Losing Colby Cave on waivers 'a loss for the Bruins organization'

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Losing Colby Cave on waivers 'a loss for the Bruins organization'

The Bruins were pleasantly surprised by the performance of Colby Cave after calling him up from Providence a couple of months ago.

The 24-year-old center was clearly not a scoring machine with just a goal and five points in his 20 games with the Bruins, but Cave had shown good hustle, a non-stop work ethic and never seemed like his NHL moment got too big for him. Those are all impressive traits for a player going through it for the first time at the NHL level, and that’s probably why Cave didn’t make it through after being placed on waivers by the Bruins this week.

Cave was claimed by the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, as it was current Oiler GM Peter Chiarelli who signed him in Boston as one of the last things he did before getting fired a couple of weeks later. Clearly the Bruins were hoping that Cave would get through waivers to clear the way for him to be sent back to Providence after a number of healthy scratches, but Bruce Cassidy also wished the young forward good fortune in the Western Conference.

“I’ve got a fondness for him. I had him down in Providence too, and I’ve always got a fondness for the guys that pay their dues in the American League,” said Cassidy. “Now he gets an opportunity somewhere else. It’s a loss for the Bruins organization because he’s an asset, but it’s a great day for the person."

“It’s a mixed bag, but I’m happy for him right now because I hope he gets another opportunity to play there. Who knows how it will play out? [But I hope] he gets a chance to extend his career in the NHL. As far as the player goes, he’s a good kid that works hard and is a solid depth player. He’ll probably have a better opportunity there than he was getting here recently.”

With young prospects like Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Trent Frederic poised to get extended looks as bottom-6 centers at the NHL level, it was clear that there wasn’t going to be much of a future for Cave with the B’s no matter how much he was liked by the coaching staff. But the Bruins also lose a player for nothing that could have served as good organizational depth if injuries crop up for Boston in the second half of the season.

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Former Bruins teammates thrilled to see Tim Thomas at Capitals game

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Former Bruins teammates thrilled to see Tim Thomas at Capitals game

WASHINGTON D.C. — For many of the Boston Bruins players, the sight of Tim Thomas prior to puck drop on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals was the first time his former teammates had seen him since the last time they played against him in 2014 when he was still a member of the Florida Panthers just prior to getting traded to Dallas.

This time around it wasn’t about Thomas’ stint with the Bruins or his role on the 2011 Stanley Cup team, but instead was about the 42-year-old Thomas as one of the inductees for this winter’s U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class. Thomas joined fellow former Bruins forward Brian Gionta along with several other inductees to drop the ceremonial puck prior to Boston’s 3-2 loss to the Capitals ahead of Thursday night’s induction ceremony.

There were only a couple of words exchanged between Thomas and Zdeno Chara during the actual puck drop, but other former Cup teammates like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron made certain to say a few words to the Conn Smythe winner from their 2011 title team.

“I just told him I was happy for him and congrats. He looks like he’s got a 6-pack now, so I’m just happy for him. It was great to see him. It’s been awhile,” said Brad Marchand. “There are a lot of great memories from that group, especially for him to be honored in the Hall of Fame. He definitely deserves it. I didn’t know we were going to see him tonight.

“He competed so hard all the time. Even in practice if you scored on him he would be yelling at you. I think in practice the first time I scored on him, he started screaming at me. So I just shot it at his chest for the rest of the year. He was a competitive guy and that’s why he was such a good player.”

Everybody, of course, knows the numbers by now with Thomas posting a 1.98 goals against average and .940 save percentage during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, arguably the greatest postseason run by any goalie in recent playoff history.

Things were a bit strained with Thomas and the Bruins in the years that followed after he opted to skip the White House visit in 2012, and then ended his run with the team following a first-round knockout in the 2012 postseason.

It was more than a little ironic, in fact, that the B’s and Thomas crossed paths once again in Washington, D.C. nearly seven years to the day that the Bruins goaltender decided to forego the visit for ideological reasons.

But a lot of time has passed since then with fans even clamoring for Thomas to be the honorary banner captain for the Bruins during their Cup run last spring, and certainly it’s become a celebrated event whenever the remaining B’s core group from 2011 (Zdeno Chara, Bergeron, Marchand, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask) comes across one of their former teammates.

“It was great. It was my first time seeing him in a long, long time, so it was great to see him. He looked great too,” said Bergeron. “I congratulated him on the well-deserved honor. The impact that he has had for us with the Bruins, and also in that Cup run, is something that’s going to be remembered for a long, long time. We haven’t forgotten obviously, so it was good to see him.”

It remains to be seen if there might be some kind of reconciliation between Thomas and the Bruins organization where he could — or would — make an appearance at a game, or an event involving the Bruins.

But for a night anyway, it was good to see Thomas around some of his old teammates while being honored for the tremendous hockey career he enjoyed for both the Bruins and USA Hockey in international play.  

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Bruins encouraged by losing effort in Washington: 'That's the kind of hockey we want to play'

Bruins encouraged by losing effort in Washington: 'That's the kind of hockey we want to play'

WASHINGTON  – It might have been the Bruins' fourth loss in a row and, for the first time all season, the B's have lost three consecutive regulation games, but there were glimmers of hope in the 3-2 defeat at hands of the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena.

The Bruins marched out to a 1-0 lead after David Pastrnak’s first goal in five games and it would have been a two-goal lead early in the game if a silly offsides challenge that had nothing to do with the actual goal hadn’t overturned Patrice Bergeron’s power-play strike.

So, the Bruins had a better start than they have had recently, had a solid three periods of play while outshooting the Capitals 32-25 and played with more engagement, effort and urgency than they have shown in a couple of weeks. It was certainly encouraging that the Bruins are turning the corner back toward consistently good efforts rather than some of the forgettable, unfocused efforts of the past couple of weeks. Still, it was again a loss. 

“We’re all frustrated, but as a coach, you like how the 60 minutes transpired better than some of the other nights. We were in the game, right there and very easily could have won the game,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Two or three things probably changed that, but in terms of a 60-minute effort we’re getting a lot closer to where we want to be.”

The good news is that the Bruins leadership group sees light at the end of the tunnel with another big game against the Tampa Bay Lightning awaiting them 24 hours later. 

“I thought that’s the kind of hockey that [we] want to play and you want to get back to,” said Bergeron of a Bruins team that’s taken just one out of a possible eight points in their last four games. “There are still some things to rectify with us coming up short, but we’re trending in the right direction. But it’s a short turnaround with the game [against Tampa Bay].”

The Bruins are still sitting on a 10-point lead in the division over Buffalo and Montreal despite having dropped four in a row, so there’s clearly no panic or feeling like their backs are against the wall. On the contrary, that might be part of the lack of urgency that’s crept into the B’s game the past couple of weeks, but they showed Wednesday night that they still have a solid, consistent effort in them when the mood strikes them.

Perhaps the good, honest and hard-working losing effort against the Capitals can spin the Bruins back into a winning direction with a couple of road games in Florida staring them in the face.

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