|Dale Weise still a key part of Bruins-Canadiens rivalry||11.22.14 at 3:49 pm ET|
When the Bruins and Habs met for the first time this season last month, Dale Weise was a healthy scratch. After his performance against the B’s last week, the Canadiens probably won’t make that mistake again.
Weise is very much an important part of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry, and the pesky winger proved it again last Thursday with a Gordie Howe hat trick in a 5-1 victory over the Bruins.
As the Canadiens return to Boston for the first time since Milan Lucic reportedly threatened him in the post-Game 7 handshake line, Weise is eager to provide more reminders as to why he’s joined P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty as Canadiens players the Bruins and their fans love to hate.
“That’s fine with me,” Weise said after Saturday’s morning skate. “I think any time I can take guys off their game, I’m doing my job. I don’t mind being the enemy.”
Weise, who first popped up on the Bruins’ radar with the Canucks back in 2012 and was traded to the Habs last season before notching three points in Montreal’s series win over Boston, was scratched three times early on this season.
Those days could be over thanks to a point-producing run that began against the B’s. Weise’s second-period goal against the Bruins last week, scored on a penalty shot vs. Niklas Svedberg, was his first goal of the season, but he scored two more the next game against the Flyers and has added another since.
Weise now has five points (four goals, one assist) dating back to last Thursday’s game against the Bruins. The 26-year-old is well on his way to surpassing his career-high of six goals set last regular season.
“I think he’s a guy who competes hard and wants to do well, and at the end of the day he’s great teammate and a great guy,” P.K. Subban said. “You always want to see guys like that do well.
“For him, he’s worked very hard for his opportunity to play. He’s been an integral part of our run last year in terms of where we went, and he’s definitely been a big part of our success this year. For a guy like him, he’s helped our team since he’s been here.”
Weise, who scored the first goal of Montreal’s series-clinching Game 7 last spring, said he still considers the Garden to be a very difficult building in which to play. He is, however, confident when he does play in Boston given his past success against the B’s. The Canadiens feel they’re better off for it.
“That’s the way to make a name for yourself,” Subban said. “For him, I don’t think it’s so much for him wanting to be in the lineup. I think he cares about his teammates and he wants to see the team do well and he wants to be a part of things. That being said, if you have the right attitude and the right drive, I’m not surprised at the success he’s had.”
|Maria Subban continues to root for Bruins and Canadiens||11.22.14 at 1:44 pm ET|
Maria Subban is one of a small number of people in the world who can claim to be a loyal fan of both the Bruins and the Canadiens. As long as her sons wear their respective team’s jerseys, she will not pick a side.
In town with the Canadiens as part of a mothers’ trip, the matriarch of one of hockey’s most talented families said Saturday that she’s proud of what sons P.K. and Malcolm are doing with the Habs and Bruins, respectively.
“I think it’s great,” Maria said. “I think both organizations are wonderful organizations.”
The Bruins made Malcolm something of a surprise pick in 2012 when they chose the Belleville Bulls goaltender 25th overall. The pick turned heads not only because the Bruins appeared to be set at goalie long-term with Tuukka Rask, but because of his relation to the Montreal defenseman.
P.K. is probably the Derek Jeter or Bernie Williams of the Bruins-Habs rivalry in that the boos he receives at TD Garden only thinly cover up Boston fans’ longing to see him in a Bruins sweater. With P.K. in the first year of an eight-year contract with the Habs, it’s safe to say Boston fans won’t be getting their wish, even if they’ll never admit to having it.
Malcolm, on the other hand, could very well play in Boston one day. He’s currently in his second season in Providence, though he’s currently battling a lower-body injury.
“I think he was really surprised, because of P.K. and Boston, but he’s happy and he loves it there,” Maria said. “He’s doing really well.”
Through nine games, Malcolm is 4-3-1 with a .923 save percentage and 2.59 goals-against average. P.K. admitted that in addition to keeping in touch with Malcolm and Jordan (a 19-year-old fourth-round pick of the Canucks still playing in Belleville of the OHL), he’s eager to see how they’re performing as well.
“I always know a little bit about each of them, what’s going on,” P.K. said. “Obviously to me, they’re my brothers. I don’t know how much I pay attention to the hockey side of thing [vs.] them actually being my brothers. They’re family, so obviously I always talk to them. My parents should be proud of not just all three boys, but all five kids, and my sisters as well.”
The Bruins appear set at backup goaltender with Niklas Svedberg, but Malcolm could begin to knock on the NHL‘s door in the coming years. That means that one day Maria will have her hands full when she makes her trips to the Garden.
“I’ll root for both of them. You’ve got two kids; you’ve got to root for both of them,” she said. “You can’t pick or choose, otherwise I’m going to be a hated mom.”
|P.K. Subban gets picture taken with Bobby Orr: ‘He truly is the best defenseman to ever play the game’||11.22.14 at 12:47 pm ET|
P.K. Subban is one of the most talented defensemen in the NHL and, at age 25, already has one Norris Trophy to his name. No accomplishment, however, will ever make him too cool to ask Bobby Orr for a picture when he gets the chance.
With the Bruins great in the building Saturday morning to take in Montreal’s morning skate, Subban crossed paths with the Hall of Famer, asked for a photo and took to Instagram.
Orr strolled through the media room shortly after the photo was posted. Asked whether he or Subban had requested the photo, Orr simply laughed. Subban put that mystery to rest quickly after Montreal’s morning skate.
“Oh no, it was definitely me who asked for the picture. He’s the legend, right? I posted as soon as I got it on Instagram,” Subban told WEEI.com. “It’s pretty special for me as a defenseman to be able to interact with someone as great as Bobby Orr. He really truly is the best defenseman to ever play the game. I’m very lucky to still be able to see him around and talk to him.”
Added Subban: “It’s funny, I met him when I was 15 — that was 10 years ago – and he looks exactly the same. He hasn’t changed at all. I don’t know what he’s doing, but he should keep doing it.”
|5 things we learned as Alexander Khokhlachev played the shootout hero for Bruins||11.21.14 at 9:54 pm ET|
The Bruins were in danger of extending their road woes, but they came out of a shaky performance in Columbus with two points thanks to an injury replacement.
Alexander Khokhlachev, filling in for the injured David Krejci, netted the only goal of a seven-round shootout to give the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets (box). The Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit with three third-period goals to take a 3-2 lead on Daniel Paille‘s first goal of the season, but Jack Johnson responded to tie the game at three apiece.
Boston can only hope Friday’s win can set them up for further road success in the coming weeks. The Bruins have three straight games at home against some tough opponents (the Canadiens Saturday and the Penguins Monday before wrapping up the homestand against the Jets), but after that they’ll embark upon a very challenging four-game West Coast road trip. With any luck, they’ll be healthier then.
Here are four other things we learned Friday night:
DAVID KREJCI IS NOT YET IN THE CLEAR
Krejci missed yet another game Friday, his 10th of the season. The first-line center has battled lower-body issues all season and has not played in consecutive games since Oct. 28 and 30.
Earlier this week, Adam McQuaid explained what it’s like to go through a situation like Krejci’s. McQuaid was in and out of the lineup last season with lower-body injuries that eventually cost him his season after 30 games.
“It’s hard,” McQuaid said. “If you’re feeling good, you’re going to go. If you’re feeling good, you’re not going to take extra time if you don’t feel like you need it. Hopefully when he’s back, he’s back and back to stay.”
