Another Kevin Poulin shutout of Providence. What else was similar…
In that game Nov. 30, Providence had the edge in play a lot of the night — a big edge. In at least one advanced stat (guess which), it was Bridgeport’s worst even-strength night of the year.
Not so much tonight. Tonight was top-five at even strength. And then they scored the goals.
“I think we played two, actually, great games against them,” Kevin Poulin said. “We blocked a lot of shots. I don’t think there was a lot of defensive-zone time, too much. It was one of our best games of the year.”
The funny thing is in that first game I didn’t remember a lot of second chances. In this one, the Bruins had some. Poulin was up to them.
But they just didn’t get as many first chances.
“I think you manage the puck,” Brent Thompson said. “When you turn it over, any team is going to take advantage of that.”
Thompson mentioned a couple of overstayed shifts that allowed the Bruins to keep it deep a while. They were limited, though, and two goals got it done.
(And speaking of discipline, seven power plays for Providence in two games; that has been a couple of periods some nights for Bridgeport.)
At this instant on points percentage (not wins), Bridgeport is ahead of Providence in eighth place in the conference. It’s early, but, you know.
Got the same I-haven’t-heard-anything-yet from Poulin tonight as on Feb. 22, 2013. Thompson showed us his phone, waiting for a call. Neither one was spilling anything, but there were signs Poulin wasn’t about to get on the bus. Even that could be precautionary, obviously. We’ll know tomorrow.
Bridgeport swapped wingers to start the third period: looking for chemistry, Thompson said. It reunited Cory Conacher with Alan Quine and Harry Zolnierczyk, and it added Sebastian Collberg’s speed to Kael Mouillierat and Colin McDonald (and, Thompson noted, put Collberg on the left, his off side). Both lines scored, Quine on that line’s first shift, Collberg on that line’s second.
Good return for Collberg after his Stockton stint: “They were playing three lines, so I was playing a lot: power play, everything,” Collberg said. “I got confident with the puck. I found the net again.”
Mark Divver noted as the game ended that last spring Zolnierczyk, then with the Penguins, knocked Joe Morrow out of their playoff series. Perhaps Zolnierczyk’s hit tonight, called a boarding minor as Morrow went off slowly, would inspire the same Tommy Cross reaction and the same words from the Bruins bench if there weren’t that history, but then again, that adds some context.
Speaking of Penguins: Prescout. The Pens’ second shutout loss of the season. They brought up a couple of players tonight, including, as Jonathan Bombulie notes, potentially the first born-and-trained local in WBS history.
Won’t be out in Wilkes-Barre tomorrow, by the way. Will be playing coverage of that by ear around college stuff.
Strong words from Rich Chere on Lou Lamoriello after the Devils GM fired Pete DeBoer today.
The World Juniors began up north today, and the U.S. needed a shootout to beat Finland. Two wins for Islanders draft picks in goal: Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves as Russia came back to beat Denmark 3-2; Linus Soderstrom stopped 27 of 29 in Sweden’s 5-2 win over the Czech Republic. Canada sweated one out against Slovakia, 8-0. (McDavid: six shots, no points. Bum.)
Our Joe Meyers with an appreciation of Joseph Sargent.
And RIP, Brandon Stoddard.