Weather prevents Savard from getting back to Boston

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Weather prevents Savard from getting back to Boston

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Wednesday's bad weather prevented Marc Savard from making it back to Boston, and coach Claude Julien said he hopes the veteran center will be back by Thursday.

There reports earlier in the week that Savard, who suffered his second concussion in 10 months in January and is again suffering from post-concussion syndrome, may be shut down for the season. Julien said he hasnt been involved in those discussions, but added no decision will be made until Savard is re-examined by the medical staff.

That will happen when he returns to Boston.

If you werent quite sure whether or not defenseman Mark Stuarts absence over the last four games was health-related, Julien clarified, on Wednesday afternoon at the TD Garden, that its not. Hes been a healthy scratch.

Right now, Stuart has lost his starting job due to injury. It doesnt have to do with his poor play. It has a whole lot more to do with the way others stepped up during his six-week absence, thanks to a broken hand he suffered in early December.

The play of Steven Kampfer has given him an everyday role in the Bruins lineup, and Andrew Ference (19) and Adam McQuaid (16) have the best plus-minus ratings on the team.

Also, take into account that the Bruins have been playing some pretty good hockey as of late, and Julien has a tough decision to make every game day. But certainly, thats a good problem to have, because it means you have depth.

For the longest time, Stuart was a key piece to that depth, as he was the teams iron man up until last season.

Now, another injury opened the door for a puck-moving defenseman like Kampfer, and even after having played in the first three games that he was cleared to play in, in mid-January, Stuart has been the healthy scratch for the last four games, a stretch in which the Bs have gone 3-1.

Julien talked about Stuarts current situation on Wednesday.

You dont want to be a healthy scratch, said Julien. At the same time, I think he understands what the situation is. Weve played well with our back end, the way it has been, during his absence. And sometimes its a matter of . . . players get hurt, and its unfortunate, but sometimes they kind of have to wait for their opportunities to step in there, and then make a difference when theyre called upon.

Thats why hes got to stay ready. That doesnt mean youre not going to see him in the lineup. That doesnt mean Im not going to move guys around. Im just saying that, what hes going through right now, is not easy. But as I mentioned yesterday, Stueys one of those guys thats a team-first guy. And if theres one thing you dont want to do, its disrupt the club, for his own sake.

Theres no doubt, hes not enjoying this, and I wouldnt expect him to enjoy it. Its just the way it is.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron named Selke finalist for fifth time

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Bruins' Patrice Bergeron named Selke finalist for fifth time

It was assumed that Patrice Bergeron will be finalist for the Selke Trophy again this season, and it became official on Thursday when it was announced that Bergeron, Ryan Kesler and Anze Kopitar were the three finalists for the award given to the best defensive forward.

It would be the third straight Selke Trophy and fourth overall for Bergeron if he can take the hardware home again during the NHL Awards in June, and the ever-humble No. 37 said he was just honored to once again be nominated.

“Being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy is a tremendous honor and one I am very grateful for,” said Bergeron in a press release. “While it is an individual award, my teammates and coaches deserve a lot of credit as well. Ryan and Anze are two elite players who both had great seasons and it is a privilege to be a finalist alongside them. Thanks to all of those who voted and I look forward to the NHL Awards Show on June 22.”

The Bruins center has won the Selke Trophy three times (2012, 2014 and 2015) and has now been a Selke finalist in each of the last five seasons. His three wins are tied for the second-most in NHL history, one behind Hall of Fame Canadiens forward Bob Gainey, who is the all-time leader with four Selke Trophies. Bergeron was the Bruins’ lone representative at the All-Star Game this winter for the second straight season, and was a no-brainer as a finalist given all of his defensive qualifications.

Bergeron finished the 2015-16 regular season leading the NHL in faceoffs taken (1,978) and for the second straight season led the league in faceoffs won (1,130) while finishing a solid seventh overall with a 57.1% faceoff win rate among players taking a minimum of 500 draws.

Thursday, April 28: Who are the lottery picks?

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Thursday, April 28: Who are the lottery picks?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving a thumbs up to “The Good Dinosaur” as quality family viewing.

*TSN Hockey Buddha Bob McKenzie breaks down the players available in the NHL draft lottery and what kind of names teams like the Boston Bruins should expect to be available with the first 14 picks.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski talks about the World of Cup ads with the ESPN creative people that made them happen. They used the word jarring in something of a positive fashion to describe them. I would use the word “not funny” for Reg Carling, the fictional character created for the ads. If they were trying to feature the personality of NHL players in those ads, I think they missed the mark. It’s not really a big deal in the final scheme of things, but it doesn’t make for a good first step in drawing hockey fans back to the four letter network.  

*Good luck to Cam Tucker, a hockey writer based out of Vancouver that appears to have been one of the latest to be downsized in our industry.

*Dennis Bernstein has some thoughts, facts, analysis and theories surrounding the Los Angeles Kings, who have a long time to think about their first-round exit from the playoffs.

*Bruce Garrioch has some info on Ottawa’s long range plan to move to a needed downtown arena and that being the blueprint for most other Canadian cities.

*Tracey Myers has a dilemma for the Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw wants to stay, but the question is whether the Blackhawks can afford him?

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Bruce Boudreau lamenting the tough Game 7 loss for the Anaheim Ducks to the Nashville Predators. The loss may cost Boudreau his job, and will see a lot of new blood in the West with Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim now all out of the postseason.

*For something completely different: how can you say “no” to a tour of the world’s most magnificent treehouses.

Bruins have slim chance at No. 1 in NHL Draft lottery Saturday

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Bruins have slim chance at No. 1 in NHL Draft lottery Saturday

The Bruins will know a great deal more in a couple of days about their prospects for NHL Draft weekend in Buffalo this June.

The NHL will hold its annual draft lottery in Toronto on Saturday night for those teams outside the playoffs that hold first-round picks or those shrewd enough to have secured a first-rounder and still have reached the playoffs. 

The Bruins will have two first-round picks regardless of what happens: they hold their own lottery-eligible selection along with the first-round pick from the San Jose Sharks sent to Boston last summer in the trade for goaltender Martin Jones. The Sharks are still alive in the postseason, so the B’s second selection will be a late first-rounder.

The Bruins were the last NHL team eliminated from playoff contention, so they hold the slimmest odds of securing the first overall pick with a 1 percent chance in the Auston Matthews sweepstakes.

It’s too bad because the kind of game-breaking talent available at the top of the draft is exactly what the Black and Gold franchise needs after trading away top-10 first-round picks in Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton the past three years.

The Bruins will have roughly the same odds for the second (1.1 percent chance) and third overall picks (1.3 percent chance) should they miss out on No. 1, but the chances are still slim at they will pick anywhere but the same exact 14th overall pick where they selected Jake DeBrusk last season. Should they get a selection in the top three, the Bruins would be looking at big-time center Matthews, and a pair of Finnish wingers in Patrick Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, along with Matthew Tkachuk (son of Keith Tkachuk and cousin to Jimmy Hayes).

The highest rated D-man on the board is Sarnia Sting blueliner Jakob Chycrun, who is a player the Bruins would need to trade up for, a la their attempt at Noah Hanifin last year. The Bruins will have assets to potentially make that happen, but we all know how that worked out last season for Don Sweeney when a big part of “the plan” was moving up to nab one of last year’s blue chip D-men in the draft.   

Hopeful Bruins fans can try their luck with the NHL Draft Lottery Simulator online, but fair warning that you won’t see the Spoked ‘B’ come up very much while hashing out the order of the top three overall picks for late June at the First Niagara Center.