Archive for April, 2014

Brad Marchand ‘definitely’ feels like a marked man, knows he has to be on best behavior against Canadiens

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Boston’s most notorious pest knows he had better be on good behavior in this series since the whole hockey world – especially officials – will be watching.

Brad Marchand accepts the reputation he has built for himself as the Bruins most tenacious bad boy. It may have contributed to a pair of roughing calls in the third period of Game 5 against the Red Wings that gave Detroit some life before the Bruins extinguished the Wings, 4-2, to advance to Round 2 against Montreal beginning Thursday night at TD Garden.

Does Marchand feel like a marked man in these playoffs by both the opponents and officials?

“Yeah definitely, especially that second one,” Marchand said of his second roughing call in Game 5 last Saturday. “It was a push and you don’t see too many penalties called like that, even in pee wee like that. It was a tough but that’s a reputation that I’ve built for myself and I have to play through that. I think the biggest thing is to walk away from things that I don’t need to be part of.

“I think in time you get to know where the line is and the refs do a pretty good job of filling you in along the way. I got a couple of penalties that last game that I thought were tough calls but other than that, I think everyone is really doing a great job of playing our game, playing physical and walking away at the right times.”

Marchand knows he, Milan Lucic and the Bruins better skate away at the right time because Montreal enters the series with a potent power play at 17.2 percent in the regular season. The Bruins did finish the regular season with the eighth-ranked penalty kill in the league, coming in at 83.6 percent.

“Against Montreal, they have a really good power play for one [reason], and two, they do a really good job of drawing penalties,” Marchand said. “I think our biggest thing is we can’t get frustrated. We have to make sure that even when we do get a penalty called against us, we don’t let it bother us, and go out and kill it and continue to try and push our game on them. We want to try and be physical and play the way we did last series and hopefully, we’ll be able to draw a couple of penalties on them.”

Marchand did give a little insight as to what the Bruins might try to do to get under the skin of another emotional player, Canadiens goalie Carey Price, a goalie they beat in overtime of Game 7 of the first round of the 2011 playoffs.

“I think the biggest thing is he’s a really good goalie, he’s definitely emotional and all good goalies are,” Marchand said. “They compete and we’re going to have to find a way to try and get in front of him and it’s very tough to beat him straight up so we’re going to have to try and do some of that stuff.”

But running the goalie to intimidate certainly will not be an option, as goalie interference has been called throughout the NHL with regularity in the first round.

“I think in past years, in playoffs, they let a lot more go,” Marchand said. “It doesn’t seem to be that way this year. They call it just like regular season so you have to try to play intense and play within the ref’s rules.

“I think you have to continue to go to the net hard but stay out of the blue paint. I think that’s when calls are easily made when you get inside the paint and you hit the goalie. But if you go as hard as you can and you stop outside and you battle outside, we have to continue to do our job and get some ugly goals on this guy. We can’t shy away just because the refs call penalties.”

Milan Lucic says hatred for Canadiens will ‘go up another level’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Forget all the talk about keeping the emotions in check for a moment.

Understand that the essence of the rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens is – at its core – about despising the opponent. It’s just like the Red Sox and Yankees, only the Red Sox and Yankees haven’t met 32 previous times in the playoffs.

Milan Lucic understands this. He will be a marked man in Boston by anyone wear blu, blanc et rouge. And it’s not just because of his hits on defenseman Alexei Emelin in the regular season. The Canadiens know that if they’re to keep Boston’s top line in check, it starts with putting a body on Lucic before he does the same to you.

Does Lucic hate the Canadiens?

“I do, and if you ask them the same question I’m sure they’d give you the same answer about if they hate us,” he said Wednesday after the team’s final full practice before Game 1 Thursday night at TD Garden. “It’s just natural for me, being here for seven years now, just being a part of this organization, you just naturally learn to hate the Montreal Canadiens, and the battles we’ve had with them over the last couple of years have definitely made you hate them.

“I think this being the first time meeting them outside the first round I think it’s definitely going to go up another level.”

Dougie Hamilton on M&M: ‘We have to play our game and not cross the line’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday afternoon, a day before the B’s return to the ice to start their second-round series against the Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been off since dispatching the Red Wings in five games on Saturday.

“It’s been good just to refresh a little bit, and I guess able to refocus,” he said. “Now we’re prepping hard for Montreal tomorrow. I think we were kind of expecting it to be Friday or Saturday, but nicer that it’s already tomorrow. I guess we’re all excited to get going now.”

Hamilton made two key offensive plays that led to goals vs. Detroit by taking advantage of a gap in the defense.

“Right from the start of the series they were kind of taking away everyone else and then kind of leaving me,” he said. “So I think it was up to me to make the good play and figure out how to beat that. I thought skating was the best idea. I guess I got, I don’t know, lucky on those two plays. But I think just they were really similar, kind of just holding the first guy off and getting through the blue line and then making a decision after that.

“I’m sure this series the penalty kill will be different, and I have to go back to how it was in the season.”

Hamilton said the Bruins will continue to be physical against the Canadiens, while trying to avoid ending up in the penalty box.

