By Joe Haggerty
OTTAWA Chris Kelly wasnt expecting it and he was a little too modest to speak too much about it, but it was a pretty rare and interesting experience to play in his first game as a Bruins player at his longtime NHL home, Scotiabank Center. There were no jokes about heading to the wrong locker room or putting on the wrong uniform by accident, but there was a nice sports moment when the jumbotron at Scotiabank went through a highlight package of Kelly's career, and the Sens fans gave Kelly a long ovation as a way of saying both "goodbye" and "thank you."
That was great," said Kelly. "Ottawa is a classy organization, and to get that reception from the fans is something Ill always remember. It was great. It was my first game and I havent been told too much about my role in Boston. I just went out there and played, and that was good enough.
Kelly played 15:09 of ice time in the game without a point or a shot on net, butit certainly calmed his nerves down a little bit as he attempts to fit in with the Bs players alongside line mates Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder.
Kelly might be the most unheralded of the three players arriving in Boston at their pre-deadline deals, but he shows off a pretty fine set of skills: he can skate like the wind with some pretty incredible jets in his legs, hes an excellent finisher around the net and hes a reallyquietconsensus-maker with his opinions in the locker room.
Its all of those skills that made Kelly so beloved in the city of Ottawa, and its what made the people drink it all in when they followed the video tribute to Kelly with a standing Ovechkin. Kelly also finally had his visa paperwork taken care of by the US and Canadian governments, so hes allowed to fly back with the Bruins on the team charter back to Boston following the game. Tomas Kaberle is stuck on the United StatesCanada for the weekendsince switching from the Maple Leafs and hes planning to meet the team in Calgary on Monday night rather than practicing with the the B's at home this weekend. Rich Peverley is expected to take care of all the due diligence on any paperwork he might have yet to file, and will practice with the team on Sunday.
Tomas Kaberle was asked following the game whether hed thought about the idea of signing a contract extension with the Bruins. Kaberle seemed to indicate now is not the time to get something done, and the All-Star defenseman preferred to wait until after the hockey season was over. "It all depends," said Kaberle. "I'm just focusing on games and not on July or whenever I become a free agent. I'm just trying to focus on hockey games, and those things will take care of themselves."
Johnny Boychuk was the healthy scratch for the Bruins on Friday nightat the defenseman position for the second time in the last three games, and it's clear that playing time is going to be a precious thing for all seven of the B's defensemen moving forward.
The conditional second round pick traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the Bruins either A) making it to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals or B) the Bs being able to sign Tomas Kaberle that he'll be a free agent following the season after getting bumped up to the NHL's "first class" with the BruinsBrad Marchand potted a pair of goals in Friday night's win over the Maple Leafs, and now sits just two goals away from hitting the 20-goal plateau that he bragged about to Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli during exit interviews last season. Marchand would be the first B's rookie with 20 goals since Brad Boyes did it with the Bruins while potting 26 goals during the 2005-06 hockey season.Tyler Seguin notched an assist on Brad Marchand's first goal against the Senators, and now has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in his last six games while going on one the best mini-tears of his rookie season, and is staking a claim that he deserves to stay in the B's lineup once Rich Peverley arrives from the Atlanta Thrashers. One thing Seguin must do if he's playing more on the wing: the 19-year-old needs to shoot the puck at the net more often from the wing position.There are time when a young player needs to remember that a shot on net is almost never a bad play in the game of hockey.