|Second period summary: Capitals 2, Bruins 0||09.29.10 at 8:34 pm ET|
With the second period wrapped up at the Garden, a couple of things have stood out that may be worth keeping an eye on in the Bruins’ final period of regulation before they depart for Belfast.
One thing that could easily be counted was the number of power play opportunities the Bruins had. That was four. The team applied good pressure on Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and moved the puck well for the most part, though some of their scoring opportunities were broken up by either blocked shots or one too many passes.
The number that is difficult to pinpoint is just how many times the Bruins either seemed to have beaten/fooled Holtby, tied in with how many times the Capitals netminder was badly out of position and didn’t pay for it. The team’s best opportunity of the period came when Nathan Horton fired a hard wrist shot past Holtby only to see it clank off the post.
The Capitals added a tally in the second, a Nicklas Backstrom redirect past Tim Thomas for the Washington captain’s second of the night.
Blake Wheeler collided with Holtby late in the period and immediately left the ice and walked down the tunnel, though he turned around and returned to the bench.
|First period summary: Capitals 1, Bruins 0||at 7:43 pm ET|
Tim Thomas faced six shots and stopped five as Nicklas Backstrom beat the veteran goaltender on a one-timer in front of the net midway through the period.
With teammate Tuukka Rask in sweats up in the press box halo looking on, Thomas looked solid, if not spectacular in his first preseason action this fall.
The Bruins managed just five shots on Capitals netminder Dany Sabourin.
The highlight of the period came two seconds in when Bruins center Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Capitals center Matt Hendricks. Just 24 hours earlier, Cambell got into it with Alexander Ovechkin as the two exchanged pleasantries at the Verizon Center.
Ovechkin cross-checked Campbell, who later came back at Ovechkin with a hard hit into the boards. The rough stuff continued and escalated in the third period.
Ovechkin didn’t make the trip so Hendricks was the stand-in and delivered the message at the earliest possible moment – the opening face-off.
As for the most anticipated talent in these parts since Joe Thornton, Tyler Seguin centered the line with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder. He played 5 minutes, 13 seconds and didn’t get a shot on goal. He was on the ice for the Backstrom goal and finished the period with a -1.
|Seguin appears headed for center||at 12:29 pm ET|
The Bruins made six more cuts from camp on Wednesday, sending Joe Colborne, Zach Hamill, Steven Kampfer, Jeff LoVecchio, Jeremy Reich, and Wyatt Smith have been assigned to Providence. Though Colborne was expected to require some more seasoning in the AHL anyway, the move to send Hamill down significantly narrows down the team’s options regarding the third-line center.
“It wasn’t easy,” coach Claude Julien said of sending the former eighth overall pick to Providence. “Zach is a player that has progressed every year so far, and he’s getting there. For him, maybe it’s a disappointment, but for us, we were really impressed with how much he’s gotten better over the course of the few years. He’s pretty close, and to the point where I don’t think as a coach I’d even hesitate to give him a call and use him because there’s going to be some injuries.
“All he has to do is go to Providence and continue to show that he’s a good player and try and be as dominate a player as he can down there. If he has a good season, there’s no reason to believe that he wouldn’t be back. ”
With the competition seemingly down to second overall pick Tyler Seguin and Blake Wheeler, Claude Julien indicated Wednesday that Seguin may be the preference, though the team will get looks at both players in the three final preseason games. Seguin will center a line with Michael Ryder and Wheeler vs. the Capitals on Wednesday at TD Garden.
“I think it’s getting clearer. Obviously, with Colborne and Hamill being gone, there’s a bit of a competition in a way to see who’s going to end up there. We’d like to see Tyler play in that position tonight and really give him that chance. We know he can play the wing, we’ve seen him play the wing with some players, and be pretty successful, so more than likely you’re going to see him [at center] and we’ll see how he handles it tonight, especially against a Washington team that is usually a pretty good team. If not, we’ve got a couple of preseason games over in Europe where we can rotate him and Blake in and out.”
Here is the rest of the roster for the game:
Goaltenders: Nolan Schaefer, Tim Thomas
It is expected that Thomas will start in net on Wednesday night. It will be his first preseason action.
|Video: Tim Thomas hopes to see game action Wednesday||09.28.10 at 5:23 pm ET|
Claude Julien said on Tuesday that Tim Thomas, recovering from offseason hip surgery, could see game action on Wednesday at TD Garden against the Capitals. It will be the team’s final North American preseason game before the Bruins (and the Big Bad Blog — keep it tuned) head to Belfast and Prague, where they will play two exhibitions and open the regular season with two tilts with the Coyotes.
“There’s a good possibility that we’ll see him play tomorrow,” Julien said. “You know, again, I say good possibility. It depends on how today goes and then there’s tomorrow. If everything goes well, I think we’d like to see him in out lineup.”
Tuukka Rask and Nolan Schaefer are the goalies on the roster for Tuesday night’s game in Washington. Here’s the video of Thomas speaking after taking the ice:
The Bruins announced their roster for Tuesday night’s preseason game in Washington, recalling Jeff LoVecchio from Providence and making Jeremy Reich and Wyatt Smith available to play in the process.
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Nolan Schaefer
Tim Thomas skated with the second group on Tuesday, with coach Claude Julien saying there is a chance he could play in Wednesday’s game against the Capitals at TD Garden. Thomas, who had offseason hip surgery, has been brought along with caution in the preseason and has yet to see game action. He and the team are aiming for him to be ready for the season when it opens Oct. 9 in Prague.
|Julien: Thomas will practice, travel||09.21.10 at 3:51 pm ET|
With Tim Thomas a notable absence from Tuesday’s practices, it is only natural to wonder just how much his workload will be cutdown as far as the short-term future goes. Thomas is recovering from offseason hip surgery, and after making appearances at captain’s practice earlier this month was held out of Monday’s intrasquad scrimmage.
Claude Julien, who has said that the team is taking precaution with Thomas in the preseason, said Tuesday that keeping the 2008-09 Vezina winner out of practice was simply “part of the process of giving him a little bit of rest in between those hard workouts.”
Julien noted that Thomas is expected to practice Wednesday and travel with the team for its preseason matchups with the Canadiens and Panthers. He did indicate, however that Saturday’s game against the Panthers at the TD Garden might be the soonest that Thomas, 36, sees preseason game action.
Regarding Wednesday and Thursday’s games, Julien said that the team’s intention is to go with a separate squad for each game, with no players participating in both matchups.
|Tim Thomas missing from Tuesday’s practice||at 1:26 pm ET|
One day after the Bruins held goaltender Tim Thomas out of the team’s black/white scrimmage, the 2008-09 Vezina winner was once again missing when Group A took the ice for Tuesday’s practice.
Thomas is recovering from hip surgery and participated in some of the team’s captain’s practices earlier in the month in an effort to hopefully be at 100 percent by the time the Bruins begin their season next month in Prague. Even so, the team sees no use in rushing the 36-year-old back.
“Something that we’ve said right from the get-go, [is that] we’d monitor [him],” Bruins coach Claude Julien said Monday. “He’s had that surgery and we have to take our time to bring him [back].”
Julien added monday that though Thomas “is actually ahead of schedule” if anything, the team’s plan is to “bring him along slowly.”
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