The Edmonton Oilers made an interesting move on Monday, claiming Boston forward Matt Fraser off waivers.
In a related move, the Oilers then waived forward Steve Pinizzotto.
Fraser, 24, is an Alberta native that has 27 games of NHL experience with the Stars and Bruins. He’s perhaps best known 1) being part of the Tyler Seguin trade, and 2) scoring the OT winner in his playoff debut last spring, helping the B’s beat the Habs in Game 4 of their second-round series.
Fraser has struggled to find his form this season, though, scoring just three goals in 24 games while averaging 10:31 TOI per night.
It’ll be interesting to see if Fraser can find his niche in Edmonton. A quality scorer in junior at at the AHL level — he had 37 goals in 73 games for AHL Texas in 2011-12 — Fraser will likely get a good look in Edmonton and is something of a familiar face for new head coach Todd Nelson, who coached against Fraser during his days with AHL Oklahoma City.
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.
The Detroit Red Wings visit the Boston Bruins for the third of five meetings this season tonight at the TD Garden.
Each team has won a game at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena with Wings taking a 2-1 decision Oct. 9 and the Bruins using a shootout for a 3-2 win Oct. 15.
After halting a six-game winless skid (0-4-2) Detroit will look for its’ third straight win tonight while the Bruins will look to get back into the win column Monday following a 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday.
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Just as it appeared the Bruins were getting healthy, both Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic missed Sunday’s practice. Coach Claude Julien is expected to have an update on both players at Monday’s morning skate.
Detroit is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games against the Bruins and have won three of four in Boston.
Gustav Nyquist enters tonight’s game with a goal and three assists in his last two games.
The 25-year-old has scored in each of his four career games against the Bruins leading the Wings to a 3-0-1 record.
Boston is struggling defensively during its’ current 4-6-2 stretch. The Bruins are allowing an average of 3.1 goals compared to 2.4 over the first 24 games.
Just like the team in front of him, Tuukka Rask has struggled this season. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 3-4-2 in his last 10 games with a 3.10 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals on 15 shots after replacing Niklas Svedberg in Saturday’s loss.
The two clubs meet twice after tonight with the next meeting scheduled for March 8 in Boston.
Scoring has been a struggle for the Boston Bruins, and it may only get tougher on Monday if Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic are unable to play against the Detroit Red Wings.
While head coach Claude Julien isn’t being particularly forthcoming about what, exactly, is ailing either forward, he did describe each of them as day-to-day, as CSNNE.com reports.
Here’s what the Bruins’ forward lines looked like in practice without Bergeron and Lucic:
Matt Fraser was waived later on Sunday, so that could throw things further out of whack. Either way, the pickings would be pretty slim if Bergeron and Lucic cannot go; Boston would have to hope that Loui Eriksson really is rebounding, among other things.
While there are certain factors that seemingly point to a talent deficit, Julien thinks the Bruins’ tough times are a matter of desire and widespread underachievement.
“We just need to be better, collectively and individually,” Julien said. “There’s too much under-performing from our group right now. There’s everybody to blame from the goaltending, out to the defense and to the forwards. There is lots of blame to go around, so it’s important for us as a group to be better, and for us as individuals to be better.”
Having two rather important individuals out of the lineup certainly wouldn’t help matters.
The Boston Bruins had been on a modest but nice little streak of three wins in four games heading into the holiday break, but that was forgotten Saturday when they were clobbered by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The floodgates opened in the second period and the Blue Jackets skated to a 6-2 victory. Not even the highly anticipated fight between Milan Lucic and Dalton Prout could gain any momentum for Boston.
A quick glance at the Eastern Conference standings shows the Bruins are three points back of the Washington Capitals for the final Wild Card spot as they approach the midway mark of the season.
“The coaches do what they do and they put the game plan together. That game plan works,” Lucic told the Boston Globe.
“It’s worked for the past seven years. It’s up to us as players to come together and, as individuals, step up all of our games and get it moving in the right direction. Because we’re starting to run out of time as far as playing catch-up hockey.”
There was controversy in the second period.
Less than three minutes after Boston cut the Columbus lead to two goals, the Blue Jackets scored to restore their three-goal cushion, however the goal occurred shortly after the puck hit the spectator netting. Play was never stopped and the Blue Jackets eventually scored what was their fifth goal of the evening.
From the NHL’s Situation Room blog:
At 17:43 of the second period in the Boston Bruins/Columbus Blue Jackets game, the puck appeared to hit the spectator netting in the Columbus zone and play continued until the Blue Jackets scored a goal at 19:09. According to Rule 85.1, play shall be stopped when the puck hits the spectator netting unless it goes unnoticed by the on-ice officials, in which case “play shall continue as normal and resulting play with the puck shall be deemed a legitimate play.” Since play continued and the puck was not directed into the net as an immediate result of hitting the spectator netting, this is not a reviewable play and the on-ice decision stands – good goal Columbus.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without winger Cam Atkinson for the remainder of Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins.
According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Atkinson suffered an upper-body injury and will not return to the game. The injury appeared to occur on a harmless looking hit along the boards from defenseman Matt Bartkowski early in the opening period.
The 25-year-old Atkinson has eight goals and 14 points in 32 games this season.