|Jody Shelley’s latest suspension keeps him out as Bruins raise banner||09.23.11 at 1:01 am ET|
When the Bruins raise their Stanley Cup champions banner against the Flyers on Oct. 6, one Philadelphia villain will be watching from the press box.
Jody Shelley was suspended 10 total games (the remaining five preseason games as well as the first five games of the regular season for his hit on Darryl Boyce in Wednesday’s preseason game between the Flyers and Leafs.
Bruins fans should know Shelley’s name well, as the Flyers forward’s dangerous hit on Adam McQuaid last season earned him an early exit from the two teams’ Dec. 11 meeting as well as a two-game suspension.
Shelley got another two games for sucker-punching Vancouver (and former BC and Bruins) defenseman Andrew Alberts on Dec. 28. This season, he didn’t wait until December to be suspended, and new disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan hasn’t waited long to hand out suspensions.
Shanahan also suspended Flames forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for the rest of the preseason and one regular season game for hitting Canucks forward Matt Clackson from behind.
The league sent out a couple of released regarding the suspensions late Thursday night, and Shanahan noted that Shelley’s status as a repeat offender played a role in his suspension.
“Shelley hit Boyce squarely from behind into the glass,” Shanahan said in a release sent out by the NHL. “Boyce’s back was turned toward Shelley well before the contact, requiring that Shelley avoid or minimize the check. He did neither.
“Shelley’s two suspensions last season weighed heavily in this decision.”
|Post-morning skate notes: Milan Lucic out, Tim Thomas off first, Mark Stuart takes another step||01.13.11 at 12:23 pm ET|
Tim Thomas was first off the ice in Thursday’s morning skate, so it looks like he’ll be rewarded with the start vs. the Flyers after shutting out the Senators on Tuesday. He faces a tougher challenge against Philadelphia, as the Flyers are third in the league with their 3.4 goals per game, while the Senators’ 2.2 goals per game rank 29th.
Forward Milan Lucic will be out for the second straight game, as the undisclosed injury (which seems to be going around these days) hasn’t healed to the point at which Claude Julien is comfortable putting the slumping winger back in the lineup.
“[He's feeling] better,” coach Claude Julien said following the skate. “Obviously he won’t be i tonight, but he’s getting better.”
Julien likened Lucic’s situation to that of Nathan Horton, who missed a pair of games with an undisclosed injury prior to returning in Tuesday’s 6-0 victory over the Senators.
“[He's] day-to-day,” Julien said. “It’s a lot like Horton. He’s dealing with the same kind of situation as far as day-to-day is concerned.”
When Lucic does return, he’ll be looking to both shake of rust and bust out of an 11-game goal drought. Lucic leads the Bruins with 16 goals this season.
While Lucic wasn’t on the ice for the morning skate, defenseman Mark Stuart was. Stuart has been out since suffering a fractured hand and dislocated finger on Dec. 7 and hopes to return to the lineup sometime next week.
Given the impressive play of Steven Kampfer, who was called up following Stuart’s injury, as well as Adam McQuaid‘s safe and solid play on the blueline, the B’s will have a decision to make when it comes to making room for Stuart. To Stuart, the fact that both have played so well tells him that the team is in good shape, and that he shouldn’t assume anything will be handed to him.
“This is the best position to be in, and it’s going to make me work even harder to get back and to play well,” Stuart said.
“It’s definitely the case,” he added regarding the competition he anticipates for his spot. “You have to earn your way back. I don’t care who you are. … Guys are playing well. It would probably be different if the team was on a downswing and they were looking to change things up.
“It’s good to see, though. That’s what you need. That’s what all good teams have. You look around the league at the good teams. They all have guys coming up, guys coming in and out. Everybody can play, everybody comes in and does the job. I think that’s what you’ve seen with us the last month or so.”
Julien noted that with Stuart still a week to 10 days away, he isn’t in any rush to make a quick decision on how things will unfold.
