Tag:Boston Bruins
Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 5:48 pm
 

Bruins' McQuaid avoids suspension for kneeing

By Brian Stubits

Adam McQuaid of the Boston Bruins was given a five-minute major and game misconduct in the Bruins' win in Ottawa on Wednesday for kneeing Nick Foligno.

Immediately people wondered what sort of additional punishment McQuaid Would face for the hit. It had to be coming from Brendan Shanahan, right? The hit sure looked pretty similar to Kevin Porter's kneeing of David Booth, which earned Porter a four-game suspension.

Well McQuaid won't be suspended, but it was announced by the NHL on Thursday that he has been fined $2,500.

After the game, McQuaid wanted it known that it wasn't intentional and he's a clean player (from CSN New England).

“If I could take it back, I definitely would,” said McQuaid, who blocked a pair of shots and registered three hits in. “It was one of those things where you go, ‘Oh, crap’, right after it happened.

"The penalty was deserved. That’s not me at all. I think that’s actually my first major penalty in my career outside of the fighting calls, and I don’t plan on getting any more.”

Foligno, who wasn't badly injured from the hit and did return to the game, stood up for McQuaid after the game. The two have a history with each other stretching back to their days in juniors.

"He was just trying to slow down my progress. It was a hockey play and I don't think there was any attempt to injure," Foligno said. "I've known Quaider a long time and I know he's not that type of player."

I must say, I'm surprised at the ruling. Even with a contrite McQuaid and an uninjured Foligno, I thought this would warrant something from Shanahan. I didn't expect it to be as tough as the suspension Porter received, but I thought it would be at least one game for McQuaid. It was a bad play.

I find judging the intent of the players to be a very tough and horribly mitigating factor. While I would tend to agree that McQuaid didn't intend to injure Foligno, I also don't think most all of the bad hits that are delivered are done with the intent to injure. Most of the players I have spoken to about this all talk about respect they have for their fellow players and they never want to see a guy go down injured.

People are punished all the time for the results of their actions and not their intent. When a person who has too much to drink gets behind the wheel and causes an accident, they will face the consequences of driving drunk even though their intention was likely just to get to where they were going.

I'll turn it over to you. Was this the right call or not?

More NHL Discipline News Here

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

Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:44 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 9:52 pm
 

Adam McQuaid ejected for kneeing Nick Foligno

By: Adam Gretz

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was ejected late in the second period of their game in Ottawa on Wednesday night for kneeing Senators forward Nick Foligno with less than five minutes to play in the period. Along with the game misconduct he was also issued a five-minute major for kneeing, and always, there's a good chance it's going to get additional review from the NHL.

Foligno was able to return to the game.



Just last week the NHL issued a four-game suspension to Colorado's Kevin Porter for his knee-on-knee hit against Vancouver's David Booth. Booth is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a sprained MCL. Prior to that incident Edmonton's Ryan Whitney avoided any discipline for his knee-on-knee collision with Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck.

What do you say, hockey fans? Is the major and a game misconduct enough of a punishment, or does McQuaid sit for a couple of games?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:18 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 12:28 am
 

Tortorella was not happy with this charging call

By: Adam Gretz

The protection of goalies has been a hot topic in the NHL this season and it all started when Boston's Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller in a game back in November. During Tuesday's New York Rangers-Dallas Stars game, which the Stars won by a 1-0 margin thanks to a late third period goal from Trevor Daley and the first career shutout for rookie goalie Richard Bachman, Bachman left his crease in an effort to knock a loose puck away from Rangers forward Carl Hagelin.

There was a collision that resulted in Bachman losing his mask and being knocked to the ice, while Hagelin was assessed a two-minute minor for charging. It again needs to be pointed out that goalies, whether they're in the crease or out of the crease, are not fair game to be hit, and if the opposing team's skater doesn't make an effort to avoid the contact, the proper penalty is to be assessed.

That's not necessarily what happened with this incident, as evey replay angle shows that not only did Hagelin make an effort to avoid making contact with the Stars goalie, he's not even the player that made the actual contact with him -- it was Bachman's own teammate, defenseman Alex Goligoski, that hit him.

