Wednesday in Boston ‘more than just another game’ for Bruins


The Boston Bruins clinched a playoff spot and moved into top spot in the Northeast Division on Wednesday thanks to the single point that resulted from a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

But the Bruins, perhaps more so than ever before, were playing for the people of Boston, just two days removed from the Boston Marathon bombings.

The night included honoring the victims of Monday’s tragedy, as well as first responders.

There was an emotional soliloquy from NHL on NBC play-by-play man Mike “Doc” Emrick prior to the game and a video tribute ‘We are Boston, we are strong.’

“It was a pretty emotional start,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference told “I think me and [Dennis Seidenberg] were over besides each other, especially during the anthem, I think just trying to hold it together a bit. It was pretty awesome hearing everybody sing like that. And obviously the emotions were pretty high.

“We all knew that tonight was more than just another game. It meant a lot to people as another step [in the healing process] and it was no different for us on the ice trying to have some remembrance of the last couple days but also move on as well to getting back to business in this city.

“It was tough. It was really tough. The first shift I think everybody was pretty choked up. I can’t remember being that emotional on the ice except for the last few seconds when we won the Cup (in 2011). I think that was the only equal as far as emotions.”

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.