Big Bad Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Bruins eliminate Red Wings, will face Canadiens next 04.26.14 at 5:53 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

The Bruins eliminated the Red Wings with a 4-2 series-clinching Game 5 victory Saturday to set up an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Canadiens.

Henrik Zetterberg made it interesting when he banged home the rebound off a Justin Abdelkader bid with 3:52 remaining to close what was a two-goal Bruins’ lead to one, but the Bruins held up the rest of the way and Jarome Iginla added an empty-netter to eliminate Detroit in five games.

Loui Eriksson scored his first power play goal as a Bruin when he beat Jonas Gustavsson in front for a power play goal 3:27 into the game while Justin Abdelkader was serving a hooking penalty. Gustavsson was playing a second straight game in place of regular starter Jimmy Howard, who the team said was dealing with the flu.

Boston’s lead held up until late in the second, when Pavel Dastyuk scored a power play goal at 14:41 of the period. From there a flurry of penalties called on both sides set up a Bruins’ four-on-three, with Zdeno Chara firing a slapshot past Gustavsson with 3.8 seconds remaining in the second.

Milan Lucic gave the B’s some breathing room by cashing in on a feed from Torey Krug in front 4:27 into the third. Krug had two assists on the day.

Earning the win was Tuukka Rask, who never let up more than two goals in a game this series. Rask ended up holding Detroit to six goals in five games with one shutout.

The Canadiens have awaited their next opponent since sweeping the Lightning on Tuesday. The teams last met in the postseason in the 2011 conference quarterfinals, with the Bruins eliminating Montreal in a seven-game classic en route to a Stanley Cup victory.

The conference semifinals will not begin until all other rounds are completed later next week.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- With a pair of power-play goals Saturday, the Bruins ended up scoring six goals on the power play in the series. That’s the most they’ve had in a series since they scored six on the man advantage against the Sabres in the 2010 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Sabres. They saw the light at the end of the tunnel all season (they had the third-best power play in the regular season) and can now officially say their days of having no power play in the postseason are behind them.

- As he was throughout the series, Rask was big for the B’s in the first two periods. His biggest saves of the second included a stop on Henrik Zetterberg when the Detroit captain wheeled around to fire a shot off a Dastyuk faceoff win and moments later, when he stopped Daniel Alfredsson on the doorstep.

- Dougie Hamilton once again had way too easy a time skating the puck into the zone on a power play as Darren Helm repeated his passive performance from Game 2. Hamilton scored off it in the first period Tuesday and it led Eriksson’s goal Saturday.

- For all the you-know-what spearing and occasional sleepiness, Lucic still ended up with solid numbers for the series (three goals) and finished especially strong with key goals in the final two games and a big shift on Jarome Iginla’s game-winning goal in Game 4.

- The Bruins didn’t end up missing Chris Kelly or Daniel Paille too much in the series. Justin Florek filled in admirably for Kelly on Carl Soderberg’s left wing, while Jordan Carl was both physical and smart throughout the series. Florek and Caron scored a goal apiece in the series.

Going forward, the guess would be that Paille, who has been skating and was cleared for contact Thursday, could be available when the next round starts. Kelly, who is out with a back injury, has not skated since late in the regular season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins’ first line took two offensive zone penalties Saturday, and the second one cost them. David Krejci tripped Brendan Smith in the corner of the offensive zone in the first, but it was a high-sticking call against Milan Lucic in the second that gave Detroit the power play on which Datsyuk scored the equalizer.

In general, the penalties got out of hand when the officiating crew got whistle-happy throughout the second period. Lucic’s penalty was followed by a holding call against Danny DeKeyser, then a weak goalie interference call against Eriksson, a Johan Franzen holding penalty and finally a cross-checking call on Brendan Smith. Jarome Iginla drew two of the penalties that came during that three-minute stretch of penalty-calling madness.

It didn’t even end there, as Marchand was sent off for roughing in the opening minute of the third.

- Speaking of penalties, Shawn Thornton racks up the penalty minutes with all the fighting he does, but it’s rare that he takes a minor penalty. He had seven in the regular season, but with Saturday’s high-sticking penalty in the first period, he has now taken two minors this round.

Daniel Paille remains out for Game 5; no update on Corey Potter 04.26.14 at 2:01 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

Bruins forwad Daniel Paille skated again Saturday morning and will remain out of the lineup for Saturday’s Game 5 against the Red Wings.

Paille, who is recovering from what is believed to be a head injury, has not played since leaving the second-to-last game of the season two weeks ago. Claude Julien said that Paille, who has been taking contact in recent days, is getting to closer to a return, but is not yet ready.

Julien had no update on defenseman Corey Potter, who suffered a shoulder injury in Friday’s practice.

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

Read More: Corey Potter, Daniel Paille,
Jonas Gustavsson to start for Red Wings in Game 5 04.25.14 at 7:30 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters Friday that Jonas Gustavsson will start Saturday in Game 5 against the Bruins, with Jimmy Howard serving as the backup.

Gustavsson made his playoff career playoff start in Thursday’s Game 4 because Howard, the team’s regular starter, was out with the flu. Howard did not practice Friday.

The 29-year-old Gustavsson saw 40 shots Thursday, stopping 37 of them in taking the loss in a 3-2 overtime win for Boston that gave the B’s a 3-1 lead in the series.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Jimmy Howard, Jonas Gustavsson, Mike Babcock,
Brad Marchand on Justin Abdelkader: ‘By no means am I ever trying to be like him’ 04.25.14 at 3:32 am ET
By   |  Comments Off

DETROIT — Great goal-scorers respect other great goal-scorers. Great defensemen appreciate another blueliner who can take away half the ice. Great coaches may occasionally fear one another, but they become great by outthinking their counterparts. Even fighters have respect for one another and are thankful when the other obliges.

So what do pests think of other pests?

Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader is not a fighter; he’ll do it once or twice a season. Yet he’s been the first in line to participate in post-whistle festivities, as the Bruins have seen in their first-round series against the Wings. In the last two games, the 27-year-old grinder has taken two roughing minors and drawn three.

Brad Marchand is one of the league’s most noteworthy pests, as he routinely gets chippy after the whistle but doesn’t drop the gloves often. Though both play on the top six for their teams, Abdelkader has never scored more than 10 goals in the a season in the NHL, whereas Marchand has scored 20 goals in each of his three full NHL seasons (he scored 18 in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign).

Asked about Abdelkader’s extracurricular work following the Bruins’ Game 4 overtime win, Marchand didn’t seem overly impressed.

“He’s really the only guy they have on their team that’s like that that plays a physical game,” Marchand said of Abdelkader. “I think he’s trying to play that role a bit and help the team a bit, but by no means am I ever trying to be like him.”

As for his own antics, Marchand, who cross-checked Henrik Zetterberg after a whistle in Game 4 and was accused of diving (which he probably didn’t) in Game 3, said he feels he’s better served toning it down for the remainder of the series. Marchand missed two open nets in Game 4 and said he needs to put all of his focus on performing better rather than mixing it up.

“I think I’€™m going to try to stay out of the scrums the rest of the series and just worry about playing,” Marchand said. “I might be focusing a little too much on other stuff, and that’€™s why I’€™m missing my opportunities. I think I want to help the team more on the scoresheet than in other ways.’€

Read More: Brad Marchand, Justin Abdelkader,
Bruins can’t wait for fourth win vs. Red Wings like they did with Leafs 04.25.14 at 12:27 am ET
By   |  Comments Off

DETROIT — The Bruins know too well that 3-1 doesn’t mean a series is over.

Even without taking into consideration their blown 3-0 lead against the Flyers in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals, all they have to do is think back to the first round a year ago.

Just like they did last season in Toronto, the B’s earned an overtime win in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. What happened next the last time around were two straight 2-1 losses to a force a Game 7 that they would have lost were it not for a major comeback.

What happens this time around can be different, and the B’s will keep last year in mind.

“We were in this position last year, same thing, winning in overtime in Game 4 in Toronto,” Milan Lucic said Thursday after the B’s 3-2 overtime win over the Red Wings. “We all know what happened after that, so we’re not taking anything for granted here. We all know how hard it is to close out a series and we all know how desperate they’re going to be headed into Saturday.”

The team that the Bruins had up 3-1 in the first round last year hadn’t been to the playoffs in nine years. The one the B’s face now are in the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season. Though the B’s also faced a solid coach in Randy Carlyle in the first round, this Red Wings team is an experienced and extremely well-coached team. If the B’s go into cruise control, guys like Pavel Datsyuk will take advantage and the Red Wings will close the gap.

So, with a recent reminder of what can happen, the B’s — particularly David Krejci‘s line, which won’t have to play against Datsyuk with the Bruins getting last change at home — need to keep the pedal to the metal.

“You can’t really describe it with words,” Krejci said. “You just go out there and you use those experiences. Everything happens so fast out there, so you’ve got use what happened in the past and learn from it.”

If the Bruins can close out the Red Wings and advance to the second round, they will face the Habs for the first time since they played in the first round in 2011. Oddly enough, that first-round series also saw the Bruins win Game 4 in overtime.

The B’s showed in Games 3 and 4 that they can win at Joe Louis Arena — something they hadn’t done since 2007 in the regular season — but they’d be silly to want to return for a Game 6. Saturday presents an opportunity to get to the second round without any of the dramatics.

The B’s are better-served saving those for the later rounds, anyway.

“We can talk about it all we want, but it’s going to show in our play,” Lucic said. “We’ve learned a lot of hard lessons in the past, like Toronto, and fortunately we were able to get out of that and move on, and last year we had Chicago down, 2-1, and we probably didn’t play our best Game 4 and lost that in overtime and weren’t able to recover after that. You don’t want to do anything to give the other team life in a series.”

Read More: David Krejci, Milan Lucic,
Bruins come back, beat Red Wings in overtime to take 3-1 series lead 04.24.14 at 11:11 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

DETROIT — The Bruins came back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 Thursday and take a 3-1 series lead over the Red Wings. Jarome Iginla was credited with the game-winner as Dougie Hamilton fired a shot that went off bodies and in.

