Seguin appears to be healthy scratch again


Seguin appears to be healthy scratch again

By Joe Haggerty

MONTREAL With all of the Brad Marchand Habs bashing there was a worthy distraction away from Tuesday nights game at the Bell Centre, but it in fact a gigantic game in the standings.With a win the Bruins would pull seven points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens in the Northeast Division, and essentially lay a claim on the crown for the second time in two years. They also might pull into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers as top seed in the Eastern Conference standings.All fighting, slew-foots and heated rivalries aside, its an important game for both teams that should be bring out the best rather than the worst with a first round matchup in the playoffs possible.Last game here we had a two-goal lead in the last three minutes that we blew before losing it 3-2, said coach Claude Julien. Besides that last game, I think both teams have stabilized themselves defensively and its the pride of our team.When we play well defensively that usually provides better offensive chances for our team, and thats how weve always approached it. Tuukka Rask took a blast from Dennis Seidenberg in the collarbone area in the final minutes of practice, and gunned his stick over the boards and deep into the stands in pretty clear frustration.Hes fine, said Julien. Assistant coach Doug Houda caught it as a souvenir. Tim Thomas appeared to take a shot to his right glove hand during practice, and was spotted shaking his left hand and recoiling a bit in pain toward the end of practice at the Bell Centre. Barring any serious problem it appeared thatThomas will get the start against the Canadiens on Tuesday night.Thomas is a goaltender that acknowledges maybe his style of play in goal is more tiring than others, said Thomas. I dont want him playing 70 games. At one point you could sense him getting tired a little bit, and Tuukka Rask took over for a while there.Then you could see Timmy come back in better shape with more energy. Its really paid off. Zdeno Chara was not on the ice for practice with the rest of his Bruins teammates, but it appeared to be nothing more than a veteran option for a player late in the regular season. Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron were both with the Bruins for their morning skate, and it appeared both would be fully ready to go against the Canadiens. Tyler Seguin was the last forward off the ice, and it looks like hell be scratched in favor of Daniel Paille.

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

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


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.