BRUINS AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Three members of the Bruins organization will play in the upcoming 2012 World Championships, which begin Friday, May 4 in Helsinki and Stockholm. Zdeno Chara will represent Slovakia while David Krejci will play for the Czech Republic. Bruins 2011 seventh round pick goaltender Lars Volden will suit up for the Norwegians.
16 teams will play in two preliminary round groups with eight teams in each, using the IIHF World Ranking for seeding. This means that each team will play seven preliminary round games each. Chara and the Slovaks will be in the Helsinki group along with Finland, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Belarus, France and Kazakhstan. Krejci and the Czechs will begin in Stockholm and be up against Russia, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Denmark and Italy.
The tournament will run from May 4 through May 20.
The top four teams in each preliminary round group will advance to the quarterfinals. The teams that finish last in each group will be relegated to Division I. Teams placed 5-8 will have no more games.
The two top teams will have to play ten games to reach the final, with all medal games hosted in Helsinki.
OFFSEASON SCHEDULE: Here are some key dates for the beginning part of the 2012 offseason: May 4 – May 20: IIHF World Championship (Helsinki and Stockholm) May 28 – June 2: 2012 NHL Combine (Toronto) June 20: NHL Awards (Las Vegas) June 22-23: NHL Draft (Pittsburgh)
KNIGHT’S KNIGHTS, HAMILTON’S ICE DOGS TO BATTLE FOR OHL SUPREMACY: Two Bruins prospects will face off in the 2012 Ontario Hockey League championship. Jared Knight and the London Knights will matchup against Dougie Hamilton’s Niagara IceDogs in a series set to begin on Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. in London.
Knight recorded one goal in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals to contribute to the team’s eventual 4-0 sweep of fellow B’s prospect Tyler Randell’s Kitchener Rangers and send the Knights to the championship round.
So far in the playoffs, Knight has tallied four goals and three assists, giving him seven points in 11 games played. Knight suffered a sprained ankle in Game 1 against Windsor in the first round and missed three games due to the injury. He returned to the lineup on April 6 at the start of the second round and contributed two goals and three assists in the series to help lead his team to the Western Conference Finals. Knight saw similar success during the regular season, finishing with 26-26=52 totals and ranking fifth in his team’s scoring race.
The Niagara IceDogs punched their ticket to the OHL championship for the first time in franchise history with a 4-1 series win over the Ottawa 67s on April 27.
Hamilton finished the series with two goals and six assists, including three assists in Niagara’s Game 4 victory and two assists in the team’s Game 5 victory. In 15 playoff games, Hamilton has four goals, 15 assists and his 19-point total ranks 9th amongst all playoff scorers and second amongst defensemen. Hamilton’s playoff success follows a strong regular season campaign, where he led all defenseman with 72 points (17 goals, 55 assists).
To reach the finals, the London Knights swept the Windsor Spitfires 4-0 in the first round, won a 4-2 series over Saginaw in the second round, and swept the Kitchener Rangers in the Western Conference Finals. Niagara defeated Oshawa in a 4-2 series in round one, swept Brampton in round two, and won a 4-1 series over Ottawa in the Eastern Conference Finals to arrive at the final round.
RATINGS RECORD: NESN set a new single-game ratings record for Bruins hockey when Game 7 of the Bruins/Caps series received a 19.6 average household rating in the Boston DMA. The game ranks as the 6th highest rated event in NESN history, and earned an impressive 31 share. The peak rating was a 25.5 during the 10 – 10:15 PM quarter hour, which equaled a 39 share.
NESN’s previous best-ever single-game hockey rating was last season’s Bruins Game 7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal victory over the Montreal Canadiens on April 27, 2011 when the network garnered a 17.7 HH rating and a 28 share.
NESN’s Game 7 ratings in most of the key demographic categories also set new network records, including a 22.1 in Men 25-54, 19.8 in Men 18-49, and 17.4 in Adults 25-54.
STANLEY CUP CHAMPION PLAYOFF HISTORY: There have been 13 Stanley Cup champions who have been unable to defend their title in the last 13 seasons. Here is a history of how those teams have fared in the following season: Did not qualify for playoffs: Carolina (2007) Eliminated in Conference Quarters: Boston (2012), Chicago (2011), Anaheim (2008), Tampa Bay (2006), New Jersey (2004), Detroit (2003) Eliminated in Conference Semis: Pittsburgh (2010), Detroit (1999) Eliminated in Conference Final: Colorado (2002) Eliminated in Stanley Cup Final: Detroit (2009), New Jersey (2001), Dallas (2000)
BRUINS AT THE NHL AWARDS: Patrice Bergeron (Selke Trophy finalist) and Zdeno Chara (Norris Trophy finalist) will be in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 20.
The Selke Trophy is awarded annually "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." The other finalists for the award are St. Louis’s David Backes and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk.
This is Bergeron’s first time being nominated for the Selke Trophy in his eight year NHL career. The 26-year-old led the NHL in plus/minus this season at +36 and won the most faceoffs in the NHL with 973. Bergeron’s faceoff win percentage of 59.3% was second best in the NHL, trailing only Chicago’s Jonathan Toews by .1% (59.4%). Bergeron led the Bruins with 42 assists and finished second on the team in points with 64. He led all B’s forwards in time on ice (18:34) and shorthanded time on ice per game (1:48). His 22 goals ranked fifth on the squad and he tied a career high by playing in 81 games.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
David Backes (St. Louis) Like Bergeron, Backes is a first time Selke finalist. Backes played in all 82 games this season and led the Blues in goals (24), hits (226) and shots on goal (234) and tied for the team lead in points (54). He averaged just under 20 minutes of ice time per game (19:59), which led all Blues forwards, and finished the year at a +15. He won 48.6% of his faceoffs on the season.
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) Datsyuk has won three of the last four Selke Trophies – including three straight from 2008-2010 – and was a finalist last year. He skated in 70 games this season and finished second on the Red Wings in points with 67 on 19 goals and 48 assists. Datsyuk was a +21 during the regular season and had 97 takeaways, which ranked third in the NHL.
Zdeno Chara is one of three finalists for the 2011-12 James Norris Trophy. The Norris Trophy is awarded annually “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” The other finalists for the award are Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Nashville’s Shea Weber.
Chara's strong two-way play helped the Bruins capture their third Northeast Division title in the past four seasons. The Boston captain led all defensemen and tied for third in the NHL in plus-minus (+33) -- matching his League-leading rating from 2010-11 -- and recorded a career-high 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists) to rank fourth among all blueliners in scoring. In addition, he led the Bruins in power-play goals (eight) and average ice time per game (25:00). Chara is a Norris Trophy finalist for the fourth time in the past five seasons and for the fifth time overall; he captured the award in 2009, finished second in 2004 and was third in 2008 and 2011.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators Karlsson enjoyed a breakout season, leading all NHL defensemen in scoring with 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists) in 81 games. He recorded 25 points more than any other League defenseman -- the widest winning margin since Pittsburgh's Paul Coffey lapped the field by 38 points in 1988-89 -- and set Ottawa franchise records for blueline assists and points. The 21-year-old also is the youngest defenseman to tally as many as 78 points in a season since Coffey's 96 with Edmonton in 1982-83. Karlsson topped NHL defensemen in shots (261), was ninth in the League in average ice time per game (25:19) and posted a +16 rating.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators Weber ranked near the top of several categories, helping the Predators earn their seventh Stanley Cup Playoff berth in the past eight seasons. The Nashville captain placed sixth in scoring among all defensemen with 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists), with his 19 goals tied with fellow Norris finalist Erik Karlsson for first place. He ranked fifth in the NHL in average ice time per game (26:09), tied a career high and led all defensemen with 10 power-play goals and posted a team-leading and career-best +21 rating. Weber is a Norris Trophy finalist for the second consecutive season; he finished second to Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom in 2010-11.
BOSTON MEDIA TWEET OF THE WEEK (TOTW): We have a winner! Congratulations to TheBruinsBlog’s Matt Kalman for taking home the 2011-12 Tweet of the Week title. The winning tweet came after both the Bruins and Canucks were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.
@TheBruinsBlog (Matt Kalman, TheBruinsBlog): Any chance we can get #Bruins & Canucks to play some sort of NIT-style best-of-7 series?
