Bruins

Chara unfazed by Bell Centre return

462175.jpg

Chara unfazed by Bell Centre return

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON -- Zdeno Chara should know later today whether he'll get the call to play in the raucous Bell Centre on Monday night as the Bruins play back-to-back preseason games against the rival Montreal Canadiens.

The first game will be in Brad Marchand's hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Sunday night. The second will be on Monday night at the Bell Centre, home of the Habs and their lunatic fringe fans. And when we say lunatic fringe, we mean that in the nicest way possible.

It's doubtful that Benoit Pouliot will be in the lineup against the Habs in Montreal on Monday, and Chara isn't expected to play in the Bell Centre rink that has deemed him public enemy No. 1 after last year's stanchion hit with Max Pacioretty. The late season collision with the turnbuckle left Pacioretty with a broken vertebrae and a severe concussion, and left raging Canadiens fans to look into pressing criminal charges against the B's captain.

With all of that still swirling around in the bubbling hockey cauldron that is Montreal, Chara may get a pass on skating in the game. But the 6-foot-9 defenseman isn't afraid of much, and he said after Saturday's practice at TD Garden that he's just as soon to play against the Habs on their home ice.

It really doesn't matter to me where I play. It's all the same. They're going to do what they're going to do, said Chara, when asked if he had any apprehension about playing a preseason game at the Bell Centre after last year's wild season series against the Canadiens. I know that I did nothing wrong. I'll always play the same way and that's not going to change. I play hard and I play clean. I'll do that if I play there, or anywhere else.

There were times last season when it seemed the Pacioretty incident was wearing on Chara mentally and physically, but it looks and sounds like the defenseman has definitively turned the page on the incident. That's a good thing for the Black and Gold considering all of the seasonal and playoff battles that may be looming against their fiercest hockey rivals.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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

bruins_sabres_102117.jpg

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

boston-bruins-paul-postma-92817.jpg

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.