|01.12.12 at 9:29 pm ET|
It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Bruins held off the Canadiens, 2-1, Thursday night at TD Garden.
Jordan Caron scored 1:23 into the game, taking advantage of a good bounce off a Johnny Boychuk dump-in and tapping the puck into the open net. Goaltender Carey Price had left his net to tend to the puck, but it bounced off the end boards and in front to Caron. Milan Lucic made it 2-0 early in the third period with a backhander in front of the net that may have been tipped in by Habs defenseman Josh Gorges.
Tim Thomas lost his shutout bid with 7:14 remaining in the contest when Yannick Weber beat the Bruins’ netminder with a wrist-shot. Former Bruin Tomas Kaberle picked up the primary assist on the goal.
Thursday’s game concluded a four-game home stand for the Bruins. The team will begin a four-game road-trip Saturday night when they face the Hurricanes.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Not a bad first day back up with the Bruins for Jordan Caron. The 2009 first-round pick, who has been sent to Providence five times this season, got in the lineup Thursday in place of Zach Hamill. It was on Caron’s first shift that he scored, giving him three NHL goals this season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Patrice Bergeron had a rare down performance for the Bruins. The center, who was snubbed from the All-Star Game Thursday, won only two of his first eight face-offs and had less than 10 minutes of ice time through the first two periods. He also missed a golden opportunity when a nice behind-the-back pass from Benoit Pouliot to Tyler Seguin gave Seguin and Bergeron a 2-on-1 in the second period. Seguin sent it across to Bergeron, but the center missed the net with this shot.
– Sloppy, sloppy play from both teams. The Bruins had difficulty connecting with their passes all night, and Dennis Seidenberg committed a risky turnover in the first period that led to a great scoring chance for Andrei Kostitsyn.
– Benoit Pouliot had a bad habit of taking bad penalties earlier and the season, and it looks like that habit has returned. Pouliot took a boarding penalty in the offensive zone late in the first period to negate a Bruins power play and put the B’s down a man at the start of the second period. Pouliot was also guilty of an ill-advised high-stick Saturday against the Canucks.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR PEOPLE WHO WATCHED THE GAME
– This rivalry just hasn’t been anything close to what it’s been in recent seasons, and Thursday’s snoozer was the latest example. The Canadiens brought some energy, but ultimately both teams were sloppy, making for an unremarkable contest.
There were some fireworks13 minutes into the third period when a high elbow from P.K. Subban on Krejci drew Andrew Ference’s attention. Even so, there were once again no fights between the two teams, which gives them two fights in five games this season. They tripled that total in the third period of last season’s Feb. 9 game alone.
|01.12.12 at 7:09 pm ET|
|01.12.12 at 12:56 pm ET|
While there has been talk out of Vancouver about the Bruins having dirty players, members of the Canadiens said Thursday that their rivals are not dirty.
“No. They play a certain way and I think that’s why they’re successful,” Max Pacioretty, who had his season ended last year by a shove from Zdeno Chara, said when asked if he finds the B’s to be dirty. “To some extent, I wish we played a little more like them. Maybe not as much as they do, but they’re definitely an intimidating team to play against. They have so many guys who can step up — I’m not talking about fighting — I’m talking about physical. You watch the games recently in the NHL, and there’s not many pretty plays happening. They’re all tough, grinding goals, and a big body presence. I think that’s why they’re successful this year.”
Defenseman P.K. Subban said he has not seen former world junior teammate Brad Marchand‘s hit on Sami Salo, but that he does not consider Marchand or the Bruins to be dirty.
“It’s tough,” Subban said. “There’s a fine line now when you’re throwing hits, so you’ve just got to pay attention to it.”
Said Subban of the B’s: “They’re in your face, you know what I mean? They’ve had a lot of success over the year. They’re Stanley Cup champions, and they’re playing some good hockey this year. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing something right. Whenever you play them, you know they’re going to be in your face, they’re going to finish their checks and they’re going to work hard.
“They’ve got some tough guys on that team. Some real tough guys. They play the game hard. Our team, we’re not built to kind of brawl it out every night. We’re going to stick up for each other as a unit as a group.”
|01.12.12 at 12:28 pm ET|
It goes without saying that the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry has lacked the fireworks it had last season. There have been only two fights, and, at last count, zero criminal investigations. That’s quite the departure from what we saw last season.
Count Habs forward Max Pacioretty among those who has no problem with that. The Connecticut native was the center of attention in the rivalry last season. It all started when he celebrated his Jan. 8 game-winning goal in overtime by shoving Zdeno Chara. He then found himself in the middle of it again when he jumped former college teammate Steven Kampfer in a scrum on Feb. 9.
Of course, the most memorably part of last season’s rivalry came when Chara shoved Pacioretty into a stanchion at Bell Centre on March 8. The play was highly controversial and ended Pacioretty’s season.
So by comparison, the 23 year-old finds this season’s tamer edition of the rivalry to be a relief.
“It definitely is,” Pacioretty said Thursday. “That’s in my past, and hopefully it’s in everyone else’s as well. I’m just looking to help my team win hockey games. Especially against a top team in our conference, I want to do whatever I can to help, and I’ve got to put the past behind me.”
This season, Pacioretty has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points.
|01.12.12 at 12:17 pm ET|
When Jordan Caron made the Bruins out of training camp this season, he probably didn’t expect to be sent down to Providence and recalled five separate times before the halfway point of the regular season.
Yet for a number of reasons — most notably the emergence of Benoit Pouliot as a regular in the B’s lineup and Zach Hamill’s return to relevance — that’s the way it’s been for the former first-round pick, who had said prior to the season that his goal was to stay up with the B’s for the whole campaign. Caron’s made the trip to Providence and back far more often than he had expected, but he isn’t complaining.
“It’s not far. That makes it easier,” Caron said of all of the back and forth Thursday after being recalled once again. “I need to play games, and I can’t be sitting here a month without playing, so I think it’s pretty good for me to go down there and get some games.”
In 12 AHL games this season, Caron has two goals and seven assists for nine points. Coach Claude Julien said after the team’s optional skate Thursday that Caron needs to work on his offensive game, and that he can’t assume he’ll be the next guy called up whenever he’s sent down. Caron agreed.
“I need to keep improving and create stuff offensively,” Caron said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do. When I go down there, it’s not just to play. I need to play well and keep getting better.”
|01.12.12 at 11:28 am ET|
The Bruins confirmed late Thursday morning that forward Marc Savard, whose career is most likely over due to multiple concussions, will not be coming to Boston to make his scheduled appearance.
Earlier Thursday, Savard was tweeting about weather interfering with his travel plans.
Savard was scheduled to meet with the media at 4:30 p.m. at TD Garden Thursday. He was scheduled to be in town to open the suite at TD Garden he purchased for patients at Children’s Hospital dealing with head trauma.
Savard will travel to Boston for a future game.
|01.12.12 at 10:35 am ET|
The Bruins recalled forward Jordan Caron from Providence Thursday, a move that gives them a spare forward with Brad Marchand suspended.
The Bruins have sent Caron to Providence five times this season. In 12 AHL games, Caron has two goals and seven assists for nine points. In 13 NHL games this season, Caron has one goal and two assists for three points.