Pandolfo excited to see first game action

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Pandolfo excited to see first game action

WINNIPEG -- Jay Pandolfo grew up as a Bruins fan while blossoming into a bona fide Massachusetts hockey stud playing for Burlington High School and Boston University.

So its a special kind of pride for the 38-year-old local product as he makes his Boston Bruins debut Sunday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre in place of Milan Lucic.

I havent played a game in a while so Ill be a little anxious. But once you settle down it will be fine, said Pandolfo. Anytime you grow up somewhere watching a team your whole life its special when you get a chance to play for themyou take a little extra pride in it. Im appreciative that I have this chance and Im looking forward to it.

The former New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders winger hasnt played an NHL game in roughly nine months, and wasnt sure if this day would come again coming out of the lockout. He skated with the Bruins for over a month on a professional tryout agreement before signing a one-year deal with Boston earlier this week, and will get his opportunity after Lucic had to leave the team for personal reasons.

Pandolfo will skate on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton while Daniel Paille moves up in the lineup. Nobody should expect much offensively from a guy that totaled three points in 60 plus games for the Isles last season, and his coach expects him to keep things simple as a longtime veteran would in this particular situation.

It goes without saying that youll keep an eye on him, but hes been through this enough times that hell know how to handle his shifts, said Claude Julien, who previously coached Pandolfo in New Jersey. Hell keep things short, and hes a smart player thats been in this league a long time. So I dont think youll see anythingstupid, if I can use that termcoming out of his game.

He never gave up. We certainly never guaranteed him anything. We thought he could be a possibility, but he kept a great attitude and he slipped in there easily with his teammates. Hes a guy that gives us some really reliable depth.

Pandolfo may get some penalty killing time, but otherwise probably wont play much more than five or six minutes in his Boston debut. But thats more than enough for the two-time Stanley Cup that wondered openly if his NHL career was over when he didnt have a roster spot guaranteed coming out of the lockout.

Instead he found the perfect situation with the Bruins after patiently waiting for it to materialize, and that era in his career begins Sunday in Winnipeg.

Thursday, Feb. 23: Eaves and Chewbacca? Now that's hair-raising

Thursday, Feb. 23: Eaves and Chewbacca? Now that's hair-raising

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while amazed, and alarmed, at any politician that would ever duck a town hall-style meeting with their constituents.

*Patrick Eaves had a close encounter of the hairy kind with the mighty Chewbacca during a recent visit to Disney. Let’s just say Eaves, Brent Burns and Chewie could all be from the same family tree.

*Good, long read on junior hockey scoring star Alex Debrincat, who Bruins fans will remember that Boston passed over to draft Trent Frederic at the end of the first round last summer. He’s scoring at the kind of levels that say he might be something special at the next level. Just saying.

*Wayne Gretzky jumps on the Florida Panthers telecast to chat about Jaromir Jagr, and jokes about what he’ll do if Jagr ever gets close to his NHL all-time scoring title.

*Pierre Lebrun has a list of NHL defensemen that are in demand ahead of the trade deadline, and it’s a fairly underwhelming list aside from Kevin Shattenkirk.

*If you’re looking for some good Blackhawks talk then you should check out the Blackhawks Talk podcast over at CSN Chicago.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bob McKenzie dropped into the NBCSN studios again this past week to chat about the NHL tweaking the bye weeks moving forward after watching them play out this season.

*People getting concerned about turning budding personal NHL rivalries into another “Ovechkin vs. Crosby” is perhaps the dumbest NHL hot take I’ve ever heard. The Ovechkin/Crosby rivalry was perfectly good and anything to draw attention to the NHL and its players is also good. This is the kind of thing said by somebody that I’m sure gets more super-excited by a bar graph showing a player’s effectiveness rather than watching what they’re actually doing on the ice.

*For something completely different: A really interesting look from a random date that Carrie Fisher took to the 1978 Oscars while palling around with the young, new stars of Hollywood.

 

 

What we learned in Bruins' 5-3 loss to Ducks: Back to earth for Cassidy's crew

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What we learned in Bruins' 5-3 loss to Ducks: Back to earth for Cassidy's crew

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