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Tag:Boston Bruins
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:44 pm
 

Nash reportedly down to five possible teams

Nash reportedly has a wish list of five teams. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Look what the Columbus Blue Jackets started. Now every few hours there is a new Rick Nash update after word leaked they'd consider trading their captain.

Then again, we can thank them for what they jump-started, too; the NHL trade deadline.

Nash is available at the right price ... for a couple of teams. Five to be exact. Because of his no-trade clause, the Jackets had to ask Nash for a list of team's he'd waive it for to approve a deal. Who's on it? Would he put any big-market teams on there considering he's seemed to enjoy playing in the smaller Columbus market?

Thanks to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch who has been all over this story like the league's discipline offices on Matt Cooke, we have the teams that are believed to be on the approved side.

Boston, Los Angeles, the Rangers, San Jose and Toronto are believed to be on the approved list for Nash — he would have to waive a no-movement clause in his contract before he could be traded — but the return the Blue Jackets seek could vary widely from club to club.

The Rangers and Kings have been the first two teams mentioned with Nash since the rumors began. So it's interesting they're on the list. The Maple Leafs are involved with every big name available in some capacity, so this will only stoke that fire. The Sharks have good friend Joe Thornton. And the Bruins? Well that'd just be unfair.

It goes without saying that this is just one small step for the man. There is still a giant leap or two to go.

It's going to take a lot to get Nash from the Blue Jackets. The good news for the suitors: there isn't really a position the Jackets couldn't use help at. A goalie will be at the front of all the talks, but they need defensemen and help scoring, particularly if they trade Nash and Jeff Carter. Plus, you can never really have enough scoring regardless.

Portzline speculated on what it would take to get the GM Scott Howson to trade Nash, looking specifically at the top two contenders.

The Blue Jackets are said to want at least one young roster player along with a combination of top prospects and quality draft picks. Using that criteria, the Rangers seem to make the most sense, and the New York Post reported on Tuesday that the two sides have had preliminary discussions.

The Rangers have a player the Blue Jackets have pursued for years in forward Brandon Dubinsky, but they’re also stocked with young defensemen — Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and Tim Erixon, among others — and forward Chris Kreider, currently playing at Boston College.

The Blue Jackets play on Sunday at the Rangers.

Los Angeles could provide something the Rangers cannot — a top goaltending prospect. Jonathan Bernier, the No. 11 overall draft pick in 2005, has spent the past two seasons as the seldom-used backup to Jonathan Quick. However, the Kings don’t have young prospects to match the Rangers.

Well it sure sounds like a certain President's Trophy contender is in the cat bird's seat here, now doesn't it?

My concern about the Rangers trading for Nash -- aside from the heavy cost -- is the fit. Not that I would foresee any problems with Nash jelling with the Rangers, it's just being wary of messing with a good thing. Obviously the Rangers have that part down pat. They have the best points percentage in the league and are seven points up on everybody else in the East while no team has played fewer games than them.

No doubt adding a little more scoring would help the Rangers this season. If they have an Achilles' heel, it's probably still the offense. I'd just be leery of fixing something that's not broken.

More from Eye on Hockey

Jackets willing to listen to Nash offers
Updating NHL Trade Deadline rumor mill
Full 2012 Trade Deadline coverage

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

Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:40 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 2:22 pm
 

Habs fans cheer Chara being hit by puck

By Brian Stubits

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara just doesn't seem to have a whole lot of luck playing in Montreal.

You don't really need a reminder of what happened last season, but just remember how he checked Max Pacioretty and sent the Canadiens forward into the stanchion, resulting in a broken neck. It got so ugly that Montreal police debated for a long while whether or not to press charges on Chara or not. Eventually the answer was no.

As a result -- and being the Bruins captain -- they aren't fond of Chara in Montreal, the Habs fans aren't. So it shouldn't surprise that the Habs fans at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night experienced a little schadenfreude when Chara took a puck to the face.

It was an errant clearing attempt from Tomas Plekanec that caught Chara up high and left him bloodied. While Plekanec was checking up on Chara, the crowd was releasing some pent-up frustration.

Some are going to call it Montreal Typical of the fans to cheer an injury, no matter the player and trash the Habs fans. I've already seen plenty of it. But it's a bit understandable. Fans take it personally when players are injured on their favorite teams and they feel like the offender got away with it. It doesn't quite sit right with me to cheer an injury, but it's understandable.

