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Bruins not worried about adjusting to new line combinations 05.11.11 at 1:12 pm ET
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At this point in the season, you would expect any team still playing to have its line combinations set, and the Bruins did through the end of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. But with Patrice Bergeron out with a concussion, Claude Julien has had to shuffle his second and third lines.

Chris Kelly has moved up to take Bergeron’s spot as the second-line center between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Meanwhile, Michael Ryder has switched from right wing to left wing to make room for Tyler Seguin to be the third-line right wing. All that movement and potential unfamiliarity could be reason for concern, but Julien doesn’t see it that way.

“Those guys have gone through those kinds of things throughout the whole year,” Julien said. “I think our guys have been used to playing with each other. Even in practice, we mix and match and you see different pairings at times. I thought our guys adjusted well, and if we did decide to make some other changes, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a big issue.”

One interesting thing to note about the new lines is that the second line now consists of three left-handed shots, while the third line comprises three righties. Kelly said that shouldn’t be an issue, either.

“These guys can pick up passes on their backhand just as easy as they can pick up passes on their forehand,” Kelly said. “So I don’t think it’s anything that you need to think about or worry about.”

Of course, Recchi has played the off-wing for most of the season, so there’s no adjustment there. Ryder, on the other hand, has been on the right side for the majority of the season. Julien said Ryder is just as much at home on the left side, though.

“Mike is just as comfortable playing on the left as he is on the right, that much I know,” Julien said. “So making that change isn’t a big deal.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Claude Julien, Michael Ryder Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Fun while it lasted: Chris Kelly’s caged days are over 05.10.11 at 3:51 pm ET
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Bruins center Chris Kelly couldn’t wait to get rid of his full cage, and he finally did just that on Tuesday.

Kelly, who had to wear the cage after hitting his face on the post in Game 3 of the quarterfinals vs. the Canadiens, was asked time and time again whether he feared losing the cage given the success it seemingly brought him. Kelly had just six points in his first 27 games with the Bruins, but since donning the cage in Game 4 of the quarterfinals, he has had six points in eight games. Now ready to take Patrice Bergeron‘s spot on the second line until the concussed center returns, Kelly will wear an extended visor, which he said “feels a lot better.”

Kelly said that as much as he grew tired of the cage’s popularity, he did not bury or burn it, but he is officially done with it.

“I didn’t bury it. I don’t know what they did with it,” he said with a relieved grin. “Obviously you guys love it, rightfully so, but it was time to move forward, and this was a great alternative.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Patrice Bergeron, Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Chris Kelly: Patrice Bergeron is ‘irreplaceable’ 05.09.11 at 1:03 pm ET
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It looks like Chris Kelly will play on the second line with Patrice Bergeron out. (AP)

WILMINGTON — Bruins center Chris Kelly skated in Patrice Bergeron‘s place on the second line Monday at Ristuccia Arena, centering a line with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Kelly, who has seven points since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, hopes to find success on the second line, but recognized after Monday’s practice that he can’t simply replace the concussed Bergeron.

“Everything,” Kelly said when asked what the team will miss with Bergeron out. “Obviously you can’t replace Bergy. He does every little thing that maybe goes unnoticed by a lot of people, but not by us. He does all the big things that [everybody] notices, as well. You can’t replace him. He’s irreplaceable, and hopefully he’s good to go.”

Bergeron is expected to miss the beginning of the team’s upcoming series with the Lightning due to a concussion suffered in the third period of Friday’s Game 4 win over the Flyers. As a result, Kelly will be given an increased role with the assistant captain out, but his biggest hope is that Bergeron can return quickly.

“I would love not to play with them,” Kelly said of his new line. “We’ll see what happens and go forward from there.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly, Mark Recchi Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Chris Kelly moves up as Bruins hold first practice in anticipation of Lightning at 11:05 am ET
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WILMINGTON — After being the weekend off, the Bruins returned to practice Monday for their first skate in anticipation of their Eastern Conference finals meeting with the Lightning. Given that they’ll be without Patrice Bergeron (concussion), the color-coded lines had a different look at Ristuccia Arena. Chris Kelly is on the second line, while Tyler Seguin is wearing gray to signify the third line. The lines are as follows:

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand – Chris Kelly – Mark Recchi

Michael Ryder – Rich Peverley – Tyler Seguin

Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Trent Whitfield, Jamie Arniel and Jordan Caron were donning green jerseys. Adam McQuaid was on the ice, though Steven Kampfer was not. Check back for more following practice.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Patrice Bergeron, Steven Kampfer Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Peter Chiarelli: Patrice Bergeron has ‘mild concussion’, likely to miss start of Eastern finals 05.07.11 at 11:25 am ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed Saturday morning that Patrice Bergeron is dealing with the effects of another concussion.

