|03.02.11 at 12:57 pm ET|
NESN and NBC Sports analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the WEEI midday show Wednesday to talk about the red-hot Bruins. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.
“The sign that was great for me was Nathan Horton doing something to make a difference,” Milbury said. “Because Horton and Ryder on the right side have to be active and productive. They’ve been uneven all year long. I think it’s important that they stay this way. The fight [Horton] had against Theo Peckham in Edmonton was a brawl. He came out clearly on top. This guy is tough. If he can get the fuse lit for him, the Bruins are going to be a very dangerous team to beat.
“The same is true of Ryder, who I actually think has skated much better along the road trip, and even prior to the road trip, than he has at any time since I’ve seen him. The puck’s not going in as regularly as I think he’d like, but you can see that he’s getting things done.”
Tomas Kaberle, acquired from the Maple Leafs last month, is not signed past this season. Asked if it would be worth it to the Bruins to only have the defenseman for a third of a season, Milbury said: “When you have a chance to make a run for the roses, you’ve got to take it. You’ve got to take advantage of it.”
|03.01.11 at 9:52 pm ET|
The Bruins capped their six-game road trip with a 1-0 victory over the Senators, making it a perfect 6-0-0 on a trip that also featured stops in Long Island, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.
With the game scoreless in the third period, Nathan Horton beat Senators goaltender Craig Anderson on a rebound from an Adam McQuaid wrist-shot at 1:43.
Tuukka Rask made 32 saves in the shutout victory, improving to 9-11-1 on the season.
The Bruin will return to the Garden on Thursday to face the Lightning, who are currently second in the Eastern Conference.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Don’t look now, but here comes Nathan Horton, and just at the right time. Horton has goals in three consecutive games for the first time since pulling a Bruins sweater over his pads. He’s also a plus-5 over his last five games.
Horton now has 18 goals on the season.
– Tuukka Rask had no problems leaving his net Tuesday, but never to the point where it hurt the Bruins. Unlike Sunday, where he faced only 17 shots, Rask was relied on a bit more heavily. He came up with big stops on Jason Spezza multiple times, including a breakaway in the second period.
In addition to playing well (something he has done at points this season without anything to show for it), Rask is winning. He has now taken victories in his last four games, and his quest to get that record to .500 after a 5-11-1 start is looking more and more promising.
– Adam McQuaid has three assists in his last four games. His wrist shot led to Horton’s goal, and it also boosted his league-best plus-minus up to a plus-27.
– The Bruins found themselves killing penalties on Gregory Campbell and Brad Marchand early and late in the third period, but the Senators failed to get a shot on goal while on the man advantage. The B’s have allowed zero power play goals over their last three games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The B’s drew just one penalty the entire game, a tripping call on Jason Spezza. They failed to convert, making it four straight games without a power play tally. In fact, since acquiring Tomas Kaberle, who figures to strengthen the unit, the B’s have scored just once on the man advantage.
– Speaking of Kaberle, he has just one shot on goal since joining the Bruins. Nobody expected him to shoot a ton, but it seems “puck-moving defenseman” may mean just that — and only that. Kaberle had at least one shot on goal in seven of his final eight games with the Maple Leafs.
|03.01.11 at 9:02 pm ET|
Another scoreless period means the Bruins and Senators will enter the third period knotted at zero.
While the period did not feature the game’s first goal, it did feature the contest’s first penalty in the form of a Jason Spezza tripping minor for taking down Brad Marchand. The B’s failed to convert on the power play, though a bid from Zdeno Chara was reviewed.
Once again, it was the second line that came up with a major scoring bid for the Bruins. Zack Smith used his skate to break up a scoring opportunity between Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. The play led to a breakaway for Jason Spezza, with Tuukka Rask coming through with one of his 12 saves in the period.
UNH alum Bobby Butler hit the crossbar behind Rask with less than 30 seconds in the period.
|03.01.11 at 8:15 pm ET|
The Bruins didn’t burst out of the gate Tuesday in Ottawa, as they enter the second period in a scoreless tie with the Senators.
The Bruins had their best opportunity of the period when Brad Marchand drew Senators netminder Craig Anderson out of position off a Brian Lee turnover. Marchand left a drop pass for Patrice Bergeron with an open net, but Colin Greening swatted at it to break up the play.
Tuukka Rask was alert enough to make a save on an unexpected Jason Spezza shot as Spezza fell down in the slot slot, and followed it up with another on Sergei Gonchar’s bid on the rebound.
The Senators are outshooting the Bruins, 10-6. Johnny Boychuk leads the B’s with two shots on goal thus far.
|03.01.11 at 6:19 pm ET|
Rolling Stone premiered the music video for the Dropkick Murphys’ latest single, “Going out in Style,” and it unsurprisingly featured a Boston theme. The Boston-based group’s newest video featured the likes of Bobby Orr, Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic.
Orr smiles at the camera and throws snowballs, while Thornton can be seen at the bar taking shots with NESN’s Heidi Watney. Lucic sings along and falls victim to a snowball. Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is also in the video singing along.
The song contains some choice lyrics, so we’ll link to it rather than posting the video.
|03.01.11 at 4:30 pm ET|
Bruins forward Tyler Seguin has had an up-and-down rookie season, and as a result his minutes have predictably gone up and down. It can’t be an easy thing for an 18-turned-19-year old to deal with, especially one who has dominated every level at which he has played previously.
Yet to Seguin’s credit, as unhappy with his ice time as he may be at times, he hasn’t let it seep its way onto the public record. He told me recently that he had previously been “blaming the wrong people” for a cut in ice time that included healthy scratches, but that he was done doing so. If he was more unhappy about it, he kept it to himself.
Yet in talking to the Montreal Gazette recently, he touched on a couple of the same subjects he’s been approached about over and over, and this time he elaborated a bit more.
“It’s hard to meet those expectations, whether it’s points or your individual bonuses in your contract when you get less opportunity and less ice,” Seguin told the Gazette. “But the coaches know what they’re doing to help me as a person and as a player.”
Seguin and Taylor Hall were as 1-and-1a as it gets in a given draft year, and the Oilers opted for Hall, the No. 2 prospect in the draft according to NHL Central Scouting. After a rough start, Hall has come into his own for an Oilers team that is on pace to finish last in the league for a second year. Seguin, despite some encouraging signs over the last couple of weeks, still has yet to hit his stride. He has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points this season, which puts him 17th amongst rookies. Hall’s 40 points (21 G, 19 A) puts him third, behind only Jeff Skinner (chosen after both players at seventh overall by the Hurricanes) and San Jose’s Logan Couture.
Seguin knew before last year’s draft that this could be the case if he came to Boston. Because they had Toronto’s first-round pick, the team that made it to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference semifinals would be able to add a type of player that generally would be given room to develop as a rookie.
‘In the end it’s still the NHL so I’m happy to go to either team,’ Seguin said in a conversation with WEEI.com prior to the draft. ‘I don’t have a preference. Edmonton is a Canadian city so they have a great fan base and they are a bit of a weaker team so there might be more opportunity there. With that being said, Boston’s already a contender. You can hop in the NHL and get a run for the Stanley Cup.’
Now, he’s experiencing just that.
“That’s one of the things with coming to a top team,” Seguin told the Gazette. “The young guys aren’t going to get as many opportunities on this type of team as maybe a guy like Taylor Hall in Edmonton. Not taking anything away from him, he’s had a great year so far and I know he’s going to finish off strong, he always does. And I’m going to be going into the playoffs, and that’s where my head is at.”
|03.01.11 at 2:44 am ET|
It was a generally quiet couple of days leading up the NHL trade deadline throughout the league, but with the way the Bruins have been going, they may not have been a team that needed much more via trade.
The B’s had their biggest day in that department 10 days prior to the deadline. Seemingly in an effort to both upgrade the roster quickly and avoid taking chances at the last second, general manager Peter Chiarelli made a couple of big deals on Feb. 18, reeling in Tomas Kaberle from Toronto and a package of Rich Peverley and (less notably) Boris Valabik from Atlanta. With the team having already acquired center Chris Kelly from the Senators earlier in that week, Chiarelli hinted at the post-Kaberle trade press conference that he was done making big deals.
With less than $1 million in cap space, you probably should have seen that coming.
Even so, the trade deadline passed, and the B’s moves leading up to it consisted of the following:
– Signing Shane Hnidy
– Trading Brian McGrattan and Sean Zimmerman to the Ducks for David Laliberte and Stefan Chaput, a deal that involved only AHL players.
– Trading Jeff Penner and Mikko Lehtonen‘s rights to the Wild for Swedish goaltender Anton Khudobin.
Not exactly moves that scream “difference-maker,” huh? Well, they don’t have to when they also scream “the team’s already made its moves.”
With Kaberle, Peverley, and Kelly already in the fold, the Bruins were able to use the days leading up to the deadline as a bonding experience while on a Canadian road-trip. While other teams were adding pieces, the Bruins’ new pieces were already contributing. Boston has won five straight, including all four since Kaberle came on board.
While much of the discussion following the trade deadline is on how a team with improvements in tow will fare in the offseason, the moves or lack of moves also mean big things for the stretch run of the regular season. It seems that’s another area in which the B’s might be aided. Already with a six-point lead over the Canadiens in the division despite having played one game less than the Habs this season, the fact that the Canadiens were also quiet over the last couple of days is also encouraging for the B’s. The Habs made their biggest deal when they brought in James Wisniewski from the Islanders earlier in the season, and their lack of activity at the deadline is something the B’s will take.