|11.15.10 at 9:24 pm ET|
Tim Thomas picked up his fourth shutout of the season as the 36-year-old blanked the Devils in front of a sold out crowd at TD Garden on Monday night, leading the Bruins to a 3-0 win. Thomas stopped all 28 of the shots he saw, as he improved to 9-1-0 on the season.
Michael Ryder, Nathan Horton and Blake Wheeler scored for the Bruins in the first, second, and third periods, respectively. Horton leads the team with eight goals, while Ryder picked up his fifth goal and Wheeler scored his third.
The Bruins will travel to New York to face the Rangers on Wednesday in Claude Julien’s 500th game as a coach.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– All three of the Bruins’ scorers had either a bit of intrigue or relief accompany their goals Horton had cooled off a bit at home, so getting on the board at the Garden is huge for the Bruins as they aim to get some offense going in front of the home crowd this year.
Ryder, meanwhile, continues to make it harder for the Bruins to send him to Providence when Marco Sturm and Marc Savard return from long term injury reserve. Ryder has a $4 million cap hit, but he’s third on the team in goals and is on pace to surpass his 18-goal total of a year ago.
Wheeler, who like teammate Mark Stuart donated $5,000 worth of tickets to local military troops, was due for a goal. He both created plays on Saturday night and had them fall apart, getting the wrath of the fans when he knocked one in the Senators’ net hit his glove.
– The woes continue for the $100 million man, Ilya Kovalchuk, and the Devils. The Bruins held the sniper to just two shots on goal, and Kovalchuk finished the night a minus-one. Through 17 games, Kovalchuk has nine goals and is a minus-nine.
– On November 15, Tim Thomas is just one shutout away from tying his career-high of five, a feat he has been accomplish in the last two seasons.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Tyler Seguin has just one point in his last seven games. The Bruins don’t need him to be the star he’s expected to become right away, but with Krejci out there was certainly opportunity for him to showcase his talents and get a little more playing time. He continues to hover in the 12:00-13:00 range as far as ice time goes, and with Ryder no longer on his line, he may have a harder time keeping the point total up. Patience is the key, and this scribe isn’t ready to go back on his 23-goal prediction for Seguin in his rookie year.
– Ryder’s seen a bit of a spike in penalty minutes these last couple of games. He entered the Senators game on Saturday with just two on the season and, after going off for a dive on Saturday, was called for tripping at 1:35 of the third. He did, of course draw a Mattias Tedenby double-minor in the second period, negating the four minutes he’s compiled over the last two games.
|11.15.10 at 8:46 pm ET|
Apologies for some technical difficulties making this a couple of minutes late…
The Bruins added to their lead in the second period, and it sure was a welcomed sight.
The Bruins had just two goals over their previous three home games at the Garden, and Nathan Horton, the team’s top scorer, had zero points in his last four home games. That changed when he beat Martin Brodeur with a wrister 43 seconds into the second period. Horton has just one shot on goal in the game, but he’s made it count.
Through two periods, Tim Thomas has saved all 14 shots he’s seen. The Bruins are outshooting the Devils, 17-14.
|11.15.10 at 7:41 pm ET|
The Bruins are up 1-0 after a period at the Garden thanks to a powerplay goal from Michael Ryder.
Ryder made it 1-0 with the Bruins on a 5-on-3 when he took a pas from Patrice Bergeron at the bottom of the circle and beat Martin Brodeur. Mark Recchi also picked up an assist on the play, giving him a team-high nine on the season.
While the goal gets the most attention on the scoreboard, it was the play that led to the 5-on-3 that made the period stand out. With Matthew Corrente in the box for hooking, Devils forward Adam Mair got a little too close in trying to knock puck in that Thomas seemed to have control of. Though Mair went off for interference, Thomas got a couple of punches in before Mair made it to the bin.
