|Milan Lucic: ‘That was the toughest battle we’ve had’||11.16.11 at 8:47 am ET|
The Bruins knew defending their Stanley Cup perch would be difficult.
But eventually, they also knew they would be up to the challenge.
And the challenge that came Tuesday night from a hard-working, big, strong and physical Devils squad was the toughest yet this season. At least, according to Milan Lucic.
“Yeah, definitely I have to say out of all the games so far through the season that was definitely the toughest battle that we’ve had,” Lucic said. “And we needed to dig real deep to get a win in this one and we definitely had to fight to the end. And we showed a lot of character, sticking to the game plan and finding a way. Obviously they came at us real hard and they’re a hard team to play against and we were able to find a way and get a good one here.”
The Bruins took the quick 2-1 lead six seconds into the third period, only to have the Devils come back two minutes later for the equalizer.
“This is definitely one that we had to earn and it was one that, when we get the lead they come back and score, it’s easy to get down and get discouraged,” Lucic said. “But we were able to find a way and keep pushing and keep finding a way to push for more and in that third period I think we had eighteen shots which goes to show that we really wanted to win this one.”
The Bruins have scored 34 goals in their six-game winning streak but Tuesday was the first one of the six they really had to sweat out in the end.
“I know this is one of the toughest wins that we’ve had,” Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. “Probably the toughest win out of the six games that we’ve had. They really tested us, they really worked hard, they really played a good game. We just stayed with it, and we were the ones that had the ability to turn it on the last ten minutes, and were able to pull out the win because of that.
“We’ve had a couple of games where everything went our way, kind of easier wins, and this was a good wake up call without having to pay the price because we were able to get out of it with the win. You know, this is the way it’s going to be the majority of the time, it’s not always going to be the way it has been the last three or four games. And so it’s a good experience for our team, I think.”
|Brad Marchand knows he did wrong and makes up for it||11.16.11 at 8:16 am ET|
No one had to tell Brad Marchand why he was benched in the second period of the Bruins’ 4-3 win over the Devils Tuesday night at TD Garden.
He knew that coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with him taking a roughing penalty midway through the period, throwing a punch at New Jersey’s Adam Henrique when the two squared tussled in the Devils zone.
The penalty was the first of two straight called on Boston, which led to a 5-on-3 power play and a New Jersey goal, after the Devils had gone scoreless in 22 straight power plays.
“I didn’t have to say anything. I think we’re kind of at the stage where we’ve been together long enough, he knows what I wasn’t happy with and why he sat,” Julien said. “But at the same time, he’s a good player for us, and he certainly deserves a chance to get back into it, and it was nice to see him respond quickly. He was a much smarter player in the third period.”
He took a pass from Zdeno Chara on the opening faceoff of the third period – as Julien put him back on the top line – and raced down the ice and beat Johan Hedberg six seconds into the period to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
“I took a bad penalty there and they scored on it and it’s a learning process when things like that happen,” Marchand admitted. “You’re going to pay for it sometimes. And I had to pay by sitting on the bench tonight.
“You just want to bounce back. I didn’t want to hang my head I wanted to go and show I can be better. And I think he was kind of giving me a pat on the butt. I had to be better in the game. I didn’t have a good first couple periods I want to come in the third and play stronger and help the team win.”
He was given encouragement on the bench from teammates like Patrice Bergeron.
“Bergy a couple of times before the third and right before when we’re on the ice and just said, ‘keep your head up and let’s go for it, bounce back,’ that kind of thing and kind of get me motivated. It just shows his leadership and just another little thing.
“You don’t ever want that to be the scenario when you miss a couple of opportunities at the end of the game when your down a bit. But a couple penalties were’¦I have to avoid. It’s kind of a wake up call. It is needed sometimes and tonight was one of those times.”
|Brad Marchand: ‘It’s a little tougher out there’ after signing contract||11.11.11 at 9:12 am ET|
Before scoring two goals in Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Oilers, Brad Marchand had just one goal since his power play score on opening night against the Flyers.
There was some thought that maybe – just maybe – he was putting pressure on himself to produce after signing his two-year, $5 million contract extension in mid-September.
“I don’t want to change my game, change how I play,” Marchand said, before admitting he’s now a focal point of defenses. “It’s a little tougher out there. You have to face [expectations] but, for the most part, I just want to play the same way.”
The chances were certainly there throughout the first 13 games. But he had just two goals and five assists to show for his work.
On Thursday, those chances turned into goals, two to be exact, as Marchand took a little time to exhale.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “It was nice to get the monkey off the back it was definitely getting frustrating, missing a lot of opportunities, so it was nice to get a couple.
“I think the big thing was keep it a little more simple and getting pucks to the net. I was getting a lot of opportunities and they just weren’t going in. And if you keep pushing and keep getting opportunities then eventually something is going to go in and that’s what happened.”
Now, the Bruins are back at .500 at 7-7-0 and Marchand hopes his game will ride the momentum of the team’s four-game winning streak.
“Definitely, it’s nice to get back to .500 here and obviously we are a little ways from where we want to be and where we should be, but we’re definitely taking steps forward,” he said.
Does he feel he is out of a scoring slump?
“I don’t know it’s just one game, you have to keep going forward and keep things simple and hopefully they keep going in,” he said. “I just got a little luck out there. That’s how it goes sometimes. I went longer spurts last year without scoring goals and it’s just how it goes. Things go up and down. You can’t get too high or too low. It’s hockey.”
|Tyler Seguin shows Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins why it’s great to be a Bruin||11.11.11 at 8:25 am ET|
There’s no doubt that Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have All-Star careers ahead of them. By all accounts from NHL scouts, the pair are can’t miss talents that will help lead the Edmonton Oilers back to prominence.
Throw in Ryan Smyth, who had two goals Thursday, and you can see why their forward skill is envied by others around the league.
All three certainly showed their talent Thursday night.
But in the end, it was Tyler Seguin‘s Bruins who had the deeper roster and better defensemen as the B’s prevailed, 6-3.
Seguin already has a Stanley Cup ring.
Seguin was a second overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft while Hall and Nugent-Hopkins were the last two No. 1 overall picks. Seguin said it was fun taking it all in.
“Yeah, I mean it was fun,” the 19-year-old Seguin said, before referencing Nugent-Hopkins, who is a whopping one year younger than Seguin. “And then there were some ‘ you know, that new first overall kid ‘ I don’t know why I said kid; I’m a kid ‘ that was the first time I’d actually seen him play as well, and it’s cool seeing new talent coming into the league. They’re going to be a great team in a few years to come; they’ve got a lot of talent.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Tyler Seguin is tearing it up, even if he feels he should’ve had another hat trick||11.08.11 at 12:53 am ET|
The numbers speak for themselves.
A team-leading eight goals; points in 10 of 13 games played. Three goals in his first career hat trick on Saturday night in Toronto. Still only 19 years of age.
Seguin scored his eighth goal Monday in the first period of a 6-2 win over the Islanders. Truth be told, he could’ve had two more in the second period alone but ironically, he couldn’t find the finishing touch that had been on display for the last week.
“Yeah, there were definitely some plays where I got to grip my stick a bit harder and finish those off,” Seguin said with a smile. “But I’m glad a lot of guys stepped up tonight and scored some big goals.
“I think were starting to string a couple games here together now and staying consistent with the full sixty. And that’s definitely great to see. But the one thing we don’t want to do is fall right back into that basement with a loss in our own barn. We want to have a nice homestand here at home.”
Another habit the Bruins are developing is scoring in rapid-fire succession. Twice Monday they scored two goals inside of a minute span, including goals by Nathan Horton and Seguin in a 29-second span in the first period that put Boston up, 3-1.
“That’s a big thing for us, is definitely that shift after a goal,” Seguin said. “It’s huge and I think Krech’s [David Krejci] line did it tonight back-to-back. That’s one of the biggest shifts in hockey. So right now we’re doing a good job at capitalizing on it.
“I don’t know if we really look for it. Again, consistency is a huge thing for us right now. Especially this early in the year, we can’t have bad habits creeping up on us. So it’s nice to play a full sixty again.”
|Bruins don’t hang their heads and get rewarded||11.02.11 at 10:35 am ET|
Tim Thomas is usually the center of attention whenever he plays and the Bruins win a game.
But this has hardly been a usual season so far and Tuesday was hardly a typical game.
“Yeah, I was waiting around my locker when you guys came in but no one came over,” he told reporters with a good-natured smile after Boston’s 5-3 win over Ottawa. “But I wasn’t the story tonight.”
Thomas – as is usually the case – was right on the money. The story Tuesday was the rediscovered tenacity of a Bruins team that rode its determined style to a Stanley Cup title four months earlier.
That tenacity was tested when the team fell behind 2-1 after one period to the Senators and blew a 3-2 lead early in the third period. That was hardly what the Bruins – losers of three straight and seven of 10 to start the season – needed for confidence.
“I think we were trying to maintain that 60-minute focus in our game,” head coach Claude Julien said. “I thought maybe in the beginning of the third, after that power play, we seemed to get a little bit sloppy, and of course, they tied the game up. But I think everybody was on the same page tonight as far as, don’t hang your heads, let’s go out there, let’s get the next goal, and let’s find a way to win this game. Determination was a lot better tonight and positive, I guess, thoughts, more than hanging our head and saying, ‘Here we go again.’”
“I thought we had the momentum all night and it was one of those games where we felt confident we could do it and come back,” added Patrice Bergeron. “And playing like that, that’s how we come back in games and show character and stay consistent and keep going at them. And I thought tonight was the perfect example that when we put the puck in deep and work at it, we’re a tough team to beat.”
|Johnny Boychuk unleashes Johnny Rocket and Bruins are finally on target||11.02.11 at 1:08 am ET|
Say this much for Johnny Boychuk – his timing couldn’t be better.
He scored his first goal of the 2011-12 season Tuesday night with a slap shot from the right point, putting the Bruins ahead 4-3 midway through the third, as the Bruins earned a much-needed 5-3 win over the Senators at TD Garden.
Boychuk didn’t score his first goal last season until Jan. 18, his 36th game of the season. Boychuk only needed 11 games this time around. Was he relieved?
“Yeah,” Boychuk said. “There were a couple where I just barely missed the net and I finally got one through.
“Obviously it feels a lot better. Getting that first one by you and now you don’t have to worry about it. I think last year it took me until January, so I feel a little bit better.”
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