|Chris Kelly nears return from upper-body injury||11.26.14 at 1:04 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Chris Kelly was back practicing with the Bruins Wednesday after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury suffered in last Friday’s shootout win over the Blue Jackets.
Kelly said the injury was not related to last season’s back issues and was also not a head injury. When asked specifically what it was, he said “hurt feelings.”
The veteran center also noted that the injury did not occur on a specific play. He hopes to return to the lineup Friday against the Jets.
“I think we thought it was better to be on the cautious side of things,” Kelly said. “I think it’s exactly kind of what we thought. So I felt good today and and we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Kelly took contact and centered a fourth line with a rotating cast of wingers in Seth Griffith, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser on Wednesday.
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|Chris Kelly and David Krejci remain out, Bruins have multiple game-time decisions vs. Penguins||11.24.14 at 11:50 am ET|
David Krejci and Chris Kelly remain out for the Bruins as they face the Penguins Monday night. Both players were absence from morning skate, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that Krejci has taken a step backwards with his injury and that Kelly is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Brad Marchand is also a game-time decision for the Bruins, with Julien saying there are other forwards who could be in or out due to injury. Both David Pastrnak and Jordan Caron were present for the skate. The lines in morning skate were as follows:
Marchand/Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne
Caron – Khokhlachev – Pastrnak/Griffith
Krejci has dealt with multiple lower-body issues. He battled a hip injury earlier in the season and is believed to be nursing a different issue in the same area. Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald reported Monday that the current issue is a groin pull. Playing through one issue in that area creates strain on others, so it’s possible the current injury is a result of the previous one.
“Right now what I’ll tell you is we’ve taken a step back again,” Julien said. “It’s something that I can’t even go into. It’s been way more complicated… again as you know, these are not machines, these guys, and there’s certain things you try and fix and then you find out there’s a little bit more and nobody knows and nobody should know until you go from one stage to the next.
“The one thing I can tell you is that when he played he was one hundred percent, but we took him out because after that he wasn’t one hundred percent anymore. That’s where it’s tough. You say he’s one hundred percent, should you hold him back? I don’t believe in holding anybody back because if he’s ok the next day then we wasted a game with him, so we’re working on that. The only thing I would tell you is that everything I’m being told, it’s not something we’re going to have to manage all year and I know that’s a big issue in wondering what’s going on but it’s something that’s going to be fixed is what I’m being told. So don’t shoot the messenger.”
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|Claude Julien says Chris Kelly suffered injury Friday||11.22.14 at 10:23 pm ET|
Kelly played throughout the three periods of Friday’s game, but did not play in overtime. Julien did not offer what the injury was or how long he would be out, saying that the medical staff would know more about the injury in the coming days.
“I really don’t know,” Julien said. “I could say day-to-day, but we don’t know, we don’t know right now. And our medical staff has not given me any indication of how long the injury is going to take. It’s one of those that I think they’ve got to feel as the days go by.”
Saturday was Kelly’s first missed game of the season. He has two goals and six assists for eight points and a plus-four rating.
With Kelly out, Matt Lindblad was recalled and inserted into the lineup as the Habs took a 2-0 victory over the Bruins.
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|With wrist injury behind him, Carl Soderberg hopes to make bigger difference on faceoffs||10.31.14 at 4:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly split center duties on Boston’s third line, but Soderberg showed Thursday night that he can win a key draw.
Kelly has taken most of Soderberg’s faceoffs this season, particularly in the defensive zone. On Friday, Soderberg and Claude Julien revealed that was partially due to a wrist injury that made it difficult for Soderberg to take draws. Additionally, Kelly, technically the line’s left wing, has done the center’s job of providing support down low in the defensive zone.
Yet with Julien juggling his lines for Thursday’s game against the Sabres, Soderberg had no such help and proved he didn’t need it on one play. With under six minutes to play and the Bruins trailing by a goal, Soderberg drew the puck back to Dennis Seidenberg to begin the sequence that resulted in Brad Marchand‘s game-tying goal.
“It felt pretty good,” Soderberg said Friday. “I like taking faceoffs.”
Through 12 games, Soderberg has taken just 53 draws, but over a fifth of them came Thursday night in his first game of the season without Kelly as his linemate. Soderberg went 5-for-11 at the dot (45 percent), but lost all three defensive zone draws he took.
That’s where Julien says the Bruins value having Kelly on Soderberg’s line. Kelly, who has taken 133 draws this season, is a better faceoff man than Soderberg anyway, but the B’s also like to have Kelly take defensive zone faceoffs because he’ll already be low in the zone in the event that he loses the draw.
“It is a luxury when Kells is on that line that they can have two guys taking draws,” Julien said. “Sometimes Kells will take them in the D zone just for the reason that if we don’t win the draw, he’s working down low. Kells is by the far the best, as far as working down low.”
It’s expected that Kelly will return to Soderberg’s line Saturday against the Senators after playing on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in Thursday’s win over the Sabres. With Soderberg saying his wrist is feeling better, perhaps there will be a more even split on faceoffs going forward. Julien highly values having two centers on the same line, something he had on the third line for years with Kelly and Rich Peverley.
