Kelly is officially a Bruin! (Credit: Flickr/Slidingsideways)
Today with just 88 days left til hockey season is upon us was the start of free agency. While there were around 50 free agents signing in the NHL none were in Boston. But July 1st did mean that Chris Kelly and Tuukka Rask were officially resigned as well as Alexander Khokhlachev being signed to an entry level contract.
But besides that the Bruins made no moves towards signing anyone new. General Peter Chiarelli has this to say:
“I’ve said this prior to going into today. I’m not actively looking for anything. If something can improve our team then we’ll look at it. Whether it’s the secondary market in free agency or the secondary market in trades, we’ll continue to look at that stuff. But we’re not actively looking.” (Via CSNNE)
With a ton of prospects in development camp right now, it doesn’t surprise me that Chiarelli and co. aren’t looking for any more additions to the black and gold. Players like Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug could very well be NHL ready come September.
Meanwhile free agents Joe Corvo and Greg Zanon are Bruins no more. Corvo returned back to the Carolina Hurricanes with a one year $2 million dollar deal while Zannon signed a two-year deal for $4.5 million with the Colorado Avalanche.
Today was only day 1 of free agency so there is a possibility for an addition the B’s and we’ll keep you updated as updates come our way!
We have all been told throughout the post-season that the core of the Boston Bruins will stay together and that General Manager Peter Chiarelli was looking to keep Chris Kelly and Tuukka Rask in the mix for Boston. As of today, July 1, 2012; the first day of NHL Free Agency, the Boston Bruins inked Chris Kelly until 2015-2016 and Tuukka Rask until 2012-2013. They also came to terms with Russian forward Alex Khoklachev in signing a one-year entry level contract. He will play this season in Russia for the KHL and then come back to Boston to play.
Taking a look at who will not be returning, Benoit Pouliot was signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning just as the doors opened, with a one-year contract worth $1.8million. Defensemen Joe Corvo and Greg Zanon were also able to find new contracts as Joe signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes and Greg signed on with the Colorado Avalanche. Best of luck to you men! (Silently I will be cheering for you Benny, I’ll see you in Boston!))
As of right now, that is the biggest splash the Bruins have made in the Free Agent Frenzy and it doesn’t seem as though there will be many more waves to come. Perhaps wave will be if and/or when Tim Thomas gets sent out of Beantown. To which I say good riddance my dear red-headed friend, it’s been real.
As I was sitting around here thinking to myself while listening to music, I couldn’t help but to think of a few of the Bruins when I heard certain songs. Coincidentally I came up with this great idea to write an article based on songs. Granted this is a similar type article to that of “The Pulse” Tune In Tuesdays, however, I am doing a theme song for each current member of the Bruins team. The first song and/or player that comes to my mind is:
Shirt off by Blank featuring Young Ivy
Hmm, lets see, who does this make you think of? Perhaps a twenty-five year old Brad Marchand and twenty year-old Tyler Seguin, celebrating the Stanley Cup win in 2011?
Next would have to be a song that makes me think of Joe Corvo. A song that is played generally when a team gets knocked out of the playoffs or loses, much like Joe Corvo is leaving Boston. It’s fitting.
…Or this is equally fitting for Joe Corvo:
And what would this playlist be without the song that reminds us of Tim Thomas, our vacation seeker who likes to complicate things:
This next one would be for our not-so-slick on skates, clumsy Adam McQuaid:
Well, going a little bit further down the roster, I can’t help but think of our key enforcer Shawn Thornton every time I hear this song. Why, well, think about it.
And what would an enforcer be without one of his key instigators? You guys can’t tell me you don’t think of Milan Lucic when you hear this song:
As for Big Z, well, what better song would fit him than “Move” by Thousad Foot Krutch.Every time I hear this song I picture a highlight reel of Zdeno Chara’s biggest hits.
As for Nathan Horton, well I consider him to be the most inspirational person on the team what with his efforts in Game 7 with the water bottle and his constant efforts to get back on the ice. This is what makes me think of him:
Then we have our lovely goaltender Tuukka Rask, generally I have to give him a traditional song the ever so glorious Pat Benatar hit:
For Dougie Hamilton who is making his way up in the system I have to go with the CLASSIC:
Oh Benny Pouliot, ever since Ariana and I were discussing the possibility of you being traded this song has forever made me think of you. (For the record, I sincerely hope you do NOT get traded and if you do I hope it isn’t to the Jets)
As for alternate Captain Chris Kelly, I have to go with this one based on the enormous and infamous ‘Chain’.
