Morning Skate 311: B's new guys need to step up

Morning Skate 311: B's new guys need to step up

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comIts time for the new guys in Black and Goldto step up after an extremely promising start.It looked like Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly were going to enjoy seamless transitions into the Bruins way of doing things after a handful of games, but it hasnt been all roses, puppy dogs and rainbows over the last two weeks.Its time for that to change after Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli hand-picked each ofthese particular players to assistvaulting him team over the top.Kaberle arrived in Boston with an All-Star pedigree and reputationas a bona fide difference-maker on the power play, but the puck-moving defenseman holds justone lonelyassist in nine games while Bostons vaunted power play is mired in an 0-for-19 drought dating back to Kaberles first game with Boston.Meanwhile Peverley clanged the left post in overtime last night on a nice littleplay that would have gone into the books as a rousing game-winner after he faked out the entire Sabres defense.The play clearly showed off some of the nifty, slippery moves in Peverley'sarsenal that have made him a 20-goal scorer in the NHL.But it was a few too many inches to the left as it rang post, and PeverleyKelly have three points (one goal, two assists) in 17 games with their new team, and need to start producing a few more results. In total, Peverley, Kaberle and Kelly have five points in 26 games with the Bruins and havent been the offensive booster shot that anyone had hoped for but there also needs to be some time allowed for transitioning into a new way of doing things.The new trio got that time in the Western part of Canada during a week-long Bruins orientation trip, and now its about getting things done on the ice.Yeah, weve got all those things starting to go right now, said Peverley of the chances he received in his first game with a couple of new linemates. Were getting chances. But weve got to keep shooting. At this point its about getting some production because were getting the chances.Peverley has been given power play minutes and now sits with a prominent role on the right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and needs to start showing some of the spark he featured during low-pressure situations with the Atlanta Thrashers.Nathan Horton has caught fire with Bostons first line and the fourth line continues to kick in valued offense, so now its up to the new guys to start pulling their fair share of the weight.On to the links:Gary Bettman is getting into Richard measuring contests with sponsors and other NHL power brokers, but theres a reason for that: hes in the beginning of a new five-year deal as NHL commissioner, as noted by NBC Pro Hockey Talk.The Montreal Gazette gets a 2-for-1 in writing a love letter to Habs coach Jacques Martin while also cracking on Team 990 sports radio personalities in Montreal. Hey, I like the Team 990.Steve Montador can do a lot more than serve as a punching bag for opponents as an NHL defenseman. He can also attempt to bad-mouth the Captain of the Bruins in an interesting interview with Buffalo radio.Bruce Arthur doesnt like the hockey play defense for certain controversial hockey hits. As far I can tell, this is a Bruce Arthur problem rather than an NHL problem.Antti Niemi is coming up big for the San Jose Sharks in their second-half surge, and USA Todays Kevin Allen is there to provide detail.A Montreal newspaper believes that Zdeno Chara crossed the line by hitting Max Pacioretty. You dont say?CSNNE.coms own Mike Felger lambasting the Montreal Canadiens fan base in his always-entertaining mailbag. Let the bridges he burns light the way.The Hockey News Adam Proteau takes a crack at why so few NHL coaches have been fired this year, and no its not because its the most well-coached season in pro hockey history.A good piece by SI.coms Adrian Dater on the resurgence of the Calgary Flames under the watchful eye of GM Jay Feaster. Its amazing what happens when you call in a hockey exterminator and start getting rid of those pesky Sutters.

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.

*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.

*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?

*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.

*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.

*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.

*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.

*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin