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Joe Corvo a healthy scratch vs. Maple Leafs

03.19.12 at 12:38 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said following the team’s morning skate that defenseman Joe Corvo will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game when the B’s host the Maple Leafs Monday at TD Garden. The coach said that Corvo is “banged up,” but able to play.

“Joe is not going to be playing tonight,” Julien said of Corvo. “I said [Saturday] he was a healthy scratch, but he’€™s also a little banged up. What that means is if we really needed him he’€™d be available, but right now we’€™re going to stick with the same lineup of healthy guys.”

Mike Mottau will be the other healthy scratch on the blue line.

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Rich Peverley joins morning skate, now considered day-to-day

03.19.12 at 12:08 pm ET
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The Bruins got an encouraging sign Monday morning when forward Rich Peverley, who is coming back from a sprained right knee, took part in the team’s morning skate. It was Peverley’s first time participating in a practice with teammates since suffering his injury on Feb. 15, and he could be closing in on a return to the lineup.

“Day-to-day,” coach Claude Julien said of Peverley’s status. “There’s no exact time for when he’s going to start playing again, but he’s looking better every day.”

Peverley began skating on his own last Wednesday. Morning skates are non-contact practices, so taking contact will be the next step in the forward’s recovery.

“He’s progressed since [Wednesday],” Julien said. “When you’ve been off that long, you don’t just come back overnight, so we’re going to give him a chance and wait for our doctors to clear him.”

In 49 games this season, Peverley has nine goals and 29 assists for 38 points.

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Tim Thomas on shootout win: ‘We needed that immensely’

03.17.12 at 9:44 pm ET
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All eyes were on Tim Thomas on Saturday.

Of all the Bruins with plenty to prove entering the St. Patrick’s Day matinee against the Flyers, the Bruins goalie was at the top of the list.
So, when he turned away Danny Briere on the shot of the shootout, earning the Bruins a 3-2 win before an electric TD Garden house, he raised his arms out of celebration and relief.

“Yeah, I think it was very important, we needed that immensely,” Thomas said. “We needed to show up and have a good game at home. Things haven’€™t been going our way. That’€™s a polite way of saying it lately. To battle out tonight and come up with a good, solid strong game at home and pull out with two points, is hopefully very big for us moving down the road.”

The Bruins stuggles of the last two months have been well documented. They were manhandled in all three losses on the road this week, outscored 17-5 in losses in Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Florida. Overall, they had lost four straight coming in. Thomas started three of those four games and was pulled in the loss in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, he was a different goalie. He stopped Eric Wellwood on a shorthanded blast midway through the first. Moments later he denied superstar Jaromir Jagr with his right pad, as he tried to beat Thomas to the far side. Then, in the final 30 seconds of regulation, with the Flyers sensing a dramatic come-from-behind win in regulation, Thomas battened down the hatches as Philly unloaded cannon shot after cannon shot.

Thomas said his confidence wasn’t shaken this week but the saves early, especially on Jagr, didn’t hurt.

“I wasn’€™t feeling unconfident going into it, I know there was that first bouncy shot at the beginning of the game, but heck I don’€™t trust the bounces right now,” Thomas said. “That’€™s natural I think. But the save on Jagr, it did help to boost my confidence more than it already was.”

Speaking of bounces, that all that beat Thomas on Saturday in regulation as Matt Read and Jakub Voracek redirected shots that Thomas had little-to-no chance of stopping. Then came the last 30 seconds.

“I wasn’€™t sure of the clock exactly, I knew we were getting down towards the end of the game,” he said. “I just didn’€™t want bad luck to strike again, and at that point we’€™re just playing for one point to make it to overtime. You don’€™t want a real good effort like that to go to waste. So, I was just focused on making it through the end, I didn’€™t know if there were 30 seconds or a minute left.”

Thomas said his mindset didn’t change in the shootout either.

