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Bill Belichick and Claude Julien skate together ahead of Winter Classic 12.31.15 at 10:40 am ET
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FOXBORO — Look who took a twirl at Gillette Stadium before Thursday’s Bruins practice.

“It’s always great to catch up with Bill,” Julien said. “I was fortunate enough to be a guest of his yesterday at his practice, and we walked through it, and it was nice to see him work with his team. I’€™ve admired him for a long time for how he handles his team, how he coaches, how prepared he is.

“We play different sports, but as coaches, I think there’€™s a lot of things we can learn from each other and admire from each other. And that’€™s the one thing I have learned from Bill is his preparation is second to none.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Claude Julien, Winter Classic,
Brad Marchand suspended 3 games, will miss Winter Classic vs. Canadiens 12.30.15 at 7:32 pm ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been suspended three games for clipping Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. The suspension means he will be ineligible to play in Friday’€™s Winter Classic against the Canadiens.

Marchand could appeal the suspension to commissioner Gary Bettman, but he would remain suspended during his appeal.

The video explaining the suspension calls Tuesday’€™s play a “late, low hit to the lower body”€ and notes a track record of Marchand targeting the lower body with dangerous hits. Marchand was suspended last season for slew-footing Derick Brassard.

This is the fourth suspension of Marchand’€™s career. His biggest ban came in 2012, when he was given a five-game suspension for low-bridging Sami Salo.

Canadiens goalie Mike Condon’s Winter Classic mask features Bill Belichick 12.30.15 at 6:43 pm ET
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Holliston native and Belmont Hill product Mike Condon plays for the Canadiens, but his Winter Classic mask displays his football allegiances clearly.

The mask, which was painted by goalie mask artist David Gunnarsson, features the Habs logos on the sides, but the back consists of a Patriots tribute, complete with a hooded Bill Belichick, four Lombardi trophies, a flying Elvis and the Patriots’€™ “Do Your Job” motto.

Following are pictures, courtesy of Gunnarsson (@artofdave) on Twitter:

condon mask

CONDON2

Video: Testing out Winter Classic ice 12.30.15 at 3:21 pm ET
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FOXBORO –€” While Wednesday technically qualified as an off-day, the Bruins took the ice with their families for an open skate as they got their first look at Gillette Stadium‘€™s setup for Friday’€™s Winter Classic.

After the skate, the media took the ice. Here’€™s a weird video from that:

Brad Marchand doesn’t feel hit warrants suspension 12.29.15 at 10:44 pm ET
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Brad Marchand will likely have to plead his case to the Department of Player Safety in order to play in the Winter Classic. He practiced Tuesday night with reporters.

Marchand insisted after Tuesday’€™s game that what could be seen as a low-bridge hit on Mark Borowiecki was mere incidental contact as he was trying to turn up the ice from the defensive zone.

‘€œIt was a simple play,’€ Marchand said. ‘€œI mean, I was trying to get to the puck area and turned up ice. He was kind of standing there. I just turned up and tried to go after the puck-carrier.

Asked if he was worried about being suspended for Friday’€™s Winter Classic, Marchand responded, ‘€œI can’€™t control that.’€ He gave the same response when asked if he felt the hit warranted a look from the Department of Player Safety.

Marchand was last suspended in January of last season for slew-footing Derick Brassard, a ban recent enough that Marchand will be considered a repeat offender if the league does indeed decide to suspend him. The player also has a history with low-bridging, as he committed such a hit on Sami Salo back in 2012.

5 things we learned as Bruins beat Senators in final tuneup before Winter Classic 12.29.15 at 9:55 pm ET
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The Bruins will not enter the Winter Classic on a losing streak.

A hat trick from Jimmy Hayes and two-goal performances from Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey led the way in a 7-3 win over the Senators that snapped Boston’€™s recent skid at three games. Ryan Spooner, who had all eyes on him following his promotion to second-line center, had a pair of assists, one of which came on the power play.

Tuesday’€™s win allowed the Bruins to jump ahead of Detroit in the Atlantic Division with 44 points. The B’€™s now sit third in the division, two points behind the division-leading Panthers and one point behind the Canadiens.

The Bruins will be off Wednesday and will practice Thursday in Foxboro before hosting the Habs for the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium on Friday.

While there will be plenty of angst leftover for Friday, the Bruins played the Senators Tuesday as if Ottawa were their biggest rival. The teams combined for 110 penalty minutes on Tuesday, with a late-game fracas providing six misconducts.

Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:

MARCHAND GETS AN ‘€˜A,’€™ MIGHT GET ‘A’ SUSPENSION

Brad Marchand may have spoken too soon when he mentioned his excitement to play in the Winter Classic Tuesday morning. After a dangerous his Tuesday night, Marchand could end up being suspended for Friday’€™s game.

Marchand, who was wearing an ‘€˜A’€™ due to the absence of David Krejci, committed a low-bridge hit on Mark Borowiecki in the first period. Marchand will likely argue in his hearing that he was turning into the player rather than going for the hit, but that might not hold up well given that he has a history of low-bridging with his 2012 suspension for such a hit on Sami Salo. Working in Marchand’s favor is that Borowiecki was not injured on the play.

It’€™s been nearly a year since Marchand’€™s last suspension, when he was banned two games for slew-footing Derick Brassard. If the Department of Player Safety deems Tuesday’€™s hit suspendable, his recent history will be admissible when considering the suspension’€™s length. That wasn’€™t the only incident involving Borowiecki. This happened in the second period and the Ottawa defenseman lived to tell the tale.

POWER’€™S BACK ON

Although the Bruins entered Tuesday night’€™s game with the best power play percentage in the NHL, they had gone their last four games without a power play goal (0-for-6) in a stretch that saw them struggle to even get on the man advantage.

That changed for the B’€™s Tuesday, as they got a season-best four power play goals in a 4-for-7 showing on the man advantage. The B’€™s hadn’€™t scored multiple power-play goals since Nov. 27.

Bergeron had two of Boston’€™s goals on the man advantage, while Matt Beleskey hopped on the rebound of a Brett Connolly shot in the second period to make it 3-1.

‘€˜SKEY SHOOTS, ‘€˜SKEY SCORES

As we touched on recently, Beleskey has had positively dreadful luck shooting the puck this season. Entering the game, only one of Beleskey’€™s five goals had come from shooting the puck, as he had two goals apiece from redirecting shots and from his passes hitting players and going in.

Beleskey was able to actually shoot the puck into the net in the second period when he used a wrister to fling the puck past Craig Anderson after the Ottawa goaltender kicked Connolly’€™s shot to the left circle. Beleskey now has six goals on the season, putting him on pace for 14 on the season.

GRIFFITH IN, KRUG HEALTHY, HAYES DOWN

Seth Griffith played his first NHL game this season after the Bruins recalled the red-hot winger from Providence Tuesday. Griffith, who had 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) over his last nine games for Providence, was placed on Bergeron and Marchand’€™s line.

That move created a trickle-down effect for Boston’€™s wingers, with both Brett Connolly and Hayes being demoted as a result.

Torey Krug also returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’€™s game with a lower-body injury. Boston’€™s lineup Tuesday was as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Griffith
Beleskey-Spooner-Eriksson
Vatrano-Ferraro-Connolly
Rinaldo-Talbot-Hayes

Chara-Seidenberg
Krug-McQuaid
Morrow-Kevan Miller

Rask

Hayes did well with his demotion to the fourth line, as his hat trick was the first of his NHL career.

Seth Griffith recall gives Bruins options 12.29.15 at 11:39 am ET
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Seth Griffith

Seth Griffith

The Bruins recalled right wing Seth Griffith from Providence Tuesday, a move that Claude Julien feels adds to the fluidity of Boston’s lineup situation.

Griffith will be available to play Tuesday against the Senators. If he does, it would figure to be at the expense of one of Boston’s right wings (Jimmy Hayes and Tyler Randell are currently the team’s third and fourth-line right wings, respectively). Randell was one of three skaters to take the ice Tuesday morning, as he joined injured players Torey Krug and Joonas Kemppainen.

Griffith has been red-hot at the AHL level, registering 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) over his last nine games.

Initially something of a longshot candidate to push for a job in Boston this season, Griffith suffered a sprained MCL in training camp and did not play his first game of the season until Oct. 23. In 24 games for Providence this season, Griffith has 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points. He had 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 30 games for Boston last season.

Along with recalling Griffith, the Bruins moved David Krejci to injured reserve. He is considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Krug, who skated for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, is a possibility to play against the Senators, though Julien was mostly mum on his lineup.

 

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