|02.09.11 at 11:47 am ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the first to leave the ice in Thursday’s morning skate, an indication that he will be in goal when the B’s host the Canadiens at 7 p.m. Thomas, 25-6-6 this season, has a 1.80 goals against average and a .945 save percentage, both of which lead the league.
Tyler Seguin, meanwhile, will be a healthy scratch for the Bruins, with fellow rookies Zach Hamill and Jordan Caron cracking the lineup for the B’s. Coach Claude Julien said it’s more of a numbers game regarding why the second overall pick will find himself in the press box for the third time this season.
“I know who he is, and I know where he was drafted and all that stuff,” the coach said, adding that Seguin’s recent struggles don’t “change the outlook of what we think of him.”
In 51 games this season, Seguin has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points and a plus-1 rating. He has averaged 12:18 of ice time, though he has played less than 10 minutes of the last four games.
|02.08.11 at 3:59 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, making an appearance on Dale & Holley on Tuesday, fired the proverbial gun to kick off trade speculation with the NHL’s deadline just 20 days away. While he reiterated his preference to add a defenseman and potentially a forward, he shed light on the team’s financial situation as it moves toward the trade deadline (something he generally refers people to capgeek.com for), but that isn’t the real news. The GM said that, unlike last year, he is willing to put the Maple Leafs’ first-round pick, which has had “top five” written all over it for quite some time, in play.
“Yeah, I’d look at it, sure. I would,” Chiarelli said. “I’ve had discussions involving that pick. I certainly would look at it. We’ve got a lot of assets, so that alone allows us to be creative also, but I would look at it.”
Already having opened a big door, Michael Holley asked Chiarelli to elaborate on how Toronto’s first rounder, one of two received in the Phil Kessel deal in September of 2009, has come up in trade talks.
“There’s been one [deal] that we’ve thrown around here internally. I don’t know that I would do it, but it’s something that warrants further discussion,” Chiarelli said.
The fact that Chiarelli is willing to consider dealing the Maple Leafs’ selection ‘ on pace to be fifth overall in a draft in which he admitted there being “uncertainty as to what the order of the top five is” ‘ gives the Bruins a leg up on other contending teams. Sellers want top prospects or the ability to obtain top prospects, and the Bruins are the only team with two first-rounders this year, let alone a potential top five pick.
Plus, with Marc Savard being shut down and thus placed on long-term injury reserve, the team has cap space (seemingly enough to add a player with a cap hit in excess of $4.5 million without removing anyone from its own roster) to add a top player.
“Basically you can replace [Savard’s] salary, that cap number,” Chiarelli said. “So that’s [$4 million] and a little bit of change [$4,007,143 to be exact]. We’ve got about $500,000 in cap space, so with Savard on LTI you have the ability to replace that player with a number of players up to an amount of $4 million. That’s not cap space, that’s actual salary. We’ve got some good flexibility right now.”
While the Bruins have been able to make deadline deals in recent seasons to land them major contributors including Dennis Seidenberg and Mark Recchi, the team has not made a blockbuster at the deadline since perhaps 2004, when the old regime gave up first and second round picks as well as Shaone Morrisonn for Sergei Gonchar. If the team is willing to see how far that Toronto pick can take them on the trade market, Chiarelli might be able to pull off something of similar magnitude.
While you can count out guys like Brad Richards (possessing a no-trade clause and playing on a third-place team in the West) or Jarome Iginla (no-trade clause and captain of a playoff team) the Bruins might not be kidding around when it comes to more realistic options. A top-five pick can go a long way, especially if it’s sent to a team that will need young stars to anchor a rebuilding effort.
This isn’t to say that Chiarelli will blindly toss the chip of all chips up for grabs blindly. It is, to borrow a term from the GM, an asset that franchises throughout the league would take considerable steps to acquire. And now, it seems an asset that could land the Bruins the major piece they’re hoping for without having to announce it at a podium in Minnesota.
Chiarelli said that he would “bet” the Bruins make a trade before the deadline. After Tuesday, how big a deal it is seems to be the only thing in question.
|02.08.11 at 1:17 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron left Tuesday’s practice after a puck off the stick of teammate Johnny Boychuk bounced off a partition in the glass and hit him in the chin. Bergeron was taken to the hospital, where he received stitches and had x-rays taken. Coach Claude Julien said that the x-rays were taken “just as a precaution” and that he expects Bergeron to be in the lineup Wednesday night against the Canadiens.
“Just basically stitches,” Julien said of what Bergeron’s trip to the hospital consisted of. “He felt good leaving here, but medically you’ve got to make sure that you cover all angles.”
Bergeron leads the Bruins with 44 points (19 G, 25 A) on the season, and has eight points over his last six games. He was named the league’s No. 1 star of the month for January, a month in which he led all NHL scorers with 17 points.
|02.08.11 at 11:25 am ET|
WILMINGTON — A familiar face was on the ice at Ristuccia Arena Tuesday as Jordan Caron and the Bruins practiced after having Monday off. The first 20 minutes were spent working on the power play, with units consisting of Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic, as well as a unit of Dennis Seidenberg, Steven Kampfer, Brad Marchand, Gregory Campbell, and Michael Ryder getting work in.
The rest of the B’s took the ice at 11 a.m. Caron is skating on the Campbell/Thornton line, while a grey sweater-wearing unit of Tyler Seguin, Blake Wheeler, Zach Hamill, and Ryder was used in all sorts of different combinations. Bergeron left the ice at about 11:20 a.m. after a puck hit him in the face area on a drill. Tuukka Rask immediately opened the door at the other end of the ice, with Bergeron leaving practice in a hurry.
Here is a look at the lines:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Recchi
Seguin – Wheeler – Hamill – Ryder
Caron/Paille – Campbell – Thornton
We’ll have more from the room after the conclusion of practice.
|02.08.11 at 12:39 am ET|
Boston College defenseman Tommy Cross hopes to one day make some noise at TD Garden as a member of the Boston Bruins, but Monday he settled for doing so in his familiar Eagles sweater. The former second-round pick of the Bruins scored the game-winning goal in Monday’s Beanpot semifinal, beating Boston University netminder Kieran Milan in overtime with the Eagles on the power play and clinching a 3-2 win.
The Bruins traded up in the 2007 NHL Draft to select Cross with the 35th overall pick. Right knee injuries kept him from participating in Bruins rookie development camps until this summer, where he joined fellow B’s prospects for the first time.
With Harvard’s Alexander Fallstrom and BU’s David Warsofsky having lost on Monday, Cross will be the lone Bruins representative in the tournament final vs. Northeastern.
|02.07.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
In an announcement that would probably be much bigger news if it weren’t for Marc Savard‘s season ending, the Bruins on Monday recalled winger Jordan Caron from Providence. Caron began the season in the NHL before being sent down on Dec. 6.
In 20 games for Boston this season, Caron had three goals and four assists for seven points and averaged 13:17 of ice time per night. The 20-year-old had 6-11=17 totals for Providence over 27 games.
The Bruins are currently without winger Daniel Paille for the next three games due to a four-game suspension, which could potentially help Caron find a spot in the lineup given that both players are strong on the penalty kill.
Caron was selected by the Bruins with the 25th overall pick of the 2009 NHL draft. He impressed early on in training camp but struggled with confidence, making him a healthy scratch in the game’s first season. He went on to score his first career goal against Martin Brodeur on Oct. 16, his second NHL game. Caron did not score a goal over the 13 games leading to his demotion.
|02.07.11 at 3:05 pm ET|
A big decision was announced Monday by the Bruins, and Marc Savard hopes it’s the last major decision he has to make regarding the concussions that have plagued his career.
An emotional Savard took the podium at TD Garden for the second time in as many seasons on Monday as he discussed his 2010-11 season ending after just 25 games. Savard has suffered two concussions in just over 10 months, with the most recent coming on Jan. 22.
With Savard having incurred four concussions over the course of his career and Peter Chiarelli saying the center was “frustrated” with struggling with the speed of the game when he did return from post-concussion syndrome in December, Savard said he is avoiding the inevitable decision of whether he might retire.
“I’m trying to stay away from that right now,” Savard said Monday. “It’s tough enough as it is not to be able to finish the season. Obviously, we’re going to get some more medical stuff done, some tests, and then I’ll be able to make a clearer decision on what my future is.
“Right now, I’m hoping to be able to continue at some point again.”
If that doesn’t prove to be the case and Savard decides to retire, one guy who has seen it all would be understanding.
“No, I wouldn’t [blame him for retiring],” Mark Recchi, who sat in the front row of the press conference with teammates Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, said. “Concussions are tough. ‘¦ There’s got to be some thoughts. He’s got three young children, and you want to play with them, you want to have fun with them, you want to [seem them] grow up and be a good dad. Part of that is that you want to be healthy for them.
“I think he’s got a lot to think about, but I think the most important thing is right now that focuses on just getting better. Getting healthy, and then he can be a little bit more clear on his decisions and whether he wants to continue or not.”