|History repeats itself: Zdeno Chara breaks his own hardest shot record with 108.8 mph blast||01.28.12 at 9:30 pm ET|
Another year, another new record.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara broke his own record for the NHL’s hardest shot, blasting a 108.8 mile-per-hour bomb on his second attempt in the hardest shot contest Saturday night in Ottawa.
Chara won the contest for a fifth straight year, defeating Shea Weber, amongst others. The previous record, which Chara had set last year, was 105.9 mph. He broke that on his first attempt Saturday with a 106.2 mph shot, before registering the all-time best 108.8 mph. His last two attempts clocked in at 106.9 mph and 107 mph.
Tyler Seguin, who competed in the accuracy shooting competition, struggled and did not complete the drill in 30 seconds. Dallas’ Jamie Benn won the competition.
The All-Star captains picked participants for Saturday night’s skills competition, and it’s no surprise that Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber will once again square off in the hardest shot contest.
Chara, who has won the competition for the last four years (he broke his own record with a 105.9 mile per hour blast last year), will be joined by Dennis Wideman, Dion Phaneuf and rookie Luke Adams on Team Chara. Team Alfredsson’s group for the competition includes Weber, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and rookie Justin Faulk. Chara will also participate in the skills challenge relay.
Tyler Seguin will represent Team Chara in the accuracy shooting competition. He will be joined by Jamie Benn, Marian Hossa and rookie Cody Hodgson. Representing Team Alfreddson will be Spezza, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin and rookie Matt Read. Both Seguin and Tim Thomas will participate in the elimination shootout.
|Claude Julien to coach Zdeno Chara’s All-Star team||01.20.12 at 4:10 pm ET|
Straight from the “no duh” department, but the NHL announced Friday afternoon that Bruins coach Claude Julien‘s staff, consisting of Julien and assistants Doug Houda, Doug Jarvis and Geoff Ward, will coach Zdeno Chara‘s team in the All Star Game on Jan. 29.
Daniel Alfredsson’s team will be coached by John Tortorella and Todd McLellan.
Chara and Alfredsson will pick their teams in a fantasy draft on Jan. 26.
|P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty say Bruins aren’t dirty||01.12.12 at 12:56 pm ET|
While there has been talk out of Vancouver about the Bruins having dirty players, members of the Canadiens said Thursday that their rivals are not dirty.
“No. They play a certain way and I think that’s why they’re successful,” Max Pacioretty, who had his season ended last year by a shove from Zdeno Chara, said when asked if he finds the B’s to be dirty. “To some extent, I wish we played a little more like them. Maybe not as much as they do, but they’re definitely an intimidating team to play against. They have so many guys who can step up — I’m not talking about fighting — I’m talking about physical. You watch the games recently in the NHL, and there’s not many pretty plays happening. They’re all tough, grinding goals, and a big body presence. I think that’s why they’re successful this year.”
Defenseman P.K. Subban said he has not seen former world junior teammate Brad Marchand‘s hit on Sami Salo, but that he does not consider Marchand or the Bruins to be dirty.
“It’s tough,” Subban said. “There’s a fine line now when you’re throwing hits, so you’ve just got to pay attention to it.”
Said Subban of the B’s: “They’re in your face, you know what I mean? They’ve had a lot of success over the year. They’re Stanley Cup champions, and they’re playing some good hockey this year. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing something right. Whenever you play them, you know they’re going to be in your face, they’re going to finish their checks and they’re going to work hard.
“They’ve got some tough guys on that team. Some real tough guys. They play the game hard. Our team, we’re not built to kind of brawl it out every night. We’re going to stick up for each other as a unit as a group.”
|Tamer Bruins-Canadiens rivalry a relief for Max Pacioretty||at 12:28 pm ET|
It goes without saying that the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry has lacked the fireworks it had last season. There have been only two fights, and, at last count, zero criminal investigations. That’s quite the departure from what we saw last season.
Count Habs forward Max Pacioretty among those who has no problem with that. The Connecticut native was the center of attention in the rivalry last season. It all started when he celebrated his Jan. 8 game-winning goal in overtime by shoving Zdeno Chara. He then found himself in the middle of it again when he jumped former college teammate Steven Kampfer in a scrum on Feb. 9.
Of course, the most memorably part of last season’s rivalry came when Chara shoved Pacioretty into a stanchion at Bell Centre on March 8. The play was highly controversial and ended Pacioretty’s season.
So by comparison, the 23 year-old finds this season’s tamer edition of the rivalry to be a relief.
“It definitely is,” Pacioretty said Thursday. “That’s in my past, and hopefully it’s in everyone else’s as well. I’m just looking to help my team win hockey games. Especially against a top team in our conference, I want to do whatever I can to help, and I’ve got to put the past behind me.”
This season, Pacioretty has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points.
|Obsess much? Canucks reportedly rip covers off NHL media guides with images of Zdeno Chara holding Cup||01.11.12 at 11:54 am ET|
Miami Herald reporter George Richards noticed something odd in the press box at Monday’s Canucks-Panthers game. Someone had ripped the cover off the NHL Official Guide & Record Books that were there for the media.
The cover features a photo of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara holding the Stanley Cup. Putting two and two together, Richards surmised that someone with the Canucks organization ripped the books in anger at the B’s following Saturday’s heated battle.
Richards put his photos of the damaged books on his Twitter site, and it’s been gaining steam on the web since.
|Andrew Ference on D&C: After Cup title, ‘you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is’||12.22.11 at 1:20 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan Thursday for his weekly chat. With the Bruins sitting atop the Eastern Conference, Ference talked about the HBO 24/7 special, the Bruins’ road success, and how Zdeno Chara became as good as he is.
The Bruins are on an impressive streak, but Ference said the excitement of the regular season just doesn’t compare to the playoffs.
“Obviously, the playoffs were more fun than it is right now,” Ference said. “I think that everybody’s got a pretty good head on their shoulders this year, and I think it’s due to the fact that we did win last year. If we wouldn’t have won last year and we were going on a run like this, I think guys would be a lot more giddy and patting ourselves on the back. But I think when you go through a championship run, you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is. All this is is prep work. And this is this trying to reach our first goal of just making the playoffs.”
Added Ference of the regular season: “It’s great. It’s entertaining. But for players it’s prep. It’s getting ready and trying to prime ourselves and make sure that we’re going in the right direction. And we’re learning all our lessons, but the first goal is just to try to make the playoffs. We’re building toward that. And I think everybody’s keeping a good head about it.”
Asked if this edition of the Bruins is better than last season’s Cup champions, Ference said: “It’s hard to compare, but I think the one advantage we do have is mentally. Just, like I said, learning what it takes, and not having the Stanley Cup be like a fairy tale. It’s a reality to all of us now. That’s a huge advantage. It’s one thing to imagine what it takes to win. But it’s another thing to know and to be there and go through it and have a lot of the same guys in the locker room with you again to go after it again. So, I think that’s the one huge advantage that we have over last year.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, including Ference talking about the his holiday plans, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On the Bruins’ toughness: “I think the one thing that’s been done here is, obviously Peter [Chiarelli] has done a good job of getting the right personalities in the room. Because you can’t have five guys on the team that are willing to do everything they can for the team and then have 15 that aren’t, or 10 and 10, or whatever the split is. You need every single guy to buy in or it just doesn’t work.
“It really only takes two or three guys to drag down an entire team, it really does, it’s amazing how quickly, especially in tough times, a bad apple can just attract guys and just bring the whole room down. It happens quickly and it’s just like a poison, so one thing they’ve done good here is get rid of some of the guys that had that and bring in guys that that weren’t like that. That’s essential, especially over the long term. For as many years as a lot of us have been here it’s been a really great locker room. The season’s too long to have bad apples and guys that don’t stick up for your guys that you can’t look across at in the room and know that they’re going to work their butt off every night for you.”