|Tim Thomas: Struggling Bruins can’t simply expect success based on last season||10.24.11 at 1:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — One of the bad things about returning so many players from a Stanley Cup champion team is that the next year’s squad will always be compared to, well, itself.
Maybe that’s one reason as to why Bruins fans are puzzled by the B’s 3-5-0 start to the season. Through eight games last year, the B’s were 6-2-0 with a plus-13 goal differential and three shutouts, all of which were registered by Tim Thomas. This season, they’re allowed as many goals (19) as they’ve scored, good for an even differential.
So with so many of the same guys yielding such different results, how do the Bruins explain it, and how do they respond?
“It’s a different year, different challenge,” Thomas said. “We’re in a different spot. It’s how we react to it that’s going to be the key.
“All last year, no matter what type of adversity was thrown our way, we reacted well. That’s part of what made up our identity as a team by the time the playoffs came around.”
It’s hard to imagine the Bruins continuing to play sub-.500 hockey for much longer, but to expect things to turn around is no better than expecting the Bruins to have repeated their start from a season ago. Thomas recalls the Bruins making their own luck right out of the gate last year, so he isn’t counting on things simply coming to the defending champs because of past success.
“We have to try to build that same thing this year. It’s not just there,” Thomas explained. “You don’t get it because you had it last year. You’ve got to build it again.”
|Jordan Caron: One-day Providence stint ‘a good time’||10.24.11 at 1:16 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Jordan Caron‘s goal entering training camp this season was to not only make the team, as he had the year before, but to stay in Boston for good. On Sunday, that goal took a hit, but not at the expense of any time with the big club.
With the Bruins off, Caron was sent to Providence for the day on Sunday in order to get him some game action after being a healthy scratch for the last two games. Caron skated on a line with Zach Hamill and Carter Camper as the Baby B’s fell to Albany in overtime, but the 2009 first-round pick notched an assist on a Hamill goal. He also got more playing time than he’d been having after averaging 9:04 of ice time in four contests for Boston this season, and was recalled and back to Wilmington in time for Monday’s practice.
“It was great. I felt confident out there. I felt fresh,” Caron said Monday after the big club’s practice. “I wasn’t used to getting that much ice time, but I think it went pretty good. My legs were good, so that was a good time.”
Caron didn’t express any disappointment in being sent down, either. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told him after Saturday’s loss to the Sharks, his second straight game of being a healthy scratch, that they’d be sending him down, but only for the day.
“It doesn’t hurt,” Caron said of being sent down. “I didn’t play the last two games, so I think it can’t be bad to go down there and play once in a while. I think it was good for me.”
B’s coach Claude Julien watched Caron’s performance, and like Caron, saw the good in the youngster being able to get more time.
“I think it’s move your feet and go out there and play,” Julien said Monday. “Yesterday when he did play, he got better as the game went on. In the first period, he was trying to get his legs underneath him. The second and third, he just got better and better. It just goes to show that playing sometimes is a good thing for you.”
Caron has no points and a minus-2 rating in four games with the Bruins this season.
|Claude Julien optimistic Adam McQuaid will play against Canadiens||10.24.11 at 12:56 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — One bit of good news for the Bruins as their schedule sees a break in game action until Thursday is that it gives injured defenseman Adam McQuaid more time to recover from his neck injury.
McQuaid has been considered day-to-day for some time since his injury, which was suffered when he crashed into the boards Oct. 12 in Carolina. He was considered a game-time decision last Tuesday against the Hurricanes, but after taking part in the team’s morning skate was not on the ice for warmups that night. He went on to miss Thursday’s game against the Maple Leafs, and after returning to practice on Friday did not play Saturday against the Sharks.
“He’s feeling good, so it’s just a question of time here. I guess I’m optimistic, and that’s what I’m allowed to be as far as him being ready for Thursday,” coach Claude Julien said. “I’ve kind of made some comments in the past, and it’s kind of come back to bite me, but he’s been fine now for a few days, so I’m very confident that things are going to keep going in that direction.”
McQuaid, who missed the last four Bruins’ contests and five total games (he was sick for the season-opener), has two assists and a plus-2 rating in three games this season.
|Bruins begin practice-heavy week||10.24.11 at 11:02 am ET|
WILMINGTON – After taking the day off Sunday and with no games on tap until the start of a home-and-home with the Canadiens on Thursday, the Bruins have returned to Wilmington for what promises to be a practice-heavy week.
Jordan Caron is back up with the team, making his assignment to Providence Sunday nothing more than an opportunity to give the youngster some playing time after being the healthy scratch in the Bruins’ last two games.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid also practiced with the team. He has missed the team’s last four games with a neck injury that the team is treating as a concussion to be safe.