Chara did return in the game, but his luck didn't get much better. He made an awfully careless play in his own end that led to Erik Cole's equalizer before the Bruins eventually won in a shootout.

H/t to Backhand Shelf

More from Eye On Hockey

Pacioretty carted off the ice
Chara not charged for hit
Marchand called for clipping Wednesday

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

Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:58 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 4:17 pm
 

Brad Marchand called for clipping Alexei Emelin

By Brian Stubits

Brad Marchand should probably expect another call from Brendan Shanahan in the near future.

In what was a chippy and penalty-filled affair between the Bruins and Canadiens on Wednesday night -- is there any other kind of meeting between them? -- Marchand was called for a two-minute minor for clipping Alexei Emelin. If that sounds familiar, it should. He was suspended five games earlier this season for clipping Canucks forward Sami Salo.

Here's a look at the play in question from this week.

Under most circumstances, this probably wouldn't warrant much attention from the league. But considering Marchand just recently was punished for breaking the same rule and the league frowns upon repeat offenders, this should at the least get a phone call.

In this case Marchand doesn't have much of a defense for going low, there was no threat of a hit coming from Emelin in this case. There's little doubt that he went very low, making plenty of contact below the waist on the check. But Emelin wasn't hurt on the play like Salo was and I suppose Marchand could say that it was just him slamming on the brakes.

Marchand is one of those players who plays on a fine line at all times and will cross it now and again. He admitted that he has to be reeled in from time to time. At the least, I'd expect Shanahan to do just that in this case if not more.

More from Eye on Hockey

Marchand suspended five games for clipping
Marchand was excused from DVD filming for drunkenness

More NHL Discipline news

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


Posted on: February 15, 2012 6:53 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Roenick OK if Blackhawks trade Kane for goalie

Kane is a three-time All-Star at age 23. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Chicago Blackhawks are in one serious tailspin. They have lost nine games in a row. Heck, coach Joel Quenneville and the goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery just got a vote of confidence. That's never a good sign. If a GM has to do that, then you know things aren't going well.

It has people thinking that the Blackhawks need to go out at the trade deadline and find some help for their defense or possibly even the goaltending.

Former Blackhawks star and current NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick is in the group that sees a serious need to upgrade the goaltending. Seriously upgrade the goaltending, as in somebody that would be worth trading Patrick Kane. Seriously.

Check out what J.R. had to say to ESPN Chicago.

"Everybody knows I am a huge Patrick Kane fan, but when you're talking something of this nature, is Patrick Kane dealable? As much as I don't want to say it, they can afford to get rid of Patrick Kane," Roenick said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "They can afford to -- with the season he's having -- maybe with his off-ice reputation, maybe with the skill they have on their team -- it's doable.

"Do I like it? No, because I love Patrick Kane. He is one of the most talented and one of the best players in the NHL. But if you really want a top-end goaltender you're going to have to give up somebody."

OK, playing along for a minute here, let's pretend that the Blackhawks do consider trading Kane for goaltending. We'll just have some fun here. Who could they get? First team that jumps to mind for me is Vancouver and Cory Schneider, but I just can't see those two teams making a swap like that with their animosity.

In the East the Bruins have two goalies but with Tim Thomas' age, you wouldn't think they'd be keen on getting rid of Tuukka Rask.

What about a favorite trading partner of Chicago lately, the Florida Panthers? They have who many call the best goaltending prospect in the league in Jacob Markstrom and some stellar young defensemen in the organization. Of course Panthers GM Dale Tallon knows Kane well and he is certainly young enough to fit into Tallon's long-term visions.

Even still, from Florida's perspective, I don't know if even Kane would be enough to part with Markstrom.

But that's all suspending our disbelief. It was fun for a few paragraphs but back in reality there's no way the Blackhawks are trading Kane for goaltending right now.

This slump right now in Chicago is bad, but it's not THAT bad.

More from Eye On Hockey

Quenneville, goalies get vote of confidence
Updating NHL Trade Deadline Rumor Mill

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

Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:53 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 12:06 am
 

Do the Rangers have the No. 1 seed secured?


By: Adam Gretz


There are still two months to play in the regular season, but with their 3-0 win in Boston on Tuesday night you can probably assume that the New York Rangers have all but locked up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Maybe not officially, because, after all, there is still a chance that the Bruins could put together another run where they look like the '75 Canadiens, and the Rangers could always hit a rut down the stretch, but with Tuesday's win New York opened up a nine-point lead over Boston for the top spot in the conference.

That's a significant lead, and a deficit that large, this late in the season, can be almost impossible to overcome, even though the teams have two more games remaining against one another. That's a lot of ground to make up, and with the way the Rangers are playing right now it's hard to see them slowing down enough to allow Boston to get back to the top.

Since the start of the '05-06 season the average No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference has finished with 112 points, so for arguments sake let's just go with that. The Rangers would only need to put together a record of 15-9-3 over their final 27 games to reach that mark. Boston, by comparison, would need to go somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-6-2 in its remaining 28 games.

This is a pretty amazing development given how dominant the Bruins looked as recently as a month ago, and how ordinary they've looked since the start of January, having won back-to-back games just twice since the start of the new year. They haven't been able to win consecutive games since Jan. 10-12.

I haven't always been a believer in the Rangers this season, particularly earlier in the season, but it's hard to ignore what they've been able to accomplish to this point.

Henrik Lundqvist, having earned his 7th shutout of the season in Boston, is not only playing like a favorite for the Vezina Trophy, you can also make an argument that he's in the race for the Hart Trophy as the league MVP as well. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have been one of the best defensive pairings in the league this season, while Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik have done their part to carry the offense.

The Rangers made a pretty big statement on Tuesday night, and right now they've put themselves in a position that very well could make the road to the Stanley Cup Finals go right through Madison Square Garden. And just imagine what they might look like if Rick Nash would happen to end up on Broadway.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:11 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 10:41 pm
 

Wings set new record with 21 straight home wins

RedWingsBy: Adam Gretz

With their 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night the Detroit Red Wings made NHL history, setting a new mark (and one that looks like it will continue to grow based on the way they're playing) by winning their 21st consecutive home game, breaking the record that had previously been owned by the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers and 1929-30 Boston Bruins.

It's an incredible streak, and shows just how much the Red Wings have dominated their opponents at Joe Louis Arena this season, pushing their home record to 24-2-1. They haven't lost a home game since dropping a 4-1 decision to the Calgary Flames on November 3. The only other losses at home this season were against  Minnesota (a 2-1 shootout loss on November 1) and San Jose (a 4-2 loss on October 28).

What makes it so amazing isn't just the number of wins, but also the manner in which many of them have been achieved.



Some quick facts on the current streak:

-- The Red Wings have outscored the 21 teams they've knocked off by a total margin (as of Tuesday) of 87-31.

-- 10 of the wins have been by a margin of three goals or more. Three of the wins have been shutouts, five involved the Red Wings giving up just one goal, and only two saw them give up more than two. No team has scored more than three goals against them.

-- In typical Red Wings fashion, they have completely controlled puck possession and have out-shot their opponents by an average margin of 32.8 to 25.4 on a nightly basis.

-- And, finally, yes, three of the wins did come by way of the shootout.

My Eye On Hockey colleague, Brian Stubits, rattled a few cages by pointing this fact out on Sunday night when the Red Wings tied the record with a win over the Flyers.

You can put whatever level of significance on that fact that you choose (you can put an asterisk next to it, or you can ignore it, it doesn't really matter), but there is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing it out, and it doesn't mean that by doing so that you can still can't marvel at the record -- because it is darn impressive, and worthy of being celebrated.

But these events from one era to another don't take place in a vacuum. The league that the 2011-12 Red Wings play in is vastly different from the league that the 1975-76 Flyers played in, for a number of reasons. It might as well not even be the same sport when compared to the league that the 1929-30 Bruins played (In 1929, for example, there were still limitations on when you could advance the puck with a forward pass). You wouldn't look at a 30-goal scorer in today's NHL the same way that you look at a 30-goal scorer in, say, the 1980s, because it's a completely different era with different rules and a different style of play.

None of this makes one streak better or worse than the other as all three teams had advantages and disadvantges when compared to the others, but it's still worth mentioning the differences. You have to (well, you should, anyway) take everything into account when comparing teams and players from different eras.

No matter how you look at the streak, the Red Wings are setting themselves up to be the favorites to take the Western Conference. After Tuesday's game they sit on top of the West (and the NHL, for that matter) with 80 points, and still have seven of their next 10 games on home ice where, again, they've only lost three games this season, and only two in regulation.

The schedule does get a bit tougher as they have upcoming games with Nashville, San Jose, Vancouver and Chicago at home, but that hasn't really mattered much this season, as nearly every team that's entered Joe Louis Arena has left in defeat, regardless of record.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:43 pm
 

Marchand excused from Cup DVD for drunkenness

Marchand had a little fun after the B's won the Cup. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

So I know you're going to have a hard time finishing reading this sentence from your high level of shock, but Brad Marchand didn't partake in the Bruins Stanley Cup DVD interviews because he was ... wait for it ... too drunk.

That revelation -- if you want to call it that -- comes courtesy of Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber who recently profiled the pesky player for the Bruins.

Obviously Marchand was happy to give the shirt off his back to win the Stanley Cup, which he did in some widely disseminated photos taken at a team party three nights after Game 7, at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Conn. Marchand was excused from scheduled interviews for the official Stanley Cup DVD because at 4 p.m. the next day he had what the NHL might describe as an inner-body injury. Or as Marchand puts it, he was "intoxicated."

"[After the Cup, linemate Tyler Seguin] and I went on a bit of a tear, partying pretty much every night for a while," Marchand says. "I went home and kinda continued it. I thought [winning a championship] was something that might never happen, so I was trying to take it all in, enjoy it.... My dad sat me down and sorta gave me a lashing. He told me if we win two of the next three years, he'd leave me alone." Marchand's day with the Cup in late August was a demure affair. Says one attendee who has ties to the Bruins, "It was like he was grounded at his own party."

For those that remember that legendary Bruins post-Cup romp back in New England, this doesn't come as a surprise. Heck, even if you don't remember that it shouldn't be a surprise. Two young hockey players (we'll leave out the underage part, we know most people have taken some of those liberties) getting smashed? Heck, just another off day, right? Add in the Stanley Cup celebration on top of it? It's no big deal.

What it does do, though, is add to the legend that is becoming Brad Marchand. From his numerous nicknames including his favorite of Nose Face Killah to timely goals, in-game actions and children's hospital visits it hasn't taken him long at all to give himself a reputation, mixed to be sure.

My question after this bombshell is if Marchand was sober or not when he made his rapping debut? After this Farber story, I sure hope not.

It might also help explain that tattoo flub Marchand had this summer to commemorate the Bruins' big victory.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this other little nugget from the Farber story about Marchand's suspension of five games for clipping Sami Salo.

"If Vancouver kept their mouth shut, which they rarely do, I don't think there would have been as much publicity about the hit and don't think there would have been as long a suspension."

Through everything, that Bruins-Canucks rivalry stays alive. It's one of the most intense yet infrequent rivalries I remember seeing.

Yes, Marchand is a character. There can't be any doubt of that after his not even two full seasons in the NHL.

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk

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

Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Bruins re-sign D Boychuk for three seasons

Boychuk, 28, was originally drafted by the Avs. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Boston Bruins reportedly sewn up another one of their core players before they ever even hit the free-agent market. This time they have locked in defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a three-year contract for an average annual salary of $3.36 million as first reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Boychuk, who is currently carrying a cap of $1.875 million, was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Now he joins the litany of Bruins players who aren't going anywhere, not yet.

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli has done an even more remarkable job of locking in his players to team-friendly contracts while building a powerhouse team. They manage to maintain space under the cap and keeping all of their players together, for the most part. Boychuk is the latest example. Why even let the guys hit the free market?

For Boychuk it's a very nice pay day. Like every position in the league it seems except for the enforcer, defensive defensemen have been seeing a nice bump in value. Although it doesn't seem as incredibly friendly to the team as some other deals have been under Chiarelli, the headaches of going on the free-agent market are taking care of.

But it's not like he's a scrub. He gives the Bruins more than 20 minutes of ice time per night and is a big hitter.

Boychuk doesn't give a whole lot at all in the offensive categories, his job is to stop pucks from going in the net. On the season Boychuk has three goals and seven assists to speak of. Outside of captain Zdeno Chara, he makes up a great but quiet group of defensemen. They mostly leave the scoring up to the Bruins' four lines of offense.

The new deal for Boychuk leaves the Bruins with only one more of their top six defenseman unsigned through next season, that's Joe Corvo. Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton are unsigned through this season. Benoit Pouliot and Tuukka Rask are restricted free agent after this season. Chances are you'll see most of them sticking around if Chiarelli's track record is any indication.

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