|12.21.14 at 12:28 pm ET|
After Sunday’s morning skate, the Bruins coach held his most telling press conference of the year as he discussed some of the issues that have the Bruins on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture ienooking in.
Julien, who later clarified that he does not intend to throw players under the bus, was most critical of Dennis Seidenberg, whom he said has not been as effective as in years past as he returns from a torn ACL suffered last season. He also lamented the inconsistency of Patrice Bergeron‘s line and noted Milan Lucic‘s struggles when he was without David Krejci.
Here are some highlights of the press conference:
On Seidenberg (the question was about why Matt Bartkowski and Seidenberg have struggled when paired together):
When we look at Seids, he’s come off a major injury. I don’t think anybody here thinks Seids is playing at his full potential right now. No matter where he’s been, he’s had his share of struggles. I don’t think it has anything to do with right or left. You can look at Seids; with whomever he’s played, they’ve had their fair share of struggles. He’s got to find his game. Once he finds his game, he’ll be a lot better.
When you look at the game and you see what’s going on and you look at it again, sometimes you realize that maybe you’re pointing the finger at the wrong person. We have to look at it objectively; that’s our job.
And that job is not for me to come out and publicly throw my players under the bus, but I see certain things and that’s what I’m trying to tell you guys. I’m not here to explain my every move, but we see certain things that we have to make decisions on.
Again, I’m not one of those guys that’s going to start carving my players because if I have something to say to them, it will be behind closed doors.
On the team’s lack of scoring:
Do you guys watch the games? K. So I’m going to say Bergeron’s line last game did not have a good game. They didn’t have many scoring chances. They weren’t that good. They were good the game before. There’s some games they play well and they score some games, and the problem with our team has been inconsistency in our games.
If you guys watch the games, you’ll see those kind of things that certain lines, even though you say, ‘Well Bergeron and Smith and Marchand are great players,’ that doesn’t mean their line is really firing on all cylinders every game. Once we get all our lines more consistent in that area, we won’t be just saying that the goal-scoring’s coming from the Soderberg line. So we need a little bit more, and at the same time, Krejci’s just gotten back. We hope that sooner than later, we’re going to get a little more depth in our scoring.
On Bergeron’s line:
I said one game they’re good, the next they’re not as good. Does that mean you break them up because they’re not good one game and the next game they’re good? Again, who do you put where? It’s easy to skew. We’ve seen Lucic play well with Krejci. Lucic struggles a little bit more with others. Again, when I say second-guessing, [I mean] you guys can wrack your brain all you want; that’s what I do from midnight to six in the morning. I wrack my brain trying to figure out what to do the next day.
On why he generally hasn’t tried anybody but Seth Griffith as David Krejci‘s right wing this season:
Yeah, because Krech has hardly ever played. When we don’t win, we get second-guessed. I understand that. But right now, the Soderberg line is the only one that’s scoring for us. So do you guys want me to break that up and we get no more scoring? So you pick your poison. As much as we’d like to do that and we want to do that, and we did the last game a few times, it’s hard to really see when it’s only in spurts. But at the same time, I’m trying to win a hockey game here, so that’s the bottom line.
|12.20.14 at 1:00 pm ET|
The Bruins sent defenseman Joe Morrow to Providence Saturday after scratching him for seven of the last eight games.
Morrow was recalled by the Bruins in late October to play in place of the struggling Matt Bartkowski. He stayed in the lineup as the Bruins dealt with injuries on the back end, but the B’s began scratching him earlier in the month.
The decision to take Morrow out of the lineup was somewhat perplexing given how well the former first-round pick was performing for the B’s, but the Bruins opted to stick with Zach Trotman and, at points, Bartkowksi. Trotman was scratched in Friday night’s loss to the Jets, but Bartkowski took his place rather than Morrow.
After being scratched for two of the Bruins’ four games on a West Coast road trip earlier this month, Morrow told WEEI.com he understood there was a chance he could be sent down given that the B’s had so many defensemen.
“It’s in the back of your mind; you know it is [a possibility],” Morrow said. “It is a chess match. You know they’ve got to strategically do things to help this organization and to keep it intact. Whatever that may be, I know I’m a part of it and I’m here to help out, too, so if that’s the case that it does work out better that way, you can’t be mad or you can’t be disappointed about it. It’s just the way things are.”
In 15 games for the B’s, Morrow had one goal, no assists and a plus-3 rating in averaging 16:41 of ice time per night.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|12.19.14 at 10:36 pm ET|
The Bruins got back to not scoring goals Friday.
The loss dropped the B’s to 16-14-3 on the season. Boston continues to look up at the Panthers and Maple Leafs in the Wild Card race as they sit on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The game marked the ninth time in the last 12 games that Boston has scored less than three goals. They are 3-6-3 in that span.
Furthermore, Tuukka Rask has allowed two goals in each of his last three starts, with the Bruins wasting his efforts each time (0-1-2).
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
FIRST IS THE WORST
The Bruins had a whale of a first period, spending most of the frame in their own zone and attempting less than half the shots (12) of what Winnipeg attempted (26).
The B’s took a pair of penalties in the period, with Torey Krug sending the puck over the glass in the defensive zone and Dougie Hamilton later hooking Blake Wheeler following a horrid neutral zone giveaway that created a Jets rush into the Boston zone.
All things considered, the Bruins were extremely fortunate to escape the period with just a one-goal deficit to overcome.
JULIEN TRIES ERIKSSON WITH KREJCI LATE
Claude Julien told reporters in Winnipeg Friday morning that he was considering giving Loui Eriksson some looks with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. He didn’t end up doing that, as he clearly (he’s stated it multiple times now) does not want to break up his third line of Carl Soderberg between Chris Kelly and Eriksson.
For the second straight game since Krejci returned to the lineup, Julien kept Eriksson with the Soderberg line and, for the second straight game since Krejci returned, the Soderberg line scored.
With the B’s trailing in the second period, Soderberg skated the puck through the neutral zone and into offensive zone and fed the puck across to Kelly, whose bid yielded a rebound that a trailing Torey Krug tapped in to tie the game. This followed a performance Wednesday in which both Soderberg and Eriksson scored in Minnesota.
It wasn’t all good for the trio, however, as they were also on the ice for Dustin Byfuglien’s second-period goal.
Julien played Eriksson with Lucic and Krejci late in the game, with Daniel Paille taking Eriksson’s place on Soderberg’s line.
Speaking of Eriksson… Read the rest of this entry »
|12.19.14 at 8:52 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they will not visit local hospitals to deliver toys as planned due to the mumps epidemic in the NHL.
The team said in a release that no Bruins players currently have the mumps, but that the Bruins have chosen to “err on the side of caution” and eliminate the possibility of exposing pediatric patients to anything.
Following is the Bruins’ release:
After consultation with local hospitals and medical professionals, the Bruins have postponed their annual toy delivery to local hospitals due to the mumps diagnoses to various NHL players. While there are no known diagnoses of the mumps to Bruins players, and the organization has worked with their medical staff to take every precaution necessary, the team feels that it is best to err on the side of caution and not risk exposure to any pediatric patients.
In continuing the Bruins players’ annual holiday tradition, over $17,000 worth of toys purchased on behalf the players by the Bruins’ wives, girlfriends and B’s alumni earlier this week at Target in Everett, MA will still be distributed to the local hospitals on Monday, courtesy of Gentle Giant. The Bruins will work with the local hospitals to reschedule the player visits after the Holiday Season.
|12.18.14 at 1:53 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB following Wednesday’s Wild-Bruins game and to talk about some recent trade rumors surrounding the Bruins. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
One of those names rumored of late has been Blues right wing T.J. Oshie. During the first intermission on the NBC Sports broadcast last night Bob McKenzie mentioned Oshie being available. McGuire hadn’t heard such things, but said it would be a good fit for the Bruins if he was indeed made available.
“I did not know that he was available because I think that he is a very respected member of the St. Louis Blues organization,” said McGuire. “I didn’t know he was available and he may not be. It may be people talking. Bobby McKenzie when talks, he’s usually [right on mark]. It may be someone that Bobby knows and some of us don’t know. I would tell you that T.J. is a very, very good player who I think would be a very good Bruin, if and I stress this is a huge if because I know people like to listen and twist words. If available and the Bruins could get him, that would be an excellent acquisition. I will say this, I do not know that he is available.”