For those of you that didn’t see the chain:
Chris Kelly sports the new piece of jewelry in the B's locker room (Credit: twitter.com/NaokoFunayama)
Well, this one speaks for itself:
Based on this hit that Paille got served with:
I have to say that this makes me think of him:
What better song to make you think of our environmentalist Andrew Ference than a Michael Jackson piece:
For some odd reason when I hear this song, I can’t help but think of David Krejci’s struggle this season. Now granted this might be a little awkward, but still listen to the songs and try to put it into his perspective if you will:
What better song for Patrice Bergeron than “I Am Perfection”:
While this may not contain every player on the team, I think I have put you through enough crazy madness for one article. Stay tuned to see what we come up with next!
Still looking for some extra motivation to look forward to the 2012-2013 season because you are bummed about Thomas still. The news of Daniel Paille and Chris Bourque being signed didn’t do it for you? Not even the great news of Adam McQuaid and Nathan Horton being on track to be ready at the get go? Well, there is only one more BIG thing to celebrate that is sure to put a smile on ANY fan’s face.
Wait for it. . .
NO MORE JOE CORVO IN BOSTON! That’s right B’s fans, while I would like to tell you that it was a bittersweet moment for both the organization and the defenseman, that just wasn’t the case. It was more of a ‘thanks but no thanks’ moment with no hard feelings. Joe, we wish you luck in the free agency, hope you, eh, don’t end up with Columbus?
Who will set foot on this ice again for the '12-'13 season? (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)
As we think about the 2012-2013 hockey season, we have to think of what the Boston Bruins team is going to look like, or better yet, what it should look like. This is the piece where I dissect the Bruins roster of current players, aside from the Grading System, and decipher who should stay and who should go. In order to do this, we have to take a look at who is restricted and unrestricted in the free agency this season.
Forward, #12 Brian Rolston
Forward, #23 Chris Kelly
Forward, #11 Gregory Campbell
Forward, #20 Dan Paille
Defenseman, #14 Joe Corvo
Defenseman, #6 Greg Zanon
Defenseman, #27 Mike Mottau
Goaltender, #1 Marty Turco
With all of these players looking to be signed, there is approximately $5,272,024.00 available in cap space, not including Marc Savard. Given the past two seasons, we can assume that he will not be playing in the 2012-2013 season. Putting him on the Long Term Injury Reserve list (LTIR), that frees up $4,004,143.oo, providing the Bruins with $9,281,167.00 of salary cap space to play around with.
19 months and just under 200 games later the Bruins season came to a halt but not without enduring some pain along the way. Last season it was stated that the Bruins had luck on their side, suffering from little injuries and overcoming humongous obstacles. Sadly, it was a routine that couldn’t keep up with the constant beat down and physicality of every game and the Bruins became flawed.
In the beginning the biggest upset came from the loss of Nathan Horton, especially heading into the playoffs. While Horton tried to overcome his injury in time for the payoffs, it wasn’t in the cards for him. With the absence of Horton, the Bruins were without a Game 7 clincher, a strong asset that they had last season. Fortunately, Chiarelli has stated that Horton is expected to have a full recovery by the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
As if being without Horton wasn’t hard enough on the Bruins, they lost their alternate goaltender to injury as well. Tuukka Rask had just started getting a decent amount of playing time and making a name for himself when he pulled his groin/abdomen muscles making a stop against the New York Islanders. Primarily this wouldn’t have been a major issue for the Bruins, had their AHL call-up Anton Khudobin not been injured as well, leaving the Bruins with Mike Hutchinson as their only choice. Granted, they took on Turco for the remaining month, but after playing overseas, the NHL proved to be a struggle for the veteran goaltender. Thankfully Khudobin was ready in time for the playoffs, making a stellar debut in the last regular game of the season instilling confidence in the fans of Boston.