No penalty should have been called, and Rangers coach John Tortorella had a bit of an eruption on the bench, and rightfully so.



It's a good bet that shouting match is going to make an appearance on an episode of HBO's 24/7.

After the game, Tortorella said "The goalie came out 20 feet. Sometimes they feel they have to call something. It should've been a non-call."

He's absolutely right.

(H/T PHT for video)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 5:48 pm
 

Brad Marchand fined for slew foot



By: Adam Gretz


A full week after it happened, the NHL announced on Monday afternoon that Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been fined $2,500 for a slew footing incident that took place during Boston's 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last week.

The play, which you can see in the above video, took place as the two players chased the puck behind the Pittsburgh net early in the second period with Marchand kicking Niskanen's legs out from under him. As the play started to go back the other direction, the two players exchanged words for a few seconds before dropping the gloves and taking part in a lengthy fight.

As always needs to be pointed out when a fine is issued, the $2,500 number is the largest fine that the NHL is allowed to hand out.

Marchand was issued a two-minute minor for tripping on the play, as well as the five-minute major for fighting.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Crosby still out, has 'no timetable' for return

By Brian Stubits

Just like that, Sidney Crosby watch is back on.

The Penguins announced last week they were going to withhold their superstar for two games as a precaution after Crosby said he wasn't feeling 100 percent following a loss to the Boston Bruins. We then shared that there were rumblings he could be out for longer than those two games.

That's definitely the case now. Caution will continue to be the word of the week as Crosby is going to remain on the sidelines for the time being.

"Not [feeling] bad," Crosby said. "I'm not happy about watching. But I have to make sure with these sort of things that I'm careful and making sure I'm 100 percent before coming back. No timetable."

"It's frustrating for Sid," coach Dan Bylsma said. "Sid knows his body better than anyone else. He's not feeling 100 percent. He'll return when he is 100."

If you're a Crosby and/or Penguins fan, you have to be worried about more post-concussion symptoms for the Kid.

"I did my ImPACT test and it went pretty good. That was a good sign. It's much different than previously going through that stuff. That was encouraging. I skated following day after with exertion. I just didn't feel right. After talking with everyone I figured it was better to be cautious and not take any chances. That's where I'm at right now.

"The ImPACT isn't everything. You have to listen to your body on these things too. That was encouraging. My ImPACT was much, much worse after I did it in January. This is something I have to be careful with."

If people weren't holding their breath before, they should be now.

"Yes [I've had symptoms the last couple days]. If I didn't I wouldn't be practicing.

"I've been doing light exertion stuff and seeing how that goes. It's that whole (recovery) routine again, but hopefully not as long. When I wasn't doing something for 6, 7 months that process was a little longer. Hopefully, that's not the case here."

When Crosby came back, the concerns people had didn't revolved around how he'd be as a player, but how he'd respond when he took another hit. The culprit in this case appears to be an inadvertent elbow to the head from David Krejci a week ago. While the tests didn't reveal a concussion, if he is feeling the symptoms again, it might as well be.

To scare Penguins fans even more, Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out that a lot of players have passed the ImPACT test only to be diagnosed with a concussion later.

So that's one of many questions at this point. Did Crosby actually suffer another concussion or did he have a setback? Crosby doesn't know how a doctor would call it, but he knows how he labels it.

"I don't even think frustrating begins to describe it," Crosby said.

Could we be looking at another long absence before he's 100 percent and able to return?

"I have a pretty good idea of these things now and I know this is not where I was before, so that is encouraging," Crosby said.

It certainly is, but the question is how much further along is he? He said he's better than he was in August, but remember that he didn't come back until mid-November. So that means Crosby Watch is back on.

Unfortunately, this is likely how Crosby's career will go from now on. He'll never get over the concussions that kept him out for almost a year. He might one day physically, but the questions will forever persist any time that Crosby takes a hit.

Here is video of the full interview.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Weekend Wrap: Just stop it, Brian Elliott

By Brian Stubits

There was concern going into this season for the people in St. Louis regarding the team's goaltending situation. Jaroslav Halak had been subpar in his first year with the Blues, exacerbating the need for a quality backup should things not improve.

So with the choices on the board, who did they sign? Brian Elliott, a castoff by both the Senators and Avalanche. His signing was so underwhelming that there was no guarantee he would even open the season with the Blues. There was an honest-to-goodness competition for the second goalie spot between he and young Blues prospect Ben Bishop.

If you've been paying attention to the first third-plus of the season, then you know how that competition turned out. But it's my duty to pretend that my readers are dumb and don't know a thing (sorry people) so I'll just tell you that Elliott won out.

And he's been winning ever since.

Despite being the "backup" to Halak, Elliott is tied for the league lead in shutouts after Saturday's blanking of the San Jose Sharks. He also leads the league with his jaw-dropping save percentage (.947) and goals against average (1.45).

"I'm satisfied, but I'm not too high on myself," Elliott said after the 1-0 victory on Saturday. "Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you don't."

Truth is, he has had to be that good. The Blues aren't exactly scoring like their division foes in Detroit.

While the coaching change from Davis Payne has worked wonders for the Blues and Halak, it would be unfair to credit Elliott's success to that, too. He was outstanding before the change, he's been just as excellent after it.

It's rather amazing when you think where he came from. As we mentioned, his signing was just a little underwhelming and uninspiring. Why? Consider that last season he played for both the Senators and Avalanche after a mid-season trade, a straight goalie swap for Craig Anderson. For the whole season, Elliott was 15-27-9, including 2-8-1 with the Avs. That .947 save percentage this season? Last season it was .893.

That's quite a turnaround. It's not like he's just become suitable this season, he's been outstanding. You could make the argument that he's been the MVP for the Blues this season. Honestly, I have a hard time making an argument for anybody but Elliott considering Hitchcock isn't a player.

"He seems to always be our best player in the third period," said Kevin Shattenkirk, who scored the only goal in the game. "When we're up by a goal, he's always there to make a huge save."

He had to make 11 saves in the third against the Sharks to preserve the win, obviously with no room for error.

I can't say that Elliott is the reason why the Blues are knocking on the Blackhawks' and Red Wings' doors in the Central. It would obviously neglect a lot of other factors at play. But Elliott could very well be at the top of that list.

Power boost

The Washington Capitals had one of the worst power-play units going into Friday night. The Toronto Maple Leafs had one of the worst penalty-killing units. Advantage: Capitals.

Among a lot of the concerns surround the Capitals, one was the power play's struggles. They had recently just gone through an 0-for-17 streak -- or skid, if you'd prefer. Then the Caps scored all four goals in a 4-2 win over Toronto on Friday with the man up.

More from the weekend
Recaps
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Originally three were credited to Dennis Wideman with an assist on the fourth goal, but it was reviewed at Wideman's request on Saturday and the hat trick was taken away. But for a night at least, Wideman had the first hat trick by a Capitals defenseman in more than a decade (Sergei Gonchar in 2000).

But more immediately, there is hope that the Capitals might have found some hope for the man-up. Of course, the opposite side of the coin is that it came against the Leafs.

There is no doubt that the PK continues to be the Achilles' heel for Toronto. After Friday's awful showing, the Leafs are above only the Blue Jackets in successful PKs at 74.3 percent.

Bachman overdrive

When it was announced that the Dallas Stars would be without Kari Lehtonen for some time due to injury, Stars fans were right to be worried at the process of Andrew Raycroft getting more time. Not a reason for much optimism.

However Richard Bachman is. The rookie got his first start of his NHL career on Saturday and he turned in a great effort, holding the Kings to one goal for the 2-1 Dallas win.

With the win, he likely earned himself a start for the Stars' next game Tuesday at the Rangers.

"He's a competitive guy, and he's pretty clean when it comes to rebounds," said coach Glen Gulutzan, who coached the former Colorado College goalie in the minors last season. "I just told him when he went out there, `It's the same game that you've been playing.' He has that ability, and he's going through the natural progression. He deserves another start, and most likely we'll give him that opportunity and see if he can run with it."

The two points put the Stars back on top of the Pacific Division, which has been surprising this season, and not so much in a good way. The Stars and Coyotes are tied atop the division, but they are each 10 points behind the top team in the West, the Wild. If the division winners weren't awarded the one of the top three seeds, the Stars would be the sixth seed.

