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Kevin Bieksa calls out ‘stupid’ Bruins after win, says Brad Marchand ‘has to live’ with loss 01.07.12 at 5:27 pm ET
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Surprise, surprise. Kevin Bieksa is talking.

The outspoken Canucks defenseman called out the Bruins after the Canucks defeated the B’s, 4-3, Saturday at TD Garden. Both Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were tossed from the game, and Bieksa offered his thoughts afterwards.

“We play hard, but we are a disciplined team,” Bieksa said. “That’€™s what separates us from them. They obviously play hard, but they tend to do stupid things. The Marchand hit was a pretty stupid thing and I’€™m sure he’€™ll be getting a phone call for that one. There is no reason for that. But we made them pay for that. We got to score two goals on that power play and that’€™s the game. He’€™s got to live with that.”

Bieksa has been outspoken against the Bruins since the two teams met in the Stanley Cup finals last season. The defenseman made fun of the Bruins for passing around Andrew Ference‘s jacket, saying the tradition was something that pee-wee teams do. He also responded to Mark Recchi calling the Canucks “arrogant” by saying the retired forward should “take a nap.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Kevin Bieksa, Mark Recchi,
Claude Julien felt Brad Marchand was protecting himself 01.07.12 at 5:24 pm ET
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While the big question Saturday regarding a possible suspension surrounds Bruins forward Milan Lucic, he isn’t the only Bruins’ left wing who could be in trouble with the league.

Brad Marchand was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for clipping Canucks defenseman Sami Salo in the Bruins’ zone in the second period of Saturday’s loss to Vancouver. Marchand got low when Salo came in to hit him, and what resulted was a dangerous play that Kevin Bieksa said should get Marchand suspended.

A fired-up Bruins coach Claude Julien defended Marchand following the game, saying he was protecting himself from what could have been a dangerous hit.

“We all have our opinions on what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else,” Julien said after the game. “All I’€™m going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves. The last thing I want my players to do is get hit and then end up with a concussion, and they have to protect themselves. Whether it’€™s the right way or the wrong way, it’€™ll depend on how the league looks at it.

“I’€™d rather have a guy take a two-minute penalty than turn his back to the play, stand up straight, and then get his face knocked into the glass and be out for maybe the rest of the year with a concussion, or maybe end his career like [Marc] Savard. So I think we have to really look at those kinds of things. In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys because that’€™s the consequences you end up paying for taking runs at guys, too. Who knows where we’€™re going to go with this. I know we’€™re all trying hard to fix that part of the game, but it’€™s still there, and it’€™s still not fixed.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Marc Savard,
Claude Julien confident Milan Lucic won’t be suspended 01.07.12 at 5:02 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Saturday’s loss to the Canucks that he is not concerned about forward Milan Lucic possibly being suspended. Lucic was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench to join an altercation. If the league deems that Lucic left the bench as part of an illegal line change, Lucic will be suspended 10 games, with Julien also receiving a one-game ban, pending review.

“I’m not blaming them,” Julien said of the referees. “They’re in the middle of a scrum there, but Looch was on the ice already, and it wasn’t an illegal change. He didn’t come off the bench, so there’s no issues there in my mind. It’s clear.”

Julien dismissed the notion of any lineup moves the team might have to make should Lucic or Brad Marchand, who was also tossed, be suspended.

“I don’t have to answer that,” Julien said, “because that’s not the case right now.”

The potential suspension that Lucic faces came as a surprise to teammates.

“I didn’t even know that,” a surprised Chris Kelly said when asked about potentially losing Lucic. “I’ll let that be decided by the proper people. Hopefully we don’t lose Looch. Obviously he’s a great guy, a great teammate, and hopefully he’s back soon.”

Lucic has already been suspended once this season, as he was given a game last month for his hit on Zac Rinaldo in the Bruins’ victory over the Flyers.

Canucks get their revenge, beat Bruins in rematch 01.07.12 at 4:00 pm ET
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The Stanley Cup finals rematch that players swore was “just another game” proved to be far from that, as the Canucks defeated the Bruins, 4-3, in a highly emotional game Saturday at TD Garden.

The Canucks got on the board when Ryan Kesler beat Tim Thomas on the power play 5:41 into the game. Brad Marchand tied it up later in the first period, taking a nice feed from Tyler Seguin in front and deking Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider. After Daniel Paille was stopped on a penalty shot by Schneider, Rich Peverley scored his seventh of the season to give the B’s a 2-1. Bruins nemesis Alexandre Burrows would later tip a Cody Hodgson shot past Thomas to tie it on a Vancouver power play.

Hodgson made it 4-2 1:09 into the third period, but David Krejci brought the Bruins within one 42 seconds later when he picked up a rebound from a Joe Corvo shot and sent it past Schneider.

There was no shortage of heated play on the day, as Burrows speared Shawn Thornton in front of the Canucks’ bench that started a large altercation just 3:54 into the game. Nathan Horton and Dale Weise fought, but the most notable thing to emerge from the ordeal was a game-misconduct for Milan Lucic, who was tossed for leaving the bench to fight. Lucic could face a 10-game suspension if the league rules it was an illegal line change.

Lucic was not the only Bruin tossed, as Brad Marchand was given a five-minute major and game misconduct late in the second period for clipping Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.

The Bruins will next play Tuesday, when they host the Jets at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Lucic was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench to join the aforementioned altercation and that could mean huge trouble for both the Bruins’ winger and coach Claude Julien.

The Bruins have been informed that Lucic was tossed for that reason, but that the league will not decide whether it was for a legal change or an illegal change until after the game.

The fines/suspension section of Rule 70.10 reads as follows:

“The first player to leave the players’€™ or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next ten (10) regular League and/or Play-off games of his team.”

It later adds the following:

“The Coach(es) of the team(s) whose player(s) (including goalkeepers) left the players’€™ bench(es) or penalty bench(es)during an altercation shall be suspended, pending a review by the Commissioner. The Coach(es) also will be fined a maximum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).”

Lucic has already been suspended once this season, as he was given a game last month for his hit on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo.

– As one could have expected, the Bruins had to deal with some of the Canucks’ shenanigans. Maxim Lapierre got a sprinting start and literally jumped into the scrum in the first period, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Later in the first period, Weise challenged Thornton to fight. Thornton dropped his gloves, but Weise kept them on in an effort to sucker the Bruins forward into a penalty. The joke was on Weise, who was also given two for unsportsmanlike conduct.

– Despite what the players said, everyone knew that this was going to be an extremely passionate game between two teams with a good amount of hatred for one another. With that being said, both teams were guilty with losing control at different points of the game. Benoit Pouliot, who once again played well and made a great play to set up Peverley’s goal, took a bad high-sticking penalty in the offensive zone late in the first period. The passion was good to see from the Bruins, but they are generally a team that knows how to play these physical games without losing focus.

– While there was plenty of media attention placed on the fact that Schneider was starting for the Canucks instead of Roberto Luongo, it took a while for the Bruins to even give the Marblehead native any work. The Bruins didn’t get their first shot on goal until nearly nine minutes into the game. The B’s made up for it, as they needed up with 38 shots on Schneider on the day.

– All four of the Canucks’ goals came on the power play. Their four power-play tallies doubled what they were able to do on the man advantage when they scored only two power play goals in seven games in the Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins did not score a power play goal on the day.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– That’s eight straight games with a point for David Krejci, who scored an important goal to keep the Bruins in it in the third period. There was nobody in front to challenge Krejci after Corvo sent his shot in from the point, so the skilled center didn’t need to work too hard to extend his streak. Still, No. 46 has stood out for the Bruins lately, and for a player who runs hot and cold, it’s good to see Krejci’s strong play continue.

– Quite the marathon bout between Horton and Weise. Both fighters landed solid blows, but the lengthy fight finally ended with a Horton take-down. It wasn’t Aaron Rome, but Horton got to get out any aggression he had left over after a blindside hit ended his playoffs in the first period of Game 3.

– Adam McQuaid was slow to leave the ice halfway through the third period after blocking a shot. He went down the tunnel, but luckily for the Bruins, was back on the ice within minutes.

Bruins-Canucks Live Blog: David Krejci brings Bruins within one 01.07.12 at 12:45 pm ET
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Bruins-Canucks Live Blog

Read More: Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Ryan Kesler,
Not surprised to see Roberto Luongo sitting vs. Bruins 01.06.12 at 3:07 pm ET
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Surprise, surprise.

Canucks goaltender and Marblehead native Cory Schneider told reporters Friday that he, not Roberto Luongo, will be the team’s starting goalie when Vancouver faces the Bruins Saturday in a rematch of the teams in last season Stanley Cup finals.

Luongo is coming off a shutout Wednesday against the Wild, but he had a very difficult time playing in Boston in the postseason. In three starts in Boston in the finals, he allowed 15 goals and was chased from both Games 4 and 6. He allowed five goals in the other four games at Rogers Arena.

This season, Luongo is 17-8-3 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Schneider, who played his college hockey at Boston College, is 8-5-0 with a 2.16 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

It ultimately isn’t surprising for Luongo to sit Saturday vs. the B’s. He got off to a rocky start this season, but has turned things around. If anything could shake him right now, it’s the idea of playing in Boston again.

Things went downhill for Luongo following the Canucks’ 1-0 win in Game 5 of the finals. Following the win, Luongo criticized Tim Thomas‘ style of play, saying the game-winning goal he allowed to Maxim Lapierre would have been an easy save for him. Luongo was chased jsut 8:35 into the next game after allowing three early goals and went on to allow three goals in the Bruins’ 4-0 Cup-clinching Game 7.

Thomas told WEEI.com recently that Luongo’s remarks gave him confidence, as he realized that Luongo was distracted.

‘€œAs far as Luongo goes, actually, all that did was give me confidence that his head was in the wrong place, because I was focused on stopping the puck and he was thinking about my style,’€ Thomas said on Dec. 21 as he reflected on the now infamous comment.

‘€œI realized that I had an advantage over him,’€ Thomas added. ‘€œ’€¦ The challenge on my end was to keep that advantage.’€

The Bruins starter is currently unknown, though Tuukka Rask has allowed just one goal over his last four starts and is coming off his third shutout this season. Just this writer’s opinion, but it might be wise for Julien to continue to ride the hot hand and stick with Rask for Saturday’s game. That way the B’s can go back to Thomas, who beat Winnipeg in November, when the Jets come to town Tuesday. Rask was in net for the Bruins’ Dec. 6 loss to the Jets.

Read More: Roberto Luongo,
Nathan Horton: Canucks rematch ‘just another game’ 01.05.12 at 10:21 pm ET
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Nathan Horton had a rare session with reporters following Thursday’s 9-0 blowout win over the Flames. The forward, who had two goals in the win, was asked his thoughts about Saturday’s meeting with the Canucks.

The game figures to be an emotional one, perhaps even more so for Horton. The power forward was blindsided by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, giving him a concussion and knocking him out for the rest of the finals.

“I think everyone’s just thinking it’s another game, but we did play them in the finals,” Horton said. “They’re still a good team, and we’re still a good team, and it’s going to be a good game. I’m not really thinking too much about what happened, but just getting excited for the game.”

Rome will not be in the lineup for the Canucks, as he is out with a hand injury.

After Thursday’s three-point performance, Horton has 12 goals and 14 assists this season for 26 points.

Read More: Aaron Rome, Nathan Horton,
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