Haggerty's Bruins-Jets preview: Stay on the gas

985689.jpg

Haggerty's Bruins-Jets preview: Stay on the gas

For the Bruins, it will be about keeping the foot on the gaspedal as they prepare for an afternoon matinee on Martin Luther King Dayagainst the Winnipeg Jets, who are coming off a loss in their home opener.
TheJets are expected to once again be a fringe playoff team in the EasternConference this season, so it would be natural to think the Bruins might nothave the same kind of opening night adrenaline they had against the Rangers. If mental mistakes and aching bodies were going to begin tohave a negative effect, Mondays setting against Winnipeg at home would be the timeit to rear its ugly head. The Bruins are mindful of any lulls in their game aftergenerally struggling in day games over the last few seasons. Youve just gotto do your job and worry about preparing yourself, said Johnny Boychuk. Itwas a good first game against the Rangers, but you need to be ready to workhard to get that second win.Theres littledoubt former Bruins players Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart will also continue toput their best foot forward against the team that dealt them away for RichPeverley in the midst of a Stanley Cup run. That will be part of the backdropfor a game that should start to look, feel and sound like business as usual aseverybody begins to get used to the NHL being back. One thing werefocusing on is consistency, said Daniel Paille. With last year not making theplayoffs and opening up with a home loss, Winnipegis definitely going to be ready. Wheeler and Stuart have been very goodover there and they usually have a lot of adrenaline for us. We need to beready for that and not take it too lightly.PLAYER NEEDING HIS TIRES PUMPED: Old friend Blake Wheelerentered this season with high expectations as a budding power forward in Winnipeg, but he didntmaterialize in the Jets loss to the Senators on opening night. The 26-year-oldfinished with 17 goals and a career-high 64 points for the Jets last season,and he was looking to build on that this season. Instead Wheeler logged 17:34 ofice time and finished with just one shot on net along with a minus-2 as hisline couldnt keep the puck out of the back of the net. In general, the entireJets team should be playing with a burr under their saddle after losing a 4-1decision to Ottawain front of their home fans on Saturday afternoon. DRESSING ROOM MANTRA HEADED INTO THE GAME: Just being backwas so nice. I think its going to be pretty easy to keep it going. We havesuch a good team and our fans are great. Especially at home its nice. Id playagain today if I could because we had so much fun. Nathan Horton, who shouldbe ready to go Monday afternoon against the Jets if hes ready to play everyday. KEY MATCHUP: The Ottawa Senators were able to strike out anddo damage against the Blake WheelerBryan LittleAndrew Ladd on Saturday nightwith a couple of goals against them, and it should be interesting to see howClaude Julien exploits that with the last change at TD Garden. With that inmind dont be surprised if the Bruins coach throws Tyler Seguin, PatriceBergeron and Brad Marchand out against that trio to neutralize them defensivelyand exploit any shortcomings in the defensive zone. STAT TO WATCH: 10. That's the number of consecutive home victorieson TD Garden ice that the Bruins hold over the WinnipegAtlanta franchise thatdates back to Dec. 31, 2007. INJURIES: Dennis Seidenberg will miss today's game with a lower-body injury. Also, Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome) is expectedto miss the season and be placed on long term injured reserve. GOALTENDING MATCH-UP: Tuukka Rask will follow up on hissolid 20-save season debut against the Rangers with the matinee game againstthe Jets. With a schedule that tapers off slightly at the beginning ofFebruary, it makes sense for the Bruins to ride Rask in the early going as theylook for a good start to the season. But its also slightly surprising thatthey didnt want to work Anton Khudobin into a Monday afternoon matinee thatsusually tailored for a backup goaltender. For the Jets Ondrej Pavelec isexpected to man the pipes after giving up four goals to the Ottawa Senators inSaturday nights opening loss.

Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for 2nd time

bruins_loui_eriksson_122314.jpg

Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for 2nd time

Patrice Bergeron will have some Bruins company at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas at the end of the month of June.

Loui Eriksson was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy on Saturday afternoon along with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Florida Panthers pivot Aleksander Barkov. It’s the second time in his career that Eriksson will be named a finalist for the award given annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

The Swedish winger finished his best season in a Bruins uniform with 30 goals (third on team) and 33 assists for the second most points (63) on the team along with 12 total penalty minutes through 82 games played. Eriksson was excited to once again be a finalist for the award, and to be lumped in with a couple of the NHL’s best players in Kopitar and Barkov.

“It is a great honor to be considered for the Lady Byng Trophy, an award that has been won by some of the best players of all time,” said Eriksson, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after three seasons in Boston. “There are many deserving candidates so to be named one of the finalists with Anze Kopitar and Aleksander Barkov is very exciting for me. Thank you to my teammates and the coaching staff and I appreciate all those who voted.”

The last Bruin to win the Lady Byng Trophy was Rick Middleton back in 1981-82, and Eriksson is the first B’s finalist for Lady Byng in more than 10 years.

Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

bruins-sweeney.jpg

Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

The Boston Bruins basically had a three percent of moving up into the top three of the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, but they didn’t strike it draft rich when it was all said and done up in Toronto.

With Bruins general manager Don Sweeney in attendance representing the Original Six franchise, the Black and Gold were the first team logo selected in the draft lottery meaning they will own the 14th overall pick in the first round for the second straight summer.

Instead the Toronto Maple Leafs will select first overall after putting together the worst record in the NHL last season, and the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets won the lottery to move up into the second and third slots in the draft.

This marks the sixth time in franchise history that the club has owned the 14th overall selection in the NHL Draft. The Bruins drafted Jake DeBrusk 14th overall last summer in Florida at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Stephane Quintal 14th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Normand Leveille 14th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Douglas Halward 14th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft and Terry O’Reilly 14th overall in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft.

Based on finishing with the highest point total of all non-playoff teams for the second straight season, the Bruins owned a 1.0% chance of winning the 2016 Draft Lottery overall and a 3.4% chance of securing a top-three pick.

The 2016 NHL Draft will take place on June 24-25 at the First Niagara Center home of the Sabres in Buffalo just a couple of months from now, and the Bruins also own the first round pick of the San Jose Sharks that will end up somewhere in the 20’s based on the fact they’re still currently alive in the playoffs.

Saturday, April 30: Preparing for the lottery

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Saturday, April 30: Preparing for the lottery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating Greek Easter this weekend by way of my in-laws. Christos Anesti.  

*Pro Hockey Talk writer James O’Brien has everything you need to know about tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.

*Brent Burns is recognized as a Norris Trophy finalist after his best season as a member of the San Jose Sharks. For the record, the top three of Drew Doughty, Burns and Erik Karlsson were also the top three votes on my awards ballot, and exactly in that order.

*Puck Daddy eulogizes the Anaheim Ducks, who lost in the first round and promptly got their head coach fired.

*Speaking of the Ducks and a great man and good coach in Bruce Boudreau, who is now out of work, Anaheim GM Bob Murray is now getting ready to round up the candidates for a new coach.

*Spector has a number of hockey rumors, including what’s expected for offseason changes for the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks now that they’re on the golf course.

*If the Edmonton Oilers win the draft lottery again, two things will happen: a lot of people will be angry, and Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will have a lot of options at his disposal.

*Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk bring the Stanley Cup pedigree to an Islanders team that’s voyaging deep into the playoffs.

*For something completely different: Kevin Faulk gets mad props for wearing the Tom Brady jersey to the NFL podium to help announce New England’s draft picks.