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Tim Thomas and the Bruins know ‘It’s better to be on this end’

05.04.11 at 6:57 am ET
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The Bruins and Flyers are back in Boston for Game 3 tonight at TD Garden (7 p.m.) and there’s no extended wait between Games 2 and 3 like there is with the Celtics and Heat. And that’s probably a good thing on many levels for the Bruins.

There’s little time to think about being up two games in the series, having dominated the Flyers in pretty much every aspect of the game – except the power play, of course. There’s little time to answer questions about what it’s like being on the flip side of the 2-0 equation just one series after wiping out the deficit and beating the Canadiens in seven games.

These Bruins aren’t about to complain about being up two games despite losing to the Flyers in a similar position last year and overcoming the 0-2 hole in the last round.

‘€œWell it’€™s good to be on the other side this round,” Game 2 hero David Krejci said. “We can control our own things and bring it back to our building. We are going to use our fans as our seventh player and just go out there and take it game by game. Hopefully we can win the third one and go from there.’€

‘€œLike Dave said, it’€™s better to be on this end,” added Tim Thomas, who stopped 52 of 54 shots Monday, including all 10 in OT. “We do know from the way that we were able to come back last series though that a 2-0 lead in a series doesn’€™t mean that the series is over. We still have a lot of work in front of us. As long as we take the same approach one game at a time, one period at a time, one shift at a time I think that’€™s the right approach. So that’€™s the way we will approach it going forward.’€

2010 met 2011 in the post-game following Game 2 when a reporter asked Bruins coach Claude Julien if he realizes how tenuous a two-game lead can be. Sure, it’s a great spot to be in heading home but the Bruins know what the Canadiens did.

‘€œWell, you know, it is a nice position to be in, especially when you win the first two on the road,” Julien said. “There is no doubt that it is the perfect scenario for the first two games on the road, but we are not thinking about that. We are thinking about this year. Probably half the players were not even here last year, so we can bring up whatever we want. Our goal here is to focus on what is happening this year. What happened last year is last year, so it hasn’€™t really been on our minds. We have absolutely learned from that. We are using those kinds of things as a learning tool.

‘€œThey took a two to nothing lead and we never gave up. I believe teams that make is this far are teams that have a lot of character. We know they are not going to give up, and we know has what happened with this team. They are capable of bouncing back just as they did in the last round, so we have to be ready for them. We need to understand that the second half of tonight’€™s game was not good enough for this hockey club. We hold ourselves responsible for higher standards, and we are going to have to be better.’€

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, David Krejci

Bruins know they can’t get comfortable being up 2-0

05.03.11 at 2:04 pm ET
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It can be tempting to think a series is over once a team takes a two-game lead, but no one around the Bruins is thinking that way ‘€” or at least not publicly admitting it. After coming back from a 2-0 series deficit against the Canadiens in the first round this year and blowing a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers last year, the Bruins know this series is far from over.

“I’€™m not looking so much at where we are in the series more than what’€™s at stake in [Wednesday] night’€™s game and how well we have to play,” Claude Julien said. “The rest will take care of itself. If we play well, we’€™ll be up by another game. I don’€™t think there’€™s anybody in that dressing room, including the coaching staff and players, who’€™s sitting comfortably right now.”

Defenseman Andrew Ference concurred with his coach and said that feeling complacent or expecting anything to come easy would be a recipe for disaster.

“I don’€™t think we need to look too far back to know that guys aren’€™t going to be too comfortable with leads and to know that the playoffs are hard-fought and you have to earn victories,” Ference said. “I think it would be silly for anybody to think that the guys in this locker room are comfortable.”

In fact, the Bruins know there are still plenty of areas they can improve. One is obviously the power play, which is now 0-for-29 in the playoffs after going 0-for-2 Monday night.

“We’ve talked about that quite a bit,” Julien said of the power play. “I’m getting tired of it, actually. I think yesterday we certainly moved the puck a lot better. We spent more time in their end. We had some chances and we just didn’t bury them. To me, although we didn’t score, I thought our power play was better. If we can keep getting better, hopefully we’ll get the result here soon.”

Julien said his team will also have to do a better job of playing its game for the full 60 minutes and not getting away from the game plan. That was a problem in the third period of Game 2, when the Bruins got outshot 22-7 and only managed to force overtime because of the great play of Tim Thomas in net.

“We just totally lost focus on the things we had to do,” Julien said. “We kind of got caught in the run-and-gun type of game. Certainly that’€™s never served us well in the past, to play that type of game. Because of that, you saw some great scoring chances and you saw some breakaways. They had a lot of space in the neutral zone.

“Those are the kinds of adjustments we’€™re talking about. We have to get a little bit better as far as the 60-minute focus on the things we have do in order to minimize those scoring chances that they seem to have gotten yesterday.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrew Ference, Claude Julien,

Adam McQuaid day-to-day with sprained neck

05.03.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Defenseman Adam McQuaid is day-to-day with a sprained neck, Claude Julien said Tuesday. McQuaid suffered the injury when he crashed face-first into the boards after missing a check on the Flyers’ Mike Richards in the first period of Monday night’s Game 2 victory in Philadelphia.

McQuaid was taken to an area hospital, but he traveled back to Boston with the team after the game. Julien said all the X-rays on McQuaid have come back negative.

If McQuaid can’t go for Wednesday night’s Game 3, Shane Hnidy would likely be his replacement. Steven Kampfer skated Tuesday for the first time since suffering a knee injury back in April, but Julien said he is “still going to be a while.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Adam McQuaid, Shane Hnidy, Steven Kampfer

After losing a pair on home ice, Peter Laviolette plays a psychological card on the Bruins

05.03.11 at 12:14 am ET
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PHILADELPHIA — After his team fell into an 0-2 hole with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bruins Monday night, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette attempted to play a psychological card on the Bruins. Simply put, Laviolette said all the pressure is on Boston to advance now that that have a stranglehold on the series for the second straight year.

‘€œWe have to go into Boston and win one hockey game,” Laviolette said. “Going to the well is not an easy thing to do. It’€™s a difficult thing to do and we did it last series and we did it last year against Boston. When you lose your first two games in your home building, I would say there’€™s a real expectation for the Bruins to win the series now. So it relieves us of the pressure, I believe, a little bit to just go in and play a game in Boston. And while it relieves us of the pressure, it certainly mounts onto them to be successful now that they have a 2-0 lead.”

The Flyers came back from 3-2 down against the Sabres in the first round while the Bruins overcame losing the first two games to the Canadiens on their home ice to advance. Laviolette went as far as to guarentee that his team would play well enough in Games 3 and 4 in Boston to bring the series back to Philadelphia for a Game 5 this Sunday.

‘€œI really like our guys,” Laviolette said. “I think we’€™re going to go into Boston, we’€™re going to play a strong hockey game, we’€™re going to win a game. This team never quits. We get to remove some of that pressure right now and just go play, have some fun and see if we can score some more goals than we did tonight. I truly believe this team still has a lot of fight in it.’€

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, NHL, Peter Laviolette

Adam McQuaid back to Boston with Bruins after head-on scare

05.02.11 at 11:54 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — After being taken to a Philadelphia hospital after falling head-first into the boards late in the first period, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid will travel back to Boston with the team, Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Boston’s 3-2 overtime win.

McQuaid was shaken after tripping over the leg of Mike Richards and falling into the boards. He was tended to on the ice by Bruins medical staff before being helped off by teammates Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara and taken to a Philadelphia hospital.

“Adam is coming back home with us,” Julien said. “He’s on his way back. He was sent to the hosital for further evaluation. I don’t know the [complete] details but he’s coming back with us and that’s a good sign in itself. Our D did a great job of stepping up.”

The Bruins were forced to play with five defenseman for the rest of the game, including overtime. Dennis Seidenberg played 36 minutes while Chara played 31 minutes and had to leave briefly after a long shift in overtime before returning.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Adam McQuaid, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers

Joke’s gotten old, but as Chris Kelly’s production grows, so too does the legend of the cage

05.02.11 at 11:51 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — Chris Kelly hears it every day (sometimes more than once), but as long as he continues to play the way he has, he’ll keep hearing it. His full cage has magical powers.

Bruins fans know two Chris Kellys. There’s the one who had five points in 24 regular-season games with the Bruins after being acquired via trade in Feburary, and there’s the one with the cage. Given that the latter has six points in six games since having to wear his full cage thanks to a Game 3 shove from Scott Gomez, people prefer that one.

