|Bruins, Senators tied after one||04.09.11 at 1:49 pm ET|
After Wednesday night’s game, should it be any surprise that the Bruins’ energy line is responsible for the B’s thus far? At any rate, it’s 1-1 after a period.
Gregory Campell hit Daniel Paille in front of the net, with Paille putting in his sixth goal of the season at 12:53. The tally was Paille’s fourth in his last eight games. Shawn Thornton picked up his 10th assist of the season on the play, bringing his career-high point total to 20.
Tim Thomas, who figures to be making his last start of the regular season, has stopped all nine of the 10 shots he has faced. UNH product Bobby Butler dented Thomas’ shot at a record with his 10th goal of the season late in the period. Thomas entered the game with a .938 save percentage, just .001 better better than Dominik Hasek‘s .937 mark in 1998-99 for the best since they began recording the stat in 1982-83.
|Bruins need at least three points to catch Flyers/Penguins||04.08.11 at 10:23 pm ET|
Thomas Vanek scored 1:16 into overtime to give the Sabres a 4-3 victory over the Flyers Friday. The Bruins probably wish he did it about 1:17 earlier.
With the Flyers picking up one point in the game, they improved to 104 on the season after 81 games. With one game remaining, they control their destiny as far as the No. 2 seed goes, though only a tie-breaker separates the Penguins (shootout win Friday, 104 total points) from snagging the Atlantic Division . A Flyers’ win over the Islanders Saturday means the second seed is all theirs. A loss or a tie, and the Bruins could still be in the picture. This, of course, is assuming the B’s can take care of business against the Senators.
With one game remaining for the Flyers and two left for the Bruins it all comes down to this: If the Bruins can finish the season with as many or more points than the Flyers and Penguins, they’ll be in via the tie-breaker (regulation and overtime wins). To spell it out even more, here are the scenarios:
FLYERS GET NO. 2 SEED IF:
- Flyers beat Islanders Saturday.
- Flyers lose in overtime/shootout Saturday AND Bruins lose or both remaining games.
- Flyers lose in overtime/shootout Saturday AND Bruins win one game and lose the other in overtime/shootout in the other.
PENGUINS GET NO. 2 SEED IF:
- Islanders beat Flyers in regulation or shootout/overtime Saturday AND Penguins beat Thrashers Sunday.
- Islanders beat Flyers in regulation Saturday AND Thrashers beat Penguins in overtime/shootout AND Bruins win one game and lose the other in overtime/shootout.
- Islanders beat Flyers in regulation Saturday AND Thrashers beat Penguins in overtime/shootout AND Bruins don’t win both both remaining games.
BRUINS GET NO. 2 SEED IF:
- Islanders beat Flyers in regulation or overtime Saturday AND Penguins lose in regulation or overtime AND Bruins beat Senators Saturday and Devils Sunday.
- Islanders beat Flyers in regulation Saturday AND Penguins lose in regulation AND Bruins win one game and lose the other in overtime/shootout.
Montreal and Buffalo each have 94 points through 81 games. Since Montreal has 40 regulation and overtime wins (ROW) to Buffalo’s 37, the Habs currently hold the sixth seed while the Sabres are in seventh.
|Claude Julien: You’ll see the lineup in the playoffs when it comes||04.08.11 at 6:39 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien cringes at the thought of someone wanting to know his starting goaltender before a game, so it’s understandable that he’s divulging zip when it comes to his playoff lineup.
“We’re going to have two or three extra players, guys, so I guess when the time comes, we’ll make those decisions,” Julien said after Friday’s practice. “Even if I had or we had made our decisions, I don’t think I’d be here speaking about it. We’ve got a couple of games left to play, and we’ve got to go out there and play them.
“A lot of things will also depend on what’s going to happen here tonight, and which certain teams are playing and everything else. We’ll see where we stand after tonight. It’s a day-to-day process on decision making. At this stage of the year, it’s not just the coach, but the organization trying to look at what direction they want to take with these next few games.”
Julien noted that he likes to think the entire season will be more of a determining factor than the final two game, as he said he wants to “rely on the big package rather than the small package.”
As for Tyler Seguin, who at this point figures to be the healthy scratch come next week, Julien isn’t ready to agree with the public’s line of thinking.
“I think that’s a lot of speculating. Guys are speculating that he’s fighting for it, whether he’s in or he’s out, and understandably,” Julien said. “For me, those are tough questions to answer, because you guys are all looking for, ‘what is my possible scenario?’ I’m going back to the same thing again. We don’t know what’s going to happen until Monday, and we’ll find out Monday where he stands and the rest of the team stands. A lot of things can happen from here until then.”
|Record watch continues for Tim Thomas||04.08.11 at 1:12 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is trying not to think about the fact that he’s very close to setting the record for best save percentage in a single season.
So much for trying.
Seemingly with just one start left in the regular season, Thomas’ .938 save percentage this season would just barely edge Dominik Hasek‘s .937 mark from the 1998-99 season. Thomas’ save percentage didn’t move last game, when he allowed two goals on 32 shots.
“I know that [my next game] will be my 57th game, I think,” Thomas said. “The more games you play, the harder it is to impact it one way or the other. I plan playing well so that I don’t even have to worry about it, but hopefully I have a little bit of a buffer.”
Given that he holds the edge by .001%, it seems it will take a performance with just one, two or perhaps three goals allowed (depending on how many shots he faces) to finish ahead of Hasek’s mark. Told that he could potentially allow as many of three goals and not see his save percentage change, he replied, “I don’t know [if it would move it] either. I’d hope eight doesn’t move it.”
Claude Julien, meanwhile, is not willing to divulge whether he plans to use Thomas in the next two games at all.
“He might,” Julien said with a grin before adding, “is the record more important than the team?”
Thomas has led the NHL in both save percentage and GAA since his first start of the season back on Oct. 10 in Prague, a shutout against the Coyotes.
|Bruins hold final regular season practice||04.08.11 at 11:10 am ET|
WILMINGTON — With two weekend games on the horizon, the Bruins took the ice Friday morning at Ristuccia Arena for their final practice of the regular season. Prior to the skate, Gregory Campbell, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Nathan Horton shot on Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas.
The color-coded jerseys are the same, as they look as follows:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
|Bruins assign Steven Kampfer to Providence||04.07.11 at 1:43 am ET|
The Bruins announced late Wednesday night that they have assigned defenseman Steven Kampfer to Providence. Kampfer will report to Providence on Thursday.
Kampfer has played in 38 games for the Bruins this season since being called up following a hand injury to Mark Stuart in December. He has totaled five goals and five assists for 10 points.
The Providence Bruins have three games remaining on their schedule, meaning Kampfer could see time Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In 20 AHL games this season, Kampfer has three goals and 13 assists for 16 points.
|Merlot Line leads Bruins past Islanders||04.06.11 at 9:25 pm ET|
The Bruins broke the 100-point mark on the season Wednesday, grabbing a 3-2 victory against the Islanders and bringing their point total to 101.
Shawn Thornton, playing in his first game since receiving approximately 40 stitches for a gash above the right eye last week, scored his 10th goal of the season in the final second of the first period. The B’s also got goals from Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell. Islanders rookie Michael Grabner provided all of the scoring for New York with a pair of second-period tallies.
Tim Thomas picked up the victory for the Bruins, improving his record to 34-11-9 on the season. He made 30 saves on the night, with the Islanders totaling just four shots on goal in the third period. The B’s will host the Senators in their final regular season home game before finishing the season Sunday in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- With Thornton’s first-period goal, he and Gregory Campbell are the first B’s teammates to have both double digit goals and fights in the same season since Cam Neely and Nevin Markwart way back in 1986-87. Stick-tap to Doug Flynn over at NESN discovering a very interesting stat.
- Even without considering the milestone that Campbell and Thornton reached, Wednesday was all about the Merlot Line for the Bruins. Daniel Paille has shown an unmistakable determination since returning to the lineup, and he came close to beating Rick DiPietro multiple times Wednesday. Campbell’s goal, his
- Seidenberg’s goal Wednesday puts him at a career-high 31 points this season. Seidenberg’s previous best was 30 with the Hurricanes back in 2008-09. His seven goals are also a career-high.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Another poor performance on the power play. The B’s went 0-for-5 on the night and squandered a two-minute two-man advantage in the first period. They frequently missed on passes, and the cherry on top came in the form of Grabner’s sixth shorthanded goal of the season.
- Speaking of Grabner, the Islanders rookie has been large and in charge this season. The 23-year-old now leads all rookies with 33 goals, and his shorthanded tally in the second period gave him a total good for second in the NHL.
- No-show performance from the Bruins’ top line. Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and David Krejci had only a Krejci shot to show for themselves on the stat sheet. Claude Julien broke the line up in the third period, playing Chris Kelly at center between Lucic and Horton. Krejci got just three shifts in the third period.
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