Seguin buffaloes Sabres


Seguin buffaloes Sabres

By Jessica Camerato & Mary Paoletti

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins extended their winning streak to five games with a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, who also entered the game winners of four straight, on Saturday night at TD Garden.

The Sabres (10-6-0) struck first, as Thomas Vanek scored his 11th goal of the season just under six minutes into the first period. Jason Pominville assisted on the goal, snapping Tim Thomas shutout streak at 80 minutes and 34 seconds. Thomas had not allowed a goal since November 1.

The Bruins (8-7-0) reclaimed the game in the second period. Rich Peverley, who missed the previous two games with an undisclosed injury, tied the game on an assist from Chris Kelly less than eight minutes into the period. Tyler Seguin then gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead off an assist from Brad Marchand, and Nathan Horton added another goal (assisted by Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara) 16 seconds later. The goals by Seguin and Horton marked the fifth time in four games that the Bruins have scored two goals in less than 30 seconds.

The Bs continued their offensive attack in third period, doubling their total to six goals. First it was Kelly who scored from Peverley, with Seguin scoring from Patrice Bergeron and Marchand less than two minutes later. Less than three minutes after, Marchand scored a goal assisted by Seguin. The Sabres fought back with a power play goal from Marc-Andre Gragnani, assisted by Christian Ehrhoff and Luke Adam.

With two goals scored, Seguin matched his total of 11 from his rookie season. He and Marchand extended their point streaks to six and five games, respectively.

The Bruins will face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday at TD Garden.

GOLD STAR: Tyler Seguin, Tyler Seguin. I hope you aren't tired of seeing his name in this spot because he'll certainly be back. Seguin had two goals in Boston's 6-2 Thursday night win. The scores give him 11 goals on the season, which matches his final rookie tally. Go ahead and double-check the calendar because it IS only November. Seguin is currently on pace for 61.

HONORABLE MENTION: It could be Brad Marchand (one goal, two assists), but let's not let one line have all the glory. Rich Peverley had a goal and a helper in his first game back from an undisclosed ailment. Peverley missed a few practices and Boston's previous two games (Islanders and Oilers) but showed no rust in his return. His goal tied the game at 1-all and opened the Bruins' offensive floodgate.

BLACK EYE: Benoit Pouliot has taken a step back from backward. He scored in Boston's 6-2 win over the New York Islanders, but followed up with a goose egg against Edmonton. Head coach Claude Julien no doubt felt he had to look elsewhere with only one point from Pouliot in 10 games; the winger sat on Level 9 Thursday as a healthy scratch in favor of Zach Hamill.

TURNING POINT: Seguin's first goal, at 13:29 in the second period, gave the Bruins a 2-1 edge. It also triggered a trademark Boston quick-strike as Nathan Horton potted a wrister just 16 seconds later. The Bruins went on to score three more goals unanswered. Fun fact? Boston has scored two goals in less than one minute nine times this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 30: goals Boston has scored in its five-game winning streak. The Bruins scored 22 times in its opening 10 games, a stretch in which the team went 3-7-0. This is the opposite of a coincidence.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I just stuck around because I just want to say what a piece of expletive I think Milan Lucic is," spit Ryan Miller. The embattled Sabres goalie let this little gem go after the game, a clear reference to being taken down by Lucic in the first period. Once a netminder leaves his crease he can be hit by an opponent, but the wallop unleashed by Lucic -- after Miller came out to rob the Bruin of a breakaway -- drew a charging penalty. And Miller's unprintable ire.

Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?


Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It didn’t take last season’s embarrassing Winter Classic result to figure out something has been missing from the storied, legendary Bruins-Canadiens rivalry over the last few years.

The last traces of the latest, great incarnation of the B’s-Habs rivalry were clearly still there a couple of seasons ago when the two hockey clubs met in the second round of the playoffs. After falling short the last few times the teams met in the postseason, Boston was summarily dismissed by Montreal in Game 7 on their own home ice during that series. The following season the B’s simply had so many of their own players struggling to put out a consistent effort, so the games against the Habs didn’t really register highly on the importance scale, and last season both Boston and Montreal suffered through subpar seasons that saw them each fall short of the playoffs.

Since the second round loss to the Habs in the 2013-14 playoffs, the Bruins are 2-7 while being outscored by a 31-18 margin in nine regular season meetings over the last two seasons in an incredibly one-sided chapter in the two teams’ shared history. The real lack of competitiveness has been a noticeable lack of deep emotion or ill will on the ice between the two hockey clubs, and that is very different from the recent past when signature players like Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and Shawn Thornton were card-carrying members of healthy hate that regularly spilled out on the ice between the two rival NHL organizations.

Instead it will probably be new blood that breathes glorious, hard-edged life into the history between the two Original Six teams, and new personalities like David Backes, Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw are likely to do just that. Certainly the Canadiens wanted to be much more difficult to play against in recruiting players like Shaw and Weber, and, their presence along with the offensively explosive Alex Radulov, could make it a tough matchup for the Black and Gold.

Either way, the Bruins are curious to see what the matchup looks like this season with the electric P.K. Subban removed from the mix as one of the classic Habs villain-type characters from a Boston perspective.

“It’s always fun to play Montreal at home, or in Montreal. This will be our second time counting the preseason, and our first time at the Garden. It’s going to be pretty cool,” said David Krejci. “When you say any NHL team there are a few names that pop out for that team, and [P.K. Subban] was definitely one of them [for Montreal]. But P.K. is gone, and now it’s Shea Weber. So it’s going to be a little different, but he’s a hell of a player as well so it isn’t going to be any easier.

“It’s a big game. It’s a division game. We don’t want to take any game lightly within the 82 games because you don’t know what can happen at the end. When those games against [Montreal] are done you always feel like you’ve played two games, and not just one. It’s high intensity, and it’s obviously a rivalry that you get up for.”

As Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say it, things are a bit too civilized between the two enemy teams when thinking back to the days of Georges Laraque chasing Milan Lucic around the ice challenging him a fight on the Bell Centre ice, or the awful epoch in B’s-Habs history when Zdeno Chara clobbered Max Pacioretty with a dangerous, injury-inducing hit into the stanchion area.

Nobody is looking for players to get hurt on borderline plays when the two teams suit up on Saturday night, but something to introduce a new chapter into the Boston-Montreal rivalry would be a good thing for both teams, a good thing for the fans and a potentially great thing for an NHL that prides itself on good, old-fashioned rivalries.

“We need to make sure that we’re ready to play [on Saturday]. I like the way that we’ve played so far, and except for Toronto we’ve managed to compete with all of the teams that we’ve played against,” said Julien. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years. There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been [in the past].

“I think there’s still a lot of hatred between the two organizations when they meet, but I think the way the game is trending, and how costly that penalties can be in a game, both teams are a little cautious in that way. I still think there is great intensity and both teams get up for the games, so hopefully that happens tomorrow, and the fans get to see a good game.”

One thing that should ensure a good, familiar showdown with plenty of hard-hitting and honest-to-goodness rivalry-like behavior: both the Canadiens and Bruins are off to strong starts at the top of the Atlantic Division in the first couple of weeks this season, and there are some new faces that are undoubtedly going to want to announce their presence for these Bruins-Habs tilts with authority.

Let’s hope this happens because last season’s Bruins-Habs games needed a pair of jumper cables and 1.21 jigowatts of electricity to shock them back into their elevated level of intensity, and that’s when hockey is served best after all. 

Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment


Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while anxiously awaiting a Cleveland/Chicago Cubs World Series showdown with all of the Red Sox subplots that could be involved.

*A peewee hockey coach in Quebec has been given a season-long suspension for punishing his players with hundreds of push-ups.

*The NHL game has changed radically over the last 11 years as Henrik Lundqvist has been a fixture for the New York Rangers.

*A lot has changed since Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal in 1990 and this article is worth it for the Jagr mullet picture alone.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough says that a healthy Brandon Sutter has been a difference-maker for the Canucks.

*Carey Price is back in net for the Montreal Canadiens, and that makes the Habs a new team as they prepare for the Bruins on Saturday.

*This is what it looks like when you’ve completely given up on just about everything else except for being a hockey fan. So very gross.

*For something completely different: The Doctor Strange cast is being forced into answering some tough questions at the premiere of what is essentially a comic book movie.