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Bish's Blog

Game Day: Sabres vs. Bruins

Wednesday, 11.19.2008 / 12:52 PM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Game Day: Sabres vs. Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for BostonBruins.com. He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
“We got ourselves in trouble early…but at least we found a way to get back in the game.”
Claude Julien

Next up for Boston: Florida on Friday night in the TD Banknorth Garden. You can find tickets here.
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0:00 - Boston kept playing righ to the end. Nice job. Gutsy win. 10-1-1 in their last 11. More in a bit...

1:22 - Garbage time. Buffalo seems content to cut their losses...

2:51 - Two saves by Fernandez. Way to hang in there Manny.

4:34 - Krejci hits the post.

5:28 - Bruins back on the PP.

9:10 – Chara flattens Maxim Afinogenov against the boards, drawing a good cheer from the crowd.

10:19 – Hunwick goes to the box for tripping.  Buff on the PP.

10:47 – Ryder is robbed by a good glove save by Lalime.  Coulda been eight…

13:46 - Manny with a save. His 21st.

15:41- Hooking on Roy.

18:44 - Holy cow. Kessel scores. His ninth, from Lucic, who fed Phil from behind the goal.  Lalime is in for Buffalo.

19:56 - Buffalo wins the faceoff.

20:00 - Third Period. Once more, with feeling.
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Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, left, celebrates with Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) after Chara's goal against the Buffalo Sabres in the second period of their hockey game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. The Bruins won 7-4. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
0:00 - A final shot for Lucic is turned away by Miller. Buffalo still leads in shots, 22-19. But, boy, what a comeback.

2:11 - Interference, in the offensive zone, for Peters. PP, Boston. B's are 2/3 on the man advantage, tonight.

2:31 - Save Manny, who has settled in comfortably.

2:48 - Zee does it again. Some shot same spot. 6-4, Boston.

2:58 - Mair in the box for tripping Dennis Wideman. Welcome back Wides.

5:02 - Gaustad and Stuart to the box. Four-on-four hockey for two minutes.

7:29 - Kobasew just put it off Miller's leg and into the net. A smart play that was probably supposed to be a centering pass, but was lucky enough to bounce the right way. We'll take it, folks. 5-4, BRUINS.

8:06 - Nokelainen puts a big hit on Kaleta.

8:42 - Two offsides in a row for Boston.

9:32 - Wheeler with a shot that handcuffs Miller. He hangs on, though, and gets the faceoff.

10:45 - It's getting a little chippy.

13:07 - Fernandez best looking save of the night, off a shot from the top of the circles. He smothered it. No rebound.

14:47 - Manny had to make a tough save on a deflection off one of his defensemen.

17:00 - Another PP for the B's. Mair's in the box for Buffalo.

17:23 - Boston scores! Chara, on the PP, just a lazer from the blue line. Gorgeous. 4-4. New game.

17:50 - Wideman might have gotten his bell rung, He struggled to the bench after a hit.

18:20 - Interference MacArthur. Boston on the PP. The Bruins first man advantage.

19:25 - Boston hits the post...Aaargh.

19:58 - Bergeron wins the draw.

20:00 - Start of the Second. Let's try that again...The seven goals combined by these teams in the first period tonight were the most in a period of a B's games since Boston (four) and Los Angeles (three) combined for seven on Oct. 12, 2007.

No goalie change for either squad.
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Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, center, celebrates with teammates a goal by Bruins right wing Chuck Kobasew, hidden, against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period of their hockey game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. The Bruins beat the Sabres 7-4. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
0:00 - Boston is lucky to only be down by one. Then again, Buffalo is lucky to be up. I might expect that at least one of the goalies will be switched by the time we come back.

1:25 - Icing Buffalo.

2:05 - Another save by Manny. Shots are 15-6, Buff.

2:49 - A couple of saves by Fernandez. He covers up for the faceoff.

4:48 - Stranger and stranger. A hooking by Savard in the Buffalo end.

6:52 - Holy offense Batman. Kessel drives down the right side, passes to a waiting Savard who slam dunks the puck, on the backhand,  past Miller. 4-3, Sabres. Sheesh.

7:23 - That loved to happen. Vanek scores, again. 4-2, Sabres.

7:41 - Another scrum. I think it started when Stuart croaked Kaleta. And there were some faces washed and such. Peters in the box for roughing. Stuart gets interference, roughing. Apparently Stuey hit Kaleta too hard.

8:27 - Chuck Kobasew in the middle of things. A pile up behind the Buffalo net. Mair ends up paired up with Chuck. We got here because Wheeler made a terrific defensive play in the neutral zone. And dished late to Krejci. Miller held on .

11:42 - Fernandez tracks down a tricky, slow roller. Shots are 7-4, Buff.

14:22 - An excuse me kind of goal by David Krejci, who found himself without a shot and put it on net. It found twine after it banked off a defender's leg. 3-2, Sabres.

15:02 - Vanek scores. Oooof. 3-1, Buffalo.

