|A few numbers on Tyler Seguin centering the Bruins’ top line||10.13.11 at 6:06 pm ET|
With David Krejci out for Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks, Bruins fans can expect to see more of Tyler Seguin as the team’s first-line center. Seguin skated between Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic for the first time in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes and made a good impression. He scored the team’s first goal in the third-period and is now tied for the team lead with four points through four games.
Given that he’ll play with the line again, here are a few quick notes on Seguin’s first game as the Bruins’ first-line center.
– It should come as no surprise given that he played on the first line, but Wednesday saw Seguin play 20:06, good for a new career high. His previous best in ice time had been 17:22, which he received last Nov. 3.
– Last season, Seguin only got 15 minutes of ice time in five games. This season, he has played at least 16 minutes in every game but Monday’s shutout loss to the Avalanche.
– Seguin won seven of 16 faceoffs Wednesday, good for 43.8 percent. Patrice Bergeron won 16 of 23 (69.6 percent), Chris Kelly won one of seven (14.3 percent) and Gregory Campbell won five of nine (55.6 percent).
– Seguin led all Bruins forwards with four shots on goal Wednesday night. It was the second time this season that he’s done so, as he and Rich Peverley each had five shots on goal Saturday against the Lightning.
|David Krejci remains out, Adam McQuaid’s status unknown||10.13.11 at 3:46 pm ET|
It appears Tyler Seguin is in for another game on the first line.
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in Raleigh Thursday that center David Krejci, who suffered a core injury in Tuesday’s practice, will not travel with the team to Chicago for Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks and will miss his second game of the season.
The status of defenseman Adam McQuaid remains unknown. McQuaid went head-first into the boards behind the Bruins’ net in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes. Julien said the second-year defenseman is still being evaluated. Should McQuaid be unable to play Saturday, it’s assumed that Matt Bartkowski, who played in place of a sick McQuaid in the season-opener, would play his second game of the season.
|Bruins’ early-season woes continue as they fall to Hurricanes||10.12.11 at 10:05 pm ET|
The Bruins’ comeback bid fell short Wednesday in Carolina as they fell, 3-2, to the Hurricanes. The defending champs are now 1-3-0 on the season.
Pitkanen opened the scoring 42 seconds into the second period when he beat Tim Thomas from the faceoff circle on a power play. Stewart made it 2-0 3:42 into the third period before the 19-year-old Bruins center got the B’s on the board. Seguin scored his first goal of the season when he took a quick pass from Nathan Horton in the neutral zone and beat Cam Ward glove-side with a nearly impossible angle wrist shot from the right side. The assist was Horton’s first point of the 2011-12 campaign. The Hurricanes made it 3-1 when Jordan Caron couldn’t control a puck in front of Thomas’ net and Tlusty beat the Bruins’ netminder for his first goal of the season. Marchand brought the Bruins back within one with a shot that hit Ward on its way in.
The Bruins will next play the Blackhawks on Saturday in a matchup of the last two Stanley Cup champions.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– That Tomas Kaberle has a way of sticking it to his former team, as the veteran blue liner not only assisted a power play goal — something he failed to do consistently in Boston — but he actually shot the puck. Kaberle was infamous for his lack of shooting in Boston, and he had three shots on goal Wednesday, including a golden opportunity in the second period when Thomas stopped him point blank.
– The Bruins didn’t get a ton of close-range opportunities, and as a result, Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen had seven blocked shots on the night, six of which came in the game’s first 40 minutes.
– As unbelievable as it may sound, the Bruins are having issues on the power play. They had issues getting set up at points and only got seven shots through on their first five power plays. Though they scored on their first man advantage of the season against the Flyers, the B’s power play is now a dreadful 1-for-18 on the season.
– Adam McQuaid went down awkwardly and hit his head on the boards about eight minutes into the third period behind the Bruins’ net. He did not return to the ice and left the bench.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Seguin looked like he was capable of skating on the team’s first line, as he and Horton led the B’s in shots on goal through two periods. Seguin also played on the team’s top power play unit in Krejci’s absence. His willingness to not shy away from contact once again showed in a painful way, as he was housed in the offensive zone by Tim Gleason in the third period.
– Benoit Pouliot looks like a man trying to prove he’s better than his line’s other winger. With Krejci out, both Pouliot and Jordan Caron, who have been competing for a spot on the third line, played on Wednesday. Pouliot created a couple of turnovers in the first period and had a positive showing, though an attempt at a third takeaway late in the first period nearly cost the Bruins. Julien gave him shifts on the second line (Rich Peverley went to the third line) in the third period.
– Don’t look now, but Nathan Horton now has four shots on goal this season thanks to three shots on goal Wednesday night. He played a more aggressive game Wednesday and was definitely playing with more intensity, but the Bruins’ first line woes are far from over. Horton still has zero points through four games this season.
|A look at how Bruins prospects are doing in the OHL this season||10.12.11 at 2:47 pm ET|
It’s early on in the OHL season, but here’s a look at how some of the Bruins’ top prospects are doing in juniors. Included below are defenseman Dougie Hamilton (1st round, 2011), and forwards Alexander Khokhlachev (2nd round, 2011), Jared Knight (2nd round, 2010), Ryan Spooner (2nd round, 2010) and Anthony Camara (3rd round, 2011).
