Bruins

Bruins president Cam Neely on his buddy Larry Walker making the Baseball Hall of Fame: 'A long time coming'

Bruins president Cam Neely on his buddy Larry Walker making the Baseball Hall of Fame: 'A long time coming'

BOSTON – Cam Neely still remembers the time his buddy Larry Walker invited him to Fenway Park for batting practice when Walker was visiting in his baseball career and then saved him by snagging the line drive headed straight toward the unsuspecting Bruins power forward.

“I still remember him saying that when you hear the sound, it’s already too late,” said a smiling Neely.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The Bruins president was overjoyed that his buddy from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and former youth hockey teammate was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

“It’s a long time coming. I’ve always admired his career and thought he should have got in earlier. I’m happy for him and happy for his family,” said Neely.

"It’s a big deal being a Canadian. He’s just the second Canadian in so that’s pretty cool,” said Neely, referencing pitcher Ferguson Jenkins getting inducted into the Hall in 1991. “Growing up he was the goalie on my teams [in British Columbia]. Every other year, we’d be on the same team and I played some baseball with him. Then we went our separate ways [at] about 16 or 17 [years old].

“We always kept in touch. His older brother played goalie and played some pro hockey. They had a very sports-oriented family.”

Walker received 76.6 percent of the vote by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in his 10th and final year on the ballot, narrowly surpassing the 75 percent required. Walker was a five-time All-Star and 1997 National League MVP with the Colorado Rockies (.366, NL-leading 49 homers, 46 doubles and a career-high 130 RBI). He was a career .313 hitter in 17 seasons, including 10 with Colorado and his first five-plus with the Montreal Expos.

Walker was also a three-time NL batting champion: .363 in '98, .379 in '99 and .350 in 2001 for the Rockies.

Bruins-Flames Talking Points: B's return home with a thud in 5-2 loss

Bruins-Flames Talking Points: B's return home with a thud in 5-2 loss

GOLD STAR: Mikael Backlund was heavily involved for the Calgary Flames whether it was on the negative end on Brad Marchand’s shorthanded goal or his two goals in the third period that pushed the game out of reach for Boston. 

It was Backlund that threw a puck off the boards to move around Torey Krug while springing himself free for a breakaway before throwing a five-hole attempt through Tuukka Rask for the back-breaking insurance strike.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Backlund then added insult to injury with an empty-netter to give him two goals on the night, a three-point performance and a plus-2 rating in 18:14 of ice time. Backlund finished with three shot attempts, one hit and two takeaways along with taking 25 draws in the Flames' win.

BLACK EYE: David Krejci might have been one of the players that Bruce Cassidy wasn’t exactly enamored with after the loss after his disinterested back-check on the back-breaking fourth Calgary goal in the third period. Krejci finished a minus-2 with just one shot on net in 16:23 of ice time and forced Cassidy to switch up the left wingers when it was clear both Krejci and Jake DeBrusk weren’t getting it going.

It’s perhaps understandable in the first home game after a long road trip through Western Canada, but it still merits mention that No. 46 wasn’t very good for the Black and Gold. He wasn’t alone, but that minimal effort on a big play in the game was notable.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins brought a little energy into their game when Marchand scored a shorthanded goal in the second period to tie things up at 1, but at that point, the wagon wheels fell off. 

Calgary scored with Boston’s best defensive players on the ice three minutes later when Johnny Gaudreau knifed through the middle of the defense before dishing to Sean Monahan for the one-timer from the high slot. Then the Bruins took a roughing call when Matt Grzelcyk stood up for Charlie McAvoy and five seconds later, the puck was in the back of the Boston net to essentially put things out of reach. 

The Bruins allowed 13 shots to Calgary in the second period and never truly regained control of the game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Chris Wagner was one of the best players on the ice for the Bruins and the fourth line was undoubtedly the best one for the B's Tuesday night. Wagner scored a third-period goal while on his belly as he shoveled a puck into the net on a mad scramble in front as the fourth line was grinding away. 

Wagner had a couple of other potential scoring chances in the game that he wasn’t able to capitalize on, but he finished with the one goal in 14:52 of ice time, two shots on net, three shot attempts, a hit, a takeaway and 4-for-8 from the face-off circle in an excellent effort.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of regulation losses at TD Garden for Tuukka Rask after finally losing one to Calgary while letting up four goals on 30 shots.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Some guys came to play, and some guys…didn’t. They didn’t break a sweat, some of them it looked like.” –Bruce Cassidy, clearly not loving the flat effort from the B’s.


 

NHL Highlights: Bruins fall to Flames 5-2 in Nick Ritchie's debut

NHL Highlights: Bruins fall to Flames 5-2 in Nick Ritchie's debut

FINAL SCORE: Flames 5, Bruins 2

IN BRIEF: The Boston Bruins fell behind early and have dropped two in a row for the first time since mid-January. Nick Ritchie's debut was rather lackluster, the defense again wasn't great, and the offense couldn't muster up much. The B's have been outscored a hideous 14-5 in their back-to-back losses. Tuukka Rask lost his first game in regulation at TD Garden this season (14-1-6) and Boston will face a hungry team in the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 39-13-12, 90 points, 1st place in Atlantic Division

HIGHLIGHTS

TKACHUK PUTS THE FLAMES ON THE BOARD FIRST

BRAD MARCHAND TIES IT UP SHORTHANDED

MONAHAN WRISTS ONE IN FROM THE SLOT TO PUT THE FLAMES BACK ON TOP

MONAHAN POTS HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT TO PUT FLAMES UP BY TWO

CHRIS WAGNER BURIES GREASY GOAL TO CUT FLAMES LEAD TO ONE

FLAMES PUT IT AWAY, GO UP, 4-2

UP NEXT:

Vs. Dallas Stars, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network
@ New York Islanders, Saturday, 1 p.m. NESN
 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.