|10.18.11 at 12:46 pm ET|
There was perhaps no more perplexing Stanley Cup celebration than that of Tomas Kaberle, who spent his day with the trophy in the Czech Republic at an event featuring guys called the Hello Piggy Band and doing crazy things with swords. When Kaberle signed with the Hurricanes in the offseason, the millions of questions regarding the day had to wait, but they were finally answered on Tuesday… kind of.
Kaberle, who is mild-mannered and very kind with the media, insisted three times that the band is not called the Hello Piggy Band. So there’s that.
“They don’t call it Piggy Band,” Kaberle said. “They’re like an entertainment group of three guys. They’ve been well-known in Czech. We thought they would be good to approach them and ask if they could play a few songs there’¦ but they don’t call it Piggy Band.”
Asked later what the band was called, Kaberle said he wasn’t sure what the translation would be, but that “they don’t call it Piggy Band.”
I’m certainly no expert on Czech trios, but look at the overalls. Something stinks about Kaberle’s story.
Kaberle actually got to have two days with the Cup, as he and fellow Czech Republic native David Krejci combined days in a joint celebration.
“It was awesome,” Kaberle said. “The second day, I went with him. We did similar stuff in his hometown. It was a really good two days. It’s too bad it was raining, but my thing was indoors at the first place and the second thing was outdoors, but people still showed up. It was amazing.”
|10.18.11 at 12:34 pm ET|
“It’s really nice,” Kaberle said of the ring. “Whoever did it, they did a nice job. I’m sure everybody liked it. It was a long season, but it was well worth it.”
After being acquired on Feb. 18 from Toronto in exchange for Joe Colborne, a 2011 first-round pick and a conditional second-round pick in 2012 (the Maple Leafs got the pick when the Bruins reached the Stanley Cup finals), Kaberle struggled in Boston. He failed to improve a weak power play, displayed poor skating was heavily criticized in the media for his tendency to pass when a shot was there. Kaberle’s ice time was cut significantly as the playoffs wore on, yet through his struggles, Kaberle never ducked the media and on Tuesday said he won’t let the criticism damage his memory of his stint in Boston.
“Obviously, that comes with the territory and comes with the job,” Kaberle said of the criticism. “There’s always pressure, and if you’re not performing like you’re supposed to, you’re going to hear it. That’s fine with me.”
The Bruins told Kaberle following the season to test the waters and that they would stay in touch. Kaberle went unsigned in the first few days of free agency before eventually getting a three-year, $12.75 million deal with the Hurricanes. He said Tuesday that there were points at which he thought he’d be back in Boston.
“We were talking for a bit,” he said. “Obviously, my agent did all the work. At the end of the day, Carolina had the most interest in me. I felt like it was a good decision. My brother [Frantisek Kaberle] helped me as well. He played there before and always said good things about the Carolina organization and teammates. It made it even easier for me.
“When you win the Stanley Cup, it’s tough to leave, but sometimes it’s a business and that’s the way it goes in the NHL.”
Through five games this season, Kaberle has one point (an assist) and is a minus-5.
|10.18.11 at 11:47 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid, who left last Wednesday’s contest against the Hurricanes with a neck injury after crashing into the boards and sat out Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks, is considered a game-time decision for Tuesday night against the Hurricanes, Claude Julien said Tuesday. McQuaid returned to practice Monday and participated in Tuesday’s morning skate.
In three games this season (he missed opening night due to an illness), McQuaid has two points. Should McQuaid be unable to Tuesday, Matt Bartkowski will play his third game of the season.
In other injury news, David Krejci and Steven Kampfer were also on the ice in Tuesday’s morning skate. Krejci injured his core in last Tuesday’s practice, and though Julien said that the first-line center is “inching closer to returning,” Krejci will not play Tuesday. Kampfer, who is recovering from a left knee sprain suffered on Sept. 29, is still awaiting clearance for contact drills.
|10.18.11 at 11:01 am ET|
Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice at Tuesday’s morning skate, an indication that he will be in net when the B’s face the Hurricanes at the Garden. Rask lost his lone start of the season, allowing one goal in the B’s 1-0 loss to the Avalanche last Monday.
David Krejci (core) took part in the morning skate, marking the first time he’s been on the ice with teammates since leaving last Tuesday’s practice.
|10.17.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Five games into last season, one could hardly tell the Bruins were going to be Stanley Cup champions, but a couple of things were apparent. For starters, it was clear that Tim Thomas was capable of playing at a high level again after his offseason hip surgery, and it seemed that Nathan Horton had it in him to play some big games for the B’s.
Now five games into this season, there are a few things that are apparent about this team, though injuries to the likes of David Krejci and Adam McQuaid have made it tough to effectively gauge some things.
