Big Bad Blog AT&T
WEEI.com Blog Network

5 things we learned as Bruins outlast Kings

01.31.15 at 9:32 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Bruins recovered from a late goal to regain the lead outlast the Kings, 3-1, Saturday at TD Garden.

Saturday marked David Pastrnak’€™s second game on the third line with Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly. The line came through with the game-winning goal, with Soderberg carrying the puck around the offensive zone and firing a shot from the blueline that Kelly tipped past Jonathan Quick.

The Kings had evened the score minutes earlier when a Jordan Nolan shot off the rush took an odd trajectory (potentially going off Dougie Hamilton’€™s stick) as it sailed past Tuukka Rask.

Brad Marchand scored the Bruins’€™ first goal, beating Quick with 2:40 remaining in the second period. Marchand thought he had scored late in the first period, but replays confirmed that the puck was shot well after the period had ended. He would add an empty netter to give him 15 goals on the season.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday night:

ERIKSSON LEAVES 

Loui Eriksson was hit into the boards by Robyn Regehr with less than five minutes to play. He did not return to the game.

We’ll monitor this going forward, as Eriksson suffered two concussions last season.

2 Us, 2 Ks, 2 DEFENSEMEN OWE RASK

In a tightly played physical battle between two of the league’€™s more defensively sound teams, odd-man rushes were few and far between. The Kings, however, got the best scoring chance of the night in the second period when Nick Shore slipped behind Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid and was fed a pass from Jordan Nolan in the neutral zone for a breakaway.

Shore had ample time and space ‘€” there literally was not a defender in the frame of replays as he slowed up and tried to deke Rask ‘€” but Rask stopped Shore’€™s forehand bid and held onto the rebound to keep the game scoreless.

All of Boston’€™s top-four defensemen finished with minus Corsi’€™s on the night. Torey Krug and Kevan Miller were the only Boston defenders with positive Corsis.

PENALTY KILL STAYS SHARP

The officials more or less let the teams play Saturday night, as each team was assessed just one penalty on the night. Jeff Carter went off for a cross-check to Adam McQuaid’€™s head a few minutes into the second period, while Patrice Bergeron was called for an offensive zone trip with 28 seconds left in the second.

With Bergeron, one of the best penalty killers in the league, in the box, Boston’€™s red-hot penalty kill carried on. The B’€™s even managed a decent stay in the offensive zone during the penalty kill with Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg getting shorthanded chances.

The Bruins have now killed off 41 of their opponents’€™ last 43 power plays.

JULIEN STICKS WITH SAME LINEUP

After Jordan Caron took the fourth line’€™s first line rush in morning skate, it appeared the veteran wing would be in the lineup for Saturday night. That proved to be nothing more than a false alarm, as Craig Cunningham remained in the lineup on Gregory Campell’€™s line.

Furthermore, Claude Julien kept his same lines after shuffling his right wings against the Islanders. The lineup was as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Smith
Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Kelly-Soderberg-Pastrnak
Paille-Campbell-Caron

Chara-Hamilton
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Krug-Miller

Rask

Jordan Caron could be in Bruins lineup vs. Kings

01.31.15 at 12:01 pm ET
By   |   Comments
Jordan Caron

Jordan Caron

It appears the Bruins will stick with their top three lines from Thursdays game when they host the Kings Saturday night, but another lineup change could be in the works.

Jordan Caron skated on the right wing of Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille in the fourth line’€™s first line rush in morning skate, suggesting he could be in the lineup over Craig Cunningham. Claude Julien would not confirm whether Caron would play, but did note the team was making game-time decisions with its lineup.

Caron played recently against the Blue Jackets and Stars during Brad Marchand‘s two-game suspension.

Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins. Malcolm Subban’€™s first NHL game will be served as a backup.

The lineup in morning skate was as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Smith
Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Kelly-Soderberg-Pastrnak
Paille-Campbell-Caron

Chara-Hamilton
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Krug-Miller

Rask

Saturday will mark Tuukka Rask‘s eighth consecutive start. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last seven games entering Saturday.

Read More: Jordan Caron,

Bruins recall Malcolm Subban, keep shuffled lines in practice

01.30.15 at 11:51 am ET
By   |   Comments
Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban

WILMINGTON –€” All Bruins were present for Friday’€™s Bruins practice, including a new face.

