Bruins too much for Tampa Bay, 8-1

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Bruins too much for Tampa Bay, 8-1

By Danny Picardand Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- It's not hard to figure out that David Krejci had a better night than Tampa Bay goaltender Mike Smith in Boston's 8-1 win on Thursday at the TD Garden.

Smith made two costly errors on harmless Bruins dump-ins during the second period, which led to two goals. Meanwhile, Krejci scored two goals of his own, with his second giving the Bruins a 5-1 lead just 34 seconds into the third period and knocking Smith out of the game, long after he probably should have been pulled.

Bruins forward Marc Savard got a standing ovation in the first period, in his first game since last year's Eastern Conference Semifinals, but the ovation for Smith may have been louder, as his pair of blunders told the story of two completely different teams on Thursday night.After Krejci gave the B's a 1-0 lead midway through the first, Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg made it 2-0 on a harmless dump-in from the neutral zone that just so happened to be put on net. Smith reacted as if Seidenberg was preparing for a dump-in along the right boards, and skated behind the net to retrieve a puck that wasn't there, and instead, was on its way into an empty net.

Milan Lucic made it 3-0 in the second period. Nearly 10 minutes later, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman scored Tampa Bay's only goal of the game, with 4:46 left in the second period, to cut Boston's lead to 3-1.

But Smith made his second blunder of the game minutes later, after he misplayed a Brad Marchand dump-in down into the left corner. Marchand's fluttering puck bounced off the boards in the left corner and out front, over the stick of Smith, who was to the side of the net, trying to retrieve it. The puck came out to the goal line, and Hedman couldn't get it out before Shawn Thornton hustled in and knocked it into the net for the 4-1 lead.

Krejci knocked Smith out of the game just 34 seconds into the third after he skated down the right wing and snapped a shot top-right, which deflected off the blade of Randy Jones' stick before it beat Smith.

Michael Ryder, Mark Recchi, and Blake Wheeler each scored in the third for the 8-1 final.
GOLD STAR: It was Marc Savard's return to the Garden amid ovations and a warm welcome, but David Krejci was the center who showed why he's become the No. 1 pivot in Boston. Krejci scored a pair of goals in his strongest game yet since coming back from a concussion, and led a revival of the B's top line, which finished with six points and a plus-11 in the blowout victory. Krejci finished with a team-high three points, two goals and won 12-of-15 face-offs in a dominant performance. BLACK EYE: Mike Smith. Avert your eyes from that kind of goaltending because it's grotesque. Twice Smith was caught wandering around his net, and was completely faked out on a dump-in attempt by Dennis Seidenberg for a big goal in the second period that pushed Boston's advantage. Smith was finally, mercifully yanked in the third period in favor of Dan Ellis, but the rout was on by that point. Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman may come to regret not making a push for Tim Thomas when he could have had him over the summer. TURNING POINT: The Lightning took advantage of a broken Johnny Boychuk stick to break in the other direction with the puck, and Victor Hedman scored a goal that made it a 3-1 game in the second period. The Bruins answered right back two minutes later when Smith and Hedman fumbled away an exchange, and a hustling Shawn Thornton managed to push the puck in for his fifth goal of the season. BY THE NUMBERS: 15:45 the ice time for Marc Savard, who admitted he was a bit fatigued toward the end of some 45-second shifts. Savard showed flashes throughout the game, however, and there was one shift when Savard and Tyler Seguin together showed some of the creativity and offensive potential they might hold together. Savard said that Seguin's speed and shooting ability could give him a Phil Kessel-like dynamic to pair with, and that's all the clever playmaker needs to start piling up the points. QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's not above my pay-grade because we make more than the coaches, but trades are not my area. I have no idea what's going on. All I know is that everybody in here likes and supports Marco." Tim Thomas when asked what he knew about the Marco Sturm tradeno-trade situation. INJURY UPDATE: Brad Marchand took a hard hit from Mattias Ohlund in the corner that shook up the little sparkplug winger, and he was hunched over as he skated toward the bench in the second period. But Marchand didn't appear any worse for the wear after the game.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
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Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Patrice Bergeron named Selke finalist for the fifth time

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Patrice Bergeron named Selke finalist for the fifth time

It was assumed that Patrice Bergeron will be finalist for the Selke Trophy again this season, and it became official on Thursday when it was announced that Bergeron, Ryan Kesler and Anze Kopitar were the three finalists for the award given to the best defensive forward.

It would be the third straight Selke Trophy and fourth overall for Bergeron if he can take the hardware home again during the NHL Awards in June, and the ever-humble No. 37 said he was just honored to once again be nominated.

“Being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy is a tremendous honor and one I am very grateful for,” said Bergeron in a press release. “While it is an individual award, my teammates and coaches deserve a lot of credit as well. Ryan and Anze are two elite players who both had great seasons and it is a privilege to be a finalist alongside them. Thanks to all of those who voted and I look forward to the NHL Awards Show on June 22.”

The Bruins center has won the Selke Trophy three times (2012, 2014 and 2015) and has now been a Selke finalist in each of the last five seasons. His three wins are tied for the second-most in NHL history, one behind Hall of Fame Canadiens forward Bob Gainey, who is the all-time leader with four Selke Trophies. Bergeron was the Bruins’ lone representative at the All-Star Game this winter for the second straight season, and was a no-brainer as a finalist given all of his defensive qualifications.

Bergeron finished the 2015-16 regular season leading the NHL in faceoffs taken (1,978) and for the second straight season led the league in faceoffs won (1,130) while finishing a solid seventh overall with a 57.1% faceoff win rate among players taking a minimum of 500 draws.

Thursday, April 28: Who are the lottery picks?

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Thursday, April 28: Who are the lottery picks?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving a thumbs up to “The Good Dinosaur” as quality family viewing.

*TSN Hockey Buddha Bob McKenzie breaks down the players available in the NHL draft lottery and what kind of names teams like the Boston Bruins should expect to be available with the first 14 picks.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski talks about the World of Cup ads with the ESPN creative people that made them happen. They used the word jarring in something of a positive fashion to describe them. I would use the word “not funny” for Reg Carling, the fictional character created for the ads. If they were trying to feature the personality of NHL players in those ads, I think they missed the mark. It’s not really a big deal in the final scheme of things, but it doesn’t make for a good first step in drawing hockey fans back to the four letter network.  

*Good luck to Cam Tucker, a hockey writer based out of Vancouver that appears to have been one of the latest to be downsized in our industry.

*Dennis Bernstein has some thoughts, facts, analysis and theories surrounding the Los Angeles Kings, who have a long time to think about their first-round exit from the playoffs.

*Bruce Garrioch has some info on Ottawa’s long range plan to move to a needed downtown arena and that being the blueprint for most other Canadian cities.

*Tracey Myers has a dilemma for the Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw wants to stay, but the question is whether the Blackhawks can afford him?

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Bruce Boudreau lamenting the tough Game 7 loss for the Anaheim Ducks to the Nashville Predators. The loss may cost Boudreau his job, and will see a lot of new blood in the West with Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim now all out of the postseason.

*For something completely different: how can you say “no” to a tour of the world’s most magnificent treehouses.

Bruins have slim chance at No. 1 in NHL Draft lottery Saturday

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Bruins have slim chance at No. 1 in NHL Draft lottery Saturday

The Bruins will know a great deal more in a couple of days about their prospects for NHL Draft weekend in Buffalo this June.

The NHL will hold its annual draft lottery in Toronto on Saturday night for those teams outside the playoffs that hold first-round picks or those shrewd enough to have secured a first-rounder and still have reached the playoffs. 

The Bruins will have two first-round picks regardless of what happens: they hold their own lottery-eligible selection along with the first-round pick from the San Jose Sharks sent to Boston last summer in the trade for goaltender Martin Jones. The Sharks are still alive in the postseason, so the B’s second selection will be a late first-rounder.

The Bruins were the last NHL team eliminated from playoff contention, so they hold the slimmest odds of securing the first overall pick with a 1 percent chance in the Auston Matthews sweepstakes.

It’s too bad because the kind of game-breaking talent available at the top of the draft is exactly what the Black and Gold franchise needs after trading away top-10 first-round picks in Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton the past three years.

The Bruins will have roughly the same odds for the second (1.1 percent chance) and third overall picks (1.3 percent chance) should they miss out on No. 1, but the chances are still slim at they will pick anywhere but the same exact 14th overall pick where they selected Jake DeBrusk last season. Should they get a selection in the top three, the Bruins would be looking at big-time center Matthews, and a pair of Finnish wingers in Patrick Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, along with Matthew Tkachuk (son of Keith Tkachuk and cousin to Jimmy Hayes).

The highest rated D-man on the board is Sarnia Sting blueliner Jakob Chycrun, who is a player the Bruins would need to trade up for, a la their attempt at Noah Hanifin last year. The Bruins will have assets to potentially make that happen, but we all know how that worked out last season for Don Sweeney when a big part of “the plan” was moving up to nab one of last year’s blue chip D-men in the draft.   

Hopeful Bruins fans can try their luck with the NHL Draft Lottery Simulator online, but fair warning that you won’t see the Spoked ‘B’ come up very much while hashing out the order of the top three overall picks for late June at the First Niagara Center.