|Shorthanded: B’s fall to Islanders||04.11.13 at 9:24 pm ET|
Josh Bailey scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30-of-31 shots as the Islanders beat the Bruins, 2-1, Thursday night at TD Garden. The Bruins (26-10-4) had their modest two-game win streak snapped and more importantly, fell back into second place in the Northeast Division, one point behind Montreal, which beat the Sabres in Buffalo.
The Bruins played their first game without Brad Marchand, who was diagnosed Thursday with a concussion. He becomes the second player on his line out of action with a concussion, though Patrice Bergeron did return Thursday morning and participated in a light pre-game skate at the Garden.
With Marchand out coach Claude Julien was forced to juggle the lineups again, starting with a line Jaromir Jagr and Milan Lucic, and centered by Gregory Campbell. David Krejci centered the line of Nathan Horton and Daniel Paille.
Adam McQuaid returned after missing the previous 11 games with a shoulder injury. McQuaid’s return allowed Julien the chance to rest rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton for the first time this season. The rookie had played in all 39 games before Thursday’s game.
The Bruins and Islanders appeared destined for a scoreless opening period before the Bruins allowed the Isles to break out on a 4-on-2. Bailey ripped off a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Tuukka Rask to the top far corner with 20.5 seconds left in the first.
The Bruins got the goal back on a pretty power play feed from Campbell to Tyler Seguin across the low slot. Seguin’s one-timer cleanly beat Nabokov 3:41 into the second for the equalizer. Despite the power play goal, the Islanders carried play though the period, outshooting Boston, 19-8. The hard work paid off for the visitors when Bailey fired a bad-angle shot from the left circle on Rask. The Bruins goalie appeared to have the play covered but allowed the puck to leak through and the Islanders had their second one-goal lead of the night.
It could’ve been worse for the Bruins but Rask made a spectacular sprawling save on Matt Moulson with 10 minutes left in the second to keep the game tied, three minutes before Bailey’s second of the night put New York back on top.
Bailey looked for the hat trick with 5:45 left in the third but Rask made a save that kept the Bruins within one. The Bruins could not sustain any pressure in the Islanders end for most of the third period as the Bruins continued to all the opponent to rack up high shot totals. The Islanders finished with 36 shots on goal.
Rask was pulled with 1:23 left as the Bruins failed in their attempt to get the equalizer.
The Bruins are off Friday before taking on the Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday night. For more from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia from the Garden, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Brad Marchand has concussion||04.11.13 at 6:20 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Thursday evening that left wing Brad Marchand suffered a “mild concussion” on the hit he took from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
Volchenkov was given a four-game suspension for the play in which he elbowed Marchand in the head, forcing Marchand to leave the game. The Bruins’ announcement did not include how long they expect to be without their leading scorer, with general manager Peter Chiarelli saying in the two-sentence release that the B’s will “provide an update on his status when appropriate.”
Marchand leads the Bruins with 16 goals this season.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Swedish Ice Hockey Federation reportedly trying to block Carl Soderberg from coming to Bruins||04.11.13 at 4:58 pm ET|
The Carl Soderberg situation apparently took a turn for the worse Thursday, as reports out of Sweden suggested that the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation was trying to block the 27-year-old forward from going to the Bruins. Soderberg agreed to a three-year deal with the Bruins on Tuesday, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie followed up Swedish reports with the following Thursday:
As per @steffeg and NHL/Boston sources, Swedish Ice Hockey Federation trying to block Carl Soderberg from joining Bruins. Stay tuned.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 11, 2013
Soderberg, who was acquired from the Blues in 2007 but has played his entire professional career in Sweden, scored 31 goals this season. More on this as information becomes available.
|Anton Volchenkov suspended 4 games for elbowing Brad Marchand||04.11.13 at 2:18 pm ET|
The justice for Brad Marchand was swift.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended for four games, without pay, for elbowing Marchand during Wednesday’s game in New Jersey.
The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced the ruling Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred at 15:11 of the second period. Volchenkov was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct (per Rule 45). [The NHL details the hit and the explanation for the suspension in the video below].
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Volchenkov will forfeit $91,891.88. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
|No update on Brad Marchand as Patrice Bergeron skates and Adam McQuaid nears return||04.11.13 at 11:39 am ET|
Patrice Bergeron took part in a limited morning skate Thursday at TD Garden, marking the first time he’s been spotted on the ice since leaving last Tuesday’s game against the Senators with a concussion. Bergeron skated with Adam McQuaid, Wade Redden, Kaspars Daugavins, Jay Pandolfo and Aaron Johnson.
As for Brad Marchand, Claude Julien told reporters that the left winger still was being evaluated after taking an elbow to the head from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Marchand left Wednesday’s game following the elbow and did not return.
Julien did say that he feels McQuaid is “ready” to return to Boston’s lineup, and that he will likely do so Thursday against the Islanders. McQuaid has missed the last 11 games with a shoulder strain.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Brad Marchand hurt as Bruins hang on vs. Devils||04.10.13 at 10:15 pm ET|
Gregory Campbell had his first two-goal game of the season as the Bruins took over first place in the Northeast Division with a 5-4 win over the Devils Wednesday in New Jersey.
The Bruins had a 4-0 lead that was nearly blown when the Devils came within a goal with less than a minute to play, but Anton Khudobin and the B’s were able to fend off the comeback attempt.
