|01.28.14 at 3:47 pm ET|
The Bruins sent center Ryan Spooner and defenseman Zach Trotman to Providence Tuesday.
Spooner’s demotion comes with Chris Kelly being activated from injured reserve as he is set to return from a broken fibula suffered on Dec. 7. Spooner had been centering the third line in Kelly’s place up until the past two games. Carl Soderberg centered the third line Saturday with Spooner out with the flu and stayed there as the Bruins made Spooner a healthy scratch Monday.
In 22 games for the Bruins this season, Spooner has no goals and 11 assists for 11 points. He has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 21 games for Providence this season.
The Bruins chose Spooner with the 45th overall pick in the 2010 draft. In his first professional season, Spooner put up 17 goals and 40 assists for 57 points in 59 games for Providence last season. He had an encouraging training camp, but the lack of center jobs available and the team’s intentions of keeping him at center forced him back to Providence.
Spooner said in Dallas this month that he hoped to stay in Boston once Kelly returned, even if it meant he wouldn’t be playing.
‘I think for me right now, being here and kind of being in the environment and just watching some of the centermen here would be good for me,” Spooner said, “but I’m not really focused on that right now.’
Trotman was recalled last week but did not play during his two-game recall.
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|01.28.14 at 3:04 pm ET|
Chris Kelly has been activated from injured reserve and is expected to return to the Bruins’ lineup Tuesday night against the Panthers. Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in New York Monday that the B’s expected him to play the second game of the team’s back-to-back.
Kelly has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula. The recovery was a frustrating one for Kelly, who beat his anticipated recovery time last season when he came back from a broken tibia in a little less than a month.
The Bruins’ third line center and assistant captain had been having a fine season prior to suffering his injury on a slash from Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis. He had three goals and four assists for seven points and a minus-1 rating, but had centered a trio with Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith that had performed well for a third line.
Since Kelly’s injury, Smith has seized the second-line right wing job, with Loui Eriksson playing on the third line since his return from his second concussion of the season. As such, Kelly can be expected to center Soderberg and Eriksson. Soderberg had centered the third line the last two games with Daniel Paille playing the left wing, but Kelly’s return will likely move Soderberg back to the wing. Ryan Spooner was a healthy scratch Monday and will likely remain one with Kelly’s return.
With Kelly back, Paille will likely move back to the fourth line, which would force Jordan Caron out of the lineup. Anticipated lines with Kelly in would look like this:
Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Soderberg – Kelly – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|01.28.14 at 12:42 pm ET|
Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice in Tuesday’s morning skate, suggesting he will be in net as expected Tuesday night against the Bruins. The game will be Thomas’ second against the Bruins, but the first in Boston.
Thomas allowed three goals in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Panthers on Oct. 17, but he was missed the teams’ Nov. 7 meeting due to injury. On the season, Thomas is 14-14-3 this season with a .915 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average.
Given that Chad Johnson was in net Monday for the B’s, it is likely that Tuukka Rask will face Thomas Tuesday in the former Bruins goaltending tandem’s second meeting as opponents. Rask is third in the NHL with a .930 save percentage, leads the league with five shutouts and is seventh with a 2.08 GAA.
The Bruins did pay tribute to Thomas in that Nov. 7 game, showing a video and then showing Thomas, who was in the press box, on the scoreboard.
Thomas played seven seasons in the NHL for the B’s, winning the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 2009 and 2011 and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top postseason performer in the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup championship run. He was traded to the Islanders last season, which he sat out after a rocky final season in Boston in which his refusal to attend the White House with the team drew criticism.
The B’s did not have a morning skate Tuesday, as they played Monday night in a 6-3 victory over the Islanders. Boston has now 5-1-1 over its last seven games. Chris Kelly is expected to return to the lineup for the Bruins after being out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|01.27.14 at 9:42 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron‘s line remained red hot as it helped the Bruins past the Islanders, 6-3, Monday night. The win was Boston’s first of the season against the Islanders and concluded the teams’ three-game season series.
Loui Eriksson opened the game’s scoring with his first goal in 12 games, a stretch that dated back to Nov. 25. He picked up his sixth of the season by taking a pass from Daniel Paille at the goal line and beating Kevin Poulin top shelf from the tough angle.
As they did throughout the night, the Islanders tied it, with their first goal coming from Frans Nielsen off the rebound of a Kyle Okposo. Brad Marchand scored at 4:50 of the second period to make it 2-1, with Michael Grabner tying it up about three and a half minutes later. Reilly Smith capitalized on a deflection on a pass from Shawn Thornton during a delayed penalty to make it 3-2, but Kyle Okposo tied on a 2-on-0 following the expiration of a cross-checking penalty he had taken.
Carl Soderberg flew past Thomas Hickey and beat Poulin with 33 seconds remaining in the second to give the Bruins a lead that they would finally hold, as Bergeron gave Boston its first two-goal lead of the night at 2:17 of the third after he had gotten out of the box. Zdeno Chara made it 6-3 with a snap shot from the point good for his 12th goal of the season and 500th point of his career. The goal chased Poulin, as the Islanders replaced him in net with Evgeni Nabokov.
Chad Johnson picked up the win in net for the B’s to improve to 9-3-0 on the season. He made 34 saves on the night.
Chris Kelly did not return to the lineup, though Claude Julien told reporters Monday morning it was likely that he’d play Tuesday. Ryan Spooner was a healthy scratch, as the B’s kept the line of Soderberg between Paille and Eriksson together.
The B’s will return to Boston to face the Panthers Tuesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Marchand has been good for two points a night over his last six games, as he now has seven goals and five assists for 12 points in that span.
– The fact that he cannot play the right wing because he’s legally blind in his left eye makes Soderberg’s second-period goal even more impressive. Soderberg took a pass from Milan Lucic on the right wing in the neutral zone, flew into the offensive zone and sped around Thomas Hickey before going forehand and beating Poulin to make it 4-3.
– The Bruins have now scored six goals in back-to-back games, as they picked up a 6-1 win over the Flyers Saturday. The only other time they did it this season was on Dec. 23 against the Predators.
– Thornton’s assist on Smith’s goal was his first helper of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Dougie Hamilton had a rough stretch in the second period, as he knocked down a puck at the tail end of a Bruins power play but had it knocked away by Grabner to set up a 2-on-0 as Okposo got out of the box. That led to Okposo’s goal, and shortly after Hamilton let Vanek get behind him, causing Hamilton to hook Vanek on the breakaway.
– Having four leads at least meant you led, but it also means you couldn’t hold a lead. That was the case for much of the night Monday for the B’s.
– The Bruins took penalties at the end of both the first and second periods. After Cal Clutterbuck got away with kicking Zdeno Chara, Chara took a jab at his face to take a roughing penalty at the end of the first. Patrice Bergeron was whistled for holding at the end of the second.
|01.25.14 at 3:40 pm ET|
Jarome Iginla had a four-point day as the Bruins crushed the Flyers, 6-1, in Philadelphia Saturday.
Both Iginla and Zdeno Chara had two goals apiece in the win, with the Bruins picking up three power play goals for the third time this season.
Chara opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 6:30 of the first, with Iginla firing a shot from the right circle past a screened Steve Mason with 18 seconds remaining in the period to make it 2-0.
The B’s got two more in the second period, as Reilly Smith scored his first goal in eight games after splitting Nicklas Grossman and Mark Streit and Patrice Bergeron beat Mason on a low-angle shot following a rebound from a Brad Marchand shot. That was enough to end Mason’s day, as he was replaced by Ray Emery.
Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid was broken up at 7:55 of the third period on a Claude Giroux power-play goal, but second helpings on the power play from Iginla and Chara kept the route on for the B’s.
Dougie Hamilton made his return to the lineup after missing the last four games with a concussion. He had three shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in 18:55 of ice time.
The Bruins will next play Monday as they head to New York to face the Islanders.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Bergeron’s line remains red hot, as it has now scored 10 goals over the last five games. Brad Marchand has six, Bergeron has three and Smith has one. Saturday’s second-period goal also snapped a seven-game goal-less stretch. Smith’s longest drought without a goal this season is eight games.
– Reilly Smith is superb at getting wherever he needs to go, but there’s no way somebody should have been able to split the D the way he did in the second period when the Grossman and Streit let him muscle through. Smith squeezed by Philadelphia’s second pairing to backhand the puck off the post, causing it to then go off Mason and in.
In general, the Flyers were super weak defensively Saturday, turning pucks over and making Boston’s day much easier than it needed to be.
– The Bruins’ first line spent what seemed like days in the offensive zone. The line has been rather light on the production of late, but Saturday’s performance, which did only yield one goal in 5-on-5 play, was very encouraging.
