Bruins notes: Krejci blasts Bauer for sticks

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Bruins notes: Krejci blasts Bauer for sticks

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON David Krejci was lambasting Bauer hockey on Saturday afternoon following Bostons loss to the Sharks because hes being forced to play with an old model of sticks for the next week while waiting for a new Bauer factory to open on Feb. 11.

Krejci said he put in an order for a new batch of Bauer sticks weeks ago, and was told that he would have to play with the Bauer model he was dissatisfied with at the beginning of the year and it was the Czech center up in arms while he waits.

This stick sucks, and thats all Ive got, Krejci, who was actually named Third Star of Saturdays loss after firing four shots at the net in 22 minutes of ice time, told DJ Bean of WEEI.com. You can put it up on TV or in the papers. I dont care. This stick sucks.

That was the reason why I changed from those sticks to the new ones Im using, because I dont like these ones, he said. I changed them because I didnt like them anymore, but now its the only thing I can have.

Krejci hasnt scored a goal in 19 games, but has six assists in his last 10 games while playing with a batch of bum sticks, and wanted to stress he wasnt using the equipment excuse for anything less than outstanding play.

Im not making excuses for my game, said Krejci. I just dont like those sticks. Thats all it is.

Its always a little unfair to look at players drafted in the same class a few years down the road, but it was difficult to ignore the connection of San Jose forward Logan Couture and Bruins center Zach Hamill when each team faced off Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.

Hamill was selected by the Bs as the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft in Ottawa, and Couture was taken one spot later by San Jose scouting director and Melrose native Tim Burke in a selection thats turned out very well for the Sharks.

While Hamill played his second career NHL game on Saturday afternoon and wasnt much of a factor on Saturday afternoon, Couture cranked in his 23rd goal of the season to lead San Jose to a 2-0 victory over the Bruins.

Couture leads all NHL rookies with the 23 tallies this season, and was invited to take part in All-Star weekend after his impressive first half of the season in San Jose.

I think he is the most complete player that Ive seen at that age, said Sharks Captain Joe Thornton of Couture. He penalty kills, he plays power play. He plays all the important minutes. Hes been a stud for us all year long. He is very very complete, by far the Calder (trophy) winner so far this year.

Hamill meanwhile is still trying to establish himself as a thinking mans center capable of seeing plays develop and picking teams apart with his passes despite average size and skating speed for a skill center in the NHL. Its a tough spot to be in, and it becomes tougher when youre lumped together with a player like Couture that the Bs arguably had a chance to select way back in 2007 with their high first round pick.

Hamill has taken a longer and more deliberate path to the NHL since draft day, but has turned a bit of a corner while leading the Providence Bruins with 25 assists prior to his promotion to Boston this weekend in the days leading up to a decision whether or not to shut Savard down for the rest of the season.

Hamill said he knows Couture a little bit from the draft and their junior hockey days, and said watching his Sharks opponent play inspires to try and have a similar kind of impact for the Bruins.

We know each other to say hi and thats about it, said Hamill. Hes a good hockey player and a nice guy. We were both right there and hes obviously had a good year and stuff. You see the kind of year hes having, and you want to go out there and do what hes doing.

You see him doing that and you want to do the same thing.

Joe Thornton was happy to be back in Boston again for his third visit since getting dealt to San Jose way back in the 2005-06 season, and even happier to get the victory for the Sharks. While Thornton admitted that the first time he came back to Boston was an important one to him and a game where he lasted mere minutes after hitting Hal Gill from behind and earning an ejection from the contest in the first period its more about playing one of out 82 now that Jumbo has been in San Jose for such a long period of time.

What can I say? I had really, really long hair and obviously was eighteen years old. That was a long time ago, said Thornton. Pat Burns was the coach. He was really tough and a really good coach for me, but I really dont remember too much from being eighteen.

It is just a win. Maybe the first time I was here, you wanted to win the first one. But now it is just any other road game, I think.

The last remnants of the Thornton trade are also gone from the Bruins as Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm have all moved on to other hockey pastures after arriving in Boston via the deal that rocked the Bs franchise five years ago.

Saturdays win was the first shutout of the Bruins for the San Jose Sharks in the franchise histories of both hockey clubs.

The Sharks had an apparent goal taken away because of goaltender interference in the second period.

The Bruins' previous low for shots allowed was 20 on Oct. 28 in a 2-0 win over Toronto.

Zdeno Chara played in his 900th NHL game and Tim Thomas played in his 300th career NHL game on Saturday afternoon.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system. 

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.