|Bruins blow another late lead, lose to Jets in shootout as Zdeno Chara rests||04.10.14 at 10:46 pm ET|
The Bruins rested their big guns, blew another third-period lead and took a 2-1 shootout loss to the Jets on Thursday in Winnipeg.
Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron both sat, with Ryan Spooner entering the lineup and centering Bergeron’s line. Andrej Meszaros played with Chara sitting. Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller both returned to the lineup. Chris Kelly missed the game with an injury suffered in Tuesday’s game.
Brad Marchand scored the game’s first goal when, after Matt Bartkowski outmuscled his man in the corner of the defensive zone, David Krejci got the puck and sent it up to Reilly Smith, who sent the puck off the end boards to get it to bounce in front. Marchand got to the puck and backhanded it past Michael Hutchinson for his 24th goal of the season.
The game remained 1-0 until late in the third period, when former Bruin Blake Wheeler flew past Milan Lucic, Krejci and Iginla in the neutral zone and took the puck deep into Boston’s end before dishing to Evander Kane, who broke up Chad Johnson‘s shutout bid with 1:57 to go in regulation.
The Bruins have two games remaining in their schedule. They will host the Sabres Saturday before finishing the regular season Sunday in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins have allowed a lot of goals late in periods and late in games of late, and Kane’s game-tying goal was the latest. It’s tough to read into that as a real issue given that the regular personnel has been in and out of the lineup, but it’s a bad habit nonetheless.
– Hutchinson, a former third-round pick of the B’s, was strong with 30 saves in regulation. His biggest save came when he stopped Iginla on a first-period breakaway.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Jordan Caron played in his fifth consecutive game and had a decent scoring chance midway through the second period. The most notable thing there is that he’s getting in games, as he’ll almost certainly be needed at some point in the postseason given that he’s the team’s 13th forward.
– These final games can still be used as confidence-boosters, and Smith had a couple of really good shifts. He had the strategic dump-in off the end boards to set up Marchand’s goal in the first and nearly scored a goal of his own on a third-period one-timer off a feed from Marchand. On that same shift, Smith got back quickly to break up a Kane bid.
Smith got the puck in the slot in overtime and seemed to have an open look off a Johnny Boychuk steal, but Smith’s shot was blocked by Zach Redmond. Smith was also stopped by Hutchinson on his shootout attempt.
– In getting the secondary apple on Marchand’s goal, Krejci reached 50 assists for the second time in his career. The other such season was his 74-point campaign in 2008-09 in which he had 51 helpers.
|Bruins recall Ryan Spooner; Chris Kelly day-to-day||04.09.14 at 5:36 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled center Ryan Spooner from Providence on Wednesday, marking his second recall this month.
Spooner was brought up last week for a pair of games but did not play. His chances of playing this time around are better, as Chris Kelly played only one shift in the final 25 minutes of Tuesday’s game and is considered day-to-day by the team.
Spooner filled in for Kelly earlier in the season when Kelly had a broken fibula. In 22 games for Boston this season, the 22-year-old has no goals and 11 assists for 11 points.
The 2010 second-round pick has 11 goals and 34 assists for 45 points in 45 games for Providence this season.
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|Report: Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid begin skating for Bruins||04.09.14 at 12:12 pm ET|
Seidenberg was ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL/MCL on Dec. 27 against the Senators, but he is well ahead in his recovery from surgery and the possibility exists that he could return late in the playoffs.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had told the Boston Globe last month that Seidenberg might begin skating later in the postseason, but Steve Conroy of the Herald reported that the veteran defenseman skated for 15 minutes and that “it’s not known just how well his knee held up.” It is also unclear when he will skate again.
“My guess is, if we go deep, he’ll start skating at some point and we’ll just see how he is,’ Chiarelli told the Globe on March 21. ‘We’ve been very cautious in the past with the injuries and coming back.’
McQuaid, meanwhile, has been out since Jan. 19 with a quad strain. The team decided to shut him down in early March after he suffered a setback in his attempted return. Conroy reported there is no timetable for either player’s return to the lineup.
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|Bruins blow lead late, lose to Wild in shootout||04.08.14 at 10:57 pm ET|
The Bruins continued resting players but blew a late lead before falling, 4-3, in a shootout to the Wild on Tuesday night.
Ryan Suter tied the game with 1:05 remaining and Ilya Bryzgalov held on in the shootout as the Wild clinched a playoff spot.
The B’s and Wild traded a pair of goals apiece in the first period, with Jason Pominville beating Tuukka Rask with a one-timer on a power play 1:05 into the game. Reilly Smith answered with a power-play goal of his own at 3:00 of the first, with the goal serving as his second in the last 27 games.
Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins the lead by sending a loose puck in front past Bryzgalov to extend his point streak to 12 games (10 goals, six assists). Pominville tied the game 28 seconds later and the teams played tied late into the second period before Gregory Campbell scored a power-play goal.
In addition to Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller both missing the game with minor injuries, the Bruins sat David Krejci for the night as a healthy scratch. With both Krejci and Iginla out, Carl Soderberg centered a line with Milan Lucic and Loui Eriksson. The absence of two regular forwards also meant the team had only 11 forwards, so Torey Krug played left wing on Campbell’s line while Daniel Paille moved up to play with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron. Kelly left the game in the third period and did not return, with Claude Julien saying after the game that the team was being “cautious.”
The Bruins, who have already clinched the first seed in the Eastern Conference, gained separation from the Blues for the Presidents’ Trophy. St. Louis lost to Washington, leaving Boston with a three-point lead over the Blues with three games left to play for each team.
The Bruins will play the Jets Thursday in Winnipeg before hosting the Sabres Saturday and finishing the season Sunday in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins have allowed a pair of goals while holding a one-goal lead in the final minute of games recently. In addition to Suter’s goal, Vincent Lecavalier got the equalizer with the goalie pulled when the B’s and Flyers played on March 30.
– Plus-minus isn’t everything, but Caron was the only player on either team to finish with a minus-2 rating, as he was on the ice for both Pominville’s second goal and Suter’s game-tying goal.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Rask was sensational in overtime, as the Wild had several good chances in 4-on-4 play and outshot Boston, 6-2. Given that overtime in the postseason has one more guy on the ice per side, it would be a stretch to say the extra five minutes did anything to prepare Rask for the postseason, but he at the very least provided a reminder of his dominance when games are on the line.
– Bergeron’s goal brought him up to 29 on the season. With three games left to play and putting up numbers like crazy of late, he has a great chance of recording 30 goals for just the second time in his career and the first time since 2005-06.
– Speaking of goal plateaus, Smith finally reached the 20-goal plateau after racing out to 18 goals early in the season.
|TD Garden to undergo $70 million renovation project||04.07.14 at 6:46 pm ET|
Delaware North Companies announced Monday that TD Garden will undergo a privately funded $70 million renovation project over the next two years. Bruins and Delaware North Principal Charlie Jacobs will oversee the project.
Among the improvements coming to the Garden are redesigned concourses, a newer and bigger Pro Shop, high-density Wi-Fi throughout the arena (whatever that is) and a renovated Legends Club. Construction will begin next month.
The press release is as follows:
BOSTON, MA (April 7, 2014) – Delaware North Companies, Inc., owner and operator of TD Garden and Sportservice, announced today a series of privately financed upgrades and renovations for TD Garden, the home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics, over the next two years. This comprehensive, $70 million arena-wide upgrade led by Charlie Jacobs, Principal of Delaware North Companies and Boston Bruins, will touch every aspect of the TD Garden fan experience and feature the development of a new ProShop, redesigned modern concourses, comprehensive renovation of Legends Club and an upgraded technology infrastructure and state-of-the-art solutions from Cisco to support digital fan expectations well into the future.
“The Jacobs family is committed to providing the people of Boston with an arena that sets the industry standard,” said Charlie Jacobs, Principal Delaware North Companies and Boston Bruins. “With the TD Garden being nearly 20 years old, we recognize that these renovations are necessary and we are confident that they will transform the fan experience from the moment a patron enters the building.”
The ProShop will be repositioned from its current location on the west side of the North Station concourse, to the arena’s east side second floor, known as the main turnstile area. This strategic relocation will maximize the store’s location for future incorporation into the front development project and the arena’s new entryway. Plans for the new ProShop will expand retail offerings, optimize traffic flow and allow for increased accessibility for fans before, during and after games. The new ProShop will feature a complete redesign and a “Powered by Reebok/adidas” partnership with the Bruins and Celtics respectively, representing part of a new, three-year deal with the official outfitters of the NHL and NBA. Construction will begin in early May with a targeted completion by year-end, and the existing store will remain operational during this time. Read the rest of this entry »
|Jarome Iginla, Kevan Miller day-to-day with Bruins being ‘cautious’||04.07.14 at 12:31 pm ET|
Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller were both missing from Monday’s practice at TD Garden, as the Bruins consider both players day-to-day. They are both options to play for the Bruins Tuesday in Minnesota and/or Thursday in Winnipeg.
Both players missed Saturday’s win over Philadelphia, with the Bruins saying neither were healthy scratches. Iginla has missed two of the Bruins’ last three games with a lower-body injury after playing the first 75 games of the season, while Miller had played 33 consecutive games prior to sitting against the Flyers.
“They’re coming on the trip with us,” Claude Julien said. “They’re still day-to-day [because we're] being cautious this time of year, so we’re just not pushing them. They’re coming on the trip. Is there a chance that they could play? Yes.”
Asked if Iginla and Miller would be in the lineup if the playoffs were to start that day, Julien said that there is “no doubt” that both players would be healthy enough to play.
Julien added that with four games left in the regular season, he will rest more players in the coming games.
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|Adam McQuaid still not skating; Claude Julien not ruling out defensive rotation in playoffs||04.05.14 at 4:46 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday that he is not ruling out a rotation of defensemen going into the postseason.
Matt Bartkowski and Andrej Meszaros figure to be in the biggest positional battle for the left spot on the second pairing along Boychuk, and the two have taken turns playing that role in recent games. Bartkowski played with Boychuk in Saturday’s win over the Flyers, while Meszaros played with Torey Krug on the third pairing and struggled.
“It doesn’t have to be a set six,” Julien said. “It could be, and it could also be a rotation as long as everybody’s good enough to be in that rotation. So no, and I don’t see any rush for that decision to be made yet.”
The idea of a rotation is intriguing given that Bartkowski and Meszaros have both spent time in and out of the lineup this season and might be better prepared to avoid rust, though for consistency’s sake the B’s would be wise to nail down a steady second pairing that could continue the play they got from the Andrew Ference – Boychuk pairing of postseasons past.
Kevan Miller seems to have solidified a place in the postseason lineup, as he played 33 straight games for the B’s leading up to his day off Saturday. His competition would be a healthy Adam McQuaid, but Julien said prior to Saturday’s game that McQuaid, though getting better, still is not skating. McQuaid has been out since Jan. 19 with a quad strain that has plagued him throughout the season, as he has been limited to 30 games.
The anticipated postseason pairings at this point figure to be Zdeno Chara with Dougie Hamilton, Bartkowski with Boychuk and Krug with Miller, though that could change depending on who they end up facing.
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