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Bruins shouldn’t make Malcolm Subban a trade chip yet

02.17.15 at 7:36 pm ET
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Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban

If this callup for Malcolm Subban is a “showcase,” it had better not have anything to do with this season.

Subban is a goaltending prospect, which means you can flip a coin as to whether he’€™ll be a Vezina winner or just another guy, but he’€™s a highly regarded prospect nonetheless. Tuukka Rask is signed at a very reasonable $7 million for six more years after this season and Subban will be NHL-ready before that. For a team that’€™s set at goaltender, he’€™s a great chip to have if they are so inclined to move him.

But not for a two-month rental. If the Bruins want teams to have some video of Subban in case they talk trade in the offseason, fine. Airplanes exist and scouts are allowed to watch AHL games, but sure. By all means. Let teams watch him play in an NHL game against the second-worst team in the NHL (and one of the nine that scores less than the Bruins).

We’€™ve already outlined that the Bruins should absolutely not move anything of significant value at the trade deadline. They should take their chances as is in a weak Eastern Conference this postseason with the understanding that this has turned into a transition year. If guys start performing like their usual selves in April and May, they’€™re capable of beating any Eastern Conference team that doesn’€™t a C and an H on their sweaters, but they’€™re better off waiting until the cap goes up and they aren’€™t paying nearly $5 million in overages before they go out and start trading good young guys.

What would the Bruins even move Subban for this season? The Sabres reportedly asked for him in exchange for Chris Stewart, which they must have known was a ridiculous request. Stewart, an inconsistent right wing whose motivation probably hasn’€™t matched his talent over the last three years, might be the type of addition the Bruins should make at the deadline, but only because he realistically should only cost a mid-round pick and/or a mid-level prospect.

The team’€™s needs (if they go for it, which again, they probably shouldn’€™t) are a top-four defenseman, a potential first-line right wing and anything that can fix the fourth line. Subban maybe gets you one of those things in this seller’€™s market. Unless there’€™s an affordable player at one of those positions that’€™s controllable beyond this season, there’€™s really no point in using such a good piece now while the prices are high.

Playing Subban Wednesday could bring something the Bruins need as much as anything else: a win. You’€™d certainly hope the Bruins would be able to beat the Oilers on any night anyway, but the Bruins have been positively dreadful in front of Tuukka Rask the last four games. Playing a backup goaltender can be an effective means of getting a team to pay better attention defensively, and right now Subban might be better than Niklas Svedberg, who has been pulled from two of his last three starts.

Subban might not be a big part of the Bruins’€™ 2014-15 season, but he can impact future ones far more than he would by fetching a rental over the next couple months.

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Kevan Miller sent back to Boston for evaluation

02.17.15 at 5:04 pm ET
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Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in Edmonton Tuesday that defenseman Kevan Miller has been sent back to Boston and will not play the final three games of the team’s current road trip after re-injuring his right shoulder. Miller will undergo evaluation on the shoulder back in Boston.

Miller initially dislocated his shoulder in a fight in the Bruins’ Oct. 18 meeting with the Sabres and missed the next 13 games. He appeared to reinjure the shoulder in the second period of Monday’s game in Calgary and did not return.

The Bruins have yet to recall a defenseman, but Zach Trotman would be the most likely candidate. Trotman, a right shot, plays the same side as Miller and has already played 17 games for Boston this season.

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Elliotte Friedman on MFB: Expecting Malcolm Subban to start vs. Oilers Wednesday

02.17.15 at 12:02 pm ET
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Hockey Night in Canada NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Bruins recent struggles, the recall of goaltender Malcolm Subban, and if he could start as soon as Wednesday against Edmonton. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Subban, a second-year pro whom the B’€™€™s drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft, is coming off a stint in which he spent four games with the B’€™€™s as Tuukka Rask‘€˜€™s backup while Niklas Svedberg was in Providence on a conditioning loan. Subban did not play during the stretch, but was officially recalled again Monday night.

It seems likely Subban will be in net Wednesday night when the Bruins take on the Oilers, as Edmonton has shown interest in the second-year goaltender.

“I don’t believe in coincidences, I don’t,” Friedman said. “When he gets called up and it is for this particular game, and you know [Claude] Julien, he doesn’t like to tell the media which goaltender is playing, this one is kind of odd. I have been told to expect him to play. I mean you never know until he actually shows up at the rink and skates out there as the starting goaltender, but there certainly is — and there was report last night that he was going to play and I believe that is true. Things can change, but I don’t believe in coincidences.

“We have been hearing all year that teams have been asking a bit about Malcolm Subban and I 100 percent believe that Buffalo, which is an organization that is really on goaltending, asked about him when they were talking about Chris Stewart and/or Drew Stafford, which was another player the Sabres kind of looked at and they were flat out rejected. Edmonton is another team that is going to be trying to change their goaltending mix this offseason.

“I think there is some degree of showcase here and I am sure Edmonton wants to see him against NHL shooters. I think it is very dangerous though to make a determination on a player based on one NHL start. There is no question that the Oilers want to see what they could be potentially trading for here.”

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Read More: Edmonton Oilers, Elliotte Friedman, Malcolm Subban, Tuukka Rask

5 things we learned as Bruins blow 3-goal lead, lose in last second of overtime vs. Flames

02.17.15 at 12:00 am ET
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The example of Murphy’s Law that is the 2014-15 Boston Bruins season really outdid itself Monday night.

