He’s big. Huge, actually. So it would seem to make sense that Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara would be placed in front of the opposition’s net during the power play.
At 6’9″ and 255 pounds, he not only provides a massive screen for opposing goalies, but would prove difficult – perhaps impossible at times – for defenders to try and get him out of the way.
“We’re tinkering with that,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe.
“We’re going to have a look at that. We have some guys that we feel can shoot the puck from the back-end. Z is probably one of our best guys at screening with his big body.
“We’ve known that for a long time. It was probably what we feel like we didn’t have for the back-end. It’s something we’re experimenting with.”
This isn’t some kind of miracle breakthrough, however.
You’ll recall – and as the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa reports – Chara was in front of the Leafs net, causing a screen, when Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying goal in the third period of Game 7 in that first round series.
The Bruins went on to win the series.
With hybrid icing being tested out during preseason, some coaches are going to find the adjustment to the potential new rule a little tricky. One coach who’s not sure what to make of it is Boston Bruins bench boss Claude Julien.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com hears from Julien and finds the coach dealing with “mixed feelings” on the new rule.
“For coaches, I think [the hybrid icing] is a bit of a mixed feeling. We’re very supportive of it when it comes to the safety of the players,” said Claude Julien. “I think what it does sometimes is take away some of the plays [you can make]. You’ve seen us use at time before, right from inside our blue line we’d rim the puck in and had our fore check just to get the puck in deep.”
Ah, the old “safety vs. strategy” debate. Wait, that’s actually a new one.
Dumping the puck in is nothing new when it comes to strategizing the game and the Bruins can dump-and-chase with the best of them. While Julien’s team might lose out getting to do some of what they want to do, one would have to think being able to keep players off the injured list would be worth the sacrifice.
After what’s happened to Carolina’s Joni Pikanen as well as Kurtis Foster and Taylor Fedun in recent years, getting rid of the race to beat icing isn’t so bad.
The Boston Bruins sometimes-dominant “HuLK line” has disbanded, but their new sets should be pretty impressive in their own right.
Head coach Claude Julien answered a fan’s question on Tuesday, saying that Jarome Iginla will probably line up with David Krejci while Loui Eriksson is expected to skate with Patrice Bergeron.
One would assume that Milan Lucic would slide in with Krejci-Iginla while Brad Marchand may join Bergeron-Eriksson, although you never know. For what it’s worth, Julien said he might give Daniel Paille a more pronounced role, so things could be shaken up.
If that previous assumption is correct, it’s imperative that the hockey world come up with a good nickname for the Iginla version of Boston’s most offensive-oriented line. Here are a few early attempts: “The ILK line” and “the KILl line.” All silliness aside, it’s not outrageous to expect Iginla, 36, to transition smoothly into Nathan Horton’s vacated role.
Eriksson, 28, makes a lot of sense with Bergeron, too. The Swedish winger is noted for his two-way play, as Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli noted, so he could be a great compliment for the Selke-caliber pivot.
It’s important to remember that line combinations can change by the day in certain systems, but one can see the logic behind Julien’s initial plan.
The Montreal Canadiens are bringing an extra defenseman to training camp this week and, if he doesn’t crack the blueline, could contribute to the city’s thriving music scene.
Matt Lashoff — Boston’s first-round pick at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft — has been invited to Habs camp on a PTO, the club announced on Monday.
Lashoff, 26, spent last season playing for the ZSC Lions of the Swiss league.
A former OHL Kitchener standout, Lashoff spent four years with the B’s organization before being flipped to Tampa in 2009 as part of the Mark Recchi trade. After a brief stint with the Bolts, he was flipped to Toronto in 2010 and 11 games for the Leafs, spending the majority of his time with the AHL Marlies.
Montreal will have 16 defensemen at camp and are loaded with NHL contracts (projected top eight: P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, Douglas Murray, Francis Bouillon, Raphael Diaz, David Drewiske, Jarred Tinordi).
The club is bringing in extras to fill the gap left by the injured Alexei Emelin but, even with that opportunity open, Lashoff will still be in tough to make the team.
But that’s probably OK. In addition to hockey, Lashoff is a budding musician who released his first album, “Living On Heart,” in early 2011.
No word if he passed along his demo tape to Starla at KZOG 530.
Torey Krug has been an underdog most of his professional hockey career, and that hasn’t changed despite a breakout post-season this past spring.
The undersized defenseman who emerged from almost out of nowhere to score four goals and six points in the Boston Bruins run to the Stanley Cup Final is still fighting for a job in the starting lineup with the NHL club as a new season comes upon us.
“My goal is to be on the team opening night and throughout the season,” Krug told ESPN Boston, “but management is the one making that decision, so I’m just going to keep my head down, remain confident and do what I do.”
The 22-year-old Krug, listed at 5’9” and 180 pounds, was never drafted and had only three games worth of NHL experience to his credit prior to the 2013 playoffs. He spent most of last season with the Providence Bruins in the AHL, and began the playoffs there as well.
But he turned heads in the Eastern Conference semifinal against the New York Rangers, going on a tear that included scoring four goals in five games to help the Bruins advance.
His performance earned him the nod for top rookie at the halfway point of the playoffs, as decided by NHL.com writers, as per John Kreiser of NHL.com.
“It’s unbelievable, the poise he has with the puck. It’s nice to see a guy like Torey play so well,” Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg back in May.
“I don’t know if it’s out of nowhere. There’s got to be a reason [the Bruins] wanted him so badly. I think they knew what they had.”