– With his first of the day, Chara became the Bruins’ eighth 10-goal-scorer this season. Marchand and Smith lead the way with eight goals apiece.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Ryan Spooner missed the game with an illness. As a result, Carl Soderberg moved to center for the first time this season and centered a third line with Daniel Paille and Loui Eriksson. Chris Kelly remains out of the lineup but is nearing a return. Adam McQuaid remains out with a leg injury.
– Gregory Campbell is no stranger to losing fights, and he can add Saturday’s bout with Luke Schenn to the list. Speaking of fights, Johnny Boychuk picked up his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves with Scott Hartnell.
|01.24.14 at 1:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game against the Flyers, with Hamilton saying he is ready to return to the lineup.
Hamilton, who has missed the last four games with a concussion, practiced with his teammates for the second consecutive day Friday and said he was “finally” cleared for contact.
“I think I’ve been skating now for, I think this is my sixth day, so every day I’ve felt better and I’m ready to play now,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he suffered the concussion, which was the first of his career, in the third period of the team’s loss to the Kings on Jan. 9 and played the next game against the Sharks.
The concussion is Hamilton’s second injury this season, as he missed 10 games from Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 with a knee injury. Hamilton is in his second season and said that the last couple of months have been frustrating given that they’ve halted the progress of a strong second season.
“I think I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot better defensively, and just feel a lot better on the ice,” Hamilton said. “It’s just been an unfortunate month or two months or whatever. Hopefully I can just get back into the lineup again and have fun and help the team out.”
Kelly also practiced with the team for the second straight day. He has not played since suffering a broken fibula on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. Claude Julien said that there is a chance one or both could return to the lineup Saturday, and noted that Hamilton is closer to returning than Kelly because he has missed less time and is in better game shape.
Adam McQuaid did not practice Friday and will not travel to Philadelphia as he remains out with a leg injury.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|01.24.14 at 10:55 am ET|
Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons, during a appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Friday, responded to an attack from NESN Bruins play-by-play voice Jack Edwards and defended his criticism of hockey.
The controversy started when Gammons sent out a tweet after watching highlights of the incident in Vancouver on Saturday in which the Canucks and Flames engaged in a line brawl immediately following the opening faceoff, and Canucks coach John Tortorella tried to get at the Flames locker room after the first period, leading to a 15-day suspension.
During a Wednesday appearance on Salk & Holley, Edwards went off on Gammons.
Said Edwards: “Peter Gammons commenting about hockey is like me commenting about women’s fashion. It’s just absolutely not his spectrum. He has no validity. He has no credibility. If the guy were at the rink all the time, maybe we’d consider his opinion.”
Gammons, who said he has no issues with Edwards and that they’ve “always been friends,” said he had not previously heard Edwards’ comments, although he had heard from other hockey supporters.
“You can’t believe some of the tweets I got back from people in Canada,” Gammons said, although he stood by his criticism. “I think television ratings and so forth do say something about the standings of sports. But they’re very offended by it. As you guys know, I actually love hockey. But I don’t think that reenacting ‘Slap Shot’ is that great an idea. I didn’t think [legendary minor league enforcer] Billy Goldthorpe was a great hockey player. But there are those who do.”
Edwards went on to say that Gammons should not criticize the sport without showing up in a locker room to address the participants.
“My friend Larry Brooks of the New York Post has many times experienced asking a question like, ‘Why did you pull the goalie’ or something, and being sworn at [by Tortorella when he coached the Rangers],” Gammons said. “I don’t really know why standing at the rink is a qualification as a viewer. But that’s neither here nor there.”
Added Gammons: “I appreciate his being very defensive of his sport. It’s a sport that he broadcasts and he obviously has always loved. Hockey and soccer have been two sports he’s been devoted to. ‘¦ Each one of those sports is always fighting uphill against the NFL, college football, Major League Baseball, college basketball, golf, auto racing — the big, major sports in this country. And I understand that.”
Gammons insists he is a fan of hockey, but not the way it was played Saturday in Vancouver.
“It may be the greatest sport in the world. I certainly enjoy it. I love it,” Gammons said. “But to me, watching a Bobby Orr or a [Wayne] Gretzky or someone who was great is one thing. And watching that Billy Goldthorpe mentality is another. Hey, I’m one who actually still has ‘Slap Shot’ on his iPod. I think it was very funny. It’s just that that’s theater, like the WWE.”
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