Game Day: Senators vs. Bruins
Monday, 01.18.2010 / 11:59 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
In response to the recent tragedy in Haiti, the Boston Bruins held a special collection during Monday’s home game against the Ottawa Senators to help raise money in support of the Haiti earthquake relief effort. Bruins fans donated $8,620, which was collectively matched by the Jacobs family, Boston Bruins and TD Garden for a total of $17,240. The funds raised will be donated to the American Red Cross.
Fans who did not attend and who would like to help the cause, should click here to learn how to help.
Before he finished his pregame remarks, in regards to the B's injury list, how he would prevent a "downward spiral."
Coach was unequivocal in his response:
"We’re not going the other way. I’m telling you right now...We’re going to keep battling. Right now we’re holding our own and, if anything, we’re going to start moving forward. But that’s not even part of our thinking right now—for myself or for those guys in the room."
Click here for the Bruins lines.
Tim Thomas in goal for Boston. Elliott in goal for OTT. Patrice Bergeron will play.
Pregame Press Box Notes...
BERGY’S BACK: Patrice Bergeron will return to the B’s lineup today for the first time since fracturing his thumb against the Rangers two weeks ago on January 4 (6 games). Bergeron is the team’s leading scorer with 31 points on 11 goals and 20 assists in 41 games played this season.
BRUINS RECALL LARMAN; BEGIN, BITZ, STURM OUT: The Bruins recalled forward Drew Larman on an emergency basis Monday morning. Signed by the Bruins as a free agent on July 13, 2009, the 24-year old Larman has skated in 43 games for the P-Bruins this season with five goals and four assists. This is his first recall to Boston. He will wear #43. Forwards Steve Begin, Byron Bitz and Marco Sturm are expected to miss today’s game with undisclosed injuries.
HELPING HAITI: In response to the recent tragedy in Haiti, the Bruins will hold a special collection during today’s game to help raise money to support the Haiti earthquake relief effort. To make a greater impact on the relief efforts, the Jacobs family, Boston Bruins and TD Garden will match all the funds collected in-game.
KIDS’ DAY, PJ DRIVE TO TAKE PLACE TODAY: The Bruins and BJ’s Wholesale Club will be holding the third annual PJ Drive today by collecting pajamas for children in need throughout Massachusetts. Today is also Kids Day, where the first 5,000 children in attendance will receive a Bruins night light as well as those who donate a pair of pajamas to the PJ Drive.
SENS NOTEBOOK: The Senators are coming off a 4-2 win over the Canadiens on Saturday…Daniel Alfredsson returned to the Ottawa lineup on Saturday after missing the previous 11 games and recorded a goal and two assists… Today’s game is the final game of a five-game road trip (2-2-0 thus far)… Anton Volchenkov will be playing in his 400th career NHL game today.
BRUINS/SENATORS CONNECTIONS: Peter Chiarelli, an Ottawa native, served seven seasons in the Senators front office. Zdeno Chara played four seasons as a Senator. Marc Savard was born in Ottawa. Sens forward Shean Donovan played 76 games in a Bruins uniform during the 06-07 season.
SPECIAL TEAMS WATCH: The Bruins rank tied for 17th in the NHL on the power play overall (17.7%) and 6th at home (22.5%). They rank 1st on the PK overall (88.1%) and 3rd at home (89.7%). The Senators rank 30th on the PP overall (13.8%) and tied for 27th on the road (11.6%). They rank 9th on the PK overall (82.8%) and 15th on the road (82.2%).
It looks as if Larman may get time as Marco Sturm, Steve Begin and Byron Bitz will not play.
Bergeron is going to take warmups and will play depending on how that goes.
I asked Drew Larman about the traffic coming up I-95 from Providence in the snow.
"I came up last night, so this morning I just had a quick, about a hundred-yard drive over here," said Larman, with a big smile.
Asked what kind of skill he brings to the club.
"Just a strong two-way player," he said. "I’m strong in my defensive zone and I’m strong on the PK, good on faceoffs and...can chip in offensively with the right timing on a goal."
As per usual, Larman was happy to be in the TD Garden.
"It’s been almost two years now and I’ve been scrapping and clawing to get back up here and get another opportunity and I’m more than ready now," he said.
Once and future teammate Trent Whitfield said that the B's have a good one in Larman and agreed with the forward's self assessment of his skills.
"He’s a really, really good guy," added Whitfield. "He plays hard. He’s a real good defensive centerman and gets a lot of key faceoffs down in Providence for us.
"He does a lot of penalty killing. So I don’t know what they’re planning on doing with him here, but he penalty kills really well, works really hard, and he’s really reliable defensively."
Judging by his attitude with the press, the affable Larman should be a good fit in the locker room.
"He’s just a real laidback guy," said Whitfield. "But when he puts his skates on, he’s focused and plays hard and does his job."
Drew Larman is in the building. He said he traveled to Boston last night.
Larman was not sure if he will play, but was preparing like he would be in the lineup.
Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stuart are feeling pretty good, thank you very much.
"It feels bigger because it’s a splint and I can’t bend my thumb so I have to adjust to that," said Bergeron. "But it’s not that bad.
"Obviously the first couple practices were kind of weird.
It’s my bottom hand so it’s just a matter of controlling the puck and feeling good with it, getting comfortable with that on my thumb and not being able to bend it at all," he said.
Stuart was even more encouraging and reported that he didn't have any issues during Saturday's game in Los Angeles.
"I took a couple hits, but no problem so it’s good," said Stuart.
Bergeron's thoughts on returning from injury seemed to speak for both players.
"You always want to come back and help the team, especially when you see guys going down like that," said Patrice. "And yeah, I feel a little urgency coming back, but I can’t force it, I have to make sure I’m ready.
"At the same time, you always want to help your team."
And Bergeron expects to be in there, really soon.
"It’s going to be this week, but like I said the other day, it’s just a matter of when I’m going to get the okay to play," he said.
|Anaheim Ducks' Troy Bodie, left, and Boston Bruins' Adam McQuaid fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)|
Defenseman Adam McQuaid, for one, fit that bill during the West Coast swing.
"Yeah no doubt, I think everybody did," said Claude Julien. "You look at McQuaid. Adam went in there and scrapped in Anaheim, scrapped again in LA. And in his mind says, ‘I want to contribute in some fashion and my game’s about playing tough and physical.’
"And Bitzy [Byron Bitz] you know and those guys they all, everybody kind of wanted to step their game up in order to help the hockey club on this trip. I think that’s what was nice to see.
"I can honestly stand here and say, although we only came back with [a 1-1-1 record], I was really happy with the way our guys competed," he said.
Julien was pleased with his club's overall effort and hopes that it continues over the B's homestand.
"This was by far the best we’ve competed and three games in a row, leaving it all out on the ice," he said. "Our backcheck and our back pressure was there and our guys were working as hard one way or another and it’s probably what our team needed right now.
"You need to build on those kind of games and you need to continue to bring it to the next game and hopefully, as I often mention, make it habit so you don’t have to think about the kind of efforts you’re going to give because you’re used to giving it, night in, night out."
We still are not sure who is injured and necessitating the emergency recall.
"Unfortunately it’s more than Beige," said Julien yesterday. "That’s why I’m talking about question marks here, guys.
"I won’t even go into it because I’ll make a liar out of myself, tomorrow could be totally different. It’s just really one of those situations where we have a ton of question marks we’re going to try and deal with today as the day goes on, and hopefully by tomorrow before game time, it’s really resolved.
"And I’m being totally honest in saying that," he said.
That's also why there were only a few Bruins on the ice on Sunday.
"Yeah we’re not in the greatest of shape and at the same time we just played three [games] in four [nights]. Our team, with the effort that they gave, are pretty exhausted," said Julien. "They just had a little bit of a bike ride and treatments and that kind of stuff [Sunday] to hopefully put us in the best shape possible for [Monday]."
There seems to be an outside chance that we might see Patrice Bergeron today.
"He’s got to talk to the doctor," said Julien of his assistant captain. "We should have a fairly good idea by [Monday].
"I know he was on the ice and then he’s going to talk to the doctors, make sure everything’s okay. If he feels good and confident and the doctors have no issues then we’ll see him in the lineup.
"So that’s why I said there’s a lot of question marks right now of guys that are in and out," continued Julien. "We’ve got a banged up team."
Hence the Larman call up...
And there's our answer...
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled forward Drew Larman from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) on an emergency basis. Larman will be available for Monday’s game against the Senators.
Signed by the Bruins as a free agent on July 13, 2009, the 24-year old Larman has skated in 43 games for the P-Bruins this season with five goals and four assists. This is his first recall to Boston. Larman has played in 22 career NHL games with 2-1-3 totals, all with the Florida Panthers. His last NHL game played was with Florida on February 29, 2008 when they played the Wild.
He spent the last four seasons with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. In 2008-09, he skated in 61 regular season games potting 10 goals and registering a career high 12 assists.
The 6’ 3” 195-pound Canton, Michigan native originally signed with the Panthers as a free agent on September 28, 2005. Larman helped the London Knights (Ontario Hockey League) capture the 2005 Memorial Cup Championship after tallying an 11-10-21 line in 58 games during the regular season and 3-4-7 totals in 18 games during the ’05 playoffs.
|Who would want to see this everyday?
It's gross outside (with a heavy wintry mix over most of Massachusetts, and several inches of the white stuff in and around 495), and the snow and wind and rain are providing an unwelcome welcome back to the Bruins West Coast travel party.
But both the Senators and the Bruins are in town and ready to play.
At around 10:30 a.m. we should begin to see the Bruins trickle into the Garden for their 1:00 p.m. start. There's a bit of a question mark as to whom Coach Julien was talking about (beyond Steve Begin), well, being a question mark for today's game.
Coach talks just before noon, though, so check Twitter (@NHLBruins) and this space for all the latest.
We'll also have some notes from yesterday's practice, too.