BruinsSabres: 5 from the First

BruinsSabres: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Buffalo Sabres by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of their final regular season meeting of the year.1)Nathan Horton has clearly hit another gear down the stretch of the regular season, and one has to wonder if this is the Horton that everyone will see once the playoffs begin. If can he maintain the pace he has right now (5 goals, 4 assists in the last 10 games) and keep shooting the puck he has three shots on net in the first period then hes going to be a huge factor in the Boston postseason.2)Its incredible how much Adam McQuaid has factored into the offense lately, and he was once again in the middle of things in the first period despite a reputation as a stay-at-home defenseman. His play started the breakout that led to the Nathan Hortons goal, and he had several good shots at the Buffalo net in the first perod.3)Eleven saves for Tim Thomas in a very solid first period that included a momentum-turning glove stops on Jordan Leopold all alone near the net after a defensive breakdown and a great post-to-post stop on Jason Pominville in the closing minutes of the period.4)Zdeno Chara got a big ovation by Bruins fans as the game started during his first shift, and then heard shouts and chants of Chara! Chara! Chara! on the opening shift after his controversial play in Montreal. Bruins fans have always implored for more nastiness out of their captain during his time in Boston. Nobody ever wants to see a player injured badly, obviously.But it'spretty clearthe fans approve of the unflinching physicality from Chara, and don't want to see him lose his "edge" because of one ugly situation against their arch-rivals.5) Like Rich Peverley with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron after watching that line in the first period. Gives that trio a little more skating hop in their step.

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.

*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.

*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.

*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.  

*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.

*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.

*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.

*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.

 

Bruins sign restricted free agent Acciari to two-year deal

Bruins sign restricted free agent Acciari to two-year deal

The Bruins have locked up a potential fourth-line piece for next season at a bargain basement price.

The B's signed Rhode Island native and Providence College alum Noel Acciari, a restricted free agent, to a two-year deal worth $1.45 million, a contract that breaks down to a very affordable $725,000 cap hit for each of the next two seasons. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound bowling ball of a forward finished with two goals and five points in 29 games for the Bruins last season, and has appeared in 48 games at the NHL level over the last two seasons in Boston. It was also encouraging that Acciari seemed to be tapping a bit more into his offense toward the end of the season, and was building some confidence for whatever modest offense he’ll end up bringing to the NHL table once he’s reached his potential ceiling as a player.

Clearly the two-year, one-way deal portends that Acciari, 25, will be counted on as a high energy, hard-hitting fourth-line player who does a good job of aggravating opponents while playing at full tilt. The real question is whether his body can hold up with his maximum effort style of playing, and whether he can avoid serious injuries with some of the car-crash level of violence he puts in his hitting.

Acciari has battled several different injuries over the last couple of seasons, but managed to be healthy enough to log time in the playoffs for both Boston and the P-Bruins.

Either way it’s a low-risk, affordable contract for the Bruins for a young player who, if healthy, will be a large piece on their fourth line as a diligent worker and excellent teammate. So that’s a good proactive signing for Don Sweeney as he continues to work on a more complicated contract for a higher profile player like David Pastrnak.