|11.22.10 at 2:39 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask was first off the ice on Monday, indicating he’ll be between the pipes when the Bruins take on Mike Smith and the Lightning in Tampa Bay. Guy Boucher‘s club is currently riding a three-game win streak.
WHERE IT’S AT
– The B’s are 7-1-0 on the road, with their lone loss coming on Nov. 5 in Washington. They have 10 goals in their last two road games, seven of which came in their come-from-behind victory over the Penguins on Nov. 10.
– The Lightning are 4-2-1 at home, and 2-2-1 in their last five home games.
– Michael Ryder saw a dip in his playing time on Saturday. Ryder entered the contest averaging 14:01 a night, but got just 9:50 of ice time. It was the first time all season that Ryder played less than 12 minutes, let alone 10.
– Between the two starting goalies tonight, just one goal has been allowed in their last starts. Rask blanked the Panthers in Boston while Smith allowed one goal on 30 shots against the Sabers in Buffalo.
– Steven Stamkos is out of his mind. He’s got 19 goals this season, with Sidney Crosby and Alexander Semin a distant five goals behind him for the lead league.
Stamkos had 23 goals as a rookie, and given all the parallels between he and Tyler Seguin, this scribe is holding firm on the projection that Seguin finishes the season in that ballpark. Seguin is on pace for 18.
STORYLINES GOING IN
– After one game of having Seguin as a third line winger, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports that Seguin will swap spots with Jordan Caron and jump up to the second line. The initial reaction is that this is a great move for multiple reasons. For starters, it returns Seguin to the generation-spanning line that looked so intriguing in the preseason and puts the young scorer on a line with two of the top-three guys on the team in assists. Mark Recchi leads the B’s will 11, while Patrice Bergeron is tied for second with Nathan Horton (10).
This move will also be good for the team in that it gets a slumping Caron off the second line. He hasn’t scored in 10 games, picking up just two assists over that period.
Expect the lines to look like this:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Seguin – Bergeron – Recchi
Caron – Wheeler – Ryder
Marchand – Campbell – Thornton
– It should be interesting to see how Rask, who is tied for third in the league with a .939 save percentage, fares against an offense as productive as Tampa Bay’s. Rask had a 41-save shutout the last time out against the Panthers, but the Tampa Bay is averaging 3.1 goals per game (5th in the NHL) and have totaled 14 goals in their three-game winning streak.
– Special teams could be key in this game, as it matches the third-best power play in the league (Tampa Bay scores on 24.4 of its power plays) against the Bruins’s 89.9 penalty kill percentage, which is second in the league.
|11.22.10 at 2:04 pm ET|
Bruins center Marc Savard told reporters Monday that he will see Dr. Mark Lovell, whom he called “the guru of concussions” and undergo the final test required to be cleared for full-contact on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Savard joined his teammates in practice for the first time during Saturday’s morning skate, but is still unable to give and receive contact.
“I guess it’s quite a test,” Savard said. “It’s like six hours long. He’s going to put me through some workouts and some strenuous stuff. When I’m at my weakest, he can see how my brain is and stuff like that. I’m interested. I’m really excited about going.”
Savard said he is “still going to be a bit away” from playing even if he passes the test. He has not played this season as he recovers from post-concussion syndrome.
|11.20.10 at 9:52 pm ET|
The Bruins came back from a 3-0 deficit on Saturday night before falling, 4-3 in a shootout. Michal Handzus scored the game-winner, while Blake Wheeler had two points for the B’s.
The Kings got goals in the first from Brad Richardson and Handzus in the first period and made it 3-0 when Jarret Stoll scored his 100th career goal at 2:50 of the second period. From there the Bruins turned it on, getting goals from Blake Wheeler, Gregory Campbell, and Patrice Bergeron to tie it up, while Thomas showed the form Bruins fans had been accustomed to seeing throughout the season.
Bergeron’s goal came on the power play in the third period, his third goal of the season. It was the fourth straight game between the two teams to be decided by in overtime or a shootout. The Kings had won the previous three.
Thomas made 38 saves through regulation and overtime, while Quick stopped 23 of the 26 shots he saw. The Bruins will embark on a two-game trip to Florida in which they’ll face the Lightning on Monday and the Panthers on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– They got David Krejci back, and no matter how the game played out, that makes for a huge positive for the B’s.
Krejci had missed six games after suffering a concussion in overtime of the Nov. 6 game against the Blues, and his absence forced Blake Wheeler to center the second line. With Krejci’s return, it was interesting to see that the B’s kept Wheeler at center, moving him down to the third line and moving Tyler Seguin to the wing. The move proved to have a positive impact when the line got the B’s on the board in the second.
– The Bruins did something they haven’t been doing much lately: they scored on the power play. Thanks to their 1-for-5 showing, the B’s are still just 2 for their last 23, but it was a positive step for the unit. Campbell’s goal also came on a delayed penalty.
– The fine-tuning of the lines with Krejci’s return also meant that the “energy line” is back to its original form, with Gregory Campbell skating between Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton. Campbell was sharp in putting in a rebound when Jonathan Quick couldn’t hold onto Thornton’s shot on a delayed penalty in the second period.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– It was a rough start to the night for Tim Thomas. The 36-year-old goaltender entered the night with a league-best .959 save percentage, but allowed goals on the first four shots he faced. He settled down from there, making key saves as the Bruins climbed back, including a big one on Jarret Stoll in the second.
– Jordan Caron has not scored a goal in 10 games, a span in which he has two assists.
– The B’s saw the bad that can come of their knack for blocking shots. After Patrice Bergeron blocked a Davis Drewiske shot with his foot in the first period, Michal Handzus picked up the puck and beat Thomas from the circle to make it a 2-0 game.
|11.20.10 at 8:42 pm ET|
The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a goal from Jarret Stoll, but it was the Bruins who made the most noise in the second period, getting goals from Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell to make it a 3-2 Kings lead after two period.
In the midst of a delayed penalty call, the energy line — back to it’s Marchand – Campbell – Thornton form — produced yet another key goal. Shawn Thornton tossed a shot on quick from the top of the circle, and when Quick could only get a glove on it and not hold onto it, Campbell put the rebound past him for his second goal of the season.
The Bruins, who are 0-for-3 on the power play tonight, will begin the third period with a 40-second man advantage. The Kings are 0-for-4. Through two periods, the B’s have outshot the Kings, 22-17.
|11.20.10 at 7:46 pm ET|
The Bruins entered Saturday night having not allowed a goal in their last two home games, but the Kings put an end to that with goals from Brad Richardson and Michal Handzus. Despite Los Angeles getting just seven shots on B’s netminder Tim Thomas, the Kings lead the Bruins, 2-0, after 20 minutes.
Richardson got the Kings on the board just 57 seconds into the game, beating Thomas with a wrist shot from the circle. Handzus added to the lead at 11:17, putting in a puck that came to him as a result of Patrice Bergeron blocking a Davis Drewiske shot.
The Bruins are 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Kings failed to convert on their lone man advantage, a high sticking call on Zdeno Cahara at 8:08. The B’s have outshot the Kings, 14-7.
|11.20.10 at 7:01 pm ET|
After warming up with the team and skating with regular linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, Bruins center David Krejci appears set to make his return to the B’s lineup on Saturday night against the Kings. Krejci has missed the last six games with a concussion suffered on Nov. 6 in overtime against the Blues. In 11 games this season, Krejci has two goals and eight assists, good for 10 points.
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Caron- Bergeron – Recchi
Seguin – Wheeler – Ryder
Marchand – Campbell – Thornton
Chara – Ference
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – Boychuk
|11.20.10 at 1:10 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien took a few minutes to reflect on the late Pat Burns, who died on Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. The three-time Jack Adams award winner and Stanley Cup Champion in 2003 was 58.
Julien knew Burns while Julien was still playing in the AHL and Burns was coaching, but it wasn’t until the two were both “in the same coaching fraternity” that they got to know one another best.
“The one thing everybody knows about Pat was he was sincere and direct and there was no beating around the bush with him, but the part that people didn’t always see was that away from all of that was that he was a really good guy. I know that I was fortunate enough to kind of follow his path. It certainly wasn’t done purposely, but I was fortunate enough to follow his path and maybe part of that has helped me become a better coach because I had some big shoes to fill along the way.
“When Pat leaves somewhere, he’s obviously left his print. As I said, when I won the Jack Adams I was so honored to receive it from him because I consider him a friend and at the same time, my comment was ‘if I could even accomplish what you’ve accomplished, I’ll be a really happy coach.’ I mean he’s got three Jack Adams, he’s got a Stanley Cup, you know, he’s done so much.”
A former police officer, Burns was a fiery coach whom Julien said had a touch for turning teams into contenders by getting everything out of his players, no matter what the cost.
“He was a guy that didn’t always get along with every player, but every player liked him and respected him. Even the guys that he had his little run-ins with, I think eventually they came around to understand where he was coming from and that’s what you do as a coach, you do what you think is best for the player, whether it makes you popular or not.
“Sometimes it might take a player five, 10 years to realize what he was trying to do, but eventually they do and as a coach like him, all he could do was ‘I could live with the situation for now, as long as at the end it’s understood that what I was trying to do was the best for the players.’ That to me is what Pat was all about.”
Many fans who once rooted for Burns later found themselves rooting for Julien. Burns had coached all three teams Julien has coached in his career: the Canadiens, Devils, and Bruins. Julien said that his employment with former Burns’ teams isn’t as much a coincidence as one may think, as Burns esteemed Julien wherever he went.
“At one point, Pat, when he was here [in Boston], I think they were looking for a coach in Providence and Pat asked them to interview me,” Julien said. “I think Pat always had a good word. I went to New Jersey and there’s no doubt that Lou [Lamoriello] talked to him at some point, and so I had Pat’s support, obviously. He always had a good word to say about me, which certainly helped to make me follow his path, to a certain extent, so that’s why I guess, I’m grateful to him. I think, at the same time, I’m grateful to him also for leaving such big shoes to fill to push me to be the best coach I can be.”