|Takeaways from Bruins’ overtime win over Jets||09.26.13 at 10:12 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson scored 1:46 into overtime off a feed from Ryan Spooner to give the B’s a 3-2 win Thursday night against the Jets in Winnipeg. The teams will play once more Friday in Saskatoon, which will be Boston’s final preseason game.
Here are some observations from the contest:
- Niklas Svedberg got his first full game of the preseason and took turns being spectacular and rather unspectacular. He seemed unsure of himself a couple times early on, including when he let a shot trickle through his five hole that was saved by Dougie Hamilton.
Yet there was also a lot to like about Svedberg’s game. He was sharp enough to glove Chris Thorburn about a minute and a half into the game when the Jets forward picked up a loose puck that had been given away by Dennis Seidenberg in front of the net and threw a quick back-hander on net.
Svedberg also turned in a nice save when, after he kicked a rebound from a Michael Frolik shot to Evander Kane, Svedberg robbed Kane to keep it a 1-1 game at the time.
- Patrice Bergeron‘s line remains a work in progress, as there was some good and bad from the trio. Bergeron scored the game’s opening goal and the trio nearly had a second goal when Eriksson fed Bergeron in front of the net on a second-period power play.
On the other hand, Eriksson crashed into Brad Marchand at the blue line in the second period on a play on which the B’s were whistled for being offsides. So there’s that.
One of the highlights of the game when Marchand didn’t completely undress Dustin Byfuglien on a shorthanded bid, but he did make him drop his stick.
- Hamilton doesn’t need to worry about job security, but he sure didn’t have a good game Thursday night. Hamilton took two penalties and was checked onto bench by Jim Slater in second period. He was also on the ice for Mark Scheifele‘s power-play goal in the third period.
- Spooner’s strong camp continued as he evened the game at two goals apiece on a shot that initially appeared to be tipped by Matt Fraser but was later credited to him. he also assisted Eriksson’s game-winning goal. Spooner, who skated on a line with Fraser and Reilly Smith, has done everything he can to earn a spot on the B’s, but he figures to be a victim of circumstance given that the B’s have more than enough centers and Spooner wouldn’t be subject to waivers like Jordan Caron or Nick Johnson.
|Backup goalie competition far from settled as Niklas Svedberg awaits first start||09.25.13 at 1:12 pm ET|
With the Bruins headed north to play their final two games of the preseason, there’s still one thing that they need to see: Niklas Svedberg play an entire game. He’ll do that Thursday against the Jets.
The reigning AHL goaltender of the year played the second half of last week’s shootout win over the Capitals in Baltimore, but to this point Chad Johnson has seen more game action. Johnson struggled in allowing three goals on eight shots in Montreal last week but bounced back with a shutout Saturday against the Red Wings.
At this point, Johnson would appear to have the upper hand in the competition simply because he’s played more and has a good performance under his belt. Yet the competition for Tuukka Rask‘s backup remains wide open between the two, and Svedberg will get his chance Thursday. Rask will then play the preseason finale Friday and have a bit of a wait before the season-opener next Thursday.
Svedberg had a woeful practice Wednesday, as skaters scored on him in bunches during drills. In particular, he was beaten stick side numerous times, and his glove wasn’t much better. Afterwards, Claude Julien cautioned against getting carried away with practices.
“To be honest with you, I don’t put too much value in those practices,” Julien said. “There are guys that get lit up in practice but you can’t get a puck by them in a game, and vice versa. To me, it’s evaluating guys in game situations. As long as he has a good work ethic in practice and has a good attitude, I’m good with that, but at the end of the day it’s what you do in game situations. This is the opportunity we’re going to have to see him tomorrow.”
|Chad Johnson arrives ready to earn spot as Bruins backup goalie||09.04.13 at 7:38 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — It isn’t the most glamorous competition, but perhaps one overlooked vacant roster spot heading into training camp is that of Tuukka Rask‘s backup.
The Bruins have two options to replace Anton Khudobin, who left the B’s on the first day of free agency to take a one-year deal with the Hurricanes. They are 24-year-old Niklas Svedberg, last season’s Baz Bastien winner as AHL goalie of the year in Providence, and 27-year-old Chad Johnson. Between them they have played 10 career NHL games, but one of them can expect to play 25-plus this coming season. Johnson, who signed with the B’s on the same day that Khudobin left, hopes it’s him.
“I’m coming into camp here, I’m going to earn my spot, so I’ve worked hard this summer to do that,” he said Wednesday. “Svedberg, [Malcolm] Subban, all the other goalies here, we’re all here to earn our spot. There’s a reason there’s a camp, so I’m looking forward to doing that.”
If Johnson is to be the Bruins’ man, he’ll be doing so with little NHL experience. With that being said, it’s worth considering that Khudobin, who was a fine backup for the B’s last season (2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 14 games), had only played seven career NHL games prior to it.
“I don’t think I’ve at all established myself,” Johnson said. “I think it takes quite a few years to do that. You always have to prove yourself, even if you’ve been in this league for five or 10 years. It doesn’t really matter. For me, this is definitely my opportunity to get my foot in the door. I’m hoping to take advantage of it.”
Johnson was drafted 125th overall by the Penguins in the 2006 draft, but never played in their organization. After finishing at the University of Alaska (where he played well enough to be a Hobey Baker finalist in 2009), he was traded to the Rangers. He spent three seasons there, playing mostly in the AHL but making six NHL appearances before spending last season in Phoenix’ organization. He had a 3.00 GAA and .903 save-percentage for Portland in the AHL, and one of his four appearances for the Coyotes last season was a 21-save shutout against the Predators.
|Bruins recall goaltender Niklas Svedberg from Providence||05.24.13 at 3:52 pm ET|
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced Friday the club has recalled goaltender Niklas Svedberg from Providence (AHL).
Svedberg will join Boston on Saturday, May 25. In his first season with the Providence Bruins, Svedberg appeared in 48 regular season games, compiling a 37-8-2 record with a 2.17 goals against average (fifth in the AHL) and a .925 save percentage (third in the AHL) with four shutouts. The netminder’s 37 regular season wins ranked second among AHL goaltenders. Svedberg was in net for 12 postseason games for the P-Bruins, where he racked up a 6-6 record with a 3.29 goals against average and .889 save percentage.
Svedberg was part of the nightmarish end to the P-Bruins season as the Baby B’s lost a 3-0 series lead to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and fell in seven games. He was pulled from the Game 7 5-0 loss to the Penguins on Wednesday night in Providence after allowing four goals on 19 shots.
Prior to joining Providence this year, the 23-year-old Svedberg spent four seasons in the Swedish Elite League from 2008-12. He helped lead Brynas to the SEL title in 2011-12 after registering a 1.70 GAA, .947 save percentage and four shutouts in 13 playoff games. The 6’0″, 176-pound native of Sollentuna, Sweden was signed as a free agent by the Bruins on May 29, 2012.
|Slumping P-Bruins pushed to Game 7 after OT loss||05.21.13 at 7:42 am ET|
While the attention of local hockey fans is on the Bruins, who visit the Rangers in Game 3 of their second-round series Tuesday night, the AHL’s Providence Bruins are in an intense battle in their own second-round series.
The P-Bruins won the first three games vs. the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins but have lost three straight, including Monday night’s 2-1 overtime loss at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Despite outshooting the Penguins 47-18 — including 33-5 over the last two periods — Providence could only score once: Craig Cunningham‘s second-period on former Northeastern standout Brad Thiessen, who has allowed just one goal in the last two games.
“Listen, we’re missing open nets. At some point you’ve got to put the puck in the net,” P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told the Providence Journal. “A goalie can only do so much. We had open nets. We missed open nets or there’s a pad in the way. We’ve got to start finishing, plain and simple.”
Trevor Smith scored a wraparound goal 3:26 into overtime, beating goalie Niklas Svedberg to force a deciding Game 7 Wednesday night in Providence. This is just the fourth time in AHL history a team came back from a 3-0 series deficit to force a Game 7.
Providence was playing without winger Graham Mink, who was suspended for the final two games of the series after pounding Thiessen during a brawl in a fight-filled Game 5 Saturday night.
In the final five minutes of a chippy game Saturday, Mink was cutting across the crease when the fighting started. He started unloading punches on a turtling Thiessen before a referee jumped in to break it up.
“I didn’t say or do anything. It kind of happened and I’m not sure what provoked,” Thiessen told the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre after recording the shutout in a 4-0 decision. “Whatever they want to do. My job’s to stop the puck.”
Here’s a look at Saturday’s brawl. The nastiness starts at the 6:30 mark of this video.
|Bruins sign Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg||05.29.12 at 3:07 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have signed Swedish goalie Niklas Svedberg to an entry-level contract.
Svedberg, 22, stands at 6-foot-2 and 176 pounds. He played the last two seasons in Swedish Elite League for Brynas IF Gavle. He had a 2.47 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 29 regular-season games this past season, with a 1.70 GAA, .947 save percentage and four shutouts in 13 playoff games.
The Bruins did not indicate whether Svedberg will be present at this summer’s rookie development camp, but if he is he will join a group of goaltending prospects that includes Lars Volden and Zane Gothberg, both of whom were sixth-round picks in the last two drafts.
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