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Tag:Boston Bruins
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 12:54 am
 

Winners & Losers: Big night for Kings offense

KingsAdam Gretz

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Winners

Los Angeles Kings: Entering Tuesday's game in Nashville it had been nearly three full months since the Los Angeles Kings scored five goals in a single game, and they managed to do it for the first time since January 9 in a 5-4 win against the Predators thanks in part to a pair of first period goals from Justin Williams.

The Kings offense, which has been the worst in the league for much of the season, is finally starting to show some signs of life in recent weeks and they have now scored 16 goals over their past five games.

Regression to the mean works both ways, and perhaps it was only a matter of time until things started to improve. A team with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty never should be one of the worst offensive teams in recent NHL history, as the Kings have been this season.

[Related Kings 5, Predators 4]

Boston Bruins: It wasn't necessarily pretty, but after losing back-to-back games over the weekend the Bruins were able to get back in the win column on Tuesday night with a 5-4 win in Toronto. The Bruins were led offensively by Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron, each scoring a pair of goals, and the win allows them to maintain their three-point lead over the Ottawa Senators, 7-3 winners in Tampa Bay, in the Northeast Division race.

The next step for the Bruins is trying to figure out how to do something they haven't done in almost two months … win consecutive games.

They have another chance on Thursday night against Buffalo.

[Related: Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 4]

Ilya Bryzgalov and the Flyers: For the second straight game Ilya Bryzgalov came up big for the Flyers, stopping 37 of the 39 shots he faced in a 3-2 win over the Red Wings. Max Talbot continued his career year for the Flyers scoring his 18th goal of the season. The only downside of the night for the Flyers was the hit forward Jakub Voracek received from Niklas Kronwall.

[Related: Flyers 3, Red Wings 2 -- Voracek crushed by Kronwall -- Grossmann's name change]

Dallas Stars: The Stars took over sole possession of first place on Tuesday night with an impressive 5-2 win in Vancouver, and in the process completed a perfect three-game road trip through western Canada, a road trip that saw them outscore the Flames, Oilers and Canucks by a 10-5 margin. Thanks to the Coyotes loss in Columbus (more on that below) the Stars now have a two-point lead over Phoenix in the Pacific Division race.

Mike Ribeiro had a three-point night (two goals, assist) in the win and also won over 50 percent of his faceoffs, while Richard Bachman 29 of 31 shots.

Losers

Phoenix Coyotes: After putting together an 11-0-1 run in February some regression had to be expected for the Coyotes at some point. They weren't going to keep winning forever, and even though they entered Tuesday's game riding a three-game losing streak, they showed some signs of busting out of their mini-slump on Monday night.

But that was all erased on Tuesday in Columbus where they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Blue Jackets, losing to the 30th ranked team in the NHL for the second time in less than a week. Those are points you can not let slip away, and the last thing the Coyotes can afford right now is to have this turn into a five or six game losing streak.

[Related: Blue Jackets 3, Coyotes 2 -- For Coyotes, playoffs have already started]

Toronto Maple Leafs: What started as a positive day with the re-signing of forward Mikhail Grabovski ended with not only a loss on the scoreboard to the Bruins, their fifth in a row this season, but also included injuries to forwards Joffrey Lupul and Colby Armstrong, neither of which is expected to play Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Not good.

[Related: Leafs re-sign Grabovski]

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:07 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:21 pm
 

Bruins sign Marty Turco after Rask injury

Turco spent 2010-11 in Chicago. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Not even an hour after the Boston Bruins announced that backup goaltender Tuukka Rask was going to miss the next 4-6 weeks with an abdomen strain/groin strain, they found their new (and temporary) backup by signing veteran Marty Turco.

Turco, who most recently played in the NHL with the Blackhawks last season, has spent time this year playing in Austria's First Division. In six postseason starts, he had a 3.16 GAA and .911 save percentage.

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reports that it won't cost the Bruins much, the deal is just for one year and will cost $600,000, pro rated of course.

Before we get too far, it's important to note that Turco has to clear waivers before anything else. Remember last year the Red Wings signed Evgeni Nabokov from Russia but the Islanders claimed him and he never made it to Detroit.

