Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy:
There’s a disarming honesty with [Tim] Thomas, the 34-year-old goalie in his fifth NHL season with Boston. Maybe a guy who kicked around the minor leagues and Europe for several years after breaking in with the ECHL’s Birmingham Bulls in 1998 doesn’t want to waste a moment of his NHL career with a canned answer. Or maybe he’s just a humble, blue collar guy from a town (Flint, Michigan) and a team (the Bruins) that both share that same aesthetic.
“There are times when I feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey, in a certain way,” he said. “If anything, that just gives me motivations to keep proving people wrong. I probably would feel uncomfortable if everyone believed in me too much.”
He may feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey, but some of his actions this season for Boston have seemed more in line with Ron Hextall or Billy Smith. Thomas knows this, and he’s not exactly proud of it.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog,
Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, and Andrew Ference will all play tonight against Washington.
Bergeron, out since Dec. 20 because of a concussion suffered when he collided with Carolina’s Dennis Seidenberg, passed the neuro-psych test that is required of all players who are diagnosed with head injuries. Bergeron received clearance to play after passing the test.
“Just relief of getting a chance to be back soon,” Bergeron said when he was informed of his clearance. “There was relief. I was happy.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of Bruins Blog,
Coach Claude Julien said that goalie Manny Fernandez is experiencing some ‘‘general soreness’’ and is likely to miss a few games.
In keeping with the club’s secretive policy about injuries, Julien did not divulge any further information, or the specific nature of the ‘‘soreness’‘.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The kind of move Chiarelli may be pondering, he said, is something akin to what the Ducks did en route to winning the Cup in 2007. His club in need of a character boost and experience up front, then-GM Brian Burke hired on veteran winger Brad May, swapping Mike Wall to the Avalanche. Burke’s first move as Toronto’s new GM was to bring May to the Leafs earlier this month….
Boston’s forward corps, full of youngsters such as Kessel (if), Lucic, and David Krejci, received valuable maiden experience in last season’s seven-game run in the first round against the Canadiens. Veteran pivot Marc Savard, at age 30, also experienced his first minutes of postseason action. Untested, no. But support and experience could help come crunch time.
more an additional NHL topics are discussed…
Q. Alex, where did you get the idea to do the hat and the glasses?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, it was last night. I talked actually with Nate about it, and I said it’s going to be fun, and you have to try it.
Q. Can you just comment on, it seems like you really enjoy the spotlight and playing up to the crowd. Do you think hockey needs a little bit more of that?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, I think, you know, fans have to see how we are, who we are, you know. They see our skills and, I think the last trick like was just for fun. I think fans love it.
from a Bruins fans Q & A with Boston Globe writer Fluto Shinzawa,
Q: ...I must say, this year team is even more interesting to me than the Orr/Esposito days, in terms of a total team working effort. I think the missing link to the Stanley Cup is another offensive defenseman like Jay Bouwmeester, from the Florida Panthers. My question is, what would it take to get this stud, his skating abilities are amazing, taking one stride to every two or three for other skaters? This would be the final piece of the puzzle as far as I am concerned. What are your thoughts about this?
A: There’s no doubting that Bouwmeester would help this club right now. However, there are two issues. First, what do you give up for him? Second, how do you re-sign him after this season? I think the second issue is more critical than the first. Given Bouwmeester’s pedigree, history, and future performance, the conversation starts at $6 million per season. It would be awful tough for the Bruins to slot in another high-end salary when they have other players to lock up first. Going back to the first issue, Florida would ask for either Blake Wheeler or Milan Lucic, a prospect, and a first-round pick.
many more questions answered regarding the Bruins…
Thomas decides to make the ‘aggressive’ save against Jason Blake. The Bruins win the game 4-3 in a shootout tonight after being down 3-1 at the start of the 3rd period.
Blues score two goals in last 80 seconds to tie the game against the Bruins today and win in the shootout.
The tying goal with one second left was a bit controversial. Can anyone say Franzen?
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
There’s a pretty hot debate brewing over what the Bruins should do about their goaltending situation before the trade deadline with both Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez in the final year of their contracts and headed for unrestricted free agency if still unsigned by July 1.
The conventional wisdom says you trade one of them — in this case, presumably Fernandez — before the March 4 deadline so at least you get something in return. Clearly, the Bruins cannot re-sign both of them; they could cost up to $10 million combined, and that’s way too much money to be tied up on a team that’s already up against the salary cap — a cap that probably won’t be rising next year….
So, what to do?
In this case, the answer is simple: You don’t trade either Thomas or Fernandez — unless you’re offered something crazy like Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
read on and sorry no author was listed for the article, just a picture of the writer…
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.”
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.
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