|Dougie Hamilton, Rich Peverley crack Bruins’ lineup in practice||05.03.13 at 11:06 am ET|
WILMINGTON — After staying off the ice on Thursday, the Bruins held practice at Ristuccia Arena with a tweak to their lineup. Rich Peverley, who was a healthy scratch in Boston’s Game 1 win over the Maple Leafs Wednesday, skated on the third line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr. That bumped Kaspars Daugavins out, as he appears to be headed for the press box in Saturday’s Game 2.
Andrew Ference, who is suspended for Game 2, practiced. It would appear based on defensive pairings in one of the drills that Dougie Hamilton will step into the lineup for Game 2, which would break up the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg pairing.
The lineup was as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin
Peverley – Kelly – Jagr
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
Extra forwards: Daugavins, Soderberg, Pandolfo
Extra defensemen: Ference (suspended), Johnson
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Andrew Ference suspension leaves Bruins with choice to make on defense||05.02.13 at 6:37 pm ET|
After a completely one-sided contest in Game 1, things got interesting Thursday in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Bruins and Maple Leafs when B’s defenseman Andrew Ference was suspended for Game 2 for an illegal hit to the head of Toronto forward Mikhail Grabovski.
Ference was viewed as a repeat offender because his last suspension (the only other one of his 13-year career) came within the past 18 months — he was suspended for three games last January for his hit on Ryan McDonagh.
You can say all you wanted about Ference’s start to the season — which was not good — but he recovered well and is once again one of the more important and underrated pieces for the B’s. His absence isn’t something to overlook, and if the Maple Leafs plan on showing up for Game 2 (a big “if” after they chose not to Wednesday), it could be a closer game than the 4-1 drubbing the B’s gave the Leafs.
Without Ference, the Bruins have two options: There’s Dougie Hamilton, who played in 42 of the Bruins’ 48 regular-season games, and there’s Aaron Johnson.
While Hamilton’s name might come to mind first because of his offensive skill and the fact that he’s, well, Dougie Hamilton, don’t rule out Johnson. The 30-year-old is a left shot like Ference and could either slide into Ference’s spot on the pairing with Johnny Boychuk or play with Adam McQuaid, allowing Wade Redden to move onto Boychuk’s pairing.
The issue with Johnson is that he’s likely rusty after playing in only 10 regular season games, the most recent of which was over a month ago on March 30 against the Flyers.
Hamilton being in the lineup would give the B’s a bit of a predicament from a pairing standpoint. With Dennis Seidenberg playing on the right side with Zdeno Chara as part of the top pairing, that would give the Bruins three right-shot defensemen in their other two pairings. Perhaps Hamilton being in the lineup would force Claude Julien to break up the Chara-Seidenberg pairing to allow Seidenberg to go back to the left side on another pairing, with Hamilton skating with either Chara or Seidenberg, but would the Bruins really want to break up that top pairing given how effective it was in Game 1?
So those are the Bruins’ two options: Play the more talented rookie — but one who looked more and more like a rookie in the second half of the season — who would likely cause a bit of shuffling among the defensemen. Or, play the veteran who hasn’t been in the lineup in over a month. Those aren’t the best options, but just remember that Shane Hnidy at the very end of his career played three games in the playoffs in 2011, getting just 3:09 of ice time per game, and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup that postseason. Losing Ference is bigger than you might think, but it isn’t the end of the world.
|Rich Peverley, Dougie Hamilton healthy scratches for Game 1||05.01.13 at 6:55 pm ET|
The Bruins scratched Rich Peverley and Dougie Hamilton for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Maple Leafs. Boston’s other healthy scratches were Carl Soderberg, Jay Pandolfo and Aaron Johnson.
The lineup in warmups was as follows:
Milan Lucic ‘ David Krejci ‘ Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand ‘ Patrice Bergeron ‘ Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins ‘ Chris Kelly ‘ Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille ‘ Gregory Campbell ‘ Shawn Thornton
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins-Leafs ‘should have all the elements of a playoff series [B’s] can win’||at 2:15 pm ET|
NESN’s Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ approach to the playoffs, some lineup decisions they’ve made, and how they match up with the Maple Leafs.
Brickley said he would have preferred to see the Bruins face the Islanders in the first round, but he thinks Toronto is a better matchup for them than Ottawa would have been.
“Toronto, they’re a little porous on defense,” Brickley said. “I’m still not sold on [James] Reimer being an elite guy. He’s got no experience, really, when it comes to NHL postseason play. So I think it’s a pretty good matchup. My preference would have been the Islanders, but be careful what you wish for. But it should have all the elements of a playoff series they can win, which is physical play, 5-on-5 hockey. If Toronto wants to initiate, the Bruins will oblige, but I’m looking for the Bruins to initiate.”
“I’m not surprised,” Brickley said of Chara and Seidenberg playing together. “I don’t know if it’s my preference. Toronto, one of their strengths this year is the fact that they have more than one scoring line. You put those guys together and you try to play them against Phil Kessel and his threesome, and they can still hurt you with [Joffrey] Lupul, [Nazem] Kadri. But that’s something they wanted to do. They were committed to it before the season ended. Now it’s up to the other four defensemen that are in the lineup to get the job done on the matchups.”
