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Alain Vigneault calls Claude Julien old, raises important question of whether Brad Marchand or Henrik Lundqvist would make a more desirable son 11.28.15 at 1:08 pm ET
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Alain Vigneault and the Bruins have gone back and forth in the media ever since the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup championship over the Vigneault-coached Canucks. Despite Vigneault being long gone from Vancouver, that spat is now in its latest installment.

The Rangers coach responded Saturday to Claude Julien and Brad Marchand voicing their frustrations with an uncalled Henrik Lundqvist embellishment on a Brad Marchand goaltender interference penalty in Friday’s Bruins win. In particular, Vigneault seemed annoyed with Julien summarizing Lundqvist’s dive by quipping, “I know he does some acting on the side, but I don’t think it needs to be on the ice.”

“Well, [the Rangers public relations staff] filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said Saturday, per the New York Daily News. “I mean, it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets.

“Who would you rather have as a son: Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

The “check his eyesight” comment is absurd given that there is little debate as to what happened on the play. Marchand made contact and Lundqvist had a woefully delayed reaction. Both players deserved penalties.

As for the stuff about having Marchand as a son, this marks the latest occurrence of Vigneault having something peculiar to say about the B’s left wing. After Marchand low-bridged Sami Salo in a January 2012 game that earned him a five-game suspension, Vigneault made what the Bruins perceived to be a threatening comment about Marchand.

“Marchand — and this is just my feeling — but some day he’€™s going to get it,” Vigneault said back in 2012. “Some day, someone’€™s going to say ‘€˜enough is enough’€™ and they’€™re going to hurt the kid because he plays to hurt players. And if the league doesn’t care, somebody else will.”

Then-Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had an impromptu media session with reporters after those comments were made to voice his feelings on Vigneault’€™s handling of the situation.

“I think we’ve learned our lesson over time that that’€™s a real inappropriate comment,” Chiarelli said. “That’s a real inappropriate comment, and it’s an unprofessional comment.”

Vigneault’s words about Marchand aren’t the only comments about the Bruins he’s made in recent days that raised eyebrows. On Friday he compared an uncalled boarding penalty on Matt Beleskey to Aaron Rome targeting the head of Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the 2011 Cup Final.

The Bruins did not practice on Saturday, but they’ll have the opportunity to respond to Vigneault’s words after Sunday’s practice.

Read More: Alain Vigneault, Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Henrik Lundqvist
Claude Julien, Brad Marchand call out Henrik Lundqvist for embellishing: ‘He must’ve got hit with a cement block’ 11.27.15 at 5:13 pm ET
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If the Bruins hadn’t come back Friday afternoon, it would have been a tough loss to swallow. Not coming back would’ve meant that the Rangers’ winning goal would’ve come on a power play they shouldn’t have had.

With 12:01 remaining and the game tied 2-2, Brad Marchand drove to the front of the net as Adam McQuaid put a shot on goal from the point. Marchand made a little bit of contact with Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and Lundqvist reacted with a delayed flop to the ice.

The referee called Marchand for goaltender interference, which may have been a bit of a soft call, but there was contact, so you can at least understand that.

What’s hard to understand, though, is how Lundqvist didn’t get called for embellishment. Worst-case scenario for the Bruins should’ve been matching minors. Instead the Rangers got a power play and then scored on it to take a 3-2 lead.

After the game, the Bruins didn’t hide their frustration with the no-call, and with Lundqvist himself.

“I was upset when it first happened. I think this was the second time — in preseason Lundqvist did the same thing,” Claude Julien said. “I know he does some acting on the side, but I don’t think it needs to be on the ice.

“Referees are there to protect goaltenders, and they should, but goaltenders shouldn’t take advantage of referees. He may think it’s a good play for his team to get a power play, but we’re all trying to get that out of our game. If my guys do that, I’m going to address it. I’m not hypocritical about that. We’re trying to improve the game here.”

Marchand, who has embellished more than once himself in the past, also didn’t appreciate Lundqvist’s behavior.

“He must’ve got hit with a cement block the way he went down,” Marchand said. “I didn’t know I was that strong. It’s tough. It seems like they don’t call goalies on that one. Maybe they should. There’s a lot of that around the league.”

Fortunately for the Bruins, the no-call and ensuing power-play goal didn’t cost them the game. Ryan Spooner tied the game with 3:46 to go and then David Krejci scored what proved to be the game-winner with 1:43 remaining.

