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Nathan Horton leads Bruins past Jets

01.10.12 at 9:35 pm ET
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The Bruins put a their off-ice distractions aside Tuesday night and delievered a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Jets at TD Garden.

Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Milan Lucic all had two-point showings for the Bruins, who improved to 55 points on the season.

The Jets got on the board at 16:53 of the first period when Andrew Ladd tipped a Zach Bogosian shot past Tuukka Rask. The B’s responded shortly after, with Lucic sending a pass to Nathan Horton in front, with Horton tipping the puck past Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec. Former Bruin Blake Wheeler continued his hot streak by redirecting a shot past Rask 31 seconds into the second period. Shawn Thornton tied it in impressive fashion, with the fourth-liner getting the first penalty shot of his career and picking up his fourth goal of the season. Eric Fehr gave the Jets lead back, but third-period goals from Tyler Seguin, Horton and Benoit Pouliot gave the B’s the victory.

The Bruins will next play Thursday, when they host the Canadiens at TD Garden.


– Thornton came an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick, and he would have picked it up in quite unusual fashion. For starters, his goal came on a shorthanded penalty shot in which he showed he hasn’t been wasting his time in shootout drills with Tuukka Rask late in practices. The fourth-line enforcer, who drew the penalty shot with some good hustle out of the penalty box, showed off a fancy toe-drag, went to his back hand and flipped the puck over Pavalec to tie the game at two.

Thornton then grabbed Mark Stuart at the end of a play in the Jets’ zone and tangoed with his former Bruins teammate in a passionate bout.

– In picking up the secondary assist on Horton’s first goal, David Krejci extended his point streak to nine consecutive games. He added a second assist on the night when he won the draw to set up Horton’s third-period goal, giving the Czech center 14 points over the last nine contests.

No. 46 also had a standout performance at the faceoff dot, winning 11 of the 13 draws he took on the night.

– Speaking of streaks, Seguin extended his point streak to five games with his game-winning goal. He now has 17 goals on the season, and three goals over his last five games. His goal was a beauty, as he didn’t quite have enough space to have a clean breakaway but still managed to outrace the defender giving chase and beat Pavelec.

– Though the three goals he allowed tripled what he’d given up over his last four starts, Rask has now won six games in a row for the Bruins, and after losing his first three games of the season, has improved his overall record to 10-4-1 on the season.


– It really can’t be considered a bad thing for the Bruins given that they got Rich Peverley in exchange for him, but Wheeler has really turned it on it for the Jets of late. With his second-period goal, the former Bruin now has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his last 15 games. Good to see Wheeler, one of the game’s good guys, finding success in Winnipeg.

– Thornton fell victim to what looked like a pretty bogus call at full speed. No. 22 was given a minor for for an illegal check to the head of Chris Thorburn, though Thornton seemed to be brushing past Thorburn without making contact. The fourth-line winger made the best of a bad situation, sprinting out of the box at the penalty’s conclusion and hustling get the shorthanded breakaway (Andrew Ference was in the box for hooking) on which he drew the call that gave him the penalty shot.

– Speaking of bad calls involving Thorburn, the Jets winger got a penalty shot early in the first due to contact made by Dennis Seidenberg, even though Thorburn got a clean shot off and was stuffed by Rask. The Finnish net-minder made the whole thing a moot point, stopping Thorburn once again on the penalty shot. The game marked the first contest in Bruins history in which each team had a penalty shot.

Claude Julien didn’t like what he saw out of Zach Hamill early on. Hamill, who began the night centering Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly, was replaced on the line by Gregory Campbell late in the first period.

Bruins-Jets Live Blog: Benoit Pouliot makes it 5-3

01.10.12 at 7:11 pm ET
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Bruins-Jets Live Blog

Some notes on the hockey game being played today

01.10.12 at 12:59 pm ET
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The war of words between the Canucks and Bruins may or may not be over, but what we do know is that the B’s actually have a hockey game Tuesday. Here are some quick notes to get you prepared:

– With Brad Marchand suspended for the next five games, Benoit Pouliot will play in his place on Patrice Bergeron‘s line with Tyler Seguin. Pouliot has eight points (three goals, five assists) over his last eight games.

