|Countdown to Game 7, 6 a.m.: Bruins fans, it’s time to move on||04.27.11 at 6:08 am ET|
All throughout Wednesday, we will be updating the blog as to the latest and greatest when it comes to all things Bruins and Canadiens as they head into Game 7 at the TD Garden. Let’s start with everything you would want to know about Game 6:
The Bruins weren’t going to use the officiating as a crutch when breaking down their Game 6 loss. Mike Petraglia, who was in Montreal, explains.
Petraglia also caught up with Mark Recchi, who, like most Bruins fans, was bemoaning a lack of a power play by the B’s.
Guess who is waiting the Bruins if they win Wednesday? D.J. Bean lets you know. Spoiler: It’s the Flyers.
And to help all Bruins fans get in a better frame of mind heading into the decisive showdown Wednesday night, Jerry Thornton offers 10 reasons why you should feel lucky you’re rooting for the Bruins and not the Canadiens.
|Nathan Horton sinks Habs in double overtime||04.23.11 at 11:07 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
Brad Marchand got the Bruins on the board at 4:33 of the third period, beating Price for his first career playoff goal. The lead would later be relinquished as Jeff Halpern tied it at 13:56, breaking up Tim Thomas‘s shutout bid.
In skating to more than two scoreless periods, the teams made the 44 minutes of shutout hockey the longest a game in the series had gone without a goal. Prior to Saturday, a goal had been scored no later than 8:13 into the first period.
The teams will next play on Tuesday in Montreal for Game 6 at the Bell Centre; a win will permit the Bruins to advance to the conference semi-finals. If necessary, Game 7 will be played the following day at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Milan Lucic finally got involved on offense. After leading the team in goals during the regular season and tying for the team lead in points, he had just five shots and no points through the first four games of the series. He got the primary assist on the game-winner, and he did a much better job of making his presence known in Game 5. He led all skaters with seven shots on goal, consistently went in hard on the forecheck and found himself with a few quality scoring chances around the net.
- Lucic wasn’t the only one shooting for the Bruins in the first period, as their 12 shots on Price marked just the second time this series that the Bruins have hit double-digits in first-period shots on goal. It didn’t pay off Saturday for either team, but the B’s have the right idea.
- Michael Ryder was a temporary fan-favorite before the game thanks to his Game 4 heroics, but the crowd really took it to a new level in the first period when Ryder made what at the time was the save of the game, stopping Tomas Plekanec with Thomas way out of the net.
In addition to his work as a part-time netminder (he actually played the position in ball hockey back in his Canadiens days), Ryder continued to get chances Saturday as well, though none made their way past Price.
- Marchand came up with a clutch goal on a night in which he’d been made popular for the wrong reasons. First, he nearly went face-first into the ice in the second period while attempting to throw down with Plekanec on a play that earned each player a roughing minor.
At the second period’s conclusion, Max Pacioretty — possessing villain status around these parts for shoving Zdeno Chara and jumping Steven Kampfer at different points this season, but more widely recognized as the victim of Chara/a Montreal stanchion from March 8 — tweeted that the game was “longer than marchands [sic] nose.” Pacioretty deleted the tweet shortly after and apologized.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins probably would have preferred it if Benoit Pouliot remained in the lineup for the Habs, as Halpern was able to score the equalizer in his second game back in the lineup. Halpern got back in for the Canadiens on Thursday after missing Games 1 and 2 with a lower-body injury.
- Boston struggled in the faceoff circle, as Montreal won 33 of 57 draws through the end of regulation. The subpar performance on draws didn’t have a huge effect on the game until they lost a defensive zone faceoff that directly led to Halpern’s game-tying goal late in the third. The Canadiens were also able to kill some time when the Bruins were on the power play by winning faceoffs in their own end and sending the puck down the river. The B’s actually did a much better job in the first overtime, winning 14 of the 20 draws in the frame.
