Archive for February, 2013

Barry Pederson on D&C: ‘As Bruins fans, you’ve got to be ecstatic’ about proposed realignment

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Barry Pederson of NESN joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the Bruins’ strengths so far, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin‘s styles of play, and the newly proposed NHL realignment plan.

“I think it makes total sense,” Pederson said of the realignment plan, which would reconfigure the league into four divisions. “As Bruins fans, you’ve got to be ecstatic. You’ve got Detroit coming into this, what’s going to be called the Central Division, you’ve got four Original Six teams, some rivals, Buffalo still in there, and [Andy Brickley] will be happy because you still have Tampa Bay and Florida and he can go down and play some golf now and then. As Bruins fans, it’s a pretty good setup.”

Pederson said he thinks Marchand’s attitude, even more so than his speed or his hands, is his greatest strength, although his speed combined with Seguin’s creates space for their line to work.

“I don’t think he gets enough respect around the league for his offense because of the way he plays,” Pederson said of Marchand. “Marchand is sneaky offensively. Last night, he gets that puck on his backhand, he knows that [Evgeni] Nabokov‘s going to come diving out at him — he just waits and waits and then is able to get the goal. He’s got a great release. His speed really backs the defense off, and he and Seguin, when they’re going, they’re hard to play against.”

Despite speculation that Tim Thomas will never end up playing for the Islanders after being traded there, Pederson said he thinks Thomas is too competitive to walk away from hockey completely if he’s still capable of playing.

“I have no insight, for sure, to what’s going through his mind, but ‘€¦ to me there was a guy that never quit on anything,” Pederson said. “He went after shots that most guys would just say, ‘Oh, it’s an empty net, I’m not going to dive over there.’ So I just have a really hard time thinking he’s going to walk away from the game the way it’s going. I just have to think he’s coming back at some point.”

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Bruins beat Islanders for fourth straight win

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

The Bruins ended their road trip with a season-high fourth straight win, beating the Islanders, 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Boston got goals from Adam McQuaid, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Gregory Campbell, with Casey Cizikas scoring the Islanders’ only goal.

The teams entered the second period tied at one before the B’s turned in a two-goal second period with goals from Marchand and Krejci. Campbell added an empty-netter in the third.

Tuukka Rask made a season-high 36 saves on 37 shots, improving to 10-1-2 on the season.

The Bruins will return to Boston and host the Senators Thursday night at TD Garden.

Darren Pang on D&C: Bruins ‘set for another challenge at the championship’

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

NBC hockey analyst Darren Pang checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the Bruins’ fast start and the Blackhawks’ even-better performance.

The Blackhawks have earned at least a point in each of their first 19 games with their NHL-record 16-0-3 start.

“That is incredible. I’m just amazed at the run that they’re on right now,” said Pang, a former goalie who played three seasons for the Blackhawks in the 1980s. “I’m in St. Louis right now and going to Toronto tomorrow for a Leafs game, but I should be back on Thursday and the streak will be on the line when the Blackhawks and the Blues play at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday. That will be a heck of a game. It always is. They don’t like each other. It is actually one of the true rivalries in the game. Once they get one playoff game behind them, if they end up facing each other in the playoffs this year I think people will really see how much St. Louis and Chicago don’t like each other. But I know that the Blues will want to end that great run that the Blackhawks are on on Thursday.”

While the Blackhawks clearly are the favorites in the Western Conference, there are a few teams that could make the claim in the East. Pang said the Bruins have the best chance.

“I think we have to be fair to how both Pittsburgh and Montreal have played, but I think there’s more strength in Boston than either of those teams,” Pang said. “It’s almost like last year in the West. There were teams that had more points than the LA Kings, but trust me, no one in the West wanted to play the LA Kings even though they were the eighth team. And it’s because of the way they’re built. They’re built with big, strong redwood trees on the wing, they’ve got good centermen up the middle of the ice, good depth, good defensemen that move the puck, and a horse on the blue line, and great goaltending. So, the same thing could be said about the Boston Bruins. If I were a team in the East, the one team I wouldn’t want to play to begin it all would be the Boston Bruins because I think they’re set for another challenge at the championship.”

