Archive for December, 2010

Jody Shelley suspended… again

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It seems like just yesterday that people in the Bruins locker room were giving Jody Shelley the benefit of the doubt as an honest player who made a dirty play following his cheap hit on Adam McQuaid on Dec. 11. Shelley of course received a one-game suspension, but that hasn’t been the extent of his league-ordered missed time.

On Tuesday night, Shelley reached over a Canucks player to sucker-punch former Bruin Andrew Alberts in a scrum, sending the defenseman down. This time, Shelley’s antics have cost him two games, as the Flyers learned Wednesday of his multi-game suspension.

.

The Flyers will take on the Kings Thursday and the Ducks on Friday. Philadelphia is currently second in the Atlantic division with 49 points.

Mike Milbury on D&H: Nathan Horton ‘needs a size 12 up the derriere’

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday with guest hosts Mike Mutnansky and Chris Villani. To hear the interview, including Milbury’s thoughts on the upcoming NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Milbury said enforcer Shawn Thornton deserves credit for sparking the Bruins with his fight just seconds into the game against the Thrashers last Thursday. The B’s won that game and now have won three straight. Said Milbury: “I thought Thornton was tremendous in the game where the team needed emotion, and he clearly once again established himself as a guy that won’t relent and won’t fall off the map, even though others around him might be suffering and feeling sorry for themselves. This guy just does it. It was a huge pick-me-up.”

The Bruins won Tuesday night after a controversial call went their way late in the game, with the Lightning getting penalized for Steve Stamkos‘ shoulder-to-shoulder hit that sent Gregory Campbell sprawling into the boards and the B’s scoring the game-winner on the ensuing power play. In a story in Wednesday’s Tampa Tribune, writer Erik Erlendsson brought up the fact that Campbell’s father, Colin, is the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations. Milbury agreed that the call was incorrect, but he was not pleased with the insinuation that Campbell’s father’s role had any effect on the referee’s decision.

Said Milbury: “No. 1, that’s really dirty pool cheap shot involving Greg Campbell. No need to go there. ‘€¦ This call had nothing to do with who was involved in the play. A lot of times you say a guy like Stamkos gets the benefit of the doubt. The star player usually gets a little bit more room by and large in the league. So, knock that off the table as consideration and call it really low-down journalism in my impression.”

As for the penalty call, Milbury said it’s another example of a negative trend in the game. “Where are we going with this?” he said. “I’ve called it a number of things; I’ll leave it at wussification. To me, that was a great hit, good body position, [Campbell] lost his balance. The whole climate throughout the league has been, sorry, soccer mom mentality. Little Johnny might get hurt if he gets hit hard enough, and we’re all worried about hits to the head and overly sensitive to stuff that occurs.

“It’s a dangerous sport and guys will get hurt and they can get hurt, but if we’re going to eliminate hits like the Stamkos hit on Campbell ‘€” [Devils analyst] Ken Daneyko was saying last night, ‘This is a courageous game.’ We’re taking the courage out of the game when you take away a hit like that. You’ve got to put guys in a little fear and a little jeopardy. And when those people have to face that, they have to get through it somehow or other. If we eliminate those circumstances, I think we’re doing the game a disservice. Last night I thought was a terrible call.”

(more…)

Mark Recchi scores game-winning goal in final 20 seconds to lead Bruins past Lightning

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Mark Recchi sent a wrist shot past Dan Ellis with 19.7 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Bruins a 4-3 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday night in Tampa.

Recchi’s goal was the B’s second power play tally of the night, as the Bruins were on the man advantage late in the contest thanks to a Steven Stamkos boarding call for a hit on Gregory Campbell.

Michael Ryder, Steven Kampfer, and Brad Marchand scored in the first, second, and third periods, respectively to give the Bruins leads in each period. Kampfer’s second-period tally was his first career NHL goal, while Marc Savard got his 700th point in assisting it.

The Lightning were able to tie the game following each of the B’s first three goals, getting tallies from Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

Tim Thomas made 31 saves on the night and improved to 18-4-3 on the season. The Bruins will travel to Atlanta to face the Thrashers on Thursday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Kampfer’s goal was the latest reminder that he has been just what the Bruins needed when they traded Matt Hunwick. Monday night’s blunder that led to David Booth‘s was the only time the 22-year-old’s style of play has cost the B’s, and he remains their best (and only) puck-moving D-man.

