Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
There have been long stretches this season when Coach Claude Julien has rotated his goalies. There also have been times when he has ridden the hot one, though neither has started more than five games in a row. Both are No. 1 goaltenders to the veteran coach, who said the careful management of their playing time is a good problem to have.
“I know there have been situations where it has been” a problem with other teams, said Julien, whose Bruins face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tonight at Verizon Center in a showdown between the Eastern Conference’s top two teams. “But not in our situation. Both goaltenders have reacted very well and have been very supportive of each other. It’s been our position of strength.”
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
...Julien recently reacted as if a reporter had tossed him a hot brick when he asked if center Marc Savard was a leading candidate for this year’s Hart Trophy that goes to the regular season’s most valuable player.
Julien hates bragging more than he hates turnovers, but he still gave Savard his due, albeit a little reluctantly.
“Oh, you’re not going to get me to talk about those things,” Julien said, laughing. “I think he deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done so far this year, there’s no doubt about that.
“But really, we’ve pushed all those things aside as a group and we’ve focused on team accomplishments. If that happens, so be it, but we’re just trying to stay away from all that kind of stuff.”
Yet, the credentials for a Hart candidacy are there.
Savard, Boston’s first-line center, leads the NHL with a plus-29 rating and is tied for third with 38 assists. His 52 points place him fourth in NHL scoring. Savard has 17 multiple-point games, including a high of four points on Dec. 18, an 8-5 home victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Yesterday KK readers chimed in with some of the hockey catchphrases that bothered them.
Last night, a donnybrook broke out, but I am still looking for it!
Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has assigned defenseman Matt Lashoff and goaltender Kevin Regan to the Providence Bruins and recalled goaltender Tuukka Rask and forward Martin St. Pierre from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis. Additionally, the club has placed forward Phil Kessel on injured reserve (mononucleosis).
added 10:46pm, from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Bruins Blog,
Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said tonight that third-year forward Phil Kessel, diagnosed this afternoon with mononculeosis, could be out of the lineup for approximately a month.
‘‘The general assessment of mononucleosis is that a guy is typically out around a month,’’ said Chiarelli. ‘‘That said, it could be longer, could be shorter…all based on how an individual recovers.’‘
from Kevin Paul Dupont of Bruins Blog,
Netminder Manny Fernandez remained out of uniform with what head coach Claude Julien referrred to as a ‘‘minor issue.’‘
‘‘We thought it could be resolved by today, but it wasn’t,’’ said Julien, who had Tuukka Rask filling Fernandez’ backup role on Saturday.
When asked if that meant the goalie was injured, Julien answered in the affirmative.
As the coach’s media session broke up, and reporters lightheartedly talked about clarifying the ‘‘minor thing’‘, Julien said, ‘‘I’m trying to stickhandle here, guys, and I am not good at it.’‘
Who knows what any of it means?
continued and do remember, Fernandez is UFA July 1st.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Chiarelli has slightly more than seven weeks (52 days) before the March 4 trade deadline to figure out some contingencies if neither Bergeron nor Sturm can make it back before the playoffs.
Five names to consider:
# Keith Tkachuk - The former Malden Catholic star, who will turn 37 March 28, still has a little bit of touch (14 goals and 27 points) in those meaty hands (now 514 career goals and counting). He is finishing up a two-year deal with the Blues, with a cap hit of $4 million, and certainly will be moved at the deadline with the Blues able to trim some $800,000 in cap exposure….
Jason Williams - A season lost in the ongoing train wreck in Atlanta. Not big (5-11/195), but can play both center and wing and is only 28 years old. Cap hit is $2.2 million….
more plus additional hockey topics…
from Fluto Shinzawa of Bruins Blog,
Patrice Bergeron, making his first public appearance since suffering a concussion on Dec. 20 against Carolina, spoke for approximately 15 minutes in the home dressing room at TD Banknorth Garden this morning.
“I’m very confident I’ll play this year,” said Bergeron. “It’s a matter of when. That’s why I don’t want to put on a date on it and get disappointed like I was last year in the playoffs. I’ve learned from that. So yes, I do think I’ll be back.”
Update 7:45pm ET (alanah): More on Bergeron from James Murphy at NHL.com. Murphy also told me that Bergeron looked much better and was in much better spirits than he expected.
Chris Neil vs. Shawn Thornton last night…
from Matt Kalman of the Bruins Blog,
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….
Until Thursday, the Bruins are in for some extra work with their coaches before, during and after practice Wednesday.
“First of all, you don’t panic,” head coach Claude Julien said about how he’ll handle his team’s current predicament. “I don’t think anybody thought we were going to be flying the way were flying for 82 games without going through some bumps and bruises.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things. … Eventually things catch up as well in certain areas. You’ve got four key players that are out of the line-up. You’ve got some top players right now that probably aren’t at the top of their games, so it doesn’t take much sometimes to slip a little bit. But you’ve just got to work your way through it.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
A lot of money remains on the sidelines these days for the Bruins. Marco Sturm, on the books for $3.5 million a year, will have knee surgery this week, the timeline unknown for his return. Patrice Bergeron’s cap number is $4.75 million, and he is now two-plus weeks beyond another concussion, his second in 14 months.
As of today, no one knows whether either will be back in uniform for the second half of the season, or the postseason.
What is Peter Chiarelli to do? Is the time at hand for the third-year general manager, with what amounts to $8.25 million in shopping money, to dress up his roster by adding a veteran free agent for what appears to be a legitimate run at a Cup?
Truth is, it’s not that easy. Chiarelli said yesterday that if it were determined, say, this week or next that neither Sturm nor Bergeron could make it back before the playoffs, bringing in another high salary now could prevent him from making moves around the March 4 trade deadline.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org