|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.”
|Brian Gionta’s two goals, Carey Price’s shutout lead Canadiens past Bruins in Game 1||04.14.11 at 9:36 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
The Canadiens took a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Thursday, defeating the Bruins, 2-0, at TD Garden.
Scott Gomez hit Brian Gionta in front of Tim Thomas following a first-period Tomas Kaberle turnover, with the Habs’ captain cashing in at 2:44 for the game’s first goal. Gionta beat Thomas again on a slapshot with 3:18 remaining in the third.
The Bruins would pick up the pace in the second and third periods, but ultimately were doomed by a combination of solid play from Montreal goaltender Carey Price and a tendency for the B’s to shoot it right into the chest of Price, limiting their second-chance opportunities.
On the night Price stopped all 31 shots he saw en route to the shutout. Tim Thomas made 18 saves on the night.
The two teams will square off Saturday for Game 2. From there, they will play Monday and Thursday in Montreal before returning to Boston, if necessary.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Kaberle had a rough night for the Bruins. His turnover in the first period led to Gomez’ pass to set up Gionta’s goal, and he also took a first-period hooking penalty in the first. Furthermore, in order for anyone to buy his fake shots, he’ll have to actually shoot the puck more often. Defensively, he was suspect, and he isn’t bringing enough to the power play/offense to make up for it.
– The top line was ineffective for the majority of the night. The Milan Lucic - David Krejci – Nathan Horton trio totaled just one shot (from Horton) through the first two periods. Though they improved in the third, one period isn’t enough. Lucic has been big for the Bruins in the playoffs before, and Horton’s skill set suggests he can make an impact in the playoffs. They can’t just assume it will happen.
– Special teams are always crucial in the playoffs, and Thursday night, the Bruins just couldn’t get it done on the power play. It would have been one thing if they created a ton of chances and Price stood on his head, but that wasn’t the case.
The B’s struggled all night to set up on the man advantage and looked hesitant to shoot the few times they did. Brad Marchand had a breakaway chance on the first power play of the night and some good puck movement near the end of Boston’s third power play led to a few quality chances on the first shift after the penalty expired, but for the most part, the B’s did not make good use of their time on the man advantage.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– After a first period in which the Bruins looked a bit tentative, they stepped up and took control of the game in the second. The B’s outshot Montreal 18-6 in middle frame and had a number of strong offensive zone possessions result in scoring chances. Unfortunately for Boston, Price was always in perfect position to make the save. At the other end of the ice, the Canadiens rarely mustered any sort of attack on the Boston net. The Bruins did pretty much everything you could ask for in the second’¦ except put the puck in the net.
– Thomas and the Bruins dodged a real bullet in the second period. With Thomas way out of his net with the B’s on the power play, Tomas Plekanec had an open net to work with but rushed en route to missing the net.
– Zdeno Chara got five shots through to Price, but B’s fans seemed to take just as much joy in seeing the captain’s slap shots hobble Habs players. Both Andrei Kostitsyn and Travis Moen were slowed after blocking shots from Chara. The B’s captain took a roughing penalty with 2:42 remaining in the third.
|Video: Bean picks the Habs in 6||04.14.11 at 2:26 pm ET|
WEEI.com’s Bruins writer DJ Bean joined Fox 25 to preview the Bruins – Habs series. In the appearance, Bean picks the Habs to defeat the Bruins in six games. Check out the video below.
|Playoffs begin Thursday for Bruins||04.11.11 at 2:44 am ET|
The Bruins will open their 2011 playoff schedule Thursday at the TD Garden against the Canadiens at 7 p.m. Boston will host the first two games of the best-of-seven first-round set, with Game 2 set for Saturday at the Garden at 7 p.m. Montreal will serve as the site for the next two games, as the Canadiens will host Game 3 (April 18 at 7:30 p.m.) and Game 4 (April 21 at 7 p.m.).
If needed, the series will move back to Boston for Game 5, which is scheduled for April 23 at 7 p.m. Montreal would host Game 6 ‘ again, if needed ‘ on April 26 with the time to be determined. If the two teams need to play a Game 7, the game (time also TBD) would be April 27.
|Report: Memory problems plague Marc Savard||03.27.11 at 12:11 pm ET|
Savard, who was placed on long-term injured reserve in February with his second concussion in less than a year, was last injured on Jan. 22 when he sustained a concussion after being checked into the boards by Matt Hunwick. The injury came after he missed the first 23 games of the 2010-11 season due to post-concussion symptoms stemming from a concussion suffered on March 7, 2010 thanks to a hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke.
Savard said in February that he didn’t know what his future held.
“I’m not going to make any decision about my future until I get some more medical stuff done,” he said. “I’ve just got to be patient going forward.”
|WEEI.com Bruins chat at 2 p.m.||03.25.11 at 1:11 pm ET|
Join WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean to discuss the Bruins’ big 7-0 win over the Canadiens, their prospects for the playoffs and all other things black and gold. The chat begins at 2 p.m.