– The Bruins got Brad Marchand back. After missing three games with soreness caused by the crushing hit he took from P.K. Subban. Daniel Paille filled in admirably, but Marchand’s return to the lineup saw him grab his fifth goal, giving him as many as Tyler Seguin.

– The Bruins were able to draw penalties early on the penalty kill twice. With Milan Lucic in the box for hooking in the first, the Lightning power play lasted just five seconds before Stamkos went off for tripping Zdeno Chara.

In the second period, Blake Wheeler went off for high-sticking Dominic Moore, but Teddy Purcell was in the box 16 seconds later for holding. On the night, the B’s were 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Lightning went 1-for-5.

From the WEEI.com Stat Truck: In firing the shot that’s rebound led to Marchand’s goal, Shawn Thornton picked up his second assist of the season. That ties him with Thomas, who also has a pair of helpers.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

Milan Lucic has now gone five games without a point. Prior to this stretch, which began Dec. 18 against the Capitals, Lucic had only gone two games without a point once. Lucic is a minus-2 throughout the streak. His linemate isn’t faring much better, as Nathan Horton had a season-low 11:36 of ice time, including a 3:09 first period.

– While a couple of rookies shined in Kampfer and Marchand, Seguin has been very quiet. He failed to get a shot on goal, and has now gone 10 games without a goal. He has just two points in those games.

– The B’s blew three leads in the game. The game featured plenty of back-and-forth, but the Bruins had the opportunity to close it out following Marchand’s goal in the third and failed to do so until the Stamkos penalty.

Steven Kampfer, Vincent Lecavalier score in the second

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

For the second straight period, the Bruins jumped out to a lead only to see Tampa Bay tie it, and the two teams are knotted at two as they head for the final 20 minutes of regulation.

After costing the Bruins a night before with a turnover in his own end that led to a Panthers goal, Steven Kampfer scored his first career NHL goal after the final seconds of a too-many-men penalty on the Lightning ticked away. In sending a puck to Kampfer from the corner to set up the tally, Marc Savard picked up his 700th career point.

Tampa was able to tie it when Vincent Lecavalier picked up his fourth goal in the last three games at 14:02. With Tim Thomas cutting down the angle perhaps a bit too much, Lecavalier went wide and around the net to jam home a wrap-around.

Through two periods, the Bruins are 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Lighting are 1-for-4. The Lightning are outshooting the B’s, 21-14.

Michael Ryder, Steven Stamkos have Bruins and Lightning tied after one

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

The Bruins and Lightning traded power play goals in the first period, and the teams are tied at one goal apiece after 20 minutes of play.

Brad Marchand (who made his return to the lineup after battling soreness from the P.K. Subban hit earlier this month) and Sean Bergenheim got tangled up in the early going, and Bergenheim got minors for roughing and cross-checking, while Marchand only got went off for cross-checking. With the B’s on the early man advantage, Michael Ryder scored his 11th goal of the season 28 seconds into the game.

Steven Stamkos countered with his 29th goal of the year at 7:10. With Adam McQuaid in the box for high-stickingm Tim Thomas was able to knock down a Ryan Malone bid, but in doing so swatted it to Stamkos, who put it in to make it a tie game.

There were six minor penalties assessed (three apiece) between the two teams in the first period. Five seconds into a Lightning power play with Milan Lucic in the box, Steven Stamkos went off for tripping Zdeno Chara, making for 1:55 of four-on-four play.

Bruins look to pick up third straight win as they face Steven Stamkos’ Lightning

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

The Bruins, fresh off of jumping into first place in the Northeast division with their 3-2 shootout win over the Panthers on Monday, will take on the Lightning, who lead the Southeast division, on Tuesday night. It’s the second of five straight road games for the Bruins, and the second of three games in four days.

The last time the Bruins faced the Lightning, they won in blowout fashion, crushing Tampa Bay, 8-1, at TD Garden on Dec. 2. The two teams have split the season series thus far, as the Lightning grabbed a 3-1 win at St. Pete Times Forum on Nov. 22.

The Lightning have won six of their last seven games, while the Bruins are winners of their last two.

