Morning Skate 223: Some leftovers from Calgary win


Morning Skate 223: Some leftovers from Calgary win

By Joe Haggerty

VANCOUVER Its so far, so good for the Bruins.A piping hot Calgary Flames team was swallowed under by an energized Tim Thomas and a resurgent top line featuring David Krejci and Milan Lucic, and it was pretty clear the Bs put a size 12-boot to Calgarys momentum and puffed-out chests.Now comes the real test for the Bs, however: three off days in Vancouver including a ceremonial bobble-head night for Milan Lucic at a Vancouver Giants game on Friday night before a Saturday tilt against the Canucks, who had their doors blown off by the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night.There will be plenty of talk about the sheer awesome force of the Canucks power play, the breakout year for Ryan Kesler and the Wonder Twin Powers of a Sedin Brother combination that just keeps getting better and better every single year.For now, a couple of numbers from last nights BruinsFlames games: Four blocked shots for Tomas Kaberle on Tuesday night, and five blocked shots overall in his first two games with the Bruins. Thats a good sign that Kaberle is going to really push defensively. Four takeaways for Patrice Bergeron, who only finished with an assist on the scoresheet but was a dominant player all over the ice against Calgary. A team-high five hits for Milan Lucic, who was playing with snarl, physicality and a noticeable chip on his shoulder against the Flames that hasnt consistently been there over the last couple of months for No. 17. 22:51 ice time for Tomas Kaberle, which lead the Bruins on Tuesday night and showed exactly how much of a workhorse the puck-moving defenseman can amount to for Boston.Onto the links:
Versus Network will be putting together some special NHL trade deadline programming another good sign of how much more intensive their NHL coverage just keeps on getting. Spector takes a look around the hockey world and gets a round-up on all of the rumors percolating around the NHL. Peter Stastny blows a gasket on a St. Louis radio station and crushed Colorado management for ripping apart an Avalanche team with their Erik Johnson deal of last week. NBC's Pro Hockey Talk spills the details. I cant wait until How I Met Your Mother gets hold of this Don Cherry rap video, and gives it the Robin Sparkles treatment. Looks like the Canucks are circling the wagons and getting ready for a statement game this weekend against the Bruins. The Black and Gold had best be prepared. A well-done video piece on the rehabilitation of Mike Danton, who went to prison for attempting to arrange the killing of his Svengali-like former junior hockey coach. Danton is hoping to get back into pro hockey now that hes out of jail. Newsday with some deep thoughts after Eric Staal completely obliterated brother Marc Staal with a heavy hockey hit when the Hurricanes and Rangers met on Tuesday night. Its time for the Ducks and Kings to stand up and be counted in the Western Conference, or get busy with their golf vacations.

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.