Brickley said that while Dougie Hamilton looks likely to sit in favor of Wade Redden in Game 1, Hamilton likely will crack the lineup at some point in the playoffs.
“I absolutely think we’ll see Dougie, whether it’s an adjustment or an injury or trying to get a little bit more on your power play,” Brickley said. “They want to get him some playoff experience, no doubt, but it’ll all be determined on how the Bruins play and how healthy they are on the back end.”
|Wade Redden making most of opportunity with Bruins||at 1:55 pm ET|
When the Bruins’ biggest deadline-day acquisition was Wade Redden, it appeared that the B’s were making a smaller move for depth, with Jaromir Jagr figuring to be the only acquisition to have a real impact down the road.
Fast forward to the beginning of the playoffs, and that is not the case. Redden has played his way into the Bruins’ lineup and figures to be Adam McQuaid‘s partner in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference, with Dougie Hamilton being a healthy scratch.
“This is what we all play for this time of year,” Redden said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “Everything is on the line, so it’s going to be fun. I’m going to try to enjoy as much as I can. It’s obviously an intense atmosphere. To try to go out there, play loose and play free. That’s the best way to approach it.”
It’s been a tough few years for Redden. The former second overall pick signed a six-year, $39 million deal with the Rangers prior to the 2008-09 season, and saw a fall from grace so great he spent the last two seasons in the AHL before being brought out prior to this season and signing a one-year deal with the Blues.
When he was traded to the B’s, he didn’t know if he’d be given the opportunity that he’s been given. He’s obviously happy with the way things have worked out.
“You never know what’s in store for you,” Redden said. “I went down, I approached the game I always have. That hasn’t changed today, so I’m use going to play my game, go out there and have some fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
In six games for the B’s, the 35-year-old has a goal and an assist for two points and an even rating.
“I think Wade feels pretty good about himself right now,” Claude Julien said. “He’s had some tough years, as far as where he was, whether how he’s been traded and everything else, but he’s come in here, and he’s got a fresh chance to prove himself. The games that he played, he moved the puck extremely well. His experience is invaluable, and his confidence right now is pretty good. When you have Wade in that zone, he becomes a pretty good player.”
One more note on Redden: The Bruins sent a conditional 2014 seventh-round pick to St. Louis in the deadline deal, with the condition being that the pick becomes a 2014 sixth-rounder if he plays at least one playoff game. That pick figures to vest Wednesday, making it a sixth-rounder for the defenseman.
|Bruins lines unchanged as Rich Peverley, Dougie Hamilton appear to be healthy scratches||at 12:26 pm ET|
Claude Julien insisted on Tuesday that his lineup for Game 1 wasn’t set, and after showing the same one in Wednesday’s morning skate said the same thing. Until different lines and defensive pairings take the ice, assume he’s fibbing.
The lineup Wednesday morning was as follows:
Julien said that Horton is a game-time decision after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury, but Horton said Tuesday that he expects to play and has practiced the last two days. The coach did admit that Dougie Hamilton will “probably” be a healthy scratch in favor of Redden.
It’s really unlikely that a coach whose lineup has been in flux would really change his lines last-minute before the playoffs start, so expect to see that lineup for Game 1. The one area where there could be a late change would be the left wing spot on the third line, where Rich Peverley could enter the lineup in favor of Daugavins. Peverley appears to be in Julien’s doghouse, but he’s versatile and just so happened to lead the Bruins with three goals and five points in their seven playoff games last season.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Dougie Hamilton wins Bruins’ Seventh Player Award||04.25.13 at 7:45 pm ET|
In what could be the first of many individual honors, Dougie Hamilton received his first Thursday night.
The Bruins announced that the 19-year-old defenseman is the winner of the NESN Seventh Player Award. Voted on by Bruins fans, the Seventh Player Award is an annual award presented to the Bruin who went above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans during the season.
Ironically, Hamilton was a healthy scratch Thursday night against the Lightning as the team gives him a rest before the start of the playoffs next week.
In his first season with the Bruins, Hamilton has notched five goals and 11 assists in 42 games with a plus-6 rating. The rookie ranks second among Bruins defensemen in points (16) and goals (5).
Hamilton is tied for third in the NHL among rookie blueliners in points (16), third in assists (11) and tied for third in goals (5).
Hamilton started the season with the Niagra IceDogs (Ontario Hockey League), skating in 32 games, notching eight goals and 33 assists for 41 points. Last year, he was named the Canadian Major Junior Defenseman of the Year.
The 6-foot-5, 199-pound native of Toronto was drafted by the Bruins in the first round (9th overall) of the 2011 NHL draft.
In addition to the Seventh Player Award trophy, Hamilton will receive $5,000 to donate to the charity of his choice.
The Seventh Player Award sweepstakes winner was Scott Martioski of Orange, Mass. Martioski wins a three-year lease on a 2014 Kia Sorento courtesy of Central Auto Team of Norwood and Raynham.
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