|Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘really becoming a well-oiled machine’||03.14.14 at 1:24 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss how the Bruins are playing after the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
After defeating the Coyotes, 2-1, Thursday night, the Bruins are on a seven-game winning streak.
“They’re strong,” McGuire said. “They really are tight as a group. They haven’t messed with the integrity of their roster. Their defensive-zone posture’s getting better and better all the time. I think Andrej Meszaros is going to fill in well with Zdeno Chara. He’s going to help the power play as well.
“They’ve done a lot of things well there in Boston for a long period of time now, and when you watch them play you get the sense that this is a group that’s really becoming a well-oiled machine.”
During that span of time, Carl Soderberg has played at center while Chris Kelly has made the move to wing.
“The way Chris Kelly has been able to move over to wing rather than being center so Carl Soderberg, who is much more comfortable playing center, can play center — I think you’ve seen Soderberg really start to rise, and Kelly’s been a great trooper handling the assignment moving from center to wing,” McGuire said.
“People always want to talk about the young star, they don’t want to talk about the old guy that’s moved over to accommodate this, and obviously the extra ice helps Soderberg a lot, and not having to play on the boards helps him a lot, but Chris Kelly deserves a lot of credit for this. He really does. I think he’s done valiant work.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug sitting out: “I think there’s a lot that goes into it. I don’t think it’s about one person or two persons. … I think it’s about the way the team needs to play. One of the things you try to do too is keep your roster competitive at this time of year and have guys fighting for ice so that everybody stays fresh but everybody stays focused. I like the way the Bruins are handling things. Is it easy to watch Dougie Hamilton sit out back-to-back games? No, because I think Dougie’s starting to make significant progress in his career. Is it easy to see Krug sit out? No, it’s not. But, again, this is part of having a competitive, deep roster, and that’s one of the things I admire so much about the Bruins.”
|Bruins teammates weigh in on Andrej Meszaros trade, Thomas Vanek to Canadiens trade||03.05.14 at 4:50 pm ET|
The trade deadline came and went Wednesday, with defenseman Andrej Meszaros the biggest name acquired by the B’s. After the trade deadline, a couple of his new Bruins teammates weighed in on the acquisition.
Chris Kelly knows Meszaros well, as the two were teammates in Ottawa. Kelly said that the 30-year-old Slovakia native uses his 6-foot-2, 220-pound body well.
” ‘Mez skates extremely well, he’s got a great shot and he’s a big body,” Kelly said. “He’s a left-handed shot. I think that’s what Peter [Chiarelli] was saying, you guys were telling me, that they wanted some depth on the back end and I think he fills that.”
Added Kelly: “He’s a big, big guy. You’ll see. He’s a big strong guy. You know all those Slovaks, they’re big men.”
Kelly added that Meszaros will fit in well with the team, saying that the Bruins have had “more difficult guys come into our room in the past.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Bruins send Ryan Spooner, Zach Trotman to Providence||01.28.14 at 3:47 pm ET|
The Bruins sent center Ryan Spooner and defenseman Zach Trotman to Providence Tuesday.
Spooner’s demotion comes with Chris Kelly being activated from injured reserve as he is set to return from a broken fibula suffered on Dec. 7. Spooner had been centering the third line in Kelly’s place up until the past two games. Carl Soderberg centered the third line Saturday with Spooner out with the flu and stayed there as the Bruins made Spooner a healthy scratch Monday.
In 22 games for the Bruins this season, Spooner has no goals and 11 assists for 11 points. He has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 21 games for Providence this season.
The Bruins chose Spooner with the 45th overall pick in the 2010 draft. In his first professional season, Spooner put up 17 goals and 40 assists for 57 points in 59 games for Providence last season. He had an encouraging training camp, but the lack of center jobs available and the team’s intentions of keeping him at center forced him back to Providence.
Spooner said in Dallas this month that he hoped to stay in Boston once Kelly returned, even if it meant he wouldn’t be playing.
‘I think for me right now, being here and kind of being in the environment and just watching some of the centermen here would be good for me,” Spooner said, “but I’m not really focused on that right now.’
Trotman was recalled last week but did not play during his two-game recall.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
Chris Kelly has been activated from injured reserve and is expected to return to the Bruins’ lineup Tuesday night against the Panthers. Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in New York Monday that the B’s expected him to play the second game of the team’s back-to-back.
Kelly has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula. The recovery was a frustrating one for Kelly, who beat his anticipated recovery time last season when he came back from a broken tibia in a little less than a month.
The Bruins’ third line center and assistant captain had been having a fine season prior to suffering his injury on a slash from Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis. He had three goals and four assists for seven points and a minus-1 rating, but had centered a trio with Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith that had performed well for a third line.
Since Kelly’s injury, Smith has seized the second-line right wing job, with Loui Eriksson playing on the third line since his return from his second concussion of the season. As such, Kelly can be expected to center Soderberg and Eriksson. Soderberg had centered the third line the last two games with Daniel Paille playing the left wing, but Kelly’s return will likely move Soderberg back to the wing. Ryan Spooner was a healthy scratch Monday and will likely remain one with Kelly’s return.
With Kelly back, Paille will likely move back to the fourth line, which would force Jordan Caron out of the lineup. Anticipated lines with Kelly in would look like this:
Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Soderberg – Kelly – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Tim Thomas set to make first start back in Boston vs. Bruins||at 12:42 pm ET|
Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice in Tuesday’s morning skate, suggesting he will be in net as expected Tuesday night against the Bruins. The game will be Thomas’ second against the Bruins, but the first in Boston.
Thomas allowed three goals in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Panthers on Oct. 17, but he was missed the teams’ Nov. 7 meeting due to injury. On the season, Thomas is 14-14-3 this season with a .915 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average.
Given that Chad Johnson was in net Monday for the B’s, it is likely that Tuukka Rask will face Thomas Tuesday in the former Bruins goaltending tandem’s second meeting as opponents. Rask is third in the NHL with a .930 save percentage, leads the league with five shutouts and is seventh with a 2.08 GAA.
The Bruins did pay tribute to Thomas in that Nov. 7 game, showing a video and then showing Thomas, who was in the press box, on the scoreboard.
Thomas played seven seasons in the NHL for the B’s, winning the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 2009 and 2011 and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top postseason performer in the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup championship run. He was traded to the Islanders last season, which he sat out after a rocky final season in Boston in which his refusal to attend the White House with the team drew criticism.
The B’s did not have a morning skate Tuesday, as they played Monday night in a 6-3 victory over the Islanders. Boston has now 5-1-1 over its last seven games. Chris Kelly is expected to return to the lineup for the Bruins after being out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Dougie Hamilton: ‘I’m ready to play now’||01.24.14 at 1:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game against the Flyers, with Hamilton saying he is ready to return to the lineup.
Hamilton, who has missed the last four games with a concussion, practiced with his teammates for the second consecutive day Friday and said he was “finally” cleared for contact.
“I think I’ve been skating now for, I think this is my sixth day, so every day I’ve felt better and I’m ready to play now,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he suffered the concussion, which was the first of his career, in the third period of the team’s loss to the Kings on Jan. 9 and played the next game against the Sharks.
The concussion is Hamilton’s second injury this season, as he missed 10 games from Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 with a knee injury. Hamilton is in his second season and said that the last couple of months have been frustrating given that they’ve halted the progress of a strong second season.
“I think I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot better defensively, and just feel a lot better on the ice,” Hamilton said. “It’s just been an unfortunate month or two months or whatever. Hopefully I can just get back into the lineup again and have fun and help the team out.”
Kelly also practiced with the team for the second straight day. He has not played since suffering a broken fibula on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. Claude Julien said that there is a chance one or both could return to the lineup Saturday, and noted that Hamilton is closer to returning than Kelly because he has missed less time and is in better game shape.
Adam McQuaid did not practice Friday and will not travel to Philadelphia as he remains out with a leg injury.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton practice with Bruins; Adam McQuaid absent||01.23.14 at 11:22 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton returned to practice Thursday at Ristuccia Arena. Adam McQuaid, who is out with a leg injury, was the only player missing from practice.
Kelly has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula, while Hamilton has missed the last four games with a concussion. Kelly was wearing a grey (third line) jersey along with Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Ryan Spooner. With Kelly out of the lineup, Spooner has centered the third line.
“I was excited to come today,” Kelly said after the practice. “It’s been a little bit longer than I would have liked, but it’s all part of the process of getting better, and today was a good step in the right direction.”
Kelly said he isn’t sure when he will return to the lineup, but Claude Julien said that he will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game and could be in the lineup within a week. The veteran center added that he “pushed it pretty good” in Thursday’s practice and felt good.
“I think I’ve done everything I need to do,” Kelly said. “Conditioning, I felt great. Obviously you can never simulate the physical aspect of the game, but I felt good out there today.”
Julien said it is unclear whether Hamilton will travel, as he hasn’t been cleared to take heavy contact yet.
Also on the ice for the B’s was Zach Trotman, who was recalled Thursday morning on an emergency basis. Trotman had been returned to Providence Tuesday after playing Monday’s game against the Kings. Though the Bruins were off Tuesday and Wednesday, Trotman was able to get a practice in with Providence on Wednesday.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
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