Through the first few games of the Washington Capitals series the Bruins fought hard and battled for every puck, showcasing spectacular playoff hockey. However, hard fought battles led to grueling injuries, some which were known while others you wouldn’t have had a clue. After Game 5 defenseman Joe Corvo sat out with what appeared to be a knee-injury, while Patrice Bergeron battled through pain. It wouldn’t be until after the playoffs were said and done that the media would be told he suffered from a torn oblique.(Ouch!)
While the fans of Boston knew that something was up with Bergeron(as he wasn’t taking face-offs or playing to his full potential), the fact of the matter remained that he was in the line up. If it weren’t for his oblique injury Bergeron would be attending the World Championships like teammates Zdeno Chara(Slovakia),despite having a broken nose, and David Krejci (Czech), representing Team Canada.
Along with Bergeron, another key forward was injured throughout the tail end of the season. Sophomore Superstar Tyler Seguin suffered from a displaced tendon on his middle finger on his left hand. The injury occurred on the team’s last visit to the Florida Panthers in March. When asked about the injury Seguin stated:
“I have to talk to the doctors, but I’ll definitely need something. In the first period during my second shift the tendon came out. It was one of those things that I had to playing through at the end of the season and the playoffs,” said Seguin. “It wasn’t going to get any worse, so as long as I could bear the pain. It’s a couple of weeks of recovery after I get it done.”(via NECN.com)
It is amazing to think of the amount of pain the majority of this team went through in the final stretch. Knowing all of this information now, it is no wonder they looked worn out during the last couple games. While it is unfortunate they were unable to extend their Cup streak, this break couldn’t have come at a better time for the B’s. They can all focus solely on getting healthy and coming out as a stronger and better team for the 2012-2013 season. Something we are all counting down the days for.
So the end of the season has greeted us a little sooner than expected, yet after nearly 200 games played over the course of the last 19 months, it seemed ‘better late than never’ as the Bruins played practically two full seasons with only a month break in between. Thankfully we can expect to see a majority of the same team for the 2012-2013 season. However, there are a few guys that we are not so likely to see. From the Bruins team alone there are nine free agents. Some are newcomers, such as Brian Rolston, Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau while others have been with the Organization for a while such as; Chris Kelly, Benoit Pouliot, Joe Corvo, Tuukka Rask, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.
Marchand scored his first 2012 playoff goal today (Credit:Slidingsideways/Flickr)
Today the Boston Bruins returned home for game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals with new lines and new focus. Coming off of a tough loss against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, the B’s look to bounce back and a take a 3-2 game lead. This series literally has come down to one goal decisions in all 4 games because Tim Thomas and Braden Holtby have been brick walls.
The Bruins get the first chance on the power play but considering they were 0 for 12 thus far on the PP I was less than optimistic. And yeah they didn’t do anything with it. Boston is the only time without a power play goal in the playoffs. First period the shots on goal between both teams were 21 however the score was 0-0.
Second period was boring. No goals until 8:14 remained when Alex Semin got the Caps on the board first. I don’t like to argue goals but moments prior Joe Corvo went down on the ice after the puck hit his knee and there was no whistle. HELLO REFS?! Corvo had to be helped down the tunnel. Not even three minutes later, Jay Beagle gets a shot in off of Johnny Boychuk‘s stick. The Bruins need a goal and they need it now. Unfortunately, Patrice Bergeron headed to the dressing room after a hit to the head. Because Bergy has a history of concussion, things like this make me nervous. Fortunately, he returned soon after and with Corvo.
And then this happened. With 2:39 remaining, Dennis Seidenberg got the Bruins on the board. 28 seconds later Brad Marchand poked the puck past Holtby and friends we have a tied game. Needless to say Marchy is making his presence known on the 4th line.
Third period it’s the Caps who get the lead thanks to Mike Knuble and a lucky rebound. With 11:13 left, Boychuk literally let loose a rocket to tie up the game once again. But that didn’t last. With 1:27 left Troy Brouwer would get the game winner.
