|04.01.15 at 11:05 pm ET|
An unexpected party has weighed in on Dougie Hamilton’s injury situation.
After playing with one eye shut due to an elbow from a teammate in a shootaround earlier in the day, Kelly Olynyk announced he was inspired by the young Bruins defenseman. In the process, he said that Hamilton’s injury — previously only reported as upper-body while the team hasn’t said word one — is broken ribs.
“I remember two days ago I was texting Dougie Hamilton and he told me he broke his ribs and he’s trying to come back before the playoffs and I was like, man I can’t sit out, he’s gonna rip me,” said Olynyk, who was wearing a Toronto Blue Jays hat.
“All those hockey guys would have killed me so I had to do it.”
Hamilton has missed the last five games since leaving with an injury in a 2-1 shootout loss at Florida on March 21. Teams are traditionally very closed lipped about releasing the details of any injury news, especially this close to the playoffs. WEEI.com reported last week that Hamilton’s injury would keep him out weeks, not months.
|04.01.15 at 7:01 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron was voted by the Boston chapter of the Pro Hockey Writer’s Association as the Bruins’ nominee for the 2015 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is given each year to “the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I did not vote for Bergeron, who I felt was something of an interesting choice. My vote went to Loui Eriksson, who has bounced back nicely in his second season with the Bruins after scoring only 10 goals over 61 regular-season games in a trying first season with the B’s. Eriksson scored his 20th goal of the season Tuesday and leads all Bruins forwards in time on ice this season.
Recent Masterton winners include Dominic Moore (2014), Josh Harding (2013) and Max Pacioretty (2012). Both Pacioretty and Harding came back from physical ailments, while Moore returned to the NHL after caring for his wife, who died from liver cancer last January.
|04.01.15 at 1:01 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — After taking contact for the first time since suffering a broken finger last month, Brett Connolly said he is ready to play.
Connolly, who broke his right index finger in his second practice with the B’s on March 4 and underwent surgery, participated fully in Wednesday’s practice. Exactly four weeks from the date of the injury, Connolly skated on the fourth line (something that would seemingly be temporary as he eases his way back) and took turns on Boston’s second power play unit.
Following the practice, Connolly said he hopes to play Thursday night against the Red Wings.
“Obviously you want to get in right away,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen here. I feel I’m ready. Again, [I’m] excited. With everything that happened, coming in here and getting hurt, obviously you’re very disappointed.
“It’s been a hard three weeks, not being around the guys on the road and just little things like that, that for a new guy coming in, it’s tough. But the guys have been great to me coming in here. I’m as comfortable as I’ll ever be and I’m excited to get in and help the team win.”
Connolly took part in Tuesday’s warmups, which he would not have been allowed to do if he were on injured reserve. Claude Julien clarified after Wednesday’s practice that the team never placed Connolly on IR, but that doctors have yet to give Julien the OK to play the 22-year-old right wing.
“I’m not going to write him off for [Thursday] but I’m certainly not going to say he’s in for sure.”
If Connolly were to play on Boston’s fourth line Thursday, Wednesday’s lines suggested he could potentially play with Chris Kelly and Max Talbot. That could certainly change, but Connolly is more focused on when he’ll play than with whom he’ll play.
“For me, I’m just looking to come in here and help the team win,’ he said. ‘Wherever they put me, that’s where I’ll be.”
|04.01.15 at 11:45 am ET|
WILMINGTON — David Krejci may be making the move back to center and Brett Connolly may be closing in on his Bruins debut.
After four games at right wing on Patrice Bergeron‘s line, Krejci was in the middle of Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson in Wednesday’s practice. Reilly Smith moved back to Bergeron’s line.
The lines in practice were as follows:
The line moves Soderberg to left wing, where he has not played since last season.
These lines may not last long, as Connolly continues to progress. He took contact in Wednesday’s practice and took turns on the Bruins’ second power play unit. His return will lead to further changes in the lineup.
The Bruins will play Thursday night in Detroit. The B’s trail the Red Wings by a pair of points with five games remaining, while the Red Wings have six. If the Bruins are to catch the Wings, they would take over the third spot in the Atlantic Division.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.01.15 at 10:15 am ET|
The Bruins have been as streaky as Milan Lucic. A five-game win streak was followed by six straight losses.
It’s only appropriate the Bruins ended March with their third straight win, a key victory, spurred on by one of their better players in the month as the left winger provided the game-winning margin with some grit and good fortune.
