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Michel Therrien: ‘The Boston Bruins are the best team in the league right now’ 05.01.14 at 12:44 pm ET
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The Canadiens are feeling plenty confident heading into their second round matchup with the Bruins, but Michel Therrien painted a pretty black-and-white picture of his team’s situation prior to Game 1.

After finishing second in the Atlantic Division to the B’s in the regular season, Montreal swept a Tampa team that was missing its starting goaltender in the first round to set up a meeting with the Bruins. Asked Thursday morning whether he felt his team should be considered an underdog in the series, Therrien, whose team beat the Bruins in three of four regular-season meetings, said Boston deserves to be favored.

“We’re playing against the best team. Underdog or not, the Boston Bruins are the best team in the league right now,” Therrien said. “We understand that it’s a huge challenge not only for us, but all the teams that play the Bruins this year.

“They finished in first place and it was well-deserved. So yes. We’re confident, though. I liked the way we finished the [regular season]. The way that we finished the year gave us the confidence to approach the playoffs. We had a really good first round, and again, the way that we played in the first round gave us the confidence for the next step, and this is the next step.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Brad Marchand misses morning skate, Daniel Paille a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Canadiens 05.01.14 at 11:41 am ET
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For the second time in three days, Brad Marchand was not on the ice with his Bruins teammates as the team held its morning skate in anticipation of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Canadiens.

Marchand, who missed Tuesday’s practice but practiced Wednesday, was hoarse when he spoke to the media Wednesday, suggesting he was ill. Claude Julien — as is customary in the postseason — offered no update on Marchand’s health after Thursday’s morning skate, saying that “he took his option.” Based on that, the expectation should be that Marchand plays.

Daniel Paille, who missed the first round against the Red Wings due to a head injury, has been cleared to play for a number of days. Julien said that Paille is a game-time decision for Game 1. Assuming that Paille returns to the lineup, Jordan Caron would sit after filling in for Paille in the first round.

On the Canadiens’ end, Max Pacioretty was not on the ice for morning skate, but Michel Therrien said he too took his option. When asked if Pacioretty was OK, Therrien responded, “of course.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Max Pacioretty,
Brad Marchand returns to Bruins practice 04.30.14 at 1:22 pm ET
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Brad Marchand was back at practice Wednesday after not taking part in Tuesday’s practice. Though he did not say why he was absent Tuesday, his voice was hoarse on Wednesday, suggesting he was ill.

With Marchand back at practice, Daniel Paille returned to the Merlot line after skating in Marchand’s place Tuesday. Wednesday’s lines and pairings were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille/Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

Dennis Seidenberg practiced again and did not take contact. Corey Potter remains absent after appearing to injure his shoulder last week in practice.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille,
Source: Bruins-Canadiens to begin Thursday at TD Garden 04.29.14 at 6:08 pm ET
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The Bruins and Canadiens will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night at at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden, according to a league source. Game 2 is expected to be played Saturday, with the likelihood that it will be a matinee.

RDS reported the schedule for the series earlier Tuesday, which falls in line with all of that information. According to RDS, the schedule is:

Game 1: Thursday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 2: Saturday, May 3, 12:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 3: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 4: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 5: Saturday, May 10, TBD at TD Garden
Game 6: Monday, May 12, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 7: Wednesday, May 14, TBD at TD Garden

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Daniel Paille cleared to play, Bruins glad to have Dennis Seidenberg practicing 04.29.14 at 1:18 pm ET
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Bruins forward Daniel Paille said after Tuesday’s practice that he has been cleared to play after recovering from a suspected head injury.

Paille hit his head on the ice after a hit from Jake McCabe on April 12 and missed the entire first-round series against the Red Wings. Given that Paille had two concussions earlier in the season, he said Tuesday that the team was extra careful in bringing him back this time.

“Because it’s my third injury this year, there’s a lot more precautions to kind of rule out,” Paille said. “I believe I could have played midway through the series — I didn’t feel like I had too long of any symptoms/injuries — but there was a lot of precautions and I had to continue with that process.”

Paille began taking light contact last Thursday, but Tuesday’s practice saw him participate in battle drills. As for the notion that he could have been brought back sooner, Claude Julien said the Bruins simply followed protocol during the last round.

“I waited for the OK from our doctors. That’s basically what I waited for,” Julien said. “To say that he might have been ready, I needed to know that he was ready. I know he’s ready for the next round now.”

