|Adam McQuaid, Steven Kampfer back at practice; David Krejci still absent||10.17.11 at 10:55 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins returned to practice Monday at Ristuccia Arena, with a couple of injured defenseman taking part in the skate. Adam McQuaid, who suffered a head last Wednesday, was back on the ice after missing Saturday’s game. Steven Kampfer is back to skating with the team after suffering a sprained left knee in the Bruins’ Sept. 29 preseason game against the Senators.
|Tyler Seguin, Tim Thomas lift Bruins past Blackhawks in shootout||10.15.11 at 11:21 pm ET|
The Bruins never led in the game, but they broke their two-game losing streak with the help of Seguin, who’s been big for them all season, and Nathan Horton, who had taken a while to get going on the young season.
Seguin scored the Bruins’ lone shootout goal on Corey Crawford, with Thomas stopping Janathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.
Horton tied the game at 7:56 of the third period to give the Bruins late life and momentum, with the Bruins’ other tally coming in the form of a shorthanded Chris Kelly Tally. The Blackhawks got their scoring from Bryan Bickell and Kane.
The 2-3-0 Bruins will return to Boston, where they will face the Hurricanes Tuesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Horton appeared to be going through the motions once again Saturday, but he came through in a big way when he took Johnny Boychuk’s feed from behind the net and beat Crawford. It was Horton’s first goal since he notched the lone tally in the Bruins’ 1-0 victory over the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last spring.
– It was fitting that Boychuk would figure into the most important play of regulation, as Boychuk had a very strong showing for the Bruins. Boychuk struggled last season, but on Saturday had six hits and logged over 20 minutes on a night in which Matt Bartkowski’s presence meant the B’s had to essentially play five defensemen.
– The Bruins’ penalty kill was not only strong (one shot on goal allowed on there Blackhawks power plays), but their only source of scoring. Peverly sent a puck over the stuck of the stick of Duncan Keith to Kelly, who went wide to the net and easily sent a puck over the diving Corey Crawford to tie the game and give the Bruins’ their first special teams tally since the season-opener.
– Another game, another point for Tyler Seguin. The second-year player leads the Bruins with five points through five games, as he picked up the second assist on Horton’s game-tying tally. Playing against a more physical Blackhawks team, Seguin still didn’t seem timid when it came to chasing pucks in the tougher areas. That’s a very good sign for the Bruins and what should be a superstar in the making.
– The Bruins saw their first fight of the season when Gregory Campbell took on Jamal Mayers in a first-period bout. Shawn Thornton had tried in previous games to drop the gloves, but was unable to find a willing dance partner. Not much good came of Campbell’s fight, as he lost the tussle and the Blackhawks scored the next goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Blackhawks’ first goal came at a forgettable moment for Andrew Ference. Bickell intercepted a pass from Ference in the neutral zone, and Ference couldn’t catch up to Bickell as he beat Thomas five-hole on a breakaway.
– Peverely had a breakaway in overtime after taking a feed from Milan Lucic coming out of the Bruins’ zone but missed the net with his backhand bid.
– The Bruins’ power play has now gone to 1-21 on the season, which, as twitter follower jdittro4 (http://twitter.com/#!/jditro44) points out, means they’ve scored as many shorthanded goals as they have power play goals. Furthermore, the Bruins are lucky Jonathan Toews is a left-handed shot, as he failed to connect on a one-timer when on a shorthanded 2-on-1 in the second period.
|Andrew Ference on D&C: Bruins ‘have to work through some frustrations’||10.14.11 at 10:33 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning for his weekly appearance. Ference discussed the Bruins’ slow start to the season and the reasons behind their struggles. Boston is 1-3, and some have wondered if the B’s are struggling from the so-called “Stanley Cup hangover.”
“I know that we’ve had some close games, we’ve been a bit frustrated that we’ve not been playing as good as we can,” Ference said. “We’re just going through a tough little stretch right now.”
Ference said that execution has been the problem for the Bruins, as they’ve played some “sloppy games.” The defenseman suggested that the Bruins may be expecting too much of themselves this early in the season, especially after the success of last year’s team.
“We’ve gone through it before as a team where we’ve almost tried too hard to be perfect and you expect yourself to be perfect at this time of year. It just doesn’t work that way,” Ferrence said. “You have to build up your game again. Obviously, we have a foundation to work from. But everything’s not going to be as crisp as it was halfway through the year and you can’t get frustrated when things aren’t at the standard that we had during the playoffs. You have to build up to that. I think we have to work through some frustrations with that.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On if teams are playing the Bruins tougher this year: “They’ve been tough games, for sure. ‘¦ It’s definitely tough. Every opponent is going to get up for you. You know, I think that we had a standard as a pretty good team in the league for the last three years. Teams would get up for the Boston game anyways because of our success over the last few years. But you definitely expect a bump. I know how I would play against the defending champs in past years.”
On if bringing the Stanley Cup to Gillette was overkill now that the season has started: “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. It’s a real positive thing that the Patriots were going to do for us. ‘¦ It’s the last thing with the Cup, for sure, but there’ll be plenty more team get-togethers and we’ll have a good time, because that’s what we do. It helps build the team up. ‘¦ You turn the page on the Cup, but you don’t forget about it.”
On how road trips are good for team bonding: “It’s nice, especially for a couple of the new guys we have on the team just to get them more involved with everybody. Those are the guys that I feel bad for during the start-of-the-season Cup stuff, because it’s just a little awkward.”
On Marchand and Seguin playing well early in the season: “I’m not surprised with how well they’re playing. Definitely I think there were a few guys who talked with them after the season when they were going pretty good there. They’re both really good character guys and have some pretty good drive and unbelievable skills. I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m happy that they took care of themselves for the majority of the summer and got ready. As soon as I saw Seguin when he came to training camp, I knew we were in for a good year from him. He was absolutely ripped. He was a kid last year and he bulked up, he looked more like a man, so we’re in for good things from him, so that was great. And Marchand’s got a killer attitude, as you can tell, he plays on the edge. He’s not going to give up on anything.”
|A few numbers on Tyler Seguin centering the Bruins’ top line||10.13.11 at 6:06 pm ET|
With David Krejci out for Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks, Bruins fans can expect to see more of Tyler Seguin as the team’s first-line center. Seguin skated between Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic for the first time in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes and made a good impression. He scored the team’s first goal in the third-period and is now tied for the team lead with four points through four games.
Given that he’ll play with the line again, here are a few quick notes on Seguin’s first game as the Bruins’ first-line center.
– It should come as no surprise given that he played on the first line, but Wednesday saw Seguin play 20:06, good for a new career high. His previous best in ice time had been 17:22, which he received last Nov. 3.
– Last season, Seguin only got 15 minutes of ice time in five games. This season, he has played at least 16 minutes in every game but Monday’s shutout loss to the Avalanche.
– Seguin won seven of 16 faceoffs Wednesday, good for 43.8 percent. Patrice Bergeron won 16 of 23 (69.6 percent), Chris Kelly won one of seven (14.3 percent) and Gregory Campbell won five of nine (55.6 percent).
– Seguin led all Bruins forwards with four shots on goal Wednesday night. It was the second time this season that he’s done so, as he and Rich Peverley each had five shots on goal Saturday against the Lightning.
|David Krejci remains out, Adam McQuaid’s status unknown||10.13.11 at 3:46 pm ET|
It appears Tyler Seguin is in for another game on the first line.
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in Raleigh Thursday that center David Krejci, who suffered a core injury in Tuesday’s practice, will not travel with the team to Chicago for Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks and will miss his second game of the season.
The status of defenseman Adam McQuaid remains unknown. McQuaid went head-first into the boards behind the Bruins’ net in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes. Julien said the second-year defenseman is still being evaluated. Should McQuaid be unable to play Saturday, it’s assumed that Matt Bartkowski, who played in place of a sick McQuaid in the season-opener, would play his second game of the season.
|Bruins’ early-season woes continue as they fall to Hurricanes||10.12.11 at 10:05 pm ET|
The Bruins’ comeback bid fell short Wednesday in Carolina as they fell, 3-2, to the Hurricanes. The defending champs are now 1-3-0 on the season.
Pitkanen opened the scoring 42 seconds into the second period when he beat Tim Thomas from the faceoff circle on a power play. Stewart made it 2-0 3:42 into the third period before the 19-year-old Bruins center got the B’s on the board. Seguin scored his first goal of the season when he took a quick pass from Nathan Horton in the neutral zone and beat Cam Ward glove-side with a nearly impossible angle wrist shot from the right side. The assist was Horton’s first point of the 2011-12 campaign. The Hurricanes made it 3-1 when Jordan Caron couldn’t control a puck in front of Thomas’ net and Tlusty beat the Bruins’ netminder for his first goal of the season. Marchand brought the Bruins back within one with a shot that hit Ward on its way in.
The Bruins will next play the Blackhawks on Saturday in a matchup of the last two Stanley Cup champions.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– That Tomas Kaberle has a way of sticking it to his former team, as the veteran blue liner not only assisted a power play goal — something he failed to do consistently in Boston — but he actually shot the puck. Kaberle was infamous for his lack of shooting in Boston, and he had three shots on goal Wednesday, including a golden opportunity in the second period when Thomas stopped him point blank.
– The Bruins didn’t get a ton of close-range opportunities, and as a result, Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen had seven blocked shots on the night, six of which came in the game’s first 40 minutes.
– As unbelievable as it may sound, the Bruins are having issues on the power play. They had issues getting set up at points and only got seven shots through on their first five power plays. Though they scored on their first man advantage of the season against the Flyers, the B’s power play is now a dreadful 1-for-18 on the season.
– Adam McQuaid went down awkwardly and hit his head on the boards about eight minutes into the third period behind the Bruins’ net. He did not return to the ice and left the bench.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Seguin looked like he was capable of skating on the team’s first line, as he and Horton led the B’s in shots on goal through two periods. Seguin also played on the team’s top power play unit in Krejci’s absence. His willingness to not shy away from contact once again showed in a painful way, as he was housed in the offensive zone by Tim Gleason in the third period.
– Benoit Pouliot looks like a man trying to prove he’s better than his line’s other winger. With Krejci out, both Pouliot and Jordan Caron, who have been competing for a spot on the third line, played on Wednesday. Pouliot created a couple of turnovers in the first period and had a positive showing, though an attempt at a third takeaway late in the first period nearly cost the Bruins. Julien gave him shifts on the second line (Rich Peverley went to the third line) in the third period.
– Don’t look now, but Nathan Horton now has four shots on goal this season thanks to three shots on goal Wednesday night. He played a more aggressive game Wednesday and was definitely playing with more intensity, but the Bruins’ first line woes are far from over. Horton still has zero points through four games this season.
|A look at how Bruins prospects are doing in the OHL this season||10.12.11 at 2:47 pm ET|
It’s early on in the OHL season, but here’s a look at how some of the Bruins’ top prospects are doing in juniors. Included below are defenseman Dougie Hamilton (1st round, 2011), and forwards Alexander Khokhlachev (2nd round, 2011), Jared Knight (2nd round, 2010), Ryan Spooner (2nd round, 2010) and Anthony Camara (3rd round, 2011).
Alexander Khokhlachev (Windsor) 7 GP 4 G 8 A 12 PTS
Dougie Hamilton (Niagara) 6 GP 2 G 9 A 11 PTS
Jared Knight (London) 5 GP 4 G 3 A 7 PTS
Anthony Camara (Saginaw) 8 GP 0 G 5 A 5 PTS
Ryan Spooner (Kingston) 7 GP 1 G 2 A 3 PTS
Check out the video below for highlights of Khokhlachev’s four-point night Saturday.