|Benoit Pouliot feeling better, hopes to play better||11.02.11 at 2:54 pm ET|
Benoit Pouliot has been back on the ice for a few days now, but it’s probably too early to say he was a healthy scratch Tuesday against the Senators.
Pouliot, who was sick, first missed practice on Friday due to an illness, and he did not travel with the B’s to Montreal for Saturday’s game. He returned to practice Monday, took part in Tuesday’s optional morning skate with the scratches and did not play Tuesday. It was unknown at the time whether Pouliot was sitting as a healthy scratch or whether he still wasn’t ready. Asked Wednesday, the 25-year-old said it was the latter.
“Personally, no,” Pouliot said when asked whether he was healthy enough to play. “I didn’t feel right and I gotta get some reps in and the cardio in and feel better. When you’re not doing much, you use everything and I just gotta get back on track and I feel good.”
The Bruins will next play Saturday in Toronto. That’s a good thing for Pouliot, who will take all the days he can get as he works to get his legs and conditioning back. He said he first started to feel under the weather during the week last week and felt especially bad during Thursday’s game against the Canadiens.
“It was tough. it was a long one,” Pouliot said. “Just a bad cold but couple days now, I feel much better and hopefully it was on the right track. A bunch of things just kept me from doing much. I’ve been sleeping a lot and hanging out on my couch, but it’s better.”
Pouliot is the only skater on the Bruins’ roster to not have a single point this season. He’s missed three of the team’s 11 games (he was a healthy scratch in the season-opener), but he isn’t getting down on himself yet.
“Obviously the points and the stats aren’t there, I think everyone knows that,” he said. “But I think the way I am working and trying to figure out the systems and everything, I think I’m on the right track. I am doing as much as I can and working as hard as I can and if you work hard enough, things will fall into good places. It’s just a matter of getting a point and getting back the confidence and everything should be good.”
While he’s focused on producing more than he has, a lot of Pouliot’s focus has been on fitting into the system here in Boston. The former fourth overall pick is now in with his third different organizations in the last four years, so he came in determined to prove he’s capable of fitting in with Claude Julien‘s squad as a bottom-six guy.
“Coming from Montreal, it was a lot different system wise,” he said. “Here, it is a lot different. Everyone stay in your lane, up-and-down, not east-west, north-south. Sometimes I am used to going to support the guy on the other side and then I lose my position completely. That’s a thing that I need to learn here and I’ve talked about it and coach has talked to me about it and it’s nice to hear. It’s a thing I need to learn but besides that everything is going pretty good.”
|Adam McQuaid leaves early; maintenance days for Rich Peverley, Dennis Seidenberg||11.02.11 at 2:15 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Rich Peverley were the only two to not take the ice for Wednesday’s practice at TD Garden, with Claude Julien saying afterward that he had given the two players maintenance days.
Adam McQuaid, meanwhile, left the practice early after he was cut on the chin, but there didn’t seem to be much concern from Julien’s end.
Aside from Peverley being out, the forward lines were the same.
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Also, if you have access to today’s Globe or Bostonglobe.com, you have to check out Fluto Shinzawa’s story on how being a sportswriter furthers his conquests as a foodie. A great, off-beat read from one of the best in the business. Significantly better than my attempt.
|Brad Marchand on M&M: New month, new opportunity for B’s||11.02.11 at 2:10 pm ET|
Bruins forward Brad Marchand joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday for his weekly discussion about the team. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The Bruins are coming off an impressive 5-3 victory over the Senators Tuesday night, which followed a disappointing October.
“It was a good time to try to look at it to change things around,” Marchand said. “A new month, come in with a really hot team, 6-0 in their last six games. It was an opportunity for us to get on a roll, and that’s all we really wanted to do.”
The has been speculation that the Bruins will make some personnel changes in an attempt to get the defending Stanley Cup champions back on track.
“We’re not really thinking about that right now,” Marchand said. “We have to focus more on how we’re playing. If we’re worrying about getting traded then that’s going to keep in our mind and it’s going to bother us. We know that if we just go and win, we don’t have to worry about that.”
Marchand recently said that referees are giving him less leeway this season, so he’s needed to be more careful about stirring up trouble. However, he isn’t ready to stop being an agitator.
“It’s part of my game,” he said. “I do want to just worry about your game and not that extra stuff. But sometimes it gets you more involved and allows me to play better. So, I might have to do that a little more now.”
In last Thursday’s game against the Canadiens at TD Garden, Marchand and P.K. Subban engaged in a fight after two earlier attempts that were broken up by officials and teammates.
“It was good,” Marchand said. “We got it over with. The crowd liked it.”
It was revealed after the fight that Marchand and Subban have been friendly off the ice.
“We played together before,” Marchand acknowledged. “But on the ice and off it are two completely different things. When you’re on the ice, you’re doing a job. You hate everyone you’re playing against. [You have] no friends out there. Sometimes, you have to do that stuff.”
Added Marchand: “I think there’s a lot of guys from my team that were a little jealous that I was the one to go with him. [Nathan Horton] wanted to go with him, and [Milan Lucic]. If I was him, I wouldn’t be fighting those guys, either.”
|Nathan Horton touches on everything: Concussion, depression and bad penalties||11.02.11 at 1:57 pm ET|
Speaking with the media for the first time in nearly two weeks amidst his cold start to the season, Bruins right wing Nathan Horton touched on how things have been for him to begin his second season of the Bruins. Horton heavily implied that his struggles are somewhat related to the concussion he suffered in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Canucks.
Horton is long removed from symptoms of his concussion, which ended his postseason, but he said that he still hasn’t gotten back to feeling satisfied with his game since the hit from Aaron Rome.
“I’m still trying to get my game back,” Horton said. “I obviously don’t feel 100 percent out there. I’m not myself, you know? I’m just trying to get that back. Last game, I thought we played better. Hopefully we can build off it.”
Asked specifically whether he was dealing with anything physical, Horton replied, “No, no.”
“Obviously I just need to get my timing and stuff,” he said. “I still don’t feel like I’m myself out there. Like, I’m fine, but I just need to be better obviously. That’s it. I just need to be better.”
Horton said that he has not had any issues with depression, a symptom of post-concussion syndrome.
Here’s the rest of what Horton had to say:
“Obviously they help. I’ve said a ill ion times that they’re great players. I played with them last year, so it definitely feels more comfortable for me.”
On whether he felt it would take time before he would be comfortable again:
“I had never had a concussion or anything like that. I didn’t know what to expect coming in. Obviously it has, but I’ve just got to keep working through it. I know I’ve got to be better, and I can be better. It’s just a matter of time. I want to be better, so I think it’s got to come sooner or later.”
On whether the penalties he’s taken have been out of frustration:
“Obviously in the Carolina game, yeah, but in the other ones, not really, no. I just try to get in there. Guys are turning and I’m just kind of still finishing my check a little bit, and that’s how it happens. Except for the one game, [no].”
On the fact that the bad penalties have happened more than once:
“I mean I guess I’m getting myself in the wrong spot at the wrong times, but there’s a lot of calls that are being missed out there, too. I obviously have to be more cautious of when I do it, but if they’re not a call a lot of them that they get on you, you’re obviously going to get mad and want to do something, too. It’s just a matter of holding back and not getting that last whack in, because I guess that’s what they’re calling.”
On being physical coming off concussion:
“I’ve got hit, I’ve hit some people, but obviously I haven’t gotten killed. I’ve gotten hit as much as you can, I guess. I have gotten hit pretty hard. Again, I’m just trying to forget what happened and just move forward.”
On whether he thinks about his concussion when he plays:
“I’m only human. I do think of it. I think anybody else, anybody would that was in my situation. It’s not easy, obviously, but again, I’m still trying. I want to be better, and I think that’s what matters.”
On whether he is depressed:
“Nope. No depression issues. Other than the fact that I want to do better, that’s about it. No depression issues or anything.”
On opening up about his concussion:
“Whenever it’s brought up, I try to forget about it. I definitely want to move on, and it seems like it’s just kind of dragging on. People keep asking about it, so I’m going to talk about it, but obviously I don’t want to talk about it. I want to forget about it, and that’s it. I feel fine. Now I just want to be better.”
On avoiding the media:
“I’m not giving an excuse or anything. I’m just saying obviously I want to be better and that’s it. I just think I haven’t been around. I don’t know.”
