Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while checking in for the final weekend of hockey on the Bruins calendar. After the Bruins development camp comes to a close, it’s about six weeks of Canadians retreating to their cottages and hockey moving to an absolute standstill until the end of August.
*So what is better than stirring up a hornet’s nest of Pittsburgh Penguins fans by forcing them to look at a photo of Tom Brady throwing his paws all over the Stanley Cup? Nobody seems to know where or why TB12 was mugging with Lord Stanley recently, but he looks magnificent doing it. It also means that Penguins fans are pissed off about it after the Pens won their back-to-back title last month. Anything to completely rattle the highly irrational Pittsburgh fan base is okay with me.
*Larry Brooks has his thoughts for the week, and it includes calling out Alex Ovechkin to get into better shape if the Washington Capitals finally want to get over the hump next season.
*Steve Simmons finds it ridiculous that we’re already talking about how much Auston Matthews is going to make in his next contract. A reminder that he’s coming off his rookie NHL season, and that shouldn’t even be a real consideration until he finishes up this coming season, and likely continues to build toward a Connor McDavid-like second deal.
*Veteran New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein announces his retirement from the NHL after a solid career with several stops along the way.
*The natives are restless saying it’s “status quo” for the Habs, and that’s not good enough. Didn’t they make a major trade for Jonathan Drouin and sign Karl Alzner in free agency while re-working a big part of their defense? How the heck is that status quo in Montreal?
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Calgary Flames scoring star Johnny Gaudreau excited about the big changes for the Flames in the offseason, and what it means for their immediate future.
*For something completely different: The opioid epidemic is one of the scariest, saddest things happening in this country right now.
BOSTON – In their final home dress rehearsal of the preseason prior to the start of the regular season schedule at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins gave their fans plenty to cheer about.
Powered by three goals scored in the first period, the B’s took a 4-2 win over a preseason roster of Chicago Blackhawks players at the Garden to push their preseason record to 4-1-0 with a couple of exhibition games still left to be played. It was as much the players that scored as the scoring itself was the cause of excitement with Boston’s star players stepping up, and the young prospects once again demanding notice during auditions for NHL jobs.
David Pastrnak scored on a sniper shot over Corey Crawford’s glove hand just 52 seconds into the game, and Jeremy Lauzon followed 36 seconds later with a long distance blast from the left point.
Anders Bjork made it a breakout night when he stepped into a one-timer blast midway through the first while teaming up with prospective linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Brandon Saad and John Hayden pushed it back to a one-goal game midway through the second period, but a power-play strike from Bergeron in the third period gave the Bruins all the cushion they would need for victory.
Malcolm Subban got the start for the B’s between the pipes, and he was strong while stopping 24-of-26 shots that he faced, including a flurry of athletic saves in the third period that got the home crowd on its feet. Subban finished up with a strong 14 saves in the third period while helping the B’s slam the door on the Blackhawks.
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.