So that's the big question here. Will any team claim Turco and now allow him to join the Bruins? Just throwing it out there but what about the Tampa Bay Lightning? Dwayne Roloson has been usurped by Mathieu Garon and hardly plays any more. They are right in the thick of things in the East again. I could also see an argument for the Senators making a claim seeing as how they are chasing the Bruins in the Northeast right now and Alex Auld hasn't inspired a lot of confidence either.

Further, even if he does make it through waivers and ends up with the Bruins, he won't be eligible to play in the playoffs. The waiver deadline for playoff additions was last week.

Last season with the Blackhawks Turco was 11-11-3 with a 3.02 goals against average and save percentage of .897. He didn't have any offers from the NHL at the time so headed to Europe.

Turco was in Boston last year for the Stanley Cup Final, as an analyst on the NHL Network's coverage.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bruins annouce Rask out 4-6 weeks

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:22 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:22 pm
 

Bruins backup goalie Rask to miss 4-6 weeks

Rask is helped off the ice in Saturday's game vs. the Isles. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Boston Bruins announced a tough injury for them to take on Monday, especially at this time of the season. Backup goaltender (backup in title only) Tuukka Rask is going to miss the next 4-6 weeks after he sustained a lower abdomen strain/groin strain.

The Bruins have relied on Rask to carry a decent share of the load to help keep their No. 1 goalie, Tim Thomas, fresh for another playoff run this season. Well in this regard, consider the playoffs starting a few weeks earlier for Boston. It's Timmy Time for the foreseeable future.

The timetable sets up Rask for a return just about the start of the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the Bruins want to play it when Rask comes back considering the load Thomas is about to carry.

Good thing the Bruins didn't really entertain those suggestions to trade Thomas after that White House fiasco, now isn't it? They'd be in a pretty bad spot right now if they had turned the keys over to Rask already.

The Bruins rely heavily on great play by their goaltenders. It's an important equation to their system. Obviously Thomas is capable of handling that responsibility just fine, he did last year.

A little bit more of the good news in this injury -- hey, just searching for a silver lining -- is the fact that their closest division rivals in the Northeast are also dealing with a goaltender injury, it's just the Senators happen to be without their No. 1 in Craig Anderson.

Rask has been excellent this season for the Bruins with a .929 save percentage and 2.05 goals against average in his 23 starts.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bruins sign veteran goalie Turco

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 4, 2012 3:41 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 8:03 pm
 

Rangers continue to beat top competitors in East

New York has done a lot of celebrating against their biggest foes this season. (US Presswire)

By Brian Stubits

The New York Rangers are getting ready to lap the rest of the teams in the Eastern Conference at this point.

On Sunday they might not have been the best team on the ice at Madison Square Garden for most of the affair, they still prevailed for the 4-3 win over the defending champion Boston Bruins thanks to Derek Stepan's third-period snipe.

The win does a lot for the Rangers in the grand scheme of things. It moves them ahead of the Canucks and Red Wings for the most points in the NHL despite having played fewer games than those teams. It also gives New York a double-digit lead on the next best team in the Eastern Conference (that would be the Penguins).

There are a lot of reasons why. It starts obviously with the fact that they are just a really good team. No duh. But it obviously goes beyond that.

They have really made their money this season against the other top teams in the East. In this case I'm talking about the Bruins, Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. Combined this season they are 10-2-0 against those teams so far. The only two losses came to the Penguins. They are 5-0 against the Flyers and now 3-0 against Boston.

Just imagine if that split were flipped and the Bruins were 3-0 against the Blueshirts. Each team would be locked at 85 points. Instead, the Rangers are 12 points up on the B's.

Another part of it is that the Rangers have been a bit lucky this season. I'm not taking away from their on-ice capabilities with that comment. It's about the fact that they have largely avoided the injury bug this season. Sure, they have dealt with injuries like every other team such as the concussion to defenseman Marc Staal.

But this is pretty stunning at this point of the season. This stat comes courtesy of the New York Post's Larry Brooks earlier this week. You can add three games on for Ryan Callahan, who was again a scratch today with a sore foot.

There are a lot of teams that would kill for that kind of fortune.

