|Zdeno Chara: Former teammate Chris Kelly a ‘great addition’ for Bruins||02.16.11 at 1:31 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins will see a new face in their lineup when Chris Kelly, acquired in a trade with Ottawa Tuesday night for a second-round pick, joins the team for either Thursday or Friday’s game. While Kelly will have nearly an entire Bruins dressing room full of new teammates, he will be reunited with B’s captain Zdeno Chara, with whom he played in Ottawa in the 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons. Chara had high praise for is former teammate and the move that the team made to acquire him.
“It’s a great addition. He’s a hard-working player, a smart player,” Chara said following Wednesday’s practice. “He always plays his role well and is going to give us more depth in the middle and the experience he has. I think it’s a great addition.
“He’s always a guy that you can rely on to get the job done. He’s a very smart player, and he’s always thinking on the ice before he does anything.”
As for where he will fit in the lineup, Peter Chiarelli said Tuesday night that he expects Kelly to play center on the team’s third line. Coach Claude Julien wouldn’t go that far, saying Wednesday that he needs to see the player first and has “team issues to deal with.”
In 57 games this season, Kelly has 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points and a minus-12 rating.
|Chara: Bruins need to do ‘everything’ better Sunday||02.11.11 at 10:19 pm ET|
It isn’t surprising that after the 6-1 beatdown the B’s took from the Red Wings on Friday, they’re expecting a little more on Sunday when they face Detroit for the second time in three days. Coach Claude Julien understandably didn’t like what he saw from his team, as the Bruins came out flat against a highly skilled Detroit club with great puck-moving ability, and the Wings dominated throughout the night as a result.
“We weren’t skating tonight. We were second on the puck. Even when they had the puck, I just felt they had lots of time to make plays,” Julien said, adding, “it just seemed that nothing was going to go our way.”
The game left Julien looking to see what type of effort the B’s can give against the Red Wings Sunday in Detroit. The Bruins have won four of their last six games, but it’s games against top teams like the Red Wings (second place in the Western Conference) that will show whether the Bruins can hang with the best the league has to offer.
“We’re a much better team than we showed,” Julien said. “We have another shot and we can see where we stand with teams like Detroit.”
When it comes to tailoring their approach, captain Zdeno Chara says the difference on Sunday will have to be sticking to their game-plan, something that went out the window in the first 1:10 of the game on Todd Bertuzzi‘s first goal of the night.
“I think overall our game has to be better [Sunday],” Chara said. “Everything about it. We were losing battles, we didn’t skate with them, pretty much everything. We were just flat all around.”
The B’s will face the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena Sunday 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
|Team Lidstrom wins NHL All-Star Game, Tim Thomas gets victory||01.30.11 at 8:17 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas became the first goalie to win three All-Star Games in a row when Team Lidstrom defeated Team Staal, 11-10, Sunday in Raleigh, N.C.
Thomas, who also won the 2008 and 2009 All-Star Games, made 11 saves on 15 shots in the third period. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had an assist on Team Staal’s first goal, a tally by Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin.
Anze Kopital, Danny Briere and Louie Eriksson each had a pair of goals for Team Lidstrom. Eric Staal and Kris Letang led Team Staal with two goals. Patrick Sharp, who had a goal and two assists for Team Staal, was named the game’s MVP.
The Bruins will return to practice in Wilmington on Monday before heading to Raleigh, where they will face the Hurricanes on Tuesday.
|Zdeno Chara breaks his own hardest shot record||01.29.11 at 9:30 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara broke his own record in the Hardest Shot competition on Saturday night, winning the event for the fourth straight year.
Chara blasted a 105.9 mph slap shot in the final round of the competition, beating Predators defenseman Shea Weber‘s 103.4 mph shot and breaking his previous record of 105.4 MPH. Rookie Tyler Seguin also competed in the competition, topping out at 97.1 mph.
Here’s the video of Chara in 2009, when he first broke Al Iafrate‘s record.
Tim Thomas competed in the fastest skater competition against Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. The B’s netminder wiped out while turning a corner and quipped following the event that “Fortunately, with my style I’ve had lots of experience falling down.”
|Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara drafted to different teams in All-Star fantasy draft||01.28.11 at 8:30 pm ET|
Bruins All-Star representatives Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas will play as opponents in Sunday’s All-Star game. Chara was made the seventh overall pick by Team Staal in the Friday night’s fantasy draft to determine the rosters, while Nicklas Lidstrom selected Thomas with the 10th overall pick.
Eric Staal made Hurricanes teammate Cam Ward the first overall pick in the draft, causing Thomas to be available later for Team Lidstrom, who chose Lightning center Steven Stamkos second overall.
Asked earlier this month what would happen if Thomas and Chara were to play on different teams in the All-Star game, Thomas replied, “I win, he loses.”
|Gameday Notes: Thomas expected to start||01.26.11 at 1:18 pm ET|
Tim Thomas was the first Bruins goaltender off the ice at the team’s morning skate, an indication that he will be the starting goalie against the Panthers on Wednesday. Thomas, who was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week last week, took a 2-0 loss to the Kings Monday night in Los Angeles.
Thomas is 23-5-6 on the season and leads the league with a .945 save percentage, 1.83 goals against average. He is tied with Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with seven shutouts.
While the goaltender for the night appears to be known, it isn’t so easy regarding Boston’s blue line. Mark Stuart has been a healthy scratch the last two games, and Claude Julien said following the skate that the team will make a game-time decision regarding who sits.
Here are some notes from the morning skate:
– The lines were similar to what they were Monday night:
– Marc Savard returned home to Peterborough, Ontario to rest, with Julien saying “that’s all you can do when you’ve got a concussion.” There remains no timetable on when the center might be able to rejoin the B’s.
With Savard out, Julien doesn’t feel the Bruins necessarily need to call a player up from Providence.
“Right now we’ve got 12 forwards and a lot of that will depend on management and the salary cap and all that stuff and whether is makes sense or not. So that’s probably going to be dealt with as we move on here but as we’re speaking right now, it’s no.”
Some have wondered whether this could mean a promotion for a former first-rounder in Zach Hamill or Joe Colborne, but given the team’s stability with capable centers in Seguin and Wheeler, it doesn’t seem the call-up options should be limited to centers.
– Steven Kampfer said he is not going to get surgery on his nose over the All-Star break after previously considering the procedure. Kampfer broke his nose last Saturday against the Penguins and has worn a full shield since. While his difficulty breathing had led to him considering surgery, he hopes that he will be able to lose the full shield when the team returns from the All-Star break next week.
Instead of surgery, the 22-year-old will return home to Michigan, where he plans on watching his alma mater take on Michigan St. at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday. He’ll be there with some other former Wolverines, including Kings defenseman Jack Johnson.
– While Kampfer is making a name for himself on the ice, but if anyone wants to keep up with him off it, they can do so, as Kampfer is on twitter. While it’s pretty rare to see the B’s on twitter, @SteveKampfer47 says he has fun with it while not going too crazy. Twitter has definitely been used as a sounding board of sorts for professional athletes across all the major sports. Coyotes forward Paul Bissonette is probably the NHL’s equivalent of Chad Ochocinco.
– Brad Marchand, who has pretty much shocked the world (or greater Boston) with his 12 goals so far this season, earned the praise of teammates and his coach on Wednesday. Lucic noted that he saw his talents at the junior level and isn’t ultimately surprised by what he’s brought, while Julien is glad to see that the rookie has made offense a part of his game without the other areas suffering.
“I think he’s building confidence and knows that he can give a little bit more to his team as he gets more experience,” Julien said. “And I think the grit is there, it’s still there but yet productively he’s gotten better.”
– The Bruins All-Stars didn’t appear to be on the same page when it came to discussing the fantasy draft for the All-Star game. Tim Thomas said he’ll watch it from his hotel room — if his room gets VS. — while Zdeno Chara assumed the players had to be there.
|Nathan Gerbe is a ‘pest’ to the Bruins in his homecoming to Boston||01.21.11 at 12:05 pm ET|
The TD Garden ice has always been kind to Nathan Gerbe.
It was again on Thursday night as the list of former Boston College players coming back to Boston and providing nightmare after nightmare to the Bruins continues to grow.
There’s Brian Leetch with the Rangers. There’s David Emma, Brian Gionta and Bill Guerin with the Devils. There’s Patrick Eaves of the Hurricanes. Now, add Nathan Gerbe to that list.
With Bruins holding a precarious 2-1 lead midway through the second period, Gerbe fired a shot from the left circle past Tuukka Rask for the game-tying goal on the power play. It changed the momentum and set the stage for Thomas Vanek to take over the game in the third in Buffalo’s 4-2 win Thursday night at the Garden.
Gerbe – not lacking confidence despite his 5-foot-5 frame – was the latest from The Heights to make life miserable for the Bruins as he mixed it up with B’s captain Zdeno Chara and then lit the lamp.
“I’m a little frustrating player to play against,” Gerbe said. “I am a little pest there, so I just tried to get under their skin a little bit. It is all in fun. He is a big guy, and I don’t think I would win in a battle but it was definitely one to enjoy. I tired to hold my ground as much as possible. Just stand there and don’t fall. He is so strong and such a good D man. It is fun to compete against him.”
He certainly was a pest to the Black and Gold Thursday night.
“Those Boston College guys did a good job for us tonight,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff added. “I thought [Tyler] Myers made a great play, great look to feed it to him. Nathan, on the heels of playing a real strong game for us the other night, playing a excellent game for us tonight.”
Gerbe, of course, was excellent during his three seasons at Boston College, capped off in 2008 when he scored five goals in the final two games of the Frozen Four, leading the Eagles to the national championship. He earned a place at the table as a Hobey Baker finalist as one of the very top players in all of college hockey with 68 points in 43 games. He led the Eagles to the Beapot and Hockey East titles that year, too – on the same Garden ice.
“Yeah you always get a lot of good memories here and a lot of good feelings,” Gerbe said. “You get chills up your body, but it is a different league and you try to do as well as you can every night.”
He scored last year in the playoffs against the Bruins in Game 6 but the Sabres lost, 4-3, as the Bruins moved onto the second round.
Now, he is helping to turn around a Sabres ship that was sinking just two weeks ago. The Sabres have beaten the two teams – Montreal and Boston – ahead of them in back-to-back games and are showing signs of moving up from 10th in the East.
‘Very, very satisfying to score here,” Gerbe said. “Even more satisfying to get the win and get the two points. It was huge for us. Hopefully we can keep rolling.”