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VIDEO: Tuukka Rask’s flying poke check save helps Bruins beat Lightning in SO

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By Mike McMahon

The  Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning went down to the wire tonight, taking seven rounds of a shootout before a winner emerged — and that was due in large part to the effort by Tuukka Rask in the B’s net.

The Finnish netminder stoned Valterri Filppula, Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat, and Teddy Purcell, but saved his best stop for Bolts’ defenseman Victor Hedman, employing a video game-style poke check to knock the puck away. He also stopped Richard Panik’s attempt in the seventh round before Reilly Smith scored the only goal of the shootout for the win.


  • Published On Mar 09, 2014
  • Bruins to let Zdeno Chara leave early to carry flag in Sochi Olympic ceremony

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    By Allan Muir

    Zdeno Chara’s Olympic break just got a little longer.

    It was confirmed today that the Bruins’ captain has been named as the Slovakian flag bearer at next month’s Olympic opening ceremonies, and he’ll be attending with the full blessings of his NHL team.

    “When you look at what Z has done for this club, I think it’s an easy decision to make,” Claude Julien told the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinazawa. “You’re carrying your country’s flag at the Olympics. Even if he misses a game and maybe two, I think that’s the least we can do for a guy who’s given us so much since he’s been here.”

    Shinazawa suggests Chara will miss a game, but it’s more likely that he’ll miss two. Boston plays the Blues on Feb. 6 and the Senators on Feb. 8 ahead of the Olympic break. The opening ceremonies take place on Feb. 7, six days before Slovakia is set to open the men’s tournament against Team USA on Feb. 13. Given the time difference and travel required, it’s hard to see Chara being available to face St. Louis.

    It’s a classy move by the Bruins, no doubt, but it’s hardly a no-brainer. With the team locked in a tight battle for playoff positioning in the Atlantic Division, the four points at stake in those two contests could be critical down the line — and don’t think this decision won’t be brought up if it has an impact on Boston’s postseason seed. With Dennis Seidenberg already out of the lineup, the back end will have a distinctly Providence-like feel for those games.

    But this is a big picture decision by the team, and a real tribute to Chara’s service both in Boston and in Slovakia. Well deserved.


  • Published On Jan 16, 2014
  • Grading the NHL team Christmas videos

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins made a Christmas video for 2013

    Nothing says “happy holidays” quite like Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. (Penguins.nhl.com)

    By Allan Muir

    It’s that most wonderful time of the year, when your favorite NHL stars finally cave in to the pleadings from their teams’ PR departments and agree to abandon all dignity in the spirit of spreading a little holiday cheer.

    Yes, it’s time for the annual video Christmas cards that are sent, with love, to you, the fans. And this year offers a diverse and laugh-filled crop sure to bring years of embarrassment to the participants. Check ‘em out:

    Pittsburgh Penguins: Holiday Album

    The Bit: This one offers charmingly low-rent visuals and a great concept: a compilation album of re-imagined Christmas classics, including “Feliz Niskanen,” “Do Jussi What I See,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Sidney Claus.”

    Highlight: Kris Letang channeling Fred Armisen channeling Lawrence Welk.

    Grade: A

    Read More…


  • Published On Dec 18, 2013
  • Shawn Thornton of Bruins to appeal 15-game suspension for Orpik attack

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    By Allan Muir

    Shawn Thornton may be genuinely remorseful about knocking out an unsuspecting Brooks Orpik, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll accept his 15-game suspension without a fight

    It was confirmed by the NHLPA just before today’s 4 p.m. deadline that the Bruins enforcer would contest the ruling handed down on Saturday by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

    But while he has every right to the appeal, he’ll be in tough to convince Commissioner Gary Bettman that he deserves leniency, even as a first-time offender.

    MUIR: NHL sends clear message with Thornton’s 15-game ban

    Bettman, who earlier this year upheld Patrick Kaleta’s 10-game suspension in the first major test of the new two-step appeal process, has one overriding concern: to ensure that the league is seen as being strict and firm in cases where a head injury is sustained. Diminishing that perception in any way could expose the league to legal liability down the line.

    That doesn’t mean this is a pointless exercise, however. Bettman reduced a suspension to habitual offender Raffi Torres from 25 games to 21 after his infamous 2012 playoff assault on Marian Hossa. If Torres caught a break, anyone could.

    But if Bettman holds the line as expected, Thornton can take his appeal one step further to an independent arbitrator. Kaleta chose not to pursue that route, but the NHLPA may “encourage” Thornton to serve as the test case for this right, which was newly acquired in the most recent CBA.

    There’s no word yet on when the initial appeal will take place. We’ll update when we know more.


  • Published On Dec 16, 2013
  • Boston Bruins may be tiring of Brad Marchand’s antics

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    Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins taunted the Vancouver Canucks and their fans.

    Brad Marchand’s pot-stirring act has caused some concern about the Bruins’ image. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The Boston Bruins have made two trips to the Stanley Cup Final during the last three seasons on the strength of a clear and strict program.

    And they have very little patience for players who cannot adhere to it.

