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One of many U.S. Olympic roster projections

12.30.13 at 9:00 am ET
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Ryan Miller should once again be the starting goalie for Team USA. (AP)

Ryan Miller should once again be the starting goalie for Team USA. (AP)

The U.S. Olympic roster will be announced Wednesday at the Winter Classic, which means it’s time for everyone to make their roster projections. Mine is below. It’s worth noting that this isn’t necessarily who I think will make the team, but rather who I think should make it. It’s also worth noting that the roster announced Wednesday could end up changing due to injuries. Team USA will take 25 players to Sochi, and the assumption is that the breakdown will be 14 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies.

Zach PariseRyan Kesler – Patrick Kane
James van Riemsdyk – Joe Pavelski – Phil Kessel
Max Pacioretty – David Backes – Bobby Ryan
Dustin Brown – Paul Stastny – T.J. Oshie
Jason Pominville, Ryan Callahan/Derek Stepan

The top three centers are pretty much interchangeable — all three can score, all three play defense and all three are strong on faceoffs. Parise and Kane are as good as it gets on the wing (although it’s worth mentioning that Parise is currently battling a foot injury). Kessel and van Riemsdyk already play together in Toronto, so it makes sense to keep them together here.

Pacioretty and Ryan give you a very good third scoring line. Brown has struggled this season, but I still like him as a fourth-liner. He and Oshie would be a bruising tandem. Stastny gets the nod over Stepan because he’s better on faceoffs and he’s been playing better recently. Read the rest of this entry »

Banged-up Bruins fall to Senators in Ottawa

12.28.13 at 9:49 pm ET
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Torey Krug

Torey Krug

The Bruins learned Saturday night that life without their top two defensemen isn’t easy, as they suffered a 4-3 loss to the Senators Saturday night in Ottawa. The Senators survived a 6-on-4 late in the game to escape with the win.

Though the Bruins came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the game third period, Bobby Ryan made it 4-3 when he took the puck from Torey Krug at the blue line and beat Chad Johnson on a breakaway. Johnson was in the game of relief of Tuukka Rask, who was pulled early in the second period.

David Warsofsky had tied the game in the third period with his first career NHL goal, which came off a beautiful beautiful rush through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone before he held up at the right circle and blasted a slap shot past Craig Anderson.

The Senators opened the game’s scoring with a goal from Patrick Wiercioch, and though Daniel Paille tied it with a breakaway goal, Ottawa re-took the lead on a funny goal from Cory Conacher that saw the Senators forward tip a fluttering puck past Rask.

Zack Smith made it 3-1 and ended Rask’s night with a shorthanded goal, but Jarome Iginla was able to bring the B’s within one by going to the net and beating Anderson off a feed from Milan Lucic. Following Warsosfky’s goal, the B’s thought they had taken the lead on Iginla’s second of the night, but replays show that he had kicked the puck into the net.

The Bruins were playing without Dennis Seidenberg, who is out for the season with a torn ACL/MCL, and Zdeno Chara, who is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

The Bruins will return to action Tuesday when they host the Islanders at TD Garden.


- Krug had a really rough night, getting stripped on the game-winning goal as part of a minus-3 showing. He also has just two goals in his last 24 games.

- Zack Smith’s shorthanded goal was the fourth the Bruins have allowed this season. Though their power-play didn’t score, Iginla’s goal came just seconds after Anderson’s penalty expired, so special teams were essentially a wash for the B’s on Saturday.

- The B’s had a couple of injury scares to the likes of David Krejci and Adam McQuaid, but both stayed in the game. Krejci missed a little time after leaving the bench in the first period, while McQuaid went down the tunnel after blocking a shot in the third.

- Brad Marchand took a pair of stick penalties, as he went off for slashing Chris Neil 11 seconds into the game and was penalized in the third period for hooking Kyle Turris.


- Though his future with the Bruins looked murky when the B’s called up Niklas Svedberg Friday, Johnson played well in relief of Rask Saturday. His biggest save came on Clarke MacArthur in the final minute of the second period. You can’t expect him to stop Bobby Ryan on a breakaway, and he didn’t.

- Iginla now has four goals (two of which came on the power play) in the last three games and is now up to 12 goals on the season. That ties him with Lucic for second on the Bruins, as Reilly Smith leads the team with 14.

- It’s a good thing Erik Karlsson isn’t a very good defenseman. Though supremely talented offensively, his defensive deficiencies showed when Paille squeezed past him along the wall to get around him and score a breakaway goal in the first period. When Anderson took a tripping penalty in the second period, the Senators had Karlsson serve the penalty.

