|Bruins recall Torey Krug from Providence||03.27.13 at 6:16 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled defenseman Torey Krug from Providence Wednesday, and the 21-year-old will be available for Wednesday night’s game against the Canadiens.
In 55 games for Providence this season, Krug has 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points and a minus-6 rating. The timing of the callup is intriguing given that it’s a week before the trade deadline. The Bruins may have recalled him for a potential showcase or as a body in the event that they move one of the defensemen currently on the roster.
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|Report: Bruins claim shootout comedian Kaspars Daugavins||03.27.13 at 12:13 pm ET|
According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Bruins have claimed forward Kaspars Daugavins off waivers from the Senators.
Daugavins, who Bruins fans will remember for his zany shootout attempt against Tuukka Rask earlier this month, has one goal and two assists for three points and a minus-6 rating in 19 games for Ottawa this season.
For what it’s worth, Daugavins is 1-for-3 on shootout attempts this season.
|Claude Julien tweaks lines for morning skate, Johnny Boychuk’s status uncertain||03.27.13 at 12:05 pm ET|
Wednesday’s morning skate featured more tweaking of the Bruins’ line as they prepare to host the Canadiens in a contest for first place in the Northeast Division. Claude Julien has moved Milan Lucic back with David Krejci and Nathan Horton, while Brad Marchand skated on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron.
The lines were as follows:
Johnny Boychuk, who has missed the last two games with an apparent foot injury, was back on the ice for the Bruins for the first time since leaving practice last Friday. Julien said following the morning skate that Boychuk’s status for Wednesday’s game is “uncertain” given that he has not been cleared to play. Boychuk will be re-evaluated Wednesday afternoon.
Matt Bartkowski said he is unsure whether he is in the lineup for Wednesday, but don’t count out Bartkowski playing even if Boychuk returns given Aaron Johnson‘s recent struggles.
|Bruins give Matt Bartkowski 1-year extension||03.26.13 at 12:08 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a one-year contract extension through next season and signed Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Chris Casto to an entry level contract.
Bartkowski’s deal is a one-way contract worth $650,000. The 24-year-old has skated in the Bruins’ last two games, totaling no points and a minus-2 rating.
|What went right as Bruins beat Maple Leafs in shootout to pull even with Canadiens||03.25.13 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Leafs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period with goals from Joffrey Lupul and Nikolai Kulemin. The Bruins were able to come back with goals from Milan Lucic and Bergeron, with Lucic scoring his first goal in 16 games. Demoted to the third line for Monday’s contest, Lucic took a pass from Rich Peverley and flew past two defenders to give himself a breakaway on which he beat Leafs netminder James Reimer to make it 2-1 in the second period. Bergeron took advantage of some sloppy defensive play from Toronto in the third to tie the game.
The win improved the Bruins’ record to 21-7-3, pulling them even with the Canadiens with 45 points. Both the B’s and Habs have played 31 games this season, and the Bruins will host the Canadiens Wednesday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Daniel Paille was undoubtedly a beneficiary of the new lines, as he had scoring chance after scoring chance while skating on Patrice Bergeron’s trio. Paille’s chances weren’t limited to even strength, however, as a spin move he pulled around Dion Phaneuf with the Leafs on the power play in the second period nearly yielded a shorthanded goal for the Bruins. Paille led the Bruins with five shots through two periods.
– Bergeron had all the time in the time in the world with the puck after Dougie Hamilton fed him from behind the net. Dion Phaneuf was front of the net when Bergeron got the puck but didn’t make much of an effort on taking Bergeron out of the play. The drowsy effort from Phanuf allowed Bergeron to handle the puck just long enough before beating Reimer with a backhander.
– More of a general observation, but Julien reverted back to the team’s original lines about five minutes into the third period. Furthermore, when the game went to 4-on-4 play following matching roughing minors to Phaneuf and Andrew Ference, Krejci was paired with Lucic while Bergeron skated with Marchand.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The line of David Krejci between Brad Marchand and Nathan Horton moved the puck well and created chances, but they didn’t get the puck on net. The line combined for three shots on goal through two periods and missed the net on multiple chances. Early on in the first period, Krejci fed Marchand in front, only to have Marchand’s bid sail to the left of Reimer. Horton has just one goal the last 14 games.
– Speaking of Horton, both he and Seguin had zero shots on goal in regulation and in overtime. That’s not fantastic.
– Aaron Johnson had a forgettable second period, as his hit on Lupul gave the Maple Leads the power play on which Lupul scored to make it 1-0. Later in the period, he had a shot blocked that led to the long pass through the neutral zone past he and Andrew Ference to give Kulemin a breakaway.
|Johnny Boychuk out Monday vs. Maple Leafs||03.25.13 at 11:23 am ET|
Boychuk left Friday’s practice with an apparent foot injury. He did not practice Sunday after missing Saturday’s game in Toronto. In his place, Matt Bartkowski played 13:05, posting a minus-2 with one shot on goal. Bartkowski will play in his second consecutive game Monday
The Bruins did not hold a morning skate Monday, but Julien shuffled the team’s lines in Sunday’s practice. They were as follows:
Brad Marchand ‘ David Krejci ‘ Nathan Horton
Daniel Paille ‘ Patrice Bergeron ‘ Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic ‘ Rich Peverley ‘ Jordan Caron
Jay Pandolfo ‘ Gregory Campbell ‘ Shawn Thornton
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|Tuukka Rask defensive, but says confidence isn’t shaken||03.24.13 at 2:17 pm ET|
After jumping out ahead of the pack in the Eastern Conference early on in the season, the Bruins find themselves in their most trying times with 18 games left on their schedule. They’ve lost three of their last four in regulation, and Claude Julien has tried different tactics in recent days to wake a team that’s been bad for the first time.
Part of that included giving back-to-back starts to Anton Khudobin for the first time this season when he put the backup between the pipes Thursday in Ottawa and Saturday in Toronto. That followed a 3-1 loss to the Jets Tuesday in which Winnipeg marched back from a 1-0 deficit in the third period with three unanswered goals (one of which was an empty-netter), resulting in Julien saying following the game that the B’s needed “timely saves” and didn’t get them from Tuukka Rask.
Rask made his return to the net in the third period of Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs, but it’s been a strange week for him. He got called out by his coach for the first time this season and was then given his longest stretch of time on the bench all year.
The 26-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent following its expiration, bit his tongue when asked about Julien’s comments.
“We do need timely saves,” Rask agreed. “It’s no secret I don’t think, right?”
As for Khudobin getting back-to-back starts, Rask doesn’t feel threatened or shaken by Julien’s decision.
“I’d like to play every game, obviously, but I didn’t take it too personally,” he said. “I’ve got to play good games, I realize that. Some tough losses there, I let in two goals in Pittsburgh and Winnipeg and we lose the games, but I wasn’t awful. It shouldn’t break my confidence.”
Julien insists that he wasn’t trying to send any sort of message to Rask by sitting him for consecutive games. He was correct in pointing out that Khudobin’s been more than serviceable thus far and added that he simply wanted to reward Khudobin for breaking Boston’s two-game losing streak Thursday.
“Tuukka is Tuukka. He’s hard on himself,” Julien said. “My thinking behind that was that Khudobin’s played well for us this year, and after playing that game in Ottawa where he was really good, he deserved a second start. I anticipated that this week coming up, Tuukka would have lots of opportunities to play. It was more based on what I saw coming up and on [Khudobin’s] play. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out [well] but Tuukka went in there and I thought he was solid in the jobs that he got in the third period.”
In fact, Rask wasn’t very hard on himself, but more defensive on Sunday. After saying that he agreed with Julien’s “timely saves” comment, Rask was asked how he’d assess his level of play of late. He responded by saying that he was between the pipes as the Jets came back, but that he didn’t single-handedly blow the game.
Said Rask: “I’m not blaming myself for those goals, but we were still up 1-0 and it would be nice to at least get a point out of that, but I don’t think I’ve been awful, if that’s what you’re saying.”
Rask wouldn’t be getting all of this attention were it not for Julien’s comments Tuesday. He’s been one of the league’s top goaltenders this season (Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports even wrote on Tuesday that Rask should be the favorite to win the Vezina) and his team hasn’t scored in front of him. Still, the last week has served as a bit of a speed bump in Rask’s first full season as a starter and it will be interesting to see how he comes out of it.