Lucic brawl wakes sleepy Bruins

576568.jpg

Lucic brawl wakes sleepy Bruins

KANATA Milan Lucic looked around early in the first period and didnt like what he saw against the Ottawa Senators.

The Bruins were lagging behind the speed of the game, flat-lining emotionally and allowing the Senators to form a shooting gallery against Tim Thomas while getting outshot by a 9-2 margin over the first 10 minutes.

So when Matt Carkner approached the Bs power forward with an invitation to dance in the NHL parlance, Lucic dropped his gloves and jumped into a legitimate heavyweight bout between hockey tough guys. Both players landed bombs squarely to the squash of the other player, and Lucic admitted it might have been the hardest hes been punched since junior hockey.

Carkner experienced some injury issues last season and that was his first NHL fight since last January, so Lucic knew that was part of his reasoning for throwing down. Lucic himselfhasonly fought once this season on Nov. 23when Paul Gaustad came looking for him in Buffalo to atone for the Ryan Miller incident.Sothe Bs left winger recognized that showing a little emotion and passion might spark his dozing teammates, and it worked out perfectly with the Bs eventually pulling out the 5-2 victory at Scotiabank Place.

He actually came up to me. For me looking at the situation it doesnt always have to be Shawn Thornton stepping up and giving the team a spark when it comes to stuff like that, said Lucic. It ended up being a good back-and-forth battle and thankfully our team was able to get a spark and a big goal afterward.

Its a time in the game where theyre outshooting us 9-2 at the time and they had the jump on us. I only had one fight going into this one and hes a good, honest hockey player. So I definitely felt like it was the right time.

Theres an accepted responsibility with guys like Lucic and Adam McQuaid that it shouldnt always have to be Shawn Thornton or Gregory Campbell jumping into the hockey fight ring to inspire their teammates. Lucic had the lumps to show for his bout with Carkner, and even better he had the results afterward in an evening that was otherwise quiet with a shot on net and one registered hit in 13 plus minutes.

It shows the chemistry we have as a group. The guys care for each other and appreciate the fact we stick up for each other, said Lucic. We built that with what we went through last year and well do whatever we can to keep that team chemistry going.

On the next shift, Rich Peverley wheeled his way through the offensive zone and snapped a wrist shot over Craig Andersons stick side to hand the Bruins a quick 1-0 lead and give them their first signs of life in the contest. It was the perfect example of a hockey fight as momentum-shifter rather than the carnival sideshow many are attempting to make them out to be given the issues some NHL enforcers went through last summer.

We were so flat that when that happened and he responded well, we scored shortly after that, said Julien. We almost needed that. The ice seemed to be tilted in one direction in that first half of the first, and we seemed to pick up our game after the Lucic fight.

Lucic loves when it a plan comes together, and the increasingly rare fight from the top line winger helped rouse the sleeping bears in Ottawa this time around.

Sunday, July 24: Dominic Moore mulls NHL offers

cp_morning_skate-.jpg

Sunday, July 24: Dominic Moore mulls NHL offers

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at how good the Justice League and Wonder Woman trailers were this weekend.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has veteran center Dominic Moore mulling a couple of offers as he looks for an NHL contract for next season.

*Jordan Eberle joined Canadian sports radio, and agreed that something needed to change with the Oilers after continually missing the playoffs.

*I will miss Jim Prior’s trademark “The Teams are ready, so let’s play hockey!” open to every game as a PA announcer, and I’ll miss his warm personality around the rink. It’s a sad day for the BU hockey program.

*The Arizona Coyotes continue to put together a very interesting D-men picture by signing Luke Schenn to a two-year contract. For my money, Schenn has long been one of the most overrated players in the NHL.

*The Hockey News’ Mike Brophy has some thoughts and observations about the NHL offseason as it continues to wind on.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dave Stubbs on Andrei Markov and his candid thoughts on everything from the Montreal traffic to the PK Subban/Shea Weber trade.

*Here’s a spot to track the travels and stories of the Pittsburgh Penguins amid their summer with the Stanley Cup.

*For something completely different: as mentioned above, here is the trailer for the Justice League that shows a much lighter, better touch with what should be a fun movie to watch. Hopefully this means it won’t be another pretty-looking, Zack Snyder funeral dirge.

