Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bruins beat Panthers 2-1

Last night the Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 2-1. In the first period, Brad Marchand scored his 13th goal of the season to give the Bruins the 1-0 lead.

In the second period, Milan Lucic would make it 2-0 Bruins, with his 20th goal of the season. It is the first time in his career that Lucic reached the 20 goal mark.

In the third period, the Panthers scored a goal to make it 2-1 but couldn't tie the game up late.

Tim Thomas made 34 saves on 35 shots. Thomas is now 24-5-6, with a 1.81 GAA, and a .945 save percentage.

Onto the next one
The next Bruins game is on February 1st at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kings beat Bruins 2-0

The Kings scored two goals but they really only needed one to beat the Bruins last night as they shut out the Bruins 2-0. The Bruins couldn't get anything by Jonathan Quick all night. Milan Lucic had 5 shots on net, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg each had 4 shots on net.

Tim Thomas made 32 saves on 34 shots. Thomas is now 23-5-6, with a 1.84 GAA, and a .945 save percentage.

Some notes from the game
Shawn Thornton had a good fight against Kings tough rookie Kyle Clifford.

Nathan Horton had 1 shot on goal and was a -1.

Blake Wheeler had the lowest time on ice for the Bruins with 11:44.

Onto the next one
The next Bruins game is on Wednesday against the Florida Panthers at Boston.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bruins update on Marc Savard

Today the Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli released a statement regarding Marc Savard:

"After being examined by the Bruins medical staff today, Marc has been diagnosed with a moderate concussion. There is no timetable on his return and no further updates at this time."

This is Savard's fourth career concussion he had. He has to do what is best for him and his life. Concussions are serious business as we all know.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bruins beat Avalanche 6-2

Bruins celebrate Mark Recchi's goal
From left, Boston Bruin's Johnny Boychuk (55), Mark Recchi (28), Patrice Bergeron (37) and Brad Marchand (63) come together to celebrate Recchi's goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
The Bruins line of Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi, and Brad Marchand exploded in today's game against the Colorado Avalanche for 10 points. Bergeron and Recchi had a goal and 2 assists each, and Marchand had 2 goals and 2 assists. This wasn't a sleeper game for the Bruins as their last game was against the Sabres.

In the first period, Marchand scored his 11th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1. Later, Milan Lucic scored a power-play goal, his 18th goal of the season to make it 2-1 Bruins. Also in the first period, Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Avalanche tough guy Cody McLeod and held his own against a more experienced and bigger opponent.

In the second period, Mark Recchi scored his 10th goal of the season to make it 3-1 Bruins. Later in the period, Lucic would score his second goal of the game, his 19th goal of the season, to make it 4-1. During the second period, Marc Savard was hit by ex-Bruin Matt Hunwick and Savard hit his head against the boards or glass and was down on the ice in obvious pain. He left the ice slowly, with assistance and a towel on his face. After the game there was word that Savard will not make the trip to LA and he will fly back to Boston for evaluation.

In the third period, Bergeron scored his 16th goal of the season to make it 5-2 Bruins. Near the end of the game, Marchand added an empty net goal, his 12th goal of the season, to make it 6-2.

Notes on the game
Lucic has now set a career high in goals with 19. He should be adding onto that total with the rest of the games this season.

David Krejci had 2 assists in today's game.

It should be no surprise if Brad Marchand wins the Bruins 7th Player Award this season. He's definitely my pick.

Onto the next one
The Bruins will next play on Monday at the Los Angeles Kings.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bruins lose to Sabres 4-2

Thursday's game against the Buffalo Sabres was such a lackluster and low-energy game for the Bruins it's hard to write about. To me, it seems most of this season's games against the Sabres have had low energy and not much flow for the Bruins.

In the first period, Dennis Seidenberg scored his 4th goal of the season to give the Bruins the 1-0 lead.

In the second period, McCormick would tie up the game 1-1 for the Sabres. Gregory Campbell would later score his 7th goal of the season to give the Bruins the lead again. Later in the period, Gerbe would tie the game back up for the Sabres.

In the third period, Bruins killers Vanek and Pominville would score to give the Sabres the 4-2 lead and beat the Bruins.

I'm not sure how Ryan Miller was a not a star of the game as he made 38 saves on 40 shots. In fact, in all Sabres wins Miller should be one of the three stars of the game, as the Sabres would be a basement team without him.

Tuukka Rask again faced the Sabres and made 29 saves on 33 shots. Rask is now 4-10-1, with a 2.67 GAA, and a .923 save percentage. I don't know what it is but whenever Rask is in net, the Bruins seem to not be able to score enough goals to win.

Some notes on the game
This was a hard game to watch, for me anyways, as the Bruins looked slow and like they were skating in slow motion at times. Where has the hitting gone? They need to finish their checks.

In the third period, when they were down 3-2, there was a stretch that the Bruins started to actually hit, led by Mark Stuart who started it by pushing around a few Sabres in the corner and in front of his net.

