|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘I wouldn’t be afraid about playing [Islanders] in the playoffs’||04.12.13 at 12:36 pm ET|
NBC’s Pierre McGuire talked with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday about the state of the Bruins as the regular season winds down, who they might match up well against in the playoffs and why some other teams are picking up their game as the Bruins appear to wear down.
McGuire was there for the Bruins’ 5-4 win over the Devils on Wednesday, and he said that despite their inconsistencies lately, Boston fans shouldn’t be worried about the team.
“They were solid and reliable early on and then they let their guard down a little bit,” McGuire said of Wednesday’s game. “I think mental and physical fatigue is probably kicking in a little bit. But they were good enough to win in that game. The big thing that’s impressing me is their ability to kill penalties, their ability to play with an edge that’s required, especially when it comes to the playoffs. If you play with that edge and you do take penalties and you can kill them off, that’s huge.
“I know a lot of people are probably a little bit fidgety right now because they lost last night on home ice to the Islanders. The Islanders are doing that to a lot of teams right now, and I think three games in four days right now probably broke [the Bruins] down a little bit. I wouldn’t worry too much about them. I think the Bruins are going to be just fine.”
Despite the fact that the Islanders just beat the Bruins, McGuire said he still thinks they’re an ideal first-round playoff matchup for the Bruins.
“The New York Islanders obviously are an upstart team,” he said. “If I was the Bruins, I wouldn’t be afraid about playing them in the playoffs. I just don’t think they have enough overall depth to play against the Boston Bruins. That would be the team, if I could pick a team — that’s the team I’d want to play against.”
|Brad Marchand has concussion||04.11.13 at 6:20 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Thursday evening that left wing Brad Marchand suffered a “mild concussion” on the hit he took from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
Volchenkov was given a four-game suspension for the play in which he elbowed Marchand in the head, forcing Marchand to leave the game. The Bruins’ announcement did not include how long they expect to be without their leading scorer, with general manager Peter Chiarelli saying in the two-sentence release that the B’s will “provide an update on his status when appropriate.”
Marchand leads the Bruins with 16 goals this season.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
The justice for Brad Marchand was swift.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended for four games, without pay, for elbowing Marchand during Wednesday’s game in New Jersey.
The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced the ruling Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred at 15:11 of the second period. Volchenkov was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct (per Rule 45). [The NHL details the hit and the explanation for the suspension in the video below].
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Volchenkov will forfeit $91,891.88. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Patrice Bergeron took part in a limited morning skate Thursday at TD Garden, marking the first time he’s been spotted on the ice since leaving last Tuesday’s game against the Senators with a concussion. Bergeron skated with Adam McQuaid, Wade Redden, Kaspars Daugavins, Jay Pandolfo and Aaron Johnson.
As for Brad Marchand, Claude Julien told reporters that the left winger still was being evaluated after taking an elbow to the head from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Marchand left Wednesday’s game following the elbow and did not return.
Julien did say that he feels McQuaid is “ready” to return to Boston’s lineup, and that he will likely do so Thursday against the Islanders. McQuaid has missed the last 11 games with a shoulder strain.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Brad Marchand hurt as Bruins hang on vs. Devils||04.10.13 at 10:15 pm ET|
Gregory Campbell had his first two-goal game of the season as the Bruins took over first place in the Northeast Division with a 5-4 win over the Devils Wednesday in New Jersey.
The Bruins had a 4-0 lead that was nearly blown when the Devils came within a goal with less than a minute to play, but Anton Khudobin and the B’s were able to fend off the comeback attempt.
Prior to Brad Marchand leaving the game following a dirty hit (see below), the story of the game was Boston’s penalty kill. The Devils were unable to get a shot on goal during a 1:27 5-on-3, and Johnny Boychuk jumped out of the box to get a breakaway on which he was hooked to set up a penalty shot. Boychuk was stopped by Martin Brodeur, but Daniel Paille scored a shorthanded goal with Zdeno Chara still in the box.
Later in the period, Campbell picked up his second of the game with a shorthanded tally, giving Boston a 3-0 lead after one. Zdeno Chara increased the Bruins’ lead with a power-play goal at 3:06 of the second period, but goals from Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac (the latter of which was shorthanded) made it 4-2. Andy Greene brought the Devils within one before Tyler Seguin picked up his first point in four games by beating Brodeur in front off a pass from Daniel Paille. Matt D’Agostini made it 5-4 with 37 seconds remaining.
The Bruins will return to Boston to host the Islanders on Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– It turns out that the Campbell-Jagr combination was more than a flash in the pan. Jagr did all the work by simply toying with the Devils and firing a shot in front that yielded the rebound on which Campbell scored. The line of Campbell between Marchand and Jagr produced two goals Monday, and the second line kept up the goo work leading up to Marchand’s injury.
– Playing in his second game back after missing the previous 14 with a broken leg, Chris Kelly looked like he hadn’t lost a step. Kelly played a key role in killing off eight penalties (his 6:32 of shorthanded time led Bruins forwards)
– Seguin had to deal with very limited ice time because the Bruins were playing shorthanded for so much of the contest (the B’s took eight minor penalties in the game, including two from Seguin in the third period), but it was good to see some production from him given the circumstances. Seguin, who does not kill penalties and was skating on the third line for the second straight game, played just 2:46 in the first period and had 8:17 of ice time through two periods.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Brad Marchand left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head from Anton Volchenkov along the boards. Volchenkov will certainly hear from Brendan Shanahan about the hit (he was suspended in 2011 for three games after elbowing Zach Boychuk), but the big concern should be on Boston’s end. Patrice Bergeron is already out with a concussion, and losing the team’s top goal-scorer in Marchand would be a really tough break for the Bruins.
– The Bruins obviously have a history of blowing leads this season, and they scored the first goals of the game before letting the Devils back in with three straight goals. Seguin’s third-period tally provided some much-needed space.
– A dreadful giveaway in the neutral zone allowed Zajac to take the puck, enter the Bruins’ zone and beat Anton Khudobin to make it 4-2 late in the second period. The play occurred with Boston on the power play, making it one of the ugliest moments of the season in an area that’s obviously had major issues for the Bruins.
|Brad Marchand breaks goal drought with help from Gregory Campbell, Jaromir Jagr||04.08.13 at 11:28 pm ET|
Brad Marchand scored two goals on Monday in a 6-2 Bruins win after scoring two over his previous 17 games. He was so grateful to his new linemates, Gregory Campbell and Jaromir Jagr, for making it happen that when he had chances to score a third, he went out of his way to try and set them up instead.
“I think I wanted to be a little unselfish there,” Marchand said. “One time I tried to give it to Jags when I had a pretty good shooting lane, and then that 2-on-1 where I tried to give it to [Campbell] – but I just wanted to return the favor on both of those goals they gave me.”
Both of Marchand’s goals came on second chances produced by his linemates’ shots. On the first, Campbell drove to the net and attempted a wraparound with Hurricane defenders hanging on him. While he couldn’t get enough on it, Marchand was ready to tap the rebound past Carolina goalie Justin Peters.
Then, with just under three minutes left in the first period, Jagr carried the puck behind the net and tried for a wraparound (all three first-period goals from the B’s involved wraparounds). His attempt slid through the slot and out to Marchand, who was in exactly the right spot to flick it past Dan Ellis, Peters’ replacement.
By the middle of the second period, the Bruins had a comfortable 5-0 lead, so Marchand seemed content to spread the wealth around. He broke free of the Carolina defense and cut down the left wing, but instead of accelerating and taking a shot, he sent a pass back to Campbell, who was entering the zone with a defender on him and couldn’t do much with the puck.
Marchand did the same later with a pass to Jagr, who picked up two assists on the night but didn’t score. Campbell also had two assists, his sixth and seventh of the year.
“I probably should have shot on both of them, but they’re quick, second decisions, and that’s how the game goes,” Marchand said.
The line finished with eight of the Bruins’ 36 shots (four for Marchand, two each for Jagr and Campbell) in their first game together. Bruins coach Claude Julien said he thinks Campbell’s work ethic fit well with the two more offensively-oriented wingers, even though Campbell hasn’t seen much time as a top-six center in Boston.
“He’s a very versatile player that you can move up and down,” Julien said. “His style is not fancy. It’s straightforward. It’s about hard work. It’s about getting pucks to the net and getting your nose dirty in all the areas, and he was a decent centerman for those guys who like to move the puck around. He made room for those guys and he opened up some passing lanes.”
Passing up shots didn’t hurt the Bruins Monday as they got plenty of offense from unlikely sources, including Jordan Caron and Andrew Ference. However, Julien said he hopes Marchand’s line will take the shots they have as they settle into playing together.
“Tonight it was more Jags trying to feed [Marchand], forcing a pass, trying to get him his hat trick,” Julien said. “Eventually those guys will get used to playing with each other and they’re going to encourage each other to take the shot when it’s there. I know I will.”
|Tyler Seguin has a whole new appreciation for Patrice Bergeron||04.05.13 at 1:47 am ET|
He didn’t think it would be this hard.
But after skating up and down the center of the ice and going side to side in his first game as a center, Tyler Seguin has a whole new appreciation and understanding of exactly what Patrice Bergeron does.
In his first game replacing the concussed Bergeron, Seguin skated 19 shifts in 19 minutes with Jaromir Jagr on his right and Brad Marchand on his left. Seguin finished with three shots in Boston’s 1-0 win over the Devils Thursday night at the Garden.
“First shift I was like, ‘Bergy, I appreciate you a lot more right now,'” Seguin said. “I guess the first period I felt it a little bit more, but, again, as the game progressed I felt like I could use my speed a little bit more, and it was just about finding those areas. It’s one thing from being a centerman and then going to the NHL, but it’s another thing from going center to wing in the NHL and then going back to center, so it’s going to take some adjustment.”
His coach could certainly see a difference.
“Well, it brought us what we thought. Tyler is obviously realizing, probably, how tough it is for Bergy to play that position, because playing in the D-zone, there’s a lot of territory to cover as a centerman, and when pucks are going from one side to the other, he wasn’t always there,” coach Claude Julien added. “That’s the work in progress, and that’s what we expected, and that’s what he’s going to get used to. But overall, that line was fine. Again, you’ve got to remember there’s a Hall of Famer on that line with two young players who were probably looking for him a bit too much versus making the plays or taking the shots like they should’ve. Hopefully, it will wear off and it will get better.”
Seguin also has a new appreciation of the responsibility Bergeron carries in the face-off circle. Seguin won just three-of-12 but vowed to get better with practice. Read the rest of this entry »