|12.02.10 at 1:23 pm ET|
With Thursday’s news that the Bruins have traded Marco Sturm to the Kings [UPDATE: Multiple outlets are reporting the deal is off for the time being due to health concerns], things may seem to be a bit up in the air for the Bruins. The reality is that they are just the opposite, and that things are finally calm in what was once an endless sea of questions about the team’s salary cap situation.
The Bruins first shed salary when they sent Matt Hunwick to the Avalanche on Tuesday, relinquishing the B’s of Hunwick’s $1.45 million cap hit and allowing them to activate Marc Savard when appropriate. Still, the Bruins weren’t kidding themselves by suggesting their selling off of assets was done, considering that Sturm’s $3.5 million would be back on the books once his knee was fully healed.
‘We have another move to make, and we’ll leave it at that,’ Peter Chiarelli said after the Hunwick trade.
It had to be a big move, and after months of speculation regarding what it may be, it’s finally been made, and the team doesn’t need to worry about the cap anymore. According to Cap Geek, the B’s are now $46,128 under the $59.4 million threshold. Here’s some quick points regarding Sturm’s dealing.
– After all the speculation that Michael Ryder would be the odd man out when Savard and Sturm returned, Ryder is sticking around. It seemed a logical line of thinking that given his $4 million price tag, a trade or demotion to the AHL for Ryder might be the cleanest move for the Bruins, as it would solve their cap woes without too many pieces having to move around.
Quite frankly, Ryder deserved to stay, and the Bruins are better off for having chosen to keep him over Sturm. He’s third on the team in goals with six, and more importantly, he has perhaps been — surprisingly or not — the best asset for Tyler Seguin. The latest case of their work together was on display Wednesday night when Ryder set up Seguin’s first-period goal on a 2-on-1.
While it may seem a bit odd to think the Bruins, who struggled so mightily to score goals a season ago, would be wise to get rid of the guy who led them in goals in 2009-10, Sturm is too big an unknown at this point. From all indications, he’s still a few weeks from being able to play in games, and the Bruins have gotten enough out of guys like Ryder and Blake Wheeler that of the three, that Sturm was the most expendable. It will be interesting to see how his knees hold up, as he’s had major surgery on each of them.
– Put the kibosh on all of that Seguin World Juniors Championships talk. The team could have temporarily been given some cap relief with Seguin spending Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Buffalo, but there’s no longer a need for that. With Sturm gone, they would benefit in exactly zero ways from letting Seguin play in the WJC.
– There goes the proof of the Joe Thornton trade happening (well, based on the initial members of the deal, at least). Sturm was the last player remaining of the package the Bruins received from the Sharks in exchange for Thornton. The Bruins also got Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau in the deal for the center and former B’s captain.
|12.02.10 at 12:58 pm ET|
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger (via twitter) the Bruins have traded winger Marco Sturm to the Kings. According to ESPN’s James Murphy, the Bruins received a conditional fifth-round pick.
Sturm is still recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered in last year’s playoffs. In trading him and his $3.5 million salary cap hit, the team will be cap-compliant without any issue. The team would have needed to shed salary before Sturm’s return, as they had been given cap relief with both Sturm and Marc Savard on long-term injury reserve.
The Bruins are now $46,128 under the cap, according to CapGeek.
|12.02.10 at 12:24 pm ET|
Bruins center Marc Savard will meet with general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien Thursday afternoon to determine the Savard’s status for the team’s game against the Lightning on Thursday night.
“I don’t want to get too far ahead with predicting anything before I have an answer,” Julien said following the team’s off-ice work on Thursday. Savard was one of five players to skate Thursday morning, as he took the ice with Marco Sturm, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, and Jordan Caron.
Julien did indicate that Savard has reached a point at which he is no longer adjusting or catching up in practice and workouts, and that his only remaining step in his return from post-concussion symptoms is to play.
“I think we’ve gotten as much as we can out him,” Julien said. “‘¦ He’s at that stage where he’s pretty close to have reached his max with conditioning.”
Savard, meanwhile, said he’s unsure of whether the team even considers him a game-time decision against the Lightning.
“I don’t even know if it’s that,” Savard said. “I just know that I’m meeting with them later on. ‘¦ We’ll see what happens.”
The center has missed all of the season thus far after encountering symptoms of post-concussion syndrome late in the summer. The team shut him down and kept him out of training camp to avoid worsening the condition. He has since returned to workout and taking the ice, and has been taking and receiving physical contact on the ice since last Wednesday.
Savard admitted that all of the work has seemed familiar as he’s gone through the motions over and over again, but he sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think at the end of the day, skating every day and after practice and stuff, it gets long and gets a little monotonous, because you’re doing the same thing,” Savard said. “When I am able to play, I can’t wait. It’s going to be an exciting time.”
|12.01.10 at 10:12 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin was cut by Team Canada for the World Juniors Championships last year, but that doesn’t mean he’s champing at the bit to temporarily leave the Bruins to play in the tournament this year.
ESPN’s James Murphy reported on Tuesday that the Bruins could consider giving the 18-year-old forward permission to play in the WJC. If Seguin were to play in the tournament, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, it would allow the team temporary cap relief.
“I haven’t even heard about that,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Wednesday morning. “Honestly, I don’t want to comment on it because I heard it through the media as well. I haven’t heard it from the horse’s mouth, so it’s not worth commenting on.”
While nobody is coming out and saying just how realistic a shot Seguin actually has at leaving the team for the tournament, Seguin expressed his desire to stay with the Bruins and help them during the regular season.
“Last year when I didn’t make the team at Christmas, it was the most adversity I think I had ever faced in my hockey career, and I had to overcome it,” Seguin told ESPN’s Joe McDonald. “I said if I ever got a second chance, and the opportunity, I would take advantage of it. But, I guess, I didn’t factor in being in the NHL too much, so I’ll take that over anything else.”
Seguin scored his fifth goal of the season on Wednesday. The second overall pick has nine points in his first season in the NHL
|12.01.10 at 9:30 pm ET|
It didn’t advance them to the Eastern Conference finals, but the Bruins beat the Flyers, 3-0, in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin had goals in the first period, while Milan Lucic added an empty-netter to put the nail in the coffin. Tim Thomas turned in 41 saves for his league-leading fifth shutout of the season.
The Bruins won in a rather flashy manner, receiving sprawling saves from Thomas and Tyler Seguin’s latest eye-candy goal, a top-shelf tally on Flyers’ goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Thomas also stopped Flyers winger Scott Hartnell on a penalty shot in the second period.
With five shutouts, Thomas tied his career high, which he had reached in each of the last two seasons.
The Bruins will return to TD Garden on Thursday night, where they will face Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Bergeron’s goal marked the first time in five games that the Bruins have scored the first goal of the game. The team remains undefeated when scoring the first goal, and in the last four games, the team had been 1-3-1.
– Claude Julien said following the home opener on Oct. 21 that Tim Thomas had played so well that the only way he could have allowed a goal was if he caused it himself.
It was rather apparent early on in the second period Wednesday that Thomas was having that type of night once again. The 36-year-old stood on his head, making seemingly-impossible saves and recovering well when caught out of position. Unlike that home opener, where Thomas did pass a puck to Jason Chimera for the Capitals’ lone goal, there wasn’t a single error on Thomas’ part in his fifth shutout of the season.
– The special teams had a better statistical night after their recent slumps. The Bruins were 1-for-2 on the power play and stopped the Flyers on all four of their power plays.
The B’s penalty kill had allowed goals on four of their opponents’ last sic power plays entering the game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins took a positive step with a win over one of the best teams in the league, but the slump continued for Nathan Horton. The winger has now gone eight games without a goal and has no points in his last six games.
The posts also continued to haunt Horton, as a third-period opportunity rang off the post of Bobrovsky.
– Here’s a case of sneaking a “what went right” into the “what went wrong” area: David Krejci was all over the place but had nothing to show for it until his assist on Lucic’s empty-netter. The center tied Blake Wheeler for the most shots among Bruins forwards, including an impressive between-the-legs bid in the second period.
|12.01.10 at 8:39 pm ET|
Tim Thomas has been spellbinding, and after two periods, the Bruins are holding on to a 2-0 lead over the Flyers.
The Bruins’ netminder has 29 saves through 40 minutes of play, and he’s been especially tough on Scott Hartnell. Hartnell has four shots on goal and actually got hit in the face by Thomas after he was a little too persistent with trying to knock a puck out of Thomas’ possession. Both players received minor penalties, with Tyler Seguin serving Thomas’.
After serving his penalty, Hartnell came out of the box and had a breakaway foiled by Andrew Ference taking him down. The play resulted in a penalty shot, with Thomas once again besting the Flyers winger.
The Flyers are 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Bruins are 1-for-2. Sergei Bobrovsky has 22 saves on 24 shots.
|12.01.10 at 7:46 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron did something the Bruins haven’t exactly done a lot lately: scored the first goal of the game. After 20 minutes, the Bruins hold a 2-0 lead over the Flyers.
Milan Lucic did some fancy weaving through a couple of defenders in front, only to get stopped by Sergei Bobrovsky. Old friend Seaon O’Donnell’s attempt at clearing the puck out left more to be desired, as he simply fired it to Patrice Bergeron, who quickly shot it high and into the net. It was the first time since Nov. 18 against the Panthers that the Bruins notched the game’s first tally.
The Bruins have not lost this season after scoring the first goal. It was Bergeron’s fourth goal of the season. Three of his goals have now come on the power play.
Tyler Seguin added his fifth goal of the season thanks to a tough pass from Michael Ryder on a 2-on-1. With Bobrovsky’s positioning forcing Seguin to beat him high, the rookie did just that, going top shelf to make it a 2-0 game.
Shawn Thornton and Jody Shelley danced in the period’s only fight. The Bruins were 1-for-1 on the power play, while the Flyers will still have 10 seconds remaining on their third power play when the second period opens.
Tim Thomas has stopped all 14 shots he’s seen, while Bobrovsky has allowed a pair of goals on 10 shots.