Morning Skate: Malkin, Kessel sticking together


Morning Skate: Malkin, Kessel sticking together

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while re-watching the entire Game of Thrones saga from the beginning, which has been very enjoyable even though I also read the books.

*It looks like Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin are sticking together, and other tidbits from around Pittsburgh Penguins camp.

*There’s another bitter player in camp with the Colorado Avalanche. This time, it’s Jared Cowen after not enjoying his experience with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

*It looks like the Calgary Flames are going to have all kinds of distractions preparing for the season in the form of back-and-forth about the future of their home arena.

*Like Alexander Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals, the New Jersey Devils players aren’t happy about the latest development in the NHL/Olympics story. Basically all NHL players are being barred from participating no matter what.

*Are the San Jose Sharks a playoff team? Time will tell, but they certainly still have some very good pieces to build around. Speaking of the Sharks good luck to FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz as he joins The Athletic outfit out of the Bay Area to cover the Sharks.

*For something completely different: I definitely dig the return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the "Halloween" franchise where it all started for her.


Bruins fear Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken after blocked shot vs. Canucks

Bruins fear Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken after blocked shot vs. Canucks

BRIGHTON, Mass – It looks like another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

It’s feared that Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.


It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice:











Bergeron’s return also a boost for Bjork

Bergeron’s return also a boost for Bjork

BOSTON – Clearly, the return of Patrice Bergeron had a positive effect on all things Bruins up and down the lineup, but it might have individually done more for rookie Anders Bjork than anybody else.

The 21-year-old from Wisconsin and Notre Dame had his first breakout game for the Bruins with a couple of goals, three points and a plus-2 rating in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on Thursday night.


It’s no coincidence that Bjork’s rookie breakthrough arrived in his first game lining up at right wing alongside Bergeron and Brad Marchand after the youngster skated with those two forwards pretty exclusively through training camp. Bjork jumped right out with the immediate chemistry when he hopped to the front of the net and smacked home the rebound of a Bergeron shot for the important game-tying score, and both Bjork and the Bruins were off and running.

“He’s an awesome little player, and you can tell he’s really finding his stride right now. You know, he had an awesome game tonight, and [he’s] so good at reading the ice, open areas and where to go,” said Brad Marchand, of his rookie linemate. “It takes a little bit of time to build chemistry, but I think we’re coming along.”

Bjork cashed in his second goal of the first period on the power play after getting a centering pass from David Krejci and then firing under the bar from the slot for his third goal of the season. He had a couple of chances at the hat trick in the first period but missed high and wide with a couple more scoring chances, and instead finished with a career-high four shots on net and seven shot attempts in 12:28 of ice time.

“[Bergeron] obviously brings a lot of skill and passion and he brings a lot of other things that you don’t really realize – in the locker room and on the bench and stuff. So I mean, you can definitely see why he’s one of the best players in the NHL, not just because of what he does on the ice, but in the locker room as well.

“These guys are so easy to read off of. They’re going right away and they’re in the right spot all the time, so it makes it easy for me to get open and receive a puck like I did [on his first goal]. [The two] of them just playing the right way and also with that much skill…it’s pretty deadly.”

The Bruins hope Bjork continues to be a deadly combo for other teams when paired with Bergeron and Marchand now that things are starting to look like they were drawn up in training camp.