Kaberle, Ryder to hit free agent market

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Kaberle, Ryder to hit free agent market

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
The Bruins have met with the agents for both Tomas Kaberle and Michael Ryder, and its been determined that both unrestricted free agents will be hitting the free market for the July 1 frenzy. Peter Chiarelli confirmed that both could land in greener NHL pastures if another hockey club emerges from the free agent pool and shoves a long term, high-dollar offer in front of them but the Bruins GM didnt shut the door on either player potentially returning to the Black and Gold fold either.With Tomas Kaberle and with Michael Ryder were doing the same thing. We certainly havent parted ways, said Chiarelli during a Thursday conference call with reporters. Im wary of the market, where it stands right now and I said, Look guys, go out there and see whats going on and lets continue to talk. The risk that we run is that they will get a deal then they cant come back to us. I understand that risk. So thats where those two guys stand.It's a wise choice considering that the free agent market has already hit "ludicrous speed" before July 1 even officially arrived.There are a bevy of defensemen comparable to Kaberle that have received hefty offers in the last week including Montreals Andrei Markov and Carolinas Joni Pitkanen, and a 10-year deal for Christian Ehrhoff in Buffalo first reported on Thursday night. Theres a hesitancy from Chiarelli to get locked into a long-term deal with a player in Kaberlethat never truly seemed to fit in Boston, and it's certainly prudent to avoid spending the crazy money around July 1 that is getting tossed around.While its true Kaberle did have three points in the Stanley Cup Final and finished tied with Dennis Seidenberg for the Bs postseason lead among defensemen with 11 points, the 33-year-old also never managed to get beyond the third blueliner pairing during the final two playoff series in Bostons Cup run.Ryder could get a solid two or three year deal in a free agent market largely bereft of wingers, but its difficult to gauge given Ryder's inconsistent track record. The forwards solid playoff run after two straight lackluster regular seasons (less than 20 goals in each campaign) make determining his value more complicated.Its doubtful the Bs are willing to go three years with a winger that played like Tarzan for much of the postseason, but skated a little too much like Jane during the last two regular seasons.Chiarelli said that the Bruins would be cutting ties with 35-year-old defenseman Shane Hnidy after he signed on with the team for the last couple of months of the season and dressed for three games in the playoffs.Weve told Shane that we arent resigning him, said Chiarelli. I think hell be a good addition somewhere else and I told him that. And certainly Id help him along the way for that.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

B's determined to "keep it going" during good offensive run

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B's determined to "keep it going" during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden. 

Morrow has "confident feeling" as he readies to jump into B's lineup

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Morrow has "confident feeling" as he readies to jump into B's lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It’s been a long month of bag skates and lonely practices for Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow.

That’s about to change thanks to injuries to both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller, who are both not expected to be able to play against the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon at TD Garden. That means Morrow will be in the B’s lineup for the first time since a Dec. 12 win over the Montreal Canadiens, a span of 16 consecutive B’s games that the 24-year-old has been watching from the press box.

Morrow skated in a pairing with John-Michael Liles in Sunday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to Monday’smatinee, and obviously he’s looking forward to getting back into games given this season’s sporadic practice schedule.

“[Playing well after sitting for long stretches] isn’t necessarily something you want to be good at, but if you are good at then it’s a good tool to have in your bag. It’s a confident feeling that I’ll be able to come in [and play well],” said Morrow, who has an assist and a minus-3 rating in 13 games for the Black and Gold this season. “I’ve stayed in good shape and worked hard in practice, and that’s all I can do up until this point.

“Put simply, [this year’s compacted schedule] is exhausting. Countless times I’ve skated by myself, and anybody would tell you there’s nothing harder than skating by yourself on a sheet of ice. Mentally and physically it’s just exhausting. There haven’t been many practices and there haven’t been many game-type situations in the practices we do have. Skating with the whole team is almost like a pregame skate scenario. But you’re still skating every day, so it’s putting it upon yourself to go out there and stay ready for things.”

The one issue for Morrow, a former first round pick, over the last couple of seasons has been maintaining a high level of play once he draws his way into the lineup. It feels like there’s a drop-off in his play once he’s played a few games in a row whether it’s physical mistakes or mental lapses in his play, and that’s something he wants to avoid when given an opportunity to suit up.

“I feel like when I have played this year that I’ve been quite consistent and that I’ve played well,” said Morrow, the last remaining part of the 2013 Tyler Seguin trade still in a Bruins uniform. “I’m just in a situation that the cards are playing out the way that they are, so it depends on how many games I get whether it’s one, two, 30 or however many games are left [in the season]. It’s realistically entirely up to me. If I can shake the rust out in the first couple of shifts and start from there, it’s going to be a big positive in my book. It’s the really the only option I have left now.”

Given that Colin Miller began skating on his own on Sunday morning, it might not be a very big window for Morrow to impress upon the coaches just how badly he wants to play. But one would expect he’s going to bring his best on Monday against the Isles with the hopes that it will be somebody else sitting up in the press box when it once again becomes a D-man numbers game for the 7-8 players for six lineup spots.