Morning Skate 55


Morning Skate 55

By Joe Haggerty

Today's links:

EricEngels offers some playoff thoughts from around the league with theHabs now eliminated from the playoffs. NESN.comsTom Caron says there is still plenty of room on the Bruinsbandwagon now that it looks like there is nothing tofear. ESPNsMatthew Barnaby hops on 850 WEEI and says theres nothing to fear forBruins fans if they end up facing the Tampa Bay Lightning inthe Eastern Conference Finals. TampaBay knows that they havent won anything yet as they getready to face the Bruins or the Flyers. Washingtonowner Ted Leonsis lays out his thoughts on the Capitals in thewake of their stunning second round upset at the hands of theBolts. Those thinking the Bruins lack heart or grit need only look atwhat keeps happening in Washington D.C. NHL.comsCory Masisak says that changes are coming in DC after another hugedisappointment, and Bruce Boudreau might want to sneak asmuch BBQ sauce out of Washingtons practice facility as he possiblycan. KeithPrimeau speaks with the Toronto Sun about the lengths hes going to putan end to the concussion epidemic taking place in theNHL. JesseSpector of the New York Daily News says that Ryan Callahan is making bigstrides toward being the next captain of the New York Rangersafter a season in the Big Apple. TheVancouver Canucks are starting to look like their old selves after awildly entertaining first round match-up against the ChicagoBlackhawks. Is that a good thing or a badthing? Uncertaintylooms over the Atlanta Thrashers franchise given their ownershipconcerns and the very real potential they could wind up inWinnipeg or Quebec City. Finally,with a hat tip to Puck Daddy heres a great video of a Bruins fan thatpulled the ultimate prank on his boss, a Canadiens fan, afterBoston defeated Montreal in the first round of theplayoffs.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 


Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.