BostonBruins.com – The analysis of the Boston Bruins prospects down in Providence of the AHL continues with this first of two looks at the defensemen and goaltenders paying their dues on the farm.
The B’s don’t boast an abundance of defenders who are considered “high end” prospects on defense, but they have a group of players who have the skills and moxie to play in the NHL albeit in supporting roles. Via the draft and through trades in the past several seasons, the B’s have serviceable players who have faced significant challenges this season as one of the younger defense corps in the AHL.
In net, veteran Anton Khudobin and second-year man Mike Hutchinson are keeping the team in range of a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Khudobin’s 40 appearances and 19 wins lead the club, along with a solid .919 save percentage to go with a pair of shutouts. Khudobin’s unorthodox, even combative style resembles that of Tim Thomas, standing in contrast to partner Hutchinson, who is more of a classic butterfly netminder. At 6-foot-3, Hutchinson, 21 (he turns 22 on March 2) is the prototypical modern goalie who takes up a lot of net and relies on his athleticism and positioning to deny scoring chances. He has a solid .920 save percentage and six wins.
BostonBruins.com – Milton Academy defenseman Rob O’Gara grew up in Massapequa, NY, and spent his childhood rooting for the New York Islanders.
Nonetheless, he was thrilled to be drafted by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
“It really was surreal and such an incredible honor,” O’Gara said. “It was quite an incredible experience and it would really be hard to describe how excited I was when I saw my name called for the draft.”
BostonBruins.com – When Providence Bruins forward Max Sauve was recalled to the Boston Bruins Feb. 27, he was excited to join the team and have a chance to play in his first NHL game.
More so, the 22-year-old forward was eager to add to an extensive hockey bloodline that runs through his family.
His father Jean-Francois played 290 games with Buffalo and Quebec; his uncle Bob, a goaltender, played 13 NHL seasons and was the co-Vezina trophy winner in the 1979-80 season; and his cousin Philippe, also a goaltender, spent part of the 2006-07 season with the Bruins.
WILMINGTON, MA — New Boston Bruins defenseman Greg Zanon reported for duty this morning at Wilmington’s Ristuccia Memorial Arena and seemed a little surprised at the number of reporters who waited for him to talk to the press for the first time while wearing Black & Gold.
"It was just a different day," said Zanon of the whirlwind that sent him from Minnesota to Boston. "I had practice that day [with the Wild] and then went home.
"I was actually downstairs with my kids just hanging out and found out via Twitter and then just a mad scramble to get things ready and organized and wasn’t able to get out until yesterday morning.
BOSTON, MA — The Ottawa Senators found a way to defeat their Northeast Division rival Boston Bruins Tuesday night, lead by rookie goaltender Robin Lehner.
In just his third NHL start, Lehner recorded the first shutout of his career, blanking the Bruins by a score of 1-0. In those three starts, Lehner has a 3-0 record, allowing just four goals on 87 shots for a 1.33 GAA and .954 save percentage.
Lehner credited his teammates for his recent success and noted that their play has allowed him to focus on making saves.
BOSTON, MA — At times during the first and second periods on Tuesday night, Tim Thomas’ pads were the only things keeping the Ottawa Senators from running up the score on the Boston Bruins.
The defending Vezina Trophy-winner was stellar in defeat, and fought off 37 of the Senators attempts to yield only one goal as the B’s were unable to muster much of an attack during a slow-moving 1-0 loss to Ottawa in a sold out TD Garden.
"It’s hockey and in the end it doesn’t matter if you lost four to three or one to nothing or won four to three or won one to nothing," said Thomas postgame. "We’re on the wrong end tonight.
BOSTON (AP) - Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots for his first career shutout and Erik Karlsson scored the lone goal, lifting surging Ottawa to a 1-0 win over Boston on Tuesday night.
It was the Senators’ first victory in five games against the Bruins this season.
With the win, the Senators moved one point behind the Northeast Division-leading Bruins, who have played four fewer games than Ottawa. Ottawa won for the sixth time in seven games and sent the Bruins to their fourth loss in six.
BOSTON, MA — Finally there’s a Beanpotter back on the Bruins.
Between Boston’s annual February tradition and the Garden’s annual hosting of the Hockey East Championships, Mike Mottau, who earned the Hobey Baker award in 2000, has played plenty of games in TD Garden while with the Boston College Eagles.
However, it was wearing a spoked-B that fulfilled a lifelong ambition this morning.
BOSTON, MA – When Brian Rolston was just six years old, he skated alongside Tim Thomas while the two grew up in Flint, Mich.
At that time, there was no telling if the two would end up in the NHL together – let alone playing for the same team.
But thanks to a trade with the New York Islanders before yesterday’s 3 p.m. deadline, Rolston is again reunited with the Bruins net-minder, as they will play together for the second time in their NHL careers.
AP – The Boston Bruins were one of the more active teams before the NHL’s trade deadline, and they’ll try to use that improved depth to secure another Northeast Division title.
The Bruins can help themselves in that race Tuesday night by continuing their recent mastery of their closest challengers, the Ottawa Senators.
In one of its two deals Monday, Boston acquired veteran forward Brian Rolston, who played for the team from 1999-2004, and defenseman Mike Mottau, a former Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston College, from the New York Islanders for a pair of prospects.
That’s the uncle of NHL defenseman and newly acquired Boston Bruins player Greg Zanon, who was shipped from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Providence defenseman Steven Kampfer minute before today’s trade deadline.
“My uncle [Doug Foster] back home is a big Bruins fan and has been for a while,” Zanon said. “So I’m sure he’s probably jumping for joy now that he can cheer for a team that I’m on.”
BOSTON, MA — Brian Rolston is very, very happy to again be a member of the Boston Bruins.
"I was hoping something would happen and it did and I’m excited about it," said the 39-year-old forward. "Obviously a lot has changed since I’ve been there. I’m just excited to go to a team like that is close like with Claude Julien you know kind of the defense first mentality, something I’m very familiar with playing for Jacques Lemaire as many years as I have.
"So I’m excited about that. It shouldn’t take me long to adjust to the way Bruins like to play."
BostonBruins.com – When defenseman and Quincy, MA-native Mike Mottau was growing up, he told his parents he wanted to go to Harvard (and be a carpenter), and play for the Boston Bruins – those were his dreams.
The first one didn’t quite pan out, as he went to Boston College and played with the Eagles for four years.
The second one seemed as if it wasn’t going to pan out either – that is until he was traded from the New York Islanders to the Boston Bruins minutes before Monday’s trade deadline.
BOSTON, MA — Frustration might have been the theme of the day for Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, but depth was the outcome.
Earlier this afternoon, Chiarelli spoke about his acquisition of former Boston College Eagle defenseman Mike Mottau, former Boston Bruins forward Brian Rolston (both formally of the Islanders) and blueliner Greg Zanon the man with the second most blocked shots in the NHL last Season (for the Minnesota Wild) and said that although the deals were difficult to find during the lead-up to the trade deadline, he was able to stock his roster for the upcoming playoffs.
"We’ve added some veteran depth to our lineup, specifically on Rolston, he’s a guy most of you are familiar with," said Chiarelli. "Hasn’t had a great year, but I feel he’s a motivated player…[who] can really skate, and he’ll add to our depth and versatility.
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has acquired forward Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Yannick Riendeau and defenseman Marc Cantin.
Chiarelli also announced that the Bruins have acquired defenseman Greg Zanon from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Steven Kampfer.
BostonBruins.com – After a rather quiet day, the Boston Bruins acquired New York Islanders forward Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau in exchange for prospects Marc Cantin and Yannick Riendeau as the 3 p.m. trade deadline approached.
They also traded Providence defenseman Steven Kampfer for Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Zanon.
Rolston, 39, is in his 19th NHL season and returns to Boston after playing with the Bruins from 2000-04. In 338 games with the Black & Gold, Rolston finished with a total of 101 goals and 135 assists for 236 points.
BOSTON, MA — “Not much is happening as we can see,” was Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien comment about the early activity on trade deadline day. “Right now it’s slow.”
But the heretofore quiet day, hasn’t necessarily made things any easier on his players - at least before 3:00 p.m.
"I’ve called a couple players into my office to show some video clips and you have to tell them right away its just video - you’re not traded," said Julien after practice. "So that’s how nervous guys are at this stage."
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Max Sauve from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League). Bodnarchuk and Sauve are expected to join the Bruins for their 10:30 a.m. practice on Monday at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.
This is Bodnarchuk’s second recall to Boston this season. He was first recalled on February 13th and joined the team on their 11 day road trip, beginning with an away game in Montreal on February 15th, although he did not see any game action. This marks Sauve’s first NHL career recall.
Goalie Adam Courchaine has been recalled to the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) from the Alaska Aces (ECHL). In 34 games with Alaska so far this season, he is 19-10-5 with a 2.37 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage. He has recorded three shutouts this year.
BOSTON, MA — The Boston Bruins practice today in Wilmington’s Ristuccia Memorial Arena, but With the NHL’s trade deadline just hours away –- prior to and immediately following the skate –- chances are good that many members of the club will be keeping close tabs on the comings-and-goings of players throughout the NHL.
"Players can always say, ‘Oh yeah I don’t pay attention,’ but I think [they’re] lying to you or themselves," said forward Chris Kelly. "I think leading up to the trade deadline, I think players know or have an idea if they’re going to be moved –- not going to be moved –- and what’s best for the team."
Last year, Kelly, along with forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Tomas Kaberle, was acquired at the trade deadline and all three players became important parts of the Bruins Stanley Cup championship squad.
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has assigned defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Josh Hennessy to the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League). Both players are expected to join the P-Bruins on Sunday, February 26 for their 3:00 p.m. game in Manchester.
Bodnarchuk and Hennessy were both recalled to Boston on February 13th and joined Boston on their 11 day road trip that began with an away game in Montreal on February 15th. On the road trip, Hennessy appeared in three games for the Bruins.
In Providence this season, Bodnarchuk has skated in 47 games with four goals and seven assists, giving him 11 overall points. Hennessy has 15 goals and 15 assists in 49 games with Providence so far this season.
BostonBruins.com – As the Boston Bruins prepared for the first game of their home-and-home series with the Ottawa Senators, it was clear that a playoff atmosphere was lurking.
The Bruins (37-20-3) had a slim, three-point lead over the Senators (32-23-8) in the Northeast division, and an Ottawa win would close the gap to one point heading into the TD Garden for Tuesday’s matchup.
But the Bruins refused to break and stretched their conference lead to five points (77) as they beat the Senators 5-3 at Scotiabank Place last night.
BostonBruins.com – It all started with a quick poke check from forward Josh Hennessy and a shot from defenseman Adam McQuaid. The rebound fluttered in front of the net, and rookie Carter Camper buried the puck past Ottawa Senators goaltender Alex Auld.
Just like that, in a matter of seconds, Camper notched his first NHL goal to give the in his third game with the team as the Bruins beat the Senators 4-3.
“I’ve been dreaming about it ever since you’re a little kid practicing in the back yard or on the ice by yourself picturing that first NHL goal,” the 23-year old forward said. “Hennessy made a great play getting on the forecheck and knocking the puck loose. It went up to McQuaid on the point and I saw him shoot and the rebound was lying there and I just looked over my shoulder and saw the empty net and it just went in.”
OTTAWA, ON — For much of the last two seasons, the Bruins energy line (a.k.a. the Merlot Line) have been a key part of Boston’s “hard to play against” mindset. Often pitting brute strength against many highly skilled players, the trio has confounded and frustrated opponents and allowed Head Coach Claude Julien the luxury of consistently rolling four lines in most situations.
Their ability to be game-changers has even led many hockey pundits to say that the work of the B’s usual fourth line (sorry Shawn) would make the trio of left wing Daniel Paille, center Gregory Campbell and right wing Shawn Thornton a good third line on many teams in the NHL.
But with Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley down with injuries and with AHL call-ups like Carter Camper, Jordan Caron and Josh Hennessy occupying spots on the roster, the Merlot WAS the B’s third line on Friday in Buffalo.