By Joe Haggerty
LOS ANGELES A strangle little two-game West Coast trip came to an unsurprisingly sleepy ending on Monday night.The Bruins couldnt muster much offense and lost most of the physical battles in an effort that was missing heart, mind and body en route to a 2-0 loss to the Kings at the Staples Center in the heart of Los Angeles.The first score for the Kings came in the first period with Zdeno Chara in the penalty box and a soft underbelly exposed along the Bs penalty kill without their big captain. Ryan Smyth went right to the front of the net and pounded home the rebound of a Jarret Stoll point shot while splitting the defense of Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg.Young Kings winger Andrei Loktionov gave LA their much-needed insurance goal in the middle of the second period off a Bs turnover around the blue line that allowed Anze Kopitar to create the play.The Bruins missed on their best scoring chance in the second period as Zdeno Chara fired a one-timer off the outside of the right post when he had a wide open net to work with as Jonathan Quick was tardy getting to his spot.Tim Thomas was otherwise brilliant with a series of kick saves and glove stops including a butterfly pad save on a Jarret Stoll hot shot from the slot area. Minutes later Quick had his own great stop as Milan Lucic fired a puck on Quick from the high slot as he steamed toward the net. Quick was solid throughout and improved to 5-0 against the Bruins in his career with a 34 save effort that served as his fifth shutout of the season. Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future.
The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team.
Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now.
“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”
McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.
Mike Felger explains how disappointed he is about the media coverage of Tuukka Rask.