Seguin sits for the Bruins in Game One

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Seguin sits for the Bruins in Game One

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com
BOSTON The Bruins have completely fortified their walls for the invading Habs now that their series finally gets going Thursday night at TD Garden, and the Boston lineup has taken full shape. While Chris Kelly was among a scarce number of Bs regulars getting some last loops around the ice during a sparsely-attended optional skate before Game 1 opens up the 33rd matchup between the Big Bad Bruins and the High Flying Canadiens, the rest of the Bruins were getting their playoff minds right.Our emotions have nothing to do with, to me, with the physical part of the game, Claude Julien said. We need to play within the rules no matter what. And I dont know if its emotion more than its discipline, and its about focus. So theres no doubt, theres two teams that are here today that are very excited about starting these playoffs, and were one of those teams.Rookie wunderkind Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch as expected, and Claude Julien said the Bruins have decided on the 20 players theyll be going with for tonights Game 1 statement. The team will make adjustments accordingly. Shane Hnidy and Matt Bartkowski will be the healthy scratches for the Bruins on defense with Steve Kampfer working his way back from a knee injury suffered last weekend.
The scratch isnt such a bad thing for the 19-year-old Seguin to sit and watch the playoff-level of intensity to start things off, but theres a very good chance theyll need him on the power play before its all said and done in these Stanley Cup playoffs.Theres no logic here, Julien said. I think its just weve got twenty guys in our line-up tonight that we feel is the line-up we want to go with. Concord, Mass. native, Boston Bruins and Providence College alum Hal Gill is a key statue-like figure for the Montreal Canadiens given his defensive shutdown capabilities and his 6-foot-7 size at defenseman. His size, strength and courageous willingness to block shots means Gill will get the call time after time against the Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton line.Gill admitted the Bs first line had a little bit of everything with size, speed and scoring ability, but said the Habs focus will be on simply executing the speed transition game plan rather than exacting revenge or taking numbers.We need to start off winning a game," Gill said. "Thats what were focusing on. Its not about revenge or anything else other than focusing on the task at hand. I dont think you can look at any of the CharaPacioretty stuff and carry it around with you. We need to simply rely on the fact that we can move a level up in the playoffs. Tim Thomas wasnt on the ice for the Bs optional skate, but is expected to get the call from now until their final postseason game this spring.Marc Savard is still resting and recuperating from a concussion suffered back in January against the Colorado Avalanche, and Julien said he hasnt really made any marked improvement since initially suffering his fourth head injury.Ive kept in contact with Savvy every week or so," Julien said. "We communicate, and things havent changed in his case, and its unfortunate for him, Im sure hes going to be sitting at home and watching these games and wishing he could be part of it because as a player that part of you will never leave. This it the most exciting time of the year, and I know he loved the times that he was in the playoffs. And he was obviously a pretty important part of the success of our hockey club. So will we miss his play? Absolutely. You dont lose an elite player like him and not feel it. Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri definitely busted out an outlier amid his remarks while discussing the Habs 7-0 loss to the Bruins the last time the team came to TD Garden to play, and must have done well on the SAT verbal portion of the test.We didnt get any revenge," Cammalleri said. "We didnt show up. Those ones are easy to put out of your mind and completely bury. It was an outlier and we treated it like that.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

The Bruins should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. They really shouldn’t. 

Yet they might. Pierre McGuire said on TSN Radio Tuesday that his guess is that Shattenkirk, arguably the best free agent defenseman on the market, will end up in Boston.

It is remarkable how universally against a Shattenkirk megadeal B’s fans have seemingly been. A Twitter poll with over 3,600 votes this month had Bruins fans preferring Boston sign 40-year-old Zdeno Chara to a two-year, $8 million extension than the 28-year-old  Shattenkirk to a seven-year, $45.5 million deal. 

That is obviously the correct conclusion, but considering how hard the false “Chara is old and bad” garbage is pushed in this town, it’s telling that 64 percent would rather he stick around than the team build the defense around Shattenkirk. 

Of course, Shattenkirk is not a bad player just because he’s been overrated in recent seasons. He’s a decent second-pairing defender and strong power play asset who can be penciled in for 40 points a year. The Bruins already have that in Torey Krug, and he makes less than Shattenkirk figures to command. Shattenkirk is also a righty who plays on the right, which is not a need for the Bruins, whereas Krug is a left shot who plays both sides. 

Add in the Bruins’ cap situation due to some bad contracts and they why of Shattenkirk would be a bad signing doesn’t need to be re-hashed. By this point, the explanation’s been given a few times in a few different places. 

So what would the Bruins’ actual case for signing Shattenkirk be? 

TO KEEP IT MOVING 

Last season was encouraging for Bruins fans because it saw them reach the playoffs for the first time in three years while also seeing young talent emerge. Yet they still only made the playoffs by two points, something of which Don Sweeney and Cam Neely are undoubtedly aware. 

So for all the good signs, this could be a fringe playoff team again if more improvements aren’t made, and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years would mark a step back in the eyes of ownership, perhaps putting jobs in danger. It would be a shame if money were spent irresponsibly for the sake of saving jobs, but Shattenkirk would definitely make the Bruins better next season, even if it crippled them financially down the road. 

TO PULL A CHIARELLIAN FREE AGENT SWITCHEROO

With McAvoy set to be a top-pairing player and Brandon Carlo a good second-pairing option, the Bruins do not have a need for a highly paid right-shot defender. That doesn’t mean they don’t have needs elsewhere. 

Last offseason, Peter Chiarelli made the controversial move of trading Taylor Hall, one of the best left wings on the planet. He did it to get Adam Larsson to help build Edmonton’s blue line up, then he went out and signed Milan Lucic in free agency to replace Hall. 

If the Bruins truly have designs on adding Shattenkirk, perhaps they could have something similar in mind: Trade someone like Carlo for either a left-shot defenseman or a left wing, then replace Carlo with Shattenkirk. 

This would still not be financially palatable, however. When the Oilers traded Hall for Larsson, they swapped a player with a $6 million cap hit for a player with a $4.16 million cap hit and replaced the original player (Hall) with a player in Lucic who carried a $6 million cap hit. So essentially they netted one player for an additional $4.16 million. 

Carlo is on his entry level contract, so unless the Bruins traded him for a player on an entry-level deal, they’d be spending a lot of money in any maneuver that involved replacing him with Shattenkirk. 

TO GO ALL-IN ON POST-CLAUDE LIFE

Claude Julien’s detractors lamented his affinity for responsibility. They loved it when Bruce Cassidy was more open to trading chances. 

Well, you like trading chances? Shattenkirk’s your guy. He’s a good skater, a good offensive player and a sub-par defender. You put Krug, Shattenkirk and McAvoy as three of your four top-four defenseman and you’ll be a long way from the days of Chara, Seidenberg and Boychuk, for better or worse. 

BUT, KEEP IN MIND . . . 

They for sure should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. 

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.

*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.

*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.

*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.  

*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.

*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.

*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.

*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.