Archive for December, 2011

Brad Marchand named first star of the week

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Bruins forward Brad Marchand was named the NHL’s first star for the week ending Dec. 25 after the youngster turned in dominant performances in a pair of games last week.

Marchand had six points (four goals and two assists) and recorded his first career hat trick in Friday’s win over the Panthers. His other goal during the week, a third period tally against the Canadiens on Monday, proved to be the game-winning goal in that contest. The 23-year-old leads the Bruins with 15 goals this season.

New York forward Marian Gaborik and Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere were named the second and third stars, respectively.

Bruins destroy Panthers, win sixth straight

Friday, December 23rd, 2011


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The Bruins wanted to head into Christmas break on a high note. If it got any higher, it would probably be inaudible.

Brad Marchand had a hat trick and a career-high five points, and Tuukka Rask recorded his second shutout of the season as the Bruins trounced the Panthers to the tune of an 8-0 final. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist for three points.

Marchand got the B’s on the board with a shorthanded goal at 5:56 of the first period, and Milan Lucic scored on the power play at 13:40. Benoit Pouliot and Dennis Seidenberg added goals to make it 4-0 at the end of the first period. Gregory Campbell and Bergeron scored in the second period to make it 6-0, with Marchand adding his second of the night 1:53 into the third.

Rask made 30 saves in the contest, improving to 7-4-1 on the season. The Bruins will next play Wednesday in Phoenix.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Marchand now leads the Bruins with 15 goals this season, as he surpassed linemate Tyler Seguin. His first goal of the night was also his first shorthanded tally of the season. The pesky forward had five goals on the power play last season.

– Pouliot now has goals in three straight games and has played a large role in the Bruins’ six-game game winning streak. His goal was one of the prettiest tallies you’ll see all season, as he took a pass from Chris Kelly after Kelly won the face-off in the Bruins zone and took the puck the length of the ice. With one man to beat, Pouliot absolutely broke Dmitry Kulikov’s ankles with some fancy stick work and deked Theodore for his seventh goal of the season. A lot of players could be considered “in the zone” right now, and Pouliot’s certainly one of them.

– Lucic didn’t show any rust after sitting out Monday’s game due a league-mandated suspension for his hit from behind Saturday on Zac Rinaldo. Lucic scored one of the Bruins’ four first-period goals, parking out front on the power play and sending a puck past Theodore after a Bergeron shot from the point missed wide and bounced off the endboards to the 23-year-old left wing.

– As though the score didn’t do a good enough job telling that things went the Bruins’ way, the B’s even got some lucky bounces. Bergeron’s goal came when a pass to the front of the net bounced off Ed Jovanowski and in, while Marchand’s second goal wasn’t even put on net. The second-year forward was trying to send a pass through the Panthers’ zone, but it bounced off a Panthers player and past Clemmensen.

– Zach Hamill played in place of Rich Peverley, and once again showed he is very capable of handling NHL minutes. The former eighth overall pick (2007) saw time on both the power play and the penalty kill. His strong play is certainly hurting Jordan Caron’s case for playing time.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Nobody has more holiday spirit than me, but an arena-wide “Mer-ry Christ-mas” chant doesn’t exactly scream “intimidating building to play in.” The Garden crowd busted that chant out in the second period, making for perhaps the only pleasant moment of the night for the Panthers.

Bruins-Panthers Live Blog: Brad Marchand makes it 7-0 with second of the night

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Bruins-Panthers Live Blog

Bruins looking to respond to Panthers for handing them rare defeat

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The last two months have acted as a search for which teams in the NHL can actually hang with the Bruins. Few can, but the Panthers have proven they’re one of those teams.

Not many teams have beaten the B’s since Nov. 1. In fact, only three have. One of those teams is the Panthers, and they’re in town Friday as the Bruins will look to head into the upcoming Christmas break with a victory over the last team to defeat them.

The Panthers came into Boston on Dec. 8, and played the perfect road game against the B’s. Florida stayed in a scoreless game until late in the third period, when Tomas Kopecky scored with less than three minutes remaining. Kris Versteeg added an empty-netter, and the Panthers left Boston with a 2-0 victory thanks to a shutout from Jose Theodore.

The Panthers remain at the top of the Southeast division, but when the B’s face them Friday, they’ll be a different-looking team. Florida will be without five of the players that skated in the Dec. 8 meeting, and they have seven players out overall. The team is dealing with injuries to Mikael Samuelsson, Marco Sturm, Scottie Upshall, Jeff Skille, Stephen Weiss and Marcel Goc, and are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss Thursday in Ottawa.

Injured or not, the Bruins know well enough not to take the Panthers lightly.

“They’ve got a bunch of injuries right now, so they’ve got a bunch of call ups, but they constantly work hard,” Daniel Paille said Friday. “One thing is you can’t take them for granted anymore, because they’re top in their division. They’re a team that’s going to battle throughout every minute tonight. They showed it last game against us, so it’s going to be tough.”

Since beating the Bruins, the Panthers have had only two of their seven games decided in regulation (2-2-3). Whether it takes more than 60 minutes to accomplish, the B’s want to make sure they give the proper response to their last loss.

“I feel like we’re going to probably feel like we owe them something, so we’re going to play pretty hard,” Joe Corvo said. “No matter who’s in or out of their lineup, they play the same way. They play a good game, so it will be tough. We’ve just got to keep our minds on it and not think about Christmas break.”

Bruins keeping Rich Peverley out vs. Panthers

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The Bruins are keeping forward Rich Peverley out of the lineup Friday night against the Panthers due to an undisclosed injury, coach Claude Julien said after the team’s morning skate.

Peverley has a nagging injury that is helped by rest, and has not practiced this week. He last took the ice in Monday’s 3-2 win over Montreal. The Bruins’ next game after Friday is Wednesday, so Peverley can have up to eight days off as he recovers.

“We made the decision to go forward with the fact that he’s going to get basically a whole week before the next game and only miss one game,” Julien said. “That was the whole plan. Our schedule gets heavy after that, so this was a good time to take that approach.”

In 30 games this season, Peverley has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points. Zach Hamill skated in his place on the third line in Friday’s morning skate.

Andrew Ference on D&C: After Cup title, ‘you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is’

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan Thursday for his weekly chat. With the Bruins sitting atop the Eastern Conference, Ference talked about the HBO 24/7 special, the Bruins’ road success, and how Zdeno Chara became as good as he is.

The Bruins are on an impressive streak, but Ference said the excitement of the regular season just doesn’t compare to the playoffs.

“Obviously, the playoffs were more fun than it is right now,” Ference said. “I think that everybody’€™s got a pretty good head on their shoulders this year, and I think it’€™s due to the fact that we did win last year. If we wouldn’t have won last year and we were going on a run like this, I think guys would be a lot more giddy and patting ourselves on the back. But I think when you go through a championship run, you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is. All this is is prep work. And this is this trying to reach our first goal of just making the playoffs.”

Added Ference of the regular season: “It’€™s great. It’€™s entertaining. But for players it’s prep. It’€™s getting ready and trying to prime ourselves and make sure that we’€™re going in the right direction. And we’€™re learning all our lessons, but the first goal is just to try to make the playoffs. We’€™re building toward that. And I think everybody’€™s keeping a good head about it.”

Asked if this edition of the Bruins is better than last season’s Cup champions, Ference said: “It’s hard to compare, but I think the one advantage we do have is mentally. Just, like I said, learning what it takes, and not having the Stanley Cup be like a fairy tale. It’s a reality to all of us now. That’s a huge advantage. It’s one thing to imagine what it takes to win. But it’s another thing to know and to be there and go through it and have a lot of the same guys in the locker room with you again to go after it again. So, I think that’s the one huge advantage that we have over last year.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, including Ference talking about the his holiday plans, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On the Bruins’ toughness: “I think the one thing that’€™s been done here is, obviously Peter [Chiarelli] has done a good job of getting the right personalities in the room. Because you can’t have five guys on the team that are willing to do everything they can for the team and then have 15 that aren’€™t, or 10 and 10, or whatever the split is. You need every single guy to buy in or it just doesn’€™t work.

“It really only takes two or three guys to drag down an entire team, it really does, it’€™s amazing how quickly, especially in tough times, a bad apple can just attract guys and just bring the whole room down. It happens quickly and it’€™s just like a poison, so one thing they’€™ve done good here is get rid of some of the guys that had that and bring in guys that that weren’€™t like that. That’€™s essential, especially over the long term. For as many years as a lot of us have been here it’€™s been a really great locker room. The season’s too long to have bad apples and guys that don’€™t stick up for your guys that you can’€™t look across at in the room and know that they’€™re going to work their butt off every night for you.”

(more…)

24/7 running diary: Ilya Bryzgalov says more crazy things

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

We’ll see how this goes…

10:01 ‘€“ In the ‘€œpreviously on’€¦’€ they show the Bryzgalov ‘€œhum-an-gous big’€ part. If that’€™s the funniest part of this episode, I still won’€™t mind.

10:03 ‘€“Henrik Lundqvist is in a Foo Fighters cover band? Maybe he and Tuukka Rask can form a goaltending super-group. Rask plays drums, but he’€™s more of a Metallica guy.

10:04 ‘€“ John McEnroe as the fun-loving guitarist? This show has jumped the shark 64 minutes in.

10:06 – Dan Girardi’s kid reacted to the news of going to Philadelphia like the video was being sent to Jimmy Kimmel.

10:09 - REO Speedwagon. You betcha.

10:10 - On second thought, it still doesn’t beat last week’s Mac Miller scene.

10:11 - Good to see HBO can still do cool slow motion airport scenes even after Entourage is done. This is straight out of “Sundance Kids.”

10:14 – I’ll say it. I’m disappointed in Tortorella thus far. Sure, anyone can swear, but I thought that he would just… swear more.

10:15 - Laviolette answers the players’ questions on the ice? He doesn’t direct them to Paul Holmgren?

10:16 - Zac Rinaldo being shown pre-Lucic hit from behind.

10:17 – Bryzgalov time. What took so long?

10:18 – This scene of Harry Zolnierczyk asking Bryzgalov at lunch if he thinks he’s the star of the show is straight out of Mean Girls. Next, Regina George is going to ask him if he thinks he’s really pretty.

10:21 – Brandon Prust should be Tyler Seguin’s roommate. Got Boyle up without a problem.

10:23 – There’s the Tortorella we were hoping for. Imagine the Mighty Ducks movies if he played Gordon Bombay.

10:24 – Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Tortorella one?

10:26 - Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Laviolette one? It will help put me to sleep.

10:29 – “Instead we’re killing another FRICKIN’ penalty!” – Peter Laviolette. Or maybe it was Dr. Elliot Reid. Looked like Laviolette. Sounded like Smelliot.

10:35 – Love that they show how good these guys are with the community. Hockey players and coaches always are. Good to get a break from the laughing and swearing and see how down-to-earth they are.

10:37 – Pronger’s on the ice. If you’re not on twitter, you don’t get that joke.

10:38 – “Why so like, PAINFUL? You know, like? I don’t want to be goalie now.” – A Flyers fan needs to show their fanhood by getting a tattoo of that quote.

10:40 – If Bryzgalov asks, “So who is more crazy: Me, or ___?” the answer is always Bryzgalov.

10:46 – Were they taking an x-ray or creating a Wii avatar?

10:46 – Gaborik did not celebrate the 300th goal of his career by suffering the 300th injury of his career.

10:49 – Another slow-motion transportation scene. I smell a spinoff.

10:50 – The UNH grad in me can’t help but wonder why there’s been no JVR this episode, and barely any last week.

10:51 – “Holy f****, boys.” In case the standings don’t suggest other teams are overwhelmed by the Bruins, that does.

10:53 – They’re showing a bloodied Couturier undergoing cognitive testing after getting hit in the head with the puck. That’s why this show is so fascinating.

10:55 – The hit from behind scene was a little underwhelming. Simmonds yelled at him. Was hoping for more than “you hit him from behind.”

10:57 – All in all the footage from the Bruins game was underwhelming. The episode was somewhat lacking. Maybe they can sprinkle in cameos from the How to Make it in America Actors now that they cancelled it. Luis Guzman as a power-skating coach? I smell a spinoff.