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David Pastrnak named AHL Rookie of Month

11.03.14 at 3:33 pm ET
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David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak’€™s first month of the regular season went as well as it could go without him actually suiting up for Boston. The 2014 first-round pick was named the AHL’€™s Rookie of the Month for the month of October.

Pastrnak’€™s 10 points this season (three goals, seven assists) are tops among AHL rookies. Same goes for his plus-9 rating, which he has compiled over nine games.

Though just 18 years old, Pastrnak could push for a job in Boston at some point this season. The biggest obstacle he faces is his size, as the 5-foot-10 right wing weighs just 165 pounds. That could make it tough for him to handle the board work required of wings in the NHL.

There also isn’€™t a job opening at this point. Seth Griffith has fit in nicely on the right wing of David Krejci‘€™s line with Milan Lucic. Pastrnak projects to eventually be top-six right wing.

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Claude Julien, with contract extension in hand, still ‘has fire in the belly’ to win another Stanley Cup

11.03.14 at 2:25 pm ET
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Claude Julien was finally ready to talk about his good news on Monday.

After finalizing the terms of his new contract on Sunday morning, Julien felt comfortable enough to talk about what the extension means to him.

“I feel just as hungry this time around as I was before we won our first one,” Julien said. “I’m excited to have an opportunity to have a team that can compete for that and be part of it.

“I’m happy. We finalized the details [Sunday] morning and there was still some work to be done in our discussions. I’m happy to be here because as far as I’m concerned, this is a great team here. We have an opportunity every year to at least be contenders for the Stanley Cup.”

After bringing Boston its first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011, Julien was awarded a contract extension one year later in July 2012. He reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2013 before his team went out to the Canadiens last year in the second round. But all the while, Julien said Monday after his team’s practice, that the fire and hunger still burns inside him.

“I think my focus has to be 100 percent here, and it has been,” Julien said. “I think the thing I feel the most that’s important right now is no matter what we’ve accomplished, I’m really still very hungry to win another Stanley Cup. You want to succeed. And you when you start getting tired of doing that is when I think you become weaker as a coach. I really feel strongly about this organization and the direction it wants to go in. I feel strongly about my intentions of wanting to win. I was just as disappointed as anybody else last year because I really felt we had a team to go all the way. So, you come back and you’re hungry, and you have that and what they call the fire in the belly, I’m extremely happy in this organization, as long as they want me.”

“We have worked at this for a few months, but there was never any doubt in my mind that this would get done,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement. “Claude is one of the top coaches in the NHL and has consistently shown a passion for winning through his coaching. Coaching is a difficult profession at the best of times and what Claude does in implementing structure in his systems, and having a solid defensive foundation while allowing freedom in offensive play is no easy task. During his time with the Bruins, he has excelled in maintaining this difficult balance, and his longevity here speaks volumes. He has coached the Bruins to a Stanley Cup and a Cup Final appearance and our goal to win with him at the helm remains the same as we move forward.”

Julien said he was in no rush to extend his contract simply because he know Chiarelli had bigger matters on his plate, like dealing the salary cap and the unpopular trade of Johnny Boychuk.

“This has been in the works for longer than that,” Julien said. “It wasn’t even an argument-type thing. To be honest with you, Peter, in my mind, had a lot more important things to do than to worry about signing me. We all know that all of the stuff of signing players and everything else. It was a mutual agreement between us to let him deal with his stuff and mine would come around eventually. It was just that it leaked out Saturday but we weren’t done yet. We just finalized everything and now it’s time to move on and hopefully, after today, turn the page.”

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Kevan Miller begins skating, David Krejci day-to-day

11.03.14 at 12:50 pm ET
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Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller began skating Monday in his effort to return from a dislocated shoulder suffered on Oct. 18.

Miller skated by himself after Monday’€™s Bruins practice. He was considered out indefinitely following the injury, which happened in a fight against Nicolas Deslauriers.

David Krejci did not practice Monday. Claude Julien said that Krejci is day-to-day with the injury that caused him to miss Saturday’€™s game. According to a source, Krejci is battling the same hip injury that forced him to miss the first three games of the season.

With Krejci out, Chris Kelly centered Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith in Monday’€™s practice, just as he did in Saturday’€™s win over the Senators. The Bruins’€™ forward lines were as follows:

Lucic – Kelly – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins give Claude Julien multi-year extension

11.02.14 at 3:11 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Sunday that they have signed coach Claude Julien to a contract extension. They did not specify the length of the contract, calling it a “multi-year” deal, though Hockey Night in Canada reported Saturday that it was three-year extension.

Julien is in his eighth season with the Bruins, making him the second-longest tenured coach with his current team behind Detroit’s Mike Babcock. He won the Jack Adams Trophy in 2008-09 and led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship in the 2010-11 season. The team came two wins from a second championship in 2013.

“Claude is one of the top coaches in the NHL and has consistently shown a passion for winning through his coaching,” Peter Chiarelli said in a press release. “Coaching is a difficult profession at the best of times and what Claude does in implementing structure in his systems, and having a solid defensive foundation while allowing freedom in offensive play is no easy task.

“During his time with the Bruins, he has excelled in maintaining this difficult balance, and his longevity here speaks volumes. He has coached the Bruins to a Stanley Cup and a Cup Final appearance and our goal to win with him at the helm remains the same as we move forward.”

Since taking over for the start of the 2007-08 season, Julien has led the Bruins to a 317-171-65 record in 553 games.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Young defensemen Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky aim to make most of opportunity

11.01.14 at 11:51 pm ET
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David Warsofsky is one of the young Bruins defensemen getting a shot thanks to injuries. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

David Warsofsky is one of the young Bruins defensemen getting a shot thanks to injuries. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Bruins’ defense could easily be a complete disaster right now. With Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller all injured and Matt Bartkowski struggling mightily, disaster might have even been the expectation.

But thanks to the way Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky have played the last two games, the Bruins’€™ defense has not been a disaster. Warsofsky made one glaring mistake Thursday night against Buffalo on a bad pinch that led to an odd-man rush and a goal at the other end, but other than that, the trio of young defensemen (Trotman and Warsofsky are 24; Morrow is 21) have played mistake-free hockey, which is all anyone can realistically ask for given the situation.

“They’ve been really good,”€ Dougie Hamilton said. “I think it just shows how deep our organization is. You could see that in the preseason and training camp and everything. They can all play, so it shows, I guess, how deep we are as an organization. They’€™ve played really well, so it’€™s nice to have that.”

All three have played 15 or more minutes in each of the last two games. Warsofsky, who has the most NHL experience in the group with eight career games, has led the way at 18:09 on Thursday and 19:16 in Saturday’€™s 4-2 win over the Senators. Trotman, now up to six career NHL games, played a career-high 17:51 on Saturday. Morrow, a former first-round pick, played 16:05 Saturday after logging 17:51 in his NHL debut on Thursday.

Warsofsky and Trotman both saw significant power-play time Saturday, with Warsofsky’€™s 3:24 on the man advantage leading all Bruins. All three have gotten a taste of killing penalties as well.

One thing Warsofsky, Trotman and Morrow can all do well is break the puck out, either with their skating or their passing. They all still have work to do when it comes to playing without the puck, but their decision-making with the puck has been a noticeable strength so far.

“I think they’€™ve been very poised with the puck, skating the puck very well, and just playing consistent hockey,”€ Dennis Seidenberg said. “It’s nice to see that. We always talk about depth, and hopefully we can build on that and put some consistency together.”

It’€™s worth noting that the two games in which all three have played haven’€™t exactly been against the toughest competition. The Sabres are a contender for the first overall pick, and even though it took overtime for the Bruins to beat them, it was a game the B’€™s dominated from a possession standpoint. The Senators have a decent record (5-3-2), but they’re also not a very good possession team.

Still, the fact that Warsofsky, Trotman and Morrow have done what’€™s been asked of them is encouraging. These last two games should give them some confidence moving forward, and the Bruins will need them to continue their solid play while they wait for Chara, Krug and Miller to return.

“I think we’€™re all just taking advantage of it,”€ Warsofsky said. “€œWe’€™re all around the same age and it’€™s all of our first handful of games, so we’€™re all kind of in the same boat. We’€™re having fun with it and trying to play our games every night like we do in Providence and translate that up here. I think so far everyone’€™s done a good job.”

Claude Julien offers no comment on report of contract extension with Bruins

11.01.14 at 10:39 pm ET
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Claude Julien would not comment on a report from Hockey Night in Canada that he had agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Bruins.

The Bruins have said nothing official about the matter, so Julien offered nothing when asked about it after Saturday night’€™s 4-2 win over the Senators.

“I have no comments on that, absolutely not,” Julien said. “Let’€™s talk about the team.”

The Bruins are off on Sunday.

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Five things we learned as Bruins beat Senators without David Krejci

11.01.14 at 9:40 pm ET
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Matt Fraser scored two goals Saturday. (Getty Images)

Matt Fraser scored two goals Saturday. (Getty Images)

On paper, Saturday’€™s game against the Senators looked to be perhaps the hardest game of a relatively soft part of the Bruins’€™ schedule. The B’€™s were able to take care of it with a 4-2 win despite missing one of their best players.

A source told WEEI.com Saturday night that Krejci continues to deal with the hip injury that forced him to miss the first three games of the season. Krejci has been playing through pain and getting great results on the ice, but was finally given a night off on Saturday.

With Krejci out, the Bruins used the following lineup:

Lucic – Kelly – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne

Seidenberg – Hamilton
Morrow – McQuaid
Warsofsky – Trotman

Krejci will continue to battle his hip injury, but it’€™s unknown how many more games, whether sporadically throughout the season or otherwise, it will cost him.

Here are four other things we learned Saturday night:

FRASER GETS TO PLAY HIS POSITION

Matt Fraser will do whatever the Bruins ask of him, but that doesn’€™t mean he’€™ll be great at it. He needs to play left wing, preferably with some guys who can play. He did Saturday and scored two goals.

For just the second time this season, the left-shooting Fraser played on the left side. With Kelly moving up to Krejci’€™s spot, Fraser was able to slot in on the left wing of Carl Soderberg’€™s line with Loui Eriksson, reuniting a trio that looked good last postseason against the Canadiens.

In Fraser’€™s other four games this season, he was used as the right wing on a line with a rusty Milan Lucic and struggling Ryan Spooner (three games) and on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell last month in Buffalo.

Saturday marked the first time this season Fraser got a chance to play his position with a line that could do some offensive damage and got two goals out of it.

The first goal came just as Fraser was getting onto the ice, as he whacked a rebound past Robin Lehner with Eriksson in front. It was his second goal, scored just 1:28 later, that really showed why he’€™s deserving of NHL minutes. Fraser caught up to a beauty of a pass from Soderberg in the offensive zone and fired a snap shot over Lehner’€™s glove.

Because of his shot alone, Fraser should be an NHL player. When he doesn’€™t get to use it, he isn’€™t of much use out there. In his first four games of the season, Fraser had just two shots on goal. He had five Saturday, two of which went in.

MARCHAND HITS HIS STRIDE

For two straight seasons, Brad Marchand has responded to a slow start by catching fire.

Fortunately for the Bruins, it didn’€™t take him 26 games like it did last season. Marchand had just one goal over the first 11 games of the season, but after scoring the tying and winning goals Thursday against Buffalo, Marchand picked up his fourth goal of the season in the first period Saturday.

The goal was a positive sign for a Patrice Bergeron line that is coming around after a slow start. Bergeron won an offensive zone faceoff back to Marchand, who fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that trickled past Lehner to open the game’€™s scoring.

Given the way the last two seasons have gone, Marchand is establishing himself as a streaky player. At least he’€™s streaking the right way at this point.

SEIDENBERG OVERCOMES ROUGH LUCK

Technically, Dennis Seidenberg lost the puck to Mark Stone along the wall in the offensive zone, leading to an Ottawa 2-on-1 on which Stone scored in the first period. Replays showed that Seidenberg had to battle more than Stone, as the linesman got in the way, preventing Seidenberg from retaining the puck.

In the third period, the hockey gods made up for Seidenberg’€™s bad break when a puck squirted out to the top of the left circle. Seidenberg stepped into it and blasted it past Lehner, whose vision was obstructed by a screening Bergeron. The goal was Seidenberg’€™s first of the season.

Seidenberg later got beaten by Mika Zibanejad in front on the Senators’ second goal of the night.

BRUINS ARE STICKING WITH JOE MORROW

For the second straight game, the Bruins scratched Matt Bartkowski in favor of the former Penguins‘€™ first-round pick.

To be fair, the Bruins had healthy scratches in mind for Bartkowski when they signed him to a one-year, $1.25 million contract this offseason, but he without a doubt topped the ‘€œnext guy up’€ list. For him to be sitting with three of the team’€™s regular defensemen out of the lineup is a clear sign that both he and the team know he hasn’€™t been himself this season and that the Bruins are confident in Morrow.

Just how confident? After playing 17:51 against the Sabres (including an overtime shift), the B’€™s gave Morrow over 16 minutes for a second straight game. Bartkowski’€™s season-high is 20:57, which he played on Oct. 23 against the Islanders, but the Bruins have kept Bartkowski under 15 minutes in three of his five games.

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