|Bruins-Panthers Live Blog: Brad Marchand makes it 7-0 with second of the night||12.23.11 at 7:00 pm ET|
|Bruins looking to respond to Panthers for handing them rare defeat||12.23.11 at 12:45 pm ET|
The last two months have acted as a search for which teams in the NHL can actually hang with the Bruins. Few can, but the Panthers have proven they’re one of those teams.
Not many teams have beaten the B’s since Nov. 1. In fact, only three have. One of those teams is the Panthers, and they’re in town Friday as the Bruins will look to head into the upcoming Christmas break with a victory over the last team to defeat them.
The Panthers came into Boston on Dec. 8, and played the perfect road game against the B’s. Florida stayed in a scoreless game until late in the third period, when Tomas Kopecky scored with less than three minutes remaining. Kris Versteeg added an empty-netter, and the Panthers left Boston with a 2-0 victory thanks to a shutout from Jose Theodore.
The Panthers remain at the top of the Southeast division, but when the B’s face them Friday, they’ll be a different-looking team. Florida will be without five of the players that skated in the Dec. 8 meeting, and they have seven players out overall. The team is dealing with injuries to Mikael Samuelsson, Marco Sturm, Scottie Upshall, Jeff Skille, Stephen Weiss and Marcel Goc, and are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss Thursday in Ottawa.
Injured or not, the Bruins know well enough not to take the Panthers lightly.
“They’ve got a bunch of injuries right now, so they’ve got a bunch of call ups, but they constantly work hard,” Daniel Paille said Friday. “One thing is you can’t take them for granted anymore, because they’re top in their division. They’re a team that’s going to battle throughout every minute tonight. They showed it last game against us, so it’s going to be tough.”
Since beating the Bruins, the Panthers have had only two of their seven games decided in regulation (2-2-3). Whether it takes more than 60 minutes to accomplish, the B’s want to make sure they give the proper response to their last loss.
“I feel like we’re going to probably feel like we owe them something, so we’re going to play pretty hard,” Joe Corvo said. “No matter who’s in or out of their lineup, they play the same way. They play a good game, so it will be tough. We’ve just got to keep our minds on it and not think about Christmas break.”
|Bruins keeping Rich Peverley out vs. Panthers||12.23.11 at 12:01 pm ET|
Peverley has a nagging injury that is helped by rest, and has not practiced this week. He last took the ice in Monday’s 3-2 win over Montreal. The Bruins’ next game after Friday is Wednesday, so Peverley can have up to eight days off as he recovers.
“We made the decision to go forward with the fact that he’s going to get basically a whole week before the next game and only miss one game,” Julien said. “That was the whole plan. Our schedule gets heavy after that, so this was a good time to take that approach.”
In 30 games this season, Peverley has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points. Zach Hamill skated in his place on the third line in Friday’s morning skate.
|24/7 running diary: Ilya Bryzgalov says more crazy things||12.21.11 at 10:07 pm ET|
We’ll see how this goes…
10:01 ‘ In the ‘previously on’¦’ they show the Bryzgalov ‘hum-an-gous big’ part. If that’s the funniest part of this episode, I still won’t mind.
10:04 ‘ John McEnroe as the fun-loving guitarist? This show has jumped the shark 64 minutes in.
10:06 – Dan Girardi’s kid reacted to the news of going to Philadelphia like the video was being sent to Jimmy Kimmel.
10:09 – REO Speedwagon. You betcha.
10:10 – On second thought, it still doesn’t beat last week’s Mac Miller scene.
10:11 – Good to see HBO can still do cool slow motion airport scenes even after Entourage is done. This is straight out of “Sundance Kids.”
10:14 – I’ll say it. I’m disappointed in Tortorella thus far. Sure, anyone can swear, but I thought that he would just… swear more.
10:15 – Laviolette answers the players’ questions on the ice? He doesn’t direct them to Paul Holmgren?
10:16 – Zac Rinaldo being shown pre-Lucic hit from behind.
10:17 – Bryzgalov time. What took so long?
10:18 – This scene of Harry Zolnierczyk asking Bryzgalov at lunch if he thinks he’s the star of the show is straight out of Mean Girls. Next, Regina George is going to ask him if he thinks he’s really pretty.
10:21 – Brandon Prust should be Tyler Seguin’s roommate. Got Boyle up without a problem.
10:23 – There’s the Tortorella we were hoping for. Imagine the Mighty Ducks movies if he played Gordon Bombay.
10:24 – Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Tortorella one?
10:26 – Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Laviolette one? It will help put me to sleep.
10:29 – “Instead we’re killing another FRICKIN’ penalty!” – Peter Laviolette. Or maybe it was Dr. Elliot Reid. Looked like Laviolette. Sounded like Smelliot.
10:35 – Love that they show how good these guys are with the community. Hockey players and coaches always are. Good to get a break from the laughing and swearing and see how down-to-earth they are.
