Who is your Bruins first-half MVP?
- Marc Savard (44%, 4 Votes)
- Phil Kessel (33%, 3 Votes)
- Zdeno Chara (22%, 2 Votes)
- Manny Fernandez (0%, 0 Votes)
- Tim Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)
- Dennis Wideman (0%, 0 Votes)
- Other (1%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 9
Who is your Bruins first-half MVP?
Total Voters: 9
There are few times an athlete in any sport doesn’t want to be able to attend an All-Star Game, but in Boston Bruins center Martin St. Pierre’s case the 2009 AHL All-Star Game is one he’d rather not compete in — because if he’s unavailable it means he’s still in the NHL.
St. Pierre has been holding his own since joining the Boston Bruins last month with 1-2-3 totals and a plus-2 rating in eight games as the Bruins’ fourth-line center. Tuesday he was selected as a reserve for the Canadian AHL All-Star Team, which will face the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team Jan. 26 in Worcester.
“I think I’ve done my time in the ‘A’ as far putting up the points and going to the last three All-Star Games,” said St. Pierre after Boston’s practice at Risctuccia Arena in Wilmington. “Hopefully they give me the chance to make a decision and I wouldn’t mind staying up here because obviously my ultimate goal is to play in the NHL All-Star Game. … I’m at this point now, so I don’t want to take a couple steps back. But it’s still nice to be nominated, to be considered one of the better AHL players in the league.”
St. Pierre added that he’s enjoyed his previous trips to the AHL All-Star game — registering two points per contest, sharing the shot accuracy title two seasons ago and competing in the hardest slap shot contest last season.
“It’s fun. You get to meet a lot of the guys … and it’s great to get exposure. It’s on television, so people back home can see,” said St. Pierre, who noted that tomorrow night’s tilt with Ottawa will also be on television back home.
You can add one more Providence representative to the festivities at the 2009 AHL All-Star Game in Worcester, as winger Martins Karsums was selected today to the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star roster as a reserve for the Jan. 26 game.
Karsums joins Providence teammates Martin St. Pierre and Johnny Boychuk, who were both selected as Canadian All-Star reserves Tuesday, as P-Bruins tabbed for inclusion on the rosters. This season with the P-Bruins, Karsums has posted 15-28-38 totals and a plus-4 rating in 37 games. He made his NHL debut when he played his first and only game with Boston Dec. 13 against Atlanta. Karsums is one of 19 first-time All-Stars.
One name conspicuous by its absence is that of Providence goaltender Tuukka Rask, who is 16-12-0 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .918 save percentage this season. Perhaps Rask will make it as an injury replacement between now and the game later this month.
Well, the Boston Bruins won’t have Jarkko Ruutu in their collective hair tomorrow night when Ottawa visits TD Banknorth Garden because the pesky winger has been suspended two games by the NHL for his bite of Buffalo’s Andrew Peters during a brief scuffle Tuesday night.
To watch the incident, click through to this previous post.
In a press release, the NHL said: “Ruutu, who was suspended for two games in November, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, he forfeits $31,707.32 in salary based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (186). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.”
MK: One less player with heart to worry about for the Bruins, who should be able to exploit the sliding Senators, who are about ready to start pointing fingers and completely stop playing hard.
WILMINGTON — From the start of this season until he left the Boston Bruins’ win at Atlanta Dec. 12 with an upper-body injury, forward Petteri Nokelainen had been forming one of the best fourth lines in the league — one that was able to play both a checking role and provide an offensive spark when necessary.
In the Bruins’ loss to Minnesota last night, Nokelainen returned to active duty after a 10-game absence and skated the left wing with Martin St. Pierre in the middle and Shawn Thornton on the other side. Nokelainen skated just a shade more than seven minutes but was able to generate some scoring chances along with the rest of his trio and play like his normal physical self.
“I felt good out there. It’s tough, of course, after not playing for a month, your timing and stuff … but I felt good and even my legs felt pretty good,” Nokelainen said after the Bruins’ one-hour practice at Ristuccia Arena. (more…)
WILMINGTON — Defenseman Andrew Ference did not practice today with the Boston Bruins at Ristuccia Arena. This was his second straight day off the ice, but head coach Claude Julien said Ference should be back skating in the next day or two. Because the Bruins’ doctors projected Ference wouldn’t be back for another week or two, he is still considered ahead of schedule.
Julien said that defenseman Shane Hnidy’s eye was swollen almost shut today, so that’s why he didn’t practice. He took a shot just above his eye from Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck last night.
And winger Milan Lucic is day-to-day with “an injury.”
Defenseman Aaron Ward skated again today and Julien said he “should be good to go” against Ottawa tomorrow night.
Former Boston Bruins captain Joe Thornton was among the reserves named to the Western Conference All-Star team today by the NHL.
This is Thornton’s sixth straight All-Star Game appearance. He’s scheduled to be one of two Sharks at the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was also named to the team.
The rest of the Western Conference All-Star reserves are Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom, Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo; defensemen Shea Weber of Nashville, Sheldon Souray of Edmonton and Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit; and forwards Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Milan Hedjuk of Colordao, Rick Nash of Columbus, Mike Modano of Dallas, Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit, Dustin Brown of Los Angeles, Shane Doan of Phoenix and Keith Tkachuk of St. Louis.
The Eastern Conference All-Star reserves will be announced tomorrow at noon. The Bruins should have no fewer than two selections.
WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Boston Bruins are practicing this morning at Ristuccia Arena with their first two-game, regulation losing streak now under their belts after their 1-0 loss to Minnesota last night.
The only missing bodies are winger Milan Lucic and defensemen Andrew Ference and Shane Hnidy. Hnidy took a puck to the face in the loss last night, but returned to action during the game wearing a shield.
Shawn Thornton is filling Lucic’s spot on the line with Chuck Kobasew and Stephane Yelle. Vladimir Sobotka is back on the fourth line with Martin St. Pierre and Petteri Nokelainen.
Defenseman Aaron Ward, who didn’t play last night, is on the ice.
I know it seems like lately the second-most popular topic of this blog after the Boston Bruins is Jaroslav Halak of the Montreal Canadiens. I have to admit, I get a kick out of the Canadiens’ struggles with him between the pipes because they obviously overestimated what they had behind Carey Price going back as far as last season.
But the Habs are holding their ground. Pat Hickey in the Montreal Gazette today reports that head coach Guy Carbonneau is going to stick with Halak for tonight’s match with the New York Rangers. Remember, the Habs are at TD Banknorth Garden for a grudge match next Tuesday. It’ll be interesting to see how this all develops over the next week, particularly if Price can’t make it back from his lower-body injury.
And I promise, barring any major occurences, no more Halak blogs for a day or two.
The Ottawa Senators, the Boston Bruins’ next opponent, aren’t just slip sliding their way toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference. They’re biting mad too. Although he denies doing it, Sens winger Jarkko Ruutu clearly bit Buffalo tough guy Andrew Peters during a scrum last night in a 4-2 Sabres win.
Judge for yourself:
As far as returning to the line-up after four games as a healthy scratch, Matt Lashoff couldn’t have faced a more difficult opponent last night at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston than the Minnesota Wild.
With their trapping and neutral-zone clogging, the Wild can make life difficult for any young defenseman, let alone a young, up-and-comer like Lashoff.
Lashoff had his shaky moments in his 13:18 of ice time, but didn’t wind up hurting the club in its 1-0 loss. And after four games on the sidelines, he said the key was getting involved as soon as he could after the first puck was dropped. (more…)
BOSTON — A patch of adversity was inevitable for the Boston Bruins as a noreaster hitting the Hub this February and people complaining about the All-Star voting.
But the Boston Bruins’ two-game losing streak — their first in regulation of the season — isn’t all that important. They still have a cushy lead both for the Eastern Conference and Northeast Division leads. No, the important thing will be how the club now responds to dropping consecutive games on home ice to Buffalo and Minnesota.
The 1-0 loss tonight to the Wild was everything you’d expect from a game against the team that practically invented the trap. And it didn’t help that the Bruins seemed to be panicking every time the puck came within shouting distance of their stick. This is the payback a team gets after it rips through 10 straight games without a win, defends the home ice 14 times in a row and makes the month of December its own personal “win-a-polooza.” This is the diet you have to go on after a week of eating fine steak and seafood on a luxury cruise.
To a man, the Bruins seemed to understand that, including rookie Blake Wheeler — who sounded wise beyond his years after the game. (more…)
For the first time this season, the Boston Bruins have lost two in a row in regulation, as they dropped a home date to the Minnesota Wild, 1-0, at TD Banknorth Garden tonight.
For a recap, you can check out Yahoo!
The Bruins were also shut out for the first time this season, as Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom recorded his second straight blanking.
BOSTON — The Boston Bruins took the TD Banknorth Garden ice led by Manny Fernandez, who’ll get the start in net tonight against his former team the Minnesota Wild.
Defenseman Matt Lashoff and forward Petteri Nokelainen are both on the ice, while defenseman Aaron Ward is not. Lashoff has been a healthy scratch the last four games, while Nokelainen has missed the last 10 games with an upper-body injury. UPDATE: Martin St. Pierre still warmed up as the Bruins’ fourth-line center flanked by Vladimir Sobotka and Shawn Thornton.
Check back after the game for complete coverage.
BOSTON — Tonight will mark the first-ever NHL game for Minnesota forward Krys Kolanos back in Boston.
The former Boston College star scored the game-winning overtime goal for the Eagles in the 2001 NCAA championship game. And tonight he’ll get to square off with his former Eagles linemate Chuck Kobasew when the Wild visit the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden.
“It’s giving me a chill right now just thinking about it,” Kolanos told thebruinsblog.net after his team’s morning skate. “He’s my old linemate and we had a great year there together, nine years ago or whatever. So it’s special to be back here.”
Kolanos enjoyed two solid years at BC before he turned pro. His NHL career, however, has been a roller coaster. He was a first-round draft pick of Phoenix in 2000, but he’s struggled to live up to those early expectations, particularly in light of a concussion-causing hit he took from Vaclav Varada in ’02. (more…)