His rush to the Panthers blue line with just over a minute left in regulation ended with a “why not” shot on goal that found its way through the skates of Roberto Luongo and gave the Bruins a 3-2 win Tuesday at TD Garden. Lucic has become a leader for young stars Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak on his line. On Tuesday, he led by example when it mattered most.
His drop pass to Spooner resulted in a bad-angle shot by Spooner from the left boards that tied the game early in the third period. His late-game rush with Spooner ended up being the difference in winning and losing.
“I was checking to see to see if Spoons was onside,” said Lucic, who finished the game with a goal and an assist and five of each for the month. “It was kind of a one-on-four situation and I just tried to get [the puck] past the two D-men [and] on net and I got a little bit of luck there and was able to find a hole there in the five-hole. It was one of those things where you’re kind of swarmed. You’re just getting the puck on net, and thankfully it went in for myself and ends up being a big goal for a big win.”
|04.01.15 at 9:25 am ET|
To Tuukka Rask, the glass Tuesday night was half full. He and his teammates sleepwalked through the second period as they have in many underachieving games this season and fell behind a desperate Panthers team smelling the chance to get back in the hunt for the final wild card spot in the East.
Then the Bruins woke up in the third, getting a fortunate goal from a very bad angle from Ryan Spooner and an admittedly lucky goal from Milan Lucic to escape with a hard-fought 3-2 win at TD Garden.
“Well, kind of frustrating,” said Rask, who allowed a weak five-hole goal of his own in the second period to former Bruin Brad Boyes that put the Panthers up 2-1. “Again, just wondering what’s going on there. There’s no emotion, and we needed to find it. We did, and a 40-minute game today got us the win, but obviously there’s wins that feel great and there’s wins you take and you feel good. I don’t think this is a great win for us, but we’ll take it for sure.”
When Milan Lucic scored with 69 seconds left in regulation, it turned out to be a crucial two points, as the B’s put themselves six points ahead of the Panthers and remained three points clear of the Senators in the race for the eighth and final spot.
From the get-go Tuesday, the Bruins appeared ready to show they were up to the task against a Florida team fighting to stay alive.
“First period was good,” Rask said. “They never really got anything great going there, but we were just so flat that it was kind of one of those games where something bad is about to happen and it did, and thank goodness it didn’t end up costing us. We showed in the third period, when we play like that it looks good and it’s going to benefit us. So just have to figure out and keep that going for 60 minutes.”
|03.31.15 at 9:35 pm ET|
The Bruins were a period away from letting the Panthers back into the race for the last playoff spot, but once again Ryan Spooner’s line came through late. David Pastrnak had the game-tying goal, while Milan Lucic netted the game-winner with 1:09 remaining for a 3-2 victory.
The win improved the Bruins to 91 points on the season with five games left in the regular season. Florida, which entered the game trailing Boston by four points and fewer regulation and overtime wins, now is six points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining. The Senators came back to beat the Red Wings in a shootout later Tuesday night, meaning the B’s still have a three-point lead over Ottawa. The Senators have six games left.
Tuesday marked the second straight game in which a member of Spooner’s line netted the game-winning goal. David Pastrnak scored the deciding goal in overtime of Saturday’s win over the Hurricanes.
With Florida holding a 2-1 lead midway through the third period, Spooner threw the puck toward the net from along the wall, with Pastrnak redirecting it past Roberto Luongo in front of the net. Lucic would later walk into the offensive zone and fire a shot past Luongo from the high slot to give Boston the win.
The line’s third period was a nice response after being on the ice for a second-period Brad Boyes goal. With the goal for and goal against, following is the line’s updated production:
Detroit’s overtime loss means the Bruins are within two points of the Red Wings for the third spot in the Atlantic Division, the Red Wings have a game in hand. The two teams will meet Thursday.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
ERIKSSON HITS 20
Loui Eriksson made a heck of a play during a first-period four-on-four to give Boston the only goal of the first period. Eriksson buzzed around the offensive zone before jumping on an Aleksander Barkov turnover and escaping Aaron Ekblad and Dmitry Kulikov in the slot. He then got Luongo to bite on a deke before roofing the puck with a backhander.
The goal was Eriksson’s 20th of the season, giving the 29-year-old five such campaigns. He had 10 goals over 61 games last season for Boston.
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