- The Bruins went 0-for-3 on the power play — including missing out on a chance to end it with a man advantage in the first overtime — and are now 0-for-15 in the series. They got some nice setups and some decent looks at the net, but they need to find a way to score on the man advantage, plain and simple. They still seem too lackadaisical when it comes to getting traffic in front and digging for rebounds. Shots from the point can be the best power-play strategy when you’re getting screens, deflections and rebounds, but the Bruins aren’t getting much of any of that right now. They’re starting to get some dirty goals at even strength; now they just have to carry that over to the power play.
|Bruins Game 5 Live Blog: B’s, Habs head to overtime||04.23.11 at 6:29 pm ET|
Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia and others at the TD Garden for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=544866eb6c” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=544866eb6c” >WEEI.com Bruins Game 5 Live Blog</a>
|Live blog: Bruins look to even up the series in Montreal||04.21.11 at 6:04 pm ET|
Join WEEI.com’s D.J. Bean (and friends) as they help you follow all the action from the Bell Centre in Montreal, with the Bruins looking to even up their best-of-seven series with the Canadiens as the teams head into Game 4 …
|Bruins Live Blog: Follow all the action as the B’s take on the Canadiens in Montreal||04.18.11 at 7:12 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Follow D.J. Bean and a cast of thousands (or at least a few) as the Bruins head to the Bell Center to take on the Canadiens in Game 3 of the teams’ best-of-seven series.
|Bruins drop Game 2 to Canadiens||04.16.11 at 9:47 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
If the Bruins weren’t feeling the pressure before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, they should be now. A 3-1 loss to the Canadiens gives the Habs a 2-0 series lead and means the Bruins suddenly have to show they can win at the Bell Centre.
Playing without Zdeno Chara (dehydration), the B’s saw the Habs jump out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 2:20. Michael Cammallari put a rebound off a James Wisniewski shot past Tim Thomas 43 seconds into the game, while Mathieu Darche struck on the power play shortly after.
The Bruins did get on the board in the second period with a Patrice Bergeron tally that injected some life into the building, but after two games the B’s have been able to put just one puck past Carey Price through two games.
The Bruins played a more physical game than they did Thursday night, but were reckless at times. After a no-show from the top line in Game 1 and not enough of what Claude Julien wanted in the first two period, Claude Julien broke up the Milan Lucic - David Krejci – Nathan Horton trio by sending Horton to the third line in favor of Rich Peverley.
The B’s will play Game 3 in Montreal on Monday night. They need to get a win at the Bell Centre (where they went 0-2-1 in the regular season) either Monday or Thursday to bring the series back to Boston for a fifth game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- For much of the game, the Bruins’ puck-movement appeared to be that of strangers in a pickup game. They repeatedly made passes that were either off the mark, intended for a player who wasn’t looking or easily intercepted by a Canadien. Boston looked particularly shaky in its own end, as the defensemen struggled to retrieve pucks in the corners and start clean breakouts. Montreal’s second goal came as the direct result of a bad Andrew Ference pass behind the net.
- Speaking of passes — and hindsight is 20/20 — but maybe the B’s should have passed on the Tomas Kaberle deal. Aside from a shot hitting the post on the power play in the second period, there was nothing encouraging about Kaberle’s night, and that’s been a pretty common occurrence. He had issues keeping the puck in the offensive zone on routine plays, but the icing on the cake came when Krejci and P.K. Subban were getting rough behind the net in the first period. With Price out of his net, Krejci sent the puck back to the point. Before any whistles were blown of Kaberle knew the play was dead, he actually passed the puck to Johnny Boychuk with a clean look (if he looked) at an empty net.
In Kaberle’s defense, he looked much better on the the power play when Subban went off for tripping Daniel Paille in the third period. Still, you really have to wonder whether the B’s will re-sign him for the money he commands after such a bad run.
- This was not Thomas’ most impressive showing. Though he came up with a big stop on a Tomas Plekanec on a second-period breakaway, the goals from Cammalleri and Weber came as the result of big rebounds. Further evidence that having the best goaltender in the playoffs doesn’t guarantee success. Thomas is human, as is Price, though the latter has two wins.
