Boston Bruins

Notes: Seguin absorbs hit, plays well

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Notes: Seguin absorbs hit, plays well

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

NASHVILLE Tyler Seguin got his Welcome to the NHL blemish on Thursday when Patric Hornqvist went at the Bs center with a flying elbow.

The Predators winger nailed Seguin on the left side of his head with the elbow and ripped open Seguins left ear lobe an injury that took seven stitches to sew up and clearly registered as a significant NHL incident.

The Bruins trainers joked with Seguin that it looked like his ear lobe was about to fall off before it was sewn up.

I just saw him coming at me, I braced myself for the hit and then I felt it in my ear, said Seguin, who also added he wasnt feeling any headaches or other concussion symptoms. I came in the room and the trainer said, Nice ear lobe, it looks like its about to fall off. No headaches or anything like that. Im okay.

Hornqvist came in on Seguin as he unloaded the puck near the blueline, and threw an elbow right behind the 19-year-olds ear that is certain to get the leagues attention. Seguin was momentarily stunned after the hit, but remained in the game to log more than 12 minutes of ice time while also scoring a goal.

It was Seguins 11th goal of the season and snapped a seven-game point drought for the rookie.

The goal was a thing of beauty. Seguin and Rich Peverley combined for a speedy one-two punch on their forward line, and caused a Nashville neutral zone turnover that led to Bostons first goal.

Coach Claude Julien liked what he saw of Seguin's line, and underscored the importance of it playing extremely sound two-way hockey.

I thought he played well, skated and competed better, said Julien. We had a lot of guys competing well tonight and hopefully we can get more of that going forward.

Julien was so pleased with Seguin's play that the rookie got a helping of power play time to start the third period.

We wanted to push pucks up, especially the defensemen putting it up right away and the forwards being available, said Seguin. I felt very comfortable playing with Chris Kelly and Peverley. They help me out, theyre very fast and it makes it easy to play with them.

With Brad Marchand still out at least one game because of his suspension for the elbow he threw Tuesday night in Columbus, Seguin is enjoying the perfect time to audition for more playing time when Julien has a full compliment of players on his roster.

Andrew Ference didnt play on Thursday night, but indications are that the veteran defenseman will be ready to jump into the action soon. Ference celebrated his 32nd birthday in Nashville on Thursday.

Michael Ryder rebounded from a healthy scratch against the Columbus Blue Jackets to put a game-high seven shots on net for the Bruins in their overtime loss to the Nashville Predators. It was an up-and-down day for Ryder as he was also a minus-2, took a penalty and missed burying a chance at a short-handed breakaway but Ryder was also consistently threatening at the offensive end.

He played a lot harder tonight, said Julien. You saw him early in the game winning battles along the boards and in our own end . . . competing harder. Consequently he was a much better player for us tonight.

Patrice Bergeron scored his 22nd goal of the season, his first since a Feb. 26 win over the Vancouver Canucks -- a span of seven games in between goals for the B's hard-working two-waycenter.The Bruins have scrapped their normally-scheduled Friday practice in Toronto, and instead the B's coaching staff has opted to give his hockey club a day off prior to Saturday night's game against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.The decision on which goaltender to choose for each remaining game of the season is getting pretty challenging for Claude Julien and the rest of his staff. The B's opted for Tuukka Rask for the second straight night on Thursday against the Predators, and Rask was solid aside from a knuckling Colin Wilson shot that eluded him in the second period.But the constant battle at this point in the season between getting Rask hot and giving Tim Thomas the proper amount of rest prior to the playoffs is proving to be a quite delicate balance."It's the million dollar question, I guess," said Julien. "As a coach you weigh the pros and cons. We have a good goaltender who has been good for us all year, but has needed some rest. At the same time you don't want him to get rusty, but you balance things out. At the same time you have a guy that's playing better and better, and you want to keep him going."The one thing we've made sure is that everybody understands. We want to make sure we're on the same page. It's good to get input from the two goalies. That's how we've handled. The way I look at it as long as you have two good goaltenders, you really can't go wrong."

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

Morning Skate: Why NHL players hate analytics

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Morning Skate: Why NHL players hate analytics

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while already hating my fantasy football team just a couple of weeks into things.

*Interesting look at why NHL players hate analytics and why most of them don’t even care what Corsi is or how it’s tabulated.

*Interesting piece on the play-by-play for Bruins radio, where over 200 applicants threw their hat in the ring to replace Dave Goucher as the voice of the Bruins. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Johnston is one of the finalists and has great on the call on Tuesday night, so count me as rooting for him to wind up getting the gig he’s worked his whole life for.

*This is actually a fairly thoughtful and well-researched blog post on the Blackhawks logo and why it’s unfair to claim that it’s racist using the same arguments as for the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians.

*It’s unfortunate, but an arena conflict between the Flames and the city of Calgary is the same kind of thing that’s forced franchises to move in other NHL cities.

*Good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance about Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Sheahan and the bond he has with one Michigan family and one special little boy.

*Count the Winnipeg Jets among the teams that are going to have former NHL referees stop by training camp to give them the lowdown on slashing and face-offs. I think everybody understands the slashing enforcement, but this face-off stuff is ridiculous.

*For something completely different: I’ve enjoyed “Billy on the Street” while it’s been on TruTV, but it looks like it’s finding a new home soon.


 

Gabrielle learning his NHL lessons, just like his idol Marchand

Gabrielle learning his NHL lessons, just like his idol Marchand

BOSTON – Jesse Gabrielle has drawn comparisons to Brad Marchand since the very day that the Bruins drafted him two years ago. On Thursday night, everybody got to see a few reasons behind those sentiments.

Gabrielle spent the first 50 minutes of the 2-1 overtime Bruins win aggravating, agitating and poking at the Flyers while coupling with Riley Nash and Noel Acciari to provide stout defense and even getting in a couple of generated odd-man rushes that unfortunately didn’t lead to actual goals. 

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The 20-year-old lost control in the final few minutes of the third period, however, in another homage to the early days of Marchand, and got booted from the victory over the Flyers with a 10-minute misconduct for grabbing an opponent’s stick while he was already on the bench.

Bruce Cassidy was understandably unimpressed with the actions that led to the misconduct penalty and two-minute minor for interference, but it’s also part of the Gabrielle learning where the line is for a trouble-maker in the NHL.

“I had guys coming up to me all game. It was a lot of fun. Another guy was on the ice and his stick came across the bench and he gave me a little stick tap. Instinctively, I grabbed for a second,” said Gabrielle. “Granted it should be a nothing play, but I got caught and it is what it is. Boys got the win and it’s not going to happen again.

“I just tried to explain that the guy stuck me first [with his stick] and I got caught and it’s not going to happen again. That’s something that can’t happen. I can’t let the boys down like that, especially when it’s a tie game. It’s just stuff you learn from and move past and learn from it.”

Prior to that incident, it had been a solid showing from Gabrielle in a game featuring many NHL players on both rosters. He set the tone early with a punishing hit on Travis Konecny that earned him his first interference penalty and he caught the attention of noted heavy hitter Radko Gudas as the two chirped back and forth throughout the contest.

It would have been an ideal start if he finished off a great 2-on-1 chance he enjoyed in the third period prior to the misconduct, but then came the misconduct and the words of support from his teammates afterward. Marchand gave him a pat on the back, having been in that position many times in the past, and that meant the world to a player that models his game after the Little Ball of Hate.

“I try to learn from [Marchand]. He’s my favorite player and I try to emulate my game after him. I just try to be a sponge around him. [It’s good] when you can watch him play and experience it and have him on the bench,” said Gabrielle. “Like I said, I’m just trying to be a sponge and learn from him. I went up to him after the game and talked to him about it and said you just got to find that line. He said you’re going to get caught sometimes, and you just got to learn from it.”

Marchand certainly enjoys having a mini-me around in Gabrielle and perhaps finally having a rabble-rousing troublemaker in the lineup that can take the pressure off him to push opponent’s buttons.  

“He’s a great kid. You know, you watch him out there tonight, getting everyone off their game out there. It was a lot of fun to watch, and, you know, it’s nice to have guys like that on a team,” said Marchand. “It’s fun when they’re on the team and, you know, you hate on the other team. I think they were just trying to control the game and make sure nothing bad happened out there. There were a lot of guys out there that were pretty mad at him.

“He didn’t do anything wrong. He’s a good player. He’s good at what he does. He reminds me a lot of myself when he’s out there. I just laugh at him. He’s a pretty funny kid. He’s fun to have on the team and he makes it exciting to watch. You tend to watch him when he’s out there on the ice.”

Now, just like Marchand, Gabrielle has to learn the rules of engagement at the pro hockey level as he makes the transition from junior hockey. His chances of making the NHL as a dark-horse candidate might have taken a hit with his mistake late in the third period of a tight game, but Gabrielle is showing that it might not be too long before his energy and brand of on-ice mischief will be welcomed in the NHL.