|Bruins humbled by experience with first responders||04.18.13 at 3:05 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When the Bruins hosted 80 first-responders at Wednesday’s game, they thought they were simply providing a nice gesture as a way of thanking the brave bunch for all they had done for the city during Monday’s horrific events. They didn’t think they were making anybody’s day, but they were.
In meeting with the first-responders following their 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres Wednesday, the Bruins were overwhelmed by their experience with the heroes and how proud they were to meet the B’s.
“They were very, very happy and excited that they came to the game and they really showed a lot of respect,” Brad Marchand said Thursday. “It was funny — not funny, but a different feeling because they were thanking us when really we wanted to thank them for everything that they did for our city and for us and for everyone who was involved. It was honor meeting them and being able to meet those guys and hear their stories of how courageous they were in a moment like that.”
Marchand said it was more of an honor for the Bruins to spend time with the heroes than the other way around, but to be able to give them something to be smile about was touching for the players.
“They really expressed last night how big it was for them to come to the game and how excited they were from the moment they heard they were coming,” Marchand said. “Some of the guys were telling us how they found out and just how excited they were all day long or the day before, and it was all they could think about. They said that’s what they needed to kind of get their mind off things. They saw a lot of stuff. To be able to give that to them for them to enjoy and look forward to watching us play and just a few hours to watch us play and enjoy something, it’s huge for us. We take a lot of pride in that. Obviously, those guys are heroes and we look up to them. They did some courageous and amazing things. We owe them a lot.”
After the game, Andrew Ference and some other players took the first-responders out for beers as a way of further thanking them for everything they had done. Though Dennis Seidenberg didn’t join them (his children had to get up early), he wasn’t surprised to see how much the night meant to both sides.
“It’s a great sports town, Boston is,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “People are very emotional about their sports. When you have a chance to give them the opportunity to come to a game and get their mind off what happened, it’s easy for us to do and something nice also.”
|Brad Marchand: ‘I was definitely fighting back tears’||at 11:19 am ET|
Bergeron hadn’t played since April 2, a span of six games. Marchand missed the last two games since being elbowed by Anton Volchenkov of the Devils.
Neither player figured in the scoring but both had a positive signs of bouncing back on a night the city of Boston looked to bounce back.
“They both played well and they both played hard,” their coach Claude Julien said after Boston’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres. “You know, it’s unfortunate they didn’t get rewarded with anything tonight, but they had some great opportunities. And you’ve got to give their goaltender credit; he played extremely well for them tonight and allowed them to stay in that 2-1 game for a long time. I think had there been another goaltender it could have been a totally different story.”
Marchand, like everyone in the building, wasn’t thinking about himself but rather being part of something bigger during the national anthem.
Never were the emotions higher than during the national anthem for Marchand.
“It was extremely emotional. I was definitely fighting back tears,” he said. “To see again how everyone was reacting to that video, it obviously touched not only people who were here tonight but everyone at home, too, watching. It’s something that we’ll never forget. For everyone to show their respect and obviously give their thoughts and prayers for everyone, it’s great that everyone is kind of coming together at this time and helping each other out.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Brad Marchand, Bruins extend charitable efforts to Boston Marathon bombing victims||04.17.13 at 4:10 pm ET|
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, TD Garden, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced have pledged to donate a combined $250,000 to the One Fund Boston, which raises money for the families of those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.
Jacobs will donate $100,000, while the Garden, NHL and NHLPA will donate $50,000 each. In addition to those donations, Bruins players and staff have donated a combined 80 tickets to first responders who came through in Monday’s events.
‘The efforts that have taken place from ownership, management, players and all our associates to put together the proper recognition at tonight’s game for those who responded, helped and comforted all those who have been affected by the tragic events this past Monday have been remarkable,’ Bruins President Cam Neely said in a statement. ‘Every member of our organization has assisted in many different ways to make sure we make Boston proud, make our fans proud and show what it means to call Boston home. I am very proud of our entire organization for the compassion and support they have all showed, although not surprised. We are all ‘Boston Strong.’’
Additionally, Brad Marchand will raffle off his suite at the Garden for the Bruins’ first home playoff game, with all the proceeds going to the family of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old Dorchester native who was killed in the bombings.
‘Our whole team saw the photos of Martin at our game from last Thursday and learned that he and his family are big fans of ours,’ said Marchand. ‘This is just one small gesture which I hope can help the Richard family during this incredibly sad time for them. What they are going through is unimaginable and we will try to assist them in any way we can.’