- Bad night for Dennis Seidenberg. The 29-year-old was a minus-2 on the night, while his interference penalty at 2:14 of the first gave the Habs the power play on which Darche scored.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- For at least the middle portion of the second period, the Bruins did a better job going to the net and making things difficult for Price. That culminated in their first goal of the series when Bergeron charged down the middle and tipped home a centering pass from Brad Marchand. For the next few minutes, the Bruins got traffic in front, battled for position and weren’t afraid to jam away at rebounds and harass the Montreal netminder. Had the Bruins played like that for the whole game, it might be a different story heading to Montreal for Game 3.
- Shane Hnidy fighting Wisniewski in the second period following the Habs defenseman’s charging call was brilliant. At that point in the game, Hnidy had played 2:58 to Wisniewski’s 10:00. The Bruins will send their reserve blueliner to the box any day of the week if it means a top-four defenseman on the other team is doing the same.
|Mark Recchi on M&M: Tyler Seguin ‘will get a shot, and he’ll be ready’||04.15.11 at 1:18 pm ET|
In an interview on the Mut & Merloni Show, Bruins winger Mark Recchi suggested that it was premature to panic about his team’s Game 1 loss to the Canadiens in the best-of-seven playoff series. The 43-year-old cited his experience in a run with the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006, when Carolina fell behind Montreal by losing the first two games of the first round before roaring back to win the title.
“The bottom line is, we bounced back all year from stuff like this, and we will again,” said Recchi. “We’ve rebouded from some hard losses, tough losses, bad losses. It’s the character of our team.”
Recchi drew upon his experience with Carolina in response to another question, chiefly whether rookie Tyler Seguin (a healthy scratch in Game 1) could make an impact in this series, or whether the idea of competing at this level and in this environment — a playoff series in Montreal — would be too much for the 19-year-old to handle.
“It all depends. Obviously, that’s a coach’s decision. Right now, he’s not playing, but I’m sure if he gets that opportunity, he’ll be ready,” said Recchi. “Obviously, getting the first taste of it in a place like Montreal would be tough. At the same time, he’s a good young kid and he gets it. He’s a good hockey player.
“I played in Carolina when Cam Ward was a rookie there. He came in and Game 3 was his first [start]. In the Carolina series, when we beat Montreal and went on to win the Stanley Cup, [Ward] embraced it, grabbed it and went for a run. You never know with situations like that in the playoffs. Right now, we have a good lineup. I’m sure at some point, [Seguin] will got a shot in there, and he’ll be ready.”
Ward was the backup to Martin Gerber in Carolina, but was given the start for Game 3 against the Habs, with the Hurricanes sweeping the next four games. Ward, then 22, would remain in net for the remainder of the playoffs, going 15-7 and helping to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. Seguin played in 74 games this year, scoring 11 goals and delivering 11 assists.
Other highlights are below. To listen to the complete interview, visit the Mut & Merloni Audio on Demand page.
–Recchi was asked about the comments by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, suggesting that the B’s played a good game in their 2-0 loss on Thursday.
“He’s our captain. We have to look at the big picture. We understand fans are going to be very emotional throughout this, but it’s a seven-game series. We can’t get too high, we can’t get too low. We’ve got to stay on an even keel,” said Recchi. “There were some good things we did last night, but the bottom line is we didn’t win. He might say that, but we all know it’s not acceptable. We want to win more than anybody in this city. As players, we have the desire to win. We’re not happy about it.
“But at the same time, we know it’s seven games. That’s the thing we’ve learned. One game doesn’t win a series, and one game doesn’t lose a series. We have a long way to go, a lot of hockey. … If we come out on top, they’re going to forget about Game 1.”
–Based on his experience with Carolina, Recchi dismissed the idea that Saturday’s Game 2 represented a must-win. “I think it’s an important game,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world, either.”
–Recchi noted that more careful puck management will prove pivotal in the series, as it did in Game 1.
“They really drive on turnovers. We’ve just got to be smart. We saw the two goals they scored were on turnovers,” said Recchi. “If we dictate that, keep the puck in their zone for an extended period of time, it’s going to wear them out.”
–Recchi disputed the characterization that the Bruins are a big, powerful team in contrast to the speedy Canadiens.
“We’re just as fast as they are and we’re big,” said Recchi. “If we use those to our advantage, then we’re going to do good things and come out on top.”
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