|Bruins sign Seth Griffith to entry level deal||04.09.13 at 4:25 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have signed forward Seth Griffith to a three-year entry-level deal.
Griffith, a fifth-round pick of the Bruins in last year’s draft, scored 33 goals with 48 assists for 81 points in 54 games in the regular season for the London Knights of the OHL. He was given the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy, given to the league’s top-scoring right wing, for his performance. Griffith also had a goal and three assists for four points in seven playoff games.
|Report: Bruins and Carl Soderberg agree to three-year deal||04.09.13 at 11:53 am ET|
According to Kirk Luedeke of the New England Hockey Journal, the Bruins and Swedish center Carl Soderberg have agreed to a three-year contract.
Soderberg won’t be able to join the Bruins until he is given his release from the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, as the 27-year-old has been playing in Sweden for the last 11 years, the last two of which were for Linkoping HC of the Swedish Elite League.
The Bruins have had the rights to Soderberg since getting the former second-round pick from the Blues in exchange for Hannu Toivonen in 2007, but he has stayed in Sweden rather than making the leap to the NHL. Soderberg led the Swedish Elite League with 31 goals in 54 games this season.
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|Bruins score season-high six goals to beat Hurricanes||04.08.13 at 9:42 pm ET|
Claude Julien‘s revamped lines worked against the struggling Hurricanes, as the B’s got their best best offensive performance of the season and beat Carolina, 6-2, at TD Garden.
Brad Marchand scored a pair of goals for the B’s, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to his tallies and a goal from Rich Peverley, who got the B’s on the board. Boston added second-period goals from Andrew Ference and Jordan Caron before the Hurricanes got on the board in the third period on tallies from Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman. Nathan Horton made it 6-2 with just over three minutes to play.
Dwyer’s goal broke up Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid with 9:57 left to play. Rask still made 40 saves in the win. The B’s chased Carolina starter Justin Peters after the first of Marchand’s two goals to make it 2-0, with Dan Ellis replacing him and allowing four goals in relief.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– If Claude Julien’s going to face criticism for demoting Tyler Seguin to the third line in favor of Gregory Campbell, he should get credit for it paying off. Campbell had a pair of assists and was a plus-3 on the night, and his line with Marchand and Jaromir Jagr looked really good. All three players had multi-point nights, with Jagr also contributing a pair of assists.
Seguin’s numbers didn’t jump off the page (one shot on goal through the first two periods) and he had one rough shift that included a turnover and a missed opportunity on a breakout, but he would have had an assist had Chris Kelly hit the net on a first-period scoring chance.
– The scoreboard suggested a blowout, but Rask had to work and come up with some big saves to have his shutout bid last as long as he did. He stopped 30 shots through two periods, the biggest of which came when he robbed Zac Dalpe all alone in front by getting his left pad on Dalpe’s bid.
The Hurricanes could have made it a two-goal game with less than seven minutes to play, but Rask came through with a split to stop Riley Nash.
– The Bruins first three goals came as a result of wraparounds. Peverley got control of the puck after missing the net and scored a wraparound goal to make it 1-0, with both of Marchand’s first-period goals also coming from wraparounds. First, Marchand sent the rebound of a Campbell bid past Peters, and he made it 3-0 when he beat Dan Ellis following a wraparound from Jagr.
– Ference put in the work in front and got a goal out of it. With Campbell feeding Dennis Seidenberg at the point, Ference was plenty disruptive in front of Ellis, battling with Jamie McBain. Seidenberg’s shot went off Ference and in to make it 4-0.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
Seguin had one of lowest time-on-ice totals of the season. His lowest total of the season entering the night was 14:30, which came on Feb. 21 against the Lightning.
|How will Tyler Seguin respond to demotion?||04.08.13 at 1:38 pm ET|
With Claude Julien shuffling the lines Saturday and again on Sunday, no player has gotten more attention than Tyler Seguin. The third-year player began Saturday’s game at center in place of the concussed Patrice Bergeron, was moved back to wing after a rocky start against the Canadiens and then demoted from the second line to the third line Sunday.
Saturday’s game was Seguin’s second of the season at center, as he centered Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr Thursday night, but he was 3-for-12 on faceoffs and was a far cry from Bergeron defensively. The line was on the ice for the Canadiens’ first goal Saturday night, and Seguin was replaced in the middle by Rich Peverley midway through the first period. In Seguin’s defense, the expectation should have been that Seguin would struggle at center early on in the experiment, which makes it rather puzzling that Julien would try it in the first place if he was going to pull the plug so quickly.
“I figured it would take a little while,” Seguin said after Monday’s morning skate. “I wasn’t expecting to snap right back into it right away. Obviously, that would have been nice, but I knew it was going to take a bit to adjust. I think when you’re going into a game like Montreal, it’s a big game. I guess there shouldn’t be any time for adjusting. You just have to go out there and do it, and I wasn’t doing it.”
Seguin, who was drafted as a center after playing center in the OHL, said that he wasn’t surprised that Julien broke up the line and moved him back to wing.
“Well, it wasn’t working,” he said. “We were out there for the first goal there and it just wasn’t good work in our own zone. We were kind of running around a bit, and I can’t say I was shocked that it got changed.”
Whenever Julien does anything involving Seguin, there seems to be some level of outrage on the part of the fans. It dates back to Julien limiting his ice time when Seguin was timid as a rookie, and it’s continued up to Saturday with Julien not putting Seguin, who led the Bruins with 29 goals last season, out on the ice at the end of a one-goal game with the B’s on a 6-on-4.
While coaches will be scrutinized no matter what, why isn’t there any finger-pointing being done at the player? People love railing against Milan Lucic whenever anything goes wrong, but is criticism of Seguin not allowed?
Seguin had no shots on goal Saturday, marking the second time in a seven-game span that he’s failed to get a puck on net. Seguin’s the fastest player on the ice almost at all times, yet he still loses races for pucks if there’s a chance getting there first also means getting hit. Is he Boston’s most talented player? Sure, but at age 21 he is not without his faults. Maybe Julien bumping Seguin out of the top six is his way of making the former second overall pick work his way out of some bad habits.
Seguin, who did not speak to the media Sunday, didn’t make any complaints about the situation Monday. He can’t be happy with being taken off the second line, but if he’s mad, he’s keeping it to himself.
“I think we’re mixing things up,” he said. “I’ve played third line before, I guess my first year and not so much last year. I’m just going to go out there. Obviously Kells is a playmaking player to play with as well.”
|Chris Kelly expected to return for Bruins Monday||04.08.13 at 11:42 am ET|
Chris Kelly (leg) did participate in the morning skate, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that the Bruins expect Kelly to make his return to Boston’s lineup Monday night against the Hurricanes. Kelly, who has been out since March 11 with a broken tibia, has skated on a line with Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille the last two days. Kelly said after the morning skate that he has been medically cleared, is able to take contact and is ready to return if Julien puts him in.
Anton Khudobin was the only goaltender on the ice Monday, but he stayed out after the skate, suggesting that Rask will be the starter against the Hurricanes. Kaspars Daugavins also stayed out longer, so the guess here is that Jordan Caron would be in tonight over Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo.
Here are the projected lines for Monday night:
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|Bruins trying to solve an offensive mess||04.07.13 at 11:23 pm ET|
Claude Julien said before the season he was going to be quicker to make reactionary moves this season. It would be impossible to blame him for doing so after Saturday’s loss to the Canadiens.
Julien demoted Tyler Seguin to the third line, put Rich Peverley on the seldom-played fourth line and promoted Gregory Campbell to the second line (making the second line the 2010 version of the Merlot Line, except with Jaromir Jagr in place of Shawn Thornton) for Sunday’s practice. The moves speak to how in flux Boston is offensively, as the B’s have scored two goals or less in four of their last five games, with three one-goal showings.
