Archive for December, 2011

Video: Brendan Shanahan explains Milan Lucic suspension, says history influenced decision

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Courtesy of NHL.com, here’s the video of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan breaking down Milan Lucic‘s one-game suspension. Shanahan says that the fact that Lucic is a repeat offender influenced the decision.

“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Lucic’s hit from behind on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.

Milan Lucic suspended for one game

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The NHL announced Monday that Bruins forward Milan Lucic has been suspended for one game by the league for hitting Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo from behind in Saturday’s 6-0 win in Philadelphia. Lucic was initially given a five-minute major and a game-misconduct for the hit.

Lucic had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday, marking the second time he has had to speak with Shanahan this season. The 23-year-old left wing had a hearing last month for his hit on Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, but was not suspended. Even so, Lucic’s history caught up with him Monday.

“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Saturday’s hit. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.”

This marks the second suspension of Lucic’s career. He was suspended for one game during the first round of the 2009 playoffs for a cross-check to the head of then Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre.

While Lucic will not play Monday, the Bruins’ lineup still has some uncertainty for the matchup with the Habs. Gregory Campbell and Rich Peverley are both questionable.

Bruins happy to see that Tomas Kaberle has weathered the storm

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Perhaps nobody will ever know what the Hurricanes were thinking when they gave Tomas Kaberle a three-year, $12.75 million contract this season, but he isn’t their problem anymore.

The Hurricanes dumped the underperforming Kaberle’s contract this month when they shipped the veteran blueliner to Montreal in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek. Thus far, Kaberle, who was a favorite among teammates in Boston, is proving that one team’s garbage can be another team’s gold.

In his first 27 games in Carolina, Kaberle registered only five points — all assists — and had a dreadful minus-2 rating and was even made a healthy scratch. After stringing together back-to-back games in his 28th and 29th contests for Carolina, he was sent to Montreal, and he’s been a point-a-game player since. In four games since the trade to Montreal, Kaberle has matched his total through 27 games with the Hurricanes in registering five assists. That makes him four points shy of the nine-point total he had in 24 regular-season games with the B’s last season.

“He’s come in and kind of helped settle our power play down,” Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth said Monday. “I think he’s done a great job of showing a lot of poise back there and finding the openings that are available to him. he sees the ice so well. He’s a guy that knows how to play back there, and he’s a guy that will do great work going forward. We’re pleased to have him on board. It was good timing, having him aboard, because we were kind of floundering on the power play, so we’ve kind of gotten into a better direction with him back there.”

For a guy who had a tough go of it in Carolina and even in Boston before the team won the Stanley Cup, the Bruins are happy to see him doing well.

“Kabby is a great, great guy, a great person, and he’s a really good player. He signed a really good deal,” Gregory Campbell said with a grin after Monday’s morning skate. “I don’t feel too sorry for him [for his struggles], but I think he’ll do well in Montreal. He’s used to playing in that market. Obviously he played in toronto for a long time, and he helped us a lot. I know he’s going to help them, just hopefully not tonight.”

Said Claude Julien: “Kabby was a great individual, and for whatever people may think of him, he helped us win a Stanley Cup. Maybe people didn’t see him as having as much of an impact as they all thought he would, or even ourselves, but he still brought a positive element to our hockey club and he certainly helped us control the puck from the back end onto the power play. What he’s done right now in Montreal is exactly what he’s known for — being a good power play guy, a good puck moving defenseman and I hope he succeeds because he deserves it.”

Kaberle was not available to the media Monday morning. He did participate in morning skate though, so that should dispel rumors that he was at a Hello Piggy Band concert.

P.K. Subban a game-time decision vs. Bruins

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth said after Monday’s morning skate that defenseman P.K. Subban will be a game-time decision against the Bruins Monday night.

Subban is dealing with the flu, and has yet to miss a game this season. The 22-year-old Ontario native has two goals and 12 assists for 14 points this season.

