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Barry Melrose on D&C: ‘It’s going to be a tough year for the Bruins’ 10.08.15 at 9:39 am ET
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Barry Melrose

Barry Melrose

ESPN NHL hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined Dennis, Callahan & Minihane on Thursday morning to look ahead to the 2015-16 NHL season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With the Bruins’ disappointing season last year, he feels coach Claude Julien is under pressure right away.

“I think he is. I don’t think he should be,” Melrose said. “I think Claude is a heck of a coach, won a Stanley Cup in Boston. They had a long drought, there was no Stanley Cup winners and he comes in and gets the job done and the team is good every year. I think he’s under pressure. Boston is a team that expects to win. They expect the Red Sox to win, the Patriots to win, the Celtics to win and they expect Boston to win. It’s going to be a tough year for the Bruins. They are not the dominant Bruins they once were. Everybody got a little bit better in the East and it is going to take Claude’s best coaching job he’s ever done in his life to make this a playoff team and give them a chance of winning.”

This past offseason the team lost a number of key players, including Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic. Melrose says their margin for error is very small.

“Are they as good today as they were last year? I don’t think so,” he said. “I think what has to happen for the Bruins now is they don’t have any margin anymore. The Bruins used to be able to overcome an injury or overcome maybe a struggling player here or there, but I don’t think they can anymore. I think the Bruins have to get plays from their kids, they have to get great games from [Patrice] Bergeron, [David] Krejci and [Zdeno] Chara. They can’t afford any injuries to key players. Tuukka Rask probably has to play the best he’s ever played and they just don’t have any margin for error anymore with their lineup.

“If all those things happen they are a playoff team, but if all of a sudden Bergeron misses six weeks or Krejci, who has been hurt a lot lately, misses six weeks, Chara is already starting the year hurt, [Dennis] Seidenberg is already gone for two months, so that’s going to be tough. They’ve been able to overcome those before, I don’t know if they will be able to overcome those now.”

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Bruins finish preseason with shootout loss 10.03.15 at 12:24 am ET
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The Bruins concluded their preseason schedule with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center.

Loui Eriksson’€™s first-period tally was the game’€™s only goal until Alexander Ovechkin tied the contest with less than three minutes to play in regulation. Ovechkin’€™s goal came against Jeremy Smith, who spelled Tuukka Rask in the third period.

Rask played the first two periods of the game, stopping all 15 shots he faced. Smith stopped 13 of the 14 shots he saw before letting in both shots he faced in the shootout.

The Bruins will open the regular season Thursday when they host the Jets at TD Garden.

Bruins drop preseason game to Rangers 09.30.15 at 9:57 pm ET
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The Bruins fell to the Rangers, 3-2, in preseason action Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The game was followed by a mandatory 3-on-3 session that yielded no scoring.

The Bruins got a pair of goals from Brett Connolly, the first of which came on Boston’€™s first shot of the game. Connolly took a feed from Jimmy Hayes and tapped it past Henrik Lundqvist to give the B’€™s a 1-0 lead early in the first period. With the Bruins trailing by two goals late in regulation, Connolly scored with an extra attacker on to bring the B’€™s within one.

Jonas Gustavsson, who remains on a professional tryout with the B’€™s, got the start in net for Boston. He stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced, first getting beaten at 16:27 of the second period on a Ryan McDonagh shot through traffic. The goal, which was credited to Viktor Stalberg, was followed by a J.T. Miller tally in the final minute of the second. The Rangers then took a 3-1 lead on a power play goal from Rick Nash.

The Bruins will conclude their preseason schedule when they face the Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center.

Bruins chat at 2 p.m. 09.30.15 at 11:54 am ET
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What should the roster look like out of camp? How much should Tuukka Rask play this season? What kind of player will Zdeno Chara be? Chat all things Bruins with DJ Bean. The fun starts at 2 p.m.

Live Blog WEEI.com Bruins chat
 

Bruins pick up preseason win over Red Wings 09.27.15 at 12:00 am ET
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David Krejci scored a pair of goals as the Bruins picked up a 4-3 overtime win over the Red Wings Saturday night in Detroit. The exhibition win improved the Bruins to 4-0-0 in preseason action.

Krejci scored both of his goals in the first period. After the Red Wings scored a pair of goals on Malcolm Subban, Brian Ferlin made it 3-2 with a second-period goal. Jakub Kindl tied the game for Detroit, with Torey Krug scoring the game-winner.

The Bruins will next play Monday night when they host the Red Wings at TD Garden.

Dennis Seidenberg to have surgery on back 09.23.15 at 9:16 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will have surgery on his back and is expected to be out eight weeks, the team announced Wednesday morning.

Seidenberg is scheduled to undergo a lumbar microdiscectomy on Thursday to repair a lumbar spine disc herniation. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said the 34-year-old defenseman came to team doctors last Monday complaining about nerve aggravation. The team obviously didn’t think the injury was too serious, as Seidenberg took the ice at captains’ practice the next day, though he did not participate when his teammates began scrimmaging.

Sweeney said the B’s recommended rest, but that when the issue did not subside, surgery became the obvious path. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Louis Jenis at Massachusetts General Hospital.

His absence makes it possible that the Bruins may carry eight defensemen to begin the season: Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Zach Trotman, Matt Irwin, Joe Morrow, Colin Miller and Kevan Miller.

 

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Matt Irwin scores twice as Bruins beat Devils in preseason opener 09.20.15 at 9:52 pm ET
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The Bruins opened their preseason schedule with some of their newcomers helping them to a 2-0 win over the Devils Sunday night in Providence.

Zac Rinaldo, acquired from the Flyers in the offseason, drew a pair of penalties on the night, with both leading to power-play goals from free agent signing Matt Irwin. The former Sharks defenseman, who took a one-year, $800,000 contract in the offseason, figures to be one of Boston’€™s defensemen this season regardless of whether the Bruins carry seven or eight on the back end. Both of Irwin’s goals were assisted by Colin Miller, whom the B’s received in the Milan Lucic trade.

Among the potential members of this season’€™s NHL club to lace up for the Bruins Sunday night were Ryan Spooner, Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly, Joonas Kemppainen, Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, Rinaldo, Irwin and Colin Miller. Spooner centered Hayes and Connolly, as he has done thus far in training camp practices. First-round picks Jakub Zboril and Jake DeBrusk were also in Boston’€™s lineup.

Griffith left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Jonas Gustavsson, who is in camp with the Bruins on a professional tryout, got the start for the Bruins and stopped all 18 shots he faced. Jeremy Smith, who split time with Malcolm Subban in Providence last season, took over for Gustavsson in the second period and completed the shutout.

The Bruins will continue to practice throughout the week, with preseason games Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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