Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bruins dominate Senators, Thomas another shutout

Wow, what Tim Thomas is doing right now is just amazing. Saturday night Bruins goalie Tim Thomas shutout the Ottawa Senators 4-0. He had a lot of help with the Bruins defense blocking shots and playing well but Thomas still had to make some good saves. Thomas made 29 saves on 29 shots he faced. He improves his record to 6-0-0, with .984 save percentage, and a 0.50 GAA. This is his third shutout of the season. Thomas has tied Tiny Thompson's franchise record for most consecutive wins to start a season, which happened in the 1937-38 season.

David Krejci opened the scoring in the first period, as he got the puck from a bad turnover by the Senators, and let a wrist shot go that beat goalie Brian Elliott. That was Krejci's 2nd goal of the season. In the second period, Tyler Seguin scored his 3rd goal of the season, a power-play goal. Later, Milan Lucic scored his 4th goal of the season on a breakaway after some up and down play by both teams. In the third period, rookie Jordan Caron scored his 3rd goal of the season.

Good to see Blake Wheeler going to the net as he took an extra whack at Elliott but tough guy Matt Carkner got away with a punch to Wheeler that somehow the refs missed and Wheeler got 2 for slashing. The refs weren't that good in this game. Agitator Jarkko Ruutu got away with a few things as well. Props go out to Dennis Seidenberg for actually dropping the gloves with Chris Neil near the end of the game. Seidenberg didn't have to drop them and probably shouldn't have but Neil started punching so he had no choice. I was hoping for another Bruin to jump in and stop it but it didn't happen. We'll see what happens next time these two teams meet up. Neil is so tough picking on Seidenberg, but I've seen it before, this is what Neil does, he goes after guys who don't fight when his team is losing bad.

The Bruins are now 6-2-0 with 12 points, which is good for second place in their division behind Montreal, who has 15 points with 3 more games played. The Bruins are the only undefeated team on the road still this season.

The Bruins next game is on Wednesday at Buffalo against the Sabres at 7pm EST. The Sabres are on a 3-game losing streak. Even their captain Craig Rivet has been scratched for two straight games now. I will guess and say that Tim Thomas will start against the Sabres. Why not, right?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tyler Seguin to stay with Bruins

If you haven't heard the news by now, well rookie forward Tyler Seguin is staying with the Boston Bruins for the season. I don't think anyone thought he would be going back to the juniors.

In other Bruins news, Brian McGrattan was sent down to Providence (AHL) to play in the games this weekend for conditioning purposes. He will be brought back up on Sunday night.

"He has to get some games," said General Manager Peter Chiarelli, here this morning watching his squad's workout at Ristuccia Arena. "It's just three games...he'll be back with us Sunday night."

Some news about Marc Savard this morning:

"Savvy had a real good skate--a lot harder than anything so far," said an upbeat Chiarelli. "He was moving. He is starting to ramp it up."

With Savard coming back whenever he does, GM Chiarelli knows he needs to clear some cap space for both Savard and Marco Sturm. He even said he would send someone to the minors if he had to. Somewhere I hear Ryder's name...

"If we have to warehouse someone in the minors, we'll do that," said Chiarelli. "I don't want to do it, but I will do it, if it becomes necessary."

Bruins and Thomas shutout Maple Leafs

Milt Schmidt
Milt Schmidt, left, a former Boston Bruin and a hockey Hall of Famer, gets the honor of raising his number to the rafters for the first time, prior to the Bruins' NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
The Bruins honored former Bruin and hockey Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt before the game and raised his #15 to the rafters.

Tim Thomas continued his strong play in net this season last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs by shutting them out 2-0. Thomas stopped all 20 shots that he faced. Thomas is now 5-0-0, with a .981 save percentage, and a 0.60 GAA, with two shutouts this season so far.

Patrice Bergeron scored the first goal, the eventual game winner, his first of the season which came on the power play at the end of the first period. Rookie Tyler Seguin scored his second goal of the season in the second period. Nathan Horton was held pointless for the first time this season. Props to Horton for taking on Dion Phaneuf in not much of a fight but showing everyone he won't back down. Former Bruin Phil Kessel was a -1 with 6 shots on goal.

The Bruins next game is on Saturday at Ottawa. It's a 7pm EST game. The Senators are on a 2-game winning streak.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Boychuk out for 4 weeks

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced on Sunday that Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is expected to be out of the lineup for approximately four weeks. He suffered a slight fracture to his left ulna (bone in forearm) in the game on Saturday against the New York Rangers when Brandon Dubinsky slashed him. Dubinsky only got 2 minutes for that but really he should have got 5. Defenseman Adam McQuaid is most likely to fill in the empty d-man spot while Boychuk is sidelined.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bruins get outplayed, lose 3-2 to Rangers

The Bruins lost last night's game 3-2 to the New York Rangers. The Rangers came out in the first period ready to play, and as Andy Brickley said, they wanted it more than the Bruins. Luckily Zdeno Chara scored a power-play goal near the end of the first period for the Bruins to get on the board, which made the score 2-1 Rangers. The Bruins played much better in the second period, which Nathan Horton continued his point streak, scoring his 5th goal of the season. The second period ended 3-2 Rangers and the third period was scoreless. You can watch a video summary of the game here.

Tuukka Rask started in net and you can't really fault him for any of the goals, except maybe for the breakaway goal by Marc Staal but that breakaway shouldn't have happened. Rask made 27 saves on 30 shots. Rask is now 0-2-0, with a .894 save percentage, and a 3.54 GAA.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was injured in the first period from a slash by Rangers Brandon Dubinsky on his left hand and/or wrist. He came back in the first period but did not play in the second or third periods. If he can't play in the next game look for Adam McQuaid to be dressed.

There were three fights in the first period alone. First there was Mark Stuart pounding on agitator Sean Avery. Avery instigated the fight as Stuart layed out Ruslan Fedotenko with a clean hit and Avery got the instigator penalty. Wanting to give the Bruins some energy, Shawn Thornton challenged giant Derek Boogaard and did quite well against a much larger opponent. Big props to Thornton for even dropping the gloves with Boogaard, no matter the outcome. The third fight happened after Milan Lucic finished a check on a Rangers defenseman and Brandon Prust went right at Lucic. The fight seemed to end prematurely and Lucic seemed upset that the linesmen separated them. Lucic had a cut above his left eye.

Some quotes from Thornton about his fight with Boogaard and Lucic's fight:

"I was trying to get the boys going," Thornton said. "You know what? I think we did a pretty good job of turning it around. A couple of bounces went their way at the start, but I think maybe with myself and (Milan Lucic) getting into (fights), the guys turned it around. I was pleased with the effort the last half of the game."

"He's arguably the toughest guy in the league," Thornton said. "He's a big man. He's got 6 inches and 60 pounds (on the B's winger). I usually try and fight smart anyway, but you have to be a little bit more careful with a guy like that."

I couldn't see it in the video but apparently Prust poked Lucic in the eye in their fight.

"He got a pretty good shot in right off the bat," Lucic said. "My eye was pretty red. I didn't really notice anything until I saw the replay, and I saw that a finger came through. It happens. Obviously he didn't mean to do that."

The Bruins next game isn't until Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs here in Boston. Phil Kessel will be back in town and I'm sure you'll be hearing the boos once again at the Garden when he touches the puck. Rask has a good career record against Toronto so you may see him in net, but who knows really.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bruins beat Caps 4-1, Thomas another strong win

Boston Bruins' Jordan Caron (38) reacts after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
The Bruins beat the Washington Capitals once again last night, this time by the score 4-1. Their power-play was struggling but last night they scored three power-play goals. Tim Thomas was in net once again and made 38 saves on 39 shots against him. Thomas is now 4-0-0, with a .978 save percentage and a 0.75 GAA. Thomas has only allowed 3 goals in 4 games, that's just amazing.

In the first period, Michael Ryder scored his 2nd goal of the season, a power-play goal. In the second period, rookie Jordan Caron scored his 2nd goal of the season. Later, Nathan Horton scored his team leading 4th goal of the season, another power-play goal. In the third period, Zdeno Chara scored a power-play goal, his 1st goal of the season.

The Bruins next game is on Saturday against the New York Rangers at 7pm in Boston.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bruins beat Caps, Lucic gets a Gordie

The Bruins beat the Washington Capitals last night 3-1 with a complete team effort. The Bruins first line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic combined to score the first two goals. In the first period, Krejci scored his first goal of the season on a 2 on 1 with Horton, nice pass by Horton by the way. Later Lucic scored his third goal of the season. In the third period, defenseman Matt Hunwick scored his first goal of the season. It was a far wrist shot, with traffic in front of the net, and it got by goalie Semyon Varlamov. Despite the goal, Hunwick had a bad game, with turnovers and at times making bad decisions. One of his turnovers led to the Capitals only goal of the game.

Lucic got a Gordie Howe hat trick last night, the second of his career. His first came in his rookie season against the LA Kings.

Tim Thomas started in net and only gave up the one goal, making 35 saves on 36 shots. Thomas is now 3-0-0, with a .979 save percentage, and a 0.67 GAA. Right now the Bruins have a good problem with two good goalies, both can be considered starters in this league.

Here's a video with the hits and the fights from last nights game.

If you don't remember, Gregory Campbell and Matt Hendricks fought in the preseason, because of a Campbell hit on Alex Ovechkin, with Hendricks getting the upperhand. In their fight last night in the first period, I would say it was a draw as both guys threw wild punches. I'm not sure any connected though.

In the third period Milan Lucic and John Erskine dropped the gloves and had a spirited fight. That fight too it seemed nothing really landed, after some wild swings Erskine tied up Lucic. Lucic and Erskine first met up in the first period when Lucic came to the defense of Horton or Krejci in front of the Caps net as Erskine tried to rough someone up. They had some words and had to separated by the linesmen. In the third period they met up after some pushing near the Caps bench. If you remember, Lucic's first real loss in a fight was against Erskine in his rookie season so he probably didn't forget about that. Erskine gave Lucic a broken nose in that fight. Lucic tried to go toe-to-toe with Erskine then and last night it looked like Erskine tried to keep Lucic tied up.

Lucic's comments about the fight:

"That's just what happens, two physical guys going at one another," said Lucic of the fight in a post-game interview on Versus. "Sometimes things like that happen. We both know our roles and we're both going to play that way."

The next Bruins game is on Thursday at home against the same Washington Capitals at 7pm EST.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bruins beat Devils 4-1

Last night the Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 with all of the goals by both teams coming in the second period. The Devils looked pretty bad in their own zone getting outworked and outplayed by the Bruins in the second and third periods. Tim Thomas was strong in net once again making 31 saves on 32 shots against him.

Rookie Jordan Caron, Michael Ryder, Shawn Thornton all scored their first goal of the season. Caron's goal was his first NHL goal. Nice to get your first NHL goal against future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. Ryder's goal was set up beautifully by rookie Tyler Seguin with a sweet pass and Ryder buried it with a quick hard wrist shot. That would be Seguin's first NHL assist of his career. Milan Lucic scored the fourth goal for the Bruins, his second goal of the season.

Blake Wheeler had a bad game, getting two lazy hooking penalties and he had 0 shots on net. Thomas improves his record to 2-0-0 with a .984 save percentage and a 0.50 GAA.

The Bruins are now 2-1-0 with 4 points in 3 games, behind Toronto (8 points in 4 games) and Montreal (7 points in 5 games) in the division.The Bruins next game is on Tuesday at the Washington Capitals, the first game of a home-and-home series, with the second game at Boston (home opener) on Thursday. Tuesday's game is on Versus at 7:30pm EST.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bruins sign McGrattan to 1 year contract

Today it was announced that the Bruins have signed tough guy Brian McGrattan to a one-year contract. Terms of the contract were not disclosed but it is more than likely that it's a two-way deal and probably at the league minimum salary. Expect McGrattan to play occasionally/be an extra forward when needed.

The Bruins have also waived goalie Nolan Schaefer. If Schaefer clears waivers he will be sent down to Providence (AHL).

Update: McGrattan will earn $515,000 with the Bruins, and $105,000 in Providence.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bruins shutout Coyotes 3-0

Tyler Seguin of Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring against Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL hockey match in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. Boston won the match 3-0. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
I wasn't able to watch the game this morning but from what I've read online from other Bruins blogs and sites is that the Bruins continued their 3rd period play from Saturday's loss and at times dominated the Coyotes.

In the second period, Milan Lucic scored his first of the season assisted by Nathan Horton and David Krejci. Near the end of the second period, Horton continued his hot streak, scoring his third goal of the season, assisted by Mark Recchi and Krejci.

In the third period, Tyler Seguin scored his first NHL goal, assisted by Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas. If I find video of Seguin's goal I'll post it in the videos section. I found the video of Seguin's first NHL goal and posted it here.

Thomas started in net for the Bruins, stopping all 29 shots he faced, earning his first shutout and win of the very young season.

Jordan Caron played in his first NHL game, getting only 9:42 of ice time, with two shots on net.

Looking at ice time played, maybe Julien was just resting some guys or benching some, as the fourth line with Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Brad Marchand all had more ice time than Blake Wheeler, Michael Ryder, and Tyler Seguin.

The Bruins next play on Saturday at the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have had issues keeping the puck out of their net in the first two games. We'll see if that continues up to when the Bruins play them.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bruins lose opener to Coyotes

The Bruins lost their first game of the season 5-2 to the Phoenix Coyotes in Prague. They came out really slow and were caught off guard by the Coyotes speed it seemed. By the end of the second period it was 4-0 Coyotes. The Bruins were completely outplayed in the first period and for most of the second period. Coach Julien or someone must had said something as in the third period they looked much better.

