Ranford now with Kings, but still many connections to Bruins


Ranford now with Kings, but still many connections to Bruins

NEWARK, NJ Bill Ranford has a theory about the future career paths of goaltenders and journeymen, bottom line forward-types.

You can never tell which players will become coaches, but it seems like the goalies go do TV and the role players become coaches, said Ranford. Very rarely do the skill guys become head coaches over the long haul.

The formers Bruins goaltender and current Los Angeles Kings goaltending coach has been working with Kings prodigy Jon Quick for the last five seasons while helping turn him into the elite netminder ready to start in the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night.

But the former Bruins third-round pick in 1985 had actually thought television, rather than coaching, was going to be his hockey gravy train after his playing days were over.

Ranford did some work in Vancouver broadcasting local games and some analyst work for TSN after taking a broadcasting course offered by the NHLPA at the end of his playing days.

I did some broadcasting with the NHLPA Goals and Dreams program, and they approached me about taking the broadcasting seminar, said Ranford. I did a little work with TSN and some radio work in Vancouver, but Marc Crawford approached me about the goaltending job in LA after Id been doing it at the junior level for a few years.

It felt like the right time to try it and Ive been doing it for six years. With my international hockey experience and Canada Cup stuff I got to know Canadian TV executive John Shannon pretty well and I thought Id get into the color analyst stuffor something TV-wise. John helped me with that early on, but Ive really enjoyed my time with the Kings working with two very good young goalies.

Crawford cajoled him into coaching when he took the reigns of the Kings six years ago, and hes survived several regime chances as the goalie guru for a Los Angeles team thats got two great young ones in Quick and Jonathan Bernier.

Youve built that trust with your goaltenders early, and the two Jonathans have been together with me for five years now, said Ranford. You gain that trust in each other. Ive got their backs and theyve got mine.

Bruins fans will remember Ranford for several different things: jumping into the playoffs in 1986 after being selected in the third round by the Bruins just one year prior, and then later being traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Andy Moog.

Then he won Stanley Cup rings against the Bruins in 1988 and 1990 one as a backup to Grant Fuhr and one as a Conn Smythe winner gaining revenge on a Boston team that dealt him away before rejoining them at the end of his NHL career. Then Ranford was again moved in another infamous deal that sent Adam Oates, Rick Tocchet and the goalie to Washington in exchange for Jason Allison, Anson Carter and Massachusetts native Jim Carey.

He still looks back on his days with the Bruins fondly despite being traded out of the organization twice, and dropped in some of his old pals during last years Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks.

Boston is a great city. It was an excellent city to live in when I played there, and I still have friends there to this day, said Ranford. I was at Game 5 and went in to see Harry Sinden in the Bruins box. I still keep in touch with Johnny Bucyk. There are guys on the Cup winning team that I knew a little bit over the years.

During his time coaching junior hockey in British Columbia Ranford saw the career progression of a young kid from East Vancouver named Lucic, and that created another Six Degrees of Bill Ranford connection to the Bruins even if he didnt know it at the time.

I had Milan Lucic as a player at the BC junior level and I saw him grow and develop. It was pretty special to watch that, and then see him raise the Cup last year, said Ranford. I was with him with the Coquitlam Express where he was just hoping for a chance to play, and then saw him evolve into this really dominant player during his time with Vancouver.

He was very raw. He just wanted to play. He would go run through the end boards if you asked him to because he just wanted to get out there on the ice. Thats the kind of player he was.

No matter where Ranford goes it seems like hell always tied back to the Bruins organization on many different levels, and thats perfectly okay with him now that they dont have a chance to trade him one last time.

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs


Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins. 

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.