|Thomas: Easy does it||03.27.10 at 9:15 pm ET|
Everyone in Bruins black and gold knew Tim Thomas hadn’t played much in the last two weeks.
And, after watching video, every Bruin knew what the Calgary Flames wanted to do on Saturday. The Flames figured if they could crash the net they could eventually get to – and frustrate – the Bruins goalie.
So when push came to shove on Saturday, the Bruins and Thomas were ready.
Thomas stopped all 31 shots he faced in leading the Bruins to a 5-0 cakewalk over the Flames at TD Garden.
“Timmy hasn’t played in a while and obviously, he is a very competitive guy and it’s great to see him out come here and play a good game for us,” said Mark Recchi, one of five different goal-scorers for Boston on Saturday.
“It’s nice when you have two goaltenders you can really count on and Timmy has been here for a number of years and has done a great job and it was great to see him. Tuukka [Rask] carried the load for a little bit and did a wonderful and it’s nice when you pull him and don’t miss a beat because Timmy does a great job.”
Thomas had started in goal exactly once in the last eight games, losing a 3-2 decision to New Jersey on March 15.
“That was like my fifth full game in like seven weeks,” Thomas said of Saturday’s return to action. “I played periods, but not [a full game]. So I didn’t really know what to expect, but the team came out strong in front of me. They did a really good job of making me feel comfortable and that helped a lot.”
And when the Flames took a pair of goalie interference calls in the second period, Thomas and the Bruins were ready.
“Well that’s what they do,” Thomas said. “We actually saw that in the video before the game. That’s what they do so you’re prepared for it. I’m just not going to change the way that I play. That’s the worst thing you can do, because they’ll get goals off of it, if you change the way that you play. You have to put yourself in vulnerable positions sometimes and that’s what kind of happened on that one play.”
Thanks to the win, the Bruins tied Philadelphia with 80 in seventh place in the East while dropping Calgary further into a ninth-place hole behind Detroit in the West.
“They were behind the eight ball more than us,” Thomas said. “At this point we were sitting in the playoff spot before this game. So really, especially after that last they had against the Islanders, we knew that they must really be feeling the pressure. Part of our game plan was to be the relaxed team, be the team that relaxes and plays and has fun and hopefully good things come of it, and it worked.”
|Second period summary: Bruins vs. Flames||at 2:39 pm ET|
Apparently, the Bruins wanted to show Marc Savard they can score on the man advantage – even with their best power play weapon out with a serious concussion.
Savard said before the game he wished he could help them on the power play and general manager Peter Chiarelli smiled a painful smile in agreement since the Bruins entered play Saturday mired in a hideous 0-for-22 slump.
Well, after Dennis Seidenberg finally found the net in the first period, the Bruins doubled their pleasure in the second to take a 3-0 lead heading into the second intermission.
David Krejci fired a rocket from the low left point 89 seconds into the period to make it 2-0 and Zdeno Chara scored on the man advantage from the high slot at 6:15 and all of sudden the Bruins were 3-for-3 on the PP.
They had a chance to make it 4-for-4 toward the end of the period but had to settle for a hat trick. And settle they did with a smile of satisfaction heading to the dressing room.
The Flames are outshooting the Bruins, 23-22, but Tim Thomas has been perfect so far.
|Savard: ‘Just trying to feel normal again’||at 2:09 pm ET|
Marc Savard is taking walks, getting some fresh air and trying to regain his full wits.
On Saturday, he spoke publicly about the hit from Matt Cooke on March 7 in Pittsburgh and how it’s affected him.
Thanks to the Bruins media relations department, here is the full transcript:
On how he is feeling and if he remembers the hit:
I am not feeling myself quite yet, still. I still don’t have any recollection of the hit. Obviously, I have seen it but that’s the only recollection I have, when I see it. I just don’t remember any of it.
On if he has any close calls with similar types of hits before this particular one:
No, none of that nature, I guess. I have obviously seen them but, I haven’t come close to getting hit like that ever.
On his reaction to the hit:
Well, I have obviously viewed it a couple of times and I think it was a play that didn’t need to happen, obviously. To me it wasn’t a shoulder and I watched the [Mike] Richards on [David] Booth hit. I think that was a shoulder. I think mine was more of an elbow, so I think there was an attempt to injure there. I was, obviously, very unhappy with what happened and I think it could have been avoided very easily. Read the rest of this entry »
|Savard: ‘I have no interest in talking’ to Cooke||at 1:04 pm ET|
Speaking publicly for the first time since taking a hit to the head from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke on March 7, Bruins center Marc Savard said he believed “there was intent to injure,” adding he was “very unhappy with what happened and it could have been avoided.”
Savard said he has had trouble sleeping since the hit and has had a mixture of good days and bad.
“I’m not feeling myself quite yet still,” Savard said. “I still don’t have any recollection of the hit. Obviously, I’ve seen it. That’s the only recollection of it is when I see it. I don’t remember any of it.”
Savard acknowledged that Cooke tried reaching out to him on March 18 when the Penguins returned but he declined through the team.
“I guess he’s tried to get my phone number,” Savard said. “From what happened, I really don’t, at the moment, have any interest in talking to him. I’m not feeling any better so I’d rather not talk to him.”
|Sobotka cleared to return||at 11:18 am ET|
After missing Thursday’s game with a neck strain and mild concussion, Vladimir Sobotka said Saturday morning he was cleared to return to action against the Calgary Flames. The center suffered the injury when he was hit during the game in Atlanta on Tuesday night.
“It’s been evident in the last couple of games, we’ve been successful just being hard on the puck and getting there on the forecheck,” linemate Milan Lucic said. “Having him back, he’s a fast player and he’s really strong on the puck, he’s going to help being back in the lineup.”
|Julien: ‘It’s our own fault’||03.26.10 at 3:33 am ET|
Just 49 seconds into the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien had a classic ‘I can’t believe what I just saw’ look on his face.
He couldn’t believe Steven Stamkos, one of the most skilled goal-scorers in the game, was spotted a good two strides offsides into the Bruins zone without being whistled for the infraction. That break allowed him to take a near-perfect pass from Steve Downie and beat Tuukka Rask for an early 1-0 lead.
But afterward, as much as he wanted to blame the missed offsides for costing them the first goal of the game and some valuable early momentum, he just couldn’t bring himself to also overlook the responsibility his team bears for coming up flat on home ice at an extremely inopportune time.
“It was, yeah, I don’t want to say it was just one of those nights, but, like I said, certainly with every little thing that happened, they found a way,” Julien said. “The first one, again is an offside goal. But it still doesn’t mean there’s something we could have done about it, we could have reacted better. So you got to blame yourself for those kind of things.
“We didn’t have a good start tonight,” Julien said. “The opportunities that we gave them, they capitalized on. Defensively, I didn’t think we were as sharp as we have been. When you spot the type of players that scored for them tonight some opportunities, they certainly will make the best of it. So it’s our own fault for not being sharp without the puck, sharper [without the puck].”
As a result of Thursday’s letdown game, the Bruins missed a golden opportunity to move up in the standings as Philadelphia lost in overtime to Minnesota. The Flyers now stand two points ahead of the Bruins for 7th in the East.
“Your number one concern is your team,” Julien said. “It doesn’t mean you don’t look at the scoreboard after it’s all said and done, but right now our concern is we need to bounce back and we need to win the next hockey game. When the next hockey game happens to be in your home building, where we got to get better as well. So that’s probably the most important concern right now.”
|Second period summary: Bruins vs. Lightning||03.25.10 at 8:42 pm ET|
The Steven Stamkos show continued late in the second period as his power play blast beat Tuukka Rask for his 45th goal of the season. Not only did the goal with 25.8 seconds left in the period put Tampa Bay up, 4-2 after two periods, it tied the unsung star with Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead.
Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara are having similar nights. The two defensemen have been downright offensive.
Chara had a couple of bad giveaways in his own zone in the first period but scored Boston’s first goal with an aggressive pinch up the slot with 26.8 seconds left.
Then, in the second period, Boychuk lost control of the puck behind Tuukka Rask. It was stolen by Paul Szczechura, who put it past the unsuspecting Bruins netminder for a 3-1 Tampa lead.
But Boychuk, like Chara, redeemed himself with a nifty shot from the low right point. Boychuk used the screen in front of Antero Niittymaki beautifully and when the puck went through the five-hole, the Bruins had closed the gap again to one at the 10:22 mark.
In the opening two minutes, there was an ironic moment as Shawn Thornton took out Kurtis Foster on the corner boards to the right of Niittymaki. The check close to the head of Foster could be the first instance of discipline from the new NHL ‘Blindshot Headshot’ rule enacted earlier in the day.
It was exactly one week ago when Thornton exacted his revenge on Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke for a hit on Feb. 7 on Marc Savard that left the Bruins center out indefinitely with a concussion.
Bruins are more-than-doubling up Tampa Bay on the shot clock, 31-15, after 40 minutes.
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