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Mike Milbury on D&H: B’s made ‘wise decision to add to their depth and toughness’ 02.16.11 at 12:52 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk Bruins and NHL news. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Milbury indicated he likes the Bruins’ acquisition of Chris Kelly from the Senators. “I think the Bruins have made a wise decision to add to their depth and toughness,” he said. “In both cases, you can’t get enough of it, particularly when it comes time for playoff time.”

The Bruins reportedly have interest in Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle. “He’s a quiet player,” Milbury said. “He’s efficient, he’s not a physical force, doesn’t have a big shot, moves it pretty well from the point. I didn’t mean to be too critical of him the last time we spoke. If I was, I stand somewhat corrected.”

Added Milbury: “This is a player that’s going to need to step it up in terms of intensity and commitment level if he does come to Boston. That’s how I see it.”

On Friday night, the Islanders sought revenge on the Penguins for previous hits by sparking a number of brawls. The NHL responded with suspensions and a $100,000 fine for the Islanders due to their inability to control their players. However, Penguins owner Mario Lemieux said it didn’t go far enough.

“What happened on Long Island was unacceptable,” Milbury said. “Clearly, the league made that statement. We allow fighting because we like it. … We like the manliness of it. We like the immediate retribution for a perceived slight to our teammates or to ourselves. We like it when guys stand up for themselves. And we like it that they’re willing to sacrifice and are they’ll go as far as dropping the gloves to do it.

“But it’s not supposed to be a tactic. We bristle when people come up from behind, because it crosses our sense of etiquette in the hockey world. We bristle a little bit more when it seems to be not a mano-a-mano retribution thing but almost a team-wide, orchestrated thing. And we really don’t like it — and what happened on Long Island — is when somebody is in a compromised position that the fighter continues to pummel his opponent. And not only that, once it’s over, he comes back to taunt him from the runway. All silly, and a black eye for the league.

“Fortunately, it’s an aberration. It doesn’t happen very often any more. But when you allow fighting, and you allow those emotions to vent, it’s difficult to control it. From time to time, you’ll see this stuff. As I said, fortunately it’s less frequent now.

“The league acted. Was it strong enough? You can debate that. You could certainly have an argument about whether it was forceful enough to make changes in behavior. But it was a strong and it was an immediate statement. I think everybody would grant that.”

As for Lemieux’s criticism, Milbury noted that Matt Cooke still is a member of the Penguins. “Pittsburgh is not a goody-two-shoes team,” he said. “They’re a snippy little bunch. They’re not shy when it comes to a hit when you’re vulnerable.”

Read More: Chris Kelly, Mario Lemieux, Mike Milbury, Tomas Kaberle
Tuukka Rask to start for Bruins vs. Stars, Mark Stuart a healthy scratch again 02.03.11 at 11:54 am ET
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Tuukka Rask was first off the ice in Thursday’s morning skate, an indication that he will get the start in goal when the Bruins take on the Stars at TD Garden.

Rask last started on Jan. 20 against the Sabres, making 29 saves on 33 shots in a 4-2 loss. He is 4-10-1 with a 2.67 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

Coach Claude Julien said after the skate that Mark Stuart will be a healthy scratch once again for the Bruins, and that it’s “not really” a matter of him being a game-time decision at this point. He noted that with six defensemen playing well, he doesn’t want to “punish” any of them by disrupting the success they’ve had. Stuart has been a healthy scratch for the last four games.

Read More: Claude Julien, Mark Stuart, Tuukka Rask,
Daniel Paille scores first goal of season, Bruins tied with Hurricanes after two 02.01.11 at 8:38 pm ET
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The Bruins and Hurricanes followed a scoreless period with one-goal efforts in the second, and after 40 minutes, the teams are tied, 1-1.

In a game that has featured terrific goaltending throughout the night, it’s only fitting that Daniel Paille provided the night’s first goal. Paille, who hadn’t scored since last April, tipped a Zdeno Chara past Cam Ward at 4:14 of the period. Hurricanes defenseman Jamie McBain scored his fourth goal of the season when he got his stick on a slow-bouncing pass from Sergei Samzonov in front of the net.