Morning skate notes: Awaiting word on Milan Lucic, lots of moving parts in lineup

Monday, December 19th, 2011

It’s hard to say just what the Bruins’ lineup will look like Monday night when they face the Canadiens at TD Garden. With Rich Peverley, Gregory Campbell and Milan Lucic all question marks, the Bruins could be seeing more of Zach Hamill, giving a night of work to Jordan Caron, or not playing either of the youngsters.

Both Campbell and Peverley skated Monday in the team’s optional morning skate. Campbell fractured his foot last Saturday against Columbus, while Peverley has an ailment that is healed by rest. Given that, Claude Julien said the team is considering taking advantage of the light schedule this week and giving him a game or two off.

Lucic had his hearing Monday with Brendan Shanahan, but will not be made available to the media until a ruling comes down.

Expect Tim Thomas to be in net Monday against Carey Price. Thomas is coming off a shutout in Saturday’s 6-0 victory over the Flyers.

More to come.

Bruins recall Steven Kampfer, Jordan Caron

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Bruins recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer and forward Jordan Caron Monday after the two were sent to Providence for the weekend.

It was the second time this month the B’s have sent the two young players to the AHL, as it has allowed the healthy scratches to get game action to remain fresh. Caron had an assist in two games this weekend for Providence.

Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara lead B’s past Flyers

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

The Bruins ended the red-hot Flyers’ seven-game win streak in convincing fashion Saturday, chasing goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and leaving Wells Fargo Center with a 6-0 victory.

Tim Thomas‘ 30th career shutout and a Gordie Howe hat trick from Zdeno Chara led the B’s, who have now won four games in a row.

Benoit Pouliot scored just 27 seconds into the game, driving to the net and cashing in off a pass from Rich Peverley. Daniel Paille then put a rebound off a Dennis Seidenberg shot past Bryzgalov at 2:50, with Chara and Milan Lucic scoring power-play goals later in the period, the latter of which came on a 5-on-3. Nathan Horton added his ninth of the season on the power play at 7:06 of the second period, giving the B’s three power play goals on the day. Tyler Seguin scored in the third period to make it 6-0.

Thomas stopped 31 shots, giving the Bruins their second shutout victory in their last three games. Tuukka Rask blanked the Kings on Tuesday.

The win, which was Claude Julien’s 200th in Boston, gave the B’s 43 points on the season through 31 games, making them first in the Eastern conference.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

-Paille had six goals last season, and he matched that total Saturday with his first-period tally. Paille saw stretches as a healthy scratch last season, but the only thing that’s kept him out of the lineup this season has been injury. When he’s been in the lineup, the fourth-liner has put together an outstanding season, getting opportunity after opportunity offensively and still contributing as a key penalty killer. The former first-round pick of the Sabres now has three goals in his last two games, as he potted two in Ottawa on Wednesday.

– Zdeno Chara showed that he won’t be adjusting slowly as he returns from his leg injury. The Bruins’ captain pounded Jody Shelley 2:13 into the game, and in addition to scoring his seventh goal of the assists, had the primary assist on Horton’s goal. Chara got a low slapshot on the net through three bodies on the play, yielding a rebound that Horton flipped over the leg of Bryzgalov to end the HBO 24/7 star’s day early.

– Just so it isn’t only bad news regarding Seguin (see below) Seguin had six shots on goal.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Claude Julien was giving Shawn Thornton shifts with different lines in the first period to reward the grinder’s play, but by the end of the second period, Seguin was taking regular shifts with Paille and Zach Hamill. Seguin got another look with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in the third period, but Shawn Thornton skated in place of him on the line for a bit.

Seguin got a secondary assist on Lucic’s goal and still leads the B’s with 27 points (13 goals and 14 assists) this season, but his scoring has completely dropped off. His gaol was just his second in the last 10 games and 10th in his last 15 games.

– Textbook hit from behind from Milan Lucic on Zac Rinaldo in the Bruins’ zone late in the second period. Lucic was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the play, and he figures to hear from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan over it. While Adam McQuaid escaped punishment for kneeing earlier in the week, Lucic doesn’t have the squeaky-clean track record that McQuaid has. Lucic was not suspended for his hit on Ryan Miller this season, but he’s on Shanahan’s radar and might not get off as easy this time around.