Defenseman Andrew Ference was back in the lineup, so Adam McQuaid was a scratch.

Onto the next one
The Bruins next game is on Saturday at 3pm EST as the Bruins will be taking on old teammate Matt Hunwick and the Colorado Avalanche.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thomas gets Bruins the win

Bruins celebrate Johnny Boychuk's goal
Boston Bruins' Johnny Boychuk, center, celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes with Michael Ryder (73) and Nathan Horton (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. Boston won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Without Tim Thomas the Bruins would not have won tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Thomas was aggressive at times and made some huge saves. Carolina was controlling most of the play for the second and third periods as it looked like Boston was sitting back and just dumping the puck out of its zone, just as the collapse in Montreal not too long ago. But the Bruins offense buried their chances to get the lead again in the third period to win the game.

In the first period, Johnny Boychuk scored a power-play goal, his 1st goal of the season. Jussi Jokinen would score to tie the game up.

In the second period, no scoring happened.

In the third period, Brad Marchand scored his 10th goal of the season to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Later, Chad LaRose scored to tie the game 2-2. On the power-play, Milan Lucic scored his 17th goal of the season to give the Bruins the 3-2 lead. The game would end 3-2.

Tim Thomas made 43 saves on 45 shots. Thomas is now 22-4-6, with a 1.83 GAA, and a .945 save percentage.

The Hurricanes led the game in shots 45-28 and led in faceoff wins 33-32.

Some notes about the game
The Bruins did not look good in this game and owe the win to Tim Thomas playing spectacular.

Props to Johnny Boychuk and Shawn Thornton with two big open-ice hits in the third period.

There were a lot of weak penalty calls in this game.

The Bruins are now 6-2-2 in their last 10 games.

Onto the next one
The Bruins next game is on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres at Boston.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chara gets hat trick, Bruins dominate Canes

Zdeno Chara after the game celebrating his first NHL career hat trick
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 17: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins after the game celebrating his hat trick against the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden on January 17, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Patrice Bergeron did it last week and this afternoon Zdeno Chara did it too. Score their first NHL hat trick that is. In today's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Chara scored his first career NHL hat trick in a dominate 7-0 win over the Canes.

In the first period, the scoring started with Mark Stuart, his first game back from a hand injury, scoring his 1st goal of the season on a slap shot from the point and a screened Cam Ward couldn't make the save. Later, with Milan Lucic back in the lineup, a Lucic goal was washed out as Chara had a delayed penalty for slashing. After Chara came out of the penalty box serving his penalty, he joined the play and went down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Mark Recchi. Chara shot it and beat Ward to make it 2-0 Bruins, his 8th goal of the season. Cam Ward was then replaced by Justin Peters. Later in the first period, on the power-play Zdeno Chara scored his 2nd goal of the game, his 9th goal of the season.

In the second period, Gregory Campbell scored a hard-working dirty goal as he had his back to the net and was being pushed away from the goalie as Shawn Thornton sent a wrist shot in his direction and somehow Campbell tipped it into the net. That was Campbell's 6th goal of the season. Thirteen seconds later, Patrice Bergeron scored off a Canes turnover in the Canes end, his 15th goal of the season.

In the third period, Michael Ryder scored his 14th goal of the season, tipping in a Dennis Seidenberg shot. Later in the period, Chara got his first NHL hat trick, scoring on a power-play with a big slap shot from the point.

Tim Thomas was in net for the Bruins and made 31 saves on 31 shots, getting his league-leading 7th shutout of the season. Thomas is now 21-4-6, with a 1.82 GAA, and a .944 save percentage.

The Bruins led the game in shots 38-31 and faceoff wins 33-22.

Some notes from the game
Bergeron finished the game with a goal and an assist.

David Krejci finished the game with 2 assists.

Adam McQuaid finished the game with 2 assists, a +3, and 17 PIMs. McQuaid got into a fight with Troy Bodie with 5:20 left in the game, as he went to protect Mark Stuart, who just returned from an injury. McQuaid got the instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. If you remember from last season, McQuaid fought Bodie, when Bodie was a member of the Anaheim Ducks.

"Well we all know Stuey [Mark Stuart]... it's been a little that he's been out. So in that situation you kind of have to jump in there for your teammate. We all know Stuey's [Mark Stuart] not going to back down so it was just kind of something that you need to do. It kind of puts him in a tough spot, so I guess someone had to jump in there for him." Source

Onto the next one
The Bruins are right back at it tomorrow night at the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins have to be ready. I think the Canes will be ready and pumped for revenge after this beating they took today.

Bruins activate Mark Stuart

On Sunday the Bruins announced that defenseman Mark Stuart was taken off IR and activated. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski was assigned to Providence (AHL).

