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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:56 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Bruins

BOSTON – Clearly the Boston Bruins need to improve their offense if they're going to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Bruins, who  finished a 1-1-1 road trip, will start their game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at TD Garden one point behind the New York Rangers for the second wild-card spot.

"It's tough. It's very easy to get down on yourself," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. "As a group it's easy to fall back on that, but if you have the right mentality, that mentality is to keep shooting and try to find ways to score dirty goals, you're going to come out of that. It's only a matter of time before the guys in this room, we have the names to do it, and the skill and work ethic to get out of it. I think we will for sure."

The Bruins rank 22nd with 2.42 goals scored per game. They have scored two or fewer goals in nine of their past 12 games and have a 3-6-3 record in that span. The Bruins should've received an offensive boost from the returns of defenseman Zdeno Chara, who also plays a net-front role on the power play, and center David Krejci from injury. But there was no uptick in scoring during their past two games with their full lineup.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Louis not letting lack of size short his hockey dreams

BOSTON -- It’s impossible to avoid talking about size when referring to Miami forward Anthony Louis.

The 19-year-old Chicago Blackhawks 2013 sixth-round draft pick is listed at 5-foot-7, 160 pounds. He is the shortest and lightest player at the USA Hockey evaluation camp for the United States World Junior Team this week by at least two inches and 12 pounds, according to the camp roster. And we all know how generous those official rosters can be when it comes to the smaller guys.

After all these years, though, Louis doesn’t let discussion of his dimensions bother him.

“I mean it’s in one ear, out the other,” he said. “I just want to prove people wrong in that aspect.”

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Posted On Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 3:48 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Milano right at home with his World Junior teamamtes

BOSTON -- Last summer forward Sonny Milano decided to sign with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League rather than attend Boston College.

During the USA Hockey evaluation camp to select the 2015 World Junior Championship Team this week, the 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft pick has been united with five players that would have been his teammates this season with the Eagles, and a couple others that would’ve joined them in upcoming seasons.

So far the current and future Eagles haven’t expressed any hard feelings toward the Massapequa, N.Y., native.

“No, I mean, at first a little bit they were joking around,” Milano, 18, said Thursday after the third day of practice at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University. “But I mean obviously they’ve got to put that past them because right now we’re a team again. Maybe after they’ll give me the cold shoulder again, but not yet.”

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 4:17 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

DeAngelo determined not to let nerves get best of him

BOSTON -- Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo has made a career out of foiling oncoming forecheckers and disappointing determined shot blockers.

The only thing that sometimes gets in the way of the defenseman achieving his goals is nerves. After the second day of the USA Hockey evaluation camp for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday, DeAngelo said anxiety cost him last year when he was cut from this camp in Minnesota.

The 19-year-old is more comfortable this time competing against nine other defensemen at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University for a spot on the 2015 team.

"I had to be [more comfortable]," said DeAngelo, who was drafted in the first round (No. 19) by the Tampa Bay Lightning last June. "Last year, kind of, I was a little too nervous and just trying to be too simple and not playing the game that they brought me in to play. So I changed it around a little bit this year."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 5:26 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Wood takes prep school route to U.S. selection camp

BOSTON – If you're looking for proof that you don't need to play major junior or college hockey to catch the eye of USA Hockey, look for further than forward Miles Wood.

The 19-year-old from Buffalo, N.Y., is in his last year of high school at Noble and Greenough School. This week he's spending four days at the USA Hockey evaluation camp on the campus of Boston University at Walter Brown Arena. Wood hopes to earn a spot on the United States National Junior Team, which will compete in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship later this month in Toronto and Montreal.

"My parents are strict on the school part of this whole thing," Wood said on why he's still in school. "But it doesn't matter where you play, just as long as you have the right mentality and you have that drive, no matter where you play, you will reach your goal."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 2:56 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

United States ready to be patient with injured Santini

BOSTON – Boston College sophomore Steven Santini probably didn’t know what to think about his chances for being part of the United States National Junior Team for the 2015 IIHF Junior World Championship when he injured his right wrist in late October.

Santini, a second-round pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2013, hasn’t played since Oct. 25, when a fluke run-in with a player from University of Massachusetts in the corner led to the injury. Santini had surgery a couple days later.


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Posted On Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 1:22 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Bruins

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is expected to return to the lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday at TD Garden.

Chara missed the past 19 games with a tear in his knee.

Coach Claude Julien was asked if a decision had been made about Chara's status.

"Not officially, but I'm counting on him," Julien said.

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Posted On Friday, 11.28.2014 / 9:56 AM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Bruins

If the Boston Bruins are going to give forward David Pastrnak a chance to succeed in his first stint in the NHL, they couldn't do better by the player than putting him on a line with center Patrice Bergeron.

After a couple days of Pastrnak practicing on right wing with Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand, it looks like that's where coach Claude Julien will keep the 2014 first-round pick in an effort to bring out the 18-year-old's best talents. That line should start together when the Bruins and Winnipeg Jets meet Friday at TD Garden.

There were no morning skates because of a Boston Celtics matinee.

In the past, Marchand and current Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin have been moved to Bergeron's line early in their careers to better learn how to integrate their offensive skills into an NHL-caliber two-way game.

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Posted On Monday, 11.24.2014 / 4:25 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Bruins

BOSTON – Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz hasn't scored a goal in eight games.

Center Sidney Crosby has one goal in his past 11 games and forward Patric Hornqvist has one goal in the past six games.

So it might be time for the Penguins to juggle their line combinations. Coach Mike Johnston would not commit to using his morning-skate lines in the game against the Boston Bruins on Monday at TD Garden. But during the morning skate, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin essentially swapped wings from prior alignments.

Crosby centered Hornqvist and Nick Spaling, while Malkin skated between Kunitz and Blake Comeau. Crosby and Kunitz have been together the longest among the players that might change lines.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 1:28 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Bruins

BOSTON -- A road trip to face the Boston Bruins brings with it plenty of hype for the Montreal Canadiens.

Their current trip to Boston, however, has a little added twist.

Prior to their morning skate at TD Garden on Saturday the Canadiens posed for a team picture along with the mothers and daughters who got to travel to Boston with their sons and other members of the Canadiens staff.

Last season the Canadiens took their fathers on a road trip.

"It is a different feeling. I can't say it's good or bad or any way, but it's a little bit different," Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher said. "I think everyone's on a little bit better behavior around their moms. They're always watching to make sure you're doing the right things. I know my mom's making sure I'm eating my vegetables. So it's a little bit different for me on the road. But it's fun to have them here."

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Quote of the Day

I had one really not-good game. I came back to the hotel and he [his father] was on Skype. My mother called first and said, 'Your father wants to talk to you.' So he moved my mother away, and he yelled at me for like 30 seconds. I understood him, and then he said, 'I'm done.' And he was gone. The next game I got my first shutout.

— Anton Khudobin recalls a fond memory, explains why he was so sharp in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win against the Capitals on Friday
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