|Takeaways from Bruins’ preseason opener: Power play looks good, Chad Johnson doesn’t||09.16.13 at 10:03 pm ET|
The Bruins opened their preseason schedule with a 6-3 win over the Canadiens Monday in Montreal. The team will play the Capitals Tuesday in Baltimore before heading back to play the Red Wings on Thursday at TD Garden.
Here are some takeaways from the game:
– Jarome Iginla had a pair of goals for the B’s, one of which was one of Boston’s four power-play goals on the day. Milan Lucic had three assists, while David Krejci also scored on a power-play goal. Safe to say the members of that line are getting used to one another.
– The power-play unit that the B’s used in practice Monday morning paid dividends on Iginla’s first goal. The unit featured Lucic, Carl Soderberg and Iginla up front with Torey Krug and Krejci at the point. Lucic fed Iginla down low with a cross-ice pass, with Iginla slapping a one-timer that trickled past Carey Price from the left circle.
– Regarding the backup goaltender battle, Chad Johnson did nothing to help his case. He didn’t face a shot until 12:06 of the first period, and his inability to glove the easy shot from Louis Leblanc led to a rebound and a Travis Moen goal.
Johnson also should have had the Canadiens’ second goal, a P.K. Subban shot that didn’t go through any traffic but beat Johnson cleanly. The third and final goal he allowed on the eight shots he saw came on a nice tic-tac-toe play by the Habs’ first line with Max Pacioretty finishing, but it was overall a very ugly performance for Johnson.
– Malcolm Subban relieved Johnson halfway through the second and stopped all 12 shots he saw. Subban isn’t a serious contender for the vacant backup goalie job, but he certainly looked more composed than Johnson.
Subban did take a penalty, as he played the puck outside the trapezoid, but he kept the Habs from scoring on the power play.
– While Chad Johnson struggled in goal, Nick Johnson had a pair of goals, the second of which came when he turned a blocked shot into a breakaway. His wrist shot was stopped by Carey Price, but Johnson stuck with it and buried the rebound.
– Lucic was in midseason form as physicality (and taking penalties) went, as crosschecks were buy-one-get-one at the start of the second period with Leblanc.
- Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves with Stefan Fournier in the third period. McQuaid has been no stranger to dropping the gloves over the years, and he might need to pick up a couple more with Andrew Ference gone.
– Defenseman Zach Trotman, who has drawn rave reviews from Claude Julien, scored a power-play goal on a blast from the point with Nick Johnson screening in front in the third period.
|Tim Thomas agrees to PTO with Panthers||09.16.13 at 4:08 pm ET|
Former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has accepted a professional tryout with the Panthers and will practice with the team Tuesday, the team announced on Monday.
Thomas, 39, has played every game of his NHL career with the Bruins, though he was traded to the Islanders last season after he decided to take the year off for personal reasons. A two-time Vezina winner, Thomas led the B’s to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and won the Conn Smythe in the process.
In 378 games, Thomas is 196-121-45 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.48 goals-against average.
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|Malcolm Subban to face P.K., Gregory Campbell out in preseason opener||09.16.13 at 12:35 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — All members of “Group B” with the exception of Gregory Campbell are expected play in Monday’s preseason opener against the Canadiens. Bruins coach Claude Julien said following Monday’s practice that Campbell, who has participated fully in training camp to this point after returning from a broken leg, is “close” to being able to play in games.
As for the goaltending situation, Julien said he plans to split Chad Johnson and Malcolm Subban “50-50.” That means that Subban will play against his brother, P.K. Subban for the first time ever competitively. Subban’s parents will be at the game, but the 19-year-old suppressed his excitement quite a bit when asked about it Monday.
“It will be pretty cool, obviously,” Subban said. “I’m not too worried about it, though. I’m just focused on the game.”
Here is the group of players going to Montreal:
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Tommy Cross, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman, Ben Youds
Goaltenders: Chad Johnson, Malcolm Subban
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|Bruins to make first round of cuts after Tuesday’s exhibition||09.15.13 at 3:00 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said following Sunday’s practices at TD Garden that the B’s will make their first round of cuts following the team’s first two preseason games this week.
The Bruins will play exhibitions against the Canadiens and Capitals on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, with both games being played on the road. The 51-person roster is currently split into two groups, with Monday’s roster being made up of mostly players from Group B.
