Ruff expecting 'a storm coming' with Bruins


Ruff expecting 'a storm coming' with Bruins

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres held an optional skate at the First Niagara Center ice on Sunday morning after arriving in Buffalo just a handful of hours earlier after a road tilt on Long Island.

Robyn Regher and Tyler Myers were among the Buffalo skaters taking part in that skate, and it appears Ryan Miller will get the start in net as Jhonas Enroth was the goaltender on the ice for the morning walk through.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was in the middle of controversy in the last meeting with the Bruins in Boston after calling a timeout late in the third period while up by three goals in a contentious game. Brad Marchand called the move to put John Scott on the ice in the final seconds "disrespectful" after the game was over. Scott had already had a one-sided tilt with Shawn Thornton and thrown a few elbows at the heads of Bruins players.

With all that in mind as Buffalo and Boston ready for the divisional rematch on Sunday night, the longtime Sabres coach said he's expecting a response from a proud bunch of Bruins players.

"I think the expectation is that a storm might be coming (with the Bruins) tonight," said Ruff.

That storm might consist of more Bruins-like defense along with the kind of swaggering, physical hockey that the Black and Gold are know for. But Ruff's assumption that the 7-1-1 Bruins will have some sort of response for the upstart Sabres should be completely accurate.

The hard-nosed Regehr looks to be returning to the lineup for the Sabres in Sunday night's collision course with the Bruins, and he similarly expects an unkind game from the Black and Gold after embarrassing them on home ice in Boston.

"Being the opponent that it is tonight in Boston I'm sure it's going to be a physical and an emotional game," said Regehr. "I don't think they've played for a number of days with their game postponed, so they were sitting here waiting for us. So we need to make sure that we're ready to play the way we know we can.

"Matching their start will be very important because I'm expecting a very big start from them."

There's little doubt the start, middle and end will all be important to the Bruins entering the Sabres' barn on Sunday night.

Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0


Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0

BOSTON – The Bruins had to feel like things would go badly for them with both of their usual goaltenders on the shelf against the Minnesota Wild.

That’s exactly what happened with Malcolm Subban getting pulled in the second period for the second time in his two-start NHL career, and the Bruins ultimately falling by a 5-0 score to the Wild at TD Garden. Subban lasted a tad more than 30 minutes in this game, but looked shaky in allowing two goals in a span of 12 seconds to Minnesota as they took control early in the second period.

Weymouth native Charlie Coyle floated a spinning, surprise shot through the glove hand and leg pad of a slow-reacting Subban, and Chris Stewart followed by roofing a shot while all alone in front following the ensuing face-off.

Subban made a nice save on Marco Scandella to temporarily stop the bleeding, but was pulled from the game when Ryan Suter beat him low to the glove hand with a power play strike midway through the second. Subban was pulled after giving up the third goal of the night, and Zane McIntyre was ostensibly better even if he allowed a Jason Zucker deflected shot past him to give the Wild an insurmountable four goal cushion.

The Bruins tried to rally for something in the third period, but there wasn’t much going on after the shaky defense and subpar goaltending knocked all the wind right out of them. Jason Pominville scored late in the game on a rebound goal to round out the scoring. The scary part is that Tuesday night’s loss to the Wild represents the first of six games against worthy opponents that made the playoffs last season, and there’s no hint of when Tuukka Rask or Anton Khudobin might be ready to return. 

O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time


O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time

BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.

The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.

So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.

“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.

“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”

While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.