Both the Bruins and Sabres will wear “Boston Strong” decals on their helmets Wednesday, with the Garden showing a “Boston Strong” video prior to the game. Fans in attendance are encouraged to sing along with Rene Rancourt during the National Anthem.
To donate to One Fund Boston, click here.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Carl Soderberg skates with Bruins, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to play Wednesday||at 12:00 pm ET|
The Bruins got an influx of healthy bodies Wednesday morning as Carl Soderberg skated with the team for the first time, while both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (concussions) have been cleared and will be in the lineup for what figures to be an emotional contest against the Sabres.
Soderberg, who arrived Tuesday from Sweden, participated in morning skate on Wednesday but will not be in the lineup against the Sabres. The Bruins feel that it will be beneficial to both Soderberg and the team for him to get some practices in and watch the team from the press box before jumping into game action.
Wade Redden will make his Bruins debut on Wednesday, with it unknown which Bruins defenseman will sit. Andrew Ference was supposed to be a healthy scratch on Monday before the game was postponed, but Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski stayed on the ice a little longer than teammates, suggesting they might be the scratches.
There was a heavy amount of rotating in line rushes for the B’s in Wednesday’s practice, but here’s what the forward lines looked like:
The goaltenders left the ice at pretty much the same time, but it was Anton Khudobin who was the first off. Given the time between games, it would be a bit surprising to see Tuukka Rask sit Wednesday, so stay tuned on that front.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins practice with ‘heavy hearts’||04.16.13 at 12:05 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — After postponing Monday’s game against the Senators in wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Bruins took the ice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.
“I think it was one of those days when you practice with heavy hearts,” coach Claude Julien said. “Obviously, we have a job to do and we still have to do our job, but I think our guys in there are proud of the city they represent, Boston. As much as it was hard to really go out there today and give your all, I think our guys did a good job. But practice is over and our thoughts are back to those people affected by it. Boston, for me personally and my family is a city we’ve fallen in love with. When you something like that happen, there’s no doubt it affects you as an individual, and even as us as a group.”
The B’s did some power-play work before beginning a full practice at 11:30. All players were accounted for, including Brad Marchand (concussion). Marchand, who was skating for the third straight day, was in a green jersey with spare forwards Jay Pandolfo and Jordan Caron. A good sign for the B’s is that Marchand did not seem limited, taking contact for the first time since suffering his concussion last Wednesday.
The lines were as follows:
Extra forwards: Brad Marchand, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron
Patrice Bergeron was expected to be examined prior to Monday’s game, but he was not cleared given Monday’s events. Claude Julien said following Tuesday’s practice that Bergeron is “highly probable” to play Wednesday, assuming there is a game.
|Patrice Bergeron feels ‘ready’ to return, could play Monday vs. Senators||04.15.13 at 11:58 am ET|
Both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (both coming off concussions) participated in the Bruins’ morning skate Monday, and Bergeron could make his return to the Boston lineup Monday night after missing the last six games.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said the team is being “extra safe” with Bergeron’s situation, given that this is his fourth career concussion. The medical staff will give final clearance as to whether the reigning Selke winner plays Monday night against the Senators. Bergeron said he only felt symptoms for a day following the play in which he was concussed, and that he’s had time to recover, get back on the ice and prepare for the final couple weeks of the regular season.
“I feel like I’m ready,” Bergeron said, “but we’ll see.”
“I feel good,” he said. “I feel confident and I don’t feel cautious either. We’ve taken the time and there’s a reason for that, so I’m not hesitant.”
Bergeron said that this concussion was less significant than his previous three. Though he missed only two games due to his previous concussion, it was actually 13 days because the Bruins had swept the Flyers and had some time before starting the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning, with Bergeron making his return in Game 3 of that series. If he plays Monday, he will have missed just as much time as he did last time, though he’ll have obviously missed more game. Either way, Bergeron feels this concussion wasn’t as bad as any of the ones before it.
“I healed a lot quicker and felt better a lot quicker,” he said. “It was good news.”
As for Marchand, who suffered a concussion on an elbow to the head from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov last week, the pesky forward skated Monday for the second consecutive day. He has not yet taken contact, which figures to be the next step in his recovery.
Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice, suggesting he will get the start Monday night against the Senators.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|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.”