|02.17.11 at 9:27 pm ET|
The Bruins broke a three-game losing streak by turning on the offense against a pair of Islanders goaltenders in a 6-3 victory at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.
Tyler Seguin had his third multi-point game of the season, as he set up Blake Wheeler‘s goal to open the scoring 55 seconds into the game and added his 10th goal of the season in the second period. Wheeler and David Krejci also had multi-point nights with a goal and an assist apiece. Mark Recchi, Gregory Campbell and Milan Lucic also scored for the Bruins. Lucic now has 24 goals on the season, which leads the team.
After the team jumped out to a 4-0 lead, John Tavares scored the first of his two goals on the game in a back-and-forth second period. Josh Bailey scored the other Islanders’ goal.
Islanders starter Nathan Lawson was scored after Seguin’s goal made it 5-1, and Al Montoya made 13 saves on 14 shots. Tuukka Rask improved to 6-11-1 on the season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Some have been too quick to give Seguin credit where it isn’t due, but it’s safe to say that Seguin was bringing everything Thursday night that he needs to. The 19-year-old was every bit as engaged as the Bruins are hoping for him to be down the stretch. This was highlighted in the second period, where he was persistent enough score his 10th of the season while losing his balance. Later in the period, he dove at the blue line to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
Seguin’s performances weren’t anything special in his first two games following last week’s healthy scratches (in the case of Sunday, it was detrimental in Detroit), but Thursday’s was the type of performance that suggests the youngster is starting to get it.
– As hectic as things were in the second period, it’s good to see Rask turn in a solid performance in the victory. The third goal was preventable, but but considering that he was pulled after two periods and five goals last Friday against the Red Wings, encouraging signs are welcomed for a guy who you have to assume will get more time between now and the end of the season.
– All three lines scored for the Bruins, and their six goals equaled the number they scored in their losing streak. More nights like Thursday would be a welcomed sign for a team that had been outscored 14-6 over their last three.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Michael Ryder‘s minus-1 made him the lone Bruins player with a negative rating on the game. Now at a minus-5 on the season, Ryder is the only Bruin currently on the roster with a negative rating on the year.
– The Bruins went from dominating the first period to playing in a closely contested second period, and that speaks to both the Islanders waking up and the B’s not keeping the pedal to the metal. They still scored three in the second period, but the Islanders’ opportunities against Rask were far more frequent, as the Bruins were outshot, 22-12, in the second.
– Tavares simply did damage. In addition to his two goals, the former first overall pick could have had a hat trick if it weren’t for a third-period bid behind Rask sliding across the crease.
|02.17.11 at 8:40 pm ET|
The first period was all Bruins, but back-and-forth action was the norm for the second period Thursday at Nassau Coliseum. After two, the B’s have a 6-2 lead.
David Krejci scored on his own rebound just 55 seconds into the period, but John Tavares responded with his 22nd goal of the season to get the Islanders on the board. Tyler Seguin scored his 10th of the season while falling down off a pass from Shawn Thornton, and strikes from Josh Bailey and Milan Lucic rounded out the period’s scoring.
Nathan Lawson was yanked after Seguin’s goal, with former sixth overall draft pick Al Montoya taking over in net. The Islanders outshot the B’s, 22-12 in the second, and after two the Bruins hold a 27-26 advantage.
|02.17.11 at 7:56 pm ET|
Nobody’s ever accused Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke of being shy. That’s why it isn’t a surprise that in the same week he said the Leafs weren’t done dealing, he took the opportunity to deny premature reports that he was “close” to trading Tomas Kaberle to Boston.
Burke said on NHL Live! Thursday that he has discussed deals involving Kaberle, a free agent-to-be whose current contract includes a no-trade clause, with multiple teams. He said he didn’t have a deal with Boston, and that the Bruins aren’t the only team Kaberle would accept a trade to.
“That’s not accurate. And I wouldn’t accept those terms,” Burke said. “That’s not fair to us. If those were the conditions I would tell the agent ‘no.’ That’s not acceptable. That’s not true. It’s not true that the deal is done with Boston. None of that is true. We continue to talk to multiple teams and we’ll see where it goes.”
Below is video of Burke’s interview:
|02.17.11 at 7:47 pm ET|
The Bruins got two things they needed out of the first period. Their forwards celebrated three goals, while Tuukka Rask was mostly bored.
The B’s outshot the Islanders, 15-4 in the first, receiving goals from Blake Wheeler, Mark Recchi, and Daniel Paille. Wheeler scored 1:52 into the period off a pass from Tyler Seguin. The second goal went off Recchi’s skate and was reviewed, but since there was no kicking motion the goal was allowed.
Paille now has points in each of his last four games, a span over which he has scored all three of his goals on the season.
|02.17.11 at 3:26 pm ET|
Bruins forward Chris Kelly, acquired Tuesday night in a trade with the Senators, will not be available to play Thursday night against the Islanders due to immigration issues. Kelly, a Canadian citizen previously employed in Canada, will remain in Ottawa, where he will join the team Friday.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“At this time we have not received the proper immigration approval necessary for Chris to play in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders. This is the normal operating procedure for a non-immigrant to legally work in the United States. Chris will meet the team in Ottawa tomorrow and will be available to play in tomorrow’s game against the Senators.”
|02.17.11 at 11:41 am ET|
Are the Bruins, seemingly linked to Tomas Kaberle in trade rumors forever, finally closing in on a deal for the Leafs defenseman?
TSN’s Darren Dreger leads off his “three things you need to know” for Thursday with an update on Kaberle. Writes Dreger:
Failing a complete meltdown – which has scuttled at least one previous trade involving the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tomas Kaberle, and the Boston Bruins – there’s strong belief that Kaberle will be traded to Boston.
It’s unlikely the deal gets done today, but sources say it’s close and say the deal doesn’t hinge on Kaberle signing an extension with the Bruins.
Dreger adds that given salary cap restraints, the Bruins might need to make a separate deal with another team to shed some space. Unsurprisingly, Blake Wheeeler is listed as the Bruin who could be the odd man out. The team acquired Chris Kelly, who makes similar money and could play a similar role, on Tuesday.
Bob McKenzie, Dreger’s TSN colleague, followed up on the report in tweeting that “if it goes down, looks like it will be [Friday].”
|02.16.11 at 5:07 pm ET|
By now, there are few people who don’t know that Peter Chiarelli wants to trade for a defenseman. Not only has the Bruins general manager stated it several times, but it’s been discussed heavily by media and fans alike as the Feb. 28 trade deadline grows nearer.
Tomas Kaberle has been the most popular name in the rumor mill, and with reports emerging Tuesday that the Bruins are the only team he would accept a trade to, many are playing hypothetical GM in trying to predict what the B’s could move to Toronto should a deal be made.
Yet as the rumors are generated, players face the annual task of trying to block out all the trade whispers. Claude Julien admitted Wednesday that there’s “no doubt” that players can have a tough time dealing with it, adding, “I’m sure there’s some players thinking about that.”
From the moment the Bruins acquired Chris Kelly late Tuesday night, rumor sites and various sultans of speculation made the connection that given the two players’ cap hits, Blake Wheeler could potentially be expendable in a trade for a defenseman. The 24-year-old has heard his name in various rumors before, and will use past lessons learned to handle this trade season.
“I guess the first lesson you learn [is] you don’t read anything because you’re always better than you are when things are going good, and you’re always worse than you are when things are going bad,” Wheeler said Wednesday. “Trades and all of that are the same way.”
“I can’t speak for everyone in our locker room. I know personally, I don’t read anything. I’m sure most of the guys don’t read much either, because what good does it do to read your name and that you’re going to be traded? Ninety-five percent of the time it’s not true anyways, so until that happens, you’ve just got to worry about your business here.”
While players are better off not focusing on names and who could go where, the Bruins are in a different situation from years past, as it is universally know that the team has a move in mind. With Chiarelli targeting a defensemen, the logjam that already exists on the blueline could face even more competition. Johnny Boychuk was the team’s healthy scratch on Tuesday, and the B’s have scratched a different defenseman over the last three games.
While the seven guys on the Bruins’ blueline are already pushing one another for a spot in the lineup, Boychuk would welcome another defenseman under one condition.
“If it’s going to help our team, then yeah,” Boychuk said Wednesday. “Anything to help our team.”
Earlier in the season, various rumors suggested Wheeler could be on the move to the Coyotes, the team that he elected not to sign with after they spent a fifth overall pick on him. Nothing happened there, but Wheeler can bet that he will continue to hear his name brought up in rumors. With Wheeler a part of a team that is in the midst of a season-worst three-game losing streak, the winger is more focused on changing the team’s luck than worrying about a change in uniform.
“The rumors you hear never happen, and the ones you don’t hear about, those ones seems to happen,” he said. “From our standpoint, I think our focus is that we have games to play. We have points to earn, and we can’t worry about what’s being written in papers, or online in blogs.
“We start worrying about things we can’t control and all of a sudden things we can control are going to slip. We’ve already lost three straight, so the most important thing for us is to start winning. Whatever happens from other standpoints is going to happen, and that’s out of our control.”
The Bruins will be on the road for the next six games and will not return to the Garden until March 3. Julien can see why players could worry about whether they’ll be with the club for that next game in Boston, but at the same time knows that it isn’t the hands of anyone in the dressing room.
‘I know it weighs on players’ minds all the time when you hear rumors about a certain player on your team,’ Julien said. ‘At the same time, you want the players to be professionals and deal with the issues as professionals and say it’s out of your control. At the same time, those players, if it’s not here, it will be somewhere else.
“It’s not like they’re not going to be playing hockey anymore. You really have got to take that approach and say, ‘You know what? It’s one game at a time. Right now I’ve got to do my job and let the people that make those decisions that are out of my control make them. That’s the best way to approach it.”
Five more days and the players won’t need to think about it. For now, the only change they’ll need to focus on is in the final scores.