|Johnny Boychuk a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Panthers||11.18.10 at 12:37 pm ET|
Those who are looking for news regarding Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk are in for some mild disappointment, because there isn’t any.
“It’s the same thing as last night,” Claude Julien said Thursday morning. “He’ll be a game-time decision.”
Boychuk has been out with a fractured forearm since Oct. 23rd and has been practicing with his teammates in anticipation of an eventual return. He and Marco Sturm were the only Bruins to skate Thursday morning, as the team studied video while fellow rehabbing players David Krejci and Marc Savard were given the day off.
It was noted by Boychuk on Wednesday that he hasn’t been given the opportunity to endure physical contact given the nature of his on-ice sessions. Once he does return, his coach understands that he might not be in mid-season form, and that minimizing the effect that it could have on the team is key.
“It’s about limitations. He went on the ice again this morning and went through the things that we were concerned about. I think it’s more about that than anything else,” Julien said. “At one point, [he’s] going to have those kinks out, but right now our schedule is not helping us out with so many games. You’re preferring to give your team — because the team goes before the individual — you want to give them some rest in order to give yourself the best possible chances of winning a hockey game. If we wait for the right opportunity to give him a practice, we might be waiting even longer.”
|Johnny Boychuk could return from forearm injury on Wednesday vs. Rangers||11.15.10 at 10:25 pm ET|
Claude Julien said Monday night that Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci will accompany the Bruins as they travel to New York to face the Rangers on Wednesday night. Krejci, working his way back from a concussion suffered Nov. 6, continues to skate with the team while Boychuk, who suffered a fractured forearm on Oct. 23 against the Rangers, could return to game action.
“Boychuk is day-to-day now,” Julien said. “Depending on how his wrist is or is arm is, there’s always a possibility we could see him in Wednesday’s game.”
Julien expressed uncertainty on the subject of whether Marco Sturm (knee) or Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome) will travel with the team. Both have been skating as they look to return from their respective injuries.
Tyler Dellow, an Oilers blogger, on Sunday posted what he says were some of Campbell’s e-mails. (The link appeared to be dead by midday Monday). After doing a little detective work, Dellow determined a bias for Campbell’s son, Gregory Campbell, and a bias against others, namely Marc Savard.
Here’s an e-mail to former director of officiating Stephen Walkom sent in February of 2007 regarding then-referee Dean Warren:
To Stephen Walkom/Tor/NHL@NHL
Subject Re: Delayed Penalties/High Sticks 02/#/2007 4:24 pm
A bend in the road is a dead end if you round the corner and Dean Warren is standing there. Your answer re: his high stick calls and the score of the game were horse [manure]. The 3rd call on [player] was while they were down 5 on 4 and on a def zone face off vs that little fake artist [player] I had him in [city] biggest faker going. And Warren fell for it when he grabbed his face on a face off. Your supposed to see the act, not call the embellishing act. Dean Warren has to go with [referee] There must be a way to get rid of this guy. Is there a way we can tract sic and total minors called by referees this year. We could then get the minors they call per game. … or with 2 [referees on the ice] it is impossible? Warren and [referee] out of [team’s] games. Give them to [referees].
Thanks to Dellow’s investigative work, the only Warren-reffed game in February of 2007 in which a player had three high-sticking penalties was on the 24th, a game between the Panthers and the Bruins. Gregory Campbell was called for the high-sticking, and Savard drew the call that Colin Campbell seemed to particularly take umbrage with. The “biggest faker going” remark seems to apply to Savard, given that by saying “I had him in [city],” he appears to be referring to New York, where Savard played while Campbell was an assistant coach.
Campbell spoke to TSN on Monday regarding the matter, but commented only on emails sent to Walkom regarding a tripping call on Gregory in a different game.
“For me, it’s much ado about nothing,” Campbell told TSN. “Stephen and I would have banter back and forth and Stephen knows I’m a (hockey) dad venting and both of us knowing it wouldn’t go any further than that. Stephen would laugh at me. The game in question (when Gregory Campbell was penalized late in the Atlanta-Florida game) wasn’t on TV and I was asking Stephen to find out for me if it was a soft call. That’s all there ever was to it. The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren’t they? Stephen handled the officials, just like Terry Gregson does now, and I’ve got a lot of emails to those guys asking about this soft call or that soft call and that’s in a lot of games. I’m not ultimately responsible for the (on-ice) officials, that’s Terry Gregson’s responsibility, but I have to answer to GMs on these calls.”
Campbell famously chose against throwing the book at Matt Cooke when he delivered a blindside hit to the head of Savard last season. If one wanted to draw a connection between what the e-mails allege and the lack of punishment on Cooke, they would appear to have a case, depending on the authenticity of the e-mails.
The Bruins politely informed media on Monday that Gregory Campbell, who of course now plays for Boston, would not be taking questions about his father. The league, however, did offer a comment to TSN later in the day.
“Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100 percent integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, or more importantly a perceived conflict of interest, the League has implemented various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays. Its always fair to question and criticize League decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren’t justly and fairly arrived at.”
|Bruins see progress in recoveries of David Krejci, Marc Savard||11.12.10 at 5:08 pm ET|
The Bruins have gotten used to playing without their top center, but having their top two pivots has been a challenge. With Marc Savard continuing to work his way back from post-concussion syndrome and David Krejci out with a concussion, the Bruins have had to move Patrice Bergeron up to the top line and Blake Wheeler back to center for the first time since his college days.
TSN reported during Thursday night’s game that Savard could be back by the end of the month, but Claude Julien and the B’s aren’t crossing their fingers for a set date.
“I don’t think anybody knows exactly the date,” Julien said on Friday. “I think we know that he’s doing well, and right know he’s progressing to the pot where he’s at least close to joining us for practice. He hasn’t been cleared to do that yet, and even less for contact. There’s a lot of speculation right now, and as far we’re concerned we’re still taking it day by day and seeing a guy progress in a positive way, which is encouraging. That’s basically all we can do right now, like everybody else, is speculate.”
Krejci, meanwhile, has been out since last Saturday’s game against the Blues, when he went headfirst into the boards after a collision with T.J. Oshie. He was diagnosed with a moderate concussion because he suffered amnesia, and the Bruins expected to be without his services for at least a week.
An encouraging sign came for Krejci on Friday, as he rode a stationary bike, the most physically demanding exercise he’s been put through following the concussion.
“He’s progressing nicely, I would say,” Julien said. “Right now he’s at the stage where he’s on the bike. If things go well then he continues to move forward if things don’t go well, then we pull him back.”
After falling to the Canadiens at home on Thursday, the Bruins will return to action with a tilt against the Senators at TD Garden on Saturday.
|Report: Marc Savard to begin practicing with Bruins this week||11.10.10 at 7:12 pm ET|
According to the Boston Globe, center Marc Savard will begin practicing with the Bruins “in the next 2-3 days.”
”He’s doing much, much better,” Peter Chiarelli told Kevin Paul Dupont. ”He has been symptom-free for a while now, increasing his skating…all in all, he looks good.”
The Bruins are still dealing with the bad that came of their last trip to Pittsburgh, so it’s only natural for memories to kick in as they return to face the Penguins (now at the CONSOL Energy Center) for the first time since March 7 of last season.
Of course, it was on that day that a head-hunting Matt Cooke blindsided Marc Savard, who would miss the rest of the season and return for the second round of the playoffs before encountering more post-concussion syndrome symptoms that still have him a ways away from returning to the B’s lineup.
The Bruins caught flack for not responding to the Cooke hit 11 days later at the Garden. Shawn Thornton fought Cooke and Zdeno Chara squared off with Mike Rupp, but the Bruins put only 17 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, who easily shut out the B’s in a 3-0 Penguins victory.
Claude Julien, on the other hand, seems to be pushing the mindset for the B’s to not dwell on last year when trying to get a couple of points, saying that Cooke shouldn’t get any extra attention unless he brings it on himself.
“If he acts in a certain way that deserves retribution,” Julien said, “we’ll deal with it then.”
– It’s hard not to find the Bruins’ 15 points a little more impressive than the Penguins’ 15 points. Of course, that’s a given when considering that the Bruins have played 11 games to the Penguins’ 15.
– Lucic has scored in five of the Bruins’ road games. Of course, one of them was an empty netter, but his out-of-town numbers are still attention-grabbing. Lucic has yet to score at the Garden this season.
– The Penguins as a team haven’t exactly blown minds statistically, as their numbers in scoring, goals against, and power play seem to agree with the standings, which has them as a .500 team (7-7-1). Pittsburgh’s 2.8 goals per game is 14th in the league, while their 2.6 GAA is 13th in the league. The Penguins are just 21st in penalty killing percentage (13.3), though their penalty kill percentage of 87.5 is sixth in the NHL.
– With Fleury posting just a 1-6 record thus far on the season, between the pipes for the Penguins will be 6-1-1 Brent Johnson, according to the Globe.
|Phil Kessel says he doesn’t want to ‘stick it to’ Bruins||10.28.10 at 12:27 pm ET|
Former Bruins fifth overall pick Phil Kessel spoke with the media Thursday as he and the Maple Leafs prepare to take on the B’s at TD Garden. Kessel was traded to the Leafs for a package of draft picks (one of which was spent on Tyler Seguin) and went without a goal in six games against his former club last season.
“I don’t want to stick it to them, I want to obviously play well,” Kessel said. “Last year I had a lot of chances, I just didn’t score. Hopefully I can change it this year and the most important thing is just getting wins.
“They’re a good team over there, so it’s not easy to score against them anyways,” he added. Kessel noted that he isn’t concerned with the reaction given to him by the crowd, who he said can “do whatever they want.”
The Bruins were unable to strike a long-term deal with Kessel prior to the trade, but the way things ended in Boston won’t change the 23-year-old’s view of the city and his experience.
“I loved it here,” Kessel said. “They city was great to me, the fans were great to me. I loved playing here and I had great teammates here. Obviously, it didn’t work out, but that happens.”
Seguin and Kessel met over the summer in Atlantic City for a Bauer promotion they were doing, with Seguin saying Wednesday that the two discussed the cities of Boston and Toronto. Kessel gave Seguin pointers on local dining and other goings on. One topic that was not brought up, as noted by Kessel on Thursday, was that the two will likely be linked to one another for their entire careers because of the trade, which also sent a 2010 second-rounder and a 2011 first-rounder to the B’s.
“No, we never talked about that,” Kessel said. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
If the former 36-goal-scorer truly believes that it isn’t a big deal, he’ll be in for a surprise when Seguin-mania meets Kessel-mania for those on hand at the Garden Thursday night. Kessel has seven goals on the season, good for third-best in the NHL.
Kessel did say on Thursday that he feels for Marc Savard, who the Bruins have been without all season due to post-concussion syndrom symptoms. Kessel kept up with following Savard’s progress as he initially tried coming back from a March 7 hit from the Penguins‘ Matt Cooke, and hopes his former teammate can overcome his current setback.
“I’ve talked to him a little bit, but not lately,” Kessel said. “Not for a while. When [the concussion] happened, I sent him a text or two. Obviously I followed it. Obviously it’s a tough issue and hopefully he can come through.
“I feel terrible for him,” he added. “Obviously, any player that gets hurt like that, it’s not a good thing.”