|11.20.10 at 10:33 am ET|
With the Bruins heating up at home, they will face a test against a very good Kings team that has been cooling off of late. Tim Thomas was first off the ice for the Bruins, an indication that he will likely be between the pipes for the B’s against UMass product Jonathan Quick.
WHERE IT’S AT
– The Bruins are 4-4-1 in home games this season, but are 4-3-1 in games played at TD Garden given that the first game was actually in Prague. Things are looking up for them in Boston, though, as they have won their last two home games, shutting out both the Senators and Panthers.
– The Kings are a dominant home team, but the same can’t be said for they’re road play. They’re 4-5-0 outside of Los Angeles and have dropped their last two road games.
– Ten. That’s how many victories both Tim Thomas and Quick have been able to attain in just 12 starts this season. Thomas is 10-1-0, with Quick entering the game at 10-2-0. Thomas has four shutouts to Quick’s one.
Despite the impressive play and 1.73 goals against average for Quick, he’s coming off a rough game Wednesday in which he allowed four goals to the Blue Jackets on just 25 shots.
– Thomas leads the NHL in save percentage (.959), but one might be surprised that Tuukka Rask is third in the league in the category with a .939 clip, ahead of Quick and many others. Not bad for a guy with a 1-4-1 record, eh?
– This might be the only time one could point out that Milan Lucic is on pace for 48 goals, so why the hell not? His career high is 17, though he’s never had an 82-game season in his career.
STORYLINES GOING IN
– This is a battle of two teams that have been at opposite ends of the spectrum recently. The Bruins are winners of their last three, while the Kings have lost three in a row after a 12-3-0 start to the season.
– The last time these teams faced one another, it was an interesting one. It wasn’t until the sixth round of the shootout that Jarret Stoll sealed a 3-2 Kings victory in Boston. The game was the Bruins’ seventh of their 10-game losing streak that stretched from Jan. 16 (another loss to the Kings) to Feb. 16.
|11.19.10 at 8:17 pm ET|
The hockey world was shaken as NHL coaching legend Pat Burns died on Friday. Burns, 58, had battled colon cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer in the later stages of his life.
Burns coached the Bruins from 1997-2000, leading them for 254 games. He also coached in Montreal, Toronto, and New Jersey over his 20 year career, leading the Devils to a Stanley Cup victory in 2003 over the Mighty Ducks in a thrilling seven game series.
“On behalf of the Jacobs family and the entire Boston Bruins family, I would like to express our deep sorrow on the passing of Pat Burns. Pat was a great coach and more importantly a wonderful man. The Bruins are honored to have him as a part of our history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burns family.”
|11.19.10 at 1:32 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins did not skate on Friday — well, Adam McQuaid, David Krejci, Marc Savard, Johnny Boycuk, and Tim Thomas did — so much of the focus was on Savard. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said at Ristuccia Arena that Savard is set to join his teammates in practice, though he still can’t take or receive contact. Afterwards, he touched on the other news surrounding Savard in talking with Matt Kalman of TheBruinsBlog.
Emails from Colin Campbell that were leaked last week suggested that the league’s disciplinarian holds a bias against Savard, whom he called the “biggest faker going.” Chiarelli told Kalman that he’s had contact with Campbell since the development.
‘I’ve spoken to him,” Chiarelli said. “My conversations with him are private, but I’ve spoken to him.’
Campbell, meanwhile denied holding any bias against Savard, saying that his feelings about the player had no impact on his decision regarding the Matt Cooke hit last March that gave Savard the concussion from which he is still recovering.
“For someone to compare me saying that Marc Savard is an embellisher — a diver — on penalties, and then say that I might think he was faking in the Cooke hit is totally absurd,” Campbell said on the NHL Network on Thursday.
|11.19.10 at 1:17 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins got good news on Marc Savard on Friday, as he passed a conditioning test that will clear the center to participate in line drills and other non-contact practice scenarios. While it’s a positive step for Savard, it doesn’t seem their other long-term injury reserve resident, winger Marco Sturm, is on as fast a track to return to the lineup.
“He is… I would say he’s a little bit away,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said of Sturm’s progress when asked on Friday.
Sturm is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. His rehab hit a bit of a snag when he travelled with the team to Belfast and the Czech Republic to begin the season.
‘I think all the traveling to Europe, I think all that didn’t really help.,’ Sturm said in late October. ‘But the whole team went, and I wanted to go too. It was good, but all the traveling, it didn’t help too much and that’s why I think [the rehab] has gone back a couple of weeks.’
Sturm led the Bruins in goals last season with 22.
|11.19.10 at 1:15 pm ET|
NHL senior VP and director of game operations Colin Campbell does indeed plan to speak with Bruins center Marc Savard about his recent email comments calling Savard the “biggest faker going” and “a little fake artist.”
But apparently an apology will not be part of the conversation. When the NHL Network asked Campbell if he owed Savard an apology, Campbell said no.
“At some point in time, I’ll sit down with Marc Savard,” began Campbell. “When Marc first came into the league I had him as a coach first out of Oshawa. We were together with the New York Rangers. When I was fired, Marc was sent down. I think Marc liked the fact I was coaching.
“I don’t think it’s an apology. I think it’s an explanation that we have to talk about.”
Savard has been out with post-concussion syndrome, though he has been cleared to practice with the Bruins in non-contact scenarios.
|11.19.10 at 12:39 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday morning that Marc Savard is cleared to practice with the Bruins but will not take physical contact.
“This morning he passed one of the tests, which was a conditioning test, so he’s able to practice with the team, non-contact, so he can do line drills and non-contact drills,” Chiarelli said, “so that’s good news.”
Savard, who has not played or practiced with the team this season due to post-concussion syndrome, will also travel with the team.
“It’s very good news. If Marc were to have his druthers, he’d be back with the team two weeks ago. That’s what Marc’s all about,” Chiarelli said. “It’s good news. We’re on a crunch of games here it seems where it looks like we’re in a compressed schedule here, so it will be good to get a player of his caliber back. This is a real positive step to getting him back.”
Next week will be the earliest that Savard could begin taking physical contact, as Chiarelli noted he must undergo “a couple more tests.” As for when he is set to return to the lineup, Chiarelli was mum on a date.
“I’ve got one in mind. I’m not going to disclose it,” Chiarelli said with a grin. “These things change. It could be earlier, or it could be later. This is a real big step, and the tests coming up are big steps, so he’s passed every test to date and this is a big one also.”
|11.18.10 at 9:30 pm ET|
Lucic and the first line provided the majority of the offense for the Bruins, beating Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun on a goal assisted by former Panthers third overall pick Nathan Horton. He added another from virtually the same spot in the third and made it a hat trick seconds later, stuffing in a rebound to make it 3-0. With the game, Lucic reached 10 goals, surpassing Horton (8) for the team lead. Shawn Thornton added his fourth of the season at 16:04.
Tuukka Rask hadn’t been getting consistent play in front of him to begin the season, so he made it a little easier on teammates, shutting out the Panthers. It was his first victory of the season. Rask stopped all 41 shots he saw, frustrating a busy Panthers offense and improving his record to 1-4-1.
“You know, you play five, six games and you feel like you are playing good and the puck is not bouncing our way,” Rask said after the game. “That’s all it is and that’s what I said before, just keep working hard and good things will happen and today they did.”
The victory improved the Bruins’ record to 11-5-1. They are now 4-4-1 in home games and 4-3-1 in games played at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Uh, Lucic. Lucic. And Lucic again.
– It took much longer than one would have expected on, say, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. Prague Time, but Rask finally got his first win of the season. Entering the night, Rask was 0-4-1 in five games, but he had played well enough to win on a few occasions, notably the team’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Blues on Nov. 6.
– Brad Marchand may be a pest to other trash-talking players, but on Thursday he was even more of a pest to Vokoun. The third-line winger led the B’s with five shots on goal. The total tied his career high, which he reached last season on Nov. 1 against the Rangers.
– A top line missing its center is like a rock band losing its lead singer — you just assume it won’t be the same. Yet with David Krejci out, Patrice Bergeron has channeled his inner Sammy Hagar/Ronnie James Dio and proven that the first line can be fantastic with him in the middle.
For the second straight game, the line was able to manufacture a well-executed goal on the opening tally. Of course, Vokoun should have been able to stop Lucic’s first one, which he took after receiving a drop pass from Horton, but it was the latest example of how well these three are starting to play together.
– Once again, the penalty kill came up big for the Bruins. A night after killing off a 5-on-3 late in a one-goal game in New York, the Bruins kept the Panthers off the board despite being shorthanded five times throughout the night.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The power play only got two chances, and it didn’t see anything come of them. Bryan McCabe went off for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second and Cory Stillman was called for interference at 5:08 of the third. In not converting, the Bruins now have just one power play goal in their last five games.They’ve had 18 opportunities. Hard to think they’re not missing Krejci in that respect.
– Rask was sensational, but that didn’t mean he had to face as many shots as he did. David Booth usually gets a lot of pucks on net, but he had 11 shots through the first two periods. All in all, the Panthers put 41 shots on Rask, 12 of which came off the stick of Booth.