|Brad Marchand: Jeff Skinner ‘slew foots all the time’||01.29.13 at 12:19 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron was uncharacteristically irate at the end of Monday night’s 5-3 win over the Hurricanes when Carolina forward Jeff Skinner appeared to slew-foot the Selke winner behind the Bruins’ net. Bergeron said Tuesday that he isn’t overly concerned with whether the league punishes Skinner, but one of his linemates was a little more fired up about it.
Brad Marchand, who was fined last season for slew footing Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen, said that Skinner’s behavior was nothing new.
“Skinner slew-foots all the time,” Marchand said Tuesday. “He’s always doing that to guys and I think Bergy just had enough of it. We even spoke about it before the game in the room. The guys were talking about how much he slew foots and you’ve got to watch out for him. You can see it’s very blatant. He kicks his legs out and throws him back.
“I remember I got a fine for that last year. It’s not a good play, it’s frowned upon and if you continue to do that to guys, you’re going to get it. Bergy just had enough, and it was good for Bergy to stand up for himself like that.”
Marchand called the move “a greasy play” and said he regretted doing it himself last season, noting that Skinner should break the habit.
“He’s got to stop doing that,” he said. “If he does it again, I wouldn’t be surprised if a guy got up and took exception. It’s just not a good play.”
[An underrated part of the whole fiasco: Watch Tyler Seguin, who scored an empty-netter after the incident went down, asking, "No goal?" at 0:47]
Bergeron was quite a bit more reserved in addressing the situation, saying that though Skinner had never personally slew-footed him prior to Monday, that was enough to set him off.
“It was the first time he did it [to me], but I thought it was uncalled for,” Bergeron said. “The puck wasn’t even close.”
As for a potential punishment for Skinner, Bergeron said, “I’m not going to get into that.”
“I haven’t looked at the replay,” he said. “I know he did it, but still, at the same time I don’t really care what happens. I don’t think anything’s going to happen out of it.”
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|Dennis Seidenberg ‘pretty close,’ Brad Marchand expected to play vs. Rangers||01.22.13 at 11:51 am ET|
WILMINGTON — With the 0-2-0 Rangers waiting in New York, the Bruins on Tuesday returned to practice in anticipation of a rematch of the season-opener.
Dennis Seidenberg, who missed Monday’s 2-1 shootout win over the Jets with a lower-body injury, skated by himself prior to the session and participated in the full practice. With Seidenberg back at practice, his pairing with Dougie Hamilton was reunited, as was the Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk duo. The Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid pairing remained intact in Monday’s game and Tuesday’s practice.
Brad Marchand was the only absence, with Jay Pandolfo filling in for him on Patrice Bergeron‘s line. Lane MacDermid wore a Merlot jersey as the fourth member of Gregory Campbell‘s line.
Claude Julien said after the practice both Seidenberg and Marchand are day-to-day, though he expects Marchand to play Wednesday vs. the Rangers and said that Seidenberg is “pretty close.”
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|Brad Marchand staying in Boston for now, might consider Europe in future||10.11.12 at 2:55 pm ET|
On the day that would have seen the NHL begin its regular-season schedule, agent Wade Arnott said Bruins forward Brad Marchand will stay in the Boston area for the time being in hopes that a new collective bargaining agreement can be reched between the NHL and the NHLPA.
Arnott told WEEI.com Thursday that though Marchand is staying in North America for now, he could consider playing in Europe in the future if it appears the league will lose the entire season as it did in 2004-05.
Said Arnott: “If the season becomes in jeopardy then Brad may look more seriously at his European playing options.”
Marchand, 24, was second on the Bruins with 28 goals last season, his second in the NHL.
|Brad Marchand gets four-year extension from Bruins||09.07.12 at 1:01 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they have signed forward Brad Marchand to a four-year contract extension with an annual salary cap hit of $4.5 million.
Marchand, 24, is entering the final year of a $5 million two-year deal he signed prior to last season. With Marchand locked up, the Bruins’ list of free agents following next season include restricted free agents Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Caron and Tuukka Rask. Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference will be unrestricted free agents.
The 2006 third-round pick posted career-highs in goals (28) assists (27) and points (55) last season. He was second to only Seguin in Bruins goals in 2011-12. A surprise 21-goal-scorer as a rookie in 2010-11, Marchand added 11 more goals in the playoffs during the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run.
In addition to his speed, two-way play and penalty kill contributions, Marchand is known for his feisty play and tendency to get under opponents’ skin and has thus been suspended twice by the league. He was given two games in 2010-11 for elbowing R.J. Umberger in the back of the head, but his most notable punishment from the league was a five-game suspension for a low-bridge hit on Sami Salo last January against the Canucks.
Even prior to the Marchand signing, Seguin has been the most intriguing of the Bruins’ upcoming free agents. The B’s have only two $5 million forwards (David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron), but with the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner signing long-term deals with annual average values of $6 million or in the neighborhood ($6 for both Eberle and Hall, $5.725 for Skinner), it would appear the 20-year-old Seguin is due for a hefty pay raise.
|Looking back and ahead: Brad Marchand||05.08.12 at 6:54 pm ET|
With the Bruins’ season in the books, WEEI.com will take a look at each player on the roster one-by-one to provide some perspective on what went wrong this season and what the future holds for the 2011 champions.
2011-12 stats: 76 games played, 28 goals (career-high), 27 assists (career-high), 55 points (career-high), plus-31 (career-high)
Contract status: Signed through 2012-13 ($2.5 million cap hit), restricted free agent following 2012-13 season
Looking back: After being the recipient of the Seventh Player Award in his rookie season, Marchand used his sophomore campaign to show that his impressive 2011-12 performance (21 goals, 20 assists) wasn’t an overachievement.
