|Claude Julien: ‘More that’s expected’ from Tyler Seguin||02.14.13 at 1:40 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Thursday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena that the B’s expect more out of Tyler Seguin, who has two goals (one of which is an empty-netter) in 11 games this season.
Last season, Seguin led the Bruins with 29 goals. His production has slowed in the early going of the shortened season, with Julien saying the team is eager to see him break out of his slump.
“We know we can get more out of him, and it’s a matter of pushing him, it’s a matter of him pushing himself,” Julien said. “He’s not a poor player, but I think there’s more that’s expected of him and there’s more that I think he’ll be able to give us. He’s still a young player, and you can squish him and make it worse or you can try and help him through it and push the right buttons and certainly help him get his game back to where it should be.”
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|Bruins come back in third, but fall to Rangers in shootout||02.12.13 at 10:24 pm ET|
The Bruins rallied in the third period to earn a hard point against the Rangers on Tuesday night, but fell, 4-3, in a shootout.
The B’s completed an improbably comeback as they rallied from a 3-0 defect in the third period, with Brad Marchand tying the game with 42.3 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.
The Rangers opened the scoring in the first period with an impressive play from Rick Nash to set up a Carl Hagelin goal. Nash went around Andrew Ference on a 2-on-2 and despite losing his balance, Tuukka Rask still had to commit to him. He then knocked a backhand pass over to Hagelin, who had a clean look with plenty of net and put it in for his fourth goal of the season. The Rangers added to the lead in the second period with Derek Stepan capitalizing on a Milan Lucic turnover and beating Rask on a 2-on-1.
Rask allowed a goal he’d really like to have back when he let an easy wrist shot from defenseman Anton Stralman slowly tricked past him and into the net after he thought he’d made the save.
After the expiration of a penalty to Nash, Krejci got the B’s on the board by burying a rebound past Henrik Lundqvist. (The goal broke up what would have been Lundqvist’s seventh career shutout against the Bruins.) Though it came just after the expiration of a power play and Nash was not yet back on the ice, the B’s still went 0-for-4 on the man advantage Tuesday night.
The Bruins will return to action Friday in Buffalo as they play their first of five straight road games. They will next play at TD Garden on Feb. 28 against the Sabres.
|Bruins give Jay Pandolfo one-year deal||02.12.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
The Bruins and veteran forward Jay Pandolfo have agreed to a one-year deal, according to a source. The agreement was first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, with Pandolfo receiving a prorated $600,000 deal.
Pandolfo, who has been with the Bruins on a tryout since training camp, must clear waivers before he can play with the team. The B’s placed him on waivers on Tuesday and he is scheduled to clear waivers Wednesday at noon.
A native of Burlington, the 38-year-old Pandolfo has played 881 games in the NHL with 100 goals and 126 assists for 226 points.
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|Claude Julien keeping his options open with top-six forwards||02.12.13 at 12:06 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin was back on the ice in Tuesday’s morning skate, and with his return from a maintenance day came the return of the Bruins’ regular top-six forwards as the B’s prepare for the Rangers.
After flip-flopping Seguin and Nathan Horton on the top two lines over the last four periods, Claude Julien put Seguin back with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, while Nathan Horton is back with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice, so he should be in net for the Bruins’ last home game until Feb. 28.
The lines were the following in the morning skate:
Following the morning skate, Seguin said that nothing in particular in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Sabres prompted his maintenance day and that he is “all good” physically.
As for the lines being reverted to what they were for the season’s first nine games, Julien said that the experiment of switching the right wings on the top two lines — something he did for the third period last week against the Canadiens to kick-start Seguin and the offense in general — is something he plans to keep in his repertoire going forward.
The Krejci line scored goals in its first two shifts in the third period against the Habs, and though Julien took a risk by breaking up a line that was flourishing with Horton, the power forward continued his strong season with a sensational performance against the Sabres while skating with Bergeron and Marchand.
“Interchangeable,” Julien said of Horton and Seguin. “I said it before — even after they came out and did a great job in Montreal, I said, ‘Listen, this could be temporary, and it could be for a while. It depends.’ There are some players there that are very interchangeable and it gives us some different options.”
Obviously, Horton and Seguin differ greatly as players. They’re both immensely skilled player (both top-three picks in their respective draft years), but Horton is a far more physical player, while Seguin’s offensive skillset is superior.
It’s those differences that allow Julien to get much different looks with a flick of the switch. Putting Seguin on Krejci’s line makes them faster, and as long as Lucic is his normal self, the line still isn’t soft. It may be more of a liability defensively, but thus far the line was a plus-3 over the last two games. Horton, meanwhile, adds more grit to an already hard-working line with Bergeron and Marchand.
At the end of the day, the B’s are still wiser to keep Seguin with Bergeron and Horton with Krejci. Any defensive shortcomings on Seguin’s end go unnoticed thanks to Bergeron, while the combination of Horton and Lucic gives Krejci’s line a bruising edge that makes them extremely difficult for opposing teams.
Either way, Julien has said that he’ll be quicker to tinker with his lineup this year than in seasons past due to the shortened schedule. It’s still early in the season, but the B’s are fortunate to know they have options that have proven to work.
|Bruins trying not to get discouraged by power play||02.11.13 at 6:07 pm ET|
The power play has been so much of a challenge for the Bruins this season that it wasn’t much of a surprise to see them struggle to put the puck in the net when working on the man advantage in Monday’s practice.
Making the power play work has long been an issue for assistant coach Geoff Ward and the Bruins, but for the past three seasons they have been able to win without one.
On the season, the Bruins are 4-for-39 on the man advantage, with one of the goals coming in the form of a Tyler Seguin empty-netter against the Hurricanes. They are 1-for-18 on the power play over their last five games, but those ugly numbers have been accompanied by a pretty record. With the 4-for-39 mark comes an Eastern Conference-best 8-1-1 record, and with the 1-for-18 clip comes a 4-1-0 record.
The Bruins have managed to be able to be the best team in the Eastern Conferece (they trail the Devils by two points for the top spot, but they’ve played 10 games to New Jersey’s 12) despite not manufacturing power play goals. Recent history shows that you technically don’t need a great power play in order to win the Stanley Cup ‘ the B’s were a respectable 5-for-27 against the Canucks in 2011, but they were 0-for-21 against the Habs in the first round, 2-for-16 against the Flyers and 3-for-24 against the Lightning. That made for an underwhelming 11.4 power play percentage for the postseason, which ranked 14th among the 16 teams in the playoffs.
Last season, the Kings followed the Bruins’ lead, putting up a 12.8 clip on the power play but winning the Cup and losing just four games all postseason.
Still, while there’s strong evidence that you can win a lot of games without a good power play, there’s no denying any team would be better if it would take advantage of other teams’ infractions. The Bruins finally did that on Sunday to break an 0-for-17 stretch when Patrice Bergeron got to a puck in front that had bounced off the end boards on a shot from Chris Bourque and sent it past Ryan Miller. Not only was the goal the game-winner in the team’s 3-1 win over Buffalo, it provided a bit of relief in a rather stressful area.
Prior to that goal, the B’s were 0-for-4 in the game. The power play actually proved disruptive to a strong 5-on-5 game the B’s had been playing. The second unit, which now features Bourque at the point with Zdeno Chara, with Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley up front, saw to it that the team wouldn’t have its fifth straight game without a power play goal.
‘We’ve got to work on it,’ Bergeron said Monday. ‘We’ve got to make sure we get better. If you get discouraged, we’re obviously not going to improve. That’s the whole point, is to do the job and create some momentum and obviously score some goals.’
With Seguin getting Monday off for maintenance, the B’s moved David Krejci up and put Dennis Seidenberg on the point with Dougie Hamilton on the point on the first configuration. That likely won’t stick, but with the way the B’s have struggled on the power play as a whole, perhaps shuffling more personnel could be in the cards. The B’s have found a way to win without clicking on the man advantage, but if they ever could they would be even scarier.
|Bruins-Lightning rescheduled for April 25||02.11.13 at 5:39 pm ET|
The NHL announced Monday that the Bruins-Lightning game that was postponed this weekend has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 25 at TD Garden.
The game, which was scheduled to be played at the Garden on Saturday, was delayed from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. before being postponed due to weather. The makeup game will be played at 7:30 and will now be the B’s last home game of the regular season. The B’s will wrap up their schedule on the road against the Capitals on April 27.
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|Tyler Seguin given maintenance day||02.11.13 at 3:09 pm ET|
Seguin wasn’t the only absence, as Aaron Johnson is with Providence to get some game action, while Lane MacDermid was also sent down on a conditioning loan. Jamie Tardif was sent to Providence the old fashioned way and isn’t expected back for the time being unless injuries occur.
With Seguin out, the lines looked like this:
Chris Bourque – Chris Kelly – Jay Pandolfo