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Alexander Ovechkin scores twice as Bruins get blanked by Capitals

10.11.14 at 9:28 pm ET
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Alexander Ovechkin scored twice against the Bruins Saturday. (Getty Images)

Alexander Ovechkin scored twice against the Bruins Saturday. (Getty Images)

The Bruins suffered their second consecutive loss as they fell to the Capitals, 4-0, Saturday at TD Garden. Braden Holtby stopped all 29 Bruins shots he saw.

After a Bobby Robins offensive zone penalty, Alexander Ovechkin scored a power play goal to give Washington a 1-0 lead at 11:26 of the first period. Ovechkin followed up with an even strength tally in front with 1:21 remaining in the first.

Washington extended its lead to 3-0 on its second power-play goal of the night, with Mike Green taking a feed across the zone from Evgeny Kuznetsov and one-timing it past Tuukka Rask. John Carlson beat Rask for Washington’s final goal with just over a minute to play in regulation.

The Bruins will next play when they host the Avalanche Monday afternoon at TD Garden. David Krejci, who is eligible to come off injured reserve, could potentially return to the lineup then, though Claude Julien said Saturday morning that the player is day-to-day.

– Rask wasn’t to blame for any of Washington’s first three goals. Both of Ovechkin’€™s goals were the result of blown coverage, while there wasn’€™t much Rask could have done to get across his net in time to stop Green’€™s one-timer.

The reigning Vezina winner has now allowed nine goals in nine periods this season.

– It’€™s rare to see the Bruins allow a 5-on-5 goal with both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron on the ice, but such was the case on Ovechkin’€™s second goal of the first period. Ovechkin joins Thomas Vanek, Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist in the group of players to score a 5-on-5 goal against Boston’€™s shutdown stars over the last three seasons.

– Bobby Robins fought for the second time in two home games, but both fights came as a result of a hit that got him penalized. On Saturday, it was a Robins knee to Matt Niskanen in the offensive zone that forced Michael Latta to stick up for his teammate, with Ovechkin scoring eight seconds into Washington’€™s power play.

– As it has been thus far this season, Carl Soderberg’€™s line was solid Saturday, facing some tough assignments against Ovechkin’€™s line and not surrendering a goal to the trio. Soderberg also drew a second-period interference penalty on Brooks Orpik.

– At the very least, the Bruins fared better in terms of possession Saturday than they did in Thursday’€™s disaster in Detroit. Specifically, Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line and Soderberg’€™s line had good possession numbers in the game.

– The Bruins’€™ bottom six is not good. The third line of Ryan Spooner between Milan Lucic and Matt Fraser has been non-existent through three games, while Craig Cunningham and Bobby Robins might be bringing Daniel Paille down a bit on the fourth line. Claude Julien switched Ryan Spooner and Chris Kelly halfway through the third period. Lucic’€™s line had better shifts with Kelly than with Spooner. A trio of Soderberg with Spooner and Fraser allowed the fourth goal.

The good news is that can change as early as Monday with Krejci’€™s potential return.

– Lucic was given a cross-checking minor and 10 minute misconduct for chasing down Green after taking a hit from Green along the boards late in the game.

– The Bruins have gone 0-for-8 on the power play over the last two games. With Krejci still out, Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith have had to double-shift on the point at times so far this season.

– Ovechkin could have secured a hat trick in the opening minutes of the third period, but Adam McQuaid was just able to get his stick on a pass to Ovechkin in front with half the net open.

– The Bruins’€™ lineup in the game was as follows:

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Lucic – Spooner – Fraser
Paille – Cunningham – Robins

Chara – McQuaid
Seidenberg – Hamilton
Krug – Miller

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Brad Marchand thinks NHL’s new diving fine policy is ‘a little absurd’

10.11.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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This season, the NHL is hitting accused divers where it hurts. Guess which Bruins player doesn’t like that?

Under a new set of rules for this season, players will be given a warning for their first dive, a $2,000 fine for their second, a $3,000 fine for their third, a $4,000 fine for their fourth and a $5,000 fine for any and every dive after that.

