Boston Bruins

Game preview: Bruins vs. Leafs

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Game preview: Bruins vs. Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins ended their losing streak Saturday, and they need to start their roll.
A victory over the Maple Leafs tonight would give them a two-game winning streak as they leave for a three-game West Coast trip. And Toronto is the perfect opponent: The Bruins are 5-0 against the Leafs this season, with a 28-10 advantage in goals.
In fact, the Bruins are 22-5-5 in their last 32 games against the Leafs and have played the stronger, better, older sibling in a big brotherlittle brother rivalry for the last five years.
It was a slap to the face when the Bruins saw the Senators in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference standings on Friday, and theyve finally started doing something about it.
We knew about it, and we were trying in those games against Florida (losses to the Lightning and Panthers last week), said David Krejci. Everything just went wrong, but it was nice to get a win finally. We need to build on that, though, and get a role going.
The Bruins are still very much aware that theyve gone 6-13-1 since the beginning of February, and a single win against a hated opponent (Philly) isnt enough to fully turn things around. They need continued solid defense from the newly combined pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, they need Tim Thomas to keep appearing as if hes found his second wind, and they need to keep playing with the snarling disposition they had from the very beginning of Saturdays victory.
They also need the points, thank you very much.
"Everybody's scrambling for points, said Zdeno Chara. Everybody's trying to establish position in the playoffs, in the standings and going into the playoffs. So every point is important."
Once again the Bruins will be playing on Monday night when both the Panthers and the Senators will not, so they have a chance to create a little more space in the standings. All they have to do is knock around Phil Kessel and Co. one more time in their own backyard, and thats something theyve had no problem doing for the last three season.

PLAYER NEEDING HIS TIRES PUMPED: Joe Corvo will be a healthy scratch for the second time this season and for the second game in a row. Corvo is a minus-4 in nine games during the month of March, and was a big part of the defensive problem in games against the Lightning and Panthers during Bostons disastrous three-game road trip. If the Bruins continue to lock things down defensively with Corvo out of the lineup over the next few games, its difficult to see him forcing his way back into the top-six unless injuries hit their depth.

DRESSING ROOM MANTRA HEADED INTO THE GAME: Were just one point ahead. We want to make the playoffs, but we also want to have home-ice advantage. We want second place in the East. You could see in the last couple of playoffs that the home ice has helped us so much. David Krejci, feeling the Bs urgency with only 11 games left in the season.

KEY MATCHUP: Zdeno Chara continues to be Phil Kessels worst nightmare and that shouldnt be any different on Monday night. Kessel has one game and is a minus-9 in five games against the Bruins this season, and has never been able to overcome the physical abuse and grinding defense heaped on him each time he plays is old hockey club. Itll be that much worse for No. 81 now than Dennis Seidenberg has been matched up with Zdeno Chara in the shutdown defensemen pairing that performed so well for Boston in the postseason.

STAT TO WATCH: 13 the number of consecutive games that Tim Thomas has appeared in when he gets the expected start against the Maple Leafs on Monday night at TD Garden.

INJURIES: Tuukka Rask (groin strain) is out for 4-6 weeks and may not return before the end of the regular season. Nathan Horton (concussion) hasnt appeared back on the ice since suffering a concussion on Jan. 22, and there is no timetable for his return. Rich Peverley (knee) has begun skating with the team and could be cleared for full contact at practice as early as Tuesday. For the Maple Leafs All-Star forward Joffrey Lupul is out with a shoulder injury and Mike Brown has been missing for the Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury.

GOALTENDING MATCHUP: The Bruins plan on continuing to call Tim Thomas number and hell make his 13th straight appearance when he suits up against Toronto on Monday night. Thomas appeared to finally find some defensive comfort in front of him with the CharaSeidenberg defensive pairing reunited, and stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced Saturday afternoon against the Flyers. The matinee victory also introduced new pads and a new stick for Thomas, who appears to have found some luck with an equipment change. James Reimer will be getting the start in goal for the Maple Leafs and has stopped 63 out of 65 shots in his last two appearances. While the young goaltender struggled for much of the season, it appears hes finally putting it together at the end of the season.

Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

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Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that US democracy still works even there are extreme factors that our founding fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined. 

 

*Edmonton Oilers reclamation project Zack Kassian continues his journey from villain to hero in the eyes of the Oil Faithful. 

 

*Old warrior Chris Neil is weighing NHL offers right now along with a number of other older veterans still waiting for the right situation to present itself for next season. Many of these veterans are probably going to have to report to training camps on tryout agreements and beat out younger players for jobs, and that may be exactly what happens with a grizzled, tough old bird like Neil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins bring in a veteran or two on PTO agreements in camp, and that could be the ultimate fate for guys like Neil, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and even Thomas Vanek. 

 

*The Vegas Golden Knights are still looking to inspire with a developing locker room message as their maiden voyage still awaits this season. 

 

*PHT writer James O’Brien has longtime Habs defenseman Andrei Markov leaving for the KHL after he couldn’t come to an agreement to stay in Montreal with the Canadiens. 

 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Kennedy has a prospects mailbag at this quiet point in the summer, and he’s very, very high on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat. 

 

*The Hockey News details why somebody needs to step up and sign the legendary Jaromir Jagr as one of the aforementioned veteran forwards still looking for a job. 

 

*For something completely different: Solid Steve Lattimer reference in this Pro Football Talk story about performance enhancing drugs. 

UPDATE: David Price to be placed on 10-day disabled list

UPDATE: David Price to be placed on 10-day disabled list

BOSTON — David Price is going to the disabled list rather than making his scheduled start Friday, a baseball source told CSNNE on Friday. It was not immediately known who starts in Price's place.

Price's elbow is believed to have started to hurt him on the road trip the Red Sox finished on Wednesday, a baseball source said, but it's not 100 percent clear when this present health situation originated. ESPN's Buster Olney reported Price went for an MRI on his elbow Thursday.

The lefty missed two months to begin the season because of an elbow/forearm inury. The nature of that injury was never specificed by the team but was later referred to by Price as a torn elbow.

The timing is notable because of the controversy surrounding Price and his confrontation with Dennis Eckersley.

The Globe's Dan Shaughnessy first reported Price could land on the DL because of the elbow.