“We have to play our game and not cross the line,” he said. “I think obviously when you’re playing a team in a series I think you can wear them down. When we’re effective I think we’re chipping pucks in and forechecking hard and making their ‘D’ make mistakes. I think that really helps us. I think we’re definitely going to have to do that and keep hitting them and kind of try to wear them down, and hopefully not make them want to have the puck. Obviously not cross the line, but I think it’s a different mindset in the playoffs. But we’re definitely going to try to be physical again and fast, and hopefully get on them.”

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Brad Marchand returns to Bruins practice

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Brad Marchand was back at practice Wednesday after not taking part in Tuesday’s practice. Though he did not say why he was absent Tuesday, his voice was hoarse on Wednesday, suggesting he was ill.

With Marchand back at practice, Daniel Paille returned to the Merlot line after skating in Marchand’s place Tuesday. Wednesday’s lines and pairings were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille/Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

Dennis Seidenberg practiced again and did not take contact. Corey Potter remains absent after appearing to injure his shoulder last week in practice.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Chris Nilan on D&C: ‘If anybody has an edge in any way in this series, it’s Boston’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Former Canadiens and Bruins forward Chris Nilan joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming playoff series between Montreal and Boston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Canadiens and Bruins met four times during the regular season, with Montreal winning three and Boston winning one. Despite that, the Bruins finished with the best record in the NHL and are considered not only the best team in the Eastern Conference but the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Nilan sees Boston as having the slight advantage because of its tough, hard-nosed approach.

“If anybody has an edge in any way in this series, it’€™s Boston, and I think it’€™s the edge physically and size-wise,” Nilan said. “Montreal, I think they’€™re a better skating team, but if Boston takes that away from them, and they’ve done it before, then the Canadiens will be less effective. If Montreal can get their skating game going, and they have good support in all the areas of the ice, and they’€™re willing to pay the price, they’€™re willing to go the areas that are difficult to go to, then they can have success.”

Nilan, a Boston native who played for the Canadiens for 10 years and the Bruins for two years, has seen the rivalry from both sides.

“When you’€™re in it and you’€™re involved in it, you quickly realize how difficult it is to play against — I mean when you’€™re on either side,” Nilan said. “I was on both sides, I was in Montreal, and being in Montreal playing against the Bruins back in the day was extremely difficult. You’€™re always in for a tough game. You had to fight, you had to take the hit. You had to do some things that were very uncomfortable.

“It was the same for the Bruins when I was there. The same thing. Both teams come on at each other. Both teams dislike each other. And it doesn’t matter back in ‘€™53 or what happened in ‘€™79, but it all builds and it all lends credence to the tradition of such a great rivalry.”

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Source: Bruins-Canadiens to begin Thursday at TD Garden

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The Bruins and Canadiens will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night at at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden, according to a league source. Game 2 is expected to be played Saturday, with the likelihood that it will be a matinee.

RDS reported the schedule for the series earlier Tuesday, which falls in line with all of that information. According to RDS, the schedule is:

Game 1: Thursday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 2: Saturday, May 3, 12:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 3: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 4: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 5: Saturday, May 10, TBD at TD Garden
Game 6: Monday, May 12, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 7: Wednesday, May 14, TBD at TD Garden

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Daniel Paille cleared to play, Bruins glad to have Dennis Seidenberg practicing

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Bruins forward Daniel Paille said after Tuesday’s practice that he has been cleared to play after recovering from a suspected head injury.

Paille hit his head on the ice after a hit from Jake McCabe on April 12 and missed the entire first-round series against the Red Wings. Given that Paille had two concussions earlier in the season, he said Tuesday that the team was extra careful in bringing him back this time.

“Because it’s my third injury this year, there’s a lot more precautions to kind of rule out,” Paille said. “I believe I could have played midway through the series — I didn’t feel like I had too long of any symptoms/injuries — but there was a lot of precautions and I had to continue with that process.”

Paille began taking light contact last Thursday, but Tuesday’s practice saw him participate in battle drills. As for the notion that he could have been brought back sooner, Claude Julien said the Bruins simply followed protocol during the last round.

“I waited for the OK from our doctors. That’s basically what I waited for,” Julien said. “To say that he might have been ready, I needed to know that he was ready. I know he’s ready for the next round now.”

Paille practiced Tuesday on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Brad Marchand, who did not practice. With Paille back, the assumption is that he will slide back into his old spot on the fourth line in place of Jordan Caron. Julien cautioned against assuming Paille is in the lineup just because he is cleared, but there is no doubt that Paille would be an asset against the speedy Habs.

“We’ll see where we are, guys,” Julien said. “The series hasn’t started yet and we haven’t made any decisions yet. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.”

Dennis Seidenberg also practiced Tuesday, but he did not take contact. Julien said that Seidenberg is skating with the team to prevent the “boredom” that comes from skating on his own each day. Seidenberg was initially ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL/MCL in late December, but he is well ahead of schedule in his recovery.

“It’s great to see. It gives you an emotional lift to see your teammate battling like he’s been battling just to be better,” Bergeron said. “Obviously he’s been doing that for a while. It’s nice to see him back out there, and obviously I don’t know what the timeline is there.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.