|Bruins hold optional morning skate in anticipation of Maple Leafs||11.09.13 at 11:38 am ET|
The Bruins held an optional morning skate Saturday in anticipation of their first meeting of the season with the Maple Leafs. Toronto, who played Friday against the Devils, did not have a morning skate.
The B’s find themselves looking up at the Leafs in the standings, as the Leafs, who have played 16 games to Boston’s 15, are tied atop the Atlantic division with the Lightning. They’re also tied with the Penguins for the most points in the Eastern conference. The B’s have 19 points on the season.
James Reimer is expected to be in net for the Leafs. Reimer was the man between the pipes last May when the Bruins came back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period of Game 7 and won in overtime to win their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.
Following the season, the Leafs went out and traded for Jonathan Bernier, with Bernier having started nine games thus far this season to Reimer’s seven.
While being back in net at the Garden might bring up bad memories for Reimer, Claude Julien was quick to provide a reminder that Reimer, who allowed one goal in both Games 5 and 6 as the Leafs came back in the series, was solid for Toronto.
“He was good,” Julien said. “We could look at one little part of one game of his series or we could look at the whole picture. He was good. He’s a good goaltender. It’s unfortunate that sometimes you have to live with those things. We had to live with collapsing against Philadelphia years ago when we had a 3-0 lead, but at the same time it’s important that you look at the positives and what it did it for our team, and what it’s going to do for him in the future.
“I think they’ve got a real good duo right now as far as goaltending is concerned. They’re able to utilize both of those guys, and that’s always key to a team as well.”
|Brad Marchand finally scores as Bruins cruise past Panthers||11.07.13 at 9:37 pm ET|
The Bruins came to life in the third period Thursday to secure a 4-1 victory over the Panthers at TD Garden.
After a scoreless first period, David Krejci opened the scoring with his third goal of the season on a shot through traffic that beat former Boston College goalie Scott Clemmensen. The teams hit the second intermission with the B’s holding a one-goal lead, but the Bruins were able to expand it in the third when Brad Marchand broke a 12-game goal slump. Torey Krug made it a 3-0 game with his sixth goal of the season.
Jesse Winchester, who had earlier in the game left his feet to elbow Chris Kelly in the head (see below), broke up Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid with less than six minutes to play with a goal off a rebound in front. Reilly Smith made it 4-1 when he intercepted a puck in the high slot with 1:47 left to play. Carl Soderberg forced the turnover.
Patrice Bergeron left the game in the second period after getting hit in the face with a puck but returned for the start of the third period. Marchand’s goal was the second line’s second in the last eight games.
Former Bruin Tim Thomas did not play, as he is out with a groin injury, but he did receive a standing ovation when a tribute video was played and he was shown on the big screen in the third period.
The Bruins will continue their homestand Saturday when they host the Maple Leafs.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien: Tim Thomas wouldn’t have won Stanley Cup without Bruins||11.07.13 at 12:46 pm ET|
Tim Thomas won’t play Thursday against the Bruins as he rehabs a lower-body injury, but Claude Julien kept the Thomas-Bruins story alive with a very honest take on Thomas’ legacy Thursday.
Responding to a question about the line of thinking that the Bruins wouldn’t have won the Stanley Cup in 2011 without Thomas, Julien corrected the record by noting that it’s important people understand that Thomas had an easier job than most goalies.
“They’re right, but Tim Thomas doesn’t win the Stanley Cup if our team doesn’t play as well it did in front of him,” Julien said. “This is an honest statement. Tim played well, but I think our team played just as well in front of him. You don’t win the Stanley Cup just with a goaltender. He won the Conn Smythe because he was very good, but I would like to hope that the statistics of your goaltenders can also reflect the team in front of you.
“We did a pretty good job in front of him for years, minimizing the goal-scoring chances and the quality of them. Let’s make sure we don’t take credit away from the rest of the team, too. He was a big part of it, and so were a lot of other guys, but at the same time, we won the Stanley Cup because we were a good team. That’s what I like to think, anyways.”
Thomas had a 2.00 goals-against average in the 2010-11 regular season with a then-NHL-record .938 save-percentage. That performance earned him his second Vezina Trophy, while his 1.98 GAA and .940 save-percentage helped the B’s to a Stanley Cup victory in which he was the recipient of the Conn Smythe.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Patrice Bergeron’s line too quiet for Bruins||11.06.13 at 7:05 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson is back. Now how about some goals?
No, not just from Eriksson, but from Patrice Bergeron's line as a whole. Regardless of who else has been on Bergeron's line — and there have been three different configurations so far this season — it hasn't been scoring.
In the last seven games, Bergeron's line, whether Reilly Smith-Bergeron-Eriksson, Smith-Bergeron-Brad Marchand or Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson, has scored a grand total of one goal. Bergeron is one of the best players in the league (arguably the best player on the Bruins), but top-six lines need to produce, and his hasn't.
Bergeron's third-period goal last Wednesday is the second line's only goal since the Bruins' 5-0 win over the Lightning on Oct. 19. It's safe to say that Lightning game was the most complete game the B's have played this season, and a lot of that is due to the fact that Bergeron's line simply hasn't been going.
Consider that Bergeron himself has been a minus player in two of the last three games and three times this season after having a negative rating in just five games total last season. Goals are being scored against the Bergeron line, but just as worrisome is the fact that it hasn't been producing.
Sure, there are some reasons as to why. Bergeron's coming off a few injuries, there's turnover with Eriksson coming aboard, there have been moving parts on the wings and Marchand is in the midst of what will likely go down as one of the worst slumps (12 games without a goal) of his career. That's no excuse for a line centered by Bergeron to be anything less than very good.
'There have been a lot of changes, but the bottom line is that you have to find ways to do your job,' Bergeron said. 'It seems now that hopefully it’s going to stay [the same] and we can do some great things.'
Indeed, it does. Tuesday's game marked the first of this season that the Bruins used the lines they had put in place in the final week of the preseason to be their lineup. Yet injuries to Carl Soderberg and Eriksson messed with that, and on Tuesday the Bruins played their fifth game of the season with the Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson line. It was the first time the trio had played together since the second period of the fourth game of the season.
While the results were underwhelming with a no-show on the scoring sheet, the line actually did play well, with the trio moving the puck well and creating chances in Eriksson's first game back from a concussion.
Encouraging is good, but it doesn't put points on the table. Marchand, who spent four games and a period on the third line after a demotion against the Blue Jackets last month, has just one goal through 14 games this season. Last season he'd already scored nine times through 14 contests.
Between Marchand's struggles and Eriksson's absence, Claude Julien doesn't sound too surprised by the lack of offensive output.
'You've got a guy that just came back from a concussion, and you've got another guy that hasn't played extremely well,' Julien said. 'There's a mixture there that doesn't really [suggest] success, does it? I think it's just a matter of getting those guys going.'
Tuesday was definitely a step in the right direction, but the B's need their second line's fortune to change if the team wants to have the success of years past. Remember, all three members of the line (Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Marchand) found themselves top five in the league in plus/minus two seasons ago. Those kind of numbers don't come without putting the puck in the net.
'I’m trying to play my game and do everything right, but production is part of my game also, and I need to find that,' Bergeron said. 'With that being said, it’s about bearing down when we do have some chances.'
|Rich Peverley steals Tyler Seguin’s thunder with winning shootout goal vs. Bruins||11.05.13 at 9:56 pm ET|
Jamie Benn got the Stars on the board with a snap shot that beat Tuukka Rask stick side in the first period, but Reilly Smith was the first member of this summer’s trade to get on the board when he assisted on a nice goal in front by Torey Krug.
The teams skated to a scoreless second period, and it was a Milan Lucic redirection of a Dougie Hamilton point shot past Kari Lehtonen that gave the B’s a 2-1 lead in the third. The Stars, however, managed to tie it with 2:34 remaining in regulation when Dennis Seidenberg hooked Vernon Fiddler on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot on which Fiddler beat Rask with a backhander.
The reception was not warm for Seguin, who was booed heavily during pre-game introductions and again every time he touched the puck. In the third period, chants of “Seguin” rang out during a fruitless Stars power play.
Another former Bruins star will be in town Thursday as the Bruins welcome Tim Thomas and the Panthers.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS Read the rest of this entry »
|Bruins’ preseason third line finally takes shape||11.05.13 at 1:02 pm ET|
While it’s probably the 50th thing of the list of interesting things about Tuesday night’s Bruins-Stars game, the Bruins will use the third line they were expecting to have when the season began.
In the last week of training camp, the Bruins began using a line of Chris Kelly between Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith in anticipation of using the trio as their third line when the season began. However, an ankle injury to Soderberg forced him to miss the start of the season, and though Soderberg has played the last seven games, different circumstances have kept the trio from playing together.
The B’s opened the season with a third line of Kelly between Jordan Caron and Smith, with Smith being promoted to the second line for the third period of the fourth game of the season and stayed their the last nine games.
The recent recall of Ryan Spooner also gave the third line a different look, and through 13 games, the Bruins have used five different third lines: Kelly between Caron and Smith, Kelly between Brad Marchand and Caron, Kelly between Soderberg and Marchand, Kelly between Soderberg and Caron and Spooner between Kelly and Soderberg.
Now, with Loui Eriksson set to return from his concussion and Marchand remaining on the second line, the B’s will finally use what they had initially believed to be their third line.
“You're trying to get some stability with your lines — a little bit of it anyways,” Claude Julien said. “That's not always easy ' you need guys to play well in their positions and their spots. So that line was good for us I thought in the preseason and it gave us some hope that our third line would be a little bit more productive than it had been the year before. So we'll see where that takes us and reuniting those three guys.”
|Loui Eriksson, Johnny Boychuk expected to return to Bruins lineup vs. Stars||11.05.13 at 11:58 am ET|
Both Loui Eriksson and Johnny Boychuk are set to return from injuries Tuesday against the Stars. Eriksson has been out with a concussion since Oct. 23, while Boychuk left Thursday’s game after crashing into the boards and did not play Saturday.
Eriksson has passed all the tests required to play, while Boychuk said he is 100 percent. Claude Julien said both are expected to be in Tuesday’s lineup.
“Their status is good,” Julien said. “Loui will definitely be in, more than likely Johnny as well.”
Eriksson skated on the right wing of Patrice Bergeron‘s line in Tuesday’s morning skate. Tuesday marked his fifth consecutive day on the ice, with Monday being the first in which he took contact.
With Eriksson back, the Bruins’ forward lines are as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Eriksson
Soderberg – Kelly – Smith
Paille – Campbell – Thornton
For Eriksson, it will be his first game playing against the only other NHL team for which he has played.
“I have a lot of good memories from Dallas, when I played there, but right now they’ve changed almost the whole team,” Eriksson said. “It’s a brand new team for them, but I was in Dallas for eight years. You get used to everything there, and you miss some things there, but it’s nice to come here. It’s a real nice city to play in. '¦ I really like it here, and the team is good too.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
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