Okay folks, I am heading over to the live blog. Click here
to join in.
TSN.ca's projected Carolina Lines
The B's lines...
Scratches: Ference, Wheeler
It's Tim Thomas
vs. Cam Ward in goal. Bitz and Wheeler are both on the ice.
Perhaps referees Marc Joannette, Kelly Sutherland and linesmen Shane Heyer and Brian Murphy will have just as much to say about tonight's contest as any of the players.
Let's hope not...
Ward to Play
From the AP: RALEIGH, N.C. - A punch to the face probably won't keep Aaron Ward off the ice.
The Boston Bruins defenceman says he expects to play in Tuesday night 's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. He was punched by Carolina's Scott Walker two nights earlier during a late-game dustup that drew a US$2,500 fine - but no suspension - for the Hurricanes forward.
Ward sported a shiner around his left eye while taking part in the Bruins morning skate. Afterward, he made his first public comments about the incident, calling Walker's explanation that the two had engaged in a fight "a convenient story that the NHL accepted."
Ward said he neither saw nor exchanged words with Walker before being hit. Walker said the punch was not something he's proud of.
By the way, WEEI is reporting that Conboy is out for Carolina. TSN.ca reports Bayda will return to the Hurricanes.
Thanks to our friends over at WEEI for the plug for our videos!
Where to begin?
Well, first off. Both Zdeno Chara
and Aaron Ward participated in what could be described as a very intense gameday skate.Andrew Ference
was the only missing face.
Ward spoke to the media this afternoon and talked about the "the punch."
You should watch that here
And Coach Julien and Coach Maurice talked about that, too.
Watch them here
While you are at it, go here
to watch Eric Staal talk about tonight's game.
That should keep you busy for a bit. Check back in a few for more pregame info.
"Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
|The B's as the baddies? New England certainly has no problem with the Bruins striking back. |
It's funny how things just look different from one region to another. Take Game 5 for example.
Up north, in Boston, hockey fans saw their captain chopped down like fire wood and then saw a veteran defenseman suckered with a (possibly) face-altering punch.
The reaction and uproar in New England was obvious and understandable, although it was also understated because the Bruins had responded to the 3-1 Carolina series lead with a resounding 4-0 win in which the B's dominated in every possible hockey scenario.
But then you take a plane south to North Carolina and suddenly, it's the Bruins who are the bad guys. Down here it's the Bruins who are the bullies.
Yesterday, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, in a statement about the Scott Walker fine, said, "We are satisfied with the league’s ruling...after our team received several punches throughout the series leading up to Game 5, it was a matter of time before one was going to be thrown back.”
And for good measure, Luke DeCock, in this morning's News & Observer
, talked about the "traditional Bruins way in the playoffs, with the actual hockey a sideshow to the WWE-style fireworks."
Apparently I missed something.
The Boston Bruins were the best team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, which means that beyond the physicality of their play, they must have been scoring/stopping goals at a pretty nice pace. No?Second:
Didn't the B's get chopped and punched in Game 5? Didn't Jussi Jokinen's slash -- which happened after Zdeno Chara
had turned and headed up the ice by the way -- send Chara to the ice writhing in pain? Didn't Walker punch Ward when the defensemen had his gloved hands at his sides?
From my point of view, in Game 5 we saw a team (the Bruins) who had been bullied stand up for themselves and retake the momentum in the series going into this evening's game. It was the Bruins who returned to their familiar blend of physical and finesse hockey after being pushed around in Games 2-4.
Moreover, I hope that Our Boys in Black & Gold read the Web and the newspaper. That way they know that (at least on this night) they are playing the role of Darth Vader and can make sure that The Empire Strikes Back (again) in Game 6.
The Bruins woke up to a gorgeous day here in North Carolina. Players and coaches (and BostonBruins.com) will be heading over to the rink shortly, so look for updates soon.
The Boston Bruins released the following statement from General Manager Peter Chiarelli regarding the NHL’s decision to rescind the automatic suspension that Scott Walker received as a result of the instigator penalty assessed to him with 2:47 remaining in the third period of Sunday’s game:
“We respectfully disagree with the NHL's ruling to rescind the automatic suspension to Scott Walker, but we will abide by the League’s ruling.”
National Hockey League Fines Scott Walker
RALEIGH, NC -- The National Hockey League today announced that Hurricanes forward Scott Walker has been fined $2,500 for an incident that occurred at the 17:13 mark of the third period of Game 5 against the Boston Bruins. There will be no additional punishment assessed.
“We are satisfied with the league’s ruling,” said Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. “After our team received several punches throughout the series leading up to Game 5, it was a matter of time before one was going to be thrown back.”
“I accept the league’s decision,” said Walker. “Based on what was said on the ice as I was dropping my gloves, it was my understanding that I was engaged in an altercation.”
Before the B's got on the plane, the big question, of course, was,"How is Aaron Ward?"
"There's obviously an artifact that shows that there could be something there," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "So he ended up doing a little bit more this morning with our doctors to find out...how severe it is or if it is a real fracture.
"And we'll probably find out more this afternoon.
"He'll be on the flight with us and when we get the results this afternoon we'll have to decide what we do -- whether we bring somebody up or whether he'll be able to go," he said. Keep it here for the latest on Ward. JB
We're here in Carolina having flown down from Massachusetts. While we were on the plane the NHL delivered their verdict on Scott Walker...
NHL fines Hurricanes' Walker for Game 5 incidentRALEIGH, NC -- Hurricanes forward Scott Walker has been fined $2,500 for an incident that occurred at the 17:13 mark of the third period of Game 5 against the Boston Bruins. There will be no additional punishment assessed.
"We are satisfied with the league's ruling," said Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. "After our team received several punches throughout the series leading up to Game 5, it was a matter of time before one was going to be thrown back."
"I accept the league's decision," said Walker. "Based on what was said on the ice as I was dropping my gloves, it was my understanding that I was engaged in an altercation."
Only four guys on the ice this morning: Sturm, Hunwick, Wheeler and Fernandez. Coach Essensa and Coach Whitesides are working alonside the players. We are all waiting on the decision from the NHL on Scott Walker. So, stay tuned, but in the interim, read all about it:
Game 5 Got UglyBOSTON, MA (CP) -- Boston Bruins defenceman Aaron Ward left Sunday night's playoff game with what team doctors fear is a broken orbital bone after he was punched by Carolina's Scott Walker.
Bruins coach Claude Julien asked the NHL to look into the play, and complained about Jussi Jokinen's slash that sent Zdeno Chara to the locker room with less than a minute left in the second period.
"The slash on Zdeno is a cheap shot; we all know that. The Walker incident is not something they should be proud of," Julien said after Boston beat Carolina 4-0 in Game 5 to avoid elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals. "Something like that is not what you want to see, your player put in that position. Hopefully the people in charge will see that play and decide what they want to do about it."
Ward left the game with 2:47 remaining after Walker punched him in the face. Walker was given a misconduct, a fighting major and an instigator penalty.
Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice laughed off the possible repercussions.
"Scott probably has sore knuckles," he said.
Asked whether there will be a fine, he added: "I may have to sell my truck."