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Torey Krug expected to play vs. Canadiens

12.05.13 at 12:45 pm ET
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Torey Krug

Torey Krug

MONTREAL — Torey Krug will likely be in the lineup Thursday against the Canadiens, Bruins coach Claude Julien said Thursday morning.

Krug, who missed Tuesday’s practice with an unspecified injury, was one of seven defensemen to take the ice for a morning skate. The session included everybody but Adam McQuaid, who did not travel with the team. Julien said after the skate that Krug would be a game-time decision, but that he would in all likelihood be in the lineup.

“I think he looked pretty good there this morning, so he will be game-time, but I’d be extremely surprised if he didn’t play,” Julien said.

For what it’s worth, Krug had clear skate protectors over his feet for Thursday’s session, which he usually does not wear. That could be an indication of where Krug might have been hobbled, but neither Krug nor Julien have shared specifics of the injury.

The Bruins’ defense pairings in the skate were Zdeno Chara with Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg with Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski with Kevan Miller, with Krug rotating in with the pairings. Assuming Krug plays, the team will likely scratch Bartkowski or Miller.

Krug is third on the Bruins with seven goals this season, three of which have been scored on the power play. If he plays, Thursday will mark his first regular-season game in Montreal.

“Hopefully,” Krug said when asked if he was good to go. “I do it every day — I just wait to see if the coaches put me in the game, and then I show up and I do my thing.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I think everybody wants [fighting] in the game’

12.04.13 at 9:49 am ET
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Shawn Thornton

Shawn Thornton

Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday for his weekly discussion, as the B’s prepare for a Thursday night game in Montreal against the Canadiens.

Thornton said players who join the Bruins should know how heated this rivalry can be before stepping onto the ice.

“You are expected to, but it probably took a game or three for me to actually really understand it,” he said. “Now I fully embrace it.”

Added Thornton: “You just get an appreciation for the deep-rooted history of hatred for each other. Being in that building and then coming into our building, there’s an energy level that you don’t really know about until you’re involved in it. I’m excited for our new guys to actually get a taste of it here.”

Despite the nastiness that sometimes has surrounded the rivalry, Thornton said he feels comfortable mingling with the locals while in the city.

“They’re very knowledgeable fans up there. They’re very passionate, obviously,” he said. “For the most part, they’re hockey fans. Even if they don’t like us, there might be some chirping and stuff, but no [more than that].”

There has been a movement to curtail fighting in hockey, but Thornton said he does not believe it will be banned from the game while he is playing.

“I think they want it in the game. I think everybody wants it in the game,” Thornton said. “But they’re kind of at a stage now with all the [concussion] stuff going on that the league’s been put in a position that they have to cover their own [butts] about it. I think that’s the biggest reason that you feel this sort of push towards I guess it being phased out a little. But I think it’s more about covering their own [butts] than anything else.”

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Read More: Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Shawn Thornton,

Bruins not treating Kevan Miller with AHL gloves

12.03.13 at 2:21 pm ET
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Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

WILMINGTON — The Bruins are seeing more than Kevan Miller than they probably expected, but they won’t hide him.

Miller is back with the Bruins on an emergency basis given the uncertainty surrounding the status of Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid. He played three games for the B’s last month, the first of his NHL career, and it was evident in his time with the NHL team that they weren’t afraid to play him regularly — which is no sure thing when players are called up due to injury.

The 26-year-old averaged 17:27 of ice time per game in his three-game stint while McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg were out with injuries. That’s a far cry from the five-to-10-minute nights callups can expect when pinch-hitting on veteran teams. After all, a younger Matt Bartkowski had a couple of sub-five-minute nights over the years before establishing himself with the B’s.

With Miller, 26, the Bruins had no hesitation in using him often. He logged more minutes than Krug in two of his three games, and Claude Julien trusted him enough in his third NHL game that he played him with Zdeno Chara against the Penguins when Pittsburgh had an extra attacker. The Penguins scored on that shift, and though it was his last shift during his stint in Boston given that the B’s won on the second shift of overtime and McQuaid got healthy, Miller still takes it as a positive experience.

“It was good,” Miller said Tuesday. “It shows the organization has some trust in you, which is good. It’s obviously good for me as a confidence-booster.”

Miller was paired with Bartkowski, his former AHL defense partner, in practice Tuesday. If McQuaid and Krug are both out, Bartkowski and Miller with likely serve as the team’s third defensive pairing.

The Bruins have had Miller in their system since signing him as an undrafted free agent out of UVM late in the 2010-11 season. He’s put his AHL time in, though it’s hard for him to be a realistic candidate for full-time work in Boston given the team’s surplus of blueliners. That doesn’t mean the Bruins don’t think highly of him, and that showed the last time he was up.

“We’re a group of people that we don’t care where you’re drafted, whether you’re a first-rounder, whether you’re a free agent or whatever,” Julien said. “If you are deserving of playing on that night, if you’re deserving of a call-up, you’re going to get it. If you’re deserving of getting more ice time, you’re going to get it. It all revolves around your play.

“There are so many things that have happened in our game, from guys being free agents to probably becoming Hall of Famers to all kinds of things. We don’t judge individuals by where they’re drafted more than by their play. He’s played well enough to earn that ice time when he’s had to.”

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Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid day-to-day; Bruins recall Kevan Miller

12.03.13 at 10:15 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Both Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid were missing from Tuesday’s practice, while Kevan Miller took the ice after being recalled on an emergency basis.

Following the practice, Claude Julien said that McQuaid had re-aggravated the lower-body injury that kept him out for eight games last month. Julien said that both McQuaid and Krug are both considered day-to-day, though he did not divulge Krug’s injury.

