Big Bad Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Mike Milbury on D&H: Forget about Matt Cooke, B’s have ‘other things to worry about’

11.10.10 at 12:39 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Mike Milbury

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance with the Dale & Holley show Wednesday and talked about the Bruins’ game on Wednesday night vs. the Penguins and instigator Matt Cooke. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Milbury said the Bruins aren’t likely to spend much time focusing on Cooke. “No, they’ve got other things to worry about right now,” Milbury said, although he added that the Bruins will be “much more willing to answer the bell if he rings it.”

Added Milbury: “I’m not big on the staged thing or the planned vengeance. I mean, it’s a hockey game, after all. They got their pound of flesh, or at least some of it, maybe a half-pound with [Shawn] Thornton last year. Get over it, play the game. They’ve got a couple of injuries, they’ve got other things to worry about right now. They’re playing two tough teams back to back. They’ve got to get some points on the board while they’re waiting for people to get back in the lineup.”

Asked his opinion of Cooke as a player, Milbury said: “He’s not a bad player. He’ll get his share of goals. He clearly is a guy that will mix it up, will look for a good hit. And I have no trouble with that. It’s when he crosses the line that you start to get agitated. The Bruins probably were slow to react to some of the things he did, but I don’t think he’s Darth Vader or anything. I just think he’s one of those guys that likes to toe the line, and sometimes he crosses it.”

Andrew Ference stood up for teammate Mark Recchi on Saturady night, jumping in to fight St. Louis’ David Backes after Backes had drilled Recchi with a clean hit. “Somebody’s got to do it for grandpa. You’ve got to step in,” Milbury said, although he noted: “Recchi’s no angel either on the ice. Even at his age he can be frisky.”

With the injured David Krejci joining Marc Savard on the sideline, Milbury said the Bruins can only do so much to fill the holes vacated by their top two centers. “When you take two of your better players out of the lineup, you’re not going to replace them,” Milbury said. “Not in the salary cap era. You just can’t do it.”

Read More: David Krejci, Mark Recchi, Matt Cooke, Mike Milbury

Tim Thomas, Bruins return to Pittsburgh hoping to Cooke up better results

11.10.10 at 11:57 am ET
By   |   Comments

The Bruins are still dealing with the bad that came of their last trip to Pittsburgh, so it’s only natural for memories to kick in as they return to face the Penguins (now at the CONSOL Energy Center) for the first time since March 7 of last season.

Of course, it was on that day that a head-hunting Matt Cooke blindsided Marc Savard, who would miss the rest of the season and return for the second round of the playoffs before encountering more post-concussion syndrome symptoms that still have him a ways away from returning to the B’s lineup.

The Bruins caught flack for not responding to the Cooke hit 11 days later at the Garden. Shawn Thornton fought Cooke and Zdeno Chara squared off with Mike Rupp, but the Bruins put only 17 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, who easily shut out the B’s in a 3-0 Penguins victory.

“It creates a bit of a rivalry between the two [teams],” Milan Lucic told NESN on Tuesday. “We definitely want to win that one for Savvy. I know he’s going to be watching that one closely.”

Claude Julien, on the other hand, seems to be pushing the mindset for the B’s to not dwell on last year when trying to get a couple of points, saying that Cooke shouldn’t get any extra attention unless he brings it on himself.

“If he acts in a certain way that deserves retribution,” Julien said, “we’ll deal with it then.”
————————

- It’s hard not to find the Bruins’ 15 points a little more impressive than the Penguins’ 15 points. Of course, that’s a given when considering that the Bruins have played 11 games to the Penguins’ 15.

- Lucic has scored in five of the Bruins’ road games. Of course, one of them was an empty netter, but his out-of-town numbers are still attention-grabbing. Lucic has yet to score at the Garden this season.

- The Penguins as a team haven’t exactly blown minds statistically, as their numbers in scoring, goals against, and power play seem to agree with the standings, which has them as a .500 team (7-7-1). Pittsburgh’s 2.8 goals per game is 14th in the league, while their 2.6 GAA is 13th in the league. The Penguins are just 21st in penalty killing percentage (13.3), though their penalty kill percentage of 87.5 is sixth in the NHL.

- With Fleury posting just a 1-6 record thus far on the season, between the pipes for the Penguins will be 6-1-1 Brent Johnson, according to the Globe.

- Tim Thomas was first off the ice for the Bruins in their morning skate, so expect him to be in net for the B’s.

