Well, after another Bruins victory Saturday night, a 4-1 dumping of the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, I explained to Bruins center David Krejci the impact he’s had on the likes of Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder. He had a couple of ideas why things seem to work out when someone gets placed to his side, although he was quick to deflect any credit away from him. (more…)
Even Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien has noticed that the best serum for a slumping winger has been to play alongside center David Krejci. (more…)
For one night at least, the high-powered Boston Bruins won’t be the favorite tonight, as the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings visit the TD Banknorth Garden for a battle of two teams tied for the second-most standings points (34) in the NHL.
The Wings snapped a two-game losing streak with a home win over Columbus Friday night, but before that they’d won five in a row. And the Bruins, of course, have been even hotter, with wins in five of their last six outings, including Friday’s blowout of the New York Islanders. The Bruins’ surge toward the top of the NHL standings have made them a team everyone wants to knocks off, but for this one evening they’ll be the ones trying to prove their mettle against a team that has some hardware. (more…)
The prodigal son returns today when former Providence Bruins (AHL) bench boss and Easton, Mass., native Scott Gordon, in his first year as an NHL head coach, brings his youthful New York Islanders to TD Banknorth Garden.
Gordon and his Isles visited the Hub in the preseason, but this will be a true test of his coaching mettle and his team’s improvement — as the Bruins will look to bounce back after Buffalo snapped their four-game winning streak and the Isles had won two in a row before blowing a second-period lead against Pittsburgh Wednesday.
Player to watch: The Bruins are obviously proud of their young talent, and the Islanders will have some of theirs on display today. Among the New York prospects who’ll be darting around the ice will be 2008 first-round pick (ninth overall) Josh Bailey. The 19-year-old started the year on injured reserve, but he made his NHL debut Nov. 11 and he’s now on a three-game point-scoring streak (0-4-4 over that time).
Quotable: Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Hunwick is one of the many Bruins who learned under Gordon with Providence. He’s interested to see how far the Isles have come since the beginning of the Gordon era in the preseason.
“Their overall game plan is to be aggressive and work hard and skate hard. That’ll be something,” Hunwick told me this week. “It’ll be good for us, a few of us knowing his style and what’s going on, so we have an idea how to counteract that. But it’ll be good to see how far their team has come along. I saw that at the beginning of the year they weren’t doing great. Now they’ve kind of stepped it up. It’s always good to see someone that you know doing well. It’ll be interesting to see how far they’ve come.”
Well, American Thanksgiving for the Boston Bruins would’ve been a lot more enjoyable had they pulled out last night’s game in Buffalo. But even a winning-streak-breaking loss to Buffalo couldn’t stop defenseman Aaron Ward’s holiday spirit today.
The veteran and his 5-year-old son Liam were scheduled to make visits to four charitable organizations and deliver 160 turkeys for Thanksgiving — total weight, two tons.
It’s no surprise that Ward would be involved in such an endeavor. Although he’s Canadian-born, he makes no bones about his love for his adopted home country, which is the birth place of his wife and his kids. And celebrating Thanksgiving is one of the perks that comes with living and playing in the U.S.
“It’s huge. It’s a green light to go pig out,” Ward told me this week. “Hopefully, (head coach) Claude (Julien) doesn’t have weigh-in before the game Friday.”
Ward expected to have a bunch of family visit today to join him for a feast and plenty of football watching.
“It’s time well spent. Your kids, they get it. So I’m looking forward to it.”
The last team the Sabres probably want to see visit HSBC Arena under the circumstances is the Boston Bruins, who have won four straight and nine of their last 10. (more…)
Well, let’s start by saying that the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting is a joke this year. If the results of the Eastern Conference voting that was released today stands up until the end of the campaign, the entire East starting line-up will consist of Montreal Canadiens players. If the NHL didn’t intend to do anything about this hi-tech form of ballot-box stuffing, then it should’ve just decided that for the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens, Montreal would face off against the NHL All-Stars and the voting would’ve only been for that opposing team.
Nonetheless, the only good news is that Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who if he can’t make the All-Star ballot at least knows he’ll be in the conversation for the Vezina all year, is getting a nice round of support from write-in voters. (more…)
Recently selected as one of Boston’s 25 most fashionable people, Boston Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward had this to say today about the club’s new third jersey:
“I love it. It’s understated. It’s got a little bit of a link to the past with the emblem on the front. They didn’t try to do too much. I think it’s classy, it’s good.”
The challenge for the Boston Bruins right now is to maintain their high level of focus and determination in order to keep their run of success going. For winger Michael Ryder, the objective is the same, except he also has to figure out how to get the puck to reach the back of the net more often. (more…)
The NHL today announced that Boston Bruins center Marc Savard was named the league’s First Star for the week ending Nov. 23. The Second Star was Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin and the Third Star was Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin.
Last week, Savard posted 2-6-8 totals, as the Bruins went 4-0-0.
So, how do you like the third jersey? It’s definitely different from what the Boston Bruins traditionally wear. And it’s a far cry from the days of Pooh Bear (the way the Bruins played in the aftermath of the lockout, Eeyore would’ve been a better character for their jerseys). (more…)
The Boston Bruins are practicing this morning at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.
•Forwards Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm, and defenseman Dennis Wideman are not on the ice.
•A handful of players will leave after today’s practice for an event that TD Banknorth Garden Pro Shop (2 p.m.) to unveil, sell and sign the club’s new third jersey.
I’ll have more on these issues later today.
It was thought that veteran defenseman Andrew Ference’s broken right tibia might derail the Boston Bruins,
who entered last week winners of five of their last six.
Alas, rookie defenseman Matt Hunwick filled in ably. During the Bruins’ 4-0 romp through Toronto, Buffalo, Montreal and Florida, the former University of Michigan star scored twice (including his first NHL goal Monday against the Leafs), notched two assists and posted a plus-3 rating. For his efforts filling Ference’s skates on the Bruins’ second pair opposite Dennis Wideman, Hunwick is my Bruin of the Week.
Hunwick has played well enough to earn some time on the second power-play unit and he’s made life a little easier for general manager Peter Chiarelli, who hasn’t had to make a desperate move to acquire a puck-moving defenseman.
Other candidates for this week’s award were forwards Phil Kessel (3-1-4, plus-3) and Chuck Kobasew (2-2-4, plus-5), and goaltender Tim Thomas (91 saves on 97 shots, 3-0-0 record).
The week ahead features a road date with Buffalo and Garden visits by the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings.
As you already know, the Montreal Canadiens will tonight retire the No. 33 of goaltender Patrick Roy, who led the Habs to two Stanley Cup titles, before their home date with the Bruins at the Bell Centre.
Roy held a conference call this week, and here’s what he recalled about his old battles with Boston:
“We had a lot of good games with the Bruins, and a lot of playoff games at the beginning of my career, in those 10 years, actually, with Montreal. It was always, you know, it was always special playing against the Bruins, especially playing at the Boston Garden. I mean, it was a fun rink to play at, and I’m glad I had that opportunity to play in these rinks. I’m thinking of Chicago, Boston.
“It was very (intimidating) for any players who started, and it was fun playing in these games. But, yeah, Boston, I mean, I’m thinking of Cam Neely and Ray Bourque, they were always in the middle of the battle and it was always good games.”
It’s safe to say the Montreal Canadiens will be jacked up tonight when they host the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. Not only will the Bruins’ archrivals be looking to put on a show on Patrick Roy Night, but they’ll also be looking for revenge after the 6-1 spanking they took from Boston at the Garden Nov. 13. The Bruins, however, are the hotter team, with wins in eight of their last nine games.
Player to Watch: Obviously, if he gets the start, goaltender Carey Price will try to be at his peak with possibly the NHL’s greatest goaltender ever in the house for his number retirement ceremony. Price was 5-0 in the regular season against the Bruins as a rookie last year. But then the Bruins solved him in the postseason and this year, obviously got to him during their one win over Montreal. Price on the season is 9-4-1 with a 2.51 goals-against average.
What they’re writing: The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports on what will now be an extended absence by Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek.
Quotable: Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward has been front and center during the renewal of one of hockey’s hottest rivalries. He’s ready for an emotional night that will test the Bruins’ resolve.
“We’re going to be faced with adversity,” Ward said after the Bruins’ win over Florida Friday. “When you’re retiring a jersey, I think that process will take over an hour. So the onus is on the older guys to hopefully … keep the guys focused. Because an hour is a long time to wait, and we talked about what happened at the start of the year with the (season-opening) game in Colorado. It was a long time to wait so we’ve got to learn from our mistakes in the past and really prepare for this game.”