Paille practiced Tuesday on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Brad Marchand, who did not practice. With Paille back, the assumption is that he will slide back into his old spot on the fourth line in place of Jordan Caron. Julien cautioned against assuming Paille is in the lineup just because he is cleared, but there is no doubt that Paille would be an asset against the speedy Habs.

“We’ll see where we are, guys,” Julien said. “The series hasn’t started yet and we haven’t made any decisions yet. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.”

Dennis Seidenberg also practiced Tuesday, but he did not take contact. Julien said that Seidenberg is skating with the team to prevent the “boredom” that comes from skating on his own each day. Seidenberg was initially ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL/MCL in late December, but he is well ahead of schedule in his recovery.

“It’s great to see. It gives you an emotional lift to see your teammate battling like he’s been battling just to be better,” Bergeron said. “Obviously he’s been doing that for a while. It’s nice to see him back out there, and obviously I don’t know what the timeline is there.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Dennis Seidenberg, Daniel Paille practice with Bruins 04.29.14 at 11:22 am ET
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The Bruins returned to practice Tuesday at TD Garden, with Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg both participating. Chris Kelly, Corey Potter and Brad Marchand were all absent.

Paille, who has been cleared for contact since last Thursday, participated in battle drills and skated on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Marchand. Seidenberg did not take contact.

Seidenberg skated on an extra pairing with Andrej Meszaros, with the rest of the lineup looking like this:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Paille – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg,
Speed kills: Why the Bruins are annoyed with what you think of the Canadiens matchup 04.28.14 at 1:35 pm ET
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Peter Chiarelli is tired of the "speed" talk. (AP)

Peter Chiarelli is tired of the “speed” talk. (AP)

Bruins coach Claude Julien gets visibly annoyed when people talk about other teams’ speed being an issue for the Bruins, or the Bruins being too big and slow to hang with any squad with zip.

Turns out Peter Chiarelli does too.

After eliminating a fast team in five games, the Bruins once again face a speedy opponent in the Canadiens, and they’d like to be given a little more credit.

“It’€™s too [much of a] stereotype, and we’€™ve improved our speed,” Chiarelli said Monday. “I just hear about it all year, too, and obviously Claude and I talk, and we get tired of it. We have speed and we have heaviness and we have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder because of that, because of this label that we have. But fair enough. I understand where it’€™s coming from, I understand when you bring it up in the context of the Wings and now the Canadiens because they are — they’€™re both fast teams.”

Chiarelli traded away a lot of speed last summer when he shipped Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas, but the team has hardly turned into a bunch of cavemen on skates. The development of strong skaters on the back end in Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski has actually made the Bruins a faster team in getting out of their zone and getting through the neutral zone.

Montreal is faster, to be sure, but the Bruins have quickness of their own to go with their physicality, which was seen throughout Boston’s five-game elimination of the Wings.

“It’€™s about closing gaps more quickly. It’€™s about establishing a forecheck and leaning on guys. It’€™s about our special teams,” Chiarelli said. “Both our PK and PP has been outstanding. We maintain that and we’€™re going to have success.”

Indeed they have. The Bruins scored six power-play goals in a series for the first time since 2010 in going 6-for-15 on the power play while holding the Red Wings to two goals on 20 Detroit power plays.

The biggest victim of the “Bruins are slow” narrative is Zdeno Chara, both literally and otherwise. The 6-foot-9 Norris finalist has never been a great skater, and the fact that he’s gotten up there in age and got injured late last postseason has painted the picture in some minds that he can be exposed. That’s yet to really happen though.

“We can’€™t really control what’€™s being said about us or maybe other teams, when they play us,” Chara said. “It’€™s more how we’€™re going to play and how we do things on the ice. I don’€™t think we are a slow team. Obviously we are built a certain way and we want to thrive on the way we’€™re built and excel in areas that we are good at, but I don’€™t think we are necessarily a slow team.

“I think we are able to skate and make quick transitions as well as any other team. I know what we can do it, and I believe that we can play with anybody.”

Said Chiarelli: “Despite the common belief that speed kills, I think we’€™ve shown that we have some speed and we have some size and we have experience. So it will be a challenge, but I think we’€™ll overcome that challenge.”

Read More: Peter Chiarelli, Zdeno Chara,
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