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 email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.
*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.
*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.
*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.
*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.
*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.
*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.
*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.
BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.
Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.
Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.
Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.
“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”
Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: