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(Not) very superstitious: Chris Kelly just wants to ditch the cage 05.02.11 at 12:42 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — Bruins forward Chris Kelly is still sporting the full cage, and he’s itching to get rid of it. Kelly has had to wear the cage since Game 4 of the first round, when he slid head-first into the post in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Canadiens. Though he’s feeling better, he’s still proceeding with caution.

“The face is fine,” he said Monday. “I’m not sure how long, but obviously I’ll go on what the trainer suggests and kind of go forward from there.”

As for when the cage will come on, Kelly just hopes it’s as soon as possible. He had joked in Montreal that if he played well with it, he might keep it on as a signature piece of equipment, a la Richard Hamilton with the Detroit Pistons. Coincidentally or not, Kelly has five points in five games since he started wearing the cage, after totaling one in the first three playoff games prior. Monday, he corrected the record, noting that even if he struggles without the cage, that he’ll just “deal with it.” Once the mask comes off, he hopes it will be off for good.

“I’m not a superstitious person,” he said with a smile. “Not by that extreme.”

It’s hard to miss Kelly when he’s on the ice given the cage, something he says he hasn’t worn since he was 14 years old. It could make him a target for chirping, but if Flyers players are saying things, he isn’t hearing them.

“Not that I’ve heard of,” he said when asked if players have been poking fun at him. “Maybe I don’t hear as much with the cage on. Maybe they are chirping. I don’t know.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Richard Hamilton,
Hard for Bruins to get ahead of themselves considering how close it’s been 04.25.11 at 1:00 pm ET
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One team won two games in a row. Then the other rattled off three straight. For series that has seen such stretches of wins, it’s quite surprising that neither run has exactly featured dominance. It’s been close the whole way.

Looking at the Bruins/Canadiens Eastern Conference quarterfinals series, neither team has necessarily outperformed one another to the point of it being noteworthy. Both teams have scored 12 goals in the series, and neither has won by more than two goals (something that’s only occurred twice). The Bruins, who hold a 3-2 series lead, have a chance to close it out Tuesday, and it’s just how close it’s been that has let them keep the right perspective.

“The last two games have been in overtime and could have gone either way, right? It could have been a totally different series,” Gregory Campbell said of the Bruins’ victories in Games 4 and 5. “Even the first three games were tight as well. We had a lot of chances in the first two games, and in Game 3, they had the lead on us.”

Given their awareness of just how close it’s been, there is no chatter of desired second-round opponents. The B’s know that if they let up even the tiniest bit, the Habs can put their backs to the wall.

“It hasn’t been the case, where you look at other series, and there’s been some games where a team has dominated the other team. That’s not been the case in this series,” Chris Kelly said. “Every game’s been close, and a hard-fought battle right to the end of the game. We don’t expect anything different tomorrow night, and I don’t think they would either.”

With all that having been said, there’s obviously the added factor of desperation. The Habs are playing for their playoff lives, but the Bruins are also taking the must-win approach. That can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on the way you approach it.

“You don’t want to ever categorize a game where it kind of takes you off your game and makes us tense. You feel everything’s got to be done in the first period and think, ‘we have to get the first goal,'” Campbell said. “I mean, We have to play our game. We have to play like we’ve been playing the last three games. That has included being desperate, that’s included making plays, getting a lot of chances and scoring goals. That’s what we’re going to do tomorrow night.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell,
Bruins Game 5 Live Blog: B’s, Habs head to overtime 04.23.11 at 6:29 pm ET
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Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia and others at the TD Garden for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=544866eb6c” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=544866eb6c” >WEEI.com Bruins Game 5 Live Blog</a>

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Canadiens, Carey Price
Michael Ryder proves Claude Julien right, plays hero in pivotal win over Canadiens 04.22.11 at 12:09 am ET
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MONTREAL — To say that Michael Ryder has been the whipping boy of Bruins fans is an understatement. The $4 million man was far from that for too long after the Bruins’€™ Feb. 9 win over the Canadiens. The free-agent-to-be totaled just two goals over his final 25 games, and was even a healthy scratch three times. 

Since the playoffs began, fans and some media members have lobbied for Ryder to watch them from the press box in order to make room for Tyler Seguin in the lineup. 

On Thursday, Ryder showed that Claude Julien‘€™s decision to stick with him was the right one, ending his lengthy disappearing act with a pair of goals in Game 5 against the Canadiens, including the game-winner in overtime. Julien has coached Ryder everywhere from juniors to the AHL to Montreal to Boston, so it was only fitting that Ryder prove Julien right at Bell Centre.