The lines looked the same, with the fourth line once again wearing the white jerseys, which traditionally signify first-liners.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Nathan Horton
Milan Lucic – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot – David Krejci – Rich Peverley – Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
The Bruins made heavy use of the foam blocks for the first half hour of practice, stacking them for target-practice and using one in front of nets to work on rebounds.
|Jordan Caron back up, practicing with Bruins||10.24.11 at 10:50 am ET|
The Bruins recalled forward Jordan Caron from Providence on Monday, one day after sending him to the AHL. Caron, who had been a healthy scratch in the Bruins’ last two games since the return of David Krejci, registered an assist in Sunday against Albany.
Krejci was with the B’s as they took the ice for practice Monday, skating as the fourth member of Krejci’s line with Benoit Pouliot and Rich Peverley.
|Local boy Benn Ferriero scores game-winner||10.23.11 at 12:41 am ET|
Local product Benn Ferriero has been up and down between the NHL and AHL these last few seasons, but on Saturday, he was right where he wanted to be.
Ferriero, who hails from Essex and played his college hockey at Boston College, was called up Thursday, and on Saturday scored the game-winning goal against the team he grew up cheering for. With the game tied in the third period thanks to goals from Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin 29 seconds apart, Ferriero took a rebound from a Jim Vandermeer shot and maneuvered around Tim Thomas to make it a 3-2 game. It was his first goal of the season and eighth career goal.
Playing at BC gave him plenty of experience of skating on the Garden ice in the Beanpot and other tournaments, and he also faced the Bruins last February. Still, this Garden experience was different.
“I played here about four times a year through college and I guess I’m used to it. It’s obviously a big difference playing against the Bruins then playing against BU or one of the other teams,” he said after the game.
After the game, Ferriero recalled his time as a youngster rooting on the Bruins, and how he now gets to skate for the same team as a Bruin he long admired.
“I grew up in Boston. I was a Joe Thornton fan growing up when I was younger and through college NESN is the big sports network around here,” Ferriero said. “We see them every night they play at home, every night they play on the road. So I’ve seen a lot, but I’m just happy to get out here and play.”
|Bruins’ comeback falls short as Sharks win||10.22.11 at 9:33 pm ET|
What had the makings of a great comeback win proved to be nothing more than the Bruins’ latest loss, as they fell to the Sharks, 4-2, at TD Garden on Saturday.
The B’s seemed destined for a quiet night as they trailed, 2-0, in the third perio before goals from Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin just 29 seconds apart tied the game at two. Lucic took advantage of a puck bouncing around Antti Niemi’s crease to get the B’s on the board and later fed Seguin, who tied it with a wrist shot. The Sharks would end up taking the lead for good when former Boston College Eagle Benn Ferriero beat Tim Thomas to make it 3-2. Patrick Marleau sealed it with an empty-netter.
The Sharks took their initial lead with goals in the first and second period from Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, respectively.
With the loss, the Bruins have fallen to 3-5-0 on the season. They will have plenty of time to regroup for their next contest, as they next play Thursday against the Canadiens at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Another game against the Bruins, another reminder from Couture of what could have been. The B’s had the eighth overall pick in 2007 with Couture on the board and selected Everett (WHL) center Zach Hamill instead. While Hamill has widely been considered a bust and has played only four games in the NHL, Couture has become a star player, scoring 32 goals last season.
– David Krejci was the only player on the ice for the Sharks’ first two goals. He has yet to have a positive rating this season and is a minus-5 on the 2011-12 campaign.
– Make that one more game in which the Bruins failed to get on the board first. The B’s have allowed the first goal of the games in the last six straight games, a span in which they’ve gone 2-4-0. Pavelski made it 1-0 Sharks 72 seconds into Saturday’s game.
– Amidst the Bruins’ up-and-down play of late, Brad Marchand has now gone without a point in the last four games. He last factored into the scoring on Oct. 12 with his third-period goal against the Hurricanes. Marchand had begun the season with four points (two goals, two assists) in the first four games.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Thornton got in a fight for the second consecutive game after going the first six contests of the season without dropping the gloves. Thornton fought Jim Vandermeer in the second period in a pretty balanced bout that saw the Bruins’ enforcer make solid contact. Thornton’s fight did not give the B’s the ultimate spark they needed for the period, as they sleepwalked for much of the second.
– Seguin had a game-high four giveaways through two periods but saw to it that those wouldn’t be his most noteworthy stats on the night. His chemsritry with Lucic is very apparent, and though he was at quiet at points in the game’s first 40 minutes, there’s no denying he’s been huge for Boston this year. He could have had two goals on the night, as he came awfully close to getting on the board in the first period when he beat Niemi glove side but hit the post with a wrister.
– Much like Seguin has had success on his new line, so too has Kelly. The 30-year-old center has four points in his last two games since being put on the line with Lucic and Seguin.