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Tag:Boston Bruins
Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Hiller says bye to Movember, gets Wild Wing mask

By Brian Stubits

Is there anybody in hockey happier to be done with the terrific month that is Movember than Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller?

Despite having an awesome mask that was rivaled only by the one worn by Tim Thomas, Hiller was dreadful in November. Really, he was no different than his teammates in Anaheim. But Hiller's struggles were particularly strong, so a new month brings about a new chance with a new coach.

And a new mask.

His mustache mask is gone through a charity auction, so a new mask has to come. In its place is not his old mat black cage but instead the new Wild Wing design. Next to having a Darkwing Duck motif, this is pretty much one of the better designs he could have produced.

Here is a description of the mask from The Goalie Guild. I highly suggest reading the entire story, it's a fun description that does the mask complete justice.

With the power to create a new superstition on [designer Alec] Voggel’s fingertips, he knew the moment was just right. It was time to reverse and transform Hiller’s famine into fortune by unleashing the latest mask in a line of legendary Anaheim Ducks designs: Wild Wing.

Instead of paying homage to his teammates, Hiller is now honoring the official Ducks mascot. As you can see, he’s striking quite the intimidating pose on either side of the mask, breaking out from underneath the shards and remnants of Hiller’s old “Batman” black-matted mask.

With the moonlight now splashing over the mask, it reveals another job performed to perfection. It is complete. It has been revealed. Off to sleep, just one last task to complete before the moonlight wanes and the fresh sunlight of a new day spills out from behind the distant mountains.

It's even 3-D from afar.

What's your opinion?

Photo: Airxess.ch, courtesy of The Goalie Guild

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

Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: December 1, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Bruins re-sign Krejci to three-year extension

By Brian Stubits

The Boston Bruins announced on Thursday morning that they have re-signed forward David Krejci to a three-year extension. This comes on the heels of the Anaheim Ducks firing head coach Randy Carlyle and replacing him with Bruce Boudreau.

How are these related, you ask? It was only speculation, but in the Bobby Ryan trade rumors, a swap with the Bruins involving Krejci was a popular rumor, so with the Carlyle firing it appears more like Ryan could be staying put. Thus, Krejci is for sure staying put in Boston.

Krejci's cap hit will be $5.25 million for the three seasons of his deal.

The salary on the deal is a bit high. He doesn't exactly scream $5 million-plus player, now does he? Seeing how Krejci hasn't matched his 2008-209 totals of 22 goals and 51 assists since, but he's still only 25 years old.

But I'll give GM Peter Chiarelli a little benefit of the doubt. Theoretically, this new contract extension will carry Krejci through his prime years, of which he is just entering.

Krejci's playoff performances probably helped, too. In 44 career playoff games Krejci has 19 goals and 25 assists, including 12 goals, 11 assists in last season's run to the Stanley Cup.

Chiarelli has done an excellent job building the Bruins for the future in addition to the now. By locking in Krejci for a few more seasons, the B's have the core of their team under contract for next season now. The biggest name unsigned for next season is Tuukka Rask, after that they are looking at Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Benoit Pouliot, Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton, Joe Corvo and Johnny Boychuk.

On top of it, according to Cap Geek, Chiarelli still has around $11 million to sign any of those players or wait until free agency and pick up some. He really has done a pretty masterful job not only building a Stanley Cup-quality team, but doing it in a financially responsible way. This Krejci deal might not fall completely in line with that, but he is capable of giving the Bruins about 60 points per season, so it's not a bad investment.

Make the grade: What does Chiarelli earn for this signing?

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:08 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 8:28 pm
 

Kaberle isn't working out in Carolina so far

Kaberle1By: Adam Gretz

The slow start for the Carolina Hurricanes has resulted in a change behind the bench with Kirk Muller taking over for Paul Maurice earlier this week, and it could soon lead to some changes on the blue line if free agent acquisition Tomas Kaberle doesn't start to play better. That's the message general manager Jim Rutherford sent on Wednesday evening when he appeared on XM Home Ice and was asked about the slow start for his big offseason addition.

When asked if he's seen anything that makes him think Kaberle, who signed a three-year, $12.75 million contract over the summer, can return to the level of play he demonstrated throughout his career, mainly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rutherford was brutally honest.

"He hasn't played up to what we would have hoped he would play," said Rutherford. "He came into camp and he didn't prepare himself properly. He came in like the Boston Bruins did, they won the Stanley Cup, he enjoyed his summer and quite frankly he hasn't caught up."

"He's still a real good player," Rutherford continued. "I don't know what's going to end up happening with him here now cause we have the young kid, [Justin] Falk, the 19-year-old that we're real happy about. We like young players like [Derek] Joslin, and he may very well get lost in the shuffle here and I don't know where it goes from there. I know there are some teams that are interested in him but they're not quite sure they want to take on all the money so that becomes a little more complicated. But he got off to a slow start, totally by his own doing, and now he has to figure out a way to get out of it or he won't be playing with the Hurricanes long."

The veteran defenseman has struggled so much this season that he was a healthy scratch during the team's 4-3 loss in Ottawa on Sunday.