‘€œI’€™ve been with him for a while,’€ Ryder said of Julien. ‘€œJust for him to give me the ice time and give me the confidence, for me, it just gives me that extra boost to show people that I can still play and still got it.’€

Ryder’€™s big night began when he tied the game at one in the second period, beating Habs netminder Carey Price with a wrist shot after taking a pass from Tomas Kaberle. From there, the weight was finally off the struggling winger’€™s shoulders. 

‘€œYou always get a little frustrated when you don’€™t score and you don’€™t get that many opportunities, but it was definitely a confidence boost,’€ Ryder said. ‘€œHopefully now our line keeps generating stuff, helping to do whatever we can to help this team.’€

He would go on to assist Chris Kelly‘€™s game-tying goal at 13:42 of the third period, which marked the third time in the game that the B’€™s came back to tie it up. They actually never led in the game until Ryder beat Price for the game-winner just 119 seconds into overtime. 

‘€œI’€™m happy for Rydes,’€ Shawn Thornton said of the winger. ‘€œA couple of guys talked about it before, he usually plays pretty well in this building,’€ Shawn Thornton said of the former Canadien. ‘€œI’€™m happy his hard work paid off. Maybe some people in Boston will lay off him now. He’€™s a good guy.’€ 

Read More: Carey Price, Chris Kelly, Claude Julien, Michael Ryder
Chris Kelly will play Game 4 wearing cage 04.21.11 at 12:55 pm ET
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MONTREAL — Bruins center Chris Kelly will be in the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after being cleared by team doctors. Kelly, who returned to Boston to be examined following a hit into Carey Price’s goal on Monday, wore a cage in morning skate and will do so Thursday night. He said there was no fracture after seeing the doctors.

“I’m good to play tonight,” Kelly said afterwards. “I went back to see our doctors in Boston and they gave me the green light and said everything is great and to just go out and have fun.”

Coach Claude Julien confirmed that Kelly would play, saying the third-line center is “good to go” and that “he’s going to be in the lineup tonight.”

Kelly was shoved by Habs forward Scott Gomez while the Bruins were on a 3-on-1 in the first period. The B’s center said he took no issue with the hit, which caused him to slide head-first into the post and left him with a shiner below his right eye.

“I know Gomez. I played against him for a lot of years,” Kelly said. “He’s a good, honest player and works hard. I don’t think it was deliberate by any means.”

As for wearing a cage for the first time since he was 14 years old, Kelly said that his comfort with it is “much better” than he expected it to be. Kelly even joked that if he were to play well with it, he could keep it on a la Richard Hamilton with the Detroit Pistons, who kept a clear mask on as his signature look in the 2003-04 season.

“He kept it on,” Kelly joked. “Who knows?”

As for any lineup changes, it appears there won’t be any. Mark Recchi was the only Bruin to not take the ice for the morning skate, though it’s likely the veteran was simply given the morning off. Rookie Tyler Seguin stayed out on the ice with the scratches following the skate.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Mark Recchi, Rip Hamilton
Chris Kelly returns to Boston, will play Game 4 04.20.11 at 1:20 pm ET
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Bruins center Chris Kelly did not practice with Bruins Wednesday at Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center, as he returned to Boston to be evaluated by team doctors. Kelly slid head-first into Carey Price’s net as a result of a shove from Scott Gomez with the B’s on a 3-on-1 in the first period of Monday’s Game 3.

“He just went back to Boston to see our doctors, just to make sure everything is OK,” coach Claude Julien said. “We anticipate him back in Montreal with us tonight.”

Kelly stayed in the game and finished the night with 14:35 of ice time. Julien said the third-line center will play Game 4 in Montreal.

“Everything is alright, according to what we know,” Julien said. “There might be a fracture, but it’s nothing that will prevent him from playing.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Scott Gomez,
Bruins hold final regular season practice 04.08.11 at 11:10 am ET
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WILMINGTON — With two weekend games on the horizon, the Bruins took the ice Friday morning at Ristuccia Arena for their final practice of the regular season. Prior to the skate, Gregory Campbell, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Nathan Horton shot on Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas.

The color-coded jerseys are the same, as they look as follows:

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronMark Recchi

Rich PeverleyChris KellyMichael Ryder/Tyler Seguin

Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Read More: Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask
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