Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Christopher L. Gasper of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
The only thing more damaging than being middling is being boring.
This was supposed to be the season that the Bruins lifted themselves squarely back into the discussion with the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. They were coming off a season in which they led the Eastern Conference in points and won a playoff series for the first time since 1999, sweeping Les Canadiens last spring before losing in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
It was something to build on and hope that Boston could be the Hub of Hockey again.
Instead, 15 games into 2009-10 it looks like the same old Black and Gold, except their scoring touch has gone ice cold.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to a two-year contract extension through the 2011-12 season.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
After David Krejci agreed to a three-year, $11.25 million extension June 2, the sentiment around the league was that the Bruins had gotten themselves a bargain.
The slippery Krejci was coming off a 22-51 -73 season that saw him serve as a potent No. 2 center behind Marc Savard. At times, he was so sublime that the club could project him as the eventual No. 1 center, which would give the Bruins the option to cut ties with Savard after this season.
Right now, neither scenario looks likely.
Fourteen games into a deflating 2009-10 season, Krejci has one goal and four assists. He has recorded one multi-point game (two assists against Colorado). Savard, out the last seven games because of a broken left foot, looks assured of earning a Black-and-Gold extension - a league source said the center is seeking a five-year deal - given how poorly the offense has performed without its best playmaker.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
They’re playing well enough to win, but they’re not winning. They’re creating enough opportunities to score, but they’re not scoring.
The Bruins are showing signs of emerging from an uninspiring start, just not enough to consistently win games. And the missed points are starting to pile up.
“If we keep getting content with that we’re not going to be very successful,” a frustrated Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s loss. “Somehow you’re going to have to make it happen if you’re going to turn this thing around.”
Nobody in Boston wants to hear this, but these Bruins sure could use Kessel. Somebody in the Bruins dressing room mentioned Kessel’s stats from the Toronto game and it was met with an ugly look from one of the Boston players. The look was clear. Kessel is gone; nobody here wants to know how he’s helping another team.
Julien said as much on Monday, even before his team turned in another zero.
from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald,
After watching Patrice Bergeron score a first-period goal in the Bruins 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils last night at the Garden, an NHL scout in attendance began taking down notes.
“He’s skating . . . he’s strong on the puck,” wrote Tom Fitzgerald, a former teammate of Bergeron’s and now an assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “He’s hunting down the puck . . . he gets physical . . . he scores goals.”
And then, sounding more like the former teammate and less like the scout, Fitzgerald smiled and said, “He’s the old Bergie.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
“Are you the Stan Jonathan who…?”
Yes, he’s the same 5-foot-7 skating bulldog who scored the stunning one-punch technical knockout of 6-foot-2 Canadiens defenceman Pierre Bouchard on May 21, 1978, during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final.
Jonathan, 54, is better known for relocating Bouchard’s nose with a sledgehammer left fist than he is for any of the 91 goals he scored for the Boston Bruins. Or for his 110 assists or the other 746 penalty minutes he took in 411 NHL games from 1975-83.
Yesterday afternoon in Kahnawake, before a charity game between Bruins alumni and a local all-star team, Jonathan and Bouchard shook hands at centre ice in their team jerseys and mugged for photos in only their second meeting since that famous night at Boston Garden.
read on and let’s take a look at that Jonathan/Bouchard battle…
Tim Thomas on Daniel Alfredsson.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
With the scored tied 2-2 just before the midway point of the third period, Predators defenseman Shea Weber was competing for a puck in his own end when he found himself face-to-face with referee Dennis LaRue.
Weber bowled over LaRue, but never could get to the puck, which wound up behind the Nashville net. Boston’s Daniel Paille shoveled a quick centering pass to Steve Begin, who knocked home the game-winner from the slot.
“He had nowhere to go and I had nowhere to go,’’ Weber said of LaRue. “It was a tough situation.’‘
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
And just like that, the picture changed for a pair of Eastern Conference contenders Wednesday with the news the Pittsburgh Penguins had lost their top minute man and the Boston Bruins their top offensive weapon.
But just how badly will the injuries to Pens defenseman Sergei Gonchar (broken wrist) and Bruins center Marc Savard (broken foot), both out four to six weeks, affect each club?
Let’s start with the Penguins. After all, they are the Stanley Cup champions.
Yes, we all know how badly they missed Gonchar last season when the All-Star blueliner missed the first 56 games of the season. They were basically a .500 team and on the playoff bubble. He later returned and the Penguins went on a tear all the way to the Promised Land.
I’m not discounting what the 35-year-old defenseman brings to this team. He’s their best defenseman, their top puck-mover, the key to their transition game, their best defensive shut-down guy, and, of course, their power-play quarterback. But I believe Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski are better equipped to handle some of that load than they were when Gonchar went down in September 2008.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has placed forward Marc Savard on long term injured reserve (broken left foot) and has recalled forward Trent Whitfield from Providence on an emergency basis.
Savard is expected to miss four to six weeks with the injury. He has led the Bruins in scoring each of the last three years and currently leads the team in scoring this year, with 4-3=7 totals in seven games. In 2008-09, Savard played in all 82 games with a 25-63=88 line
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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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