Kaberle: 'Raymond Bourque was my hero'

Kaberle: 'Raymond Bourque was my hero'

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comOTTAWA The Bruins are going to have a whole new look tonight, and it starts with Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly taking the ice for the Black and Gold for the first time at Scotiabank Place.Kaberle will wear no. 12 because his No. 15 isnt available and Chris Kelly will wear No. 23 in their first go-round with the Bs. The four-time All-Star defenseman spoke about his feelings prior to arriving at Scotiabank Place, and said some of the magic words that Bruins fans wanted to hear: the Bruins were his team as a kid and Ray Bourque was his hero growing up in the Czech Republic.Never hurts to speak about a legendaryBruins' Hall of Famer in glowing terms when you're about to don the Black and Gold uniform for the very first time.Growing up, the Bruins were my team because Raymond Bourque was my hero, and I always looked up to him as a little kid, said Kaberle, who immediately becomes a minutes muncher at the defenseman position along with Zdeno Chara. I hope to help out on the power play, and just keep things simple.The mere thought of Kaberle talking power play immediately lets the mind wander toward the newest Bs defensemen feeding pucks for Chara one-timers from his left point position just as Peter Chiarelli envisioned when he mentioned the defensemen point duo of Kaberle and Brian McCabe that used to be so effective in Toronto.Kaberle would lead the Bs defensemen with 35 assists and 38 points on the season, and his prolific ability to help out on the power play is well documented in an area that Boston needs all kinds of help.Kaberle said it was difficult to leave the Leafs after 15 years with the organization, but the idea of participating in the playoffs for the first time in five years after wallowing through the muck and the mire was something he couldnt pass up in a city hes looking to try on for size.Its mixed feelings. I've been with the Leafs for 15 years, said Kaberle. Its sad to leave, but I'm going to a really good organization in Bruins, and Im really excited to be looking at a chance to play in the playoffs. Ive watched Boston really get good in the last few years, and its exciting to be part of such a good team with good goaltending.

Liles remains in lineup for Bruins, Colin Miller stays a healthy scratch

Liles remains in lineup for Bruins, Colin Miller stays a healthy scratch

BRIGHTON, Mass – It had been more than a month since John-Michael Liles had jumped into a game for the Bruins, so the 36-year-old kept it simple on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators.

Liles finished with a plus-1 rating and a couple of shots on net in 13-plus minutes of ice time and was part of a Bruins defense that blocked a whopping 25 shots in the tight, defensively sound victory. He was also just understandably excited to be back to playing with so much on the line this late in the regular season.

“I’ve been in situations like this before, so I was just trying to stick to my game and play to my strengths,” said Liles, who has five assists in 32 games this season. “It did feel like a playoff game a bit and you get to this time of year where every point is crucial for us as well as [the other teams]. It can be challenging when you haven’t played together with somebody for a while [as a pairing], but when you keep it simple that makes it easier. As long as you talk on the ice it will work, and I think [Kevan Miller] and I have done okay with that in different situations.”

On the flip side, the 24-year-old Colin Miller will sit for the second consecutive game tonight against the Dallas Stars in favor of Liles after playing a low 11:50 of ice time in the win over the Islanders last weekend. The skilled, puck-moving Miller has two points and a plus-2 rating in 12 games in March, but clearly something isn’t good enough with Bruce Cassidy opting for Liles over Miller as of late.

“I think [Liles] has worked hard to stay in good condition and stay sharp if he got in the lineup, so we’re going to give him another chance. It’s one of those gut instincts this time of year, and [Dallas] is a good matchup for him,” said Cassidy. Miller has five goals and 12 points in 58 games for the B’s in his second NHL season. “[Miller] is young, but he’s not Brandon Carlo-young. He’s been a pro for three or four years. It’s him understanding the consistency, every-night factor or playing to his strengths and what we want out of him, and balancing that with what [Liles] did for us the other night.

“This time of year you always want young players to face these moments and play through them, but you also have to balance your lineup if you feel a veteran guy gives you a better shot to win. We’re looking at both of those things. Either way you hope that when Colin Miller gets back in that he’s better off for it, and not worse off. That’s the plan. In the meantime [Liles] gives us good, solid minutes.”

One final thing that could also be going on a bit in the background: The Bruins possibly paving the way for Charlie McAvoy to get an look at the NHL level next week and giving themselves some options of where to play him if he thoroughly dominates in Providence this weekend.

A third pairing of Liles-McAvoy would give the Bruins a much different, much more mobile look if that transpired and knocking some of the rust off Liles makes that a possibility if/when McAvoy gets an NHL cup of coffee.  

Thursday, March 30: Maybe they should rename it the Bergeron Trophy?

Thursday, March 30: Maybe they should rename it the Bergeron Trophy?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while really enjoying Matthew Tkachuk’s first go-round in the NHL. He may not have grown up here, but he’s definitely got some Masshole in his game.

*The five major contenders for the Selke Trophy include this one guy that wears Black and Gold and might have won the thing a couple of times. I’ll give you three guesses who that is.

*The 25-year run of the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs has come to a close, and it’s probably the right time for them to reevaluate things.

*A Flames/Kings game turned into an on-ice rumble of sorts with Matthew Tkachuk involved in all kinds of action after his previous elbow of Drew Doughty.

*Speaking of the Flames/Kings, here’s Brian Burke with an After Hours-looking segment talking about the rough stuff during Flames/Kings.

*David Clarkson is finding his hockey life after the NHL with a high school coaching gig in Ohio not far from the Blue Jackets’ home rink.

*If it’s truly his last hockey game in Calgary, Jarome Iginla made it one to remember squaring off against his old Flames team.

*For something completely different: There’s been some smoke about the Expos returning to Montreal, but no fire as yet on the reports.