|Is three games too soon to panic over Bruins’ first line woes? Yes||10.11.11 at 5:35 pm ET|
While information is awaited on the status of David Krejci (who did not get on the plane to Carolina but could possibly join the team Wednesday), it’s hard to tell what the Bruins’ first line will look like Wednesday against the Hurricanes. At this point, the Bruins feel that injury is the only thing that will cause them to break up the trip if Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton at this point.
Krejci, Lucic and Horton went onto the ice early Tuesday, beginning their day 20 minutes before their teammates as a way to “get the frustration out and get back to playing how we know we can play,” according to Lucic. They stayed out in their first-line white sweaters for Tuesday’s skate until Krejci left with an undisclosed injury, the severity of which is unknown.
Through three games, the line has only one goal, a Krejci tally, and all three members of the line have a team-worst minus-2 rating. It hasn’t been smooth sailing, but the left wing feels that shaking things up three games into the season would be premature.
“Obviously, it keeps dragging on, changes have to be made,” Lucic said, “but right now, I think we just have [bring the right mindset] to the game and things will take care of themselves.”
The worst of the three has been Nathan Horton, who aside from penalties in each of the first two games and a 2-on-1 with Lucic in Monday’s loss to the Avalanche has been invisible thus far. He has just one shot on goal and has yet to register a hit.
“Personally, I feel like we haven’t found him enough and passed him the puck in areas where he’s most dangerous,” Lucic said of Horton. “As a linemate, that’s what I and our centerman need to do for him and give him more opportunities where he can be more dangerous.”
What doesn’t help from a pressure standpoint is the fact that this is the same line that, aside from struggles from an injured Lucic, had big success in the playoffs. Horton was arguably the team’s most clutch player, with three game-winning goals, two of which came in Game 7s. Krejci led all players in postseason goals and points.
“Sometimes when you’re just thinking about producing and scoring, that’s when it becomes the hardest. Maybe we just need to focus on something else and the rest will take care of itself.”
With the top trio struggling, the team’s second line of Patrice Bergeron centering Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley has been the team’s best line. Marchand is tied with Tyler Seguin for the team lead with three points, while Peverley’s two goals lead the defending champs. The success of the second line and the struggles of the first line have led to some speculation that switching up the lines could be an option, but Marchand has no interest in hearing any of that.
“I think people are overreacting right now,” Marchand said frankly on Tuesday. “It’s three games into the season. It was a short but long summer, very busy and very busy times right now. I think people have to settle down and realize that it’s only three games into the year. It’s not that big of a deal. Guys are still getting back into things. They’re three of the top guys into league. They’re going to bounce back. We’re not worrying about it, so they’ll be fine.”
|Inside the Locker Room: Opening Night||10.07.11 at 12:14 am ET|
|Quick hits from Brad Marchand and Peter Chiarelli conference call||09.14.11 at 5:27 pm ET|
Here are a few highlights from Bruins forward Brad Marchand and general manager Peter Chiarelli from Wednesday’s conference call after Marchand signed a new two-year deal:
On getting a deal done before camp:
“From the get go I never was going to miss a day of camp. I never wanted that. I wanted to be here the first day. I wanted to show I wanted to be here and go through the whole camp with the guys and be a part of the team. I was very happy that it didn’t have to come down to that, and we were able to get the deal done before camp, so now we can just move forward.”
On the term of the deal:
“It’s a great fit for both of us. I’m happy with the term. We talked about a little longer [deal] and I think that was just more about a little more security, but I think this was just a perfect fit for both parties.”
On whether he will become an unrestricted free agent after the contract expires in 2012-13:
“No, I believe I still have two more years.”
“It took a little while, but I’m very happy to sign Brad to two years. He was a terrific performer in the playoffs, a clutch performer and just loves to play, plays on the edge, and we’re really excited to have him with the Bruins for two more years.”
On getting the deal done before camp:
“It was important. I didn’t think that it would get to that stage. Brad’s always told me that he wants to be here, and be part of the Bruins, and I know the works that Don Sweeney put in and Brad’s representative, they put in some good time. I had a feeling it would get done. It’s nice to finish this business before camp, because you fall behind in camp and it’s hard to catch up. I didn’t think it would get to that stage and it didn’t.”
On whether a longer deal was discussed:
“In these negotiations, you talk about a lot of different things. We did with this one, and we found that this term was probably best for both parties, and it gives some security. It gives Brad the ability to come back in a couple of years and negotiate with us again. It was just something that was a fit here, but we did talk about a bunch of different terms.”
On whether other deals signed influence negotiations:
“These are all comparables, and there’s a whole list of comparables that you talk about. it was something that we worked on throughout the summer. Deal’s come up, we discuss deals, we discuss where our offers are, etc. Eventually you get a deal done.”
|Brad Marchand gets two-year deal with Bruins||at 2:48 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have signed restricted free agent Brad Marchand to a two-year contract.
Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS in Canada was the first to report the deal, noting it is for $5 million and a $2.5 million cap hit.
Last season, Marchand made $821,667. He had 21 goals and 20 assists in the regular season as a rookie, and his 11 goals in the playoffs put him behind only teammate David Krejci for tops amongst all skaters.
Had he not signed this week, it was possible Marchand may have missed part of training camp.
|Report: Bruins, Brad Marchand close to deal||at 1:30 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — According to a tweet from ESPN’s James Murphy, the Bruins could finally sign restricted free agent Brad Marchand on Wednesday.
Tweeted Murphy: Brad Marchand’s agent Wade Arnott just told me: “We are closing in on a deal for Brad ‘ it will likely get done today.”
A deal for Marchand prior to Friday would save both sides the headache of what would essentially be a holdout. Without a deal, the risk involved in showing up to training camp and potentially being hurt would potentially prevent Marchand from showing up, though he’s participated in each veterans’ skate.
|Brad Marchand not thinking about camp or James van Riemsdyk’s money||09.12.11 at 12:19 pm ET|
BOLTON — We have a Brad Marchand update, and it’s that it doesn’t seem anything has changed.
Marchand, a restricted free agent who has yet to sign, was at the Bruins’ annual golf tournament Monday, which to his credit is the latest sign of him doing everything he can to remain involved despite the uncertainty surround when his deal will get done.
He’s been at captains’ practices, the golf tournament, and was at the team’s DVD premier over the summer, but the biggest two questions remain unanswered: will he be signed before training camp opens Friday, and, if not, would he really show up for camp without a contract? Marchand was once again noncommittal in answering the latter.
“I’m not looking that far ahead right now,” he said. “It’s just day to day.”
With Friday just four days away, he doesn’t need to look too far ahead. The clock is ticking for Wade Arnott, Marchand’s agent, and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli to get something done.
[UPDATE: 8:30 pm] Chiarelli weighed in — barely — on the matter after the team’s annual State of the Bruins meeting with season-ticket holders.
“He’s obviously a good player, and he’s a god kid, and we want to get him signed,” Chiarelli said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Asked whether he would expect Marchand to show up for camp without a contract, the general manager didn’t say.
“It’s something that I’d have to discuss with the agent and the player,” Chiarelli said. “We’re not at that point yet.”
One thing that may have shaken up the market a bit is the contract that agent Alec Schall was able to get for Flyers forward and former second overall pick James van Riemsdyk. The winger got a six-year, $25.5 million deal, and his regular season production last year (21 goals, 19 assists) was right on par with what Marchand did (21 goals, 20 assists). It’s hard to imagine the Bruins giving Marchand that kind of money or such a lengthy deal.
“No, not at all,” Marchand said when asked whether he felt he was worth more than JvR. “Everyone’s in a different place, with a different team and different dynamic. He’s a great player, and he’s going to have a great future. It’s a great deal for him, but that isn’t really any of my business.”
|‘Anxious’ Brad Marchand still waiting for deal as camp nears||09.08.11 at 12:30 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — What has one ring, too many unflattering pictures on the internet and no contract?
That would be Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who still has yet to ink a deal for the coming season. The 23-year-old was a somewhat surprising attendee at the Bruins’ first veterans practice Thursday at Ristuccia Arena, as he, among others, took the ice in preparation for the start of training camp next weekend.
Marchand addressed his situation after the skate, saying he doesn’t know whether he’ll have a deal in time for camp, but that he’s “anxious” for agent Wade Arnott to give him some good news.
“I’m updated every day,” Marchand said of where things stand between the Bruins and Arnott. “Every day that something happens, I’m updated, so I’m very aware of what’s going on, but [Arnott]‘s doing everything.”
Training camp is set to officially open a week from Saturday. Marchand doesn’t know whether he will be under contract then, and though he technically could participate in camp without a deal, he would not indicate whether he plans to take the ice — and therefore risk being injured without a contract — or sit out.
“I’m not thinking that far ahead right now,” he said. “It’s just day to day, and hopefully it gets done before then.”
As for his decision to participate in the voluntary veterans skates, Marchand, who has been skating since Aug. 3, said he did not consider staying off the ice until a deal was signed.
Said Marchand: “The goal is to be in the best possible shape as I can be for the season, and that’s all I’ve been doing and trying to get in shape.”
Marchand’s 11 goals in the playoffs last season were second only to teammate David Krejci. In the regular season, Marchand had 21 goals and 20 assists as a rookie, working his way up from a fourth-line player to a main contributor on the team’s second line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi.
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