“I was actually too focused on trying to figure out what my approach was going to be to the shootout,” said Thomas, who allowed goals to Read and Claude Giroux before stopping Briere in the shootout. “I played Jagr a certain way on the breakaway during the game so my plan going into the shootout was to go out and play the other guys like that. But that didn’€™t work, but it was great to see ours keep going in. After the second one, I kind of changed up what I do and I came way out to [Danny] Briere, I think I went all the way out to the hash marks to try and give him a different look and try to make him think what the heck’€™s he doing.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Tim Thomas,

Gregory Campbell: ‘We’re just going to have to do it the hard way again’

03.17.12 at 5:37 pm ET
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Anyone in attendance Saturday could most certainly sense the urgency from the Bruins from the opening puck drop with the Flyers. The Bruins have slumped big time in the last two months, falling out of first place in the Northeast Division, heading into their game against Philly. A win would put them a point back ahead of Ottawa, at least for the time being.

But the unfortunate part for the Bruins is that it had to come to this.

“Unfortunately, every game is big for us now,” Gregory Campbell said after the Bruins survived in a 3-2 shootout win over the Flyers. “We’ve gotten ourselves into a situation where we’re battling for position with Ottawa now, and a couple of other different teams. We want that home-ice advantage. With 11 games left, we’re unfortunately in a situation where every game is important. And I think you can look at that as a positive because we have to be at our best now, and going into the playoffs, that’s something that’s going to benefit our team.

“Tonight was big for us but one game at a time is our motto right now.”

There was a lot of talk afterward about maintaining the intensity the Bruins showed Saturday for the remaining 11 regular season games so that they have the right chemistry and momentum. The question is: Do the Bruins have enough steam to fulfill that mission and have enough left for another playoff grind?

“There’s a lot of leadership in this room,” Campbell said. “Everybody knows how to win. This team has been in some corners before and we’ve gotten out of them. It hasn’t been easy all year. And we gained a lot of experience and confidence from last year in the things we went through. We’re just going to have to do it the hard way again, take it one game at a time and one period at a time.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Gregory Campbell, Stanley Cup,

Bruins end losing streak with shootout win over Flyers

03.17.12 at 3:41 pm ET
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The Bruins blew a two-goal lead Saturday but finally saw their losing streak end thanks to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Flyers.

Tim Thomas stopped Danny Briere and the B’s got shootout goals from David Krejci, Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron to secure the victory, their first in five games.

With the win, the Bruins improved to 85 points on the season, which puts them one point ahead of the Senators for the Northeast Division lead.

After spotting teams two-goal leads in their previous four games, the B’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to goals from Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. The Flyers got a power play goal from Matt Read in the second period before Jakub Voracek tied the game with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.

Joe Corvo was a healthy scratch for the Bruins, marking the first time this season he was not in the team’s lineup. Chris Kelly, Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg are the only Bruins who have played in each game this season.


– The Bruins’ had been having a terrible time in the first period, spotting teams the first two goals in their previous four games, but they turned that trend around by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Bruins didn’t even allow a shot on goal until 9:35 into the game, so the improvement in the game’s first 20 minutes was apparent.

– The Bruins have been able to break out of slumps in the past by playing a more physical game, and the B’s certainly brought that Saturday. Gregory Campbell fought Zac Rinaldo in a wild first-period bout, while Johnny Boychuk dropped Maxime Talbot in a matter of seconds in a short-lived second-period fight.

– For the first time since joining the Bruins, Greg Zanon had a positive rating (plus-2). He was in front for Read’s goal, but Zanon was also on the ice for both of the Bruins’ first-period goals. The former Wild defenseman will take encouraging signs where he can get them, and after being a minus-5 over his last five games and being a healthy scratch Thursday, Saturday would have to be considered an encouraging sign.

– The B’s needed a better showing out of Thomas, and they got one Saturday. The reigning Vezina-winner ended his streak of three straight starts with three or more goals allowed and came up especially big by sticking his right leg out to stop a first-period Jaromir Jagr breakaway. Thomas came up with huge saves in the final minute of regulation, as the B’s were actually fortunate to get to overtime with how hard the Flyers were attacking.

– A rare big defensive play from Seguin came with just over six minutes remaining. The Flyers were on a 2-on-2, with both Jagr and Seguin trailing behind. A Philadelphia player tried to drop the puck off for Jagr, but Seguin dove to break up the play. The second-year player obviously isn’t known for his work in his own zone, but he came up big to protect the lead Saturday.


