Hockey Santa leaves the Bruins presents


Hockey Santa leaves the Bruins presents

It was a very merry Christmas for so many over the last couple of days, and that includes the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Heres what we here at envision hockey Santa leaving the Bruins players, coaches and staff under their collective Christmas trees before they hopped on a plane for Phoenix on Tuesday.

On with the list:

Zdeno Chara a copy of an X-Men comic book with the character Wolverine playing a starring role. One of Wolverines attributes is his ability heal at a superhuman pace, and thats something he seems to share in common with Chara. That knee injury in Columbus looked serious and might have sidelined a lesser-conditioned athlete for longer, but it only took the Bruins captain out for two games.

Tim Thomas For the goaltender that has everything, an autographed Welcome to the Club Bernie Parent picture when Thomas has another season just like last year. Hes the only goalie aside from Parent to win the Stanley Cup, Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy, and the former Flyers netminder did it two years in a row.

Patrice Bergeron A guaranteed full season with Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand alongside him, as its doing wonders for his offense. Bergeron is on pace for a 70 point season for the first time since prior to suffering a horrendous concussion in the 2007-08 season.

Milan Lucic A thank you note from Buffalo for speeding up the process of getting highly overrated goaltender Ryan Miller off the Sabres, and out of a Northeast Division thats clearly too rough and tough for him.

Brad Marchand A full Nose Face Killah clothing line for all those that have a nose for the net.

Tyler Seguin A Justin Bieber alarm clock? Too easy and it looks like Seguin has taken things to heart after missing the pancake social in Winnipeg.

Nathan Horton The full day with the Stanley Cup that he never received when it arrived in Weiland, Ontario several hours late this summer.

David Krejci A louder speaking voice or a megaphone. Krejci is among the funniest and most intelligent Bruins players when he has his dry wit going, but hes also one of the softest talkers.

Rich Peverley A full bottle of Ibuprofen, as he plays through a nagging injury that may need surgery in the off-season.

Chris Kelly The contract extension he richly deserves to stay in Boston as the perfect third line centeralternate captain for a playoff caliber Bruins team.

Andrew Ference A replica Stanley Cup made of recycled materials for the environmentally conscious NHL player.

Joe Corvo A few more body checks in the post-Christmas schedule so he can pull away from Seguin for the fewest on the Bruins team.

Benoit Pouliot A 247 channel devoted to playing his filthy between his legs goal on a loop after making everybodys highlight reel during the win against the Panthers Friday night.

Gregory Campbell A fully healed left foot after he played through the pain of a fracture to finish out the last few games before the Christmas break. Campbells pain tolerance is fully appreciated by hockey Santa.

Dennis Seidenberg The German defenseman got his first goal of the season in the final game before Christmas, so he got his present early.

Daniel Paille Good fortune and good health for Paille after he fractured his face and suffered a concussion within a month of each other. The Steve Staios shot to the face was a bloody mess that is enough injury to last an entire season.

Johnny Boychuk The thing Boychuk most wanted to see under his tree was a contract extension with the Bruins, but hell have to wait until the summer for that.

Shawn Thornton His own reality show where hes mic'd up for each and every hockey game he plays. The stuff that comes out of his mouth on the ice is HBO 247 gold.

Adam McQuaid McQuaid said hell grow out the mullet again if the Bruins are in the playoffs come this spring, so the only natural gift for McQuaid is another flowing, curly mullet to match last years model.

Jordan Caron A new road roommate after Caron was forced to answer questions in the wake of Tyler Seguin sleeping through morning meetings in Winnipeg.

Zach Hamill A new NHL destination where Hamill will get a chance to play every night and fully develop his game because its not likely to come with the Bruins this season. Who knows what the future holds for the former first round pick?

Tuukka Rask A whole lot of playing time in the second half of the season something hell get plenty of with road-heavy portions of the schedule in January and March for the Bruins.

Claude Julien A collection of his greatest Christmas hits after releasing the single Kevin Walsh Got Run Over by a Reindeer just before the holiday. Its a feel-good Christmas ditty.

Peter Chiarelli A box of LA Kings golf balls to complete the deal for Marco Sturm last season for future considerations (and needed salary cap relief).

Cam Neely Whatever he wants because nobody messes with Seabass. Not even hockey Santa.

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation


Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.