–Car-on fire On Sunday night, I said Jordan Caron played the best game of his professional career earlier that day against the Rangers. He may have outdone himself tonight. Caron had a three-point night, scoring twice and getting an assist on Chris Kelly’s second period goal. Caron’s first goal came off of a lucky bounce, but he deserves credit for planting himself in front of the net. His second goal came off of a beautiful pass by Zdeno Chara that I probably could’ve put in, but, again, Caron deserves plaudits for being in the right spot. However, my favorite play of the night was Caron’s assist, in which he took the puck right past the ever more pylon-looking Luke Schenn and went right to the crease, stopping short but getting the puck on net, causing a rebound that Kelly banged home. The strength and determination Caron showed on that play were great to see. I had been losing faith in Caron’s development, but I may have to change my tune soon.
–The German Hammer Dennis Seidenberg isn’t really a mean guy, but he certainly showed a mean streak tonight. He didn’t like the hit Colby Armstrong laid on him along the boards at center ice, and he responded by pounding Armstrong’s face in, leaving him bloodied and probably injured. Seidenberg is an exceptionally strong and stout player, and tonight he brought the “German hammer” down on Armstrong’s face.
–Grabbo! I was sad to hear that the Leafs re-signed Mikhail Grabovski, mainly because I would love to see him wearing the spoked-B. Grabovski is a unique player, in that he’s speedy and skilled but is pretty tough as well. He scored another goal tonight, a beauty of a wrister off the rush. Grabovski’s a good signing for Brian Burke, as he gives the Leafs a dangerous scorer to back up Phil Kessel.
–Seguin in the spotlight Tyler Seguin, who grew up near Toronto, seems to love playing his hometown team. The kid had two goals tonight, giving him nine points this season against the Leafs. Remember, Seguin had the first hat trick of his NHL career in Toronto back in November. Whatever the reason, the kid shows up against the Leafs, making the Kessel trade all the more fun.
–No killer instinct I’m glad the B’s won, but they again failed to put a team away. This game was almost like a replay of the Ottawa game from a couple Saturdays ago: the B’s had a team on the ropes, had a chance to deliver a knockout blow, and instead ended up letting the team back in the game. Sure, the B’s were a sort of cardiac kids last season, what with overtime wins galore in the playoffs, but that’s playing with fire. The B’s need to get their killer instinct back and “keep their foot on the snake,” as Jack Edwards would say.
–Lazy Phil Nitpicking for sure, but I had to laugh at Phil Kessel’s check attempt on the second period goal that was originally credited to Zdeno Chara but later given to Tyler Seguin. Chara was cruising down the slot and Kessel was the closest defender to him; Kessel’s lone attempt at defense was a weak stick check in Chara’s general direction. Come on, Phil.
What went right
The B’s have been way too flimsy and weak lately. They’ve gotten lots of shots off, but they’ve been from the perimeter or with minimal traffic. That’s why all three of the goals Jordan Caron was involved in made me so happy: they all involved taking the puck to the net, or at least some kind of net front presence. As I said before, Caron’s first goal was lucky, and his second was a beautiful play. However, they both represented a reward for getting to the greasy, “Mark Recchi” areas of the ice, something the B’s have been doing far too infrequently as of late. Caron appears to be adding the grit the B’s have been missing lately, and here’s to hoping he keeps it up. As long as he keeps going to the net, Claude Julien should reward him with some more ice time.
Attaboy: Caron, obviously. Kid is on fire.
Providence Shuttle: The lack of killer instinct. The B’s need to start putting teams away.