Notes: Peverley finds his goal-scoring touch

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Notes: Peverley finds his goal-scoring touch

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

NEWARK Rich Peverley had two goals in his first 20 games with the Bruins. But he matched that total with two goals in his last two games of the regular season, a good sign headed into a playoff run where his scoring services will be desperately needed.

Peverley arrived in Boston via a deal with Atlanta that sent Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Thrashers. Hes admitted it's been an adjustment period for him, but he bagged himself a pretty goal in the third period against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and added a rebound score in front of the net during Sundays first period.

Hes got good speed, hes got decent hands, and weve seen him score some of those highlight goals by taking it to the net. Hes usually pretty good at that, said coach Claude Julien. I think, moving forward, you want to be able to have that kind of depth . . . If your first or second line doesnt score, then youve got the third and even the fourth to score for you.

Right now, I think it feels comforting to know that other lines are contributing. So hopefully that gives us more depth.

It appears Peverley has found his goal-scoring confidence at the right time. Hes the veteran of exactly one other NHL playoff series, with the Nashville Predators a couple of years ago, so he knows what awaits him when he laces them up against the Canadiens on Thursday night.

I think that were all trying to drive the net a little more, and shoot the puck and take the puck to the net, said Peverley. I think in the playoffs its not going to be the nice goals all the time. Its when you can read the rebounds and take the puck to the net. With Peverley's natural skatingspeed and nose for the net finally kicking into play in Boston, it appears the B's might just be tapping into another offensive source at just the right time -- in a series against fellow skilled, undersized forwards suiting upall over the ice for the Montreal Canadiens. What appeared to be several thousand members of Quebec Nordiques fans made the road trip from Quebec City to New Jersey to take in Sundays regular-season finale between the Devils and Bruins at the Prudential Center.

Nordiques Nation cheered and started chants intermittently throughout the game, blew air horns and created a constant flow of noise in a hockey building thats usually pretty sedate, and even presented Tim Thomas with the Quebec Nordiques Draft Day sweater that he never received following Sundays loss. As a ninth-round pick during the 1994 draft, Thomas never attended the draft or received a jersey with his name on the back following his late-round selection and the loyal Nordiques group managed to get their way into the dressing room to present the sweater to the Vezina Trophy favorite following the game. The Bruins left captain Zdeno Chara and veteran Mark Recchi in Boston so they could get an extra day off before the series with Montreal. It was the first game missed by either of those veteran players this season, and means that no Bs player suited up for all 82 games this season. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk took an awkward-looking tumble into the boards behind the New Jersey net in the second period that also took down Milan Lucic, and limped toward the Boston bench. But Boychuk returned to the ice later in the period and appeared no worse for the wear.Reports out of Providence said that young B's defensemanSteve Kampfer was spotted after Saturday night's Providence Bruins' game limping around on crutches after suffering an injury against the Springfield Falcons.

Kampfer didn't play in Sunday's season finale for the P-Bruins.
The injury would certainly jeopardize Kampfer's standing on the Boston roster for the playoffs, and his availability as one of the "Black Aces" potentially called upon for duty should injuries hit Boston's blueline. Kampfer was sent down to the AHL last week, and had just returned to action with the P-Bruins before the injury hit. Steve got tangled up in the neutral zone there earlier in the game with a Springfield player, said P-Bruins coach Rob Murray to radio man Adam Kaufman on Saturday night. Its still being determined what the extent of his injury is, but he came back, he played one shift after that, and he didnt feel he could go, so we shut him down for the game. Hopefully its not too serious.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.