|Claude Julien: ‘Maybe in trouble, but we’re not dead’||04.22.12 at 10:50 am ET|
The Bruins know the refrain by now.
The series isn’t over till you win four games.
They repeated it over and over last year on their way to a sixth Stanley Cup title. And Claude Julien repeated it Saturday after a 4-3 gut-puncher at the hands of the Capitals at the Garden.
“Well there’s certainly lots of guys in that dressing room that have gone through that and there’s some others that are new to our hockey club that have to manage that as good as they can,” Julien said. “A guy like [Brian Rolston], he’s got some experience so our guys that we’ve gotten are experienced guys so I don’t see that as an issue. We’re down 3-2 in the series and most people will tell you, until they win four games, that’s when the series is over. So we’ve got an opportunity to get back into this series and create a Game 7 and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
There were positives from Saturday that the B’s will try to carry over to today in Washington, like Milan Lucic getting in front of the net time and time again in the third period. Lucic’s “jam” in the slot created a point-blank chance for Tyler Seguin with 10 minutes left. Only a superhuman effort by Braden Holtby kept the Bruins from a late lead in their own building.
“There are some good things – I don’t think now’s the time to start collaborating all those things with players,” Julien said. “Sometimes you’ve got to feel that sting a little bit in order to get yourself ready the next day and we’ll address that tomorrow certainly before the game. Still a lot of good things that we did tonight and you look at some of the missed opportunities – Seguin is one, he had grease tonight and those opportunities were there for him, so that’s a positive. You wish he would have put some of those in and it’s a different outcome. But building on the positives, and as I said, we’re maybe in trouble but we’re not dead and we’re certainly going to make tomorrow a game that’s going to create a Game 7 for us.”
Johnny Boychuk finally blew a cannon past Holtby to tie the game on the power play to tie the game, 3-3. He sees a lot of hope.
“I thought we came out really well,” he said. “Again, [Holtby] played extremely well – he made that one stop and stretched out and got it with his toe. We did play well, but it wasn’t good enough. They scored more goals than us and that’s the end of the day. We lost the game and [today], we have to win.”
If there were ever a time to put a sub-par game in the past, today is the day for Tim Thomas.
It’s Game 6 in Washington, D.C. and Thomas is focused on keeping his Bruins in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As for Saturday’s Game 5, sure there are a couple of shots he’d like to have back but has he said afterward, you can’t turn back the clock and get another chance to make a save.
Asked if he could’ve done a better job handling the rebound that led to Mike Knuble‘s goal to make it 3-2 or Troy Brouwer‘s game-winner on the power play, Thomas was philosophical. Read the rest of this entry »
|Patrice Bergeron, Joe Corvo hurt in Game 5 loss||at 12:38 am ET|
The Bruins head into a do-or-die Game 6 in Washington Sunday and they do not know if they will have their top-line center with them and available.
Patrice Bergeron took a hit from Alexander Ovechkin and played just three shifts in the third period as the Bruins fell to the Capitals, 4-3.
“I’m not sure,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron’s status. “To be honest, I get into a game then I’m told that a guy is a little injured at that point and that’s all I know. I’m not quite sure whether it was that hit or whether it’s a hit that he had earlier that he kind of hit the glass, and that’s where I think it started, in my mind. So, I’m not 100 percent sure on that.”
Injury stoppage has infuriated Bruins coach Julien in the series. That continued in Saturday when Joe Corvo went down in the second period after blocking a shot from Marcus Johansson in the right leg. He stayed down momentarily before trying to get up. The officials didn’t blow the whistle and Alexander Semin scored the game’s first goal.
“Well that was probably the frustrating part for me,” Julien said. “We were in Washington last game and twice their players go down in their own end and we had full control of the puck and the whistle was blown right away with no hesitation and tonight we’re deciding we’re not. So, I guess I was a little perturbed – is there two sets of rules or one? And I know they’re different referees but it’s still the same series so that was frustrating because they ended up scoring a goal on that. Again, that was my frustration on that goal and it’s unfortunate that’s how it ended up. Those other two guys are being looked at as we speak right now so there’s no update on them.”
|Capitals take Game 5, Bruins a loss away from elimination||04.21.12 at 5:53 pm ET|
Troy Brouwer’s second goal of the day put the Capitals one win away from eliminating the Bruins as Washington took a 3-2 series lead with Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Bruins.
With Benoit Pouliot in the box for a highly questionable slashing call, Brouwer beat Thomas with a wrist shot after the Bruins had come back twice in the game.
Johnny Boychuk wasn’t supposed to be on the Bruins’ power play, but they were lucky he was. With both Patrice Bergeron and Joe Corvo dealing with injuries, Tyler Seguin was moved up to the top power play unit and Brad Marchand and Boychuk were moved onto the second unit for a third-period power play with the B’s trailing by one. Boychuk tied the game with a blast from the left point that beat Brayden Holtby and send the Garden into a frenzy. The goal was Boston’s first power-play tally this series.
