Bruins

Morning Skate 37: B's making their move

191545.jpg

Morning Skate 37: B's making their move

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. The sprint has started in the NHL.The Bruins have 17 games to go in the regular season, and continue to shoot up the standings as teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins have suddenly hit the skids.Boston now sits only two points behind the Flyers for the top seed in the entire Eastern Conference after a season where theyve been picked apart and dissected despite having themselves a very good year. Its the complete opposite of Bostons team from two years ago, which came out like gangbusters in the first three months of the season and then hit a slight skid in the second half that they couldnt shake. And very different from last years Bs squad, which couldnt muster up enough offense while injuries dragged them down every time they seemed like they might be nearing some consistency.In many ways the Bs are set up nicely for this years playoff run, and right now it comes down to collecting points and staying healthy. Boston has done a nice job of that so far, and simply needs to maintain for another month.On to the links:With exclusive negotiating rights coming up with the Versus Network, it appears that other networks will be entering the equation for NHL rights with things up in the air for the NFL and NBA. The belief here is that the VersusNBCComcastNHL partnership is simplytoo good to notcontinue. Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury break down what both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals have going for them headed down the stretch for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk. Like Washingtons moves, but it all comes down to Alex Ovechkin at the end of the day. As for Milbury, Tampa Bay is going in the right direction but theyre also soft as can be. Predators TV announcer Terry Crisp talks memories of Calgarys Saddledome after winning the Stanley Cup there more than 20 years ago. Everybody is focused on Dustin Penners ability to merge with Anze Kopitar and the Kings top line, but its really all about the third line when it comes to LA having some success. Nobody likes the Buffalo slug. Nobody. Adrian Dater says that the Craig Anderson deal is Colorados best hope for a No. 1 pick, and Daters longstanding man crush on Anderson is well-documented. So another reason to write about him is a good thing. The Flyers have lost a couple of tough games, and Mike Richards is getting surly with the media. Looks like the playoffs are coming in Philly. Could Winnipeg finally be getting their NHL team back as things continue to crumble in Phoenix? I think everybody is hoping for the affirmative, but how many times have we heard this before. If I were Winnipeg Id be getting sick and tired of being used as a negotiating patsy. Hockeybuzz Habs writer Eric Engels documents a Twitter discussion that we had over the weekend heading into Tuesday nights showdown between Boston and Montreal. We both seem to agree that the Bruins will beat the Canadiens, and now its only a matter of whether Montreal gets crushed or not. Louise K. Cornettas always-entertaining Bruins blog with Johnny Boychuk where he talks about being scratched, Darth Quaider as a nerdy nickname and going home to Edmonton. CSNNE.coms Unfiltered which includes a few precious moments between Kevin Walsh and Iat TD Garden following a Bruins game.

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

Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

bruins_jake_debrusk_111817.jpg

Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins all kinds of energy out of the starting gate, and made a couple of plays that allowed his team to hold a lead despite getting outplayed in the opening 20 minutes. DeBrusk went hard to the net splitting a couple of San Jose defenders on the first goal, and fired a shot on net that created a rebound for Peter Cehlarik to cash in on. Then DeBrusk scored a little bit later on a rush where he beat Brent Burns in a foot race to a loose puck, then whistled a wrist shot past Aaron Dell for his fourth goal of the season. DeBrusk finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 and a team-high four shots on net while falling just short of 16 minutes of ice time in the victory. It was a strong effort from DeBrusk shortly after being a healthy scratch, and showed what he’s capable of when he gets his skating legs going.

BLACK EYE: Brent Burns was a complete mess for the Sharks. He was burnt by Jake DeBrusk in each of the first two Bruins goals in the first period with the B’s rookie going right at him with the attack. He also didn’t make it to the net with 12 of the 16 shots that he attempted and Burns finished with seven giveaways as well. It’s been a rough follow-up season for Burns after last year’s Norris Trophy season where he’s tried to do too much for the Sharks, and his game has suffered as a result. That seemed to be the case for Burns against the Bruins as well where his mistakes played a big role in the Sharks dropping the game.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins won the game when they managed to survive an opening 20 minutes where they were outshot 17-5, and even better they had a 2-1 lead based on some offensive fireworks from Jake DeBrusk. They were also aided by a couple of video reviews where the Bruins took a San Jose goal off the board when it was ruled that a crashing Joonas Donskoi punched a puck into the net with his glove. The Peter Cehlarik goal was also upheld at the other end after a challenge from the San Jose bench. It looked like DeBrusk was tripped before he partially crashed into Aaron Dell that set up the Cehlarik goal, and that’s clearly how the referees saw it after reviewing the play.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be Anton Khudobin, who stopped 36-of-37 shots and improved to 5-0-2 on the season with another strong win aided by a stalwart defensive effort in front of him. Khudobin now has 12 of the 20 points that the Bruins have amassed on the season, and he absolutely rewarded the B’s for opting to go with the Bruins backup for a second game in a row as they ride the hot goaltender. Khudobin was helped by a number of Bruins blocked shots in the third period when the game was still very tight, but it was also about Khudobin coming up with 16 saves in the first period when the Bruins were getting outplayed by the Sharks.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of Bruins rookies that have scored their first NHL goals this season, including Peter Cehlarik finally getting his first NHL score Saturday night in his 14th career game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We need them. They’re in the lineup and they’re playing significant minutes. We need them to produce for us. Tonight we needed some offense early, and they provided it for us.” – Bruce Cassidy, on the role of the rookies in the win where it was all first-year players Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen doing the scoring vs. San Jose. 

Khudobin stops 36 shots to help Bruins beat Sharks, 3-1

bruins_sharks_anton_khudobin_111817.jpg

Khudobin stops 36 shots to help Bruins beat Sharks, 3-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Anton Khudobin enjoyed getting pestered with shots early. He didn't have time to let his mind wander.

Khudobin stopped 36 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

"I like it busy," Khudobin said. "I don't have to think about anything else. The third-period start was unbelievable . . . I don't think I faced a shot until halfway through the period."

Peter CehlarikJake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen scored to help the Bruins get their second straight win after a four-game skid (0-3-1). Boston had totaled nine goals in its previous five games, scoring more than two for just the second time in nine November games.

"It went our way," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "They were clearly better than us but we come out 2-1 (in the three games on West Coast). If you stick with it, good things happen."

Khudobin remained unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) and improved to 4-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average in five games against the Sharks.

Timo Meier scored and Aaron Dell finished with 18 saves for the Sharks, one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. San Jose has been held to two of fewer goals in five of their seven games this month.

"Guys in this room can score; we just have to do it," Sharks Logan Couture said. "I thought we had good chances and a lot of them at the end. We've got to create offense. If you don't score goals, you're not going to win."

Meier gave the Sharks, losers of two straight following wins in six of seven, a short-lived 1-0 lead after tapping in a rebound 4:50 into the game. Daniel O'Regan, making his season debut, won the puck behind the net and skated around to take the shot that bounced to Meier. It was O'Regan's first career assist and second career point.

"I just kind of fished it out and wanted to bring it to the net," O'Regan said. "Timo made a nice finish."

Cehlarik, in his 14th game, scored his first career goal about 1 1/2 minutes later to tie it for the Bruins.

Boston took the lead on DeBrusk's goal with 9:14 left in the first. Charlie McAvoy cleared a puck in his zone that DeBrusk, one of three rookies who scored, chased down and easily beat Dell 1-on-1.

"It's massive," DeBrusk said. "We all want it so bad and we all work so hard. These are big games for us."

Heinen made it 3-1 with 5:51 left in the third. Kevan Miller skated down the ice, drawing all the attention on the right side. He passed across the crease, from where Heinen tapped it in.

"He made a heck of a play," Heinen said. "I just put my stick on the ice."

The Sharks had a goal negated for the second straight game, this one two minutes in.

"We got enough looks tonight to score," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're doing more good than bad we're just not being rewarded."

NOTES: O'Regan was recalled before the game. He's the leading scorer for the Barracuda of the AHL. ... The Sharks have had three consecutive goals reversed after challenges dating to Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers. ... Sharks F Joel Ward has recorded points in six of his last eight games. ... DeBrusk, who assisted on Cehlarik's goal, recorded his first multi-point game since Oct. 14, a span of 14 games.

UP NEXT

Bruins: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Sharks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE