Wicked Bruins Fan

February 2007 Archives

Ward for Mara trade

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The Bruins made a swap of defensemen in a trade today with the New York Rangers. The Bruins acquired veteran defenseman Aaron Ward from the Rangers in exchange for Paul Mara.

Ward, 34, in his first season with the Rangers has 3 goals and 10 assists and 57 PIMs. Ward signed with the Rangers on July 6, 2006. He missed two games this season, one with the flu and one as a healthy scratch. He has 148 hits and ranks ninth in the NHL in blocked shots with 142.

Ward will earn $2.75 million next season. He brings along some playoff experience after being a contributor during the Hurricanes Stanley Cup run last season.

Mara, who signed with the Bruins after being traded from Phoenix on June 26, 2006 for defenseman Nick Boynton, will make $3 million next season.

As I said earlier, I’m not surprised to see Mara moved. There aren’t many other assets on defense that could be moved after the Bruins moved both Milan Jurcina and Brad Stuart.

Does it make sense? Who knows for sure? I’m not too familiar with Ward. I’m not about to try and analyze this trade without seeing what Ward can bring to the Bruins line-up. I did check his assets and flaws listed on TSN.ca.

Assets

Has both size and physical presence along the blueline. Can play a solid game when he keeps it simple. Thrives on the penalty kill.

Flaws
Lacks consistency and confidence in his ability. Doesn't always make the right decision in the defensive zone.

This trade leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth because it ends up being Boynton for Ward, and in the end, the Bruins might have been better off keeping Boynton.

Best of luck to Mara with the Rangers and welcome aboard to Ward.

(I'll have a post about the Boyes/Wideman trade up by tomorrow.)

Pang reports

Owen Nolan will not be traded from Phoenix, Darren Pang is reporting. His wife is pregnant in Phoenix and they have some of the best doctors, and Pang has confirmed the forward will not be dealt.

Pang is on TSN reporting from Edmonton, where the Coyotes will play tonight.

Nothing about defenseman Nick Boynton, but since the Rangers acquired defenseman Paul Mara from Boston for defenseman Aaron Ward, I would think the Rangers are out of the running for Boynton.

Trade Deadline Day 2007

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I guess to make things easier today, mostly on myself, I'll break down and split the post up a little bit. Bruins stuff, if any, will be at the top. The rest of the NHL will be below. Feel free to talk about trades and speculate in the comments.

Bruins Stuff

11:59 a.m. TSN guys, not sure who they were, say they believe Glen Murray will be moved today.

12:16 p.m. Forward David Krejci was returned to Providence this morning. (link)

**Trade 1:07 p.m. The Bruins acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the NY Rangers. A roster player went the other way, but no word on who that was yet.

1:34 p.m. Sources report Paul Mara was traded to the Rangers for Ward. Mara has been in rumors linked to the Rangers for the past couple of months. I'm not surprised. (Sportsnet is reporting it was Mara too.)

1:50 p.m. TSN has Ward on the phone and he has a connection to Dave Lewis from their Detroit days. Ward found out about the trade when he was eating his pre-game meal. He confirmed he was traded for Mara.

2:12 p.m. TSN guy, still bad with the names two hours later, says he doesn't believe Boston is done dealing yet.

2:53 p.m. There's an unofficial website for Ward where the tag line is, "Whatever he hits, he destroys."

2:59 p.m. The Bruins still haven't announced the trade. This leads me to believe that there might be another deal that will need to be announced and GM Peter Chiarelli wants to do it at the same time. Trades can still be finalized after the deadline.

**Trade 3:57 p.m. St. Louis has acquired Brad Boyes for defenseman Dennis Wideman. Still waiting for confirmation. So much for being off the market.

4:05 p.m. Why in the world are the Bruins acquiring defensemen? Half of the problem is not being able to score goals.

4:44 p.m. There are some comments from Mara in the NEHJ Ice Den Blog.

Mara, who's posted a minus-22 rating this season, said his biggest disappointment was the way he heard about the deal. He said friends and reporters called him before the B's did. When Chiarelli finally did reach Mara, he told the blueliner that the team just wanted to "sure up the defense."

NHL Trades

Earlier Florida traded Gary Roberts to Pittsburgh for Noah Welch. (link)

11:27 a.m. Buffalo traded goaltender Martin Biron to Philadelphia. Then Buffalo went right out and got goalie Ty Conklin from Columbus. (link)

11:57 a.m. Phoenix traded Georges Laraque to Pittsburgh for Daniel Carcillo. (link) TSN is reporting Bill Guerin has been traded after not signing a contract extension earlier today. It's believed Guerin was traded to San Jose. (link)

12:34 p.m. Pittsburgh traded Dominic Moore to Minnesota for a 3rd round draft pick. (link) I have to step away for a few minutes, but I'll be back after 1.

2:04 p.m. Phoenix traded Oleg Saprykin with a late round draft pick to Ottawa for a 2nd round draft pick.

2:15 p.m. Colorado traded Brad May to Anaheim for Michael Wall.

2:16 p.m. I totally went the unhealthy route and had McDonald's for lunch.

2:17 p.m. Florida trades Todd Bertuzzi to Detroit. They are waiting to make it official with the conference call with the league.

2:30 p.m. Bertuzzi deal is official now. Lots of deals breaking right now. Phoenix traded Yanic Perreault and a 5th round draft pick to Toronto for Brendan Bell and a 2nd round draft pick. Washington traded Dainius Zubrus to Buffalo for a minor leaguer, 1st round draft pick and a player I need to get the spelling of. Rangers traded Pascal Dupuis to Atlanta.

2:41-2:43 p.m. The best part of watching TSN's coverage of the trade deadline online is all of the hockey commercials! I finally saw the Swedish Twins commercial and the Joe Thornton making toast commercial. And speaking of, the Thornton commercial is on right now. Next is Alexander Ovechkin's vending machine commercial. Then Sidney Crosby in the shower commercial. And now Jonathan Cheechoo. My brain is being overloaded with hockey and I like it.

3:03 p.m. San Jose traded Scott Parker to Colorado. Los Angeles possibly traded Mattias Nordstrom.

3:30 p.m. TSN reports Nordstrom went to Dallas. It's also being discussed that a NHL team said Edmonton traded Ryan Smyth to the NY Islanders.

4:24 p.m. Going to take a little break from the deadline day stuff. I will post later about the Bruins trades.

Boyes off the market

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From a Herald article today...

Brad Boyes also has been at the center of recent rumors that had him going to Pittsburgh for help on defense, though a league source last night said Boyes had been taken off the market. The forward has been traded twice already in his career at the trade deadline.

We'll see if that league source is correct.

See ya after the sun rises.

Showcasing?

I caught some of the Coyotes/Flames game after the Bruins game, and I kept seeing Boynton out on the ice more than usual. The same happened during the Coyotes last game, but I didn't think much of it then.

However tonight, the Eve of the Deadline, I have to say it looked like Boynton was definitely being showcased. Whether Boynton is traded will be decided in 12 hours.

Boynton played 22:19 tonight, second most among the Coyotes. He finished a -2 and broke his stick over the crossbar on the Flames fifth goal, the second goal scored by Wayne Primeau.

In the previous two games, Boynton played more than 22 minutes. He is averaging the least amount of time on ice on the Coyotes at 16:27 per game.

I think I can recognize showcasing when I see it.

Thrashers vs. Bruins

I like to forget the losses, especially ones like these. The Bruins came out of the gate pretty darn good, scoring a goal within the first two minutes of the game (Shean Donovan from Jason York and Mowers at 1:29). But then it went downhill slowly from there. Atlanta tied it at 14:35 on the power play (Paul Mara was in the penalty box for hooking). The Bruins got the lead back with less than two minutes remaining in the first period (Brad Boyes from Marco Sturm and Patrice Bergeron at 18:22). But the Bruins still weren’t playing well.

0226thrashers.jpg The Thrashers tied the game again on the power play at 2:09 of the second period (Marc Savard in the penalty box for hooking). And the Bruins didn’t visit our end much after that. A friend hooked Aly and I up with seats in the first row behind the Thrashers goal that period, and there wasn’t much excitement down our end.

During the third period, all I saw was a Thrashers player coming into the Bruins zone, Andrew Alberts in front of him, and then the puck was in the top corner of the net. I may have exclaimed an expletive at that moment. I couldn’t believe a goal like that won the game for the Thrashers. Tim Thomas played well and the Bruins had more shots on net, but the Thrashers probably had more scoring chances.

Boyes got the 3rd star of the game. Alberts was the only Bruins player to finish a -1. Glancing over the shift chart and York didn’t play after the Thrashers game-winning goal.

Things You Might Have Missed: Mara missed some time during the third period due to something. He went to the locker room for a bit, then returned and tested whatever he needed to test during a TV timeout… Donavan had a little temper tantrum when he was coming off the ice and he threw his stick from the bench back into the play. I was surprised the referees didn’t see that.

Going into tonight’s game, I was pleased to see the Bruins and cheer them on for coming home with a 4-2 record on their six game road trip. But after tonight’s game, I can’t say I’m hopeful this team will make the playoffs. It’s more like being cautiously optimistic, or preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Even if this team does make the playoffs, it wouldn’t be worth seeing them go one round and be done.

My final thought of the night is I’m really glad I won’t be Peter Chiarelli tomorrow (today).

As for the blog and what to expect, I am going to give it my best effort to live-blog throughout the day for the trade deadline. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting league-wide trades that don’t affect the Bruins, or solely focus on the Bruins. It depends on how busy it looks like it will be for the Bruins and the other 29 teams. I could split the post up and keep Bruins stuff separate like I did back in 2004. I forgot we acquired Boyes that day. Last year, I only focused on the Bruins. I think I’ll be doing a nice balance of both, but definitely direct your mice over to the right sidebar and click all the fabulous trade deadline links I have there if you need more.

Thrashers tonight

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I don't like starting the week off with a home game. Monday nights are supposed to be available to recover from the weekend. Monday nights are supposed to be spent getting into your pajamas at 8 p.m. and doing nothing but watching whatever hockey games are on and maybe some reality television shows, like SuperNanny and The Hills.

I had a dream this morning that I skipped going to tonight's game, which I guess couldn't be classified as a dream but more of a nightmare. But my ticket is my package ticket and that's forcing me to go.

The Atlanta Thrashers (31-23-10) are in town tonight. I wonder how they like the few inches of snow we've gotten so far. It's very pretty and white outside.

As for the game tonight, the Bruins are getting some healthy bodies back. Phil Kessel, who wrenched his knee in Saturday's game, is expected to play. Shean Donovan is expected to be in the line-up too. Andrew Alberts will be back in the line-up after missing some games with a hamstring issue. Patrice Bergeron, who had his ice time restricted on Saturday, will have no restrictions tonight.

Chuck Kobasew skated with his teammates for the first time this morning. He has not been cleared for contact yet.

Joey MacDonald will be backing up Tim Thomas tonight. MacDonald will be wearing #31, a number once worn by Steve Shields.

New Thrashers forward Keith Tkachuk will be wearing #8 to honor Cam Neely.

Tonight's game will be on Versus. Aren't you excited?

Rumors

The Fourth Period is reporting that the Pittsburgh Penguins are interested in acquiring Nick Boynton.

The New York Post expects the Coyotes to find an Eastern Conference team to take D Nick Boynton. (Give me some time to find the article.)

Finally found the article.

The Rangers have talked to Phoenix about Nick Boynton, but the Coyotes are seeking young talent as part of the deal. The Blueshirts may have interest in the Kings' impending free agent Aaron Miller, but not for a coveted prospect.

With the trade deadline on Tuesday, it'll be interesting to see if Boynton, often rumored this season in trades, is moved out of Phoenix.

If my wish of Boynton being moved to an Eastern team can't come true, I would be pleased with him being traded to the Colorado Avalanche or Minnesota Wild, because both visit the TD Banknorth Garden next month.

Injuries, roster moves, oh my

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Excuse me for being away from the internet for today. I did check in, but I didn't want to post about last night's 7-2 loss against the Florida Panthers.

The Bruins had an off-day today with no practice, and Hannu Toivonen met with GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss his future with the organization. His immediate future will be in Providence as he went assigned there today. Newly claimed goaltender Joey MacDonald will be backing up Tim Thomas tomorrow against the Thrashers.

Defenseman Mark Stuart was also assigned to Providence. This might mean Andrew Alberts will be able to play tomorrow night.

Rookie Phil Kessel was hurt in last night's game and Shean Donovan was hurt in Friday's game. It's amazing what you miss watching the game without sound.

The Thrashers come to town tomorrow with newly acquired local forward Keith Tkachuk. Tkachuk was traded to Atlanta this morning. The trade deadline is on Tuesday. I will add a trade deadline section to the sidebar later tonight. I hope to be able to live-blog on Tuesday afternoon and follow any trades that involve the Bruins.

Transactions galore

Don't look for links because I don't have time to find them. But check the Globe blog because that's where I found all of this out. And I lied, there's the link.

Marco Sturm re-signed for four years. Yay! Tip came from Tracy while I was in Macy's, and that rhymes.

The Bruins plucked goaltender Joey MacDonald off waivers and recalled him. Glen Murray has been placed on the IR to make room for him. Murray is expected out at least until Thursday's game, if not longer.

Petr Tenkrat has a sprained ankle and will not play tonight. Patrice Bergeron is playing because the Bruins are not recalling anybody. Andrew Alberts is also out.

Oh yeah, the Bruins are playing the Panthers tonight in Sunrise, Florida. Don't look for a live-blog because I'll be out and about. I may check in at some point.

5:02 p.m. Now that I'm not rushing, I can get some thoughts down. I have no thoughts for Sturm's contract extension. It's been expected.

The thing that is causing me to think way more than I should is MacDonald being recalled. I don't see why they would recall a player they don't expect to be at the game. They could wait until tomorrow to recall him.

I'm wondering what this means for Hannu Toivonen. Either he'll be sent to Providence to play out the some of the season, or he'll be traded. The urgency of MacDonald's recall makes me guess there might be a deal in place for Toivonen, and I hope I'm wrong.

I'm just thinking outloud.

Bruins at Bolts

Pre-Game: A source in Tampa Bay called me after 6 tonight to let me know his buddy Patrice Bergeron told him he's playing tonight. My source is Colin, and I highly doubt Bergeron would lie to a five year old.

Game-Time: Guess Bergeron couldn't go. That bums me out.

Starters: Thomas, Savard, Axelsson, Boyes, Ference, Mara. Denis is in net for the Lightning.

First Period: Bruins get on the board less than two minutes in. Sturm scored the goal at 1:46, assisted by Kessel and Bochenski. (+1 Savard, Bochenski, Kessel, Stuart, York.) The Lightning tied the game at 5:29 on a power play. Boyes scores at 9:41, chasing Denis out of the net. Here's where I was more focused on math homework instead of the game.

Second Period: Boyes and Kessel scored goals to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead. I'm enjoying the interviews with the fathers (Mr. Mara and Mr. Boyes). I vote for more interviews and less talking by Jack Edwards. The injured trio (Murray, Bergeron and Alberts) are sitting with their fathers.

Third Period: Mr. Thomas was interviewed this period. Bochenski added a goal to Boston's lead to make the game 5-1. Reich had a fight where he hurt his hand. Seriously, less talking Edwards. "Jeremy Kessel"? This is my tired, cranky mood coming out because I do not like seeing primer still on my hands from priming walls this afternoon. Chistov just added another goal, so it's 6-1. Weee! There's less than ten minutes left. Tampa got a goal back to make it 6-2. Then the Bruins won. I was a little distracted by a phone call. Back to math homework now.

Brawls, hat trick and preview

Recapping last night:

The only time you'll catch me watching SportsCenter is when I want to see highlights of a big brawl that happens in a hockey game. A post on Kukla's Korner (now updated with YouTube video!) made me aware of what was happening when I was scrolling through my BlogLines during the repeated Grey's Anatomy last night. I turned the game on just in time to see the officials deciding on penalties. Ottawa goalie Ray Emery received two fighting majors, one for fighting Buffalo goalie Martin Biron and the other for fighting Andrew Peters. All three players were ejected from the game. The funniest thing was seeing four Sabres players in the penalty box, three Sabres on the ice and only eight Sabres players on the bench. And I had to wait for SportsCenter to see the brawls.

It was so nice not having a Bruins game to compete with the new Grey's Anatomy last night. It was like TV Christmas. I vote for more of that.

I watched some of the Calgary Flames vs. Phoenix Coyotes game later because it was a former Bruin hat trick, pitting Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart vs. Nick Boynton. (Read about how Stuart is settling in with the Flames.) Of course the first Coyotes goal couldn't be normal. I turned the game on during a stoppage when the officials were looking for the puck. They were checking Miikka Kiprusoff's equipment thinking it was stuck somewhere in there after he made the save. Eventually, a linesman goes over to the net to look and the puck is wedged up above a post inside the net. Yeah, that's a goal. They reviewed it and counted it. Stranger things have happened. Later, I was ecstatic when Boynton got an assist on the game-tying goal late in the third period. I was not happy with Steven Reichprecht, who tipped Boynton's shot. Then the Coyotes went on to win in overtime. I've never seen Wayne Gretzky so happy.

One last thing before I get into the Bruins/Lightning preview, injured Maple Leafs forwards Mike Peca and Darcy Tucker went on the three-game road trip with the Leafs because their wives asked/begged coach Paul Maurice to take Peca and Tucker with them. That's funny.

Previewing tonight:

Tonight the Bruins are playing in Tampa against the Lightning (34-24-3). Game-time is 8 p.m. on NESN. The Lightning are 0-1-2 against the Bruins this season, and must avoid a season-sweep in their last match-up of the regular season tonight.

As it stands now, the special teams are pretty evenly matched. The Lightning power play (59 for 299) is 19.7% and the Bruins power play (57 for 300) is 19.0%. The Bruins penalty kill (239 of 308) is at 77.6%, while the Lightning penalty kill (182 of 234) is 77.8%.

I stalled as much as I could for an update in the Globe blog, and I finally got it. Andrew Alberts and Glen Murray will be out for tonight's game. Alberts is out for precautionary reasons after skating today for the first time since his injury. Murray did not skate. Patrice Bergeron will be a game-time decision. Tim Thomas will get the start in goal. The Bruins and fathers had a team picture taken at the skate.

For something to do before game-time, check out Ron's latest interactions with the Bruins from this morning. There's Hannu Toivonen, the Newbies, Thomas, Marc Savard and even Kevin Paul Dupont. Looking forward to reading more post-game and to see if a certain player delivers on a favor.

And if you're wondering about Marco Sturm's possible contract extension, I'll direct you to Ron's comment here a little while ago.

Bruins in Tampa

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A friend met up with some Bruins this morning in Tampa before they headed to practice.

Ron, known around here as Colin's Daddy, got some chit-chat time with Phil Kessel, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron among the Bruins.

Battle of Two Points: Bruins vs. Leafs

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The Bruins are six points behind the Leafs right now. They can't really move up in the standings with the Rangers three points ahead of them, but they need to get the two points tonight in regulation.

New Injury: Andrew Alberts will be out of the line-up with a hamstring injury, along with Glen Murray (groin) and Patrice Bergeron (lower-body). Jason York and Mark Stuart will both be in the line-up tonight, along with David Krejci.

Starters: Thomas, Donovan, Reich, Mowers, Ference, Chara. I finished dinner just as the anthems finished. Good timing for me.

First Period: Kilger had a big hit on Boyes. There's something Raycroft didn't hear much of last season, cheers when he made a save. Remember to say hello to Green too, who is back with the Leafs after being with the Ducks for some time this season. Chara is the first one to the penalty box with another delay of game penalty at 3:14. Perhaps the glass needs to be taller for Chara, or Chara needs to shrink a little. Axelsson joins Chara in the penalty box at 4:31 for holding. Toronto has a 2-man advantage for 43 seconds. This is about the start I expected to see. Maple Leafs hit the post after some nice passing. Nice positioning by the penalty killers so far. Bruisns killed off the penalties, and on a very, very weird play, the Bruins take the 1-0 lead. Savard was behind the goal line and tried to bank the puck into the net off Raycroft, which almost worked, but the puck needed some help from Chistov, who got himself a goal. Chistov's goal was scored at 7:13, and was assisted by Savard. (+1 Chistov, Savard, Axelsson, Stuart, York.) Krejci got a holding penalty at 11:30. Impressive penalty killing by Tenkrat. Carlo Colaiacovo got a holding penalty at 13:40. Bruins are doing a great job of clearing rebounds and pucks away from Thomas. Bruins lead 1-0 after one period. I may watch some other stuff during the next period. I may also not live-blog the rest of the game. We'll see how it goes.

Second Period: Gill got a holding penalty at 2:03. Leafs killed off the penalty. I have to confess that I am not currently watching much of the 2nd period and that Tracy is my touchstone. Savard's father was interviewed. Axelsson was injured (looked like knee on the replay), but he remains on the bench. Ference got a penalty at 12:17 for hooking. Axelsson is currently out there on the penalty kill, so that's a good sign. Even better sign was his shorthanded goal. Assists went to Boyes and Allen at 14:14. (+1 Axelsson, Boyes, Allen, York.) Bochenski made a great play behind the net to set up York's goal. Yes, YORK! Crazy. The goal was scored at 17:41. (+1 York, Bochenski, Kessel, Axelsson, Stuart.) Bruins lead 3-0 after two periods. Not bad for a fan not watching the game, eh?

Third Period: Wow, Raycroft was pulled. Guess 21 consecutive starts is his unlucky number. Aubin is in net now. York took a puck to the face and went off for stitches. Chara got a penalty at 2:05. Now I am back to watching the game. Kilger goes to the penalty box for four minutes for high-sticking Savard at 4:45. Gill and Battaglia had a shorthanded chance. York is back on the bench with a visor. Less than six minutes to go. Thomas with some nice and awesome saves. Allen is in the penalty box for holding the stick at 16:31. The Leafs pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker on the power play. Leafs get a penalty for interference at 17:11. And Thomas earns his 3rd shutout of the season with a 3-0 win. Thomas made 44 saves, which is a little crazy, but whatever works!

York and Axelsson both finished +3.

Bruins get the much needed two points and head to Florida tonight. They'll be off tomorrow to go fishing with the fathers and practice on Thursday. I'll check in tomorrow at some point.

Krejci recalled

With Glen Murray and Patrice Bergeron out for tonight's game, forward David Krejci was recalled this afternoon.

It can be assumed that Tim Thomas will be getting the start in net tonight. See ya at 7 for game time.

Bruins vs. Flyers

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I had no clue the game was on Versus tonight. No homer announcers with these two teams. I questioned if the preview was actually talking about the Bruins when they said something about “two physical teams.” Who’s the other team? (Just kidding.)

Starters: Thomas, Reich, Donovan, Mowers, Ference, Alberts. Bergeron and York are out. Versus listed York as a knee injury which isn’t accurate. Mark Stuart is in for the game.

First Period: Well, Savard went off favoring a leg and went to the runway at least. And Savard is back out there. Flyers get the first power play of the game, drawing a penalty on the Bruins in their own zone. (Here’s where I ate dinner.) Bruins killed that penalty off, then some rough stuff happened with Mara and two Flyers and the Bruins had the power play. Then the Bruins got another power play, and Sturm scored on that at 13:38 assisted by Savard and Kessel. Donovan picked up a holding the stick penalty at 17:18. Bruins killed that off and are leading 1-0 after the first period.

Second Period: The Flyers scored a goal within the first minute. (-1 Alberts, Ference, Reich, Mowers, Donovan.) The Flyers scored again at 7:08 while I was laughing at Alberts falling into the boards, basically checking himself. I’m not mean. It was just funny. I think he has a little bad luck on his side tonight. (-1 Alberts, Ference, Boyes, Tenkrat, Chistov.) Axelsson ties the game 2-2 at 8:42, assisted by Savard and Stuart. (+1 Axelsson, Murray, Savard, Stuart, Mara.) Reich and the Bruins got a break when it was deemed the puck struck a Flyers player and not Reich’s stick. On the first replay, it looked like the stick, but on the second, the reaction looked like it resulted from a puck. And they caught another break when they had a bad line change that resulted in an odd-man rush. Then they caught yet another break when a Flyers player (I’m bad with the names tonight) hit the crossbar. Bruins are pressing their luck these last few shifts. Now they have luck on their side again after Tenkrat scored at 11:17. The goal was assisted by Boyes. (+1 Tenkrat, Boyes, Chistov, Stuart, Mara.) Mara and Richards drop the gloves on the next face-off. The fight was pretty entertaining. Richards got his right arm free from the sleeve of his jersey and it was a pretty decent bout. Mara’s has a nice rip in the front of his jersey now. Tenkrat scores again! His second goal was assisted by Kessel at . (+1 Tenkrat, Kessel, Bochenski, Alberts, Ference.) Flyers get a goal back on the next shift to make it 4-3. (-1 Mowers, Donovan, Reich, Chara, Allen.) (I am going through my inbox that has 150+ e-mails in it. Guess I haven’t checked them in a while.) Ference got a tripping penalty at 18:41. Bruins are leading 4-3 at the end of two.

Third Period: Bochenski added a goal at 3:10, assisted by Axelsson. (+1 Bochenski, Axelsson, Kessel, Ference, Alberts.) The defensemen were changing when that goal was scored, so I needed to double check to see who was on the ice. Donovan picked up a penalty for holding at 10:06. Thomas has been making some nice saves this period. He made me nervous earlier in the 2nd period, but has seemed to settle down. Timmy being Timmy again. Less than three minutes left now. Bruins are leading 5-3. The Flyers pulled their goalie and now call a timeout. Donovan just hit the outside of the empty net. That would have been his 100th NHL goal. Savard scores the empty net goal unassisted to give the Bruins a 6-3 win. I suppose he could be a little selfish after treating the team to dinner last night. (+1 Savard, Axelsson, Donovan, Chara, Ference.) Yay! They get a much needed two points before heading north of the border to play the Leafs tomorrow.

While I’m waiting for the data on who was out there for the ENG, Murray only played a couple of shifts in the 3rd period. He probably re-injured his groin, or something else. Sometimes it’s nice to have homer announcers because they would pick up on things like this. (We’ll have to wait for Fluto to update the blog.) While checking out the shift chart, Boyes, Stuart and Alberts played their last shifts with at least five minutes remaining in the game. Chistov’s last shift was in the 2nd period.

And now I’m being yelled at to post, so here you go TreeBob.

Steak in Philly

Just in time before I get ready to go shopping. Fluto updated the blog with some of tonight's changes.

Patrice Bergeron will not play tonight against the Flyers. Tim Thomas will get the start in goal, and coach Dave Lewis wouldn't commit to starting Hannu Toivonen tomorrow. I would've started Toivonen tonight and Thomas tomorrow, but I don't make the decisions.

Defenseman Mark Stuart will be getting into the line-up tonight in place of Jason York. Then it sounds like they'll flip for tomorrow's game against the Maple Leafs with Stuart sitting and York playing.

Marc Savard held true to his word after Saturday's game in Buffalo. The center said post-game that he would take the team out for dinner since they had his back and got the win after his two penalties, both costly, only one dumb. It sounds like the team had a tremendous dinner at a steak house last night.

I'll be here tonight to live-blog.

Glad to have Fluto back

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It feels like Blog Christmas or something.

For the heck of it, I decided to check the usual Bruins blogs to see if anything was new... and to take a much needed break from math hell.

You can imagine my pleasant surprise to see that Fluto is back blogging on the Globe blog! I'm so excited to have information once again.

Coach Dave Lewis hasn't named a starter for tomorrow's game, but a safe bet is Tim Thomas will get the nod. And Lewis is no longer sure if defenseman Mark Stuart will crack the line-up tomorrow. Make up your mind!

Wouldn't it be funny if somebody came across Hannu Toivonen on the subway in Philadelphia?

Toivonen, one of the last to leave the ice after today's 1 p.m. practice, didn't think he could make the 2:30 p.m. bus back to the hotel from the arena. He first told team officials that he'd take the subway back, which prompted some raised eyebrows. "I'm not as dumb as I look," Toivonen said. However, the netminder scurried in and out of his equipment and made the bus.

A very wise choice by Toivonen in the end, methinks. Yay for Fluto! Back to math.

It's a Sunday filler

A little Bruins news that should make some people happy. Defenseman Mark Stuart will play tomorrow in Philadelphia.

"This was not an easy game to play for a young guy," Dave Lewis said of the 22-year-old defenseman. "That's my thinking on that, not that he wouldn't relish the moment. But he will play in Philadelphia."

With defenseman Bobby Allen coming off one of his strongest games of the season (first NHL point, team-leading 5 hits and +3) I got to believe defenseman Jason York might be the odd-man out. I would be extremely disappointed if Allen sits.

As for the rest of the NHL, let's take a little look around the internet.

Joe Thornton checks in with ESPN Magazine with the Eight things you should know about the Sharks. Since it's only for ESPN Insiders online, you can only see one of the eight, and this nice picture of Thornton.

Sticking with the former Bruins theme, Bill Guerin is also featured on ESPN in the Facing Off question/answer segment. He talks a lot of hockey, some Red Sox and why he's called Borat.

Another former Bruin Dave Scatchard, who suffered a concussion last month, may not play again this season.

There was a horrific collision between Rangers' Brendan Shanahan and Flyers' Mike Kunble yesterday. The collision knocked both unconscious, with Shanahan leaving on a stretcher and leaving Knuble with a broken cheekbone and orbital bone. Best to both players with their recoveries.

Last but not least, you have 30 seconds with Gary Bettman.

I will be tuning in to today's featured game on NBC that has Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin. I fully plan on editing the photos from Johnny Bucyk night either tonight or tomorrow, or maybe right in between, say around midnight.

What happened to normal hockey?

So I'm watching the Coyotes game, looking for a normal hockey game to watch because the Bruins game was anything but normal. I come back with a snack and water after I watch Marc Savard's comments on the post-game show and click back to the Red Wings/Coyotes game.

Coyotes are killing off some penalties. One defenseman (Michalek) not only blocks a shot with his foot, but also his hand on consecutive shots. Another defender loses a stick, and plays awesome, and then finally Nick Boynton comes out of the box and the Coyotes survive and are still only down 1-0.

But wait, there's a review at the next whistle.

The Wings scored while they were 5-on-3, so the game goes back in time.

The goal was scored with 1:59 left in the 2nd period and are now leading 2-0. (What is it with 2nd periods and tonight?!) So the Coyotes had to kill of the remainder of Boynton's penalty... again.

Can I see a normal hockey game anywhere tonight? Please?

"They're in Buffalo eatin' wings!"

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(The title is a quote I said last night at a bar. See? The Bruins don’t even have to be in Boston to be talked about. I’m just a little wicked Bruins dedicated right here.)

Naps are good. Shopping is also good. Not knowing what’s going on in Buffalo is not good. Fluto is on vacation and took his blog updates at the Globe blog with him. Bish is in Boston and while he has a Buffalo mole called Spicy Chicken, there isn’t much info there. The Ice Den blog was last updated when the Bruins were still in Boston. And the Bruins Insider at the Herald went to Providence last night. Information is in short supply and I do not like it one bit.

Here is what I know before the pre-game show: Tim Thomas is starting. Mark Stuart might get into the line-up. Patrice Bergeron is questionable. The Providence Bruins are on FSN New England because they’re playing in Hartford tonight. (This is the time I wish I went to the bar so I could watch both games at the same time!) And I have lots of IM chimes chiming.

Pre-Game Show: Bergeron is out of the line-up. Twenty minutes until the puck drops. I love the little countdown clock that NESN has. Twenty minutes is a lot of time. I could pop a French bread pizza in the oven if I was hungry, but then I would miss Andrew Ference’s interview with Rob Simpson. It’s a good thing I am still stuffed from lunch at Bertucci’s. I’m hearing “Vertigo” by U2 during warm-ups for the second consecutive road game. The Cross-Check segment of the pre-game show was led off with an interesting question. I’m not sure if this is new and debuting tonight, but I like it. The first question was about what the Bruins need to get back in the playoff race. Rick Middleton said more forward depth because they aren’t scoring a lot of goals. Gord Kluzak said a defense that can make the outlet pass to the forwards to create the offense. I’ll jump in with my two cents and say a new coach because that would handle both of those problems. That’s called looking at the “bigger picture” for those unfamiliar with it.

Starters: Thomas, Mowers, Donovan, Reich, Alberts, Ference. Miller is starting for Buffalo. Mark Stuart is the healthy scratch and that doesn’t make me happy. Bergeron is out of course.

First Period: Reich and Mair fought less than three minutes into the game, and I did not like Jack Edwards’ play-by-play there. On a delayed penalty, the Bruins scored! Woo! The Bruins had the extra attacker out there and got themselves a goal. Sturm gets the goal, with Chara and Savard getting the assists at 3:59. (+1 Sturm, Savard, Chara, Kessel, Murray, Allen.) Ference picks up a holding penalty at 12:47. With 33 seconds left on the penalty, Buffalo scores to tie it 1-1 at 14:13. There was a Murray slashing penalty later, and then a fight between Ference and Hecht and that sums up the rest of the period. (Providence is currently losing 3-1 and former Bruin Brad Isbister (!) was interviewed during intermission!) The Boston game is tied 1-1 at the end of the period.

Second Period: The sound of a clink or a clang is one of the worst feelings a fan can hear if it comes from the team you’re rooting for. If it happens to the team you’re rooting against, it’s music to your ears. Murray hit the post after an offensive rush with Savard and Axelsson. That was the worst sound in the world right there. Buffalo got a penalty. Kessel did some great back-checking on Drury while on the power play. Mair had a little bit of contact made on him from Chara and fell, sliding into the net, nearly taking Thomas out. Chara had this expression on the replay as if to say, “Are you kidding me?” and even spoke with Mair after he got up. After a shift that saw Axelsson hitting anything in a Slugs jersey, Donovan (yes, Shean Donovan!) scores at 5:12 to give the Bruins the lead again. The assist went to Allen. (+1 Donovan, Mowers, Reich, Allen, Chara.) Boyes is having a strong shift right now with some nice takeaways. And there’s the annual Chara delay of game penalty at 12:51. What a shorthanded goal that was! Savard was set up in front of the net by Donovan and scored at 13:43. The other assist went to York. (+1 Savard, Donovan, York, Allen.) Well the Bruins got a couple of penalties now to give the Sabres a two-man advantage for 54 seconds. Savard got the initial slashing penalty (15:41), and then when Tenkrat got his tripping penalty (16:47), Savard picked up another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Chara was shaken up after blocking a shot that deflected into the netting. Drury scores while they were 5-on-3. Blah. Bruins still lead 3-2 after two periods. (I was doing a little Predators research for a friend who is at the Preds game while the Bruins killed off the remaining time on Savard’s penalty.) Donovan is now one goal shy of his 100th NHL goal. He’s been stuck on goal #98 for quite some time… And here’s where I was about to copy and paste to post. Thank goodness I didn’t.

That “save” that Thomas look he made was actually a goal, so scratch that Bruins still leading stuff. The Bruins, who went to the locker room for intermission, have to come back out and play the remaining time of the period. The goal was officially marked at 19:07. The Bruins still have not come back out yet. The Sabres are all sitting on the bench waiting for them. Alberts was the only one who came out, and I say he can play by himself. That would be an entertaining 52 seconds. Rob Simpson reports the Bruins were told by the refs to come out and they are not moving. Simpson said the ref told them they’ll be blowing the whistle in two minutes even if they aren’t out there, and Thomas finally emerges from the room. Well now, this was a little entertaining. Chara looks like he was limping a little bit walking. Ha, the Bruins really only needed to send out six players, not the whole team because Chara, Axelsson, Savard, Murray, Ference and Thomas were the only ones who played during the remaining time. Now it’s the end of the period officially and it’s tied 3-3. Oy.

Third Period: The Bruins were told to go to the locker room while the review was going on, so that settles that. They’re not really that evil. Sabres got an interference penalty at 3:38. I should mention that was Allen’s first NHL point when he assisted on the Donovan goal. He is also leading the team +3 in tonight’s game. Boyes got a holding penalty at 7:31. Bruins killed off the penalty. One thing I noticed is the Bruins don’t look confident when they’re handling the puck. It’s like they can’t wait to get rid of it, either by dumping it in or rushing the pass to another Bruin. Another thing I noticed is there haven’t really been any concrete defense pairs for the game, which confuses me more than it should. But that could be my current hunger talking because now I’m hungry. Ha, on that play where Ference might have saved a goal, Jack Edwards says, “The officials are going to call us back while we’re on the plane.” Now that was funny! Allen was having a strong game (also leading the team with 5 hits) until his high-sticking penalty at 16:39. It was during a race for an icing call that would’ve been against the Sabres. It’s a tough penalty to take, but it was a penalty. Allen still had a great game though. Buffalo gets a penalty while on the power play. A Sabres player (Hecht) tripped Ference at 18:08, but it looked to lack the actual trip. Bruins are now on the power play. Sabres were in the Bruins zone shorthanded and that was a little scary. Sturm was hooked while he was attempting to keep the puck inside the Sabres zone and the Sabres get called for a penalty at 19:30. Bruins call the timeout. Bruins have a 5-on-3. And regulation comes to an end.

Overtime: The Bruins will start overtime 5-on-3 and that didn’t last long. Bruins are now 5-on-4. Bruins got off two shots on Miller. Since there was a whistle, which the Bruins clearly wanted, the overtime goes to 4-on-3 now. The last penalty has expired, and Ference faked the shot so many times, I was tired of watching him. There was some nice pressure by Kessel and Bochenski on their shift. Bruins iced the puck. Thomas coming out of his net, twice so far, has not been comforting. The second time was a little bit better than the first though. And here we go to another shootout.

Shootout: Rally helmet time! Sturm, Murray and Kessel will be shooting for the Bruins. Sabres are shooting first. Briere first and Thomas made the save. Sturm is up and he hit the post! ARG! Second time tonight the post sound has killed Bruins fans. Stafford next and he lost control of the puck, but still managed a shot that Thomas saved. Murray now and Miller made the save. Vanek up next and Thomas made the save! Clutch Kessel coming up next and Miller made the save. Sudden death shootout time. I’m really glad the Sabres picked to shoot first. Pominville is up and Thomas got a piece of it. Bochenski is next and Miller makes the easy save. Drury is up now and Thomas made the save. Savard is next and he missed the net. The 6th round is coming up. Roy next and save by Thomas. Unbelievable. Chara is next; exactly as Brickley says he was looking for him, and saved by Miller. McArthur next and save by Thomas. Boyes up now for Boston, and saved by Miller. Hecht is next, and Thomas made the save. Tenkrat coming up next and the puck did go into the net, but they called it no goal on the ice, but a review should make it count. It’s a goal and the Bruins win the shootout 1-0 and 4-3 for the game. I believe that was 9 rounds for the shootout too, if I counted correctly.

What a game. Time for food and more hockey.

10:54 p.m. When I said more hockey, I should have said, NORMAL hockey. Seriously.

Bruins @ Isles

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Well I missed the majority of the pre-game show… actually I saw it, but I couldn’t hear it on the HD channel. But I do know Glen Murray is returning to the line-up, and Patrice Bergeron is still out. Tim Thomas and Rick DiPietro are starting for their respective teams. And Peter Forsberg was traded to Nashville which made Staci happy, and I got to break the news to her!

Starters: Thomas, Alberts, Ference, Axelsson, Savard, Murray.

First Period: Islanders have been icing the puck quite a bit in the first five minutes of the game. York got a slashing penalty at some point, and the Bruins killed it off. The Islanders’ best chance came when Thomas made the initial save and the rebound went right under his… butt, and through the crease. Islanders got a penalty on the rush back into their defensive zone putting the Bruins on the power play for the first time tonight. Islanders score to make it 1-0 at 16:56. (-1 Axelsson, Savard, Murray, Chara, Mara.) So the Isles lead 1-0 after the first period.

Second Period: What a way to start the period. Murray scored on the power play 32 seconds in, assists going to Savard and Kessel. DiPietro didn’t even see Murray’s shot; the passes were so quick and accurate. Awesome play. Wow, now I finally have sound back on the NESN HD channel. Only took half of the game, thanks Comcast. Savard drew a penalty against the Islanders so the Bruins are on the power play again. There’s a little over four minutes left in the second period, and I’m about to bid the Bruins farewell for now until after Grey’s Anatomy is over. Go Bruins. May they wait until after Grey’s to score the go-ahead goal. I will check back during commercials, but you’ll understand if I don’t. Grey’s trumps Bruins tonight only because I am home for once to watch it!

Third Period: All I can tell you is every single time I changed at the times of commercial for Grey’s, I was seeing a replay of an Islanders goal. That’s not cool. Islanders took the lead at some point, and then scored to make it 3-1 with less than 20 minutes left in Grey’s, which was less than four minutes left in the game. (I did see that goal was mainly Alberts' fault because of a failed pinch, I think.) Tracy tells me the Islanders added an empty net goal. So that makes the Bruins lose 4-1.

I need to go recover from Grey’s now. I’ll check in tomorrow with a post and I’ll caption the pictures from the game album I posted today tomorrow. I have other priorities tonight.

Go on the road

The Bruins are starting their longest road trip of the season tonight in NY when they take on the Islanders (27-22-8). The six game road trip takes the Bruins to Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto and Florida. The Princesses of Disney on Ice invade the Garden for the next eleven days. How lucky are we?

I think the highlight of this road trip, other than having a winning record (wink, wink), is this is the first "Father's Trip" the Bruins are doing. Family members, mostly fathers except for one brother, will be joining up with their sons (and brother) along the way. Canadian players' fathers (and brother) will be hooking up with the team in Toronto, while the rest of the American and European players' fathers will be meeting with them in Tampa. Besides seeing how their sons (and brother) live on the road, the fathers will have a fishing trip, group dinner and see both games in Florida. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Other teams around the league have been doing the same thing this season. I think a few recent ones were the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Back to tonight's game. There hasn't been any kind of updates from a morning skate... I guess because the Bruins took off for the Island today! Whoops. Who knew? Yesterday's snow storm, which was mostly rain by afternoon and led to minor lakes in the middle of streets in and around Boston yesterday, kept the Bruins grounded yesterday. That rain quickly froze last night and despite a minor slip or two, I have not fallen yet (knock on wood).

I think Tim Thomas is starting tonight. I have no idea if Patrice Bergeron will be playing. I will be here to live-blog, outside of the hour Grey's Anatomy is on, so look for that later, as well as a new album in the gallery.

That stings a little bit

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Part of me can't believe it's February already. I remember earlier this season, I kept circling the this and next week in my mind for possible road trips to see the Coyotes play in places like Florida and Nashville. I kept thinking, "could I go an entire season without seeing Nick Boynton play a game in person?" Earlier this season the answer was a "hell no" because it was Boynton and Boynton was/is one of my favorites. But perspective changes and indecisions eventually catch up to a fan. That "hell no" started to become, "well it wouldn't be the end of the world," and there's always next season.

The fact that the Coyotes were in Florida this past weekend for a couple of games didn't go unnoticed. I knew good friend Ron would possibly see Boynton and I like when my friends can see players I like.

Ron even landed an autograph from Boynton on a game-used stick. Boynton might be missed by some in Boston, but it doesn't sound like he misses it at all... or at the very least, the organization.

Oilers vs. Bruins

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I skipped today’s game preview mostly due to laziness, and my inability to sit still for longer than fifteen minutes. My attention span was not good and very scattered. There wasn’t much to report anyway.

This was my first time seeing the Edmonton Oilers in person. There are only a few teams left in my decade of being a fan that I have yet to see in Boston, so I was excited to check the Oilers off my list. I also brought my mother to tonight’s game because she was all about celebrating Johnny Bucyk’s 50 years in the Bruins organization.

Warm-ups started earlier than usual, which um… sucked because I was at least a minute late for them. Every Bruin wore a #9 jersey making it even harder to pick out newly acquired defenseman Andrew Ference. He was helmet-less so that made it a little easier. Andrew Alberts has ditched his visor.

Tim Thomas earned his second shutout of the season tonight, making a 32 save effort and had a nice two goal cushion after the first period. The Bruins had their first unofficial goal waived off due to an upcoming penalty call, but they didn’t lost momentum. Brandon Bochenski scored the first goal of the game on the power play when the puck bounced off an Oiler’s skate in front of the net… I think. I haven’t seen the replay. Marco Sturm added to the lead with another power play goal. His post-goal reaction was the Sturm of old. Sturm also added the empty net goal late in the third period. Bruins won 3-0.

Defenseman Mark Stuart was recalled (thanks for the tip TreeBob) and I can confirm he was at the game. Chuck Kobasew has yet to join the team due to Visa issues.

This was the last Bruins home game for the next 13 days. The Bruins will leave tomorrow for a six-game road trip. I didn’t realize that Patrice Bergeron got injured during the third period, but reports are it’s a lower-body injury. I was impressed with Ference. It will be easy to root for him if he keeps the hitting up.

If I remember anything else, I’ll come back and add, but I think I’m going to call it a night. Feeling a little under the weather tonight and with a Nor’Easter knocking on our door, I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

Taking a closer look

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There are many ways to analyze trades. This particular one that will have Brad Stuart (keeping #6) and Wayne Primeau (#19) suiting up for Calgary tonight in Detroit can be examined quite a few different ways.

Everybody knows the duo along with Marco Sturm was acquired in the infamous Joe Thornton trade last season. Everybody knew they would all be unrestricted free agents after this season. The only unknown was if either Stuart or Primeau would re-sign with the Bruins. By the sounds of it, the chances of Primeau re-signing were very good and he was very upset about the trade. Stuart on the other hand, sounds like there was no chance to re-sign him, despite the fact he kept saying he loved it here and wanted to stay, but he was still upset upon hearing about the trade. Neither player commented after last night’s game, so it’ll be interesting to read comments when they finally speak, most likely tonight.

First things first, the official trade has the Bruins sending Stuart, Primeau and a conditional draft pick in 2008 if the Flames cannot re-sign Stuart.

On the contract side of things, the Bruins win in the deal. Winger Chuck Kobasew and defenseman Andrew Ference are signed for at least the next season. Kobasew, 24, will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2008 and currently makes $1.2 million. Ference, 27, signed a contract extension with the Flames earlier this season that has him under contract until the 2009-2010 season, then he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

On the here and on-ice side of things, Kobasew was listed on the IR under Calgary’s last set of game notes. He has an elbow injury that will keep him sidelined for the next 2-3 weeks. The Bruins basically swapped defensemen, but up front, lost a forward. Stanislav Chistov was the healthy scratch last night, and he could be inserted into the line-up as needed. Losing Primeau up front, on face-offs and the penalty kill, as well as his leadership in the locker room, will definitely sting the team a bit. There is always the option of recalling another defensive-minded forward from Providence or acquiring a player from somewhere else.

Overall, I think the Bruins win on the contract side of the trade. Calgary has already clinched a playoff spot out west, so they were looking for a little extra help and are most likely renting both Stuart and Primeau for the playoff run. As with any trade that happens, there needs to be time to evaluate everything that happens because of it. There is the immediate impact it makes, but the long-term effects are what matter the most.

The Bruins got the much needed two points last night to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, but if GM Peter Chiarelli has intentions of trading Sturm, Paul Mara (recently rumored) and perhaps Glen Murray, a fan has to believe Chiarelli wants to build more towards next season than the remainder of this season.

B. Stuart and Primeau traded

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Game post will come... perhaps never because I didn't see Marco Sturm's tying goal until the replay, but I did see Zdeno Chara's shootout game-winning goal, which was awesome. Bruins won 4-3.

I found out about the trade at a bar, where some Bruins players also found out about it. Defenseman Brad Stuart and center Wayne Primeau were sent to Calgary for Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Ference. I'm not sure how I feel about the trade because it took a while to process it. I was staring at the television that still had NESN on and I saw Calgary and Boston and I had no idea what they were talking about. Until I saw the names.

I guess I wasn't used to trades that involved current roster players.

Have at it folks. I won't be checking in until Sunday afternoon.

Home Game #29

The Bruins host the Islanders (26-22-7) at the Garden tonight. The Islanders are coming off a 2-0 shutout loss in New Jersey on Thursday night. The Bruins are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes. At least we know one of the teams will win tonight. Let’s hope it’s the Bruins coming out with the two much needed points.

Tim Thomas (21-17-3, 3.25 GAA, .902 Sv%) will be starting for the Bruins for the fourth straight game. I wasn’t in favor of this decision earlier, but after reading the Globe blog and about the last two games against the Islanders, both which Hannu Toivonen started and got pegged with both losses, it makes some kind of fool sense. Rick DiPietro (22-17-4, 2.67 GAA, .916 Sv%) will be starting for the Islanders. DiPietro has allowed five goals in four games. I’m surprised to see both Thomas and DiPietro have almost the exact same records.

Funky Stats: The Islanders have killed off the last 20 power plays... The Islanders are 5-18-5 when the opposing team scores first. The Islanders are 4-17-3 when trailing after the first period, and 4-20-0 when trailing after the second period... The Islanders haven’t won a game when they play on a Monday. Their record for Saturday games is 12-4-1.

Injury Report: Glen Murray will not be playing tonight. He re-aggravated his groin on Thursday, which was bound to happen. Either Petr Tenkrat or Stan Chistov will take his spot in the line-up. Meanwhile, Brandon Bochenski will take Murray’s place on Marc Savard’s wing.

Motivation for the Mediocre: An article about the Islanders leads off with the following sentence, “The Islanders face off against the mediocre Bruins in Boston tonight looking to rebound from a 2-0 loss to the Devils on Thursday.” It’s appropriate when Bruins fans call their own team mediocre, but when the other team’s writer does it, it’s not very nice.

I Know You: Three former Bruins are listed on the Islanders roster: Shawn Bates, Randy Robitaille and Andy Hilbert. They’re all centers too. Bates is listed day-to-day with a groin injury.

As the standings stand now (ha, cute), the Islanders sit at 10th in the Eastern Conference with 59 points. The Bruins have 52 points and sit at lucky 13. The Bruins have two games in hand on the Maple Leafs (9th, 60 points) Islanders and Rangers (11th, 57 points) and three games in hand on the Capitals (12th, 54 points) and Panthers (14th, 51 points). There’s no good time like the present to start getting some of those extra points to stay in the mix of things.

I almost forgot, the referees tonight are Kevin Pollock and Craig Spada.

Ticket Tales

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A couple of months ago, I went to the ticket window inside the Garden during an intermission to pick up a ticket to an upcoming game. I can’t remember which game it was for, but when I went up there, I asked for the $26.50 price range. The ticket man said I could get two tickets cheaper than $26.50. I informed him I only needed one, and I scored a $10 ticket.

On my way to work earlier this week, I stopped by the TD Banknorth Box Office to pick up a ticket for my mother for Tuesday’s upcoming game, also known as Johnny Bucyk night. I went up to one of the many empty ticket windows and asked for the cheapest available, fully expecting to pay at least $33.50 for a ticket.

The ticket man replies the ticket price, and I didn’t quite catch it. I was looking for my credit card at the time. I asked him to repeat it, and he replied, “$10.00.”

I put my credit card away and said, “I can pay cash!” I was so excited.

I was also shocked because this Bucyk Night has been arranged for at least two months now, and to still have $10 seats available, with new ticket offers (4 tickets for $99) tells me the game isn’t selling as it should be.

So, where are the fans? What exactly is keeping Bruins fans away from Bruins games? Is it the ticket prices? Is it the on-ice product? I even heard rumors that season ticket holders aren’t going to games anymore. How did it become this bad in Boston?

Hurricanes Hangover

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I'm not sure where today's headache is coming from. It's either from the hockey game last night or from the few beers I had, or maybe a combination of both.

How does one recap a game that was blown wide open in less than five minutes? Well one chooses to ignore it for the most part and only recap the things that need to be recapped.

The Bruins lost 5-2. Carolina scored four goals in the second period, the first three were scored by Ray Whitney for a natural hat trick. The fourth goal came on the power play late in the 2nd period. The Bruins two goals came from Brandon Bochenski. Both goals were even-strength and the first gave the Bruins the lead in the first period, and the second attempted to make the game close again midway through the 3rd period. The Hurricanes added an empty net goal with less than a minute to go in the game.

Scott Walker got annoyed during the second period and looked to find somebody to fight. He set his sights on Andrew Alberts, lucky for Alberts. Alberts is still wearing a visor, which probably helped his cause, but he didn't look like he wanted to fight at all. The fight happened at the end I was sitting at, so I got to see it close-up, well whenever my hands weren't covering my eyes. Walker was clearly the winner, but it looked like he hit Alberts' helmet and visor more than anything else. One of the best (or worst) things to see was when Walker hit Alberts' helmet so hard that it just popped off. Walker got the jersey up over Alberts' head, but Alberts didn't give up and continued to swing. I think it just sucked because it didn't look like Alberts wanted anything to do with Walker, and Walker dropped the gloves way before Alberts did, so he should've been tagged with the instigator penalty.

But it doesn't matter much now anyway. The fight obviously gave the Hurricanes the momentum boost because they went and scored four straight goals after that. (The four goals came in the last 4:24 of the second period. Thank you to the rebroadcast for that information.)

Some stats while I'm here. Bochenski, Mark Mowers and Alberts were the only Bruins to finish a +1. Jason York, Brad Boyes and Marc Savard finished a team-worst -2.

The Bruins host the Islanders tomorrow, who were shutout by the Devils last night.

It's Thursday!

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The Bruins will host the Carolina Hurricanes (27-22-7) tonight at the Garden. For somebody who has been in Boston the past two nights, I have to say it'll be nice to be at a hockey game tonight. I'm actually excited about the game and seeing the Bruins again.

Tim Thomas (21-16-3, 3.23 GAA, .903 Sv%) will be starting in goal tonight. For the Hurricanes, it will either be Cam Ward (22-14-6, 2.89 GAA, .898 Sv %) or John Grahame (5-8-1, 3.14 GAA, .890 Sv%), and I'll say it'll be Ward. (I couldn't find any Hurricanes articles through ESPN Insider to confirm that.)

Glen Murray will be a game-time decision, after he tests the groin during warm-ups to see how it feels. Marco Sturm will most likely be out of the line-up until he's cleared, but that could happen today. So I guess a lot of things are up in the air.

The referees tonight are Chris Rooney and Dan O'Rourke.

There are some rumors floating around that the New Jersey Devils are interested in Brad Stuart [article here].

And that's all because I completely forgot about the game preview. Whoops. I'll check in tonight with a game report after the game. I hope it's a good game.

The need for speed

I found the following through a google alert and I thought this was interesting and from Mick Colageo. I'll put the interesting part in a blockquote and you can draw your own conclusions because I am tired, and a little hungry and definitely thirsty.

Game 52: Kessel does it again

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Here’s the game post I promised for the Bruins and Capitals game. I caught maybe roughly 50% of the game tonight, which isn’t too shabby considering my schedule. I saw Jeremy Reich’s fight. I saw Brandon Bochenski’s first goal in his first game as a Bruin that put the Bruins ahead in the 2nd period. Then somewhere, the Capitals tied it up. I’m not sure where, but with some help from the score sheet, I see it was early in the 3rd, which was around the time Tracy and I were reconnecting on the cell phone. Then I saw the Capitals go-ahead goal at 7:48 of the 3rd period, but missed Patrice Bergeron’s game-tying goal and everything that happened after that in the 2-2 game.

Then I saw the last four shooters of the shootout. Tim Thomas kind of made the save of Alexander Ovechkin, though I think Ovechkin hit the outside of the net on the replay. Olie Kolzig made the save on Bergeron. Thomas made the save on Eric Fehr. Then Phil “The Shootout Killer” Kessel was up. Obviously the game was in the bag then and Kessel scored and the Bruins won 3-2!

I listened to parts of the game and post-game show on the radio in the car, and Bob Beers made a comment how Milan Jurcina went “from the outhouse to the penthouse” and it cracked him and Dave Goucher up. How true is that statement?

I heard some post-game comments from Thomas, but can’t recall any of them now. But he said Kessel loves being put in the position to shoot last with a chance to be the hero. They also asked Thomas if he watched any video of the Capitals shooters as he has done in the past and he said no, and that he said to Bobby Allen on the bench that he wished goaltender consultant Bob Essensa was there. I laughed about that comment.

The Bruins have a two game winning streak now. I should go catch some of the rebroadcast while I’m still awake.

In D.C.

The Bruins will take on the Washington Capitals (22-25-7) at 7 tonight in Washington. The Bruins are coming off a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory against Carolina that snapped a losing streak.

Tonight marks the first game Bruins fans will see the one the Bruins traded away just last week, Milan Jurcina. Jurcina, who played over 25 minutes on Sunday night, will be wearing #23 for the Capitals and skating with other former Bruin Shaone Morrisonn on defense.

Tim Thomas will get the start in net tonight. Glen Murray (groin) will be a game-time decision, but sounds like he won't be playing, according to Dave Lewis. Brandon Bochenski will be making his Bruins debut and will be wearing #10.

Unfortunately, I will not be around to live-blog, so you're on your own until whenever I get home. But I promise to update about the game at some point tonight.

Photos from last Monday's game are up and were supposed to be captioned last night, but I watched movies instead, and some of the Beanpot of course (Go BC!). I'll try to have them captioned this afternoon, but the odds are that happening are about the same as Boston getting invaded by penguins who think they're in the arctic. (The arctic part is right.) Expect them to be captioned tonight if it doesn't happen earlier.

2:47 p.m. Jeremy Reich recalled on emergency basis, most likely for Murray. Information came from sources at the HF Boards. I would link, but I'm pressed for time. Until later tonight, folks.

Take penalties, skate sprints

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I have to admit one of the things the Bruins have been doing right lately is being punished for taking penalties. For the second consecutive practice, the Bruins had to skate sprints for the total amount of minutes they were shorthanded for in the prior game. In Saturday’s game, the Bruins were whistled for 14 penalties in all, but were only shorthanded for 17:19. That equals 17 minutes of sprints.

This might get old after the next few games, but it will only get old if the Bruins continue to take stupid penalties. Assistants Marc Habscheid and Doug Houda even got in on the sprinting, taking their responsibility for the too many men on the ice penalties. I wonder how fair it is to the players who don’t get penalties at all, for example Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen.

Despite the sprints, it sounds like Brandon Bochenski enjoyed his first practice with his new teammates. Bochenski hopes he can make the team better, and by the sounds of it, would be a good fit on Marc Savard’s wing, especially if he needs a playmaking center. Bochenski should make his Bruins debut tomorrow in Washington.

Marco Sturm and David Krejci did not travel to Washington with the team. Krejci did practice in a non-contact colored jersey, and will most likely return to Providence after he is cleared to play.

In Progress: Catching Up

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As you can see, the blog got plain today. I was sick of the gold colors. I'm not sure why. I was thinking of going Spring colors, but it's supposed to be arctic temperatures around here for the majority of the week and that does not make me think Spring.

So for now, it's just black and white and boring.

I finally edited the photos from last week's Bruins practice. If you pay attention to captions, you might find a story or two that are amusing.

Game photos from whatever game that was (January 29th vs. Rangers) should be up tomorrow, or Tuesday. I'm pacing myself and the site.

Oh and Bruins news. Jeremy Reich was assigned to Providence today. I assume that means Brandon Bochenski will be at the Big Boys practice tomorrow.

Bruins @ Hurricanes

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Pre-Game Show: Well it’s nice to see ice and hockey players in Raleigh tonight. The pre-game show had some clips of the Bruins playing basketball for their “pre-game skate” and it was so fun to see! I saw a Patrice Bergeron air ball and a dunk by Andrew Alberts. Aww, they’re calling Brad Stuart “Stuart Little” now because he’s a -20 now. Wow, didn’t realize he was that low on the +/- scale. Bergeron and Marco Sturm are -19.

Starters: Thomas, Chara, Mara, Bergeron, Kessel, Axelsson. Ward is starting in net for the Hurricanes.

First Period: Between the anthem and drop of the puck, there was already an ice problem. Bruins have some nice flow to their game to start the period. Kessel hit the post. Then on the next shift, Cole scores at 3:36 to give the Hurricanes the lead 1-0 after the Bruins dominated the first three minutes. (-1 Alberts, Stuart, Savard, Murray, Boyes.) Stuart goes to -21 now. Donovan gets a penalty for holding at 6:13 in the offensive zone. That has to be the most annoying thing to a coach. Stuart blocked a shot while on the penalty kill and was shaken up. Nice two-on-one with Savard and Murray, and Ward made the save. It’s been a fast paced period. Reich is wearing #53. He isn’t listed in the game notes, which is why I didn’t say anything sooner, but I just saw him on the ice. Primeau got a penalty for slashing at 12:57. And another one bites the dust. Allen goes down with some type of injury that I missed. York was standing right next to the two Hurricanes players and didn’t even breathe on them. Savard came flying in to Allen’s defense, thank God, because if nobody did anything about whatever I didn’t see, then this team has serious issues. Allen got hit up against the boards (or boarded), with his right ear getting squished up against the glass. Hopefully, he’ll be okay. Savard and Adams got matching roughing minors at 15:15. York had a shot, and the rebound came out to Boyes who shot it OVER THE NET. Bruins get a late power play at 17:10. Axelsson got a holding penalty at 18:07 and it came in the offensive zone, while on the power play. And Cole scores again to make it 2-0 at 18:26. It was a 4-on-4 goal and Thomas was not happy. (-1 Stuart, Mara, Boyes, Tenkrat.) Stuart is -22 now. Carolina gets a hooking penalty at 18:40. Bruins had a brief 4-on-3 power play. Alberts had a nice hit on Cole behind the Bruins net. Hurricanes lead 2-0 at the end on the period. Bruins had five hits that period and Alberts had two of them. Savard, Chara and Boyes each had one. Bruins are not doing well on face-offs. Primeau lost 2 and won none. Mowers and Boyes won none and lost one. Bergeron won 2 and lost 7. Savard won 3 and lost 4.

Second Period: Bruins get a goal back 30 seconds into the period on the power play. Chara shot the puck, Axelsson stepped on the puck when it came out as a rebound, and then Murray shot it past Ward. Woo! Murray’s goal was assisted by Axelsson and Chara. Allen returns to the game with a hit. Kessel set up Bergeron for a partial breakaway and Tanabe tripped him and got the penalty at 3:31. And the Bruins give up a shorthanded 2-on-1 play. At least it wasn’t a shorthanded goal. What a horrible giveaway by York, after a pass from Chistov. Either Thomas got a piece of it or the Hurricanes player shot it high. Primeau got a tripping penalty at 8:17. Thomas made a nice leg-pad save on Cole’s attempt at a hat trick. Kessel got a hooking penalty at 11:06. Cole had a breakaway on the power play (How the hell did that happen, penalty killers? And I’m looking at you Stuart, Alberts, Bergeron, and Boyes.) and the Bruins caught a very lucky break when he fanned on the puck, or the puck stopped or something. York blocked a shot and was shaken up. Savard slashed Gleason to let him know play was stopped, and Gleason dropped his gloves trying to get Savard to fight, but Savard didn’t bite. Both players got unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at 13:54. The Hurricanes get a 4-on-3 power play when Axelsson got a hooking penalty at 15:16. They survived that, and then the Bruins picked up a too many men on the ice penalty at 17:02. Boyes is serving the penalty. It’s hard to keep track of all these penalties, so Bruins? How about you stop getting them?! I guess Alberts had a nice poke-check to kill off most of the time remaining on the two-man advantage, but I wouldn’t know because I was typing. Thomas made a nice save with 1:38 remaining in the period. That I saw. *here’s where I screamed really, really, really loud* FINALLY!!!! Brad Boyes scores a goal!!! On a breakaway!! Coming from the penalty box! Lewis looks like a genius if he was planning that when he told Boyes to serve the penalty. The goal was assisted by Savard at 19:07. (+1 Boyes, Savard, Donovan, Chara, Stuart.) The game is tied 2-2 now.

Third Period: More basketball footage of the Bruins and I loved Savard’s and Primeau’s celebrations. It was both hilarious and awesome at the same time. Primeau got some sweet moves. Boyes took a high-stick 13 seconds into the period. Blood was dripping off his nose and he has a bloody jersey now. Carolina got a double minor. Ward made a nice glove save on Savard. Then Savard got a hooking penalty at 2:03 to make it 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes. For the record, Reich has only played 26 seconds in the first period and that’s been it. What a shift by Murray, Boyes, Savard, Mara and Chara. Each one of them had something either big or small or both to lead to Murray’s go-ahead goal. Murray’s goal was scored at 6:38, assisted by Chara and Mara. (+1 Murray, Chara, Savard, Mara, Boyes.) Bruins lead 3-2 right now. Hurricanes still haven’t gotten a shot on Thomas this period. Now there’s a penalty on Primeau for holding the stick at 8:07, which is his third penalty of the game. And another Bruins goes down. Even with the height difference, it looked like something caught Chara’s head. A little lip reading after the whistle had Chara asking the refs, “How did you not see that?” Okay, so Stillman’s stick caught Chara up high, but Cole is in the penalty box serving a double minor for high-sticking at 10:14. That makes no sense. Chara got a cut on the bridge of his nose. How dumb. When you see Bergeron, Donovan, Mowers and Primeau out there on a power play, you know there’s one too many somewhere. The Bruins had six players out there for the power play… not including Thomas. You know what that means. A too many men on the ice penalty comes at 13:47. This time Kessel is serving the penalty. Oh my goodness. Chara gets a delay of game penalty at 14:59. Carolina will have a two-man advantage power play for 48 seconds. Hurricanes called time out. The Bruins are practically trying to give them a point now. Stuart, Bergeron and Axelsson are the penalty killers. Axelsson cleared the puck out of the zone. Nice break for the Bruins when Stillman broke his stick on a shot attempt. Now Stuart got a penalty at 15:44 for interference. I guess he shot Stillman’s broken stick to the blueline. Now the penalty killers are Mara, Primeau and Alberts. Mara cleared the zone twice so far and Thomas made a save on Cole. Bergeron and Axelsson are now out there with Alberts. This two-man advantage is a little longer than the last one. Axelsson cleared the zone, and Mara came on for Alberts and Brind’Amour ties the game at 3 on the two-man advantage power play at 16:48. Hurricanes still have some power play time remaining. Chara is out of the box and Stuart is still in, in case you lost track. Thomas caught a piece of the puck on one of the Hurricanes better shots during the time frame. 2:10 remaining in the 3rd. (I’d like to state for the record, this might be the longest game post EVER. At least the longest third period typed.) The Bruins are trying to give me a heart attack right now. 1:25 left in the period, and I’m saying period because I can tell this will head to overtime. At least I’m hoping it will get to overtime. I don’t think the Bruins have had a shot since Murray’s goal… until Savard just got a shot on net. Bruins ice the puck with 26.7 seconds left. Savard won the face-off in the defensive zone. And here we go to overtime. Told ya the Bruins were trying to give them a point.

Overtime: This is cutting into my Wild/Coyotes game watching time now. Bruins are starting with Bergeron, Axelsson, Kessel and Chara. Bruins had a nice rush, but went offside. Savard, Murray, Mara and Stuart are out there now. Staal got a tripping penalty at 0:44 for tripping Mara. Bruins have a 4-on-3 power play. Bruins are set up nicely in the zone, with Bergeron, Savard, Murray and Chara out there. Chara shoots and scores! Chara’s power play goal was scored at 1:49, and assisted by Savard. Bruins win 4-3. I seriously was expecting them to give up a shorthanded goal in overtime to lose. They proved me wrong. And now I get to catch the last seven minutes of the Wild/Coyotes game.

Versteeg traded

Wow, two trades in three days. Yay for some movement, I suppose.

Winger Kris Versteeg was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks along with a conditional draft pick for right winger Brandon Bochenski. [Bruins press release, Blackhawks press release.]

Looks like the Bruins had a fun day with lack of ice and options available to them. (I opted for an afternoon at the salon.)

The puck is supposed to drop just after 8:30, but there's a chance it might be delayed. I'm sure the Bruins will love arriving back in Boston whenever they do early Sunday morning.

I'm off for some laundry and dinner, but will be back here at game time, whenever that turns out to be.

Fooled you

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I hope you didn't think this was a preview. With a basketball game being held at the RBC Center at 3:30, I doubt there was a morning skate, unless it was held elsewhere. And I won't be home in another hour to check if there was.

With that said, I can say that forward Jeremy Reich was recalled from Providence after their game last night. I'm pretty sure I saw their score and I'm fairly certain the score said they won.

Tim Thomas will be starting in net tonight. No idea about the Hurricanes, but the thumbnails are here and you can look at those. And the articles in both the Globe and the Herald if you need some afternoon reading.

A reminder that tonight's game will start at 8:30. Weird, I know. But that gives me plenty of time to get stuff done. Been a bit busy the past couple of days since there has been a new development, but I'll try and stay on top of things around here. I fully expect to edit the photos from last Sunday/Monday tomorrow during the Superbowl. It's all about planning accordingly. Catch ya later tonight, when I will be live-blogging.

Catch up: Sabres vs. Bruins

I didn't go to the game last night, but I did watch... the keys part of it. I missed Marco Sturm's goal, but I caught all of the Buffalo goals. Brad Boyes had a fight, and won. Sturm got high-sticked in the mouth late in the game. The Bruins lost 3-1.

I still have to edit photos from Sunday and Monday, which I should be able to get to at some point over the weekend. I have a lot of catching up to do around here.

2:55 p.m. Stopping in real quick before I leave, some stuff from today's practice. Sturm and David Krejci did not make the trip to Raleigh. A player will be recalled from Providence after their game tonight. And a reminder that tomorrow night's game is not until 8:30, so you have your whole Saturday and some of Saturday night free to do stuff. Catch ya maybe later tonight.

Jurcina traded

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Defenseman Milan Jurcina was traded this afternoon to the Washington Capitals for a 4th round draft pick in the 2008 NHL draft.

It reminds me of the time the Bruins traded goalie John Grahame to Tampa Bay for a 4th round draft pick in the next year's draft.

Um, wow. Who's next? Brad Boyes for a 3rd rounder? That'll help this season.

Sorry Brian.

Not really a preview

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But at least it's a post about the game tonight. I was planning on posting something yesterday, but school kicked my behind and I spent almost eight hours on homework, only pausing long enough to eat dinner.

Besides, what was I going to write anyway? That Milan Jurcina is on the trading block. That David Krejci is going to be evaluated tomorrow. That Peter Chiarelli still hasn't made a trade.

There isn't much going on. And tonight's rematch with the Buffalo Sabres doesn't make me all warm and fuzzy.

But there is a little bit of news. Tim Thomas will be getting the start in net tonight. Jason York will be in the line-up, returning from his knee injury and Jurcina will be sitting. Andrew Alberts will be wearing a visor, at least for tonight's game.

And I'm out. I'm not going to the game tonight because well, even this fan has some limits. I'd have to see better hockey to persuade me to buy a ticket.