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Matt Beleskey: ‘I’m not Milan Lucic’

02.09.16 at 10:59 am ET
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Matt Beleskey

Matt Beleskey

Bruins forward Matt Beleskey has similar numbers to Milan Lucic a season ago, but he’€™s trying to avoid the comparison to the former Bruin.

“He’€™s a great player. If anyone put me in that [class] I’€™d take it, but like I said [when I came here] I’€™m not Milan Lucic,” Beleskey said Monday. “I won’€™t be that player. I’€™m different. I’€™m my own player and that’€™s the way I’€™ve been playing all year.”

Beleskey, who signed a five-year contract worth $3.8 million annually this offseason to replace Lucic, has nearly identical goals per 60 (.68) to what Lucic had in his final season in Boston (.70). He currently finds himself in a scoring slump that’€™s seen him score just one goal in his last 16 games, a slump that Lucic himself had last season.

Claude Julien said he’€™s happy with Beleskey, whom he feels the Bruins signed for his physicality rather than raw numbers.

“It’€™s his production that’€™s maybe thrown things off a little bit,” Julien said Monday. “Do people have the right view of what he is as a player vs. looking at last year’€™s stats and thinking that’€™s what it should be or even better. We knew what we were getting. We were getting a guy that, [after] losing Lucic, would give us some grit, would be able to contribute offensively here and there as well. So far he’€™s given us that. To me, he’€™s a player that, when you look at our group up front, he’€™s a player that we really need.”

To read more on Beleskey’s season and how it compares to Lucic’s final season in Boston, click here for Monday’s story.

Read More: Matt Beleskey, Milan Lucic,

Patrice Bergeron gets day off, Bruins unsure whether injury will end Malcolm Subban’s season

02.08.16 at 12:38 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron was given the day off Monday as the Bruins prepared for Tuesday’€™s game against the Kings, with Claude Julien saying that it was a rest day and not injury-related.

Though Bergeron was absent, the rest of the Bruins’€™ lines remained the same, with Tyler Randell subbing on the first line for practice.

Adam McQuaid once again practiced with the B’€™s, though he is not expected to return to the lineup Tuesday.

“Every day is a better day for Mac,” Julien said. “We’€™re going to keep looking at it that way and when he’€™s ready we’€™ll look forward to putting him in.”

Julien said he does not know whether Malcolm Subban’€™s fractured larynx will end the goaltender’€™s season. Subban was transferred to Mass General Hospital Sunday after getting hit in the throat during warmups of Providence’€™s game in Portland Saturday and getting rushed to a local hospital.

David Pastrnak said that he texted with Subban, saying that while the player is in good spirits.

“He’€™s OK,” Pastrnak said. “He texted that he’€™s alright.”

The Bruins have not provided any other update other than to say that Subban is out indefinitely.

Malcolm Subban out indefinitely with fractured larynx

02.07.16 at 5:11 pm ET
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Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban

Bruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban is in stable condition but will be out indefinitely after getting hit in the throat by a puck during warmups of Saturday’€™s Providence Bruins game. In a statement released by the team, the Bruins said that Subban suffered a fractured larynx.

Subban, the Bruins’€™ first-round pick in 2012, was suffered the injury prior to the P-Bruins’€™ contest in Portland, Maine, at which point he was taken to Maine Medical Center. Per the Bruins’€™ statement, he was taken to Mass General Hospital for further evaluation and is in stable condition.

Though there’€™s no ideal time for such a frightening injury, Subban’€™s play of late and the Bruins’€™ goaltending situation make the timing of the injury worse. Subban had a .929 save percentage in his nine games previous to the injury. The Bruins had recalled Subban amid health concerns for Boston backup Jonas Gustavsson, who has since returned from an elevated heart rate.

The 22-year-old Toronto native figures to be Tuukka Rask‘€™s backup next season, though that could have been accelerated by injuries at the NHL level this season. Gustavsson said after coming off IR that he doesn’t expect his heart to be a concern for the rest of the season.

Sunday Skate Live Chat: ‘It starts at 7 a.m. again’ edition

02.07.16 at 12:45 am ET
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Sunday Skate is so good that it’s now back to two hours, starting at 7 a.m. Chat below and listen here from 7-9 a.m. Bruins center Ryan Spooner and Arpon Basu of NHL.com will join the show this week.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: The return to 7 a.m.
 

5 things we learned as Brad Marchand penalty shot gives Bruins win over Sabres

02.06.16 at 9:51 pm ET
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It appeared Brad Marchand‘€™s goal-per-game pace of late would finally be slowed when the Bruins went to overtime without against the Sabres Saturday without a tally from their leading goal scorer.

Then, with 2:28 remaining in the 3-on-3 session, Marchand was inexplicably awarded a penalty shot on which he converted to give the Bruins a 2-1 overtime victory over the Sabres.

The goal was Marchand’€™s 24th goal of the season and ninth in as many games. With the win, the Bruins now have points in all three games since returning from the All-Star break (2-0-1).

The Sabres had plenty of reason to be miffed with the result of the game. Rasmus Ristolainen was called for a slash that gave Marchand the penalty shot, though it seemed clear enough that Marchand knocked the stick out of Ristolainen’s hands.

The Bruins will next play Monday, when they host the Kings in Boston’€™s last home game before a six-game road trip.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

ERIKSSON SNAPS OUT OF SCORING DROUGHT

Loui Eriksson had gone nine games without a goal entering Saturday, but he stopped his skid with a first-period tally.

Eriksson’€™s goal came as a result of a heads up play by David Krejci, who intercepted a Cody Franson pass and fed the puck to David Pastrnak at the left circle. Pastrnak executed a perfect slap pass down low to Eriksson, who had the entire net and plenty of time to work with as he put the puck in for his 16th goal of the season.

Speaking of that Krejci line, Pastrnak was leaps and bounds better Saturday than he was in Boston’€™s first two games back from the All-Star break. In addition to playing better with the puck and assisting Eriksson’€™s goal, Pastrnak came an inch away from a huge third-period goal, as his bid rang iron.

CONNOLLY DROUGHT REACHES NEW LOW

You would think things couldn’€™t go much worse in the goal-scoring department. You would be wrong.

Connolly, who has scored just once on a goaltender over his last 28 games, blew a couple of chances Saturday night, the first of which saw him miss the net on a redirection. To be fair, that happens with players every game. This, however, does not.

MORROW IN FOR COLIN MILLER Read the rest of this entry »

Bruins assign Joonas Kemppainen to Providence

02.05.16 at 3:35 pm ET
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Joonas Kemppainen

Joonas Kemppainen

The Bruins sent center Joonas Kemppainen to Providence on Friday. He will play Friday night against Albany.

Kemppainen, a 27-year-old center who came to the NHL from Finland this offseason, has struggled in his first North American season. In 35 games for the Bruins, Kemppainen has one goal and two assists for three points. He has won 51.4 percent of his faceoffs but posted poor possession numbers. His Relative Corsi of -16.4 ranks 17th among 20 Bruins skaters with at least 20 games played this season.

Kemppainen was a healthy scratch in both of the Bruins’€™ post All-Star break contests leading up to his demotion.

Friday’s move leaves the Bruins with 22 players on their NHL roster, one shy of the maximum. Adam McQuaid figures to come off injured reserve at some point in the not-too-distant future, though he has yet to take contact as he works his way back from an upper-body injury. McQuaid practiced with the Bruins Friday after taking part in Thursday’s morning skate.

Read More: Joonas Kemppainen,

5 things we learned as Bruins come from behind to beat Sabres in shootout

02.04.16 at 9:52 pm ET
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The Bruins took a break from blowing third-period leads against bad teams by coming back against a bad team Thursday. Either way, two points is two points.

After allowing the game’€™s first goals, the Bruins came back to force overtime and eventually take a 3-2 shootout victory over the Sabres as they bounced back from Tuesday’€™s ugly overtime loss to the Maple Leafs.

Ryan Spooner, who scored his 11th goal of the season during regulation, scored the only goal of the shootout as Tuukka Rask stood tall against all three of Buffalo’€™s shooters. The victory moved the Bruins into sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division, as they now trail only the Lightning and Panthers in the division.

The Bruins survived a Patrice Bergeron penalty in overtime that saw Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg play the entire two minutes of 4-on-3, with Seidenberg making a diving save on Ryan O’€™Reilly with Tuukka Rask recovering from a previous save.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:

MARCHAND DOES IT HIMSELF

Brad Marchand‘€™s 23rd goal of the season will surely end up on his highlight reel. Marchand got the puck in the Bruins’€™ zone at the tail end of a Sabres power play and proceeded to wheel around and skate past four Buffalo players before sending a backhander past Chad Johnson.

Marchand now has eight goals in his last eight games, with last Tuesday’€™s loss to the Ducks the only game in that span in which he hasn’€™t scored.

FERRARO MOVES UP AGAIN

For the second straight game, Claude Julien moved Landon Ferraro up to the right wing of David Krejci‘€™s line in place of David Pastrnak late in the third period.

Pastrnak had a bit of a wonky night, with a mixup between the young forward and Kevan Miller resulting in a goal against. With the Bruins in the offensive zone in the first period, Pastrnak went hard after a loose puck but backed off when a pinching Miller wound up for a slap shot. They both ended up backing off the puck, allowing the Sabres to the take the puck the other way. Shortly after Brian Gionta hit the post, Evander Kane scored to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.  Read the rest of this entry »

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