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Game Day: Coyotes vs. Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
Phoenix 1 1 0-2

Boston 1 0 0-1

First Period-1, Boston, Kobasew 15 (Bergeron, Axelsson), 7:09. 2, Phoenix, Upshall 8 (Lindstrom), 12:01 (pp).

Second Period-3, Phoenix, Reinprecht 11 (Dawes, Mueller), 7:52.

Third Period-None.

Shots on Goal-Phoenix 6-8-4-18. Boston 9-6-11-26.

Goalies-Phoenix, Bryzgalov. Boston, Thomas. A-16,818 (17,565). T-2:20.
Third Period Recap: Despite a late power play, Boston was unable to overcome a one-goal deficit and fell to the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1.
0:00 - Phoenix wins. 2-1, Final.

35.4 - Offsides Boston.

1:06 - Thomas is out. Six-on-four attack.

1:38 - Tikhanov popped Montador in the chops. Penalty Phoenix and the B's have the PP.

2:46 - Offsides Boston.

3:05 - Another save by the Phoenix goalie. Yeesh.

4:44 - Shot Wheeler. Save Bryz.

5:45 - Save Thomas...time is getting short.

6:11 - Icing Phoenix.

6:48 - Lucic gets it deep, but was not able to get the puck to anyone in front of the PHX net...

8:20 - Puck out of play. Faceoff in the B's zone.

11:14 - Near miss for Kessel.

12:36 - Icing PHX.

13:38 - A very long shot by Ryder and Bryzgalov boxed it around and had to hold on. B-R-Y-Z-G-A-L-O-V. Phew.

14:11 - Phoenix icing.

15:14 - Wideman puts a hard shot on the Phoenix net which seemed to scare the goalie. No goal, but Bryz held on for the draw.

15:27 - Icing Boston.

15:44 - The crowd is doing their part. "Let's go Bruuuuuins."

17:11 - Nice save by Bryz. Shots are 16-14, B's.

18:58 - Phoenix icing.

20:00 - Third Period. Game on!
Second Period Recap: Six shots on the period (including two minutes of a power play) left the Boston squad with a limited number of scoring opportunities.

Coyotes forward Nigel Dawes fed Steven Reinprecht a pass to put the Phoenix team up by one at 12:08.

Boston started this game with both guns firing, but now look like they need a little pick-me-up to take back control of this hockey game.

0:00 - Boston trails 2-1. Shots are 15-14, B's, and that's all I've got to say about that.

57.1 - Save Thomas. Tim has had to be very good in order to keep the deficit at one.

3:34 - Another nice save by Thomas. Ward cleaned out Prucha in order to clear the crease.

4:15 - A big glove save by Thomas, who covers up shortly thereafter...

5:29 - Ference to the box for a trip.

7:34 - A break? Interference on Klee. B's on the PP.

7:46 - Tough save by Thomas, who swiped at Lindstrom in the scrum that developed.

9:56 - Puck out of play. Shots are 11-9, B's.

12:08 - That loved to happen. Reinprecht put the Coyotes on top by putting a pass by Nigel Dawes by Thomas. Not good. 2-1, PHX.

14:08 - A pretty good shift by Savard and Co.

15:50 - Phoenix is playing with a certain amount of abandon and I think that might be "confusing" Boston.

17:51 - The B's are having a little trouble getting anything going.

19:49 - Phoenix controlled and dumped deep...

20:00 - Second Period.
First Period Recap: Despite a 24-hour turnaround from playing for Tampa Bay and Anaheim to donning the Black & Gold, Mark Recchi and Steve Montador added a few new moves to the Boston lineup’s artillery.

Clean hits and passes helped the B’s to an early lead just seven minutes in when Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew drilled one past Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov off a corner pass from linemate Patrice Bergeron. The goal was number 15 for the right winger.

Only a few minutes later, Recchi tipped a shot from Dennis Wideman that sent the puck ricocheting off what appeared to be the post and the crossbar. A dominant-looking force on the ice, Recchi did his own share of bouncing around –– off of Coyotes.

About halfway through the stanza Phoenix got the man-advantage when Zdeno Chara was put in the sin bin for interference. A questionable call as the big defenseman had just completed a check on the much smaller Coyote Enver Lisin.

The power play helped former Flyers forward and current Phoenix left winger Scottie Upshall put one past goaltender Tim Thomas. It was the second time in three nights Upshall has scored on the Boston club.

Shoots on goal for the period are Boston 9, Phoenix 6.

0:00 - That was not exactly what I was expecting. The game is tied, 1-1.

1:17 - Wow are the Coyotes spending too much time in the B's end...

3:43 - Tim makes a save under duress, but holds on for the draw.

6:04 - Boston forces the Phoenix goalie to make his seventh save. But Shane Doan goes to the box following the play. Hooking.

7:59 - After the faceoff, a defensive miscue led to an all-alone Upshall scoring on Thomas. It's 1-1 and the B's would like that back.

8:06 - Reinprecht fires a bullet into Timmy's spoked-B. TIm holds on.

9:00 - Tim's first real action of the evening.

9:58 - Chara crushed a Coyote (Lisin) and neither Prucha or Jovanovski was pleased. Big Zee got a penalty, but I am surprised that Jovo did not get one for the retaliatory slashes to the Bruins D-man. Zee is in the box for interference (of all things). That gives PHX their first PP.

10:32 - Another stop for Bryz. Shots are 6-1, Boston.

11:58 - Recchi came close, AGAIN, but this time hit the crossbar.

12:51 - Hard Work. Period. Bergeron and Co. sped into the zone and the puck ended up on Chuck Kobasew's stick. Thanks to a screen by Axelsson, Chuck scored and put the B's up, 1-0. Bergy had the primary assist and Axie the secondary.

13:28 - Another save for Bryz -- that's four. Thomas as not been tested.

14:07 - Lucic hit Jovanovski and Jovanovski returned the favor and ended up on his behind.

15:25 - One too many passes, but Savard, Kessel and Recchi almost connected for a goal on their second (?) shift.

16:09 - Ference tests Bryz, who is in the right position to make an easy save.

17:43 - Montador had Scottie Upshall bounce off of him in the corner to Timmy's right.

19:53 - Phoenix controlled the first draw.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. A quick start? By the way: Bryzgalov is now Bryz. There's no way I am spelling that right more than once tonight.

Phoenix Starters:
Lombardi, Prucha, Doan, Kalinin, Jovanovski, Bryzgalov
Boston Starters: Axelsson, Bergeron, Kobasew, Chara, Ward, Thomas

Let's switch to time on the clock.

6:55 p.m.
Another Humorous Moment...
"Coach Julien on the Coyotes (who were very active at the deadline): Well, let’s put it this way: pre-scout is out the window. So that’s not going to be very useful for us tonight, but...there’s enough there that the faces will be different, but I don’t think their system will change that much. So we have an idea of what we’re facing, but we just don’t necessarily know who we’re facing."

6:38 p.m.
The lines...

Hunwick, Hnidy, Bitz

6:29 p.m.
It's Bryzgalov vs. Thomas in goal.

6:14 p.m.
Montador had a humorous story to go along with his trade day tome.

"Yeah, it’s funny," said the new B's defenseman. "About a week ago when we [Anaheim Ducks] got shellacked here by the Bruins [6-0] I was joking with Andy [Ference], Chuck [Kobasew] and Yeller [Stephane Yelle], outside of the dressing room and I said, ‘Maybe we’ll see you in the finals.’ And one of them quipped, ‘Well maybe: what, are you getting traded?’

"They might have known something that I didn’t," he said. "But I am looking forward to hanging out with some old buddies."

As far as his own acclimation to the Boston lineup, Steve implied the solution is simple.

"Time," he said. "It just takes time.

"So far the coaches have been wonderful, relaying the systems and whatnot, it seems pretty straight forward.

"A lot of it’s instinct and that’s what they said just go play and that’s what I’ll do," he said.

As far as his own style, Montador used the word "simple" again and again.

"Yeah, I’ll play an aggressive style, I like to keep things simple for the most part: get the puck up the boards, get up the ice and follow up the play and join the attack that way," he said. "Nothing really too flashy, I’ll stick up for my teammates when I get the opportunity, and be physical in the D zone and join the rush when I can."

"So like I said, pretty simple stuff."

5:43 p.m.
Press Box Notes
Both the Bruins and Coyotes were active on Trade Deadline Day yesterday, with the Bruins completing two trades and the Coyotes four. The Bruins acquired defenseman Steve Montador from the Ducks and forward Mark Recchi from the Lightning.
  • The 29-year-old Montador skated in 65 games this season for Anaheim, compiling four goals and establishing career highs in both assists (16) and penalty minutes (125). He was acquired from Anaheim in exchange for Petteri Nokelainen. Montador will wear sweater number 23 tonight.
  • Recchi, a seven-time NHL all-star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, is a veteran of 1472 NHL regular season games with 535 goals and 891 assists (1426 points). The 41-year-old was acquired by Boston from Tampa Bay along with a 2nd round draft pick in 2010 for Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums. Recchi has played in 62 games for Tampa Bay this year with  13-32-45 totals. In his most recent game played, he had five assists during Tampa’s 8-6 win over Calgary on March 1. Recchi will wear sweater number 28 tonight.
  • Over the course of Trade Deadline Day six players were added to Phoenix’s roster: Matthew Lombardi (from CGY), Brandon Prust (from CGY), Scottie Upshall (from PHI), Nigel Dawes (from NYR), Dmitri Kalinin (from NYR) and Petr Prucha (from NYR). Goaltender Josh Tordjman was recalled from the San Antonio Rampage (AHL).
  • Lombardi, Prust and a conditional 1st round pick were acquired from Calgary in exchange for Olli Jokinen and a 2009 3rd round pick.
  • Upshall and a 2011 2nd round pick were acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for Daniel Carcillo.
  • Dawes, Kalinin, and Prucha were acquired from New York in exchange for Derek Morris.
  • Including tonight, Phoenix will play their next five games on the road, with games at Boston (3/5), Buffalo (3/6), NY Islanders (3/8), Detroit (3/10) and New Jersey (3/12).

5:05 p.m.

Now that the trade deadline is past, the Bruins can concentrate on getting back on a winning track.

"Hopefully [Recchi and Montador] can give us the energy that we need, but those two guys are certainly bringing some life to our hockey club," said Julien, this morning. "By the time three o’clock rolled around [on Wednesday] we were a better team than we were at nine o’clock that morning just with the addition of those guys.

"I think the guys were pretty excited this morning coming in --probably for still being here -- but also for the additions.

"I think we’re pretty pleased with what happened and we’re looking forward to taking another step in the right direction," he said.

But the right direction includes a win (or two or twelve). Recchi, in particular, and his leadership and playoff experience might be just the tonic.

"That’s certainly one of his big qualities is leadership that he brings to our hockey club," said Julien. "The experience is definitely there, he’s been through it all.

"We have a young team, we have a lot of young players that are playing big roles on this hockey club and he’s certainly one of those players that’s going to come in and certainly help those guys get better."

Then Julien also added: "Not only do coaches develop players, but sometimes players like that can help players progress as well."

4:35 p.m.
Happy Birthday Milt! Milt Schmidt is 91 today.

Milt Schmidt (#15) and his teammates on the Kraut Line, Bobby Bauer (#17) & Woody Dumart (#14).
Milt Schmidt is the only Bruins player to serve as player, captain, coach and General Manager. He then continued his career at the Garden as General Manager in the Madison Square Garden Club for almost 20 years. And then coached our Bruins Alumni team for several years after that.

Milt is an amazing guy. I got to meet Milt three seasons ago in Montreal and we did a podcast. JB

 Bruins Legends: Milt Schmidt  

Join me in celebrating his life and his career in Black & Gold! Happy Birthday Milt!

2:56 p.m.
Steve Montador
Both Montador and Recchi talked about facing the Bruins during their own media scrums on Thursday morning.

"Well, they’re very hard to play against," said Recchi. "They're  very deep, their defense is good, their goaltending is good.

"They're just a team that was really tough to play against [because] they skate well, their structure is very good knew you had to be ready to play against them or else it wasn’t going to be a game.

"We just played them 10 days ago and they still didn’t play their best hockey but they out-chanced Tampa by a ton and Tampa was fortunate to get a win there," he said.

And Montador talked about possibly facing the wrong end of a Milan Lucic punch.

"Right around the time I asked him to fight, we said we were going to let the play go on," said Montador of the meeting last week. "I was playing forward, and I got too tired on the shift and I said, ‘I’m a little tired, maybe next time.’ And he said ‘alright.’

"Sure enough we didn’t see that happen," he said.

It's probably better off that way, anyway.

"I met him in the summertime so I felt like I was seeing an old chum of old sorts," said Montador.

1:10 p.m.
Mark Recchi
During his post-practice scrum, Coach Julien spoke about the B's having to trade away some talent to get some talent and how it was fortunate that the B's did not have a wholesale change in their roster.

"It was nice," said Julien. "I mean, we lost Nokie [Petteri Nokelainen] and he was a good upcoming player.

"But I think the fact that most of our team is here, I think that’s why you see a lot of smiles on their faces this morning.

"I think they’re a group that gets along extremely well and they didn’t want to see it broken," he said.

Furthermore, the group should be able to maintain its chemistry while allowing some competition into the equation.

"I think that’s probably the key point right there," said the B's head coach. "Now we’ve got competition up front, on the back end and I think it’s important for the guys to understand that we’re in the a stage where we’re going to look at who’s playing best [when creating a lineup].

"Let’s not look at putting ourselves in a position where we assume that we’re going to be there unless we’re in that spot every game and make sure that we hold on to it."

11:46 a.m.
Tim Thomas was the first goalie off of the ice.

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien expects Milan Lucic to re-enter the lineup and both Mark Recchi and Steve Montador will be on tonight's roster. Everyone who was not on the ice this morning will be available this evening, as well.

10:41 a.m.
More Bruins on Radio
Tune in to Dale and Holley at 12:40 p.m. ON FRIDAY to hear Mark Recchi.

There are eight defenseman on the ice (everyone). Axelsson and Bergeron are missing on the forward's side of the ice. There are 10 forwards on the rink.

10:39 a.m.
Both Recchi and Montador are on the ice with the Bruins. Thus far, there have been no other changes to the roster.

10:15 a.m.

Listen for Peter Chiarelli on WEEI's (850 am)  "The Dale and Holley Show" at 10:20 a.m.

9:54 a.m.
It's Bruins Time
"It's amazing," said new B's forward Mark Recchi of the opportunity to don a Black & Gold jersey. "You grow up watching the Boston Bruins and it's a great honor -- it really is.

"I am excited to be part of that tradition.

"[The city of Boston] has been pretty successful the past few years, with all the sports, and I think it's Bruins time," he said.

Bruins time. It has a nice ring to it. And thanks to the addition of Recchi and defenseman Steve Montador, that phrase might just have some staying power.

"When you add a player...I think there’s going to be some mild disruption, just kind of a settling," said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli in explanation of the deals. "I think it helps that Aaron [Ward] played with Mark [Recchi], and then the Calgary boys [Ference, Kobasew, Montador, Savard and Yelle] are all together, so I think that’ll help ease these guys into the dressing room.

"That’s part of the equation when you’re doing it.

"Last year, we felt that the chemistry was good, and we ran on some deals, and at the end of the day, we decided not to go forward with it," he said.

And the opportunity to improve the team with two solid NHL vets was too good to pass up.

"This year, I wanted to add something," said Chiarelli. "I saw the way we’ve improved from last year and we’ve been in kind of a lull.

"But it’s a long year, and I’ve seen these guys play the whole year, and they have good character, so I [don't] expect these [to] ruffle any feathers, and I think they’re going to help at the end of the day."

At the end of the day, Chiarelli brought 1827 games of NHL regular season experience and the weight of 160 playoff games and two Stanley Cups into the Bruins mix.

Speaking of the Calgary teams that boasted Ference, Kobasew, Montador, Savard and Yelle, Chiarelli said, "They’re players that I think make...Boston Bruins [style] players.

They had a real hard team that year, and certainly you watch those playoffs with that team, and you see those guys, the way they compete and just play all-out, all the time.

"That’s the type of players that we want."

Recchi fits that bill, as well.

"Certainly the experience factor was big, and that went a long way in our decision-making process acquiring Mark," said the Bruins GM.  "Leave aside the Stanley Cup experience, just the experience – he’s playing in the league a long time, he’s very resilient player, he’s a thick-bodied man, too.

"He’s a durable player, and you need that in this stretch and in the playoffs.

"Then you factor in the Stanley Cup experience, which I think is invaluable, so certainly that played a large part in our decision," he said.

So, as the Bruins hit the ice against the Phoenix Coyotes, Boston will have a new look and some significant depth.

"There’s going to be some competition for ice time, and I think that’s a good thing," said Chiarelli. "One of the things about adding depth is that you’re going to have more than a bare roster, so it’s something that we’ve talked about, and we’re prepared to manage.

"There’s probably going to be some moody guys, because they’re going to miss here and there, but they’re part of the organization, they’ve done well for us to this point, and...we tried to add without subtracting.

"We didn’t want to take away from the chemistry, so that’s the way it’s going to fall out."

Judging by the two players reaction and the excitement that was apparent during their conference calls, there seems to be little chance of the chemistry failing.

"I can't get there soon enough," said Montador just before he hopped a plan to Boston. "I am looking forward to [Thursday's] game against Phoenix."
Angela Latona contributed to today's Bear Essentials. JB
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