 

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

boston-bruins-danton-heinen.jpg

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

While much of the focus is going to be on the young D-men headed into Bruins training camp, it would be foolhardy to overlook a forward prospect Danton Heinen, who is in position for a real dark horse run at an NHL roster spot. 

The strong odds are that the former University of Denver star is going to be begin the season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins after putting up a couple of points in four games there at the end of last season.

Still, that certainly hasn’t stopped Heinen from setting his sights on an NHL spot out of this fall’s camp, most likely in a third- or fourth-line capacity to start things off, or perhaps at the top-six right wing spots that have given the Bruins some problems filling permanently over the past couple of seasons.

Either way, the 2014 fourth-round pick knows that his clock to fulfilling his dreams as an NHL player has started and that it’s up to him when he can start making that a reality.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to work toward my whole life, so I’m just going to try to keep getting better, have a good rest of the summer and then put my best foot forward to see what happens,” said Heinen, who had an assist and a sweet goal in the Friday scrimmage at development camp when he twisted D-man Cam Clarke around like a pretzel on a nifty rush to the net. “I just need to continue to get stronger this summer, and working on my skating to get a bit quicker.

“[The AHL] was a lot of fun to get in there and see what it was all about. It was a lot different than college hockey, and it was definitely good to get a taste of it. [Bruins officials] told me to have a really big summer getting faster and getting stronger, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Heinen, 21, continued to show in development camp last week, however, that he has the playmaking skills and hockey IQ to flourish while surrounded by more accomplished players and in tighter situations. It’s exactly what he showed while posting 36 goals and 93 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Pioneers and it was what he showed while finishing last week as one of the best forwards in camp.

“He’s looked really good at [development] camp. He’s a smart player, he’s committed and I think you’ll notice him in training camp. It will be up to him, but I think he’ll definitely be pushing some guys [for an NHL job],” said Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo, who was running the Bruins development camp. “He looked good [in Providence]. He fit in well. He’s the type of player that can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ, and he’s got really good skill.

“Anywhere you put him he’s smart enough to figure it out. You could tell in his first game there was a little bit of an adjustment for him, but the second time game it really looked like he’d been playing [at that level] for a long time. He’s a quick study, and he looked really good last year.”

The Black and Gold management hope he continues to look good at main NHL training camp in a couple of months, where he’ll undoubtedly be featured, and could be a lot closer than many people think as a polished skill forward coming out of a big-time college hockey program. 

Saturday, July 23: Hammer Time for VP pick Kaine with Caps

cp_morning_skate-.jpg

Saturday, July 23: Hammer Time for VP pick Kaine with Caps

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while everybody is working for the weekend...or during the weekend.

*The vice-presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, made quite an impression while hanging out a Capitals game with MC Hammer. They call this guy boring, but that doesn’t sound very boring to me.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bob Stauffer has the news that the Edmonton Oilers are parting ways with fancy stats lad Tyler Dellow. Boy, it seems like some teams are reversing course pretty quickly on some of these smarter-than-thou advanced statistics types, aren’t they? I certainly wish Dellow well and hope he finds another gig. But Instead of baselessly wondering whether the Oilers are going to continue down the fancy stats road (which they most certainly will), perhaps this is more a referendum on nonsensical stats-driven decisions like handing out that long term contract to a perpetually underachieving Benoit Pouliot.

*The New York Rangers have locked up Chris Kreider to a four-year contract at a reasonable number, and now he has the time with the Blueshirts to see how good he can be.

*Brian Leetch opens up to the Players Tribune about his NHL experiences playing with the New York Rangers, and all of his favorite experiences from a Hall of Fame career.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker says that Carey Price’s injury from last season is no longer a concern, according to Habs coach Michel Therrien.

*The Chicago Blackhawks will appear a whopping 21 times on national television across the NBC Networks next season.

*Incoming BU goaltender Jake Oettinger is among the names to look out for at the 2017 draft, according to the NHL Central Scouting bureau.

*Travis Yost says that the Carolina Hurricanes are on the rise thanks to winning the shot differential battle. I think it’s because they have an outstanding cast of young defensemen, who are helping them control the puck and win that shot differential battle. But they still need to score more if they’re going to really be a team on the rise, so we’ll see what happens there.

*For something completely different: for those that think I’m a Democrat because I am anti-Trump, here’s a story on the DNC machinery attempting to torpedo Bernie Sanders during the presidential campaigning over the last year.