– The move to put Pouliot on Bergeron’s line means that Zach Hamill will step in and play on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Hamill has played well with the B’s this season but is still looking for his first career goal.

– No word of who is in net for the Bruins, as Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas left Tuesday’s morning skate at the same time. Rask was ahead of Thomas, but only by a step. Thomas was in net for the Bruins’ 4-2 win over Winnipeg on Nov. 26, while Rask manned the pipes in a 2-1 loss to the Jets on Dec. 6.

– Old friend Blake Wheeler comes into Tuesday’s game on fire. The former Bruin has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) over his last 14 games. Five of those six goals have come on the power play. Wheeler skates on the Jets’ second line with Bryan Little and Evander Kane and is on the team’s second power play unit.

– Bruins killer Dustin Byfuglien is out for the Jets with a knee injury. The defenseman had a goal and an assist against the B’s on Nov. 26.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Brad Marchand,

Suspended Brad Marchand responds to Alain Vigneault’s ‘threatening’ comments, Kevin Bieksa

01.10.12 at 12:13 pm ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand spoke to the media following Tuesday’s morning skate, making his first public comments since being suspended five games by the league for his low-bridge hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo.

“I’m obviously a little disappointed,” Marchand said of Brendan Shanahan’s ruling. “I wasn’t expecting as many games as I got, but that was the decision and now I just have to move on.”

Marchand had asked Shanahan for clarification on the legality of such hits prior to the season so as to be sure that he would not commit the infraction.

“I’m a smaller guy, I play low to the ice. That’s the way I’ve protected myself in the past and I just felt it was better to be safe than sorry,” Marchand said of his preseason inquiry. “I brought it up to him and when I walked away from the conversation he told me to protect myself was OK in that situation. When that situation arises I felt I was protecting myself and I was allowed to do it and that’s why I did it.”

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli expressed frustration Monday night over the confusion given what Marchand had been told before the season, but the 23-year-old said he now knows how to handle the situation the next time he’s in it.

“It’s clear that I’m not allowed to do that,” he said. “Guys in the league aren’t allowed to do that. They tried to make that clear and I’m going to have to do something else next time.”

As for the rule that the hit was “clipping” — which is the act of taking a player out across or below the knees — Marchand still disagrees with both the officials and Shanahan, who called it such in the video explaining the situation.

“We brought it up,” Marchand said of letting the disciplinarian know his stance on the hit. “Clipping is what I believe it says when you hit the guy at the knee point, around the knee. We felt it was very clear in the video I got him right on the buttocks and it seemed very clear on the video that was the case. Maybe he viewed it differently and at the end of the day he makes the call.”

Marchand also said that he took Canucks coach Alain Vigneault‘s comment that “someone is going to hurt” Marchand as a threat. He also responded to Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa‘s post-game assertion that the B’s play a “stupid” style of hockey.

“We play stupid? Yeah, we play stupid, “Marchand said. “I guess smart enough to win a Cup.”

Here’s the rest of what Marchand had to say:

On the team’s reputation:

“We play a hard game. We have a lot of physical guys, a lot of tough guys on our team. It’s tough for other teams to play against, and some teams may not like it but that’s our style of hockey and we’re not going to change it.”

On whether there’s a double-standard with other players not being punished for similar hits:

“I expect if there’s any more hits like this it will be penalized the same way, otherwise it will be a double-standard. But until we see more hits like this we can’t say that, so hopefully hits like this will be [viewed] and be penalized the same way.”

On whether he’ll change the way he plays:

“I’m still going to play hard. That’s my game, to play hard. At the end of the day I have to protect myself and so does everybody in the league, so that’s not going to change the way I play.”

Read More: Alain Vigneault, Brad Marchand, Brendan Shanahan, Kevin Bieksa

Peter Chiarelli: Brad Marchand asked league for clarification this fall on low hits

01.09.12 at 7:14 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli issued the following statement after Brad Marchand was given a five-game suspension for his hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo:

“While we respect the process that the Department of Player Safety took to reach their decision regarding Brad’€™s hit on Sami Salo, we are very disappointed by their ruling.

“While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.

“It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary. He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety. Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep, today’€™s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Peter Chiarelli,

Brad Marchand suspended five games for hit on Sami Salo

01.09.12 at 6:30 pm ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand was suspended five games by the NHL Monday for Saturday’s low-bridge hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo. Because the hearing was conducted via phone, five games was the maximum penalty Marchand could receive.

Marchand saw the Canucks defenseman coming in to hit him along the boards late in the second period of the 4-3 loss, lowered his body and hit Salo in the hip area. The hit was called clipping on the ice, and Marchand was given a five-minute major and game misconduct.

“As the video shows, Marchand skates towards Salo along the boards,” NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said. “Rather than deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, Marchand drops dangerously low into Salo’s knee area, propelling Salo up and over, causing an injury.

“While we understand that in certain instances, a player may duck or bail instinctively in order to prevent himself from an imminent, dangerous check, we do not view this play as defensive or instinctive. Rather, we feel that this was a predatory, low hit delivered intentionally by Marchand in order to flip his opponent over him. Further, Salo is not coming at Marchand with great speed nor in a threatening posture. He does nothing to indicate that Marchand is about to be hit illegally or with excessive force. To be clear, we do not consider this to be a defensive act where there were no other options available to Marchand.”

Marchand, 23, has now been suspended twice in his career, as he was given two games last season for his elbow to the back of R.J. Umberger’s head. Earlier this season, Marchand was fined $2,500 for slew-footing Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Marchand will begin serving his suspension Tuesday night against the Jets. He will be eligible to return to the lineup Jan. 19 against the Devils.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Sami Salo,

Claude Julien finds Canucks ‘so hypocritical’ for pointing finger at Brad Marchand, Bruins

01.09.12 at 1:53 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien was among those who took issues with the Canucks’ criticism of Brad Marchand‘s style of play. The B’s coach responded to Vancouver coach Alain Vignealt‘s comments that Marchand’s hit on Sami Salo was dirty and that Marchand “plays to hurt players.”

“I think it’s pretty hypocritical, everything that’s been going on,” Julien said. “It’s unfortunate. Sometimes you’ve got to look in your backyard. We all know that he’s got the same type of players on his team, and they’ve all done the same thing. You just have to look at Burrows putting his blade in Thornton’s throat. It’s so hypocritical. It’s unfortunate. I guess we’re stupid. We’re idiots and they’re the smartest team in the league. I guess we need to listen to all the gab they have to say.”

Like general manager Peter Chiarelli, Julien did not like that Vigneault said “someone is going to hurt” Marchand, as former Canucks forward Brad May infamously said Avalanche Steve Moore had a “bounty” on his head before then-Canuck Todd Bertuzzi ended Moore’s career with a cheap punch to the back of the head.

“We all know that that comment’s been said before, and it didn’t turn out well,” Julien said, “so we’ll leave it at that.”

Julien also said he feels teams focus on the Bruins as being dirty more than they do on similar plays from other teams, including the Canucks.

“They can say whatever they want, but everything that happens, whether it’s Zdeno Chara last year, him in Montreal, we saw how many clips of that happening to everybody else, yet the focus was on Chara,” Julien said. “The focus is on Marchand right now. Why isn’t it on [Mason] Raymond for last year? Why isn’t it on other people? There’s [Keith] Ballard on [Jamie] McGinn.

“There’s all kinds examples, but somehow the Bruins happen to be the team that people prefer picking on and think we’re the bruisers and we’re the example of the league. We have to live with that, but the one thing we won’t do is change our style of play. Our team is built that way. I think we play pretty entertaining hockey. We’re a fast team. We’re a skilled team. We’re also a physical team, and we’re Stanley Cup champions, so I don’t see why we should change.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Jamie McGinn, Peter Chiarelli
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