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B’s set to go against Lightning

12.01.09 at 1:12 pm ET
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Wilmington ‘€“ While awaiting formal announcement of a seven-year contract extension for star center Marc Savard, the Bruins made their way through practice Tuesday looking to build upon a solid 6-3-1 record over their past ten games.

Savard was not available for comment after practice, but the deal could be announced by the team prior to Wednesday’€™s contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

As to who will be in the Bruins goal at TD Garden when the puck is dropped against the Lightning is unclear.

Normal starting goalie Tim Thomas returned from a brief hand injury to take a 4-3 shootout win over Ottawa on Saturday. But Thomas showed some rust in his return, yielding a bad angle game-tying goal with 19 seconds to play. Backup Tuukka Rask had excelled during six starts (4-1-1) while Thomas was injured.

‘€œThey’€™re both playing well, so we’€™ll (have to) see who we’€™re putting in,’€ said Bruins coach Claude Julien.

‘€œWe’€™ve said many times, the way Tim plays with the energy he puts in, he’€™s not going to play 75 games,’€ continued Julien. ‘€œSo you need someone who can come in replace him at times and be a guy you can rely on. Right now, Tuukka, whether its stats wise or even watching him play,  it’€™s pretty obvious he’€™s playing just as well as Timmy is.’€

For his part Thomas is ready to move past Saturday’€™s uneven return.

‘€œIn any sport, especially if you’€™re playing as often as we are there are going to be times of failure, during those times you have to have a short memory,’€ said Thomas. ‘€œYou have to learn your lesson, if there’€™s a lesson to learn and then you have to move past it.’€

Aside from Milan Lucic, who will be sidelined for 3-4 more weeks while recovering from an ankle sprain, the Bruins should have their full roster available Wednesday as Patrice Bergeron and Matt Hunwick both returned to practice Tuesday.

Bergeron was given a maintenance day off Monday, in part to help recover from getting hit in the upper leg while blocking a shot by defenseman Filip Kuba in Saturdays victory over Ottawa.

‘€œI feel fine,’€ said Bergeron, who headed to the Bruins dressing room for a stretch after getting struck. He returned near the end of the period.

‘€œThere’€™s not much fat or skin close to (the area hit) I’€™m pretty happy it didn’€™t get right on the bone,’€ explained Bergeron.

Report – Savard Deal Done

12.01.09 at 11:38 am ET
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The Canadian web site TSN.ca is reporting that the seven-year contract extension for Bruins center Marc Savard is complete. Savard has had spoken with WEEI.com about the deal Monday, saying – “We’€™re getting really close, so hopefully we’€™re going to get it done because this is where I want to be.”  The reported contract extension would result in a salary cap hit of $4.2 million to the Bruins each season.

Practice, yes. Bergeron, no.

11.30.09 at 1:17 pm ET
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WILMINGTON  —  It was probably just a coincidence that the Bruins decided to reward their assistant coaches with contract extensions just before they will be counted on to pace the team through a stretch loaded with heightened practice time.

After inking assistant coaches Doug Houda, Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward, goaltending coach Bob Essensa and video coach Brant Berglund to multi-year contract extensions the Bruins got back to work at their practice rink Monday.

They will probably be spending a lot of time there.

Having played 10 games over a 19-day period, the Bruins will have just four games over a 12- day stretch. That means time to work out the kinks at practice and the chance for key players to mend minor injuries.

Leading scorer Patrice Bergeron was not on the ice for practice Monday after being struck by a shot in the leg while killing a penalty seven minutes into Saturday’€™s 4-3 Bruins victory over Ottawa. Bergeron left the ice and the Bruins bench for several minutes before returning late in the period.

Coach Claude Julien said Bergeron had been given Monday off, but the skilled center should be fine for game action when the Bruins host Tamp Bay Wednesday.

‘€œHe’€™ll been in Wednesday, no ifs, (ands) or buts,’€ said Julien. ‘€œIt was just maintenance.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Bergeron not skating at B’s practice

11.30.09 at 11:10 am ET
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WILMINGTON  —  Patrice Bergeron is not on the ice as the Bruins begin practice in Wilmington this morning. Bergeron was struck by a shot in the leg while killing a penalty seven minutes into Saturday’€™s 4-3 Bruins victory over Ottawa. He left the ice and the Bruins bench for several minutes before returning late in the period.

Defenseman Matt Hunwick is also not on the ice.

B’s extend assistant coaches

11.30.09 at 9:24 am ET
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Several assistants under Claude Julien had reason to be very thankful over the just-completed holiday weekend when Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli extended them to multi-year extensions.

Chiarelli announced on Sunday that the club has signed assistant coaches Doug Houda, Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward, goaltending coach Bob Essensa and video coach Brant Berglund to multi-year contract extensions.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The team’s release is below:

Houda, hired by the Bruins on July 25, 2006, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach with the Black & Gold. He came to the Bruins following three seasons as an assistant coach with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. The Amerks had a 125-86-16-13 record over his three seasons as an assistant, including a franchise record 112 points in 2004-05.

Houda was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round (28th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and enjoyed a 15-year playing career. He had 19-63=82 totals and 1,104 penalty minutes in 561 career NHL games with Buffalo, Detroit, Hartford, New York Islanders, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Read the rest of this entry »

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Turn up the volume: Thomas makes amends

11.29.09 at 12:55 am ET
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There wasn’t a bigger Michael Ryder fan in the building before his shootout chance in the first extra round than the man defending the Bruins goal.

Tim Thomas was making his first start since Nov. 14, a span of six games and early and late, the rust showed. He allowed a pair of goals in the first period, including one on the second shot he faced.

But the goal he surrendered to Milan Michalek was a back-breaker. It came with 19.3 seconds remaining from a bad angle-a really bad angle. A angle so bad that Michalek was practically parallel with the goal when he flipped a back-hander on net.

As if the goal wasn’t bad enough, the timing was worse. The Bruins had just fought back with three power play goals to take a 3-2 lead and were poised to take a two-point lead in the Northeast Division.

As it was, the Bruins had to settle for a one-point gain over Ottawa as the Bruins earned two points and Ottawa one for the 4-3 Boston victory. Here’s what it sounded like in the Bruins dressing room.

Thomas was his usual standup self, admitting he cost his teammates a point.

Thomas on why he felt terrible about the late goal.

Thomas felt he let his team down.

Coach Claude Julien was impressed with the way Thomas collected himself in overtime.

Captain Zdeno Chara wasn’t surprised that Thomas re-focused himself in overtime.

Michael Ryder said this was a huge win for first in the Northeast Division.

Dennis Wideman scored for the first time since Oct. 3 as the Bruins finally got their power play going.

Read More: Boston Bruins, NHL, Senators,

Thomas returns for B’s

11.28.09 at 6:56 pm ET
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Tim Thomas returns tonight for the Bruins after missing the last six games with a minor undisclosed injury. The Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden.

The B’s have earned 9 of a possible 10 points in their last five games to tie Ottawa for first in the Northeast Division with 29 points.

Read More: Boston Bruins, NHL, Senators, Tim Thomas
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