|02.15.11 at 9:36 pm ET|
Kessel ‘ who entered Tuesday riding a streak of 14 straight games without a goal ‘ scored twice on the power play for the Leafs, while Grabovski had two of his own.
Paille, who was playing in his first game since being suspended four games for a blindside hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawada, opened the scoring 8:04 into the first period thanks to an odd bounce off Mike Komisarek. The Leafs responded in the first period when Kessel batted a rebound past Tim Thomas with Zdeno Chara in the penalty box for boarding.
Toronto took a 2-1 lead in the second thanks to Grabovski’s strike, though the B’s came back with a power-play tally from Campbell and went ahead on Bergeron’s 20th goal of the season in the third period. Grabovski put the Leafs up for good at 18:59 with a wrist shot that beat Thomas.
With the loss, Thomas fell to 26-8-6 and has now allowed 15 goals in his last 10 periods. James Reimer got the win for the Leafs, improving to 7-4-1.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— Not only did Kessel score for the first time in 14 games, but he scored his first and second goals against his old team. Not counting Kessel’s shootout tally against the B’s on Dec. 4 (which does not count as an actual goal in the player’s stats), Kessel went without a goal in his first nine games against the Bruins since being traded to the Maple Leafs in September of 2009.
Both of Kessel’s goals came on the power play, so he was still a minus-2 on the night given that he was out there for Paille and Bergeron’s goals.
|02.15.11 at 8:42 pm ET|
The Bruins and Maple Leafs each tallied a goal for the second straight period Tuesday night, and the teams enter the third period tied, 2-2.
A Maple Leafs shot from the point bounced off a Bruins’ skate at around the hashmarks, and with Tim Thomas out of position, Mikhail Grbovski took advantage of an open net to give the Leafs their first lead of the night.
With Grabovski in the box for high-sticking later in the period, Brad Marchand fired a shot on James Reimer, with Gregory Campbell whacked the rebound into the net from out of mid-air to tie the game up.
The Bruins drew three penalties in the second period, the third of which they converted on. Dion Phaneuf went off for slashing Milan Lucic at 8:37, while some tougher play from Tyler Seguin in front of the Leafs’ net produced a Keith Aulie interference minor at 12:26. Grabovski went off for high-sticking Mark Stuart at 16:44.
David Krejci had multiple opportunities on Leafs netminder James Reimer in the period, but Reimer came up big, stuffing Krejci when he elected to shoot and Lucic when the center dished it.
Through two, the B’s have a 25-19 advantage in shots on goal.
|02.15.11 at 7:47 pm ET|
Turns out there will not be a 15th game of Phil Kessel’s goal-less streak, as he scored with 2:38 remaining in the first period to tie the game Tuesday night. After one, the B’s and Leafs are tied, 1-1.
Mikhail Grabovski took a hard hit into the boards from Zdeno Chara and was slow to get up late in the period. Chara went off for boarding, with Kessel tipping a pick past Tim Thomas on the power play. The Leafs finished the period 1-for-2 on the man advantage, while there were no Toronto penalties.
After one, the Bruins are outshooting the Leafs, 14-12.
|02.15.11 at 5:14 pm ET|
According to Sportsnet.ca, Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle would be willing to accept a trade to the Bruins. In fact, Sportsnet is reporting that the defenseman, who has a no trade clause in his contract, has granted the Maple Leafs permission to discuss a deal with only Boston.
Additionally, The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta has tweeted the talks between the two teams do not involve the Bruins sending the Maple Leafs’ first-round pick, acquired in the Phil Kessel trade, back to Toronto.
Kaberle will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told WEEI.com last month that the Bruins were interested in adding a defenseman who could log substantial minutes. Kaberle, who has three goals and 33 assists for 36 points, has averaged 22:34 of ice time this season.
The Maple Leafs traded forward Kris Versteeg to the Flyers on Monday night, with Toronto general manager Brian Burke saying “we’re not done yet.”
|02.15.11 at 2:00 pm ET|
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke spoke Tuesday about his team’s recent activity and what Toronto’s plan is going forward. All of that is directly tied to the Bruins, as the B’s have the Leafs’ first-round draft pick this year from the Phil Kessel trade.
The Leafs traded former Bruins prospect Kris Versteeg to the Flyers on Monday night in exchange for first-and-third-round draft picks. Unsurprisingly, Burke, who willingly traded three picks ‘ two of which were first-rounders ‘ to the B’s in the Kessel deal, is not set on keeping the Flyers’ compensation.
“We put the third-round pick in play last night,” he said. “As soon as we had it, we put it in play to try to get a forward back. We’re not throwing in the towel here, and we’re not done yet, either.”
Asked whether the scouts are happy that he has 10 picks in the coming draft, Burke said the less picks he has on draft day, the happier he’ll be.
“We’re not going with 10 if I have my way. We’re going to try and do something with some of those picks,” he said. “Most draft picks, you don’t see the player for three years, and if we can do something shorter term, we’re going to do it.”
As for the decision to trade Versteeg when he did, Burke said that he likes to “get out in front of the trade deadline” before the “aisles become crowded.” He likened the days leading up to Feb. 28 to a “cattle stampede” and said he has heard that the Versteeg deal caused other teams to ramp up their efforts to get deals done.
“I know from talking to a couple other GMs that our trade set off a big surge of phone activity last night,” he said. “There’s only so many quality players available at the deadline, and I know there was a frantic response to this trade, but we’ve been busy on the phones now for a while.”
Perhaps the most interesting response from Burke came when he was asked about the decision to trade Versteeg. The team had acquired the winger in the offseason and he had 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points.
“I remember when I was a rookie GM, I asked Harry Sinden back in ’92. I said, ‘Any advice?’ He said, ‘Yeah, when you get a player that’s not working out, fix it.’ Kris just didn’t mesh here,” Burke said. “It’s no fault of his. He’s a good player and he’s a good guy, and he worked hard. We felt this was a good price tag for him, and we made the trade.”
The Maple Leafs have 52 points on the season, which is the fifth-lowest total in the NHL.
|02.15.11 at 1:32 pm ET|
Daniel Paille had a lot of time recently to think about and reflect on his Feb. 3 hit on Raymond Sawada. The blindside hit landed the Bruins forward a four-game suspension, and on Monday the Stars announced that Sawada, who hasn’t played since due to a shoulder injury sustained on the play, has been placed on injured reserve.
Paille said the day of his suspension that he felt the hit was clean, and that his intention was to hit Sawada shoulder-to-shoulder. The hit was a popular topic in Boston given that Andrew Ference and Patrice Bergeron said they didn’t condone dirty hits, and Paille admitted that he received plenty of feedback over the last 12 days.
“Pretty much the whole time, whether I watched it or heard about it, or talked about about it with other people, I just got different views from a lot of people,” he said. “Mostly a lot of people supported me, saying that they could tell I was trying to hit his shoulder. The majority thought it was a clean hit, but I can understand how it was a borderline hit.”
The winger admitted that he spent a lot of time during the suspension watching the video of the hit over and over. Not known for being a dirty player, Paille said that he even found himself watching the video in the days following his hearing “just to see what went wrong.”
“I remember that first day, I must have watched it tons. Dozens of times, for sure,” he said. “I’d watch it here and there just to see how things have changed and get a different aspect and think about it differently. Especially that first day, I watched it time and time again.”
|02.15.11 at 1:02 pm ET|
Phil Kessel is bringing the second-worst scoring slump of his NHL career with him as he and the Maple Leafs take on the Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden. A popular target among fans given the trade that sent him Toronto prior to the 2009-10 season, Kessel said he isn’t worried about entering a hostile environment riding streak of 14 straight games without a goal.
“No,” Kessel said when asked about it. “Like I said before, it doesn’t bother me very much. It’s been a year and a half now, so I don’t think it’s that big a deal.
“I just get over it,” he added about how he is treated by Bruins fans. “Obviously, I loved my time here in Boston. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the city, the team and the players over there. I loved playing here.”
Kessel, 23, last scored on Jan. 11, and he has not gone 15 straight games without a goal since his rookie season. He has been placed on a new line with Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak.
“It’s been tough, obviously, but I think it’s happened to everyone in this league,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep going. I’m getting a lot of chances, to tell you the truth. I just can’t figure out a way to put it in the net.”
While many will be focused on the former fifth overall pick’s latest return to Boston, Kessel, who scored 36 goals in his final season as a Bruin, is hoping he can help the Maple Leafs pick up the pace a day after the trade of forward (and Kessel’s roommate) Kris Versteeg.
“He’s a great player. We’ve got to keep going here, right? We’re 10 points out, so we’ve got to fight here,” Kessel said. “If we win a couple of games and get right back in this. Hopefully that’s what we can do.”
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