Pouliot kept the B's in the game with a goal scored part way in the third (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)
Yesterday afternoon the Bruins took on the Washington Capitals for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Final. It was Tim Thomas against the newcomer Braden Holtby in between the pipes for the two teams. In the first period the issue was decision making and puck possession. On Ovechkin’s first shift there was a noticeably different approach from him, as he initiated contact with both Chara and Seidenberg, drawing a holding call in the opening minutes. Thomas was littered with shots from the Caps, but stood tall as the penalty expired and the B’s number one penalty killer escaped the box. The Bruins did a great job on the penalty kill, but their handling through the neutral zone and five on five situations through the first twenty minutes was horrid, the Capitals shot the puck more at the net in the first twenty minutes of the game (9) than they had through the first forty minutes of game 1. The best chance of the period came from David Krejci with a side-to-sode attempt in the slot that Holtby was able to get a blocker save on. The score remained at zero after one with the Bruins holding a 10-9 edge in shots. The key going into the second period:
“Get more bodies toward the net, especially off the neutral zone plays…Making plays we wouldn’t usually make and force plays.”-Tyler Seguin (Intermission Report with 98.5 the Sports Hub)
To begin the second period there wasn’t much change in the tempo as there was extremely slow puck possession from the B’s. Luckily Brad Marchand was being a good little brat and drew a penalty from Hamrlik for a cross-check after some chirping. You’ve got to love the little ball of hate some days for getting the ball rolling with his yapper. Bergeron presented the Bruins with a nice one-timer that trickled JUST wide of the net THROUGH Holtby’s pads. The Bruins were able to maintain possession for the next minute or so before Seguin let Alzner beat him to the loose puck in the offensive zone for a change in direction. As the period drew on, the tempers began to flare as Ovechkin threw his glove/stick in the German Hammer’s face. Shortly after Carlson elbowed Patrice Bergeron in the head and in retaliation, on the next shift Brad Marchand gave Carlson a stick to the face in displeasure, receiving a two-minute minor. With just over two minutes remaining in the period Troy Bouwer twould tuck the puck past Thomas and give the Capitals their first lead in the series with the assists going to Alzner and Ovechkin. The positive side, (if I have to find one) Tim Thomas created a new scoreless record of 161 minutes and 41 seconds.
“We’ve got to make plays and get it deep and not lose it at the blue line..They’re waiting for us to get fancy, we’ve got to put pressure on them, get it deep because they’re opportunistic and their [defense] don’t want to play deep.”-Joe Corvo (Intermission Report with 98.5 the Sports Hub)
As the third period began the Bruins came out looking stronger than ever, creating chance after chance against Holtby who is some sort of God-like beast in between those pipes, robbing Marchand for his 54th save in two games. However with a little persistence and pressure, Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot would become the hero of the game as he chipped the puck past Holtby to tie the game at 12:13 off of a Brian Rolston shot. The goal would be Pouliot’s first ever playoff goal in 24 contests. Congratulations Pou-Bear! Just think, fourteen months ago Pouliot, Kelly and Rolston weren’t even Bruins and currently they are the only line that has scored. (Pouliot 1G, 1A : Kelly 1G, 1A : Rolston 2A) Though there would be much back and forth action in the third period, this game needed extra time as they headed into sudden death overtime.
“We need more pressure on Holtby.. We have to do what we’re supposed to do..Got to follow the game plan and we’ll be fine” -Brad Marchand (Intermission Report with 98.5 the Sports Hub)
Heading into Overtime this would be the first time the Bruins opened a series with consecutive overtimes since April 16-17, 1980 in the Quarter Finals against the New York Islanders. In the opening minutes of the extra minutes the Bruins had a great pace and threw insane amounts of shots at Holtby, but there was no breaking him or Tim Thomas for the entire twenty minutes, forcing a double overtime. The issue for the Bruins being, they weren’t crashing the net for the rebounds. Sadly it wouldn’t be much into the double OT that Nicklas Backstrom would slap one past Thomas to give the Capitals the win and tie the series as the Series travels to the Nation’s Capitol.
The Bruins put forth a great effort against the Capitals today and it really comes down to scoring. The Bruins need to keep constant pressure on Holtby and crash the net for rebounds. Their long shots and fancy plays aren’t going to cut it against this team. The next game is Monday night at 7:30pm EST on CBC,NBCSN,NESN or you can listen to the game on 98.5 the Sports Hub.
Earlier this week CSNNE reporter Joe Haggerty wrote up an article grading each and every player on the Boston Bruins based on their performance in the regular season. He also posted a similar article last season, after the Bruins won the Cup. The purpose of this post is much of the same, a comparison of notes if you will. We are going to take an in-depth look at each and every player on the team and grade them based on season performance, as well as predict how they will be effective in the playoffs.