Thomas has stopped all seven shots he’s faced. The B’s have outshot New Jersey, 10-7.
|11.15.10 at 5:14 pm ET|
Martin Brodeur did not participate in the Devils’ optional morning skate on Monday, but he is expected to get the start in net on Monday night when the Devils take on the Bruins. Tim Thomas was first off the ice in the Bruins’ morning skate, making a Brodeur-Thomas matchup likely. Thomas and the Bruins beat the Devils, 4-1, on Oct. 16 in New Jersey.
WHERE IT’S AT
– The Bruins are 2-4-1 in home games, and 2-3-1 at the Garden. They’ve scored just two goals over their last three home games, a span in which they have gone 0-2-1.
– The Devils are 4-5-0 on the road this season and 2-4-0 in their last six road games.
– Monday night will be Claude Julien’s 499th career game. He’s coached the majority of them (260) for the Bruins.
– In three home starts this season, Thomas has allowed three goals: two on Saturday against the Senators, and one in the home opener. He is 2-1-0 at home, including a shutout vs. the Maple Leafs on Oct. 28.
STORYLINES GOING IN
– Expect a bit of line shuffling for the Bruins. The merlot line/energy line/Shawn-Thornton-has-three-goals line was tinkered with, and the tweaked result is now the third line. Michael Ryder replaces Thornton on the right wing, and the third line now appears to be Gregory Campbell between Brad Marchand and Ryder.
The move also allows Tyler Seguin to resume the role of the fourth line center, though Julien said Monday that he’s not afraid to use him late in games in which the team needs a goal given his natural ability. Here are what the lines could look like:
Lucic – Bergeron – Horton
Caron – Wheeler – Recchi
Marchand – Campbell – Ryder
Paille – Seguin – Thornton
Chara – Ference
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – McQuaid
The move, at face value at least, also makes things worse on Seguin given that he and Ryder had a very apparent chemistry on the ice, seemingly always connecting on gutsy passes.
– It is Military Appreciation Night here at the Garden. Both Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler have purchased $5,000 in tickets to the game, which will be given to troops. It is Stuart’s second straight year of buying tickets for the troops.
– Until the Bruins prove capable of winning at home, the attention is going to be on their play at the Garden. Nathan Horton, despite playing one of his best games in a Bruins uniform against St. Louis, hasn’t picked up a point in any of the B’s last four games at the Garden.
|11.15.10 at 2:38 pm ET|
Bruins center David Krejci was on the ice skating with his teammates for the second day in a row as the B’s held an optional morning skate on Monday.
For Krejci, it was the hardest workout he’s had since suffering a concussion in overtime on Nov. 6 against the Blues. The day after suffering the concussion, the Bruins announced that they expected to be without Krejci, who had been the first-line center with Marc Savard out, for at least a week. As of Monday morning, he had yet to be cleared for contact, but he was scheduled to see a doctor later in the day.
“I really hope this afternoon I’m going to know a little more [regarding] when I’ll come back,” Krejci said, admitting that he was tired after the workout, but that “it’s really hard to say whether it’s from the concussion or the skating.”
Johnny Boychuk, meanwhile, is also getting closer, as he too was once again on the ice with his teammates. The good news is that the blueliner said the fractured forearm that’s kept him out of the lineup since Oct. 23 “just hasn’t been bothering” him.
Boychuk had the cast he had been wearing removed, and on Monday was sporting what members of the media could only was a stiff removable cast.
“I’m going to have to protect it, but I’m not going to shy away from doing anything I would [normally do], so I’ll just play the way I have been,” Boychuk said.
Boychuk could return to the Bruins’ lineup as soon as next weekend. It will be interesting to see how his return shakes up the defense, given that Adam McQuaid seems to be pushing Matt Hunwick for a spot.
|11.15.10 at 12:16 pm ET|
Tyler Dellow, an Oilers blogger, on Sunday posted what he says were some of Campbell’s e-mails. (The link appeared to be dead by midday Monday). After doing a little detective work, Dellow determined a bias for Campbell’s son, Gregory Campbell, and a bias against others, namely Marc Savard.
Here’s an e-mail to former director of officiating Stephen Walkom sent in February of 2007 regarding then-referee Dean Warren:
To Stephen Walkom/Tor/NHL@NHL
Subject Re: Delayed Penalties/High Sticks 02/#/2007 4:24 pm
A bend in the road is a dead end if you round the corner and Dean Warren is standing there. Your answer re: his high stick calls and the score of the game were horse [manure]. The 3rd call on [player] was while they were down 5 on 4 and on a def zone face off vs that little fake artist [player] I had him in [city] biggest faker going. And Warren fell for it when he grabbed his face on a face off. Your supposed to see the act, not call the embellishing act. Dean Warren has to go with [referee] There must be a way to get rid of this guy. Is there a way we can tract sic and total minors called by referees this year. We could then get the minors they call per game. … or with 2 [referees on the ice] it is impossible? Warren and [referee] out of [team’s] games. Give them to [referees].
Thanks to Dellow’s investigative work, the only Warren-reffed game in February of 2007 in which a player had three high-sticking penalties was on the 24th, a game between the Panthers and the Bruins. Gregory Campbell was called for the high-sticking, and Savard drew the call that Colin Campbell seemed to particularly take umbrage with. The “biggest faker going” remark seems to apply to Savard, given that by saying “I had him in [city],” he appears to be referring to New York, where Savard played while Campbell was an assistant coach.
Campbell spoke to TSN on Monday regarding the matter, but commented only on emails sent to Walkom regarding a tripping call on Gregory in a different game.
“For me, it’s much ado about nothing,” Campbell told TSN. “Stephen and I would have banter back and forth and Stephen knows I’m a (hockey) dad venting and both of us knowing it wouldn’t go any further than that. Stephen would laugh at me. The game in question (when Gregory Campbell was penalized late in the Atlanta-Florida game) wasn’t on TV and I was asking Stephen to find out for me if it was a soft call. That’s all there ever was to it. The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren’t they? Stephen handled the officials, just like Terry Gregson does now, and I’ve got a lot of emails to those guys asking about this soft call or that soft call and that’s in a lot of games. I’m not ultimately responsible for the (on-ice) officials, that’s Terry Gregson’s responsibility, but I have to answer to GMs on these calls.”
Campbell famously chose against throwing the book at Matt Cooke when he delivered a blindside hit to the head of Savard last season. If one wanted to draw a connection between what the e-mails allege and the lack of punishment on Cooke, they would appear to have a case, depending on the authenticity of the e-mails.
The Bruins politely informed media on Monday that Gregory Campbell, who of course now plays for Boston, would not be taking questions about his father. The league, however, did offer a comment to TSN later in the day.
“Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100 percent integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, or more importantly a perceived conflict of interest, the League has implemented various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays. Its always fair to question and criticize League decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren’t justly and fairly arrived at.”
|11.13.10 at 9:35 pm ET|
Tim Thomas suffered his first loss of the season as the Senators defeated the Bruins, 2-0, at TD Garden on Saturday night behind a shutout from Brian Elliot. With the loss, Thomas is now 8-1-0 in 10 starts this season.
Erik Karlsson scored for the Senators in the first period, getting the puck off a face-off won by Ottawa center Chris Kelly and firing a wrist shot past Tim Thomas. Daniel Alfredsson picked up his seventh goal of the season and made it 2-0 at 4:15 of the third when he took a pass from Milan Michalek and beat Thomas from the bottom of the circle on a bang-bang play.
Patrice Bergeron nearly had the Bruins on the board in the second period with the B’s on the power play. A high shot from Bergeron took a funny bounce off Elliot and nearly crossed the goal line. Blake Wheeler dove to tip it in, but accidentally got a glove on it, and the play was called no goal.
The loss dropped the Bruins’ record in home games to 2-4-1, with their Garden record falling to 2-3-1. The Bruins have not won a home game since Oct. 28, when the B’s defeated the Maple Leafs, 2-0.
The Bruins will try to remedy their home woes when they host the Devils on Monday night.