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Claude Julien taking wait-and-see approach on Brad Marchand hit 03.16.11 at 6:18 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien doesn’t care to venture a guess on what the result of Brad Marchand’s phone hearing with the league Thursday morning. Julien told reporters Wednesday in Nashville that regardless of how the league rules on Marchand’s elbow to the head of R.J. Umberger Tuesday, he’ll respect the decision, especially given the attention placed on headshots in the general managers meetings.

“I don’t know how they’re going to call it, to start with,” Julien told reporters. “I think I’ll wait and hear what they have to say about the hit and how they’re going to interpret it. Then, with an explanation, maybe I’ll understand exactly where they’re going with it.

“Right now, I don’t think I can comment on much. There’s nothing to gain from a comment after everything that’s gone on there in the last three days and how they’ve addressed it and how they want to make it better. I’ve got to wait and see, and I’ve also got to be supportive of what they’re trying to do, and I am.”

Defenseman Adam McQuaid left the ice during practice, but the coach said it was because he told the blueliner to do so after collecting bruises of late.

“He seems to be getting in the way of other teams’€™ shots all the time, which is a good thing for us,’€ Julien said. “I think today would have just made it worse.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, R.J. Umberger,
Video: Brad Marchand’s hit on R.J. Umberger at 9:59 am ET
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People aren’t too happy about Brad Marchand‘s hit on R.J. Umberger in the second period of Tuesday night’s 3-2 shootout win. Some are even wondering whether Marchand could face discipline despite not being called for a penalty. Take a look.

In the day and age of Rule 48, it’s no wonder such a hit is being scrutinized by fans. It falls right in line with the penalty, even if it wasn’t called:

48.1 Illegal Check to the Head ‘€“ A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.

‘€œI haven’€™t seen it, but I’€™ve heard he might have left his feet with an elbow,’€ Umberger said, according to Puck-Rakers. ‘€œThat’€™s what it felt like. … You’ve got to think that’€™s one of the hits we are trying to eliminate, whether it’€™s inadvertent or not.’€

Read More: Brad Marchand, R.J. Umberger,
Brad Marchand calls out Canadiens 03.08.11 at 2:09 pm ET
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Hours before Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens was set to begin, Bruins forward Brad Marchand apparently wanted to get the first shot in.

Marchand, who has never been afraid to put things frankly, shared some interesting thoughts on the Habs Tuesday morning.

“They like to get in and shoot their mouths off and then when you hit them they’€™ll dive down and fall easy,” Marchand told a group that included CTV’s Arpon Basu.

“They get a lot of shots behind the play, and then they play it off like when we run them they didn’€™t do anything to deserve it.”

The rivalry has provided no shortage of fireworks this season, as the two teams combined for 187 minutes on Feb. 9, with many of those minutes coming from a scrap caused by a late Marchand hit on James Wisniewski after the whistle upon the Habs’ defenseman touching up on an icing call.

Marchand was also the recipient of a huge hit from P.K. Subban on Dec. 16 that caused him to miss a few games with what the team described as “soreness.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, James Wisniewski, P.K. Subban,
Bruins, Lightning scoreless after one 03.03.11 at 7:42 pm ET
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The Bruins and Lightning are as close as it gets in the standings. It seems that has translated to Thursday’s game, as the two teams are scoreless after a period of play at the Garden.

The Lightning outshot the Bruins, 10-8, in the period. After an ill-advised maneuver by Tim Thomas behind his net early on, he had to rush back to make a kick-save on Teddy Purcell. Thomas later robbed Mattias Ritola in front with just over 12 minutes left in the period, but the Milan Lucic went to the box afterwards for a clear-as-day cross-check.

Simon Gagne had a great opportunity on the power play, but went the puck across the crease. With 25 seconds remaining on the penalty, Steven Stamos beat Thomas with a wrist-shot but clanked it off the post.

Adam Hall drew the Lightning’s only penalty, going off for hooking David Krejci at 10:47. The Bruins are now 1-for-14 on the power play since Tomas Kaberle entered the fold, though they’re getting their chances.