Just keep that kind of success against the top foes in the conference in mind when the playoffs roll around. That should be worth a confidence boost or two.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:59 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 12:06 am
 

Winners & Losers: Maple Leafs win Carlyle's debut



By: Adam Gretz

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Winners

Toronto Maple Leafs: It's too soon to start planning the parade in Toronto, but the Randy Carlyle era at least got off to a good start thanks to a 3-1 win in Montreal, and it was a pretty solid performance by the Leafs as well. And a much needed one.

Toronto won for just the second time in its past 12 games, and did so by nearly doubling the Canadiens on the shot chart (42-22) and receiving a pair of goals from Mikhail Grabovski, both of which came in the third period, including the eventual game-winner at the 11:45 mark.

The Leafs still have a ton of work to do in the playoff race now that the Lightning and Sabres have worked their way into it, but it's a good start, even if it's just for one night.

[Related: Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1 -- Leafs hire Carlyle]

Nashville Predators: Saturday night was a big night for all of Nashville's trade deadline pickups during their 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored his first goal as a member of the Predators and added an assist, Paul Gaustad had an assist and won 68 percent of his draws, and Hal Gill played 18 minutes, blocked a pair of shots and was credited with an assist of his own.

Pekka Rinne was also pretty sensational for Nashville between the pipes stopping 39 of the 40 shots he faced and winning his league leading 36th game of the season.

The win gives Nashville 83 points on the season and has the Predators in a pretty comfortable playoff position, currently fifth in the Western Conference..

[Related: Predators 3, Panthers 1]

Tampa Bay Lightning: I'm starting to believe this can really happen for the Lightning. Making the playoffs, that is.

They're a great home team and the schedule the rest of the way is heavy on the home side, and Steven Stamkos looks unstoppable right now with two more goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 overtime win on Saturday night.

[Related: Lightning 4, Hurricanes 3 -- Stamkos does it again]

Losers

Boston Bruins: Bad day all around for the Bruins. Not only did they lose in regulation to the New York Islanders, 3-2, but they also lost goaltender Tuukka Rask to an undisclosed injury that appeared to be to his left leg, preventing him from putting any weight on it as he left the ice.

The Bruins still haven't won consecutive games since the middle of January, and you have to go all the way back to late December to find the last time they were able to string together a stretch of at least three straight wins.

They look … human.

[Related: Islanders 3, Bruins 2 -- Rask injured]

Phoenix Coyotes: The Phoenix Coyotes were pretty much unable to lose in February, going 11-0-1 for the month to take over first place in the Pacific Division, and now they appear unable to win in March.

On Saturday night they dropped the second straight game, this time losing at home, 5-2, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The worst team in hockey. That is a bad, bad loss for Phoenix, and one the Coyotes might look back on at the end of the season if they lose the division (or, worse, miss the playoffs) by one or two points.

[Related: Blue Jackets 5, Coyotes 2]

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook
Posted on: March 3, 2012 2:44 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Tuukka Rask leaves game with injury

RaskBy: Adam Gretz

The Boston Bruins use Tuukka Rask more than most teams use their backup goaltender, and that's because Rask is probably good enough to be a starter on a large number of teams across the league, and along with Tim Thomas he helps to form what is arguably the best 1-2 goalie duo in the NHL.

Rask had to leave Saturday's game against the New York Islanders, a 3-2 Bruins loss, early in the second period with appeared to be a left leg injury after he attempted to make a save on a shot from Matt Martin. Rask had to be helped off the ice and did not put any weight on his left leg as he made his way to the locker room.



Following Saturday's game Boston coach Claude Julien said Rask will not accompany the team on its upcoming road trip.

In 21 starts this season Rask has posted an 11-8-3 record to go with a .929 save percentage and three shutouts. He's been Thomas' backup for each of the past three seasons and has seen significant playing time during that stretch, putting up number that have rivaled those of Thomas.

It's not a good time for the Bruins to lose him as their schedule starts to pick up down the stretch, including numerous back-to-back situations where Rask would be expected to get some starts. If he misses any extended period of time it's going to certainly add to Thomas' workload.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:49 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 2:09 pm
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Posted on: March 1, 2012 9:53 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 10:01 am
 

Morning Skate: Sabres creeping back in

Miller has wins in four of his last five starts. (US Presswire)

By Brian Stubits

The Morning Skate is back. Every morning for the rest of the season we're going to take a look at the games that have the greatest significance in the push for the postseason for you to digest while you drink your java. We'll throw in some miscellany for the fun of it.

