|Tuukka Rask puts Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Stephen Gostkowski on Winter Classic mask||12.31.15 at 11:20 am ET|
FOXBORO — Wednesday saw Canadiens goalie and local product Mike Condon reveal quite the Patriots tribute on his Winter Classic. Tuukka Rask has done him one better, as the Bruins’ goaltenders Patriots-themed mask features the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Stephen Gostkowski.
|Brad Marchand suspension forces Bruins to send Colin Miller down, recall Alexander Khokhlachev||12.31.15 at 10:57 am ET|
FOXBORO — Brad Marchand‘s suspension has created a bad ripple effect for the Bruins.
Without Marchand’s services, the Bruins were down to 12 forwards and eight defensemen for the Winter Classic. As such, they opted to send down a defensemen in order to recall forward Alexander Khokhlachev. Unfortunately for them, the only defenseman they could send down without waivers is Colin Miller, who just so happens to be one of their best defensemen.
Miller has been up with Boston all season, playing in 28 of the Bruins’ 36 games. The rookie has two goals and 10 assists for 12 points this season.
Marchand will not appeal his three-game suspension for clipping Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki. He apologized Thursday for his actions.
“I just want to acknowledge the situation that I’ve put my team in for being undisciplined and affecting the game for them, taking away from the excitement for the fans, being part of this rivalry, taking that away from them and also for affecting this game for myself and putting myself in the situation to not be part of this,” Marchand said. “I want to apologize and I truly am sorry to everyone about the situation. It was not my intent to make a hit or try to injure anyone on that play.”
With Thursday’s roster move, the Bruins’ lineup in practice was as follows:
|Bill Belichick and Claude Julien skate together ahead of Winter Classic||12.31.15 at 10:40 am ET|
FOXBORO — Look who took a twirl at Gillette Stadium before Thursday’s Bruins practice.
‘ DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) December 31, 2015
Julien and Belichick Pt. II pic.twitter.com/6et7Y1ORtl
‘ DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) December 31, 2015
“It’s always great to catch up with Bill,” Julien said. “I was fortunate enough to be a guest of his yesterday at his practice, and we walked through it, and it was nice to see him work with his team. I’ve admired him for a long time for how he handles his team, how he coaches, how prepared he is.
“We play different sports, but as coaches, I think there’s a lot of things we can learn from each other and admire from each other. And that’s the one thing I have learned from Bill is his preparation is second to none.”
|Brad Marchand suspended 3 games, will miss Winter Classic vs. Canadiens||12.30.15 at 7:32 pm ET|
Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been suspended three games for clipping Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. The suspension means he will be ineligible to play in Friday’s Winter Classic against the Canadiens.
Marchand could appeal the suspension to commissioner Gary Bettman, but he would remain suspended during his appeal.
The video explaining the suspension calls Tuesday’s play a “late, low hit to the lower body” and notes a track record of Marchand targeting the lower body with dangerous hits. Marchand was suspended last season for slew-footing Derick Brassard.
This is the fourth suspension of Marchand’s career. His biggest ban came in 2012, when he was given a five-game suspension for low-bridging Sami Salo.
|Canadiens goalie Mike Condon’s Winter Classic mask features Bill Belichick||12.30.15 at 6:43 pm ET|
Holliston native and Belmont Hill product Mike Condon plays for the Canadiens, but his Winter Classic mask displays his football allegiances clearly.
The mask, which was painted by goalie mask artist David Gunnarsson, features the Habs logos on the sides, but the back consists of a Patriots tribute, complete with a hooded Bill Belichick, four Lombardi trophies, a flying Elvis and the Patriots’ “Do Your Job” motto.
Following are pictures, courtesy of Gunnarsson (@artofdave) on Twitter:
|Video: Testing out Winter Classic ice||12.30.15 at 3:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO – While Wednesday technically qualified as an off-day, the Bruins took the ice with their families for an open skate as they got their first look at Gillette Stadium‘s setup for Friday’s Winter Classic.
After the skate, the media took the ice. Here’s a weird video from that:
|Bruins respond in multiple ways without David Krejci, snap 3-game losing streak||12.30.15 at 1:49 am ET|
With a three-game skid in tow, the loss of co-top point man David Krejci due to an injury, plus a Winter Classic distraction just ahead, the Bruins entered action Tuesday night against Ottawa with some causes for concern.
The team’s response to those concerns: a memorable 7-3 victory over the Senators at TD Garden.
Exhibit A of the Bruins’ response: a hat trick from the newly fourth line-assigned Jimmy Hayes, he of just the one goal in his last 21-games played entering action Tuesday.
“Everyone has to step up,” Hayes said afterward about life without Krejci and his 33 points through the team’s first 35 games. “He was playing well, the best hockey I’ve seen him play. It’s my first year playing with him, but playing against him he has a ton of poise and confidence. He’s a guy you can’t really replace. You’re going to have to have the whole team step up like we did tonight to find a way to win.”
Exhibit B: four Boston power-play goals, with the team having gone 0-for-6 in its last four games, and Tuesday missing Krejci’s hands on the top unit.
“For sure, it was important,” said Patrice Bergeron, with two of those power-play markers credited to him. “It’s nice to have four. It was nice to come in and take what was there, not forcing plays. I thought we were doing too much of that lately. We saw a lot of different looks tonight. Everyone did their job, and you’re going to need that going forward. It’s about working hard and taking the plays that are there.”
Exhibit C: a perfect 4-for-4 night for the B’s penalty kill, including a short two-man disadvantage midway through the third period in a tight game.
“That was huge,” said the night’s winning goalie, Tuukka Rask. “We had a couple big kills there when it was 4-3. Special teams need to step up, especially late in the game, and we did. We were thinking out there, we were focused. Our system demands that everyone is focused on doing their job. It happened again tonight and that’s a good sign moving on.”