Bruins

Plenty of reasons why KrejciRyan makes sense

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Plenty of reasons why KrejciRyan makes sense

BOSTON -- The Bobby Ryan trade rumors are nothing more than that at this point in time, but things could heat up if the right combination of players is found.

Orange County Register reporter Mark Whicker was on 98.5 the Sports Hubs The DA Show on Thursday night, and concluded that a Bruins trade offer of center David Krejci and a first round pick would be the one to beat and might get the deal done.

One reporters opinion is obviously a far cry from the 25-year-old right winger coming to Boston.

But a trade with the Anaheim Ducks for a 6-foot-2, 218-pound right wing thats put up 136 goals and 259 points in 334 career games is the one deal that conservative GM Peter Chiarelli might not be able to say no thanks to. If the trade does indeed include Krejci and a first rounder expected to be in the 25-30 range to an Anaheim club looking to shore up their center depth between Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu, then the pieces appear to be in place for both sides.

Adding a young prospect like Jordan Caron or Ryan SpoonerJared Knight, to a Krejci and a pick package would probably be too much for one player in return, but that wouldnt be the hold-up at this point in the summer.

Sources indicated to CSNNE.com that trade talks with several teams have centered on Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton as desired trade pieces, and that could very well be the case with the Ducks. If thats the case then the Bruins are doing the right thing waiting it out for the price to drop on Ryan, who is a cheaper but equally productive alternative to the Rick Nash sweepstakes.

Interestingly Ryan and Krejci have scored nearly an identical number of points (259 to 276) since 2007-08 and have salary cap hits just north of 5 million each season. So there are some easy parallels in a swap of the two players, but it cant be understated how much goal-scoring is valued over pretty much anything else in NHL player evaluation circles.

Krejci has put up some electric performances in the playoffs before fizzling this spring, and couldn't play for the Bruins if he wasn't a committed top-six center in all areas. But he'll also be the highest paid forward on the Bruins next season (5.25 million per season) on a team that needs to pony up for guys namedLucic, Marchand, Seguin and Horton after this upcoming season is over.

Ryan has scored at least 31 goals and 57 points in each of his four full seasons with the Ducks, and the former No. 2 overall pick doesnt appear to be on the trading block due to any personality issues.

One former teammate of Ryans said he was a good kid during his early years in Anaheim as a 20-year-old rookie, and his personality wouldnt be a problem within the Bruins dressing room.

Instead it seems to be more about salary and cap hit with the Ducks looking to create a more balanced front line with depth and strength down the middle of the ice.

Meanwhile the Bruins covet size, strength and skill on the wing, and Ryan represents all three of those things. But Ryan has also spoken openly about his desire to severe ties with the Ducks after theyve tossed his name on the trade block multiple times, and now the pressure is on Anaheim to deal an obviously unhappy player before training camp opens in September.

Chiarelli has said he might be a player in the secondary trade market after free agency opened, and hes kept his word about waiting. The secondary trade market is the one waiting to burst with both Nash and Ryan as the prized targets while both Columbus and Anaheim waits to see what the other team gets for a return.

If and when the Ducks ready to accept Krejci and a draft pick in return for one of the best right wings in the NHL then youll see the Bruins move swiftly to secure his services and then slide Tyler Seguin into his rightful spot at center.

But that doesnt appear to be the case for an Anaheim team still collecting and measuring offers for their winger including a potential deal from the Philadelphia Flyers club salivating at the thought of bringing in a player from nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey and taking their time doing so.

The Bruins seem satisfied whether they make a big deal or stand point, and thats a prudent stance when teams are asking for names like Lucic, Seguin and Hamilton in potential blockbuster deals.

Ryan might come to Boston in a potentially perfect fit between player and team, but it will be on the Bruins terms or not at all.

Thats something that should satisfy everyone looking for a goal-scoring transfusion this summer.

