|02.08.14 at 5:35 pm ET|
Eyebrows were a bit more than raised when Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli traded away young gun Tyler Seguin and reliable forward Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars last summer in return for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser.
That was a Fourth of July calculated gamble that Chiarelli was willing to take just a week after his team lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Smith has 18 goals this season on the Marchand-Bergeron line, second only to Marchand’s 19 goals this year. Add to that the addition of veteran forward Jarome Iginla to replace Nathan Horton on the top line, and the moves have worked out quite nicely for the Bruins.
Iginla scored again Saturday and all of a sudden has 17 goals with 25 assists. Eriksson assisted on the first two goals Saturday and has 14 helpers on the season, not bad considering he’s missed 21 games with a pair of concussions.
Before he joins one of seven Bruins off to the Sochi Winter Games, Chiarelli was asked before Saturday’s 7-2 demolition of the Senators at TD Garden just how satisfying it is knowing the deals he made in the summer have paid off.
“It’s good, I mean that’s what is expected of me,” Chiarelli said. “Certainly I’ll hear it from you guys if they don’t. You, know Iggy ‘ high character. So you know you’re going to get a good effort. What were my other deals? Loui [Eriksson], yeah Loui is still a work in progress but I’ve seen parts of his game that I’m going to expect at some point that I have seen before. He’s got to work his way through it but he is a very good two way player and I’m happy with him. Reilly [Smith], of course has been good. So yeah it’s good. That’s what I’m expected to do and it helps bringing these players into a successful team and structure. It’s easier to do that provided they buy in and these guys have bought in.”
Will he look at bringing in veteran leaders at the March 5 trade deadline?
“Usually when I’m trying to add something on a temporary basis, on a rental basis, I’d like that player to have some experience,” Chiarelli said. “So, that usually translates into being a veteran. Playoff experience would be good too so that’s something I look for, I don’t know if I’m going to get it if we add somebody but that’s what I look for, I think it’s important. I t’s not so much for leadership; I feel our group has strong leadership. It’s more for having been in the battles and having that composure because that is what you need to win, is composure and compete by the composure also.”
|02.08.14 at 5:35 pm ET|
The Bruins head into the Olympic break on a high note after taking a 7-2 victory over the Senators Saturday at TD Garden.
Saturday’s game marked the first of the season in which the Bruins scored seven goals. Patrice Bergeron had a pair of goals in the victory, while Brad Marchand took over the team lead in goals with his 19th tally of the season.
The B’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a pair of goals from Bergeron and Chris Kelly‘s first goal since returning from his broken fibula. Bobby Ryan made it 3-1 in the second, but goals from Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic and Marchand made it 6-1. Patrick Wiercioch cut the lead to four goals in the third period, but Carl Soderberg‘s ninth goal of the season made it 7-2.
The Bruins will return to practice on Feb. 20 and will play their next game Feb. 26 in Buffalo.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Though the B’s don’t have any 20-goal-scorers, Bergeron’s two goals gave the Bruins five players with at least 16 goals this season. The Bruins have been able to have some very good offenses over the years without needing a 30-goal-scorer, and it looks like this season is no different. Read the rest of this entry »
|02.08.14 at 4:57 pm ET|
Meeting with the media prior to the Olympic break, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he would like to add defensive depth before the March 5 deadline.
The perceived need for the Bruins would be a top-4 defenseman, as the team will be without Dennis Seidenberg for the rest of the season. Chiarelli didn’t say whether he would want a lefty for the second pair or a righty to play in Seidenberg’s usual postseason spot alongside Zdeno Chara.
“I want a little more defending and if a guy can play both sides that would be great,” Chiarelli said. “We’re not going to replace Seids. I want the ability to defend; I want a little bit of heaviness.”
If the Bruins are unable to find somebody, Chiarelli said he would be comfortable with Matt Bartkowski remaining as his second left-side blueliner.
“Yeah, I would be,” Chiarelli said. “He’s learning, he’s learning better how to defend, he’s getting a little more minutes. He’s still making mistakes but the rest of them are too. I’ve been looking closely at his defending, he certainly can wheel the puck out well and turn the net well but he’s maturing as a defender. That’s what we’re looking for, better defenders.”
No NHL business can be conducted over the Olympic break, which means general managers will have a short window to get deals done upon returning to work later this month. Chiarelli said there isn’t much of a market right now for top-4 defensemen.
“I think it’s going to be a tough market,” Chiarelli said. “It is going to be tough to get players.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|02.08.14 at 4:41 pm ET|
|02.07.14 at 4:38 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Claude Julien doesn’t like to talk too much about other teams’ players, so in a session with the media Friday that centered largely around the Olympics, the Team Canada Associate Coach was rather tight-lipped when asked to assess Tuukka Rask‘s chances with Team Finland.
“You’re asking me a question that has nothing to do with Team Canada, so I don’t comment on other teams,” Julien said with a smirk. “I’m happy that Finland has chosen Tuukka. He’s had a good year.”
Finland is considered to be stacked at the goaltender position, as it features Rask, Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen. Team Canada is considered to be loaded, though its perceived weakness — if it has one — is in net, where it has Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith. Price and Luongo both have a 2.36 goals-against average as of Friday, good for 14th and 16th in the NHL, respectively, while Smith is 37th in the league with a 2.85 clip.
“We’re fine. We’re fine,” Julien said. “I mean, we’ve got a goaltender in Luongo that won a gold medal. You’ve got a goaltender in Price that, to me, has probably been one of the steadiest goaltenders this year, has done a great job for Montreal, and then Smith has had a good year.
“Where people may be questioning that, I’m not. Right now, it’s just a matter of going out and showing that we have the right goaltending threesome to again compete for that gold.”
This marks the second time this week that Luongo has been defended by a member of the Bruins, as Milan Lucic went out of his way to speak to the character of the embattled Canucks netminder on Monday.
“I think too many people point the finger too much on Luongo,” Lucic said. “I think he’s a great goaltender, and I mean, he was still able to get [the Canucks] one win away from the ultimate goal. I think it shows the type of person that he is going through what he went through with how he was treated over there by everyone, and he still managed to keep his game at a high level, and he’s back on the Olympic team. He’s still one of the best goaltenders in the league, so as far as that goes, it shows a lot about his character and I wish him all the best in Sochi.”
On the subject of Steven Stamkos, who undoubtedly has a big fan in Julien (the Bruins coach visited Stamkos in the hospital after the young superstar broke his tibia in Boston in November), Julien said he felt bad that the Lightning center wouldn’t be headed to Sochi, but feels Martin St. Louis is a more than serviceable replacement.
“It is disappointing, because he’s one of the elite players,” Julien said. “I think everybody knows he was a shoo-in right from the get-go, but at the same time we keep talking about our depth and how Canada has enough players to make two teams. Well, we went and got another player that, in my mind, deserved to be on our team right from the start.
“When I say that, [I mean] we have to limit ourselves to a certain number, but there’s no doubt that he’s good enough to play — we’re talking about Marty St. Louis here — and there’s others on that list that could easily step into our lineup. You live with the situation, and I think if anything, they’re very smart at making the decision that’s for the well-being of Steven Stamkos. It’s unfortunate for us, but in the long run for the athlete and for the people that want to watch the guy play and be part of the NHL, it was the right decision, I guess.”
|02.07.14 at 3:47 pm ET|
The Bruins made a minor move Friday afternoon, sending forward Carter Camper to the Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Blake Parlett.
Parlett has four goals and 14 assists this season for AHL Springfield. The Rangers signed the undrafted blue-liner to a minor league contract out of the Ontario Hockey League in 2010, then traded him to Columbus last April as part of the blockbuster deal that sent Marian Gaborik to the Blue Jackets. Parlett has yet to appear in an NHL game.
Camper was the Providence Bruins’ third-leading scorer this season, posting eight goals and 23 assists in 41 games. The Miami of Ohio product totaled 36 goals and 90 assists over three full seasons in Providence. He appeared in three games for the parent club during the 2011-12 season.
|02.07.14 at 2:51 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held a very brief practice Friday afternoon, skating for a little over 20 minutes in their last practice before the Olympic break. The B’s will host the Senators Saturday and then return to practice on Feb. 20.
Loui Eriksson and Adam McQuaid were both missing from practice, as Eriksson was getting dental work done following a high stick to the mouth in the first period of Thursday’s game and McQuaid remains out with a leg injury. Zdeno Chara also remains out as he is already in Sochi for the Olympics. With Eriksson out, Jordan Caron skated in his place on the third line, though Claude Julien said he expects Eriksson to play Saturday.
“Loui’s doing OK. The only reason he missed is he’s obviously getting some dental work done and making sure he’s all fixed up before tomorrow and before he leaves for the Olympics,” Julien said. “He should be in the lineup tomorrow; there’s no reason why he shouldn’t, but I think it’s going to be a long day for him, getting his mouth fixed.”
As for McQuaid, he will not play Saturday, though the team hopes he will be able to play after the break. He has not played since Jan. 19.
Because teams have to break for the Olympics, McQuaid will not be able to see team doctors and trainers regularly, though he was able to rehab his blood clot condition during the lockout without the help of the team staff.
“With the CBA and stuff like that, he’s basically on his own, but he will continue to get the treatments and all that stuff that he needs,” Julien said. “Hopefully, by the time we get back, he’ll be ready to jump in with us. If not then, very soon.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
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