Big Bad Blog AT&T
WEEI.com Blog Network

5 things we learned as Bruins fall at home to Predators

12.07.15 at 9:44 pm ET
By   |   Comments

To say the Bruins’€™ offense fell stagnant in the second half of their 3-2 loss to the Predators Monday would be an understatement.

After getting a power play goal from Loui Eriksson to take a 2-1 lead at 10:53 of the second period, the Bruins went 17:16 without a shot on goal. The Predators scored to tie the game early in that stretch and took control of the game while the B’€™s remained either shorthanded or dormant. Though the Bruins eventually managed to put some pucks on Carter Hutton in the third period, the Predators finally took the lead with 4:56 to play.

Partially because of how much time they spent shorthanded, the Bruins managed just seven shots on goal in the first period, four in the second and six in the third for a total of 17, a season low. Jonas Gustavsson stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced.

The 14-9-3 Bruins will next head to Montreal, where they will face the Carey Price-less Canadiens Wednesday at Bell Centre.

Here are four more things we learned Monday:

BUSY PENALTY KILL TAKES STEP BACK

The Bruins had allowed one power play goal in their last seven games leading up to Monday night. They weren’€™t so successful when shorthanded against the Predators.

Roman Josi scored a pair of power-play goals for the Predators, marking the first time since the Bruins’€™ Nov. 17 game against the Sharks that Boston’€™s penalty kill allowed multiple goals.

Then again, the Bruins’€™ penalty-killers were extremely busy on Monday. The Bruins took eight minor penalties and found themselves shorthanded seven times.

“It definitely takes up some time there, killing it,” Eriksson said of spending much of the game shorthanded. “We took too many penalties today, and it’s tough to be on the ice four against five. You’re skating a lot, you’re wasting a lot of energy.”

There were also a pair of fights in the penalty-filled affair, as Brad Marchand fought Josi at 4:04 of the second period and Tyler Randell absolutely pummeled Eric Nystrom a couple minutes later.

Josi’€™s second power play goal came after a second-period hooking penalty called on Patrice Bergeron. The penalty gave Bergeron 16 penalty minutes through 26 games this season, which puts him on pace for 50 on the season.

Should Bergeron hit close to that mark, he’€™ll set a new career-high in penalty minutes for the third consecutive season. The now 30-year-old center had 43 penalty minutes in 2013-14, which he followed up with 44 last season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brad Marchand defends Brandon Prust because the NHL is a weird league where players hit each other in the you-know-whats and shrug it off

12.07.15 at 12:38 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Brad Marchand questioned Brandon Prust’€™s integrity on Monday. Then he pretty much defended the player who whacked him in the you-know-whats in Saturday’€™s game between the Bruins and Canucks. What a sport.

Prust was fined $5,000 by the NHL‘€™s Department of Player Safety for spearing Marchand in the groin in the final minutes of the Bruins’€™ 4-0 win in Vancouver.

The veteran forward responded to the suspension by calling his fine the “best money I ever spent.”€ His comments should not have been overly surprising because, as was seen around these parts with Milan Lucic, hockey players are cool with the idea of skating around whacking each other’€™s privates and then occasionally referencing a make-believe set of standards called The Code.

“I thought that he played with a lot more class in his game,” Marchand said. “I thought he was a hard-worker, but clearly he doesn’€™t have that integrity that I think a lot of people thought he had.”

There are worse cheap shots that can be taken. Concussions can derail a player’€™s well-being, but they’€™ll always exist in the NHL because of the speed of the game and the size of the equipment. It would seem that it would be easy enough for players to decide that the — let’€™s keep calling it “groin” — is off-limits. It isn’€™t, for some reason.

“Well it clearly doesn’€™t feel good and it hurts,” Marchand said when asked why players hit each other in that area. “Whenever you’€™re upset with someone and you want to take a shot, it’€™s an easy place to target and you know it’€™s going to hurt. I think that’€™s why a lot of guys do it.”

When reminded that players often refer to The Code (which, again, is as real as the Easter Bunny), Marchand essentially defended Prust.

“It happens all the time. If you’€™re down by a few goals or you’€™re having a bad game and someone takes a shot at you, someone says the wrong thing, then guys get upset and they take shots at guys,” he said. “It’€™s just human nature and there’€™s a lot of good players that take jabs at guys. People can say whatever they want. I’€™m not overly upset about what happened. It’€™s part of the game; I’€™ve done it and I’€™m sure he’€™s done it before. I’€™m sure it won’€™t be the last. It won’€™t be the last time I do it. It is what it is and it’€™s part of hockey.”

What a sport.

David Pastrnak skates, Jonas Gustavsson to start for Bruins Monday

12.07.15 at 12:23 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Jonas Gustavsson will start Monday against the Predators in hopes of finishing the game.

The Bruins yanked their backup goaltender from Friday’€™s eventual overtime loss to the Flames after he allowed three goals on 11 shots over a little more than one period of play. Tuukka Rask played well in relief of him and blanked the Canucks the next night, but Monday will see the B’€™s turn back to their backup.

In other lineup news, Adam McQuaid took part in Monday’€™s morning skate after leaving Saturday’€™s game with what appeared to be a wrist injury. Claude Julien would not say whether McQuaid would be in Monday’€™s lineup. The lines and pairings were as follows in morning skate:

Marchand-€”Bergeron-Connolly
Beleskey-€”Krejci-Eriksson
Spooner-Kemppainen-€”Vatrano
Rinaldo-Ferraro-”Randell
(Hayes)

Chara-Trotman
Krug-McQuaid
Morrow-€”Kevan Miller
Seidenberg-€”Colin Miller

Gustavsson

Prior to the morning skate, injured forward David Pastrnak skated by himself. Pastrnak has not played since Oct. 31 due to a non-displaced fracture in his left foot. Julien would not say whether Monday was Pastrnak’€™s first day back on the ice.

Brandon Prust fined for spearing Brad Marchand, calls it ‘best money I ever spent’

12.06.15 at 5:43 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Canucks forward Brandon Prust was fined $5,000 for spearing Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the privates late in Saturday’€™s game between the teams.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Prust said he did not regret his actions.

“Best money I ever spent,” Prust said. “I kind of that’€™s what would happen. It wasn’€™t that hard and he sold it pretty good. I saw him laughing on the bench after, so I don’€™t think he’€™s too hurt.”

Prust also suggested that Marchand, a player with a reputation for dirty plays and suspensions, is deserving of occasional cheap shots.

“I think he does that every night, so sometimes you want to do it back,” Prust said.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Brandon Prust,

5 things we learned as Bruins scratch big names, still beat Canucks

12.06.15 at 12:36 am ET
By   |   Comments

Claude Julien sat some pretty big names Saturday, but it resulted in a much-needed win over the Canucks to wrap up what thad been a disappointing three-game road trip for the Bruins.

With Dennis Seidenberg, Jimmy Hayes and Colin Miller all in the press box in favor of the likes of Joe Morrow, Kevan Miller and Tyler Randell, the Bruins responded to a pair of disappointing losses by handing the Canucks a 4-0 defeat behind a Tuukka Rask shutout and a two-point night from Landon Ferraro. The shutout was Rask’€™s third of the season, though he faced just 17 shots in a relatively easy night.

Julien’s lineup shakeup saw him use the following forward lines:

Marchand-Bergergon-Connolly
Beleskey-Krejci-Eriksson
Vatrano-Kemppainen-Spooner
Rinaldo-Ferraro-Randell

While the trip ended in strong fashion for the Bruins, the game did not. Brandon Prust speared Brad Marchand in the groin in the final minutes of the game. Marchand remained on the ice in pain, though he stayed in the game.

The 14-8-3 Bruins will return to the Garden for a game against the Predators Friday before facing the Canadiens Wednesday in Montreal.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

MCQUAID HURT

A Torey Krug turnover forced Adam McQuaid to lunge into a shooting lane to block a Jared McCann shot. It resulted in injury, as the puck appeared to hit McQuaid in either the wrist or forearm. McQuaid was in pain as he left the ice and he did not return to the game.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 things we learned as Bruins let Dougie Hamilton off hook in overtime loss

12.04.15 at 11:58 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Dougie Hamilton’€™s first game against his former team was set to end horribly. It instead ended with him assisting Johnny Gaudreau’€™s third goal of a 5-4 overtime win for the Flames over the Bruins.

With the Flames on a power play in a 3-3 game late in regulation, Hamilton fumbled with the puck at the point, allowing Brad Marchand to steal the puck and race through the neutral zone. Hamilton had no choice but to slash the stick out of Marchand’€™s hands, resulting in a penalty shot on which Marchand scored to give the Bruins a 4-3 lead with 1:06 remaining.

The lead wouldn’t last, however, as the Flames then pulled Kari Ramo until Jiri Hudler scored amidst a last-second flurry in which Dennis Seidenberg was playing without a stick.

The Flames then took advantage of a Zdeno Chara giveaway in overtime, resulting in a rush that saw Hamilton feed Gaudreau to both give the Boston College product a hat trick and give Boston its second straight loss after regulation.

The Bruins, who lost to Edmonton in a shootout Wednesday, will try to salvage the remainder of what’€™s been a disappointing road trip when they face the Canucks Saturday in Vancouver.

GUSTAVSSON YANKED

Jonas Gustavsson was given the start Friday night in he first game of a back-to-back for the Bruins, but he left Claude Julien little choice but to pull him in the second period.

It wasn’€™t a pretty night for Gustavsson, whose worst play of the night saw him allow an easy short-side goal off a Mark Giordano snap shot. Poor positioning from Gustavsson allowed Giordano space to squeeze his shot between the netminder and the right post to give the Flames the lead back in the second period. All in all, Gustavsson allowed three goals on 11 shots faced in the first 21:56 of the game.

Rask proved to be a stabilizing factor for the Bruins in the second period, stopping Johnny Gaudreau’€™s hat trick bid on an odd man rush late in the second period. He came 1.2 seconds away from a perfect 23-for-23 showing.

Rask’€™s biggest save of the game would come shortly after, as he stopped T.J. Brodie on a breakaway in the opening minute of overtime.  Read the rest of this entry »

5 things we learned as Bruins’ win streak ends in shootout loss to Oilers

12.03.15 at 12:29 am ET
By   |   Comments

The Bruins’€™ five-game win streak ended against an unlikely opponent, as the B’€™s suffered a 3-2 shootout loss against the lowly Oilers Wednesday night in Edmonton.

The Oilers, who entered the game dead last in the NHL with 18 points, held down the fort against Boston’€™s offense, with Boston managing to get just a pair of goals past Anders Nilsson, both of which came from defensemen. The B’€™s did not score a goal in the shootout, with Jordan Eberle scoring the only goal of the skills competition.

The Bruins appeared headed for a regulation loss as they trailed the Oilers by a 2-1 score late, but a third-period Zdeno Chara goal pulled the B’€™s even. David Krejci fed Chara in the slot, with Chara beating Nilsson to tie the game with 3:21 remaining in regulation. Torey Krug scored Boston’s other goal.

The teams then played to a scoreless but exciting overtime that saw the sides trade chances and Boston take a late penalty. Matt Beleskey shoved Ryan Nugent-Hopkins into the net at 3:54 of the extra period, earning Beleskey an interference penalty and shaking up Tuukka Rask a bit. Rask would stay in the game.

The Bruins will continue their road trip Friday in Calgary against the Flames, who entered Thursday with the second-worst record in the league.

Here are four more things we learned Wednesday:

RASK COVERS UP FOR MISTAKES

Tuukka Rask had a terrific night against an Oilers team with plenty of young offensive firepower. He came up huge on a Taylor Hall breakaway in the first period, first stopping Hall and then managing to get a glove on Jordan Eberle’€™s follow-up bid.

A bad turnover around the net from Zach Trotman late in the second period led to another Grade A scoring chance for the Oilers, but Rask stopped Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to keep the game tied.

Read the rest of this entry »

Latest from Bleacher Report

Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines