|12.05.13 at 11:37 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Johnny Boychuk was cleared to travel with the Bruins Thursday night after he left the game against the Canadiens on a stretcher and was rushed to the hospital.
'He was cleared to fly back with us,' Claude Julien said. 'He's still obviously injured. We don't know the severity of it and I don't know all the details, but it was an injury serious enough to bring him to the hospital. Definitely, it's going to be a little while before he's good to go. I don't know exactly how much time, but the good news is he's coming back with us tonight and he'll be reassessed by our doctors back in Boston.'
Boychuk was injured on an awkward play in which he was turning as Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty went to hit his shoulder. Pacioretty received a boarding minor for the play, with the Bruins saying they didn’t find the play to be malicious on his part.
The veteran defenseman remained on the ice for several minutes and had his head and neck immobilized after being placed on the stretcher. He was hunched over on the ice before he got onto the stretcher, which might have suggested the issue could have been something with his back.
'Well obviously he seemed like he wasn't able to move,' Julien said. 'Whether it's his back, I don't know exactly. I don't like to comment on things I don't know much about and give false information. He's coming back with us and no doubt tomorrow we'll have a clearer explanation and probably more details from our own doctors.
'They did a great job here, took good care of him. He saw the specialist and he cleared him to fly back with us, so we'll see how he is.'
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|12.05.13 at 10:23 pm ET|
MONTREAL — The Canadiens took over first place in the Atlantic Division Thursday night with a 2-1 win at the Bell Centre that hurt the Bruins in more ways than one.
Though the top spot in the division was on the line, the game itself was quickly overshadowed by a scary injury for the Bruins as Johnny Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher and rushed to a local hospital. Boychuk was injured on a first-period hit from Max Pacioretty and despite clearly being in a great deal of pain, was able to move all his extremities before being taken to the hospital.
The Bruins bounced back with a first-period goal from Gregory Campbell, but the Canadiens came roaring back in the second period with goals from Tomas Plekanec and Pacioretty. The Bruins followed a dormant second period with a much more active third, but they were unable to get the puck past Carey Price, who stopped all 16 shots he saw in the third.
The Canadiens now have 39 points to the Bruins’ 38, but they have played two more games than the B’s.
The Bruins will host the Penguins, who are tied with the Habs for the Eastern Conference lead in points, Saturday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins are all too familiar with playing games with only five defensemen this season. In-game injuries to Boychuk (Oct. 31), Adam McQuaid (Nov. 9) and Dennis Seidenberg (Nov. 19) have left the B’s down a defenseman.
– The Canadiens absolutely dominated the Bruins in the second period, getting chance after chance while the Bruins mustered little offensively. The Habs held a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal, but they had some chances on missed shots as well, such as Brian Gionta‘s prior to Plekanec’s goal, while the Bruins had no notable scoring chances and only attempted nine shots.
|12.05.13 at 8:17 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Johnny Boychuk left Thursday night’s game against the Canadiens on a stretcher after suffering an injury on a first-period hit in the corner from Habs forward Max Pacioretty.
Boychuk was down on the ice for several minutes, bent over, before he was placed onto a stretcher and had his head immobilized as he left the ice.
The injury was suffered as Pacioretty hit him into the boards as Boychuk was turning. Boychuk’s left side went into the boards first and he appeared to be jammed as the rest of his body hit the boards. Pacioretty, who appeared to be going for Boychuk’s on the shoulder in what seemed to be more bad luck than anything, was given a two-minute boarding minor.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said the following in a statement:
“Johnny Boychuk has been taken to Montreal General Hospital for observation, after being injured in Thursday’s game against the Canadiens. Before he was transported to the hospital, he was able to demonstrate movement in all of his extremities. We will provide a further update when it is appropriate.”
The game marked the the fourth time this season the Bruins have had to play the majority of the game with only five defensemen, as injuries to Boychuk (Oct. 31), Adam McQuaid (Nov. 9) and Dennis Seidenberg (Nov. 19) have left the B’s down a blueliner.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|12.05.13 at 1:45 pm ET|
MONTREAL — It’s a bit odd that the Bruins and Canadiens have yet to meet roughly a third of the way into the regular season, but when they finally do Thursday night, it will mean a lot more than it would have had they met in one of the first two months of the season.
First place in the Atlantic Division is on the line — and crazily, as NHL.com’s Arpon Basu notes, it’s the fifth straight meeting between the teams in which the top spot in a division was up for grabs. The Canadiens, who have played 29 games to the Bruins’ 27, sit one point behind the B’s in the standings with 37.
Some quick background on the Canadiens: They’ve been really good of late — 7-0-1 over their last eight games, as Bruins team statistician/left winger Milan Lucic noted Thursday morning.
“I think it’s probably our biggest test of the year, coming into a real tough building against a real good team who’s playing its best hockey so far this year,” Lucic said. “It’s going to be a good test for us.”
The Habs, who have much of the same roster from last season but added a top-six winger in Daniel Briere and toughened up a bit with George Parros, have been led by the usual strong play from the likes of Carey Price and P.K. Subban. Price has a 2.00 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 22 games this season and likely will be in net Thursday after Peter Budaj played Wednesday against the Devils.
Subban, fresh off of winning the Norris Trophy as a 23-year-old, leads the Habs with 24 points (four goals, 20 assists). Claude Julien said after the morning skate that Subban is being considered for Team Canada and that after years of adjusting to being a young star player, he’s got everyone on the same page about what he brings to the table.
“I think P.K. is a player that is electrifying,” Julien said. “He makes a lot of things happen offensively. When he carries that puck, he’s hard to stop. Throughout the years, a player is allowed to mature just like any other player. We’ve got some in our lineup that go through that same thing. Expectations sometimes are extremely high, and sometimes they’re not realistic and you don’t allow a player to develop the way you should without criticism, which you should.”
The Bruins haven’t played since Saturday, while the Canadiens are playing the second game of a back-to-back. The Habs blew a third-period lead against the Devils on Wednesday but came back to force overtime and eventually win a shootout.
That brings them to Thursday, when they will at long last face the Bruins. It’s been a good start for both teams, but the season doesn’t really start until the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry gets kicked off.
“It does feel different [having not played them], no doubt,” Julien said. “It’s probably a game that everybody’s been waiting for, fans and players alike. This is a great rivalry. We enjoy this kind of rivalry, and those are easy games to get up for for both sides and they end up being pretty entertaining games as well. '¦ These are the kinds of games that I think fans want to watch.”
|12.05.13 at 12:45 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Torey Krug will likely be in the lineup Thursday against the Canadiens, Bruins coach Claude Julien said Thursday morning.
Krug, who missed Tuesday’s practice with an unspecified injury, was one of seven defensemen to take the ice for a morning skate. The session included everybody but Adam McQuaid, who did not travel with the team. Julien said after the skate that Krug would be a game-time decision, but that he would in all likelihood be in the lineup.
“I think he looked pretty good there this morning, so he will be game-time, but I’d be extremely surprised if he didn’t play,” Julien said.
For what it’s worth, Krug had clear skate protectors over his feet for Thursday’s session, which he usually does not wear. That could be an indication of where Krug might have been hobbled, but neither Krug nor Julien have shared specifics of the injury.
The Bruins’ defense pairings in the skate were Zdeno Chara with Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg with Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski with Kevan Miller, with Krug rotating in with the pairings. Assuming Krug plays, the team will likely scratch Bartkowski or Miller.
Krug is third on the Bruins with seven goals this season, three of which have been scored on the power play. If he plays, Thursday will mark his first regular-season game in Montreal.
“Hopefully,” Krug said when asked if he was good to go. “I do it every day — I just wait to see if the coaches put me in the game, and then I show up and I do my thing.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|12.04.13 at 9:49 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday for his weekly discussion, as the B’s prepare for a Thursday night game in Montreal against the Canadiens.
Thornton said players who join the Bruins should know how heated this rivalry can be before stepping onto the ice.
“You are expected to, but it probably took a game or three for me to actually really understand it,” he said. “Now I fully embrace it.”
Added Thornton: “You just get an appreciation for the deep-rooted history of hatred for each other. Being in that building and then coming into our building, there’s an energy level that you don’t really know about until you’re involved in it. I’m excited for our new guys to actually get a taste of it here.”
Despite the nastiness that sometimes has surrounded the rivalry, Thornton said he feels comfortable mingling with the locals while in the city.
“They’re very knowledgeable fans up there. They’re very passionate, obviously,” he said. “For the most part, they’re hockey fans. Even if they don’t like us, there might be some chirping and stuff, but no [more than that].”
There has been a movement to curtail fighting in hockey, but Thornton said he does not believe it will be banned from the game while he is playing.
“I think they want it in the game. I think everybody wants it in the game,” Thornton said. “But they’re kind of at a stage now with all the [concussion] stuff going on that the league’s been put in a position that they have to cover their own [butts] about it. I think that’s the biggest reason that you feel this sort of push towards I guess it being phased out a little. But I think it’s more about covering their own [butts] than anything else.”
|12.03.13 at 2:21 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins are seeing more than Kevan Miller than they probably expected, but they won’t hide him.
Miller is back with the Bruins on an emergency basis given the uncertainty surrounding the status of Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid. He played three games for the B’s last month, the first of his NHL career, and it was evident in his time with the NHL team that they weren’t afraid to play him regularly — which is no sure thing when players are called up due to injury.
The 26-year-old averaged 17:27 of ice time per game in his three-game stint while McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg were out with injuries. That’s a far cry from the five-to-10-minute nights callups can expect when pinch-hitting on veteran teams. After all, a younger Matt Bartkowski had a couple of sub-five-minute nights over the years before establishing himself with the B’s.
With Miller, 26, the Bruins had no hesitation in using him often. He logged more minutes than Krug in two of his three games, and Claude Julien trusted him enough in his third NHL game that he played him with Zdeno Chara against the Penguins when Pittsburgh had an extra attacker. The Penguins scored on that shift, and though it was his last shift during his stint in Boston given that the B’s won on the second shift of overtime and McQuaid got healthy, Miller still takes it as a positive experience.
“It was good,” Miller said Tuesday. “It shows the organization has some trust in you, which is good. It’s obviously good for me as a confidence-booster.”
Miller was paired with Bartkowski, his former AHL defense partner, in practice Tuesday. If McQuaid and Krug are both out, Bartkowski and Miller with likely serve as the team’s third defensive pairing.
The Bruins have had Miller in their system since signing him as an undrafted free agent out of UVM late in the 2010-11 season. He’s put his AHL time in, though it’s hard for him to be a realistic candidate for full-time work in Boston given the team’s surplus of blueliners. That doesn’t mean the Bruins don’t think highly of him, and that showed the last time he was up.
“We’re a group of people that we don’t care where you’re drafted, whether you’re a first-rounder, whether you’re a free agent or whatever,” Julien said. “If you are deserving of playing on that night, if you’re deserving of a call-up, you’re going to get it. If you’re deserving of getting more ice time, you’re going to get it. It all revolves around your play.
“There are so many things that have happened in our game, from guys being free agents to probably becoming Hall of Famers to all kinds of things. We don’t judge individuals by where they’re drafted more than by their play. He’s played well enough to earn that ice time when he’s had to.”
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