|Chris Kelly’s injury is Max Talbot’s opportunity||11.04.15 at 4:12 pm ET|
Hockey is a humbling sport, and Max Talbot was reminded of that last week when he revisited a part of his career that he figured was in his past.
For the first time since April of 2006, the 30-year-old Talbot played three games in three nights. The reason he’d gone so long without doing so is because the CBA doesn’t allow it to happen in the NHL.
Three-in-threes are for AHLers only. For eight days recently — and certainly against his wishes — Talbot was an AHL player.
Having been in the NHL for a long time with success — Talbot’s best-known for scoring the only two goals of the Penguins‘ Cup-clinching Game 7 win over the Red Wings in 2009 — Talbot had every right to be upset with the move, which could be seen coming when he cleared waivers prior to the season. Ever the optimist, Talbot chose positivity over being a grumpy has-been playing in the minors.
“[It was] unusual; I’ve been playing in [the NHL] for 10, 11 years, but at the same time, it was good for me,” Talbot said upon being recalled to the Bruins on Wednesday. “I skated three games in three nights, a lot of ice time, played different positions, different circumstances, power play, PK and it felt good to play, for sure.”
Talbot wasn’t playing in Boston ‘ he dressed for just two games this season prior to being sent down ‘ so the assignment to Providence allowed him to at least keep the rust off. Playing on different lines and seeing some time with rookie sensation Frank Vatrano, Talbot had four points (all assists) in his three games with Providence.
Furthermore, he didn’t seem too sour about being there.
“He’s a good pro,” Alexander Khokhlachev, who was still down in Providence last week, said of Talbot. “He understands everything. He’s a really good player and has a lot of experience, so he knows what to do and how to do it.”
Now the Bruins will need Talbot, as he’s quickly gone from a spare part to a potential solution to the loss of Chris Kelly. With Kelly out for at least the rest of the regular season, Talbot is a top candidate to take on Kelly’s responsibilities as a bottom six wing/center option and reliable penalty killer. On the season, only Patrice Bergeron has spent more time on the penalty kill among Bruins forwards than Kelly.
‘You lose Kelly, you lose a good penalty killer,’ Claude Julien said Wednesday. ‘We brought in Max Talbot because No. 1 he is a penalty killer. No. 2, he’s a great veteran. He’s a great leader. He comes and he plays hard every night.
“Somewhere along the way, you find ways to compensate for Kelly’s loss, and Max is our answer right now to come in and help us out in that area.”
Talbot’s Bruins career has been odd to this point since being acquired at last season’s trade deadline, but if the veteran wants to improve his odds of staying in the NHL beyond this season, Kelly’s absence will provide him the opportunity to improve his stock.
“I’m going to do whatever they ask me to do here and work hard,” Talbot said. “If I get into games, I’ll play hard and do what I’ve been doing for 11 years. I’m not trying to play like Kells plays or like anybody else. I’m going to play like Max Talbot can play. That’s all I can do.”
|David Pastrnak won’t travel with Bruins for road trip||11.04.15 at 12:06 pm ET|
David Pastrnak will not travel with the Bruins for their upcoming road trip, an indication that he will miss Boston’s next three games as he continues to rest a bruised foot.
“He’s staying behind,” Claude Julien said after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s going to be staying behind for the weekend.”
Pastrnak suffered his injury early in the third period of last Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes. He played in Boston’s next two games, but ineffectiveness led Julien to give him just three shifts over the final two periods of Saturday’s win over the Lightning. The Bruins then determined that Pastrnak was better off resting the foot and recalled Alexander Khokhlachev from Providence to play in his place.
Dennis Seidenberg will travel with the Bruins for the trip, but will not play. Seidenberg, who is nearly six weeks into his recovery from back surgery, is practicing with the team but not close to playing.
The three-game road trip won’t be easy for the Bruins, who are coming off a disappointing 5-3 loss to the Stars at home. The B’s will face the Capitals (8-3-0), Canadiens (11-2-1) and Islanders (7-3-3) on the trip.
|Bruins recall Max Talbot from Providence in wake of Chris Kelly injury||11.04.15 at 11:18 am ET|
The Bruins made a predictable move Wednesday, recalling forward Max Talbot in wake of Chris Kelly‘s at-least-regular-season-ending femur fracture.
Talbot, 31, was sent to Providence on Oct. 27 and had four assists in three AHL games this season. He dressed in only two games for Boston this season before being sent down. It was likely that he would eventually be sent down at some point, as he cleared waivers prior to the start of the season.
The recall of Talbot makes sense given that like Kelly, he’s a veteran bottom-sixer who can kill penalties. The Bruins also have Alexander Khokhlachev on their roster playing in place of David Pastrnak, who is dealing with a bruised foot.
Kelly was scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday after suffering his injury on his first shift of Tuesday’s loss to the Stars. His recovery is expected to take six-to-eight months.
|5 things we learned as Chris Kelly injury overshadows Tyler Seguin hat trick||11.03.15 at 9:42 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson scored a pair of goals, but it was Tyler Seguin who won the battle of once-traded-for-one-another forwards Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Seguin scored a hat trick in a 5-3 Stars win, which ended a seven-game points streak for the Bruins (6-0-1). With the regulation loss, the Bruins are 6-4-1 on the season.
Eriksson’s second goal cut into what was a three-goal lead for Dallas in the third period, but the B’s were unable to cap the comeback with Tuukka Rask pulled.
The Bruins now will go on a difficult road trip that will see them face the Capitals, Habs and Islanders.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
KELLY OUT 6-8 MONTHS
The Bruins haven’t gotten too much bad news of late, so here’s some awful news: Chris Kelly is out six to eight months after suffering a left femur fracture on his first shift of the game.
The injury seemed to be of non-contact variety, as Kelly took some contact in the midsection from Colton Sceviour before going down to the ice awkwardly as his knee bent in odd fashion. He stayed down on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice by trainers and Zdeno Chara.
|Chris Kelly out 6-8 months with left femur fracture||11.03.15 at 7:21 pm ET|
[UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.] The red-hot Bruins got a bucket of cold water dumped on them early in Tuesday’s game against the Stars, as Chris Kelly suffered a left femur fracture on his first shift of the game and will miss six to eight months.
Kelly suffered the injury on his first shift of the game, falling awkwardly to the ice after light contact from Colton Sceviour. He remained on the ice for several minutes, with trainers tending to his left knee before he was eventually helped off the ice by trainers and Zdeno Chara. He was then transported to Mass General hospital. He’ll undergo on Wednesday.
‘ Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) November 4, 2015
Alexander Khokhlachev was recalled on Tuesday could remain in the lineup when David Pastrnak returns. The B’s could also recall Max Talbot, who was sent to Providence last week.
The 34-year-old Kelly is in the last year of his contract with the Bruins.
|Dennis Seidenberg on track with recovery, unsure where he’ll slot in on Bruins D||11.03.15 at 12:07 pm ET|
When Dennis Seidenberg saw the defensive mess that allowed 16 goals over the first three games of the season, he didn’t put any extra pressure on himself to hurry back from a herniated disc that required surgery in late September.
The veteran defenseman wanted to help, but he was already antsy to return to the lineup in the first place.
“It doesn’t matter if the team loses or wins. If they lose, you’re like, ‘I want to come back and help them.’ If they win, I want to be back and be part of it,” he said Tuesday. “It’s always better when the team does well, but I always put the same pressure on me. I want to come back as fast as possible, but also be responsible going forward.”
That responsible approach has him where he is now. Nearly six weeks into an anticipated eight-week recovery (Seidenberg had surgery on Sept. 24, so six weeks ago Thursday), the 34-year-old defenseman says he is on schedule with his recovery and not necessarily ahead of it. He’s been skating for over two weeks (Oct. 19) and joined teammates last week.
Seidenberg still isn’t taking contact, but he seemed optimistic that he’ll be able to add more to his plate if all goes well in the coming days.
The veteran defenseman missed all of training camp due to the back issue, which popped up during informal practices in September before eventually requiring surgery. He insisted Tuesday that he has no pain in his back, and that the brunt of his recovery has been getting his legs back. That makes sense given that Seidenberg said following his surgery that it was discomfort in his leg that initially prompted him to bring the issue to the attention of team doctors.
Given that Seidenberg’s back isn’t hurting him, he doesn’t feel he’s had to be extra careful.
“If I had pain, I would be like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to be careful,’ but I’ve been feeling nothing in my back,” he said. “It’s just about power coming back in my leg and that’s the only restriction I have right now. There hasn’t really been a feeling where I’m like, ‘I’ve got to be really careful,’ but then again, you look at a back injury and with nerves being involved, you do want to be a little bit cautious.”
Once Seidenberg is ready to return, it will be interesting to see how the dominos fall on Boston’s blue line. Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid would appear to be locks to stay in the lineup, with Joe Morrow and Millers Kevan and Colin possibilities to sit. Zach Trotman has been a healthy scratch for nine consecutive games.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about that yet,” Seidenberg said. “The guys have been playing great and in the past we’ve always played with each other. It doesn’t matter who it is; we’ve always changed the pairings and I don’t see a reason why it’s going to be different this time.”
|Bruins recall Alexander Khokhlachev from Providence, David Pastrnak misses morning skate||11.03.15 at 10:25 am ET|
The Bruins have recalled forward Alexander Khokhlachev from Providence, with the 22-year-old forward participating in Tuesday’s morning skate. A center who has played wing this season, Khokhlachev is tied for the AHL lead with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) over 10 games for Providence.
Claude Julien said that David Pastrnak will not play Tuesday night against the Stars, citing a blocked shot that hit Pastrnak in the foot last Tuesday as the reason. Pastrnak played Friday and Saturday, but Julien said the 19-year-old forward was still not comfortable. As such, Loui Eriksson moved to right wing and Khokhlachev slotted in on David Krejci‘s right Tuesday morning. The lineup at morning skate was as follows:
The 40th overall pick of the 2011 draft, Khokhlachev is in his third full season in the Boston organization. He has played in just four games in his NHL career, with the 22-year-old expressing frustration with the organization’s use of him during training camp.
“Boston should make a decision with me,” he said. “I’ve waited for my chance already. Two years. I’m just still waiting. We’ll see. They should make a decision. Give me a chance, or I don’t know. We’ll see [what] they’ll do.”
Added Khokhlachev: “This is my last year of my contract. I’m 22 already. If they don’t give me the chance to play, why am I here? I will not play in Providence all my life. They told me, ‘Just wait for your chance.’ I’m still waiting for it.”
After Tuesday’s morning skate, Khokhlachev either danced around or politely declined comment on his preseason comments, expressing gratitude for his most recent chance with the B’s. Given that he’ll likely play with the team’s two best forwards so far this season in Krejci and Eriksson, he’d have no reason not to be happy.
“[Krejci]’s a great player. He can see the ice really well. I mean, you can say lots of good things about him,” Khokhlachev said. “Loui is really good, too, so it will be a really good opportunity for me to play with these two guys.”