Thomas, Bruins looking for defensive turnaround

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Thomas, Bruins looking for defensive turnaround

TAMPA The Bruins get right back on the horse with the second-half of their Florida trip when they face off against Tampa Bay Lightning at the newly renamed Tampa Times Forum on Tuesday night. Things were much different for both teams the last time they met when the Bruins toppled the Bolts in overtime of a 1-0 instant classic win during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

It appears that seven-game playoff series didnt inspire the hockey hatred that could spark a rivalry as the players were going through an optional morning skate that featured a big game of hallway soccer.

The nice weather? was Dennis Seidenbergs response when asked what he remembered about last years playoff series. A lot has happened to us since then.

The Bruins went on to win the Cup, of course, and the Lightning have fallen on hard times with goaltending issues and defensive woes. The Bruins are an NHL-best plus-70 in goal differential while Tampa Bay sits dead last in the Eastern Conference with a minus-35 mark so the name of the game for Boston will be minimizing defensive mistakes and keeping the
high-powered Lightning off the power play.

Weve got to be careful we dont consider ourselves in a slump. Weve slipped a little bit, but our standards are pretty high, said Claude Julien. For a lot of players the compete level was better, but for others we expect it be a little better. You have to respect the offensive part of Tampas game. We have to make sure were ready to play a solid defensive game like in the past. Its what has given us our identity.

Tim Thomas will get the start for the Bruins in goal and once again Rich Peverley will miss his second straight game with personal matters. Hes still expected to meet up with the Bruins in New Jersey and be in the lineup when Boston takes on the Devils at the Prudential Center Thursday night.

Here is the expected lineup:

Pouliot-Bergeron-Seguin
Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Caron-Kelly-Hamill
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Ference-Corvo

Thomas
Rask

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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