By Joe Haggerty
MONTREAL With all of the Brad Marchand Habs bashing there was a worthy distraction away from Tuesday nights game at the Bell Centre, but it in fact a gigantic game in the standings.With a win the Bruins would pull seven points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens in the Northeast Division, and essentially lay a claim on the crown for the second time in two years. They also might pull into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers as top seed in the Eastern Conference standings.All fighting, slew-foots and heated rivalries aside, its an important game for both teams that should be bring out the best rather than the worst with a first round matchup in the playoffs possible.Last game here we had a two-goal lead in the last three minutes that we blew before losing it 3-2, said coach Claude Julien. Besides that last game, I think both teams have stabilized themselves defensively and its the pride of our team.When we play well defensively that usually provides better offensive chances for our team, and thats how weve always approached it. Tuukka Rask took a blast from Dennis Seidenberg in the collarbone area in the final minutes of practice, and gunned his stick over the boards and deep into the stands in pretty clear frustration.Hes fine, said Julien. Assistant coach Doug Houda caught it as a souvenir. Tim Thomas appeared to take a shot to his right glove hand during practice, and was spotted shaking his left hand and recoiling a bit in pain toward the end of practice at the Bell Centre. Barring any serious problem it appeared thatThomas will get the start against the Canadiens on Tuesday night.Thomas is a goaltender that acknowledges maybe his style of play in goal is more tiring than others, said Thomas. I dont want him playing 70 games. At one point you could sense him getting tired a little bit, and Tuukka Rask took over for a while there.Then you could see Timmy come back in better shape with more energy. Its really paid off. Zdeno Chara was not on the ice for practice with the rest of his Bruins teammates, but it appeared to be nothing more than a veteran option for a player late in the regular season. Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron were both with the Bruins for their morning skate, and it appeared both would be fully ready to go against the Canadiens. Tyler Seguin was the last forward off the ice, and it looks like hell be scratched in favor of Daniel Paille.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.
The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.
But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.
Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.
The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- Brandon Carlo enjoyed about as good a game as one could possibly hope for in his preseason debut earlier this week.
The 19-year-old was smooth and poised with the puck on his stick, and picked up an assist when Danton Heinen redirected his point blast to the back of the net. He was also a little dirty, mean and nasty in his own end throwing bodies around in front of the net, and at one point taking a penalty call when he was a little overzealous throwing an opponent down in the crease.
So the 6-foot-5 prospect gave a pretty good glimpse into what he can offer at his best, but the youngster also knows it will keep getting more and more difficult as the games get closer to the end of the preseason.
“In that first game I felt like I was doing a lot of really good things. I was moving the puck well, playing well and doing all of the things that I wanted to do. So I’m really excited to build on that opportunity. I feel like I started myself off well, but it’s about building throughout the camp to reach your main goal at the end,” said Carlo, who may be in line for top pair duties again on Friday night after skating in that role in his first game. “Throughout camp I got three games last year, and I noticed that with each game the action got harder and faster. So I’m ready for that. I feel like it’s going to be a lot of fun out there. I’m ready for the speed, and I’m ready for the physicality. I’m ready for everything.”
Carlo will again team with veteran puck-mover John-Michael Liles on Friday night in a road exhibition game against the Detroit Red Wings, and both he and the Bruins will be looking for him to build on that first outing’s promise. If the youngster can keep it up then the Bruins will have a really difficult choice on their hands with seven D-men already signed to NHL contracts ahead of the young prospect types, so Carlo would have to displace somebody.
But that’s another problem for another day, and will require young Carlo to keep impressing on people , and being extremely hard to play against, when the Bruins take the ice against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.