|03.24.11 at 5:22 pm ET|
Thursday night’s game between the Bruins and Canadiens has been getting even more attention than usual thanks to Mark Recchi’s recent suggestion that the Habs exaggerated Max Pacioretty’s injury to get B’s captain Zdeno Chara suspended. Milan Lucic made similar comments Wednesday, but prior to the game stressed that the team’s focus is on the game.
“I think the focus, even berfore the war of words is to get the win,” Lucic said. “Whatever Mark said he said. He’s been on the Montreal side before, and now he’s on the Boston side. I don’t think we need to repeat what he said or what I said. As of right now, we’re focused on getting a big win here, and we know it’s a big night for us in the last game of the season [series].
“He’s been in the league for two decades. He’s done more than his fair share of time here, and I feel like he has the right to say whatever he’s going to say. Rex said whatever he felt was right, and our focus is not on anything like that. We’re just going to go out there and play.”
Claude Julien had no interest in answering questions about Recchi’s comments.
“We’re here to play hockey,” the coach said. “That’s all there is to it, and this he-said-she-said stuff and soap opera, I’m not interesting in asnwerign those questions because two hours from now, there’s a big game to be played, and it’s a big two points for both teams. That’s what my focus is on right now.”
|03.24.11 at 12:31 pm ET|
Talk about the Bruins with WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean. Topics sure to be hit on include Thursday’s tilt with the Canadiens and the Bruins’ accusations that Montreal embellished Max Pacioretty’s injury.
|03.23.11 at 5:44 pm ET|
Bruins president Cam Neely was a guest on The Big Show on Wednesday, and discussed a variety of topics, including the suspension of Matt Cooke and the progress of Tyler Seguin. But Neely was first asked what kind of team he feels he has with this Bruins squad. The Bruins had posted a 1-3-3 mark in the last seven games before Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over the Devils.
“What you see with our team is more the way we played last night and other games — I’m not going to say every game during that seven-game winning streak — but the Calgary game, the Vancouver game, a couple of other games, when we play as disciplined as we do, within our structure from our end out and get the goaltending we did those games that’s generally the makeup of our team,” said Neely. “Then when you see us play we have prior to last night I see it as not having the commitment and work ethic. We are a team that when we work really hard play really well.”
As for the seven-game struggle that preceded the win on Tuesday, Neely feels the large majority of blame must go to the players, and not the coaching staff.
“It falls on everybody, really, but mainly it falls on the players,” said Neely. “I’ve said this for a long time, said it when I played. You may not play well every night, but you can work hard every night. And if the work ethic isn’t there — not just in sports, but anything — the results aren’t going to be what you want. And the coach can talk, the captain can talk, but the players themselves have to be prepared to work hard. And we weren’t working as hard as we could, or should, to bring us success.
Tyler Seguin has been a healthy scratch six times this season, but his play has improved of late, even earning some time on the power play. Neely was asked if he’s been pleased with the performance of the second overall pick of the 2010 draft.
“You have to remember, this is a kid that dominated in the OHL,” Neely said of Seguin, who has 11 goals and 11 assists in 65 games this season. “The education process for him, to be able to watch the game and understand and see at the level that these guys are playing at, and how quick the game is and what you have to do to compete and battle for loose pucks. Those are all learning experiences. ‘¦ These are all things that Tyler had to learn and has learned, and will continue to learn. So it’s been nice to see his development over the last little while, now he’s shown he has the poise and patience and compete to be on the second unit of the power play. And with his hands, and skills, it’s something that we’ve hoped that he could get there and he has. He’s played much better the last couple of games and, quite frankly, the timing couldn’t be better for us.”
The NHL suspended Penguins forward Matt Cooke for the final 10 games of the regular season plus the entire first round of the playoffs on Monday, the fifth suspension in Cooke’s 12-year career. Neely felt the ruling from the NHL is a game changer when it comes to punishment for illegal hits.
“I’m not surprised at the length of suspension the league handed down,” Neely said. “Obviously Pittsburgh was one of the more vocal teams about trying to get this stuff out of the game. Cooke is a multiple offender for various things, and got suspended a number of times. Didn’t surprise me at all and I think it sent a clear message to the rest of the league that flagrant is not going to be tolerated and you are going to pay the price. The accidental hits are when you get into a gray area, but this particular hit you can tell wasn’t accidental.”
|03.23.11 at 2:35 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — To the surprise of nobody, both Boston and Montreal media surrounded Zdeno Chara‘s spot in the dressing room after Bruins’ practice Wednesday. With the B’s and Habs facing off Thursday for the first time since March 8’s 4-1 Canadiens win, the attention naturally turns to the Bruins captain, who was tossed from the game after hitting Habs forward Max Pacioretty into a stanchion.
Chara received major criticism from fans north of the border, and a criminal investigation was even launched into whether the play served as grounds for assault charges. Chara, who was not suspended for the hit, said there might not be a point in trying to change people’s minds.
“It’s tough to really address that,” Chara said. “I don’t know if I should even try. It’s one of those things where they probably are beleiving one thing, and it’s really hard to explain that it just happened.
“I can’t control how they talk about me, or what they say about me. I just try to focus on my game.”
After being initially diagnosed with a severe concussion and a fractured vertebrae, Pacioretty, who said he felt Chara intended to harm him, has not spoken to the Bruins’ captain.
“I made a few attempts,” Chara said. “I’m waiting for some kind of response back, but so far nothing.”
|03.23.11 at 1:26 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins president Cam Neely raised eyebrows recently on CBS radio when he said that the team’s goaltenders needed to “show us who’s ready to be the goalie for the playoffs.” Tim Thomas is the favorite to win the Vezina trophy after posting historic numbers in the first half of the season, while Tuukka Rask has seen improved play since getting more time in the second half of the season. Since the All-Star break, Rask has started nine of the B’s 22 games after starting 15 of the first 50.
Speaking to WEEI.com Wednesday, Rask offered his thoughts on whether the Bruins have a No. 1 guy for the playoffs.
“Well, you don’t have to be a [expletive] rocket scientist,” Rask said with a smile. “[Thomas] is playing every game.”
While Rask, who started every game of the playoffs last season, might not necessarily think there is an open competition over the final 10 games of the season, he does embrace being part of such a strong goaltending tandem and hopes it pays dividends in the postseason.
“We’ll see what happens,” Rask said. “Obviously to succeed you’re going to need two goalies to get going because you never know what’s going to happen in the playoffs. I like the thought that we have two No. 1 guys, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll both play.”
|03.23.11 at 11:50 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 win over the Devils and are back at Ristuccia Arena Wednesday in antcipation of a big test vs. the Canadiens Thursday at the Garden. The practice lines were the same as they’d been in the previous two practices.
On another note, the Montreal media is here in full force. More to come following practice.
|03.22.11 at 11:54 pm ET|
What’s a Milan Lucic milestone without interesting postgame attire?
After recording his 30th goal of the season Tuesday night, Lucic entered the dressing room in an old, faded (and old) Bruins windbreaker from what appeared to be the early 1990s. Lucic conducted his entire session with reporters without making mention of it, but explained the fashion choice afterward.
“Andrew Ference found it, and he wanted to kind of pass it on between the guys,” Lucic said, “so I guess I’m the model for it.”
“It’s Cam [Neely]’s era,” Lucic said of the style with a laugh. “His team track suits.”
Devotees will remember that Lucic was sporting a fedora following his Nov. 18 hat trick. He said after that game that each player to pick up a hat trick would wear the fedora following the game. Since then, both Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara have celebrated hat tricks — sans headwear.
“I guess I’m the model of the team,” Lucic said of the fact that he starts trends that his teammates may or, more commonly, may not follow. “I have to fashion off all the new stuff.”
The jacket was entertaining, but it certainly wasn’t “new stuff.” It was old.