|5 things we learned as Bruins blow lead and lose to Canadiens||11.07.15 at 10:03 pm ET|
The Canadiens led for only 1:08 on Saturday night. That worked out just fine for them, as it was the final 1:08 of the game.
After David Krejci was called for his third minor penalty of the night, David Desharnais beat Jonas Gustavsson on the power play and Max Pacioretty scored an empty-netter to give the Habs a 4-2 victory over the Bruins at Bell Centre.
Krejci’s third penalty, a cross-check on Tomas Plekanec with just over two minutes to play in regulation with the game tied, was extremely ill-advised. Given how poorly Boston’s penalty kill has performed (two of Montreal’s goals came on the man advantage), it was hardly a surprise to see the penalty cost Boston the game.
The Bruins took leads into the second and third periods thanks to goals from Loui Eriksson and Frank Vatrano, making the fact that they came out of the contest with no points all the more painful. The Bruins have now dropped three straight games in regulation and are 6-6-1 on the season.
The B’s will play again Sunday when they face the Islanders at Barclays Center.
Here are five things we learned Saturday:
VATRANO SCORES IN DEBUT
When the Bruins signed Vatrano out of UMass Amherst in March, his shot and willingness to shoot were believed to be his biggest strengths. Those shifts were confirmed in his first NHL games Saturday night.
Called up on Friday after leading the AHL with 10 goals, Vatrano landed two shots on Mike Condon in his first of the game. That proved to be merely a warmup however, as he scored his first career goal in the second period.
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 8, 2015
To make the moment even cooler for the East Longmeadow native, Vatrano’s father and uncle managed to make the quick trip after Vatrano’s promotion to see the goal.
‘ Stephanie (@myregularface) November 8, 2015
CANADIENS GIVE AWAY FIRST
In case you were unaware, the Bruins tend to struggle against the Canadiens. Though the Habs were without Carey Price, who is out with a lower-body injury, the B’s still needed any help they could get. As it turned out, the Habs were willing to accommodate them there.
Montreal took three penalties in the first period, the first of which led to a Loui Eriksson goal 1:50 into the game. With the Habs shorthanded due to a too many men on the ice bench minor, Ryan Spooner fed Patrice Bergeron, whose shot was tipped by Loui Eriksson in front.
JULIEN WINS KEY CHALLENGE
The Habs appeared to tie the game early in the third period when Tomas Plekanec jumped on a rebound with a mess of bodies in front of the net and fired it in. Jonas Gustavsson was visibly angry with the play and Claude Julien promptly challenged the play citing goaltender interference.
Replays showed that Gustavsson had a point; Brendan Gallagher came over the top of the Boston goalie, meaning the small Habs winger was essentially on top of Gustavsson and prevented him from moving in an attempt to stop Plekanec’s shot. The call on the ice was reversed to keep the score 2-1.
The play marked the first time Julien had won a challenge. He’s now 1-2 on the season on challenges.
TROTMAN PLAYS, MORROW SITS
After sitting in 11 straight games, Zach Trotman returned to Boston’s lineup, with Joe Morrow joining Tyler Randell in the press box as a healthy scratch.
Trotman, who was benched after the season-opener, skated mostly with Kevan Miller, giving Boston a pairing of two right-shot defensemen. That meant Kevan Miller saw plenty of time playing the left side.
While lefties can commonly play the right side, it’s very unusual for right-shot defensemen to play the left side. They rarely experience it growing up, as teams almost always have a surplus of lefties.
MILLER POINT STREAK HITS SIX GAMES
With the only credited assist on Vatrano’s goal, Colin Miller now has points in six straight games (one goal, five assists). Miller could have been a candidate to potentially come out of the lineup for Trotman to play, but there’s no way the team can sit him while he’s producing offensively.
David Krejci, meanwhile, has now gone four games without a point after registering points in the first nine games of the season. He should have been credited with a secondary assist on Vatrano’s goal, however, as he fed the puck to Miller before Miller dished to Vatrano.
|5 things we learned as Bruins fall to Capitals in first road loss of season||11.05.15 at 9:45 pm ET|
The Bruins finally got over the “scoring on Braden Holtby” hump. They’ll figure out the “beating the Capitals” thing some other time.
Though the B’s got a power play from Jimmy Hayes in the first period to finally score on the Washington goalie, Holtby got the last laugh by standing tall for the rest of the game as the Capitals took a 4-1 victory over the Bruins. With Boston having not scored on Holtby at all last season, Hayes’ goal ended Holtby’s shutout streak against the Bruins at 199:30.
The loss was the Bruins’ second straight as they head to face the Canadiens Saturday in Montreal. The Bruins are now 5-1-0 on the road, as Thursday marked the Bruins’ first loss away from TD Garden. The B’s overall record on the season now stands at 6-5-1.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
BAD BRAT TAKES OVER AS BAD PENALTIES PILE UP
The Bruins were already in a tight spot when an unnecessarily Jimmy Hayes slashing penalty put the league’s worst penalty kill on the ice in the second period. Tuukka Rask gave the B’s reason for optimism by making a pair of sensational saves of on T.J. Oshie, but any optimism failed to last thanks to a dumb move from Brad Marchand.
After Rask followed up a kick save on Oshie by gloving the rebound big, Marchand punched Oshie in the back of the head. Oshie and Marchand had been taking whacks at one another in front of the net prior to the play, but Marchand’s punch was clear as day and led to a roughing penalty to give Washington a 1:18 5-on-3. The Capitals wouldn’t need that much time, as John Carlson scored 28 seconds into the 5-on-3 to give Washington a 3-1 lead.
Those weren’t the only ill-advised penalties Boston took. The B’s were also whistled for too many men on the ice with 10.8 seconds remaining in the second period.
ONE MILLER STAYS HOT…
With an assist on Hayes’ first-period goal, Colin Miller extended his point streak to five games. Miller, who scored his first career goal in Tuesday’s loss to the Stars, has one goal and four assists over this five-game span. He had just one point, an assist, in his previous six games.
WHILE THE OTHER’S STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Kevan Miller has not had a strong go of it this season. He’s not in the lineup for anything he can do offensively, but his work in his own zone has left much to be desired.
Poor gap control has cost the Bruins multiple goals this season (including Tyler Seguin‘s first of three on Tuesday night), while Thursday night saw Miller give up the puck in the corner of the Boston zone on a Capitals possession that eventually led to Ovechkin’s goal.
Miller wasn’t the only Bruins defenseman who could have done more to prevent a goal against, as Joe Morrow let Brooks Laich slip behind him and screen Rask on what proved to be the game-winning goal at 4:10 of the second period.
Zach Trotman has sat for 11 straight games. Though the Bruins are probably more comfortable with Miller killing penalties, perhaps the Bruins could soon give Trotman a game and Miller a night in the press box.
TALBOT STEPS IN FOR KELLY
As expected, Max Talbot was in Boston’s lineup Thursday in place of Chris Kelly, who is done for at least the regular season. Talbot played left wing on the fourth line with Joonas Kemppainen and Tyler Randell. Zac Rinaldo joined Zach Trotman as a healthy scratch.
Randell dropped the gloves for the first time in a regular-season NHL game, defeating Michael Latta in a second-period bout.
|Claude Julien named assistant coach of Team Canada for World Cup of Hockey||11.05.15 at 2:03 pm ET|
Claude Julien will be an assistant coach for Team Canada at 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Team Canada announced Thursday.
Julien will be joined by Barry Trotz, Joel Quenneville, and Bill Peters as assistants to head coach Mike Babcock. The announcement comes as no surprise, as Julien was one of Babcock’s assistants on Canada’s Gold Medal-winning Olympic team in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Julien was also an assistant coach of Team Canada at the 2000 IIHF World Junior Championships.
The World Cup of Hockey will take place in September of 2016, with eight teams competing in Toronto. In addition to six teams representing individual countries (United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic), there will be a Team Europe for European countries not represented, as well as a Team North America for North American players ages 23 and younger. Former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is the general manager of Team North America.
|Look at this goal Zach Senyshyn scored||11.05.15 at 11:52 am ET|
When the Bruins admittedly reached for Zachary Senyshyn with the 15th overall pick in June, their thinking was that Senyshyn was buried on a good junior team (he still had 26 goals) and was primed to explode. The message from both inside and outside the organization was that if he were to be in the 2016 draft, the performance he was about to have would make him a much higher pick.
Senyshyn is probably still years away from the NHL, but so far he’s made the Bruins look smart for their investment. The right wing has 10 goals through the first 16 games of the season for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Here’s one of them, courtesy of Weekend at Bergy’s.
The news hasn’t been as good for 14th overall pick Jake DeBrusk. The Swift Current Broncos of the WHL announced this week that he is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. The left wing had gotten off to a very good start, registering 20 points (six goals, four assists) in 14 games.
|Chris Kelly’s injury is Max Talbot’s opportunity||11.04.15 at 4:12 pm ET|
Hockey is a humbling sport, and Max Talbot was reminded of that last week when he revisited a part of his career that he figured was in his past.
For the first time since April of 2006, the 30-year-old Talbot played three games in three nights. The reason he’d gone so long without doing so is because the CBA doesn’t allow it to happen in the NHL.
Three-in-threes are for AHLers only. For eight days recently — and certainly against his wishes — Talbot was an AHL player.
Having been in the NHL for a long time with success — Talbot’s best-known for scoring the only two goals of the Penguins‘ Cup-clinching Game 7 win over the Red Wings in 2009 — Talbot had every right to be upset with the move, which could be seen coming when he cleared waivers prior to the season. Ever the optimist, Talbot chose positivity over being a grumpy has-been playing in the minors.
“[It was] unusual; I’ve been playing in [the NHL] for 10, 11 years, but at the same time, it was good for me,” Talbot said upon being recalled to the Bruins on Wednesday. “I skated three games in three nights, a lot of ice time, played different positions, different circumstances, power play, PK and it felt good to play, for sure.”
Talbot wasn’t playing in Boston ‘ he dressed for just two games this season prior to being sent down ‘ so the assignment to Providence allowed him to at least keep the rust off. Playing on different lines and seeing some time with rookie sensation Frank Vatrano, Talbot had four points (all assists) in his three games with Providence.
Furthermore, he didn’t seem too sour about being there.
“He’s a good pro,” Alexander Khokhlachev, who was still down in Providence last week, said of Talbot. “He understands everything. He’s a really good player and has a lot of experience, so he knows what to do and how to do it.”
Now the Bruins will need Talbot, as he’s quickly gone from a spare part to a potential solution to the loss of Chris Kelly. With Kelly out for at least the rest of the regular season, Talbot is a top candidate to take on Kelly’s responsibilities as a bottom six wing/center option and reliable penalty killer. On the season, only Patrice Bergeron has spent more time on the penalty kill among Bruins forwards than Kelly.
‘You lose Kelly, you lose a good penalty killer,’ Claude Julien said Wednesday. ‘We brought in Max Talbot because No. 1 he is a penalty killer. No. 2, he’s a great veteran. He’s a great leader. He comes and he plays hard every night.
“Somewhere along the way, you find ways to compensate for Kelly’s loss, and Max is our answer right now to come in and help us out in that area.”
Talbot’s Bruins career has been odd to this point since being acquired at last season’s trade deadline, but if the veteran wants to improve his odds of staying in the NHL beyond this season, Kelly’s absence will provide him the opportunity to improve his stock.
“I’m going to do whatever they ask me to do here and work hard,” Talbot said. “If I get into games, I’ll play hard and do what I’ve been doing for 11 years. I’m not trying to play like Kells plays or like anybody else. I’m going to play like Max Talbot can play. That’s all I can do.”
|David Pastrnak won’t travel with Bruins for road trip||11.04.15 at 12:06 pm ET|
David Pastrnak will not travel with the Bruins for their upcoming road trip, an indication that he will miss Boston’s next three games as he continues to rest a bruised foot.
“He’s staying behind,” Claude Julien said after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s going to be staying behind for the weekend.”
Pastrnak suffered his injury early in the third period of last Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes. He played in Boston’s next two games, but ineffectiveness led Julien to give him just three shifts over the final two periods of Saturday’s win over the Lightning. The Bruins then determined that Pastrnak was better off resting the foot and recalled Alexander Khokhlachev from Providence to play in his place.
Dennis Seidenberg will travel with the Bruins for the trip, but will not play. Seidenberg, who is nearly six weeks into his recovery from back surgery, is practicing with the team but not close to playing.
The three-game road trip won’t be easy for the Bruins, who are coming off a disappointing 5-3 loss to the Stars at home. The B’s will face the Capitals (8-3-0), Canadiens (11-2-1) and Islanders (7-3-3) on the trip.
|Bruins recall Max Talbot from Providence in wake of Chris Kelly injury||11.04.15 at 11:18 am ET|
The Bruins made a predictable move Wednesday, recalling forward Max Talbot in wake of Chris Kelly‘s at-least-regular-season-ending femur fracture.
Talbot, 31, was sent to Providence on Oct. 27 and had four assists in three AHL games this season. He dressed in only two games for Boston this season before being sent down. It was likely that he would eventually be sent down at some point, as he cleared waivers prior to the start of the season.
The recall of Talbot makes sense given that like Kelly, he’s a veteran bottom-sixer who can kill penalties. The Bruins also have Alexander Khokhlachev on their roster playing in place of David Pastrnak, who is dealing with a bruised foot.
Kelly was scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday after suffering his injury on his first shift of Tuesday’s loss to the Stars. His recovery is expected to take six-to-eight months.