Bruins

Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

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Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

CALGARY It appears that a week off for Tim Thomas has made all the difference in the world.

The 36-year-old goalie was scuffling a bit over the last few weeks -- as much as Thomas scuffles this season anyway -- with a nagging head cold that wasnt getting any better, and the decision was finally made to go with Bs backup Tuukka Rask for both road games against the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators last week.

Thomas was coming off the first consecutive regulation losses of the season, and fully aware that the normal jump and life just wasnt there within legs that desperately screamed for a few days off. Thomas got a full week off and then responded to the rest by shutting down the Flames with 28 saves as he hopped back into the baseball.

My legs felt fresher tonight than they have in a little while. That decision really paid offor the both of us, said Tim Thomas, agreeing with the coaching staffs strategy of helping Rask heat up.

Thomas foiled both Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay in one second period struggle as the Bruins D suddenly acted like the puck was radioactive. But once again Thomas came to play with a mission between the pipes and the Bruins were the unwitting defensive unit breaking down slightly and hoping their franchise goalie could once again bail then out.

Hint: he did.

We knew it was going to be tough. We knew it was going to be hard, said Thomas. Its the first game of a nine-day road trip, so I think it as really important to get on the right foot.

Julien also felt like the rest did Thomas body very well, and it wouldnt be surprising to see Thomas and Rask getting into more of a close rotation with the playoffs looming, and the big picture come into play.

That whole week was good for him, said Julien of Washington players that needed some rest, and Tuukka was able to make a few new. That whole week was good for him and Rask was able to win a couple in that span as well.

Were hoping we can use both of them from so we can be a position where we have two fresh goaltenders once were getting ready for the playoffs.

Brad Marchand potted his 19th goal in the third period of Tuesday nights win, and theres been a longstanding joke between the rookie and Bs coach after Marchand guaranteed a 20-goal season during his exit interview sessions with Julien and Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli last season.

Now hes on the cusp of being the first rookie to score 20 goals for the Bruins since Brad Boyes did it for the Bs with 26 goals during the 2005-06 season, but hes still trying to stay humble.

Julien gave Marchand plenty of good-natured grief when Marchands scoring touch went on a long hiatus last week following his reunion with Patrice Bergeron.

If Marchand can get to 20 goals, then he can chirp about it whenever he wants to, said Julien.

The Bruins won their first game at the Saddledome against the Calgary Flames since Oct. 1997, and busted open a 4-0-1 record Calgary in the last five games had against the unsuspecting Bs.

Milan Lucic is leading the NHL with five empty net goals this season, and actually admitted he was trying to not to chip the puck into the net for the cheap, little goal. Instead Lucic has been one of those players the coach trusts to keep things in check during the final moments of a tight, one goal, and No. 17 had this nagging feeling that she should move out of Charlestown right.

I was actually trying to let it go in. I didnt actually touch it until I realized what it was in the end, said Ortiz.

Rich Peverley made his first appearance with the Bruins and impressed one and all with the skating speed and instincts that Bs fans have been hearing about since he was acquired by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Peverley didnt do much on the scoresheet and seemed to be getting his feet wet with a group of baseball players.

We moved him from center to the wing, said Chiarelli. He was pretty smart, he moved well, was poised with the puck and I dont think there are a lot of weaknesses there. Hes a strong player, and I say that I anticipate him getting better all of the time. I dont hesitate to throw his fourth under the bass.

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

Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

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Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

BRIGHTON -- It was good news when word first filtered out that David Backes had resumed skating last weekend while the Bruins were on the West Coast, and even better news Tuesday when he returned to practice. Backes skated without any restrictions in a spot on the third line with Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, and appeared to be recovering nicely from his bout of diverticulitis.

Backes was initially diagnosed with the inflammatory colon ailment in the first few days of October, with the team estimating a three- to four-week recovery period. If he'd needed surgery rather than the  prescribed rest and medication, he could have been facing a lot more missed games.

Patrice Bergeron was also back skating on Tuesday morning while centering Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, still sporting a maroon no-contact jersey while taking some light contact during the practice session.

Backes and Bergeron look like they’ could be returning to the lineup soon.

