Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner’s post-game interview from yesterday:
I laughed watching this. So let me get this straight, Adam McQuaid (5 fights this year) and Shawn Thornton (5 fights) circling Matt Hendricks (6 fights – one already in the game with Nathan Horton) is the same as John Erskine (2 fights) and Hendricks (6) going after Tyler Seguin (0 career fights and one of our star players)? Ha, ok, sure. I understand that Alzner is just sticking up for his teammate, but I mean really, this was comical.
Apparently the Caps defenseman missed the part where Hendricks basically jumped Nathan Horton, gloves off and throwing before Horton knew what was going on. Hendricks’ hand seemed fine while he was throwing those haymakers.
But you wouldn’t do that because you’re not that type of team. Well damn right you’re not that type of team, the Caps aren’t much of a team at all at the moment. McQuaid and Thornton’s response was precisely why the Bruins are such a tight knit bunch, everyone has everyone else’s back. You’re going to jump one of our top players? Go for it, but you can expect someone to come knocking in the not too distant future. Apparently those qualities aren’t too high on the list in the Caps locker room. And that’s not to say that Horton even needed anyone to back him up, as he’s shown he can handle himself in these situations before, but he’s still one of our top players who hadn’t had a fight this year after coming off a serious concussion.
I’m sure the Bruins aren’t losing any sleep over Alzner or his comments. It’s just funny that this “was the biggest joke [Alzner has] ever seen.” As Milan Lucic said last year after Alzner’s cry-baby gesture (perhaps the most ironic part of this all) in the playoffs:
UPDATE (3/17 – 4pm):
The Washington Post had an article today with Hendricks’ response to the game yesterday, and it was much more in line with what you’d expect. “You do it [fight Horton] and you live with the repercussions. I figured they would be looking for me once the score got to 4-1.” If anything this makes Alzner look like a bigger whiner, but good on Hendricks for knowing his role and not taking the easy way out.
It’s been a little while since we did a Loose Pucks Edition, but there were a lot of good Bruins tidbits in the news today.
Loose Pucks for Thursday, March 14
McQuaid Out Against Panthers, 7pm on NESN: First things first, the last place Florida Panthers are in town tonight. The Bruins will unfortunately be without Adam McQuaid tonight due to a “minor” injury suffered against the Penguins. He did extra skating today with Conditioning Coach John Whitesides and Coach Claude Julien expects him to be ready for the weekend. Aaron Johnson will be in McQuaid’s place on the blue line, and Tuukka Rask will get the start for the B’s in net. Julien also called out his “first line” today, saying they need to get back to the basics that make them successful, so look for some more energy from the Lucic/Krejci/Horton combo. The Panthers announced today that former Bruins-property Kris Versteeg will undergo season ending knee surgery, so the outlook isn’t bright in Florida. The Panthers are just 2-6-2 in their last 10 games.
Prospect Carl Soderberg Suspended – as we touched upon yesterday, Bruins prospect Carl Soderberg, currently playing for Linköpings HC in the Swedish Elite league, was given a match penalty in his team’s first playoff game, which they lost 6-0. Today Soderberg was officially suspended four actual games plus three more games worth of salary. Soderberg is his team’s and the league’s leading scorer, so that very well could spell trouble for his squad’s hopes for advancing. Word on the street is that Soderberg is finally interested in joining the Bruins once the playoffs are over for him. In case you missed it, here’s the hit (0:48 second mark).
Anthony Camara Signs Entry Level Deal – In other prospect news, the Bruins officially signed prospect Anthony Camara to a contract today. Camara goes 6-foot, 190-pounds and had a breakout year for the Barrie Colts of the OHL this season. He finished the year with 36 goals and 60 points with a +17 rating and a team-high 80 penalty minutes. Once thought of as a grinder, his performance this year certainly drew some attention to his offensive skill, and while he’s not expected to be a star by any means, he fits the Bruins mold well and could be a solid middle of the lineup addition. He’ll report to Providence once his season ends, though there are no guarantees he sees action there, especially if he joins after the regular season ends. Either way, he’s definitely a piece of the future and someone to keep an eye on next season. Here’s a highlight to get you through:
Realignment Finally Approved - After the NHLPA gave their sign off last week, all that was left to officially move forward with it’s realignment plan was for the NHL Board of Governors to approve. That approval was given today, meaning that next year the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets will be part of the Eastern Conference, and the Winnipeg Jets will head west. If you missed it, we wrote up the details of the proposal HERE.
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.
Last night the Bruins suffered a devastating loss to their arch rival Providence Bru…wait, what? It was just a scrimmage? While it might have been hard to tell from some of the social media and news responses, last night’s match-up was indeed just a tune-up for the fast approaching regular season. While there were many areas that will need work, it’s a little early to press the panic button.
It’s been a little quiet around here lately, mostly because there hasn’t been much going on in the hockey world, and also because blogging about a bunch of billion- and millionaires fighting amongst each other didn’t really seem worth it in light of the other events of the past week.
But in an effort to get caught up, here goes…
The big NHL news is obviously the NHLPA voting on whether or not to give the board of executives power to file a ‘disclaimer of interest‘. This is apparently similar to decertification that was discussed earlier this month, essentially dissolving the players’ union and opening the door for the players to file antitrust law suits against the league. This doesn’t mean the board will actually go this route, only that they will have the power to. With no meetings on the calendar, this seems like a more likely possibility.
Reacting to this news, the NHL promptly filed it’s own charges in New York federal court, a historically league-biased playing field. They’re claiming bad faith bargaining on behalf of the union, along with a bunch of other garbage. The catch here? Should the union decertify/go the antitrust route, the league wants all contracts to be null and void. Meaning every single player is an unrestricted free agent. This is seen as a very slippery slope, as having success in this effort could lead to mass chaos and is likely to make a good number of teams unhappy. While it’s still a long way from actually coming to pass, these filings certainly bring this into the realm of reality.
The latest rumor in terms of a drop dead date for the season is apparently ‘mid-January’ according to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who also added that he thinks there still will be a season (as if he would say otherwise). He also added that there are more cancellations coming this week (surprise!). He’s of course still also not happy with how the union is choosing to negotiate, but I’m sure the union is saying the same about him.
File this under troubling, but it seems as if even Canadians are losing interest in the NHL. According to the Montreal Gazette, a poll taken by NRG Research Group between December 11th and 16th found that 58% of those polled responded that they ‘did not care’ to the question ”Do you think the NHL lockout will be settled in the next couple of weeks; in the new year in time for a shortened season to be played; not until it’s too late for games to be played this season; or don’t you care?” Not good, even worse that the league and players still don’t seem too concerned.
In terms of Bruins news, we start with a good, yet scary update on B’s defenseman Adam McQuaid. CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty reports that McQuaid underwent multiple surgeries back in October after developing a blood clot under his collarbone. Part of what’s called ‘thoracic outlet syndrome,’ Quaider had to have an entire rib and part of his neck muscle removed as part of the procedure, though all signs are positive so far and he’s on the road to recovery. He’s still got a ways to go, but luckily the issue is taken care of and the rugged blue liner can get back to working out.
Next, the Bruins recently released its latest ‘Prospect Report,’ with extended write ups on Providence Bruin Ryan Spooner and London Knights forward Seth Griffith, drafted by the Bruins last year. Spooner is starting to kick into gear with 16 points in 23 games for the baby B’s, while Griffith is tearing up juniors with 58 points in 36 games, including 25 goals. A good read regarding the potential future of the team.
Lastly, Haggs’ also has an article on forward Jordan Caron, who’s struggling mightily in Providence. Despite spending a significant portion of last season in Boston, Caron has a measly 7 points in 25 games, and is a flat out awful -9, tied for worst on the team. If his play continues on this pace it could make the competition for a winger spot in Boston interesting, assuming the season actually starts soon.