In 25 games this season he's yet to score a goal and has been credited with just five assists. Throughout his career he's typically been a 40-50 point producer over 82 games, with a career-high of 67 during the 2005-06 season. Last season, which he split with Toronto and Boston, he scored four goals to go with 43 assists during the regular season and added 11 assists in 25 playoff games for the Stanley Cup winning Bruins.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: November 30, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Maple Leafs top 'Forbes' list of NHL franchises

By Brian Stubits

It's that time of year again when business meets hockey, in particular Forbes magazine.

Mike Ozanian did the annual franchise evaluations and, surprise, surprise, the most lucrative team in hockey is the Toronto Maple Leafs at $521 million. The Rangers, Canadiens, Red Wings and Bruins round out the top five.

Bringing up the rear? Naturally it's the Phoenix Coyotes followed by the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Blues and Panthers.

Here is the entire list of the teams in value, 1-30.

The evaluations go on to show that, for the most part, things are looking up revenue wise. But Ozanian goes on to say that more teams are actually losing money this season compared to last; 18 of the 30 are now in the red (makes you see that Florida Panthers slogan "We see red" in a whole new light).

Ozanian goes on to say the reason for that is the high salaries. The cap is too high for a good amount of the teams to be able to operate at a profitable level. He suggests that the NHL needs to get closer to even on their income split. Currently the players get 57 percent of the revenues from the last CBA. Ozanian's assertion is that the players should give back a lot of that ground and get closer to 50/50 like the NFL and NBA.

It doesn't exactly give you warm fuzzies for the upcoming CBA negotiations, now does it?

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: November 29, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Max Pacioretty disagrees with suspension



By: Adam Gretz

The NHL suspended Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty for three games on Monday for his hit on Pittsburgh's Kris Letang during Saturday's 4-3 Penguins overtime win, which ended when Letang, of all people, scored the game-winner on a controversial play in front of the Montreal net. 

On Tuesday, Pacioretty spoke to the media for the first time following the announcement and didn't seem to agree with Brendan Shanahan's decision, and also gave his version of what took place on the ice.

Pacioretty said that during his hearing, Shanahan compared the hit to one that Penguins forward Matt Cooke delivered on Boston's Marc Savard two years ago that eventually helped lead to the crackdown on hits where the head is the target and principal point of contact.

"I think that couldn't be further from the truth," said Pacioretty, via the Canadiens website (full video above). "If you look at the situation, me and Letang made eye contact and I think that's what gave me the green light to try and hit him. I felt he put himself in a vulnerable position. Maybe I shouldn't have even thought about hitting him because of the way the wind is blowing right now with head shots. I'd like to see a little bit of consistency. If the onus is on the hitter every single time I'd be fine with the suspension, but you've seen instances where they've placed the onus on the player receiving the hit as well. That's why I'm confused and a lot of other players are confused as well."
More On Max Pacioretty

He also talked about how he felt Letang lowered his head prior to the hit, and that when he looks at the play in slow motion he can see that Letang changed his position as he saw Pacioretty coming. When asked if the suspension would change the way he plays and hits people, Pacioretty acknowledged that in the future he would not deliver that hit, and also added that since the start of the season he's been afraid to hit opposing players.

"This whole year I haven't had many hits," said Pacioretty. "Bbecause, I'll be completely honest, I've been scared to hit people out there. A lot of times you're going in on the forecheck and the defenseman turns his back to you, and things of that nature happen. It's a fast game and injuries are going to happen, and that's why it's tough out there, especially for someone who is expected to finish their hits. The blame is still on me. I made a bad decision and down the road I'm definitely not going to make that hit when someone is coming through the middle. Though, I don't see why I should give him free pass to come through our zone and get a free shot on net."

More NHL Discipline News Here

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

Posted on: November 25, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Sharks join Recchi with opinion on Canucks

By Brian Stubits

Not long ago, Mark Recchi, a member of the Bruins team that beat the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup last season, called the Canucks the most arrogant team he ever played in his 22-season career. Kevin Bieksa took exception to the comments, but a lot of fans agreed.

And so did some of the players.

The San Jose Sharks also ran into the Canucks in the playoffs last season and with each having extended runs at the top of the Western Conference, they have a pretty strong familiarity with each other. So it's no surprise that they would share Recchi's sentiments, maybe only surprising that they would actually admit to it.

Douglas Murray and Ryan Clowe were asked about Recchi's words the day before the Sharks and Canucks meet (on Saturday). Neither was going to disagree with Recchi. From Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area:

“Recchi was obviously a very well-respected player in this league for many years, and still is very respected,” Murray said. “For him saying something like that probably means something.

“It’s not the whole team. It’s certain individuals that give them that reputation. I’m not going to call out names. It’s obvious for anyone that watches the game.”

Well for those who maybe don't watch the Canucks all that closely, you're left to yourself to figure it out, right? Well that's where Clowe comes in.

“They’ve got certain guys, and they have [Maxim] Lapierre there who is known for that," said Clowe. "He’s known to run his mouth and play that sort of game. He doesn’t really like backing that up. You have [Ryan] Kesler and [Alex] Burrows who used to do that a little bit more. Apparently the last year, and last couple of years, they’ve tried to not talk as much and just play.”

Yea, can't say those names are a shock. Remember it was just a week ago that the tandem of Lapierre and Burrows was being accused of some dirty shenanigans against the Senators.

The Canucks are an interesting creature to me. They have clearly become one of the most hated teams in the NHL. Canada, which always seems to embrace its own to win the Cup for the country, almost shunned Vancouver in last year's postseason. Their biggest Stars, the Sedin twins, are pretty much everything you could ask for in model players and faces of your franchise.

It's all the more interesting that the Canucks haven't won a Stanley Cup. Usually such hatred is reserved for the teams that win championships, not runner-ups. Did anybody really hate the Buffalo Bills in the early 1990s (other than their traditional rivals)?

All I know is that the Canucks keep piling up a list of must-see games with every opponent comment.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: November 25, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Shootout hate grows with Wings-B's finish

By Brian Stubits

For 65 minutes, the Thanksgiving Showdown (can't we come up with a better name than that?) the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings battled for one of the best game of the season. Put honestly, it was pure awesomeness. Two excellent teams playing at a high level played a pretty clean and overall excellent game.

Then a shootout came and the entire hockey world moaned. The Red Wings prevailed 3-2 and ended the Bruins' win streak at 10 games. So now we can say the Bruins have an 11-game point streak.

I'm not breaking any news to you right now, people hate the shootout. That's what they say, at least. You show me 10 fans of the NHL and I can probably point out nine who claim to detest the "skills challenge."

Well I'm the one out of those 10 that doesn't loathe it. As a matter of fact, I enjoy it. I really do.

I believe it all depends on what you're used to. Most hockey fans hate it because for so long, it didn't exist. Ties are OK in the minds of NHL fans; it's what they grew up with. Me? I grew up with a minor-league hockey team in my town, and they used the shootout. It was common for me growing up and I enjoyed seeing them, as it seemed everybody else in the building did too.

One of the arguments I see pro-fighting people make is that it brings everybody out of their seats. Well you know what else does? The shootout -- or any penalty shot, for that matter. It's exciting. I always crack up at people who bemoan the shootout, but then marvel at what we see. It's almost like a guilty pleasure.

When the Thanksgiving Showdown went to the shootout, I couldn't wait to see what Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi could do. As expected, they were impressive and successful. Datsyuk showed off his outstanding quickness with the stick while Bertuzzi once again showed he has quite an array of moves.

I'm of the school of thought that feels a tie is just so unrewarding. Are there some other, better ways to achieve that end than the shootout? Probably. There is no shortage of suggestions. I admit to enjoying the shootout here at the risk of ridicule, but I am in total agreement with those who would like to see a change in the scoring system. A 3-2-1-0 format would be best, I agree. There are ways to improve things, but I don't think it has to be simply by eliminating the shootout.

So the Thanksgiving Showdown turned into a Turkey Shoot(out). Most say they would rather eat a dry turkey all week than watch a great game end in a shootout like that, it doesn't bother me. A great game was finished off with some great highlights.

Now feel free to roast me and the system, I know you will.

Photo: US Presswire

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

Posted on: November 23, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2011 12:44 am
 

Sabres respond with quick fights vs. Lucic, Chara

By Brian Stubits

Milan Lucic expected it. Just about everybody who has seen a hockey game before was expecting it. It didn't take long to make it fait accompli.

What's it? In case you have been under a rock, that would be some retaliation on the Bruins' Lucic for the hit that left Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller on the shelf with a concussion. The Sabres, Paul Gaustad in particular, admitted to their embarrassment at the response, or lack thereof, in the game earlier in November. Consider Wednesday's rematch a second chance for the Sabres. And they seized the opportunity.

Not even two minutes into the game, Lucic made his first appearance in the game, going on the ice before a faceoff. Naturally, Gaustad was sent out immediately afterward and the two had some words before the faceoff. Then this happened.

That might be why the Sabres didn't have much of a response in the first place. Lucic gave to Gaustad pretty good. But the deed was done. It's not really about if you take the other guy down, it's that you try to take him down.

"It was an unfortunate incident in Boston," Gaustad said. "I give credit to Milan for fighting. It's something where guys don't have to. He did."

So that was it, right? The Sabres got their retribution? You know better than that.

After a hit behind Tim Thomas' net, another scrap unfolded. There was lots of action, but the stand-alone fight belonged to Robyn Regehr challenging Zdeno Chara.

That one, too, turned out just about how you'd imagine: squarely in the Bruins' favor.

Regehr deserves some major credit for showing the fortitude -- or some might say stupidity -- to challenge Chara to a fight. You don't see Big Z fight often, and that's just because nobody really wants to go a round with the monster. Well Regehr did, and it's just good that Chara let up at the end of the fight.

The intensity remained for the entire game. Just check out Brad Marchand's reaction to the Buffalo bench after scoring a goal later in the game. Yea, this is pretty heated right now.

Sometimes games live up to the expectations. Considering this was the expectation, mission complete.

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