At one point not too long ago, the Boston Bruins seemed like an unstoppable wrecking ball of a team. The defending champions represented the most compelling choice for back-to-back Cup wins in quite some time.
Now the Bruins must worry about losing their division and/or sliding to the third seed – and who knows what once the playoffs begin.
In good times and bad, much of the focus shines upon two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Tim Thomas. (That seems especially fair since he allowed six Florida Panthers goals last night.) CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty caught up with the struggling goalie, who seems downright stumped right now.
“[I] don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a run like this,” Thomas said. “We’re stuck. I don’t have answers.”
Thomas certainly hasn’t provided many answers in March in particular. He’s 3-5-0 in that time, but it’s his individual numbers that are of a bigger concern. Thomas has a hideous .842 save percentage and a ghastly 4.06 GAA in nine unsettling appearances this month.
(Feel free to peruse his split stats and game log if you want to hatch White House slump-related conspiracy theories – start with Jan. 31’s game – but it’s especially clear that times have been rough since March rolled around. Personally, I think it’s a coincidence, but an amusing one in that.)
Thomas isn’t responsible for the slump alone, but his numbers jump out the most. With Tuukka Rask seemingly far from a return from injury and Marty Turco looking rusty – to put it kindly – Thomas and the Bruins must look within for the answers to their plaguing questions.
Then again, maybe they should just look at their Stanley Cup rings – and all the times when their run almost fell short in 2011 – and realize that it was never supposed to be as easy as it looked from November to mid-January.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.