|10.17.14 at 12:32 am ET|
MONTREAL — Some bozo was shining a laser pointer on the ice throughout Thursday night’s game between the Bruins and the Canadiens. Though they should have taken the opportunity to use it as an excuse, the Bruins said it didn’t impact the game.
The laser, a thick green dot, could be seen throughout the first two periods. It was pointed at Gregory Campbell‘s feet during a second-period faceoff and could also be seen moving around Tuukka Rask‘s net.
Campbell said he didn’t notice the laser during the game. Rask said he did, but had no idea that he was one of the players the fan was intending to distract.
“At me? No,” Rask said when asked if he saw the laser. “I saw it in the second, but it was in the offensive zone. Good thing I didn’t go blind or anything.”
|10.17.14 at 12:27 am ET|
MONTREAL — Milan Lucic did nothing to improve his relationship with the Canadiens and their fans Thursday night.
Lucic, who surpassed Zdeno Chara as Boston Enemy No. 1 last season with a spearing incident with Alexei Emelin (after which he called Emelin a “chicken”) and some choice words in the post-Game 7 handshake line (after which he called Dale Weise a “baby”), took a late boarding penalty Thursday due to a hit he put on Emelin with less than a minute and a half to play.
As he entered the penalty box to massive boos from the crowd, Lucic made an obscene gesture with his glove near his pants (there’s really no way to word it) before doing what looked like a mock Stanley Cup raise. After P.A. Parenteau sealed the game with an empty netter for Montreal, Lucic was given a game misconduct for yelling at an official as he exited the penalty box.
Lucic had reason to be angry with the situation as he was penalized. The Bruins were down a goal in the final minutes and Emelin was crazy to turn in the boards the way that he did when Lucic was coming in to hit him, but the gestures should earn him supplemental discipline. Such gestures, including a similar one from James Wisniewski in 2010, have been suspendable in the past.
Lucic was not available to the media after the game. The Bruins would not specify whether Lucic had declined to talk or whether it was the team’s decision.
|10.16.14 at 10:32 pm ET|
David Krejci‘s blast from the point during a first-period power play grazed Zdeno Chara in front and sailed past Carey Price to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead on Chara’s first goal of the season. After Dennis Seidenberg was penalized for holding David Desharnais’ stick, Max Pacioretty scored a power play goal to tie the game.
Brendan Gallagher scored 7:43 into the second to give Montreal its first lead of the night, but the Bruins’ third line gave the B’s the lead again with goals from Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, the latter of which came off a Torey Krug pass that hit the wing in front and ricocheted in.
Jiri Sekac scored his first career goal, getting to the front of the net and burying a puck past a falling Rask as Dennis Seidenberg and Rene Bourque battled. The goal came amidst some shoddy coverage from Boston’s fourth line, which had Gregory Campbell for the first time this season.
P.A. Parenteau scored his first goal as a Canadien late in the second period to make it 4-3, while Gallagher’s second of the night chased Rask 7:17 into the third.
The Bruins’ chances of a comeback were killed in the final minutes when Milan Lucic took a boarding penalty for a hit on Alexei Emelin with less than a minute and a half to play. A Parenteau empty-netter — his second goal of the game — sealed the win for Montreal.
Simon Gagne brought the Bruins within one with less than six minutes to play after being moved from the fourth line to David Krejci‘s line. The goal was Gagne’s first goal of the season, as he made his Bruins debut Wednesday.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 2-4-0 this season, while the Habs improved to 4-1-0.
Here are some observations from the game.
– The Bruins rarely allow 5-on-5 goals when Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron are on the ice, which is one of the things that annually makes the Bruins among the best 5-on-5 teams in the league. For a frame of reference, they allowed just one such goal in the lockout-shortened season.
On Thursday, the B’s allowed one such goal, as Gallagher’s second goal came against Bergeron and Chara. Gallagher’s second goal of the night marked the second time the B’s have given up a 5-on-5 goal with both stars on the ice, as Alexander Ovechkin accomplished the feat last week.
– Carl Soderberg’s line with Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly is too good to break up. Though it’s technically Boston’s third line, it has played against higher competition all season and has enjoyed long stays in the offensive zone. Eriksson has obviously been a candidate to potentially play right wing on Krejci’s line, but Claude Julien would be wise to keep the trio together at this point.
Soderberg’s goal came off a pair of rebounds, as Eriksson jumped on a rebound in front, with Kelly’s shot off that rebound yielding the rebound on which Soderberg would score.
Additionally, Soderberg’s line was the Bruins’ only trio to not surrender a goal in the game.
– Thursday marked the first time this season that the Bruins scored more than two goals in a game.
– Dennis Seidenberg‘s season is off to a rough start. He took a holding the stick penalty in the first period that led to Pacioretty’s goal and had a turnover about seven minutes into the third in the defensive zone that led to a Montreal scoring chance.
– Campbell and his line had its struggles against Montreal’s bottom-six forwards, allowing lengthy Habs possessions and being passive in front of the net on Sekac’s goal. Campbell missed all of training camp and is a work in progress.
– P.K. Subban was the latest victim of embellishment calls, as he was given a penalty for appropriately reacting to getting speared by Brad Marchand. The NHL is giving out warnings for embellishing before fining players and coaches, but the video is first reviewed. It would be foolish if Subban received a warning, just as it would have been for Marchand to get one last week when he was wrongfully penalized against the Red Wings.
– Some goofball was shining a thick green laser on the ice during a game. The green dot was aimed at Tuukka Rask, among other spots on the ice.
The lineup was as follows:
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Gagne – Campbell – Paille
Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – McQuaid
Krug – Miller
|10.16.14 at 6:36 pm ET|
Campbell missed all of training camp and the Bruins’ first five games with a core injury. In his place, the Bruins used Craig Cunningham at center for the Bruins’ first three games and Ryan Spooner for the last two. The Bruins clearly haven’t been satisfy with their play in that spot, as Spooner was given just 4:22 of ice time in Wednesday’s game, which also featured a five-minute overtime.
According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, Spooner will be sent to Providence to play wing once Campbell is ready to play.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|10.16.14 at 12:23 pm ET|
BROSSARD, Quebec — P.K. Subban had enough fun last postseason against the Bruins, but that’s probably because his team won.
So as he looks forward to the Canadiens’ home opener against the Bruins Thursday night, he says he isn’t thinking about how the scoreboard looks at the end of the game.
“I’m sure you guys want me to say that there’s going to be fireworks, and I don’t know. Our focus is winning the game,” Subban said after Thursday’s morning skate at Bell Sports Complex. “We don’t care about the fireworks, the dance, the crowd. No. We’ve got to focus on what we can control, and that’s how we play. The final result’s the most important thing.”
Subban had seven points (four goals, three assists) in Montreal’s second-round victory against Boston last postseason. Preseason aside, Thursday will mark the first time the teams play at Bell Centre since Montreal forced a Game 7 last May with a 4-0 win in Game 6.
Subban says the biggest factor Thursday will be the fact that the Habs are in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.
“I think you do get hyped up for it,” he said. “You get hyped up for a home opening game. Everybody does. That’s why they’re so tough to play on the road. So tough to play in home openers because home teams get so hyped up for them. We’ll be ready to go.”
|10.16.14 at 12:04 pm ET|
BROSSARD, Quebec – The handshake line plot thickens.
On Thursday morning, the Canadiens downplayed the significance of their upcoming grudge match with the Bruins, which will serve as the teams’ first regular-season meeting since the second round of last season ended with a Canadiens win and plenty of unused hatred.
Dale Weise was a big part of that. He scored the first goal of Game 7 as the Habs took a 3-1 win to advance to play the Rangers. After that game, he told reporters that Lucic “had a few things to say to a couple of guys” in the handshake line, essentially directing folks to the tape, where one could see that Lucic told Weise he was going to “[expletive] kill” him the next time they played. He noted that Shawn Thornton took the loss with class and called Lucic’s actions “a poor way to lose.” Lucic responded by calling Weise a baby.
On Thursday, Weise had nothing bad to say about Lucic, calling him “a hard guy to play against.” Asked if he had lost any respect for Lucic the season before, Weise gave an interesting answer.
“No, no. He’s an emotional guy,” Weise said. “If he were to have shook my hand and been happy about losing, I would have lost respect for him.”
Weise has been a healthy scratch in one of the Habs’ four games thus far, and neither he nor coach Michel Therrien would say whether he was in the lineup for Montreal’s home opener against Boston.
If he does play, such a setting could be familiar for Weise. Though he was not a member of the 2010-11 Canucks (he spent that season in the Rangers organization), Weise was on the Canucks the next season and was a big part of the Bruins-Canucks grudge match in January 2012. Weise says that though there is “similar hatred” between the B’s and Habs after last postseason, he doesn’t expect as crazy a game as that 2012 contest.
“I think both teams are trying to get wins here. It’s early in the season. Last year’s kind of forgotten about,” Weise said. “Both teams are focusing on this year. They’re probably not happy with the start they got off to. They got a big win last night so they’re going to try to keep that going tonight.”
|10.15.14 at 11:02 pm ET|
David Krejci and Reilly Smith each scored in regulation, and then they each scored in the shootout as the Bruins beat the Red Wings, 3-2, Wednesday night to end their three-game losing streak.
Krejci opened the scoring 5:12 into the game with his first goal of the season after Chris Kelly forced a neutral-zone turnover and sprung Krejci up the middle of the ice. The Red Wings answered a few minutes later when Tomas Tatar took advantage of some sloppy defensive play and ripped a shot under the crossbar.
The Bruins regained the lead with 6:29 left in the second. Brad Marchand retrieved a dump-in deep in the offensive zone and calmly moved the puck to Patrice Bergeron, who then tried a wraparound that led to a juicy rebound for Smith to bury.
The Red Wings answered again, though, when Gustav Nyquist fired a laser shot past Tuukka Rask for a power-play goal 2:56 into the third. The Bruins failed to capitalize on two power plays of their own in the third period, and Jimmy Howard made several big saves in the final minute — most notably on a Simon Gagne rebound bid — to force overtime.
The Bruins were the better team in overtime, but couldn’t finish their chances. The best opportunity came on a 3-on-1 a minute and a half in, but Smith tried to force a pass that was easily broken up. The B’s had to kill a 41-second Wings power play to end the overtime after Brendan Smith drew a call on Bergeron with a pretty blatant embellishment.
Here are some other observations from the game:
-For the second time in as many games against Detroit, the Bruins suffered a Patrice Bergeron injury scare. Last week Bergeron missed most of the second period after crashing awkwardly into the boards. On Wednesday he limped off the ice late in the second after blocking a Danny DeKeyser slap shot. Fortunately for the Bruins, Bergeron was back on the ice for the start of the third period. As he so often is, Bergeron was the Bruins’ best forward Wednesday night. He went 17-for-24 on faceoffs and posted a .740 Corsi, and his line registered 12 shots on goal to go along with Smith’s second-period tally.
-This is partially tied into Bergeron since they played with that line a lot, but Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton were great, as they usually are. They had Corsis of 78 percent and 79 percent, respectively, which is very good. Hamilton was also a force in overtime, as he jumped into the offense several times and helped create scoring chances.
-The Bruins absolutely dominated the first period, outshooting the Red Wings 14-4 in the opening 20 minutes. They spent entire shifts in the offensive zone and won the majority of 1-on-1 battles. The scoreboard didn’t reflect that dominance, though, as the two teams entered the intermission tied at 1-1. Even on the Red Wings’ goal, they hadn’t really established any sort of possession in the Bruins’ zone, as it came off a turnover that led to a bouncing puck around the net.
-It was a particularly interesting first period for Chris Kelly. He made a great play to set up Krejci’s goal, as he forced a turnover in the neutral zone and then made a nice pass through the seam to spring Krejci. Just a few minutes later, though, it was a turnover of his own that led to Tatar’s goal, as Kelly failed to handle a pass up the boards from Dennis Seidenberg. On the whole, though, it was another good game for Kelly and linemates Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Kelly’s five shots on goal were tied for the team lead.
-The Bruins’ penalty kill had been very good until Nyquist’s power-play goal in the third period. Before that, the B’s had allowed just two shots on goal on the Red Wings’ first three power plays and made it tough for the Wings to get set up. On the fourth, though, they gave the dangerous Nyquist too much room to operate and he made them pay by walking in and snapping a shot past Rask.
-Considering it was his first game since April 2013, Simon Gagne looked pretty good. He played 12:13 and recorded four shot attempts and two shots on goal, one of which nearly won the game in the final minute of regulation. He started the game on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Ryan Spooner, but wound up seeing some time with Krejci and Milan Lucic as the game went on.
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