On the other bench ...

What's going on with the L.A. Kings? I'll tell you one thing, Terry Murray can't be feeling very comfortable with his job these days.

There was so much hope coming into this season for the Kings. They had been growing every season, they added Mike Richards. It appeared the Kings were on their way to their best season since the days of Gretzky.

They still could be, but they'll have to right the ship in a hurry. Would you believe that there is no team in the NHL worse at scoring goals than Los Angeles? Its 2.21 goals per game ranks at the bottom of the NHL< including below the Ducks in nearby Anaheim. Nothing like low-scoring games to sell hockey in SoCal.

When your cross-town rival makes a move firing its coach and you are being booed off the ice, it's time to wonder if the end is in sight for Murray.

The Wings are good

Just in case you missed that memo.

I was getting ready to start talking about the Winnipeg Jets and how they were extremely quietly inching their way up the Eastern Conference. Then they went to Detroit and were railroaded.

The Red Wings had seven goals from six different scorers -- and none of them was Pavel Datsyuk. It was Detroit's ninth straight win at home where they are 12-2-1 this season. Those are the most wins at home for any team this season.

Some things never change.

One-sided rivalry

What is it about the Battle of Alberta that the Oilers are having so many problems with?

Half of the season's six games have been played between the Oilers and Calgary Flames this season, and the boys from Edmonton have yet to pick up a single point. Against the rest of the NHL, the Oilers are 14-10-3.

The most recent rendition of the provincial rivalry saw Jarome Iginla flash some of his old form with a pair of goals and the Flames took the game 3-0.

Most everybody would agree that the Oilers are likely the better team between the two, but they just can't beat their neighbors. I guess that's why they play the game (well that and winning, right Herm?).

Quote of the weekend

If I were to take a poll of NHL fans who have the Center Ice package which announcer is the biggest homer around? I think it would be a two-horse race between Paul Steigerwald in Pittsburgh and Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards.

So for this week's QOTW, we're going to take a light-hearted look at a call from Edwards in the Bruins' win over the Blue Jackets.

On the play, Derek Dorsett is driving toward the net to try and beat Tim Thomas, but his shot attempt is stopped and he then goes skidding into the boards. Here is Edwards' call, you might be surprised (like me).

Yes, that is Edwards rather vehemently arguing against a penalty that went on an opposing player. Clearly he was right, in no way, shape or form was that goaltender interference. If anything, it was interference from Tomas in the form of a trip on Dorsett, who was a bit worse for the ware afterward.

Before you jump down my throat, calm down. I have no problems with local announcers catering to the home team, that is their audience. But sometimes it goes overboard and is comical. So when I hear somebody this adamant in another team's defense, it's "ear-catching."

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Bruins' Chara injured, expected to miss a week

By Brian Stubits

Attention every year is given to the idea that a hangover is the biggest obstacle for a defending champion to overcome (when they have been kept mostly together and the expectations remain, that is). But nothing can derail a repeat opportunity like injuries.

That's especially the case when you are talking about a potentially serious injury to Boston's captain and arguably the team's best player not named Tim, Zdeno Chara.

Half-way through the Bruins' win over the Blue Jackets on Saturday, Chara and Jackets forward Antoine Vermette collided in the Bruins' defensive zone. Chara went down to the ice and didn't return in the game.

As you can see from the replay, Chara's knee is the worry after the seemingly innocuous hit. Like most every team in the NHL now, the Bruins didn't elaborate on the injury after the game, calling it simply a lower-body injury.

"I didn't find out whether it's minor, major, anything," coach Claude Julien said after the game. "That's just what I was told after the third.

"I haven't even seen him yet."

Now the question is when can the Bruins expect Chara back? Is it possible he won't miss a game at all?

"It's hard to comment on that until I know the severity," Julien added. "Throughout the season, you're going to have some injuries, and you're going to have to live with them ... no matter what happens."

Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe says that Chara will likely be out for a week or two with a leg injury. It looks like it will be just a momentary scare for Boston.

However long his absence turns out to be, it's too long for the Bruins (unless, you know, he misses no time). Chara is a huge part of what Boston does and he has been solid this season -- as if we expected anything else. He has six goals, which are good enough for second most among NHL defensemen, and he plays nearly half of every game.

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

Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Penguins to face old friends without Crosby

jagrsmile

By: Adam Gretz


One of the most anticipated matchups of the regular season finally takes place on Thursday night as cross-state rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia face off at the Wells Fargo Center. These games are always a highlight of both team's schedules, and usually involve some level of on-ice chaos.

This time around, it's the first meeting between the two teams since the Flyers' dip into the free agency pool over the summer that included their signings of former Penguins Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot.

Talbot was a playoff hero for the Penguins in recent years, scoring two goals in their Game 7 win over the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, helping the team claim its third Stanley Cup title. There was also his famous silencing of the crowd in Philadelphia earlier that postseason following his fight with Daniel Carcillo in a Game 6 series clinching win.

And the there's the Jagr angle. He is still the second greatest player in franchise history, and a large part of the first two championships the team won in the early 90s, and all of that is going to get overshadowed for the foreseaable future, or at least as long as he wears the Flyers orange and black, because of what happened over the summer.

By now, you're probably already familiar with how it all went down, but if you're not, a quick refresher: After spending three years playing in the KHL, Jagr was ready to make a return to the NHL and the Penguins were one of the teams interested. What followed was a highly publicized free agency courtship between them and the Detroit Red Wings, before both teams ultimately backed out of the bidding with Jagr signing a one-year pact with Pittsburgh's fiercest rival, essentially burning every bridge that wasn't already burned when he asked for a trade out of Pittsburgh 10 years ago.

And with that, the stage is set for Thursday night, even if it seems to mean more to the fans of the two teams (especially the Penguins fans) than it does for the players on the ice.

Three talking points heading into Thursday's game:

1) Matchup with Jagr more for Penguins fans than Penguins players: Regarding the Penguins' first meeting with Jagr since his signing with Philadelphia, defenseman Brooks Orpik said, via Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review, "I think this whole thing is more for the fans. I've been here the longest of anyone, and I've never played with him. Had one training camp with him — that was it."

And that's probably accurate. When Jagr last suited up for the Penguins, players like Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and James Neal were all under the age of 14. Defenseman Simon Despres would have been 10 years old, and none of the players on the roster played a single game with him in the NHL.

After they missed out on Jagr, the Penguins ended up signing veteran forward Steve Sullivan who has spent most of this season playing on a line with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin. He hasn't been Jagr, but he's been solid with 12 points in 28 games.
More On Penguins-Flyers

2) With Jagr, the Flyers can still score ... a lot: Two months into the season and Jagr has proven he can still play at a high level, even at the age of 39, averaging a point-per-game with nine goals and 13 assists in his first 22 games this season, playing mostly on a line with the NHL's current leading scorer, Claude Giroux. The additions of Jagr and Talbot were part of a summer-long re-tooling by Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, and while it seemed that goaltending would finally become a strength (or at least, no longer be a glaring weakness) with the addition of Ilya Bryzgalov from the Phoenix Coyotes, it's the offense that's continued to carry the Flyers, even in the absence of defenseman Chris Pronger.

The Flyers, at this point, have silenced any doubt as to whether or not they have enough offense following the losses of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino to compete for a top spot in the East, currently putting the highest-scoring team in the NHL out on the ice. Giroux has been everything the Flyers could have hoped that he would be at their top-scoring option, while rookies Matt Read and Sean Couturier have played large roles.

3) Sidney Crosby Isn't Playing And Nobody Knows Why: When the Penguins announced on Wednesday that Sidney Crosby will miss the next two games (including Thursday's game in Philadelphia) it was assumed that it was a result of his center ice collision with teammate Chris Kunitz. And while that wouldn't have been good news, it would have been better than worrying about whether or not it was a head injury. But that may not be the case. As Mike Colligan of the Hockey Writers pointed out on Thursday, Crosby took several hits during what was an extremely physical game with the Boston Bruins on Monday, including an elbow from David Krejci (poor video quality by clicking here). Because the Penguins were so vague with their description, saying only that he "took a hard hit," and because NHL teams guard injury information like it's gold in Fort Knox, we're left to guess as to which play has him sidelined "as a precaution."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

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