|09.16.10 at 12:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — With Thursday’s news that former Boston College superstar Brian Gionta would be named captain of the Montreal Canadiens, it seemed as good a time as ever to reminisce on his fantastic college career. Except for Nolan Schaefer.
“I remember I had a few nightmares with him,” Schaefer, a goaltender at Providence college in Gionta’s final two Hockey East years, said with a grin Thursday following captain’s practice.
Gionta racked up 123 goals over his four-year career at Boston College, much to the chagrin of his Hockey East foes. Told Thursday that Gionta, now 31, would become the Habs’ captain, Schaefer didn’t seem surprised by the success Gionta’s been able to have, especially given his college dominance.
“He seemed to be developed already at the college level. He was already playing on a pro level,” Schaefer said. “He was way above most guys you’d play against skill-wise, not to mention he had a pretty decent team at BC. We were sort of outmatched. It was a tough time. ‘¦ Every time you played him, you had to make sure you knew where he was on the ice.”
Schaefer pointed to the 2000-2001 season, one in which Gionta was named Hockey East Player of the Year and led the Eagles past the Friars in the Hockey East championship, as an example of the undersized forward’s prowess at the college level. In that eason, Schaefer posted a 2.47 goals against average in 25 games, but much of the attention of remained on Gionta, who tallied 33 goals.
A third-round pick by the Devils, Gionta, at 5-foot-7, has been one of the shortest players in the NHL since entering the league in the 2001-2002 season. That knock, which came up often in his college days when projecting his NHL chances, never stopped Gionta. Even before the post-lockout NHL came about, Gionta could hang his hat on starting in the Stanley Cup finals in 2002-03 and having a 21 goal 2003-04 season. Since the lockout and the “new NHL” giving more of an advantage to speed guys, Gionta has average 28.6 goals a year despite playing 62 and 61 games in 2006-07 and last season, respectively. He notched a career-high 48 in 2005-06.
“Before, I could see where [size] could be a problem with the old rules. There was no way you could break past those bigger guys,” Schaefer said. “Now, with the new rules, you can’t put your sticks up, there’s no holding and clutching and stuff, so speed and skill is definitely going to transcend that size [issue].”
Gionta will be just the second American-born captain in the history of the franchise, joining Chris Chelios, who co-captained the team in 1989-90
|09.16.10 at 10:31 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Captain’s practice continued for the Bruins veterans Thursday morning, but the attendance numbers were way down. A typical session has seen somewhere between 15 and 20 skaters with at least two goalies, but Thursday just seven guys on the ice total. They consisted of Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell, Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, Blake Wheeler, David Krejci, and goaltender Nolan Schaefer. Krejci was the first one on the ice, and he spent the first few minutes out there with a crate of pucks taking wrist shots against the boards.
|09.16.10 at 6:29 am ET|
|09.15.10 at 10:09 pm ET|
BOSTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said after the team’s 5-2 win over Islanders rookies that Joe Colborne had a broken nose and a chipped tooth that it “doesn’t look like” the center suffered a concussion, adding that the team’s first-round choice in 2008 got stitches in two places on his face.
Chiarelli described Colborne as being lucid after taking what was believed to be a Bruins stick to the face more than halfway through the third period. He left the ice bleeding heavily following a play in which Islanders forward Justin DiBenedetto received a five-minute major and game misconduct.
Asked what the play means for Colborne’s prospects of playing in Thursday’s game, Chiarelli didn’t equivocate, saying “my guess is, yeah, he won’t be playing tomorrow.”
|09.15.10 at 9:21 pm ET|
BOSTON — The Bruins added two and Islanders one in the third period, and the B’s ended up taking the first of two rookie games at the Garden, 5-2. Though Tyler Seguin picked up second assist of the night on Jordan Caron‘s second goal of a hat-trick performance, the attention was on a different center late in the game and for different reasons.
Joe Colborne took an elbow from Islanders forward Justin Dibenedetto more than halfway through the period and bled pretty heavily immediately after the play. There was a fairly large puddle of Colborne’s blood by the Islanders’ blueline and the center added a trail of it as he skated off the ice. Colborne did not return to the game, nor did Dibenedetto, who was given a five-minute major and game misconduct.
The 16th overall selection in 2008 by the Bruins, Colborne played in six games for the Providence Bruins last season after finishing up his second season at the University of Denver. He is considered one of the Bruins’ top prospects and one of whom Peter Chiarelli spoke highly this week.
|09.15.10 at 8:30 pm ET|
BOSTON — Two periods are in the books here at the Garden, and the second was far busier than the first. There was plenty of fighting and post-whistle scraps, with Ryan Donald in the center of the headlining brawl, one in which he and Alex O’Neil let each other have it pretty handily. The former Yale defenseman left the ice with a good amount of blood on his face.
Tyler Seguin didn’t drop the gloves, but wasn’t afraid to shove Islanders forward Rhett Rakshani after he was bumped following an offsides call on Seguin. The rookie forward hasn’t seemed thrilled with the refs, who also got him on an interference call to end the first.
The Bruins tallied three goals in the period, with Jordan Caron and Max Sauve netting the first two. Seguin picked up an assist on a neutral zone pass to Lane MacDermid, who walked in on Islanders goalie Mikko Koskinen and put a top-shelf wrister past him. Nino Niederreiter picked up the lone Islanders’ goal.
|09.15.10 at 7:52 pm ET|
BOSTON — The packed loge at the Garden was going to cheer for Tyler Seguin one way or another, and after his first period of play in a Bruins uniform, it seems Seguin-mania is only warming up.
Though it’s a small sample size, the first period of the Bruins’ rookie game against the Islanders is the only Bruins game action for Seguin since he was chosen by the team with the second overall draft pick back in June. He looked good — a little tougher than you might expect from a guy with a reputation as being such a natural scorer — and though he got a great reception when Jack Edwards announced his name before the game, the Boston crowd was at its loudest with 4.4 seconds remaining in the period, when Seguin was sent off for interference.
The instincts and physical attributes seem to be all there for Seguin. With the game scoreless after one, Seguin obviously hasn’t netted one yet, but those on hand seem more than willing to wait as they watch their franchise’s hopeful star in action.