Nathan Horton scored two goals in the third, both on nice wrist shots. The first goal was a beauty as he has a wicked wrista and showed it there. Gregory Campbell got into a fight with Vernon Fiddler after the first Horton goal which seemed to help keep the momentum on the Bruins side. Horton scored his second goal on the power play with a nice wrist shot that went off Coyotes goalie Bryzgalov's pad, then the post and in the net.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 32 saves on 36 shots against him. You can't blame him for all of the goals as the Bruins defense didn't help much at all. Matt Hunwick looked awful out there and he was a -3. Tyler Seguin, in first regular season NHL game had 4 shots on net and was a -2. He made a few nice defensive plays picking off passes in the first period. He also made a sweet pass to Mark Recchi on a power play but Recchi couldn't handle it cleanly to shoot right away.

The Bruins will get back at it tomorrow against the same Coyotes. We will probably see Tim Thomas in net for the Bruins. The game is at 10am EST.

Bruins sign Chara to 7-year extension

Today it was announced that the Bruins have signed captain Zdeno Chara to a 7-year contract extension worth $45 million. It averages out to $6.4 million a year which is lower than the $7.5 million per year he is making now. This will keep Chara here in Boston through the 2017-18 season.

Props to Chara for taking lesser money than what he probably could have got on the free agent market. This should help the Bruins spend money correctly in the next offseason (with Michael Ryder becoming a free agent and a few other players).

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a seven-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Chiarelli and Chara will be available to the media in Prague following Saturday’s season opener against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The 33-year-old defenseman is entering his 13th NHL season and his fifth with the Boston Bruins. Signed by the Bruins as a free agent on July 1, 2006, Chara was named the 18th captain in Bruins history prior to the start of the 06-07 season on October 3, 2006 and has served as the club’s captain since. He captured the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman following the 2008-09 season after recording 19 goals, 31 assists and 95 penalty minutes in 80 games. This marked Chara’s first Norris Trophy of his career and the third time he had been named a Norris Trophy finalist (2004 with Ottawa, 2008, 2009 with Boston).

He established at least one career high in the major offensive categories in each of the last three seasons, as he had a career best 51 points in 07-08, a career best 19 goals in 08-09 and a career best 37 assists in 09-10. He has missed only 11 games in his four-year stint with the Black & Gold, playing in 317 out of a possible 328 games.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bruins sign Bergeron to 3-year extension

It's official now. The Bruins have re-signed Patrice Bergeron to a 3-year extension worth $15 million. It's good to hear he wanted to stay in Boston as lots of Bruins fans want him to stay a Bruin forever.

"I knew it was going to get done," he said. "I was the one who was going to say yes, and I wanted to stay in Boston. I just feel comfortable in Boston. When I was injured (with his severe concussion two years ago), for the Bruins it was about the human being more than the hockey player. That was pretty special for me."

Coach Claude Julien raved about Bergeron. "He's very professional about his job," said Julien. "We're talkiing about conditioning, we're talking about coming to the rink every day with the right attitude and a purpose. He never has a bad practice. He always wants to be the best guy out there. His professionalism and enthusiasm for the game rub off on a lot of people."

Next up for the Bruins to re-sign is captain Zdeno Chara. There was word a week or so ago that Chara was looking for one of those crazy long-term contracts that would keep him in Boston in his 40s. With the whole Kovalchuk mess I would think those contracts would stop so we'll see what happens with Chara.

The Bruins play game 1 of 82 tomorrow vs the Phoenix Coyotes in Prague, at 12pm EST on Versus.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bruins make final cut

Over at the Bruins Insider on the Boston Herald site, they're reporting that rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski was the final cut from the Bruins roster. Bartkowski impressed GM Chiarelli and coach Julien so look for him to be called up if they need another defenseman.

So it looks like Adam McQuaid made the team to be the seventh defenseman (not really a surprise) and forwards Brian McGrattan and Brad Marchand made the team as extra forwards. Congrats to rookie Jordan Caron making the team. He was said to have hit a rookie wall recently, mainly fatigue, but played well in yesterday's game.

The Bruins open their season on Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes in Prague. That's a 12pm EST game for us on the east coast in the US.

Update/edit: From the Bruins Blog, the Bruins have the maximum number of players at 23, not counting Brian McGrattan.

So McGrattan hasn't made the roster yet. Maybe when the Bruins send goalie Nolan Schaefer to Providence they'll add McGrattan to the roster? I guess we'll know by 3pm EST today.