Morning Skate 225: A family affair in Vancouver

Morning Skate 225: A family affair in Vancouver

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comVANCOUVER It was family day at the Pacific Coliseum on Friday morning with friends and family members adorned in Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi jerseys as the Bruins players practiced at the home of the Vancouver Giants.Mark Recchis three brothers have made the trip to Vancouver from their hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia, and Lucics entire family has been around all week given that big No. 17 grew up a five minutes drive away from the East Vancouver rink.In fact between the Pacific Coliseum and the adjacent Agrodome Skating Rink where Lucic first learned how to lace up the skates and get is feet going, the Bs have basically journeyed to the cradle of their power forwards hockey career.Its been enjoyable to watch Lucic handle the adulation and praise from folks around Vancouver that literally tracked his birth and development into a hockey superstar, and the best part comes Saturday night when he gets put his skills on display against the Vancouver Canucks team he grew up worshipping.On to the links:David Perron talks about the concussion thats knocked him out of commission for the majority of this season, and the Vancouver specialist hes hoping will help him as he did teammate Andy McDonald.A look by Yahoo! Sports hockey columnist Nick Cotsonika at the wheeling and dealing going around the NHL this season.The New Jersey Devils have won nine games in a row, and actually pulled themselves into within nine points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Can you believe it?A good look by Pro Hockey Talks Joe Yerdon at the five players still most likely to be moved by the NHL trade deadline on Monday.Phil Kessel looks like hes finally turning the corner for the Maple Leafs, and Mike Zeisberger has the story in the Toronto Sun. I contend that finally doing some damage against the Bruins really opened things up for Phil the Thrill to start really flying for the Leafs.The AHL has turned into the trash compactor where NHL teams dump their unwanted contracts, and where viable NHL players must serve their time for simply flying in the face of the salary cap, the Wall Street Journal reports.A good look by CSNNE.coms Mary Paoletti at the concussion epidemic in pro sports, and where we stand as the numbers keep going up across the spectrum of sports.

Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0


Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0

BOSTON – The Bruins had to feel like things would go badly for them with both of their usual goaltenders on the shelf against the Minnesota Wild.

That’s exactly what happened with Malcolm Subban getting pulled in the second period for the second time in his two-start NHL career, and the Bruins ultimately falling by a 5-0 score to the Wild at TD Garden. Subban lasted a tad more than 30 minutes in this game, but looked shaky in allowing two goals in a span of 12 seconds to Minnesota as they took control early in the second period.

Weymouth native Charlie Coyle floated a spinning, surprise shot through the glove hand and leg pad of a slow-reacting Subban, and Chris Stewart followed by roofing a shot while all alone in front following the ensuing face-off.

Subban made a nice save on Marco Scandella to temporarily stop the bleeding, but was pulled from the game when Ryan Suter beat him low to the glove hand with a power play strike midway through the second. Subban was pulled after giving up the third goal of the night, and Zane McIntyre was ostensibly better even if he allowed a Jason Zucker deflected shot past him to give the Wild an insurmountable four goal cushion.

The Bruins tried to rally for something in the third period, but there wasn’t much going on after the shaky defense and subpar goaltending knocked all the wind right out of them. Jason Pominville scored late in the game on a rebound goal to round out the scoring. The scary part is that Tuesday night’s loss to the Wild represents the first of six games against worthy opponents that made the playoffs last season, and there’s no hint of when Tuukka Rask or Anton Khudobin might be ready to return. 

O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time


O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time

BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.

The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.

So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.

“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.

“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”

While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.