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Bruins-Panthers Live Blog: B’s look to start new streak

12.08.11 at 6:58 pm ET
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Bruins-Panthers Live Blog

Bruins sign Dougie Hamilton to entry level deal

12.08.11 at 6:27 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Thursday that they have signed defenseman Dougie Hamilton to an entry-level contract.

Hamilton, who is currently playing for the Niagara IceDogs, has 11 goals and 30 assists for 41 points this season and was named Defenseman of the Month for October. The 18-year-old will remain in the OHL this season, but figures to make a push for an NHL job next training camp.

The Bruins chose Hamilton ninth overall in June’s draft, selecting him with a pick acquired in 2009’s trade with the Maple Leafs that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto. Hamilton was invited to Team Canada’ selection camp for the World Junior Championships.

Hamilton spoke to in October about the season he’s been having. Here‘s what he had to say.

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Brad Marchand on M&M: Seguin benching ‘a misunderstanding’

12.08.11 at 12:54 pm ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to discuss the Bruins 2-1 loss to the Jets Tuesday and Tyler Seguin‘s benching that night because of missing meetings. Marchand repeated Seguin’s explanation for his absence, saying that Seguin was confused because of the time change from Boston to Winnipeg.

“What kind of happened was, when we went to Winnipeg, the time changed back an hour and he didn’t know that, so he changed it back two hours by accident,” Marchand said. “It was a misunderstanding and stuff like that happens, especially when everyone is so tired and stuff.”

Seguin’s absence in Tuesday’s game was made more prominent by the fact that the Bruins struggled to score on Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and Seguin currently leads the team in points with 25 (13 goals, 12 assists). Marchand said the team did not blame Seguin for the loss to the Jets, which ended the Bruins 15-game point streak that dated back to Oct. 29. He also said that Seguin had not, to his knowledge, been late to anything else this season, but tardiness had been a problem at times for Seguin last year. Still, Marchand said he will not use this benching as an opportunity to counsel Seguin on how to behave as an NHL player.

“I might make fun of him for it, but he understands,” Marchand said. “He knows that he’s our leading scorer right now and he’s a big part of the team and we need him on the ice. It’s a learning process. Everything that we go through is a learning process. He’s young and he has a lot to learn. He’s only 19 years old. The guys in this league have had a lot more time to groom themselves and to learn. Most of the guys on the team are 25, 26, 27, so he’s still got a lot of time to try to learn the ropes, but I think people kind of forget that sometimes.”

Following are more highlights of the conversation. To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teammates defend Tyler Seguin, but they haven’t missed meetings

12.08.11 at 12:24 pm ET
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Are you ready for Tyler Seguin‘s apology for skipping a team meeting and being scratched as a result?

“I talked about it the other day,” Seguin said Thursday. “I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”

That’s all Seguin would say on the matter, as the Bruins would not permit further questions about his actions in Winnipeg and the discipline he’s received. He will be in the lineup Thursday against the Panthers.

While Seguin was not allowed to elaborate on his confusing time zone mixup excuse, teammates did not shed light on the matter.

Jordan Caron, who was rooming with Seguin when the team arrived early Tuesday in Winnipeg, said that he simply thought Seguin was sleeping a few minutes later Tuesday morning.

“It was an accident. I got up real early and didn’t want to wake him up,” Caron said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I went to breakfast, and then the meeting started. We tried calling him a few times. It’s an accident. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. It happens.”

Caron noted that Seguin was indeed in the room, and that “he wasn’t out or anything.” The Bruins arrived in Winnipeg early Tuesday morning after playing in Pittsburgh Monday night.

“We came in really late. We went to bed at the same time and I woke up really early and went and got breakfast,” he said. “I didn’t want to wake him up first. It was an accident.”

The Bruins did not permit questions about the incident during Seguin’s media availability, with the second-year forward saying only the following: “I talked about it the other day. I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”

Like Seguin, Nathan Horton was once a top-5 pick (third overall in 2003). Has he ever missed a meeting?

“I haven’t,” Horton said. “I’m too afraid to miss them, so I show up real early. Things do happen, and you just can’t let it happen I guess.”

Seguin received a talking to from Shawn Thornton Tuesday, but Horton said that more than one player talked to the youngster about it.

“I think a lot of guys have [spoken to him],” Horton said. “He obviously knows what he did wrong. It’s just, try to forget about it and move on, and try not to let it happen again.”

Dennis Seidenberg also said he has never missed a meeting in his career. He did, however, defend Seguin by echoing the youngster’s claim that he missed the meeting because he still had his phone on Boston time.

“He missed adapting to a time change, or changing the time on his cell phone,” Seidenberg said. “The wakeup call just didn’t go off, so that’s why he missed.”

It was then pointed out that, if the phone story is to believed, Seguin would have woken up an hour early.

“Oh yeah, that’s true,” Seidenberg said with a laugh.

Asked then whether he bought Seguin’s excuse, Seidenberg laughed and remarked, “I have no idea. I’ve got nothing.”

All kidding aside, Nathan Horton has never missed a meeting in his career. Dennis Seidenberg has never missed a meeting. Combined, that’s 17 seasons without a single meeting missed. Tyler Seguin has missed “more than a few” in one season and two months. Pun very intended:

That’s alarming.

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Tyler Seguin did not have attendance issues in OHL

12.07.11 at 3:22 pm ET
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As the people of Boston exchange one another’s definitions of “more than a few,” you have to wonder just how big a problem showing up on time is for Tyler Seguin, and how long it’s been a problem.

Seguin has a history of attendance issues, but according to his former coach, those issues don’t date back to his days of playing junior hockey.

Plymouth Whalers coach Mike Vellucci, who drafted Seguin and coached him for the majority the youngster’s two seasons in the OHL, told Wednesday that Seguin never had any problems with attendance in Plymouth.

The Bruins scratched Seguin Tuesday night in Winnipeg for skipping a team breakfast and meeting, with the 19-year-old saying he had an issue with his alarm clock. Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli both said that Seguin has had multiple such incidents since coming to the NHL.

This may simply be a case of a kid learning how to handle being a professional athlete, or it may be a case of a kid who’s still learning how to set an alarm clock on a cell phone. Whatever it is, Seguin should know by now that the team isn’t willing to let it slide anymore.

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Weary Bruins stumble in Winnipeg, suffer first regulation loss in 16 games

12.06.11 at 11:16 pm ET
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No hockey team can win every game, and the Bruins proved that Tuesday night when their 15-game point streak came to an end in Winnipeg via a 2-1 loss to the Jets at the MTS Centre. The game was a tough task for the Bruins, who put up a valiant effort despite playing their third game in four days, but fell victim to a hot goaltender in the Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec.

Winnipeg got on the board first when Andrew Ladd fired a wrister over Tuukka Rask‘€™s right shoulder 18:21 into the first period to give the Jets a 1-0 lead. In the second period, both teams went on the man-advantage twice, but neither team could find the back of the net.

Shawn Thornton tied the game in the third period on a redirect of a Daniel Paille shot after Greg Campbell stripped Jason Jaffray of the puck at the top of the Winnipeg zone. The Jets reclaimed the lead 4:50 into the third when the Bruins gave up a 2-on-1 off a faceoff and Bryan Little cashed in, beating Rask five-hole for the game-winner.

The Bruins will get a day off Wednesday before hosting the Panthers at the TD Garden Thursday night.

What went wrong for the Bruins

– Pavelec was simply phenomenal for the Jets Tuesday night as he tied a season-high record for saves with 39. While the Bruins had plenty of scoring chances, they simply could not find a way to beat the Czech goaltender. In the last five minutes of the third period, the Bruins peppered Pavelec with shots, but he was perfectly positioned for all of them. He made a particularly impressive save on a Milan Lucic shot with 37.8 seconds left, when he slid across the crease just in time to cover Lucic’s attempt.

Boston experienced the same frustration on the power play, when, despite putting up 11 shots on three power plays, could net find the back of the net with the man-advantage.

– It seemed like nothing was going right for David Krejci Tuesday night. The forward had a flurry of offensive chances early in the game, including a rebounder fired from the top of the crease off a Zdeno Chara shot early in the second, but Pavelec frustrated Krejci’€™s chances all night. Krejci then took two minor penalties, one of which ended the second period and another at the beginning of the third period.

– The Bruins were without Tyler Seguin, who leads the team with 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 25 games. Seguin was a healthy scratch because he missed team breakfast Tuesday morning. It was not the first time Seguin missed a team activity, and Peter Chiarelli decided to use the episode as a learning experience for the young forward. Rich Peverley took over Seguin’€™s second-line duties. Jordan Caron filled out the lineup.

What went right for the Bruins

– Rask kept the game close in the third period when he dove forward to rob Evander Kane from just in front of the net seven minutes into the third period. The stop was an important one for Boston, who was losing momentum fast following a Winnipeg goal to make it 2-1 Jets. Rask made a flashy glove save midway through the period with the Jets on a power play due to a tripping call against Benoit Pouliot.

Those two saves were especially welcome from Rask since the first goal he gave up, a high wrister off Ladd’€™s stick, was one he may have wanted back.

– Fourth lines are not supposed to be scoring lines, so it is always an added bonus for a team when its fourth line can put up some points. Thornton did just that Tuesday night, when a Paille shot bounced off his hand to beat the otherwise unbeatable Pavelec.

Johnny Boychuk returned to the game after taking a booming Zach Bogosian shot to the leg. Immediately after blocking the shot, Boychuck writhed in pain on the ice before hobbling to the bench. Boychuk recovered well enough between periods to play the third, which was especially fortuitous since it was Boychuk who slowed up Kane on what could have been a breakaway to put the game away late in the third.

What realignment, new schedule format means for the Bruins

12.05.11 at 10:12 pm ET
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The NHL’s Board of Governors approved a new, four-conference format for the league Monday, with the new conferences to be implemented at the start of next season.

Realignment was deemed necessary when the Atlanta Thrashers, who played in the Southeast division, moved to Winnipeg. As a result, the Jets will play in the Central division with more mid-western teams.

The four conferences (which have yet-to-be-named) will look like this:

Conference 1 (seven teams): Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

Conference 2 (seven teams): Carolina, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.

Conference 3 (eight teams): Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg.

Conference 4 (eight teams): Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver.

One major change that accompanies the realignment is that every team will play one another twice, with each time team facing out-of-conference clubs both at home and on the road. Teams will play opponents in their conference six times.

For the Bruins, this essentially means the B’s will be seeing Guy Boucher and the Lightning, as well as the Panthers, twice more each season, and will host each team at TD Garden and play them on the road.

Also, with the four conferences champions playing one another beginning in the third round of playoffs, it means the B’s could not face a team like the Canadiens in the round prior to the Stanley Cup Finals (the third round), as they could have before. With that being said, they could play a team like the Flyers for the Cup. Again, it’s radical.

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