SUN Hockey Pool

Bruins bruised in net

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

The post-Andrew Raycroft era is proving to be a nightmare for the Boston Bruins.

See if you can follow along.

Just last week, the Bruins demoted Finnish goalie Hannu Toivonen and summoned youngster Brian Finley to back up starter Tim Thomas.

When Thomas got off to a wobbly start against the Maple Leafs Thursday, Finley replaced him and finished up for the Bruins, who lost 6-4.

Yesterday, the Bruins turned around and sent Finley to their American Hockey League affiliate in Providence. Replacing him on the roster is Mike Brown, who was called up by the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the East Coast Hockey League.

Confused? You're not alone.

The Bruins' questionable goaltending situation has caused a number of trade rumours to surface around the team. Between various newspaper reports and blogs, the names of forward Glen Murray and defencemen Brad Stuart and Paul Mara have frequently be mentioned as possible trade bait in the efforts to land a goalie.

Several weeks ago, reports in Boston suggested the team was in talks with the San Jose Sharks for a possible Murray-Evgeni Nabokov swap.

While such a move would reunite Murray with his buddy Joe Thornton, both players said they knew nothing about the scuttlebutt.

"You're the second person to ask me about it, but other than that, it's news to me," Murray said.

Said Thornton: "I don't know anything about it. I do know Glen is one heck of a player."

Nabokov, by the way, left the game after one period of the Sharks' 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday with a stiff neck.

GREAT SCOTT

While a veritable who's who of the hockey world gathered at the Air Canada Centre for the annual Hall of Fame game featuring the Maple Leafs and Habs Saturday, Scotty Bowman found himself the focus of attention -- 140 kilometres to the northeast.

The Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes honoured the NHL's winningest coach by hosting a Scotty Bowman Night, honouring the man who coached the Petes from 1958-61. Included in that stint was a visit to the Memorial Cup.

Always a student of the game, Bowman feels this new anti-obstruction NHLhas created a new position out on the ice, one occupied by skilled players such as Tomas Kaberle, Dan Boyle and Ian White.

"You don't really need those two stay-at-home defencemen any more," Bowman said. "What you see is one guy stay back while other guys like (Kaberle and Boyle) have the green light to go on the offence whenever the opportunity presents itself. You even see them up forechecking now and then.

"They are more like a type of rover than the prototypical definition of a defenceman we've had in the past."

FLYING FINNS

While former Florida Panthers general manager Mike Keenan has drawn interest from the Finnish national team, another familiar name has come up as a candidate to fill the head coaching postion.

The guy being considered is none other than Doug Shedden, the man who coached the St. John's Maple Leafs before being replaced by Paul Maurice for the 2005-06 season.

Shedden is now the coach of Jokerit, a Helsinki-based team in the Finnish elite league. On his roster is former Leaf Clarke Wilm, who played for Shedden in St. John's.

There has been no shortage of excitement for Shedden's Jokerit squad, which has raised the ire of league officials for its alleged questionable conduct.

Last month, Jokerit acquired former Chicago Blackhawks pugilist Ryan Vandenbussche, another familiar name to NHL fans. According to reports, Jokerit was seeking a fighter to take on Pasi Nielikainen, a tough guy with rival HIFK who had attacked a handful of Jokerit players in a previous game.

Vandenbussche and Nielikainen reportedly fought to a draw, but it was the fallout from the bout that create headlines. Finnish police took the fight under revision, Finnish sports minister Tanja Karpela made a public statement about the incident, and now the cops have moved the case to the district attorney's office.

SLAP SHOTS

Former Ottawa defenceman Zdeno Chara feels the Senators should not have made the Marian Hossa-Dany Heatley deal with the Atlanta Thrashers last year. "When you have a diamond in your hand you shouldn't get rid of it," Chara said, referring to Hossa ... Top trade rumour of the weekend that appeared on several blogs: Nabokov to Phoenix for defenceman Ed Jovanovski.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Patrick Roy, Dick Duff, Harley Hotchkiss and the late Herb Brooks will officially be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight. Jim Craig, the goaltender on the Brooks-led "Miracle on Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic team, will be among those speaking on behalf of his former coach, who died in a car accident three years ago.


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