Bergeron, who missed nearly a full year after a severe concussion when hit by former Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones in October 2007, collided with Claude Giroux with 17:30 remaining in the third period of Friday’s Game 4 win over the Flyers. He did not return, and Chiarelli indicated he is likely to miss the start of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay, with rookie Tyler Seguin getting the chance to take his spot on the roster.

“Patrice suffered a mild concussion,” Chiarelli said on Saturday, before adding that he thought the Giroux hit was “a shade late.”

While the Bruins didn’t release any information on the particulars of the injury, it appeared that Giroux’s shoulder made contact with Bergeron’s head. Bergeron slowly skated off the ice on his own power to finish his shift but didn’t return. The Boston Globe initially reported Saturday morning that Bergeron had sustained a concussion.

Chris Kelly stepped up from his third-line role to center the line with Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand. Bergeron leads the Bruins with 12 points in 11 playoff games. The Bruins will play Games 1 and 2 at home this week against Tampa Bay, with the series possibly starting Tuesday or Thursday at TD Garden.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Chris Kelly, Claude Giroux Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Claude Julien has ‘no update’ on Patrice Bergeron injury in Game 4 win over Flyers at 1:04 am ET
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Patrice Bergeron left Game 4 in the third period and did not return. (AP)

Patrice Bergeron took a hit from Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux with 17:30 remaining in the third period of Friday’s Game 4 win over Philadelphia. He did not return and his status for the start of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay is unknown at this point.

While the Bruins didn’t release any information on the particulars of the injury, it appeared that Giroux’s shoulder made contact with Bergeron’s head. Bergeron slowly skated off the ice on his own power to finish his shift but didn’t return.

“I don’t know. I have no update for you guys right now,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Basically, I can’t give you anything more than that.”

Bergeron leads the Bruins with 12 points in 11 playoff games. The Bruins will play Games 1 and 2 at home this week against Tampa Bay, with the series possibly starting Tuesday or Thursday at TD Garden.

Chris Kelly stepped up from his third-line duty to center the Marchand-Recchi line for the remainder of the third period Friday.

“We talked about this morning, somebody asked me about different scenarios, and Chris Kelly is a very reliable player, a lot like Bergeron,” Julien said. “And a great two-way player. He as put up some decent points and he has also been extremely reliable defensively. So it’s an easy fit there and even Soupy [Gregory] Campbell has been a good player for us as well.

“He competes hard and very reliable. So you are able to move guys around and know they are going to do the job. And we’ve talked about our fourth line being a good line for us. And they have been good enough, to move them up to spots when need be,” Julien said. “Dan Paille took a shift there too on one of those lines. You have to be able to move guys around and they did a great job of stepping in and filling in those voids.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Chris Kelly, NHL Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Joke’s gotten old, but as Chris Kelly’s production grows, so too does the legend of the cage 05.02.11 at 11:51 pm ET
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The joke has gotten old for Chris Kelly. (AP)

PHILADELPHIA — Chris Kelly hears it every day (sometimes more than once), but as long as he continues to play the way he has, he’ll keep hearing it. His full cage has magical powers.

Bruins fans know two Chris Kellys. There’s the one who had five points in 24 regular-season games with the Bruins after being acquired via trade in Feburary, and there’s the one with the cage. Given that the latter has six points in six games since having to wear his full cage thanks to a Game 3 shove from Scott Gomez, people prefer that one.

Yet the running joke with media members that Kelly will have to keep the cage even when his face, which hit goal-post after sliding from the play with Gomez, fully heals, is getting old for the third-line center, who has often played along with the joke.

Though he spoke about the cage Monday morning, he was asked about it once again after scoring the Bruins’ first goal in their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2. His reaction?

“You guys are taking that cage and running with it, eh?” he asked a group of laughing reporters.

“The cage will come off when I’m suggested to take it off, regardless of how things keep going here. That will be my final statement on the cage,” he added with a grin.

Not if he keeps it up. That second Kelly has been too big for the Bruins.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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