McGuire was in between the benches for the NBC Sports broadcast so had the best view of the game. He saw a lot of positive things from the Bruins, as they won for the first time in four games Wednesday night with a 3-2 overtime win in Minnesota.
“I was really impressed with a few things from the Bruins,” he said. “Number one, Zdeno Chara‘s vocal leadership on the bench — usually not very vocal — but when he is people usually listen. Last night he was very vocal, especially at the end of certain situations whether it was a penalty kill, a good chip in or a good line change. He was extremely vocal and a good leader. The return of David Krejci, you see the skill level and how it makes everyone around him better, but what it also does is it changes the batting order. Now [Patrice] Bergeron is not the No. 1, he’s No. 2. [Carl] Soderberg is not the No. 2, he’s the No. 3, Gregory Campbell‘s minutes are kind of dropping down and that allows he and Danny Paille to penalty kill a little bit better. That changes everything. I was really impressed that they hung in there because that 5-on-3 penalty kill I thought was the key to the game last night.”
|12.17.14 at 10:47 pm ET|
On Wednesday, the Bruins got three things Bruins fans thought they might never see again: three goals, a win and David Krejci.
After an up-and-down showing from the B’s in Minnesota, Loui Eriksson took a feed from Carl Soderberg and tucked it behind Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom to give the Bruins a 3-2 overtime win over the Wild (click here for the boxscore). The win was Boston’s first in four games.
Krejci returned to the lineup after missing the last 11 games. He had one shot on goal and had a minus-13, even-strength Corsi, which was worst among Bruins forwards.
Krejci played a part in Minnesota’s game-tying goal in the third period. A turnover from Krejci in the defensive zone led to a Ryan Suter point shot that Niklas Svedberg stopped with his blocker. Zach Trotman picked up the rebound, but Jason Pominville whacked it away from Trotman and into the net to tie the game at two goals apiece.
That said, Krejci’s return is mammoth for the Bruins, who have had their first-line center for just 12 games this season and fell out of a playoff spot without him.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
BRUINS STILL LIKE GRIFFITH WITH KREJCI
With Krejci returning to the top line, so too did Seth Griffith. The Bruins have played Griffith as their first-line right wing in every game Krejci has played this season, but they have generally used Griffith as a bottom-six player without Krejci.
It’s an odd choice on the Bruins’ part to not try other players with Krejci and Milan Lucic to determine how many potential in-house candidates the B’s have to fill their seemingly up-for-grabs first-line right wing job. The Bruins have still not tried Loui Eriksson with Krejci and Lucic this season.
The lines were as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Cunningham
|12.17.14 at 4:21 pm ET|
The Bruins aren’t great and they aren’t going to be unless they make some sort of move. Here are some thoughts and some speculation, which I hate doing:
— As you’ve probably heard by now, the Oilers might not love Taylor Hall so much. He’s one of the best wings in the world and makes $6 million a year through 2019-20.
Sean Gentille of The Sporting News did a post on Hall and floated an idea of what it would cost to get Hall, with Dougie Hamilton, Malcolm Subban, Chris Kelly and a first-rounder making up his speculated package.
I wouldn’t trade Hamilton and the internet more or less agreed, but Gentille wasn’t wrong in suggesting that’s what it would take. Assuming the Oilers come close to knowing what they’re doing, Hamilton is the guy they should want if they were ever to talk trade with the B’s. Again, I wouldn’t do it.
Another thought on Hall: If the Bruins were to get him – which, no – you’d have to get rid of Milan Lucic or Brad Marchand, as Hall is a top-six left wing and so are they. Both Lucic and Marchand have modified no-trade clauses. There’s also that thing about the Bruins needing right wings, not left wings.
— My media buddy who thinks trading Tuukka Rask should be in play at any point ever is a nice person and also an incorrect person.
— It’s whizz or get off the pot time with Loui Eriksson. Either play him on a top line with David Krejci or trade him.
Eriksson’s a great third-line player who hasn’t gotten a long look with Krejci and Milan Lucic since he got to Boston. He doesn’t score, but the Bruins can either learn that he can with Krejci or they can see if there’s a team out there that believes he’s being underutilized with the B’s.
Once Krejci is back, the Bruins’ concern shouldn’t be breaking up their third line. It should be finding out whether they have the makings of a good first line.
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