15:31 - Off the faceoff, the puck dribbled to the point and Lydman wristed a knuckler towards the net that Roy seemed to tip. The play is under review, however, since it seemed as if he hit it with a high stick...the goal is good. 2-1, Sabres.

17:01 - That was easy. Chuck Kobasew scores. Wheeler scooped up the after effects of a broken play by the blueline. He skates in and passes to Krejci. Krejci waits, waits, and dishes to Chuckie who had a wide open net. Pretty. 1-1.

18:19 - Buffalo scored on the first shot. Pominville beat Manny over the shoulder. 1-0, Buff.

18:48 - Kessel has the first shot for Boston.

19:29 - Buffalo wins the opening draw.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. As usual, a quick start and playing with a lead helps. Manny Fernandez is in goal for the Bruins. It's his seventh start on the season and third against Buffalo (1-0-1 record against the Sabres entering tonight).  Fernandez is 4-1-1 this year overall with a 2.31 Goals Against Average and .919 save percentage.  His last start came at home two games ago against the Canadiens on November 13 (6-1 W).

BTW: Congrats to Milt Schmidt and Ted Donato for being nominated to the Mass Hockey Hall of Fame.

Switching to time on the clock...


6:36 p.m.
Miller and Fernandez led their respective clubs out of the locker rooms.

The Lines...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Ryder
Wheeler - Krejci - Kobasew
Thornton - Yelle - Nokelainen
Chara - Ward
Hunwick - Wideman
Stuart - Hnidy
Fernandez
Thomas

Scratch:
Sturm


6:28
Lashoff Recalled, Ference on IR
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Matt Lashoff from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) and placed defenseman Andrew Ference on injured reserve. More...

Lashoff is NOT available, this evening. JB


5:39 p.m.
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Voros #34 of the New York Rangers positions himself in the crease in between Matt Hunwick #48 and Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins on November 15, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)
Defenseman Matt Hunwick spoke to the media about, well, being Matt  Hunwick and trying to fill in for Andrew Ference.

“It’s a big opportunity," said Hunwick. "He’s going to be out for a while, and whether they bring someone up or not is out of my control, but right now, I have an opportunity to play good minutes and be a good part of this defense.

"I’m just trying to step in and do the best I can to help our squad."

As usual, Hunwick was very honest about his own performance.

“I think maybe my last two games, I’ve had a few mistakes," he said. "More than anything (it's) just little lapses in my judgment – something I’ll have to eliminate pretty quickly if I want to stay at this level.

"But there’s a lot of good things that I’m doing at the same time, so if I can continue doing those, eliminate the few things that have been hurting...I think everyone here has been moving forward (on the same page)."

Matt talked about scoring his first NHL goal.

“I’m not a person that gets overly excited about too many things, (because) I knew eventually it was going to happen," he said. "I think my friends and family are probably more excited than I was to get that goal.

"I was just happy with how hard the team worked.

"But right after the game, I checked my phone, there were over 20 phone calls and texts, and then for a couple days, e-mails," said Matt.

Hunwick seemed a little surprised that anyone cared.

"It was nice to hear from so many people and see that so many people are either paying attention or watching the games in the States," said the former captain of the Michigan Wolverines.

Hunwick was asked whether he dreamed of scoring his first NHL goal as a youngster and if the actual experience measured up.

“I never really had an ideal goal to score – maybe a one-timer or a slap shot, something a little more glamorous than a rebound  -- but it’s one of those things where we scored, and I wasn’t even quite sure if maybe Phil (Kessel) touched it on the way in."

Then he added "...but I was happy to get it."


5:31 p.m.
Press Box Notes
The Bruins enter tonight’s game with winners of their last five at home (5-1-1 at home this season). The Bruins are 9-1-1 in their last 11 overall. 
  • The B’s are in the midst of a stretch where they play 10 games in 18 days.  This run began on November 12 in Chicago and concludes November 29 against Detroit.  Through four games so far, the Bruins have a 3-0-1 record.
  • The Bruins have scored first in 14 of their 18 games this season and own a 9-3-2 record when tallying the game’s first goal.
  • Bruins center Marc Savard has a three game assist and point streak in progress with 0-5-5 totals over that span.  Savard’s 15 assists on the season rank sixth in the NHL, his 21 points rank 11th in the NHL and his +11 plus/minus rating ranks tied for third.Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew is playing in his 300th career game tonight.
  • For Buffalo, winger Jason Pominville has a three game goal streak and four game point streak in progress (3-1-4 totals).
  • The Sabres own the league’s third best penalty kill having allowed only seven goals on 71 shorthanded opportunities this season (87.3 %).  They began the year with 24 straight kills and didn’t allow a power play goal until their sixth game of the season (October 21 at BOS).
  • Thomas Vanek is tied for the league lead in goals scored with 13 (A. Semin WSH).


5:18 p.m.
Bruins left winger Blake Wheeler (26) and center David Krejci (46) . (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
Earlier, I asked Boston Bruins forward David Krejci if the speed of the Sabres made him have to change his methods at all.

“I don’t think our game should change," said David. "We’re going to stick to our (own) game plan."

Krejci conceded, however, that Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller can always pose a problem.

“(Miller) is one of the better goalies in the league, so we’ve got to bury our chances when we get them," he said. "(He's) going to play a big role this game."


5:01 p.m.
Coach Julien also spoke about Marc Savard and the forwards increasing prowess on the defensive side of the puck.

"He’s certainly been a reliable player defensively where we’ve used him on important draws," said Julien. "He’s killing penalties now.

"I’ve seen some of his backchecks this year where he’s buried his head and come back hard...That’s about pride.

"He’s at the stage where he enjoys doing it, he sees the results he gets from it and the praise he gets from it, also."


4:43 p.m.
Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)
After the morning skate, Coach Julien talked about the Bruins recent efforts.

"I don’t think we can pretend we’re extremely happy with our total play," he said. "I think the fact that we stayed off the ice yesterday should certainly give us a little bit more energy tonight.

"I think we just have to trying to play a 60-minute game. The last couple games have been a little (too) painful for our liking."

That said, a point is a point is a point.

"I think when you look at the course of the season there are going to be some ugly wins in there," he said. "They are not always perfect wins (or) great wins, but the bottom line is you also have to give your team credit for being able to pull off those points.

"Especially on the road when your team is probably not 100 percent, we have to give them credit for pulling off an ugly win and (a point in the shootout).

"We’ll take those 3 points and put them in the bank and hopefully bounce back with a better performance tonight."


1:32 p.m.

Marco? Marco?
Marco Sturm
We'll start off with the real news from practice -- Marco Sturm was not on the ice.

"He's very doubtful for tonight," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "We'll call it an upper body ailment and we'll leave it at that."

That could cause some shake ups on the lines, so we'll give you the final verdict on the lineup before the game.

Beyond the physical ailment, Coach Julien reiterated his belief that a mental health day was needed by the Bruins.

"You can have lots of energy, but if you don't have your head on straight and you're not making the right decisions out there, all the energy in the world is not going to help you," said Julien. "We just have to fight through the physical and mental fatigue.

"The one thing about these athletes, they're well condition and sometimes your mind tells you you're probably more tired than you are, and (in reality) your body has lots left in there.

"That's where the mental toughness comes into play and we just have to fight through this stretch here," he said.

Coach Julien was also asked about possible defensive call ups from Providence.

"We'll see," he said. "Obviously, we're right down to the limit of 20 players that are ready to go tonight. Especially if Marco can't go.

"We have to, obviously, look at that situation but as we speak right now there hasn't been anything  that's been decided at this point."

Manny's the man...
Manny Fernandez was the first goalie off of the ice, so he should be in goal, tonight.

Boston Bruins Coat Drive
An important reminder: Today, Wednesday, November 19, the Boston Bruins and Cradles to Crayons are collecting new and gently used coats for children ranging in age from infants to 16 years old prior to the Bruins game against the Buffalo Sabres, as part of Cradles to Crayons “Gearing up for Winter” campaign.

The collection will begin at 6:00 p.m. at each turnstile entrance to the TD Banknorth Garden and continue throughout the game. Manning the donation bins will be Boston Bruins wives Krista Ference, Krissy Kobasew, Siw Axelsson and Kelly Ward as well as Cradles to Crayons volunteers.

In addition to helping children in need, fans choosing to participate will receive a raffle ticket for each coat donated.  Raffle prizes include a Boston Bruins team autograph stick, a team autographed Boston Bruins Foundation license plate, a Patrice Bergeron autographed photo and a Zdeno Chara autographed puck.

Sam Adams Bru Fest
Another reminder: Before the Bruins/Sabres game the Boston Bruins will hold their second “Bru Fest” sponsored by Boston's own Samuel Adams brewery.  It will be the second of four Bru Fest events on the season.

The outdoor festivities will start at 5:00 p.m. and conclude at 7:00 p.m. (with last call at 6:45 p.m.) in the West Plaza outside of the TD Banknorth Garden. Tickets to Bru Fest cost $45.00 and include admission to the party, a voucher for one free beer or free soda, discounted concessions and a ticket to the Bruins game against Buffalo, which begins at 7:00 p.m.

You can still purchase tickets, here.

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 33 20 10 3 110 87 43
2 MTL 32 20 10 2 87 80 42
3 DET 32 17 7 8 92 80 42
4 TOR 31 19 9 3 109 87 41
5 FLA 29 13 8 8 66 75 34
6 BOS 31 15 13 3 78 81 33
7 OTT 30 12 12 6 80 86 30
8 BUF 32 13 17 2 62 100 28

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 31 5 16 1 21
C. Soderberg 31 5 14 4 19
B. Marchand 28 8 10 7 18
D. Hamilton 31 5 12 0 17
R. Smith 31 8 8 0 16
M. Lucic 31 6 9 5 15
L. Eriksson 31 5 10 4 15
T. Krug 27 5 6 3 11
D. Krejci 11 3 7 4 10
C. Kelly 29 2 7 1 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 3 4 0 .922 2.28
T. Rask 12 9 3 .914 2.52
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