But the injury news wasn't all good, as Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and Adam McQuaid were all missing from practice.

Spooner (lower body) and McQuaid (lower body) were both injured in Sunday night’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Czarnik and/or Heinen might be ticketed back to Providence soon if the Bruins have to make roster space for Bergeron and/or Backes ahead of Thursday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a whole different look to things with some of the different bodies taking part in the skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pasta
Schaller-Nash-Backes
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano
White

Chara-Carlo
Miller-McAvoy
Krug-Postma

Rask
Khudobin

Familiar faces get the best of the Bruins in Vegas

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Familiar faces get the best of the Bruins in Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Perhaps part of the confused look from the Boston Bruins on the ice Sunday night in Las Vegas was a nagging feeling of déjà vu they never could shake. The Vegas Golden Knights took a 3-1 win over the Bruins for their fourth win in five tries this season, and handed the Bruins their third truly dreadful-looking defeat in five games played on the young hockey season.

It was tough to avoid the feeling that the Golden Knights were basically “Boston Bruins West”, and that was never too far away from notice as things played out on Sunday. Old friend and former Bruins play-by-play man Dave Goucher and ex-B's defenseman "Sheriff" Shane Hnidy are the friendly faces on the Vegas TV telecast, and were on the Jumbotron pregame in a skit with Carrot Top, of all people, to run down the arena's safety rules in a funny and well-produced video.

Former Bruins PR guru and Beverly native Eric Tosi is in charge of the media relations with the Golden Knights, and has been a busy, busy man along with the rest of the Vegas franchise getting the expansion club off the ground. He was even busier this past weekend, albeit with a relaxed smile on his face, as 20 members of the Tosi clan made the road trip out to Vegas to see the first NHL game between the two franchises.

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And there were the actual familiar faces on the ice with ex-Bruins Malcolm Subban and Colin Miller excelling against their old team. Subban only needed to stop 21 shots in the victory, but was able to finish his first NHL start and earn his first career NHL win against the Bruins franchise that left him unprotected on waivers just a couple of weeks ago.

The Bruins didn’t make the 23-year-old Subban sweat much during the game with pedestrian shots that hit the first-round pick squarely in the jersey crest, and pretty much zero attempts to beat his questionable glove hand.

"We know Malcolm well," said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. "He's a good first-shot goaltender for the most part. We wanted to put some stress on him and make him uncomfortable on those second ones, and I don't think we did a good job on that."

But give Subban credit for calming down his mental approach and refining his technique enough to play solid positional goaltending against the Bruins, and gaining some sweet revenge in the process.

Subban wasn’t gloating about it or basking in any kind of vengeance against his former team, but instead just expressed happiness at doing the job after stepping in for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury. It remains to be seen if Subban is going to be able to hold down the fort against the teams that will inevitably test him more than the hapless Bruins did, but he gave his team a good chance to win on Sunday.

"It's a great feeling. I made a lot of friends [in Boston], played with a lot of great teammates and (had) a great coaching staff. I'm just happy to get the win. The biggest thing was just not thinking, staying focused, and staying in the moment. It feels really good to get the first win in your first game," said Subban, "My first shot I got good control on it and that got me in the game a lot. You never know how the game is going to go in the NHL. It’s really technical. Sometimes you don’t get a lot of shots, so you gotta stay focused, and I felt I did that tonight.

“I thought I played pretty good. The biggest thing was my depth and not getting too deep in the net. Give myself the better opportunity to make the save. I feel like I did that (Sunday). There weren’t too many high chances. [There were] a lot of textbook saves and just having good rebound control. I’m happy to get the win.”

Miller didn’t factor into the scoring for the Golden Knights against the Bruins, but he was extremely active with three shots on net and eight shot attempts in 18:25 of ice time. He got plenty of power play time, was a plus player and looks like he might get the chance to develop his game in Vegas that hadn’t quite played out over the previous couple of years in Boston.

The Bruins won’t return to Vegas until next season, but the hope has to be those same Golden Knights’ familiar faces won’t get the best of the B’s when they come for their one-and-only visit to TD Garden at the beginning of November.

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