|Bruins-Sabres Live Blog: Marc-Andre Gragnani makes it 6-2||11.12.11 at 6:56 pm ET|
|Mike Milbury on midday show: ‘I like that trend’ of physical play from B’s||03.02.11 at 12:57 pm ET|
NESN and NBC Sports analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the WEEI midday show Wednesday to talk about the red-hot Bruins. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.
“The sign that was great for me was Nathan Horton doing something to make a difference,” Milbury said. “Because Horton and Ryder on the right side have to be active and productive. They’ve been uneven all year long. I think it’s important that they stay this way. The fight [Horton] had against Theo Peckham in Edmonton was a brawl. He came out clearly on top. This guy is tough. If he can get the fuse lit for him, the Bruins are going to be a very dangerous team to beat.
“The same is true of Ryder, who I actually think has skated much better along the road trip, and even prior to the road trip, than he has at any time since I’ve seen him. The puck’s not going in as regularly as I think he’d like, but you can see that he’s getting things done.”
Tomas Kaberle, acquired from the Maple Leafs last month, is not signed past this season. Asked if it would be worth it to the Bruins to only have the defenseman for a third of a season, Milbury said: “When you have a chance to make a run for the roses, you’ve got to take it. You’ve got to take advantage of it.”
|Bruins lead Sabres after one period||12.07.10 at 8:15 pm ET|
Ryan Miller had his career-high shutout streak of 161:35 snapped when he let a Milan Lucic shot from the right circle sneak behind the left post. As a result, the B’s are leading the Sabres, 1-0, after 20 minutes of play at TD Garden.
– The Michael Ryder – Marc Savard – Tyler Seguin line has gotten its chances, but sloppiness has been the demise of their opportunities. Seguin couldn’t catch two of Savard’s passes, and when the rookie hit Ryder on a 3-on-2 in which Miller was focused on Savard, Ryder missed the net.
– Shawn Thornton took an Andrew Ference shot off the right hand/wrist area in front of the net. After a brief trip down the tunnel, Thornton returned to bench and later returned to the ice.
– Former Bruin Steve Montador did the twist with Johnny Boychuk at 14:04, the only fight of the period. Montador got a roughing minor in addition to his fighting major, with the B’s failing to convert on their only power play. The Sabres have yet to go on the man advantage.
– The Bruins are outshooting the Sabres, 11-8.
|Sabres at Bruins preview||at 12:45 pm ET|
After falling to the Maple Leafs in a shootout on Saturday night, the Bruins are back at TD Garden, where they will face the Sabres. The B’s had no trouble handling handling Lindy Ruff’s squad in Buffalo on Nov. 3, scoring five goals against a backup cocktail of Jhonas Enroth and Patrick Lalime.
The groin injury that kept Ryan Miller out of that contest is a thing of the past, and the reigning Vezina winner is on fire. He’s coming off back-to-back shutouts, including a 1-0 shootout victory Saturday in Ottawa.
The Bruins held an optional morning skate on Tuesday. Tim Thomas and Mark Recchi were the only two to miss it, but given that Thomas is on a hot streak of his own (three goals allowed on 119 shots over the last three games), one would think he’d be between the pipes.
WHERE IT’S AT
– The Bruins are 5-5-2 in home games and are 5-4-2 in games played at TD Garden. They throttled the Lightning to the tune of an 8-1 victory last Thursday, their most recent home contest.
– Like the Bruins, the Sabres are a much better road team than they are a home team. They’ve compiled a 6-5-2 record away from Buffalo, while their 5-8-1 home record has a lot to do with why they’re currently fourth in the Northeast with 25 points.
– Thomas continues to lead the NHL in the three major goaltending statistics. His .956 save percentage, 1.46 goals against average, and five shutouts are tops in the league.
– Former Bruin Steve Montador is tied for second in the league with a plus-16. In 13 games for the Bruins in 2008-09, Montador a plus-3 and had two points. He added three more points and was a plus-5 in 11 playoff games.
– The Sabres are just about as bad offensively this year as the Bruins were last year. The B’s averaged a league-worst 2.39 goals per game last season, while Buffalo currently averages 2.4 a night, which is 25th in the league.
STORYLINES GOING IN
– Nathan Horton has shown signs of picking it up as of late, getting points in each of the last two games, including his first goal in 10 games Saturday. The sharpshooting winger still has just two points in his last eight games after registering 18 in the 17 prior.
– This will be the Bruins’ first game since sending Jordan Caron to Providence. Caron had been a healthy scratch in the last two games due to the return of Marc Savard, so geting the 20-year-old playing time is clearly in everyone’s best interest.
“It’s never an easy decision because the guy has been here since the beginning of the year,” Claude Julien told reporters after the morning skate. “At the same time, he’s a young player. I mean, David Krejci went back and forth and I don’t think that it hurt his career, except that it probably helped him, so I think those decisions are always made with the right intentions. Management wants to see him play and at this stage of his career, he can be brought up and down as much as we want, so I don’t think it’s an issue there because there’s no, he doesn’t have to clear waivers or anything like that. We just want to see him progress and he’s going to progress by playing.”
“With [Seguin’s] speed and using Savvy as a left hand shot, it’s a lot easier for him to pass to the right side. But we just kind of made that decision and all three guys are comfortable with that.”
|Bruins set to take on Sabres||11.03.10 at 6:56 pm ET|
The Bruins and Sabres aren’t far from the puck dropping on their first contest since the B’s eliminated Buffalo in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Tim Thomas is in net for the B’s, and with Ryan Miller battling a lower-body injury, Jhonas Entroth will make his second career start (he allowed four goals to the Bruins in a Sabres loss last November).
The Sabres are off to a wretched start, sitting in last place of the Northeast divison with just eight points in 12 games. The B’s have 12 points in eight games, thanks to wins in all six of Thomas’ starts this season. The lines appear to be the same as they have been in practice this week. Here are the lines according to the Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Caron – Bergeron- Recchi
Wheeler -Seguin- Ryder
Marchand – Campbell- Thornton
Chara – Ference
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – McQuaid
|Injury could cause Ryan Miller to miss Wednesday’s game vs. Bruins||11.02.10 at 4:41 pm ET|
Miller did not practice on Monday, but did see limited ice time in Tuesday’s skate. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said that the decision on whether Miller, whom he said is not dealing with a groin injury, will be healthy enough to go against the B’s will come Wednesday morning.
“I thought he looked OK,” Ruff said on Tuesday. “I thought he was also taking it a little bit easy, just to give it a try. I think he’s just trying to find out exactly where he is at.”
Miller hopes to play but doesn’t want the struggling Sabres, off to a 3-7-2 start, to have a less-than-capable guy in net against the Bruins, winners of six of their last seven games.
“I felt better than I anticipated,” Miller said. “… I want to play, but I want to be sure that I’m giving the guys the best chance.”
Miller began feeling pain during Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Thrashers. If he is unable to go, Patrick Lalime, who allowed four goals against the Stars on Saturday, will man the pipes for Buffalo.
|Ryan Miller says Savard is out because of ‘smartass’ hit||10.12.10 at 4:55 pm ET|
Bruins fans have plenty of reason to not want to see any more ugly hits. Having watched the concussion-inducing blows that cost both Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard significant time, it would be understandable. At any rate, here’s the hit from Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarrson on Sabres forward Jason Pominville that had Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller all charged up when speaking to WGR Sports Radio.
“I don’t care if it’s unintentional. It’s what we have to get away from in hockey right now, is the culture of, ‘I was trying to make a play, therefore it’s not my fault,'” Miller said, adding that the hit “absolutely needs to be punished.”
“I don’t even know if there’s enough made of it is because Jason is walking out with just stitches,” Miller added. “What if Jason has a fractured neck? We don’t even know if it’s going to have an impact with concussions.”
Miller spoke very passionately against dirty hits and called for players to take more accountability in wake of such plays.
“I just think more people should be a little more outraged,” Miller said. “When [Hjalmarsson] left the ice he was surprised he got kicked out. Are you serious? I would have probably started shading towards the locker room if I were him.”
The reigning Vezina trophy winner said that he hopes “the league wakes up and sets a precedent for the year,” so that players will no longer be at risk of losing time or their careers to concussions. One of the plays mentioned was Matt Cooke‘s March 7 hit on Savard.
“Savard’s still not playing,” Miller said. “One of the best playmakers we have in this game is still not playing because of a stupid, smartass hit.”
Savard, despite returning for the team’s second-round matchup with the Flyers, has been out since training camp with post-concussion syndrom symptoms.