|12.30.15 at 6:43 pm ET|
Holliston native and Belmont Hill product Mike Condon plays for the Canadiens, but his Winter Classic mask displays his football allegiances clearly.
The mask, which was painted by goalie mask artist David Gunnarsson, features the Habs logos on the sides, but the back consists of a Patriots tribute, complete with a hooded Bill Belichick, four Lombardi trophies, a flying Elvis and the Patriots’ “Do Your Job” motto.
Following are pictures, courtesy of Gunnarsson (@artofdave) on Twitter:
|12.30.15 at 3:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO – While Wednesday technically qualified as an off-day, the Bruins took the ice with their families for an open skate as they got their first look at Gillette Stadium‘s setup for Friday’s Winter Classic.
After the skate, the media took the ice. Here’s a weird video from that:
|12.30.15 at 1:49 am ET|
With a three-game skid in tow, the loss of co-top point man David Krejci due to an injury, plus a Winter Classic distraction just ahead, the Bruins entered action Tuesday night against Ottawa with some causes for concern.
The team’s response to those concerns: a memorable 7-3 victory over the Senators at TD Garden.
Exhibit A of the Bruins’ response: a hat trick from the newly fourth line-assigned Jimmy Hayes, he of just the one goal in his last 21-games played entering action Tuesday.
“Everyone has to step up,” Hayes said afterward about life without Krejci and his 33 points through the team’s first 35 games. “He was playing well, the best hockey I’ve seen him play. It’s my first year playing with him, but playing against him he has a ton of poise and confidence. He’s a guy you can’t really replace. You’re going to have to have the whole team step up like we did tonight to find a way to win.”
Exhibit B: four Boston power-play goals, with the team having gone 0-for-6 in its last four games, and Tuesday missing Krejci’s hands on the top unit.
“For sure, it was important,” said Patrice Bergeron, with two of those power-play markers credited to him. “It’s nice to have four. It was nice to come in and take what was there, not forcing plays. I thought we were doing too much of that lately. We saw a lot of different looks tonight. Everyone did their job, and you’re going to need that going forward. It’s about working hard and taking the plays that are there.”
Exhibit C: a perfect 4-for-4 night for the B’s penalty kill, including a short two-man disadvantage midway through the third period in a tight game.
“That was huge,” said the night’s winning goalie, Tuukka Rask. “We had a couple big kills there when it was 4-3. Special teams need to step up, especially late in the game, and we did. We were thinking out there, we were focused. Our system demands that everyone is focused on doing their job. It happened again tonight and that’s a good sign moving on.”
|12.29.15 at 10:44 pm ET|
Brad Marchand will likely have to plead his case to the Department of Player Safety in order to play in the Winter Classic. He practiced Tuesday night with reporters.
Marchand insisted after Tuesday’s game that what could be seen as a low-bridge hit on Mark Borowiecki was mere incidental contact as he was trying to turn up the ice from the defensive zone.
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 30, 2015
‘It was a simple play,’ Marchand said. ‘I mean, I was trying to get to the puck area and turned up ice. He was kind of standing there. I just turned up and tried to go after the puck-carrier.
Asked if he was worried about being suspended for Friday’s Winter Classic, Marchand responded, ‘I can’t control that.’ He gave the same response when asked if he felt the hit warranted a look from the Department of Player Safety.
Marchand was last suspended in January of last season for slew-footing Derick Brassard, a ban recent enough that Marchand will be considered a repeat offender if the league does indeed decide to suspend him. The player also has a history with low-bridging, as he committed such a hit on Sami Salo back in 2012.
|12.29.15 at 9:55 pm ET|
The Bruins will not enter the Winter Classic on a losing streak.
A hat trick from Jimmy Hayes and two-goal performances from Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey led the way in a 7-3 win over the Senators that snapped Boston’s recent skid at three games. Ryan Spooner, who had all eyes on him following his promotion to second-line center, had a pair of assists, one of which came on the power play.
Tuesday’s win allowed the Bruins to jump ahead of Detroit in the Atlantic Division with 44 points. The B’s now sit third in the division, two points behind the division-leading Panthers and one point behind the Canadiens.
The Bruins will be off Wednesday and will practice Thursday in Foxboro before hosting the Habs for the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium on Friday.
While there will be plenty of angst leftover for Friday, the Bruins played the Senators Tuesday as if Ottawa were their biggest rival. The teams combined for 110 penalty minutes on Tuesday, with a late-game fracas providing six misconducts.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
MARCHAND GETS AN ‘A,’ MIGHT GET ‘A’ SUSPENSION
Brad Marchand may have spoken too soon when he mentioned his excitement to play in the Winter Classic Tuesday morning. After a dangerous his Tuesday night, Marchand could end up being suspended for Friday’s game.
