Boston Bruins

Jackets ‘absolutely’ want Bobrovsky for ‘long-term’

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are getting a taste of life without Sergei Bobrovsky.

And it tastes like losing.

Bobrovsky (fractured finger) has missed the last seven Jackets’ games. Each game has been a loss. Combined, Columbus has surrendered 30 goals over that stretch, most of them with backup Curtis McElhinney between the pipes.

Which brings us to this blog excerpt, by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

Columbus’ star netminder will be a restricted free agent after the season. Re-signing him two years ago wasn’t easy. And you can expect there will again be serious overtures from his native country in Russia to go play in the KHL.

The Jackets made an offer during training camp that was rejected and the two sides haven’t spoken since.

GM Jarmo Kekalainen told LeBrun that the offer was a “fair” one and that the Jackets “absolutely want to keep a guy like that and for long-term.”

But with Bobrovksy eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016, if Columbus wants him locked up long-term, it’s going to cost big money. Almost certainly the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner will be asking for a raise from his current cap hit of $5.625 million. Maybe not Henrik Lundqvist money (seven years, $8.5 million per), but possibly Tuukka Rask (eight years, $7 million), and at the very least Semyon Varlamov (five years, $5.9 million).

NHL on NBCSN: Hot Bruins, Leafs continue one of NHL’s oldest battles

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NBCSN will feature a doubleheader for Wednesday Night Rivalry. In the first half of the event, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Boston Bruins at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Boston isn’t at 100 percent strength – in fact, the team is nowhere near it. The Bruins have been playing without blueliners David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, and Zdeno Chara. They got Torey Krug back on Monday, but yesterday the team revealed that David Krejci would miss at least two more contests.

None of that has slowed them down. The Bruins have still cruised to five straight victories to improve to 10-6-0 this season. They’ll look to make it six against a very familiar foe.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The Maple Leafs faced Boston in the 2013 playoffs in a series that is difficult for any Torontonian to easily forget. Toronto had a 4-1 lead midway through the third period of Game 7 when the Bruins started a comeback run that eliminated the Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron netted the game-tying and winning goals in that contest and he’s remained a thorn in Toronto’s side since that contest.

When Boston and Toronto met for the first time this season on Oct. 25, Bergeron had two assists to aid the Bruins in their 4-1 victory. That was also the night Bergeron reached the 500-point milestone and given that he’s taking a four-game point streak into tonight’s contest, it’s fair to say that he remains a series threat for the Maple Leafs.

As does goaltender Tuukka Rask, should the Bruins decide to put him between the pipes tonight. There are few teams he torments more than the Maple Leafs as he’s posted a career 10-2-0 record, 1.59 GAA, and .945 save percentage against them in 14 career regular season contests.

As they always do, the Toronto Maple Leafs will look to Phil Kessel to lead the charge tonight, but while he is typically an imposing player, the Bruins have traditionally done a great job of shutting him down. Since he was traded from Boston to Toronto, Kessel has just three goals, 14 points, and a minus-24 rating in 27 regular season contests against his former squad. He was held off the scoresheet and was minus-two in Toronto’s loss to Boston earlier this season.

The silver lining is that the Leafs’ secondary scorers have stepped up lately. Toronto won back-to-back games over the weekend and its 10 goals over that span were scored by nine different players. If the Maple Leafs display that kind of depth tonight against Boston then the Bruins’ winning streak will be in serious jeopardy.

PHT Morning Skate: (Photos) What Bruins would look like with Julien’s 85-86 ‘stache

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Charlie Miller saw Claude Julien’s mustache from 1985-86 and thought: I wonder what it would look like if the entire Bruins’ team was sporting it? This was the result…

You can view the rest of them here.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs will wear special jerseys on Dec. 5 in honor of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. They’re also going to try to raise money for his son. (NHL.com)

Trevor van Riemsdyk appeared to score his first career goal on Sunday, but it was later credited to Kris Versteeg. For his part, van Riemsdyk wasn’t surprised by the scoring change and he seems to be taking the news well. (CSN Chicago)

Should Daniel Alfredsson be inducted into the Hall of Fame? (Grantland)

Highlights from St. Louis’ 6-1 victory over Buffalo:

Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle (hand) might not be pain free by the end of the week, but he might be back soon anyways. (The Bergen Record)

You’ve probably seen Seth Griffith’s goal of the year candidate at this point, but if that’s the first you’ve heard of him, then you probably don’t know the odds he’s had to overcome to get this far. (OHL Writers)

The Philadelphia Flyers are doing their best to make sure they don’t squander the momentum they’ve gained during their five-day break from games. (CSN Philly)

Streaking Jets can match Thrashers’ record points streak tonight

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The book of “Famous Atlanta Thrashers Moments” isn’t all that thick, but one of the team’s most memorable stretches could be matched tonight in Montreal.

The Winnipeg Jets — who haven’t lost in regulation since Oct. 24 — are 6-0-2 in their last eight, no small feat for an organization that doesn’t have much of a winning history.

More, from the Free Press:

The Winnipeg Jets are one game from matching a franchise record for consecutive games with at least a point.

If they can get something out of Tuesday night’s affair at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens, it will equal the 2005-06 Atlanta Thrashers 6-0-3 streak.

Winnipeg is currently 6-0-2 in its last eight games, coming off Saturday night’s 2-1 shootout win in Ottawa.

“Sure, anytime you can pass a franchise record, you’re doing something right,” Jets centre Jim Slater said after the team’s practice today at Bell Centre. Slater was an NHL rookie on the Thrashers team that set the bar at nine games.

“I do remember that stretch, we had a lot of good players on that team, a lot of old players and just remembering back in those days, we prepared the right way for these games.”

Some quick facts about the 2005-06 Thrashers:

— They finished 41-33-8 (90 points) and, despite missing the playoffs, are the second-most successful team in franchise history.

— There were 13 NHLers that scored at least 90 points that year, and three of ’em played for Atlanta: Ilya Kovalchuk (98 points), Marc Savard (97) and Marian Hossa (92). Ottawa also had three: Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.

— The oldest player on the roster that year was current Montreal assistant GM Scott Mellanby (39); the youngest was a 20-year-old defenseman by the name of Braydon Coburn.

As that second fact suggests, there’s not much in common between those Thrashers and these Jets. Winnipeg has been a defensive fortress during its points streak, giving up just 10 goals in their eight games while scoring 14.

The Thrashers, meanwhile, outscored opponents 34-24 over their stretch.

Video: ‘Honest, hard-working play’ leads to brilliant Griffith goal

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The Boston Bruins have won five straight.

The headlines, however, might focus more on a beautiful goal the result of a determined effort from Bruins’ forward Seth Griffith in the second period of Monday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. It counted as the winner, as Boston took the game over late in the middle frame and held on for a 4-2 victory, with Devils’ goalie Cory Schneider taking responsibility.

And that brilliant individual effort all started from a Griffith shot block in the defensive end.

“I was obviously happy with the blocked shot. It just goes to show, you do stuff like that and it pays off,” said Griffith, as per Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com.

“To score a highlight goal like that, it originates with a simple, honest, hard-working play,” added Bruins’ center Gregory Campbell, as per Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston.

Meanwhile, this little streak the Bruins are on has put them three points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic Division.