Bruins

Haggerty: Bruins giddy over Kaberle trade

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Haggerty: Bruins giddy over Kaberle trade

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

It was pretty difficult to glide right on by the giddiness in the voices of many Bruins players after this weekends win over the Senators.

It wasnt happiness over an unrelenting effort in Ottawa, because it always could have been a bit better.

It wasnt about the Bs defense storming into shutdown mode, because defensive leaders like Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg admitted things certainly could have been a tad more mistake proof.

It wasnt Bostons three-goal rally in the third period that sparked up a twinkle in the eyes of grizzled hockey vets like Mark Recchi and Claude Julien eyes that have seen thousands of NHL hockey games over their years of service.

The buoyancy and excitement was all about defenseman Tomas Kaberle, and what hes going to bring to the Bs during five-on-five play and more importantly what the 32-year-old is going to contribute to the power play.

Everyone got a glimpse on Friday night at Scotiabank Place, and will have to wait for more until Kaberle catches up with the team in Calgary on Monday after taking care of the necessary visa paperwork thats all the rage during this years trade deadline.
On the ice, though, Kaberle is one of those rare guys that makes everybody else around him better in the offensive end.

He brings something we didnt have. You could see that. We were moving the puck well and quickly, and we were getting good opportunities because of it, said Chara. He brings so much to the power play and to our game. Its so exciting to have him here, and its really an honor to play with him.

It brings confidence to everybody because you know hes going to make that pass, and hes going to help everyone.

While the power play only went 1-for-5 in Kaberles first go-round, there was no denying the newly acquired defensemans potential future role as a power play specialist. Provided Kaberle doesnt have to kill penalties with any great regularity in Boston, the blueliner looks like he may just be running the point for both power play units -- and spending close to the full two minutes out on the man advantage during each man advantage chance.

Its a role that talented offensive defenseman like Mark Streit and Marc-Andre Bergeron have filled as power play specialists for the Montreal Canadiens, and its something the Bs could experiment with as Kaberle gets his game going for the Black and Gold.

That kind of cool-handed, creative presence on both units will open up the puck movement for both power play squads, and its exactly what the Bruins paid for with a first round pick, a top prospect and a conditional pick based on the Bs achieving their goals with the team or Kaberle following the year.

Hes pretty composed back there, and its pretty nice to have that puck-mover, said Recchi. There arent many guys that can do that as well. When they jump at him he can distribute the puck to where the open guys are, and there arent many of those guys out there.

It makes everybody else better because they see that and they say oh crap, I can go out there, drag the blue line and make the play. Players see that stuff, and it makes other guys better when you see it every day. Just look at it in Detroit where youve got a guy like Nik Lidstrom that you can watch do it every day. Obviously youre not going to move the puck exactly like him, but you get composed and learn how to move with the puck. When you have guys like Kaberle, it has an impact that lets other guys get better around him.

What the Bruins might not have envisioned was the influence that Kaberle could have on a young puck-moving defenseman in training like Steve Kampfer. The mobile 22-year-old blueliner has shown off the quick-skating and sound decision-making of a potential puck-mover in the making, but there werent a lot of teammates he could have patterned his NHL game after.

Kaberle will be that guy blazing a trail for Kampfer to follow, and will have a ripple effect on the calculated risks and creativity shown by the rest of the team particularly the defensemen skating in a group with him.

The biggest single Bruins player to gain in Kaberles arrival?

Its got to be Zdeno Chara, who will use his 105.9 mph slap shot as the big gun weapon on his power play unit, and will get teed up for chance after chance provided Kaberle is at the controls calmly working the puck into the open seams around the offensive end.

It makes all the sense in the world that Recchi, Chara and Julien were among the happiest with Kaberles arrival on that very first day.

But it wont take along for the rest of those in Bruins Nation to join right along with the growing chorus of Kaberle fans in Boston.

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

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.