Alexander Khokhlachev (Windsor) 7 GP 4 G 8 A 12 PTS
Dougie Hamilton (Niagara) 6 GP 2 G 9 A 11 PTS
Jared Knight (London) 5 GP 4 G 3 A 7 PTS
Anthony Camara (Saginaw) 8 GP 0 G 5 A 5 PTS
Ryan Spooner (Kingston) 7 GP 1 G 2 A 3 PTS
Check out the video below for highlights of Khokhlachev’s four-point night Saturday.
|David Krejci day-to-day with core injury, Tyler Seguin to center first line||10.12.11 at 2:13 pm ET|
When the Bruins face the Hurricanes Wednesday, they will be doing so with Tyler Seguin on the first line.
Coach Claude Julien said Wednesday in Carolina that David Krejci did not suffer a knee injury, but rather a core injury in Tuesday’s practice. Krejci will not play Wednesday but is considered day-to-day.
“He’s day to day and it’s an injury in the core area. We can certainly eliminate the knee injury that’s been speculated,” Julien said. “‘¦ We’ll see how he does and whether he joins us in Chicago or not.”
With Krejci out, Seguin will become the team’s first-line center and play in the middle of Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Seguin is tied for the team lead with three points through three games. He has played on the third line with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot/Jordan Caron. With Seguin jumping up to the top line, both Pouliot and Caron will play.
“We knew that down the road we needed him to step up in that area,” Julien said. “‘¦ Moving Tyler there is certainly one of our options there and the one we’re probably going to start with.”
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|Struggles aside, Bruins remember Tomas Kaberle fondly||10.11.11 at 11:40 pm ET|
When the Bruins play the Hurricanes Wednesday night in Carolina, they will play against a member of the 2010-11 champions for the first time, and perhaps no one fell victim to the harsh Boston spotlight more Tomas Kaberle.
Kaberle, for whom the Bruins traded former 16th overall pick Joe Colborne, a first-round pick and a second-rounder to the Maple Leafs, came to the Bruins on Feb. 18 of last season with big expectations. The veteran blueliner was popular amongst his teammates, but struggled in his stint with the Bruins, failing to improve a wretched power play, hesitating to shoot and proving to be a liability in his own zone. When his contract expired the Bruins told him to test the waters, and he ended up taking a three-year deal worth $12.75 million with the Hurricanes.
“I don’t know if the pressure bothered him. I mean, he played in Toronto, where there’s tons of pressure,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “He felt like it was the best situation for him to go to Carolina, and he got a good deal, so it’s good for him.”
Kaberle had averaged upwards of 22 minutes per night in his career with the Maple Leafs, but he saw his ice time with the Bruins cut down significantly as time went on. Things looked their worst in the Eastern Conference finals, when he committed costly turnovers and ended up playing what at the time was a career-low (injuries excluded) of 11:35 in Game 4 against the Lightning. He played better in the Stanley Cup finals, but in Game 7 set a new career-low with 9:14 of ice time.
“It’s never good if you see a player that’s been so successful in the past to struggle a little bit, but he was really good,” Seidenberg said. “He knew how to handle himself, and you would never knew how he was doing on the ice with the way he acted in the locker room with us. He’s just a great guy.”
Though he will be on the other team Wednesday, Seidenberg admitted Tuesday that the members of last season’s historic Bruins team will always remember one another fondly.
“I think even if we didn’t win the Cup, Tomas is just a really nice guy, and good to hang out with and a great team guy,” Seidenberg said. “Winning the Cup with him definitely makes it a little more special. Down the road, it’s going to be nice to exchange stories and talk about.”
This season, Kaberle is playing on the Hurricanes’ top power play unit. He has no points and is a minus-3 for the Hurricanes, who are 0-2-1 through three games.
|Bruins can go on road and focus on wins rather than ceremonies now||10.11.11 at 10:37 pm ET|
For all that’s been said about the “Stanley Cup hangover,” it’s hard to imagine it being any easier with the team parading the trophy around every chance it gets. That isn’t a criticism, but a mere stating of facts. It’s the most coveted trophy in sports, and when a team gets it, that team has every right to have as many celebrations and put it on display as it wants. The Bruins earned it.
But it’s three games into the season, and the Bruins have as many Gillette Stadium appearances as they do victories. After opening the season with three games at home (1-2-0) the Bruins are finally on the road as they get set to play the Hurricanes Wednesday and the Blackhawks Saturday. The Bruins have no problem with all the hoopla they’ve experienced at home, but now it’s time to win hockey games.
“It will be nice to get away for a bit and just kind of be by ourselves. We can get back to being a team, working on our chemistry a bit and get away from trying to put a show on for all our fans and all the Cup ceremonies and whatnot,” forward Brad Marchand said Tuesday. “Hopefully we’ll just be able to go away, get back to focusing on playing hockey and hopefully get a couple wins.”
Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who started the last two season with teams playng in the Premier Games in Europe, admitted Tuesday that the open to this season has been unlike any he’d experience before given all of the celebrations and ceremonies. Those are in the past now, which he and his teammates should embrace.
“The whole celebration with the first game, and the second game we got introduced again, that’s a little different,” Seidenberg said. “I guess it’s nice, but you just want to play your game and focus on the task at hand. That’s what we can do now.”