Welcome Home Bobby Allen
Friday, 01.19.2007 / 11:00 AM ET / News
Beyond Phil Kessel’s game saving shootout tally, rave reviews were bouncing around the TD Banknorth Garden for local boy, turned Boston Bruins defenseman, Bobby Allen.
For those of you who don’t know Mr. Allen, he was born in Braintree, lives in Hull, plied his high school hockey trade at Cardinal Cushing Academy and was part of the Boston College National Championship team in 2001.
With BC he earned a 25-85-110 line in 167 games over four seasons with Coach Jerry York’s Eagles and on the Heights was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman, a Hockey East First Team All-Star and NCAA East First Team All-American in 2000-2001.
Drafted by Boston 52nd overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers (for Sean Brown) following 49 games in Providence during the 2001-2002 season.
Allen was re-signed by Boston last summer as a free agent.
"We didn’t envision the performance that we have seen (this week)," said Boston head coach Dave Lewis after last night’s shootout win. "I’d be lying to you if I said that."
But that does not diminish how important he was to the Bruins over the last couple of games.
"Sometimes you have to see (what happens)," explained Coach Lewis. "(Bobby) played critical minutes against all the top players on their team (Crosby, Malkin and crew) and they’re pretty dynamic."
But Allen was pretty dynamic, too.
"Bobby Allen had a tremendous hockey game," said Coach after the Pittsburgh contest on Thursday night. "He moved the puck well, he ’thinks’ the game well and has good vision.
"(Allen) competes hard and he’s positionally very sound and safe.
"He knows what to do -- with or without the puck," said Lewis.
And while Allen has been steady with the Providence Bruins, his fine play at the NHL level has been a welcome surprise for the B’s who have had a pretty rough stretch recently -- Boston is 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.
"It’s nice to have a guy (like that) now," admitted Coach. "After watching him for a couple of games…he was a large part of the conversation (between the coaching staff) after the game."
Allen is just happy to be part of any conversation that has to do with the Boston Bruins.
"I’d by lying if I said I thought I would be getting that many minutes (19:04 on Thursday) on back-to-back nights," said Allen. "I’m thrilled.
"I think my game has been okay in the last few (contests) and it’s just nice (for the team) to get two points tonight. The comeback was big and the fans were really into the game."
But putting on the Bruins jersey had Allen pinching himself.
"I had chills in warm-ups. Then coming on for the National Anthem and the start of the game, it was something I’ll never forget -- honest to God. It was a great feeling and then I just tried to settle down and play hockey. It wasn’t really easy (to do that) but as the game went along, again, you get hit, you get some hits, and you make some passes -- it’s just playing hockey," said Allen.
One thing did make it different.
"It’s kind’ve surreal," said Allen. "I still live in the South Shore.
"I used to come to (the Garden) when I was a kid to see Ray Bourque and Cam Neely and all the Bruins greats.
"To come here and come out of that locker room and play is every (New England) kid’s dream…it’s kind of corny and it’s kind of a clichÃ© but it really is true. I take it to heart, the fact that I get to wear the Spoked-B and play here in Boston is really special to me."
Heard in and about the room
“We battled all night and we persevered tonight. I think it was just from the inside everybody gave it all they had. We knew we needed the win to Pittsburgh. We feel like Pittsburgh is one of the teams we’ve got to beat. We have got them three times, and those are six points we could gain on them. So we need to win. And we got it…we’re just working hard down low. Phil got a shift with our line and you know he’s been playing great the last two games. So he got out there went to the corner and just battled it out. He got a shot off and a rebound came up and it was right there (with) a bit of luck, but that’s what happens when you are working it and you get some breaks…They’re a fast team but if we can (work hard in the neutral zone), get an attack on them (we’ll be fine). I think that’s what we did in the third a lot of times. We stayed back and made some good defensive plays and that turned into good offense.
Forward, Marc Savard, on the game, his goal and Pittsburgh
“Tonight (Hannu) was outstanding, he made some unbelievable saves during the game and in the shoot out and in the overtime…(on the no goal call) obviously, as a player, you don’t know until the next day if there was a goal or not. It is a possibility, but during the game you cannot do anything about it. You just have to go through it and play.”
Defenseman, Zdeno Chara, on Toivonen, controversial calls
“It just the breakaway, (as a goalie, you) go out and try to get a good gap and take their space away and make them make the first move…(As far as regulation time goes) I could have played better, could have played worse. We got the win…I just try to look at it a day at a time and try to work as hard as I can every day in practice and games. And whenever I get a chance just try to make the best of it. And I’ve said this before, I can’t get the past back. The only way I can control my future is what I do today. It’s what happens right at this moment and there’s no controlling the past and no controlling the future except (in) the moment.”
Goalie, Hannu Toivonen, on the shootout, his play
"I just think (Hannu’s) been working hard. He’s played some games now at this level, and as it turned out, the 5-on-3 was huge for the team, and he was such an important factor in that. And the shootout was (again) huge for the team and he was such an important part of that…I think this will be a really big confidence booster for him…I just think (Kessel has been) playing with a little bit more…composure and determination…He’s been doing the little things that are important, and he was really effective again today."
Head Coach, Dave Lewis, on Toivonen and Kessel