BruinsSabres: 5 from the First

BruinsSabres: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Buffalo Sabres by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of their final regular season meeting of the year.1)Nathan Horton has clearly hit another gear down the stretch of the regular season, and one has to wonder if this is the Horton that everyone will see once the playoffs begin. If can he maintain the pace he has right now (5 goals, 4 assists in the last 10 games) and keep shooting the puck he has three shots on net in the first period then hes going to be a huge factor in the Boston postseason.2)Its incredible how much Adam McQuaid has factored into the offense lately, and he was once again in the middle of things in the first period despite a reputation as a stay-at-home defenseman. His play started the breakout that led to the Nathan Hortons goal, and he had several good shots at the Buffalo net in the first perod.3)Eleven saves for Tim Thomas in a very solid first period that included a momentum-turning glove stops on Jordan Leopold all alone near the net after a defensive breakdown and a great post-to-post stop on Jason Pominville in the closing minutes of the period.4)Zdeno Chara got a big ovation by Bruins fans as the game started during his first shift, and then heard shouts and chants of Chara! Chara! Chara! on the opening shift after his controversial play in Montreal. Bruins fans have always implored for more nastiness out of their captain during his time in Boston. Nobody ever wants to see a player injured badly, obviously.But it'spretty clearthe fans approve of the unflinching physicality from Chara, and don't want to see him lose his "edge" because of one ugly situation against their arch-rivals.5) Like Rich Peverley with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron after watching that line in the first period. Gives that trio a little more skating hop in their step.

Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks


Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.

*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.

*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.

*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.  

*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.  

*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?

*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.


Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils


Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.


If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.  

The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.

“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the’ll come.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday: