Bruins

B's players pay surprise visits to youth hockey teams

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B's players pay surprise visits to youth hockey teams

SOUTH BOSTON The Boston Bruins should have been skating in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center doing battle with Scott Hartnell and the hated Flyers on Thursday night.
Instead they were players without a game thanks to the NHL lockout.
That didnt stop a group of Bruins players, however, that took it upon themselves to make surprise visits to a pair of PeeWee hockey practices in the Boston area. Johnny Boychuk, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Brad Marchand used the two hours they should have been playing a game against Philly, and instead filled it by skating for a few hours with the young hockey fans that adore them so much. It was part of a number of rink visits over the last few days organized by the NHL players through the NHLPA, and it was an unmitigated success.
It was only an hours time for each of the players, but they created memories with the young fans, parents and coaches that will last a lifetime.
This is the second-best day to Christmas for a lot of these kids, said one of the Cambridge dads on the ice as his son posed for a picture with Marchand. Theyll all remember this forever.
It was important for each of the four Bs players to send a message to their fans both big and small: they havent forgotten about their loyal Black and Gold fans and wish there was no work stoppage with the same passionate fervor.
It was a blast. Its been a while since Ive been out on the ice with a big group of kids, said Marchand, who is back in Boston after spending a little extra time with his family in Nova Scotia. They really enjoyed it, and to see how happy and excited they were made our day too.
We love playing the game; were still at that point in our career. It would be great to be out in game situations right now. When youre in a city like Boston and you get the fan support like we do, its tough to walk around and see how disappointed they are that were not playing.We want to be in front of them and we want to play for them. It would be nice to be out there making them happy.
Boychuk and Paille skated with a South Boston PeeWee team during their practice at the Francis Murray rink in South Boston, and Marchand and Campbell scrimmaged with a Cambridge PeeWee youth hockey team at Simoni Memorial Arena. Boychuk and Paille were jokingly cut from the youth squad as they went through the drills with the rest of the team, and then signed autographs for every last child in the neighborhood rink.
Marchand and Campbell scrimmaged with the Cambridge kids, and Marchand even found himself gang-tackled on the ice by a group of exuberant youngsters when the session was over.
Both forwards also spent a half-hour signing autographs for all of the Cambridge players after skating with them. The wide-eyed looks and glowing smiles from all the young hockey players made it all worth it for the Bs players, and they hoped they were able to give something back while things have been taken away from them on the ice. NHLPA player rep Daniel Paille helped hatch the original idea with the players union to make the surprise visits to the practice sessions, and didnt have to go far to find a few of his teammates to accompany him.
His teammates loved the message behind the visit, and Paille hoped to do it again soon while they wait for the NHL and NHLPA to find a fair deal that will put the NHL back in business.
We didnt want to be in this position. We wanted to be in Philly right now, said Paille. Obviously we all want to play. But on the bright side there were a lot of kids here that showed a lot of excitement and had a lot of joy.
Weve got no games to play right now, so we need to get out among the community. Obviously theyve always been great to us, and we need to do whatever we can to help fans understand where were coming from and know that were always trying to help out.
Spontaneous, surprise visits to youth hockey practices like the ones undertaken by the quartet of Bs players on Thursday night can go a long way toward healing the wounds of the NHL lockout. Its also the best that NHL role players like Paille can do while they wait for union chiefs and league commissioners to finish haggling over hundreds of millions of dollars and decide its finally okay to play again.

Bruins blow three-goal lead, lose to Sabres in OT, 5-4

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Bruins blow three-goal lead, lose to Sabres in OT, 5-4

BOSTON – The Bruins had things set up for a solid win against an Atlantic Division doormat on Saturday night, but then they went and blew a three-goal second period lead and a two-goal third period lead en route to a deflating loss. 

Ryan O’Reilly scored during a wild scramble around the Boston net in the 3-on-3 overtime and the Bruins dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Buffalo at TD Garden. So now the Bruins have lost to two of last year’s worst teams in the league, Colorado and Buffalo, and an expansion team within the first seven games of the season. 

The Bruins were all over the Sabres in the first period squeezing off 13 shots on net, and getting goals from David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to get things going. The Pastrnak score was a clean-up job at the front of the net after Tim Schaller had crashed the net with the puck, and Marchand scored a goal just two seconds into a PP possession after Marco Scandella coughed a puck up right in front of the Buffalo net. 

Marchand struck again on the first shift of the second period when he snapped home a backhanded drop pass from Anders Bjork, and then Jason Pominville and Pastrnak traded scores to give the Bruins a comfortable three-goal lead. Chelmsford’s own Jack Eichel scored on the rebound of a Scandella shot to make it a two-goal game going into the final period of play, and Benoit Pouliot potted his first goal with the Sabres to make it really close down the stretch. 

Anton Khudobin and the Bruins tried to hold strong in the closing minutes of the third, but couldn’t overcome a shaky interference call on Brandon Carlo that ultimately led to a game-tying Evander Kane score after the PP had expired.  

Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

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Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

BRIGHTON, Mass – It took seven games into the regular season, but it looks like Paul Postma will be making his Bruins debut on Saturday night after signing on in Boston as a free agent last summer. The 28-year-old Postma is getting into the Bruins lineup after a couple of blocked shots knocked Adam McQuaid out of the Bruins lineup with a broken leg, but it’s a moment he’s been prepared for since the end of NHL training camp.

“Those things happen. I obviously wish him the best and we’re going to miss him a lot, but it’s up to the other guys to step up and I’m going to get a chance to play now. [I’m going to] make the most of it,” said Postma, who finished with a goal and 14 points along with a plus-3 rating in 64 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season in his eighth and final year with the organization that dated back to their days as the Atlanta Thrashers. “It was a long summer and I obviously play this game because I want to get into the lineup. I’m ready and excited, and I’m excited to just play my first game as a Boston Bruin.”

Postma has pretty good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, but he’s more of a puck-mover and offensive catalyst with a strong, accurate shot from the point than he would be considered a defensive stopper-type. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has to keep that in mind while building the defensemen pairs, and adjusting to also potentially being without fellow stay-at-home defenseman Kevan Miller on Saturday night as well.

The book on Postma, according to sources within the Winnipeg Jets organization, was that he could impress with the talent and skills within his game, but that he could never consistently put it together on a consistent basis. With injuries piling up for the Bruins, Postma will now get a new, fresh chance with the Bruins after serving as the seventh defenseman for the first few weeks of the season. 

“He’s working diligently to close a little quicker and understand what his assignment is. We’re more zone oriented in terms of layers [than Winnipeg] and we’re not going to chase people away from our net, so he’s had to get used to that,” said Postma, of his adjustment from the Jets system to the one that the Bruins play. “The puck-moving department will always be there. That’s one of his strengths and we’re going to expect that from him. He’s got a big shot, so he’ll definitely add some offensive blue line presence.”  

The nice part for Postma is that all of the talk and theory about how he’ll look in a Bruins uniform will be over at puck drop on Saturday night, and it will be about impressing a team full of new people where he’s looking for a permanent role.