MONTREAL The Bruins didnt flash a big number on the scoreboard or beat the Canadiens into submission with their bloody fists, but they did beat the Habs at their own game.
The Bruins played solid lockdown defense, Tim Thomas put together his second straight shutout performance, and the Bruins gained a measure of revenge on the Habs with a 1-0 victory over Montreal at the Bell Centre. The victory makes it nine wins in a row for the Bruins, and gives them their longest winning streak since a 10-game roll from December 12, 2008 January 1, 2009.
The only goal arrived in the first period when Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley engaged in some pretty sweet interior passing, and Peverley found Andrew Ference all alone trailing the play. Ference snapped a shot into the top corner of the net as Carey Price moved from left to right. The goal marked the second straight game Ference has scored a goal. It's the first time in his career he's scored in two straight games.
It was a battle for the Bruins, however. The Habs outshot the Bs by a 32-18 margin throughout the game, and had six minutes of power play time in the second and third periods when Benoit Pouliot decided to start acting like the player that inspired chump comments during last years playoffs. Pouliot took a hooking call in the offensive zone during the second period, and then hooked P.K. Subban on his very next shift with a high stick that drew blood to earn four more minutes in the sin bin.
The Bruins were able to kill off Pouliots penalties, however, and Thomas was a certified brick wall while turning away every shot over the final 20 minutes.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo.
*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other.
*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week.
*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda.
*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out.
*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL.
*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres.
Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet.
“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”
Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.
“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.”
One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion.
That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.