BOSTON - The Boston Bruins conclude a three-game homestand this afternoon as they take on the New York Rangers in TD Garden.
Boston has opened up the final portion of their season by going 2-0 in the first two games of the current run at home and after traveling to Philadelphia for a Sunday night match-up tomorrow night, Boston returns to Causeway Street for another three consecutive match-ups on Garden ice.
The Bruins have improved their overall home record to 18-12-5.
With Thursday night’s 7-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens, Boston opened up a five-point lead with two games in hand over their northern rivals.
The B’s enter tonight’s game in third place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind second place Washington. The Bruins have two games in hand over the Capitals.
The Rangers come into tonight’s game ranked seventh in the Eastern Conference and third in the Atlantic Division with 85 points.
New York invades TD Garden with a 22-14-1 road record for 45 road points, over half of their total.
Kaberle Nets First Goal With Boston
With just over eight minutes left in Boston’s 7-0 victory over Montreal Thursday night, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron
skated over to the Canadiens net and collected the puck that notched Boston’s sixth goal of the evening.
|BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24: Tomas Kaberle #12 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated by teammate Mark Recchi #28 after Kaberle scored against the Montreal Canadiens on March 24, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 7-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) |
The puck was also evidence of Tomas Kaberle’s first goal as a Bruin, and Bergeron took it upon himself to quietly recognize the B’s newest defenseman.
“He came to a hockey club that plays a little differently than the club that he’s been on. It was important to give him time to adjust and get comfortable and these last two games, he’s been an outstanding defenseman for us,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said after the game.
“Moving the puck, making plays and being part of the scoring as well. So I think he’s feeling more and more comfortable and he’s certainly being the kind of help we thought he could be for us.”
Last night was also the first time Kaberle faced the B’s biggest rival in front of a TD Garden crowd. As a long-time member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kaberle is no stranger to the Canadiens.
“Back with the Leafs it was pretty much the same thing. There is a lot of intensity and a lot on the line. Every time it is like a four point game, it’s a division rivalry. It is nice to get two points here,” he said.
Although many in and around the Hub of Hockey are thinking about a possible first-round playoff match-up with the Canadiens, Kaberle isn’t concerned with the semantics of the situation.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Kaberle said when asked if he would like to play Montreal in the post-season. “Obviously, it would be good for fans, but whoever we get in the playoffs you have to beat anyways so it doesn’t really matter. “
B’s sign Warsofsky
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced Thursday that the club has agreed to terms with Boston University junior David Warsofsky
to an entry-level contract. Per club policy, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. He will report to Providence of the American Hockey League.
The 20-year-old defenseman appeared in 34 games this season for the Boston University Terriers (Hockey East), with 7-15=22 totals and 46 PIM. In three seasons with the Terriers, Warsofsky had 22 goals and 46 assists for 68 points and 122 PIM in 113 games.
The 5’9”, 170-lb native of Marshfield, MA was originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. His rights were acquired by the Bruins on June 26, 2010 from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Vladimir Sobotka.
During his freshman season at BU in 2008-09, Warsofsky won a National Championship, Hockey East Championship, and Beanpot Championship. Prior to BU, he captained the US National Under-18 team in 2007-08.
Earlier this season, Warsofsky and the Terries played in the Beanpot at TD Garden. For Warsofsky, then just a B’s amateur prospect, playing on the TD Garden ice was a little extra special, knowing that one day he could be signed by the Bruins organization.
“It’s obviously a fun time playing in front of the fans. Hopefully one day I will wear the Bruins jersey out there,” he said after the semi-final game against Boston College on Feb. 7. “If it happens it’ll be an unbelievable experience and I’m just working towards that someday.”
Bruins Will Honor Bob Wilson Today
Known as the legendary voice of the Boston Bruins during their glory years in the 1970s, Bob Wilson’s voice was the sound that many children and families went to bed listening to as they followed their Bruins’ annual chase for the Stanley Cup.
Wilson, who received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 1987, inducting him into the broadcasting wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame, will be honored by the Boston Bruins organization prior to the start of Saturday’s matinee game against the New York Rangers.
“I’m really shocked by the announcement,” Wilson said Thursday on the Bruins’ flagship radio station, 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“It means a great deal. It means that that’s going to be there for a while I think. And a lot of people are going to ask questions about it and there are going to be some answers for them.”
Prior to the start of the game, the Bruins will dedicate their home radio broadcast booth to Wilson by renaming it the "Bob Wilson Radio Booth." The Bruins will also install a silver microphone encased in a black and gold frame on the TD Garden’s level 9 façade beneath the home radio broadcast booth, which will be permanently displayed.
Following the dedication, the Bruins will honor Wilson on-ice where he will drop the ceremonial first puck. He will then head up to his newly dedicated radio booth to serve as 98.5’s first intermission guest commentator alongside current play-by-play announcer Dave Goucher and color analyst Bob Beers.
As the current Bruins announcers, Beers and Goucher, walk in Wilson’s footsteps every time they call a B’s game, and the honor is not lost on them.
“Obviously some pretty big shoes to fill, we kind of realize that responsibility every time we go on the air or go in the booth. You realize how many people that Bob Wilson touched when he did the games,” said Beers.
“And people look back fondly of their childhood memories of listening to Bruins’ games and having Bob Wilson bring that game to them and be able to feel like they were really there.”
Goucher added, “When I thought about, when I got the Boston Bruins radio job and kind of filling the path or trailing in the path that he had blazed before all of us here.
“It can be intimidating when you think about, and here’s somebody who is in the Hall of Fame and so well respected and so good at what he did.”
Player Profile: Johnny Boychuk
For just the third time in his career, B’s defensemen Johnny Boychuk
contributed multiple-points to the score sheet in Boston’s 7-0 win over Montreal on Thursday night.
|Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fights with Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (6) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. The Bruins won 8-6. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
Boychuk lead the Bruins’ scoring off with a goal just 1:01 into the match-up and then followed that up with an assist on Gregory Campbell
’s first period tally.
“It just hit the boards and came straight to me and just put it on net and [Milan Lucic
] was basically right on top of him, couldn’t see anything,” Boychuk said of his goal.
Through 61 games this season, the 27-year-old defenseman has a 2-11-13 scoring line with a plus-11 and 43 PIM.
Although he would like to contribute more on the score sheet, Boychuk is mostly concerned with winning games.
“Obviously you want to score as many as you can, but you just want to win. That is the main concern. It is not about points, or personal goals, but you want to make sure your team wins,” he said.
The Edmonton, Alberta native has a 7-21-28 line in 117 career NHL games joining his plus-22 rating.
Boychuk is also a consistenly physical force on Boston's back end. Laying down checks that get the crowd roaring and occasionally dropping the gloves.
Boychuk has three fight this season and the B's are 2-1-0 when he drops the gloves.
Boychuk, a second round (81st overall) draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in 13 playoff games with a 2-4-6 scoring line.
After being traded to Boston on June 24, 2008 in exchange for Matt Hendricks, Boychuk has played 113 games as a Bruin, recording all of his points with the B’s organization.
This season, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound blueliner reached the 100 NHL games played milestone in Boston's 8-6 victory over Montreal on Feb. 9.