Karlsson nearly caused another Bruins goal in the third period when he intercepted a pass from Paille in front of the Senators goal, but it went off his stick and just wide of the goal.

Zdeno Chara misses Saturday’s game with injury

12.28.13 at 7:24 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara missed Saturday night’s game with an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day, according to the team.

With Chara out and Dennis Seidenberg now done for the season, the Bruins played both Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky Saturday against the Senators.

Saturday marked the first game Chara has missed this season, with Torey Krug now the only blueliner among the Bruins’ six opening night defensemen to not miss a game.

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Dennis Seidenberg out for season with torn ACL/MCL

12.28.13 at 3:25 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is out for the season with a torn ACL/MCL suffered in the final minutes of Friday’s game, the team announced Saturday. The team also announced it has recalled Zach Trotman on an emergency basis and assigned goaltender Niklas Svedberg to Providence.

Seidenberg suffered the injury with about four minutes to play in Friday’s game when he got tangled up with Senators forward Cory Conacher. He left the ice in pain and did not return to the game.

Losing Seidenberg is obviously a massive blow for the Bruins this season, as he is regularly second on the team in time on ice and has been used the past three postseasons on a shutdown pairing with Zdeno Chara.

This season has seen the Bruins suffer a rash of injuries to the likes of Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid, Carl Soderberg and Daniel Paille, but Seidenberg’s injury is by far the most damaging to the team’s Stanley Cup chances.

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Carl Soderberg out vs. Senators; Bruins recall David Warsofsky and Nick Johnson

12.28.13 at 12:37 pm ET
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Carl Soderberg did not travel to Ottawa and will not play Saturday night against the Senators, according to the Bruins. With both Soderberg and Dennis Seidenberg out, the Bruins have recalled forward Nick Johnson and defenseman David Warsofsky from Providence.

This is the second injury of the season for Soderberg, who missed the first six games with an ankle injury suffered during the preseason. He joins Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly and the suspended Shawn Thornton as players currently out of Boston’s lineup.

Johnson and Warsofky had been up with the Bruins this month and had played seven and three games, respectively. Both players were sent down Tuesday.

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Dennis Seidenberg suffers injury late vs. Senators, won’t travel to Ottawa

12.27.13 at 10:22 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will not travel to Ottawa for Saturday’s game against the Senators due to what appeared to be a right knee injury.

Seidenberg got tangled up with Senators forward Cory Conacher with about four minutes to go in Friday’s game and held his knee in pain after Conacher fell on him awkwardly. Seidenberg was slow to leave the ice and did not return to the game. Following the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said it was a lower-body injury and that Seidenberg was being evaluated by team doctors.

This is the second injury of the season for Seidenberg, who previously missed four games in November with a different lower-body injury.

With Seidenberg out for Saturday’s game, the Bruins will likely have to recall a defenseman from Providence on an emergency basis, as Dougie Hamilton (lower-body) is skating but has yet to practice with the team. David Warsofsky played three games for the B’s before being sent down Tuesday and would be a likely option if Seidenberg’s injury is only short term.

A longer-term injury might force the B’s to recall Kevan Miller, something they may be hesitant to do given that his next NHL game would mean the B’s would need to expose him to waivers the next time they tried sending him down.

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Reilly Smith scores two more as Bruins beat Senators

12.27.13 at 9:35 pm ET
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Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith

Tuukka Rask picked up his league-leading fourth shutout of the season and Reilly Smith scored twice as the Bruins returned to action with a 5-0 win over the Senators Friday night at TD Garden.

After a sluggish first period, the Bruins got on the board with a power-play goal from Jarome Iginla. David Krejci made it 2-0 on the opening shift of the third by beating Robin Lehner from a tough angle at the bottom of the right circle, with Smith making it 3-0 as he capped a rush with Brad Marchand. Smith scored his second of the night to give him a team-leading 14 goals on the season when he picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Lehner. Marchand made it 5-0 with a shorthanded breakaway goal with 27 seconds remaining in the game.

Rask stopped all 33 shots he saw on the night.

The game marked Daniel Paille‘s return to the lineup from a mild concussion. Paille, who had missed the last seven games, skated Friday on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Jordan Caron in addition to taking his regular penalty-killing duties.

The Bruins will play the second game of a home-and home with the Senators Saturday night in Ottawa.


- Smith now has seven goals over his last six games. He was absolutely not a throw-in in this summer’s trade, but he’s still performing better than anybody could have expected. Read the rest of this entry »

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