|10.14.13 at 4:39 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask did something Monday that he hadn’t done all season: allow a second goal.
He also allowed a third in the 3-2 loss to the Red Wings, but Rask wasn’t the issue in Boston’s second defeat this season. The Bruins turned in some shoddy work defensively, giving opportunities to a team that doesn’t need many, and the B’s were burned for it.
“All those three, pretty much, we kind of fell asleep for a second there,” Rask said after the game. “The guy had an extra second and now all of a sudden the puck’s in the net. I’m not blaming myself really, but it’s a game like that where you don’t get that many scoring chances, and once they get them you’d like to be there and stop the puck. They’re also a good team that can score a lot of goals. Tough bounces for us today.”
The first of the three came on a play that can half be chalked up to Pavel Datsyuk being super awesome at hockey and half be chalked up to some uncharacteristic play from Boston’s best players. A Patrice Bergeron giveaway allowed Pavel Datsyuk to bring the puck into the zone and get around Zdeno Chara — who could have stepped up and taken him out of the play — before sending it across to Henrik Zetterberg.
Reilly Smith was giving chase but couldn’t stretch out far enough to get his stuck on the puck, and Zetterberg scored his second goal this season against Bergeron and Chara. For a frame of reference, Bergeron and Chara were both on the ice for just one 5-on-5 goal — a Thomas Vanek tally on Jan. 31 — all of last season.
The Red Wings’ other two goals could have been prevented as well, as Johan Franzen sent a pass in the second period past the sticks of Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand to Stephen Weiss, who beat Rask on the doorstep. Dan Cleary scored on a one-timer right in front of the net — and right in front of Chara.
“We were a little loose in our coverage today, and it resulted in those three goals,” Claude Julien said. “Every game we’ve got things that we need to try and rectify with practice and bring to those players’ attention. That’s what we’ve got to do. Definitely, I thought that we were a little loose defensively, especially on the backcheck. We need to come back a little harder and a little better. Just because you’re a couple of feet away from that guy, doesn’t mean that you have him. There wasn’t full commitment in that.
Through five games, the Bruins are now 3-2-0 on the season. The season is young, but the B’s have at the very least learned that their division has become tougher with Detroit. They also know they need to be better.
“Not awful, not great, not bad,” Rask said when asked how he feels the B’s have played this season. “Every game there’s been some really good things and some letdowns.”
“When you play a team like Detroit, they don’t that many chances,” Julien said. “You’ve just got to give them some and they’ll know what to do with those. That’s what they’re known for, and that’s what they showed today.”
|10.14.13 at 3:31 pm ET|
The Bruins couldn’t quite live up to the standard set by the their fellow New England teams over the weekend, as a late comeback against the Red Wings fell just short in a 3-2 loss at TD Garden.
Milan Lucic scored with 1:20 left in the game to bring the B’s within one, but the Red Wings held on for their first win against Boston since joining the Eastern Conference.
The Red Wings got on the board at 11:33 of the first period when Pavel Datsyuk beat Zdeno Chara and fed Henrik Zetterberg for the Detroit captain’s second goal in as many games against the Bruins this season. Loui Eriksson was able to get a stick on a Johnny Boychuk slap shot that got past Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson, but second period goals from Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary put the game out of reach.
Claude Julien kept Brad Marchand on the third line after demoting the struggling forward in the third period of Saturday’s win over the Blue Jackets. Marchand remained with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron, while Reilly Smith played the entire game on Patrice Bergeron‘s line with former Stars teammate Eriksson.
The Bruins will next play Thursday in Florida against the Panthers.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Monday’s game was the first this season in which Tuukka Rask has allowed more than one goal. Rask allowed a total of four goals over the first four games of the season, and given the way the Bruins played defensively on Monday, you could hardly blame him. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.12.13 at 4:39 pm ET|
The Bruins’ two biggest offseason additions made the difference Saturday as Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson helped the B’s past the Blue Jackets, 3-1, in Columbus. Eriksson scored his first goal as a Bruin in the third period, which proved to be the game-winner.
The Blue Jackets got on the board late in the first period, when Jack Johnson fired a slap shot past Tuukka Rask with Patrice Bergeron in the box for holding. It was Columbus’ third shot on goal of the game, as the Blue Jackets mustered only four shots on goal in the first period and one in the first 17:05.
The Bruins tied it up in the second period when Iginla made the most of his time on the penalty kill. Right after a Chris Kelly penalty expired, Iginla fed Kelly in the neutral zone and saw the veteran center enter the offensive zone and fire a slap shot that beat Sergei Bobrovsky five-hole. Eriksson then gave the B’s in the third period with a 2-on-1 goal assisted by Patrice Bergeron. The B’s got an empty-netter from Milan Lucic, putting he and Kelly in a tie for the team lead with two goals this season.
Matt Bartkowski made his season debut Saturday, playing on the second pairing with Dennis Seidenberg, while Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch. Brad Marchand was pulled off the second line in the third period, as he and Reilly Smith were flip-flopped. Smith picked up the secondary assist on Eriksson’s goal.
The Bruins will return to Boston to host the Red Wings Monday at TD Garden.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|10.10.13 at 10:25 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson has one more embellishment penalty than he has points through three games, and he isn’t happy about the first figure.
Eriksson was called for a dive in the third period of the Bruins’ 2-0 loss to the Avalanche Thursday night when he was hooked along the boards by P.A. Parenteau with 8:40 left in regulation. Following the game, Eriksson expressed confusion over the penalty.
“I don’t know why he called me on it. He was holding me and I couldn’t do anything,” Eriksson said of his fall. “It was kind of a stupid call by him.”
The call negated a Boston power play, but the B’s got a 4-on-3 36 seconds later when Gabriel Landeskog was sent off for hooking. The Bruins finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage in their first loss of the season.
|10.10.13 at 9:41 pm ET|
After scoring in every game last season, the Bruins suffered their first loss of the 2013-14 season in the form of a Jean-Sebastien Giguere shutout and 2-0 Avalanche win. The loss dropped the B’s to 2-1-0 on the season, while Patrick Roy is off to a 4-0-0 start in his first season as an NHL head coach.
The difference-maker came with 40 seconds remaining in the first period, when an Andre Benoit wrist shot from the point on the power play deflected off Ryan O’Reilly’s stick and past Tuukka Rask. Matt Duchene added and empty-netter with 25.7 seconds left.
The Bruins weren’t able to score on a 4-on-3 with under eight minutes to go on the game despite maintaining possession and keeping the pressure on Giguere, who gave the B’s very little throughout the night as far as rebounds went.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- O’Reilly’s goal was the first power play goal the Bruins have allowed this season. The good news for the Bruins’ penalty kill is that it’s still scored more goals (two) than it’s allowed, as the B’s scored two shorties in the season-opener last Thursday against the Lightning. On the season, the B’s are 10-for-11 on the PK with a pair of goals.
- The Avalanche made out like bandits in a scrum in the final minute of the second period, as a pile of offsetting roughing penalties was topped with a Milan Lucic 10-minute misconduct for giving Gabriel Landeskog an extra shove.
With Lucic essentially out for the first half of the third period, Daniel Paille took the left wing shifts on the first line.
- Colorado seemed to get more clean looks at Rask than either the Lightning or the Red Wings. The B’s certainly did a better job in the Detroit game of getting sticks on pucks around Rask’s net, but the increased chances for Colorado didn’t yield any more scoring.
- Loui Eriksson doesn’t have a point through his first three games as a Bruin, and on Thursday he was called for a big no-no around these parts when he was sent off for embellishing a third-period hook by PA Parenteau.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- It was another strong game for the Bruins’ third line, with the trio generating a number of scoring chances. Reilly Smith put in some hard work in the corners on a first-period shift in which he fed Chris Kelly at the right circle, only to see Kelly’s shot clank off the post. A third-period play nearly saw Jordan Caron score his second goal of the season after toe-dragging around a laid-out Avalanche player, but Giguere was able to glove it.
- You certainly can’t blame Rask for the loss, as he is off to a fine start thus far. Rask has allowed one goal in each of the Bruins’ first three games and deserved a better fate on Thursday night.
|10.10.13 at 3:43 pm ET|
With the 2013-14 NHL season in its second week, NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Bruins’ new additions, as well as other news from around the NHL.
McGuire praised the Bruins’ two biggest offseason additions, wingers Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson, and indicated he thought the Bruins won the July 4 trade with the Stars that sent shipped budding star Tyler Seguin to Dallas.
“[Jarome will fit] fantastically well,” McGuire said. “Jarome is awesome, he will fit in perfectly in Boston, I’m really happy for him. Didn’t work out for him the way he wanted to last year [in Pittsburgh], but I’m glad that Boston, especially Cam [Neely] and Peter [Chiarelli], were wise enough to give him a chance, because he definitely fills the void that Nathan Horton created by departing to go to Columbus.
“Courageous trade by Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins, because Tyler will be a superstar in the league, especially if he can just clean up a little bit of his behavior. … That being said, the trade is excellent for Boston. … [Eriksson] is the legitimate deal. He’s a very solid two-way player, he’s capable of playing with big-time superstars, he can play deep in your lineup, he’ll never pout, he’ll never complain, and all he’ll do is produce. The other guy that came in that trade, Reilly Smith, way underrated player. … I really like the trade for both teams, but in particular, I think it’s weighted a little bit towards Boston, just because of the consistency the two players they got in Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith.”
McGuire also touched on the new NHL rule that specifies players will be penalized for an additional two minutes, for a total of seven minutes total, if they take off their helmets before a fight.
“I hate to say this, because I’m all for player safety, I really am. I’ve seen too many horrific incidents going to even this year in the regular season with George Parros. … I’ve got to tell you, I don’t want to see anyone take their hat off, I don’t see the hats come off. I just don’t think that it’s appropriate,” he said. “There’s got to be a balance, there’s got to be a way. I don’t know what the way is, but I know one thing, there are a lot of people in the hockey community talking about it. I know it’s a big, big, point of emphasis for a lot of people that make big decisions in this league.”
McGuire gave a brief preview of the Bruins’ opponent Thursday night in the 3-0 Avalanche, who are mostly comprised of young and talented players.
“The fact of the matter is you’re going to see Nathan MacKinnon tonight, you’re going to see [Matt] Duchene tonight, you’re going to see what could be arguably one of the top third lines in the league right with Jamie McGinn, who’s played so well with Nathan MacKinnon and P.A. Parenteau. That line’s a ton of fun to watch.”
|10.10.13 at 12:59 pm ET|
Patrick Roy gave Bruins fans plenty of bad memories in Boston over the years, and now the former Canadiens and Avalanche goalie is back in town as Colorado’s head coach.
The Hall-of-Famer played 10 seasons for the Habs, winning two Conn Smythes and three Vezinas for the Bruins’ biggest rival.
“Especially with Montreal, playing so many good games here, [it brings back memories],” he said Thursday. “I guess most of my career when I played with Montreal, we were playing in the Garden, but there were a lot of great memories. No doubt about it.”
Now, after eight seasons of coaching the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Roy is the bench boss for the team with which he won two of his four Stanley Cups.
Roy’s tenure as Avs coach is off to a good start with a 3-0-0 record, but it was his antics in the team’s season-opening win over the Ducks last week that were most notable.
Following a knee-on-knee hit from Ben Lovejoy on Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon, Roy went after Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau, pushing the glass between the benches at him in a fit of rage.
“I’ve spent the last couple of days solidifying the glass between the benches,” Claude Julien said Thursday morning. “It gave me lots of time to do a lot of different things, so that’s the good part about having a few days off.”
Whether or not he appreciated the joke, Roy stressed after the Avalanche’s morning skate that he couldn’t see himself throwing one of his signature tantrums against someone he respects as much as he does Julien.
“I don’t expect any problems with Claude Julien,” Roy said. “To be honest with you, I have so much respect for him, and he’s a great coach. I mean, when you’re in the finals of the Stanley Cup in two years of the last three, there’s certainly a lot of credit and respect.
“Every time I’ve spoken to him, I’d ask a few questions. If I called him, he was available. He said, ‘Any time you want to talk.’ It’s fun to see guys open up like this with a junior coach, I and I respect that. I’m happy to see him being so successful here in Boston.”