Shawn Thornton was furious as he skated to the penalty box after being called for goaltender interference with 8:56 remaining in the game. Thornton was driving to the net with the puck and was tried to slow up after Erik Gustafsson pushed him in towards Ilya Bryzgalov. The call itself was bad enough, but the timing was terrible for a team trying to hold onto a one-goal lead in a game they badly needed to win. The B’s killed off the penalty, but a bad call with under 10 minutes left isn’t what they were looking for.

Bruins-Flyers Live Blog: B’s make Joe Corvo a healthy scratch

03.17.12 at 12:56 pm ET
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Bruins-Flyers Live Blog

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Seventh-place Bruins thinking corrections, not collapse

03.16.12 at 11:38 pm ET
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The Bruins fell into seventh place in the Eastern Conference Friday night, something that would have seemed impossible back in late December when the Bruins were dominating teams left and right.

Yet for as good as the Bruins were back in December (a nine-point lead in the Northeast Division and just three regulation losses over a two-month span), their horrid play of late has been enough to undo their good standing in both the division and the conference. The Senators haven’t needed to play well (10-10-3 over their last 23 games) to catch Boston, but they overtook the division Friday night with an overtime win over the Canadiens.

On Friday, the Bruins held an hour-long skate to try to get their legs going for Saturday’s game. They know that when they take on the Flyers, they won’t just be trying to break a season-worst four-game losing streak, but trying to get back in front of the Senators.

“If you ask anyone and [they say] they don’t know what the standings are, they’re lying to you,” Chris Kelly said after the practice. “Obviously, we know where we stand and where other teams stand. All we can do is focus on ourselves and the games we have coming up.”

It wasn’t too long ago that the Bruins were using the standings for motivation. They woke up on November 1 in last place in the Eastern Conference after a wretched October. The defending champs didn’t like it where they stood, so they did something about it by going 21-3-1 for the rest of 2011.

This slump is much worse than anything that happened in the first month of the season (3-7-0). This isn’t some ugly 10-game stretch to open the season, but a two-and-a-half-month-long collapse. They’ve given up five goals in three consecutive games, and have allowed six in their last two.

“To give up six goals in back-to-back games, that’s not the definition of this hockey team. I think we’re a good, sound hockey team, especially in our own end,” Kelly said. “That hasn’t shown in the last few games.”

The Bruins’ mistakes have been clear. Take the Panthers’ fifth goal Thursday for example. Kelly tried firing a pass across to Andrew Ference in the Bruins’ zone, but the pass went of Adam McQuaid‘s skate and bounced right to Tomas Kopecky in front to set up a Florida tally. The Bruins know what they’re doing wrong, but they can’t seem to keep from doing it. They’re running with just 12 games left in the regular season, they’re running out of time to figure it out.

“Obviously we’d like to [have fixed everything] after one game,” Patrice Bergeron said after Friday’s practice. “Right now it’s not happening. It’s about finding answers and not worrying about the four-game losing streak. It’s about us finding desperation and finding answers. It’s about us working hard and giving everything we’ve got on every shift and coming out on top on every shift. If we do that [every game] we’re going to be alright.”

Said Claude Julien: “You lose your identity when you lose the way [we] have been lately,” Julien said. “Any team that goes through a slump loses its identity. We understand that we have to work hard and win more battles and that comes again with the attitude. The breakdowns are kind of camouflaging the fact that we are still a pretty hard-working team, but when you don’t work smart, you don’t look like a hard-working team.”

If they don’t figure it out, the Senators will stay atop the division, while the Bruins would likely remain in seventh place, making for a regular-season collapse that would be considered unfathomable had some baseball team not just re-written the book on regular-season collapses.

The Bruins know they’re headed down a disappointing path unless they right the ship. Fixing it is their only option, assuming they can do so in time.

“It’s not really a thought right now,” Kelly said of losing the division. “We’re going to go play and see what happens.”

Read More: Chris Kelly, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron,
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