|5 things we learned as Canadiens crush Bruins in Winter Classic||01.01.16 at 4:20 pm ET|
The Canadiens skated to an 5-1 victory over the B’s at the annual outdoor event Friday at Gillette Stadium as Boston failed to get into an offensive rhythm early and never caught up.
The first period saw the B’s attempt only four shots in the first period, three of which made it to Canadiens goalie Mike Condon. In that time, the Habs jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from David Desharnais. It was 3-0 on a Brendan Gallagher goal before Matt Beleskey finally got the Bruins on the board at 3:56 of the third period. Any momentum that Beleskey’s goal could have generated was negated when Max Pacioretty scored off the rush nearly five minutes later. Byron added his second of the game in the final minutes of regulation.
The loss prevented the Bruins from jumping into first place in the Atlantic Division, instead letting the Habs leapfrog the Panthers for the top spot in the division. The B’s and Canadiens will have their final regular-season meeting on Jan. 19 in Montreal.
Here are four more things we learned at the Winter Classic:
BRUINS CAN’T PROTECT THE HOUSE
Tuukka Rask allowed more than three goals for the first time in 14 games, but it was hard to blame him given that he was under siege in the first period and the Bruins struggled to get pucks out of dangerous areas throughout the game.
The Canadiens’ first three goals came from right in front of the net. David Desharnais knocked in a bouncing puck off a Dale Weise shot for Montreal’s first goal, with Montreal making it 2-0 when Paul Byron buried a rebound right in front of Rask after Adam McQuaid was unable to get the puck out. Brendan Gallagher, playing in his first game back from a hand injury, connected in mid-air on a puck that Pacioretty flung in front off the rush.
|Bruins win Winter Classic Alumni game against Canadiens||12.31.15 at 7:05 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Bruins over yesteryear got the Winter Classic result they wanted. Now the actual ones will hope for a similar result.
Playing in front of 42,193 people in the Winter Classic Alumni Game, the B’s skated to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Habs alumni. Mark Recchi had two goals in regulation and one in the shootout, while Ray Bourque scored the deciding shootout goal. Sergei Samsonov and Marco Sturm also chipped in with goals.
Sturm’s third-period goal paled to the last one he scored outdoors, as he scored the game-winning overtime goal in the 2010 Winter Classic against the Flyers at Fenway Park.
|Baldness and Boldness: The in-depth Winter Classic fedora story you didn’t ask for||12.31.15 at 3:21 pm ET|
This is a story about fedoras and the genius coaches who wear them.
With coaches unable or unwilling to wear hats in arenas (perhaps because it’s impolite to wear a hat indoors), the Winter Classic gives them the option to express themselves in the classiest way possible: by wearing a nice hat.
Three of the 11 head coaches to participate in the Winter Classic, now in its eighth season, have worn fedoras. Among the Frozen Federlines is Bruins coach Claude Julien, who donned a snazzy camel-colored number with a dark brown ribbon in 2010 at Fenway Park.
Many coaches — most of them, in fact — have opted against wearing a hat. Yet there’s something that five of those six guys had that the others did not: hair.
Bald coaches typically wear hats at the Winter Classic. The only one of the three bald and/or balding coaches in Winter Classic history to not wear a hat was then-Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who won his game in 2011 despite looking pretty cold.
|Missing stars create Winter Classic opportunities for Bruins’ young players||12.31.15 at 3:08 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Growing up on a farm in Alberta, hockey for Joe Morrow was outdoors. The idea of playing in the Winter Classic this season was a dream, but not one that he necessarily thought would come true.
With the Bruins having a revolving door of young defensemen this season, any one (or two) of Morrow, Colin Miller and Zach Trotman have found themselves susceptible to multiple-game press box duty. With the Winter Classic on this season’s schedule, Boston’s young defensemen could only play their hardest when put in the lineup and hope that door stopped in their favor on Jan. 1.
With Thursday’s moves, Morrow appears to be the winner. Brad Marchand‘s injury forced the B’s to demote Colin Miller to Providence in order to call up forward Alexander Khokhlachev. With Dennis Seidenberg playing the right side as Zdeno Chara‘s partner, the left-shooting Morrow practiced on Boston’s third pairing with righty Kevan Miller on Thursday.
Having played so many times outside over the years (including the 2013 AHL Outdoor Classic), Morrow said he “couldn’t be more grateful” for the opportunity to potentially play on Thursday.
“It’s a game that you mark on your schedule right from Game 1. Right from training camp, it’s something that you look forward to and you hope you’re on the roster and you hope you’re playing in it,” Morrow said. “To be able to get that opportunity is something that’s pretty special. I’m pretty grateful for it. I didn’t really see it coming, but now that it’s here and going to happen, I’m pretty excited for it. It should be a good time.”
Morrow knows it’s taken bad luck for his teammate in order for him to play. Colin Miller, who has played more games (28) than Morrow (13) or Trotman (16) had to be sent down because he was the only one of Boston’s eight defensemen who could be sent to the AHL without requiring waivers. Having become fast friends with the former Manchester Monarchs defenseman, Morrow feels for Miller. Read the rest of this entry »
|Tuukka Rask puts Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Stephen Gostkowski on Winter Classic mask||12.31.15 at 11:20 am ET|
FOXBORO — Wednesday saw Canadiens goalie and local product Mike Condon reveal quite the Patriots tribute on his Winter Classic. Tuukka Rask has done him one better, as the Bruins’ goaltenders Patriots-themed mask features the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Stephen Gostkowski.
|Brad Marchand suspension forces Bruins to send Colin Miller down, recall Alexander Khokhlachev||12.31.15 at 10:57 am ET|
FOXBORO — Brad Marchand‘s suspension has created a bad ripple effect for the Bruins.
Without Marchand’s services, the Bruins were down to 12 forwards and eight defensemen for the Winter Classic. As such, they opted to send down a defensemen in order to recall forward Alexander Khokhlachev. Unfortunately for them, the only defenseman they could send down without waivers is Colin Miller, who just so happens to be one of their best defensemen.
Miller has been up with Boston all season, playing in 28 of the Bruins’ 36 games. The rookie has two goals and 10 assists for 12 points this season.
Marchand will not appeal his three-game suspension for clipping Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki. He apologized Thursday for his actions.
“I just want to acknowledge the situation that I’ve put my team in for being undisciplined and affecting the game for them, taking away from the excitement for the fans, being part of this rivalry, taking that away from them and also for affecting this game for myself and putting myself in the situation to not be part of this,” Marchand said. “I want to apologize and I truly am sorry to everyone about the situation. It was not my intent to make a hit or try to injure anyone on that play.”
With Thursday’s roster move, the Bruins’ lineup in practice was as follows:
|Bill Belichick and Claude Julien skate together ahead of Winter Classic||12.31.15 at 10:40 am ET|
FOXBORO — Look who took a twirl at Gillette Stadium before Thursday’s Bruins practice.
‘ DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) December 31, 2015
Julien and Belichick Pt. II pic.twitter.com/6et7Y1ORtl
‘ DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) December 31, 2015
“It’s always great to catch up with Bill,” Julien said. “I was fortunate enough to be a guest of his yesterday at his practice, and we walked through it, and it was nice to see him work with his team. I’ve admired him for a long time for how he handles his team, how he coaches, how prepared he is.
“We play different sports, but as coaches, I think there’s a lot of things we can learn from each other and admire from each other. And that’s the one thing I have learned from Bill is his preparation is second to none.”