Archive for February, 2012

Peter Chiarelli: Greg Zanon a ‘warrior,’ Steven Kampfer lost swagger

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Here are a few quick highlights of Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli‘s press conference to announce the team’s two trades on Monday:

On Greg Zanon:

“Zanon is a terrific shot-blocker, he’s a real gritty competitor. He’s a warrior-type defenseman, so now we have eight defensemen in the mix now.”

On Steve Kampfer:

“Steve, in his defense, he had kind of a tough ride this year. I think it happens — I don’t know if it’s a sophomore jinx — but it happens sometimes to players. When he came him, he had some swagger, and he gave us that little bit of puck-moving and skating that we were looking for at the time. For whatever reason, it wasn’t there this year. In defense of Steve, I mean, he may not have had the opportunity because we didn’t have the injuries that [would have given him] the opportunity to play.

“I believe he’s an NHL, and I believe he’ll be in the NHL and we got an NHL player in return.”

On how he likes the team’s shot-blocking:

“I’m not dissatisfied with the shot-blocking. I think it’s something that’s very important for the system that we play. Right now, I think the Rangers are best shot-blocking team. … You just see that they’re committed to block shots. We’ve always been committed to block shots. We play that zone defense, and when guys have to block shots, they have to get in the lanes. I’m not dissatisfied, but I also know that blocking shots, you get broken feet, so it’s back to the depth.”

On if the Bruins were close on any other trades:

“There was one deal that we had been working on for a good two weeks that didn’t come to fruition and he wasn’t dealt. You tend to focus in on a couple of the deals you felt you had the most traction on, the most attractive target. There was one deal like that and it didn’t happen.”

On whether Zanon will be in the Bruins’ lineup:

“We’re going to have eight defensemen with Johnny [Boychuk] healthy so there’s going to be two that are out, but we’ll figure that out over time. I don’t know who will be in to start, maybe the two guys we added won’t be in to start when Johnny’s healthy – I’m not sure yet. We’ve had discussions with our coach leading up to this, that if we were to acquire should he play, we talked about these players prior to making the deal so it’s a work in progress.”

Johnny Boychuk has concussion, Bruins not sure when Nathan Horton will return

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Monday at TD Garden that defenseman Johnny Boychuk has a mild concussion after taking a hard hit from Senators forward Chris Neil Saturday.

The Bruins added two defenseman at Monday’s trade deadline in Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau, and when Boychuk is healthy, the B’s will have eight blueliners.

As for Nathan Horton, who is still out with a concussion, Chiarelli said that he expects the forward back before the end of the regular season, but that he isn’t certain.

“I expect him back, but with these things, I don’t know,” he said.

Chiarelli said that he would have liked to add two forwards at the deadline, but that the deals weren’t there to be made.

Breaking down Bruins’ additions of Greg Zanon, Mike Mottau, Brian Rolston

Monday, February 27th, 2012

After what was looking like a very quiet trade deadline, the Bruins did indeed pull of a pair of trades, landing the likes of Greg Zanon, Mike Mottau and Brian Rolston. According to capgeek.com, the Bruins added $7.8 million against the salary cap with the three trades.

Greg Zanon was the Bruins' biggest addition at the deadline. (AP)

B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli is set to address the media at 5:00 p.m. here at TD Garden. Until then, here are some quick reactions to the two deals.

Zanon deal: Bruins trade defenseman Steve Kampfer to Wild for defenseman Greg Zanon

Reaction: At face value, the Bruins traded a defenseman who couldn’t crack the top six for a defenseman who should end up on the second pairing with Dennis Seidenberg.

Zanon, 31, is in the last year of his contract and carries a $2.1 million cap hit. The 5-foot-11, 202-pound veteran averaged 18:37 of ice time in Minnesota this season, and last year he was second in the league with 212 blocked shots. That makes him a solid pickup, especially if he can fit well with Seidenberg for the rest of the season before Claude Julien presumably reunites the Seidenberg-Zdeno Chara super pairing.

Of course, if Zanon ends up playing on Seidenberg’s pairing, that would mean that Joe Corvo has lost his spot in the Bruins’ lineup (at least once Johnny Boychuk is back in the lineup). That’s the assumption at this point, as it seemed all along that one of the Bruins’ biggest needs at the deadline was an upgrade at Corvo’s spot. Corvo, a free agent at season’s end, has been prone to bad turnovers and has not produced as much offensively as he has in seasons past with other clubs.

One stat with Zanon that sticks out: He has just 27 shots on goal in 39 games this season. By comparison, Adam McQuaid has the lowest total amongst Bruins’ regulars with 39. He’s played six more games than Zanon, but he’s also average about three less minutes per game.

As far as the compensation goes, consider this scribe somewhat surprised to see Kampfer go. The 22-year-old blue liner had been up for stretches at a time over the last two seasons. He showed promise with his speed and skills in the offensive zone, but he never got enough consecutive games this season to look quite as comfortable as he did when he was first called up by the Bruins last season.

The good news for Kampfer is that he’ll get a break from life as a seventh defenseman and actually play in Minnesota.

Mottau/Rolston deal: Bruins trade AHL defenseman Marc Cantin and forward Yannick Riendeau to Islanders for defenseman Mike Mottau and forward Brian Rolston

Chiarelli brought a couple of players back to Boston, as Mottau played his college hockey at Boston College, while Rolston played five seasons for the Bruins after being acquired in the Ray Bourque deal.

Mottau was recently activated off injured reserve by the Islanders, as he was out from Dec. 29 until Sunday with a concussion. In 29 games this season, the 31-year-old has two assists and a minus-10 rating. He should be an extra guy on the Bruins’ lineup.

As for Rolston, he becomes the Bruins’ lone pickup to address their injury-bitten offense. With both Nathan Horton (concussion) and Rich Peverley (knee) out, the 39-year-old Rolston is by no means a replacement for either, though he can handle minutes on the Bruins’ third line for the time being. He also brings a good veteran presence. From his days with the Bruins (2000-2004), only Patrice Bergeron remains on the roster.

As NESN’s Douglas Flynn notes, Rolston’s $5.0625 million cap hit actually makes him the Bruins’ highest-paid forward, and second-highest player behind Chara ($6.9 million).

This trade lands the B’s a couple of veterans whose impact will be limited, but given the cost, it was a deal worth making. Neither Cantin nor Riendeau figure to make much of an impact at the NHL level.

Bruins add three players at trade deadline

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The Bruins reportedly added three players on the day of the NHL trade deadline, swinging a deal with the Islanders for former Bruin Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau, as well as acquiring defenseman Greg Zanon from Minnesota.

According to TSN, the Bruins sent AHL defenseman Marc Cantin and forward Yannick Riendeau to the Islanders in exchange for Rolston and Mottau. Defenseman Steve Kampfer was traded to the Wild for Zanon.

Zanon’s 212 blocked shots was second in the NHL last season. The 31-year-old has a minus-1 rating with two goals and four assists for six points this season. He has averaged 18:37 of ice time per game.

First acquired by the Bruins from the Avalanche in the Ray Bourque trade in 2000, Rolston, now 39, played five seasons in Boston, includinga 31-goal campaign in the 2001-02 season. He has also played for the Devils, Avalanche, Wild and Islanders. In 49 games this season, he has four goals and five assists for nine points.

The 33-year-old Mottau has a minus-10 rating with two points (both assists) in 29 games this season.

With the moves, the B’s also assigned Andrew Bodnarchuk, Carter Camper and Max Sauve to Providence.

Barry Pederson on M&M: Bruins ‘built to be good for a number of years to come’

Monday, February 27th, 2012

With the NHL trade deadline just hours away, NESN Bruins studio analyst Barry Pederson joined Mut & Merloni Monday afternoon to talk about what the Bruins need to improve and what kind of moves they should make, if any.

Very few major moves have been made by any teams, but Pederson said that he would be more surprised if the Bruins made no move than if they made a major trade.

“I think they need some depth, especially when Andrew Ference went down, that really showed me that you needed another left-handed defenseman,” Pederson said. “I would look for them to try to add that because I know that Dennis Seidenberg can play the right side, he showed that and then some in the playoffs what he could do when he’s with [Zdeno] Chara, and I think they’ll want to do that come playoff time again.

“I think you want to get some depth up front for the reasons we just talked about — you’re not sure what’s going to happen with Nathan [Horton], you’re hoping he can come back, and Rich Peverley with that knee injury, you never know what they’re going to be like.”

That being said, Pederson noted that the Bruins would be wise to not jeopardize the promising future that they have with their current roster.

“They’re still in great, great shape,” Pederson said. “They’ve got a great core, they’re well-positioned salary cap-wise, they’re young, they’re talented, they’re physical, they’re packing the building over here.

“The Bruins fans are excited not only because of last year’s win, but if you look ahead and you go, ‘You know what? Barring any major injuries, this organization is built to be good for a number of years to come.’ ”

Part of the reason the Bruins should be weary of a major trade, to Pederson, is that trades often come with a wide array of variables and can often backfire.

“The difficult part with that, and it’s the same thing I’m sure the Rangers are kind of talking about and Pittsburgh with [Sidney] Crosby, is you have concussions and you also have great chemistry, and that’s something that you can’t take for granted,” Pederson said. “One of the major reasons for the Bruins to be so successful in that Cup run last year was they had each other’s back.

“It was an all-for-one, one-for-all type of mentality. The Rangers, I think, have that right now, I think Pittsburgh’s getting that. That, to me, is so important.”

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Kyle Turris not suspended for hit on Joe Corvo

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris will not be suspended for his hit on Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo. Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes was the first to report the news.

The Senators forward delivered a hit to the head of Corvo at the 5:00 mark in the third period in Saturday night’s game in Ottawa. Turris received a two-minute boarding minor for the hit. The league’s Department of Player Safety held a disciplinary hearing for Turris but resulted in no suspension.

Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan said in a statement, “Because there was enough head contact on this hit, the Department of Player Safety felt it was necessary to convene a hearing to examine the play further. After reviewing the video extensively as we heard Turris’ explanation of how the play developed, we concluded that the head was not targeted intentionally or even recklessly and that the circumstances surrounding the hit contributed significantly to the amount of head contact that resulted. We therefore have decided that there will be no supplemental discipline added to the penalty assessed on the play.”

The Bruins host the Senators on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Here’s a look at the hit:

Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘Step in the right direction’ for Bruins

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Andrew Ference

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to discuss the mindset of the team with the NHL trade deadline looming on Monday.

The Bruins beat the Blues Wednesday night after going 3-6-0 in their nine previous contests. The win allowed them to remain two points ahead of the Senators for the Northeast Division lead.

“We had a couple of frustrating losses before that where we didn’t play bad, but we definitely took a step in the right direction,” Ference said. “We needed it. It was good. … I think it’s one of those games you can always reach back to, you can always look to. We have a team, especially over the last couple of years, it’s always done really well with challenges and always getting up for those big games, and like Andy [Brickley] said, using it as a launching point. It’s just one of those games where you set the bar at a certain level and we do well with trying to keep it there.”

The trade deadline is Monday and the Bruins are rumored to be in the market for help, but Ference said this team does not appear to him like one that is in need of an infusion in the form of a new player.

“I’ve been on teams that have felt like they definitely need an extra element or they need a little jolt just to get them going, and we definitely don’t have that feeling right now,” Ference said. “But that really doesn’t matter as far as whether or not the GM’s going to get something done because we know we have a guy that if he has the chance to make the team better, he’s going to do it.”

Added Ference: “Especially as players, something so far out of our control, that if you really waste too much energy on it, you drive yourself crazy. It is completely out of our control. I think that you really just have to have trust in the fact that they’re going to make the right move if it’s there and not make it if it’s not. That’s really their job. Personally, I really don’t spend any time thinking about it and I’m pretty sure most of the guys are the same. Obviously, you’re going to have guys that love looking at the rumors and checking out all the news from around the league. But there’s really no chatter about it amongst the guys. … It’s just really not talked about.”

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