Prior to Brad Marchand leaving the game following a dirty hit (see below), the story of the game was Boston’s penalty kill. The Devils were unable to get a shot on goal during a 1:27 5-on-3, and Johnny Boychuk jumped out of the box to get a breakaway on which he was hooked to set up a penalty shot. Boychuk was stopped by Martin Brodeur, but Daniel Paille scored a shorthanded goal with Zdeno Chara still in the box.
Later in the period, Campbell picked up his second of the game with a shorthanded tally, giving Boston a 3-0 lead after one. Zdeno Chara increased the Bruins’ lead with a power-play goal at 3:06 of the second period, but goals from Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac (the latter of which was shorthanded) made it 4-2. Andy Greene brought the Devils within one before Tyler Seguin picked up his first point in four games by beating Brodeur in front off a pass from Daniel Paille. Matt D’Agostini made it 5-4 with 37 seconds remaining.
The Bruins will return to Boston to host the Islanders on Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- It turns out that the Campbell-Jagr combination was more than a flash in the pan. Jagr did all the work by simply toying with the Devils and firing a shot in front that yielded the rebound on which Campbell scored. The line of Campbell between Marchand and Jagr produced two goals Monday, and the second line kept up the goo work leading up to Marchand’s injury.
- Playing in his second game back after missing the previous 14 with a broken leg, Chris Kelly looked like he hadn’t lost a step. Kelly played a key role in killing off eight penalties (his 6:32 of shorthanded time led Bruins forwards)
- Seguin had to deal with very limited ice time because the Bruins were playing shorthanded for so much of the contest (the B’s took eight minor penalties in the game, including two from Seguin in the third period), but it was good to see some production from him given the circumstances. Seguin, who does not kill penalties and was skating on the third line for the second straight game, played just 2:46 in the first period and had 8:17 of ice time through two periods.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Brad Marchand left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head from Anton Volchenkov along the boards. Volchenkov will certainly hear from Brendan Shanahan about the hit (he was suspended in 2011 for three games after elbowing Zach Boychuk), but the big concern should be on Boston’s end. Patrice Bergeron is already out with a concussion, and losing the team’s top goal-scorer in Marchand would be a really tough break for the Bruins.
- The Bruins obviously have a history of blowing leads this season, and they scored the first goals of the game before letting the Devils back in with three straight goals. Seguin’s third-period tally provided some much-needed space.
- A dreadful giveaway in the neutral zone allowed Zajac to take the puck, enter the Bruins’ zone and beat Anton Khudobin to make it 4-2 late in the second period. The play occurred with Boston on the power play, making it one of the ugliest moments of the season in an area that’s obviously had major issues for the Bruins.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Defensive-zone turnovers ‘my No. 1 concern for this Bruins team’||04.10.13 at 1:03 pm ET|
Andy Brickley of NESN joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the expected arrival of Carl Soderberg, the issues of the Bruins defense, and whether any of the B’s potential playoff opponents could exploit those weaknesses.
The Bruins reportedly agreed on a contract with Soderberg on Tuesday at last, after acquiring his rights in a 2007 trade. Brickley said he’s never seen Soderberg play in person, but based on video and his stats (60 points in 54 games in the Swedish Elite League this year), Brickley expects him to contribute to the Bruins right away.
“As soon as he grasps the whole concept of playing North American-style hockey, his size and his skill set will be very good for the Bruins,” Brickley said. “They’ve been in search of adding that depth and balance, whether it’s to the top six forwards or to the bottom six forwards, and he seems to be right on that cusp.”
Soderberg played center in Sweden, but team president Cam Neely said Tuesday that he’ll likely start out in Boston as a winger.
“I understand the philosophy, especially in a system that is so demanding on that defensive centerman working with two defensemen down low,” Brickley said. “He does do that over in Europe, but the system is less demanding and there’s a lot more room and there’s more containment. … Because of the size of the ice, it’s more containment than physical one-on-one battles. Those will be the adjustments, and maybe he’ll be better off learning to use his size along the boards, breakouts, and concentrating a little bit more on what he does really well, which is being a little offensive and a little creative offensively.”
On the Bruins’ defensive mistakes: “It’s the turnovers. It’s not so much how they defend in their own zone — it’s when you turn the puck over, and good teams turn defense into offense, and now you’re in trouble. When you’re making those poor decisions and when the execution’s not there and you’re handing the other team the puck, even unforced turnovers, it’s so hard to defend because you’re thinking offense instead of puck possession. If they don’t get it straightened out, it’s going to be a serious problem going into the postseason. That is my No. 1 concern for this Bruins team.
“You have to minimize your turnovers and be that puck-possession type of teams, in high-percentage plays where you don’t have a play. That means lay that puck in an area where it’s not going to come right back at you. That is why their defense, and I don’t mean the group of six — I’m talking about their team defense — has put a lot of pressure on the goalies over the last 10 games or so. Until they clear that area up, you saw Carolina the other night — they were a two-man aggressive forecheck below the goal line and a green light for both defensemen to pinch down the boards, and the Bruins had a really hard time with it. They’ve got to get that area of their game cleaned up. Don’t worry so much about the offense. … It’s really how you come out of your own zone and how you manage the puck. The offense will be just fine.”
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