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Source: Bruins trade Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart for Rich Peverley, Boris Valabik 02.18.11 at 1:30 pm ET
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According to a source, the Bruins have swung a deal with the Thrashers that will send forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to Atlanta in exchange for center Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik. TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report the deal.

Peverley, 28, has another year remaining on his contract that carries a cap hit of $1.325. He has 14 goals and 20 assists this season for 34 points. Wheeler has 11 goals and 16 assists on the season for 27 points. He will be a restricted free agent at season’s end.

Stuart, set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has one goal and four assists for five points in 31 games. He missed time this season due to a fractured and dislocated finger and was relegated to being a healthy scratch upon his return. Valabik, a 6-foot-7, 255 pound blueliner, was the 10th overall pick of the 2004 NHL draft.

[UPDATE: 2:33 p.m.] The Bruins have confirmed the deal.

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Bruins snap skid with win over Islanders 02.17.11 at 9:27 pm ET
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The Bruins broke a three-game losing streak by turning on the offense against a pair of Islanders goaltenders in a 6-3 victory at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.

Tyler Seguin had his third multi-point game of the season, as he set up Blake Wheeler‘s goal to open the scoring 55 seconds into the game and added his 10th goal of the season in the second period. Wheeler and David Krejci also had multi-point nights with a goal and an assist apiece. Mark Recchi, Gregory Campbell and Milan Lucic also scored for the Bruins. Lucic now has 24 goals on the season, which leads the team.

After the team jumped out to a 4-0 lead, John Tavares scored the first of his two goals on the game in a back-and-forth second period. Josh Bailey scored the other Islanders’ goal.

Islanders starter Nathan Lawson was scored after Seguin’s goal made it 5-1, and Al Montoya made 13 saves on 14 shots. Tuukka Rask improved to 6-11-1 on the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Some have been too quick to give Seguin credit where it isn’t due, but it’s safe to say that Seguin was bringing everything Thursday night that he needs to. The 19-year-old was every bit as engaged as the Bruins are hoping for him to be down the stretch. This was highlighted in the second period, where he was persistent enough score his 10th of the season while losing his balance. Later in the period, he dove at the blue line to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

Seguin’s performances weren’t anything special in his first two games following last week’s healthy scratches (in the case of Sunday, it was detrimental in Detroit), but Thursday’s was the type of performance that suggests the youngster is starting to get it.

- As hectic as things were in the second period, it’s good to see Rask turn in a solid performance in the victory. The third goal was preventable, but but considering that he was pulled after two periods and five goals last Friday against the Red Wings, encouraging signs are welcomed for a guy who you have to assume will get more time between now and the end of the season.

- All three lines scored for the Bruins, and their six goals equaled the number they scored in their losing streak. More nights like Thursday would be a welcomed sign for a team that had been outscored 14-6 over their last three.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Michael Ryder‘s minus-1 made him the lone Bruins player with a negative rating on the game. Now at a minus-5 on the season, Ryder is the only Bruin currently on the roster with a negative rating on the year.

- The Bruins went from dominating the first period to playing in a closely contested second period, and that speaks to both the Islanders waking up and the B’s not keeping the pedal to the metal. They still scored three in the second period, but the Islanders’ opportunities against Rask were far more frequent, as the Bruins were outshot, 22-12, in the second.

- Tavares simply did damage. In addition to his two goals, the former first overall pick could have had a hat trick if it weren’t for a third-period bid behind Rask sliding across the crease.

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Report: Trade for Tomas Kaberle ‘close’ at 11:41 am ET
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Are the Bruins, seemingly linked to Tomas Kaberle in trade rumors forever, finally closing in on a deal for the Leafs defenseman?

TSN’s Darren Dreger leads off his “three things you need to know” for Thursday with an update on Kaberle. Writes Dreger:

Failing a complete meltdown – which has scuttled at least one previous trade involving the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tomas Kaberle, and the Boston Bruins – there’s strong belief that Kaberle will be traded to Boston.

It’s unlikely the deal gets done today, but sources say it’s close and say the deal doesn’t hinge on Kaberle signing an extension with the Bruins.

Dreger adds that given salary cap restraints, the Bruins might need to make a separate deal with another team to shed some space. Unsurprisingly, Blake Wheeeler is listed as the Bruin who could be the odd man out. The team acquired Chris Kelly, who makes similar money and could play a similar role, on Tuesday.

Bob McKenzie, Dreger’s TSN colleague, followed up on the report in tweeting that “if it goes down, looks like it will be [Friday].”

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Amidst trade rumors, players try to block out the chatter 02.16.11 at 5:07 pm ET
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By now, there are few people who don’t know that Peter Chiarelli wants to trade for a defenseman. Not only has the Bruins general manager stated it several times, but it’s been discussed heavily by media and fans alike as the Feb. 28 trade deadline grows nearer.

Blake Wheeler would rather listen to a goal horn than trade rumors. (AP)

Tomas Kaberle has been the most popular name in the rumor mill, and with reports emerging Tuesday that the Bruins are the only team he would accept a trade to, many are playing hypothetical GM in trying to predict what the B’s could move to Toronto should a deal be made.

Yet as the rumors are generated, players face the annual task of trying to block out all the trade whispers. Claude Julien admitted Wednesday that there’s “no doubt” that players can have a tough time dealing with it, adding, “I’m sure there’s some players thinking about that.”

From the moment the Bruins acquired Chris Kelly late Tuesday night, rumor sites and various sultans of speculation made the connection that given the two players’ cap hits, Blake Wheeler could potentially be expendable in a trade for a defenseman. The 24-year-old has heard his name in various rumors before, and will use past lessons learned to handle this trade season.

“I guess the first lesson you learn [is] you don’t read anything because you’re always better than you are when things are going good, and you’re always worse than you are when things are going bad,” Wheeler said Wednesday. “Trades and all of that are the same way.”

“I can’t speak for everyone in our locker room. I know personally, I don’t read anything. I’m sure most of the guys don’t read much either, because what good does it do to read your name and that you’re going to be traded? Ninety-five percent of the time it’s not true anyways, so until that happens, you’ve just got to worry about your business here.”

While players are better off not focusing on names and who could go where, the Bruins are in a different situation from years past, as it is universally know that the team has a move in mind. With Chiarelli targeting a defensemen, the logjam that already exists on the blueline could face even more competition. Johnny Boychuk was the team’s healthy scratch on Tuesday, and the B’s have scratched a different defenseman over the last three games.

While the seven guys on the Bruins’ blueline are already pushing one another for a spot in the lineup, Boychuk would welcome another defenseman under one condition.

“If it’s going to help our team, then yeah,” Boychuk said Wednesday. “Anything to help our team.”

Earlier in the season, various rumors suggested Wheeler could be on the move to the Coyotes, the team that he elected not to sign with after they spent a fifth overall pick on him. Nothing happened there, but Wheeler can bet that he will continue to hear his name brought up in rumors. With Wheeler a part of a team that is in the midst of a season-worst three-game losing streak, the winger is more focused on changing the team’s luck than worrying about a change in uniform.

“The rumors you hear never happen, and the ones you don’t hear about, those ones seems to happen,” he said. “From our standpoint, I think our focus is that we have games to play. We have points to earn, and we can’t worry about what’s being written in papers, or online in blogs.

“We start worrying about things we can’t control and all of a sudden things we can control are going to slip. We’ve already lost three straight, so the most important thing for us is to start winning. Whatever happens from other standpoints is going to happen, and that’s out of our control.”

The Bruins will be on the road for the next six games and will not return to the Garden until March 3. Julien can see why players could worry about whether they’ll be with the club for that next game in Boston, but at the same time knows that it isn’t the hands of anyone in the dressing room.

“I know it weighs on players’ minds all the time when you hear rumors about a certain player on your team,” Julien said. “At the same time, you want the players to be professionals and deal with the issues as professionals and say it’s out of your control. At the same time, those players, if it’s not here, it will be somewhere else.

“It’s not like they’re not going to be playing hockey anymore. You really have got to take that approach and say, ‘You know what? It’s one game at a time. Right now I’ve got to do my job and let the people that make those decisions that are out of my control make them. That’s the best way to approach it.”

Five more days and the players won’t need to think about it. For now, the only change they’ll need to focus on is in the final scores.

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Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand have Bruins leading Red Wings 02.13.11 at 1:16 pm ET
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The Bruins have a 2-1 lead after a period at Joe Louis Arena, which is a big step up after never leading in Friday’s 6-1 loss.

Tyler Seguin, playing for the first time in three games, got the Bruins on the board when he banged home a Jimmy Howard rebound off a Blake Wheeler wraparound at 1:29. The goal was credited to Wheeler, with Seguin getting the assist, but a review should clarify that it was Seguin’s goal. Should he rightfully be given credit, it will be his last three games.

UPDATE: The scoring was indeed changed to give Seguin the goal. Wheeler and Michael Ryder got assists.

Brad Marchand had an up and down first period for the Bruins. He made a blind pass in front of the Bruins’ net with only he and Todd Bertuzzi in the zone. Bertuzzi gained possession in front of Tim Thomas, took his time, and beat the B’s netminder for his third goal against Boston in two games.

Marchand would make up for his blunder, as he gave the B’s a 2-1 lead by scoring his 16th of the season off a beautiful pass from Ryder. The Wings will begin the second on the power play, as Ryder has 1:06 remaining on a roughing minor he took late in the period.

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David Krejci stuck with wrong sticks 02.05.11 at 4:38 pm ET
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David Krejci says that he's unhappy with the stick he's currently using. (AP)

David Krejci knows that after the B’s were shut out Saturday, it’s in his hands to keep the top line producing. Right now, he just doesn’t like what’s in his hands.

Krejci, who has a contract with Bauer, has been in a bit of an unusual spot over the last couple of games. An issue with manufacturing the stick he uses each night has left him using a stick he’s had trouble getting a feel for.

“This stick sucks, and that’s all I’ve got,” Krejci, in his usual calm demeanor, said after Saturday’s game. “You can put it up on TV or in the papers. I don’t care. This stick sucks.”

The irony in the situation, of course, is that Krejci is a happy user of Bauer and loves the stick that he usually plays with. The problem is that the factory that manufactures his stick, for whatever reason, will not be able to produce his model of choice again until Feb. 11, and as a result, he’s left with the type he used to use earlier in his career.

“We ordered the sticks, my guy said they were coming [when] he ordered them,” the center said. “The trainers called them again because they didn’t come in the mail and they said, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve closed the factory and we’re going to open it up again. We’re not making any sticks until Feb. 11,’ so they sent me the sticks that I used to use a long time ago.”

Krejci fell out of love with the stick when he used them earlier in his career, but it seems he’ll have to get used to them over the next few games.

“That was the reason why I changed from those sticks to the new ones I’m using, because I don’t like these ones,” he said. “I changed them because I didn’t like them anymore, but [now] it’s the only thing I can have.”

Krejci hasn’t scored in 19 games, though he has five assists over his last six games. The center, who is accountable when it comes to his game, stressed that he wasn’t talking about his own performance or suggesting that his unhappiness with the stick has hurt his play.

“I’m not making excuses for my game,” Krejci said. “I just don’t like that stick. That’s all it is.”

This isn’t the first time a Bruins player has had a peculiar hangup regarding equipment. Blake Wheeler had issues with his skates last season before switching to CCM for this season.

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Mike Milbury on D&H: Bruins will be very conservative with Marc Savard 01.26.11 at 1:00 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Milbury gave his thoughts on the Marc Savard situation, after news broke Wednesday morning that Savard went home to Ontario to rest his head.

“With the two hits that he took recently, and now this reaction, I think long term is the way it’s going to be,” Milbury said. “Whether they do it officially or not is I guess another matter to discuss. Either way, they’re going to have to handle this one very delicately. We all know the concussion thing is a huge concern these days and a huge topic of discussion in the NHL. So, I think the Bruins will handle this one very conservatively.”

Milbury said people who want to remove the instigator penalty are barking up the wrong tree. “Does anybody really think that being able to go up and smack somebody in the head with his fist without the guy being ready is a really good thing for concussion prevention?” he said. “I just don’t get it when I hear the argument about the instigator penalty. You want to fight somebody, who cares about the two minutes? Just take the two minutes. But you’ve got to leave the instigator penalty in, and we can stop talking about it, in my opinion.”

When co-host Dale Arnold said he disagreed, Milbury deadpanned: “I know you disagree with me, but if I come up and smack you in the head, you might change your mind. And I’m likely to do it if you continue along this path.”

Milbury was asked his opinion of David Krejci. “He doesn’t look like he’s reacting as quickly as he has in the past,” Milbury said. “And I can’t tell that this is the reason why, but listen, he had a severe concussion last year. It took Patrice Bergeron a full year and then some to come back from that. It takes a lot of guys a full year to come back from an injury. That could be it. His timing seems to be OK, his vision seems to be OK, but he just doesn’t have that sharpness to his game that you like to see. But otherwise, it’s the same Krejci. It’s just the pace isn’t where I think it’s been at in the past.”

Milbury also opined on Michael Ryder: “They signed him to be a goal-scorer. He’s not. He’s going to be a 20-plus goal-scorer. He’s not a physical presence. He and [Blake] Wheeler are in the same boat, as far as I’m concerned. They put some effort into the game, I think there’s more there.”

As for Milan Lucic and his lack of physical play this season, Milbury said: “I firmly believe that if he doesn’t bring that [physical] element to his game, he sells himself short and his team short. He was, as you remember, in his rookie year, changing games not with scoring lots of goals but with momentum-changing hits and an occasional fight. Those are almost as important as scoring goals. And he doesn’t bring that that often anymore. I know he’s being dinged up a little bit. … I’d like to see it a whole lot more often. I’d like to see it from the Bruins in general more often.”

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