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Bish's Blog

Game Day: Thrashers vs. Bruins

Boston will look for the sweep in the second half of a home-and-home.

Saturday, 12.13.2008 / 5:51 PM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Game Day: Thrashers vs. Bruins
AP Summary...
Atlanta 1 0 1-2
Boston 2 1 1-4

First Period-1, Boston, Kessel 19 (Krejci, Lucic), 6:00 (pp). 2, Boston, Ryder 9 (Wheeler, Krejci), 13:43. 3, Atlanta, Oystrick 3 (White), 19:22.

Second Period-4, Boston, Wideman 7 (Hunwick, Kessel), 18:16 (pp).

Third Period-5, Boston, Ryder 10 (M.Stuart, Krejci), 15:48. 6, Atlanta, Reasoner 5 (Enstrom, Oystrick), 17:40.

Shots on Goal-Atlanta 7-5-10-22. Boston 14-7-8-29.

Goalies-Atlanta, Hedberg. Boston, Fernandez. A-17,565 (17,565). T-2:20.
---
0:00 - End of the Game. The B's have won their eleventh straight at home. Ryder JUST missed a hat trick by putting the puck into the open net after the game had ended.

1:01 - Icing ATL. Hedberg had left, he has to come back.

2:20 - Not sure if Manny saw it, but Reasoner just beat Fernandez through traffic. 4-2, Boston.

4:12 - Ryder leaves the redline drives down the left side, breaks in front of the goal, turns and fires goal. It's 4-1, Boston.

5:57 - Armstrong and Hnidy get into it behind the goal. Looks like matching penalties.

8:29 - Penalty on Kobasew.

10:05 - Karsums with two good chances down low...

12:34 - A very nice chance for Kobasew and some hard work by the rest of the line earns the B's another PP. Kovalchuk in the box for hooking.

14:27 - Ryder tests Hedberg -- A nice stop by the Atlanta goalie.

16:46 - Manny's best save of the night. From left to right, post to post, he stopped a point-blank shot to keep the score 3-1. Outstanding. Shots are 21-15, Boston.

17:49 - Wheeler is in the box for holding.

20:00 - Start of the Third. More goals, please.
---
0:00 - End of the Second. Thankfully, the end was better than the beginning and Boston is up 3-1, going into the second break.

1:44 - Big Zee can enjoy his well-deserved break. Kessel and co. put together a gorgeous play to earn back the Bruins two-goal lead. Dennis Wideman took a pass from Hunwick, who had been fed by Kessel, and pounded it through the Atlanta defense. 3-1, Boston. Shots are 21-12, Bruins.

1:54 - Kozlov to the box for interference.

3:46 - Boris Valabik went after Phil Kessel.

So, Zdeno Chara simply outpowers Valabik in the 'biggest' NHL fight of all time. I can't imagine any bigger matchup than the 6'7, 235-pound Valabik vs. 6'9, 255-pound Chara.

Unfortunately, the shorthanded Bruins lose Chara with a minor, a major and a misconduct.

That folks is the EXACT reason why the instigator rule is bad.

5:05 - Icing Atlanta. The tide turns...

5:24 - Icing Atlanta.

6:56 - Sobotka's bid on the backhand was Boston's best chance of the period, thus far...

8:40 - Boston's first line turned most of that around with a couple of nice chances. Hedberg should be given some credit for hanging in there after last night.

9:22 - For whatever reason the momentum resides with Atlanta. Again, the B's are playing very tentatively.

10:40 - Fernandez turns the trick, albeit a little more interestingly by grabbing a puck that was about three inches off the ice like a shortstop.

11:21 - Stuart makes his own bid for a goal, but Hedberg snags the puck out of the air and holds on for the draw.

12:13 - Manny's toughest save of the night, White shoots and Fernandez snuffs the bid by catching the puck in his stomach.

12:30  - Faceoff in the B's zone. Shots are 15-10, B's.

13:55 - More of the same. It's just not very crisp.

16:50 - Still pretty slow. It's like the B's are determined to not let the Thrashers break out, but are a little tentative themselves.

18:50 - A slow start for both teams...

20:00 - Start of the Second.
---
0:00 - End of the First Period. It's 2-1, Boston.

37.4 - A momentary lapse by the B's behind their net leaves Nathan Oystrick by himself at the top of the circles. He shot, through traffic and beat Fernandez. It's 2-1, Boston.

Prior to that, it had been a very nice period for the Bruins, who had controlled the puck for all but a few minutes.

Tough luck goal for Fernandez, who had very little chance.

1:40 - Manny makes his fifth save. Shots are 13-5, Bruins.

2:09 - Nice kill of both power plays by Atlanta. Boston had plenty of opportunities, but the Thrashers clogged the middle pretty well.

4:16 - Havelid is in the box for hooking. That gives the B's a five-on-three and should scare the heck out of anyone rooting for ATL.

4:40 - Former Bruins (and Boston College standout) Marty Reasoner is in the box for a minor (hooking). Boston is back on the power play.

6:17 - Hello Michael Ryder. Nice goal.  He took a pass from Wheeler, beat Ron Hainsey pulled the puck back and put it into the goal. His ninth goal. It's 2-0, Boston.

8:05 - Sobotka and Karsums created some havoc in the Thrashers end on that shift. I think Vladi made someone in white pretty angry down by the net.

8:34 - Nice hit by Wideman on Kovalchuk.

11:35 - Karsums continues to make a difference and grabbed a puck through some hard work and got it into the offensive zone.

14:00 - That was like a drill. Kess got the puck in front, shot. Save. Shot, goal. Gorgeous movement on the power play. Just like that it's 1-0, Boston. It was Kessel's 19th goal of the year -- that ties his career best (last year) and he has a 15-game point streak. That is the longest streak of its kind this year in the NHL.

15:55 - Boris Valabik is in the box for holding. Boston's first PP.

16:22 - Marty Karsums was denied by Hedberg on his first shift and first shot. Very close to being a goal.

16:56 - Neither team skated this morning and they are showing it...

18:12 - Manny Fernandez's first save is a tough one as he had to dive and get a puck that had slipped off the Atlanta forward's stick and slid through the crease.

19:56 - Stephane Yelle won the faceoff and the Bruins regroup in their end.

20:00 - First Period. How about a repeat of last night's first period? Works for me...

The Bruins are in their new third jerseys and entered to "Shipping up to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphys.

Boston Starters: Axelsson, Yelle, Kobasew, Chara, Stuart, Fernandez
Atlanta Starters: Little, White, Kozlov, Havelid, Enstrom, Hedberg

Let's swtich to time on the clock. Much love to my family (Mom, Dad, Sis = all nicknamed Bish and very good friends Dan, Paula, Brenden, Ken and Dody). Thanks for coming to see me today!

6:54 p.m.
B*R*U*I*N*S 4077th
Coach Julien also had a little time to speak to the recent rash of illness and injury that has recently hit the Boston Bruins locker room.

Asked where everyone was, status wise, Coach looked to the heavens and thought.

"(Aaron) Ward, lower body, he’s still day-to-day," said Julien. "(Marco) Sturm, upper body. But again, my comment with him would be ‘cautiously optimistic’ because it was very good today.  It was even better than yesterday, and you’ve heard me say that many times, but unfortunately with those injuries there’s sometimes setbacks, but...he’s heading in the right direction.

(Sturm is on the LTIR right now) because, dating it back to when it happened, he’s still good for Thursday.  It’s the month.

Nokie (Petteri Nokelainen), he's upper body.  I haven’t really gotten the whole details on him, as far as if it’s a day-to-day or if he’s out for a week, and I’ll have to check on that.

"Bergie (Patrice Bergeron)’s got the flu."


6:41 p.m.
Bruins Forward Martins Karsums
On being called up and playing in his first NHL game...
"I’m a little nervous right now. Like you said, it’s the first time up and it’s just butterflies in my stomach and nervousness…Don Sweeney called me a couple of hours ago and just told me that I had to be up today. I didn’t pick (the phone) up right away because I was taking my pregame nap. And I just heard my phone buzzing and after awhile I saw I had two missed calls and a message. And I just called him back and he told me that I got called up. After (another) hour I would have been gone to Manchester (with the P-Bruins)."

Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien
On Martins Karsums being called up…
"He had a great camp with us, and we’ve got to see him in exhibition games for a couple years, so he’s got an opportunity tonight to showcase his talent with the big club.  He’s been playing well.  He’s been averaging a little over a point a game and been playing on one of the top lines, and he’s obviously an experienced player now in that league, and, to me, he may not be a six-footer, but he’s a pretty solid player, and he hits pretty hard, so in those kind of physical games, he’s going to hold his own."


6:39 p.m.
A good guess on the lines...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Yelle - Kobasew
Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder
Thornton - Sobotka - Karsums
Hunwick - Wideman
Lashoff- Hnidy
Chara - Stuart
Fernandez
Thomas

Scratches:
Sturm (IR), Bergeron, Nokelainen, Ward


6:28 p.m.
Manny Fernandez just led the Bruins out of the room. Hedberg is in net for Atlanta.

Pressbox Notes
The Bruins recalled forward Martins Karsums from Providence this afternoon on an emergency basis and placed forward Marco Sturm on long term IR, retroactive to November 17.

Karsums has registered 11 goals and 16 assists in 26 games for Providence this year, after tallying a career-best 20 goals and 43 assists in 79 games during his second professional season with the P-Bruins last year. The 5’10’’, 198-pound Riga, Latvia native was originally drafted by the Bruins in the 2nd round (64th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Sturm has appeared in 18 games this year for Boston and recorded 6-6=12 totals with a +8 plus/minus rating. He has missed the last 11 games due to injury. Sturm led all Boston goal-scorers last year with 27 tallies.

Other storylines...
  • The Bruins enter tonight’s matchup winners of their last 10 at home (10-1-1 at home this season).  During these 10 games, the B’s have averaged 5.10 goals per contest and have outscored their opponents 51-21.  Their last loss at home came on October 23 against Toronto.
  • Phil Kessel has a career best 14-game point streak in progress with 11-9-20 totals over that span.  Kessel’s streak is the longest of its kind in the NHL this season.
  • Other notable active streaks on the Bruins include: Milan Lucic, who has a three game goal streak (and three game point streak) in progress with 3-1-4 totals in this stretch, and Zdeno Chara, who has a four game point streak with 2-2-4 totals.
  • In addition to Sturm, Aaron Ward (lower body), Petteri Nokelainen (upper body) and Patrice Bergeron (flu) will not play tonight for Boston.
  • The Bruins own the league’s top ranked power play on home ice, having converted 32.6% of their chances with a man advantage. Atlanta, meanwhile, is ranked tied for 30th in penalty killing on the road with a 73.3 percentage.
  • The two teams met last night in Atlanta with Boston claiming a 7-3 victory.  13 different Bruins factored in to the scoring, led by Phil Kessel’s one goal and two assists and Matt Hunwick’s three assists.  Todd  White, Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov had the goals for Atlanta.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk has a three game goal streak in progress for the Thrashers and currently leads the team in assists (19), points (30) and is second in goals scored with 11.


3:56  p.m.

This just in...
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled forward Martins Karsums from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) on an emergency basis. He will join the team today and be available for tonight's game against the Atlanta Thrashers. The team also placed forward Marco Sturm on long term injured reserve, retroactive to November 17. More...


2:37 p.m.
It wasn't easy...

Despite the score, there were some scary moments for Boston on Friday.

"When you fall behind like they did, (you) really start stretching your guys out," said Coach Julien. "(They tried) to catch us off guard to get a beak here or there. And the D's started jumping up...on the attack.

