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Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara can’t explain Bruins falling so flat

01.01.16 at 6:39 pm ET
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FOXBORO — No excuses.

The Bruins managed just three shots in the opening 20 minutes of the biggest hockey spectacle in New England since the 2013 Stanley Cup finals.

They went a span of 15 minutes in the first period without a single shot.

The Bruins were without the suspended Brad Marchand and the injured David Krejci but still, Bruins players couldn’t come up with a reason for such a flat effort in a 5-1 loss to Montreal in the 2016 Winter Classic.

“We couldn’t generate any rhythm,” Patrice Bergeron said. “We weren’t first on pucks. We were second on every one of them, and you can’€™t get any pucks on net if you don’€™t have the puck, so that was basically the reason why.”

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Read More: 2016 Winter Classic, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Patrice Bergeron

Canadiens goalie Mike Condon thinks he got some Patriots mojo: ‘Anything that Tom Brady touches turns to gold’

01.01.16 at 6:25 pm ET
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Mike Condon stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced in the Canadiens' Winter Classic win over the Bruins.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Mike Condon stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced in the Canadiens’ Winter Classic win over the Bruins. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask had Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Stephen Gostkowski featured on his helmet. Claude Julien wore a Bill Belichick-esque hoodie behind the bench. But it was Canadiens goalie Mike Condon who came away from Friday’s Winter Classic feeling like he had snagged some of the Patriots’ winning mojo.

Condon, a Holliston native who grew up rooting for the Pats, also had a Patriots-themed mask, as his featured sketches of Brady and Belichick along with four Lombardi Trophies and the team’s famous “Do Your Job” motto.

The cherry on top was getting the helmet autographed by Brady and Belichick before the Pats took off for Miami for Sunday’s regular-season finale.

“I’m pretty sure anything that Tom Brady touches turns to gold,” Condon said. “So I was pretty happy. Hopefully got some mojo on my helmet there. I’m a huge fan of his, huge fan of this organization, and I’m just happy to pay respect to them on the ice.”

Condon didn’t really need to be gold on Friday, as his Canadiens held the Bruins to just three shots on goal in the first period and built up a 3-0 lead by the end of the second. But he was very good when he was tested. Read the rest of this entry »

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P.K. Subban ‘rattled’ by not getting Tom Brady’s autograph?

01.01.16 at 5:49 pm ET
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P.K. Subban

P.K. Subban

Before the Bruins-Canadiens Winter Classic, Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban gushed about how much respect he had for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

After getting snubbed for an autograph during the Habs’ visit to New England, it sounds like Subban’s respect level for Brady has taken a plunge. The only Brady autograph sent to a Canadiens player went to their goalie, Massachusetts native Mike Condon.

“Yeah, I’m a little rattled about that,” Subban said after Montreal’s 5-1 victory over the Bruins, possibly tongue-in-cheek. “But [Condon] is a hometown guy. I mean, I’m a Cowboys fan anyway. You know what, Tom doesn’t want to sign me anything? So be it. Whatever. Cowboys are better anyway. Tony Romo, I mean, I’m not going to say Tony Romo is better but I’ve met Tony and he’s a nice guy, he would’ve signed something for me.”

Despite not getting any love from the Pats signal caller, Subban was thrilled with the Foxboro atmosphere, and of course with his team’s win.

“It’s Gillette Stadium. The stadium Tom Brady built,” Subban said, smiling. “It’s a pretty cool experience being there. It’s one of those things you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s not so much where the game was, but against who it was. There’ll be a ton more Winter Classic games, but Montreal-Boston, I don’t think it gets any bigger than that. I’m very happy to know I played in it.”

Subban continued: “It was a lot of fun, it was really, really cool. The NHL did a great job today preparing it. It’s easy for the winning team to love everything about the game because they win, but the fact is when you look at the whole pregame show, the national anthem, the fireworks, the plane flying over, family and friends there. It’s great. And then the icing on the cake is the win.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: P.K. Subban, Tom Brady,

Tuukka Rask: ‘I haven’t seen us play so bad in a while. It was bad’

01.01.16 at 5:47 pm ET
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FOXBORO — In the immediate aftermath of the Bruins’ 5-1 stinker to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic, Tuukka Rask stormed off the ice, walked very fast on his skates and blew off some steam in the Bruins locker room.

The steam was audible from the long list of media waiting to get into the room, which doubles as the visitor’s locker room during Patriots’ games.

Once cooled off and dressed, Rask went about trying to explain how the Bruins, without Brad Marchand and David Krejci, could come out so flat in front of 68,000 fans inside Gillette Stadium.

“We didn’t have our legs. We weren’t moving. They came out hard. We weren’t making any plays. They got the first goal and then I think that might have deflated us even more. First two periods, I haven’t seen us play so bad in a while. It was bad.

“You would think that, especially when we’re missing guys like we are, you’d have to play hard and stick with the system, and it definitely didn’t look like that today.”

After generating just three shots in a lame first period, the Bruins had several chances to make it close in the second period. Matt Belesky’s goal was waved off after the play was whistled dead. To end the period, Ryan Spooner waited too long for Mike Condon to adjust in goal and his wrist shot found Condon’s glove just before the final horn of the second period.

“It’s a 1-0 game, 2-0, you’re expecting to get that next goal and keep the game tight. But when they make it 3-0, it makes it even more difficult to climb. We never could overcome that. Overall, we didn’t definitely didn’t deserve to win.”

But again, Rask kept coming back to the mental approach of the Bruins.

“I think we were just mentally not there, I guess, and weren’t executing the game plan like we wanted to. We didn’t skate. When a couple of little things go wrong like that, it becomes big and that’s the way it looked like. We gave up a ton of scoring chances in the first two periods. That’s just unlike us. For those you give up, you have to create some scoring chances and we didn’t do that.

“When things go wrong, you have to stick with a game plan and play your system and we didn’t do that. And it just snowballs. We’re trying out there and sometimes, you just don’t have it. Today, we get scored on a couple of times in front of the net. It definitely hurt us.”

Rask was asked about the conditions and whether the wind, which NBC’s Pierre McGuire noted several times in the broadcast, was a factor.

“I felt fine. It felt like a normal game, a little breeze sometimes but it felt like a normal game,” Rask said. “Great event but to lose like that that takes the fun out of it, obviously. Too bad we couldn’t give the fans a little bit more to cheer for.

“We looked flat out there and they kind of caught us off guard. It’s disappointing. It’s very disappointing. I really don’t know what else to say.”

Read More: 2016 Winter Classic, Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask,

5 things we learned as Canadiens crush Bruins in Winter Classic

01.01.16 at 4:20 pm ET
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FOXBORO — If this is what life without David Krejci and Brad Marchand is like, the B’€™s should consider them lucky they call it the Winter Classic and not the Spring Classic.

The Canadiens skated to an 5-1 victory over the B’€™s at the annual outdoor event Friday at Gillette Stadium as Boston failed to get into an offensive rhythm early and never caught up.

The first period saw the B’€™s attempt only four shots in the first period, three of which made it to Canadiens goalie Mike Condon. In that time, the Habs jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from David Desharnais. It was 3-0 on a Brendan Gallagher goal before Matt Beleskey finally got the Bruins on the board at 3:56 of the third period. Any momentum that Beleskey’€™s goal could have generated was negated when Max Pacioretty scored off the rush nearly five minutes later. Byron added his second of the game in the final minutes of regulation.

The loss prevented the Bruins from jumping into first place in the Atlantic Division, instead letting the Habs leapfrog the Panthers for the top spot in the division. The B’s and Canadiens will have their final regular-season meeting on Jan. 19 in Montreal.

Here are four more things we learned at the Winter Classic:


Tuukka Rask allowed more than three goals for the first time in 14 games, but it was hard to blame him given that he was under siege in the first period and the Bruins struggled to get pucks out of dangerous areas throughout the game.

The Canadiens’€™ first three goals came from right in front of the net. David Desharnais knocked in a bouncing puck off a Dale Weise shot for Montreal’€™s first goal, with Montreal making it 2-0 when Paul Byron buried a rebound right in front of Rask after Adam McQuaid was unable to get the puck out. Brendan Gallagher, playing in his first game back from a hand injury, connected in mid-air on a puck that Pacioretty flung in front off the rush.

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Claude Julien pays homage to Bill Belichick with Bruins hoodie for Winter Classic

01.01.16 at 1:55 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien and Patriots coach Bill Belichick are good friends, as evidenced by their skate around the Gillette Stadium rink on Thursday morning.

So it should come as no surprise that Julien decided to pay homage to Belichick by wearing a Bruins hoodie for Friday’s Winter Classic against the Canadiens. Here’s video of Julien showing off his hoodie to Belichick, courtesy of the Bruins’ Twitter account.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Claude Julien,

Live blog: Bruins take on Canadiens in Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium

01.01.16 at 12:14 pm ET
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Live Blog Bruins vs. Canadiens, Winter Classic

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