|Jarome Iginla coming to Boston after spurning Bruins||04.18.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
It isn’t the way that people may have expected at around 10:30 p.m. on March 27, but Jarome Iginla is coming to Boston.
Just over three weeks after squashing a trade to the Bruins, Iginla will take the Garden ice Friday with the Penguins, the team he told Flames general manager Jay Feaster to deal him to after Feaster had told the Bruins they had the player.
The story is ancient history by now: Iginla, in the final year of his deal, told the Flames he would waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins, Penguins, Kings or Blackhawks. The Bruins submitted an offer of Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and their first-round pick this year, and Feaster told Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli around noon of the 27th that the deal was done. Both sides scratched their players that night, but Iginla told Feaster he’d only go to the Penguins. Feaster avoided Chiarelli’s calls throughout the day, finally calling him back to say that Iginla wanted to be a Penguin and that the Flames were forced to make a deal with them.
So how do you think he’ll be accepted Friday?
“I’m sure the fans are going to be all over him,” Milan Lucic said Thursday. “I think it will just increase this rivalry that is kind of increasing as this season’s gone on.”
Yet as fired up as the fans may be to give Iginla a hard time, the Bruins say there are no hard feelings. There should be obvious motivation to prove Iginla’s decision wrong, but the B’s insist they weren’t offended by the veteran power forward’s refusal to play in Boston.
“We’ve put that behind us,” Brad Marchand said. “We can’t let that affect us. We can’t let that determine how we’re going to play tomorrow. He felt that they have a good team, and they do. They’ve got some great players over there. That’s fine. That’s his decision. We can’t hold that against him. He’s got a certain level of respect that he’s owed. He’s played a long time in this league, and for him to make that decision, that’s fine. We’re not going to judge him for that. It’s not going to alter or determine how we play tomorrow.”
Marchand said the whole ordeal was made easier by the acquisition of Jaromir Jagr, a former Penguin himself who adds his own twist to the rivalry. Jagr has seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven games for the Bruins, while Iginla has two goals and four assists for six points through eight games for Pittsburgh.
“The team did a great job at bouncing back and getting another great player. He’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” Marchand said. “… We’re lucky to have Jags here.”
Not only did Jagr not think the Stars would trade him, but he too thought that Iginla was a Bruin when reports of the deal began surfacing. He played 11 seasons as a Penguin and ruffled feathers when he opted to sign with the rival Flyers rather than going to where he began his career when he returned to the NHL prior to last season. Between being the consolation prize in the Iginla derby and his history with Pittsburgh, there should be plenty of reasons for him get up for Friday’s game. He has another in mind.
“They’re first in our conference,” Jagr said. “Maybe we’re going to meet them in the playoffs, so we have to do our best to show them that we can play against them.”
|Bruins humbled by experience with first responders||04.18.13 at 3:05 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When the Bruins hosted 80 first-responders at Wednesday’s game, they thought they were simply providing a nice gesture as a way of thanking the brave bunch for all they had done for the city during Monday’s horrific events. They didn’t think they were making anybody’s day, but they were.
In meeting with the first-responders following their 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres Wednesday, the Bruins were overwhelmed by their experience with the heroes and how proud they were to meet the B’s.
“They were very, very happy and excited that they came to the game and they really showed a lot of respect,” Brad Marchand said Thursday. “It was funny — not funny, but a different feeling because they were thanking us when really we wanted to thank them for everything that they did for our city and for us and for everyone who was involved. It was honor meeting them and being able to meet those guys and hear their stories of how courageous they were in a moment like that.”
Marchand said it was more of an honor for the Bruins to spend time with the heroes than the other way around, but to be able to give them something to be smile about was touching for the players.
“They really expressed last night how big it was for them to come to the game and how excited they were from the moment they heard they were coming,” Marchand said. “Some of the guys were telling us how they found out and just how excited they were all day long or the day before, and it was all they could think about. They said that’s what they needed to kind of get their mind off things. They saw a lot of stuff. To be able to give that to them for them to enjoy and look forward to watching us play and just a few hours to watch us play and enjoy something, it’s huge for us. We take a lot of pride in that. Obviously, those guys are heroes and we look up to them. They did some courageous and amazing things. We owe them a lot.”
After the game, Andrew Ference and some other players took the first-responders out for beers as a way of further thanking them for everything they had done. Though Dennis Seidenberg didn’t join them (his children had to get up early), he wasn’t surprised to see how much the night meant to both sides.
“It’s a great sports town, Boston is,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “People are very emotional about their sports. When you have a chance to give them the opportunity to come to a game and get their mind off what happened, it’s easy for us to do and something nice also.”
|Carl Soderberg ‘probable’ for Bruins against Penguins||04.18.13 at 1:59 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said following Thursday’s practice that forward Carl Soderberg is “probable” for Friday’s game against the Penguins. Soderberg, who arrived on Tuesday and participated in the Bruins’ morning skate and warmups Wednesday, practiced on the left wing of a line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr Thursday.
“He skated yesterday. We put him in the warm-up last night to get him the feel of that. He practiced with us today. He’ll skate tomorrow morning,” Julien said. “That’s where I’m going to have to make that decision, whether I feel comfortable enough to give him that shot against Pittsburgh tomorrow or wait another game.”
The 27-year-old Soderberg has played his entire professional career in Sweden. This season, he had 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points in 54 games for Linkoping HC of the Swedish Elite League.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Milan Lucic wouldn’t blame Claude Julien for making him a healthy scratch||04.18.13 at 1:21 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — After skating with the healthy scratches in Thursday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, Bruins forward Milan Lucic said he wouldn’t blame Claude Julien for making him a healthy scratch.
“Nope. Nope. I wouldn’t blame anyone but myself. If that’s what needs to be done in order to get myself going, I’m for what’s best for the team and not best for myself,” Lucic said. “Like I said, I want to be a part of the team. I want to be better. I want to contribute. I know I can be a big part of the team. Ultimately it all comes down to myself, so there’s no one to blame but myself.”
Lucic has only six goals this season and is about to begin a three-year, $18 million deal next season that will make him the highest-paid forward on the Bruins. For whatever reason, he hasn’t looked like the 30-goal scorer he was two seasons ago or the premier power forward that warranted the big payday, as he’s scored just twice over his last 27 games. Julien admitted Thursday that he might indeed scratch the star forward.
“You saw where he was this morning and it indicates that he may not play tomorrow,” Julien said. “But I haven’t decided that yet.”
Lucic said Thursday his confidence is the lowest it’s been since his the 2009-10 season, when he had nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points and a minus-7 in 50 games of an injury-plagued season.
“It’s not where it was two years ago or last year,” Lucic, who has just two goals over the last 27 games, said. “It’s almost back to where it was at year three when things are just not gong the way you want them to go. Enough with the excuses. You can’t just keep making excuses and saying all these things and pointing fingers and stuff like that. You’ve got to work yourself through it.”
Said Julien: “I don’t know what it is. But we all know he’s struggling right now. He obviously knows that. We’ve had our chats about his game for a while now. He’s really trying to turn the corner but doesn’t seem to be able to. So as a coach, you’re trying to help him through that stuff. A big portion of it’s going to have to come from him, obviously. We can support him and give him opportunities but at the end of the day you have to be able to step up there. And he knows he’s not, it’s not a secret, I don’t think to anybody. But we also know what he’s done for this team in the past and what he’s capable of doing. And you’ve just got to hope that this player finds his game because we’re going to need him.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Milan Lucic skates with Bruins healthy scratches in practice||04.18.13 at 11:50 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Perhaps a healthy scratch could be in Milan Lucic‘s near future, as the 24-year-old power forward was among the extra forwards in Thursday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Lucic, who has just two goals over his last 27 games and six goals on the season, joined Kaspars Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo in green jerseys to signify the spare forwards. The lines were as follows:
Daniel Paille – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg – Chris Kelly – Jaromir Jagr
Gregory Campbell – Rich Peverley – Shawn Thornton
Extra forwards: Lucic, Kaspars Daugavins, Jay Pandolfo
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Brad Marchand: ‘I was definitely fighting back tears’||04.18.13 at 11:19 am ET|
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand could not have picked a more emotional night to make their returns from concussions.
Bergeron hadn’t played since April 2, a span of six games. Marchand missed the last two games since being elbowed by Anton Volchenkov of the Devils.
Neither player figured in the scoring but both had a positive signs of bouncing back on a night the city of Boston looked to bounce back.
“They both played well and they both played hard,” their coach Claude Julien said after Boston’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres. “You know, it’s unfortunate they didn’t get rewarded with anything tonight, but they had some great opportunities. And you’ve got to give their goaltender credit; he played extremely well for them tonight and allowed them to stay in that 2-1 game for a long time. I think had there been another goaltender it could have been a totally different story.”
Marchand, like everyone in the building, wasn’t thinking about himself but rather being part of something bigger during the national anthem.
Never were the emotions higher than during the national anthem for Marchand.
“It was extremely emotional. I was definitely fighting back tears,” he said. “To see again how everyone was reacting to that video, it obviously touched not only people who were here tonight but everyone at home, too, watching. It’s something that we’ll never forget. For everyone to show their respect and obviously give their thoughts and prayers for everyone, it’s great that everyone is kind of coming together at this time and helping each other out.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien: Bruins fans ‘made you feel proud of this city’||04.18.13 at 9:32 am ET|
Whether player, coach or team staffer, Wednesday night was a night of solidarity.
That was a point made unmistakably clear by Bruins coach Claude Julien, even after a 3-2 loss to the Sabres at TD Garden.
Julien was asked about his reaction to the fans singing the national anthem and the “We are Boston” chants throughout the game.
“Well, I think like everybody else, it was pretty emotional,” Julien said. “In a way, it made you feel proud of this city and of our fans of this solidarity that was shown throughout this whole thing. Certainly, like I said, proud of this city for how they responded.
“The national anthem was pretty touching. And, obviously, everything that they did. I remember the video, I remember the national anthem and we even saw those people up there on the screen in the TV timeouts. And looking up there and realizing that those guys have done an unbelievable job for this city throughout this crisis and we should be grateful to a lot of people and we should also feel for the people that are going through it right now. I think we still do.”
Did it ever felt like a normal hockey game to Julien and his staff?
“I don’t know,” Julien said. “I think through it all, our guys really wanted to battle hard and make it happen. We had a lot of chances and, sure we probably didn’t bury those and we’d like to be better in regards to that, but the main goal is to go out there and really play well for the cause and I thought we played a really decent game. Unfortunately, sometimes bounces don’t go your way. They tied it up late in the game and I thought we probably deserved to win at that point.” Read the rest of this entry »
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