|Bruins keeping Rich Peverley out vs. Panthers||12.23.11 at 12:01 pm ET|
Peverley has a nagging injury that is helped by rest, and has not practiced this week. He last took the ice in Monday’s 3-2 win over Montreal. The Bruins’ next game after Friday is Wednesday, so Peverley can have up to eight days off as he recovers.
“We made the decision to go forward with the fact that he’s going to get basically a whole week before the next game and only miss one game,” Julien said. “That was the whole plan. Our schedule gets heavy after that, so this was a good time to take that approach.”
In 30 games this season, Peverley has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points. Zach Hamill skated in his place on the third line in Friday’s morning skate.
|Andrew Ference on D&C: After Cup title, ‘you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is’||12.22.11 at 1:20 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan Thursday for his weekly chat. With the Bruins sitting atop the Eastern Conference, Ference talked about the HBO 24/7 special, the Bruins’ road success, and how Zdeno Chara became as good as he is.
The Bruins are on an impressive streak, but Ference said the excitement of the regular season just doesn’t compare to the playoffs.
“Obviously, the playoffs were more fun than it is right now,” Ference said. “I think that everybody’s got a pretty good head on their shoulders this year, and I think it’s due to the fact that we did win last year. If we wouldn’t have won last year and we were going on a run like this, I think guys would be a lot more giddy and patting ourselves on the back. But I think when you go through a championship run, you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is. All this is is prep work. And this is this trying to reach our first goal of just making the playoffs.”
Added Ference of the regular season: “It’s great. It’s entertaining. But for players it’s prep. It’s getting ready and trying to prime ourselves and make sure that we’re going in the right direction. And we’re learning all our lessons, but the first goal is just to try to make the playoffs. We’re building toward that. And I think everybody’s keeping a good head about it.”
Asked if this edition of the Bruins is better than last season’s Cup champions, Ference said: “It’s hard to compare, but I think the one advantage we do have is mentally. Just, like I said, learning what it takes, and not having the Stanley Cup be like a fairy tale. It’s a reality to all of us now. That’s a huge advantage. It’s one thing to imagine what it takes to win. But it’s another thing to know and to be there and go through it and have a lot of the same guys in the locker room with you again to go after it again. So, I think that’s the one huge advantage that we have over last year.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, including Ference talking about the his holiday plans, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On the Bruins’ toughness: “I think the one thing that’s been done here is, obviously Peter [Chiarelli] has done a good job of getting the right personalities in the room. Because you can’t have five guys on the team that are willing to do everything they can for the team and then have 15 that aren’t, or 10 and 10, or whatever the split is. You need every single guy to buy in or it just doesn’t work.
“It really only takes two or three guys to drag down an entire team, it really does, it’s amazing how quickly, especially in tough times, a bad apple can just attract guys and just bring the whole room down. It happens quickly and it’s just like a poison, so one thing they’ve done good here is get rid of some of the guys that had that and bring in guys that that weren’t like that. That’s essential, especially over the long term. For as many years as a lot of us have been here it’s been a really great locker room. The season’s too long to have bad apples and guys that don’t stick up for your guys that you can’t look across at in the room and know that they’re going to work their butt off every night for you.”
|24/7 running diary: Ilya Bryzgalov says more crazy things||12.21.11 at 10:07 pm ET|
We’ll see how this goes…
10:01 ‘ In the ‘previously on’¦’ they show the Bryzgalov ‘hum-an-gous big’ part. If that’s the funniest part of this episode, I still won’t mind.
10:04 ‘ John McEnroe as the fun-loving guitarist? This show has jumped the shark 64 minutes in.
10:06 – Dan Girardi’s kid reacted to the news of going to Philadelphia like the video was being sent to Jimmy Kimmel.
10:09 – REO Speedwagon. You betcha.
10:10 – On second thought, it still doesn’t beat last week’s Mac Miller scene.
10:11 – Good to see HBO can still do cool slow motion airport scenes even after Entourage is done. This is straight out of “Sundance Kids.”
10:14 – I’ll say it. I’m disappointed in Tortorella thus far. Sure, anyone can swear, but I thought that he would just… swear more.
10:15 – Laviolette answers the players’ questions on the ice? He doesn’t direct them to Paul Holmgren?
10:16 – Zac Rinaldo being shown pre-Lucic hit from behind.
10:17 – Bryzgalov time. What took so long?
10:18 – This scene of Harry Zolnierczyk asking Bryzgalov at lunch if he thinks he’s the star of the show is straight out of Mean Girls. Next, Regina George is going to ask him if he thinks he’s really pretty.
10:21 – Brandon Prust should be Tyler Seguin’s roommate. Got Boyle up without a problem.
10:23 – There’s the Tortorella we were hoping for. Imagine the Mighty Ducks movies if he played Gordon Bombay.
10:24 – Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Tortorella one?
10:26 – Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Laviolette one? It will help put me to sleep.
10:29 – “Instead we’re killing another FRICKIN’ penalty!” – Peter Laviolette. Or maybe it was Dr. Elliot Reid. Looked like Laviolette. Sounded like Smelliot.
10:35 – Love that they show how good these guys are with the community. Hockey players and coaches always are. Good to get a break from the laughing and swearing and see how down-to-earth they are.
10:37 – Pronger’s on the ice. If you’re not on twitter, you don’t get that joke.
10:38 – “Why so like, PAINFUL? You know, like? I don’t want to be goalie now.” – A Flyers fan needs to show their fanhood by getting a tattoo of that quote.
10:40 – If Bryzgalov asks, “So who is more crazy: Me, or ___?” the answer is always Bryzgalov.
10:46 – Were they taking an x-ray or creating a Wii avatar?
10:46 – Gaborik did not celebrate the 300th goal of his career by suffering the 300th injury of his career.
10:49 – Another slow-motion transportation scene. I smell a spinoff.
10:50 – The UNH grad in me can’t help but wonder why there’s been no JVR this episode, and barely any last week.
10:51 – “Holy f****, boys.” In case the standings don’t suggest other teams are overwhelmed by the Bruins, that does.
10:53 – They’re showing a bloodied Couturier undergoing cognitive testing after getting hit in the head with the puck. That’s why this show is so fascinating.
10:55 – The hit from behind scene was a little underwhelming. Simmonds yelled at him. Was hoping for more than “you hit him from behind.”
10:57 – All in all the footage from the Bruins game was underwhelming. The episode was somewhat lacking. Maybe they can sprinkle in cameos from the How to Make it in America Actors now that they cancelled it. Luis Guzman as a power-skating coach? I smell a spinoff.
|Andrew Ference sick, Rich Peverley won’t practice Thursday||12.21.11 at 12:45 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley were held out of Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the practice that Ference is under the weather, while Peverley is still dealing with an ailment that is healed with rest.
The Bruins had Tuesday off, and Julien said that Peverley will not practice at all this week. The team has yet to decide whether he will play Friday against the Panthers.
“Ference is battling the famous flu bug,” Julien said. “Peverley is maintenance. Again, same thing. We’re having a good look here at our schedule and what it may do for him. We’re going to keep him off here for the next couple of days, and tomorrow is certainly another one of those days. We’ll decide whether he’s in on Friday, and if not, that will give him at least a good week. We’re going to be making a decision on him regarding his situation.”
Peverley missed two games last month, sitting out the team’s Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 victories with an undisclosed injury.
|Andy Brickley on D&C: Bruins ‘the best team in the NHL’||12.21.11 at 12:14 pm ET|
NESN analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning with guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan for his weekly discussion the Bruins.
The Bruins are the Eastern Conference leaders after winning 19 of their last 22 game. While they only hold a one point edge on the Flyers, the Bruins man handled the Flyers in a 6-0 win last Saturday, taking complete control over the East. The Bruins are in the middle of a five-day break right before the holiday season, giving Brickley and guest D&C hosts Bob Ryan and Dale, plenty to talk about before the Bruins get back in action against the Panthers on Friday. Brickley told the hosts that he thought the Bruins are currently playing better than any other Eastern Conference team.
“They certainly are right now, I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Brickley said. “You can point to all the statistics and numbers you want, but just give it the eyeball test and watch this team play. I guess the simplest way to look at it is as a collection of six defensemen, four lines, two goaltenders, the matchups that the Bruins get because of that depth and balance makes them the better team on most nights. And when you have that believability because you’re Stanley Cup champions — which was really the only element missing, I thought, from a pretty confident team over the last couple of years despite some serious playoff dramatic defeats — that once they became champions, that learning to win was embedded in them. And that’s how they play now. And if you combine those elements, yeah, they are the best team in the NHL, as we speak.”
Brickley chalked up the Bruins’ early season struggles as purely an emotional battle that veterans hadn’t dealt with before.
“They couldn’t get the emotional needle to where it needed to be,” Brickley said. “I think people were well aware of that within the organization, players included, that that was going to be the toughest task. I think you saw the younger players not have a problem with it as much as the older players, the established players, the guys that maybe had not won a Stanley Cup and now were finally champions. To understand where they needed to be emotionally game in and game out and to have to do it just a couple of months after doing it to the middle of June and try to do it in October was more difficult than anybody realized, myself included.
“I didn’t expect them to start 3-7. I thought at worst-case scenario maybe a .500 team through the first four or five weeks of the season, which would have been fine with me. But I got a little concerned at 3-7. When I heard players like Tim Thomas and Milan Lucic say, ‘You know, we’re not that far off,’ you look at the game tape and you break it down and you say maybe they’re right, what’s missing? And it was that emotion, that physical engagement that comes with the emotion of being involved in a game was the only thing that was lacking. And they found it.”
|Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference absent as Bruins return to practice||12.21.11 at 11:01 am ET|
Peverley has been dealing with an ailment that coach Claude Julien has said is healed by rest. Julien said Monday the team was considering giving him one of this week’s games off, but he played Monday and it remains to be seen whether he plays Friday against the Panthers.
It may be a maintenance day for Ference.
|Brad Marchand: Sensational and significant||12.20.11 at 10:32 am ET|
There are highlight reel goals. And, there are game-winning goals.
On rare occasions, you get both in one. Monday night, Brad Marchand gave Bruins fans a 2-for-1 holiday special with his deke-to-backhander that beat Montreal’s Carey Price with just over five minutes remaining to put the Bruins up, 3-1. It turned out to be the difference when Erik Cole scored with 1:14 left as the Bruins hung on for a 3-2 win.
“Once I got my head up, he was already in the motion of poke checking, and I just pulled it around him, and luckily it went in,” Marchand said.
Marchand was quick to thank linemate Tyler Seguin for his vision to see Marchand breaking down the slot for the goal.
“Well, once Segs got it, I saw [the defenseman] decided to go to him, and I was all alone, so I was hoping he’d get it through and he made the play to get it done,” Marchand said.
All of this for a team know for scoring “dirty work” goals, fighting along the boards and finding a way to finish. On this night, the finish by Marchand was spectacular.
“I think sometimes people underestimate our team for the amount of skill we have, but, you know, we have a lot of guys who make great plays, and every now and then we get a nice goal,” Marchand said. Read the rest of this entry »