Brad Marchand led the B’s with two shots in the period. Lightning goalie Mike Smith made a big stop on Patrice Bergeron on perhaps the Bruins’ best scoring opportunity thus far.

Read More: Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Mike Smith, Milan Lucic
Mike Milbury on D&H: ‘I’m not going to miss Blake Wheeler’ 02.23.11 at 12:52 pm ET
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NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Looking at the Bruins’ recent flurry of moves, Milbury said he’ll miss defenseman Mark Stuart ‘€” “a great depth defenseman and a terrific guy and a character guy” ‘€” who was sent to the Thrashers. However, he isn’t lamenting the loss of Blake Wheeler, also sent to Atlanta. “I’m not going to miss Blake Wheeler,” Milbury said. “I thought he was a near-miss ‘€” a near-miss when he went to hit a guy, a near-miss when he went to shoot a puck. It looked like he was a ball of energy, but when the moment of truth came, he came up short for me. That was a hole that needed to be patched.”

Added Milbury: “I think Peter Chiarelli did a great job in acquiring character players. I think the third and fourth lines for the Bruins, however they construct them right now, will be as good as anybody else’s third and fourth lines in the National Hockey League. The defense is solid. The [Tomas] Kaberle addition brings them the puck-moving guy that they wanted. I still wish they had somebody else that could deliver it to the net with some authority, but I’m certainly not going to complain about that.”

Milbury said the Bruins’ success will come down to this: “Are the top six forwards on the Bruins good enough to get it done?”

One of the players giving the B’s reason for hope is winger Brad Marchand. “His assets are significant,” Milbury said. “He’s got great speed. He’s got courage ‘€” he’s totally unafraid to go where he needs to go. He’s got a terrific shot. I’m not really prepared to say how well he sees the whole ice, he sees it well enough. He’s put himself in position for people to say ‘€” obviously, time will tell, but it looks like he could be a top-six forward.”

Looking elsewhere around the league, the Devils are red hot ‘€” eight straight wins and a 16-1-2 record in their last 19 games ‘€” and Milbury said he’s pulling for them to resurrect their season and make the playoffs, with a caveat. “I don’t know that they’re going to make it, but I sure hope they do,” he said. “I hope they make it and get knocked out in the first round, because they’re still boring as hell.”

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Brad Marchand, Mark Stuart, Mike Milbury
Milan Lucic scores twice as Bruins top Flames 02.22.11 at 11:41 pm ET
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Milan Lucic tallied two goals and Tim Thomas made 28 saves as the Bruins extinguished the Flames, 3-1, Tuesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Lucic opened the scoring just 59 seconds into the game when he went hard to the net and redirected David Krejci‘€™s centering pass by Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff (26 saves) for his team-leading 25th goal of the season.

Brad Marchand added some insurance 5:55 into the third when he gathered the puck in the right circle and wristed it under the crossbar for his 19th goal.

Curtis Glencross made things interesting with a power-play goal that cut the lead in half with 2:33 to go, but Lucic sealed the win with an empty-netter with 47 seconds remaining.

Thomas improved to 27-8-6 with the win and he continues to lead the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

-The Flames were hot coming in, having won three in a row and 11 of their last 14, but the B’€™s were able to pour some water on them and quiet the crowd early on. They got on the board less than a minute in when they caught Calgary in a line change. Adam McQuaid moved the puck up to Krejci to create an odd-man rush and Krejci faked a shot before centering for Lucic.

-Krejci continued his stretch of hot play, as he assisted on both of Lucic’€™s goals to give him six points in his last three games and 13 in his last 11. He had a goal and an assist in Thursday’€™s win over the Islanders and followed that up with two more assists in Friday’€™s win against the Senators.

-Marchand added to his impressive rookie season with his third goal in his last two games. The marker came as the result of hard work from the entire second line. Patrice Bergeron forced a turnover with a hard check in the corner and then went to the net to redirect Andrew Ference‘€™s shot right to Marchand, who was left with an open cage to shoot at.

-It seemed like there were bodies and pucks zipping around the front of the Boston net all night, but Thomas stood tall between the pipes. His biggest save came with a little more than four minutes left in the game when he flashed the leather and snagged Olli Jokinen‘€™s one-timer from the slot. It turned out to be even bigger than it appeared at the time given the fact the Flames scored less than two minutes later.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

-Despite jumping out to a 1-0 lead, the B’€™s were outplayed for much of the first half of the game. The Flames were able possess the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches of play and maintain steady pressure on the B’€™s. They outshot Boston, 13-7, in the first period and built the lead to 21-12 by the middle of the second before the B’€™s picked it up and recorded five of the final six shots in the period.

-The B’€™s had a four-minute power play starting late in the second and carrying over to the third, but failed to score. It was a golden opportunity to up the lead to two and although the B’€™s created a few good chances, they couldn’€™t capitalize. It marked the first time in seven games Boston failed to score at least one power-play goal.

-With 3:04 to go, one of the last guys the B’€™s wanted in the penalty box was Bergeron, their top penalty-killing forward. But that’€™s exactly where he ended up after being called for a slash while pursuing the puck behind the Calgary net. The penalty ultimately cost Thomas his would-be league-leading eighth shutout.

Read More: Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron
Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask lead Bruins past Senators 02.18.11 at 10:07 pm ET
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The new-look Bruins didn’t get off to the prettiest of starts, but they finished strong to earn a 4-2 victory over the Senators at Scotiabank Place on Friday night.

Brad Marchand had a pair of goals, while Andrew Ference, Nathan Horton and David Krejci also multi-point performances. Krejci now has 11 points over his last 10 contests. Dennis Seidenberg also scored for the B’s.

Marlborough native and former University of New Hampshire Wildcat Bobby Butler provided the Senators with their first tally, beating Tuukka Rask at 2:50 of the second period for his third goal in three games. Butler’s strike opened the game’s scoring, but Marchand’s goal from Tyler Seguin and Ference pulled the B’s even. After Horton gave them the lead at 9:47 of the third, the B’s never looked back. Alexei Kovalev scored for the Senators with 1:30 remaining in the game.

Rask made 32 saves in the game, improving to 7-11-1 on the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Almost unbelievably, Rask has won back-to-back games for the first time all season. The 23-year-old netminder hasn’t really gotten many opportunities to string together much success, but with Claude Julien clearly willing to give him more starts down the stretch, Rask’s performances Thursday and Friday are good for both the confidence of the Finland native and the B’s.

- Friday was about a couple of veterans making their Bruins debuts, but it was the rookies who once again came up big for the B’s. Seguin took a pass from Ference to set up Marchand’s 17th goal of the year, and considering how he’s played the last two nights, it will be hard for the Bruins to scratch the second overall pick when the team returns to action Tuesday in Calgary. With Marchand’s two tallies, he now has 18 on the season.

- On a night in which it appeared Horton may be regressing back to the point where he was back to slumping, the 25-year-old came up big. He entered the night with just one point over his last four games, but he fired a beautiful wrester past Robin Lehner off a nice pass from Krejci at 9:47 of the third. He also drew a holding penalty on holding penalty on Erik Karlsson in the second period, though he went off for holding Milan Michalek at 11:38 of the third.

- The team showed how their power play will be able to operate with Tomas Kaberle, as the newcomer helped orchestrate Seidenberg’s goal. On the night, the B’s power play went 1-for-5.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins came out in the first period like a team that had spent the day selling off assets, and not gaining them. They played with very little energy in the first, getting outshot 12-5. Rask came up big throughout the period, which is the silver lining in a surprisingly flat start by the Bruins.

The Bruins did pick it up after their sluggish period, grabbing a 13-8 advantage in shots in the second period and sustaining that increased energy through the third.

- Johnny Boychuk was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. With Kaberle now in the fold, Boychuk could be the guy that is a regular healthy scratch, with Adam McQuaid and Steven Kampfer also candidates.

Read More: Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Tuukka Rask
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