They’€™ll also likely find themselves in the doghouse, as coaches will be fined $2,000 if one of their players dives a fourth time, $3,000 if they dive a fifth time and $5,000 for any other dives.

Brad Marchand, a player with a track record of embellishment penalties, was given the first of the 2014-15 season Thursday night when he was sent off for selling a Henrik Zetterberg interference penalty. The penalty came on the first shift of the second period.

There was just one problem: Marchand didn’€™t appear to dive on the play. It looked like, after passing the puck back to the point in the offensive zone, he was trying to avoid Zetterberg by jumping around him.

(GIF courtesy of

Both Marchand and Claude Julien took issue with the call, which in all likelihood shouldn’€™t have been a penalty on either player. Whether Zetterberg even knew Marchand was there when they made contact is up for debate as well.

Dives — whether penalized or not — are reviewed before action is taken by the league’€™s part. The Bruins have yet to hear whether Marchand has received a warning for the play, with Claude Julien saying Saturday that, to his knowledge, Marchand hadn’t. The Bruins will know more soon, as a list comes out each week indicating which players have earned a strike.

Whether or not the clock has started on him, Marchand still opposes the league’€™s new approach.

“I think the new rule is a little absurd,” Marchand told Saturday. “It’€™s all a judgment call by the referee. How do you judge how guys are on their balance, how they’€™re on their skates? What if they’€™re on one foot and on their turn a guy gets pushed? Does that mean that he has embellished?

“€œThe fact that guys are going to start getting fined for it, I don’€™t agree with that. It’€™s all the discretion of the referee and you’€™ve got to try to play within the rules. We’€™re going to try to find that line, but at end of the day, it’€™s up to the referees with what they want to call, and you’€™ve got to live with it.”

Though certain teams — the Bruins certainly among them –€” have played the “everyone dives but us”€ card over the years, the fact is that if you want to look for it, there’€™s proof of selling calls with every team and many, many players throughout the league. Some are known more for it than others, and some of Marchand’€™s more egregious falls, as well as closer calls, have earned him a reputation that might make keeping all of his $4.5 million salary more of an uphill climb this season.

Marchand is correct, however, when he questions what is is viewed as embellishment. He brought up a terrific example of a player grabbing his face when he has not been hit with a stick.

“There’€™s no real definition of embellishing,” Marchand said. “Even when a guy sees a stick up on his face, it happens so quick, it might not hit you, but at the same time, you’€™re going to react to a stick up within inches of your face. It’€™s just everyone’€™s natural reaction. Sometimes it hits you, sometimes it may not. Yeah, you might think it’€™s going to hit you and you move your head back and that’€™s [considered] embellishing. It’€™s just a natural reaction; you may not even mean to do it.

“That’€™s where there’€™s such a fine line between that rule. I’€™m not too fond of all the fining and all that, but if that’€™s where it’€™s going to go, then you’€™ve got to live with it.”

Marchand knows he has a reputation for many things, and diving is among them. Of all the things for which he’€™s known, Marchand says the “diver”€ label is the most infuriating.

“It is,” he said. “Especially after a play like last game, I think it was an absolutely ridiculous call, and the fact that now I have a strike against me because of something like that [Editor’s note: Said strike is TBD]. I don’€™t think you can argue anything; I had my feet completely taken out from under me. What are you supposed to do there? It’€™s a bit of a ridiculous call, but that’€™s how it is.”

Julien says that he has ‘€œno doubt’€ that referees are more inclined to call such penalties on Marchand, but he puts that on the player.

“That’€™s up to him to clean up that situation. He created it, right?’€ Julien said. “I think he’€™s done a great job this year of staying focused and just playing his game. Whether he gets in the other team’€™s kitchen or not, that’€™s part of his game. But I think it’€™s just about making sure you don’€™t lose the respect of your referees by chirping or by continuing to do things after the whistle when they tell you to stop. I think that’€™s where he’€™s lost those guys a little bit. You can always redeem yourself, or you’€™d like to think players can, he’€™s really tying to do that.”