After bouncing back from Friday night’s embarrassing loss to the Canucks with an inspired effort through two periods, the Bruins saw Calgary march back to tie the game in the third period, after falling behind 3-0, and beat the B’s, 4-3, on a fluky goal with 2.4 seconds to play in overtime.

With the final seconds ticking down, T.J. Brodie tossed a lazy backhand shot towards the net from a bad angle that went off Brad Marchand‘s stick and up towards the net, then hit the top of the net and Tuukka Rask‘s back before finally going in to give Calgary the 4-3 overtime win (click here for the box score).

The loss was Boston’s fourth straight (0-3-1) and fifth in the last six games (1-4-1).

After pulling Karri Ramo following Boston’s third goal, the Flames and Jonas Hiller did not allow another goal as Calgary scored three unanswered goals in regulation to tie the game and force overtime.

The Flames finished their comeback on a power play goal after David Pastrnak took a high-sticking penalty with 14:42. Norris favorite Mark Giordano fired a snap shot from the top of the zone that went off Jiri Hudler in front and past Tuukka Rask to make it 3-3.

The Bruins next play Wednesday in Edmonton.

Here are four more things we learned Monday.

MILLER LEAVES

Kevan Miller left the game late in the second period and did not return. The second-year NHLer took a hit midway through the second that could have led to his exit, though he took two shifts after that.

Miller missed 12 games earlier this season with a dislocated right shoulder suffered in a fight on Oct. 18. He admitted recently that he will need offseason surgery on the shoulder and that he has been advised to not fight the rest of the season.

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Kevan Miller, Tuukka Rask

Bruins recall Malcolm Subban from Providence

02.16.15 at 2:36 pm ET
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[UPDATE: 6:45 p.m.] The Bruins have recalled goaltender Malcolm Subban from Providence. He will join the team for practice Tuesday in Edmonton. Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reported the news of Subban’s impending callup earlier in the day.

Subban, a second-year pro whom the B’€™s drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft, is coming off a stint in which he spent four games with the B’€™s as Tuukka Rask‘€™s backup while Niklas Svedberg was in Providence on a conditioning loan. Subban did not play during the stretch and has yet to play in an NHL game.

In 24 games for Providence this season, Subban is 10-10-3 with a .920 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average.

Svedberg has struggled in the scarce playing time he’s received. Though he recorded a 14-save shutout on Jan. 14, the performance was bookended by outings in which he was pulled early. He was removed from a Dec. 27 loss to the Blue Jackets in the second period and lasted only a period last Tuesday against the Stars. Svedberg was yanked after allowing three goals in each of those outings.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Shawn Thornton on Sunday Skate: ‘I’m hoping [Bruins] absolutely tank because I want to make the playoffs, but I can’t see it’

02.15.15 at 11:56 pm ET
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Hours before the Panthers further closed in on the Bruins for what is currently the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Shawn Thornton joined Sunday Skate to discuss his team’€™s odds of catching the B’s. To hear the interview, click here.

With a shootout loss to the Blues Sunday, the Panthers improved to 24-19-12, bringing them within three points of the Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have lost three straight games in what’€™s been a big step back for a team that won the Presidents’ Trophy last season. Thornton said he figured the Panthers would push for a spot, but he didn’t think the Bruins would fall to where they have.

“Honestly, I thought they’€™d be in the top three right now, to be completely honest,” Thornton said of the Bruins. “I did think that we’€™d be pushing for a playoff spot with the players we have, especially after being here. … I thought there’€™d be a couple other teams we’€™d be chasing, not them. Who knows? There’€™s still [27] games left. There’€™s a lot of hockey left.”

Florida could have surpassed the B’€™s by now, but they were losers in two straight entering Sunday’€™s game. Thornton said the Panthers themselves have “found ways to shoot [themselves] in the foot” of late, saying Florida hasn’€™t properly ‘€œtaken advantage of the situation’€ in front of them with the Bruins losing.

The longtime Bruin, who was not brought back in the offseason and signed a two-year deal with the Panthers, said he keeps in touch with his friends on the Bruins. Asked his thoughts on why so many players have underperformed, he said he’€™s watched “maybe five periods” of Bruins hockey this season.

“I can’€™t give you a definite answer of what’€™s going on there,” he said. “I don’€™t ask about that stuff. I don’€™t want to know.”

Despite the Bruins’€™ struggles, Thornton said he doesn’t expect them to go away this season.

“I’€™m hoping they absolutely tank because I want to make the playoffs, but I can’€™t see it happening,” he said with a laugh. “œI can’€™t see it happening with the core group of guys they have there, the goaltending. They went through a lot of injuries earlier in the season, too. When you lose your top defenseman and your top centerman, I don’€™t know how many teams in the league can get through that.”

Thornton said that if the Bruins and Panthers were to meet in a series, the Bruins would hold the edge in experience over the young Panthers, whose top points leaders are 22 years old or younger.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Sunday Skate Live Chat, 8-10 a.m.

02.14.15 at 7:38 pm ET
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Should the Bruins still be buyers at the trade deadline? Should they be sellers? Discuss this and all other things Bruins and NHL with DJ Bean, Joe McDonald and Pete Blackburn from 8-10 a.m. on Sunday Skate.

Panthers forward Shawn Thornton joins the show at 9:30 a.m. Click here to listen to the show and click below to participate in the AT&T Live Chat, moderated by Pete Blackburn.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat
 

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