Future (and present) full of promise for Boston

Thumbnail image for satan.jpgWhen discussing the Boston Bruins this year, I’d normally focus on the future. After all, with the mediocre way they were playing during the regular season, it was hard to imagine them doing much in the short term. Obviously the B’s continue to exceed expectations by being one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals, but even if they fall short of a Cup run, the future seems very bright.

The Boston Globe’s Tony Massarotti agrees with this point and also rightly mentions that the Bruins were criticized heavily for not making any big trade deadline moves, yet they’re prospering on the ice anyway.

This postseason, Recchi and Satan have combined for nine goals and 17 points in nine games, all while counting for less than $1.4 million of the Bruins’ approximate $60 million payroll.

Meanwhile, Ilya Kovalchuk is out of the playoffs. So is Raffi Torres (for whom the Sabres paid more in slightly more than a month than the Bruins are paying Satan all season). Alexei Ponikarovsky and the Pittsburgh Penguins are still very much alive in the postseason, but he has not produced for the Penguins what either Recchi or Satan has produced for the Bruins.

Give Chiarelli his due here, folks. Even the Dennis Seidenberg pickup proved more valuable than anyone initially thought. (At the time, the roundabout swap of Derek Morris for Seidenberg seemed like a classic case of rearranging the furniture.) Chiarelli resisted bigger, more dramatic moves for more specific and cost-efficient ones, and the Bruins on the ice have benefited greatly.

Not every move GM Peter Chiarelli made the last few years succeeded. The Tim Thomas contract, in particular, may saddle the franchise for a few years.

Still, there’s no doubt in my mind that the team is moving in a very positive direction. Hockey’s a crazy enough sport that the Bruins could go all the way, but like Massarotti wrote, even if they don’t they might be set for future success.

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    The Buzzer: Senators win, Subban from center, Lehtonen notches 300th win

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    Players of the Night: 

    Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators: It’s been a struggle for Ryan this season. He came into the game with just as single goal in 21 games but left with two in 22 while also adding an assist to help the Senators avoid a six-game losing streak.

    Tyler Pitlick, Dallas Stars: Pitlick scored twice, bookending Dallas’s five goals in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders.

    P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators: If you continue reading (and you should) you will see Subban’s goal that came from quite a distance. The defenseman notched two in a ___ win against the Vancouver Canucks, powering the Preds to their ninth win in their past 12 games.

    Highlights of the Night: 

    Brad Marchand fought off Mike Green, and then did this to win in overtime:

    Dylan Larkin. Breakway. Shorthanded. Backhand.

    Blunder of the Night: 

    Yikes, Anders Nilsson. Bravo, P.K.

    Factoids of the Night: 

    Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen killed two birds with one stone on Wednesday:

    Filip Forsberg accomplished an impressive feat for the second time in his career.

    MISC: 

    Scores: 

    Senators 3, Rangers 2

    Stars 5, Islanders 2

    Bruins 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)

    Predators 7, Canucks 1


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    Stone-cold man wins car, reacts appropriately

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    Has anyone ever remained so calm after winning a car?

    This Vancouver Canucks fan, introduced as Aaron, won a brand new Toyota tonight, hitting a shot from center ice through a hole barely wider enough to fit the puck.

    We should have seen this coming.

    Aaron’s stone-cold demeanour reared its head long before he took his first shot.

    “Do you like to drive?” Canucks in-game and TV host Hannah Bernard asked.

    “Of course,” Aaron said.

    “Could you use a new car?” Bernard followed.

    “Always,” he replied, stoically.

    “Are you nervous?” Bernard asked.

    “Yeah,” Aaron said, presumably lying.

    Aaron, again presumably, began to troll those at Rogers Arena. He missed wide left on his first attempt, then wide right on his second.

    Then he calmly sent the third arrow-straight down the middle.

    “I said I’d win it,” Aaron said. “It’ll be a long drive home, but it will be worth it.”

    He certainly showed P.K. Subban the way. The Predators defenseman scored his own goal from center ice in the same game.

    Bravo, Aaron. Simply incredible.

    Marchand, Pastrnak come through in Bruins’ 3-2 overtime win against Red Wings

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    The Boston Bruins mounted two successful comebacks in the third period on their way to a 3-2 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

    The Bruins, who have been surging as of late, won for the 10th time in their past 12.

    The Red Wings, in quite the opposite scenario, lost their third straight and for the 11th time in their past 12 contests.

    By all accounts, the Red Wings deserved a better fate, at least until the third period.

    They limited the high-flying Bruins to just two shots in the first period and clawed out a 1-0 lead midway through the second frame, with Tomas Tatar‘s wrist shot finding twine after a perfect screen from Justin Abdelkader.

    Boston found the equalizer they needed early in the third frame, and from an unlikely source.

    Noel Acciari tied the game 1-1 with his second of the season after getting a couple whacks at a loose puck in front of Jimmy Howard, capping off a solid shift from the Bruins fourth line at 3:02.

    Detroit took the lead for a second time, this time short-handed after David Pastrnak got caught pinching, allowing Dylan Larkin to get behind the Bruins rearguard, scoring a beauty on a breakaway to make it 2-1.

    Scoring for Boston had been a strength coming into the game.

    David Pastrnak, Boston’s top point-getter, came into the game sporting an eight-game point streak. Brad Marchand, sitting just behind Pastrnak in terms of points, have a five-game heater of his own going.

    The dynamic duo wouldn’t be denied; the streaks would continue.

    Marchand picked out Pastrnak with a perfect back-door feed to tie the game 2-2 with 1:26 remaining in regulation, forcing overtime.

    Marchand, now running with good karma, took a backhand pass from Torey Krug and turned it into a partial breakaway, fending off Mike Green, and putting his backhand in the top shelf behind Howard.

    Tuukka Rask extended his win streak to five games. Rask, who struggled out the gate to start the season, stopped 31 shots and continues to look like the goalie of years past.


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings

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    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    PROJECTED LINES

    BRUINS

    Forwards

    Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronDavid Pastrnak

    Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciAnders Bjork

    Danton HeinenRiley NashDavid Backes

    Tim SchallerSean KuralyNoel Acciari

    Defensemen

    Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

    Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

    Matt GrzelcykPaul Postma

    Starting goalie: Tuukka Rask 

    NHL on NBCSN: Bruins, Red Wings do battle in Atlantic Division clash

    RED WINGS

    Forwards

    Anthony ManthaDylan LarkinTomas Tatar

    Justin AbdelkaderHenrik ZetterbergGustav Nyquist

    Luke GlendeningFrans NielsenDarren Helm

    Martin FrkAndreas AthanasiouLuke Witkowski

    Defensemen

    Danny DeKeyserMike Green

    Jonathan EricssonTrevor Daley

    Niklas KronwallNick Jensen

    Starting goalie: Jimmy Howard