|04.13.14 at 12:55 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled four forwards from Providence on an emergency basis Sunday morning. Alexander Khokhlachev, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek and Matt Lindblad will all join the team in New Jersey and be available for the team’s regular-season finale against the Devils.
Khokhlachev is the only one of the four who has yet to play an NHL game, and as such, the 2011 second-round pick will in all likelihood make his NHL debut. He has 21 goals and 36 assists for a team-leading 57 points in 63 games for Providence this season.
Florek played very well for the Bruins in a three-game stint with the team in January, scoring a goal and adding an assist for two points while subbing on the team’s fourth line. Cunningham and Lindblad each played one game apiece.
The forwards will be used both due to injuries (Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron both left Saturday’s game, while Chris Kelly has missed the last two and won’t play Sunday) and perhaps for the sake of rest of other players. According to the Boston Globe, Bergeron, Paille, Kelly, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla did not travel to New Jersey.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.13.14 at 12:31 am ET|
Reilly Smith and Brendan Smith are already weighing in on the difficult decision their parents will face when the brothers meet one another in the first round of the playoffs.
Reilly Smith, the Bruins’ second line right wing, has played against his older brother, Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, six times in the regular season over the last two seasons (three times with the Stars and three with the Bruins). Brendan and the Red Wings have won four of those six games.
After the Red Wings were locked into the second wild card spot Saturday night, both players took to Twitter:
Let’s get out those B’s jerseys Ma and Pa
‘ Reilly Smith (@reillysmith18) April 13, 2014
Family of red for the playoffs. Love when my parents stand behind the winged wheel! #BecauseItsTheCup
‘ Brendan Smith (@bssmith7) April 13, 2014
|04.12.14 at 9:36 pm ET|
The Blue Jackets defeated the Panthers Saturday night, securing that they can finish no lower than the first wild card spot and locking the Red Wings into the second wild card spot. As such, the top-seeded Bruins will play the Red Wings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Red Wings, who have made the playoffs in 23 straight games, are the most difficult matchup of the teams the B’s might have faced in the first round (with the Blue Jackets and Flyers being the others). Detroit is the only team that has beaten Boston three times in regulation this season, as the B’s went 1-3-0 against the Wings this season.
The series is expected to begin Thursday at TD Garden. It’s likely that Game 2 would then be Saturday or Sunday before the series shifts to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.
This marks the eighth time the Bruins and Red Wings in the postseason, though you probably don’t remember the most recent meeting. That came back in 1957, when the Bruins beat Detroit in the semifinals in five games.
The series will also feature a pair of siblings clashing, as Bruins forward Reilly Smith will play against his brother, Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.
The Lightning and Canadiens will face one another in the first round, with the winner of the Boston-Detroit series facing the winner of that series.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.12.14 at 8:06 pm ET|
WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and DJ Bean assess the Stanley Cup playoff chances of the Bruins after they clinched the Presidents’ Trophy Saturday with a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins won their 54th game of the season, giving them 117 points on the season but lost the services of Daniel Paille after a big hit by Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe. Patrice Bergeron also scored his 30th goal of the season but did not play the third period after a very minor injury, according to head coach Claude Julien. Bergeron is expected to be ready when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin this week.
|04.12.14 at 4:07 pm ET|
Early in the third period of Saturday’s game between the Bruins and Sabres, Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe laid out Bruins winger Daniel Paille with a shoulder hit to Paille’s chest in front of the Sabres’ bench that knocked Paille out of the game. Paille immediately went to the ice and then wobbled as he tried to get back up on his skates. McCabe said afterward he was just trying to execute a shoulder-to-chest hit.
“My intentions were shoulder to the chest,” McCabe said. “I don’t think I raised my elbow at all. That was my thought as soon as it happened.
“I got called for interference. I don’t think it was too late. He tried to go through me. I kept my hands down. It was just kind of an unfortunate play. His head was down. It’s too bad.”
McCabe was hit with a five-minute interference call and a game misconduct, and was immediately escorted to the Sabres dressing room.
“I saw him drop,” McCabe said. “I knew right away that it probably didn’t look good that he dropped like that. I hope the guy is OK. I think the guy has a concussion history in the past. A couple of guys were telling me. Best wishes for that but I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all. I was trying to play hard.
