Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
“Last year, a lot of things went wrong,” said Bergeron, his production of 70 points only a 3-point drop from his sensational sophomore season. “I am aware of that, and I want things to change. Every time you learn, you improve. I think maybe I tried to do too much.”
Indeed, much like defensive behemoth Zdeno Chara, Bergeron paid a price for his talent, his willingness, and his versatility. In the fractured and oft-befuddling game plan cobbled together by then-coach Dave Lewis, Bergeron was at times painfully overused, especially so considering that he was also hurt - an issue that he steadfastly refuses to discuss.
from the Milford Daily News,
Forget Ken Jennings, this Bruins squad would be the real juggernaut in Jeopardy.
As another season approaches, the club has all the questions it needs. Answers are another matter. At least for now.
And if those answers aren’t found in the coming weeks and months, there will be plenty of jobs in actual jeopardy on Causeway Street.
from the Boston Globe,
Chiarelli, as he’s preached repeatedly since the conclusion of last season, promised that the Bruins will be a rougher bunch, referring to the signing of ex-Anaheim tough guy Shawn Thornton and the re-signing of eager-to-scrap Jeremy Reich.
“I don’t know if it’s the big, bad Bruins of old,” Savard said earlier in the week, “but we’d like to be badder than before.”
Around the league, in-your-face thumping has diminished over the years, especially following the implementation of the post-lockout rules. Dead, obviously, are the “Slap Shot” goonery days, but also MIA are the down-low scrums, battles, and tussles that players like Neely seemed to thrive on, replaced by the up-and-down fleetness of the new NHL.
more and some NHL talk too…
from the Hockey Journal,
When the battle for the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 goaltender position officially opens Sept. 13 (the first day of training camp), Tim Thomas will be more than ready to hold up his end of the bargain in the competition with Manny Fernandez.
“I’ve probably worked harder than I’ve ever worked in any summer before. I’ve always worked hard, but this is a different type of hard – when you have somebody setting up the workouts for you, it’s a little more varied than the workouts I put myself through,” Thomas told me today after partaking in an informal skate with a handful of his teammates at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass.
from the Milford Daily News,
After setting early tee times the past two years, he doesn’t plan on being able to hit the links quite so soon next spring.
“I think we’re going to make the playoffs this year,” said Thomas, reached by cell phone in the midst of a round while on vacation in Vermont this week. “That would be a big step forward. And who knows, maybe we can take a few more steps than that. But the ultimate goal this year is to make the playoffs, and I think we can do it. That’s what we’re all playing for.”
from the Boston Herald,
Speaking from his home in Quebec City, Bergeron sounded both rejuvenated from his long summer and, after some reflection on the season, determined not to have a repeat. For one thing, he said he’s now fully recovered from the various nagging injuries that plagued him, the exact nature of which he remains unclear in explaining. Even now, when the hot summer sun tends to loosen lips, Bergeron wasn’t about to elaborate, saying, “It was a little bit in the legs and a few issues in the upper and lower body.” He chose to keep the details to himself.
“I don’t want to look like the guy who says that’s why I had a tough year last year,” said Bergeron, who’s been skating with some NHLers including Simon Gagne, Antoine Vermette and Francis Bouillon in Quebec. “But I feel 100 percent right now. It took me quite a while to feel better. I wish we made the playoffs last year and played longer. It was a long summer. But at the same time it gave me time to heal all the things I had.”
from John Bishop at BostonBruins.com,
“I look at our team on paper and it looks pretty solid,” said a suddenly serious Savard, his trademark grin drawing short. “We’re pretty deep, so we’re excited for that.
“We picked up a great goalie (in Manny Fernandez)—I got to play to against him a bit more being out west with Calgary.
“And obviously Peter Schaefer, a great solid veteran forward for many years,” he said.
That being said, Savard knows that in order for the B’s to progress toward a playoff berth, he and the other Bruins returnees need to play their best.
“I’ve gotten in great shape this summer,” added Savard. “I feel very strong, and now that I am getting older, I have to be like that…but I just want to contribute every night and our goal at the end of the road is just to get into the playoffs.
more & it looks like Savard has a little more golf in him too…
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
Now, in his third NHL head-coaching job and working for someone familiar to him (he has a previous relationship with Chiarelli), Julien will either sink or swim in Boston. He should have a much better chance than his predecessor because the club’s goaltending situation is improved.
While I believe the B’s still have a very long way to go, I think they’ll be better than last season after finishing last in the Northeast Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. Can they make the playoffs? I don’t think they’ll be that much better.
from the Boston Herald,
Stanislav Chistov, acquired last November from Anaheim for a third-round pick, reportedly is close to signing a deal to play in his native Russia this season despite being under contract with the Bruins for another year. According to Chiarelli, it’s not a done deal yet, but he’s preparing to move on without Chistov.
“Not that I’m aware of,” said Chiarelli when asked about Chistov’s reported signing in Russia. “I’m aware of the rumors, but not that he’s signed.”
And if he does sign in Russia? “We have the option to suspend him, and we’d certainly do that to retain our rights to him,” said Chiarelli. “We couldn’t prevent him from playing (in Russia), but we can suspend him and keep his rights.”
more on the Bruins…
via the Bruins Blog,
NESN announced today that Milbury, the former Islanders executive, will serve as a studio analyst this season. Milbury will be part of NESN’s pre-game, intermission, and post-game analysis.
“I’m very happy to be joining the NESN team,” Milbury said in a statement. “This opportunity is giving me a chance to be connected once again with the organization that I cheered for growing up and broke into the league with both as a player and a coach.”
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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