Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bruins Puckbag: Random And Various Observations On Boston And Providence

Thursday is the seven-year anniversary of the untimely and frankly terrifying passing of Sergei Zholtok, the former P-Bruins all-time scoring leader who also saw action in 25 Boston games. Besides being the first great producer in Baby Bs history, Zholtok is doubtlessly still remembered as a dedicated on-ice representative and off-ice philanthropist for his native Latvia.

Boston goaltender Tim Thomas is among those taking part in the latest round of Discover Card commercials, cast as one of the infamous “Peggy’s” frustrated customers. But did you know that in their formative years, the Bruins actually had a player who answered to that unlikely guy’s name? Between 1933 and 1937, forward James “Peggy” O’Neill logged 141 games, 32 points and 105 penalty minutes.

If you haven’t been to T. Chace, Jr.’s “Providence Bruins Insider” blog lately, I highly recommend the impressive, quantitative game-day photo galleries.

Kyle MacKinnon is the last P-Bruins’ regular still without any penalty minutes on the year. David Krejci and Daniel Paille are still pristine in that column for Boston.

Patrice Bergeron is fostering his fifth five-game point-scoring streak―including one in the postseason―since coming back from his protracted injury in 2007-08. If he has a hand in any goals against the Maple Leafs on Saturday, it will amount to his first six-game streak since between Feb. 6 and Feb. 26, 2007. And those six games were nonconsecutive. Bergeron missed five straight outings between Feb. 13 and Feb. 23 that year.

Anton Khudobin is the only AHL goaltender to have faced 300 or more shots so far (302 total). Trevor Cann of the Lake Erie Monsters is a distant second with 251.

Overall, Khudobin’s save percentage is a so-so .904. But in his six appearances since allowing four-plus goals in three consecutive outings, he has stopped 199 out of 215 stabs for a .926 success rate.

Joe Colborne, exported to Toronto’s farm system in exchange for Tomas Kaberle prior to last winter’s trading deadline, logged eight goals and eight assists for the AHL Marlies in 20 games for last year’s homestretch. He has already charged up an identical 8-8-16 log in his first nine outings this season.

Another former P-Bruin, Keith Aucoin, is tied with Colborne for the league lead with 16 points.

After going scoreless in the first four outings (and he is historically prone to lengthy cold streaks), Chris Kelly has had a point-per-game dating back to his shorthanded strike against the Blackhawks. In addition, he has reached three goals and seven points quicker than in any of his previous six NHL seasons and leads all Boston strikers with an 18.8 percent shooting percentage.

With Chris Clark confirmed as a P-Bruin and the likes of Max Sauve, Jamie Tardif and Trent Whitfield figuring to return in the near future, odds are a couple of forwards are likely to join Yannick Riendeau down in the ECHL. May this author suggest Tyler Randell? And maybe now that Ryan Button is back, toss in defenseman Zach McKelvie while you’re at it?

Dennis Seidenberg is still clinging tightly to the Bruins’ unofficial Any Day Now Award. His 30 shots on goal are exceeded only by Tyler Seguin for Boston’s team lead, yet his shooting percentage remains a big Blutarsky. In addition, he is tied with Krejci and Joe Corvo for a team-worst rating of minus-6.

Speaking of plus/minus, besides his spiked productivity rate, Seguin’s rating has improved noticeably since his rookie campaign. Appearing in 74 regular-season games as a rookie, he retained a minus-4. So far this year, he is running away with the team lead at plus-8.

As was the case in 2008-09, Sean Avery’s second stint in the Rangers’ farm system came and went before he could face the P-Bruins, who will host the Connecticut Whale two weeks from Sunday. In turn, whether or not we are better off not seeing what sort of reception he would get at the Dunkin Donuts Center we simply have to guess.