Bruins

Morning Skate: Ribeiro retires after addiction relapse

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Morning Skate: Ribeiro retires after addiction relapse

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while readying for a festively tranquil Labor Day weekend.

*The unfortunate story of Mike Ribeiro has taken another turn as he’s retiring from hockey after another relapse into his addictions. Ribeiro had a ton of talent, but you always heard stories about him away from the ice that raised warning bells and whistles going back to his early days with the Montreal Canadiens. Let's hope he can eventually overcome his personal demons.

*On the other end of the spectrum, it’s good to hear longtime NHL power forward Ryan Malone getting a tryout with the Minnesota Wild after getting his life in order.

*The hockey people of Barstool Sports are beginning to officially become worried about re-signing John Tavares as things play out with the Islanders.

*Despite their legitimate concerns about concussions, NHL players are reluctant to donate their brains for posthumous concussion studies. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper has the details over at ESPN.

*When you begin making corn field mazes of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, then you know you’ve become peak Canada.

*Interesting there have been rumors about Jarome Iginla going back to Calgary for a final go-round with the Flames, but it sure doesn’t sound like that is going to be the case.

*For something completely different: You can take my money now if Ivan Drago is going to be in the Creed sequel.

 

Morning Skate: Dogs, cats, wasps and Tuukka

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Morning Skate: Dogs, cats, wasps and Tuukka

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while somberly remembering the young victims of Sandy Hook five years ago today. It’s one of the worst days this country has ever seen, and not enough has been done by our lawmakers to prevent it from happening again.

*Relaxed, fun interview between Tuukka Rask and Jeremy Roenick where Tuukka talks about the special kind of wasp that was named after him.

*Alex DeBrincat continues to tear it up for the Chicago Blackhawks and reward the organization for them taking a risk on him in the 2016 draft.

*Frederik Andersen is headed toward one of the busiest seasons ever for an NHL goalie, but his body is prepared for the workload in Toronto.

*Chris Neil is calling it a career for the Ottawa Senators at the end of a rugged, blue-collar career where he was always a tough customer.

*The stone cold reaction to winning a brand new car was perfect for this Vancouver Canucks fan after an on-ice contest.

*Kudos to FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski for this week’s power rankings with a Star Wars theme, which include the Bruins as Admiral Ackbar. Some of these are a stretch, but still very much in good fun and strong in the Force.

*For something completely different: "Deadpool "will remain an R-rated entity even under Disney ownership and control. Good news! Really interested to see what this merger will mean for the "X-Men" and "Fantastic Four "in the MCU.


 

Haggerty: Crank up the Hart Trophy talk again for Marchand

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Haggerty: Crank up the Hart Trophy talk again for Marchand

Here’s what we learned in the Bruins' 3-2 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday night:

1) Brad Marchand is putting together a Hart Trophy resume for the second consecutive season. 
Clearly, the numbers are impressive with 12 goals, 25 points and a plus-12 rating in just 20 games. He’s on pace for 44 goals and 93 points in an era when you just don’t see that kind of production much anymore. Still, it’s the time and the place where Marchand exerts his dominance that makes him an MVP-type force. That’s exactly what happened in the come-from-behind win. The Bruins hadn’t played well for the first 40 minutes and it looked like they were going to lose after Dylan Larkin struck for a shorthanded goal in the third period. That’s when Marchand got to work snapping a slick, cross-ice pass through three Detroit defenders to set up David Pastrnak’s tying goal with the goalie pulled. Then Marchand scored on a backhanded breakaway less than a minute into OT to steal two points for the B's. Of course, there were others to credit: Pastrnak was able to put a great finish on the one-timer, David Backes attracted attention in front of the net to create the passing seam and Torey Krug freed up Marchand for the breakaway winner. But it was No. 63 again at the center of everything who practically willed the Black and Gold to victory. That’s the kind of thing that MVP-type players do throughout the season when it’s badly needed.

2) Bruins found a way to get two points in a game where really they didn't deserve it. 
The Bruins didn’t play well at all, didn’t react very adeptly to Detroit's trapping them and had a difficult time generating anything consistently in the offensive zone until the third period. Tuukka Rask kept them in the game and the Bruins finally began paying the price to get closer to the net in the third and overtime. Good teams find a way to win, and that’s what the Bruins did against a Red Wings team that’s not going anywhere this season. So, with their ninth victory in the past 11 tries, the Bruins are now firmly in a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division and have a four-point lead over the Montreal Canadiens with a whopping four games in hand against the Habs right now. If the Bruins can avoid monumentally stubbing their toe here, they are in a very good position to keep it in cruise control after the holidays for a postseason spot.

3)  I didn’t think people from Detroit were afraid of anything.
Apparently, I’ve given them way too much credit. Apparently, they’re afraid of a little snow. The downtown Detroit area got six inches of snow on Wednesday and that was enough to keep Red Wings fans away from the new Little Caesars Arena. When you’re from New England, six inches of snow is considered a dusting and isn’t something that would keep any self-respecting hardcore hockey fan away. But anybody who watched the "Wednesday Night Rivalry Game" on NBCSN got an eyeful of empty red seats in the lower bowl at LCA that made Detroit look like anything but HockeyTown. Skipping the game would be understandable if the Motor City was truly in the thrall of a nasty blizzard, but instead Wings fans looked like a player turtling in a hockey fight with the sad attendance. Weak sauce, in my opinion. Next time just shut down the entire city and cancel everything when an inch or two is in the forecast. 

PLUS
*Marchand was the money player. He set up the tying goal in the third period with a slick cross-ice, threaded pass through three defenders, and then scoring the winner. In all, he had two points, a plus-1 and a couple of gigantic plays in his 22-plus minutes of ice time.

*Torey Krug finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating in a whopping 23:39 of ice time. It was No. 47 who threaded the needle on a pass that freed up Marchand for the winner. Krug and Marchand were the only two multi-point performers for the Black and Gold.

*Noel Acciari didn’t pile up the hits and he only played 10:50 of ice time, but he made a huge play in the third period when he disrupted the Detroit breakout on a Wings face-off win in the D-zone. He was rewarded with a loose puck goal in front of the net right after causing the turnover. That shift from the fourth line really started shifting the game in Boston’s direction.

MINUS
*The Bruins had two shots on net in the first period and had just one decent scoring chance in the first 40 minutes (a Pastrnak breakaway in the second period) while playing right into the hands of the trap-happy Wings. The Bruins deserved to lose this game based on the way they played early, but a few individuals ended up saving their bacon.

*One shot on net and a minus-3 rating for Henrik Zetterberg, who was mostly invisible aside from a PP assist to Tomas Tatar early in the game. Zetterberg was on the ice for every goal scored by the Bruins and was grossly negligent on at least one of them.

*The refs bungled a call on Patrice Bergeron that directly set up the Wings first goal. Bergeron was clearly tripped by Frans Nielsen in the second period and Nielsen then stumbled over Bergeron’s stick as No. 37 was trying to lift himself up off the ice after falling due to the original tripping infraction. Instead, the refs merely saw the end of the play, called Bergeron for a bogus tripping call and that turned into a PP score for Tomas Tatar that broke the game open. You’d really expect a player such as Bergeron to get the benefit of the doubt on plays like that, wouldn’t you?