Goaltender Malcolm Subban was recalled from Providence, as the B’€™s sent backup netminder Niklas Svedberg to Providence on a conditioning loan. Svedberg has played just one game over the last month, a 14-save shutout against the Devils on Jan. 8.

Subban, the Bruins’ first-round pick in the 2012 draft, has allowed one goal in each of his last three starts. On the season, he has a 2.47 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage for Providence.

The plan for Subban is to keep him up for the weekend, with Claude Julien stressing that the recall was more about getting Svedberg into game action with Providence. The Baby B’s have games Friday and Saturday. Svedberg is expected to start Friday’s game, while the plan for Saturday is unclear.

The Bruins kept the same lines they used in Thursday’€™s win over the Islanders:

Lucic-Krejci-Smith
Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Kelly-Soderberg-Pastrnak
Paille-Campbell-Cunningham

The Bruins will return to action Saturday when they host the Kings at TD Garden.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Malcolm Subban, Niklas Svedberg,

5 things we learned as Bruins shuffle wings and earn big win vs. Islanders

01.29.15 at 9:34 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith

The Bruins passed the first of many difficult tests to come over the next month.

Facing the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference (and one that had already played after the All-Star break), the Bruins outlasted the Islanders with a 5-2 victory Thursday in the final regular-season meeting between the teams at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Bruins had to survive a dominant second period from the Islanders that saw New York answer back with goals from John Tavares and Michael Grabner. A Kevan Miller goal in the final seconds of the period gave the Bruins a 3-2 that they would build on in the third with Torey Krug’€™s 10th goal of the season and an empty-netter from Milan Lucic.

The teams will meet again next Saturday in Boston.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:

CLAUDE SHUFFLES RIGHT WINGS

After Reilly Smith took the opening shift of the game with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Claude Julien went with a reshuffled look up front with his top three right wings switched. Smith was put on David Krejci‘€™s line, which moved David Pastrnak down to Carl Soderberg’€™s line. Loui Eriksson, moved up to Bergeron’€™s line.

As such, the lines were as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Smith
Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Kelly-Soderberg-Pastrnak
Paille-Campbell-Cunningham

Krejci’€™s line got a couple of goals out of the switch, as Lucic sent a pass through a defender’€™s legs to the front of the net, where Smith redirected it up and past Jaroslav Halak in the first period. Smith would later pick up assists on Patrice Bergeron‘€™s power-play goal in the first period and Torey Krug’€™s third-period goal. Lucic added an empty-netter late in eh third.

Bergeron’€™s line generated chances, but it surrendered both of New York’€™s second period goals.

SMITH GETS BACK TO SCORING

As you may remember, Smith returned from last year’€™s Olympic break to dreadful results, as the second-line right wing scored just one goal over a 21-game span to begin the stretch run of the season.

This season, Smith returned from the break and broke another slump. Having not scored a goal in the last 11 games, Smith got a chance at more offense when Julien put him on Krejci’€™s line. The moved paid off, as Thursday’€™s game marked Smith’€™s first multi-point effort in 21 games.

It wasn’€™t all good for Smith, as he got a high stick to the face from Johnny Boychuk in the third period that drew blood but went uncalled.

PENALTY KILL STILL KILLIN’€™ IT

The Bruins killed off a first-period David Krejci hooking penalty and a third-period Carl Soderberg holding penalty to hold the Islanders 0-for-2 on the power play Thursday.

In other words, it was more of the same from Boston’€™s penalty kill. With Thursday’€™s showing, the Bruins have now killed off 40 of their opponents’€™ last 42 power plays.

RASK MAKES SAVE OF-THE-YEAR CANDIDATE

When Rask allowed John Tavares’€™ second-period goal to put the Islanders on the board, it wasn’€™t pretty. Rask yielded a big rebound on a lazy chip from center ice and was not in position to stop Tavares from batting in his own rebound. The play presented tough judgement call of whether to come further out of the net and try to glove the puck or go down and get in front of the puck. Rask chose the latter and it burned him.

What came shortly before that play, however, was one of the best saves Rask will make all season. With the Islanders buzzing around his net, Nikolay Kulemin backhanded a puck out in front to Michael Grabner, who was celebrating what he thought was a goal until Rask blocked the puck from crossing the goal line with his paddle.

Rask made a season-high 43 saves Thursday. He has now allowed two goals or fewer in his last five starts.

