The Boston Bruins were happy with their effort Saturday in a 3-1 win over Detroit.
They weren’t happy, you’ll recall, with their efforts in previous games.
And because it’s only been one good game in a row, the B’s have been trying to stay vigilant ahead of tonight’s visit from San Jose.
“I think it’s about realizing and learning from the past mistakes,” forward Patrice Bergeron told CSN New England. “I think we have had a good effort and then the next game wasn’t so good. So hopefully we can learn from that.”
After 16 games, Boston’s record of 8-7-1 is a fairly accurate reflection of how this group has played. The offense has been great overall; the defense not so much.
That’s why the win over Detroit was so encouraging. The B’s held the Wings to just 23 shots and one goal.
“I look good when the team looks good and vice versa,” said goalie Tuukka Rask. “[Saturday night] was a great example, first two periods we take their speed away in the neutral zone, keep them to the outside and block shots, they had 13 shots through two periods. It’s just a great group effort, and it helps me a lot when that happens.”
The key now?
Make it happen again and again.
The Sharks will be looking for their third straight victory. It’s not a team the Bruins can take lightly.
The Anaheim Ducks have recalled prized defensive prospect Shea Theodore from AHL San Diego.
Theodore was up with the big club earlier this season, but was sent back down before he could make his NHL debut.
The 20-year-old has one goal and seven assists in 13 games for the Gulls.
The Ducks beat Carolina, 4-1, last night. They have a game tonight in Nashville.
It’s not clear if Theodore will play, but it’s worth noting that d-man Josh Manson missed the Hurricanes game with the flu. That forced Korbinian Holzer into the lineup.
Theodore could simply be insurance against another injury during the Ducks’ road trip, which still has two games remaining after tonight’s.
Counting Manson, Anaheim is now carrying eight d-men on its active roster.
Related: Ritchie to make NHL debut for Ducks
The NHL will announce the 2016 All-Star Game format tomorrow, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
And yes, the league “would like it to be a mini three-on-three tournament.”
It’s not clear whether the NHL will get its wish for three-on-three, but after last season’s 29-goal farce in Columbus, what is clear is that changes need to be made.
My personal opinion is that the current format is fine, but the players should take it upon themselves to make the game a bit more competitive. There doesn’t have to be hitting, and obviously the fans want to see scoring chances, but at the very least the guys could move their feet and pretend to play a bit of defense.
As we saw in Columbus, it’s just not very entertaining to watch the most talented hockey players in the world skate at a beer-league pace.
The All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31, in Nashville.
We ask this question for two reasons:
1. Reto Berra is playing really well. The 28-year-old is 4-3-0 with a .953 save percentage. Saturday in Montreal, he stopped 39 of 40 shots in a 6-1 Colorado win.
“He’s been great, every game he’s played this year, he’s given us a chance to win every night,” Avalanche d-man Francois Beauchemin told ESPN.com. “He’s making big saves at key moments. That’s what you need from your goalie when you want to be successful.”
Berra’s performance in Montreal gave the Avs their third straight win. He was excellent in the first two as well.
2. Those Semyon Varlamov trade rumors. For a budget team like the Avs, might it be tempting to move the guy with the $5.9 million cap hit and hand the reins over to Berra — signed through next season for a $1.45 million cap hit — and young Calvin Pickard?
Pickard, 23, was the 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft, the fourth goalie chosen that year. He played very well during his 16 games in the NHL last season, and he’s playing well again in the AHL this season.
The reality is, the Avs can’t keep all three goalies forever. Varlamov has struggled this season, but there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t regain his form. At the very least, GM Joe Sakic must be curious to know what he could get for the 27-year-old.
The question Sakic would have to ask about Berra is whether his current form is sustainable, or at least close to sustainable. He’s only started seven games this season, and his career NHL save percentage is a modest .909.
The injury to Brandon Dubinsky left Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella short on top-six centers.
That’s never a good thing to be in the NHL. And it’s doubly bad for a team that’s trying to climb out of a big hole.
But Tortorella had to plug someone in there. In the end, he chose captain Nick Foligno.
“We talked about a number of different people,” Tortorella told the Jackets’ website. “I think Nick can handle the change.”
Another candidate was Boone Jenner, who played center in junior. But Tortorella decided against that because of Jenner’s strong play on the boards.
“I just don’t want to screw around with Jenner’s game, because I think he’s doing so well on the wall,” said Tortorella. “Nick volunteered, he’s played it, he felt comfortable and that’s what we went with.”
The Jackets won their second straight on Saturday with a 5-2 victory over Arizona. They host St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Dubinsky is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.
Center Alexander Wennberg is also on IR with an injury (foot).