Morning Skate 513: Peverley wants Thrashers to stay

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Morning Skate 513: Peverley wants Thrashers to stay

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Plenty of relocation talk in Atlanta over the last week where Twitter rumors and Internet whispers are running rampant that the Thrashers organization is preparing itself for a move to Manitoba. Thrashers blogger and team employee Ben Wright actually went on Twitter himself to debunk the rumors and assure that there were no organizational meetings taking place about a potential move to Winnipeg this summer.But theres little doubt Atlanta could be ripe for the relocation picking with the Phoenix Coyotes sticking in Arizona for another season, and the toxic cocktail of ownership problems and attendance issues crushing a flagging hockey franchise in an incredibly indifferent sports city.Bruins winger Rich Peverley played parts of three seasons and only one full campaign where he blossomed into a bona fide NHL forward with 22 goals and 55 points last season in Atlanta, and was clearly bothered by talk that the NHL wouldnt extend the same league protection to that city as theyve done for Glendale throughout their lengthy battle to remain in Phoenix.Just as Gary Bettman and the NHL acted as foster parents for the Coyotes over the last couple of seasons, Peverley rightfully asks why a Thrashers team with young stars like Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane couldnt have the same sort of efforts extended toward them.It would be a shame if they moved," Peverley said. "I think that situation with the organization can be resolved. If you only make the playoffs one out of ten years its obviously tough. With the ownership the situation of going to court for five years it really hampers the organization. What the NHL did for Phoenix hopefully theyll do the same thing for Atlanta because I think its a market that could definitely work.Some guys say it didnt bother them at all and during the season you dont think about it because youre not going anywhere. But some of the guys in the offseason, its in the back of their minds, and especially so for guys that have really planted roots there and have homes. I think that is something Thrashers players really do think about it.The real or imagined specter of relocation is looming over the heads of all Thrashers players, and that cant be a good thing for anybody.On to the links:One day after potting a hat trick against the United States in world competition, Jaromir Jagr-mania is running wild in the New York Times.Pro Hockey Talk has the story on the Mayor of Atlanta staunchly refusing to go through the same steps as Glendale to keep the Thrashers in the fair state of Georgia.Friend of Haggs (FOH) John Manasso has more on the Thrashers potentially uprooting from Atlanta for Manitoba, but says that the situation hasnt even begun to develop at this point.The Boys at Days of YOrr had way too much time coming up with a new billboard for the BruinsLighting series.A piece from TheHockeyWriters.comon whether the Bruins should consider benching Tomas Kaberle for the next round of the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Thats just not going to happen after the kings ransom Peter Chiarelli paid to Toronto for his services, and it absolutely wont go down against the trap-happy Lightning.The Wall Street Journals Kevin Clark searches for answers during a crazy, great Stanley Cup playoff season for the NHL.Steve Yzerman gives credit to the Tampa Bay Lightning ownership group for helping lift the Bolts out of the hockey dust bin this season.TSNs Darren Dreger has plenty in his latest report including the Atlanta situation, a landing spot for Jagr and what on earth the Flyers plan to do about their atrocious goaltending situation?WEEI.coms D.J. Bean said that David Krejci and the Bruins found inspiration in Journeys Dont Stop Believing. Dont stop me if you havent heard somebody get inspired by Steve Perry hitting his high notes before.NHL.com is kicking off their mock draft season, and it looks like the Bruins will be getting themselves a defenseman with their first round pick. I think Ryan Murphy to Boston has a nice ring to it.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Beleskey, Liles sitting tonight vs. Coyotes

Beleskey, Liles sitting tonight vs. Coyotes

BRIGHTON, Mass. – With the NHL trade deadline a mere one day away, the Bruins will keep two veterans, who could be shipped elsewhere, out of their lineup tonight against the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden.

Matt Beleskey and John-Michael Liles will both be scratches as the B's try to make it seven wins in eight tries under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. Tuukka Rask will get the call between the pipes against the Western Conference foe. The Liles scratch means that Colin Miller draws back in after being the healthy scratch in the Sunday matinee victory in Dallas.

The lines and pairings will look the same as they’ve been most of the time over the past seven mostly successful games. The Bruins will be focused on setting the tone rather than worrying about what the new-look Coyotes are going to do.

“The road trip is behind us and Arizona is in front of us, and that’s about as simple as we can make it,” said Cassidy. “They’re one of the teams that is on our schedule. I’m not being disrespectful at all in any way, shape or form, but our focus is on the Boston Bruins and getting our game in shape to play. Then we’ll make the minor adjustments we have to make.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings against the Coyotes based on the morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena:

 
Marchand-Bergeron-Backes

Cehlarik-Krejci-Pastrnak

Vatrano-Spooner-Hayes

Schaller-Moore-Nash

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

 
Rask 

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' third line has been reborn under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, and the players are now openly admitting they desperately needed a change.

Claude Julien never trusted Frank Vatrano, Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes enough defensively to play them together, but this line has blossomed under Cassidy: Six goals, 15 points and a plus-11 in seven games. They’ve survived in the defensive zone by rarely playing there. Instead, they push the pace, make plays to keep the puck out of the D-zone and, most importantly, keep producing the secondary offense that wasn’t there in the first 55 games of the season. 

No one has been freed from the shackles more than Spooner, who is back playing his natural center position after being forced to play left wing under Julien. The 25-year-old said Tuesday that getting a clean slate with a new coach has been extremely beneficial to him, and that perhaps he didn't always love playing for the guy now minding the bench in Montreal. 

“I felt like the last coach ... he just didn’t really trust me,” said Spooner, who has two goals and six points along with a plus-1 rating in seven games post-Julien. “It might've been kind of on me not really playing to the potential that I have, but at the same time . . . I just don’t think that he really liked me as a player. It’s kind of in the past now. It’s just a part of the game. It’s up to me to just go out there and just play, and not have that stuff in the back of my mind. 

“I just kind of have to go out there and believe in myself and I think at times I wasn’t really going out there and doing that. Maybe that’s something to learn. This sport has ups and downs, and I’ve had my downs. You learn that you can just sort of push through it. If you do that then things can be good.”

Spooner has 10 goals and 33 points along with a minus-3 this season, and could potentially surpass last year's numbers (13-36-49) in his second full season. 

Most felt that the speedy, skilled Spooner would be one of the big beneficiaries of the move from Julien to Cassidy, and now he’s showing that with a new lease on life in Boston.