Notes: Chara makes a statement


Notes: Chara makes a statement

By JoeHaggerty

BOSTON Zdeno Chara has been waiting almost three weeks to answer all of the critics, and Montreal persecutors, since he knocked Max Pacioretty into a treacherous Bell Centre stanchion.

That much was pretty evident right out of the chute in the first period as Chara assisted on two of Bostons goals against their bitter rivals and then dumped both Mathieu Darche and Andrei Kostitsyn in one menacing shift before the first 20 minutes were up.

That started a three-assist, plus-3 evening for Chara against Montreal, and allowed the 6-foot-9 defenseman to take No. 1 Star honors when everything was said and done in a 7-0 drubbing of the Canadiens.

There have been times in the past when Chara and some of his Bruins teammates would get so emotionally wound up prior to a big game that it would detract from their performance. But that didnt happen this time around.

Instead Mark Recchi stirred things up on Wednesday to take some of the media fury away from Chara leading up to the Habs game, and the big blueliner responded with one of his best games of the season.

Its always talk, but I was really focusing on the game on the ice. That was my first priority, said Chara. Obviously we all knew that this was a huge game, not just from what happened the past few weeks, but in the standings as well.

So guys played really hard and showed a lot of character in this room. A lot of guys stepped up in their games and played huge. And obviously Timmy Tim Thomas had a shutout. We had big contributions from the third and fourth line, our power play was really solid, moved the puck well. We killed all the penalties. We had everything going what we were tried to looking for in this game.

While Chara has had all manner of Montreal fandom sideshows going on around him, it never affected his game on the ice in any discernible way. Chara has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in his last seven games since Pacioretty-gate and is a plus-8 over that span of time while waiting for a chance to redeem himself and for the rest of his teammates to redeem themselves against a Habs team hanging around in the standings.

Chara made a statement with his game on the ice against Montreal, and his teammates showed just how much support theyre willing to lend their captain when things get a little rocky.

He didnt stray away from his game, said Johnny Boychuk. He just blocked everything out and wanted to play his game, and that is what he did. He has contributed a lot.

Everybody wanted to win it for him, and they wanted to win it for the team.

With the final regular-season game against the Habs over and done after the seven-goal annihilation, Chara and his Bruins can now finally turn the page on Pacioretty and the Bell Centre stanchions for the time being. Who knows what will happen if the two teams meet in the playoffs and the Habs forward is ready to return to the lineup, but for now life goes on for Chara and the Bs after theyve completely circled the wagons just prior to the postseason.

Tim Thomas collected his 25th career shutout and career-best eighth shutout this season against the Canadiens on Thursday night, and amazingly had his first shutout ever against the Canadiens. Thomas stats against the Habs arent even close to his best over the course of his career, but he was close to his best in the second period while turning away legitimate Montreal bids by Travis Moen and Brian Gionta.

I didnt realize it was my first. I didnt know that. Having said that, its the 25th of my career, and its a memorable one, said Thomas. Ive been on the other end of the spectrum over the years, playing against Montreal. Its a nice victory Ill remember forever.

The playoffs are getting close for both Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell after each forward spent multiple seasons without the playoffs to start each of their respective careers with the Florida Panthers. It was fitting that each player scored a pair of goals in Thursday nights 7-0 victory, and that each player is enjoying some of their best results of the season with the much-anticipated playoffs looming.

Unfortunately, I had to watch a lot of playoff games on TV the past seven years, said Campbell. It was excited for me and Nathan to be involved in a game like this. It was the closest we have been to a playoff game.

The Bs fourth-line center also had the rare 3-on-5 short-handed goal in the third period against a Montreal bunch that had already packed it in for the night, his 12th goal of the season for Boston. That means Campbell is only a single goal away from matching his career-high of two years, and can put the rare short-handed score on his penalty-killing resume.

Sure its not easy, its not easy to score five on four. I guess I caught them, those two guys had been out for a little bit, said Campbell. It just worked out for me. I was able to flip it to myself. You dont see those goals very often. It was nice to get that.

The Bruins Thursday signed Boston University junior David Warsofsky. He will report to the Providence Bruins for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old defenseman appeared in 34 games this season for BU with 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) and 46 PIM. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound native of Marshfield was originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2008 draft. He was acquired by the Bruins last June 26 from the St. Louis Blues for Vladimir Sobotka.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back


Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

BRIGHTON, Mass. – With the World Cup of Hockey and Team Canada crowned as champions, the final few Bruins players involved in the international hockey tournament will be filtering back into regular training camp.

It was a brilliant tourney for Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, especially while forming the World Cup’s best forward line with Sidney Crosby. Marchand was one of the leading scorers and had the clutch game-winner in the decisive game.

As a line they combined for a ridiculous 25 points in six games and it was Marchand who scored a couple of the biggest goals in the biggest games against Russia and Team Europe.

“They did it all of last season for us, so I’m not shocked. They played well throughout the entire time they played there, so I’m really happy for them,” said Ryan Spooner. “It’s been kind of a weird camp. We’ve been missing a lot of guys, and to get all of those guys back is huge. They’re the leaders of the team, so to get them back is good.

“Marchand around the room is a funny guy, so he’s definitely missed. We miss them all.”

Zdeno Chara was a force for the surprising rag-tag group of players on Team Europe and led them to the best-of-three final series against Team Canada. Now that it’s over, the B’s teammates are looking forward to all three joining fellow World Cup participants Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes at camp probably at some point next week.

“It does [feel like training camp], but it will be nice to get those guys back,” said Adam McQuaid. “They are big parts of this team. We’re looking forward to having those guys back, for sure.”

That also includes getting their coach, Claude Julien, back as well after missing his presence while he served behind the Canadian bench with Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz. He’ll be rejoining the Bruins over the next couple of days, and getting through preseason road games against Detroit and Philadelphia before making some tough decisions on cuts at main training camp.

That’s when things will officially start getting back to normal for a training camp that’s felt like something was a little missing over the first few weeks of getting ready for the season. 

Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final


Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while taking a nap this afternoon so I can watch the 1:30 am replay of tonight’s Bruins/Red Wings game on the NHL Network.

*Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara scored the goals at the World Cup’s decisive game on Thursday night, and No. 63 got the clutch game-winner late in the third period for Team Canada. Then he watched as linemate Sidney Crosby won the MVP for the tournament in what could be perceived, from a Boston point of view, as a largely Canadian-based hockey media fawning over Sid the Kid once again. Look, he was the tournament’s leading scorer, but last night’s heroics probably should have tipped the scales toward the B’s agitator getting the World Cup hardware.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm seeking an eight year deal from his team. That could be another contract negotiation to watch closely if you’re a Bruins fan.

*Zach Werenski, one of the D-men the Bruins were trying to trade up to get two years ago in the first round of the draft, is looking like he might be NHL-ready for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

*Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is holding out with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and just wants to get paid like the rest of his teammates.

*Marian Hossa says he still wants to play hockey when he’s 42 years old, or close to the age that countrymen Zdeno Chara is right now.

*Here are some preseason college hockey storylines with the world of NCAA hockey about to start up in force.

*A judge has ruled that the family of the late Derek Boogaard may pursue a lawsuit against the NHL over the death of their son.

*For something completely different: “Tex Ryan” takes his jokes to open mic night and I’m fairly this is Toucher and Rich skewering the Buffalo Bills head coach. And rightfully so.