|12.14.10 at 9:38 am ET|
WOBURN — Christmas shopping is crazy enough, but it’s a little crazier when professional athletes are doing the same, easily identifiable by their jerseys and Santa Clause hats.
That was the scene at Woburn’s Target store on Monday as the B’s did their annual Holiday Toy Shopping to pick up presents for local hospitalized children.
“It’s always nice, especially when you know it’s going to kids that won’t have a chance to be home for Christmas,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “At least this way, we want t make it really easy and comfortable for them. Hopefully they’re going to enjoy it.”
This was no case of grabbing the first things you can find and calling it a day. Players were given checklists, shopping carts and Target employees as they went through the store. Nathan Horton, a father who admittedly is learned on the popular gifts, had no trouble filling shopping carts with toys and even iPods.
It wasn’t long ago that 18-year-old Tyler Seguin was getting giddy over Christmas presents. The youngest player on the team, Seguin said he enjoyed Power Rangers toys as a child. As he picked presents on Tuesday, he was careful and deliberate in taking a good look at each gift before tossing it in the cart.
“This is a lot of fun,” Seguin said as he inspected the toys. “Any time you get to give back to the community and fans, it’s always a nice feeling. I get to tell my family all the good stuff and good causes we’re supporting.”
The B’s have been picking up presents for hospitalized children since the days of Ray Bourque. After Bourque was sent Colorado, Concord-born Hal Gill took over the operation, with P.J. Axelsson succeeding Gill. Patrice Bergeron, the longest-tenured current Bruins player, runs the show now.
“I liked doing it when Hal was here, and then P.J. took care of it,” Bergeron said Monday. “Once they left, I told [Director of Community Relations] Kerry [Collins] I wanted to take over because it’s something that I like and I think it’s something that the kids enjoy. It’s something that’s very important for the community.”
The next step of the process is actually delivering the gifts, which players noted is the best part.
“Today, it’s fun. You’re throwing a bunch of toys and stuff in the cart, but the big thing is when we drop them off at the hospitals,” Mark Stuart said. “It’s good to actually meet the kids and actually know where it’s going. That’s important with any charity.”
|12.14.10 at 9:36 am ET|
Flyers forward Jody Shelley was suspended for two games on Monday for his hit from behind on Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. Shelley shoved McQuaid with two hands into the boards in the second period of Saturday’s 2-1 Flyers overtime victory as the two were chasing an iced puck. It was a couple of minutes before McQuaid, who went head-first into the boards, would return to his feet, though he fortunately only had the wind knocked out of him. He returned to the game later int the period.
McQuaid told WEEI.com on Monday that he was still feeling “a little stiff and a little sore,” but that he’s glad he wasn’t hurt on the play and can move on from it. He said he has watched replays of the hit “a few times” and that “it looked worse than it was.”
|12.12.10 at 5:06 pm ET|
According to a tweet from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the NHL has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for Monday in regard to Flyers forward Jody Shelley‘s hit on Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. The play, in which Shelley received a boarding major and game misconduct, occurred in the second period of the Flyers’ 2-1 overtime win. The players were racing for an iced puck when Shelley pushed McQuaid, who went head-first into the boards and had the wind knocked out of him.
Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio tweeted Sunday that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren expects Shelley to be suspended for one game.
|12.11.10 at 10:55 pm ET|
In his postgame press conference, Bruins coach Claude Julien called Jody Shelley’s hit from behind on Adam McQuaid “definitely uncalled for” and that he didn’t know what the intent of the play was. McQuaid and Shelley were racing after an iced puck when Shelley pushed the B’s defenseman. The momentum carried McQuaid into the boards head-first, and the 24-year-old blueliner remained on the ice as play was stopped.
“I looked at it again and personally, I didn’t think there was any need for it,” Julien said. “I don’t know what [Shelley’s] intention was, but certainly, there was no need for that at all and I think that’s one of the things we’re trying to get out of game.
“I know [Jody] Shelley a little bit from a long time ago and he’s actually a good person and, to me, he’s a tough guy. I don’t know that he’s purposely gone out there to injure people like that so I found that a little bit strange that he would do that. It’s unfortunate. … Hopefully the League deals with it the proper way and we’ll go from there.”
McQuaid said that he could hear Shelley saying he didn’t mean it while he was on the ice, but regardless of intent, McQuaid wasn’t a fan of the play.
“I mean, I didn’t go in on my own,” McQuaid said when asked if he felt it was a reckless play. “I felt like I got pushed.”
McQuaid said he got the wind knocked out of him, and after undergoing a few tests was allowed to return to the ice later in the period.
|12.11.10 at 9:38 pm ET|
UNH product and former second overall pick James van Riemsdyk got the Flyers on the board in the second period, firing a wrist shot that tipped off of Thomas’ glove and in.van Riemsdyk nearly beat Thomas in overtime, but the B’s netminder recovered to grab the slow-moving puck.
The Bruins next play in Buffalo on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Brian Boucher was outstanding for the Flyers, leaving the likes of Michael Ryder frustrated throughout the night. Ryder had a golden opportunity in front of the net on a rebound on the first, only to have it blocked by Boucher’s outstretched arm.
–Daniel Paille –– who did come up huge for the B’s in blocking a shot in front of the net following a Thomas rebound in the first period — has had a positive rating in two games this season. Saturday marked his third negative rating in 10 games this year, and he’s tied with Ryder and Blake Wheeler with a team-worst minus-2 on the season.
– The Bruins got nothing done on the power play. They were 0-for-2 on the night, with one of their opportunities coming off a five-minute major. Theyr’re now 18-for-101 on the man advantage.
– Nathan Horton is spared in this space thanks to how he finished, because up until the second he touched that puck that he fired over the left shoulder of Boucher, there wasn’t much proof of him doing much on Saturday. He continued to come alive late in the game, putting a shot on Boucher in the final seconds of regulation, but Horton was strong for just one period on Saturday, and that’s not reasonable output from a player as talented as Horton.
He may not take shifts off, as was his reputation in Florida, but it may be fair to say he is prone to stretches of minimal impact. He is understandably one of the night’s heroes, but the start he got off to suggested another down night. Horton’s been much better and likely will continue to be.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins didn’t lose one of their six blueliners and weren’t forced to have to call somebody up. Given the way things looked in the second period, that’s pretty big.
McQuaid was racing Jody Shelley for an iced puck. Shelley shoved him into the boards from behind, and the B’s defenseman remained down for a few minutes. Though he got up and came back later in the period, it was a real scare for the
Bruins and yet another opportunity for Boston fans to express their outrage with dirty play from the Flyers.
– After getting just one shot on net on Thursday (it counted for an empty-net goal), Patrice Bergeron had a season-high six shots. He didn’t put any past Boucher but was buzzing in the offensive zone throughout the night.
– Thomas came up with big saves throughout the night, but once again was big in the third period, stopping nine shots. The Bruins may have swarmed the Flyers’ zone more in the third, but key stops from Thomas allowed them to make it to overtime.
|12.11.10 at 8:36 pm ET|
James van Riemsdyk scored his fifth goal of the season, a wrester off the glove of Tim Thomas at 18:39 of the second period, and the Flyers lead the Bruins, 2-0 at the second intermission.
With Adam McQuaid and Jody Shelley both chasing an iced puck in the Bruins’ zone, Shelley pushed McQuaid — clearly the winner of the foot-race — and the defenseman’s momentum took him right into the boards, where he remained motionless for a few moments.
Shelley was handed a five-minute major penalty for hitting from behind and a 10-minute game misconduct. McQuaid returned to the ice later in the period.
The B’s outshot the Flyers, 13-7, in the second and lead them in shots, 22-17.
|12.11.10 at 8:04 pm ET|
Courtesy of the awesome folks at the Bruins, here’s the transcript of Peter Chiarelli’s media briefing following the Bruins’ trade of Marco Sturm to the Kings for what he called “nothing.”
On finally completing the Marco Sturm trade’¦
Yeah, it’s been in the works a little bit, part of it due to Marco’s physical recovery. Really, that’s the large part as to why we’ve delayed. Dealing with someone like Marco is difficult. He’s obviously a really good person and I actually, when I was an agent, I actually co-represented him, so there’s a relationship there too. But it helps us with our cap situation and as far as what we got in return, it was classified as ‘future considerations,’ but really it’s nothing. Part of that speaks to the trading him now, versus trading him later on in the year, which we could have done also, but in fairness to Marco it’d be good to allow him to begin his journey, so to speak, at a place that is a good landing spot for him. Dean Lombardi drafted him and knows him quite well. They were looking for a player like that.
On if a trade of a player of Sturm’s caliber was inevitable’¦
Yeah, I mean he’s a good player. He’s a real good player. There’s obviously been a lot of speculation on what move we were going to do and what player. Again, a difficult thing that we had to do, but part of the reality of the salary cap and it’s completed now. Well, it’s conditional on the medical examination, but I don’t anticipate a problem there.
On how he got Sturm to waive his no-trade clause’¦
I just spoke to him.
On what he said to Sturm specifically to convince him’¦
Well that’ll remain between Marco and myself, but he agreed to waive it.
On why he felt trading Sturm was the best option to clear cap space, instead of making smaller moves to make room for him’¦
Well, it was about timing too. Here’s a team where there is a prior relationship with Marco, and they got him for cheap and they wanted to do it now. So there was a lot of positive factors in this circumstance that we felt that we had to act on. So that’s the main reason.
On if ‘future consideration’ includes draft picks or anything else in the deal’¦
No, nothing. Keep in mind the value of cap space. That’s what you have to keep in perspective. I’m not trying to justify trading him for nothing. Of course you’d like to get a return for a good player, but that’s really the being able to do it now versus later, it helps both sides.
On trading a player that is coming off an injury and making the deal now’¦
Yeah, there’s a lot of different factors here that made the deal a sensible deal at this time.
On if he had to get approval from the League to make this unusual trade for nothing’¦
Whenever you see ‘future considerations,’ it’s usually nothing. [laughs] In fact, it always is nothing. It used to be that you could stipulate prior to I think two season ago, you could stipulate, you know a player in the future. Let me see, I remember there was [Francois] Giguere was involved in a deal like that in Colorado. Might have been a sack deal. Yeah, it’s legal.
On if he considers the team now ‘out of the salary cap woods’ after making this deal’¦
Yeah, I mean, we’ve in the last, when did we trade Matt [Hunwick]? A week and a half ago? We’ve cleaned out our cap situation pretty nicely, so I’m comfortable where we are right now.
On where the team stands exactly in the cap situation’¦
We’re cap-compliant now.
On if the team has cap space to add another player’¦
Check capgeek.com. [laughs]
On how he would sum up Sturm’s legacy as a Bruin’¦
Yeah, you know, he’s first and foremost a very good person. Speed, you know, he’s obviously part of that big trade. He gave us speed and he gave us timely goals. I think he’ll be remembered, one of the things he’ll be remembered for is that goal against Montreal [Game 6 vs. Montreal, April 19, 2008]. I mean, that was, you could see that emotion when he scores and that’s what he brought to the team. Those are some of the things that guys here remember about Marco.
On if the team’s ‘NHL depth’ at Sturm’s position factor into things’¦
Yeah, how our younger players have been playing and there’s a lot of variables that go into a decision like this. Timing is one, depth is another. There’s a lot of things that go into this decision, but that certainly helps’the depth that we have.
On if Sturm will be close to game-ready’¦
I would say he’s maybe five to seven days away.
On if that game-ready timeline is one of the reasons the deal didn’t go through last week’¦
It was, yeah.
On if he knows when Sturm’s physical is scheduled’¦
On if he has any other moves on the horizon to address not cap space, but team needs’¦
Again, I’m not going to speak to moves I’m going to make or not, but what I can tell you is we’ll take a step back now for a little bit.
On Sturm expressing some frustration about his being in ‘limbo’ before the deal was finalized’¦
Yeah and I can understand that. After having waived it, yeah. It’s tough to make a trade in this league. It is, especially at an early juncture like this. Everyone is so tightly packed. And I’ve got to give Dean [Lombardi] credit for acting on this because he’s getting a good player for nothing in return. And he’s familiar with the player and he’s proactive.
On how important it was to not alter the team structure when dealing with the cap space issue’¦
Well, you know, you’re going to alter it somehow. We were able to do the rationale behind dealing Matt [Hunwick] was depth. Depth of defense. The young guys are coming along. You’ve got Jordan Caron, and even have Jamie Arniel, guys like that, and Joe Colborne, I mean, these guys are coming. But you know, any time you trade a guy like Marco, you know him, he’s a really good person. He’s a great guy. So that’s going to have some impact at some point. That’s why I’ve been trying to be as transparent as possible with you. I know you guys probably chuckle at that, but it’s because I want to make sure the message gets to the team too.