The Red Wings, who had captain Henrik Zetterberg back in the lineup, were forced to start Jonas Gustavsson in net due to flu-like symptoms suffered by starter Jimmy Howard.

After a Justin Florek high stick drew blood on Drew Miller, Detroit made quick work with its power play. Pavel Datsyuk won a faceoff against David Krejci and drew it back to Niklas Kronwall. With Todd Bertuzzi going to the front of the net and screening Tuukka Rask, Kronwall blasted a shot from the point through traffic to make it 1-0.

Datsyuk made it 2-0 in the second period, but Torey Krug answered back with a power-play goal, firing a slap shot from high in the zone that deflected off a Red Wings stick on its way past Gustavsson.

Carl Soderberg turned in a beauty of a play early in the third when he chased down a puck behind the net and threw it in front to Milan Lucic, who put it in to tie the game.

Rask was key for the Bruins, keeping them in it in the first period and stopping a Justin Abdelkader breakaway in the opening minute of overtime.

Zetterberg returned to the lineup for Detroit, playing for the first time since having back surgery in February. Bertuzzi was also in the lineup in place of Tomas Jurco.

The B’s will have a chance to close out the series and advance to face the Canadiens with a win in Saturday’s Game 5 at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Detroit would have held a much greater lead early on were it not for some missed nets and Rask saves. A Jakub Kindl pass through the neutral zone gave Datsyuk the entire right side of the ice to come in on Rask alone, but he missed the net stick-side. Darren Helm later did the same thing in the first on one of two missed opportunities early for Helm. The Detroit center missed the net glove-side high later on in the first period.

Rask, meanwhile, came up with with some big stops, including a right pad save on a low Kyle Quincey shot from right in front that could have made the game 2-0. Read the rest of this entry »

Bruins won’t let Henrik Zetterberg distract them from Pavel Datsyuk 04.24.14 at 2:02 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

DETROIT — Mike Babcock used the expression “Who knows?” when talking about whether game-time decision Henrik Zetterberg will play in Game 4 against the Bruins.

Claude Julien thinks he knows.

“In my mind, he’s going to be there tonight,” Julien said.

Zetterberg has not played an NHL game since Feb. 8 and had back surgery on Feb. 21 after playing one Olympic game. He skated on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader in Thursday’s morning skate, suggesting he will be in the lineup and play on Detroit’s top line. Babcock did note that he must first be cleared by a doctor.

Babcock matched Datsyuk’s line against David Krejci‘s in Game 3. If he does that again Thursday, it will be interesting for a couple of reasons. For starters, it could potentially make that top line a handful for Krejci’s trio. Having Datsyuk play against a line not centered by Patrice Bergeron is one thing, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg together is a different animal.

For Krejci, his focus won’t change if Zetterberg’s in the lineup. As he sees it, there is one man that absolutely has to be accounted for, and that’s Datsyuk.

“You know what? [Zetterberg] is a good player, but Datsyuk is Datsyuk and we still have to be aware of Datsyuk any time he’s on the ice,” Krejci said.

The Bruins have held Datsuk to one goal on four shots on goal in the first three games of the series. In total, Detroit has scored just two goals through three games.

With Zetterberg skating alongside Datsyuk, Krejci would welcome the challenge of facing such a line. Krejci has led two of the last three postseasons in scoring, but has no points thus far as he has been tasked with keeping Detroit’s offense quiet, especially in Game 3. That’s different from some other series, but it’s working out for Boston.

“It’s kind of fun,” Krejci said. “For most of the year, you’re facing lines that are trying to shut you down and you’re fighting through it. This time, it’s a little bit different. We’re trying to shut their line down. It’s kind of fun. It’s a little bit challenging at times, but I’ve been having lots of fun this series so far.”

If Datsyuk’s line with Zetterberg does play against Krejci’s line, it also means that a player returning from a back injury will have to take regular shifts against Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla — two very physical players — in his first game back.

Asked whether he thought Zetterberg would be up to that physical challenge, Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith laughed.

“Are you serious? Like yeah, obviously I think he can,” Smith said. “I mean, the harder the competition, the better Z is. You look at series before where you have [Ryan] Getzlaf and [Corey] Perry, who are big boys. He just came in and stepped in really well there and then he had to go against [Marian] Hossa and [Jonathan] Toews and just kind of toyed with them.

“He’s an unbelievable player. He’s a top-notch player. Yeah, any first line on any team is going to be tough to come in for your first game, but that’s the type of player he is. He’s a competitor.”

Regardless of which line plays against Datsyuk and Zetterberg, you can bet Zdeno Chara will be on the ice against them. Zetterberg scored two five-on-five goals this season when both Chara and Bergeron were on the ice, which is fairly unheard of.

“They’re very dangerous,” Chara said of Datsyuk and Zetterberg being teamed together. “They play really well together. They know about each other pretty well, even without looking at each other, they know every time where they’re at. It’s a really good line with them being together.”

Read More: David Krejci, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk,
Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines