|05.01.14 at 11:41 am ET|
For the second time in three days, Brad Marchand was not on the ice with his Bruins teammates as the team held its morning skate in anticipation of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Canadiens.
Marchand, who missed Tuesday’s practice but practiced Wednesday, was hoarse when he spoke to the media Wednesday, suggesting he was ill. Claude Julien — as is customary in the postseason — offered no update on Marchand’s health after Thursday’s morning skate, saying that “he took his option.” Based on that, the expectation should be that Marchand plays.
Daniel Paille, who missed the first round against the Red Wings due to a head injury, has been cleared to play for a number of days. Julien said that Paille is a game-time decision for Game 1. Assuming that Paille returns to the lineup, Jordan Caron would sit after filling in for Paille in the first round.
On the Canadiens’ end, Max Pacioretty was not on the ice for morning skate, but Michel Therrien said he too took his option. When asked if Pacioretty was OK, Therrien responded, “of course.”
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.30.14 at 10:28 pm ET|
Boston’s most notorious pest knows he had better be on good behavior in this series since the whole hockey world – especially officials – will be watching.
Brad Marchand accepts the reputation he has built for himself as the Bruins most tenacious bad boy. It may have contributed to a pair of roughing calls in the third period of Game 5 against the Red Wings that gave Detroit some life before the Bruins extinguished the Wings, 4-2, to advance to Round 2 against Montreal beginning Thursday night at TD Garden.
Does Marchand feel like a marked man in these playoffs by both the opponents and officials?
“Yeah definitely, especially that second one,” Marchand said of his second roughing call in Game 5 last Saturday. “It was a push and you don’t see too many penalties called like that, even in pee wee like that. It was a tough but that’s a reputation that I’ve built for myself and I have to play through that. I think the biggest thing is to walk away from things that I don’t need to be part of.
“I think in time you get to know where the line is and the refs do a pretty good job of filling you in along the way. I got a couple of penalties that last game that I thought were tough calls but other than that, I think everyone is really doing a great job of playing our game, playing physical and walking away at the right times.”
Marchand knows he, Milan Lucic and the Bruins better skate away at the right time because Montreal enters the series with a potent power play at 17.2 percent in the regular season. The Bruins did finish the regular season with the eighth-ranked penalty kill in the league, coming in at 83.6 percent.
“Against Montreal, they have a really good power play for one [reason], and two, they do a really good job of drawing penalties,” Marchand said. “I think our biggest thing is we can’t get frustrated. We have to make sure that even when we do get a penalty called against us, we don’t let it bother us, and go out and kill it and continue to try and push our game on them. We want to try and be physical and play the way we did last series and hopefully, we’ll be able to draw a couple of penalties on them.”
Marchand did give a little insight as to what the Bruins might try to do to get under the skin of another emotional player, Canadiens goalie Carey Price, a goalie they beat in overtime of Game 7 of the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
“I think the biggest thing is he’s a really good goalie, he’s definitely emotional and all good goalies are,” Marchand said. “They compete and we’re going to have to find a way to try and get in front of him and it’s very tough to beat him straight up so we’re going to have to try and do some of that stuff.”
But running the goalie to intimidate certainly will not be an option, as goalie interference has been called throughout the NHL with regularity in the first round.
“I think in past years, in playoffs, they let a lot more go,” Marchand said. “It doesn’t seem to be that way this year. They call it just like regular season so you have to try to play intense and play within the ref’s rules.
“I think you have to continue to go to the net hard but stay out of the blue paint. I think that’s when calls are easily made when you get inside the paint and you hit the goalie. But if you go as hard as you can and you stop outside and you battle outside, we have to continue to do our job and get some ugly goals on this guy. We can’t shy away just because the refs call penalties.”
|04.30.14 at 4:16 pm ET|
Forget all the talk about keeping the emotions in check for a moment.
Understand that the essence of the rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens is – at its core – about despising the opponent. It’s just like the Red Sox and Yankees, only the Red Sox and Yankees haven’t met 32 previous times in the playoffs.
Milan Lucic understands this. He will be a marked man in Boston by anyone wear blu, blanc et rouge. And it’s not just because of his hits on defenseman Alexei Emelin in the regular season. The Canadiens know that if they’re to keep Boston’s top line in check, it starts with putting a body on Lucic before he does the same to you.
Does Lucic hate the Canadiens?
“I do, and if you ask them the same question I’m sure they’d give you the same answer about if they hate us,” he said Wednesday after the team’s final full practice before Game 1 Thursday night at TD Garden. “It’s just natural for me, being here for seven years now, just being a part of this organization, you just naturally learn to hate the Montreal Canadiens, and the battles we’ve had with them over the last couple of years have definitely made you hate them.
“I think this being the first time meeting them outside the first round I think it’s definitely going to go up another level.”
|04.30.14 at 2:11 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday afternoon, a day before the B’s return to the ice to start their second-round series against the Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The Bruins have been off since dispatching the Red Wings in five games on Saturday.
“It’s been good just to refresh a little bit, and I guess able to refocus,” he said. “Now we’re prepping hard for Montreal tomorrow. I think we were kind of expecting it to be Friday or Saturday, but nicer that it’s already tomorrow. I guess we’re all excited to get going now.”
Hamilton made two key offensive plays that led to goals vs. Detroit by taking advantage of a gap in the defense.
“Right from the start of the series they were kind of taking away everyone else and then kind of leaving me,” he said. “So I think it was up to me to make the good play and figure out how to beat that. I thought skating was the best idea. I guess I got, I don’t know, lucky on those two plays. But I think just they were really similar, kind of just holding the first guy off and getting through the blue line and then making a decision after that.
“I’m sure this series the penalty kill will be different, and I have to go back to how it was in the season.”
Hamilton said the Bruins will continue to be physical against the Canadiens, while trying to avoid ending up in the penalty box.
“We have to play our game and not cross the line,” he said. “I think obviously when you’re playing a team in a series I think you can wear them down. When we’re effective I think we’re chipping pucks in and forechecking hard and making their ‘D’ make mistakes. I think that really helps us. I think we’re definitely going to have to do that and keep hitting them and kind of try to wear them down, and hopefully not make them want to have the puck. Obviously not cross the line, but I think it’s a different mindset in the playoffs. But we’re definitely going to try to be physical again and fast, and hopefully get on them.”
|04.30.14 at 1:22 pm ET|
Brad Marchand was back at practice Wednesday after not taking part in Tuesday’s practice. Though he did not say why he was absent Tuesday, his voice was hoarse on Wednesday, suggesting he was ill.
With Marchand back at practice, Daniel Paille returned to the Merlot line after skating in Marchand’s place Tuesday. Wednesday’s lines and pairings were as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille/Caron – Campbell – Thornton
Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller
Dennis Seidenberg practiced again and did not take contact. Corey Potter remains absent after appearing to injure his shoulder last week in practice.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.30.14 at 10:16 am ET|
Former Canadiens and Bruins forward Chris Nilan joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming playoff series between Montreal and Boston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Canadiens and Bruins met four times during the regular season, with Montreal winning three and Boston winning one. Despite that, the Bruins finished with the best record in the NHL and are considered not only the best team in the Eastern Conference but the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Nilan sees Boston as having the slight advantage because of its tough, hard-nosed approach.
“If anybody has an edge in any way in this series, it’s Boston, and I think it’s the edge physically and size-wise,” Nilan said. “Montreal, I think they’re a better skating team, but if Boston takes that away from them, and they’ve done it before, then the Canadiens will be less effective. If Montreal can get their skating game going, and they have good support in all the areas of the ice, and they’re willing to pay the price, they’re willing to go the areas that are difficult to go to, then they can have success.”
Nilan, a Boston native who played for the Canadiens for 10 years and the Bruins for two years, has seen the rivalry from both sides.
“When you’re in it and you’re involved in it, you quickly realize how difficult it is to play against — I mean when you’re on either side,” Nilan said. “I was on both sides, I was in Montreal, and being in Montreal playing against the Bruins back in the day was extremely difficult. You’re always in for a tough game. You had to fight, you had to take the hit. You had to do some things that were very uncomfortable.
“It was the same for the Bruins when I was there. The same thing. Both teams come on at each other. Both teams dislike each other. And it doesn’t matter back in ‘53 or what happened in ‘79, but it all builds and it all lends credence to the tradition of such a great rivalry.”
|04.29.14 at 6:08 pm ET|
The Bruins and Canadiens will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night at at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden, according to a league source. Game 2 is expected to be played Saturday, with the likelihood that it will be a matinee.
RDS reported the schedule for the series earlier Tuesday, which falls in line with all of that information. According to RDS, the schedule is:
Game 1: Thursday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 2: Saturday, May 3, 12:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 3: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 4: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 5: Saturday, May 10, TBD at TD Garden
Game 6: Monday, May 12, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 7: Wednesday, May 14, TBD at TD Garden
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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