Marchand, who was wearing an ‘A’ due to the absence of David Krejci, committed a low-bridge hit on Mark Borowiecki in the first period. Marchand will likely argue in his hearing that he was turning into the player rather than going for the hit, but that might not hold up well given that he has a history of low-bridging with his 2012 suspension for such a hit on Sami Salo. Working in Marchand’s favor is that Borowiecki was not injured on the play.
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 30, 2015
It’s been nearly a year since Marchand’s last suspension, when he was banned two games for slew-footing Derick Brassard. If the Department of Player Safety deems Tuesday’s hit suspendable, his recent history will be admissible when considering the suspension’s length. That wasn’t the only incident involving Borowiecki. This happened in the second period and the Ottawa defenseman lived to tell the tale.
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 30, 2015
POWER’S BACK ON
Although the Bruins entered Tuesday night’s game with the best power play percentage in the NHL, they had gone their last four games without a power play goal (0-for-6) in a stretch that saw them struggle to even get on the man advantage.
That changed for the B’s Tuesday, as they got a season-best four power play goals in a 4-for-7 showing on the man advantage. The B’s hadn’t scored multiple power-play goals since Nov. 27.
Bergeron had two of Boston’s goals on the man advantage, while Matt Beleskey hopped on the rebound of a Brett Connolly shot in the second period to make it 3-1.
‘SKEY SHOOTS, ‘SKEY SCORES
As we touched on recently, Beleskey has had positively dreadful luck shooting the puck this season. Entering the game, only one of Beleskey’s five goals had come from shooting the puck, as he had two goals apiece from redirecting shots and from his passes hitting players and going in.
Beleskey was able to actually shoot the puck into the net in the second period when he used a wrister to fling the puck past Craig Anderson after the Ottawa goaltender kicked Connolly’s shot to the left circle. Beleskey now has six goals on the season, putting him on pace for 14 on the season.
GRIFFITH IN, KRUG HEALTHY, HAYES DOWN
Seth Griffith played his first NHL game this season after the Bruins recalled the red-hot winger from Providence Tuesday. Griffith, who had 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) over his last nine games for Providence, was placed on Bergeron and Marchand’s line.
That move created a trickle-down effect for Boston’s wingers, with both Brett Connolly and Hayes being demoted as a result.
Torey Krug also returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury. Boston’s lineup Tuesday was as follows:
Hayes did well with his demotion to the fourth line, as his hat trick was the first of his NHL career.
|12.29.15 at 11:39 am ET|
The Bruins recalled right wing Seth Griffith from Providence Tuesday, a move that Claude Julien feels adds to the fluidity of Boston’s lineup situation.
Griffith will be available to play Tuesday against the Senators. If he does, it would figure to be at the expense of one of Boston’s right wings (Jimmy Hayes and Tyler Randell are currently the team’s third and fourth-line right wings, respectively). Randell was one of three skaters to take the ice Tuesday morning, as he joined injured players Torey Krug and Joonas Kemppainen.
Griffith has been red-hot at the AHL level, registering 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) over his last nine games.
Initially something of a longshot candidate to push for a job in Boston this season, Griffith suffered a sprained MCL in training camp and did not play his first game of the season until Oct. 23. In 24 games for Providence this season, Griffith has 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points. He had 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 30 games for Boston last season.
Along with recalling Griffith, the Bruins moved David Krejci to injured reserve. He is considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
Krug, who skated for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, is a possibility to play against the Senators, though Julien was mostly mum on his lineup.
|12.28.15 at 12:24 pm ET|
Krejci, whose 11 goals and 33 points in 35 games had him on pace for a career-high in both categories, suffered his injury in the second period of Sunday’s loss to the Senators. Claude Julien would not specify the nature of Krejci’s injury — he wouldn’t elaborate past calling it an upper-body injury and terming the player “week-to-week” — but Krejci was seen wearing a sling on his right arm after Monday’s practice.
In other injury news, Torey Krug is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Krug left Saturday night’s game after the first period and did not play on Sunday. Krug skated prior to Monday’s practice, as did recovering forward Joonas Kemppainen. Julien said that Monday was either the first or second day back on the ice for Kemppainen, who has not played since Dec. 7 due to an upper-body injury.
With Krejci out, Ryan Spooner was elevated to Boston’s second line to skate with Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson in Monday’s practice. Landon Ferraro moved up to take Spooner’s third-line spot. Boston’s lines in practice were as follows:
The absence of both Krejci and Krug also led to changes on Boston’s power play units, as Krejci and Krug man the points on the team’s first unit. The Bruins power play units in Monday’s practice were as follows:
Without Krejci, the Bruins have just 12 healthy forwards. David Pastrnak is currently in Finland for the World Junior Championships, but Julien said he feels the Bruins might be better off letting the player regain his timing and confidence in the tournament rather than hurrying him back to the NHL.