BruinsIslanders: 5 from the Second

BruinsIslanders: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Islanders by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at TD Garden.1)Shawn Thornton must have done somebody wrong on the Islanders bench because he was hit with a pair of high sticks from Trevor Gillies and Kyle Okposo during the second period. Thornton has played well with three shots on net and a goal in 8:32 of ice time, but hes also still nursing a healing wound on his forehead after taking 40 stitches there last week. It didnt appear that the sticks ripped anything open, but thats the big danger until it heals completely for the Bs enforcer.2)This just in: Michael Grabner is fast and good. Not sure what Dale Tallon was smoking down in Florida when he decided to try and sneak the speedy youngster through waivers, but hes potted two goals tonight and 33 goals in his rookie NHL season. Grabners speed is game-changing as anybody could have seen when he sped past Tomas Kaberle like he was standing still for a short-handed goal in the second period. A game-high six shots for Grabner tonight.3)It appears that David Krejci and Milan Lucic are in operation shutdown until the playoffs begin. Krejci has the only shot between the two players, and theyre sitting at a minus-2 with over 20 minutes of ice time tonight. Lucic hasnt scored since potting his 30th goal of the season eight games ago, and they look like theyre simply trying to stay away from injury for the playoffs.4)Two shots on goal in two power play chances for the Bruins tonight including a 5-on-3 that started the game. The PP looks just as impotent as it did before Tomas Kaberle arrived. No snap, no pop and no willingness to work in front of the net.5)The people that are working are the Bs players potentially on the bubble for a playoff roster spot. With Tyler Seguin sitting out, Thornton has a goal, Paille has an assist and a plus-2 and Michael Ryder did yeomans work putting up a screen in front of the net n Dennis Seidenbergs goal in the second period.

Dupont on Backes: B's won't have any problem with this deal

Dupont on Backes: B's won't have any problem with this deal

Kevin Paul Dupont joins Sports Tonight to discuss the Bruins signing former St. Louis Blue David Backes to a 5-year, $30 million deal.

Bruins make official free agent signings of Liles, Nash, Khudobin

Bruins make official free agent signings of Liles, Nash, Khudobin

The Bruins made a number of signings official on the first day of NHL free agency on Friday along with the big prize in hard-hitting, productive center David Backes.

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin signed a two-year deal worth $1.2 million per season to return as a goaltending tandem with Tuukka Rask as they were back in a highly successful 2012-13 NHL season.

Hustling, grinding fourth line forward Riley Nash was signed to a two-year, $1.8 million contract with the Bruins as well, and had nine goals and 22 points in 64 games for the Carolina Hurricanes last season in an energy forward role. In his five-year NHL career, Nash has played in 242 games, amassing 31 goals and 50 assists for 81 points with 69 penalty minutes, including a career-high 10 goals a couple of years ago with the Hurricanes.

The 36-year-old John-Michael Liles signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Bruins after arriving from Carolina at the NHL trade deadline last spring. Liles appeared in 17 games and notched six assists along with a minus-6 rating for the Bruins in 2015-16 after being acquired for Anthony Camara, a 2016 third-round pick and a 2017 fifth-round pick on February 29, 2016. Prior to joining up with Boston, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Liles played in all 64 games for Carolina, recording six goals and nine assists for 15 points with 16 penalty minutes.

“We went out to identify a primary target in David Backes as a center, right wing candidate. He provides depth and balance to our lineup, as did Riley Nash. And Anton Khudobin addressed an area that we seemed to have chased for a little while and possibly with Malcolm’s [Subban] injury we needed to address that for the next couple of seasons. John-Michael Liles is a player that we acquired last year that really added a lot to the mobility and the transition game and we’re excited about bringing him back,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “Tim Schaller was a local boy at Providence College that we went out and identified another size, strength, left-shot, penalty kill and continued to add depth. Tyler Randell emerged last year was on our roster all year long, contributed and was a real hard-nosed player, sticks up for his teammates, was able to contribute goals, albeit not necessarily in the lineup every night, bringing balance. And Tommy Cross and the leadership qualities he brings to Providence for younger players to continue to develop.

“He found himself playing in NHL games, acquainted himself very well, just a real quality person across the board. So I think the overall philosophy of today and going into the free agent period was to address some needs and we did that. But we’ve created what I think is a real internal competition for our younger players to step up and emerge around what I think we’ve added to the core group of our players. They should be excited about this opportunity.”

Tommy Cross, Tyler Randell and Tim Schaller all signed one-year, two-way deals with the Bruins for an NHL value of $600,000, but are all expected to play the bulk of the season at the AHL level barring anything unexpected. 

Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs

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.