On whether he is dealing with a lack of motivation:
“I actually feel like I’m trying. I’m backchecking. I think it’s all about when I get the puck, or when I don’t have the puck, I’m just thinking too much. When you think too much, it doesn’t go the way you want it too. When you’re not thinking too much, it just falls into place, and good things happen. Definitely, that’s what I want to get back to here.”
On whether his concussion impact preparation for season:
“Definitely. It did interrupt my summer. ‘¦ It was a short summer, but definitely a tough one. I’m just trying to forget it, like I said, start doing better and playing more like myself and let this pass through. That’s what I want to get back to doing.”
|Report: Chris Clark to Providence||11.02.11 at 11:35 am ET|
The slumping Bruins have made a move, though it isn’t a huge one. According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, veteran forward Chris Clark has signed a professional tryout agreement and will report to Providence. The veteran forward was in Boston on a tryout during the preseason and lasted until the very last day but was released from his tryout.
The signing of the 35-year-old could eventually provide the B’s with a good leader and hard-nosed player should he make it to Boston this season. Clark was a former captain of the Capitals and wore an ‘A’ for one of the Bruins’ preseason games. He broke his nose in a fight during his last preseason game with the B’s.
|Bruins don’t hang their heads and get rewarded||11.02.11 at 10:35 am ET|
Tim Thomas is usually the center of attention whenever he plays and the Bruins win a game.
But this has hardly been a usual season so far and Tuesday was hardly a typical game.
“Yeah, I was waiting around my locker when you guys came in but no one came over,” he told reporters with a good-natured smile after Boston’s 5-3 win over Ottawa. “But I wasn’t the story tonight.”
Thomas – as is usually the case – was right on the money. The story Tuesday was the rediscovered tenacity of a Bruins team that rode its determined style to a Stanley Cup title four months earlier.
That tenacity was tested when the team fell behind 2-1 after one period to the Senators and blew a 3-2 lead early in the third period. That was hardly what the Bruins – losers of three straight and seven of 10 to start the season – needed for confidence.
“I think we were trying to maintain that 60-minute focus in our game,” head coach Claude Julien said. “I thought maybe in the beginning of the third, after that power play, we seemed to get a little bit sloppy, and of course, they tied the game up. But I think everybody was on the same page tonight as far as, don’t hang your heads, let’s go out there, let’s get the next goal, and let’s find a way to win this game. Determination was a lot better tonight and positive, I guess, thoughts, more than hanging our head and saying, ‘Here we go again.’”
“I thought we had the momentum all night and it was one of those games where we felt confident we could do it and come back,” added Patrice Bergeron. “And playing like that, that’s how we come back in games and show character and stay consistent and keep going at them. And I thought tonight was the perfect example that when we put the puck in deep and work at it, we’re a tough team to beat.”
|Andy Brickley on D&C: ‘I expect moves to be made’ by Bruins||11.02.11 at 9:31 am ET|
Bruins color analyst Andy Brickley joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning for his weekly appearance to discuss the Bruins’ 5-3 win over the Senators Tuesday night.
Boston broke a 3-3 deadlock in the third period with goals from Johnny Boychuk and Daniel Paille just 37 seconds apart. Brickley said that it is a big boost for a team when the fourth line is able to score.
“It’s huge. That fourth line isn’t necessarily a line you look for to score, even though they did last year,” Brickley said. “You look at the momentum changes, you already brought up the Thornton fight, that’s a significant contribution from those guys. Paille’s a really good penalty-killer, as is [Gregory] Campbell. Campbell wins faceoffs, Campbell gets in people’s faces. That’s the kind of thing you’re looking for. They may start a period, they may start a game, they may set a tempo, but when they’re actually putting pucks in the net, that’s huge for the entire locker room and the bench, everybody gets a really lift from that.”
Brickley was also impressed with the Bruins defensive play, despite the three goals allowed. Boston allowed just 26 shots on Tim Thomas, as opposed to the 41 shots the Bruins put on Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.
“I liked a lot of what they did, especially defensively getting back to the very foundation of what they are and trying to reestablish their identity,” Brickley said. “I thought they played pretty well against Toronto, but I thought from a defensive standpoint, that was probably their best effort last night.”