Yet the running joke with media members that Kelly will have to keep the cage even when his face, which hit goal-post after sliding from the play with Gomez, fully heals, is getting old for the third-line center, who has often played along with the joke.

Though he spoke about the cage Monday morning, he was asked about it once again after scoring the Bruins’ first goal in their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2. His reaction?

“You guys are taking that cage and running with it, eh?” he asked a group of laughing reporters.

“The cage will come off when I’m suggested to take it off, regardless of how things keep going here. That will be my final statement on the cage,” he added with a grin.

Not if he keeps it up. That second Kelly has been too big for the Bruins.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly,

David Krejci wins it for Bruins in OT

05.02.11 at 10:42 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — It took some extra time and some extra nail-biting, but the Bruins grabbed a 2-0 series lead over the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory. David Krejci scored the game-winner at 14:00 of the first overtime period. It was Krejci’s third goal the last two games, and the Bruins’ fourth overtime victory this postseason.

The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 10 minutes thanks to a pair of goals from James van Riemsdyk. The 21-year old beat Tim Thomas 29 seconds into the contest to give the Flyers the lead, and he followed it at 9:31 with a power play goal.

The B’s would come roaring back, as Chris Kelly put a puck past Brian Boucher with traffic in front of the net at 12:50, with Brad Marchand scoring 1:25 later. The teams played to a scoreless second period, though Boucher would leave with an apparent hand injury after from a Johnny Boychuk slap shot. Boucher was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky for the remainder of the period, but would return in the third and play the rest of the game.

Thomas made 42 saves in regulation, while Boucher stopped 28. Bobrovsky saved all six shots he saw.

The teams will now head to Boston, where they will play Games 3 and 4 at TD Garden on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.


– The Bruins have trailed by multiple goals on the road twice this postseason, and have come back to tie it in both instances. The B’s trailed by a pair in the second period of Game 4 of the quarterfinals vs. the Canadiens and went on to win the game in overtime, and once they got going, they needed less than three minutes to come back from the Flyers’ 2-0 lead in the first period.

– This is some start to the series for Marchand. After totaling an impressive five points in the Montreal series, the rookie has four points, including three goals, in the first two contests of the quarterfinals. His goal on Monday was a big one, as his snipe on a wrist shot in the first period tied the game at two. He did have one of the occasional moments that comes with his play when he took a cross-checking penalty 3:21 into the third period.

– Chris Kelly can say he hates his cage all he wants, but the fact of the matter is that he’s had six points in six games since first donning in in Game 4 of the quarterfinals vs. the Canadiens. It’s either a good-luck charm or perhaps there’s far more to Kelly than was initially seen when the B’s traded for him in February.


Adam McQuaid left the game in the first period and did not return. The rookie defenseman went to hit Mike Richards in the Boston zone, but it seem his stick hit Richards’ skate, causing him to trip over it and go head-first into the boards. He was taken to Jefferson Hospital for evaluation. If he is unable to play in Game 3, you can expect Shane Hnidy ‘€” unless Steve Kampfer is ready to return.

– The Flyers really applied the pressure in the third period, with 22 shots begin fired on Tim Thomas. Luckily for the Bruins, their netminder was up for the challenge and shut down many serious bids from Philadelphia. The B’s had seven shots in the third period.

– JVR has been a thorn in Boston’s side, and there’s no question about it. The 21-year-old New Jersey native has scored three goals in the first two games of the series, even after Thomas stoned him on a 2-on-1 with Nikolay Zherdev in Game 1. The UNH product has now scored in four straight games, and three straight playoff games against the Bruins. He had the goal late in the first period of Game 7 against the B’s that started the Flyers’ comeback.

The flashy play from van Riemsdyk wasn’t limited to just his scoring. He had a boat-load of opportunities for the Flyers Monday on a night in which he was clearly the best player on the ice. Among his chances was a breakaway in which he missed the net with Dennis Seidenberg giving chase.

– Speaking of defensemen, Zdeno Chara most definitely gave Danny Briere a little extra something in front of the Bruins’ bench with 2:39 remaining in the game, going off for roughing and giving the Flyers a big power play at the wrong time.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Brian Boucher, Chris Kelly
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