“This is the first time I’ve experienced it here. I experience it in college and you have those big hits and more often times than not you’re going to get called for something, whether it be an elbow, apparently an interference tonight. Whatever it may be, you have to keep your hands down as best as possible and just try to play smart.”
|04.12.14 at 3:54 pm ET|
The Bruins offered no update on winger Daniel Paille, who left Saturday’s game in the third period after taking a big hit from Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe.
Paille was slow to leave the ice and has already had two concussions this season. Patrice Bergeron also left the game, but he played the first two periods before missing the third, seemingly for the sake of rest. Bergeron sat Thursday in Minnesota, though the team said it wasn’t a healthy scratch.
“With Bergy it’s very minor,” Claude Julien said. “With Paisy I haven’t had a chance to talk yet with my trainers or to the doctors. I’ll probably see later on.”
The Bruins will finish their regular season schedule Sunday in New Jersey. Chris Kelly is not expected to play and Julien said that the team will likely call up multiple players from Providence to play.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|04.12.14 at 3:12 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron hit the 30-goal-mark and the Bruins clinched the Presidents’ Trophy Saturday with a 4-1 win over the Sabres.
The B’s, who sit at 117 points (54-18-9) with one game to play, will finish with the most points in the NHL for the first time since the 1989-90 season.
Bergeron got to 30 goals for the second time in his career when he took a pass from Brad Marchand and sent a one-timer past Matt Hackett to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead in the second period. Bergeron’s other 30-goal season came in 2005-06, when he had 31.
Bergeron left the game after the second period, though he played the first two periods and didn’t look hindered in any way. It’s possible the team was just resting him.
The big scare, however, came in the third period when Daniel Paille left the game in the this period on a big hit at the blue line from Jake McCabe. McCabe was given a game misconduct for the hit (despite it actually looking clean, though slightly high), while Paille — who has already had two concussions this season — was slow to get up.
Gregory Campbell scored his eighth goal of the season when he took a first-period feed from Jordan Caron and tipped it past Hackett to give the B’s a 1-0 lead. David Krejci followed by getting the rebound off a Zdeno Chara shot off the end boards and sending it in for his 24th goal.
The Sabres scored their only goal in the third period, when Cody Hodgson picked up his 20th of the season. Krejci made it 4-1 on a power play with a shot from the point that went off the end boards and hit Connor Knapp‘s skate on its way in.
The B’s will finish their regular-season schedule Sunday in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Jarome Iginla’s 30-goal season is well impressive, but Bergeron hitting 30 goals is the most impressive individual achievement this season from any Bruin. The thirty goal mark is hard to hit in Claude Julien‘s system (Bergeron became the fourth player to do it since Julien came to town in 2007), and he made it tougher on himself by being a responsible player and not cutting any corners for the sake of goals.
An example of that came in the second period before his goal Saturday. About seven minutes into the period, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith went deep into the offensive zone, with Bergeron staying high. With the puck bouncing around in front moments later, Bergeron stayed high rather than jumping up and giving himself a chance at a goal at the risk of an odd-man rush.
A breakdown of Bergeron’s 30-goal season is as follows: 22 even-strength, seven on the power play, one shorthanded and three empty-net goals.
- Bergeron and Iginla also gave the Bruins their first pair of 30-goal scorers since Julien has been the coach. The last time the B’s had two 30-goal scorers was in the 2002-03, when they had three in Glenn Murray (44), Joe Thornton (36) and Mike Knuble (30).
- The win guaranteed that the Bruins will not lose two straight regulation games this season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- That would be pretty rough news if Paille were to have suffered a head injury on the hit from McCabe. Though a fourth-line player, Paille makes up one third of the best fourth line in the league and is a player who has been moved up when wings on other lines have been injured. He is also a plus penalty killer and was a very good performer last postseason (four goals and five assists for 13 points in 22 games).
- Another scary scene came in the third period when Torey Krug landed on Hackett, causing Hackett to remain down on the ice in pain for several minutes before leaving in a stretcher.
- The Bruins didn’t need to get into the whole John Scott thing, but it happened twice. Scott went after Lucic in the second period, leading to a scuffle in which Zdeno Chara intervened and cross-checked Scott in the face. Chara and Scott got into it again late in the third period and were given 10-minute misconducts.
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