Julien has gone after other teams –€” specifically the Canadiens –€” in the past for embellishing. On Saturday, however, he admitted what many know to be true but don’€™t always want to say: Everyone dives.

“I don’€™t encourage embellishment. I don’€™t want to see it. That doesn’€™t mean it won’€™t happen every once in a while on our team,” Julien said. “€Like anybody else, I just don’€™t like it. Our players are clear on that. We’€™re not clean; we do make those kind of mistakes every once in a while, and when it becomes an issue, it gets addressed.

“The league is doing a great job of trying to take that out of the game, and I think it’€™s a real important thing to our game to take out because it really tarnishes what this game’€™s all about.”

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Zdeno Chara gets stick to eye in morning skate

10.11.14 at 12:06 pm ET
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Both Gregory Campbell and David Krejci participated in Saturday’s morning skate, though neither will be on the ice when the Bruins host the Capitals at TD Garden Saturday night. Krejci is on injured reserve and is not eligible to play until Monday at the earliest, while Claude Julien said there is no timetable for Campbell, who has yet to be cleared for contact.

The B’s survived an injury scare in practice when Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara collided and Chara was hit in the eye by Lucic’s stick. Chara was down for a moment before getting up and holding a towel over his face. Chara stayed on the ice for the rest of the skate.

Based on morning skate, the lineup for Saturday is unchanged from the first two games:

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Lucic – Spooner – Fraser
Paille – Cunningham – Robins

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – McQuaid
Krug –  Miller


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Video: What it’s like to be Bobby Robins

10.11.14 at 7:55 am ET
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During a recent exhibition game against the Washington Capitals, Bruins 32 year old rookie Bobby Robins was mic’d up for an episode of NESN’s “Behind the B.” Here is a sample of what Robins brings to the table:

Bruins never get going in loss to Red Wings

10.09.14 at 10:13 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask started in back-to-back games to begin the season. (Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask started in back-to-back games to begin the season. (Getty Images)

The Bruins didn’€™t have the puck enough to avoid a 2-1 loss to the Red Wings Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Bruins didn’€™t get their first shot on goal until 12:01 of the first period, but fortunately for them, it went in for Patrice Bergeron‘€™s first goal of the season. Bergeron intercepted a Jonathan Ericsson pass in the Detroit zone, took a couple of strides towards the net and ripped a shot over the glove of Jimmy Howard to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

The Red Wings would continue to dominate possession until Justin Abdelkader tied it 3:52 into the second period. Gustav Nyquist would make it 2-1 at 14:46 of the second on a power play goal off a pass from Darren Helm after Craig Cunningham struggled to get the puck out of the zone.

The B’€™s survived an injury scare from Bergeron, who left the ice after his first shift of the second period after hitting the boards oddly. Following the game, Claude Julien told reporters that Bergeron’s absence was a result of the B’s following the league’s concussion testing protocol. Bergeron ended up being OK, returning to the game 13 minutes later but he taking a slashing penalty that led to Nyquist’€™s goal.

The B’€™s got a break late in the game when Johan Franzen elbowed Bergeron at 17:26, but Chara was penalized for goaltender interference 48 seconds into the Bruins’€™ power play. Up until Chara’€™s penalty, the Bruins went with the aggressive move of pulling Tuukka Rask to give them a 6-on-4 advantage.

Boston mustered only 17 shots on goal in the game.

Here are some observations from the game:

– The Bruins squandered a good opportunity when, 41 seconds into 4-on-4 play that followed Brad Marchand embellishing a Henrik Zetterberg call, Tomas Tatar went off for tripping Kevan Miller to give the Bruins a 1:19 4-on-3. With more space in the offensive zone, the B’€™s foursome of Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Ryan Spooner and Reilly Smith fell victim to overpassing, most notably from Spooner, who got lots of pucks sent his way low in the zone but dished rather than going to the net.

