|Wednesday practice notes: Claude Julien likes where his team is right now||05.22.13 at 4:49 pm ET|
NEW YORK — The Bruins have the look of a very confident team right now, as well they should being up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals and getting stronger and stronger with each game.
But Claude Julien knows full well he’s going to hear plenty about being up 3-0 in 2010 against the Flyers and 3-1 against the Maple Leafs last round, showing incredible difficulty in closing out in both cases.
“I think we live in the moment,” Julien said, sounding a highly philosophical tone. “You learn from the past but you live in the moment but you don’t live in the past. So, right now, we’re living in the moment. I like where our team is right now.
“The attitude, the approach and we’re certainly not looking at it the way all the people are going to look at it and try and find reasons to give New York some hope and say, ‘Look these guys have done this and these guys have had trouble doing this.’ We’re certainly not even going there. We’re looking at the present right now and the present is getting prepared to play a real good game [Thursday], kind of like we played [Tuesday].”
Julien, repeating the theme of taking nothing for granted, said a closeout of the Rangers will require an effort as good – if not better than – Tuesday’s performance in Game 3.
“I think if we don’t take the same attitude as we took [Tuesday], then we shouldn’t expect to win the hockey game,” Juilen said.
Other notes from Wednesday’s practice:
It was a light turnout for a laid-back practice on the ice as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley, David Krejci, Daniel Paille, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuck, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic all had the day off from skating. Bergeron and Marchand were among those working on their hand-eye skills with a soccer ball in the hallway outside the Bruins dressing room.
Tyler Seguin, Jaromir Jagr, Dennis Seidenberg, Wade Redden, Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Jay Pandolfo, Kaspars Daugavins Aaron Johnson were among those taking part.
The Bruins skated for about 40 minutes before calling it a day.
Claude Julien said both Seidenberg and Redden are making significant progress each day and their status will be evaluated Thursday. Meanwhile, Ference (lower body), who hasn’t played since Game 5 against Toronto, is still nursing an injury that has put him on the sidelines indefinitely.
“He’s doing OK,” Julien said. “He’s improving although you haven’t seen him on the ice. Better. I haven’t talked to our trainers about his return date to the ice but I think it’s getting closer all the time.”
|Dennis Seidenberg on playing Game 4: ‘There’s a chance for sure’||05.22.13 at 4:07 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Dennis Seidenberg hasn’t played in a game since skating his first two shifts in Game 7 against Toronto on May 13, when he suffered a lower body injury.
“There’s a chance for sure,” Seidenberg said after skating for about 40 minutes during an lightly attended skate Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. “But again you don’t want to come back too early so I think we’ll see how it feels [Thursday] and go from there.”
How did he feel?
“Better again,” he said. “Today I went a little harder in practice and felt OK. But again, it’s still day-to-day, see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”
Considering the Bruins are up 3-0 and all three rookie defensemen – Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski – are handling themselves well, there’s no sense in rushing back until he’s 100 percent, or close to it.
“It’s a little bit more comforting but at the end, you want to be back as quick as possible,” Seidenberg said. “Watching games is always the toughest part, and not being part of it. You definitely want to be back in there as soon as possible. You also want to be smart about it.
“For the team, it’s great. To see them perform the way they have, being poised with the puck, playing strong defensively is definitely something nice to have that depth coming from Providence. It’s nice to see. Everybody knew they knew how to play hockey and they were really good players in the minors. To have them come up and play with poise, playing confident hockey and just contributing offensively as well as defensively is definitely nice to see.”
Seidenberg missed time during the 2010 playoffs when he suffered a freak injury to his wrist, and had to watch as the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to the Flyers.
“It’s always the same,” he said. “You don’t like sitting out. We talked about it a couple of years ago. It’s not fun watching games. I definitely want to be back in there and help.”
Seidenberg and Wade Redden were both on the ice Wednesday while Andrew Ference was not. Coach Claude Julien says Seidenberg and Redden are both getting closer and closer to returning.
“Every day they’re better,” Julien said. “That’s progress. To me, it goes down to making that decision when the time comes and that decision will be made tomorrow. I like the direction both of those guys are going in right now so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: Tyler Seguin ‘about to break through’||05.22.13 at 12:07 pm ET|
NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday, following the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Rangers in Tuesday night’s Game 3.
The Bruins controlled the first couple of minutes of the game, despite the Rangers’ desperate situation, sending an early message.
“If you’re going to start a game on home ice, you’re down 2-0, you know you’re never in trouble in a playoff series until you lose on home ice, you want to set the tone early,” McGuire said. “So, you want to go after it, you start your heavy hitters, you start Brian Boyle, you start Derek Dorsett, you start Taylor Pyatt. You start your bangers, I call them the stampeding elephants, and you’re expecting them to stampede. Well, they didn’t. In fact, Boston took the game to them. That really set the whole tempo for the game, I thought.”
McGuire said the Bruins have the upper hand because they have the Rangers questioning themselves.
“There’s three things you want to accomplish in a playoff series: concern, doubt and fear, if you’re the opponent,” McGuire said. “Right now the Rangers are clearly concerned, they clearly have doubt, and I thought last night in the third period in particular after [Daniel] Paille scored the second goal, they had fear. If you can accomplish those three characteristics in a playoff series, your chances of winning are really good. I think the Bruins have put themselves in that position right now.”
Shawn Thornton sent a message to the Rangers in the third period when he stepped in for Brad Marchand and confronted Derek Dorsett, who had been trying to goad Marchand into a penalty.
“Shawn is an emotional leader and he’s not going to burn you defensively,” McGuire said. “And he’s a tough guy. When they started challenging Marchand last night with Dorsett, you saw what happened on the offside faceoff: Marchand comes off, Thornton comes on, Dorsett gets stabilized, no more issues.”
That said, McGuire insisted Dorsett’s failure to respond physically doesn’t reflect badly on the Rangers winger.
“I don’t think he backed down,” McGuire said. “I just think at that point their team’s kind of lost some momentum. Thornton’s not going to fight him, but he’s going to tell him in his ear, whisper sweet nothings: Listen, dude, do you want to mess around? We will dance, and it won’t be fun for you. That’s all Shawn had to do.”
|Shawn Thornton on D&C explains confrontation with Rangers forward Derek Dorsett||05.22.13 at 10:40 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to offer his take on Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Rangers that gave the Bruins a 3-0 series lead.
Thornton and his teammates on the fourth line — Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell — came up big Tuesday, as they were on the ice for both of the Bruins’ goals.
“I’m lucky to play with those two guys,” Thornton said. “They’re not fourth-liners on a lot of other teams. I’m fortunate to have them with me.”
Thornton noted that all three fourth-liners could have signed elsewhere last offseason, but the Bruins kept the trio together.
“You’ve got to give Peter [Chiarelli] credit for having faith in us, bringing all three of us back,” he said. “We were all free agents at the end of the last season. I think I was the only one that got re-upped during the season. They paid a little money to keep all three of us around.
“I haven’t looked at the other fourth lines in the league, but we’re compensated pretty well as far as fourth-liners go. We’re getting some notoriety right now in the playoffs, but the team believed in us before this.”
A key moment in Tuesday’s game came when Thornton replaced Brad Marchand on the ice and confronted Derek Dorsett after Dorsett had been harassing Marchand.
“He’s doing his job,” Thornton said of Dorsett. “He got Marchy off the ice in the first period [on a penalty]. They’re both agitators. If they’re matching him against Marchy, he’s going to try and get under his skin and keep him off the ice as much as possible. Marchy’s probably been our best player in this series so far. He’s doing his job. I had to go out there and politely say that I wasn’t a fan of him being all over our star left winger.”
Thornton said he was ready to fight, but either way he wanted to send a message.
“I didn’t know [if Dorsett would fight],” Thornton said. “If he had wanted to, then I definitely would have obliged. I joked about being polite; I wasn’t going out there to ask him what dinner was later.”
Added Thornton: “It’s a job. I’ve been doing it for a long time. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. I was happy we got to play after that, too, that it wasn’t our last shift.”
|Barry Pederson on D&C: ‘The Bruins just took over’ after Shawn Thornton’s challenge to Derek Dorsett went unanswered||05.22.13 at 9:51 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to break down the B’s 2-1 victory over the Rangers in Tuesday night’s Game 3.
Pederson said he was surprised that there wasn’t more of a sense of urgency from the Rangers, who now are in a 3-0 series hole.
“We didn’t see the desperation from New York,” Pederson said. “I thought the Bruins, right from the opening faceoff, kind of took the crowd right out of the game. They had two or three really good shifts in that first period, didn’t allow the Rangers to get any momentum. [The Rangers] only had 24 shots on net, they had two power plays; the Bruins didn’t have any, outshot them 34-24.
“The Bruins for the most part did a really good job of not allowing New York any sustained pressure on them. It looked to me like the Bruins were much more under control and forceful out there than the New York Rangers were.”
Added Pederson: “[The Rangers] look tired to me. They look physically drained, mentally drained. … A lot of these guys look like they’ve hit the wall. But again, I think by doing that, you’re taking away some of the credit that the Bruins deserve. They really went out there with four lines — especially that fourth line last night — and they just wear you down.”
One of the key moments in the game came when Shawn Thornton took Brad Marchand‘s spot on the ice and confronted Rangers forward Derek Dorsett, who had been harassing Marchand.
“One of the more important shifts may have been the one where [Thornton] comes on, when Dorsett’s trying to suck Marchand into a penalty, physically kind of manhandle him a little bit and try to get him off the ice because Marchand’s been such a good player for them in this series,” Pederson said. “And the faceoff right by the bench, you can see Marchand gets kind of yelled at, I’m sure it’s Claude [Julien] just said: Hey, come over here. Shawn Thornton hops on the ice and goes right over to Dorsett and says: Hey, listen, you’re not going to do that.
“Once Shawn proved his point, he went off and Marchand came right back on. And I thought from that moment on, you could see the physicality also with [Milan] Lucic‘s hit on [Anton] Stralman, who never returned after that big forecheck hit. You could kind of see the momentum shift, and the Bruins just took over.”
Added Pederson: “I played on a lot of big, physical teams over the years. I remember Wayne Cashman would always say with guys that felt bad after maybe they came off and didn’t get the upper hand in a fight or something, he’d say: Hey, listen, I don’t care how many you win. What we care about is how many you show up for. That shows everybody else on the bench. And that’s why it was so important for Shawn Thornton to go out there and say: Hey, listen, you’re not pushing around our little guys. That’s not going to happen. He is a valuable part of our team. If you want to go, let’s you and I go right now.
“As soon as he doesn’t do that, the Bruins on the bench go: Aha, OK, we can see what you’re made of. And from that moment on you can see the emotion shift drastically in either direction. … I really thought from that moment on you could kind of see the Bruins say: Exactly, we know that we have you now. We know that you won’t take on our physically tough guys.”
|Bruins not feeling cocky with 3-0 series lead||05.22.13 at 12:10 am ET|
NEW YORK — With the Bruins a win away from the Eastern Conference finals, they hope to have a better focus than they did the last time they got their third win. The B’s let the Maple Leafs come back from a 3-1 deficit last round to nearly eliminate them, so they weren’t getting too far ahead of themselves after their 2-1 Game 3 win.
“We’ve had the experience, but we’ve also had a tough time closing out teams and we know they’re going to be tough to play against in Game 4,” Shawn Thornton said. “Their backs are against the wall, so that’s usually when you see the most desperate of teams. I think we’re going to have to be ready for that again.”
Though the Bruins have a 3-0 series lead, Games 1 and 3 could have gone either way. If a few bounces went the Rangers’ way, this series could be much closer, and the B’s aren’t forgetting it.
“Every game is a tough game,” Zdeno Chara said. “Sometimes the scores aren’t always showing how close the games are.”
Game 4 will be played Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
“We know it’s going to be a tough one,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s always a tough win to get, is the last one. We have one day to regroup and we need to make sure we’re ready for Game 4. We know the Rangers are a team that’s not going to give up, so it’s about making sure we’re ready for that game.”
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|Claude Julien: ‘We’re a very focused group right now’||05.22.13 at 12:06 am ET|
In the wake of a 2-1 win in Game 3 that leaves them one win from the Eastern Conference finals, Bruins coach Claude Julien says he can sense his team has found its groove.
“We’re a very focused group right now, and the challenge is to stay there.” Julien said. “After the second period, we’re playing a good road period. I thought with a couple of breaks in the first period, we could’ve been ahead. We didn’t care if we had to go to overtime, we just wanted to get that first goal.
“There’s no doubt. I don’t only see it on the ice, I feel it in the dressing room everywhere else. The Jekyll and Hyde thing I haven’t seen since midway through the Toronto series.”
Since falling behind 4-1 with 11 minutes left in the third period of Game 7 against Toronto, the Bruins have outscored the competition 14-3 while winning four straight games.
The Bruins also handed New York its first home ice loss of the playoffs after the Rangers won Games 3, 4 and 6 on Madison Square Garden ice in the first round against Washington.
“You have to be proud of your team,” Julien said. “[Playing] a Rangers team that hadn’t lost here in a long time, playing well here in the playoffs. We had to be better. We’re playing well and eventually get that goal and it came.”
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