    Take Tyler Seguin. The second-overall pick in 2010 and a world-class talent, he was dealt to Dallas over the summer for a number of reasons, including a contract that was going to be a problem under the tightened cap, and a log jam at center, his natural position.

    But mostly he was expendable because his on- and off-ice actions led the Bruins to determine that he was more trouble than he was worth.

    It was a bold deal, one that could swing heavily in the favor of the Stars before long. But that’s a price that GM Peter Chiarelli was willing to pay to keep the team’s house in order.

    And so, if Chiarelli was willing to take four quarters for a dollar on Seguin, where does that leave his old running buddy, Brad Marchand?

    Read More…


  • Published On Dec 16, 2013
  • Bruins forward Milan Lucic spares a life in Vancouver nightclub fight (NSFW)

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    By Allan Muir

    WARNING: This video contains language that is not safe for your workplace and unsuitable for younger readers.

    Somewhere in Vancouver is a man who is very lucky to be in one piece.

    Sometime after Milan Lucic and the Boston Bruins were throttled 6-2 by the Canucks on Saturday night, the hulking winger joined friends at a Vancouver nightclub. What happened next isn’t fully clear, but a video posted to YouTube on Sunday by user “Nick N” captures the aftermath of altercation between Lucic and the unnamed man.

    The two are seen and heard exchanging words, apparently after being separated by police. Lucic states that he was hit by the man “three times,” although there’s no evidence of that seen on the tape. There is, however, evidence of Lucic’s admirable self-restraint: the other guy was walking and talking, rather than being scraped off the sidewalk and carted away in an ambulance.

    UPDATE:

    “Other than being at Rogers Arena, you’ll never see me in downtown Vancouver again,” Lucic told Boston reporters on Monday. “I’m done trying to defend city I’m from”

    We’ll have more on this as it becomes available.


  • Published On Dec 15, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Shawn Thornton gets 15 games for attack on Brooks Orpik

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    Shawn Thornton's punches on Brooks Orpik landed him the second-longest suspension of the Brendan Shanahan era.  (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    Shawn Thornton’ was handed the second-longest suspension of the Brendan Shanahan era. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    The NHL sent a clear message in giving Boston Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton a 15-game suspension for “pulling [Brooks] Orpik out of a scrum, yanking him to the ice and punching him multiple times, leading to a serious injury.”

    The message is not so much to one player (Thornton) who had crossed the line, though. This suspension was all about letting lawyers and ex-players and anyone else who is inclined to take the league to task for its approach to violence know that it is capable of policing itself and is serious about eliminating these incidents.

    In handing down the second-longest suspension of the Brendan Shanahan-era, it didn’t matter that Thornton was a highly respected player who has assayed the role of enforcer with honor for more than 500 games. This wasn’t a hockey play gone wrong. It was a dangerous act of premeditated retribution. With this sentence, the league made it clear that kind of incident will be severely punished, regardless of a player’s motivation or reputation.

    Read More…


  • Published On Dec 14, 2013
  • Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis pulls his own tooth out on the bench

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    By Michael Blinn

    It’s often said that hockey players are some of the toughest athletes in the world. Whether it’s playing on a broken leg, taking a puck to the face, or being on the receiving end of a bone-crushing hit, there’s plenty of evidence to back up that statement.

    Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis gave everyone another anecdote in a 3-2 win over the Bruins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday after being on the receiving end of teammate Kris Letang’s high stick to the mouth. While one would think he’d be off to the trainer’s room to get checked out and maybe have some quick work done, Dupuis decided to just get everything over with and pulled his own tooth, right there on the Pittsburgh bench.

    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 30, 2013
  • Video: John Scott’s vicious cheap shot on Loui Eriksson leaves Bruins steaming

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    By Allan Muir

    John Scott is the ultimate grocery stick. His sole purpose in the league is to intimidate the opposition, but it’s hard to ask him to perform even that small service because he’s a complete liability in every other way.

    He’s a wasted sweater on a Buffalo team that could desperately use an infusion of skill to try to salvage a season that’s quickly slipping away.

    The good news for Sabres fans is that his roster spot is about to open up. Hopefully for a very long time.

    GALLERY: NHL’s dirtiest players

    Scott is going to be banished for several games after delivering a vicious elbow to the head of Boston’s Loui Eriksson early in the third period of tonight’s 5-2 win for the Bruins.

    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 23, 2013
  • Panthers goalie Tim Thomas set to face off against former Bruins teammates

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    Despite a wonky groin, Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas has shown flashes of the brilliance that won him the Vezina Trophy in 2011 with the Boston Bruins.

    Despite a wonky groin, Tim Thomas has shown flashes of his 2011 Vezina Trophy-winning form. (Getty Images)

    By Michael Blinn

    As Batman once said, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

    Depending on whom you ask, and what day of the week you do it on, Tim Thomas is either a hero or villain to Boston fans. The undersized goalie was often times stellar for the Bruins, backstopping the franchise to it’s first Stanley Cup in 40 years in 2011, adding the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP to go with his Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder.

    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 16, 2013


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