|09.25.15 at 12:43 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Zdeno Chara is “day-to-day” with an upper-body injury, according to Claude Julien. Chara left Thursday’s preseason game against the Rangers after three shifts, with a check from Ryan Bourque potentially doing the damage.
It’s worth considering that teams use “day-to-day” far more liberally than they should. Dennis Seidenberg, for example, was deemed day-to-day at the beginning of training camp, and though his back issue actually never got worse, the injury required surgery and will keep him out eight weeks.
The Bruins gave the players who played Thursday the day off on Friday. The forward lines in the practice were as follows:
The Bruins used different pairings on defense, but the blueliners to take the ice Friday were Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman, Jakub Zboril, Ben Youds, Chris Breen, Tommy Cross, Linus Arnesson and Chris Casto.
Tuukka Rask and Malcolm Subban practiced for goalies. Rask has not played in any of Boston’s three preseason games so far.
|09.25.15 at 12:22 pm ET|
You can safely assume when on-ice officials are explaining what happens to a head coach in the middle of a play, there is still some uncertainty about the rules.
Such is the case with the reformatted overtime in the NHL. On Thursday night, Bruins defenseman Matt Irwin took a hooking penalty 1:25 into the extra period. Instead of the Bruins going down a man, the Rangers went up a man.
The NHL is introducing the 3-on-3 overtime this season. To avoid a 3-on-2 situation that would be more like a pre-game warmup rush, the NHL decided to go with a modified power play that would be identical to overtimes of the past. But while that was difficult enough to get used to, what happened next was even a little more peculiar.
The Rangers, getting mixed up with the extra man line changes of the new overtime, took a too many men on the ice when they wound up with the puck and six skaters on the ice. Veteran referee Eric Furlatt went over to Claude Julien to explain that the Bruins would not gain an extra man and go 4-on-4 but rather the Rangers would lose their additional man on the ice.
Then the Bruins would have their own 4-on-3 once Irwin’s penalty expired. Neither team scored and the Bruins would win the preseason game, 4-3, in seven rounds of a shootout. Still, the experience was much more helpful than Tuesday night’s encounter with the Capitals, a game that featured 3-on-3 for all of 12 seconds before David Pastrnak scored.
|09.24.15 at 11:57 pm ET|
With two preseason games now under his belt in a Boston Bruins sweater, Zac Rinaldo has already racked up four penalties.
Not taken four penalties taken, mind you. Not those of the 572 penalties-in-minutes variety that Rinaldo has accumulated on his own ledger over his 223 game NHL career.
These are four penalties drawn, the kind where Rinaldo’s rivals end up in the box.
Presented with this four-pack of information after Boston’s 4-3 shootout-win over the New York Rangers on Thursday at TD Garden, Rinaldo was pleased.
“Yeah, yeah, it was today, two, and… four penalties!” Rinaldo said. “Just the way it’s going, I’m staying out of the stupid stuff and I’m using my speed and being a hard-nosed player. Guys aren’t liking it and they’re taking penalties on me, which, I’m loving. So, the more the merrier.”
Rinaldo, 25, really got to “his game” Thursday in the third period with his squad trailing by a goal. With just under nine minutes to play, Rinaldo finished a hit and then briefly jostled with Rangers forward Tanner Glass. Then, three minutes later, after Glass and Rinaldo were chirping at a faceoff, Rinaldo raced down New York’s Tommy Hughes and checked him hard. Glass had had enough, and dropped Rinaldo with a blind-side punch before being hauled away for his crime.
“Typical hockey, as you know,” was how Rinaldo described the exchange. “That’s just textbook hockey, make a nice hit and I hit a couple guys before that shift and he came at me that shift, too. I told him I’m going to keep running around. That’s just my game. I did and he took a penalty on it. Unfortunately we didn’t score on it but it’s just another part of my game that I can bring to the table.
“That’s just hockey since I’ve been eight-years-old,” continued Rinaldo. “If someone hits my guys like that, if someone’s like me on the other team running around I’m going to step up, too, and tell them they can’t do that. That’s what happened to me tonight. But, I really don’t care. I’m going to continue to hit and stuff like that. Some guys get told not to do it and they stop doing it. That fires me up and makes me do it even more.”
Rinaldo’s teammates can’t help but notice the quick impact he has brought to the Bruins in the energy department.
“He’s at the top,” said Brad Marchand of Rinaldo’s place on hockey’s “pest” meter. “Even playing against him, he’s a tough guy. He’s one of those guys, you always have to know where he is because he’s coming full steam, and when he hits, he hits to hurt. He’s a great player to have on our team, and you saw it tonight. He does his job and his role better than anyone.”
However, Boston coach Claude Julien made sure to emphasize that Bruins’ organization thinks of Rinaldo as more than just a pest.
“There’s a lot more to that than what you saw,” Julien said. “He’s a great skater. If you watch him in practice, he shoots the puck well. There’s no doubt, he’ll give us some energy. We want to keep it within the rules and in an area where it doesn’t affect your team. Right there, it seemed to distract [New York] more and our guys were focused on trying to win the hockey game. He stayed out of trouble, it was a clean hit, and leave it at that.”
It’s the staying-out-of-trouble part that has seemed impossible for Rinaldo throughout his career to this point.
He has been suspended three times already in his short NHL career, to go with four total fines, with his most recent incident in January netting him an eight-game discipline by the league and $73,170 of lost game checks.
That’s to say nothing of Rinaldo’s four suspensions in the American Hockey League and six others from his three seasons in Juniors.
Said Rinaldo: “I’ve just got to think about it, you know? Really process it in my mind, visualize the play that’s going to happen before I do. That’s what I’ve been doing the last two games I’ve been playing. I thought I’ve been doing a really good job at it so I’ve got to ease into it and not come off the handlebars flying and actually think about the repercussions about ‘If I do this, this is going to happen’, or ‘If I don’t do this, this is going to happen’. I’m feeling confident and I’m doing that every game and haven’t taken any penalties or done anything over the edge.
“I’m [actually] taking more of a pest role now than my first two years,” Rinaldo continued. “My first two years I would just fight, straight up, just fight, ‘boom’. But now I’m thinking about [things], tonight I drew a penalty with four minutes to go in the game. We got some life from it and [later] scored. I want to play, I don’t want to be sitting in the box all the time. That’s a pain in the [butt] sitting in the box, getting cold, and then the coach not playing you after, maybe. Anything I can do to help my team and also myself individually and play, I’m going to do it.”
Will it all lead to Rinaldo being a Boston fan-favorite?
“I’m not going to change so I’m hoping they love me,” Rinaldo said. “That’s my goal. I’m just a down-to-earth guy. I’m a 25-year-old kid just playing hockey, having a good time. Hopefully everyone’s enjoying me.”
|09.24.15 at 9:54 pm ET|
The Bruins enjoyed a 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers in Thursday night’s preseason contest at TD Garden. Here are some observations from what proved to be a more-entertaining-than-usual preseason game.
– There’s no word yet on what the upper-body injury Zdeno Chara suffered is, but there’s a good chance it occurred on the hit he took from Ryan Bourque on his third and final shift of the night. As previously noted, Chara appeared to be OK after the hit, so perhaps he was taken out for precautionary reasons. The Bruins had better hope that’s the case, as they’re already without Dennis Seidenberg.
If Chara is to be out for any stretch of time in the regular season, the Bruins would be without their four best defensemen from last season’s camp: Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk and Seidenberg.
There was another scare on Boston’s defense when Joe Morrow blocked a shot and limped off the ice late in regulation, but he would return to the game.
– Jeremy Smith played the entire game for the Bruins, and there’s no better test for someone trying to prove they can hack it in the NHL than going against a good lineup (the Rangers had Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Keith Yandle and Ryan McDonagh, among others, in the lineup Thursday) without Zdeno Chara in front of you.
Smith allowed three goals, two of which were power play tallies. The lone even-strength goal he allowed came on a Rangers rush during a Boston line change. Smith made the initial save on Brady Skjei’s shot but had it bounce off the post, then his back and in. He then allowed a Mats Zuccarello power play goal later in the period and saw a second-period Kevin Hayes shot go off him and in for New York’s second tally on the man advantage.
The 26-year-old netminder had some bright spots as well, stopping Kevin Hayes in the slot on a second-period Rangers power play and then robbing him with a glove save in the third.
– Smith stopped Hayes and Keith Yandle and John Gibbons in the shootout, though he allowed shootout goals to Mats Zuccarello and Dan Boyle. Ryan Bourque hit the post.
Boston got shootout goals from Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano and Brad Marchand.
– Zac Rinaldo swears he’s better than he gets credit for, and based on two preseason games, he may have a case. The numbers through two games: one assist, zero penalty minutes and a whopping four drawn penalties.
Rinaldo picked up an assist on Tyler Randell’s first-period goal, capping a strong shift by feeding the puck to Joe Morrow at the point, with Morrow’s shot being redirected by Randell past Henrik Lundqvist.
The former Flyer drew a period in the second period when he got Ryan McDonagh to break his stick on a slash. In the third period, Rinaldo threw a big (albeit clean) hit on Tommy Hughes in the neutral zone. He was then jumped by Tanner Glass, but Rinaldo kept his gloves on, with Glass being given a roughing minor for the exchange.
Perhaps most surprisingly (and most amusing): Rinaldo tried to show off his hands with a between-the-legs bid off the rush in the second period.
– Speaking of drawing penalties, Ryan Spooner’s line with Jimmy Hayes and Brett Connolly drew a pair on Thursday. Spooner drew a tripping penalty in the first period, while Connolly was slashed by Keith Yandle in the second.
It was a point apiece for the Hayes brothers, as Jimmy capped a very strong shift by picking up the secondary helper on a third-period Brandon Carlo goal.
– With the Bruins trailing in the final minute of regulation, Spooner scored as the extra attacker skating with Patrice Bergeron‘s line. Bergeron skated with Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson Thursday night, an indication that Eriksson could at long last wind up being Bergeron’s right wing.
– Joonas Kemppainen continues to impress. He set up the rush on which Rinaldo got fancy by forcing a turnover at the Bruins’ blueline and taking it the other way.
– Matt Irwin took a penalty during the 3-on-3 overtime, meaning the Rangers got to add a player to the ice rather than the Bruins losing one. Bergeron, Morrow and Adam McQuaid made up Boston’s three-man penalty kill unit. Smith made a number of big saves before the power play was ended by a Rangers too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty.
– The Bruins had to mix and match on defense once Chara went down early, but Joe Morrow and Colin Miller skating together was an interesting sight. Such a pairing goes for broke offensively but would likely give Claude Julien anxiety in the defensive zone.
|09.24.15 at 8:01 pm ET|
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara left Thursday’s preseason game against the Rangers with what the team is calling an upper-body injury.
Chara played just three shifts, the last of which ended at 4:12 of the first, before leaving the game. He took a hit from Rangers forward Ryan Bourque on his final shift, with Chara being thrown into the boards as a result. He appeared to be carrying himself fine after the hit, however.
Following the game, Claude Julien offered no update on Chara’s situation. It goes without saying that the B’s don’t want to find out what an already changed team would look like if it had to head into the regular season without him.
“He’s always a huge component to our team,” Brad Marchand said. “He’s a huge leader on and off the ice; he’s such a strong presence. I don’t exactly know what happened, but hopefully he’s OK.”
Thursday marked Chara’s first game of the preseason. The 38-year-old is looking to have a healthy season after missing 19 games due to a torn PCL last season.
|09.24.15 at 5:00 pm ET|
The Bruins made another round of cuts Thursday, with 2015 15th overall pick Zach Senyshyn among them.
Colby Cave and Colton Hargrove were both assigned to Providence, while Andrew Cherniwchan, Max Everson, Matt Ginn, Max Iafrate, Eric Neiley and Frankie Simonelli will all attend Providence’s camp, which opens on Sunday. Senyshyn will head back to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, while Jeremy Lauzon will return to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL.
With Thursday’s cuts, the Bruins now have 48 healthy players left in camp.
|09.24.15 at 11:55 am ET|
The Bruins will play their third game of the preseason when they host the Rangers Thursday at TD Garden. Jeremy Smith and Zane McIntyre will share goaltending duties, while Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand are among those playing in their first game of the preseason.
Bergeron and Marchand will play with Loui Eriksson at right wing Thursday. The first-line duo has skated with both Eriksson and David Pastrnak on the right side thus far in camp. Pastrnak played on David Krejci‘s line with Matt Beleskey in Tuesday’s preseason game against the Capitals. Pastrnak, Krejci and Beleskey will all have Thursday off.
Ryan Spooner’s line with Jimmy Hayes and Brett Connolly will also play together Thursday. Claude Julien has kept the three together since the start of camp, as he would like to use the three in the regular season if the three mesh well.
Kevin Hayes, the younger brother of Jimmy, will be in New York’s lineup Thursday. Kevin, a former first-rounder of the Blackhawks, is coming off a very strong rookie season with the Rangers. A Boston College product like Jimmy, Kevin scored 17 goals and added 28 assists for a 45-point campaign with the Rangers.
Henrik Lundqvist is also in the Rangers’ lineup. He is set to play the first two periods before giving way to Jeff Malcolm.