BruinsSenators: 5 from the First

BruinsSenators: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comOTTAWA Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Senators locked in a scoreless tie at Scotiabank Place after the first 20 minutes of ho-hum action.1)Bruins looking awfully tired at the tail end of a nine-day trip through three different time zones thats seen them go 5-0-0 to this point. While its fortunate theyre playing an Ottawa Senators featuring such hockey household names as Colin Greening, Zack Smith, Erik Condra and Francis Lessard, the Bs will need something of substance to break through the Craig Anderson brick wall.2)Three shots on net for Jason Spezza, who is playing with some jump, fore-checking and genuinely appearing like he actually wants to win a hockey game. The Bs could be in trouble if Anderson continues to stand on his head, Spezza continues to be inspired for two more periods and the Bs cant knock the fatigue in their legs.3)Near miss from the Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi trio at the end of the first when Marchand found Recchi trailing the play, and he dropped it back to a wide open Bergeron. The Bs center never cleanly handled the puck, and would have had a goal if he couldve snapped a shot off. This is looking one of those nights when that line might have to grit, grease and grime a goal or two through the crease.4)Two blocked shots and a hit for Steve Kampfer, who looks pretty invested in both ends of the ice and seems to have knocked the rust of his game that was pretty evident in Edmonton.5)Ten saves for Tuukka Rask in the first as the Bs were outshot by a 10-6 margin. His best was a stuff job on Sergei Gonchar jumping into the play after Spezza had fired a puck toward the net. In both sets of games at the beginning and end of the trip, Rask has been better on the second night of consecutive starts.

Acciari nearing a return for Bruins after missing a month

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Acciari nearing a return for Bruins after missing a month

BRIGHTON, Mass. – He hasn’t been cleared to play just yet, but fourth line energy guy Noel Acciari is closing in on a return to the Bruins lineup. 

Acciari joined in for a Bruins morning skate for the first time in 14 games at the end of last week, and practiced with the team again Monday for a morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. The 25-year-old has missed almost exactly a month with a lower body injury, and said he can thankfully now see the light at the end of the injury tunnel for a healthy return to the B’s lineup. 

“It was getting lonely with all the guys on the road, and with me just skating with Frankie [Vatrano] and Zee [Chara],” said Acciari. “It’s great to be back out there with the guys, and it’s good to be back. Each skate I feel a lot better out there and just trying to get my conditioning back. Just being back with the guys is a great feeling, and it’s a big help.”

The fourth line has been okay in Acciari’s absence, but it seemed to be lacking the same kind of energy and hard edge the Providence College standout provided when he was healthy. That was part of what led the B’s to call up the similarly rugged Anton Blidh from Providence at the end of last week, and could provide some interesting energy line options when Acciari is ready to return. 

“I’ve played with [Blidh] before, I’m used to him and I know what he brings to the table just like he knows what I can do,” said Acciari. “So it would work out well [if we played together] I think.”

Acciari has two assists and a plus-1 rating along with four penalty minutes while averaging 10:01 of ice time in 12 games this season, and proved to be very good at unnerving opponents simply by playing all-out all the time. 

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.

*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.

*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?

*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.

*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.

*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.

*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.

*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.