Mark Stuart, Milan Lucic, and Steven Kampfer all practiced with the full squad on Sunday so it looks like all three may play on Monday. Kampfer was wearing the full shield because of his broken nose.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bruins can't come back vs Penguins

Bruins Adam McQuaid hits Penguins Matt Cooke
Boston Bruins' Adam McQuaid (54) checks Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cooke in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Today's afternoon game was not a snoozer as there was a lot of back and forth scoring chances for both teams throughout the game. After the first period it was 1-0 Penguins with Chris Kunitz scoring.

Early in the second period, Pascal Dupuis made it 2-0 Penguins. The Bruins scored two quick goals later in the period to tie the game 2-2. First, Dennis Seidenberg scored his 3rd goal of the season from a hard slap shot from the point as Fleury was screened. Then Michael Ryder scored his 13th goal of the season on a nice wrist shot beating Fleury short-side high.

In the third period, Jordan Staal would score the game winner. The Bruins couldn't score to tie the game, even with Tuukka Rask pulled in the last minute of the game. The final score was 3-2 Penguins.

The Bruins led the game in shots 46-36 and led in faceoff wins 28-24.

Tuukka Rask made 33 saves on 36 shots. Rask is now 4-9-1, with a 2.57 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

Notes from the game
In the first period, Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Craig Adams. They had a good fight with both guys throwing quick punches and landing some. It looked like Campbell landed quite a few rights near the end of it.

"He had a run in with Nathan [Horton] and Nathan doesn’t need to be doing that all the time so yeah. At a time like that when we’re down one it never hurts to provide a little energy." Source

In the second period, Steve Kampfer took a high stick and was bleeding badly. The replay showed that Zdeno Chara's stick got Kampfer up high as it was tied up with Dupuis and somehow hit Kampfer. Kampfer didn't return to the game. After the game it was reported that Kampfer had a broken nose.

Johnny Boychuk again challenged Matt Cooke to fight, as he did in the last meeting, and Cooke declined as usual.

"He [Cooke] won't do a thing," Savard said. "Johnny [Boychuk] has tried him last few games and he just skates away. He'll get you from different areas but he won't get you head on, obviously." Source

Scary moment in the third period. Marc Savard took a hard hit against the boards from Deryk Engelland and went down to the ice. On the replay it looked like Engelland made contact with Savard's head and rammed his head into the boards. No penalty on the play. Savard got up after a few minutes and played after the hit.

"A little woozy, to be honest with you," Savard said. "But we'll see how I feel the rest of the day here tonight and stuff, because… I don't know I haven't seen the replay, it felt like he just got my head, so I don't know. But a little woozy." Source

Props to Penguins Jordan Staal as he had a great game, winning faceoffs, playing good defensively and scoring the game winner.

Onto the next one
The Bruins next game is on Monday at 1pm EST against the Carolina Hurricanes in Boston. Then the Bruins play at Carolina on Tuesday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bruins injury update

Bruins coach Claude Julien had a little news today about the current injured Bruins.

Defenseman Andrew Ference didn't play in last night's third period. Ference is currently day-to-day. Forward Milan Lucic missed another game last night. It is rumored that Lucic has a shoulder injury. Defenseman Mark Stuart is recovering from a hand injury and possibly could come back next week.

Here's what Julien had to say about the three injured Bruins:

"Andrew suffered an upper-body injury [Thursday] night," Julien said. "He's deemed day-to-day, very questionable for [Saturday], but after that, I think we're hoping it's minor enough that we'll see him back soon."

"Lucic is doing better," Julien said. "He skated today for the first time here. Obviously, [he's] another guy who's going to be questionable for [Saturday], but I think after that, we can hopefully expect some good news because he's progressing well."

"In Stuey's case, he hasn't been cleared medically," Julien said. "He's been cleared to practice, but he hasn't medically cleared to play. So it's certainly not my decision right now as we speak. I guess he said he's ready to go, but that's Stuey being Stuey. He'll play with a broken arm if you let him."

Also today the Bruins recalled defenseman Matt Bartkowski from Providence (AHL) on an emergency basis. He will probably play in Saturday's game against the Penguins for Ference. It'll be another game against the Penguins for him.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back and forth game ends with Bruins winning

The Bruins celebrate Steve Kampfer's goal in the third period
Boston Bruins fans and players congratulate defenseman Steve Kampfer, second from right, after his goal breaking a 5-5 tie against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011. The goal ended up being the game winner as the Bruins took a 7-5 victory against the Flyers. Bruins players from left are Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Kampfer and Mark Recchi. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Wow what a game tonight. There were five lead changes in the game but the Bruins managed to get the lead with Steve Kampfer's goal with 1:14 left in the third period and add an empty net goal, by Gregory Campbell, to give them the 7-5 win.

