|Patrice Bergeron defends Carlos Beltran, discourages comparisons||10.26.13 at 11:52 am ET|
Oh my god, Beltran is out with a bruised rib. Oh my god, the Bergeron stuff is going to start. Oh my god. Oh my god.
' Sean Gentille (@seangentille) October 24, 2013
Yep, the second “out” and “rib” are used in the same sentence in sports (especially a game involving a Boston team), you know the comparisons to Patrice Bergeron are coming. Bergeron famously played in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals with a cracked rib, a separated shoulder, torn cartilage and a hole in his lung.
This was after Bergeron left Game 5 with the rib injury and cartilage damage and was taken to a Chicago hospital. Bergeron’s work in the Stanley Cup finals earned him both iron-man status in professional sports and a three-day stay in the hospital. So sure enough, Beltran’s injury Wednesday was met with snark and comparisons to Bergeron.
Carlos Beltran has left the game in Boston with a rib contusion. He is headed for Patrice Bergeron's house, where he will be laughed at.
' Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) October 24, 2013
Bergeron discussed the comparisons and defended Beltran Saturday morning, noting that an injury in one sport isn’t the same as an injury in another sport. Beltran’s injury was deemed a severe rib bruise, though he was back in the lineup for Game 2.
“It’s kind of weird,” Bergeron told WEEI.com. “There’s so much that goes into injuries, especially in baseball. If you have any injury to your core, it’s going to be pretty bad with the way that they swing.
“It’s funny that people will compare that to me, but once it happened, it was a no-brainer for me to be in the game. There’s so many different situations for guys playing hurt. They’re all professionals and he wants to be in there, so he had a good reason to not be in there.”
|David Krejci leads Bruins to last-second win over Sharks||10.24.13 at 9:34 pm ET|
David Krejci tipped an Adam McQuaid shot past Antti Niemi with eight-tenths of a second left in regulation to give the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Sharks Thursday night. Also scoring for the Bruins was Jarome Iginla, who registered his first goal as a Bruin.
The Bruins mustered only three shots on Niemi in the first period and were lucky to get out of the period scoreless given how much San Jose carried the play early on. The B’s remained quiet throughout the majority of the second period before Iginla buried the rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg point shot past Niemi.
The lead wouldn’t last long, as Patrick Marleau took a rebound from a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot and fired it past Tuukka Rask in the opening minute of the first period, wiping out Rask’s shutout bid and tying the game at one goal apiece.
The Bruins played the game without Loui Eriksson, who is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered in Wednesday’s game. With Eriksson out, Brad Marchand took his place as the right wing on Patrice Bergeron‘s line, while Jordan Caron re-entered the lineup and played on the third line with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg.
The Bruins will next play Saturday, when they host the Devils.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Rask was sensational on the night, keeping the game scoreless in the first, blanking the Sharks in the second and making a big save on a slap shot from Sharks star rookie Tomas Hertl shortly after Marleau’s goal.
- Another night, another stellar showing at the faceoff dot from Bergeron. The reigning Selke runner-up won 13 of his 15 draws Thursday night.
- The Bruins finally picked things up late in the second period, with a Marchand-Bergeron 2-on-1 providing the first true test of Niemi. Bergeron’s shot was stopped by Niemi, but perhaps it finally got the B’s going, as Seidenberg and Iginla generated a goal not long after.
- Krejci’s line was awfully quiet in the first period (zero shots on goal) after a strong showing Wednesday against the Sabres, but with Iginla’s goa,l Krejci picked up his seventh point of what’s been a six-game point streak for him. Krejci, who tipped Seidenberg’s shot, now has 10 points to lead the Bruins.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- To say the Bruins were dominated in the first period would be an understatement. The Sharks could have easily had six goals in the period, one in which they outshot the B’s, 16-3. The Bruins had no scoring chances in the first, with a Bergeron shot from the high slot on a loose puck really the extent of the B’s offense, while San Jose had numerous scrambles in front, only to have Bruins bodies or Rask get in the way.
- For a team that’s had a relatively good start record-wise, the Bruins have had quite a few games this season where defensive issues have been apparent. Add Thursday’s game to the list, which already includes last Monday’s loss to the Red Wings and last Thursday’s win over the Panthers.
|Claude Julien: ‘Nobody’s clean in this game’||10.24.13 at 7:03 pm ET|
Claude Julien has said multiple times in the past that he wouldn’t play Shawn Thornton if he wasn’t actually a good player, so it wouldn’t be a leap to assume he wasn’t thrilled to see the one-dimensional John Scott give one of his best players a concussion with a dirty elbow to the head, as was the case on Wednesday’s hit on Loui Eriksson.
Julien said prior to Thursday’s game against the Sharks that he doesn’t have a problem with the 6-foot-8, 259-pound Scott playing, but that he’s got a problem with some of his recent actions. That includes trying to fight Phil Kessel in a preseason game.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that John Scott is a good guy,” Julien said. “I haven’t seen too many [players] that aren’t. It’s just unfortunate that you see those kind of players end up hurting the kind of players that you don’t want to get hurt. I don’t know where those decisions are coming from. You see him dropping the gloves against Kessel and now taking that blindsided shot at Loui. I think it’s uncalled for, but that’s the unfortunate part. If those guys know their role and they do their jobs and know who to go after when the time comes and they police their team as far as nobody’s going to take advantage of them, I’m fine with that. I’m disappointed that it’s the way that’s happened and who he’s targeted lately.”
The 31-year-old Scott averages 4:57 of ice time a game and has five career points. He isn’t capable of doing anything but be an enforcer, so when all he can do is go out and either fight or hurt somebody, he gives well-rounded enforcers like Shawn Thornton a bad name.
“In my first couple of years I probably couldn’t play all that much, but I think I worked hard personally to be able to contribute in other ways,” Thornton said. “I know for a fact I wouldn’t be on this team — I’ve been told as such, that if I can’t contribute on the ice other than just sticking up for my teammates. Guys have a job to do. Some guys go about it one way and some guys go about it another, I guess.”
Thornton’s next dirty hit will be his first, and he’s worked hard to be a physical player without being a dangerous player. Of course it isn’t easy.
Julien coaches guys who have been punished for bad hits. Daniel Paille‘s elbow to the head of Raymond Sawada three years ago was as bad as it gets, while Dougie Hamilton was suspended 10 games in the OHL for a hit to the head.
“I have guys like that in my lineup that could be stupid if they wanted to. Nobody’s clean in this game,” Julien said. “We’ve had some incidents happen that as a coach you wish didn’t happen. At the end of the day, we’re trying to clean our game up, and the only way we’re going to clean it up is if we did it as a group. Let’s not expect the league disciplinarian to do it by himself and let’s not expect the players to do it by themselves. It’s everybody, and I think a lot of it starts with respecting each other a little bit better than we have so far.”
|Loui Eriksson out indefinitely with concussion||10.24.13 at 4:19 pm ET|
Bruins forward Loui Eriksson is out indefinitely with a concussion, general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Thursday afternoon. According to Chiarelli’s statement, Eriksson flew back to Boston on Thursday and was diagnosed with a concussion by team doctors in Boston.
Eriksson suffered the concussion in the third period of Wednesday’s win over Buffalo when Sabres forward John Scott landed a vicious elbow to his head after Eriksson had dumped the puck in from center ice. Eriksson needed to be helped off the ice by teammates and did not return to the game.
Scott was ejected from the game and has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL pending an in-person disciplinary hearing.
Full statement from Chiarelli:
“Loui traveled back to Boston from Buffalo by plane today (October 24) with a member of the Bruins medical staff. After an examination by team doctors in Boston, he has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out indefinitely. The team will provide a further update on Loui’s status when appropriate.”
|Bruins win overshadowed by John Scott cheap shot on Loui Eriksson||10.23.13 at 10:37 pm ET|
Milan Lucic and Torey Krug each had a pair of goals Wednesday as the Bruins beat the Sabres, 5-2, at First Niagara Center. The night was a mix of good and bad, however, as a cheap shot from John Scott in the third period knocked Loui Eriksson out of the game.
A Jarome Iginla shot from the high slot bounced off Lucic’s leg and past Ryan Miller at 11:01 of the first period to make it 1-0, with Lucic scoring his second of the night early in the second. Cody Hodgson got the Sabres on the board, but Dougie Hamilton‘s second goal of the season made it 3-1 before Nikita Zadorov beat Chad Johnson on a soft goal to bring the Sabres within one.
The teams headed into the period at 3-2, but Krug widened Boston’s lead with a pair of goals, the second of which came on the power play following Scott’s late hit to the head of Eriksson. Scott was given a game misconduct, while Eriksson spent the night at the team hotel in Buffalo, with Peter Chiarelli saying he was expected to return to Boston Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins’ first line of David Krejci between Lucic and Jarome Iginla was very strong Wednesday. Iginla played a major role in both of Lucic’s goals, as he fired a shot from the high slot that went off Lucic and past Miller in the first (he was initially credited with the goal) and then set up Lucic’s second goal just 40 seconds into the second period. Iginla still has no goals on the season, but you have to like the complete package of what he’s brought so far.
Lucic now has five goals on the season through eight games this season. Remember, he scored just seven in 46 games last season.
- Hamilton has two goals in the last three games since being re-inserted into the lineup. The B’s sat Hamilton for two games in a row last week, and though he was rather sloppy defensively in his first game back against the Panthers, he’s been able to provide the B’s with some offensive punch from the back end. Hamilton had multiple scoring opportunities Wednesday, as he ran out of room on a first-period partial break before scoring later on a 2-on-1.
- One of the few questions regarding Krug is his size, but he was playing like a much taller man Wednesday. He was physical in dealing with guys in front in the Bruins zone, while he outbattled Drew Stafford in front on his first goal of the night.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Scott’s place in the league has long frustrated hockey fans, and the very tall and barely talented enforcer showed why when he took a cheap shot at Eriksson in the neutral zone in the third period. After Eriksson had dumped the puck in at center ice, Scott hit him in the head, not quite getting him with the elbow but following through with the hit. He had to answer to Adam McQuaid afterward.
- Johnson wasn’t spectacular after a long wait to get some regular-season game action. He kept the Sabres off the board in a first period in which he wasn’t challenged much, but the Sabres’ second goal was a softy. Krug did a fine job of taking the forward in front of the net out of the play, so Zadorov had Johnson’s undivided attention with the angle cut down and still beat him.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins ‘not where they want to be yet’||10.22.13 at 2:47 pm ET|
NESN’s Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday afternoon to talk about the Bruins’ victories over the Panthers and Lightning last week, as well as the team’s upcoming matchup against the lowly Sabres on Wednesday.
After dropping a 3-2 contest to the Red Wings on Oct. 14, the Bruins rebounded by defeating the Panthers, and old teammate Tim Thomas, on Thursday before following that up with a dominant 5-0 win over Tampa on Saturday in which all four Bruins lines had at least one goal in the contest.
“If you go back to what they were able to accomplish in Florida, not the prettiest game, not an instant classic, in that win in the final minute against Florida, but an important two points. But the way they played Tampa is a lot closer to the way this team wants to play, not only because it was 5-0, but that balanced scoring, all four lines scoring goals, how they scored,” Brickley said. “It was the way they played, the style that they played. They’re not where they want to be yet, certainly, and that’s to be expected seven games in, but that’s how they want to play.”
So far this season, the Bruins have utilized an unconventional rotation of seven defensemen on the roster, as Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Adam McQuaid have all been healthy scratches at various points.
“Sometimes matchups will dictate who plays and who doesn’t when all seven are healthy,” Brickley. “The ability of the left-hand shots to play the right side gives them the options and the luxury of really being able to put different pairs together, depending on who’s playing well, who’s playing in what situation, who’s getting a majority of the power play or the penalty-killing time.”
|Chad Johnson finally nearing first start of the season||10.21.13 at 8:42 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson has gotten as much ice time this season as Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson, but that’s going to change.
With lots of off-days and no back-to-backs, the Bruins have been able to play Tuukka Rask in each of the first seven games of the season, yet with a back-to-back this week in Buffalo Wednesday and home against the Sharks Thursday, Johnson is finally closing in on his first game action of the season. Claude Julien said Monday that Wednesday could be the day for him.
“We’ll probably give him a shot there at some point, and Buffalo might be one of the games we give him,” Julien. “We haven’t made that final decision yet, but I will put him on notice and give him an opportunity. We’re going to have to use him at some point and that might be a good chance to use him then.”
Johnson, 27, has been waiting patiently to make his regular-season Bruins debut. He shut out the Red Wings in his final preseason start, but noted Monday that “preseason doesn’t count.” What does count is what will happen this week, and he’s had plenty of time to prepare. Johnson said there’s a learning process even for goalies as they get into new systems, so coming from Phoenix to Boston has required some adjusting on his part.
“I think it’s just sort of getting comfortable,” he said. “I think for myself and the team,it’s maybe just getting adjusted to the way I play and how they like to play certain situations, like on the penalty kill and situations like that — where they give the goalie the player and where they take away and certain situations. There’s always those little things throughout the game that happen that they build relationships with.”
Rask has allowed more than two goals just once this season and on Saturday he picked up a shutout against the Lightning. That’s a tough act to follow, but Johnson is eager to see what he can do behind what’s been a relatively stable group of defensemen.
“There’s a good team here that knows how to play good defensive hockey,” Johnson said. “For myself I’m excited to get the season going and get kind of into things. It’s been a little bit of a wait here, but that’s just kind of the situation here with the games this first month, so for myself I’m definitely looking forward to getting into some games and getting on a roll and into a good routine here.”
Johnson has played only 10 career NHL games, but if his season debut is anything like his first start of last season, the B’s will be in good hands. Johnson made 21 saves in a shutout against the Predators.
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