The Bruins started off the season in a 1-3-0 funk, but may be coming out of it after their 3-2 shootout victory over the Blackhawks Saturday in Chicago. Up next is a four-game home stand with the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens coming to town.
“I feel we’re turning the corner here,” coach Claude Julien said Monday of the team after five games. “I liked our game in Chicago, the way we progressed through tut the day. Today in practice we seemed to have a much better pace. Hopefully that’s a good sign of us turning the corner.”
Here are five quick stats on the Bruins through five games, with a look at last season as well.
1. Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins with five points, which is a little less than a quarter of his 22 points from all of last season. He also leads the team with a plus-3 rating and has 16 shots on goal, good for tops amongst forwards and second only to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
2. Last season, Horton led the team with seven points through five games. This season, he has a goal and an assist through five contests, struggling mightily in the first few games of the season before seemingly finding himself of late. Bottom-six forwards Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron (who has only played in three games) are the only Bruins’ forwards with less than his five shots on goal.
3. Thomas has won two and lost two this season, allowing eight goals in four games. Five games into last season, Thomas had allowed three goals in four games, and had won all four of his starts. He picked up his first shutout in the second game of the 2010-11 season and went on to have two more by the end of the month.
4. Bruins were 4-for-19 on the power play through five games last season. This season, they are 1-for-21, as they have not scored on the man advantage since Brad Marchand scored on the team’s first power play of the season.
5. Seidenberg leads the B’s in ice time with an average of 25:26 a night yet also has a minus-2 rating that is tied for worst on the team. Further proof that plus-minus rarely tells the whole story.
|10.17.11 at 2:55 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins are close to getting one of their injured defensemen back, as Adam McQuaid participated in Monday’s practice after skating Sunday. McQuaid is suffering from a neck injury sustained when he crashed into the boards last Wednesday against the Hurricanes.
“I skated a little bit yesterday and feel like I’ve been doing more and more every day,” McQuaid said Monday after practice. “I’m feeling better each day.”
McQuaid said there was “not too much” discomfort in Monday’s practice, and he is viewed by coach Claude Julien as “probably” a game-time decision for Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes. That’s certainly good news for the second-year defenseman.
“It feels good just to be back out with the guys and skating again,” McQuaid said. “We’ll see how things go here the rest of the day and tomorrow.”
The Bruins have been treating McQuaid as though he suffered a concussion, though they seem to doubt the injury is anything more than to the neck. Still, as a precaution he will undergo necessary testing before he is cleared to return to game action.
“McQuaid’s been good,” Julien said Monday. “He’s done every test that he has to go through right now, the biking, the exertion and all that stuff, so things are going well,” Julien said. “His headaches are non-existent, which we had felt it was probably more the neck injury that was causing that. It seems to be going that way, but we’re treating it as a concussion because that’s the safest route to take. He’s going to go through all the tests, and we’ll see how it is tomorrow.”
McQuaid has only played two full games for the B’s this season. He was kept out of the season-opener against the Flyers because he was under the weather, and after playing against the Lightning and Avalanche was injured in the third period in Carolina. In three games this season, McQuaid has two assists.
|10.17.11 at 12:58 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer, who is coming off a sprained left knee injury suffered in the preseason, practiced Monday with the expectation that he would begin taking contact the next day. Tuesday came a little early for Kampfer when he and Milan Lucic collided in the final minutes of practice, leaving Kampfer down on the ice for a moments before taking a knee and eventually getting up.
“I guess we were supposed to wait till tomorrow for that,” Kampfer said with a laugh after practice, noting that he was fine following the hit.
Kamper was skating backwards when Lucic turned into him, a hit that neither saw coming and one that at least for a moment provided a bit of a scare to onlookers.
“I actually felt fine getting hit like that, and not expecting it,” Kampfer said. “I guess that kind of eases the mind a little bit, to know that you can get hit and it doesn’t hurt anything.”
If Kamfper were to have been injured in practice, there would be no knee left to injure for the first time. He suffered a right knee injury while playing for Providence late last season and sprained the left knee on Sept. 29 against the Senators. He took the ice this weekend, starting with light skating in circles before returning to practice on Monday.
“I think going through it [with the other knee last season] definitely helps,” Kampfer said. “Obviously this one wasn’t nearly as severe as the last one, so to get back and start skating, you know you’re going to feel the tweaks and pulls and everything like that, so it’s kind of comfortable to get back and start skating.”
Kampfer noted that he did not feel any pain or discomfort when turning, which was his biggest worry heading in. He figures to be a good bet to replace Matt Bartkowski as the team’s seventh defenseman once he does get healthy, though that remains to be seen. RIght now, the second-year defenseman is just happy to be making progress.
“It feels like it’s getting there, so obviously we’ll see in a couple of days when it keeps getting better,” Kampfer said of his knee. “Right now it feels good.”