NHL cancels all exhibition games up to Sept. 30

840305.jpg

NHL cancels all exhibition games up to Sept. 30

The first casualties of the NHL lockout were recorded on Wednesday, as the league announced the cancellation of all preseason games up to Sept. 30.

That wipes out four exhibition games for the Bruins, including back-to-back contests against the Winnipeg Jets in both Winnipeg and Saskatoon. Only the Oct 3, 5 and 6 games against the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens remain.

Bruins training camp was set to begin this weekend, and all of those sessions have been canceled, as well. The closest the New England area will get to Bruins hockey this month will be the opening of Providence Bruins training camp at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sept. 28.

The NHL also cancelled the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville preseason game scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville, Ontario and postponed it until 2013.

In a press release, the NHL simply stated the preseason games were cancelled because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players Association and the NHL.

The NHL and NHLPA are also expected to go another day without formal talks on Wednesday, and its now been nearly a week since the two sides sat down for any formal negotiations. Meanwhile the Bruins players continue to practice at Harvards Bright Hockey Center and begin to make plans to play elsewhere while staying sharp and hoping for hockey to start up again soon.In all 61 preseason games were cancelled across the NHL in one fell swoop of Gary Bettman's lockout stick.Here is a list of the four preseason games cancelled by todays action from the NHL:

Sept. 25: Bruins at Capitals (Verizon Center, Washington)
Sept. 26: Bruins at Sabres (First Niagara Center, Buffalo)
Sept. 29: Bruins vs. Jets (Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon)
Sept. 30: Bruins at Jets (MTS Centre, Winnipeg)

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.
 

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden.