Calm before the storm...
The Bruins did not practice today, but GM Peter Chiarelli was certainly busy.
First, he sent Mikko Lehtonen back to Providence.
Lehtonen earned his first career recall on Friday, April 10 and made his NHL debut on Saturday, April 11 during the Bruins loss to Buffalo. He was a healthy scratch during Boston’s regular season finale against the Islanders on Sunday, April 12.
Lehtonen was the P-Bruins leading goal scorer this year after potting 28 goals in 72 games. His 10 power play strikes ranked tied for first and his 53 total points were the fourth most on the squad. 2008-2009 was the first professional season for the 6’3’’ 196-pound winger from Espoo, Finland, as he played the last four years with the Blues of the Finnish Elite League.
Chiarelli also spoke to the media via conference call as a kind of playoff preview.
"I thought we had a very good season," said Chiarelli to the press. "And I like the way that we responded after our so-called 'lull.'
"I think we really paid attention to detail, and I think the guys, learning from last year’s run to make the playoffs, I think they know a little bit more what is expected, and they were able to pull things back and get back to our game."
"I expect a passionate series on both fronts," continued Chiarelli. "So, it’s something I think will help motivate us.
"It will help motivate Montreal as well, but I think the fact that we have a history with them will certainly motivate both sides."
You can listen to that entire call here
Up north, the Canadiens DID practice today and TSN.ca reports the Habs lines, thusly:Tanguay-Koivu-Kovalev
Spares: Stewart, O'Byrne, Brisebois, S. Kostitsyn (upper body injury)The Montreal Gazette's
Dave Stubbs reports on HabsInsideOut.com: No major surprises on the ice in Brossard as these words are typed. No sighting of Andrei Markov, but there are suggestions we'll see him on ice early this week. Francis Bouillon skated before the practice began...Seven defencemen in white, Brisebois the odd man out. O'Byrne, Stewart and Sergei Kostitsyn are the extras. Phil Kessel Named the NHL's Third Star
From NHL.com: Kessel led the NHL in goals for the week with five and added one assist as the Bruins (53-19-10) finished the season with the Eastern Conference's top record and in second place the NHL overall standings. Kessel recorded one goal in a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators Apr. 7, scored again in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens Apr. 9 and finished the week by recording three goals and one assist in a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders Apr. 12. Kessel led the Bruins in goals with a career-high 36 and ranked fourth on the club in points with 36-24--60 in 70 games ...more.First Round Preview
From NHL.com: Now it is the Bruins who own the upper hand as the top seed in the East while the Canadiens are in disarray. They've been free-falling since the All-Star Break, a slide that cost their coach his job. To add to the misery, Montreal earned just one win in six games against Boston this season. But as we learned last spring, none of that will matter when the puck drops in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. While we won't even be able to guess what will happen in this series, we virtually can guarantee it will be wildly entertaining ...more
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