Read More: Marc Savard, Matt Cooke, Tim Thomas,

Bruins recall Jamie Arniel on emergency basis

11.09.10 at 6:17 pm ET
By   |   Comments

With Michael Ryder (forced to leave practice Tuesday with an undisclosed injury) questionable for Wednesday’s game at Pittsburgh, the Bruins have recalled Jamie Arniel from AHL Providence on an emergency basis.

Here is the official release on the move from the Bruins:

BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled forward Jamie Arniel from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) on an emergency basis.

Arniel will join Boston for their morning skate on Wednesday, November 10 and be available for the Bruins/Penguins contest at 7:00 p.m. in Pittsburgh.

This is the first professional regular season recall of Arniel’s career.

The 20-year-old Arniel has appeared in 12 games this season for Providence, registering 6-3=9 totals with 6 penalty minutes. He currently leads the team in shots on goal with 44 attempts and is second on the team in both goals scored and total points. Arniel has scored a goal in each of the P-Bruins last three games.

Arniel completed his first full pro season with the Providence Bruins in 2009-10, with 12-16=28 totals in 67 games. He won the club’s Rookie of the Year award and led all P-Bruins first-year players in scoring and assists.

The Kingston, Ontario native was drafted by Boston in the fourth round (97th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

What to expect without David Krejci in the Bruins lineup Wednesday

11.09.10 at 2:50 pm ET
By   |   Comments

WILMINGTON – With David Krejci still out because of a concussion that was suffered in overtime of the Bruins 2-1 shootout loss to the Blues on Saturday, the Bruins did some work with their power-play prior to the official start of practice Tuesday morning. They plan to have Nathan Horton fill in for the injured Krejci on the No. 1 power-play unit, assuming the left-side half-wall position.

“I think he’s one of those guys that can take that step on the half wall and then shoot the puck very well,” coach Claude Julien said about the switch after practice. Julien also said he’s been impressed with the improvements Blake Wheeler has made on the goal line position.

“So we thought that was for now the best way to kind of stabilize our power-play and hopefully keep it going in the right direction,” Julien said.

The lines otherwise remained the same in practice today as yesterday, with Patrice Bergeron centering the first line between Milan Lucic and Horton. Here’s how the other lines were organized:

Mark Recchi-Blake Wheeler-Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille-Tyler Seguin-Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Julien says he feels confident with the line decisions that have been made for the game against the Penguins on Wednesday, but that he also won’t be afraid to shuffle it up some more if it doesn’t work. “That’s part of the situation that you’re in at times,” Julien said. “You have to be open minded about maybe moving some guys around.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci, Nathan Horton,

Daniel Paille glad to be back in Bruins lineup

11.08.10 at 4:13 pm ET
By   |   Comments

A rough first game and the emergence of Jordan Caron has made it tough for Daniel Paille to crack the lineup (AP photo)

WILMINGTON — When David Krejci needed the assistance of teammates to get off the ice after crashing into the boards head-first on Saturday, minds throughout New England began retooling the Bruins’ lineup while running into plenty of questions. Would Patrice Bergeron move up to the first line? [Yes.] Would Tyler Seguin see his role changed? [No.] Would this mean the end of Daniel Paille‘s 10-game healthy scratch streak?

It seems that the answer to that question is also yes. The Bruins considered dipping into the Providence supply when figuring out who would get ice time in the week or so that Krejci is out, but in the end, it appears Paille will get his second chance when the B’s take on the Penguins on Wednesday.

“We talked about [recalling a player from Providence],” Peter Chiarelli said on Monday. “There’s a couple of players down there that are playing well, but right now, Danny’s been champing at the bit, he’s been practicing very well, and he actually had a strong camp.”

Paille was among a number of Bruins who played especially poorly in the team’s season-opener, causing a turnover that led to a Coyotes goal and posting a minus-one in the 5-2 loss to the Coyotes in Prague. The next night, Paille was replaced on the third line by Mark Recchi and Jordan Caron made his NHL debut. With Paille a healthy scratch, the team won a 3-0 contest, and they stuck with the same forwards in the following 10 games, going 7-2-1 in that stretch.

“We’ve got a number of guys here that can play, and in the first 10 games, we hit a huge roll,” Paille said. “That’s something that’s understandable, and I’ve just had to wait for a time to come into the lineup and try to get back into the position.”

Paille was skating on the third line with Seguin and Michael Ryder on Monday. He has practiced with the third-liners throughout the season, so he does have a sense of familiarity with his two linemates, something he feels will be a positive as he looks to avoid encountering rust in his first game back on the ice.

In his quest to not look like a guy who’s hasn’t played in a game in over a month, Paille also hopes that the positive mindset he’s kept will bring good things. The 26-year-old has focused on staying sharp in practices despite the uncertainty of playing time.

“I find that I’ve been battling pretty hard in practices and in the game-day skates, I tend to give that extra effort, so I’m hoping that it pans out for the first game Wednesday, and hopefully it really pays off.”

Read More: Daniel Paille, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron,

Meet the Bruins’ new second-line center: Blake Wheeler

11.08.10 at 1:44 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Blake Wheeler is ready for a stint at his old position (AP Photo)

WILMINGTON — Blake Wheeler left the Ristuccia ice on Monday and walked to his locker, intent on delivering a message.

“Hey guys, I’m playing center!”

The news wasn’t exactly news given that he had served as the second-line center during practice, but even Wheeler could understand that it was a notable topic as the Bruins prepare for the next week or so without the services of David Krejci.

Krejci was diagnosed with a moderate concussion after crashing head-first into the boards following a collision with Blues forward T.J. Oshie early on in overtime during the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout loss on Saturday. He is expected to miss at least a week. When the team returned to practice on Monday, second-line center Patrice Bergeron had jumped onto the first line, with Wheeler sliding in between Jordan Caron and Mark Recchi on the second line.

The Bruins had briefly experimented with the idea of playing Wheeler at center during training camp when it became clear that they’d be without Marc Savard, but ultimately it was Tyler Seguin who stuck as a pivot, playing on the third line. Wheeler, who played center his final two years at the University of Minnesota, is excited for both the opportunity to return to his old position and challenge of regaining the familiarity.

“Today was a bit of the shock to the system, with all the skating and stuff,” Wheeler said. “It’s always nice. I find that it really gets you into the game, gets you involved a lot faster than wing does sometimes because you’re up and down the ice and you’ve got to be really focused defensively. I’ve always liked playing center, so it should be a good challenge.”

Before the team left for its European excursion in late September, it became rather clear that Wheeler would remain a winger, either on the second line or third line. He played a large portion of the preseason with Seguin as his center, but feels that the little time he was exposed to center in camp should be beneficial to what he does going forward.

“It was kind of a crash-course refresher with all the little nuances of playing center,” Wheeler said. “That was huge. It gave me the confidence to know that I could still do that at this level and be effective. For me, that was the biggest thing, just knowing you can do it, and I guess we’ll see how it goes.”

Though familiarity with the center position is something that will come with time, one advantage Wheeler has with this line is that he knows his wingers well. He’s played on lines with both Recchi and Caron this season, and hopes to continue to build chemistry with the two as he adjusts over the next week or two.

“That definitely helps, to have familiarity with guys. Rex always makes it easier on you no matter where you are. That’s always nice, and Jordan’s really strong on the puck, too, so it won’t be any problem for us,” Wheeler said. “We’re going to have to help each other out and pick each other up. It should be no different.”

Wheeler has taken only three faceoffs this season, but has won two of them. He pointed to faceoffs as the biggest burden as he accepts his cameo as a center, and admitted that he hasn’t been practicing them since training camp. As long as he doesn’t lose them clean, Wheeler feels he and his line will be alright.

“That will be the biggest challenge, is the faceoffs. That’s always the toughest part, when you haven’t taken them in a while. I’ll just try to do my best and battle,” Wheeler said. “I know those two guys will be in there helping me out, and trying to get some good wins for me. I guess the job for me is not to lose them clean. As long as you’re in a battle and creating sort of a scrum, that’s half the battle.”

Through 11 games, Wheeler has one goal and two assists.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron,

David Krejci injury update: Peter Chiarelli calls concussion ‘moderate’

11.08.10 at 11:39 am ET
By   |   Comments

WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli offered an update on top-line center David Krejci on Monday, saying the concussion Krejci suffered in overtime on Saturday is “moderate” on a mild – moderate – severe scale.

Chiarelli noted that the only symptoms shown by Krejci following the hit were a headache and some amnesia, and that there was no loss of consciousness. The Bruins have been encouraged by how Krejci has felt in the last two days and that he will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Chiarelli didn’t feel the play in which Krejci was injured, a collision with Blues forward T.J. Oshie that led to him hitting his head against the boards, was malicious in nature.

“I had no issue with the hit,” Chiarelli said, deeming the play an “incidental hit.”

Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines