|It appears B’s are sticking with Tuukka Rask against Oilers||11.10.11 at 11:43 am ET|
To the surprise of no one, Bruins forward Daniel Paille is officially out for Thursday night’s game against the Oilers. Paille had surgery Wednesday after getting hit in the face with a slapshot from Steve Staios in Monday’s game against the Islanders. Benoit Pouliot will play on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton in Paille’s place.
Rich Peverley, meanwhile, is a game-time decision. Peverley participated in the morning skate at TD Garden, but so did emergency call-up Zach Hamill. If Peverley, who missed Monday’s game with an undisclosed injury, is unable to play Thursday, Hamill will skate on the on the third line in his place.
Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate, an indication that the B’s might be giving the young netminder his second consecutive start. Rask picked up his first win of the season Monday. That would also mean two straight games on the bench for Tim Thomas, who picked up a shutout in his last start Saturday against the Maple Leafs.
|Rich Peverley returns to Bruins practice, Daniel Paille doubtful vs. Oilers||11.09.11 at 12:18 pm ET|
Rich Peverley was back at Bruins practice Wednesday at TD Garden, taking the ice after missing Monday’s game against the Islanders with an undisclosed injury. Peverley wore a gray sweater and practiced on his usual line with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.
“I feel good,” Peverley said after the practice. “Day-to-day, but it feels good.”
Peverley had missed the team’s three previous practices dating back to last week, though he did play Saturday against the Maple Leafs. Peverley said he felt “OK,” against the Leafs and that it was “better to hold off.” He said that he feels he has a better chance of getting into Thursday’s game, though he remains day-to-day.
“I can’t really give you an update, but just by watching him, he looked OK,” Claude Julien said after practice. “We’ll find out more and see whether he’s an available player for tomorrow.”
With Daniel Paille having surgery for his broken nose Wednesday, Benoit Pouliot skated in his place on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. According to Claude Julien, Thornton told Pouliot “he got a promotion.”
Paille is considered doubtful for Thursday’s game against the Oilers, so expect Pouliot to skate on the Merlot line. Julien said Paille will be considered day-to-day after Thursday. Here’s a look at the lines:
Jordan Caron – Chris Kelly – Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
|Practice notes: More maintenance for Rich Peverley, Dennis Seidenberg||11.03.11 at 1:27 pm ET|
For the second straight day, Rich Peverley and Dennis Seidenberg were the only two players missing from Bruins practice. Coach Claude Julien said after the skate that the past two days have simply been maintenance days for the two players, and that he expects both players to be good for Saturday’s game in Toronto.
The forward lines Thursday remained the same as they were on Wednesday. They were as follows:
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Here are a few notes from the practice:
– The B’s got some power play work in before practice, as Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, Andrew Ference, David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Chris Kelly spent upwards of 20 minutes prior to practice down at one end working on the man advantage.
– With those guys working on the PP, the other end saw Adam McQuaid, Steven Kampfer and Jordan Caron doing some power skating with ice wizard Besa Tsintsadze. The power-skating coach got the three players’ feet moving, so much so, in fact, that McQuaid blew a tire and went crashing into the boards. Unfortunately for McQuaid, that isn’t anything new.
– Horton had some fun with the media Thursday. A day after he spoke for the first time in nearly two weeks and was asked why he has not made himself available to the press this season, Horton was sitting at his stall and declared, “I’m ready!” After greeting the reporters, Horton sarcastically said, “See? Nobody wants to talk to me.”
|Adam McQuaid leaves early; maintenance days for Rich Peverley, Dennis Seidenberg||11.02.11 at 2:15 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Rich Peverley were the only two to not take the ice for Wednesday’s practice at TD Garden, with Claude Julien saying afterward that he had given the two players maintenance days.
Adam McQuaid, meanwhile, left the practice early after he was cut on the chin, but there didn’t seem to be much concern from Julien’s end.
Aside from Peverley being out, the forward lines were the same.
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Also, if you have access to today’s Globe or Bostonglobe.com, you have to check out Fluto Shinzawa’s story on how being a sportswriter furthers his conquests as a foodie. A great, off-beat read from one of the best in the business. Significantly better than my attempt.
|Bruins need chances turn into goals quickly||10.24.11 at 4:12 pm ET|
The Bruins were able to do something last Thursday against the Maple Leafs that they haven’t done much this season: score goals in bulk. Their six-goal effort was one of just two games this season in which they were able to score three goals, so it’s no surprised their satisfactory 19 goals allowed is matched by a subpar 19 goals for.
The offensive struggles have been especially apparent early on, as quality chances haven’t yielded ideal results, which explains why the opponent has scored the first goal in the Bruins’ last six contests. When opportunities turn into squandered opportunities, and squandered opportunities turn into losses, the results aren’t pretty. The Bruins’ 3-5-0 record through eight games is proof of that.
“I think we’ve done a good job of creating chances,” third-line right wing Rich Peverley said Monday after the Bruins’ practice. “It’s not only first and second opportunities, it’s other opportunities. Third opportunities and fourth. At the same time, maybe we’re holding our sticks a little too tight, but we’ve got offensive guys in here that I think can put the puck in the net, so maybe it’s just finding their stride for some guys.”
The Bruins have a good chunk of time to loosen the grip on their sticks, as they will next play Thursday against the Canadiens at TD Garden. Maybe all the time off (they took Sunday off and may take another day off this week) will provide an opportunity to forget about their in-game woes, but the time they have in practice can also help them get back to basics.
“I think sometimes you need practice to help with structure,” Peverley explained. “There are obviously some things that we feel we need to work on. It’s important that we correct those.”
