Bruins looking to move Marc Savard and Tim Thomas

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timthomas.jpgWhile the majority of the Bruins focus of late has been on who they want to take with the second overall pick in Friday’s NHL Draft, the speculation is picking up surrounding a couple of players on their roster that they may be looking to trade. The Sporting News goes into the dirty details.

The Bruins reportedly have given Tim Thomas’ agent permission to seek a trade. And the Boston Herald says Bruins are expected to peddle Savard, a clear indication they are locked in on Tyler Seguin with the second-overall pick.

While it seems strange Thomas’ agent got permission to make a deal, keep in mind that Thomas has a no movement clause in his contract so having him find a place he’d like to go to is a bit more important than the Bruins potentially finding a trade partner that Thomas would nix a deal to. One team that just might be more than interested in talking to the Bruins about Thomas are the Philadelphia Flyers as CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio tells us.

Sources at the Board of Governors confirmed on Thursday that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and Boston’s Peter Chiarelli have spoken about the netminder, who has three years left on his contract and has been replaced as a starter by Tuukka Rask.

Flyers’ sources say, however, they consider Thomas “too expensive,” despite his 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage in 43 games last season.

Outside sources say, however, the Flyers are willing to move two players “if” they decide to go the Thomas route and “if” it’s the right players to move. Those sources added the only untouchable Flyers are Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

The Bruins would be faced with the prospect of dealing Thomas to a fellow Eastern Conference rival and having to deal with potentially having Thomas beating their own team on a regular basis. That’s not exactly a heart-warming scenario for the Bruins but when you’re looking for salary relief, strange bedfellows are often had.

As for Savard, who the Bruins signed to a contract extension last December, he too has a no-movement clause in his contract, one that becomes much more limited on July 1st when the new contract begins. So where are the Bruins in figuring out where they’d want to send him? Turns out Joe Haggerty at CSN New England got the details there.

Sources indicate Marc Savard would OK move to OTT, TOR and CHI if right deal was there. Problem: Currently none of those teams want him

Well isn’t that a kick in the pants for the Bruins. It’s also interesting to see that Toronto and Ottawa are on that list. I don’t suppose that Savard would have payback on his mind at all there. I’m sure the Bruins would love to talk to Toronto about something involving Tomas Kaberle but there’s no doubt that Toronto would want a little bit extra from the Bruins to do something like that.

There’s a lot of smoke circulating about both of these Bruins stars so there’s discussions being had about both guys, whether it turns into something more substantial or not we may have to wait until the start of the draft or even July 1st to see what may or may not shake loose. Needless to say, keeping an eye on what the Bruins are doing may become mandatory watching the next week or two.

Sheary’s in for Penguins in Game 2; Kunitz is a game-time decision

Pittsburgh Penguins' Conor Sheary (43) is greeted by teammates Brian Dumoulin (8) and Chris Kunitz (14) after scoring his first NHL goal, in the first period of the Penguins' hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Pittsburgh. Bruins' Brad Marchand is at lower right. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might look a little different in Game 2 on Saturday after that blistering Game 1.

As the team down 1-0, it’s not too surprising that the Penguins boast the more significant lineup questions, although they lean toward health concerns rather than performance tweaks.

Conor Sheary was able to return during Game 1 after Tom Wilson‘s controversial knee-to-knee hit, and he appears to be in for tonight’s contest as well. Chris Kunitz isn’t quite a guarantee, as he’s currently labeled a game-time decision.

For what it’s worth, Kunitz himself believes he’ll be in. Whether he plays on Saturday or not, it sounds like Kunitz is taking extra safety measures going forward.

The Penguins stayed vague with Marc-Andre Fleury, merely claiming that he’s making “progress.”

Generally speaking, Matt Murray has been playing well for the Penguins. Of course, the scrutiny will rise if Pittsburgh loses Game 2 on Saturday.

The Capitals are also considering a tweak. CSN Mid-Atlantic reports that Barry Trotz is pondering replacing Dmitry Orlov with Taylor Chorney.

“They told me to be prepared as if I’m going to be playing,” Chorney said. “We’ll just see how it goes.”

As you may notice, Chorney isn’t the only one in wait-and-see mode heading into Game 2, which you can watch on NBC.

Hitchcock, Blues know they need to slow down the Stars … but can they?

The puck shot by Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel crosses the goal line as St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (19) attempt the stop during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Dallas. The Stars won 2-1. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
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The Dallas Stars only beat the St. Louis Blues by one goal (2-1) in Game 1, but the feeling is that the score was deceptively close.

Blame it on fatigue from that epic series against the Chicago Blackhawks or not; the Blues looked out of rhythm and out of breath against the hard-charging Stars.

At least they’re not in denial about that, though.

“We’re not going to beat anybody giving up 40 shots on goal,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after their Game 1 loss on Friday. “We’re not going to beat anybody giving up the scoring chances we did today.”

Hitchcock added “we’ve got to find the energy to play our game, and we’ve got to find it quickly in the next 48 hours.”

Allowing 40 shots on goal might not be that common for the Blues, yet they leaned heavily on Brian Elliott against the Blackhawks in that series.

Just look at the SOG comparison in that series and in Game 1 vs. Dallas:

Game 1: Blues – 18 SOG, Blackhawks – 35
Game 2: Blues – 31, Blackhawks – 29
Game 3: Blues – 36, Blackhawks – 46
Game 4: Blues – 20, Blackhawks – 42
Game 5: Blues – 46, Blackhawks – 35
Game 6: Blues – 28, Blachawks – 36
Game 7: Blues – 26, Blackhawks – 33

Game 1: Blues – 32, Stars – 42

Such shot comparisons make you wonder if Game 1 provided evidence of a rest advantage or if this might just be the state of affairs for the Blues (at least against two electric offenses).

One area to watch is the transition game. The Stars seemed to tear through the neutral zone while the Blues sometimes struggled to get things going.

“They’re a team that wants to play real fast up the ice and through the neutral zone,” Jay Bouwmeester said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Yeah, we didn’t do a very good job of slowing them down. A lot of their chances were off the rush. That’s what you want to take away from them.”

File that under “easier said than done.”

Gather your lucky charms, 2016 NHL Draft Lottery is tonight

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Honestly, it’s tough to blame people for making Edmonton Oilers jokes in regards to the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery.

Really it’s only human nature to drop one-liners about the perennial cellar-dweller that (seemingly) always lands the No. 1 pick.

Will it happen again this time around? We’ll find out soon enough, more precisely sometime around 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

As you can see, the Oilers do not have the best odds to land the top pick … but they’re close:

A reminder: this time around the lottery will determine the top three picks. The NHL discusses that tweak and other changes here:

For the first time, the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will assign the top three slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – a change from prior years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection exclusively.

Want the full lowdown on the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery? PHT has you covered here.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with two games on Saturday. You can catch tonight’s games via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

NY Islanders at Tampa Bay (3:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 2 will be on NBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Pittsburgh at Washington (8:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 2 will also be on NBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Some reading to get you pumped up:

– The Penguins are keeping chatty Marc-Andre Fleury from speaking to the media (reportedly).

Tom Wilson received a fine, not a suspension, for that knee-to-knee hit.

T.J. Oshie was the difference-maker for Washington in Game 1.

– Don’t expect Steven Stamkos to face red-hot John Tavares anytime soon (or at all, maybe).

Read about the Isles’ Game 1 win.