Bruins motivated by failed 'vengeance' against Penguins

Thornton1.jpgI was frankly appalled when the Boston Bruins failed to show any
emotion in their much-hyped rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This was the game they were supposed to get revenge for the Matt Cooke
injustice; no one was looking for some sort of violent backlash with
dirty shots and sticks to knees, but some sort of “we’ll get you back”
approach to the game would have been nice.

The NHL was making sure there weren’t any Todd Bertuzzi-esque acts of
vengeance, but they needn’t worry. The Bruins played as though they
forgot to set their alarm clocks that morning, and just drifted through
the most disappointing game I’ve seen from a team in years.

to Joe Haggerty of
, the Bruins used that wasted chance as
motivation for the rest of the season.

“People wanted
to see blood or a win, and we didn’t give them either one. If we’d just
gotten a win afterward people would have been happier than hell,” said
[Shawn] Thornton.

But that, strange as it seems, may have been the
turning point.

“It seems like guys really responded to some of
the negative criticism and have started to play a little bit better,”
said Thornton. “I don’t think we’ve had any passengers since then.”

Bruins won eight of their remaining 12 games after that loss to the
Penguins, and were able to secure a playoff spot thanks to actually
winning and not backing in to the postseason. They now have confidence
and momentum, something that hardly seemed possible just a month ago.

Bruins were close to becoming a sad, sad story at the end of the
season. It was great to see them actually rise to the occasion when it
really mattered. Now if they are able to make it past the first round,
and possible face Pittsburgh again? I’m certain we’ll see a bit more

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    Video: Pekka Rinne’s zero-margin-of-error stick save

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    Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.

    Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.

    You can also see it up close via this GIF:

    Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:

    At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.

    Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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    Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

    The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

    So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

    You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

    Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

    Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

    Joffrey Lupul
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    Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

    The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

    This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

    From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

    “He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

    Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

    At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

    WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

    Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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    Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

    We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

    Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

    Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


    Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks