WILMINGTON, Mass. – Known for his smooth passing and puck-moving abilities, Tomas Kaberle may be considered as “pretty” a player as there is in hockey.
|Kaberle. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese) |
But the Boston defenseman, who will be playing in his seventh NHL playoff come puck drop on Thursday night, knows that there is nothing pretty about the postseason.
“There isn’t going to be anything pretty out there, just your basic hockey. Fast and grinding hockey and go to the net and there could be one to nothing hockey games,” Kaberle said.
“You won’t see pretty plays out there, that’s for sure.”
After going to the postseason for six straight years with Toronto from 1999-2004, Kaberle hasn’t seen playoff ice the past five seasons. But that doesn’t mean the defenseman can’t bring his postseason experience to the Bruins backend.
Kaberle has played in 77 NHL playoff games, including 17 overtime contests and five game sevens. The pressure-filled moments in those situations will aid the newest Bruin as he and his teammates face their biggest rivals with all eyes focused on their success.
Although he saw them six times per season while skating with the Maple Leafs, Kaberle has never faced Montreal in the postseason.
“You want to play your best, that’s what you prepare your whole season for when playoff starts,” Kaberle said.
“Obviously, everybody is watching video these days and have everything on the computer and know what the opposition do, so we just have to make sure we play our game. Do what has been successful all year.”
The Bruins acquired Kaberle as a puck-moving defenseman to help them get out of their own zone, and to quarterback the power play. Boston’s man-advantage struggled in the final sequence of the season and they finished ranked just
Kaberle has 6-22-28 postseason scoring totals and 24 playoff penalty minutes.
Acquired on Feb. 18 by Boston, Kaberle played 24 games with the Bruins this season and had a 1-8-9 scoring line in those contests.
Playing the first 11-plus seasons of his NHL career in the Maple Leafs system, transitioning to Boston’s system was a barrier Kaberle had to work through before becoming completely comfortable with his new team.
“It took a few days to learn the system. It was a totally different system than playing with the Leafs,” he said.
“And get to know each other on the defense with the forwards and I feel comfortable right now.”
NHL Entry Draft order decided
After yesterday’s Draft Lottery, the Bruins will have the No. 9 pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, with the Toronto Maple Leafs pick.
The New Jersey Devils won the lottery and moved up from the No. 8 pick to the No. 4 pick, but since they were already ahead of Boston’s first round choice, the B’s were unaffected by the move.
The Edmonton Oilers will have the No. 1 pick for the second year in a row. Last season they took forward Taylor Hall as the first overall choice. The Bruins had Toronto’s pick at No. 2 and selected Tyler Seguin
B's to practice in Lake Placid
The Boston Bruins announced yesterday that they will travel to Lake Placid, N.Y. in-between Game 3 and 4 (both in Montreal) where they will practice at the USA Rink at the Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center.
“We felt that we had a couple of days and it’s a good area to get some practice time. That was the decision behind going there,” said head coach Claude Julien.
“There was no use for us staying longer than we had to (in Montreal). We have a job to do, we have to practice and stay focused so we felt that that was the best thing to do because of the way the schedule was put out.”
There is an unusual two days off in-between games three and four of the series, but Julien doesn’t think that should affect the Bruins ability to perform.
“Both teams have the same schedule. So if it affects us, it’s going to affect them, right? So it’s a matter of us doing the right thing here,” Julien said yesterday.