McQuaid had played the last three games for the B’s. Krug has played in every game this season played throughout the Bruins’ last game Saturday against the Blue Jackets without any noticeable issues.

Miller, 26, made his NHL debut last month for the Bruins when he was recalled due to injuries to McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg. The right-shot defenseman played three games for the B’s and had a career-high 20:13 of ice time on Nov. 25 against the Penguins.

Tuesday’s defensive pairings were as follows:

Chara – Boychuk
Seidenberg – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Miller

It is unclear whether either Krug or McQuaid will be available for Thursday’s game against the Canadiens.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug,

Bruins getting their rest

12.02.13 at 11:54 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Most of the Bruins stayed off the ice Monday at Ristuccia Arena, as the team is in the midst of a four-day layover between games.

After beating the Blue Jackets Saturday night at TD Garden, the B’s took Sunday off, while Monday saw a small group of players including Tuukka Rask, Chad Johnson, Jordan Caron and Shawn Thornton take the ice.

The Bruins will likely hold more full practices Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Montreal for Thursday’s meeting with the Canadiens.

Bruins defense bounces back from Detroit disaster with pair of excellent games

11.30.13 at 11:55 pm ET
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Zdeno Chara and the Bruins have given the opponents very little the last six periods. (AP)

Zdeno Chara and the Bruins have given the opponents very little the last six periods. (AP)

The NHL was a different place in 2002. Goals and shots were as low as they’d been since the 1950s, and it wasn’t rare at all to see teams held under 20 shots on goal in a game. In fact, the 2001-02 Bruins — one of the better defensive teams in the league — held opponents under that mark 13 times.

But things have changed since then. The rule changes following the lockout in 2004-05 helped open the game back up, and although we’ll probably never get back to the eight-goals-per-game days of the 1980s, we’re at least seeing more shots and chances than the pre-lockout days. And we’re certainly not seeing teams hold opponents under 20 shots on goal as frequently as we used to — the 2011-12 Bruins, a top defensive team just like the B’s squad 10 years before, did it just four times.

All of that information sets up this: over the last two days, the Bruins have held their opponents under 20 shots on goal in back-to-back games for the first time since that 2001-02 season (April 11 and 13 of that season, to be exact).

It’s a feat that in today’s NHL would be impressive at any time. But for the Bruins, it’s even more significant considering it followed Wednesday’s debacle in Detroit, when they surrendered six goals on one defensive breakdown after another.

“We want to put that game behind us,” Zdeno Chara said. “You’re going to have a game like that where everything is off. Hopefully there’s not too many of them. But after that game, we really wanted to focus on how we were going to play defensively, and more focused on us than the teams we play. Don’t get me wrong — we want to respect their strength and whatever they do well, but mainly we want to focus on how we’re going to implement our game plan.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, Zdeno Chara,

Milan Lucic scores twice as Bruins beat Blue Jackets

11.30.13 at 9:35 pm ET
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Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic had a pair of goals and his first fight of the season as the Bruins skated to a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets Saturday.

Picking up the win for the Bruins was Chad Johnson, who faced only 14 shots and improved to 4-1-0 on the season.

Patrice Bergeron scored the Bruins’ first goal, firing a puck past a screening Loui Eriksson and Columbus netminder Curtis McElhinney for Bergeron’s second goal in as many games. After Carl Soderberg got hooked by Ryan Johansen, Lucic tipped a Torey Krug shot in front for a power-play goal to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Lucic added his second of the game and 11th of the season with a shot that beat McElhinney high in the third period, and though the Blue Jackets got one back on a power-play goal from Johansen, the B’s were able to limit their chances throughout the night and prevent them getting back into a game in which the B’s probably could have led bigger.

The Bruins will have four days off before they play next, as their schedule will resume Thursday in Montreal for their first meeting of the season against the Canadiens.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Chad Johnson could have stayed on the bench and the teams would have been tied in the first period, as Columbus put only two shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. That followed a showing for the Bruins Friday in which they surrendered just 11 shots over the final two periods to the Rangers, so the B’s went three periods while only allowing 13 shots on goal with no goals against.

- Speaking of shots on goal, this weekend the Bruins allowed less than 20 shots on gaol in back-to-back games for the first time since April of 2002.

- Eriksson continues to reward the Bruins with his play in front. A day after his work in front led to a rebound going off Dan Girardi and in, Eriksson screened McElhinney on Bergeron’s first-period goal.

Eriksson had the pass to Dougie Hamilton before Hamilton fed it to Bergeron, so he picked up the secondary helper and now has two goals and an assist for three points against the Blue Jackets in three meetings this season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Lucic fought Dalton Prout in the second period, and though it was a good fight between a couple of big kids, it was questionable timing on Lucic’s part. The Bruins had the puck in the offensive zone when he got tangled up with Prout in front, and though the B’s lost possession and the puck was coming out of the zone by the time the two were well into the fight, they were going at it for a few seconds beforehand.

- Jarome Iginla can’t seem to buy a goal, as he was stopped on a bid off a McElhinney rebound in the second period and, after appearing in real-time to tip Lucic’s second goal in, saw credit rightfully given to his linemate. Iginla still has just five goals through 26 games this season, but he’s turned in strong play despite not being able to find the back of the net often.

- Brad Marchand could have had his second goal in as many games were it not for a hit post in the third period. Things continue to look up for Marchand, however, and it was pretty comical seeing him take two laps around the offensive zone with the puck on a third period shift.

Scott McLaughlin contributed to this report.

Read More: Chad Johnson, Milan Lucic,
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