Boston has outshot its opponents in the last four games (2-2-0) after doing so just once in the season’s first four contests (1-3-0). The B’s had their fair share of scoring bids both early and late Saturday against the Sharks, but quality chances and odd-man rushes didn’t end up registering on the scoreboard until the third period and the Bruins lost, 4-2.
Now, with the statistical output not matching the team’s bids, the B’s have time to shake off their frustrations. Guys like Brad Marchand (no points the last four games) and even fourth-liners such as Daniel Paille, who has had multiple chances of late, figure to see results in time, however they may come.
“Sometimes it takes a lucky break to get a guy’s confidence back, but it’s just shooting the puck and putting the puck on net,” Peverley said. “Sometimes it will just find its way in.”
|With Rich Peverley extended, who’s next?||10.11.11 at 4:48 pm ET|
Call this a generalization, but one could argue that in the Peter Chiarelli regime, if the Bruins like a player and want to keep them, they won’t let the player go to unrestricted free agency. It’s happened with Andrew Ference, Marc Savard, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and now Rich Peverley. In some cases, the Bruins don’t even let the player enter their deal’s last season before extending them, and with Peverley, they extended the extended the speedy winger just three games into the last season of his two-year deal.
That’s why the signing of Peverley brings up the obvious question of who’s next, because the B’s have a very long list of players set to become unrestricted free agents at season’s. Third-line center and alternate captain Chris Kelly will see his deal expire at the end of the season, as will all three members of the fourth line in Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. On the blue line, Johnny Boychuk‘s deal will be up, as will that of newcomer Joe Corvo.
And those are just the unrestricted guys. The biggest money the B’s will have to dole out next summer (if not earlier) will go to first-line center David Krejci and goaltender Tuukka Rask, both of whom will be restricted free agents.
Chiarelli was asked Tuesday whether he was in talks with any of the other players and declined comment, but he figures to be a very busy man. It’s hard to imagine the Bruins would put a letter on Kelly’s sweater without the intention of keeping him around, and the team’s fourth line played an integral part in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run last season, with its shining moment coming with a shift in Game 7 that gave the Bruins momentum after a sluggish start.
Yes, the Bruins have around $2.6 million in cap space and can have about $6.6 million in space if they put Savard on long term injured reserve, but going forward the Bruins have a lot of budgeting and planning to do as far as who comes back. With all of the aforementioned deals expiring (including Krejci and Rask) and Benoit Pouliot also being restricted, the Bruins could have about $17.5 million* ($21.5 million if they go the LTIR route with Savard) to work with. While that’s a big number, it probably isn’t going to be enough for them to be comfortable chasing other team’s high-priced free agents. That’s because next season sees some huge names expiring for the Bruins. Milan Lucic (restricted), Brad Marchand (restricted), Tyler Seguin (restricted) and Nathan Horton (unrestricted) will be up, with Tim Thomas‘ $5 million cap hit coming off the books.
Long story short, the Bruins are going have to spend a lot of money in the next couple of years to make sure the core group that won them the Stanley Cup will stick around in Boston. Whether that means the B’s will announce more extensions in the coming days, weeks or months remains to be seen, but expect Chiarelli and the front office to be busy managing it all.
*Salary cap calculations done with numbers from CapGeek.com, future salary caps subject to change.
WILMINGTON — Rich Peverley‘s presence on the second line has paid off through three games, and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli rewarded him Tuesday with a three-year deal worth a reported $9.75 million.
Through three games, Peverley leads the Bruins with two goals, while Brad Marchand‘s three points (a goal and two assists) ties him with Tyler Seguin for the team lead. With the top line struggling out of the gate, the second line of Peverley, Marchand and center Patrice Bergeron has done enough early on to make the Bruins secure Peverley’s services for three years after his current deal expires.
“He’s a great player. I really like playing with him,” Marchand said Tuesday of Peverley. “He’s very fast, very quick and great with the puck. I think our line is starting to jell a little more every day. Hopefully we can continue to build and create more opportunities each game.
Peverley had tough shoes to fill when he jumped on the second line in place of the retired Mark Recchi. The former Predator and Thrasher first began seeing time with Marchand and Bergeron in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last season and was reunited with the the other two during the preseason.
What Peverley brings, aside from his obvious weapon of speed, is an ability to get pucks on net, which at times was an area of weakness for the Bruins last season. He totaled 201 shots last season between Atlanta and Boston, which would have ranked second amongst Bruins forwards and third overall on the team (Zdeno Chara led the team with 264, with Bergeron having 211) had he played the whole season with the team.
“He’s a versatile player. He can play any of the three forward positions,” Chiarelli said of Peverley. “He brings them speed. I’m not taking anything away from Rex, but he’s a little faster than Rex. He shoots the pucks and he digs out pucks, and when he needs to, he’ll go to those dirtier areas. That’s what I really noticed about him last year in the drive to the Cup. He would sacrifice his body and go to those areas and not always win the puck, but he was willing to go there.”
Chiarelli said Tuesday that he had envisioned Peverley as a possible top-six forward when the team acquired him from the Thrashers, and that he hasn’t been surprised by his contributions with Marchand and Bergeron thus far.
“Sometimes there’s a fine line between the top six and the top seven or eight,” Chiarelli said. “We always felt that he was in that mix before we got him. We liked the way that he fit into our group. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll be in our top six so to speak for the rest of the year, but I like to think of our [top] three lines as three equal lines. I like his speed, I like his grit for his skill package. He’s got a terrific shot. I like the way his speed backs off the D. It made us a faster team.”
Regardless of whether he sticks on that second line for the season, he’s certainly helping it now.
“They’re aggressive with and without the puck,” Chiarelli said. “He’s a good fit on that line.”