If you thought that this off-season for the Boston Bruins was a busy one, it might not hold a candle to what next year could bring. The Bruins have a handful of very notable potential unrestricted free agents next year including captain Zdeno Chara, center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Mark Stuart. While no one will be worried about losing Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder next year, Chara and Bergeron present potentially huge. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli today gave Bruins fans a reason to relax a little bit.
During his conference call to discuss the Seguin signing, Chiarelli noted that negotiations for extensions for both veteran center Patrice Bergeron and captain Zdeno Chara are continuing. Both players are entering the final years of their deals this season.
“We’ve had talks, recent talks, and we’ll continue to have talks,” said Chiarelli. “And we’ll see where things go.”
While the Bruins salary cap situation for next year isn’t anywhere near as dire as it is this year, it’s welcome news to hear that the Bruins are planning ahead to make sure they can keep the guys that have helped make the team successful recently. How long of a contract they go for with Chara will be of some interest, however. Chara is 33 years-old and while he’s playing solid now, you have to wonder where he’ll be at in the semi-distant future.
As for Bergeron, his contract demands can’t be outrageous as he’s now one of the team’s better defensive forwards. After going from a guy that was drafted and thought to be counted on for points and scoring into being a defensive match-up guy, it’ll be tough to throw heaps of money at him for his play. Then again, the Bruins have shown a history of paying up gobs of money out of the blue at random. Perhaps they’re using the Wheel of Fortune to decide contracts on occasion to keep it lively in the front office and to drive owner Jeremy Jacobs crazy.
Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.
They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.
Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.
Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.
You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:
Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.
Read about that blowout here.
Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.
Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”
It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.
The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.
This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.
Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.
On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.
We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.
Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.
After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.
Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.
The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.
Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.
Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:
Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.
Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.
Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.
It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.
After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.
Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:
Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.
The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.