In the first period, Hartnell scored for the Flyers and Zdeno Chara for the Bruins (Chara's 7th goal of the season, a power-play goal). Shawn Thornton also dropped the gloves with Jody Shelley. It wasn't much of a fight as both didn't really throw any big bombs but Shelley threw a lot of short jersey jabs. I'm not sure you can give Shelley the win for throwing ineffective jabs at Thornton, but I'm sure Flyers fans will. The period ended 1-1.

In the second period, Patrice Bergeron scored his 14th goal of the season continuing his hot streak. The Flyers put up two goals in the second period, including one in the final minute of the period. The period ended 3-2 Flyers.

In the third period, the scoring went back and forth in twos. Recchi (his 9th) and Ryder (his 12th) scored for the Bruins. Then for the Flyers, Briere and ex-Bruin Sean O'Donnell scored to make it 5-4 Flyers. But the Bruins came back. Brad Marchand scored his 9th goal of the season to tie the game 5-5. Then Kampfer scored his 4th goal of the season on a beautiful wrist shot, on Brian Boucher who was screened, to give the Bruins the 6-5 lead. Campbell would get the empty net to put the Flyers away (his 5th goal of the season).

The Bruins led the game in shots 36-35 and faceoff wins 42-30.

Tim Thomas made 30 saves on 35 shots. Thomas is now 20-4-6, with a 1.88 GAA, and a .943 save percentage.

Some notes from the game
The Bruins got caught too many times not realizing a Flyers player was behind their defense which caused odd man rushes and breakaways for the Flyers.

Punk of the game goes to Daniel Briere for his late hit on David Krejci on an offsides call. Briere then hid behind refs and teammates as Blake Wheeler tried to get at him.

Campbell now with two empty net goals in the last two games, he is picking up where Milan Lucic left off in the empty net goal category.

I think you got to say that Steve Kampfer has to stay up with the Bruins. He is playing great right now and is providing offense that the Bruins need from their defense. Mark Stuart should be coming back soon but there is no open spot.

But defenseman Andrew Ference did not play in the third period and will be evaluated tomorrow. It seems he may have got hurt during tonight's game.

Onto the next one
The Bruins next game is on Saturday at 1pm EST against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Boston. Sidney Crosby will probably not play but never say never.

NHL The Bruin Guardian revealed

Today the NHL revealed the 13th NHL Guardian, "The Bruin", representing the Boston Bruins of course. Lucky number 13 huh?

The Guardian Project: The Bruin

The Bruin is a big kid - he's curious, adventurous and often finds himself with a ferocious hunger. That being said, few are happier or more mild natured than the Bruin when his belly is full. Although the Bruin gives off a blue collar vibe, he is one of the well-educated Guardians. This fact is attributable to the Boston area being home to over 100 institutions of higher learning including the oldest University in the United States. The Bruin is incredibly fast, has an uncanny sense of smell and is able to track things from miles away.

He is the resident early alarm system for the Guardians as he can literally smell trouble coming. He's an excellent interrogator because he can tell if someone is lying just by smelling them and he has a roar that can freeze his opponents with fear.

Something funny that StanleyCupofChowder posted on his Twitter, @cupofchowdah:
Why does "The Bruin" Guardian look like Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

To me "The Bruin" looks a little like "The Wild" Guardian (picture here), but not on steroids lol.

I know this whole "Guardian Project" that the NHL is doing is for the kid audience, to try and get new fans of hockey, but will this actually help?

New Bruins Bear commercial

A new Bruins Bear commercial was released today, the "Obey the Restroom Code" video, check it out below.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bergeron and Bruins explode against Senators

Patrice Bergeron celebrates his first career NHL hat trick after the game
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 11: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins after the game celebrating his hat trick against the Ottawa Senators at the TD Garden on January 11, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Bruins put in a solid game and dominated the struggling Ottawa Senators by the score of 6-0. Tim Thomas was in net and made 31 saves to get his league leading 6th shutout of the season. Thomas did have help in front of him as the Bruins played well even though they gave up 31 shots. The Bruins had 39 shots on goal themselves. The Bruins also led in faceoff wins 35-24.

The scoring began 3:33 into the game as Brad Marchand's hard forecheck caused a rushed play by the Sens defense, a lucky bounce off of Mike Fisher's stick, and Patrice Bergeron in the perfect spot to take the puck and quickly roof it over Brian Elliott. That was Bergeron's 11th goal of the season. Later in the first period, Blake Wheeler had his stick on the ice and put the puck in the back of the net from a sweet Tyler Seguin pass. That was Wheeler's 10th goal of the season.

In the second period, 2:50 into the period, Bergeron scored his second goal of the game, his 12th goal of the season. Just after the Bruins killed a penalty, Bergeron made another nice defensive play at the Bruins blue line, raced down the ice with Wheeler, tried to pass to Wheeler but it was blocked by an Ottawa defenseman, both Bergeron and Wheeler whacked at it but it looked like Bergeron knocked it into the net. Later in the period, Brad Marchand scored his 8th goal of the season as his attempted pass went off an Ottawa defenseman's skate and into the net. Everyone thought Bergeron knocked it into the net for a hat trick so the hats came raining down onto the ice. But after review you could see it clearly went off an Ottawa defenseman's skate. Later, Tyler Seguin would make it 5-0 with his 7th goal of the season on a wicked wrist shot from the slot.

In the third period, Ottawa replaced goalie Elliott with Mike Brodeur (no relation to Devils' Martin Brodeur). This period it took 5:04 for Bergeron to score a goal and what a shot he took on Brodeur as he roofed another one and it found the corner over Brodeur short-side. This goal made it officially Bergeron's first NHL hat trick and some more hats came raining down onto the ice. It was Bergeron's 13th goal of the season.

During the game there were a few bouts, as during any blow out sometimes fights occur because of frustration. In the second period, Nathan Horton had a quick fight with Jesse Winchester after they exchanged some shoves. Shawn Thornton also took on Matt Carkner in the second period which was a heavyweight exchange by both guys. Carkner landed more shots on Thornton but props to Thornton for hanging in there and landing a good punch of his own. Carkner got the decision in that one. In the third period, Carkner went after Daniel Paille after Paille bumped him (I talk more about this fight down below).

A NESN video with the replays of the three fights and the Boston crowd doing the wave.

Tim Thomas is now 19-4-6, with a 1.77 GAA, a .946 save percentage, and 6 shutouts.

Some notes from the game:
In playing in tonight's game, Mark Recchi moves ahead of Bruins legend Ray Bourque in the NHL's all-time games-played list with his 1,613th game.

Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid returned to the Bruins lineup.

This is just speculation on my part, I have no idea if this is true or not but I'm thinking that McQuaid possibly had a hand injury from his fight with Travis Moen that kept him out of the lineup in Pittsburgh. There were a few times in tonight's game where it looked like Chris Neil and Zack Smith wanted to have a go with McQuaid but nothing happened. McQuaid could have been told not to fight. Again, this is just speculation on my part.

Bergeron and McQuaid were both a +4. Bergeron with 3 goals on 4 shots. David Krejci finished the game with two assists. Both Seguin and Marchand had a goal and an assist each.

Punk of the game goes to Senators Matt Carkner with his basically instigating a fight with non-fighter Daniel Paille. Behind the Senators net Paille came in and gave Carkner a little bump that Carkner didn't like so he gave Paille a few shoves and then grabbed him and forced him to drop the gloves. I'm not sure how Carkner didn't get an instigator penalty there. Congrats Carkner you took out your frustrations on a non-fighter. You don't earn respect around the league by doing stuff like that. This was similar to Chris Neil's instigating a fight with Dennis Seidenberg at the end of a game when they played in Ottawa earlier in the season. I'm hoping Carkner gets sent a message, in the way of a fist to the face the next time these two teams meet, which isn't until February 18th at Ottawa. This was Paille's first career fighting major.

If he wasn't considered for the Frank J. Selke Trophy before, Patrice Bergeron should definitely be considered for it this season. Just watch this game again and focus on Bergeron, he made numerous nice plays in all three zones.

Courtesy of NESN and Stanley Cup of Chowder, the Bruins are 6-2-1 when Shawn Thornton fights this season.

Onto the next one
The Bruins next game is on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Boston. It's a 7pm EST game. Tonight the Flyers beat the Sabres 5-2.

Bruins send Matt Bartkowski back to Providence

The Bruins announced that they sent defenseman Matt Bartkowski back down to Providence (AHL). Bartkowski didn't have such a great game last night in Pittsburgh in his first NHL game but he'll definitely get another chance if another Bruins defenseman isn't able to play. Adam McQuaid was back in the lineup tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

Chara, Thomas and Seguin to participate in All-Star festivities

Today the NHL announced that Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas have been named to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and rookie Tyler Seguin has been selected as one of 12 NHL rookies to participate in the Honda SuperSkills competition.

If you haven't heard yet, this year the All-Star game will be set up differently.

As previously announced, the NHL, working in conjunction with the National Hockey League Players’ Association, replaced the traditional conference vs. conference format for the All-Star teams with a player draft that will determine the team rosters for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game as well as the Honda NHL SuperSkills. The Jan. 28 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft will be televised live on VERSUS in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET from the Raleigh Convention Center.

A coin toss will decide first pick with the team captains, joined by their two alternate captains, alternately drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards total.

The 12 Rookies participating in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® will be divided by the NHL into two groups of six. At the completion of the 15th round of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft enabled by Cisco, one NHL Rookie will be selected to choose which All-Star team his group will join for the skills competition.

The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The on-ice activities will take place Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30 and will include Honda NHL SuperSkills® and the 58th NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center. Live television coverage of both nights will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada. The Honda SuperSkills® will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game will start at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bruins reach halfway point of season

After tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Bruins have played their 41st game of the season, officially reaching the halfway point of the season for them. I'm going to take a look at the team's numbers and some individual stats.

Through the first 41 games, the Bruins went 22-12-7 which gives them 51 points. They are 9-7-3 at home, 13-5-4 on the road, and 1-5 in shootouts/overtime. The Bruins have 117 goals for (best in the Northeast division) and 93 goals against (NHL best).

Milan Lucic leads the Bruins in goals with 16.

Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins in assists with 19 and points with 29.

Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara lead the Bruins in +/- with +15. Marc Savard is a team-worst with -8 in 18 games.

Shawn Thornton leads the Bruins in PIMs with 64. Thornton also leads the team in fighting majors with 8.

Michael Ryder leads the Bruins with 7 power-play goals.

Brad Marchand leads the Bruins with 3 shorthanded goals.

Mark Recchi leads the Bruins with 5 game-winning goals.

Zdeno Chara leads the Bruins in shots with 134.

Milan Lucic leads the Bruins with a 17.4 shooting percentage.

Zdeno Chara leads the Bruins with the most ice time per game at 26:38.

Out of the regular faceoff takers, Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with a 54.4 faceoff winning percentage (winning 398 out of 731). David Krejci is at 49.1% (winning 274 out of 558), Tyler Seguin is also at 49.1% (winning 106 out of 216), Marc Savard is at 48.9% (winning 107 out of 219), and Gregory Campbell is at 48.4% (winning 221 out of 457).

In the shootout so far this season, Tyler Seguin is 3 for 6, Blake Wheeler is 1 for 2, Michael Ryder is 1 for 4, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are both 0 for 2, and Zdeno Chara/Nathan Horton/Milan Lucic are all 0 for 1.

Goalie stats
Tim Thomas, 18-4-6, 1.84 GAA, .944 save percentage, 5 shutouts
Tuukka Rask, 4-8-1, 2.53 GAA, .927 save percentage, 1 shutout

Bruins score 4 goals in final 4 minutes to beat Penguins

Mark Recchi scores on the power play which turns out to be the game winner
Boston Bruins' Mark Recchi (28) scores a goal in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011. The Bruins won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Wow what a game tonight. It seemed similar to the Boston-Montreal game on Saturday but reversed where the Penguins had the better of the play in the first two periods but the Bruins brought it in the third period. The Bruins were down 2-0 after two periods. The Bruins managed to score four goals in the last 3:23 of the third period to win the game. Tonight the Penguins choked as the Bruins did on Saturday.

The scoring for the Bruins started with captain Zdeno Chara scoring on the power-play with a shot from the point. It was Chara's 6th goal of the season. Twelve seconds later Brad Marchand scored his 7th goal of the season to tie the game just like that. With fifty seconds left in the third period, Mark Recchi scored a power-play goal to give the Bruins the 3-2 lead. Recchi chipped in a rebound from a low Michael Ryder shot. That goal was Recchi's 8th goal of the season and his 200th career power-play goal. Gregory Campbell would put the game away with an empty net goal making it 4-2, his 4th goal of the season. Campbell would finish the game with a goal and 2 assists. This was an amazing comeback that hopefully turns the season around and the Bruins learn they need to play a full game and with more intensity.

Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid did not play tonight.

Matt Bartkowski played in his first NHL game tonight. He had 9:53 of ice time, was -1 with 2 PIMs.

When the Bruins were down 2-0, Johnny Boychuk challenged Matt Cooke to a fight but to no one's surprise Cooke declined the offer.

Tuukka Rask made 23 saves on 25 shots and is now 4-8-1, with a 2.53 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

The Bruins won't get any time off as they play the Ottawa Senators at Boston tomorrow night. It's a busy week for the Bruins as they host the Flyers on Thursday and the Penguins on Saturday as well.

Bruins recall Matt Bartkowski on emergency basis

On Sunday the Bruins recalled defenseman Matt Bartkowski on an emergency basis from Providence (AHL) (source). The Bruins also placed defenseman Mark Stuart on injured reserve.

Adam McQuaid was given a maintenance day for an unspecified injury or illness (source above). So we can assume that McQuaid has some kind of injury and Bartkowski will take his place in the lineup on Monday against the Penguins. Remember McQuaid only played 4:51 in the game against Montreal. If Bartkowski plays Monday night, it will be his first NHL game.

Monday's game will also be Marc Savard's first game against cheapshot artist Matt Cooke. Does anyone expect anything to happen? I don't think Savard will challenge Cooke to fight but you never know in situations like this one. What would you do if someone almost not only ended your hockey career but possibly messed up your head forever and you met them later on? That's a tough question for anyone to answer.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bruins blow lead in 3rd and lose in overtime

Adam McQuaid vs Travis Moen
Montreal Canadiens' Travis Moen, right, fights with Boston Bruins' Adam McQuaid during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)
Saturday night was Hockey Night in Canada with the Boston Bruins playing at the Montreal Canadiens. The first period went back and forth with both teams not scoring.

In the second period, Patrice Bergeron scored two goals (his 9th and 10th goals) to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

In the third period it was all Montreal as they controlled the play and outplayed the Bruins. Michael Ryder took a bad tripping penalty which Montreal got a lucky bounce off of Zdeno Chara's skate and into the net behind Tim Thomas. With 48 seconds left in the third period, the goalie pulled, Montreal tied the game with Bruins killer Brian Gionta deflecting a shot into the net past Thomas. The game went into overtime and 10 seconds in Blake Wheeler takes a lazy dumb hooking penalty. The Bruins survived the Montreal power-play. Later in overtime, Max Pacioretty took a shot from far out and a screened Thomas couldn't make the save far side and Montreal won it.

Pacioretty, picking up the classless play that was missing since Maxim Lapierre was traded away, pushed Chara from behind as Chara was skating behind his net after the overtime goal. This got Chara upset of course so he tried going after Pacioretty in the hugfest the Montreal players were having. Eventually Hal Gill got in there and put the bear hug on Chara because he didn't want to fight and get bloodied again. Both Chara and Gill got 10-minute misconducts for that. That's just a classless play by Pacioretty. You've been basically a career AHL player with now 8 career goals in 97 NHL games, you just won the game in overtime, probably the biggest goal you will ever score in your life, so you decide to go and push an opponent after a game they blew, what did you expect to happen?

Pacioretty on the incident:
"I was just so excited about the goal and I don't think it was anything too big. I think he was just upset about the breakdown by their team, but it is what it is and it's a good feeling so I'll try not to let that ruin it."

Props to Chara for playing even though he wasn't feeling good. He didn't play the best, but he was better than some others even when sick, but the third period was just awful for everyone.

Nathan Horton did not play tonight because of an undisclosed injury.

Also props to the Bergeron-Recchi-Marchand line as they were the Bruins best line tonight despite the team choking in the final minutes of the third period.

Adam McQuaid got into a fight with Travis Moen in the first period after Moen was taking a few whacks at Thomas. Moen got the better of McQuaid early but McQuaid came back with some nice punches. They eventually tired out and the linesmen broke them up. McQuaid only had 4:51 of ice time so I don't know if he was benched or got hurt from the fight. I know I saw him on the ice for one shift after the fight. But he didn't play at all in the third period.

Tim Thomas is now 18-4-6 with a 1.84 GAA and a .944 save percentage.

The Bruins and Canadiens are now tied for 1st place in the Northeast divison with 49 points, but the Bruins have two games in hand.

The Bruins next game is on Monday at the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins haven't been winning since losing Sidney Crosby to a concussion. Hopefully the Bruins can capitalize on Crosby being out of the lineup.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wild continue dominance over Bruins

Tuukka Rask makes a save
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, of Finland, left, drops to the ice to make a save as Minnesota Wild center Pierre-Marc Bouchard (96) looks for the rebound during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, in Boston. At top right is Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The Minnesota Wild have never lost when playing the Bruins at Boston and their streak continues after beating the Bruins 3-1 last night. After a good first period, the Bruins were simply outplayed for the rest of the game. Tuukka Rask was in net and played well, making a highlight save robbing Martin Havlat of a sure goal. I don't know which save was better, Tim Thomas' robbing of Francois Beauchemin or Rasks' save on Havlat. Rask made 31 saves on 33 shots, only giving up 2 goals (the 3rd goal was an empty net goal). Rask is now 3-8-1 with a 2.58 GAA and a .928 save percentage.

For the Bruins, rookie Steve Kampfer continues to impress as he scored his 3rd goal of the season, with Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron picking up assists. Marc Savard and Milan Lucic were both a -2.

If you missed the game, watch the highlights of the game here.

The Bruins next game is on Saturday at Montreal, Hockey Night in Canada. Montreal won last night against the Penguins so they are 1 point behind the Bruins. Boston is first place in the division at 21-12-6 with 48 points (39 games played). While Montreal is in second place in the division at 22-16-3 with 47 points (41 games played). So while Saturday's game is a big one, the Bruins still have two games in hand on Montreal. Who wants to bet if Brad Marchand challenges P.K. Subban to fight for his hit on him a little while back Subban will not drop the gloves? (I didn't know they were teammates and friends on the same junior team so I doubt they would fight.) Good news is that agitator Maxim Lapierre, who always seems to have his gloves taped on, was recently traded to the Anaheim Ducks in the western conference. You won't be missed by anyone, see ya.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rask leads win over Leafs

Milan Lucic celebrates Marc Savard's goal
Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic, centre, celebrates a goal by teammate Marc Savard, in front of Toronto Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf, right, and Fredrik Sjostrom during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)
Last night Tuukka Rask showed he has no confidence issues in his game as he stopped 36 of 37 shots from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rask's good numbers against the Leafs in his career continued last night as he made some big saves to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 win.

In the second period, Nathan Horton ripped a wrist shot from the middle of the ice almost near the blue line after a pass from Dennis Seidenberg and it went past Leafs rookie goalie James Reimer. That was Horton's 12th goal of the season and it would tie the game. Later in the second period, the first line continued their good play with Marc Savard scoring on a slap shot around the same area where Horton scored his goal. That was Savard's 2nd goal of the season. Horton and Milan Lucic received assists from the goal.

The Bruins held Phil Kessel without a point again. Kessel had 8 shots on net and many were good scoring chances but he couldn't get one by Rask. Gregory Campbell was back in the lineup for the Bruins. He only played 7:54, but I'm assuming because it's the first game back from being sick for him. Or it could have been just the 4th line not getting much ice time as Shawn Thornton had 8:31 and Brad Marchand had 8:21 of ice time. Lucic and his arch enemy Mike Komisarek met up a few times during the game laying hits on each other. Twice it seemed they may go and drop the gloves but it didn't go there. The Leafs led the game in shots 37-33 and faceoff wins 37-26.

Rask is now 3-7-1 with a 2.63 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

The Bruins next game is on Thursday when they host the Minnesota Wild at home. We'll see old friend Chuck Kobasew. The Bruins will need to keep their heads up when Cal Clutterbuck is on the ice. Clutterbuck reminds me of Lucic's rookie season when he hit anything that moved.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bruins blow leads, lose in shootout

Sabres Drew Stafford scores on Tim Thomas in the shootout
Buffalo Sabres winger Drew Stafford, right, reacts after scoring on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas during the shoot-out of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y. on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. Buffalo won 7-6. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)
Saturday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres was one of those games where pucks were going in the net from everywhere as at the end of regulation it was 6-6. The game would go to a shootout and the Sabres would win it 7-6. The ice seemed to be not in great shape due to the World Junior Championships games that are going on in Buffalo.

It was a wild game and here's how it got to 6-6. The first period would end 4-3 Boston. Andrew Ference scored his 2nd goal of the season, Dennis Seidenberg scored his 2nd goal of the season, Brad Marchand scored his 6th goal of the season, and Zdeno Chara scored a shorthanded goal (his 5th goal of the season).

Tuukka Rask started the game but Tim Thomas replaced him at the start of the second period. Rask made 13 saves on 16 shots. The second period would end with the Sabres up 5-4.

The third period ended 6-6 with the Sabres scoring in the final minute to tie the game up. Tyler Seguin (6th goal) and Steve Kampfer (2nd goal) scored in the period for the Bruins.

Nobody scored in overtime so it went to another shootout for the Bruins. Drew Stafford scored on Thomas going 5-hole. Michael Ryder somehow managed to get a puck between Ryan Miller's right armpit area. Bruins killer Thomas Vanek took a quick slap shot that went short side and by Thomas into the net. Seguin did his fake and go to the backhand move and scored. Tyler Ennis undressed Thomas and scored. Chara faked a big slap shot and tried to take a wrist shot but shot it wide.

This was another game I felt the physical game for the Bruins was not there. The Sabres played somewhat physical, they certainly outhit the Bruins. Claude Julien again shook up the lines a little during the game. I did see a shift where Seguin was on a line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, which I've been wanting to see for a little while now to see how they played. The first line of Marc Savard (-2), Lucic (-1), and Horton (-1) didn't seem to do much at all. Gregory Campbell was again a scratch as he is still sick with the flu.

Tim Thomas made 16 saves on 19 shots. Thomas looks like he needs a rest, especially from shootouts. Thomas is now 18-4-5 with a 1.80 GAA and a .945 save percentage. Rask's record stays at 2-7-1 with a 2.79 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

The Bruins next game is on Monday at Toronto.

Some notes from the game:
Stafford is now officially another Bruins killer on the Sabres besides Vanek. He had a hat trick in this game just as he did in the last game against the Bruins.

Paul Gaustad had a knee-on-knee collision with Blake Wheeler in the first period. I don't know if Gaustad did that intentionally or not. There was no penalty on the play. I don't believe Wheeler missed a shift in the period due to that hit.

Johnny Boychuk blocked a shot in the first period and went to the dressing room. He came back and played.

Adam McQuaid and Cody McCormick had an uneventful fight with not many punches thrown as McCormick had McQuaid tied up good.

Seguin only had 11:16 of ice time and he was one of better playing Bruins with a goal and an assist. I think you have to give him more ice time.

Another game with some questionable calls and non-calls. Especially the Thomas Vanek goal in the first period as he tripped Ference, as he went to the net, basically having a breakaway, and deked Rask to score. In the third period, Boychuk was called for tripping as Vanek skated into Boychuk's stick and easily went down aka dived. I guess with Derek Roy out, someone has to pick up the diving slack.