s next deal. Krejci should not earn more than Patrice Bergeron’s $5 million annual payday.
– Absence of styling from Adam McQuaid. The stay-at-home defenseman made a highlight play last night. McQuaid left his skates and grabbed a mid-air puck in last night’s third when Thomas was out of the net. But no Air Jordan pose? Not even a wagging tongue? Amateur.