|Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘Bruins appear to be very vulnerable right now’||04.24.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
NESN commentator Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ turnover issues, how their defensive pairings might look in the playoffs and how Milan Lucic has responded to being benched on Saturday.
Brickley said he saw a number of recurring issues in the Bruins’ 5-2 loss to the Flyers on Tuesday.
“[I was] surprised by the lack of complete-game effort by Boston,” Brickley. “It’s almost an indifference to their game. Not enough meaningful contact, the turnovers were just way too many. And not just by one player or a handful of players — it’s everybody. When they get good penalty-killing, their power play can’t score. When they get a power-play goal, their penalty kill seems to fall by the wayside.
“When they need a save in a close game, they haven’t gotten it lately. And if you’re looking for that Bruin team that we got so used to liking because they had that cockiness and swagger to them and they had tremendous confidence as a team, it’s just not there, plain and simple. This is a team that no matter where they finish, whether it’s second or fourth in the conference, [potential playoff opponents] will have no reservations because the Bruins appear to be very vulnerable right now.”
Turnovers have plagued the Bruins all over the ice as they’ve continued to struggle recently, and Brickley said he thinks that’s their No. 1 issue at the moment.
“The ones that jump out at you are the ones where the defensemen turn the puck over in their own zone, and a scoring chance or a goal happens,” Brickley said. “But turnovers at the offensive blue line, turnovers deep in the offensive zone, bad passes through center ice — usually when you make mistakes like that, it’s your decision-making.
“Is that a result of mental or physical fatigue? If you told me that in the middle of the third week of March, when they were playing 17 games in that month, I’d say, OK, I get that. But not now. This is where fatigue cannot be part of the equation. You have to compartmentalize, totally focus on the job at hand. And what the Bruins really need is for their leaders to lead and their star players to do more. [Zdeno] Chara can be a better player. [Patrice] Bergeron has been awesome all year long, but I’m going to ask him to do even more. I want [Andrew] Ference to stand up, [Dennis] Seidenberg, those are the guys that really play tons of minutes. Those are the guys that have to lead the way.”
|Milan Lucic a healthy scratch as Carl Soderberg makes NHL debut||04.20.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
Milan Lucic was made a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Penguins and did not take warmups. The scratch comes two days after Lucic skated with the Bruins’ extra forwards in Thursday’s practice.
After scoring 30 goals two seasons ago and scoring 26 last season, Lucic has just six goals in 41 games this season. He has two goals over his last 27 games.
Prior to the lockout, the 24-year-old Lucic signed a three-year contract worth $18 million that will make him the Bruins’ highest-paid forward beginning next season.
With Lucic out, Carl Soderberg was in the lineup for his NHL debut. Dougie Hamilton was also absent from warmups, making he, Aaron Johnson and Wade Redden the healthy scratches on defense. The lines and pairings appeared as follows in warmups:
Daniel Paille ‘ David Krejci ‘ Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand ‘ Patrice Bergeron ‘ Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg ‘ Chris Kelly ‘ Jaromir Jagr
Gregory Campbell ‘ Rich Peverley ‘ Shawn Thornton
The Bruins took the ice for warmups wearing hats for the police departments of Massachusetts, Watertown and Boston.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Carl Soderberg ‘probable’ for Bruins against Penguins||04.18.13 at 1:59 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said following Thursday’s practice that forward Carl Soderberg is “probable” for Friday’s game against the Penguins. Soderberg, who arrived on Tuesday and participated in the Bruins’ morning skate and warmups Wednesday, practiced on the left wing of a line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr Thursday.
‘He skated yesterday. We put him in the warm-up last night to get him the feel of that. He practiced with us today. He’ll skate tomorrow morning,” Julien said. “That’s where I’m going to have to make that decision, whether I feel comfortable enough to give him that shot against Pittsburgh tomorrow or wait another game.’
The 27-year-old Soderberg has played his entire professional career in Sweden. This season, he had 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points in 54 games for Linkoping HC of the Swedish Elite League.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Carl Soderberg skates with Bruins, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to play Wednesday||04.17.13 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 officially sign Carl Soderberg to three-year deal||04.13.13 at 5:08 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Swedish center Carl Soderberg has been cleared to join the Bruins. The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation had originally contested Soderberg’s availability, saying that he was under contract with Linkoping until May 15. The NHL, however, ruled that was not the case. Elliotte Friedman of CBC was first to report the news via Twitter. The team also announced on Twitter that Soderberg will wear No. 34.
Here is the Bruins’ press release:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, April 13, that the club has signed forward Carl Soderberg to a three-year, one-way contract through the 2014-15 season. The NHL approved the Standard Player Contract of Soderberg for registration today at 5:00 p.m.
Soderberg’s salary is worth an annual cap figure of one million dollars. Soderberg will join the club Wednesday, April 17, and will be eligible for the remainder of the NHL regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Chiarelli issued the following statement in regards to Soderberg:
‘We are fortunate to get a player like Carl at this stage of the season. I would like to thank the President of the Linkoping hockey club, Mike Helber and their GM, Johan Hemlin, in playing a significant part in allowing Carl to play for the Boston Bruins. Carl is a big strong two way center who can also play wing. We look forward to him joining our team this week.’
In 54 games with Linkoping HC (Swedish Elite League) this year, Soderberg has registered 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points with a +18 rating. The 27-year-old forward is ranked 1st the SEL in goals (31), second in points (60), seventh in assists (29) and 12th in plus/minus rating (+18). LinkÃ¶ping HC and Soderberg were eliminated from the Swedish Elite League Playoffs on Friday, April 5 with the final series score of 4-1.
In 2011-12, Soderberg was second on LinkÃ¶ping HC in points (35) and assists (21), and was tied for second in goals (14).
In two seasons with Linkoping HC, Soderberg has skated in 96 games, notching 45 goals, 50 assists for 95 points with a +24 rating. Prior to joining LinkÃ¶ping HC, the 27-year-old forward skated in 219 games with the Malmo Redhawks (Sweden 1st Division) from 2005-2010 tallying 80-159=239 totals with a combined +69 rating.
The 6′3′’ 218-pound native of Malmo, Sweden was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (49th overall) the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins acquired Soderberg from the Blues on July 23, 2007 in exchange for goaltender Hannu Toivonen.
For more on Soderberg, click here to read D.J. Bean’s column on the center.
|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.”
|Swedish Ice Hockey Federation reportedly trying to block Carl Soderberg from coming to Bruins||04.11.13 at 4:58 pm ET|
The Carl Soderberg situation apparently took a turn for the worse Thursday, as reports out of Sweden suggested that the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation was trying to block the 27-year-old forward from going to the Bruins. Soderberg agreed to a three-year deal with the Bruins on Tuesday, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie followed up Swedish reports with the following Thursday:
‘ Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 11, 2013
Soderberg, who was acquired from the Blues in 2007 but has played his entire professional career in Sweden, scored 31 goals this season. More on this as information becomes available.
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