The One-on-One Matchup
Bruins forward Michael Ryder often hears a little of what he calls “chirping” being thrown his way from Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek.
“I hear him chirping me sometimes, so I kind of block him out,” said Ryder. “I chirp him every now and then. Just do a little dig in.”
And because Komisarek acknowledges that Ryder has “hit [his] stride, offensively,” he is going to make sure those digs come at him a little harder and make Ryder move a little quicker during tonight’s 7 p.m. game.
“He’s an offensive threat. He’s got a good shot. He’s been playing well this season,” Komisarek said. “[You need to try to] take away his time and space and make him uncomfortable, and you can’t allow him to use his shot in that slot.
“You can try to disrupt his timing his, how comfortable he is out there, he’s one of a few guys on that team that you have to do that,” he continued. “[But] he’s not the only one out there [who you have to do that to].”
And Ryder is sure that his on-ice rival will throw him those “sneaky hits.”
“We gotta make sure we get on him quick,” said the Bruins forward.
Besides the battle for control against Ryder, Komisarek has other concerns about the B’s lineup.
“These games, we’re definitely trying to keep pace with these guys,” said the Canadiens defenseman. “These divisional games have an extra importance and the rivalry’s there.
“It’s always an extra, a little bit of extra intensity and passion in these games, and these are the types of games, as players, we all enjoy playing,” he added. “A lot at stake, but at the end of the day it’s just another game.”The New-B's
With Bruins forward Phil Kessel now on injured reserve for mononucleosis and with Manny Fernandez on the shelf with an undisclosed injury, Providence Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask
and forward Martin St. Pierre have been recalled on an emergency basis. The rest of the Boston squad is not too concerned, however, noting the team’s extraordinary depth of talent.
“Kessel’s one of our top scorers and produces a lot of offense for our team, but I think that we have a lot of depth here,” Ryder said. “Guys can sneak in and play the role.
“For a line we just gotta make sure that maybe pick it up a little better and play harder when guys are hurt,” he said.
For St. Pierre, he’s ready to make a name for himself in the Hub of Hockey.
“I live out of my suitcase. Put a lot of mileage on my truck, but no it’s fine,” he said, laughing. “In a positive way keeps you on your toes kind of thing, so you don’t lose any focus of some sort, but obviously it’d be nice to be stable at some point.
“All the doors are opening, I just have to play my cards right and play good on the ice.”
As of now St. Pierre is comfortable playing center, though he said he could easily be persuaded into playing a wing…or, “if I have to play D, I’ll play D,” he added with a grin.
“My goal is to play for the NHL and for the Boston Bruins and, you know, help in any way I can,” he said.Step-by-step (Oooh Bergy)
While St. Pierre and Rask try to find their place on the B’s bench tonight, some old faces are also getting themselves back into the groove with small steps toward recovery.
Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron
took to the ice at this morning’s skate for the third time since his concussion against the Carolina Hurricanes back in December.
“Seeing that I’m improving almost very day it’s also a great sign,” he said. “I still want to take it day by day and see what happens, cause it’s that type of injury that you don’t really know what’s going on.”
Bergeron, who does not have a set date to return, said it is a “big relief” to be back on the ice for the time being and that he is taking the recovery slowly.
“It’s just skating for now and taking some shots and we’ll see for further on, but it’s just great to be back and feels more like a relief for me to have a chance to skate again and be with some of the guys.
“I don’t want to have any setbacks, so the point is to take it slowly but surely,” he said.