One big reason for Boston’s early season success has been the play of goalie Tuukka Rask.

“I’m a big Tuukka Rask believer,” Pang said. “I think he’s waited his time. He’s ready to be a main guy. I like the way he handles things, he’s competitive, technically really sound. I’m impressed but I’m not surprised. A couple of years ago, before the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, when Tuukka had the ball and ran with it, he was pretty darn good and that was three years ago. So I knew he’d be ready for this challenge that’s ahead of him right now.”

Zdeno Chara showed surprising dexterity for a 6-foot-9 defenseman Sunday, pulling off a spin move and scoring against the Panthers in the B’s 4-1 victory.

“That was elegant,” Pang said. “Like Jean Beliveau was such a gentleman on the ice — competitive, it doesn’t mean you’re not competitive, but just the grace and the elegance that the big fella did that at was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t just the spin-o-rama, it was the saucy backhander. Not many guys can pull that heel-to-toe backhander off and go top cheese under the bar and in. That was what was spectacular, and at his size, no less.”

Bruins pound Panthers, continue road dominance

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Long before he received a 10-minute misconduct for protesting some uneven officiating on cross-checks, Milan Lucic put the Bruins on the board at the 7:57 mark in the first period, and the Bruins remained on the offensive en route to a 4-1 victory in Florida over the Panthers. Boston improved to an outstanding 7-1-1 mark on the road.

Later in the first, Zdeno Chara produced a spectacular goal on a spin move and then backhander to put the B’s up 2-0, and after Tomas Kopecky scored late in the first to bring Florida back to within a goal, Chris Kelly capitalized on the Bruins’ only power play opportunity of the game, potting a power-play goal at 2:30 of the second period and, in the process, breaking a 14-game streak without a goal. Daniel Paille scored an empty-netter in the game’s final two minutes for the B’s final margin of victory.

Tuukka Rask turned aside 34 of 35 Florida shot attempts in the victory.

For a box score and recap, click here.

Nathan Horton scores twice as Bruins beat Lightning

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The Bruins beat the Lightning, 4-2, Thursday night in Tampa thanks to a two-goal performance from Nathan Horton.

The B’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to first-period goals from Horton and Patrice Bergeron. Steven Stamkos got the Lightning on the board at 8:13 of the first, with rookie Cory Conacher tying it up in the second with his sixth goal of the season. The B’s retook the lead at 13:58 of the second on Brad Marchand’s team-leading ninth goal of the season. Horton made it 4-2 2:33 into the the third.

Marchand and Bergeron also had multi-point nights thanks to assists on one another’s goals, with Dougie Hamilton turning in a pair of assists as well. Marchand’s assist was just his second of the season, though he now has nine goals in 13 games played.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Bruins enjoy ‘special’ visit to Newtown, Conn.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Seven Bruins players and coach Claude Julien were among the team’s representatives during a Monday visit to Newtown, Conn., where they spent some time with locals who still are mourning the loss of 20 children and six school staff killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.

“That was pretty special,” Bruins Foundation director Bob Sweeney said during a Tuesday morning conversation with Dennis & Callahan.

Added Sweeney: “It was a full day, and something that I know every one of us enjoyed. And more importantly, the thing that really amazed me is how many people thanked us for being there, which was pretty amazing.”

About 600 locals showed up to a fieldhouse in town to meet Bruins Chris Bourque, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton, Daniel Paille, Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverly and Tyler Seguin. Earlier in the day, Sweeney and fellow former Bruin Tom Songin brought the Stanley Cup and skated with the town’s high school hockey team.

“The community is not just sitting around grieving,” Sweeney said. “I’m sure there are some individual families [for] which it’s something that you might never get over, losing a young child at such a young age. It’s just unthinkable. It’s something that none of us ever want to go through. But I think everybody there, from the volunteers, they couldn’t have been more appreciative of us coming down and realizing the situation, what had taken place a few months ago.”

Bruins chat at Tuesday at noon

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Join DJ Bean to discuss all things Bruins Tuesday at noon.

WEEI.com Bruins Live Chat