|10.21.13 at 1:38 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins’ forward lines remained unchanged Monday at Ristuccia Arena, meaning that Brad Marchand is sticking on the third line for the time being.
Jordan Caron, who was a healthy scratch Saturday against the Lightning to allow Carl Soderberg into the lineup, wore a third-line grey sweater along with Marchand, Chris Kelly and Soderberg. The lines were as follows.
Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Smith – Bergeron – Eriksson
Soderberg/Caron – Kelly – Marchand
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
With Soderberg back from and ankle injury, Claude Julien said that he intends to keep forwards fresh by not letting them miss long stretches as healthy scratches, which is what he’s done on the back end with his seven defensemen.
“That would be the goal,” Julien said. “Right now, you saw Jordan sitting out, and I don’t think Jordan’s been a bad player for us. I think he’s played well, so you certainly don’t want guys sitting in the stands again for that long.
“We’re talking about the early part of the season here. When everybody’s playing well, you like to get them in and keep everybody going because at one point you’re going to run into some injuries. That’s also part of the game, and you want those guys as ready as can be, so we’re going to make some room for those guys to come in at times, and it might not always be the same player.”
|10.20.13 at 6:00 am ET|
Reviewing the week that was in Bruins land.
Welcome to a new thing we’re going to do here each Sunday on the Big Bad Blog. As the name and italicized words suggest, it will take a look back at the week for the Bruins, who’s playing well, who isn’t and what’s going on in Providence.
The Bruins won two of three this week and stand third in the Atlantic Division with 10 points, two behind the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. Both Detroit and Toronto have played nine games to Boston’s seven, however.
Red Wings beat Bruins, 3-2, on 10/14 (recap)
Bruins beat Panthers, 3-2, on 10/17 (recap)
Tim Thomas told his side of the story, putting some blame on the Bruins
David Krejci said that nobody knew what was going on with Thomas two years ago
We tried to make sense of all that
Tuukka Rask shut out the Lightning on 10/19 (recap)
Carl Soderberg returned to the lineup
IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR…
Reilly Smith: Though he wasn’t even a sidebar when the Bruins swing their trade with the Stars, Smith was a player Peter Chiarelli specifically wanted, and the 22-year-old has shown why. Smith has gone from competing for a third-line job to playing on the second-line and power play. His first goal as a Bruin was the game-winner Thursday against Thomas, and he had the primary assist on the team’s third goal Saturday with a nice pass to Patrice Bergeron. Only issue thus far: He passes too much.
Carl Soderberg: Soderberg made his season debut Saturday and looked good. He skated well and showed what could be top-six skill. The question is whether Jordan Caron will sit for long.
Shawn Thornton’s hands: After fighting in three of the first four games of the season, Thornton kept his gloves on this week. He nearly scored in Thursday’s win over the Panthers off a nice pass from Paille in front, but was stopped by Thomas.
Daniel Paille: The Merlot Line got its first goal of the season Thursday thanks to Paille. Thornton got the second on Saturday.
The Bruins’ penalty kill: The Bruins were a perfect 5-for-5 on the PK for the week.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR…
Brad Marchand: A potential 30-goal-scorer, Marchand spent the entire week on the third line as he tries to get out of his season-opening funk. He was particularly bad Thursday against the Panthers, turning lots of pucks over in what’s been an ugly trend this season. Perhaps Soderberg’s presence on the third line will help him, as the line produced a goal Saturday.
Zdeno Chara: Two 5-on-5 goals were scored this week that could have been prevented by Chara. Pavel Datsyuk went around him to set up Henrik Zetterberg‘s goal Monday, while Chara couldn’t get the puck out in front prior to Jesse Winchester‘s goal.
Jarome Iginla’s goal total: Notice the phrasing there, as plain old “Jarome Iginla” wouldn’t be accurate. Iginla was good in all zones Saturday and provided the screen in front on Adam McQuaid’s second-period goal, but seven games without is a goal is something few saw coming from the future Hall-of-Famer.
