Has the dust settled on the Bruins roster for next season?

According to Peter Charelli and Cam Neely the answer is yes. So everyone can stop pushing the rumor of Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand making the next move. Not happening.

The team has faced major changes in the last month. Starting with letting go of Bruins defender Andrew Ference. Number 21 was told that we didn’t have the money to fund his stay in Boston, and with the talent we found in Krug and Bartkowski it was decided to let him go. I think the Bruins lost out on a huge part of their locker room. Ference is the one behind the Rangers jacket this post season, and the lock and chain last post season, and the 80’s jacket during the Stanley Cup winning run in 2011. Ference is also a big face in the Boston community, and a huge advocate for going green. Ference has signed with the Edmonton Oilers, his hometown team for four years. Fear not, the former Bruin would like to return to Boston after his playing career.

The first of many shocking moves came when Nathan Horton told the Bruins he wasn’t interested in returning next year and wanted to explore the market. Evidently this worked out for him, he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 7 years and $37.1 million contract.

On Thursday July fourth, it wasn’t fireworks you were hearing, but the millions of Seguinista hearts breaking as Seguin was traded with Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars. Seguin had a nearly invisible post season, after a mediocre half season, and Charelli thought it was time to give up on Seguin’s shiny potential. Seguin was playing scared, letting go of pucks that he should have battled down the boards for and was too afraid of getting hit to really commit to the Bruins style of play. The Western Conference is known for playing more finesse hockey, so if Seguin was going to shine, here is his opportunity to play his game. It worked out well for Michael Ryder, who went to the Stars in 2011 and doubled the number of goals he had the previous season with Boston. (Ryder was also a free agent this summer, and Boston had interest but the winger signed with the NJD)

Tuukka Rask inked an 8-year contract extension with the Bruins, valued at $56 million. Rask has been with the Bruins since he was drafted in 2007 and admitted that he would like to be a Bruin “forever”. His save percentage for this season and last season were both 0.929, this season he played in 36 games with a goals against average of 2, and in 2011-2012 he played 36 games with a goals against average of 2.05.

Patrice Bergeron also signed an extension as well, eight years for $52 million. He would love to spend his entire career in Boston, and when he spoke to the media on the 2nd he said,

“That’s the goal since the beginning. It’s the team that believed in me when I was 18 and I was coming up. Now, it’s my home. I feel like it is. I love the city. I love the people. I definitely love the organization. It would mean a lot to me. Hopefully we can work something out” (Boston Globe).

As far as adding to the team, Charelli acquired Loui Erikkson along with three prospects from Dallas. The prospects are Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow, two right wingers and a defender. Charelli noted that “It’s been well-documented, we’ve got to rebuild our right side so [Eriksson]’s the first piece. We are going to have a couple younger guys challenging him. We may go out and get another guy, too” (ESPN.com)

And get another guy they did. Jerome Iginla will be putting on a spoked B’s jersey next season. For anyone who could forget, Iginla was all set to come to Boston this season, but instead at the last second he opted for the Pittsburgh Penguins. A factor that may have fueled the Bruins in their sweep of the Penguins in their run for the cup this year.

It is going to be exciting to see the Bruins experiment with three new altered lines, the Merlot line being the only one still standing. Along with the decision the team faces when it comes to defense with the valiant efforts of Krug and Bartkowski in the playoffs, and with Dougie Hamilton also available.

Lets Go B’s!

-Kaylin

Devestation Never Hits as Hard as When It Hits Close to Home

I hope this finds you well, after the tragedy that occurred in Boston yesterday. The news found me at work, and after I anxiously awaited to hear if my best friend was alright, I found my nerves focused on the Bruins boys. In particular my mind jumped to the two Twitter-nuts Tyler Seguin and Andrew Ference. Seguin has tweeted maybe an hour before about all the traffic in Boston, and I’d assumed Ference would be all over the marathon. The boys both started tweeting around three, Ference showing his heart and sympathy.

Ference Twitter

The Bruins game was postponed for obvious reasons, Cam Neely offering an official statement. Meanwhile other hockey franchises reached out to show their support.

The Chicago Tribune devoted the cover of its Sports section to our city.

The Chicago Tribune devoted the cover of its Sports section to our city.

Twitter became flooded with well wishes for Boston, #prayforBoston ending most. NHL teams and individual players took to social media to express their sympathy. Multiple members of the New York Rangers tweeted their support, including Brian Boyle, Michael Del Zotto, Brad Richards, Henrik Lundqvist, along with many members of their farm team, the CTWhale, as well. The Dallas Stars were quick to offer their condolences.

@nhlbruins our deepest sympathies are with you and everyone in Boston. Stay safe, friends.

— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 15, 2013

The Chicago Tribune devoted the cover of its Sports section to our city (see right).

Moments of silence were held at multiple games last night, most heartwarming was the Montreal Canadiens v. Philidelphia Flyers silence. Showing that despite rivalries people can come together during difficult times. The Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars game and the San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes game also paused pregame in support.

Keith Yandle, a Boston native, plays for the Phoenix Coyotes and showed his support for Boston on his skates.
Keith Yandle Skates

At practice this morning the Bruins Twitter had encouraging quotes from all of the guys on how to move forward.

Bruins tweets sympathy

I don’t want to say that there is a bright side from this, because it is hard to believe that anything bright can come from something so dark. But a silver lining would be to admire the love and respect the hockey community has for each other during these difficult times. Especially to look at those who risked their own lives to help the fallen. Ference tweeted about his girls and what it was like to be a parent in a situation like this.

I hope Brad Marchand is right in his desire to give Boston something to believe in. As it is needed more than ever now. Below is the eight year old boy, Martin Richards, who died in the explosions.

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.” - Bill Richard

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.” – Bill Richard

As Obama mentioned in his speech yesterday, “Boston is a resilient town; so are its people“. Boston will rally to push through this, and come out stronger on the other side.

As for rescheduling the game, Jack Edwards pointed out on twitter that “NHL season scheduled to end Sat 27Apr. In order to make up game Bs would have to play 3 nights in a row. Can’t do that by NHL rules. Sun 28?” So I’ll keep an ear to the ground for more on that.

EDIT: The Ottawa game has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 28 at TD Garden.

Best of luck to those injured and traumatized, my thoughts are with you. Go B’s!

-Kaylin

Hurricanes Swept Away, Return of the Fair Weather Fans?

With the return of the Boston Red Sox, and their surprisingly good start, the Bruins are falling to the far side of Boston’s interest. It doesn’t help that the B’s haven’t been their best in a few weeks. NESN airs the Sox, pushing the Bruins to their + station, and the sports coverage goes back to throwing in five minutes of Bruins at the end of their program.

Monday night’s 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes may have baseball fans pausing over their morning Wheaties to scan the Bruins coverage. While the news that the Bruins won by 4, and netted six goals will ignite an overwhelming sense of victory in the pit of fans that didn’t watch the game, there is more to the story.

Conrad, from Conrad’s Corner, summed it up nicely. “While a 6-2 victory is extremely hard to find faults with, the truth is, the score did not reflect the overall performance from either team. All it reflected was very poor goaltending from the Hurricanes and excellent goaltending from Tuukka Rask. The Bs were outshot 42-36 in the game and 18-9 in the first period, showing their inability to start games fast.”

Dan From Bruins Hockey Now was quick to spark a reality check, pointing out that the game was only against the Hurricanes. He continued from there, pointing out the positives and negatives from the night. “However, even I’m not taking last night’s win to mean everything is right in the world. There were plenty of good things, plenty of troubling things, and a few just plain bad things. The offense showed some jump and creativity (good), Jaromir Jagr looks like he’s settling in (good), the B’s allowed 40+ shots again (troubling), Tuukka Rask had to bail the team out a number of times when this was still a game (troubling) and Tyler Seguin all but disappeared (bad). A win is a win, sure, but let’s not take it to mean the B’s have righted the ship.” –Dan (Bruins Hockey Now)

A highlight from Wednesday’s game is the matchup of Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand.