The B’€™s wasted another power play when Brendan Smith was sent off for slashing Chris Kelly. Boston had no shots on goal during the ensuing man advantage.

– Jimmy Howard robbed Brad Marchand‘€™s wrist shot from the right circle just under midway through the third period off a nice pass from Reilly Smith. Marchand also rang iron on Boston’s final power play in the closing minutes. The Bruins’€™ chances were few and far between Thursday, with Marchand’€™s bids among their better chances in the third.

– The Bruins’€™ lineup was as follows:

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Lucic – Spooner – Fraser
Paille – Cunningham – Robins

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller

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Bruins recall Jordan Caron

10.09.14 at 5:14 pm ET
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Jordan Caron

Jordan Caron

The Bruins recalled Jordan Caron on Thursday, with the 23-year-old winger “re-joining” the team in Detroit.

Caron was technically sent to Providence prior to Tuesday’€™s roster deadline, but general manager Peter Chiarelli had said earlier in the day that the team would be making temporary paper transactions as a means of maximizing potential cap space for the season using the long-term injury exception.

As such, AHLers Malcolm Subban and Brian Ferlin were “sent back”€ to Providence as part of Thursday’€™s transactions.

The Bruins placed Caron and Craig Cunningham on waivers Saturday, with both players going unclaimed. That allowed the Bruins flexibility to send them back and forth between Boston and Providence 30 days from them clearing without having to be put on waivers again. If they play 10 games in that span, they would again require waivers to be moved.

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Pierre McGuire on MFB: Bruins ‘going to be a ton of fun to watch’

10.09.14 at 1:52 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his first weekly appearance of the season Thursday on Middays with MFB, following Wednesday night’s Bruins opener. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

McGuire said there is reason to believe the Bruins, who opened with a 2-1 victory over the Flyers, will be able to overcome the losses of Jarome Iginla and Johnny Boychuk and put together a season similar to 2013-14, when they had the best record in the NHL before falling in the second round of the playoffs to the Canadiens.

“They have a healthy Chris Kelly, I think that makes a big difference,” McGuire said. “Carl Soderberg is a ton better, you saw that last night. I think Loui Eriksson will be a ton better this year. Dougie Hamilton, even though he had a couple of turnovers, you could see when he really amped his game up he was very good. Having Dennis Seidenberg back makes them better. Tuukka Rask is a year more mature.

“I think they’re a lot better in a lot of areas. I think they’re the best team in the Eastern Conference. I’m not changing on that; I won’t change even when we’re on Game 40, barring injuries, obviously. I think this team is extremely good.

“I like the energy of a young player like Craig Cunningham. I love the energy of Bobby Robins. They obviously got last night done without David Krejci and Gregory Campbell. This is a really good team. They’re really a good team, and they’re going to be a ton of fun to watch.”

McGuire said he saw lots of promising things from the opener.

“I thought Tuukka when he had to be was really good,” he said. “I thought Kevan Miller played a solid, physical game. I like the way Torey Krug started to jump into the rush. And I like the way that the Bruins defensemen really held the offensive blue line. And probably more importantly than anything else they’re much more aggressive offensively. I know it didn’t translate because I thought Steve Mason from Philadelphia played a great job so the scoreboard’s not indicative of that. But by and large they’re a much more aggressive offensive team, and I think that’s really important for them.”

Looking at the Eastern Conference, McGuire said the Bruins’ biggest challenge might come from the Lightning.

“I think Tampa Bay’s a very good team, and I know a lot of people are talking about them, but I would look out for the Tampa Bay Lightning. I would be a little bit nervous about them,” McGuire said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how everything translates in Pittsburgh, because it is a little bit of a different roster, it’s a different coaching philosophy going from Danny Bylsma to Mike Johnston. So we’ll see how that plays out. … I don’t know if there’s a team outside of Tampa and maybe Pittsburgh that’s going to be able to play and have enough depth to play against Boston. Boston’s just that good. Montreal’s really good, I just don’t know if they’re big enough to play against Boston when Boston’s healthy. Boston’s a really, really good team.”

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