Boston Bruins

Who did Roenick and Jones pick in their All-Star Fantasy Draft?

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Via NBC Sports PR, here’s how the two NHL Live analysts made their picks, in preparation for Friday evening’s All-Star Fantasy Draft (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

source:

So…not sure how Patrice Bergeron gets picked third to last. Maybe Roenick and Jones figured the reigning Selke Trophy winner isn’t the kind of player who would shine in a defense-discouraged All-Star Game? That’s possible I guess. Doubt he’ll go that low in the actual draft though.

Anyway, assuming the draft rules haven’t changed from 2011, remember that “each team’s three goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team’s six defensemen must be picked by the conclusion of Round 15,” so the player picked last has to be a forward.

The two top picks

Roenick on Malkin: “There’s no question that in an All-Star Game, he’s the perfect guy to pick number one. Even though he’s from Pittsburgh, and I was a Philly guy, I’ve got to make him my first choice.”

Jones on Voracek: “He’s heading back to Columbus where he started his career – he’ll be pretty pumped up about that. He’s leading the NHL in points, and when he plays with All-Star talent, he’ll pick up big-time points.”

In 15 days, the Bruins have gone from ‘very disappointing’ to one of the NHL’s hottest teams

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It was only 15 days ago that the Boston Bruins’ new CEO, Charlie Jacobs, tore a strip off his struggling hockey team.

“I’d say without question this has been a very disappointing year,” Jacobs said. “It’s unacceptable the way that this team has performed given the amount of time, money and effort that’s been spent on this team.”

At the time, the B’s were 19-15-6, one point behind Toronto for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. And such was Jacobs’ displeasure at being outside the playoff picture that coach Claude Julien’s job security was actually being questioned in the media.

Things, suffice to say, have changed in the 15 days since. Heading into tonight’s game in Colorado, the Bruins have won six of seven and, yes, if the playoffs started today, they’d be in them.

Simply put, the B’s are playing better hockey. In their last seven games, they’ve possessed the puck at a higher rate than they did over their first 40; defensively, Julien’s praising the “layers” again; and perhaps most importantly, they’ve received far better goaltending from Tuukka Rask, who, after finishing December with a save percentage of just .896, has allowed only nine goals in his last six starts.

Also helping Boston? The collapse of the Maple Leafs and a Florida Panthers mini-slump.

The B’s aren’t home and free yet. They could still miss the playoffs with a record of, say, 16-16-3 in their final 35 games.

But making the playoffs seems a lot more doable today than it did a couple of weeks ago.

In fact, it almost seems easy for a team as good as Boston.

Things can change quickly in the NHL.

Goalie nods: Red-hot Ortio gets fifth straight start for Flames

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Joni rides again

Talk about a luxury of wealth in goal.

Tonight in Anaheim, Calgary will give Joni Ortio — the 23-year-old Finn that’s spent the majority of the year in AHL Adirondack — his fifth consecutive start as he looks for his fifth consecutive win.

Ortio, called up after Karri Ramo landed on IR, has been nothing short of brilliant during his brief stint in Calgary, moving ahead of Jonas Hiller on the depth chart by posting a .958 save percentage and 1.23 GAA in victories over Vancouver, Arizona, San Jose and Los Angeles. All four wins came on the road and Ortio started his run with a 36-save shutout against the Canucks… in his season debut.

More:

The Calgary Flames just keep winning and winning, Part 2

Awkward or not, Flames will carry three goalies as Ortio shows ‘swagger’

For the Ducks, Frederik Andersen will get the nod in goal.

Elsewhere…

Leafs at Sens: Craig Anderson for Ottawa, no word yet on a Toronto starter.

‘Hawks at Pens: Marc-Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh, Corey Crawford likely for Chicago.

Jackets at Jets: Michael Hutchinson for Winnipeg, no word yet on a Columbus starter.

Bruins at Avs: Semyon Varlamov for Colorado, Tuukka Rask likely for Boston.

Kings at Sharks: Antti Niemi likely for San Jose, no word yet on a L.A. starter.

Goalie nods: Price returns from injury to face Preds

All the latest from the blue paint…

Carey’s back for Habs

After missing Saturday’s win over the Islanders with an upper-body injury, Carey Price will return to the Montreal net tonight when the Habs host the Preds at the Bell Centre.

Price, who’s having a Vezina- and Hart Trophy-caliber season, is 23-10-2 on the year with a .927 save percentage and 2.19 GAA. He’s headed to his fourth All-Star Game in Columbus on the weekend and is easily the biggest reason why Montreal comes into tonight’s game sitting third in the Atlantic Division, just three points back of Tampa Bay for top spot.

For the Preds, Carter Hutton will be in goal.

Elsewhere…

Sens at Rangers: Craig Anderson vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Oilers at Caps: Viktor Fasth vs. Braden Holtby

Pens at Flyers: Thomas Greiss vs. Ray Emery

Wild at Wings: Devan Dubnyk vs. Petr Mrazek

Canucks at Bolts: Ben Bishop for Tampa Bay, Ryan Miller likely for Vancouver.

Coyotes at Blackhawks: Mike Smith vs. Antti Raanta

Bruins at Stars: Tuukka Rask likely for Boston, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Report: Bruins’ Soderberg won’t face discipline for hit on Blue Jackets’ Calvert

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Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg won’t face a fine or suspension for his check on Matt Calvert of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports.

The hit occurred during the second period of the Blue Jackets’ eventual 3-1 win against the Bruins on Saturday:

The check didn’t draw a penalty, yet Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards wasn’t happy about it, deeming the blow a “shot right to the head.”

Calvert (pictured) bounced back from that hit to score the game-winner and an empty-net goal in the third period. Here’s a video of the clincher:

Calvert, 25, has dealt with some injury issues this season (basically fitting in with the rest of the Blue Jackets), so we’ll keep an eye out to see if anything lingers from the hit.