|P.K. Subban: Canadiens ‘don’t care about the fireworks’||10.16.14 at 12:23 pm ET|
BROSSARD, Quebec — P.K. Subban had enough fun last postseason against the Bruins, but that’s probably because his team won.
So as he looks forward to the Canadiens’ home opener against the Bruins Thursday night, he says he isn’t thinking about how the scoreboard looks at the end of the game.
“I’m sure you guys want me to say that there’s going to be fireworks, and I don’t know. Our focus is winning the game,” Subban said after Thursday’s morning skate at Bell Sports Complex. “We don’t care about the fireworks, the dance, the crowd. No. We’ve got to focus on what we can control, and that’s how we play. The final result’s the most important thing.”
Subban had seven points (four goals, three assists) in Montreal’s second-round victory against Boston last postseason. Preseason aside, Thursday will mark the first time the teams play at Bell Centre since Montreal forced a Game 7 last May with a 4-0 win in Game 6.
Subban says the biggest factor Thursday will be the fact that the Habs are in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.
“I think you do get hyped up for it,” he said. “You get hyped up for a home opening game. Everybody does. That’s why they’re so tough to play on the road. So tough to play in home openers because home teams get so hyped up for them. We’ll be ready to go.”
|Dale Weise says he didn’t lose respect for Milan Lucic, but would have if he shook his hand||10.16.14 at 12:04 pm ET|
BROSSARD, Quebec – The handshake line plot thickens.
On Thursday morning, the Canadiens downplayed the significance of their upcoming grudge match with the Bruins, which will serve as the teams’ first regular-season meeting since the second round of last season ended with a Canadiens win and plenty of unused hatred.
Dale Weise was a big part of that. He scored the first goal of Game 7 as the Habs took a 3-1 win to advance to play the Rangers. After that game, he told reporters that Lucic “had a few things to say to a couple of guys” in the handshake line, essentially directing folks to the tape, where one could see that Lucic told Weise he was going to “[expletive] kill” him the next time they played. He noted that Shawn Thornton took the loss with class and called Lucic’s actions “a poor way to lose.” Lucic responded by calling Weise a baby.
On Thursday, Weise had nothing bad to say about Lucic, calling him “a hard guy to play against.” Asked if he had lost any respect for Lucic the season before, Weise gave an interesting answer.
“No, no. He’s an emotional guy,” Weise said. “If he were to have shook my hand and been happy about losing, I would have lost respect for him.”
Weise has been a healthy scratch in one of the Habs’ four games thus far, and neither he nor coach Michel Therrien would say whether he was in the lineup for Montreal’s home opener against Boston.
If he does play, such a setting could be familiar for Weise. Though he was not a member of the 2010-11 Canucks (he spent that season in the Rangers organization), Weise was on the Canucks the next season and was a big part of the Bruins-Canucks grudge match in January 2012. Weise says that though there is “similar hatred” between the B’s and Habs after last postseason, he doesn’t expect as crazy a game as that 2012 contest.
“I think both teams are trying to get wins here. It’s early in the season. Last year’s kind of forgotten about,” Weise said. “Both teams are focusing on this year. They’re probably not happy with the start they got off to. They got a big win last night so they’re going to try to keep that going tonight.”
|Simon Gagne on fourth line in Bruins practice||10.14.14 at 12:07 pm ET|
WILMINGTON ‘ Simon Gagne skated on the fourth line Tuesday after signing a one-year contract with the Bruins earlier in the day.
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Spooner – Gagne
Extras: Matt Fraser, Gregory Campbell (core)
|Bruins sign Simon Gagne to 1-year contract||10.14.14 at 11:09 am ET|
The Bruins signed veteran forward Simon Gagne to a one-year, $600,000 contract Tuesday. In corresponding moves, the team sent Jordan Caron to Providence and put Bobby Robins on waivers with the intentions of sending him to Providence.
Gagne, 34, did not play last season and was brought into camp on a tryout by the Bruins. In 38 games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, he had five goals and six assists for 11 points.
The Bruins have a few options with where they can play Gagne. The team’s fourth-line is far from solidified, as Tuesday’s moves make it three players who have played on the fourth line this season and have been sent down (Caron, Robins and Craig Cunningham). The left-shooting Gagne could serve as either a left or right wing on the line.
In Tuesday’s practice, Gagne was on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Ryan Spooner.
Depending on how the Bruins feel about their other options, they could also play him on David Krejci‘s line with Milan Lucic. Seth Griffith played right wing with the pair on Monday. The team could also try Gagne, a former 40-goal-scorer who hasn’t scored more than 17 goals in a season since 2009-10, on one of their power play units.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Daniel Briere’s last-second goal leaves Bruins with third straight loss||10.13.14 at 3:33 pm ET|
Daniel Briere scored at the last second to give the Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Bruins Monday at TD Garden. The loss dropped the Bruins to 1-3-0 on the season.
The Avalanche finally got their first goal of the season when a Jamie McGinn shot from the right wall trickled through Nicklas Svedberg’s five-hole in the second period. The goal was a particularly weak one to allow for Svedberg, who was making his first start of the season and second-career NHL start.
Loui Eriksson tied the game with a power play goal at 7:50 of the second, capitalizing on a pass from Carl Soderberg after Soderberg had knocked down a Reilly Smith shot in front.
The Avalanche appeared to take the lead earlier in the third period, but what appeared to be a Dennis Everberg goal was disallowed because the refs determined that Ryan O’Reilly tipped the puck with a stick above his shoulder. Replays showed that the Bruins caught a break, as it appeared that the pick was tipped below both the shoulder and crossbar.
David Krejci returned from a hip injury, skating on a line with Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Krejci fed Lucic on a 2-on-1 for a great scoring chance in the third period, but Lucic was denied by Reto Berra.
In addition to Griffith making his NHL debut, Matt Bartkowski and Jordan Caron played their first games of the season, with Matt Fraser, Bobby Robins and Kevan Miller sitting for the first time. It is unknown whether Miller was a healthy scratch or not.
The Bruins will next embark upon a three-game road trip beginning Wednesday in Detroit.
Here are some takeaways from the game:
– Carl Soderberg’s line, while having only one even-strength goal thus far, has been very good this season. After holding its own against Alexander Ovechkin’s line Saturday, the trio of Soderberg between Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson controlled possession against Nathan MacKinnon’s line Monday. The Bruins have been leaning on Soderberg’s line more early in the season and haven’t been disappointed.
– The Avalanche took two penalties for too-many men on the ice, the first of which was negated two seconds into the Boston power play by a tripping penalty taken by Zdeno Chara. Eriksson scored on the second.
– Brad Marchand‘s reputation is coming back to bite him this season. After being whistled for a dive that wasn’t a dive in Detroit last Thursday’s, Marchand was given a goaltender interference penalty Monday that looked to be minimal contact and strong embellishment from Berra.
– Adam McQuaid got in his first fight of the season, dropping the gloves with Cody McLeod in the second period. More importantly, McQuaid laid out to break up a good scoring chance for the Avalanche in the first period. Monday marked the first game this season that McQuaid was not used on one of the top two pairings. McQuaid has followed up last season’s disappointing campaign nicely thus far.
– The lineup for the game was as follows:
Marchand - Bergeron - Smith
Lucic - Krejci - Griffith
Kelly - Soderberg - Eriksson
Paille - Spooner - Caron
Chara - Hamilton
Bartkowski - Seidenberg
Krug – McQuaid
|Matt Fraser, Ryan Spooner struggling to find confidence||10.12.14 at 2:54 pm ET|
It isn’t that the Ryan Spooner experiment isn’t working, or that the Matt Fraser experiment isn’t working; the Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser experiment isn’t working.
The two young forwards enjoyed success playing together on Providence’s first line last season, but struggled to do much for Boston when called up for third-line duty in the middle of the season. The first three games of this season, in which Spooner centered Milan Lucic and Fraser, were all the Bruins needed to see before pulling the plug. Claude Julien flipped Spooner and second-line left wing Chris Kelly late in Saturday’s loss to the Capitals, and, by the looks of Sunday’s practice, has now taken Fraser out of the lineup.
Spooner skates. Fraser shoots. Yet when they play together, they do neither. Through three games, Fraser has just one shot on goal.
Whatever the cause of it may be (Spooner says it’s mental) their poor start to the season has played a part in Sunday’s lineup shakeup. With Seth Griffith skating with David Krejci and Lucic Sunday and Patrice Bergeron‘s line remaining unchanged, Spooner was demoted to the fourth line and Fraser was bounced from the lineup. Spooner centered Daniel Paille and Jordan Caron, the latter of whom is expected to replace Bobby Robins.
Both Spooner and Fraser are clearly lacking confidence right now, with Fraser serving as his harshest critic.
“At the end of the day, we’re all good players,” Fraser said. “You’ve got to make the coach put you on the ice. For me, it was probably an easy decision for him to say, ‘No. Fraz doesn’t deserve to go.’ It’s hard to look in the mirror and recognize that and say, ‘Yeah. I don’t deserve to be in the lineup.’ That alone is very frustrating.”
Though Fraser is down on himself at the moment, it’s hard to see him staying out of the lineup for long. He’s a left wing playing the right side, which obviously doesn’t help, but his shot and goal-scoring prowess can be lethal if utilized properly.
Fraser’s success has come on the left side. He played there in the AHL, and his struggles as Spooner’s linemate at the NHL last season came on the right side. When he was recalled during the second round of the playoffs to play with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, he was on the left and was effective despite playing on a broken foot.
There isn’t a left wing spot for Fraser to play, however. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic have cemented their spots on the first two lines, while Kelly holds down the spot that Fraser played last postseason. Paille is playing left wing on the fourth line. The Bruins need right wings, and Fraser insists he can do the job. The problem, he says, is his execution.
“At the end of the day, there’s all the Xs and Os you want, but if you’re not prepared to work hard enough to get to those spots, you’re not prepared to work in the offensive zone to get my shot off, it’s useless,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. I can make up all the excuses in the world about my play or anything like that, but at the end of the day it falls on my shoulders. There’s no one that can correct it but me.”
As for Spooner, he can count himself fortunate that he survived Sunday’s lineup shakeup. Fourth-line center Craig Cunningham was sent down, but the B’s could have kept him and demoted Spooner.
“I’m not really happy with myself and how I’ve been playing,” Spooner said Sunday.
Spooner’s problem last season was that he didn’t shoot or take pucks to the net. So this summer, he shot 200-300 pucks a day to gain confidence in his shot.
Just three games into the season, Spooner admits he’s fallen back into his old habits, and he plans to better apply his offseason work going forward.
“I still need to shoot more. I’ve had some chances where I should have gone to the net. It’s just how I am. I’ve always been a pass-first kind of guy,” Spooner said. “I think for me, it’s just a mental thing. I’ve got to put it in the back of my mind to shoot more. It’s the only way you can score.”
|David Krejci close to return as Bruins shake up lines in practice||10.12.14 at 11:34 am ET|
David Krejci practiced and took contact Sunday, a promising step as he aims to return from what is believed to be a hip injury. After the practice, Claude Julien said Krejci hadn’t been cleared to play, but could be cleared before Monday’s game against the Avalanche. Both he and Krejci were optimistic about the center’s return.
Krejci was joined on his line by usual linemate Milan Lucic and recent call-up Seth Griffith. It was one of multiple changes Claude Julien made to his lineup a day after saying he would “reevaluate” in wake of back-to-back losses.
By the looks of practice, out from the lineup are Matt Fraser and Bobby Robins. They were joined Gregory Campbell and Simon Gagne in green sweaters.
Jordan Caron appears to be in the lineup, replacing Robins.
The lines were as follows.
Extras: Fraser, Campbell, Robins, Gagne
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