|Claude Julien: Bruins fans ‘made you feel proud of this city’||04.18.13 at 9:32 am ET|
Whether player, coach or team staffer, Wednesday night was a night of solidarity.
That was a point made unmistakably clear by Bruins coach Claude Julien, even after a 3-2 loss to the Sabres at TD Garden.
Julien was asked about his reaction to the fans singing the national anthem and the “We are Boston” chants throughout the game.
“Well, I think like everybody else, it was pretty emotional,” Julien said. “In a way, it made you feel proud of this city and of our fans of this solidarity that was shown throughout this whole thing. Certainly, like I said, proud of this city for how they responded.
“The national anthem was pretty touching. And, obviously, everything that they did. I remember the video, I remember the national anthem and we even saw those people up there on the screen in the TV timeouts. And looking up there and realizing that those guys have done an unbelievable job for this city throughout this crisis and we should be grateful to a lot of people and we should also feel for the people that are going through it right now. I think we still do.”
Did it ever felt like a normal hockey game to Julien and his staff?
“I don’t know,” Julien said. “I think through it all, our guys really wanted to battle hard and make it happen. We had a lot of chances and, sure we probably didn’t bury those and we’d like to be better in regards to that, but the main goal is to go out there and really play well for the cause and I thought we played a really decent game. Unfortunately, sometimes bounces don’t go your way. They tied it up late in the game and I thought we probably deserved to win at that point.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Video: With national anthem, Bruins fans show just how Boston Strong they are||04.17.13 at 8:26 pm ET|
In one of the most powerful and stirring moments in recent Boston sports history, Bruins fans took over for national anthem singer Rene Rancourt Wednesday night, singing the entire national anthem in tribute to the victims and the heroes from Monday’s Boston Marathon attacks that killed three and left over 170 injured. Before the anthem, the Bruins showed a wonderfully crafted video tribute to the first responders who rescued victims from the carnage on Boylston Street. That video – courtesy of the Boston Bruins – is below.
|Shorthanded: B’s fall to Islanders||04.11.13 at 9:24 pm ET|
Josh Bailey scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30-of-31 shots as the Islanders beat the Bruins, 2-1, Thursday night at TD Garden. The Bruins (26-10-4) had their modest two-game win streak snapped and more importantly, fell back into second place in the Northeast Division, one point behind Montreal, which beat the Sabres in Buffalo.
The Bruins played their first game without Brad Marchand, who was diagnosed Thursday with a concussion. He becomes the second player on his line out of action with a concussion, though Patrice Bergeron did return Thursday morning and participated in a light pre-game skate at the Garden.
With Marchand out coach Claude Julien was forced to juggle the lineups again, starting with a line Jaromir Jagr and Milan Lucic, and centered by Gregory Campbell. David Krejci centered the line of Nathan Horton and Daniel Paille.
Adam McQuaid returned after missing the previous 11 games with a shoulder injury. McQuaid’s return allowed Julien the chance to rest rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton for the first time this season. The rookie had played in all 39 games before Thursday’s game.
The Bruins and Islanders appeared destined for a scoreless opening period before the Bruins allowed the Isles to break out on a 4-on-2. Bailey ripped off a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Tuukka Rask to the top far corner with 20.5 seconds left in the first.
The Bruins got the goal back on a pretty power play feed from Campbell to Tyler Seguin across the low slot. Seguin’s one-timer cleanly beat Nabokov 3:41 into the second for the equalizer. Despite the power play goal, the Islanders carried play though the period, outshooting Boston, 19-8. The hard work paid off for the visitors when Bailey fired a bad-angle shot from the left circle on Rask. The Bruins goalie appeared to have the play covered but allowed the puck to leak through and the Islanders had their second one-goal lead of the night.
It could’ve been worse for the Bruins but Rask made a spectacular sprawling save on Matt Moulson with 10 minutes left in the second to keep the game tied, three minutes before Bailey’s second of the night put New York back on top.
Bailey looked for the hat trick with 5:45 left in the third but Rask made a save that kept the Bruins within one. The Bruins could not sustain any pressure in the Islanders end for most of the third period as the Bruins continued to all the opponent to rack up high shot totals. The Islanders finished with 36 shots on goal.
Rask was pulled with 1:23 left as the Bruins failed in their attempt to get the equalizer.
The Bruins are off Friday before taking on the Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday night. For more from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia from the Garden, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Anton Volchenkov suspended 4 games for elbowing Brad Marchand||04.11.13 at 2:18 pm ET|
The justice for Brad Marchand was swift.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended for four games, without pay, for elbowing Marchand during Wednesday’s game in New Jersey.
The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced the ruling Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred at 15:11 of the second period. Volchenkov was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct (per Rule 45). [The NHL details the hit and the explanation for the suspension in the video below].
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Volchenkov will forfeit $91,891.88. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
|Bruins know Tuukka Rask can do only so much to save the D||04.09.13 at 11:20 am ET|
Tuukka Rask can only do so much.
He’s been outstanding in the last week, turning away 40 shots in a 1-0 shutout last Thursday over the Devils and making another 40 saves Monday night in a 6-2 win over the Hurricanes.
And in some ways, Monday’s performance in what looked like a blowout on paper was more impressive than the shutout.
The Hurricanes opened the game with a five-minute flurry of action in front of Rask, trying to get that all-important first goal to set the tempo for the game. Rask turned away the first eight shots and allowed the Bruins to find their scoring touch.
Boston scored twice in the first eight minutes and took the spirit out of Carolina. After Monday’s 40-save effort, Rask was asked if all the action is sharpening him up for the playoffs that start in just over two weeks.
“I don’t know,” Rask said. “I’ve felt sharp throughout the year, trying to be calm and just poised out there. It’s been good the past three games so I’m just trying to work on that and keep that up.
“I think defensively we’ve been pretty good, if you look at the goals against. I don’t think we’re the best we can be in that area. Especially today, a couple let downs there. Still we’ve been pretty solid defensively, that’s our bread and butter, as you know, it was good to see that offense get going. Every team goes through phases like that. I don’t blame the guys because they’re trying and sometimes you just don’t have it. It was good to see.”
While defenseman Dennis Seidenberg had three assists, he remains concerned about the team’s defensive approach – or lack thereof.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’re getting into that phase of the season that we have to get sharp for the playoffs, and we only have I think 10 games left now, and it comes down to the wire for us to get into playing playoff hockey, and just playing that style of hockey makes you successful going into the postseason.
“If [Rask] doesn’t stop the puck we’re behind in the game, and you know how the game changes once the team is up. They sit back, so we got lucky in the first. Obviously we converted on those chances, but if we had fallen behind it would have been tough to come back from. It’s been a few games now that we haven’t been sharp in the first period. I don’t know how many games we’ve given up the first goal and had to battle back or try to come from behind, but tonight Tuukka saved us, kept us 0-0, and we luckily scored.”
Rask knows how very important these next two weeks will be in establishing the right defensive trend for postseason.
“Yeah I think so,” he said. “I think we kind of have to build that momentum in the last 10 games or whatever we have left. Build it off of the defense and try to get that offense going like we can. Sometimes it feels like we are trading those chances and I get a lot of shots, it plays into my advantage, but I don’t think in the long run that would be a good idea.
“I mean there’s always room to improve. I think sticking with the structure and not getting caught running around and stuff like that. Keeping our heads up and protecting that net front, I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Claude Julien wants to see a defensive urgency in front of Rask in the final two weeks.
“There’s no doubt, we need to see that urgency to get ourselves better,” Julien said. “Although defensively we weren’t very good, it was a step in the right direction, as far as being a little bit better offensively. We’ve got to carry that into the next game, where it’s going to be even tougher, against a Devils team that doesn’t give much. But at the same time, hopefully we’re better defensively as well.”
Rask isn’t nearly as hard on the defense in front of him as fans and his own teammates are. Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien on allowing 87 shots in 2 games: Bad habits have ‘crept into our game’||04.05.13 at 2:20 am ET|
Claude Julien can read the shot board on the TD Garden scoreboards like anyone else.
He knows full well that the Bruins gave up 47 shots on Tuesday night and escaped with a 3-2 win over the Senators thanks to the play of back-up goalie Anton Khudobin.
He knows full well the Bruins allowed Tuukka Rask to face 40 shots Thursday night against New Jersey, only to have their rear ends saved by the fact their goalie turned away all 40 in a 1-0 squeaker over the Devils.
“Well, he was good,” Julien said in his best understated voice. “You know, he was one of the reasons we won, obviously. He made the big saves when he had to and kept us in the lead at times when they could have gotten themselves back into the game. He was good for us tonight, and sometimes a little bit of rest and a little bit of work with the goalie coach is what goaltenders need.”
Rask wasn’t complaining afterward. Actually, he was happy to see so many pucks early, as the Bruins were outshot 17-6 in the opening 20 minutes after he had the last two games off.
“Yeah, I was saying to Doby [Anton Khudobin] in the first intermission that I would rather take 17 shots, then three or four shots to just get kind of get going and even though they had 17 shots there were a lot of shots from the outsides so it was good to get that feeling. Feel for the puck and stuff like that, so good effort.
“I’d just rather go out there and just get my mind right during the game. Doby played great in Buffalo, played great against Ottawa so I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself sitting out there. I was feeling good for him. He’s kind of in that groove and he’s playing really good so it was good to watch him for a couple of outings there and I felt good out there.”
Is Julien concerned about the shot totals and the way his team is playing defensively? Read the rest of this entry »
|Tyler Seguin has a whole new appreciation for Patrice Bergeron||04.05.13 at 1:47 am ET|
He didn’t think it would be this hard.
But after skating up and down the center of the ice and going side to side in his first game as a center, Tyler Seguin has a whole new appreciation and understanding of exactly what Patrice Bergeron does.
In his first game replacing the concussed Bergeron, Seguin skated 19 shifts in 19 minutes with Jaromir Jagr on his right and Brad Marchand on his left. Seguin finished with three shots in Boston’s 1-0 win over the Devils Thursday night at the Garden.
“First shift I was like, ‘Bergy, I appreciate you a lot more right now,’” Seguin said. “I guess the first period I felt it a little bit more, but, again, as the game progressed I felt like I could use my speed a little bit more, and it was just about finding those areas. It’s one thing from being a centerman and then going to the NHL, but it’s another thing from going center to wing in the NHL and then going back to center, so it’s going to take some adjustment.”
His coach could certainly see a difference.
“Well, it brought us what we thought. Tyler is obviously realizing, probably, how tough it is for Bergy to play that position, because playing in the D-zone, there’s a lot of territory to cover as a centerman, and when pucks are going from one side to the other, he wasn’t always there,” coach Claude Julien added. “That’s the work in progress, and that’s what we expected, and that’s what he’s going to get used to. But overall, that line was fine. Again, you’ve got to remember there’s a Hall of Famer on that line with two young players who were probably looking for him a bit too much versus making the plays or taking the shots like they should’ve. Hopefully, it will wear off and it will get better.”
Seguin also has a new appreciation of the responsibility Bergeron carries in the face-off circle. Seguin won just three-of-12 but vowed to get better with practice. Read the rest of this entry »
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