|Team Lidstrom wins NHL All-Star Game, Tim Thomas gets victory||01.30.11 at 8:17 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas became the first goalie to win three All-Star Games in a row when Team Lidstrom defeated Team Staal, 11-10, Sunday in Raleigh, N.C.
Thomas, who also won the 2008 and 2009 All-Star Games, made 11 saves on 15 shots in the third period. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had an assist on Team Staal’s first goal, a tally by Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin.
Anze Kopital, Danny Briere and Louie Eriksson each had a pair of goals for Team Lidstrom. Eric Staal and Kris Letang led Team Staal with two goals. Patrick Sharp, who had a goal and two assists for Team Staal, was named the game’s MVP.
The Bruins will return to practice in Wilmington on Monday before heading to Raleigh, where they will face the Hurricanes on Tuesday.
|Zdeno Chara breaks his own hardest shot record||01.29.11 at 9:30 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara broke his own record in the Hardest Shot competition on Saturday night, winning the event for the fourth straight year.
Chara blasted a 105.9 mph slap shot in the final round of the competition, beating Predators defenseman Shea Weber‘s 103.4 mph shot and breaking his previous record of 105.4 MPH. Rookie Tyler Seguin also competed in the competition, topping out at 97.1 mph.
Here’s the video of Chara in 2009, when he first broke Al Iafrate‘s record.
Tim Thomas competed in the fastest skater competition against Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. The B’s netminder wiped out while turning a corner and quipped following the event that “Fortunately, with my style I’ve had lots of experience falling down.”
|Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara drafted to different teams in All-Star fantasy draft||01.28.11 at 8:30 pm ET|
Bruins All-Star representatives Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas will play as opponents in Sunday’s All-Star game. Chara was made the seventh overall pick by Team Staal in the Friday night’s fantasy draft to determine the rosters, while Nicklas Lidstrom selected Thomas with the 10th overall pick.
Eric Staal made Hurricanes teammate Cam Ward the first overall pick in the draft, causing Thomas to be available later for Team Lidstrom, who chose Lightning center Steven Stamkos second overall.
Asked earlier this month what would happen if Thomas and Chara were to play on different teams in the All-Star game, Thomas replied, “I win, he loses.”
|Peter Chiarelli glad to see ‘deserving’ Patrice Bergeron get a rest at All-Star break||01.28.11 at 5:48 pm ET|
As the names are called one by one by Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom Friday night, the All-Star rosters will take shape, and Bruins fans will find out whether Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara will be teammates as usual, or whether they’ll end up going against one another come Sunday.
Yet some around these parts had been wondering whether the B’s might have ended up with a third player in the pool of names come Friday in Patrice Bergeron. With forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Ales Hemsky all bowing out due to injury and Jarome Iginla skipping the weekend to tend to an ill family member, Bergeron’s name came up across the web as a potential replacement. Philadelphia’s Danny Briere ended up getting the nod to replace Iginla, while Martin Havlat, Jeff Skinner, and Paul Stastny replaced the other three.
In all reality, the 25-year-old was a semi-long shot to head to Raleigh based on pure numbers despite having a great season for B’s. Bergeron leads the Bruins with 40 points and is tied for the league lead among forwards with a plus-21 rating. His point total fell short of Briere (45), Havlat (44) and Stastny (43), while Skinner had just as many as Bergeron. Skinner, who in his rookie season has emerged as one of the Hurricanes’ top forwards, held an edge over Bergeron based on location.
While Bergeron potentially could have been taking in the All-Star atmosphere with his teammates in Thomas, Chara and Tyler Seguin (the latter of whom’s talents will be showcased in the SuperSkills event on Saturday night), he will instead get the breather that many players can benefit from this time of year. His general manager has no problem with that.
‘He’s deserving of it, but he also deserves a rest,’ Peter Chiarelli said this week. ‘As a manager, you don’t mind if he’s not going, but he’s deserving.’
Bergeron is on pace for 66 points this year. He had 70 or more points in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 season.
|There will be plenty of time for Tim Thomas to focus… after the All-Star break||01.27.11 at 4:49 pm ET|
There will be plenty of time for Tim Thomas to focus on what’s at stake in the final 32 games of the regular season and hopefully, long after that. He reminded reporters of that following Wednesday night’s win when asked about the second half of the season that starts following this weekend’s All-Star game.
“Man, we just started the break five minutes ago,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to focus on the break. Otherwise, we don’t get that mental break we’re talking about.”
Fair enough. Thomas has earned the right to reflect on what has been a first half filled with superlatives worthy of a Vezina and Hart trophy winner. Thomas has been that good.
– He came within 11 minutes and 23 seconds of his NHL-leading eighth shutout on Wednesday night against the Panthers.
– He leads the NHL in goals against at 1.81.
– He leads the NHL in save percentage at .945.
– He is tied for second in wins with 24 behind Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller.
– His teammates believe they will win every time he takes the ice.
That last one is the most subjective but also the most important. Thomas has recovered from summer hip surgery to become the backbone of their Bruins team. So, after the 2-1 Wednesday Thomas admitted he’ll take some time to savor the winning feeling heading into the break before gearing up physically and mentally for the final 32.
“I was thinking win, feel the good feeling,” Thomas said. “Then you can really savor the feeling for a couple of days because usually we travel or get ready for another game. So yeah I thought about it.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Only soreness for David Krejci after injury scare||01.27.11 at 1:06 am ET|
The Bruins aren’t exactly in a position to lose a skill center. Given Marc Savard‘s latest concussion, the team can play the “been there, done that” card with regard to such a scenario.
That’s why when David Krejci took a hit from Rostislav Olesz, crashed into the boards and remained down for a few minutes before leaving and making toward the tunnel in the first period, it was a clear-cut case of something the Bruins didn’t need.
“When he first went down, the last thing you want to see is [him] not come back,” coach Claude Julien said after the game. “We’re already minus one pretty good centerman so you certainly don’t want to lose that second one.”
Yet Krejci, who appeared to be in shoulder pain while down on the ice, didn’t end up missing a shift for the B’s. He was back on the bench shortly after the play and knew he was good to go.
“It wasn’t my shoulder, it was like my whole arm getting tweaked going for position and it was a little uncomfortable for a few seconds, so I stayed on the ice,” Krejci said. “It got a little better so it’s sore but obviously nothing major.
“I waited on the ice a long time and when I was skating off it felt a little better. I didn’t know if it was the shoulder or something. But when I was skating off the ice I knew the shoulder was fine so I was pretty sure I would come back.”
Krejci returned to make a huge play for the B’s, winning the faceoff that set up Milan Lucic’s second-period goal, the tally that proved to be the game-winner when all was said and done.
If any of the soreness lingers for Krejci, it couldn’t come at a better time. Teams now break for All-Star weekend, and the center and most of his teammates will have the next five days to rest up.
“There’s no doubt these next five days will be good for him and probably a lot of the other players too that are playing a little banged up,” Julien said. “It is, I guess, a break that we needed. We certainly didn’t need him going down and not getting him back.”
|After reaching 20 goals, Milan Lucic has a new number in mind||01.27.11 at 12:41 am ET|
Milan Lucic had a number in mind before the season. That number was 20.
Never in his three-year career had Lucic reached the 20-goal plateau, and after scoring 17 goals in the 2008-09 campaign, he took a statistical step backwards — both in games played and in scoring — when injuries limited him to 50 regular season contests last season.
After scoring nine goals in the injury-shortened season, Lucic entered training camp set on not only surpassing his career-high 17, but finally scoring 20.
‘I feel like have the ability to help contribute to this team a little bit more,’ Lucic said on Sept. 21. ‘I still in my three years haven’t been able to hit the 20-goal mark. I feel like that’s a realistic goal for me this year and that’s a personal goal that I should be able to meet.”
Lucic expanded his team-leading goal count in the second period when David Krejci won a face-off clean and drew it back to him at the top of the left circle. The 22-year-old fired a quick snapshot past Tomas Vokoun to give the B’s a 2-0 lead and meet his personal goal before the All-Star break.
“It’s great,” Lucic said of finally being a 20-goal scorer. “It’s obviously something that I talked about coming in, and that was a goal for myself and I reached it as quickly as [I did]. ‘¦ It’s a good step for me and I couldn’t be happier right now, but definitely not satisfied.”
Twenty was the number in September. In revising his hopes for the season, Lucic had a new number Wednesday night.
“One game at a time, one goal at a time,” Lucic said, “so we’ll see where I can get to this year.”
The uptick in No. 17’s scoring has been a big factor in the team’s first-place standing in the Northeast Division at the break. Krejci doesn’t see Lucic as the only one benefiting from the left-winger’s scoring this season.
“It’s good,” Krejci said of seeing Lucic’s production. “Especially when he’s on my line.”