“It’s probably a little early to answer that question,” Julien said. “… [We have] lots of games and so sometimes you have to make those decisions, sometimes you don’t so I’ll give myself a little break on that one.”
Here are some other notes from the skate:
- The lines looked the same for the Bruins as they were on Tuesday against Ottawa.
- McQuaid probably likes getting attention more from his play and his fighting rather than from perhaps the scariest moment of his career. With the Flyers in town, though, so too is Jody Shelley, who sent him head-first into the end boards on Dec. 11 when the two were chasing an iced puck.
The B’s blueliner wanted to move on from the play, which got Shelley suspended for two games, at the time, and as the spotlight returns with Flyers, he would rather not dwell on it.
“You never want to kind of see yourself going head-first into the boards at any point in time, but it’s not really something I’m thinking too much about,” McQuaid said. “I’ve moved on, moved past it, and just want to be focused for tonight.”
- Horton wasn’t around following Tuesday’s game or during Thursday morning’s media availability, so it’s tough to gauge exactly how comfortable the winger feels since returning from his undisclosed injury. Julien liked what he saw from the winger on Tuesday, but on Thursday didn’t know if Horton’s feeling completely better.
“Let’s put it this way: he’s well enough to play,” Julien said. “I don’t know that I’d say he’s 100 percent, because you don’t come back from missing games and all of a sudden you’re 100 percent.
“[He was] close enough that the risk factor was kind of pushed aside, and they’re minimal, and that he was able to give us what we wanted and well enough to play.”
|Bruins look for third straight win as they take on Flyers||01.12.11 at 11:19 pm ET|
Fresh off a 6-0 trouncing of the Senators on Tuesday, the Bruins (23-12-7) will will play their second of four consecutive home games when they host the Flyers (27-10-5) on Thursday. The two teams have split the season series thus far, with the Bruins grabbing a 3-0 win in Philadelphia on Dec. 1 and the Flyers returning the favor with a 2-1 overtime victory at TD Garden on Dec. 11.
The Flyers sit atop the Eastern Conference with 59 points in 42 games and are currently riding a four-game winning streak. With the Canadiens falling to the Penguins, 5-2, on Wednesday, the Bruins have an opportunity to expand their lead in the Northeast Division to four points. Tim Thomas will get the nod for the B’s.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The Bruins are 10-7-3 in home games this season. They’ve gone 3-2-0 over their last five contests at the Garden dating back to their 3-2 win over the Capitals on Dec. 18.
- The Flyers are 14-4-3 outside of Wells Fargo Center, and their 31 road points on the road put them in a tie with the Rangers for the most in the NHL. They’ve gone 3-2-0 in their last five road contests, most recently beating Buffalo, 5-2.
- The Flyers are one of only two teams in the Eastern Conference to have a better goal differential than the Bruins. The B’s are a plus-30 on the season, while both the Flyers and Penguins are a plus-33. The Canucks lead the league with a plus-42 differential.
- Patrice Bergeron has two things going for him entering the game, as he’s scored one of the Bruins’ four goals against the Flyers this season and is riding hot streak consisting of 17 points in his last 13 games. Bergeron recorded his first career hat trick on Tuesday night.
Tyler Seguin, who also scored in that Dec. 1 game, is coming off a two-point night Tuesday.
- Since scoring the Bruins’ only goal against Philadelphia on Dec. 1, Nathan Horton has just one tally, a second-period strike against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 3. That’s a span of 12 games with just one goal. Horton has 12 on the season.
- The Bruins have scored 10 goals without allowing one dating back to the third period of their 4-2 win over the Penguins on Monday night. Those numbers are of course helped a bit by the fact that the majority of them came against the lowly Senators.
STORLYINES GOING IN
- It seems there have been a lot of instances of wondering whether a player hindered by an undisclosed injury will be able to go. This time, it’s Milan Lucic. The Bruins’ leading goal-scorer was kept out of Tuesday night’s game, with Claude Julien saying that the injury is “hopefully a day-to-day situation.” [UPDATE: Lucic will not play.]
- The last time the Flyers were in town, Jody Shelley became a villain to Boston when he shoved B’s defenseman Adam McQuaid into the end boards while the two were racing for an iced puck. McQuaid was shaken up a bit, while Shelley was suspended for two games.
- That Dec. 11 was a forgettable one for Marc Savard. It was his turnover that led to Mike Richards‘ game-winner in overtime. It was Savard’s fifth game since returning from post-concussion syndrome.
In 19 games this season, Savard has six points (2 G, 2 A) and a team-worst minus-8 rating.
|Mike Milbury on D&H: NHL salary cap ‘un-American’||12.15.10 at 1:01 pm ET|
NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and the NHL. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Milbury said it was tough to see Marco Sturm go, as the Bruins completed the trade with the Kings to clear up cap space. Said Milbury: “I wish there were another way to go, because on this team he would have been a great fit on the third line and allowed a bunch of other guys to try a hand at a top-six forward position. And that’s where I think Sturm fits best. He can play up to the second line. He’s a real good third-line player on a terrific team, and the Bruins are working their way toward that.”
Milbury said he’s not a fan of the hard cap. “I don’t like it. I mean, what is it doing? It’s sort of leveling the playing field for everybody. Is that what we’re trying to do? It’s sort of un-American, isn’t it? You’re supposed to be out there, spend as much as you want, do whatever you want, and you reap the consequences or the benefits. After all is said and done, I miss the Evil Empire in New York and I miss the Detroit Red Wings spending all sorts of money.”
Commenting on Flyers forward Jody Shelley‘s hit on Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid in Saturday’s game, Milbury said: “It was a dumb hit. He’s paying the price for it. I think that was one that every player in the league can go, ‘Geez, you’ve got to be smarter than that.’ ” Milbury added that he supports automatic icing so as to avoid such situations.
Linus Omark made his NHL debut with the Oilers on Friday night, and the youngster turned some heads in the shootout when he did a 360-degree spin upon touching the puck, then faked a slap shot and fired the pick past Lightning goalie Dan Ellis for the winner.
The flashy moves did not bother Milbury. “We go to this shootout after an overtime, and it’s a gimmick,” he said. “It’s not hockey, it’s a test of skill. You know what? Let it rip. Let it fly. Do handsprings or backflips or whatever you think of to A) entertain the fans, and B) maybe distract the goaltender. … He can do whatever he wants. He can go naked at center ice, a la ‘Slap Shot.’ I’d like to see that. That would really sell some tickets.”
|Report: Flyers GM expects Jody Shelley to be suspended for hit on Adam McQuaid||12.12.10 at 5:06 pm ET|
According to a tweet from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the NHL has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for Monday in regard to Flyers forward Jody Shelley‘s hit on Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. The play, in which Shelley received a boarding major and game misconduct, occurred in the second period of the Flyers’ 2-1 overtime win. The players were racing for an iced puck when Shelley pushed McQuaid, who went head-first into the boards and had the wind knocked out of him.
Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio tweeted Sunday that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren expects Shelley to be suspended for one game.
|Bruins trail Flyers after two||12.11.10 at 8:36 pm ET|
James van Riemsdyk scored his fifth goal of the season, a wrester off the glove of Tim Thomas at 18:39 of the second period, and the Flyers lead the Bruins, 2-0 at the second intermission.
With Adam McQuaid and Jody Shelley both chasing an iced puck in the Bruins’ zone, Shelley pushed McQuaid — clearly the winner of the foot-race — and the defenseman’s momentum took him right into the boards, where he remained motionless for a few moments.
Shelley was handed a five-minute major penalty for hitting from behind and a 10-minute game misconduct. McQuaid returned to the ice later in the period.
The B’s outshot the Flyers, 13-7, in the second and lead them in shots, 22-17.
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