"They really tried to throw a lot of things at us."

Boston was able to stem the tide and score on their own opportunities. However, several rounds fisticuffs slowed the B's down.

"Obviously, (they) tried to slow down the momentum a little bit," said Julien. "(Fights) are part of the game, so we just responded to all those things.

"We held our ground and made sure that they didn't get behind us."

Three early goals certainly helped.

"We got off to a good start," said Chuck Kobasew. "We just had to find a way to stay focused.

"We were able to keep the lead."

That was made a little more difficult because of the loss of Nokelainen and Ward.

"(That's when) other guys get an opportunity to step in there and help out," said Kobasew. "And going with five D-men, those guys did a very good job."

That was particularly so of Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart, who, playing front of his dad and his brother Colin (who was a healthy scratch for Atlanta) had two goals.

"It's been a long time," said Stuart. "It was nice to get one, let alone two."

And clearly, to score, twice, in front of his family was special. But it was a lucky coincidence that Mark's dad saw it happen.

"He had the trip planned from the summer hoping that we'd both be up," said Mark. "Luckily, Colin got called up yesterday -- unfortunately, he didn't get to play, but that's alright."

"I talked to (Colin) before the game and he's excited to be back up. He's been working hard and playing really well in Chicago.

"Maybe he'll get a shot tomorrow," he said.

It would be nice to see Colin play, but let's hope his shot is not as good as his brothers!


11:26 a.m.
Morning Update

Sturm
Nothing much doing here at The Garden. Marco Sturm (concussion-like symptoms) did skate with Bruins strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides and looked fine (see above) but we'll wait for an update this afternoon.

As for Ward and Nokelainen: no status report as of yet. But last night, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien talked about the two men.

"Ward obviously took a shift and pulled himself out," said Julien. "We talked this morning and after the warm up and he felt ready to go so obviously that wasn't the case.

"Then with Noke, it's an upper body (injury)," he continued. "We'll get him evaluated first and see where we go with that."

An uneven game...
The look on Coach Julien's face told a complex story -- a 7-3 win that didn't play like a blowout.

"I know, it's one of things where right now we (aren't making) the strong plays all the time and we are trying to work ourselves out of a little funk," he said. "You're going to say '7-3?'-- but we're still doing some good things.

The bottom line?

"The way we played the month of November, I guess the expectations are high for everybody," said Julien.

"And I think that's why we have a tendency to look for all of those sloppy plays...but there's still a lot of good things going on and we've got to kind of settle ourselves down a little bit by making some stronger plays."

Heralding a nice story
The Bear Essentials tries to be everywhere, but alas The Boston Herald's Stephen Harris caught Boston Bruins alumni, retired number wearer, Hoffer and all-around good guy Johnny Bucyk up to more good again on Friday. He writes:

From the NHLers-aren’t-like-other-pro athletes department, we give you this little scene yesterday morning at Philips Arena...The Zamboni driver, working alone because his partner was on his honeymoon, started to re-surface the ice before the B’s morning skate. After one loop of the rink, the nets must be slid off to the side so the Zamboni can continue its pattern. The driver would have had to stop and move the nets himself - except that B’s official Johnny Bucyk, a 73-year-old Hall of Famer, walked out onto to the ice and moved them for him.


As Harris wrote, that's "Why he's the Chief."

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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 BOS 32 16 13 3 81 83 35
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8 BUF 32 13 17 2 62 100 28

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 32 6 16 2 22
C. Soderberg 32 6 15 6 21
B. Marchand 29 8 11 8 19
L. Eriksson 32 6 11 6 17
D. Hamilton 32 5 12 0 17
R. Smith 32 8 8 1 16
M. Lucic 32 6 9 4 15
T. Krug 28 5 6 3 11
D. Krejci 12 3 7 3 10
C. Kelly 30 2 8 3 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 4 4 0 .925 2.24
T. Rask 12 9 3 .914 2.52
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