Tuukka Rask and Brad Marchand were the only Bruins to take the ice on Tuesday morning, suggesting it will be Tim Thomas in net.

WHERE IT’S AT

– The Lightning are 10-2-2 in Tampa and are a perfect 4-0-0 in home games this month.

– The Bruins are 10-5-1 on the road this season. Their shootout win on Monday was just their second road victory of the month, the first of which came on Dec. 1 in Philadelphia.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

Steven Stamkos is back on track following his statistical hiccup that lasted from late November into the beginning of the month. He has scored seven goals in his last eight games and has 28 on the season.

Milan Lucic‘s scoreless streak has now reached four games and he has one point in the last six contests. Lucic had two points when the B’s faced the Lightning on Dec. 2.

David Krejci and Michael Ryder starred in that 8-1 Bruins victory over the Lightning earlier this month with three points apiece. Both Krejci and Ryder had a pair of points in Monday’s win over the Panthers, and with their line with Blake Wheeler clicking, they’re certainly a couple of players worth keeping an eye on.

– After having three goals entering last Thursday’s game vs. the Rangers, Vincent Lecavalier has doubled that in his last two games. He has a pair of goals in Sunday night’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Thrashers.

– After Monday, it’s now been five straight games without a start for Rask. If Thomas starts against the the Thrashers on Thursday, Rask will have gone more than two weeks without seeing any playing time. Thomas has been stellar in his last two starts, so the Bruins face some serious difficulty in trying to get Rask game experience to keep him sharp.

STORLYLINES GOING IN

– The Lucic – Savard – Horton line has not produced a goal in either of the two game s since it came into being in last week’s line shuffle. In fact, of the four non-special-teams goals the team has scored in the last two contests, half have come from Krejci, with Shawn Thornton scoring the other two.

– Will this one go to overtime, too? Judging by the opponent, it wouldn’t be surprising. The Lightning’s last three games have been decided either in overtime or a shootout. They’re 2-0-1 in that stretch.

Blake Wheeler scores in shootout to lead Bruins past Panthers

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Blake Wheeler beat Scott Clemmensen for the only goal of the shootout, and Tim Thomas improved to 17-4-3 as the Bruins defeated the Panthers, 3-2, on Monday night in Florida.

David Krejci provided the Bruins with two goals, beating Clemmensen on a rebound in the second period and finishing with on the back-hand in the third. Michael Ryder received assists on both goals, while Wheeler and Zdeno Chara each had a helper.

David Booth and Mike Santorelli each had goals for the Panthers in the second period. Santorelli’s was reviewed to determine if his stick was above crossbar height when he redirected a Michael Frolik shot from the point.

With the victory, the Bruins jumped into third in the Eastern Conference, as they now have 42 points, tied with the Canadiens for most in the Northeast division. The B’s are now first in the division, as they have played 34 games to the Habs’ 36. The Bruins will face the Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday night.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– A couple of unflattering streaks were broken on Krejci’s first goal. It was the 24-year-old center’s first goal in five games and his first point in three games, while the assist for Chara was his first point in seven contests.

It was the Krejci’s fourth career two-goal game. He now has seven goals on the season.

– The members of the Wheeler – Krejci – Ryder line seems to be enjoying their reunion. The line was the Bruins’ most consistent of the night and had solid opportunities in each period.

Krejci led the Bruins with six shots on goal, while Ryder was second with five.

– It’s hard to believe that with all he’s done this season, Thomas had one of his best showings in a game in which he allowed two goals, but he truly kept the Bruins in the game. Thomas came up big on breakaways for Chris Higgins and Marty Reasoner and was sound on odd-man rushes.

Perhaps the save of the game came with just over two minutes left, with Thomas diving across the net to stop Dennis Wideman off a pass from Booth.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Rookie Steven Kampfer had a blunder that cost the the Bruins for the first time. The 22-year-old Michigan product turned it over in his own end, leading to David Booth — who is dangerous enough when he isn’t handed opportunities — bearing Thomas with a snap shot.

– The Lucic – Savard – Horton line didn’t fare quite as well as Krejci’s, as Horton and Savard were the only Bruins on the ice for both Panthers goals.

– The Bruins had a couple of avoidable penalties called against them. Chara went off for a dive in the first, while Thomas was called for delay of game when he played the puck outside of the trapezoid late in the second period.