BruinsDevils: 5 from the Third

BruinsDevils: 5 from the Third

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking out the Devils by a 4-1 score at the TD Garden after 60 minutes that saw the Bs get bigger and stronger as the game progressed.1)Tim Thomas has been just ordinary since the All-Star break and a shade under that during the month of March, but he looked like vintage Thomas against the Devils tonight. Twenty nine saves for Thomas, and several flashy glove saves on Ilya Kovalchuk when he had to be perfect to match what Martin Brodeur was doing at the other end of the ice.2)Big rebound game from Dennis Seidenberg. He needed that in a Big Bad way, and he responded in a must-win against the Devils.3)Milan Lucic with his 30th goal of the season to ice the game, and snap a five-game goal-scoring drought. Typical goal with the way hes worked to finish this season, and he used his quick release and dead-eye aim to fire home a nice pass from behind the net by Patrice Bergeron. Well executed play to salt away the game.4)Lucic is the first 30 goal scorer for the Bruins since Phil Kessel a couple of years ago, and hes taken over that role as a bona fide game-breaker. A two point night and a plus-2 evening for Lucic on a night when the Bs needed their best player to step up.5)Big game for Zdeno Chara with two points and four shots on net to lead the Bruins along with snarling defense. Chara had seemed to soften a bit in recent games given all of the criticism levied at him, but he was large for the Bs tonight.

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more. 

Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

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Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

The Bruins lost a number of free agents on after the market opened at noontime. None bigger than Loui Eriksson signing a six-year, $36 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks to play with the Sedin Twins.

It’s the exact level of term and salary that Eriksson said he was looking for from the Bruins in contract negotiations around the trade deadline, but the Bruins never really moved from their offer of a four-year deal at comparable money.

The Bruins will miss the 30-goal production and solid all-around, two-way play from Eriksson as he heads to the West Coast, but they also traded in a passive player in Eriksson for an in-your-face, physical leader in David Backes on a five-year deal. 

Backes is much more of a Bruins-style player than Eriksson could have ever hoped to have been. That part of it is a win for a Bruins fan base that wants intensity and physicality from their players.

The Bruins also watched Jonas Gustavsson sign a one-year, $800,000 contract with Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, Brett Connolly sign a one-year deal for $850,000 with the Washington Capitals, Zach Trotman signs a one-year deal for $950,000 and Lee Stempniak ink a two-year, $5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after being a non-contract training camp invite with New Jersey last season.

Sweeney had maintained as late as Thursday that he was still keeping ties with many of Boston’s free agents prior to the noon opening of the free agent market, but clearly that’s changed.

“We’ll continue to have talks and sort of figure out where things may go. We’ve had talks with a number of players to see what they would like to see as the opportunity here or what we see as a fit,” said Sweeney on the Torey Krug conference call on Thursday night. “I haven’t ruled absolutely any of that out; just haven’t found common ground and obviously it gets harder and harder as we go further along in the process.”