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Bruins beat Capitals, 4-1, in home opener 10.21.10 at 9:31 pm ET
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Michael Ryder, Jordan Caron, Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara all scored for the Bruins and Tim Thomas turned in his latest stellar performance as the B’s beat the Capitals, 4-1, in their home opener Thursday night.

Ryder, Horton, and Chara saw their goals come on the power play, an impressive sight given that the team had converted on just one of 15 opportunities entering the night.

Thomas was nothing short of outstanding, allowing one fluky goal (see below) on 39 shots faced. Thomas has now started four games in a row for the Bruins and has won them all. The B’s are now 4-1 on the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- That clever little trick Tuukka Rask and Claude Julien pulled on the media can be appreciated given how outstanding Thomas once again was. Rask came off the ice in the morning skate first and with a grin spoke of his excitement to get a start. Of course, the Bruins sat Rask for the fourth-straight game, giving the Thomas the start and fooling reporters in the process.

While Rask’s sense of humor was a bright spot of the day, Thomas stole the show for the fourth straight game. He made many a highlight reel save and recovered tremendously each time the Capitals had a chance at catching the 36-year-old goaltender out of position.

There were many “if they didn’t score there, they just won’t score tonight for the moments,” on the night prior to the Caps’ lone goal, with a couple of huge saves on old friend Mike Knuble standing out in particular. Thomas has now allowed just three goals in four starts this season.

- The power play is mentioned in the “What went right” category! The Bruins scored on three of four power plays thanks to tallies from Ryder, Horton and Chara.

Improving the power play to 4-for-19 on the season was no small task against a Capitals team that entered the night having not allowed a power play goal in 25 chances. The Capitals themselves were 0-for-4 on the power play.

- The Bruins won this game in many areas, but let’s not let their neutral zone play go unnoticed. The Bruins created turnovers throughout the night, especially early on, in between the blue lines, creating many plenty of offensive opportunities for themselves and limiting whatever damage the Capitals could attempt on Thomas.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The shutout bid ended at 9:27 of the third period in rather ugly fashion. Thomas came out of his net to send a puck back up from the hashmarks, but Jason Chimera entered the zone and intercepted it, picking up his second goal of the season with ease and ending preventing Thomas from getting his second shutout of the season.

- This should be indicative of just how good a night it was for the Bruins. Semyon Varlamov or bad bounces prevented the two rookies — who both had very good games in their first regular season sample of the Garden — from putting scoring YouTube-bound goals. Tyler Seguin, who had an assist on Ryder’s goal, fooled the Washington defense handily by faking a dump-and-change in the first period before losing control, while Caron squandered a bid for his second goal later in the game. Boy, what a terrible night it is when you can’t win, 5-1…

- Don’t quite get all the sneering at anthem singer Steven Tyler. Nobody expected the guy to hit a note, and he hit them all. Sneering unjustified.

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Chiarelli: Stuart gives B’s ‘size, strength, character’ 07.09.10 at 2:08 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart was about as humble and agreeable as possible on Friday in accepting his one-year contract extension for next season.

After general manager Peter Chiarelli announced the team had re-signed defenseman, Stuart spoke of wanting to forget about the way the playoffs ended while looking forward to the young, talented core the team is building.

Stuart, 26, is a veteran of 252 NHL regular season games and has 12 goals, 23 assists for 35 points and 261 penalty minutes in those contests. He also has 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games, with two career assists in those 22 games.

The contract is a one-year, $1.675 million pact, a raise from the $1.3 million he made the past two seasons.

Stuart chose against filing for arbitration because negotiations with the Bruins had been encouraging. Stuart said Friday during a conference call with reporters that he’s open to playing this one season with the hope of something better down the road.

“I’m very excited about the deal,” Stuart said. “I expected after the season that I had if I was going to get a deal it was going to be a one-year deal and then see how I played. Hopefully, I can have a great year this year and then hopefully, yeah, a long-term deal is in the future.”

The Bruins now have just over $1 million in cap space, according to CapGeek.com. The team still has yet to reach agreements with first-round pick Tyler Seguin and restricted free agent forwards Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell, the latter two of whom filed for arbitration.

Last season, Stuart played in 56 games for the Bruins, with two goals and five assists. He was sidelined for 26 regular season games and eight postseason contests with a broken left pinky finger and a subsequent infection within that finger.

During his 2008-2009 campaign, Stuart set career highs in goals, assists and points as well as tying his career high in games played, with five goals and 12 assists in 82 games.

“He was okay with the one year. To the point of building onto something more, we have more flexibility, too, next year,” Chiarelli said. “If you remember before he hurt his hand against LA, he was starting to play more minutes. He was actually coming along pretty good. It’s size, strength, character. Now, we’ve got, between him, Dennis [Seidenberg], Z [Zdeno Chara] and Johnny [Boychuk], we’ve got some big strong guys.”

Read More: Bruins, cap, Mark Stuart, NHL
Photos: Slideshow of Bruins Development Camp 07.08.10 at 3:07 pm ET
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Click here or on the image below to launch a slideshow of the Boston Bruins Development Camp.

Tyler Seguin goes full speed during warm-up drills at the Bruins Development Camp. (WEEI.com/John Vu)

Tyler Seguin goes full speed during warm-up drills at the Bruins Development Camp. (WEEI.com/John Vu)

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Photo slideshow: Seguin and Horton’s Introduction 06.29.10 at 2:02 pm ET
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Tyler Seguin (#19) and Nathan Horton (#18) are presented their new jerseys by Bruins President Cam Neely and GM Peter Chiarelli. Click here or on the image for the complete slideshow.

Tyler Seguin (#19) and Nathan Horton (#18) (John Vu, WEEI.com)

Tyler Seguin (#19) and Nathan Horton (#18) (John Vu, WEEI.com)

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Report: B’s assistant Ramsay to be Thrashers head coach 06.24.10 at 6:41 am ET
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Craig Ramsay, who was an assistant coach for the Bruins the past three seasons, will be named head coach of the Thrashers, according to ESPN.com. Ramsay, who spent his entire 14-year NHL playing career with the Sabres, also has served as an assistant coach for the Sabres, Panthers, Senators, Flyers and Lightning. He had brief stints as head coach of the Sabres (21 games in 1986-87) and Flyers (25 games in 1999-2000 and 28 games in 2000-01).

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Bruin nemesis Cooke re-ups with Pittsburgh 06.23.10 at 10:35 am ET
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Penguins forward Matt Cooke has become Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston. (AP)

Bruins nemesis Matt Cooke re-signed with Pittsburgh for three years (AP)

Bruin fans will be hard pressed to forget the questionable, blindsided hit Matt Cooke delivered on Marc Savard on March 6. Replays confirm the maliciousness of the blow, although Cooke was never penalized on the ice and received no fine from the league office. The hit knocked out Savard until the Flyers series in May.

Known for being a pest on the ice, Cooke re-signed with the Penguins Wednesday, a reported three-year, $5.4 million contract. One of the Penguins’ top penalty-killers, he had 15 goals and 15 assists last season, to go along with a plus-17 and 183 hits. Cooke, who also has played for Vancouver and Washington, could have become a free agent July 1.

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Top two picks in last 25 NHL drafts at 8:28 am ET
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draftOn Friday the Bruins will have the second pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, their highest pick since picking Joe Thornton first overall in 1997. There have been rumors about the B’s trading the pick for more picks or possibly a star player, but the Bruins have emphatically denied any plans to give it away. With Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall expected to go 1-2, it will be the biggest 1-2 punch since the Alex Ovechkin-Evgeni Malkin combo of 2004.

The No 1 pick always is the solid, franchise-building player who can score the most, hit the best, skate the fastest or defend the best. He also can also easily wear the ‘C’ on his sweater within a few years of his debut because he can command respect. In the past, there have been famous No. 1 picks including Guy Lafleur, Denis Potvin, Mario Lemieux, Pierre Turgeon, Mike Modano, Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lacavalier, Rick Nash, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane.

Then, of course, there is the overlooked No. 2 pick in the draft. In many cases, this pick can also be a blessing for a team, just as good as a No. 1 pick, depending on the class. Some of the great No. 2s: Brendan Shanahan, Petr Nedved, Chris Pronger, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, the Staal brothers, Evgeni Malkin and James van Riemsdyk.

Here’s a list of the past 25 top two picks in the NHL draft.

2009

1. New York Islanders: John Tavares, London (OHL)
2009-present: 82 games, 24 goals, 30 assists, 54 points, 22 PIM, -15 plus/minus
2. Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Hedman, Modo Ornskoldsvik (Elitserien)
2009-present: 74 games, 4 goals, 16 assists, 30 points, 79 PIM, -3 plus/minus

2008

1. Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos, Sarnia (OHL)
2008-present: 161 games, 74 goals, 67 assists, 95 points, 77 PIM, -15 plus/minus
2. Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty, Guelph (OHL)
2008-present: 163 games, 22 goals, 64 assists, 86 points, 110 PIM, +3 plus/minus Read the rest of this entry »

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