Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
If you believe what you hear from various NHL sources, you can bet the Bruins [team stats] had many sets of eyes trained last night on Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger….
Last night, Pronger played 25:42 and, as usual, was a classy all-round blueliner: Graceful and poised, using his long reach to good effect, moving the puck well, jumping up with the attack from time to time….
“The chatter is increasing,” said B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli, “but I’m not getting any closer to doing anything. I don’t want to subtract anything from our team. I like our team and I like the chemistry.”
Notice he said he doesn’t want to subtract players. He didn’t say he wouldn’t do it. Chiarelli is understandably loath to part with a young talent like Kessel, a 21-year-old with the potential to be a 50-goal superstar.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Lucic, in perhaps his angriest bout as a pro, took a right hand to the left side of his jaw at the start of his scrap with Brown at 14:49 of the second period. It initially appeared that Lucic would fight Sheldon Brookbank, but Brown stepped in for a surprise swipe at the hulking second-year left winger.
“We were asking on the bench what happened, what initiated that,” said Julien. “But from what I heard, they got a cheap shot to start off, and I guess that’s what set [Lucic off].”
Breaking the game’s supposed code (fine print available nowhere), Lucic continued to punch after Brown went to the ice. No telling if his anger was based on Brown landing his punch before Lucic could get his gloves off, or whether Lucic was simply incensed by the pain inflicted by the punch. We’ll know more today.
more on the fight-filled night as Boston beat Anaheim 6-0. Watch the Lucic/Brown scrap below…
from James Murphy of NHL Lowdown at NESN,
Sources are telling Murphy’s Law that the Ducks are very much leaning towards dealing away Pronger and that the Bruins are indeed in the mix. In fact, one source claimed it was down to Boston and a mystery team this source could not reveal. Bruins forward Phil Kessel is apparently the coveted centerpiece of a return from Boston if they were to acquire Pronger. There would also be a top prospect, and first or second round pick in this June’s NHL Entry Draft.
more on the Bruins and Ducks…
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
There are no more growing pains for Zdeno Chara.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound defenseman from Trencin, Slovakia, hasn’t had a major growth spurt since he was 17—shortly after he grew six inches in a two-year span. He no longer has to hear coaches tell him maybe he should try basketball or some other sport. He’s no longer a big joke to some teammates, who watched him clumsily skate around the rink and laughed behind his back.
No, when Chara turned 22, the rest of his body caught up with his height, a development for which the Boston Bruins are eternally grateful. Now, equipment comes custom made for Chara. He no longer plays with skates held together by tape, glue and screws. Nor does he have trainers sew extra material from old sweaters onto the bottom of his jersey to cover his hockey pants.
“I wasn’t supposed to make it. I was too tall, too awkward, too everything,” Chara said. “I couldn’t make anyone in Slovakia believe I could play ... so I had to leave home.”
from Bob Cole of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
I will never forget the first time I met the great Bobby Orr - another number four, another classy gentleman.
It was back in the 1968 Stanley Cup final in Montreal. That spring the Canadiens were playing the St. Louis Blues and ultimately swept the series.
Anyway, CBC Radio had brought me to Montreal to do the fourth game, which was, of course, the last game in the series. Ted Darling was doing the play-by-play, Fred Sgambati was the host and I was brought in to do a few odds and ends. Basically, they wanted to see what I could do.
Bobby, who was rookie of the year the previous season, won his first of eight Norris Trophies in 1968. He was brought in to Montreal along with his Boston Bruins teammate Derek Sanderson, who was the rookie of the year.
I had never met either young man, but I managed to get a CBC camera and set up an interview with them at the old Mount Royal Hotel.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The unknown intangible with Cole, or any other player, is how a trade will affect the team’s chemistry.
“It’s a big factor,” said vice president Cam Neely. “You really take that into account, for sure. We’ve got a good group of guys, character guys.”...
“It’s a really open group,” said Andrew Ference. “Guys get along. Everybody feels comfortable, from the young guys all the way up. I think everybody feels really comfortable in this room.”
The concern is whether a deadline deal could alter the mood, especially if a roster player gets shipped out.
from Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog,
If you think Boston Bruins center Stephane Yelle is smart on the ice, you should see and hear how wise he is when insults and innuendos start flying across the Bruins’ dressing room.
The 34-year-old Yelle knows just how to toss in a phrase or two and then get out of the conversation unscathed.
“He’s dry. He’s really dry. He’s always throwing his little bombs from the corner,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference explained to TheBruinsBlog.net about his longtime teammate this week. “We call him a giant, wooden spoon. He just likes to stir the pot and then kind of get out of there once the water’s moving around.”
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
There were four Bruins scouts at the Avs-Wild game the other night, and I know the B’s very thinking seriously about getting a defenseman - most likely Clark, Salei or Leopold. And, I think Svatos has been discussed as well.
Who would the Avs get back? Probably a draft pick or two. When you’re a seller, that’s what you get back. Then you build your team back up to being good enough to be a buyer again, and take your next shot at the Cup.
Steve of Puck the Media gets this news today…
The Sharks’ 5-2 victory against the Bruins on Tuesday was the highest-rated and most-watched regular-season game in Versus’ four years with the NHL. It drew a 0.54 household rating nationally (550,000 viewers) and was 69 percent above the network’s average for the season.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
However, given the punishing and defensive nature of the postseason, Chiarelli’s wiser upgrade could be along the blue line. That may sound odd, especially with captain Zdeno Chara looking capable of winning the Norris Trophy this season.
But come playoff time, opposing offenses aren’t going to be shooting the puck into Big Z’s corner for the 28, 30, or more minutes he’ll play each night. They’re going to overload to his partner’s corner, which likely points to Aaron Ward getting hammered. The next pairing with big minutes, Andrew Ference and Dennis Wideman, will take a beating, too. While both have outperformed expectations this season, Ference is small and Wideman, though much steadier this season, most likely will be heavily pressured on dump-ins and forechecking.
If, as rumored, the Ducks make towering blue liner Chris Pronger available at the deadline, he will become the Hossa of this year’s swap meet. Of the Eastern Conference contenders - Boston, Washington, New Jersey, maybe the Canadiens and Flyers - any one of them would become an immediate favorite to reach the Cup finals if they landed the 6-foot-6-inch Pronger. He is among the strongest, fiercest hitters in the game, a big part of why the Ducks body-slammed their way over the Senators to win the 2007 Cup.
With Pronger on the books for $6.25 million this season and next, the Bruins would have cap room for him, provided the league relaxes on the cap issue.
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.
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