2011-12 BOSTON MEDIA TWEET OF THE WEEK FINAL LEADERBOARD @TheBruinsBlog (Matt Kalman, TheBruinsBlog), 6 (Week 3, Week 8, Week 11, Week 22, Week 26, Week 29)
129 AND COUNTING: Including the Bruins latest home game the B’s have now sold out their last 129 home games at the TD Garden, including regular season and playoffs. This sellout streak began more than two years ago on December 5, 2009 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last game the Bruins did not have 17,565 in attendance at the Garden was on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 when they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning (16,553).
AROUND TOWN: WHAT: LICENSE PLATE RAFFLE The Boston Bruins Foundation and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles are raffling off the first plate of the ‘Invest in Youth Hockey’ Bruins license plate series featuring the Bruins current logo (the former plate included the retro Bruins logo.) The license plate raffle will run until Friday, May 4 at 5:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.bruinsraffles.org. WHEN: Raffle closes at 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 4 WHERE: www.bruinsraffles.org
WHAT: PJ DRIVE LETTER DROP-OFF Boston Bruins mascot, Blades will be delivering a letter signed by Milan Lucic to the students of Holy Name School, congratulating them on collecting the most pajamas during the 2012 PJ Drive. Holy Name Parish School collected 2,005 pajamas. WHEN: Friday, May 4, at 1:00 p.m. WHERE: Holy Name Parish School, 535 W Roxbury Pkwy, West Roxbury, MA 02132 BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Blades
WHAT: BRUINS BEARD-A-THON SUMMARY The “Bruins Beard-A-Thon” is wrapping up and so far Bruins fans have raised $32,694 for the Boston Bruins Foundation, as of Monday, April 30.
BRUINS PLAYOFF STATISTICAL LEADERS (Final Results as of Wednesday, April 25) Goals 1. R. Peverley, 3 2 .T. Seguin, 2 T3. Ten players tied for 1
Assists T1. A. Ference, 3 T1. M. Lucic, 3 T2. Nine players tied for 2
Points 1. R. Peverley, 5 2. A. Ference, 4 T3. Eight players tied for 3
Plus/Minus T1. J. Corvo, +3 T1. T. Seguin, +3 3. M. Lucic, +2 T4. C. Kelly, D. Seidenberg and J. Boychuk, +1
Penalty Minutes T1. Z. Chara, P. Bergeron and M. Lucic, 8 4. B. Pouliot, 6 T5. Four players tied for 4
BRUINS REGULAR SEASON STATISTICAL LEADERS (Final Results as of Saturday, April 7) Goals 1. T. Seguin, 29 2. B. Marchand, 28 3. M. Lucic, 26 4. D. Krejci, 23 5. P. Bergeron, 22
Assists 1. P. Bergeron, 42 2. Z. Chara, 40 3. D. Krejci, 39 4. T. Seguin, 38 5. M. Lucic, 35
Points 1. T. Seguin, 67 2. P. Bergeron, 64 3. D. Krejci, 62 4. M. Lucic, 61 5. B. Marchand, 55
Plus/Minus 1. P. Bergeron, +36 2. T. Seguin, +34 T3. Z. Chara, +33 T3. C. Kelly, +33 5. B. Marchand, +31
Penalty Minutes 1. S. Thornton, 154 2. M. Lucic, 135 3. A. McQuaid, 99 4. B. Marchand, 87 5. Z. Chara, 86
BRUINS 2011-12 STARS: Tyler Seguin, NESN 7th Player Zdeno Chara, Second Star of the Week (Week ending April 1) Zdeno Chara, Hardest Shot Champion, 108.8 MPH Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin, NHL All-Stars Zdeno Chara, NHL All-Star Captain Claude Julien, Doug Houda, Doug Jarvis, Geoff Ward, NHL All-Star Coaching Staff of Team Chara Brad Marchand, First Star of the Week (Week ending December 25) Tim Thomas, First Star of the Month (November) Tyler Seguin, First Star of the Week (Week ending November 13)
The 2011-2012 Boston Bruins season is presented by the Massachusetts State Lottery.