Archive for January, 2013

Adam McQuaid rejoins Bruins, available vs. Devils

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Adam McQuaid was on the ice Tuesday morning at TD Garden after missing Monday night’s game against the Hurricanes due to personal reasons. McQuaid was joined by extra forwards Lane MacDermid and Jay Pandolfo, while Jordan Caron skated earlier in the morning as he continued to work his way back from an upper-body injury.

Following the skate, Claude Julien said that McQuaid is available for Tuesday night against the Devils and that the team will “make a decision today before the game.”

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

David Krejci breaks late tie to lead Bruins past Hurricanes

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Dougie Hamilton celebrated the news that he’ll be staying in the NHL by turning in the biggest play of his young career to break a late tie in a 5-3 Bruins win over the Hurricanes Monday night.

With Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton creating havoc in front in a bid to break the tie, Hamilton gained control, sold the shot and fed David Krejci at the left circle set up the game-winner with 1:40 remaining. Tyler Seguin added an empty netter to steal the win.

The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a shorthanded goal from Brad Marchand and a power play goal from Zdeno Chara. Jamie McBain then pulled the Hurricanes within one with his first goal of the season.

Nathan Horton scored on an impressive play to make it 3-1, but the Hurricanes took advantage of some sloppy play from the Bruins late in the second to tie it on goals from Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal.

Picking up the win in net for the Bruins was Anton Khudobin, who was making his first start of the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Horton’s goal was sensational, as he made traffic cones of the Hurricanes in the neutral zone before pulling the puck around Tim Gleason at the blue line and walking in to go top shelf on Cam Ward for his second goal of the season.

It’s easy to look at Horton’s size and forget what a skilled player he is, but the Bruins’ third goal on Monday provided quite the reminder.

- Bruins fans have been conditioned to use the restroom or grab a snack during power plays, so they must have been delighted to return to their televisions to find a change on the scoreboard. With Patrick Dwyer in the box for interference, Chara threw a wrist shot on net from the point. That proved to be enough with Milan Lucic screening in front, as Ward didn’t appear to see it.

- The Bruins weren’t aiming to take six minor penalties in the game, but they did hold the Hurricanes without a power play goal to improve their perfect penalty kill streak to 23-for-23 on the season. They also got the shorthanded tally from Marchand.

Khudobin took the Bruins’ first penalty for playing the puck outside the trapezoid. No better way to get reacclimated to the NHL after spending the lockout playing in the KHL.

- Speaking of the penalty kill, the shorthanded goal was the seventh of Marchand’s career. He had five in the 2010-11 season and one last season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Late turnovers in the second period, for one. After Jeff Skinner took advantage of one in the neutral zone and beat Khudobin to make it a one-goal game, Chris Kelly sent a pass in his own zone right into Alexander Semin’s skates, with Semin feeding Staal to tie the game 1:15 remaining in the second.

- Tyler Seguin finally got his first goal of the season, though it was of the empty net variety. Now in his third NHL season, Seguin led the Bruins with 29 goals a season ago. He served the bench minor for too many men on the ice in the second period, while Skinner (a fellow top-10 draft pick in 2010) scored his fifth goal of the season.

Dougie Hamilton to stick with Bruins

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday night that defenseman Dougie Hamilton will remain with the Bruins all season and will not be returned to juniors.

Hamilton could have played five games in the NHL without a year being burned off his entry level deal, though Chiarelli had said prior to training camp that the team expected Hamilton to stick with the club all season.

The Bruins chose Hamilton with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft. Through four games in the NHL, Hamilton has three assists (tied for the team lead) and an even rating.

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

Anton Khudobin expected in net for Bruins vs. Hurricanes

Monday, January 28th, 2013

According to multiple reports out of Carolina, Anton Khudobin was the first goaltender off the ice at Monday’s morning skate at PNC Arena, indicating that he will make his first start of the season Monday night against the Hurricanes.

Tuukka Rask has started all four games for the Bruins thus far, compiling a 3-0-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. It will be the sixth career NHL start for the 26-year-old Khudobin, who made 44 saves on 45 shots in his only start for the B’s last season, a 3-1 win over the Senators on April 5.

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

Anton Khudobin ready for Bruins to call his number

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Anton Khudobin

It’s been Tuukka Time all season for the Bruins, but Anton Khudobin‘s turn to man the pipes appears to be right around the corner.

Tuukka Rask has done an admirable job in starting the Bruins’ first four games to the tune of a 3-0-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, but with the B’s heading into a stretch of four games in six days (including back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday against the Hurricanes and Devils, respectively), the Bruins will call on Khudobin to provide Rask with a breather.

“I’m sure he’ll see some action at some point,” Claude Julien said Sunday, not specifying when the B’s plan to first use Khudobin. “With this amount of games, you’re going to have to utilize both goaltenders. We want him to get some action at some point as well, so it’s important for Tuukka to get some rest, but also to keep Anton sharp as well.”

Khudobin’s next start will be just his second with the Bruins, as he made 44 saves and allowed one goal last April 5 against the Senators in his Bruins debut. Since then, the 26-year-old has played in the KHL during the lockout, putting up subpar numbers (6-14-4 record, 2.96 GAA, .912 save percentage) on a subpar Moscow Oblast Atlant team.

Though he got plenty of work in the KHL, Khudobin’s had to make the most of his time during practice since the NHL season started. He knows that he figures to get into a good number of games for the Bruins this season given the compressed schedule, so he said he has no choice but to buckle down between games.

“Just go there and stop some shots,” Khudobin said of utilizing practice time. “Work on my weaknesses and try to get myself ready for the game.”

Said Julien: “He’s been no different than anybody else. He’s gone in there and worked hard. There’s no difference in my mind as far as his practice compared to anybody else. He’s been working hard and we’ve been pleased with that.”

Unlike the last few years of the Tim Thomas/Rask tandem, this season presents a campaign of having a clearly defined No. 1 goalie with a more traditional backup. The former Wild seventh-round pick has played in seven career NHL games between the Wild and the Bruins, making five starts and going 5-1-0 with a 1.32 GAA and .961 save percentage. He is in the final year of his deal with the Bruins and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, at which point he may consider a return to the KHL.

Khudobin has insisted that despite expressing an interest in potentially changing leagues at the end of the season, his focus is solely on the Bruins. He feels that rust won’t be a problem when he makes his season debut, and his teammates are confident in what he brings.

“He’s a good goalie,” David Krejci said, adding, “He played well in the KHL this year, so he’s got some games. I don’t know when he’s going to be playing, but it’s not like he’s going to go in for the first in a long time. He’s been playing some games. He’s played well. So far what I’ve seen in practice is he competes hard. Hopefully when he gets the chance he’s going to take it.”

Will the Bruins be able to beat the Hurricanes this season?

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

WILMINGTON — In the next seven games, the Bruins will face only two teams that made the playoffs last season, but don’t think that means guaranteed smooth sailing.

The B’s will kick off a stretch of four games in six days by facing the Hurricanes, who finished last in the Southeast Division last season but beat the Bruins in all four of their meetings.

The Hurricanes improved in the offseason by adding forwards Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin, but they were problematic enough for the Bruins without them. Only one of the four contests between the two teams last season was a one-goal game (a 3-2 Hurricanes win on Oct. 12) and Carolina beat Boston by a combined score of 14-5.

“There’s certain teams that give other teams trouble, and we’re one of the teams that gives other teams trouble as well. … They play a certain style that gives us a lot of trouble,” Claude Julien said after Sunday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. “They’re a four-man attack team. Even this year, they always have a D up in the rush. We haven’t played our best against them, but at the same time, they’ve played some good games against us.

“This is going to be one of those probably more mental challenges than anything else. We’ve got to get over that hump and get that win as quick as we can so we can get that monkey off our back, if you [will]. Certainly it’s something that we’re well aware of, and we’re going to go in there tomorrow hopefully well-prepared.”

In the Bruins’ streaky 2011-12 season, Boston always ran into the Hurricanes either when they were slumping or to begin a skid. The Bruins lost to Carolina twice during their 3-7-0 month of October and later dropped a pair of games to the Hurricanes on Jan. 14 and Feb. 2, during a 7-9-1 stretch.

“There’s enough players around from last year that they know what this team did to us,” Julien said. “This is a team that didn’t make the playoffs, but they still beat us four games out of four. If you don’t realize that, you have to take a look in the mirror and understand that there’s a pretty god challenge ahead of you.”

Adam McQuaid (personal reasons) out vs. Hurricanes

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Adam McQuaid

WILMINGTON – Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid will not play Monday night against the Hurricanes due to personal reasons, Claude Julien said after the team’s practice Sunday at Ristuccia Arena.

McQuaid was the only member of the team missing from Sunday’s practice. He is expected back in Boston on Monday night, meaning he should be available for Tuesday’s game at TD Garden against the Devils.

With McQuaid out, Aaron Johnson will play his third game of the season. In stepping in for the injured Dennis Seidenberg against the Jets and Rangers this past week, Johnson played 16:03 and 11:52, respectively, with a minus-1 and a penalty in the team’s overtime loss to the Rangers.

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