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|Claude Julien would be all right with third line being all left||09.13.13 at 6:39 pm ET|
The biggest question for the Bruins entering training camp is what their third line will look like, but it figures to be three members of a pretty big group.
Yet of those nine players, only two — Knight and Camper — are right shots.
All three of the Bruins’ other three lines (assuming Paille stays with the Merlot Line) features a mix of shots, and the idea of having three lefties on one line might not be super appetizing.
Then again, some of the left-shooting wingers have experience playing right wing. Smith was a left-shot right wing in college and split last season between right and left wing, while Caron has played a decent amount of his off wing in the NHL. Julien said Friday that he would indeed consider having a line of three players of the same handedness.
“You work with what you got,” Julien said. “It's not the end of the world and you have to make due with what you have and in way, what is the best scenario. I know Jordan's played a lot of the right side, he played that in Juniors, I know he's played that in Providence as well, we've used him there a few times, so it's not like Jordan's not capable of playing on the right side.
“Then there's Smith, another guy that we got from Dallas that is having a really good camp. And on the left side, Fraser is one of those guys that we can't over look either. And that's why I think down the road with some of those other guys from Providence, we're going to have some tough decisions to make.”
|Jordan Caron aiming to earn (and keep) a spot with Bruins||09.13.13 at 9:26 am ET|
You can’t blame Jordan Caron for blocking out the past.
“I don’t want to talk about the last two or three years anymore,” the 22-year-old said following his first on-ice sessions in training camp. “I just want to look forward and put my foot down and not look back.”
It’s been a frustrating few years for Caron, who made the Bruins out of training camp in 2010-11 but has spent the last three seasons up and down between Boston and Providence, struggling to earn a full-time spot at the NHL level.
Last season, injuries, the lockout and the failed Chris Bourque experiment limited to Caron to just 17 games.
The Bruins traded for the former Capitals second-round pick and gave him the chance Caron thought he’d been close to earning. Caron was hurt during the lockout, so Bourque got the job when the season started and the B’s stuck with him through a woeful 18-game stint, which lasted past when Caron was ready to return in mid-February.
“It was pretty frustrating,” Caron admitted, “but it’s over now. I think we shouldn’t be talking about that anymore.”
Now on a one-year, one-way contract and with the Bruins having at least one bottom-six job available, the opportunity is there for Caron to become an NHL regular. Among the things that stand in his way are a group of other young wingers – Jared Knight, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Carter Camper among them, not to mention young center Ryan Spooner — and the fact that for a two-way player he hasn’t been much of a two-way player but rather a player who has only excelled in the defensive zone.
“He’s big, he’s strong,” Claude Julien said. “He’s got to be strong along the walls, he’s got to be sure that he gets in there quick enough on the forecheck, and then when we do get the puck in the offensive zone he should be strong along the walls, but at the same time he’s a guy that can take pucks to the net and go to the net and bring some offense to his game, as far as wanting to be on the side of scoring opportunities.
“We don’t want him to just think about not getting scored on. We want him to think about being a good two-way player, because he’s capable of doing that.”
|Brad Marchand feared he was next after Tyler Seguin trade||09.12.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
Brad Marchand‘s initial reaction to his friend and frequent linemate Tyler Seguin being traded wasn’t anger or disappointment, but rather concern that he’d be next.
“It came as a bit of a shock,” Marchand said of the trade. “I think there were definitely some guys that thought we were pretty safe, and it was a bit of a wakeup call that every day you come in you’ve got to make sure you’re doing everything you have to do to stay here. I don’t think anyone really expected Segs to be shipped out that early, but it definitely took a little while to sink in.”
Marchand clarified that he was one of the guys who may have gotten a little too comfortable, and that after Peter Chiarelli moved on from Seguin and his contract, he feared that his days in Boston could also be numbered.
“A little bit, yeah. Definitely,” he said. “Anything can happen at any time. If you have half a bad year or you’re not playing up to par, with the cap system nowadays, they’re going to want to improve the team. You don’t want to be that guy to get shipped out. The easiest thing to do is play your best and hopefully you can save yourself.”
Marchand’s concern makes a little sense considering that he, like Seguin, is a young player whose partying finds its way into the news often, but Marchand is a better player right now with a better contract. He’s entering the first season of a four-year, $18 million contract while Seguin is set to begin a six-year, $34.5 million contract.
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