10:37 – Pronger’s on the ice. If you’re not on twitter, you don’t get that joke.
10:38 – “Why so like, PAINFUL? You know, like? I don’t want to be goalie now.” – A Flyers fan needs to show their fanhood by getting a tattoo of that quote.
10:40 – If Bryzgalov asks, “So who is more crazy: Me, or ___?” the answer is always Bryzgalov.
10:46 – Were they taking an x-ray or creating a Wii avatar?
10:46 – Gaborik did not celebrate the 300th goal of his career by suffering the 300th injury of his career.
10:49 – Another slow-motion transportation scene. I smell a spinoff.
10:50 – The UNH grad in me can’t help but wonder why there’s been no JVR this episode, and barely any last week.
10:51 – “Holy f****, boys.” In case the standings don’t suggest other teams are overwhelmed by the Bruins, that does.
10:53 – They’re showing a bloodied Couturier undergoing cognitive testing after getting hit in the head with the puck. That’s why this show is so fascinating.
10:55 – The hit from behind scene was a little underwhelming. Simmonds yelled at him. Was hoping for more than “you hit him from behind.”
10:57 – All in all the footage from the Bruins game was underwhelming. The episode was somewhat lacking. Maybe they can sprinkle in cameos from the How to Make it in America Actors now that they cancelled it. Luis Guzman as a power-skating coach? I smell a spinoff.
|Andrew Ference sick, Rich Peverley won’t practice Thursday||12.21.11 at 12:45 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley were held out of Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the practice that Ference is under the weather, while Peverley is still dealing with an ailment that is healed with rest.
The Bruins had Tuesday off, and Julien said that Peverley will not practice at all this week. The team has yet to decide whether he will play Friday against the Panthers.
“Ference is battling the famous flu bug,” Julien said. “Peverley is maintenance. Again, same thing. We’re having a good look here at our schedule and what it may do for him. We’re going to keep him off here for the next couple of days, and tomorrow is certainly another one of those days. We’ll decide whether he’s in on Friday, and if not, that will give him at least a good week. We’re going to be making a decision on him regarding his situation.”
Peverley missed two games last month, sitting out the team’s Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 victories with an undisclosed injury.
|Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference absent as Bruins return to practice||12.21.11 at 11:01 am ET|
Peverley has been dealing with an ailment that coach Claude Julien has said is healed by rest. Julien said Monday the team was considering giving him one of this week’s games off, but he played Monday and it remains to be seen whether he plays Friday against the Panthers.
It may be a maintenance day for Ference.
|Bruins win without Milan Lucic, defeat Canadiens||12.19.11 at 9:29 pm ET|
No Milan Lucic? No problem. With last season’s leading goal-scorer suspended, the Bruins still went out and took care of business, beating the Canadiens, 3-2, at TD Garden.
For the second game in a row, Benoit Pouliot put the Bruins on the board in the first period. Tomas Plekanec answered with a goal of his own, but Andrew Ference helped the B’s get the lead back in the second period when he threw a puck out front from behind the net and saw it bounce of David Krejci and in. Tyler Seguin set up Brad Marchand off a turnover and the second-year forward deked Carey Price out of his pads for his 12th goal of the season. Erik Cole scored in the finals minutes to make it a one-goal game, but
Picking up the win for the B’s was Tim Thomas, who won improved to 16-5-0.
The Bruins will next play Friday when they host the Panthers for their last game before Christmas.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Peverley now has points in four straight games, so whatever has been ailing him hasn’t been hurting his production. In addition to assisting the first goal of the night, he tied Seguin for the leaf among Bruins forwards with five shots on goal.
Peverley is developing a habit of setting up Pouliot goals, as he’s done it twice in the last two games. While there was some uncertainty regarding that line to begin the season, it has taken shape, gelled and won games for the Bruins.
– Speaking of that third line, Pouliot now has goals in consecutive games. It’s always seemed that it would be a matter of getting comfortable in the system and being more consistent than he has in the past, and right now the former fourth overall pick is doing both. With six goals on the season now, he has a chance of reaching 18 goals this season, which is what Michael Ryder gave the B’s in his final two seasons in Boston.
– Another solid night for Zach Hamill, who was given some more responsibility Monday night. After beginning the night on the fourth line, Hamill was used up and down the lineup, seeing multiple shifts on the first line between David Krejci and Nathan Horton, and even played 1:40 on the power play. Hamill had two shots on goal, and his still looking for his first goal in the NHL.
– Another day, another strong performance from a Bruins goaltender. Thomas made 33 saves in the effort. In picking up the win, Thomas is now tied with Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury with 16 victories, which is second in the league.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Prior to Marchand’s goal, the Bruins, who had hist posts earlier in the game, had bad luck on some chances in the third period. A Seguin slapshot got past Price but went through the crease, and Price later made a tremendous point-blank save on Zach Hamill off a nice pass from Nathan Horton.