Morning Skate: No place for Gudas’ slash on Perreault

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Morning Skate: No place for Gudas’ slash on Perreault

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the new Brown Sugar Cinnamon coffee flavor at Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s not Cookie Dough, but what is after all?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) and PHT writer James O’Brien has the details on Radko Gudas getting ejected for an ugly, reckless and dangerous slash to Mathieu Perreault’s head last night. Gudas should be facing a long suspension for a play that has no place in the NHL. It’s time for Flyers fans to stop making excuses for a player who’s no better than a cheap-shot artist and hatchet man. He has to face the music for consistently trying to hurt his fellow players.  

*Frank Seravalli has some of the details for a historic GM meeting in Montreal where NHL hockey was born in the first place.

*You always need to link to a service dog being part of the pregame face-off ceremonies. That’s like a rule here at the morning skate?

*Cam Atkinson and the Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to a seven-year contract extension, according to reports from the Athletic.

*It’s been quite an eventful year for Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet and some of it has been to the extreme both good and bad just a month into his first year as bench boss.

*For something completely different: Chris Mannix is all-in on the Celtics being the front-runners in the Eastern Conference after their big win over the Golden State Warriors.

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Haggerty: For now, Bruins need to ride Khudobin’s hot hand over Rask

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Haggerty: For now, Bruins need to ride Khudobin’s hot hand over Rask

These are desperate times for the Bruins even after pulling out a solid, blue-collar 2-1 win over a sputtering Los Angeles Kings team on Thursday night.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak and gave the Bruins just their second road win of the season in eight tries. It was also the fourth win of the season for backup netminder Anton Khudobin, who is a sterling 4-0-2 and has given them everything they could possibly hope for out of the backup spot. The Bruins have a grand total of 18 points on the season and Khudobin miraculously has more than half of those (10 to be exact).

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It’s clearly a far cry from last season for Khudobin, of course, when it took until February for the goalie’s season to get in gear.

But Thursday night’s 27-save effort from Khudobin was also a stunning contrast to what Tuukka Rask has been able to produce this season. Khudobin has a .928 save percentage and 2.35 goals-against average. Rask has a dreadful .897 save percentage while giving them average play between the pipes at best.  

Khudobin is tied for seventh in the NHL with reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky in save percentage and Rask is chilling in the NHL goalie statistical basement with retreads Steve Mason and James Reimer.

Quite simply, Khudobin has been way better than Rask and the Bruins have, for whatever reason, played better hockey in front of their backup goalie. Some of it might also be about Khudobin’s more adaptable game behind a Boston defense that can make things unpredictable for their goaltender, but Rask is being paid $7 million a season to be better and figure it out. It would be amazing if this trend continued for the entire season and it would certainly merit more examination from management as to why the rest of the Bruins and Rask can’t seem to combine for an effective, winning product on the ice.

For now, the Bruins need to simply win by whatever means necessary and that amounts to riding Khudobin’s hot streak for as long as it lasts. It should begin with the backup goalie getting a second consecutive start against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night and seeing where it goes from there. Perhaps the extra rest gets Rask additional time to get his game together, or serves as the kind of motivation to get the Finnish netminder into a mode where he can steal games for an undermanned, out-gunned team that needs that right now.

“We’re going to look at it,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked postgame by reporters in L.A. about his goalie for Saturday night. “He played very well against San Jose last time. They’re a heavy team. He seems to do well in these kinds of games with a lot of traffic around the net. But we’ll look at that decision [Friday].”

Khudobin has stopped 57 of 61 shots in his two games in November, so perhaps that level of hot goaltending could also allow the Bruins to survive a month that otherwise might absolutely bury their playoff hopes. Maybe Khudobin finally loses on Saturday night and the goaltending conversation, not controversy, ends as quickly as his point streak. For now, riding the hot goalie is the right call for a team that needs something good to hang onto.

The Bruins are in desperation mode until they get a number of their injured players back. There certainly might not be more of a desperate option than setting their beleaguered sights on a goalie they sent to the minors as recently as last season. But it’s a new season, Khudobin has been excellent and he’s earned a chance to carry this team for a little bit until they can get things back in order.

Calling Khudobin’s number is the right call right now for the Bruins and, quite frankly, shouldn’t be that difficult a choice given what we’ve seen so far this season. 

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