|Shawn Thornton back in, Chris Bourque sits vs. Canadiens||03.03.13 at 7:14 pm ET|
Chris Bourque was not on the ice for pre-game warmups Sunday night, indicating that Shawn Thornton is back in the lineup and that Bourque will sit for the second time this season. The Bruins confirmed following warmups that Bourque is a healthy scratch.
Bourque was last a healthy scratch on Jan. 31 against the Sabres. Thornton was a healthy scratch Saturday against the Lightning, and Sunday marks Jay Pandolfo‘s second consecutive game in the lineup. The lineup is as follows, per line rushes:
|Michael Ryder said Bruins would have signed him if they wanted him||03.03.13 at 6:08 pm ET|
Former Bruin Michael Ryder, who was traded from the Stars to the Canadiens on Tuesday, said prior to Sunday’s game that he didn’t think the Bruins would try to trade for him.
Ryder, who is in the final year of a two-year, $7 million deal that he signed with Dallas after leaving the Bruins, would have seemed to be a good fit for the B’s given the experience with the team and their need for more offensive production on the third line.
“I think if they wanted to keep me, they probably would have tried to sign me [after the 2011 season],” Ryder said. “Sometimes that happens. It’s part of the game and you have to move on. I liked it in Dallas.”
B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli told Ryder and Tomas Kaberle to test the waters of free agency after the team won the Cup. It didn’t take Ryder long to find a new home, as he inked his deal with Dallas on the first day of free agency.
“I kind of knew pretty much what was going to happen anyways, so I wasn’t surprised at all,” Ryder said of the team not making an effort to re-sign him. “I kind of knew which way it was going to go, so I wasn’t that surprised.”
Added Ryder: “Sometimes you just get a feeling. It was the same thing with when I left Montreal and knew I wouldn’t be back. You can just tell sometimes how things work out and everything. I just kind of had that feeling that I wouldn’t be back there.”
Sunday marks Ryder’s first time playing in front of the TD Garden crowd since Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Strangely, it will be as a member of the Canadiens, as the Habs shipped Erik Cole to Dallas for him and a third-round pick. Ryder played for the Habs from 2003-2008 before signing with Boston as a free agent.
“Everything’s happened pretty fast the last three, four days for me,” Ryder said prior to Sunday’s game. “It’s pretty interesting. ‘¦ It’s different to be back here on the other side this time, but it is what it is and I’m excited to be in Montreal. It’s going to be a big game tonight for first place, and I think it’s exciting.”
Though he’s a Canadien now, Bruins fans would be wise to not jeer the veteran winger. In addition to his eight postseason goals in 2011 (two of which were game-winners), Ryder also made a key save on Tomas Plekanec in Game 5 of the conference quarterfinals against the Canadiens.
Gregory Campbell doesn’t know how Ryder should be received, but he hopes fans don’t forget what Ryder meant to the Cup-winning team.
“He helped us win,” Campbell said. “He was a big part of our team, so however they want to take that. It’s like any other player going into another building. There’s good memories, but tonight he’s not on the team that you should be cheering for.”
|Shawn Thornton mum on healthy scratch||03.03.13 at 11:51 am ET|
Shawn Thornton was a surprise healthy scratch Saturday when Claude Julien sat him for the first time since last postseason. Wanting to get Jay Pandolfo in the lineup for the sake of shuffling his bottom-six forwards to team Daniel Paille with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley, Julien made the move to sit the veteran enforcer.
Speaking to WEEI.com Sunday morning, Thornton seemed less than thrilled with the healthy scratch. Asked Sunday if he was caught off guard by the benching, Thornton was uncharacteristically brief.
“It’s a tough question to answer,” Thornton said. “Actually I’m not going to answer it.”
Thornton did say the scratch was not explained to him, and that he was unsure of whether he would be back in the lineup Sunday against the Canadiens. Julien said that he’ll make that decision prior to the game, and said he doesn’t have to explain healthy scratches to players (for what it’s worth, Tyler Seguin said in 2011 that he was never given a reason for the team scratching him late in the season and into the postseason).
“You don’t want to baby players,” Julien said. “A lot of them, like Shawn, understand exactly what’s going on. He knows and he’s always had a great attitude. I told him just before we went out there when we got to the rink that I was contemplating maybe making a change, and I wasn’t sure and I was going to decide after the warmup. As long as he had a heads up instead of catching a guy like that, a veteran, at the last minute and telling them, ‘By the way you’re out.’ I do those kind of things, but I don’t have to to go into explanations. I don’t have time for that. Our guys know how we operate by now and there’s never been an issue with that.”
Julien had said entering the season that he was going to be quicker with roster decisions in the 48-game schedule, one in which wins are more important. Julien showed that by shaking up the top-six forwards last month against Montreal, and he showed it again Saturday when he wanted three lines capable of matching up with Tampa’s top-six forwards. He doesn’t feel he’s ruffled any feathers in the process.
“There’s no issues with Shawn,” Julien said. “He’s always been a team-first guy. That wasn’t an issue. We move guys around and we’re still team tough. We have other guys that can step up, as you saw yesterday. Those are things, in a tight schedule, you’re probably going to see more and more as we move forward here.”
|Bruins come back to beat Lightning||03.02.13 at 3:37 pm ET|
Brad Marchand’s team-leading 11th goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie and completed a come-from-behind victory for the Bruins as they beat the Lightning, 3-2, Saturday at TD Garden.