Blake Wheeler had the period’s only penalty, a delay of game minor for flipping the puck over the glass in the B’s defensive zone at 6:07. The Hurricanes are now 0-for-3 on the power play, while the B’s have yet to have a man advantage.

Carolina had eight shots in the period to Boston’s six. Through two, the Bruins are outshooting the Hurricanes, 21-18.

Read More: Danie Paille,
Bruins, Hurricanes scoreless after one 02.01.11 at 7:47 pm ET
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The Bruins and Hurricanes are scoreless after a period, with the B’s outshooting Carolina, 15-10.

The Bruins were shorthanded twice in the period, with Daniel Paille and Michael Ryder going off for hooking and interference, respectively. Neither Hurricanes power plays yielded goals, though Paille had a breakaway opportunity for the Bruins when he hopped out of the box. Tim Thomas made some big saves, and even went without his mask for a few seconds, on the first penalty kill.

Milan Lucic and Jay Harrison dropped the gloves briefly, though the fight yielded very few punches before beanbag broken up.

with Lucic in the box, Claude Julien went with tweaked lines, and a line of Wheeler-Campbell-Thornton would have produced the game’s first goal were it not for Cam Ward robbing Blake Wheeler in front.

The period ended with a bang, as Steven Kampfer crushed fellow rookie Jeff Skinner accepted a pass coming into the Bruins’ zone.

Report: Bruins considering shutting down Marc Savard 02.01.11 at 8:06 am ET
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In a phone conversation with ESPN.com, Bruins’ general manager Peter Chiarelli said that his team is considering putting an end to Marc Savard’s season after the forward suffered his fourth career concussion.

“There is a strong possibility [of shutting him down], but you have to take it step by step,” said Chiarelli regarding Savard, who will be in Boston to be re-evaluated Wednesday. Chiarelli noted that the team still might not have a determination regarding Savard’s immediate future following the upcoming round of tests.

Savard is still at his home in Peterborough, Ont., having continued to experience symptoms from his latest concussion, suffered on Jan. 22.

“There is a possibility [of shutting Savard down], but nothing has been done and you have to see how Marc is,” Chiarelli said. “Anytime you suffer a concussion, after having a severe concussion and the symptoms that he had, it is a possibility.” If the Bruins do shut down Savard, he would be placed on long-term injured reserve, allowing some salary cap flexibility if the team was to purse a deal before the trade deadline.

Speaking at the Bruins’ practice Monday, B’s coach Claude Julien updated Savard’s situation.

“He still has some symptoms. It hasn’t totally disappeared,” explained Julien. “We’ll let the medical people deal with him when he gets back. Hopefully for his sake, not the team’s sake, but more for his sake that he gets better.

“It’s important for the individual here that he takes care of himself. The organization, medical staff, upper management and everybody has always done the right thing as far as that’s concerned, and that won’t change.”

For more Bruins coverage, see the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Tim Thomas named NHL’s First Star of the Week 01.24.11 at 12:34 pm ET
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The NHL announced Monday that Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has been named the First Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 22. Thomas went 3-0-0 over three starts last week, recording a shutout against the Hurricanes Monday and following it with a season-high 43-save effort on Monday. He made 32 saves in the team’s 3-2 win over the Avalanche on Saturday.

Thomas, who will play in this weekend’s All-Star Game, leads the NHL in goals against average (1.83), save percentage (.945), and his tied with Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist for the league lead with seven shutouts. He is second in wins with 23.

This is the fourth time this season a Bruins player has received a “Star” distinction. Thomas was the First Star of the Week for the week ending on Oct. 31 and was October’s Second Star of the Month. Patrice Bergeron was named Second Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 15.

Read More: Patrice Bergeron, Tim Thomas,
Bruins recall Matt Bartkowski on emergency basis 01.14.11 at 10:21 am ET
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The Bruins announced Friday morning that they have recalled defenseman Matt Bartkowski from Providence on an emergency basis. The news comes after Andrew Ference left Thursday night’s game with an injury after the second period.

Bartkowski was called up on an emergency basis on Sunday and made his NHL debut against the Penguins on Monday. He was returned to Providence after Adam McQuaid made his return to the lineup on Tuesday. The B’s face the Penguins at home on Saturday.

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