The lines looked like this:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille/Jay Pandolfo-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins/Jordan Caron-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton
Sunday’s lines could have just been a threat on Julien’s part to wake up some of his slumping forwards, and there are plenty of candidates. Brad Marchand wasn’t demoted with the revamped lines, but he has just two goals in his last 17 games. He and Seguin combined for zero shots on goal Sunday night in what was a very untimely disappearing act for two of Boston’s top scorers.
Then there’s the Peverley thing, which is very interesting. Julien clearly expects way more than he’s getting out Peverley (no points, minus-2 rating last five games). After Peverly was a healthy scratch last month, it appears he is back in the doghouse.
It hasn’t been a no-win situation for Peverley, but you do have to take into consideration that he hasn’t been playing with top players for the most part. His linemates have included Chris Bourque, Jay Pandolfo and Kaspars Daugavins. It isn’t exactly like Peverley’s been put in a position to win the Hart Trophy, but it’s reasonable to expect better numbers than he’s put up even with subpar linemates.
|Canadiens best Bruins in Montreal, take season series||04.06.13 at 9:50 pm ET|
The Canadiens stayed ahead of the Bruins in the standings with a 2-1 win over the B’s Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
With the win, the Canadiens (38 games played) have 55 points to the Bruins’s 52 through 37 games. Saturday marked the fourth and final meeting between the two teams in the regular season, with the Canadiens taking three wins vs. Boston.
Montreal jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Alex Galchenyuk and Michael Ryder, with Daniel Paille scoring the Bruins’ only goal in the second period. Carey Price made 26 saves, with Tuukka Rask stopping 27 shots in the losing effort.
Here’s what went right and wrong for the Bruins in the loss:
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– After some really promising showings of late, Matt Bartkowski had a rather rough first period. Bartkowski didn’t look to see if there were any Bruins on his side of the ice as he tried to break the puck out, and the result was a turnover as he sent the puck to P.K. Subban at the point. Subban fired the puck on net, eventually leading to Galchenyuk’s first-period goal.
– Claude Julien shuffled his bottom three lines midway through the first period, leaving only the Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton line intact. The changes saw Tyler Seguin moved back to right wing on the second line, with Rich Peverley centering the line and Jaromir Jagr being teamed with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille for the third line. Jay Pandolfo, Kaspars Daugavins and Shawn Thornton served as the fourth line.
– The Bruins were outshot, 10-4, in the first period and got no shots on goal from their forwards in the first 20 minutes. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand combined for zero shots on goal in the game. That’s unacceptable.
– With Ryder’s second-period goal, he now has three goals in three games against the Bruins this season since rejoining the Canadiens. Ryder had two goals last Wednesday against the B’s, and he gave the Habs a 2-0 lead Saturday by redirecting a shot from Subban on the power play. The puck also went off Dennis Seidenberg’s stick before floating past Rask.
– Nathan Horton missed the net on an opportunity in front in the second period, as Josh Gorges was on him when Lucic sent a pass his way with plenty of open net to work with. Price had committed to Lucic on the other side of the net, but when Lucic fed Horton the right wing jammed the puck wide left on a forehand bid. It wasn’t the first such occurrence of late, as he also failed to finish chances in front against the Devils Thursday and the Flyers last Saturday.
– Good note from Mike Salk, who noted during the game that for a team that got Jaromir Jagr in hopes of fixing its power play, the Bruins haven’t been drawing a ton of penalties. The B’s got their first and only man advantage of the game in the final minute of the game and didn’t get a single shot on goal during it. The Canadiens scored on their only power play after Milan Lucic went off for cross-checking Tomas Plekanec, who took a whack at Lucic to get him to retaliate.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– In what has probably been his best season as a Bruin, Daniel Paille won a big faceoff to set up the Bruins’ second-period goal. With Gregory Campbell tossed out of the circle, Paille won the faceoff and sent the puck back to Johnny Boychuk, whose shot went off Paille and past Carey Price in a fluttering fashion.
– The scoring chances continued for the Canadiens after they took a 2-0 lead, so give Rask credit for keeping it close by denying Montreal bids. Rask made 10 saves on 11 shots in the second period.