Playoff Race

10:30 ET, Buffalo at San Jose

Well would you look at that, the Buffalo Sabres are back in the conversation. Somewhat miraculously it's true.

Ryan Miller is showing flashes of the goaltender America came to know two years ago. He's been up to the quality we've come to expect from him in recent games, including Wednesday's shutout of the not-long-ago streaking Anaheim Ducks. As a result -- and of the East's struggle at the bottom -- the Sabres begin the day only five points back of Washington.

Now before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's time to remind everybody that the chances still aren't good and that's a lot of ground to make up still. According to Sports Club Stats, the odds the Sabres make the postseason are still only 4.1 percent. A win tonight in San Jose, however, then we're talking. They would hop two teams and move into 10th place, just three behind Washington (and we'll wait to see what Winnipeg does).

The Sharks meanwhile are still fighting for a playoff spot that is in no way guaranteed to be theirs right now. They just grabbed a huge 1-0 win over the Flyers the other night in San Jose to give them a little breathing room from the eighth-place chasers.

8 ET, Florida at Winnipeg

The Panthers are one of the rare teams that have had success this season in Winnipeg. They have played their twice and won both times. In those two games, Kris Versteeg scored five goals. To put that into context, he has 22 on the season, so nearly 1/4 of his goals have come at MTS Centre despite play 2/59 of his games there.

So the good news for the Jets? Versteeg won't be playing. That's a huge plus for a team that really needs this game at home. Winnipeg enters the night with four fewer points despite three more games played. Win this one and the Panthers stay within reach, fail to pick up any points and, well, that gets to be a big task.

But luckily for the Jets, the eighth seed in the East is still available too. They enter the night one point behind Washington there and can jump back into playoff position by the end of the evening. Again though, they have all those games in hand. That's why their margin for error is so slim, they need to pick up 2/3 of the points available the rest of the season to have a good shot.

9 ET, Calgary at Phoenix

The good news for the Flames as they head to face the Coyotes? The calendar no longer shows February. Phoenix was literally unbeatable (in regulation) for the month going 11-0-1 which included a comeback win in Calgary a week ago.

With that game a key culprit in the equation, the Flames have been slipping lately despite playing a home-heavy schedule. Perhaps getting away from home -- however unlikely that is -- might help them get back on track. It's about time they do if they want to keep in the conversation. Because right now they are four points back of being in with two teams in between them.

And it's not a terribly big secret why the Flames have lost four in a row. Miikka Kiprusoff can only be superman back there for so long. Without him it's hard to picture Calgary still being in the race. In the last four games, however, he has given up 15 goals as well as picking up a loss in two shootouts.

On the other side they face the hottest goaltender this side of ... well anywhere. You can already write Mike Smith's name in pen for the first start of the month of February. He was 11-0-0 in the month. My word.

Others worth watching

10 ET, St. Louis at Vancouver: Hoooo boy, this should be a good win. By virtue of a tie-breaker, these are the top two teams in the Western Conference. Heck, if the Blues win, they're in the lead for the Presidents' Trophy. Plus they have four straight wins on the road. Buckle up.

9 ET, Columbus at Colorado: The Blue Jackets might be out of it, but the Avalanche certainly aren't. They have the opportunity to move into the eighth spot in the West tonight. Pretty remarkable for a team that has been as streaky as they have.

7 ET, New Jersey at Boston: There isn't a whole lot here on the Devils' end. They are somewhat comfy in, but they'd like to start winning again to feel a little better. The Bruins actually find themselves in a division race. They have been mediocre (yes, really) for well over a month now.

Your promised miscellany

  • Wednesday's Winners & Losers
  • Rangers captain Ryan Callahan might be out for the Rangers' game against the Hurricanes tonight. (Rangers Rants)
  • A look through the mirrors back to an age of smoking in hockey. (SI)
  • The Ducks' slim playoff chances are getting even slimmer now and the team is showing some frustration. (O.C. Register)
  • ECHL coach Nick Vitucci lost his mind with the officials and went on one hell of a tirade. (Puck Daddy)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com