Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins have 28 games remaining in the regular season. That’s still enough for things to go sideways.
Chances are likely, however, that the Bruins will remain among the top eight in the Eastern Conference and qualify for the playoffs. The ninth-place Panthers lost to the Predators in a shootout Saturday. The Panthers are 6 points behind the Bruins, a deficit that will be difficult to wipe out with just over two months remaining until the postseason begins.
Assuming the Bruins make the playoffs, they could face off against the second-place Canadiens in the first round. This would not be a good thing.
The Canadiens have the Bruins’ number. They swept the four-game season series Sunday at TD Garden with a 3-1 win.
Last year, they stopped the Bruins’ march toward the Stanley Cup. They could send them golfing yet again this spring.
“It can’t,” coach Claude Julien answered when asked if Montreal presented a mental block for his team. “We can’t allow it.”
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
“We weren't executing well enough to deny their speed,” admitted Patrice Bergeron. “We'd seen that wide side pass all game...it was kind of obvious.”
That sounds eerily like the laments of the Bruins from last spring when they knew exactly what the Canadiens were going to do and yet still fell to the Habs in the second round of the playoffs. It remains to be seen what the B’s can do to improve their overall speed among their defensemen group leading into a trade deadline that’s less than a month away, but the answer is likely “not much” outside of a course-changing deal for a D-man like Andrej Sekera or Keith Yandle.
It’s difficult to see the Bruins changing much about their DNA makeup when it comes to their defensemen given how heavily they rely on defensive size and strength around the front of the net. But it’s also difficult to avoid seeing that as part of their ultimate downfall this season in a year where they certainly look like a playoff team, but don’t really have the look of a dangerous playoff team in losses that expose their weakness like the Wednesday night rivalry game at Madison Square Garden.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Boston Bruins: Slowly but surely, the Bruins are beginning to look like the team we're used to and the one opponents expect to see come spring. Winners in eight of their past 10 games, the Bruins have won two straight and they hold onto one of two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference. A big part of their resurgence comes as a result of goaltender Tuukka Rask’s improved play. Rask had a stellar month of January and most recently turned away 30 of 31 shots faced in the team’s 3-1 win against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
Minnesota Wild: Goaltender Devan Dubnyk is looking like a pretty shrewd acquisition by general manager Chuck Fletcher right about now. Dubnyk stopped 35 of 37 shots he faced Sunday night, helping lead the Wild to their third consecutive road victory, a 4-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Since joining the Wild via trade in mid-January, Dubnyk has posted an impressive 5-1-1 record while the Wild have recorded a point in six of their past seven games. Those points are absolutely critical for a club that struggled in the first half and is desperately trying to claw its way back into the playoff mix.
“What are we, 6-1-3 in our last 10 games? I feel we’re certainly trending better. We’ll still have the odd game where we seem a bit uninspired, but I guess you’re going to have that in an 82-game schedule. Having said that all of that, the stuff that we’ve done with the better play has gotten us to eighth place.
“Do I feel better about it that we’re in a playoff spot? Yes. Do I wish we were in a better position than we are? Absolutely. Again, I’ll repeat that for this team to be even remotely close to missing the playoffs isn’t something we can be happy about. I would hope that this solid continues for the next 10, the next 20 and for the rest of the season, frankly. We’re at where we’re at, we’ve dug ourselves a hole and we’re starting to get ourselves out of it. But until we have a nice playoff run, the jury is going to have to be out on this group.”
-Charlie Jacobs, CEO of the Boston Bruins. More from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.
NEW YORK (January 24, 2015) – The National Hockey League announced today the participating Clubs, locations and dates for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games planned for the 2015-16 NHL regular season.
The 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, on Jan. 1, 2016. When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following Toronto’s appearance in 2014.
The 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will feature two games. On Sunday, Feb. 21, in a first for the Club, the Minnesota Wild will play host to the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the Univ. of Minnesota campus. The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will make their debut in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field.
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens appear set to take it outside in the 2016 Winter Classic.
According to multiple reports, the rivals will face off in the NHL's annual showcase at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 1.
A visit to the home of the New England Patriots marks just the third time the Winter Classic will be staged in an NFL stadium, having previously been held at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium (2008) and Pittsburgh's Heinz Field (2011).
The NHL is expected to make a formal announcement during the All-Star break this coming weekend in Columbus.
The NHL explains the suspension.
If you missed the play, watch it here...
via Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
“You go shoulder-to-shoulder, but he brings his leg in the back and I felt I had a slew-foot there,” Brassard said. “I don’t want to [look for] any excuses, and I don’t want to be a crybaby or anything, but it could have been dangerous with the way I went down, caught my leg and hit my knee on the ice. I could have been injured for the rest of the season.
“Marchand is a good player, he’s feisty and competes hard,” No. 16 said. “But those kinds of things we don’t need in our game.”
No penalty on the play...
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that forward Simon Gagne has decided not to return to the team this season due to personal reasons. Given his decision, the Bruins have changed Gagne’s status to “suspended player”.
“At this time Simon feels that he has to be home with his family and he has the complete support of the Boston Bruins organization with this decision,” said Chiarelli. “Given Simon’s decision not to return to the team, we have to change his status to maintain a full roster. I spoke to Simon about this, and he assured me that we have his full support with this status change.”
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