After a scoreless first period, Washington took a 2-0 lead on a couple of bad breaks for the Bruins in the second period. Joe Corvo was in obvious pain after blocking a shot from Marcus Johansson, and Alexendar Semin buried a rebound in front. Johnny Boychuk then contested a Jay Beagle shot, forcing it to skip and find its way past Tim Thomas. The Bruins then tied the game with two goals in a 28-second span, getting tallies from Dennis Seidenberg and Marchand.
The teams will have another day game Sunday when they take the ice for Game 6 at 3 p.m. at the Verizon Center. If necessary, Game 7 will be played on Wednesday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Tyler Seguin once again had a better effort than he did in his first three games, but he wasn’t able to bury two big opportunities in the third period. He was robbed by Holtby on what was perhaps the save of the series when the rookie goaltenbder somehow got his right pad on Seguin’s rebound bid in front. Seguin had a similar opportunity in the final 10 minutes of the game but missed the net.
- Watch Patrice Bergeron going forward, as he played sparingly late in the game.
- The refs missed a call in the final minute of the first period, as Jason Chimera got Zdeno Chara with an elbow to the back of the head in the corner that went unpunished. Chara remained down on the ice for a few seconds before eventually getting up and skating off at the end of the period.
- Speaking of things missed, it looked like Alexander Ovechkin cross-checked a Bruins player up high again. This time, it came against Chara, as the two were going at it at the end of a shift in 4-on-4 play in the first period. Chara was the only player penalized on the play, as he was sent of for roughing, giving the Capitals a 4-on-3.
Chara now has four minor penalties in five games this postseason.
- Speaking of posts and special teams, Daniel Paille had his latest shorthanded breakaway in the first period when Chara was in the box. With Dennis Wideman giving chase, Paille had Holtby beat but hit the left post.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Once they took the 2-0 lead, the Capitals were in perfect position to sit back, shut it down in the neutral zone and block shots in their own zone. A pass from David Krejci to Lucic through the neutral zone changed that, as Lucic took the feed at the blue line, entered the Washington zone and dished to Seidenberg. Marchand tied it up 28 seconds later.
- The Bruins are now 1-for-15 — progress — on the power play this series after going 1-for-3 on Saturday. The top unit of Chara, Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic looked better than in games past, as they stayed in the Washington zone, moved the puck well and got solid opportunities. Chara had a couple of bombs from the top of the right circle on the B’s first power play, but one rang off the post and the other was stopped by Karl Alzner.
- Marchand did not play on the fourth line after skating with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton in Friday’s practice and Saturday’s warmups. He skated with Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley while Daniel Paille remained with Thornton and Campbell.
|Thoughts on the Bruins’ new lines||04.20.12 at 11:03 pm ET|
Claude Julien has changed his lines an uncharacteristic number of times this postseason, but his latest work is more drastic than perhaps any of the tinkering he’s done this season.
Out of the top six are Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. Seguin skated with the third line in Friday’s practice, while Brad Marchand was back to the Merlot Line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.
Marchand began last season on the fourth line before moving up to Patrice Bergeron‘s line mid-season and never looking back. After finishing second on the Bruins with 28 goals in the regular season, he’s been among the many B’s who have opened the postseason with rather uninspired play.
Here are what the lines were in Friday’s practice, according to reports:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille – Patrice Bergeron – Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin/Jordan Caron
Brad Marchand – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
“Making line changes, that’s a part of trying to find solutions and it’s as simple as that,” Julien told reporters after Friday’s practice. “You’ve got to mix up guys who are not getting the results that we’d like to, so you’re trying to make changes that will maybe spark that part of our game.”
Here are some thoughts on the new lines for the Bruins:
- Not one line is the same as it was when the postseason began. The most radically changed trio is Bergeron’s, as Rich Peverley played only parts of the last two games with Bergeron, while Daniel Paille makes the jump from the fourth line.
- Julien obviously did this hoping that he can wake up some of his snoozing superstars. The top two lines in each game have gone scoreless thus far this series, as the team has had to rely on bottom-six forwards primarily for their scoring.
- While Seguin has been one of the Bruins’ worst players this postseason, taking him away from Bergeron is a risk. Seguin has underachieved in the past when playing on lower lines, but perhaps Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot — two of Boston’s better forwards this series — can get him going.
- The Bruins are deep enough that they can be tied in a series through four games despite the fact that their best forwards have been kept off the score sheet, but the Bruins really need to get something out of David Krejci. If Krejci repeats his first-round performance from last postseason (one assist), the B’s could be in trouble. Remember, he was having difficulty generating points against Carey Price in the first round a year ago. This is Braden Holtby, and the Bruins still haven’t consistently tested him for three periods.
- The Bruins should try to get Jordan Caron into the lineup, but for whom? As bad as Seguin was in the first three games before looking a little better on Thursday, scratching your regular-season leader in points should be out of the question. Caron brings a strong two-way game and had a stretch of eight points (four goals, four assists) in six games in March.
|Bruins chat at 2 p.m.||at 10:42 am ET|
Chat with WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean at 2 p.m. From the power play to the inability to beat Braden Holtby, any and all things B’s-Caps will be discussed. Bring your questions, good and bad.
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