BOSTON -- Some of the Bruins werent happy with Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff taking a timeout with 13.6 seconds to go in the third period with the Sabres holding a three-goal lead in a game that had already been decided. Claude Julien said it was within the Sabres coaches right to call for a timeout, and that Ruff should be the one to be asked about the reasoning behind it.
I just played along with it, said Julien. He mightve thought that something was going to happen, which wasnt, but thats probably for him to answer. I dont know.
Brad Marchand was a little rawer in his assessment following the Bruins first regulation loss of the season to a Buffalo team hungry for revenge upon entering the TD Garden Thursday night.
Ruff wants to be a big shot, and it was not the best play to dopretty disrespectful, said Marchand. If he wants to be like that, thats fine and we just have to move on.
The longtime Sabres coach indicated that he didnt call the timeout to show up a Bruins team in a game that had already been decided when Boston was outscored by a 4-to-1 margin in the third period. Instead Ruff said that he was worried the Bruins were going to pull some shenanigans with AHL tough guy Lane MacDermid on the ice for the final shift of the game.
So the Sabres coach called timeout and put 6-foot-8 enforcer John Scott on the ice to close out the game.
When Lane MacDermid was with one of our skill players I didnt want anything to happen, said Ruff. Thats really all it was about.
The Sabres coach was likely on high alert after Scott had injured Shawn Thornton in a fight earlier in the game and Drew Stafford had managed to get away penalty-free on a dirty blow to Dougie Hamiltons head in the third period. But its also highly unlikely in this day and age that the Bruins would attack the Sabres in the closing seconds of a loss when suspensions and fines would be an automatic for a team foolish enough to recreate something out of Slap Shot.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading. while readying for the last home game of the preseason tonight. Boy that went by quickly.
*Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is looking for the right mix on the fourth line for the Hawks.
*The NHL is coming late to the China party and it makes one wonder what will happen for the Winter Olympic Games set to be played there in 2022.
*PHT writer Adam Gretz has the Arizona Coyotes wanting to retire the freshly-retired Shane Doan’s number in the future.
*Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says that the decision to accept the White House’s invitation was independent of politics. Certainly, it was, but the timing of it and the feeble statement to go along with it left a lot to be desired.
*Pierre Lebrun goes 1-on-1 with Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien to talk about his past, his present and his future behind the bench with the Habs. I had always intended to subscribe to the Athletic, and this is the article that finally got me to do it as I get to read a few moments with one of the classiest individuals in the NHL in Julien. It certainly had a few rocky moments toward the end here in Boston for Julien, but I will always respect that guy as a coach and, more importantly, as a person.
*For something completely different: an interesting look at Alejandro Villanueva, the only Pittsburgh Steelers player, and a proud veteran, to stand outside the tunnel and on the field for the national anthem prior to the Steelers game on Sunday.
BRIGHTON, Mass – Zdeno Chara is one of the oldest players in the NHL at 40 and sometimes those players need a little more time to rest and recharge than the up-and-coming skaters half their age in training camp. That’s the case with Chara as he sat out practice on Monday feeling “under the weather” according to the Bruins. He didn’t skate on Sunday either and won’t play against the Chicago Blackhawks in Boston’s final home game of the preseason tonight.
Similarly, Kenny Agostino won’t be playing tonight after he suffered an upper-body injury in a victory last week over the Flyers, where the winger also scored the winning goal in overtime. Instead, a couple of young players will get further looks as Matt Grzelcyk is expected to be paired with Brandon Carlo and young Ryan Fitzgerald will get another look in the spot where a healthy Agostino might have drawn back into the lineup on Monday.
“We’re looking for [the young guys] to keep pushing, consistency and be strong on pucks as the lineups get stronger,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’re getting closer to NHL lineups with most teams like us and paring down, in general. The expectation is that they’ll see that 82 times. Fitzy has been a nice surprise. I shouldn’t say surprise because I didn’t know a lot about him. But he’s done what we’ve asked, so we’ll give him another game. The Agostino injury has opened up a door as he was probably a guy that would have gone back in after [Thursday] night, has played well and is another guy we don’t know a lot about. So it’s a good opportunity for [Fitzgerald]. I thought he was ahead of some of the other [young] guys, so that’s why we put him back in.”
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings tonight with just two more exhibition games to go before the regular season gets started: