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Andrew Ference was cautious in dropping the gloves with Benoit Pouliot 04.19.11 at 4:34 pm ET
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference wanted to throw down with Canadiens winger Benoit Pouliot following Pouliout’s charge on Johnny Boychuk Monday, but he had to be careful.

Sporting stitches on his right cheek on Tuesday, Ference recalled the series of events, noting he was extra careful to avoid negating his team’s forthcoming power play.

“I waited for him to drop the gloves and throw a punch before I did anything,” Ference said. “I didn’t want to take an extra penalty. From what I saw, it looked like a really dangerous hit. A hit like that, especially on your partner or something like that, you want to at least have some answer for it. I didn’t want to drop the gloves without being 100 percent that he was going to as well, so you have to be aware of that in the playoffs for sure.”

Listening to Montreal sports radio this morning, it’s safe to say some of the fans dislike Pouliout just as much as Jack Edwards, as callers hoped the team would scratch the former fourth overall pick in Thursday’s Game 4.

The Pouliot hit on Boychuk, followed by the fight with Ference, is first up on this Edwards mega-mix put together by Yahoo! Sports hockey blogger Greg Wyshynski.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrew Ference, Benoit Pouliot, Johnny Boychuk
Claude Julien not a believer in momentum 04.19.11 at 3:55 pm ET
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — If you think that momentum can change a series, there is at least one thing that you and Claude Julien do not have in common.

Speaking Tuesday at Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center, the Bruins coach said he wasn’t concerned about the Habs grabbing momentum in the first two games at TD Garden more than he was about getting the team’s first win of the postseason. The victory finally came Monday in 4-2 fashion.

“The thing is, we felt that we needed to win yesterday,” Julien said. “We never talked about them having momentum, we just needed to play better. That’s the way I see it as well. Everybody might see it differently. I’m not a big guy about momentum more than it’s game per game. You’ve got to come back next game and realize that you’re still down 2-1 in the series. You have to be ready, because they will.”

The Bruins will return to the Bell Centre Thursday for Game 4.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien,
Claude Julien sees Scott Gomez/Chris Kelly play as being similar to Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty incident 04.19.11 at 3:44 pm ET
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — In the first period of Monday night’s 4-2 win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, Rich Peverley missed with a shot on a 3-on-1 opportunity. While Peverley wasn’t able to hit the net, his linemate in Chris Kelly was thanks to a shove from Scott Gomez that sent him into Carey Price‘s goal.

Gomez was given a minor for interference on the play, and while it may have looked worse than it was, Claude Julien had an interesting comparison in addressing the perception of it.

“Well, he got a penalty for interference. I would say, to be honest with you, it’s a little bit of the Zdeno Chara hit on [Max] Pacioretty,” Julien said. “It’s a hit that turned out badly. I think in Kelly’s case, it was interference [on Gomez], but I don’t think he meant to push him in the net or [have him] go head-first into the post.”

Chara was tossed from the March 8 meeting between the Bruins and Habs when he hit Pacioretty into a stanchion. There was no punishment from the league, and Chara stressed that it was not his intention to hurt the Habs forward on what ended up being an interference call. Asked whether the Gomez play should warrant a second look from the league, Julien took the same stance Chara did last month.

“You’ve got to understand that there are parts of the game that the result of what happens is not necessarily the intention. Was it a penalty? Absolutely, but I don’t think there was any intent to injure there,” Julien said. “Thankfully, our player came out of it OK. It’s not something you like to see, and thank God he had a visor which certainly helped take the blow away a title bit. Still, it was a very dangerous play.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Max Pacioretty, Zdeno Chara
Bruins set up shop in Lake Placid 04.19.11 at 3:19 pm ET
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Welcome to the site of the 1980 Olympics, as the Bruins will spend Tuesday and Wednesday in Lake Placid before returning to Montreal for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The regulars did not skate Tuesday, though there was some media availability for the players while the scratches took the ice. Here are a couple of poorly taken pictures of the Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center, where the B’s will practice.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs,
Zdeno Chara: ‘I felt much better today’ 04.19.11 at 1:17 am ET
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Zdeno Chara led the Bruins in ice time as he returned to the lineup Monday. (AP)

MONTREAL — Bruins captain Zdeno Chara made his return to the lineup Monday night, playing a team-high 26:20 in Boston’s 4-2 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The defenseman had missed Saturday’s Game 2 due to an illness that had hospitalized him Friday night.

Chara, who said he knew he Monday morning that he would “most likely” play in Game 3, was crossed up with Andrew Ference for a too-many-men penalty 1:08 into the game and was beating by Andrei Kostitsyn for the Habs’ first goal, though he picked up an assist on Nathan Horton’s first-period goal and posted an even rating on the night. The 6-foot-9 defenseman said he “felt pretty good,” but that the team’s performance and getting their first win of the series (Montreal leads, 2-1) was his biggest concern.

“We knew the importance of this game, and we approach it that way,” Chara said. “I was just happy with the result tonight, and we’ve got to get ready for the next one.”

Claude Julien said following the win that the team made the decision to play him following the warmup. Chara had attempted to play Saturday, but was scratched due to his illness.

“Obviously, I wasn’t feeling well,” Chara, who would not elaborate on what plagued him, said. “I tried to play [Saturday], and we decided not to. Obviously I had another 24 hours to recover, and all day today. I felt much better today.

“I wanted to play in the game before that, but obviously I knew it wouldn’t be a smart decision for the team, so I was really anxious to be in the lineup tonight.”

After holding off a surge by the Canadiens in the third period (the Habs held a 16-5 shots on goal advantage in the final 20 minutes), the Bruins will travel to Lake Placid for two days of practice. They will attempt to tie the series Thursday back at the Bell Centre.

“It’s only one win,” Chara said. “The next game is going to be an even bigger game.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley C, Zdeno Chara,
Bruins win Game 3 in Zdeno Chara’s return 04.18.11 at 10:09 pm ET
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MONTREAL — It was far more of a nail-biter than the Bruins probably expected after jumping out to a 3-0 lead, but the B’s finally got their first win of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, beating the Canadiens, 4-2, at the Bell Centre Monday night. The Canadiens lead the series, 2-1.

The Bruins got first-period goals from David Krejci and Nathan Horton, the second of which came in flukey fashion when Horton put it off the back of Habs goaltender Carey Price. Rich Peverley made it 3-0 off another lucky bounce 2:02 into the second, but the Canadiens came roaring back, with goals from Andrei Kostitstyn and Tomas Plekanec in the second and third periods, respectively.

Zdeno Chara made his return to the lineup after missing Game 2 due to illness, leading the team in time on ice and posting an even rating.

The Bruins will travel to Lake Placid for practice Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to Montreal for Thursday’s Game 4.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Not only did the Bruins score, but they scored four times. Not only did they score four times, but none of the goals came after they were already trailing by two goals. With the way the Habs came back in the third period period, the scoring the first two didn’t hold up, but the B’s can consider themselves on the right side of the fact that the team with the first goal has won all three games thus far.

- It wasn’t exactly the rope-a-dope game the Habs played in Games 1 and 2, but the Bruins did an excellent job of making sure pucks did not reach their intended destination through the first two periods. The B’s managed to get a stick on a ton of pucks in their own zone, breaking up plays and eliminating second and third chances.

- Peverley had a couple of big opportunities in the first period, so it seemed only a matter of time before he would be celebrating at Price’s expense. Peverley kept the puck on a 3-on-1 in the first but missed the net, and later in the period he intercepted an ill-advised clearing attempt by Price only to see a Habs stick whack it away on its way into the empty net. Peverley made good the third time around.

- Major kudos to the members of the Bruins’ fourth line. Gregory Campbell had two great chances in the first period, and he and Daniel Paille were instrumental in killing off two early penalties that the B’s took. Shawn Thornton nearly made it 4-2 in the third in one of the B’s rare scoring chances late in the game.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Canadiens absolutely dominated the final 20 minutes of play. Keeping the Bell Centre crowd out of it for an entire game is one thing, but the B’s will need more of a 60-minute effort in Game 4.

- The Bruins did want they wanted to do on the scoreboard early, but two penalties in the first 7:27 probably wasn’t what Claude Julien had drawn up in the game plan. The B’s were whistled for too many men on the ice (a playoff favorite) at 1:08, perhaps due to just how loud it was as the fans were booing Chara. After killing off the early penalty, the B’s were once again short-handed when Krejci hooked Kostitsyn at 7:27. If it weren’t for the B’s getting their first lead of the series in between the two penalties, things would have looked grim momentum-wise.

- Speaking of Kostitsyn, it was a happy return for the Habs winger, and he got his revenge on the very man who kept him out of Saturday’s Game 2. Kostitsyn couldn’t play Saturday due to a foot injury suffered blocking a slap shot from Chara in Game 1, so being able to go around Chara for his first playoff tally must have felt a heck of a lot better than blocking that shot.

- While Kostitsyn’s second-period goal made it a 3-1 game, it could have very easily been 4-0 seconds earlier. Milan Lucic looked indifferent on a breakaway, making for an easy save for Price, and the Habs marching it down the ice put them on the board.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Carey Price, David Krejci, Nathan Horton
Whether or not the big man plays, Bruins will have to block out big-time crowd noise 04.18.11 at 1:34 pm ET
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MONTREAL — The Bell Centre is going to be roaring for Monday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Given that the Habs have taken the first two games of the series against the rival Bruins, the crowd noise should be plenty loud, and that’s without factoring in the possibility of Montreal villain Zdeno Chara playing.

If things get as loud as they’re expected to, it could actually impact the game in how players communicate with one another. Unable to hear over all the hoopla, calling to teammates suddenly becomes a much more of an intended yell.

“That happens a lot during a game,” Habs forward Michael Cammalleri said after the Canadiens’ morning skate. “I guess it will happen more often if they’re cheering or boring more often when someone’s on the ice. Even if you get a rush chance, everyone gets excited and on their feet. Sometimes you can’t hear a guy and things of that nature because the fans get loud. Players are pretty used to that kind of thing.”

The Bruins are at enough of a disadvantage playing in the Bell Centre down two games to none, so the crowd noise seems to be the least of their concerns. Either way, they know it’s there.

“If you’re close enough — and you may have to talk a little louder than normal — but normally it’s not too bad, but it definitely is a loud atmosphere,” B’s defenseman Adam McQuaid said Monday. “When you’re down on the ice, you just kind of have to speak over it.”

McQuaid has never played in Montreal in the postseason, but did admit that he “can only imagine what it will be like tonight.”

If Chara plays, he can expect perhaps the heftiest booing of his career, as long as Habs fans can top some of their personal bests. Should he be in the lineup Monday, the crowd will get its first crack at the Boston captain since he was ejected for shoving forward Max Pacioretty into a stanchion on March 8. Much like the rest of the crowd noise, the B’s will have to block out any pointed jeers as well.

“That doesn’t matter,” Claude Julien said of the reception Chara would get if he plays. “I think what matters to us right now is what is at stake in this game. No matter what happens, you have to play through those things. We’re all aware of that and guys are professional enough.

“I don’t know if there is a rink Zdeno doesn’t get booed in, certainly not because of what happened, but because of the realization of the impact he has on the game and the difference he can make in game situations. He’s a big man, he’s a strong guy that we rely on a lot and he’s a big part of our team. I think other buildings realize that.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Adam McQauid, Claude Julien, Michael Cammalleri
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