Morning Skate 210: Fight night aftermath for B's

Morning Skate 210: Fight night aftermath for B's

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comWILMINGTON, Mass. There were plenty of strong opinions across the hockey spectrumabout the 13 fighting majors and 187 penalty minutes racked up by the Bruins and Canadiens in an old-fashioned ball of hockey hate at TD Garden on Wednesday night.There were clearlyplayers lurching over the edge and blurring the line between clean and dirty on both benches, but it appears in the aftermath that several players on the Bruins' side of things were being called out. "When you're in a fight, you're in a fight," said Gregory Campbell, channeling a little Yogi Berra after Thursday's practice. "You've got to protect yourself, and more often than not you're going to go on the offensive."It's a five-on-five brawl, and I've been on the flip side of that. You've got to protect yourself."ESPN.com's Pierre Lebrun was highly critical of Shawn Thornton and Johnny Boychuk squaring off with Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek respectively with 41 seconds to go in the third period a pair of bouts during a line brawl that featured every player throwing down in a wild fracas.Boychuk has one fighting major this year, and is not a fighter even though its something the Colorado Avalanche foolishly tried to turn him into during his time prior to arriving in Boston.
I completely respect Lebrun and his opinion, and it would seem a bit of overkill at that point to continue beating down a Canadiens team that was already seemingly down and out with less than a minue to go in the third. But every hockey writer knows there are threesides to any stories coming out after a brawl-filled game like Wednesday night: The Habs' side, the B's side and the truth somewhere in the middle.Lets not forget a couple of things: in their last game against each otherthe Habs scored two goals in less than three minutes to shock the Bruins and make them pay for not finishing out a game as strongly as they started out. The Bs were determined to not let that happen after losing eight of their last 9 games against Montreal and when playing against their nearest competition in the Northeast Division. Boston has gone 10-4 since their collapse in Montreal, and part of that is finishing strong right up until the final buzzer.Secondly, anything really goes in a rare NHLline brawl where players can sometimes get matched up against bigger, meanerand stronger opponents. How about Max Pacioretty attempting to find something on the ice to hide under when Zdeno Chara came looking for a little hockey justice after the Montreal rookie foolishly shoved Chara in the back after scoring the overtime game-winner at the Bell Centre?Or how about P.K. Subban refusing to drop the gloves with Nathan Horton a player that is absolutely in his fighter class when the Bs scorer was willing to drop them with a young player thats madeplenty of enemies in the Boston locker room?Players like Spacek and Hamrlik were paying a price for some of their impetuous young teammates that refuse to answer for their actions the honorable way: on the ice like men.
Then theres also the simple fact that Hamrlik popped Thornton in the face the action that effectively set off the final line brawl and brought the world of pain on both Hamrlik and Spacek. As they always say, don't poke the bear in the cage.With all that being said, on to the links:Stu Hackel wonders if there shouldnt be a review of the game tapes from last nights BruinsCanadiens game because Gregory Campbell used his elbow guard like a blackjack to cut up Tom Pyatts face.A good recap over at Kuklas Korner of where the Detroit Red Wings are as they arrive in Boston and it appears the Bruins could be walking into a hornets nest if theyre not too careful.A good breakdown of Mr. Underwoods trade to the Nashville Predatorsby Friend of Haggs (FOH) John Manasso and what it means to a Preds team that looks like theyll again make the playoffs. The Hockey News Adam Proteau weighs in on the BruinsHabs game and Matt Cookes four-game suspension. I can guarantee one thing: Boston people will feel strongly about Proteaus take.James Wisniewski returns to Long Island with a bruised and battered Canadiens team, but is grateful the Isles shipped him off to Montreal.Pierre Lebrun and Scott Burnsides weigh in on the BruinsHabs game as well at ESPN.com, and Lebrun says hes disappointed in Shawn Thornton and Johnny Boychuk.Quebec City is getting a new NHL-style rink, and opening the door for another NHL team to renew the Nordiques tradition at any time. How awesome would that be?

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

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Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.  

 

Spooner, Bruins nearly $2 million apart in arbitration figures

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Spooner, Bruins nearly $2 million apart in arbitration figures

The figures and briefs are in for the Bruins and Ryan Spooner for their arbitration hearing Wednesday, but both sides are still hoping that a deal can be reached prior to it. The Bruins have submitted a one-year contract offer for $2 million. Spooner’s camp countered with $3.85 million, creating a sizeable gap of almost $2 million between the two.

Spooner, 25, has averaged 12 goals and 44 points the past two seasons with the B’s, including 35 power-play points while working the half-wall for a Boston PP that’s been ranked seventh overall two seasons in a row.

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Spooner is coming off a two-year contract worth $1.95 million and his is a complicated situation for the Black and Gold. Spooner holds significant value as a trade piece and has been an important part of a very effective power play, but he also finished the playoffs as a healthy scratch after going quietly the past few months of the season.

Spooner was one of the major pieces discussed in trade talks with the Minnesota Wild around the draft prior to the Wild shipping Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres and he's been involved in trade discussions with several teams the past couple of years.

The Bruins have prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson waiting in the wings if/when the B’s decided to spin Spooner to another team, but they also enjoy his speed and playmaking when he’s on his game. There’s clearly a scenario where the Bruins start the season with Spooner installed as their third-line center and perhaps explore more trade discussions while seeing if a full season under Bruce Cassidy can unlock his significant offensive potential.

If that's still in the plan, they’d be wise to come to an agreement and avoid the hearing Wednesday where they’d ostensibly be bad-mouthing a player they’d want back on their team. The Bruins have the right to walk away from Spooner should he be awarded the full $3.85 million by the arbiter. Still, it’s hard to believe they’d do that given that he’s a homegrown asset with trade value.

The feeling at this address is that there’s a deal to be made between the two sides for something around the $3 million mark. That’s something that would be worthwhile for the Bruins if they have any designs on continuing on with Spooner.