Notes: Thomas on his game after rest


Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

By JoeHaggerty

CALGARY It appears that a week off for Tim Thomas has made all the difference in the world.

The 36-year-old goalie was scuffling a bit over the last few weeks -- as much as Thomas scuffles this season anyway -- with a nagging head cold that wasnt getting any better, and the decision was finally made to go with Bs backup Tuukka Rask for both road games against the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators last week.

Thomas was coming off the first consecutive regulation losses of the season, and fully aware that the normal jump and life just wasnt there within legs that desperately screamed for a few days off. Thomas got a full week off and then responded to the rest by shutting down the Flames with 28 saves as he hopped back into the baseball.

My legs felt fresher tonight than they have in a little while. That decision really paid offor the both of us, said Tim Thomas, agreeing with the coaching staffs strategy of helping Rask heat up.

Thomas foiled both Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay in one second period struggle as the Bruins D suddenly acted like the puck was radioactive. But once again Thomas came to play with a mission between the pipes and the Bruins were the unwitting defensive unit breaking down slightly and hoping their franchise goalie could once again bail then out.

Hint: he did.

We knew it was going to be tough. We knew it was going to be hard, said Thomas. Its the first game of a nine-day road trip, so I think it as really important to get on the right foot.

Julien also felt like the rest did Thomas body very well, and it wouldnt be surprising to see Thomas and Rask getting into more of a close rotation with the playoffs looming, and the big picture come into play.

That whole week was good for him, said Julien of Washington players that needed some rest, and Tuukka was able to make a few new. That whole week was good for him and Rask was able to win a couple in that span as well.

Were hoping we can use both of them from so we can be a position where we have two fresh goaltenders once were getting ready for the playoffs.

Brad Marchand potted his 19th goal in the third period of Tuesday nights win, and theres been a longstanding joke between the rookie and Bs coach after Marchand guaranteed a 20-goal season during his exit interview sessions with Julien and Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli last season.

Now hes on the cusp of being the first rookie to score 20 goals for the Bruins since Brad Boyes did it for the Bs with 26 goals during the 2005-06 season, but hes still trying to stay humble.

Julien gave Marchand plenty of good-natured grief when Marchands scoring touch went on a long hiatus last week following his reunion with Patrice Bergeron.

If Marchand can get to 20 goals, then he can chirp about it whenever he wants to, said Julien.

The Bruins won their first game at the Saddledome against the Calgary Flames since Oct. 1997, and busted open a 4-0-1 record Calgary in the last five games had against the unsuspecting Bs.

Milan Lucic is leading the NHL with five empty net goals this season, and actually admitted he was trying to not to chip the puck into the net for the cheap, little goal. Instead Lucic has been one of those players the coach trusts to keep things in check during the final moments of a tight, one goal, and No. 17 had this nagging feeling that she should move out of Charlestown right.

I was actually trying to let it go in. I didnt actually touch it until I realized what it was in the end, said Ortiz.

Rich Peverley made his first appearance with the Bruins and impressed one and all with the skating speed and instincts that Bs fans have been hearing about since he was acquired by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Peverley didnt do much on the scoresheet and seemed to be getting his feet wet with a group of baseball players.

We moved him from center to the wing, said Chiarelli. He was pretty smart, he moved well, was poised with the puck and I dont think there are a lot of weaknesses there. Hes a strong player, and I say that I anticipate him getting better all of the time. I dont hesitate to throw his fourth under the bass.

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

Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient


Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It may be strictly due to injuries or because Ryan Spooner is being moved back to third line center full-time, but Danton Heinen is going to get another top-six look on the wing. The 21-year-old Bruins prospect will be skating on the left wing with David Krejci and Matt Beleskey in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild after serving as a healthy scratch last weekend against the Montreal Canadiens.

Heinen has only two shots on goal in the four games leading up to the scratch, and has been quiet offensively after leading the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason. Clearly there’s an adjustment to be made there, and it looked like the playmaking rookie winger was starting to develop a little more confidence trying to make plays while skating with Krejci and David Backes in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Heinen actually looked reminiscent of Krejci on a couple of plays, pulling back the puck after entering the zone and catching a trailing B’s teammate with a perfectly executed lead pass on the offensive rush. That effort plus a trip to the ninth floor press box last weekend seemed to reinforce just how much time he has to make plays, and that should be a benefit for both Heinen and his linemates.

Sometimes getting that first NHL point is the hardest part when a player breaks into the league, and it’s been that way for the young winger through his first four games.

“[Krejci] is such a good player, and I just try to complement him any way I can,” said Heinen. “You never want to be up in the press box, but it gives you a different perspective on the game. It’s a different angle. From up there it looks like you’ve got way more time. I definitely think I can be more patient with the puck, and make some smarter plays.”

Heinen started to do that in his best NHL game to date prior to being scratched against New Jersey, and it resulted in greater offensive possession and a couple of potential scoring plays getting created for the B’s second line. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to actual goals, and Heinen knows that’s what needs to happen through him if a player like him, with an offense-minded reputation from his University of Denver days, is going to stick top-6 in Boston.

“You can’t rely on the [top] guys every night,” said Heinen, who watched the Habs beat the Bruins on Saturday night while essentially shutting down Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “When we’ve been out there we’ve kind of been getting some chances, but we’ve got to bear down.

“[Krejci] likes to play with the puck a lot, so you just get him the puck, go in hard on the forecheck and try to get open because he’s a good distributor.”

It sounds like a simple plan that might be a very good thing for young Heinen, who needs to start breaking through offensively if he wants to stick around in Boston for the long haul. 

Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban


Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It could get a little dicey for the Bruins over the next couple of days.

Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin were missing from Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, and instead rookie Malcolm Subban will get the start for the Black and Gold against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.

Rask hasn’t been on the ice since last Thursday’s win over the New Jersey Devils when he re-aggravated a lower body injury and Khudobin will be out three weeks with an upper-body injury suffered at Monday’s practice. It appeared the B’s backup suffered a right hand/wrist injury in the early moments of the practice, and Subban was left as the lone goaltender until Boston brought up Zane McIntyre on emergency recall Tuesday morning.

Julien said the Bruins have confidence in Subban’s ability to play a great game for them, but he’s struggled so far in Providence while getting yanked from two of his four AHL starts this season.

“I just want [Subban] to go in tonight and play a really solid game because we know that he can. He’s a good goaltender, so just because he had a bit of a rough outing [in the AHL] doesn’t mean he has to have one tonight. This is an opportunity for him to play well, and to demonstrate that he’s ready to play in the NHL,” said Julien. “We have bad games and we tell our players ‘Let’s not live in the past, let’s think about what we have to do to rectify it and play better in the next game.’ So I think our goaltender is in the same situation.

“Our game plan is about playing good defense with Tuukka or without Tuukka. That doesn’t change. We understand that some of the teams that we’ve played lately (Montreal and New Jersey) are very stingy, so we have to give up the least amount of goals we can because we’re not going to score a ton against those teams. When you put a system together you believe in it, and you go out and play your game. You don’t adjust your game for other teams, and adjusting for injuries isn’t quite what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a solid performance from our team, and that will trump any injury that we have.”

Oh by the way, the Bruins also have a road game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday in a back-to-back situation that’s less than ideal with injuries piling up. In addition a Subban/McIntyre tandem in goal, the Bruins will also be without David Backes with what Claude Julien termed “a minor issue” that also has him day-to-day.

In the good news department, Adam McQuaid will make his season debut after missing the first five games of the season with an upper body injury. Rob O’Gara was sent to the Providence Bruins to make room for him coming off injured reserve. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for tonight’s game vs. the Wild with Joe Morrow as the healthy scratch on the back end:







Liles-C. Miller