|02.26.15 at 1:48 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB to talk about the Bruins and what moves he expects them to make at the trade deadline next week. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
With the Bruins still slumping and needing a boost, many expect them to make a move prior to the trade deadline on March 2. McGuire said the team is playing better, starting with their 6-2 win in Chicago on Sunday and played well despite losing to the Canucks on Tuesday.
With that being said, McGuire thinks general manager Peter Chiarelli needs to be aggressive at the deadline.
“I see some things that are starting to happen for them that are positive,” McGuire said. “I still think Peter Chiarelli is going to have to get aggressive here at the trade deadline, I think they will on the Boston side of things depending the price points for certain players. I think they are in a pretty good spot, I really do. I liked their compete on Sunday and I liked their compete in their last game against Vancouver.”
Even though overall the Bruins have lost seven of their last eight games, McGuire said it isn’t always about wins and losses.
“What I see is not just the results, but seeing what they are doing in games,” he said. “Not every game is going to be perfect. I think with this team they are competing, they’re not mailing it in. They deserved a better fate against Vancouver on Tuesday. That is a very difficult game to play against coming back after a very long road trip that didn’t go particularly well. If you watched their game against St. Louis, I know they got blown out, but Malcolm Subban didn’t play very well in that game. St. Louis took 15 shots on goals and [scored three goals in] 5-on-5 chances out of 15 shots. That’s pretty impressive hockey playing in St. Louis and playing that kind of hockey.
“I think being in the playoffs is like the lottery — you have to have a ticket to be in it to win it. If you get into the playoffs and you’re the Boston Bruins, you have a legitimate chance to do some serious damage, especially if they are aggressive at the trade deadline.”
|02.26.15 at 1:14 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins skated the same lineup Thursday at Ristuccia Arena as the team prepared for a back-to-back that will see them play in New Jersey Friday and host the Coyotes Saturday.
The lines and defensive pairings were as follows:
Tuukka Rask who has played in 18 straight games, should finally get a night off this weekend, but stranger things have happened. The last time Rask did not play in a game was on Jan. 8 against the very Devils the B’s will face Friday.
|02.24.15 at 10:45 pm ET|
In an interview that will air on this week’s episode of Sunday Skate, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shed some light on the possibility of teams sitting players for the rest of the regular season in order to go over the salary cap come playoff time.
This situation applies to the Bruins and how they could handle things with David Krejci, who they recently announced will miss four-to-six weeks with a partially torn MCL. Because there is no salary cap in the playoffs, the Bruins could, in theory, sit Krejci for the rest of the regular season, put him on long-term injured reserve and exceed the salary cap by his $5.25 million cap hit (as well as Kevan Miller’s $800,000 hit).
Such action, whether done by the Bruins or another team, could mean teams sitting healthy players for longer than they are injured and using LTI space by dishonest means. Asked whether the league would take issue with such maneuvers, Bettman said that while the NHL “frowns upon the use of loopholes,” the league would have a tough time proving teams were doing it.
“You can only ice a certain number of skaters,” Bettman said, “and the fact of the matter is, who’s to say how severely the injury will impact his play longer term, what kind of shape he’s been in? These are all speculative kinds of questions, and I’m not trying to duck them. It’s just simply, let’s wait to see what happens before we try to draw any conclusions.”
Added Bettman: “We frown upon the use of loopholes, but I don’t think an injury was sustained in order to create a loophole,” he said. “The rules are the rules. They’re competitive. The collective bargaining agreement tends to be fairly clear and we try to enforce it pretty consistently across the board.”
For the rest of the interview, tune in to this week’s episode of Sunday Skate at 8 a.m.
|02.24.15 at 9:39 pm ET|
The Bruins’ playoff hopes looked a little better Tuesday night as the Panthers, their top competition for the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, traded forward Sean Bergenheim to Minnesota. The Bruins still have to win games, however.
While the effort was light years better than they displayed for most of their recent road trip, the B’s returned to Boston Tuesday night with a 2-1 loss to the Canucks.
The game saw the Bruins get ample scoring chances but fail to get more than one goal past Eddie Lack. Ironically enough, the Bruins’ only goal was scored by Daniel Paille, who had been as snakebitten as any Bruin of late and had been taken out of the lineup for the two games prior to Tuesday.
Lack made 40 saves in the win for Vancouver, as the B’s outshot Vancouver, 41-28.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 29-22-9 on the season. The Panthers lost to the Blackhawks in a shootout Tuesday and now trail the B’s by two points.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
PAILLE RETURNS (AND SCORES)
The news that Gregory Campbell will be out for at least a week with an upper-body injury meant that Paille returned to the lineup after serving the previous two as a healthy scratch.
Paille skated in Chris Kelly‘s place, as Kelly moved to the fourth line to center Jordan Caron and Brian Ferlin. The lineup was as follows:
Paille scored his first goal since Nov. 21 when he buried a Loui Eriksson rebound in front of the net early in the first period. It was just his second goal of the season, both of which have come skating with Eriksson and Soderberg.
CANUCKS CATCH A BREAK
Rule 67.4 reads, “If a defending player, except a goalkeeper, while play is in progress, falls on the puck, holds the puck, picks up the puck, or gathers the puck into his body or hands from the ice in the goal crease area, the play shall be stopped immediately and a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team.”
Somehow, the officials didn’t feel that applied here. No penalty shot (or infraction at all) was called.
After Paille sent rebound of an Eriksson shot on net with crowd in front, puck went off Eddie Lack and was then covered up two different times by Ryan Stanton. As the Vine above shows, Stanton literally pulled the puck off the goal line the second time.
RASK MAKES IT 18 STRAIGHT, 27 OF 28
By starting Tuesday night, Tuukka Rask took to the pipes for the 18th consecutive game and 27th time in the Bruins’ last 28 games.
The Bruins won’t play next until Friday, when the team faces the Devils in New Jersey. The Devils were the Bruins’ opponent the last time Rask had a night off, as Niklas Svedberg had a 14-save shutout on Jan. 8.
KASSIAN KEEPS SCORING
Zack Kassian, who once upon a time looked like he could become one of the league’s premier power forwards but has had a disappointing career with the Canucks, has been mentioned in trade speculation at points this season.
With the Canucks in line for a playoff spot in either the Pacific or as a Wild Card, they should be happy they haven’t moved the 24-year-old winger.
With a blast past Rask in the third period, Kassian has now scored seven goals in his last nine games. He had a pair of assists against the Bruins when the teams met in Vancouver earlier this month.
|02.24.15 at 1:35 pm ET|
David Krejci wasn’t the only casualty of the Bruins’ disastrous five-game road trip.
In a stretch that saw the Bruins lose more players than win games, Kevan Miller’s season was ended after his shoulder popped out for the second time this season. He will undergo surgery on Thursday.
The injury ended what began as a promising season for the second-year NHLer but ultimately proved to be more frustrating than anything else.
When the Bruins traded Johnny Boychuk prior to the season, an opportunity was provided for Miller, a right-shot defenseman like Boychuk, to grow into a bigger role. Yet Miller dislocated his shoulder on Oct. 18 and missed the next 13 games. His play on the Bruins’ third pairing with Torey Krug was strong given the role that he was in, but Miller’s shoulder limited him. He was advised against fighting and admitted Tuesday that he never totally got over the injury when he was playing.
“You always had it in the back of your head; to be honest with you, it was always there,” Miller said. “So I never felt 100 percent, if that’s what you’re asking. There were times I felt like it was pretty good or I was pretty comfortable with how things were going, and that changes obviously through the season.”
Miller was sixth among Bruins defensemen with 18:02 of ice time per night, but he led the team with a plus-20 rating.
“After I came back from recovery and I started to play, I thought I started to play better, and as the season went on I established myself again,” he said. “For it to happen right now is kind of frustrating. It’s more frustrating that I’m not able to help the team out. You feel like you almost let the guys down a bit. That’s probably my biggest worry.”
|02.24.15 at 1:15 pm ET|
As you may know by now, David Krejci’s injury could give the Bruins a chance to exploit the NHL‘s salary cap system and ice a much more expensive roster come playoff time than it could in the regular season.
Because there is no salary cap in the playoffs, the Bruins could put Krejci on long-term injured reserve for the rest of the season, exceed the cap by as much as his $5.25 million cap hit (Kevan Miller’s $800,000 hit as well) and then ice a roster come playoff time that consists of every healthy guy they have.
There are a couple of problems with that. First, there’s the fact that expensive players would also probably cost the team good trade assets, which may not be the smartest thing for the Bruins given that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong this season.
Then there’s the idea of sitting a player for up to a month longer than necessary. Guess who isn’t on board with that?
“That question is for the management, but no, I don’t want to sit out,” Krejci said Tuesday. “I want to play, obviously. If there’s only a little chance I can play, I would like to play.
“The management has to do whatever they feel is right for the team to get our team into the playoffs. It’s not an easy decision for them, but [Peter Chiarelli] has been making good decisions since I’ve been here and I’m pretty sure he’s going to make the right one again.”
Krejci’s expected to be out four-to-six weeks with a partially torn MCL in his left knee. Depending on his recovery, he could be ready to play with between three and six games remaining in the regular season. Considering how important he is to the Bruins’ operation (especially in the playoffs), Krejci’s postseason performance would probably benefit for some games before the playoffs begin.
“I know they said four-to-six weeks, but I’m going treat my knee every day,” Krejci said. “I’m going to do the best I can to be back as fast as I can.”
|02.24.15 at 11:59 am ET|
Campbell scored in Sunday’s win over the Blackhawks as he centered a fourth line with Jordan Caron and Brian Ferlin that looked more promising than any other bottom trio the team has iced this season. The injury to Campbell provided an upgrade to the line in Tuesday’s morning skate, however, as Chris Kelly moved down from the third line to center Caron and Ferlin.
The Bruins’ lineup in morning skate was as follows: