|Video: This is former Bruin who is suing NHL over concussions||11.25.13 at 6:55 pm ET|
Among the 10 players to sue the NHL over concussions, as was learned Monday, was former Bruin Darren Banks, who played 20 games for the B’s from 1992-94.
Here’s a video of Banks in action.
In this fight, Banks took quite the pounding from Stu Grimson. It was on Oct. 31, and Banks next fought on Nov. 11.
Here’s what the complaint says about Banks:
“Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to depression, personality change, memory loss, lack of concentration, severe headaches, and post-traumatic head syndrome.”
|Claude Julien’s take on why Steven Stamkos is more universally beloved than other superstars||11.25.13 at 1:19 pm ET|
Claude Julien singing Steven Stamkos‘ praises a couple weeks after visiting him in the hospital certainly isn’t the first case of the Lightning superstar being a welcomed guest in Boston.
Stamkos, who has twice been injured on Garden ice, has long been well-received around these parts, and he’s one of the few star players in the game who seems to be universally beloved.
Even prior to the Max Pacioretty incident, Zdeno Chara was booed every time he touched the puck in another building. Opposing stars get booed in other towns regularly, so what is it about Stamkos [for what it's worth, he is one of the nicest people in professional sports] that makes him adored everywhere?
Julien had an interesting answer.
“What's kind of unfortunate about the boos and that [is] a lot of it is based on what happens on the ice,” Julien said. “And we know Steve is not a dirty player. But yet, you get Zdeno, who is a physical player, and yet both of those people are just as equally good people; they're quality people, but the perception of one versus the other is different. So you see the same thing with all those players.
“People are always going to cheer and respect the players that are not physical; they just go out and score goals and play the game. But if you're physical at all, and you're throwing your body around and you're gritty and everything else, then you're not going to get that same treatment. That's my explanation for that. Steve is one of those hard-working guys that works hard and will get in the dirty areas but he's not known as a dirty player — and he's not.”
There’s obviously a lot of grey area not addressed there, as non-physical stars are booed plenty, but that’s a pretty interesting take from Julien regarding why Chara gets the treatment he does in other buildings.
|Claude Julien visited Steven Stamkos in hospital||11.25.13 at 1:10 pm ET|
Steven Stamkos had a rough time the last time he was in Boston, as he broke his tibia in the second period of a Lightning loss on Nov. 11 and had to stay in town to get surgery.
The NHL’s third-leading goal-scorer (still) was off crutches Monday as he met the Tampa media, and he revealed that B’s coach Claude Julien paid him a visit while he was in the hospital. He also received a text message from Zdeno Chara wishing him well on behalf of the Bruins.
“I had him at the Olympic Camp and I got to know Steve the person,” Julien said after Monday’s morning skate. “When you look at what he is in the league and what he's accomplished, to have that happen to him I thought it was just important to go by and see how he was doing. It was as simple as that.
“Again, it's a guy ' I said that after the game ' he's one of those players that people from all the different cities come up to watch and play and he's one of the reasons we fill buildings and you hate to see that, from anybody's point of view, to see a guy like that get injured that way. So I stopped by and he certainly feels like he wants that opportunity to represent his country and he's going to do everything he can and I just went there and kind of showed my support.”
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|Dan Bylsma: Team USA has ‘made note’ of Torey Krug||11.25.13 at 1:07 pm ET|
Penguins head coach and Team USA coach Dan Bylsma was asked Monday morning whether Torey Krug‘s name has come up in discussions as a possible candidate for the Olympics, with Bylsma saying the Bruins’ rookie’s name has been mentioned.
Krug has six goals and eight assists for 14 points through 23 games, but his status as a third-pairing blueliner (he is sixth in time on ice per game among Bruins’ regular defensemen) who does not play against opposing teams’ stars hurts his candidacy.
“I can without hesitation say that he has been mentioned and talked about a little bit based on how he’s played and the start he’s had and what he’s done so far through 23 games,” Bylsma said. “We’ve got a lot of people out watching hockey games live and on tape. We certainly have made note of how he’s been playing and what he’s done on the back end there.”
Krug was not one of the 18 blueliners invited to this summer’s Olympic orientation camp. Despite his offensive production and strong candidacy for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, the case for him to make Team USA is tough given that it boasts the likes of Ryan Suter, Ryan McDonagh, Paul Martin, Jack Johnson, Kevin Shattenkirk, Keith Yandle and Dustin Byfuglien, among others, as candidates.
|Dennis Seidenberg skates for Bruins||11.25.13 at 11:57 am ET|
Dennis Seidenberg skated Monday morning and joined his teammates for part of the Bruins’ morning skate. It marked the first time he has skated since suffering a lower-body injury last Tuesday against the Rangers.
Seidenberg is not yet ready to return to the lineup, and it appears Adam McQuaid might not be ready either. McQuaid took part in Monday’s morning skate and has been skating since last Monday, but he was paired with Seidenberg as part of the team’s extra pairing. Claude Julien said there’s a possibility that McQuaid could play Monday, but that doesn’t seem to be a change from his status the last couple games.
If McQuaid does not play Monday, Kevan Miller will play in his third game after being recalled last week.
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|Reilly Smith is just trying to ‘keep the ball rolling’||11.23.13 at 8:22 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien looks on the ice and sees the skill of Reilly Smith. Then he has to remind himself and others that he is just 22 years of age.
On Saturday, he saw a sure-fire sign that Smith is fully capable of handling the load at the NHL level. With 6:29 left in the second period of a 1-1 game, Smith broke in on Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward and had the puck on his backhand. Earlier in the season, Smith’s eyes might have gotten too big and he might have felt the pressure to rush the shot. But not Saturday. He waited.
Smith took a pass from Carl Soderberg in the low slot between the circles, skated across the crease and flipped the puck just hard enough that Ward couldn’t control it, providing the go-ahead goal, already the fourth of the season with his new team.
“Kells [Chris Kelly] was tied up in front so he kind of set up a good pick, I didn't want to force it right through and I thought I might have a little more net going to my backhand,” Smith explained. “Cam [Ward] still almost had it so I was kind of lucky that it snuck through.”
Does Saturday’s patience on the goal show he’s getting more comfortable?
“Absolutely, just little things like that where probably a few weeks or a month ago I probably wouldn't have done that, I probably would have tried to get it on net right away,” Smith said. “With every day, you build confidence.
“Every day gets a little bit easier. When you stay with the same linemates, for a few weeks or a month, everyday gets easier, chemistry builds every day so just take it day by day but I think everything is going pretty well right now, just try to keep the ball rolling.”
With Kelly and Carl Soderberg on the third line, the young winger acquired along with Loui Eriksson from Dallas for Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley is looking more and more ready to fit in on a regular basis.
“They just feel better more and more about playing together,” Julien said. “They're reading off of each other extremely well; I said that earlier in an interview about how they're just reading off each other, they're anticipating, so they're always on top of the puck. We still have some lines right now that are kind of waiting to see what the puck carrier is going to do with it and you hope that with time we can get that same level as that third line is right now of anticipating well. They know exactly where they want to go and where they're going to put the puck so they're on top of it all the time and the last few games they've had a lot of chances and a lot of offensive zone time.
“Again, we're talking about a young player here. I keep saying it all the time, we always seem to overlook his age and he's a young player. And the way I think he's handled himself in pressure situations and handling the puck a little bit better and holding onto it. And at the same time, I thought tonight he shot the puck a little bit more; he had a little bit better of a nose for the net and before, looking to make plays versus shooting the puck. So he's really turned a corner and is really coming along well for a young player.”
It’s not just Julien either. Smith is winning over veteran teammates at the same time.
“I didn't know much about him before he got traded,” David Krejci said. “I know he's a great player, he's still young, but he's playing like a ten year vet [veteran]. It's good to see him doing well; hopefully he can keep it up.”
|Claude Julien tweaks overtime approach to avoid shootout||11.23.13 at 5:45 pm ET|
The Bruins showed they don’t like the shootout Thursday night by saying they don’t like the shootout. Claude Julien did it Saturday by loading up on forwards during overtime.
In an attempt to get some scoring during the five-minute 4-on-4 session, Julien played Patrice Bergeron’s line with Zdeno Chara and then David Krejci‘s line with Johnny Boychuk, so three forwards and one defenseman rather than two and two.
“We've practiced that this year when we've done our 4-on-4,” Julien said following the win. “For me, we haven't been very lucky in shootouts — or we haven't gotten much out of our shootouts — so I just thought it was important to maybe get a line out there, give us maybe some more offense because of the fact they're used to playing with each other and not about taking that chance, but taking that strategy and having one defenseman there and making sure a forward always came back. Tonight it paid off.”
Julien’s move paid off, as the B’s got a goal from Krejci’s line when Jarome Iginla split two Hurricanes defenders to set up Krejci’s game-winning goal in Boston’s 3-2 win over Carolina.