Notes: Peverley finds his goal-scoring touch


Notes: Peverley finds his goal-scoring touch

By Joe Haggerty

NEWARK Rich Peverley had two goals in his first 20 games with the Bruins. But he matched that total with two goals in his last two games of the regular season, a good sign headed into a playoff run where his scoring services will be desperately needed.

Peverley arrived in Boston via a deal with Atlanta that sent Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Thrashers. Hes admitted it's been an adjustment period for him, but he bagged himself a pretty goal in the third period against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and added a rebound score in front of the net during Sundays first period.

Hes got good speed, hes got decent hands, and weve seen him score some of those highlight goals by taking it to the net. Hes usually pretty good at that, said coach Claude Julien. I think, moving forward, you want to be able to have that kind of depth . . . If your first or second line doesnt score, then youve got the third and even the fourth to score for you.

Right now, I think it feels comforting to know that other lines are contributing. So hopefully that gives us more depth.

It appears Peverley has found his goal-scoring confidence at the right time. Hes the veteran of exactly one other NHL playoff series, with the Nashville Predators a couple of years ago, so he knows what awaits him when he laces them up against the Canadiens on Thursday night.

I think that were all trying to drive the net a little more, and shoot the puck and take the puck to the net, said Peverley. I think in the playoffs its not going to be the nice goals all the time. Its when you can read the rebounds and take the puck to the net. With Peverley's natural skatingspeed and nose for the net finally kicking into play in Boston, it appears the B's might just be tapping into another offensive source at just the right time -- in a series against fellow skilled, undersized forwards suiting upall over the ice for the Montreal Canadiens. What appeared to be several thousand members of Quebec Nordiques fans made the road trip from Quebec City to New Jersey to take in Sundays regular-season finale between the Devils and Bruins at the Prudential Center.

Nordiques Nation cheered and started chants intermittently throughout the game, blew air horns and created a constant flow of noise in a hockey building thats usually pretty sedate, and even presented Tim Thomas with the Quebec Nordiques Draft Day sweater that he never received following Sundays loss. As a ninth-round pick during the 1994 draft, Thomas never attended the draft or received a jersey with his name on the back following his late-round selection and the loyal Nordiques group managed to get their way into the dressing room to present the sweater to the Vezina Trophy favorite following the game. The Bruins left captain Zdeno Chara and veteran Mark Recchi in Boston so they could get an extra day off before the series with Montreal. It was the first game missed by either of those veteran players this season, and means that no Bs player suited up for all 82 games this season. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk took an awkward-looking tumble into the boards behind the New Jersey net in the second period that also took down Milan Lucic, and limped toward the Boston bench. But Boychuk returned to the ice later in the period and appeared no worse for the wear.Reports out of Providence said that young B's defensemanSteve Kampfer was spotted after Saturday night's Providence Bruins' game limping around on crutches after suffering an injury against the Springfield Falcons.

Kampfer didn't play in Sunday's season finale for the P-Bruins.
The injury would certainly jeopardize Kampfer's standing on the Boston roster for the playoffs, and his availability as one of the "Black Aces" potentially called upon for duty should injuries hit Boston's blueline. Kampfer was sent down to the AHL last week, and had just returned to action with the P-Bruins before the injury hit. Steve got tangled up in the neutral zone there earlier in the game with a Springfield player, said P-Bruins coach Rob Murray to radio man Adam Kaufman on Saturday night. Its still being determined what the extent of his injury is, but he came back, he played one shift after that, and he didnt feel he could go, so we shut him down for the game. Hopefully its not too serious.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while suffering from the same “general soreness” as Tuukka Rask.

*The Arizona Coyotes are suffering from growing pains that were extremely evident during a winless road trip.

*Steve Dangle is obviously jacked and pumped about his Maple Leafs, but wondering about the future of Roman Polak. But aren’t we all at this point?

*Old friends Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg both scored the victorious Islanders in a Friday night win.

*Clarke MacArthur isn’t ready to retire even as concussion issues are really starting to impact his ability to stay on the ice.

*Teemu Selanne gives fellow Finn Patrick Laine a thumbs up as he was in town for events with his former Winnipeg Jets.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details on noted Bruins killer Dale Weise getting suspended for three games after some dirty activity with the Philadelphia Flyers.

*For something completely different: Geoff Edgers has been trying to reach Bill Murray for weeks, and here’s what happened when he finally called back.


Bruins looking for a lift from stagnant power play


Bruins looking for a lift from stagnant power play

BRIGHTON, Mass. – One area where the Bruins are looking for more after a mostly positive first four regular-season games: the power play.

The B’s are a downright gross 1-for-14 on the man-advantage to start the season and were 0-for-4 on Thursday night while squeaking out a last-minute win over the New Jersey Devils. The early-season 7.1 percent success rate doesn’t have them last in the NHL, but only the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames have performed at a lower PP clip.

It’s a subject that Claude Julien knew was coming from the B’s media, and so he was ready to answer for it ahead of Saturday night’s rivalry renewal with the Montreal Canadiens.

“I knew it was just a matter of time before that question came. It is what it is. I think we had some opportunities, but we haven’t finished,” said Julien. “At the end of the day our power play is judged by whether you score or not, and I thought our second period [vs. the Devils] wasn’t great. But our third period had some really good power plays, but we didn’t manage to score.

“Where we need to get to right now [on the power play], is to find a way to finish. There’s no doubt the absence of Patrice Bergeron there brings somebody else in, and maybe there’s not as much chemistry as we’re used to. But I think with him back now we can even be better, and get a little more movement…not be so stagnant. When we struggle a bit it’s because we’re a little stagnant, and we need to get a little better there.”

Quite a bit of the struggles go back to Bergeron missing the first three games of the season and the top power-play unit missing No. 37 from his trademark bumper role at the center of the PP action. The power play remained scoreless as the unit adjusted to Bergeron's return on Thursday night, but it seemed that things started to click a little bit as that game went on.

“It’s not moving right now. We’ll just work through it. There were times last year where it let us down, and there were times last year where it helped us through some tough moments,” said Torey Krug of the PP. “Right now we’re able to play through it, but at some point this team is going to need this PP to step up and score some goals. We rely on that, and the guys on the power play take a lot of pride in it.

“[Bergeron] does a lot of things for us. Instead of me having to go all the way to the other end to break the puck out where I’m losing 20 seconds and frankly it’s tiring to break the puck out, now we have him winning face-offs and we’re starting with the puck in the zone. That’s a big thing, and he collects puck like nobody else in the league. With him back on the power play it brings another important player to the forefront, but it’s a five man unit and when everything’s working out there [on the PP] we have a good unit.”

Now with Ryan Spooner expected to rejoin the B’s lineup, after being healthy scratch vs. New Jersey, that adds another dangerous power-play weapon that practiced with that unit on Saturday morning ahead of the traditional morning skate. The hope is that installing Bergeron and Spooner will help kick-start a special teams unit that’s been less than explosive, and not quite cohesive, in the first four games of the season.