The Bruins had trailed, 2-0, before coming back and taking the lead on Marchand’s goal, a wrist shot on a 2-on-1 with Patrice Bergeron. It was Boston’s second power goal of the day after the B’s had entered the game without a power play goal at home this season.
The Lightning jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period thanks to power play goals from Steven Stamkos and Alexander Killorn. Entering the second period facing their fifth multiple-goal deficit of the season, the Bruins pulled even thanks to a power-play goal from Tyler Seguin and an even-strength tally on a one-timer from Rich Peverley.
Shawn Thornton was made a healthy scratch for the first time this season, with Jay Pandolfo skating on the fourth line in his place.
Anton Khudobin picked up the win for the Bruins, stopping 20 of 22 shots faced. The Bruins improved to 14-2-2 on the season with the win and will face the Canadiens Sunday night at the Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– It’s pretty impressive to think that of the five games in which the Bruins have trailed by two or more goals, they’ve tied it up three times. Boston came back from two and three-goal deficits against the Rangers before losing in overtime and a shootout, respectively, and they were able to erase Tampa’s 2-0 lead in the second period Saturday.
– The second-period power play on which Seguin scored was one of the Bruins’ best of the season, with great puck movement by the top unit of Seguin, Hamilton, Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton. The goal was the Bruins’ first power play goal at home this season.
– He didn’t face many shots, but considering the he was going up against the top-scoring team in the NHL and the Lightning spent over a quarter of the game on the power play, the results were pretty good for Anton Khudobin. He was decked out of his pads on Killorn’s goal, and there was nothing anyone could have done on Stamkos’ score. Khudobin came up big in stopping Killorn on a shorthanded partial breakaway with less than five minutes left in the third.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– After killing 27 straight penalties, the Bruins have now allowed power play goals to opponents in back-to-back games. The B’s had gone seven games without allowing a power play goal prior Jim O’Brien’s second-period goal for the Senators on Thursday.
In fact, the three power-play goals they allowed over a four-period span matches what they had allowed in their previous 11 games. Saturday was the first game of the season in which the B’s allowed multiple power-play goals.
– Though the fans weren’t thrilled with the referees, the Bruins took five minor penalties in the first period. The most contested by the B’s were a pair of boarding calls on Dennis Seidenberg and Milan Lucic. Seidenberg forced Benoit Pouliot out of the game on his hit, as Pouliot didn’t have much time to brace himself prior to it. Milan Lucic also went off for boarding in the final seconds of the period.
Those weren’t the only boarding calls in the game, as Pandolfo slammed Killorn into the boards midway through the second period. Vincent Lacavalier had gone off earlier in the second for boarding Johnny Boychuk. The refs became a bit of a punchline throughout the game for all the boarding calls, but they were largely justified.
– Brad Marchand nearly made it a one-goal game midway through the first period when he fired a shot off Mathieu Garon from behind the net. The puck trickled off Garon and back toward the net, but stopped just before the goal line. Eric Brewer cleared the puck away before Patrice Bergeron could push it in.
|Shawn Thornton a healthy scratch vs. Lightning||03.02.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
Though Thornton missed two games in February due to a concussion, Saturday marks the first time this season he’s been a healthy scratch. Pandolfo is playing in his second game of the season.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins prepare for action-packed March||03.01.13 at 3:24 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Claude Julien kept his top six forwards (among others), five of his six starting defensemen and his No. 1 goalie off the ice Friday, and it wasn’t because they didn’t have their legs Thursday against the Senators, but because they’re going to need their legs this weekend and this month.
March will be an especially busy month for the Bruins after having a lighter schedule to open the season. The B’s have played 17 games since the season began on Jan. 19, but they’ll have 17 games in 31 days in the month of March. That includes four sets of back-to-backs.
“We have to take it game by game,” David Krejci said. “When you look at it as 17 games in a month, that’s a lot. When you look at it game-by-game, it’s not that bad.”
The Bruins are set to host the Lightning Saturday afternoon and the Canadiens Sunday night. The former is an offensively skilled team that’s lost three straight and needs to get its record back to .500 (9-10-1), while the latter is perhaps the NHL’s biggest surprise team, leading the Eastern Conference with 29 points in 20 games.
The Bruins’ 17 games played is the least in the NHL. They’ve actually been the conference’s most productive team, as they’re just a point behind the Habs with three games in hand, but seeing any team above them in the standings is enough to keep them from getting complacent.
“It’s easy to stay motivated right now,” Julien said after Friday’s session. There are teams that are ahead of us and we want to be at the top. You work to get there, and you can’t afford to have any letdowns. Those are all motivational factors that keep us going.”
March’s busy schedule means the B’s will have to go about things differently. There will be less practices and more video work to make up for lost time between games. There will also be more of Anton Khudobin, who will spell Tuukka Rask more frequently than he has thus far. Khudobin has played just three of the Bruins’ first 17 games, but he should get into at least four this month with the back-to-backs. Khudobin will be in net Saturday against the Lightning.
|Bruins hold smaller practice||03.01.13 at 11:42 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins had rather light attendance Friday, with the majority of the team as well as Claude Julien getting a day off the ice.
Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Daniel Paille, Chris Bourque, Jay Pandolfo, Lane MacDermid, Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell were joined by Anton Khudobin. Assistant coaches Doug Jarvis and Doug Houda led the practice.