MEANWHILE, IN PROVIDENCE'¦
The P-Bruins lost both of their games this week. Malcolm Subban allowed four goals in a 5-2 loss to Springfield Friday night, while Niklas Svedberg gave up four of his own on Saturday in a 5-4 loss to Manchester. Matt Fraser had a goal in each game, while the rest of the scoring came from Craig Cunningham, Seth Griffith, Justin Florek and Kevan Miller.
Fraser, who scored more goals in the AHL than anybody over the past two seasons, is tied with Nick Johnson for the team lead with three goals through six games this season. Ryan Spooner has two goals and three assists for five points but has a minus-2 rating.
|10.19.13 at 9:37 pm ET|
The Bruins bounced back from a couple of wonky outings this week by routing the Lightning, 5-0, in Tampa on Saturday night in Tuukka Rask‘s first shutout of the season.
The Bruins, who improved to 5-2-0 on the season with the win, got a goal from every line and saw both Adam McQuaid and Shawn Thornton register their first goals of the season. Rask, who has started each game so far this season, made 23 saves in the victory.
David Krejci opened the scoring 1:32 into the game on a goal assisted by Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla. McQuaid made it 2-0 in the second period with a wrist shot from the point, and the B’s got two goals in a 15-second span with Reilly Smith feeding Patrice Bergeron for the third goal of the game and Chris Kelly taking a pass from Brad Marchand and scoring to chase Ben Bishop. The Tampa goalie and UMaine product had allowed two goals or less in each of his previous five starts.
Thornton then scored his first of the season, beating Anders Lindback top shelf with a wrist shot to make it 5-0 just 34 seconds into the third period.
Carl Soderberg, who had missed the first six games of the season with an ankle injury, made his season debut. Soderberg played on the third line with Kelly and Marchand, while Jordan Caron was a healthy scratch. Matt Bartkowski sat to allow McQuaid’s return to the lineup.
The Bruins will next play Wednesday in Buffalo and will return to TD Garden Thursday to host the Sharks.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Soderberg looked very good in his season debut, playing well on the third line and seeing time on the Bruins’ second power play unit. Though he registered no shots on goal, he was very active offensively and made a nice move in going around a Tampa defender on a 3-on-2 with Smith and Loui Eriksson.
- Claude Julien has returned two defensemen to the lineup after scratching them and has gotten a goal each time. A game after Dougie Hamilton returned to the lineup and scored in a game in which McQuaid was scratched, McQuaid came back Saturday and scored.
- Kelly had just three goals in 38 regular-season games last season, but with his second-period goal Saturday he has already matched that total. Kelly’s been turning in strong play with what’s been a revolving door of linemates, but it would be interesting to see a Marchand-Kelly-Soderberg line stick for a bit.
- Rask has now allowed one goal in two games against the offensively terrifying Lightning. Among his 23 saves on the night was a nice glove-save point blank right in front on Steven Stamkos in the third.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Maybe Marchand wants to be more physical, more of a pest or more of whatever, but taking two penalties isn’t the way to get out of what’s been a season-long funk for the former 28-goal-scorer. Marchand was penalized in each of the first two periods, both of which were for slashing.
- Iginla still has no goals on the season, but he turned in a very strong performance. Iginla provided the screen on McQuaid’s goal and was part of what was a solid showing for Krejci’s line. The veteran winger also dropped the gloves when he fought Radko Gudas in the third period.
|10.18.13 at 4:46 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after Friday’s practice that forward Carl Soderberg has been cleared to play after recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the preseason. That opens the possibility that he could play Saturday against the Lightning.
Soderberg skated on the third line in Friday’s practice, taking Jordan Caron‘s place on the third line with Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand. Caron did not practice Friday, with Julien telling reporters that the forward was given a maintenance day.
Following the injury to Soderberg, Caron stepped into the lineup in his place and turned in exceptional work through the first two games, making it seem as though Soderberg wouldn’t have a spot by the time he was ready to play. However, with the lines being somewhat shuffled (Reilly Smith was moved up and Marchand down) and Caron coming back to earth a bit, it would appear the B’s would be able to get Soderberg into a game with Kelly and Marchand as his linemates.
|10.17.13 at 11:20 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — Tim Thomas finally spoke to the Boston media Thursday night, as he fielded questions about his time with and exit from the B’s after allowing three goals in a 3-2 Boston win at BB&T Center.
The biggest takeaway from Thomas was that he felt the Bruins forced his hand regarding his year-long disappearance from hockey last season. Thomas’ side of the story Thursday was that he told the Bruins he was just considering sitting out the season — saying that he felt he wouldn’t have to decide about his future until after the lockout — but that the Bruins leaked it, forcing him to commit to not playing last season.
“I told the Bruins, gave them a heads-up that I’m considering it, and it was supposed to be kept on the down-low, and it became public,” he said. “I didn’t want anything to become public. I was pretty sure there was a lockout coming up and I didn’t have to make a decision for quite a long period of time. I was kind of forced into a corner.”
Here is everything that Thomas had to say about his time in Boston:
On his lasting perception of his experience with the Bruins:
“There’s no one thing. It’s the whole thing together. It was an awesome time there. I don’t know what else to say. It’s a new chapter in my life, it’s a new chapter for them. I’m not giving a good answer because I can’t.”
On if he regrets how things ended:
“No. I made a decision based on what was best for me and my family. I felt that the team was in capable hands. I knew where Tuukka was at in his development, and I was obviously proven right. So I went and did something that was incredible for my life and for my family’s life, and I don’t regret it. That’s the most important thing.”
On when he decided to take a year off:
“I had obviously thought about it during the season, but I didn’t know for sure any time. I even trained all the way through the beginning of the season last year just in case it gets to the week before the season and all of a sudden the itch comes back.
“Actually, I told the Bruins, gave them a heads up that I’m considering it, and it was supposed to be kept on the down-low, and it became public. I didn’t want anything to become public. I was pretty sure there was a lockout coming up and I didn’t have to make a decision for quite a long period of time. I was kind of forced into a corner.”
|10.17.13 at 9:58 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins won with Tim Thomas and nearly won without him last season. On Thursday, they won against him, picking up a 3-2 win over Thomas and the Panthers to improve to 4-2-0 on the season.
Reilly Smith was the hero for the Bruins, backhanding a loose puck in front past Thomas with just under a minute remaining in regulation to break a 2-2 tie. It was his first goal as a Bruin.
The game was a rather sloppy affair on the Bruins’ part, as they were playing without Adam McQuaid and using three defense pairings they rarely use. The Panthers were able to tie the game in the third period on a Jesse Winchester goal that came as a result of a Zdeno Chara flub.
Daniel Paille was the first Bruin to score against Thomas, beating him stick-side high on a partial breakaway. Dougie Hamilton, who was back in the lineup after sitting out the previous two games as a healthy scratch, made it 2-0 on his first goal of the year, a power-play blast from the point.
Former Bruins prospect Kris Versteeg got the Panthers on the board in the second period, beating Tuukka Rask on a delayed slashing penalty against David Krejci, while the B’s were just barely holding on until Winchester tied the game.
The game didn’t draw well at all, though a large portion of the audience appeared to be Bruins fans. There was a good amount of pretty clear booing directed toward Thomas during pregame introductions. Thomas, who signed with Florida after sitting out the final year of his contract with the Bruins (a season in which he was traded to the Islanders), made his return from a groin injury that had kept him out the previous four games.
The Bruins will remain in Florida as they take on the Lightning on Saturday night in Tampa.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS Read the rest of this entry »
|10.17.13 at 7:24 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — In a season in which Claude Julien swears no defenseman is safe from a healthy scratch, the first eye-opening one is upon us. Adam McQuaid will sit vs. the Panthers, as Matt Bartkowski will stay in the lineup for a third straight game, while Dougie Hamilton will make his return to the lineup after sitting out the last two.
The Bruins lineup, per warmups, is as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Smith – Bergeron – Eriksson
Marchand – Kelly – Caron
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Seidenberg
Krug – Boychuk
Rask is obviously facing Tim Thomas as the two-time Vezina-winner and longtime Bruin will face his former team for the first time since leaving them prior to last season. Rask and Thomas, who got along well in their time as teammates, chatted with one another for about 30 seconds at center ice during warmup, as is documented by this horrible photo.