|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.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien: ‘I didn’t say anything wrong’||03.04.13 at 12:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said Monday that he doesn’t regret Sunday’s comments about the Canadiens embellishing, though when speaking about it Monday, he steered away from singling out the Habs.
“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Julien said. “I didn’t blame the refs, I didn’t blame [anyone]. I said the embellishment puts refs in a tough position because they call it, it’s one thing, but if they call it and the guy’s really injured, it makes them look bad. We’re not helping the referees by embellishing. It makes it tough for them. It’s not as easy to correct as it seems because there’s consequences if they make a mistake on calling an embellishment.”
Added Julien: “Like I’ve talked about before with hits from behind, responsibility also has to come from the guy getting hit, to stop putting yourself in a vulnerable position. I think embellishment is the same thing. You’re embarrassing the game and there’s no room for it.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Mixed attendance at Bruins practice||03.04.13 at 11:34 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The majority of the Bruins hit the ice Monday at Ristuccia Arena, but many players were absent as the B’s prepared for what will be their third game in four days Tuesday against the Capitals.
Milan Lucic was the only top-six forward on the ice, with Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand getting the day off. The rest of the forwards were in attendance, with both Daniel Paille and Chris Bourque wearing third-line sweaters with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Bourque was a healthy scratch on Sunday.
|Claude Julien calls out P.K. Subban, Canadiens for ’embarrassing’ the game with embellishing||03.03.13 at 11:09 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien went off on the Canadiens following Montreal’s 4-3 win over the B’s Sunday night, calling the Canadiens out for embellishing to get penalties.
Julien felt that the B’s were at a disadvantage because Alexei Emelin‘s second-period cross-check on Tyler Seguin wasn’t called, though Zdeno Chara got an instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for challenging and fighting Emelin after the play.
“The frustrating part is that you end up with 17 minutes in the penalty box when you should have been on the power play. It’s as simple as that,” Julien said. “It’s frustrating because tonight, as everybody saw, there was a lot of embellishment and this is embarrassing for our game, embellishing. Right now, they’ve got over 100 power plays so far and it’s pretty obvious why. We’re trying to clean that out of our game and it’s got to be done soon.
“It’s not about tonight. It’s about the game and the embellishment embarrasses our game, and we need to be better at that because it was pretty obvious when P.K. [Subban] gets hit, he throws himself into the glass and holds his head. You know what? If we start calling those penalties for embellishment, maybe teams will stop doing it, but until we take charge of that, it’s going to be an issue.”
Julien said that the Bruins shouldn’t have to feel the need to play less physical against the Habs. He wants the games to be called better, specifically with Habs players getting their comeuppance for diving.
“We can’t change our style. We’ve got to play the way we play,” he said. “If it’s clean, then it should be deemed clean, but it’s hard on referees because when people embellish, it makes them look bad. Well, we’ve just got to make sure we get the right people when it comes to that. When you call the embellishment, maybe they’ll stop embarrassing referees.”
|What went wrong as Canadiens beat Bruins to retake division lead||03.03.13 at 10:15 pm ET|
Though the Bruins have gotten used to comeback wins, it was the Canadiens who came from behind to beat the B’s, 4-3, Sunday night at TD Garden.
Tomas Plekanec, Tyler Seguin and David Desharnais all scored within a 1:06 span in the first period span, giving Montreal a 2-1 lead after one. The Bruins came back and took the lead with second period goals from Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton, but the Canadiens got third period goals from Max Pacioretty and Desharanais with Chara out of the game due to a 10-minute misconduct that accompanied a second-period fight with Alexei Emelin.
With the win, the Canadiens were able to move ahead of the Bruins atop the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with 32 points (14-4-4) in 22 games this season. The loss, which was the third regulation defeat for the B’s this season, dropped Boston to 14-2-2. They remain at 30 points through 19 games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– While Chara defended Seguin by going after and stomping Alexei Emelin after Emelin cross-checked Seguin in the neutral zone, it was costly. In addition to his fighting major, Chara was given an instigating minor and a 10-minute game-misconduct. Sticking up for a teammate is nice, but it stings when you lose your best player for 17 minutes defending a player who was ready to go after returning to the bench. The fact that the game-tying and go-ahead goals were scored by the opponent in that time makes it even worse.
– Michael Ryder made his return to Boston sting for the Bruins, as he centered the pass to Plekanec in front on the play that gave Montreal the 1-0 lead. Plekanec didn’t get much on it, but he was able to put beat Tuukka Rask five-hole.
– Some bad luck for the Bruins on the Canadiens’ second goal, as David Desharnais sent the puck to the front of the net looking for Max Pacioretty. Johnny Boychuk was tangled up with Pacioretty in front, and his stick got a piece of the puck, redirecting it past Rask. The goal was reviewed to see if Pacioretty had potentially kicked it in, but replays showed it was Boychuk’s stick.
– David Krejci’s line was a bit too quiet Sunday, especially in comparison to how active the Bergeron trio was. All three members of the line were on the ice for Desharnais’ goal and Krejci went the entire game without a shot on goal.
– Bergeron nearly had a second goal shortly after he tied the game in the first period, as he took a feed from Seguin in front of the net and had Budaj deked, but the time it took him to go back to his forehand was enough for Budaj to adjust. The Bruins had a few golden opportunities early on that didn’t yield results, with Horton fanning with Budaj out of position earlier in the first period.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Brad Marchand had the first three-assist game of his career, picking up helpers on goals from Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton. Marchand, who leads the Bruins with 11 goals, had only three assists entering the game, so he was able to double his season total in impressive fashion.
– Dougie Hamilton’s second career goal was the result of some impressive work from Marchand. The third-year forward took a pass from Bergeron entering the zone and wheeled around the top of the Canadiens zone before firing a shot that was deflected and bounced to Hamilton at the bottom of the left circle. Hamilton took a whack at it to send the fluttering puck past Peter Budaj to give the Bruins the lead.
– Maybe Seguin is finally getting it back. For the first time this season, Seguin now has goals in consecutive games, and he continues to show improvement as a two-way player. When Dennis Seidenberg lost his footing and fell down with the Canadiens entering the zone, Seguin raced back in time to disrupt Ryder and knock the puck away.
|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: