|Postgame notes from Game 6||05.13.13 at 12:32 am ET|
Here are some key nuggets from the 2-1 Game 6 loss to the Maple Leafs from the Bruins media relations department.
• The Bruins now have a 10-14 lifetime record in Game 6s of best-of-seven series in which they entered with a 3-2 series lead.
• The Maple Leafs now have a 10-10 lifetime record in Game 6s of best-of-seven series in which they entered trailing the series
• Milan Lucic had a goal Sunday, giving him 1-6-7 totals in four of the six games of this series.
• Zdeno Chara had an assist, giving him 1-6-7 totals in four of his last five games.
• Jaromir Jagr had an assist, giving him single assists each in three of his last four games.
• Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk had two assists, giving him 2-3-5 totals in four of the six games of this series.
• Toronto’s Phil Kessel had a goal, giving him 3-1-4 totals in four of his last five games.
• Toronto’s Cody Franson had an assist, giving him 1-3-4 totals in four of the six games of this series.
• These teams played penalty-free second and third periods. They were the first periods of this series in which neither team was assessed an infraction. The third period of Game 3 did not feature a power-play opportunity for either team but the clubs were assessed coincidental minors in that stanza.
• Dion Phaneuf’s goal at 1:48 of the third period was the seventh of this series scored in the first two minutes of a period, with Toronto netting five and Boston two.
• The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs by a 30-26 margin. It was the first game of this series in which neither team had a 40-or- more shot game.
• Toronto’s Joe Colborne played his first NHL playoff game.
FIRST GOAL OF GAME
• The Maple Leafs scored the first goal of the game when Phaneuf scored at 1:48 of the third period.
• The Bruins now are 2-2 this postseason when allowing the first goal of the game. They finished the regular season with a 9-10-3 mark this season when allowing the first goal of the game.
• The Maple Leafs now are 2-2 this postseason when scoring the first goal of the game. They finished the regular season with a 19-9-4 record this season when scoring the first goal of the game. Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien frustrated with his ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Bruins||05.13.13 at 12:14 am ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he didn’t want to say he was frustrated after a 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs that forced a Game 7 Monday night at TD Garden.
But after watching how his team handled or more accurately – in his eyes – mishandled the puck Sunday night, he’d seen enough.
“Before the game we talked about it, and after the first period, I didn’t think our puck management was very good,” Julien said. “That means being strong on the puck and making the right plays, shooting versus over-passing. I didn’t think it was very good.”
Asked about the inconsistent play of his team, he didn’t mince words.
“As I said to our players after the game, we’ve been a Jekyll and Hyde hockey club all year, and that’s what you’re seeing right now,” Julien said. “I think it’s important for us to bring the good Bruins team to the table for Game 7.”
Julien was asked about his team’s inability to put away teams when they have the chance.
“No doubt, I’d like to have it any other way but at this stage of the year, frustration on my part isn’t going to help my club turn it over,” Julien said.
What Julien wouldn’t do is throw one particular player or line under the bus.
“I have no comments on my lines,” Julien said tersely. “I’m not talking about certain lines. I’m talking about our whole team as a Jekyll and Hyde hockey club. You see when we play well how good we can be. Tonight, poor puck management never gave us a chance to win. It’s as simple as that.”
|Plane ‘malfunction’ forces Bruins to fly back to Boston on Monday||05.12.13 at 11:57 pm ET|
Things simply went from bad to worse after a Game 6 loss that forced the Bruins to a winner-take-all Game 7 in Boston Monday night.
Not only will the tired Bruins be playing three games in four nights, they will be forced to fly on the morning of their most important game of the season due to trouble with their charter plane Sunday night in Toronto.
The Bruins issued the following statement from general manager Peter Chiarelli.
“Late during [Sunday's] game we were made aware that there was a malfunction with our airplane. As a result we are staying in Toronto on Sunday night and the team will travel to Boston on Monday morning.”
The Bruins will not have a morning skate but instead have select players available to the media at 4:30 p.m. with coach Claude Julien speaking to reporters about an hour later.
Face-off is set for 7 p.m. Monday night at TD Garden, as the Bruins try to avoid the indignity of blowing 3-1 series lead, three years after losing a 3-0 advantage to the Flyers.
|Leafs force Game 7 with dramatic win over Bruins||05.12.13 at 10:37 pm ET|
TORONTO — It isn’t about eliminating the Leafs any more than it is staying alive now for the Bruins, as Toronto handed them a 2-1 loss in Game 6 Sunday to force a winner-take-all Game 7.
The Bruins, who had a 3-1 series lead, could not get to James Reimer again, as the Toronto goalie allowed just one goal for the second straight game, with the one Boston goal not coming until the final 30 seconds of the game on a Milan Lucic tally.
After the teams skated to a scoreless first two periods, Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf tipped a Nazem Kadri shot past Tuukka Rask at 1:48 of the third period to give the Leafs the lead. Phil Kessel later beat Tyler Seguin to a rebound to extend the lead to two goals, which was too much for the Bruins to overcome given the performance of Reimer.
Game 7 will be played Monday at TD Garden, with the winner facing the victor of the Capitals-Rangers series, which also is tied at three games apiece.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
• Any hockey fan had to smirk at the sound of the “Thank You, Seguin” chants that rang throughout Air Canada Centre following the Kessel goal. With another night without a point, Seguin has now put up a goose egg through the first six games of the playoffs while Kessel has three goals and one assist for four points. Seguin needs to rise to the occasion.
• David Krejci had a rough go of it on the shift on which Phaneuf scored. A botched drop-pass in the Toronto zone left the B’s behind as the Leafs took the puck the other way. Furthermore, Krejci was gliding back into the zone and let Kadri get the shot off. Had he been hustling, Krejci likely could have broken up the play by knocking the puck away.
• The Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin line had no shots on goal in the first period, with Seguin missing the net on a 3-on-2. Bergeron had a shot on goal late in the first, but it came on the power play and not with his line. Marchand played just 3:49 in the first and registered his first shot on goal in two games late in the second period.
The line came to life early in the second period and had a number of scoring chances, including on one shift in which Bergeron followed a Seguin bid by trying for a wraparound and being stopped by Reimer. On that same shift, a Bergeron slap shot yielded a rebound with lots of open net, but Marchand was battling in front and didn’t see it.
• With Andrew Ference out, Claude Julien inserted Dougie Hamilton into the lineup and broke up the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg pairing in order to have a lefty and righty on each pairing. There was a lot of mixing and matching done on the blue line for the B’s, but Hamilton was used less as the game went on. After playing 4:49 on six shifts in the first period, Hamilton was given only three shifts for 1:31 in the second.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
• For the third straight game, Rask showed up big. Rask made a glove save on a Phaneuf slap shot in the final seconds of the second period to keep it scoreless after shining late in Game 4 and through Game 5. Yes, the Bruins gave up a big series lead against the Leafs, but don’t think this is 2010 all over again for Rask. He’s been one of the B’s most consistent players. The same can’t be said for a lot of guys on this team right now.
|Bruins don’t believe in momentum||05.12.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
TORONTO — Momentum is mass times velocity. The Bruins believe that’s all it is.
With the Maple Leafs having forced Game 6 but the Bruins playing a strong third period in their Game 5 loss, one question that came up a bit from the Toronto media Sunday was which team has the momentum in the series, and how big a factor it is.
“I don’t know if there is such a thing, honestly,” Claude Julien said after Sunday’s morning skate. “When you’re in the playoffs, whether you win or lose, you turn the page and [focus on] the next game. As a losing team, you have to bounce back. As a winning team, you’re trying to keep that momentum but you know that there’s going to be some desperation from the losing team.”
Julien made the point that if momentum was as big a factor as people like to believe, you’d see sweeps after one team won a game, but that there was only one sweep in the first round (San Jose over Vancouver) in the first round.
While momentum can definitely be played up a bit too much, it’s still a factor and something the Bruins could give the Leafs if they don’t end the series Sunday. A Game 6 win would give the Leafs two straight wins and a whole lot of confidence that was built with their backs against the wall.
Yet the B’s don’t want to acknowledge it as such. While they can’t explain why they came out flat in Game 5 against the Leafs, they don’t think either team wouldn’t have reason to come out as hard as they can in Game 6. They view a win as a win and a loss as a loss, and every playoff game as one worth showing up for.
“To me, the next game is the next game,” Chris Kelly said. “Momentum, a lot of times, is just a word. It depends on who’s playing their game that given night.”
|Left out: Aaron Johnson making best of tough situation||05.12.13 at 1:36 pm ET|
TORONTO — Hey, remember Aaron Johnson?
With the Bruins definitely without one lefty defenseman in Andrew Ference in Game 6 and potentially without another in Wade Redden, the left-shooting Johnson — on paper — would appear to be a logical option for Claude Julien. Johnson’s been skating with the team regularly as he waits for his opportunity, though it’s one that won’t likely come.
Said Johnson Sunday: “I have been skating every day and playing every day and doing whatever possible, other than playing in game situations.”
And that’s the conundrum. It’s been a whole lot of “other than playing in game situations” for Johnson, as the last time he played in a game was on March 30. The Bruins wanted to send him to Providence late in the season in order to get him into some games, but they weren’t able to send him down for a conditioning assignment without having to put him through the waiver process.
Now that they could use him, that lack of game action makes him borderline untouchable (unless as a last resort) in the playoffs, as the Bruins simply can’t trust someone who’s played so little in such a key spot.
“It’s been tough for Aaron,” Julien said. “For me, it’s about what players are allowed and not allowed to do. We would have loved to give him an opportunity to play and play in Providence, but the CBA doesn’t allow it, and it’s kind of played against him and right now we have a player that hasn’t played in a long time. It’s tough for him.”
With Matt Bartkowski figuring to play in place of the injured Ference, the Bruins would be left with Johnson and Dougie Hamilton as potential replacements for Redden if the veteran blueliner (termed a game-time decision by Julien) can’t go.
In that case, the right-shooting Hamilton would get the call over Johnson based on the fact that he’s sharper. Hamilton played more regular-season games and has gotten into one playoff game already, though Game 2 created issues that would likely arise again if the rookie plays Sunday.
Because Hamilton would be replacing a left-shot, the Bruins would need to take Dennis Seidenberg off the top pairing to give them another left-side defenseman. That didn’t work out in Game 2, when the B’s played their defensive game of the series and Seidenberg was on the ice for three goals against. Playing Johnson would avoid having to break up that shutdown pairing, but it would also bring too much uncertainty to such an important game.
Johnson, who understands his situation but hasn’t moaned about it, stayed out longer for the morning skate with the rest of the healthy scratches Sunday. He knows that Sunday would have been a potential opportunity for him to play, but that his lack of games (12 in the regular season between Boston and Providence and none in over a month) makes his chances remote. If he does get the call, he’s certain that rust won’t be a factor.
“I think it’s just a matter for myself, staying ready, if that call does come to just play my game,” Johnson said. “I mean, I’ve played this game for a long time now, 10 years professionally. There’s no secret recipe. You just kind of go out and play your game. Obviously it will be a little faster in [the postseason], but I think when that happens, you just try to keep it simple.”
|Andrew Ference out for Game 6||05.12.13 at 1:04 pm ET|
TORONTO – Andrew Ference did not travel to Toronto is out for Game 6 against the Maple Leafs with an undisclosed injury, Claude Julien said following the team’s morning skate Sunday at Air Canada Centre.
Wade Redden, who missed Game 5 due to injury but practiced Saturday, was on the ice for Sunday’s morning skate and is a game-time decision for Game 6.
The injury statuses of Ference and Redden leave the Bruins in a tight spot, as both players are left-handed shots. Matt Bartkowski should be expected to play in place of Ference, but if Redden is out the Bruins will have to choose between Dougie Hamilton (a righty) and Aaron Johnson (a lefty who hasn’t played since March 30). Putting Hamilton into the lineup in place of a lefty in Ference proved troublesome in Game 2, as the B’s had to break up the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg (both lefties) pairing in order to avoid playing Hamilton in an unfamiliar spot.
If Redden is able to play, it’s likely he would skate with Johnny Boychuk on Boston’s second pairing, while Bartkowski would man the left side of the third pairing with Adam McQuaid. If Hamilton has to play, the B’s will not only have to break up the top pairing but also have two inexperienced youngsters on their back end.
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