|Bruins beat Maple Leafs to snap mini-skid||03.07.13 at 9:39 pm ET|
The Bruins stopped their two-game skid Thursday night with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
The B’s got goals from Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin (one even strength and one empty netter) and David Krejci to improve their record to 15-3-3. With 33 points through 21 games, the B’s temporarily jumped to the top of the Eastern Conference, though the Canadiens (32 points) were leading the Hurricanes as Boston’s contest wound down.
Here’s what went right and wrong for the B’s in the win.:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Bergeron and his line remain hot, as No. 37’s multi-point night means he now has 14 points over his last nine contests. Seguin made a heads up play in picking off a pass at the blue line in the final minute of the period and racing to the net. With Dion Phaneuf hot on his trail, Seguin was denied by Scrivens before the trailing Bergeron buried the rebound for his sixth goal of the season. In assisting both of Seguin’s goals, Bergeron made it four goals and 10 assists over his last nine games.
– You can’t mention the Bergeron line without mentioning Brad Marchand, who leads the team in goals but has been piling up assists of late. After notching only one helper over his first 12 games of the season, Marchand now has seven assists over the last eight contests. As for Seguin, he has 16 points in 15 career games against the Maple Leafs.
– Khudobin had a strong night for the B’s, frustrating Phil Kessel in particular. Boston’s backup netminder made a great kick-save early on against Kessel and stopped him on the rebound as well. Later in the period, with the B’s shorthanded, Khudobin came across in time to get a leg on Kessel’s bid after Kessel tried to tap in a puck that had bounced off the end boards and in front following a shot from the point. Kessel was kept off the scoresheet Thursday and had a minus-1 rating.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Until Seguin’s empty netter, the B’s were on the verge of being outscored in the third period for the third straight game. The Bruins had a two-goal lead going into the third, so they were able to escape with the win despite the goal from Mikhail Grabovski that brought Toronto within one in the final minutes.
– Krejci redeemed himself with his goal late in the second period, but his inability to handle a pass in front led directly to Kadri’s goal. He also turned the puck over at the point at the end of the Bruins’ next power play, but he got back to defend the 2-on-1, with Khudobin stopping Nikolai Kulemin.
– The Bruins were 0-for-3 on the power play, failing to make it a three-goal game when Dion Phaneuf and Colton Orr gave Boston two power plays early in the third.
|NHLPA approves realignment plan||03.07.13 at 6:36 pm ET|
The NHLPA has approved of the NHL’s realignment plan Thursday, with the Board of Governors next to vote to put the plan into action for next season.
In the proposed realignment, there would be two conferences comprised of four divisions (16 teams in the East, 14 teams in the West) instead of the current six-division system. The Bruins would be part of the new Central Division in the Eastern Conference along with the Red Wings, Sabres, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Lightning and Senators. The Atlantic Division would contain Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York’s Rangers and Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.
In the West, the new Pacific Division will feature Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver. Finally, the Midwest Division will be made up of Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Click here for more information on the realignment plan.
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|Bruins place Chris Bourque on waivers||03.07.13 at 12:22 pm ET|
The Bruins placed forward Chris Bourque on waivers Thursday, the team announced. NHL teams will have 24 hours to claim him, and if he goes unclaimed the B’s will be able to assign him to Providence.
Bourque, the son of Bruins legend Ray Bourque, has struggled throughout his first season in Boston, totaling one goal and three assists with a minus-6 rating in 18 games. He has been a healthy scratch twice.
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|Anton Khudobin expected to start vs. Leafs||03.07.13 at 11:30 am ET|
Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin was reportedly the first goaltender off the ice in Thursday’s morning skate, indicating that he will start Thursday night against the Maple Leafs.
Khudobin is 3-1-0 this season with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. He last started Saturday against the Lightning, making 20 saves in a 3-2 win.
In addition to Khudobin likely starting, the Bruins may see Jay Pandolfo play left wing on the third line, as reports from the Garden indicated that he and Chris Bourque rotated on the line in morning skate, with Bourque staying out later with the healthy scratches.
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|Max Pacioretty: Claude Julien rant ‘jealousy’||03.04.13 at 10:30 pm ET|
The Canadiens heard Claude Julien‘s rant about them embellishing loud and clear, and the first-place Habs are happy to have gotten inside the Bruins’ heads.
‘Jealousy,’ Max Pacioretty told reporters Monday when discussing Julien’s comments. ‘We’re at the top right now and reading comments like that is awesome. If we’re in last place, they wouldn’t be saying anything about us, but we’re in first place and it’s the best feeling in the world.’
Julien said after Montreal’s 4-3 win over the B’s Sunday that the Canadiens were “embarrassing” the NHL with their embellishing, something Habs coach Michel Therrien disagreed with.
‘I’ve known Claude for a long time and I’ve been coaching teams against him for a long time, too. To me, those comments that he made were ridiculous and I think he was very frustrated to have lost that game,” Therrien said. “Claude can concentrate on his team and I’ll concentrate on my own.
‘Our goal is to play a style of game that we feel will best bring us success. That’s what’s really important for me,’ continued the Habs’ bench boss. ‘We need to be able to show up for every game and for us that means playing an aggressive style of hockey and controlling the match. The players have been paying a lot of attention to the details and they deserve a lot of credit.’
|Chris Bourque not worried he’ll be replaced at trade deadline||03.04.13 at 3:21 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — As the trade deadline approaches, players on bad teams worry about being moved, but players on good teams worry about being replaced. Not too many Bruins should have reason to worry about that, but Chris Bourque probably tops that list.
With less than a month to go before the trade deadline, enough of the season has been played for teams to diagnose potential weaknesses and where upgrades could be needed. In the Bruins’ case, there isn’t much not to like.
Tyler Seguin is finally hitting his stride after a slow start and the Bruins’ top two lines have been very productive. The defense has been strong as usual, and though Andrew Ference isn’t having his best season, the B’s shouldn’t actively seek anything more than a potential depth move on the back end. Tuukka Rask has been healthy and strong, so between the offensive production, solid defensive play and sound goaltending, you’d have to nitpick to find an area that needs upgrading.
That’s why Bourque’s name has come up so much. The Bruins have grown accustomed to getting more production out of the third line, and Bourque has gone from the third line left wing to the fourth line Saturday to a healthy scratch Sunday, which was his second of the season. He was taken off the power play late in Saturday’s win against the Lightning before eventually sitting vs. the Canadiens.
With there little not to like about this Bruins team, Bourque has been a target for criticism from the get-go. The chemistry with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley — two guys who gelled with the likes of Michael Ryder and Benoit Pouliot in the past two years — wasn’t there, so it’s no surprise that B’s fans were hoping for a Ryder redux prior to last week’s deal that sent the veteran sniper from Dallas to Montreal.
Despite Ryder no longer being an option, you would think that a winger for that Kelly line would be at the top of Peter Chiarelli’s shopping list as April 3 draws nearer. If the Bruins were to upgrade on the third line, Bourque wouldn’t be of much use as a fourth-liner, so he would likely suffer the same fate that Joe Corvo did last season when Boston replaced him in the lineup with Greg Zanon.
For now, Bourque isn’t worried that the trade deadline will mean him losing his spot in being lineup.
“Everyone’s here to win,” Bourque said Monday. “If they bring more guys in, that’s what they’re going to do. I can’t control any of that stuff. I’ve got to control what I can control and that’s it.”
In 17 games this season, Bourque has one goal and three assists for four points and a minus-4 rating. With three more games, the 27-year-old will have tied his career high with 20 games played, which he did in the 2009-10 season with the Penguins. The question at the beginning of the season was whether Bourque would be the season-long answer with Kelly and Peverley after being given the job in camp, but he’s yet to secure a stranglehold on the spot.
In the meantime, Bourque says his mindset hasn’t changed from one game to the next. He’s going to assume he’s in the lineup and he’s going to assume he’ll be given more opportunities. Time might be running out for him to make a lasting statement though.
“You come to the rink ready to play,” Bourque said. “If you don’t, then you’re not coming to the rink with the right attitude. You’ve just got to stay positive and be ready at all times.”
|Patrice Bergeron named No. 2 Star of Week||03.04.13 at 12:51 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was named the NHL’s No. 2 Star of the Week ending on March 3, the league announced Monday.
Bergeron had points in all four games he played, registering two goals and five assists over the span. The reigning Selke winner also had a plus-6 rating. On the season, Bergeron leads the Bruins in both assists (13) and points (18) and is tied with linemate Tyler Seguin with a plus-15 rating.
The first star of the week was Max Pacioretty (four goals, three assists), with Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom getting third star honors.
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