When the Boston Bruins acquired Rich Peverley at the trading deadline last year, I felt it was a good move, as the slick skating Peverley added speed, grit, and energy to Boston’s lineup. He filled any role the Bruins needed during the playoffs, from fourth-line grinder to PK specialist to first-line scorer (when Nathan Horton went down). He was one of those key guys during the postseason, an unsung hero as the B’s won the Cup. Even if Peverley had never played another second in a Boston uniform after last year’s Stanley Cup run, the trade was worthwhile.
But Peverley has another year under contract with the Bruins, and Boston fans are getting a great look at the type of player Peverely is.
In two games playing with new linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Peverely has shown he is more than just a grinder. He can score.
Peverley scored a pair of goals to lead the Bruins to their first win of the year, a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden Saturday night. Peverley showed his speed, his ability to find the open space, and a goal scorer’s touch around the net. So far at least, it looks like Bergeron and Marchand have found their replacement for the retired Mark Recchi.
Power Play Powerless Again: Boston’s power play went 0-for-5, though it should be pointed out the puck movement was much better with both units. It may just be a mental thing at this point, but the Bruins need to find a way to get some pop on the PP.
Paille Has Key Goal: Daniel Paille’s goal just 1:38 after Martin St. Louis had tied the game was a huge momentum shift. Tyler Seguin (two assists) worked the puck out of the corner to Adam McQuaid, who fired a shot that Paille redirected past Garon.
Thomas Solid: Tim Thomas was asleep for the first 10 minutes, as he did not face a shot. However, he ended with 25 saves, including a beauty on Teddy Purcell early in the third to protect a 2-1 lead.
Seguin Looks Different: Tyler Seguin looks like a completely different player than last year. He appears more confident with the puck in the defensive and neutral zones, and has been far more aggressive in the corners, including a great play to set up the go-ahead goal against Tampa Bay. It looks like the off-season training that resulted in adding 10 pounds of muscle is paying off.
Last Word: Though not perfect, the Bruins were much more consistent through the 60 minutes than in the opener against Philadelphia. The Peverley-Marchand-Bergeron line looks good, and Seguin has been great so far. David Krejci got on the board, and Paille is playing like he did in the playoffs.
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