Bruins players would face new circumstances in World Cup of Hockey

01.28.15 at 10:39 pm ET
By   |   Comments
Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

When the return of the World Cup of Hockey was announced over the weekend, it wasn’€™t clear what that meant for the future of NHL players participating in the Winter Olympics. One thing, however, was clear: It would not be the same experience as the Olympics.

By the time the tournament rolls around in the fall of 2016, some of the Bruins’€™ participants will be unfamiliar territory. While players like Patrice Bergeron (Canada), Tuukka Rask (Finland) and Loui Eriksson (Sweden) will likely wear the sweaters of their respective countries as usual, other Bruins stars will face different circumstances.

Zdeno Chara has represented Slovakia in three Winter Olympics, but Slovakia is not one of the six countries set to have its own team (United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Sweden). Instead, Chara would qualify to play on Team Europe, which will consist of European players from countries not represented.

Dougie Hamilton, a Toronto native who represented Canada in the 2012 World Junior Championships, would actually find himself playing against Canada, as the final team in the tournament will consist of American and Canadian players ages 23 and under. Hamilton, 21, would be 23 at the time of the tournament. No other player on Boston’€™s current roster would qualify for the team, but Malcolm Subban (Toronto) would be an option for the squad, as he’ll be 22 years old.

While children in sports dream about one day representing their countries, few dream about playing on a team called the North American Young Stars. That said, Hamilton would welcome the different opportunity.

“You want to play for your country, obviously,” Hamilton said Wednesday. “It’€™s kind of unique, but I think it would be a lot of fun to be able to play with all those young guys from North America, and at the same time kind of hard to play against Canada. It’€™s kind of hard when you have to play against your own country. I think it’€™s still a long ways away, but something you could look forward to.”

Bergeron, who is well-versed in international play (he’€™s won Gold medals at the World Championships and World Junior Championships in addition to his two Olympic Gold medals), likes the idea of having another squad for younger players, as Canada routinely turns away top talent due to its surplus of star players.

“Definitely [Team Canada] is going to be a tough team to make, and we know there’€™s great young players that are always coming up and don’€™t get a chance to get on either of these teams, US and Canada, but are still great players,” Bergeron said. “It could be a really good team.”

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara,

Bruins return to practice ahead of tough stretch

01.28.15 at 12:23 pm ET
By   |   Comments

WILMINGTON — With the All-Star break in the rear-view mirror, the Bruins returned to Ristuccia Arena Wednesday. All players were present.

The lines and pairings in practice were as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Pastrnak
Marchand-Bergeron-Smith
Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson
Paille-Campbell-Cunningham
Caron

Chara-Hamilton
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Krug-Miller
Bartkowski

Rask
Svedberg

The Bruins, who sit eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 25-16-7 record through 48 games, face a tough stretch of games as they return to action. The B’€™s will face the Eastern Conference-leading Islanders, who would host them if the playoffs were to begin today, twice in the next four games, the first of which will come Thursday in New York.

The B’€™s will also face the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings Saturday, with the Canadiens, Rangers, Stars and Canucks rounding out their next seven games.

NHL announces 2016 World Cup of Hockey, confirms Winter Classic between Bruins and Canadiens

01.24.15 at 1:58 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The NHL announced Saturday that the World Cup of Hockey will return in September of 2016. The tournament will be played in Toronto prior to the start of the 2016-17 regular season.

The tournament will feature eight teams, six of which will be made up strictly of one country’€™s players in Canada, the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Team Europe. There will also be a team that will consist of players from European countries not represented, which will be called Team Europe.

The final team will consist of players age 23 or younger from both Canada and the United States. That team will be called the North American Young Stars.

The tournament will begin with round-robin play among two four-team groups. After a one-game semifinal round, the finals will be a best-of-three series between the two finalists. The games will be played on NHL-sized rinks with NHL rules and officials.

It remains unknown whether NHL players will participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The NHL also made official that the 2016 Winter Classic will be played between the Bruins and Canadiens at Gillette Stadium. The Bruins will become the first team two host two Winter Classic games, as they played the 2010 contest at Fenway Park in an overtime win over the Flyers.

Next season’€™s Stadium Series games will be the Wild and Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21 and the Avalanche and Red Wings on Feb. 27 at Coors Field.

Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines