The Boston Bruins’ acquisition of Chris Kelly cost them their 2011 second round draft pick, but they bought themselves a versatile two-way player and the potentially useful boost that comes from inner-squad competition. After all, adding an NHL-ready player means that someone else will lose ice time and/or find himself in the press box.
Danny Picard of CSN New England writes that Kelly’s arrival might push someone off the Bruins’ third line. Despite the fact that Kelly is capable of playing as a wing, Boston coach Claude Julien said he would prefer to place the defensively adept forward in his natural center position.
Boston’s typical “third” line features Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler on the wings with Tyler Seguin at center, but Picard reports that Seguin might still remain on a new third line as a winger. Picard remarks that this logjam could even result in a trade for the odd man out.
Since Boston’s “third line” has, of late, consisted of Seguin centering Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, it would seem someone has to either be bumped to the fourth line, become a healthy scratch, or get traded.
The latter may eventually occur, but as of right now, coach Claude Julien has a decision to make with what his GM called the “third line.”
But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“A coach doesn’t mind having that extra player, because it just creates that competition and gets players out of their comfort zone,” said Julien after Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. “That’s never a bad thing.”
Then again, perhaps the Bruins will try to move an excess forward for an offensive defenseman? It will be interesting to see what kind of domino effect the Kelly trade will have in Boston. Of course, we’ll keep you up to date about any other transactions the Bruins make (and every other NHL team makes, for that matter) as the trade deadline frenzy approaches.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.