“We didn’t get all rattled and thrown off our game,” Julien said. “We just stuck with it. It was frustrating to see them score on that, but at the same time it was up to us to keep our heads there.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Henrik Lundqvist,
All things considered, Bruins fortunate with result of Gabriel Landeskog hit on Brad Marchand 11.12.15 at 11:27 pm ET
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Brad Marchand chose his words carefully after Thursday night’s loss to the Avalanche. He was visibly angry — perhaps because the Bruins had just turned in yet another bad performance at home, but more than likely because he took an unnecessary hit to the head in the second period.

Marchand was the recipient of a hit to the head from Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who flew into the Colorado zone and caught Marchand in the head with his shoulder after the veteran Bruins winger had released a shot from above the left circle. Though Marchand took a few seconds to get up, he promptly skated to an ongoing scrum and delivered a sucker-punch to Landeskog’s mouth. Landeskog, who was assessed a match penalty for his hit, automatically has a hearing with Department of Player Safety. Marchand reportedly does as well.

“I tried to let up and then I tried to skate up and apologize and tell him I didn’t mean to come across and he — obviously he wasn’t hurt, with that sucker punch,” Landeskog said after the game. “I’m happy he didn’t get hurt. I feel like the principal point of contact was shoulder, and like I said I’m happy he didn’t get hurt.”

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Gabriel Landeskog,
Brad Marchand feels Reilly Smith can thrive in Florida 10.28.15 at 8:15 pm ET
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Reilly Smith has four goals and three assists this season. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Reilly Smith has four goals and three assists in nine games with the Panthers. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Panthers games aren’€™t just Shawn Thornton reunion nights anymore for the Bruins. In addition to former B’€™s Thornton, Steven Kampfer and Jaromir Jagr, the B’€™s will see Reilly Smith Friday in the first meeting between the teams since Smith was traded to Florida in the offseason.

Smith’€™s two-year tenure with the Bruins had highs and lows that were exacerbated by a number of things. In addition to being part of the return for Tyler Seguin, Smith was extremely streaky. Because the Bruins were low on cap space last season, the B’€™s had to stick him with an underpayment of a $1.4 million one-year contract. Peter Chiarelli made it up to Smith by giving him a two-year extension worth $3.42 million a year, a contract that, despite not being much of an overpayment for Smith’€™s previous work, it was given during a 13-goal season. When the offseason came, new general manager Don Sweeney traded Smith to Florida for Jimmy Hayes and devoted the money saved towards Matt Beleskey’€™s contract in free agency.

The Bruins gave up a good player. At 24, Smith could very well end up having a better career than Hayes or Beleskey. With Smith off to a strong start (seven points in nine games), he’€™s been able to adjust well to a new team, just as he did when he began the 2013-14 season in impressive fashion with the Bruins. If there’€™s a silver lining for him with his departure, however, it’€™s that the pressure that was often on the self-effacing winger in Boston won’€™t be there in Florida.

“Yeah, he seems to stick to himself and be a little quiet,” former linemate Brad Marchand said of Smith. “Sometimes guys can thrive in those environments where there’€™s not as much pressure. Maybe that’€™s why he fits well down there right now. You don’€™t really have the choice of where you’€™re going to be a lot of the time, so you’€™ve got to be able to adapt and play in that situation.”

Marchand said he is not surprised that Smith is performing well. He noted that last season’€™s low output from Smith was a product of him missing a large portion of training camp because he hadn’€™t yet been given a contract.

“He’€™s a really good player. He’€™s very skilled,” Marchand said. “He’€™s going to get his points and goals in this league. He’€™s going to do well.”

When the points didn’€™t come for Smith in Boston, things seemed to snowball. When Smith got sick and lost weight during his first season with the Bruins, he had a hard time finding his game again before finally reigning it in the playoffs. Last season, with the Bruins fighting for a playoff spot down the stretch, Smith scored just one goal over his last 22 games and was made a healthy scratch on March 21 in Florida. His struggles while all eyes were on the B’€™s made him an easy target for fans and observers.

“It’€™s a town where you’€™re expected to do well and you’€™re expected to play to your ability. I think in Florida, in lesser hockey markets, it’€™s a little different. You can get away with that kind of stuff and hide in the weeds, but there’€™s a lot of media attention here and the fans are very into the stats and the games and they keep an eye on that stuff,”€ Marchand said. “So you can’€™t get away with it, you can’€™t hide. Same thing in the room. Guys expect a lot and expect you to carry your weight.”

Added Marchand: “I think you’€™ve got to be able to understand each guy on the team and find a way to work with him. I don’€™t know exactly what his [outlook is] and how he wants to deal with situations, but regardless, when we do have that pressure on us and we’€™re in a tough situation, we need everyone to step up. Regardless of if you like it or not, you’€™ve still got to be able to play your game.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith,
Brad Marchand given maintenance day, Matt Beleskey feeling better 10.24.15 at 1:46 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were both absent as the Bruins practiced Saturday at Agganis Arena. Bergeron is still on semi-paternity leave (he’€™s played the last two games but has been given practices and morning skates off), while Marchand was given a maintenance day.

With Bergeron and Marchand absent, the B’€™s had some wonky lines in practice. Most notably, the gold jerseys usually designated for Bergeron’€™s line were worn by Joonas Kemppainen, Max Talbot and Tyler Randell. The lines in practice were as follows:

Eriksson-Krejci-Pastrnak
Beleskey-Kelly-Hayes
Rinaldo-Spooner-Connolly
Talbot-Kemppainen-Randell

Matt Beleskey, who has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury, said after the practice that he is feeling better. He didn’€™t provide much to clarify how his injury was suffered, as it wasn’€™t suffered in a practice or a game and Claude Julien recently quipped that Beleskey had gotten up on the “wrong side of the bed.” Beleskey noted that he first realized the injury upon waking up Wednesday.

“Pretty much,” he said. “It was nothing I can really remember, but it’€™s getting better. It’€™s getting better every day and I felt pretty good out there.”

Dennis Seidenberg skated again prior to the practice. Seidenberg, who is working his way back from back surgery, has been skating since Monday.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Matt Beleskey,
Brad Marchand to travel with Bruins, Joe Morrow battling flu 10.13.15 at 10:30 am ET
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WILMINGTON — In a season that hasn’€™t had many positives, Tuesday morning provided a bit of surprisingly optimistic news for the Bruins.

Brad Marchand, who suffered a concussion Saturday and sat out Monday’€™s game, took part in Tuesday’s practice. Prior to the skate, he was on the ice working with healthy scratches Zach Trotman and Tyler Randell. The three took the ice with goaltending coach Bob Essensa and goalies Tuukka Rask and Jonas Gustavsson.

Marchand will travel with the team to Colorado and Arizona as the B’s look for their first win of the season.

Marchand suffered his concussion in the third period of Saturday’s loss to the Canadiens, crashing into Dale Weise and taking an inadvertent elbow to the head. Tuesday’s practice saw him don a green jersey, signifying that he would not be taking contact.

Adam McQuaid, who blocked a Steven Stamkos shot and missed time in the second period of Monday’s game, was present for practice. The only player missing Tuesday was Joe Morrow, who is currently battling the flu. It is not known whether the team will recall a defenseman, but Matt Irwin would be an obvious choice after being assigned to Providence on Monday.

The lineup in practice was as follows:

Eriksson-Bergeron-Connolly
Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak
Kelly-Spooner-Hayes
Rinaldo-Kemppainen-Talbot
(Randell, Marchand)

Chara-Kevan Miller
Krug-McQuaid
Trotman-Colin Miller

 

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Brad Marchand out with concussion; Matt Irwin placed on waivers 10.11.15 at 11:20 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand is out indefinitely with a concussion, according to Bruins coach Claude Julien. The team also placed struggling defenseman Matt Irwin on waivers.

Marchand, who crashed into Dale Weise and was woozy as he left the ice in third period, leaves a hole in Boston’s top six. It appears Claude Julien will try to kill two birds with one stone by taking Brett Connolly off Ryan Spooner’s line to play with Patrice Bergeron, with Chris Kelly moving to Spooner’s line to add defensive responsibility that has been glaringly absent in the first two games of the season.

Julien put no timetable on Marchand’s return, saying that the team will follow the league’s concussion protocol and monitor his status accordingly.

Zdeno Chara was among seven defensemen who practiced with Irwin out. Julien said Chara is “questionable” for Monday’s game against the Lightning. As for Irwin, the team will learn at noon Monday whether or not the 27-year-old defenseman was claimed. If he clears waivers, the B’s can assign him to Providence.

The lines and pairings in practice were as follows:

Eriksson-Bergeron-Connolly
Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak
Kelly-Spooner-Hayes
Rinaldo-Kemppainen-Talbot (Randell)

Chara-Colin Miller
Krug-McQuaid
Morrow-Kevan Miller
(Trotman)

 

Read More: Brad Marchand, Matt Irwin,
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