|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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|Milan Lucic agrees with Claude Julien: B’s took the game ‘way too lightly’||10.10.11 at 4:57 pm ET|
It was pretty apparent, even before Claude Julien called out his team before reporters in a post-game press conference, that the Bruins were fairly disgusted with their performance in a 1-0 loss to the Avalanche that wasted a brilliant performance by Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins managed 30 shots on Semyon Varlamov, but not enough sustained pressure. When they got great chances, including Lucic with just under six minutes to go in the game, they couldn’t finish.
“Well, they played well, you have to give them credit,” Lucic said. “But on our part, we took today’s game way too lightly. We lost most of the battles, they were first on pucks. Regardless of if we were the champs last year or not, the major areas on the ice, they wanted the puck more than us. And that’s why we weren’t able to generate enough to get that goal.
“We created some pretty good chances, just have to find a way to bear down on them.”
In their losses to the Flyers and Avalanche, the Bruins could not do two basic things essential to winning hockey and their Cup run of last spring: Control the puck and win physical battles.
“Yeah, it seemed like we were chasing a lot and they were just chipping past us and going,” Lucic said. “And we were a step late, a second late here a step late, a second late over there. And that’s basically what happens. I talked about being first to the puck and winning battles and we didn’t have enough of that. Good for four periods and need to work on the rest.”
|Tim Thomas gets ‘first win out of the way’ and looks great doing it||10.08.11 at 11:23 pm ET|
No it wasn’t a shutout for Tim Thomas on Saturday night but in stopping 25 of 26 shots from the Lightning, he certainly showed he has the capability of replicating his historic year of a season ago.
Thomas made all the big saves, especially when the game was in doubt helping the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Lightning team they edged in seven hard-fought games in last spring’s Eastern finals. And it served as a nice bounce back after dropping the season-opener on Thursday to the Flyers.
“You get the first win out of the way so kind of get the monkey off of our backs to get the season back in the direction we wanted to be going,” Thomas said.
“I felt just as comfortable the first night. Both teams we played during the playoffs so semi-familiar, even though there’s some new faces on both teams. Both general systems are the same and I felt comfortable right off the bat the other night and I felt good tonight. But the team had a good game in front of me tonight. We put a lot of shots on goal, found ways to get pucks in the net with a great penalty kill. A lot of good efforts out there all over the place.”
To Claude Julien, the performance of his goalie was solid when the game called for it and spectacular when needed.
“To me, Timmy looked more like the Timmy we know,” Julien said. “He looked calm, and he looked comfortable in net, and he made things look pretty easy. Even on the big saves, he was challenging well. To me, that’s as close to last year as I’ve seen Timmy. He certainly played a solid game for us.”
But, without question, the save he made on Teddy Purcell from the low slot on a one-timer was the save of the game. The Bruins were leading 2-1 early in the third when Purcell had a clean look and appeared to have an open side to Thomas’ right. Thomas slid over before falling to the ice and making the big save just 1:44 into the third.
“The [puck] was passed through the slot and whoever it was did a good job of tipping it over to Purcell,” Thomas said. “So, I was actually originally just on the first pass and I had to scramble to get over to the second pass, which is why I sort of made the save while I was falling down.”
Just over a minute later, David Krejci scored at the other end. Bruins up, 3-1. Game, set, match.
“I think any goaltender, in those key situations, that makes those kinds of saves is certainly going to give your team a boost, and Tim has done that for us on numerous occasions throughout his time here,” Julien said. “I’m not saying we’re used to it but we like it.”
“I’m not thinking of one big save,” Thomas said. “I’m thinking I have to make some saves, basically, [because] you never want to give the other team a sniff. We’ve learned our lessons over the years. I remember a game where we were up three goals with three minutes left against St. Louis and they tied it up and won in overtime. So, that was quite a few years ago now but that happened to us last year a few times where teams came back on us late. You’ve got to play the full 60 minutes That’s what we learned last year.”
And last year turned out pretty well thanks, in large part to Thomas and the lessons learned.