Conrad’s Corner pointed this out well. “Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr seem to have found great chemistry as they continually connect on no-look passes and are great at creating space for one another to work in the offensive zone. I’d like to see them centered by someone more skilled like David Krejci, especially if the Bs are down late in a game and need a goal. For now, though, it’s hard to argue with Gregory Campbell’s 2 assist night while centering them. Campbell was one of six Bruins with a multi-point night on Monday, the others being Seidenberg, Ference, Marchand, Peverley and Jagr.”

I am a fan of Gregory Campbell, but I would absolutely love to see Jagr and Krejci on a line together. With Marchand meshing with Jagr, and Krejci’s currently line doing well, nothing, this could be a change the Bruins need to make.

Of course, it is now Friday, and the Bruins lost last night to the Islanders. Yes, the ISLANDERS. Where Brad Marchand was MIA with a mild concussion. So Claude’s solution? Moving Lucic up to work with Jagr and Campbell? Milan Lucic who has done close to nothing this season?

On The Sports Hub last night they were talking about how Claude should consider benching Looch a game, which I agree with. He’s playing lethargic hockey and isn’t making plays, he is a player who should be slamming the other team into the boards or starting fights to defend hits on his guys. Where was the Bruins comradery Wednesday when Marchand went down? There’s no fire, no one’s fighting, their checks are almost pathetic. I think I saw one good check by Looch in the third last night? ONE. In the last two minutes. Not acceptable.

With the day off today, we’ll see the boys Saturday in Carolina. The Bruins need to wake up, and not sit back thinking this could be a sweep. You know the Hurricanes are going to come back swinging from their loss, and the B’s need to be ready to play to win.

Go B’s!

Kaylin

Bruins Take a Break

This morning was an optional skate for the Bruins.

@NHLBruins: Only 8 B’s out for practice drills-Paille, Thornton, Campbell, MacDermid in merlot; Bourque & Pandolfo in grey; Johnson & Dougie only 2 D^CS

Anton Khudobin joined the team in net, Haggerty predicts he will start in Saturday’s afternoon game against Tampa Bay. It will be a challenge for Dobby with the Sharp shooter Steven Stamkos, but not a bad idea to split the goalies with two games in a row. Tuukka will probably see a return to ice against Montreal on Sunday if this plays out.

@NHLBruins: Coach: “Tuukka is playing extemely well…we know it’s impossible to ride Tuukka through this whole thing…we need both of them”^CS

Brad Marchand spent his morning signing autographs for the season ticket holders in attendance.

@NHLBruins: Coach: “Tuukka is playing extemely well…we know it’s impossible to ride Tuukka through this whole thing…we need both of them”^CS

@NHLBruins: Coach said B’s did some video work this morning, some guys did maintenance work with trainers & in the gym at Ristuccia Arena^CS

Julien also stressed the importance of giving the players a break especially with the three games in four days.

That’s all I’ve got! Keep it here for more news.
-Kaylin

Big Night in Buffalo

With nine games played and only one regulation disater of a loss, the Bruins are looking to redeem their play against the Buffalo Sabers. The boys flew into Buffalo last night, and took to the ice this morning for practice.

Claude Julien is sticking with the line that came up big during Montreal, Tyler Seguin skating with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Another change is Bergeron centering Rich Peverley and Nathan Horton. Chris Kelly is between Chris Bourque (48) and Jamie Tardiff (68), and the Merlot line stuck together in practice (Paille, Campbell, Thornton).

It could be a big night for Anton Khudobin, the first goalie off the ice from practice.

However Claude is keeping his plans private, telling both goalies to be ready to start. Also mentioning that Marchand, Paille, and Thornton are all game time decisions.

Jay Pandolfo made the trip to New York also, hitting the ice for practice. He has yet to be signed to a contract, but being on a Professional Tryout Agreement means he can travel and practice with the team, just not suit up come game time.