With Krejci and Brad Marchand out of the lineup, Boston forward lines were as follows:
Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly - Soderberg - Eriksson
Lucic - Khokhlachev - Griffith
Paille - Campbell – Gagne
In another potential injury development, Dougie Hamilton did not play the last 9:24 of regulation and stayed on the bench throughout overtime as well. Hamilton missed Wednesday’s practice with what the team called the flu, though he practiced Thursday.
|David Krejci misses Friday’s game vs. Blue Jackets||11.21.14 at 7:19 pm ET|
Krejci, who has been in and out of the lineup this season due to lower-body injuries, has now missed 10 games this season. He missed the first three of the season, played nine, missed two, returned for one, missed four more and then played Tuesday against the Blues before coming back out of the lineup Friday.
It is unknown whether Krejci’s absence Friday was related to previous injuries. Alexander Khokhlachev centered Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith in his place.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins not talking contract with Dougie Hamilton, Carl Soderberg yet||11.20.14 at 3:58 pm ET|
Dougie’s Big Contract is on hold, for now.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding the salary cap going forward, the Bruins and agent J.P. Barry have yet to begin formal discussions on a new contract for defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Same goes for Carl Soderberg and Daniel Paille, both of whom will be unrestricted free agents this summer and are also represented by Barry.
Barry and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli have been talking regularly, the agent told WEEI.com Thursday, but the longtime agent said he has no problem being patient as the Bruins wait and see what kind of contracts they can offer Hamilton and their other players with expiring deals.
The agent, who also represents Loui Eriksson and has a good relationship with Chiarelli, sees no reason for concern at this point, saying “I’ll know when Peter’s ready.”
Hamilton is in the midst of the final year of his entry level contract. He leads the Bruins with a 22:34 average time on ice and is tied for third on the team with 11 points (tops among B’s defensemen). Playing mostly against other team’s top players both as Zdeno Chara‘s partner and his replacement, Hamilton carries an even rating through 20 games. He is also one of two Bruins defensemen to play every game this season, with the other being Dennis Seidenberg.
The Bruins currently have $49,897,857 committed against the cap to 10 players (not counting Marc Savard) for the 2015-16 season. The cap ceiling is $69 million this season; the Bruins traded Johnny Boychuk prior to the season in order to get under it.
There was an expectation that the cap would increase by $5 million or more next season, but the New York Post reported reported earlier this month that the projected decline in the Canadian dollar might prevent the NHL Players’ Association from exercising a five-percent escalator for next season. The escalator will be voted on in June.
Asked about the future of the cap and how it impacts how the Bruins will do their business, Bruins president Cam Neely didn’t get into specifics but admitted the Bruins are doing every calculation they can.
“We’re constantly thinking about future years,” Neely said. “As much as we put a lot of time and effort and thought into the current year, we look at where our team is going to be next year and the following year, especially when you have guys that have contracts coming up or you have guys with term. You always have to look at the math.”
Historically, Chiarelli has prioritized getting new deals done for his players either before they enter their contract year or during it, with David Krejci, Marc Savard and Rich Peverley among the players he has re-upped in-season over the years.
|Cam Neely: Zdeno Chara ‘getting closer’||11.20.14 at 3:17 pm ET|
It’s been four weeks to the day since Zdeno Chara suffered a torn PCL on Oct. 23 against the Islanders. His anticipated recovery time was 4-6 weeks.
Chara has been seen around the team at various points, his limp subsiding in the weeks following his injury as he’s walked through the press box at games and – if you can believe it — even eaten from the dessert tray on the ninth floor of TD Garden. He could be seen doing agility drills in the hallway Tuesday morning, but he has yet to be spotted on the ice.
“He’s getting closer,” Cam Neely said Thursday. “I mean, you put that time between when he got hurt and now, there’s been a lot of forward progress for him.”
Neely said that Chara has handled being out of the lineup well. Given his competitive nature and the fact that he hasn’t missed more than five games in any of his previous eight seasons, this might not be the easiest time for the Bruins’ captain.
“It’s frustrating for anybody that’s been out of the lineup for any length of time,” Neely said. “Regardless of if you’ve been relatively healthy your whole career, no one likes watching.”
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