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Bruins notebook

Sobotka’s energy has been pivotal

By Brendan Hall
Globe Correspondent / March 23, 2010

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WILMINGTON — Earlier in the season, players were praising Vladimir Sobotka for his diligence as a pivot on the Bruins’ energy lines, platooning with Steve Begin as the fourth-line center.

His new pairing seems to suit him just as well, if not better, pivoting between Milan Lucic and Miroslav Satan on the third line.

Lucic calls Sobotka one of the team’s strongest players with the puck.

“When he uses his body and is moving his feet, he’s unstoppable,’’ Lucic said after Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Rangers. He was on the ice for both Bruins goals, tallying an assist on Dennis Wideman’s backhander that made it 2-0 midway through the third period.

“I have to make some plays and bring some energy, finish my hits, all of that,’’ the soft-spoken Sobotka said.

Still hurting
Patrice Bergeron said he’s traded text messages with teammate Marc Savard, who has been sidelined since March 7 with a concussion. “The response wasn’t great,’’ Bergeron said. “It wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

“It doesn’t seem like he’s doing well. But I didn’t want to bother him, I want him to get his time. I’d obviously love to talk to him, but you know, I understand what he’s going through. I want to give him his space.’’

Hot times
When star forward Ilya Kovalchuk was dealt to New Jersey, some had written off the Thrashers, but they are in ninth place, a point behind the Bruins.

The Thrashers have won four straight, getting outstanding play from goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (44 saves in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Philadelphia) and forward Nik Antropov (five goals in five games).

“They’ve picked up some good players along the way,’’ Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “[Clarke] MacArthur from Buffalo, and that New Jersey deal, they got a pretty good defenseman out of it who I think is very underrated [Johnny Oduya], but nonetheless it’s a pretty good team, they’re getting good goaltending right now and they’re very confident. It’s another challenge for us.’’

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