Bruins need to be ready to play the full 60minutes tonight if they want to beat the Sabers. The defense needing to solidify in our own end. Defensive pairs at practice stand as 33-55, 44-27, 21-54, with Johnson playing as the oddman out.

Marc Savard predicts that David Krejci is going to have a big night, and the Bruins will lead by 2.

@NHLBruins Bergeron on tonight vs last loss to BUF: “about having a good start…as soon as we get some momentum, we want to keep it for 60 minutes”^CS
(1:43 p.m. Sun, Feb 10)

Tune in tonight at 7 on NESN as the Bruins seek redemption.
-Kaylin

Snowed out of the Garden

After losing to the New Jersey Devils’ 4-2 on Thursday February 7th, the Tampa Bay Lightning flew into Boston for their game on Saturday. A game that was supposed to be played at 1:00pm, then postponed to 7, before being cancelled with only four hours till puck drop.

Bruins Andrew Ference and Tyler Seguin joked with fans on their respective Twitters about the snow and getting to the Garden for their game.

With both teams and the game officials in the area, the NHL policy is to have them play. Jack Edwards was positive there would be a game up untiil the NHL made the following statement: “No game tonight: travel conditions remain too hazardous for fans, security personnel and TD Garden staff to get to the arena.”

Joe Haggerty reported this morning that the Bruins website has added a game against the Lightning on April 26th.
Edit: Just kidding. NHL took the date down. New date TBD.

Hope everyone survived the blizzard.

-Kaylin

“I may be in a bad mood on game day… It’s just that a few hours from now I’m going to be getting punched in the face.” – Shawn Thornton

Shawn Thornton is the definition of a Big Bad Bruin. When he deems that the Bruins need a rush of adrenaline, Thornton will find the biggest guy on the opposing team, and drop the gloves.

Such was the case on January 31st, 2013 against the Buffalo Sabers. Fans on both sides were expecting a fight when Claude Julien sat Chris Bourque in favor of the Providence Bruins tough guy Lane MacDermid. The Sabers were coming in with every intention to pummel the Bruins, still sore about the hit their goalie took by Lucic back in ’11. (Forget? Click here). The anticipation for a fight was in the air, and with 17minutes remaining in the first, they got what they wanted.

So when Thornton squared off against John Scott, the crowd reacted. Unfortunately Thornton took off a little more than he could chew (watch the beat down here). Scott landed approximately 10 hits on Thornton, at least 7 of them making solid contact with the side of Thornton’s head. Standing at 6’8″ and weighing 270lbs, Scott had 6 inches and 50  pounds over the Bruin.

After only playing 16seconds of the game, Thornton disappeared down the runway. He wasn’t the only one to take a beating as the Bruins fell to the Sabers 7-4.

Gregory Campbell stood behind his linemate in an interview with Caryn Switaj of the Boston Bruins organization. “I’ve sat there & watched Thorty do it over & over countless times. It takes a lot of courage to do what he does… I have the upmost respect for those guys” (@NHLBruins).

He wasn’t the only one to stand up for Thornton as Coach Julien added his two cents, “Scott did his job for them; Shawn did his job for us” (Switaj, @NHLBruins).

In the aftermath of the game, Thornton was evaluated to have a concussion and set to miss 7-10days. Monday February 4th, 2013 the @NHLBruins tweeted that “Thornton is symptom free and is feeling well… Skated earlier this morning and biked as well^CS”

Thornton should be cleared for returning to the game come this weekend when they take on Tampa Bay Lighting at home, 1pm Saturday, and the rematch against the Sabers in Buffalo Sunday the 10th at 7:00pm. Worthwhile of mention is the game Friday the 15th is also against the Sabers. This could turn into the rivalry that NESN has been trying to promote in its advertising.

After the lackluster games against Toronto and the Canadiens, the Bruins are missing their energy line. Thoughts go out the the boys, and hopefully everyone will be back come Saturday afternoon.

Keep it here for updates on the Bruisin’ Bruins as they fight to stay on top of the Northeast Division, and remain (as they are currently) at the top of the Eastern Conference.

-Kaylin