Obviously the Bruins were (appropriately) an afterthought given the events that took place yesterday in the city of Boston. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those directly affected and all those who call Boston home.
While we search for answers and start the healing process, the Bruins will press on and take to the ice for the first time since the bombings, hosting the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night at the Garden (7:30 pm puck drop – NBC Sports Network). I for one am very much looking forward to what is sure to be a special rendition of the National Anthem before the game from Rene Rancourt.
Monday’s scheduled game against the Senators, which had been postponed, was rescheduled today to Sunday, April 28th at 7 pm. That will be the final game of the NHL regular season.
The black and gold held a spirited practice today and there were a few items of note:
Claude Julien termed Patrice Bergeron ‘highly probable‘ to return against the Sabres. He still has to be cleared by doctors before the game, but he appears ready to go.
Jordan Caron has been reassigned to Providence, mostly to make room for Bergeron’s return but also ahead of Carl Soderberg’s arrival, which is expected tomorrow. He could be on the ice for morning skate, but likely will not dress against the Sabres.
Brad Marchand was cleared for contact before today’s practice, but he wasn’t assigned a line so it’s unlikely that he will dress against the Sabres. If his recovery continues to go well, he could return Friday against Pittsburgh.
“We represent the city of Boston and we want to make sure we represent them well. All you can do is go out there and give it all you’ve got. Whether it gives a little bit of joy, or excitement to some people, it’s going to take a while to heal from this, and we don’t expect tomorrow to be the day that everything’s going to be OK, but you’ve got to start somewhere and tomorrow’s a great time for us to go out there and play our hearts out for all the right reasons.”
There were many displays of support across the league last night, with moments of silence in Chicago, Montreal, Phoenix and other arenas. The National Anthem in Chicago was particularly moving:
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman and Boston native Keith Yandle showed his support with a message on his skates:
Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow night’s game, it will be a big first step towards moving forward and a great opportunity for the people of Boston and all Bruins fans to come together and get their minds off of yesterday’s events for a few hours. Go Bruins!
Coming off a disappointing performance against the Montreal Canadiens and with just over 36 hours until their next game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins were back at practice this morning and once again sported some new line combinations in an effort to find a much needed spark.
The new lines are…well…interesting to say the least. Have a look:
While most of the other teams in the NHL are struggling through back-to-back games and hectic travel schedules, the Bruins seem to have had a much easier trip through the first month and a half of this lockout shortened season. In the month of February the Black and Gold have had three day breaks between games three times, the last of which is this week ahead of their matchup with the Lightning on Thursday.
There’s no question this relatively easy schedule has contributed to their 9-2-2 start that has the team fighting near the top of the Eastern Conference, even with the least games played of any team in the league. They’ve had the ability to stay fresh (some would even argue the layoffs were too long), address injuries, and get some good practice time in.
Yesterday, the Bruins used their current break for a different reason. Coach Claude Julien joined players Adam McQuaid, Dan Paille, Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Andrew Ference and Chris Bourque in a trip to Newtown, CT, where the terrible events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th are still on everyone’s minds. The group joined students of Sandy Hook and their families at the Newtown Youth Academy for a day of games, photos, autographs, and most importantly support.
Metropolit to Chiarelli: “Sign me right-fucking-now.”
Nash and Thornton? Nay. Giroux and Briere? Close, but no. There are some impressive tandems playing in Europe right now, but how about Patrice Bergeron and Glen Metropolit? The dynamic duo was back at it today as HC Lugano took on EV Zug, and they did not disappoint. Bergeron tallied three assists, while Metropolit added two goals and a helper, leading their squad to a 7-4 victory. Lugano fought back from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 for the win, including four third period strikes.
Tough days these are, what with this seemingly unending chess game between owners and players. So what’s Jack Adams winner and Stanley Cup Champion coach Claude Julien to do? Why, help you of course!
Do you find yourself repeatedly telling your players to “play our game?” Do they need to learn to “control the neutral zone,” get to the “dirty areas,” and give a “60-minute effort?” Well here’s your chance to get help! One lucky Massachusetts team will have Claude behind the bench for a game on October 28th. Imagine the fear in the eyes of those other punk twelve year-olds when your squad rolls out with Captain Claude at the helm. You’ll be perfecting the dump and chase and thinking defense-first better than you ever imagined (don’t ask him to help your power play though). Enter now!
Who doesn’t love this guy?
In all seriousness, the Bruins foundation and the NHL Alumni Association do a lot of good, and having Claude take over your kid’s team for a game would be quite an experience. While we don’t always agree with his tactics or decision-making, the guy did deliver us our first Cup in 39 years, so he’s okay in our book. And while we can’t encourage you to give a single cent of your hard earned money to the NHL right now, some of the proceeds also go to Massachusetts Hockey, and keeping youth hockey alive in well in this state is as good a cause as any. This raffle did give us a good chuckle though, thinking about the possibilities.
Apparently there was a secret meeting in Toronto yesterday between Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the Fehr duo to discuss a new CBA. While nothing concrete has been reported in terms of outcome, the fact that these guys are seemingly making an effort to come up with a deal (even without the media knowing) can’t be a bad thing, right?
While it was reported last week that a few KHL games would be broadcast on ESPN3, detailed surfaced this week that select games will be broadcast on ESPN2, with Steve Levy and Barry Melrose calling the games. Of note to Bruins fans is game one on the docket, the Lev Praha v. Moscow Dynamo match-up on Tuesday (Oct. 9th), with Big Z and Alex Ovechkin going head to head. The live broadcast begins at 1 pm EST, but for us working folk, you can catch the re-broadcast at 8pm as well. Should be interesting to see how this goes.