Morning Skate 121: No reason to panic here


Morning Skate 121: No reason to panic here

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON Yes, the Bruins looked flat and there are plenty of Bs skaters who arent even close to their best right now.But people need to take into account a couple of things in the wake of Thursday nights loss to the Buffalo Sabres: The Bruins were coming off their seventh game in an 11-day stretch and the Bs have gone 14-6-5 since the beginning of December in a very challenging stretch.
No need to jump off a bridge given how far the team has come in the last few weeks.You have to brush off the loss, but what you have to do is show it, said Claude Julien. If we show that we can bounce back and play well then it is just one bad game. As long as we dont carry it into the next game and bring our focus, we know that its going to be tough games. Were going into some buildings where teams are battling for a playoff spot, and theyre never easy games.If Julien isnt panicking at this point, then perhaps Bruins fans shouldnt be either.On to the links: Matt Hunwick a healthy scratch for the Colorado Avalanche it was only a matter of time. A great, great story on Steve Kampfer by Kirk Luedeke of the New England Hockey Journal that takes everyone behind the scenes of his acquisition. Could there be some shenanigans with the Evgeni Nabokov waiver claim by the Detroit Red Wings? Okay, Ill admit it: I just wanted to use the word shenanigans.
Dean Lombardi wont be getting a Christmas card from the NHL game operations people anytime soon, even though hes going to be making a sizable donation to their charity of choice. This may make Bruins fans happy at the discomfort of a former savior. A good satire of the NHLs Guardian project by the Pens Blog it would have been a lot cooler if this what the real thing looked like. A few facts and figures from the Puck Daddy. A good take from Andy Strickland on David Perron taking his time and not rushing back from a concussion suffered against the San Jose Sharks.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.