|04.26.14 at 11:07 pm ET|
The goals stand out. Dougie Hamilton went end to end before sniping the top corner in Game 3. Torey Krug ripped a slap shot past Jonas Gustavsson right off a faceoff in Game 4.
Some of the assists stand out, too. Hamilton led a breakout and then made a beautiful pass through center ice to Milan Lucic to help set up a goal in Game 4. He put together another end-to-end rush in Saturday’s Game 5 that led to a Loui Eriksson goal.
Krug made a nice breakout pass to Lucic back in Game 2 that led to a goal. On Saturday, he picked off a pass at the offensive blue line and set up Lucic (think he likes playing with these guys?) for the goal that proved to be the game-winner.
But Hamilton and Krug’s excellence in the Bruins’ series win over the Red Wings goes beyond those highlights. The young, offensively-gifted defensemen could have had even more than the four and five points they posted, respectively, because they helped create more than just nine scoring chances.
What about that post Hamilton hit in Game 3? How about that open net that Brad Marchand somehow missed after Krug gave him a perfect pass in Game 4? Oh, and Hamilton and Krug were each on the ice for just one goal against.
Throughout the series, the dynamic youngsters made breakouts look easy. They made leading rushes look easy. And they made creating scoring chances look easy.
Here’s the thing, though: those things aren’t easy. But this is what Hamilton and Krug can do when they’re playing their best hockey. They use their skating and vision to turn breakouts into offensive rushes. They keep plays alive in the offensive zone and hold the puck until they find an open teammate. They get their shots through and aren’t afraid to really step into one if they have the space. And they do it without getting caught up ice.
That last part is key. Hamilton and Krug were gifted offensive players before they even got to Boston. The Bruins have always encouraged them to use those gifts, but Hamilton and Krug had to learn when to use them. Against Detroit, they almost always picked the perfect spots. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.26.14 at 10:10 pm ET|
Apparently Zdeno Chara believes in speaking softly and carrying a big stick, and an even bigger shot.
In the moments after he helped the Bruins eliminate the Red Wings with 100 MPH power play rocket at the end of the second period, Chara didn’t want to look ahead to Montreal.
Instead, he wanted to focus only on the effort of his teammates and how much he appreciated advancing to the second round in a series win that was much tougher than a 4-1 outcome in favor of the Bruins.
“Well, that series was much tougher than maybe the results showed,” Chara said. “Detroit is a really good team with a great system, great players. We were just able to play our game and stay on top of it. It wasn’t a one-sided series; it was much closer, like I said than 4-1 showed. I think that we handled it well, we came into this series ready and we got the job done.”
The key moment of the game came when Brendan Smith, Reilly’s brother, took a bad cross checking penalty in the final 15 seconds of the second period, creating a 4-on-3 power play chance for the Bruins. The Bruins did what Cup contenders do, they took advantage as Patrice Bergeron won a battle near the far boards and fed Chara, who was all alone in the high slot. With 3.8 seconds left in the period, Chara let fly with a laser.
“Well we had only a few seconds left and [it was] kind of a 50-50 puck down low,” Chara said. “We won the battle for the puck and Bergy just showed how quickly he can see the opening and made a really great pass to me. I mean – I was emotional. It was a big game and a big goal. So, I’m not afraid to show it.”
|04.26.14 at 9:15 pm ET|
WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and DJ Bean break down the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Saturday in Game 5 of their first-round series at TD Garden. The win clinched the series and set up a second-round date between the Bruins and their archrival Montreal Canadiens, with the Bruins holding home ice advantage. The series will likely start next weekend in Boston, giving both teams a chance to get well rested.
|04.26.14 at 8:03 pm ET|
Here we go again.
Depending on whom was asked in the Bruins dressing room after Saturday’s 4-2 series clinching win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Montreal Canadiens are either just another opponent ahead in the playoffs or the obvious arch-rival that awaits in a long series.
Perhaps Vezina Trophy finalist Tuukka Rask had the best perspective after stopping 31 of 33 shots Saturday to lead the Bruins into the second round.
With the Flyers-Rangers and Penguins-Blue Jackets assured of going at least six games, the Bruins are assured of not starting their series until late next week, possibly as late as next Saturday at TD Garden. The team has Sunday off.
“I think people tend to make it a huge deal outside our locker room, but we’ve learned over the years that the more focus resting on our own doing and keep the focus on us, we get the better results, so for me and for everybody else I think it’s just another series we want to win and [we're] looking forward to it,” Rask said. “They have a great team, so it’s going to be tough, but we’ll see.
“They’re a quick team. They’re a talented team, so I’m sure it’ll be entertaining for the fans. We’ll take a breather here for a couple days and then we’ll see when it starts, but we’ll enjoy this win today and then we’ll move on.”
Rask knows that while Detroit came in with the reputation of having a lot of speed, Montreal will be on a whole new level. Throw in familiarity, and the Bruins goalie knows full well what is in store for him.
|04.26.14 at 5:53 pm ET|
The Bruins eliminated the Red Wings with a 4-2 series-clinching Game 5 victory Saturday to set up an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Canadiens.
Henrik Zetterberg made it interesting when he banged home the rebound off a Justin Abdelkader bid with 3:52 remaining to close what was a two-goal Bruins’ lead to one, but the Bruins held up the rest of the way and Jarome Iginla added an empty-netter to eliminate Detroit in five games.
Loui Eriksson scored his first power play goal as a Bruin when he beat Jonas Gustavsson in front for a power play goal 3:27 into the game while Justin Abdelkader was serving a hooking penalty. Gustavsson was playing a second straight game in place of regular starter Jimmy Howard, who the team said was dealing with the flu.
Boston’s lead held up until late in the second, when Pavel Dastyuk scored a power play goal at 14:41 of the period. From there a flurry of penalties called on both sides set up a Bruins’ four-on-three, with Zdeno Chara firing a slapshot past Gustavsson with 3.8 seconds remaining in the second.
Milan Lucic gave the B’s some breathing room by cashing in on a feed from Torey Krug in front 4:27 into the third. Krug had two assists on the day.
Earning the win was Tuukka Rask, who never let up more than two goals in a game this series. Rask ended up holding Detroit to six goals in five games with one shutout.
The Canadiens have awaited their next opponent since sweeping the Lightning on Tuesday. The teams last met in the postseason in the 2011 conference quarterfinals, with the Bruins eliminating Montreal in a seven-game classic en route to a Stanley Cup victory.
The conference semifinals will not begin until all other rounds are completed later next week.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- With a pair of power-play goals Saturday, the Bruins ended up scoring six goals on the power play in the series. That’s the most they’ve had in a series since they scored six on the man advantage against the Sabres in the 2010 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Sabres. They saw the light at the end of the tunnel all season (they had the third-best power play in the regular season) and can now officially say their days of having no power play in the postseason are behind them.
- As he was throughout the series, Rask was big for the B’s in the first two periods. His biggest saves of the second included a stop on Henrik Zetterberg when the Detroit captain wheeled around to fire a shot off a Dastyuk faceoff win and moments later, when he stopped Daniel Alfredsson on the doorstep.
- Dougie Hamilton once again had way too easy a time skating the puck into the zone on a power play as Darren Helm repeated his passive performance from Game 2. Hamilton scored off it in the first period Tuesday and it led Eriksson’s goal Saturday.
- For all the you-know-what spearing and occasional sleepiness, Lucic still ended up with solid numbers for the series (three goals) and finished especially strong with key goals in the final two games and a big shift on Jarome Iginla’s game-winning goal in Game 4.
- The Bruins didn’t end up missing Chris Kelly or Daniel Paille too much in the series. Justin Florek filled in admirably for Kelly on Carl Soderberg’s left wing, while Jordan Carl was both physical and smart throughout the series. Florek and Caron scored a goal apiece in the series.
Going forward, the guess would be that Paille, who has been skating and was cleared for contact Thursday, could be available when the next round starts. Kelly, who is out with a back injury, has not skated since late in the regular season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins’ first line took two offensive zone penalties Saturday, and the second one cost them. David Krejci tripped Brendan Smith in the corner of the offensive zone in the first, but it was a high-sticking call against Milan Lucic in the second that gave Detroit the power play on which Datsyuk scored the equalizer.
In general, the penalties got out of hand when the officiating crew got whistle-happy throughout the second period. Lucic’s penalty was followed by a holding call against Danny DeKeyser, then a weak goalie interference call against Eriksson, a Johan Franzen holding penalty and finally a cross-checking call on Brendan Smith. Jarome Iginla drew two of the penalties that came during that three-minute stretch of penalty-calling madness.
It didn’t even end there, as Marchand was sent off for roughing in the opening minute of the third.
- Speaking of penalties, Shawn Thornton racks up the penalty minutes with all the fighting he does, but it’s rare that he takes a minor penalty. He had seven in the regular season, but with Saturday’s high-sticking penalty in the first period, he has now taken two minors this round.
|04.26.14 at 2:01 pm ET|
Bruins forwad Daniel Paille skated again Saturday morning and will remain out of the lineup for Saturday’s Game 5 against the Red Wings.
Paille, who is recovering from what is believed to be a head injury, has not played since leaving the second-to-last game of the season two weeks ago. Claude Julien said that Paille, who has been taking contact in recent days, is getting to closer to a return, but is not yet ready.
Julien had no update on defenseman Corey Potter, who suffered a shoulder injury in Friday’s practice.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.25.14 at 7:30 pm ET|
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters Friday that Jonas Gustavsson will start Saturday in Game 5 against the Bruins, with Jimmy Howard serving as the backup.
Gustavsson made his playoff career playoff start in Thursday’s Game 4 because Howard, the team’s regular starter, was out with the flu. Howard did not practice Friday.
The 29-year-old Gustavsson saw 40 shots Thursday, stopping 37 of them in taking the loss in a 3-2 overtime win for Boston that gave the B’s a 3-1 lead in the series.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
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