Bruins: 'Last year was last year'


Bruins: 'Last year was last year'

By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Its pretty clear after a couple of days that the Bruins are on the same page when it comes to publicly closing the door on last years collapse.The Bruins dropped four straight games to the Flyers in the second round of last years playoffs and were the butt of plenty of Boston Massacre-style jokes last summer. Now, they have the chance to wipe that memory clean.Its the Big, Bad, Broad Street Bullies vs. the Big, Bad, Bruins and itll be the equivalent of an alley brawl to determine which team advances once the seven game war of attrition and steely determination has been decided.But Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien have set the tone over the last couple of days, and put the proper focus on the here and now of Game 1 in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon rather than anywhere else. The Bs coach sounded like a hockey version of Yogi Berra when asked to compare and contrast this years series against the Flyers with last season's, but Julien wasnt going there just like his players werent willing to step into that territory.Instead Julien was focusing on the fact that so much statistically was slanted against the Bs in the opening round Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens, and his hockey club did a good job of tossing convention and probability straight out the window.I think last year is last year, and this year is this year," Julien said. "A lot of people are going to want to bring up the past. If anything, its like Montreal. All the stats were probably against us with the odds and how the Bruins had fared against them in the past. We were down 2-0... anything that the odds were against us we overcame. "So its always a new situation. Its a new opportunity and thats how were looking at it. Its just a new opportunity for us to get past the Flyers and hopefully win this series. Zdeno Chara said that he lost 10 pounds in the 24 hours surrounding his virus and extreme hydration episode before Game 2 against the Montreal Canadiens, and that hes just now feeling 100 percent following the illness. The Bruins captain was noticeably weaker during the games following his hospitalization, but battled through and indicated he was back at 100 percent prior to the weekend start to the Flyers series. Chara's normal playing weight is 255 pounds, and he told that he's back up to 252 with only a couple more pounds to be back up to his full fighting weight. Every Bruins player was on the ice for a Friday morning practice at TD Garden that included power play work, line drills and some good old-fashioned work on defensive zone breakouts in anticipation of the strong Flyers fore-check coming their way starting this weekend. Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Thursday that his hockey club is healthy entering their conference semi-final series against Philly. Tyler Seguin has taken to calling his forward line the Green Goblin line while skating with Jordan Caron and Jamie Arniel and wearing bright green jerseys during practice. It seems that Shawn Thornton isnt much of a Spider Man fan given that Seguin had to explain the origin of the term born from one of the super-villains in the comic book and movies.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Bruins recall McIntyre on emergency basis, but perhaps not for Rask


Bruins recall McIntyre on emergency basis, but perhaps not for Rask

UPDATE: The Boston Herald reports McIntyre is with the team as a replacement for Anton Khudobin, who is said to be suffering from a minor injury, and not Tuukka Rask, and that Rask will start as scheduled against Nashville.

BOSTON -- Even though he's been proclaiming himself healthy and able for the last two days, Tuukka Rask may not be as ready to go as everybody thought.

The Bruins announced a couple of hours prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Nashville Predators that rookie goalie Zane McIntyre had been recalled on an emergency basis. He spent the weekend with the team in the same capacity, filling in for Rask while Rask battled a lower body injury.

So the logical assumption is that something has recurred that will prevent Rask -- who on Tuesday night told interim coach Bruce Cassidy he was ready -- from playing tonight.

Rask is 8-8 with a 2.91 goals against average and an .892 save percentage since the NHL All-Star break, and gave up five goals in a loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday night. He missed Saturday's big game vs. the Islanders with a lower body issue that just “popped up.”

We’ll find out for sure during pregame warm-ups, but the only way an emergency recall can be made is if a player is injured or suffering from an illness. Anton Khudobin looked fit as a fiddle while practicing with the Bruins on Tuesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, so stay tuned for the latest.

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

The second BU’s season ended, Bruins fans were champing (it’s champing, not chomping; look it up) at the bit to get sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy to the NHL. 

So when word emerged from Bob McKenzie that it’s looking like McAvoy will join Providence on an amateur tryout, eyes rolled. Why not sign McAvoy to his three-year entry level contract, have him stay in Boston and get some NHL experience. After all, we hear over and over that as long as you don’t play 10 NHL games, a year doesn’t get burned. 

The answer is because that 10-game thing doesn’t apply to everyone. It applies when talking about teenagers who are coming from the CHL, which is when the issue most commonly pops up, a la Tyler Seguin in 2010-11. 

Yet much like it didn’t apply to Torey Krug when he signed with the Bruins in 2012, it doesn’t apply to McAvoy now. The reason some kids can play nine games and then go away without a year being burned is because their contract slides. Players who are 18 or 19 years old as of Sept. 15 of their signing year see their deal moved back a year as long as they don’t play 10 NHL games, including the playoffs. 

For players who are 19 as of Sept. 15 of the year they sign (not season) and turn 20 between Sept. 16 and Dec. 31, their contract does not slide. This is all explained neatly here. 

If you’ve fallen asleep by this point, wake up right quick. McAvoy is 19 and will turn 20 on Dec. 21. That means that if McAvoy and signs and plays an NHL game this season, one year will be burned off his entry-level deal, making him up for a new deal after the 2018-19 season rather than the 2019-20 season. Same goes for Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, who already is 20. 

The Bruins actually used this drawback to their advantage when they signed Krug. The B’s let the 20-year-old Krug play in an NHL game after he signed, which got him to restricted free agency a year earlier. The promise to play him and burn that year was likely a reason Krug chose to sign with the B’s as an undrafted free agent. 

So for now, yes, an ATO is the safe play for the Bruins if they want to maximize the value of McAvoy’s entry level deal. His NHL career might have to wait until the fall.