The 2006 third-round pick played nearly the entire season as Patrice Bergeron‘s left wing, with Tyler Seguin often the right wing. He surpassed his rookie totals in every statistic but shorthanded goals (he had one compared to his five a season ago) and continued to be an asset on both the power play and penalty kill.
Marchand solidified his reputation as a pest this season, but he also continued down the road of being one of the Bruins’ dirtier players. He was fined $2,500 by the league for slew-footing Matt Niskanen on Dec. 15, and given a five-game suspension for his low-bridge hit on Sami Salo on Jan. 7. Marchand has now been suspended twice in his two full NHL seasons and carries with him the “repeat-offender” tag with each sticky situation in which he finds himself.
As was the case with essentially every top-six forward except for Rich Peverley and perhaps Seguin, Marchand was most part very quiet in the Bruins’ seven-game stint in the playoffs against the Capitals. Marchand’s lone game of note came in the form of a two-point performance in Game 5, but his goal and assist in that loss ended up being his only two points of the series.
Looking ahead: Marchand didn’t have big expectations on him as a rookie, and after getting a two-year, $5 million deal entering this past season, he proved to be more than worth the money by nearly putting up a 30-goal season. Now, as he enters the final year of his deal, what is the 23-year-old’s ceiling?
It’s a good question, because the expectation here wasn’t that he would repeat his 21-goal performance from 2010-11 when he finally signed his contract in September after a lengthy offseason of negotiating. So, is the expectation that Marchand can go out each season and put up between 25 and 30 goals? If so, his price tag after this deal expires might cause them to make a choice on some players (Marchand, Seguin, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton all have their deals expire after next season). Keep in mind that Marchand will be a restricted free agent, so he isn’t a major flight risk unless he pulls a Phil Kessel, which wouldn’t seem likely.
In addition to being an ideal “Bruin” by playing well in all three zones, the pesky winger has been able to exceed offensive expectations in each of his two full seasons in the NHL. He’s remained healthy, and it seems the only thing that can stop him is his tendency to cross the line.
|A closer look at Bruins’ recent Game 7 history||04.24.12 at 9:14 pm ET|
Since the 2007-08 season, the Bruins have played six Game 7s, and until last season, they had lost all of them. In the 2011 playoffs, however, the Bruins won three Game 7s en route to winning the Stanley Cup. Two of those wins were by one goal, one of which was an overtime winner.
Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand lead the Bruins in scoring in those Game 7s with four points each. Lucic has scored three goals and recorded an assist in six Game 7s since 2008 while Marchand, in just three career Game 7s, has two goals and two assists. Both goals and one assist came in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver, which the Bruins won, 4-0. Nathan Horton has two Game 7 goals, both of which were game-winners. He leads the Bruins in game-winning Game 7 goals since 2008, but is not playing in the playoffs this year because of a concussion.
Tim Thomas played in five of the six Game 7s, and he owns a 3-2 record with a .935 save percentage in Game 7. Thomas engineered the Bruins to two of their three Game 7 wins last season, pitching a shutout in the Eastern Conference finals and the Stanley Cup finals.
Here’s a further breakdown of how the Bruins have fared in Game 7 since 2008:
|Last chance: Bruins must expose Braden Holtby in Game 7||at 6:37 pm ET|
The Bruins have one more chance to get to Braden Holtby. If they do it, they should be able to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals against either Ottawa, Florida or Philadelphia. If they don’t, they’ll be bounced in the first round for the first time in four years.
For the B’s, two of their three losses to Washington have been products of the team not being able to get clean looks against the Washington rookie. They’ve struggled to get legitimate shots by the shot-blocking Capitals and through to the net, so their bids either haven’t made it to Holtby, or he’s been able to see them perfectly.
In recent games, the Bruins have fared better. Though they dropped Game 5 at home, they got a goal on a rush (Dennis Seidenberg from Milan Lucic), a hard drive to the net (Brad Marchand) and missile from the point (Johnny Boychuk). In Game 6, the B’s put four pucks past Holtby, the last of which came on a rush in the form of Tyler Seguin’s game-winner.
“It definitely took us a while, but you’ve got to give it to him,” Marchand said of Holtby. “He’s been playing great hockey and making a lot of big saves, but we’re doing a pretty good job of getting bodies in front now and finding different ways to score on him. We’re going to have to try and do the same thing tomorrow.”
Holtby has had an impressive .935 save percentage in the series, but his numbers have been helped by the fact that he’s had performances such as Game 2 (43 saves) and Game 4 (44 saves) in which he faced a large total of shots but faced few legitimate scoring chances. Many of the shots Holtby stopped in those games came from outside the perimeter due to Washington’s excellent shot-blocking and overall defensive play.
Now, having seen enough of Holtby, the B’s hope they break through and have a high-scoring affair for once (no team has scored more than four goals in a game this series, and each game has been decided by one goal). One thing to watch is whether the B’s, if given the opportunity, take advantage of Holtby’s agressive style. In two overtime plays Sunday — Zdeno Chara‘s early bid and Seguin’s game-winner — the Bruins were careful to hold onto the puck until the last possible second in an attempt to get the goaltender to challenge them. It didn’t work for Chara, but Seguin kept Boston’s playoff chances alive by doing it.
David Krejci, who scored on the power play in Sunday’s Game 6 victory, agrees that the B’s have gotten progressively better looks against Holtby. Krejci was notably frustrated after Game 4 at his inability to produce, but he feels that he and the offense as a whole have worked harder to make the 22-year-old goalie’s job difficult.
“I think we had a tougher start, but the last couple of games, it was getting along,” Krejci said. “We’ve just got to keep it going. It’s a Game 7. We’ve all been there before, so we’ve just got to go out there, do our best and try to get a win.”
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