Boston Bruins

Notes: Bruins turn attention to Flyers


Notes: Bruins turn attention to Flyers

By JoeHaggerty

BOSTON The Bruins are ready for Round Two against the Flyers.

After Boston survived seven games against the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia made it through a seven-game battle with the Buffalo Sabres, it allowed for a collision course between the Bs and the team that crushed their Stanley Cup dreams last season.

Worse than that it made Boston the equivalent of the Washington Generals in the hockey history books after they lost four straight games to the Flyers and blew a 3-0 lead in Game Seven.

But enough about a collapse that will be mentioned another million times between now and the end of the series. While the fast, skilled, flop-happy Canadiens proved to be a difficult matchup for the Bruins in the first round, the bigger, deeper, meaner Broad Street Bullies would seem to be a better match for the Big Bad Bruins over the course of a seven game playoff series.

A team that pulled the starting goalie three times in the first round series against the Buffalo Sabres would point toward a huge flaw on Philadelphias roster, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knows that his team will be up against an evenly-matched foe.

Well theyre bigger, first and foremost. I think thats a huge difference. You saw that Montreal stretched the ice, and theyre always coming at you, said Chiarelli. These guys dont stretch the ice as much, but they can go to the weak side a lot in their neutral zone.

Theyre coming in rushes, but they dont stretch it as much. Theyre like North-South, theyre like us to a certain degree. Theyve got skill players, theyve got some heavy players. Obviously there are more similarities between us and them than there are between us and Montreal.

The Bruins set an NHL record by going a fruitless 0-for-21 on the power play in the first round against the Montreal, and are the only NHL team to win a seven game playoff series without potting a power play goal. Chiarelli said that the coaches and players are doing everything they can to put some life back into the man advantage, and saw some problems cropping up from making too many changes to try and spark scoring.

I was thinking about this last night. Trust me, this is a topic that we have addressed all year, every day. I see a group of guys that -- beaten down is the wrong word but weve been on them so much to succeed and have different looks, said Chiarelli. You reach a point where you are diminishing returns as far as trying to make changes, so its been a frustrating exercise. The give away that led to the Tomas Plekanec shorthanded goal we tried to change the entry to a delayed entry, and it didnt work.

Because were having trouble getting set up on the power play. So its frustrating for me to watch. I know these guys want to succeed at it. I know the coaching staff thats been at the top of their list. Its been at the top of your list too, everyones list. Were going to figure it out. I know Tomas Kaberle has been under some heat too and its not his fault. Hes in the mix with everybody and were trying to figure it out. Part of it I think is nerves. Part of it is maybe they are squeezing their sticks too much. Its not fluid and these players have some fluidity to their game as far as making plays. So we have to figure it out and its going to be an important component again in this next series.

Chiarelli indicated that the Bruins escaped the first round series victory over the Montreal Canadiens with their health intact, and dont have any notable issues heading into the second round.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Beleskey happy to return from foot injury


Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – It was absolutely an “uh-oh” moment for Matt Beleskey when he was hit on the foot with a shot Monday night in the Bruins' preseason opener against the Canadiens. Beleskey, 29, was just hoping that his foot wasn’t broken in what would have been another shot of bad luck coming off a tough season for the hard-nosed winger, so his hopes have been answered given his presence in the lineup for the preseason game Saturday night vs. the Detroit Red Wings.

Beleskey missed the past two preseason games and most of the practice time as well but returned to the ice on Friday before getting ready for tonight's game. With plenty to prove while coming off a down second season in Boston, Beleskey knows he needs a strong camp that can’t get derailed by injuries or assorted bumps and bruises.

“I definitely did not want a broken foot to start the year, so I’m glad that I was fine,” said Beleskey, who finished with three goals and eight points along with a minus-10 in 49 games last season. “I took a puck in the face during warm-ups and the shot to the foot in the third, so that’s quite a good start to the year. But hopefully, I’ve got those out of the way now.

“I felt really good in the last game. It was great to see some of the work I did in the summertime paying off, so now we build on that [against Detroit] and keep things moving. There are a lot of great players here [in camp] and there’s great competition. I’m just here to play my game and prove myself, and I’ve got all the confidence in the world I can do that.”

Now that he’s been given a full bill of health again, Beleskey will get just that chance skating with Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Hockeytown amid a deeply competitive situation for Boston’s third line. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the Bruins against the Red Wings in Boston’s fourth game of the preseason:





Morning Skate: Sean Avery vs. Tortorella


Morning Skate: Sean Avery vs. Tortorella

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while amazed at what has united Lebron James and Steph Curry in this wacky country of ours.

*Sean Avery has some brutal things to say about John Tortorella in his new “screaming for attention” book, but then again Avery is one of the biggest low-talent dirtbags that the NHL has ever seen. So you probably need to consider the source.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) John Shannon has a few thoughts on where the NHL needs to go in their relationship with China now that they’ve played preseason games there.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details as Steven Stamkos stood out in his preseason debut and the first game back from last season’s injury.

*The NHL has yet to determine whether or not Marian Hossa is eligible for LTIR with a skin issue that is expected to be career-ending.

*PK Subban talks about his rule of thumb while staying away from controversy with an active social media account.

*Mark your calendars for the annual Comics Come Home event on Nov. 18 to raise money for the Cam Neely Foundation. Here Neely talks with SI about his friendships with a number of local comics, and how the comedy event became a tradition in Boston.   

*For something completely different: Today marks the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s classic “Heroes”, so it feels like a good time to get the story behind it.