Mottau all smiles after Bruins playoff debut

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Mottau all smiles after Bruins playoff debut

WASHINGTON It couldnt have worked out much better for Mike Mottau.

The Massachusetts native made his playoff debut for the Bruins in Sunday afternoons Game 6 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals, and wore a wide smile afterward in the visitors dressing room at the Verizon Center.

It was a smile borne out of team victory in an elimination game against the Capitals, and a smile signifying his first taste of playoff action with the Black and Gold after serving as a healthy scratch for the first five postseason games.

It was great. As far as playoff hockey goes, there is no better time to play, said Mottau. Youre a little nervous before the game with the excitement that you cant duplicate during the regular season.

Both Mottau and defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk took part in the pregame warm-up prior to Sundays game, and Joe Corvo participated as well despite taking a Mike Green slapper off his knee during Saturdays loss at TD Garden. The Bs defenseman never returned to Saturday afternoons loss, and clearly wasnt ready to play Sunday in an important Game 6 tilt.

Instead Mottau finished with 9:21 of ice time that included a shot that deflected off the post in the first period that would have made a pretty good story for the local: scoring a playoff goal on his first shot of his first game. But instead Mottau had to settle for putting together a solid effort despite two weeks of rust that had gathered on the veteran blueliner.

Afterward he marveled at the way his teammates were able to battle through adversity to come out with the win they needed in Game 6, and said its a far-cry from the wide-eyed dressing room he left behind in Long Island.

Its what makes this team successful. Coming from my situation with a young team down on Long Island, its really exciting to see when a veteran group doesnt panic, stays the course and knows they can wear down an opponent whether they put on a push or not, said Mottau. There was a lot of emotion out there and momentum, but we prevailed. There is a loose atmosphere even when the pressure goes up, and thats a very good sign.

Mottau will never be able to tell his grandkids that he scored a goal on his first playoff shot with the Bruins, but he can tell them he helped guide them to a much-needed postseason victory.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Vesey couldn't be happier with Rangers

Saturday, Dec. 3: Vesey couldn't be happier with Rangers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking to avoid any and all updates on Kanye West. I’ve officially maxed out on my Kanye updates for the next four or five years. 

*Jimmy Vesey left a trail of broken hearts and hard feelings across the NHL this summer, but he’s happy in New York with the Rangers. 

*There is still a pathway for the NHL players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, says FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston, but I’m pretty skeptical about it and have been for a few years now. I just don’t see it happening in South Korea. 

*The New York Islanders are reportedly looking for a big name executive to take over their entire hockey operation. 

*Speaking of the Islanders, Alain Vigneault is using them as an example of parity in the NHL to motivate the Rangers.

*A big blow for the Detroit Red Wings as they’ve lost gritty forward Justin Abdelkader for the next few weeks. 

*Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion is looking to add depth to their roster as the Sens appear in it to at least get a playoff spot this year. That is bad news for anybody that likes to watch, you know, entertaining hockey and stuff. 

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford says that the Colorado Avalanche core group has come under heavy scrutiny as they’re struggling again this season. 

*For something completely different: Saving the bees is a year-round job that everybody should be interested in based on their impact across the world. 

Beleskey knocked out of Bruins game with lower body injury

Beleskey knocked out of Bruins game with lower body injury

The Bruins have added another injury to their current collection of banged-up players. 

This time it’s scrappy left winger Matt Beleskey, who was knocked out of Saturday’s game in Buffalo in the first period with a check thrown at his lower body. Beleskey was hit with a body check targeting his right leg at center ice from Buffalo forward Tyler Fedun, and skated gingerly to the bench before eventually heading back to the dressing room. 

There was no penalty called on a borderline hit that seemed to be targeting Beleskey’s leg. The Bruins announced in the middle of the second period that he was done for the day with a lower body injury. Beleskey finished the day with three registered hits and was 1-for-2 in the faceoff circle with six shifts for 5:27 of ice time in the second period. 

The 28-year-old Beleskey had managed to stay pretty healthy this season to this point, but was underachieving a bit offensively with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 23 games this season.