Soderberg has said in the past that he doesn’t mind when Kelly takes faceoffs for him, but he said Friday that every center on the team should strive to become as good on draws as Patrice Bergeron, arguably the best faceoff man in the league.
Back in Sweden, Soderberg said he was good at the dot, generally winning 53 or 54 percent of his faceoffs.
“But people aren’t as good as here on faceoffs,” he added. “There’s more pride here to take them, so I’m going to do my very best get over 50 percent at the end of the season.”
|Bruins try to make do without ‘irreplaceable’ Zdeno Chara for a while||10.24.14 at 12:32 am ET|
If there’s any silver lining to losing your captain and best defenseman for an indefinite period, the Bruins can take some comfort in the fact they’ve been down this road before.
The Bruins lost Dennis Seidenberg to a torn ACL last season. They lost Chris Kelly to a broken leg last December and a back injury just before the playoffs. The 2013 team made the Stanley Cup finals despite the loss of Gregory Campbell to a broken leg in the Eastern Conference finals. Just last week, Kevan Miller dislocated his shoulder in a fight in Buffalo and has been lost indefinitely.
But when Islanders forward John Tavares’ right knee collided with Chara’s left knee Thursday night in the B’s 3-2 loss, there was the sense that Boston’s captain could be out a while early on in a season when the Bruins are struggling to find their identity.
That sense was apparent when talking to Bruins players in the dressing room afterward.
“He’s an irreplaceable player, so obviously him not being out there, everyone notices, us and them,” Kelly said.
But Kelly insisted that Boston’s flat second period Thursday had nothing to do with Boston getting outscored 2-0 and looking listless on the ice.
“I don’t think so. They were ready right from the opening faceoff and we weren’t,” Kelly said. “Like I said, he’s an irreplaceable player. He plays every situation for us and he’s our leader. We’re going to need to fill that void collectively as a group not just one guy is going to be able to do that.
“I though we played desperate, but they were up 3-1. They may have set back a little bit and we pushed the pace. Yeah, the third period was better but like I said, 20 minutes isn’t good enough to win hockey games.”
|Bruins hope hockey community can help Ottawa through tragedy||10.23.14 at 1:28 pm ET|
After seeing the way the NHL rallied around Boston in wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Bruins with ties to Ottawa are glad to see the same is being done for Canada’s capital city after Wednesday’s shooting on Parliament Hill.
A night after “O Canada” was sung prior to a Penguins/Flyers game in Pittsburgh, the Bruins are expected to have Rene Rancourt sing the Canadian anthem prior to Thursday’s game between the Bruins and Islanders.
“Ottawa is home for me so I spent a good portion of the afternoon looking up at the CNN station and trying to find out as much as I could,” Julien said Thursday morning. “It’s unfortunate. It just goes to show that these tragedies don’t just happen in the U.S. of A but also in other countries and there’s other countries in Europe that have been faced with that.”
Chris Kelly said he spent parts of Wednesday working the phones to make sure his friends in Ottawa were alright. He added that he hoped the Senators could provide some sort of positive distraction for the city as it goes through this difficult time, much like the Bruins did in 2013.
Julien said he thinks the impact of such tragedies go beyond the city in which they occur, and that he imagines that each NHL team and their respective fanbases will show support wherever they can.
“Every city rallies around its own city and I’ve talked to a few people including my family that’s still back,” Julien said. “My parents and brothers and sisters, it’s affected them even if they weren’t around that area it affected them. It affects the whole city like the bombing affected us here.
“They’ll have to get used to it in a way where that’s reality, unfortunately, and it’s happening. Canada is a pretty laid back country that tries to continue to be laid back. But it’s also a country that supported the U.S. in some of its decisions and more than likely those are the consequences that it faces because of that.”
|Claude Julien feels his Bruins have been ‘a lot more consistent’ of late||10.21.14 at 9:03 am ET|
WILMINGTON — As his team prepares to take on San Jose, the Islanders and Toronto this week, Claude Julien can finally sense things coming together after a sluggish start.
The Bruins started 1-2-0, including an ugly 4-0 loss to the Capitals on home ice and a brutal 2-1 loss to Colorado in the final second. After beating the Red Wings in a shootout, the Bruins were embarrassed again in Montreal, featuring the emotional meltdown of Milan Lucic.
But things finally seemed to click in Buffalo, where Niklas Svedberg earned his first career shutout in just his third NHL start. The 4-0 win seemed to give the Julien and the team something to build on. Two wins in three games doesn’t classify as red-hot, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction the way Julien sees it.
“I don’t know if it’s how far we’ve come or how far we have to go,” Julien said. “I think it’s just a matter of us continuing to get better as a team. I think it’s still early in the season and I think there are a lot of teams that are probably saying the same thing. It takes certain guys a while to get going. It takes others even longer. Some guys get off to a good start and then they slow down.
“We’re just looking at our team as a whole. I think what we’re looking for is consistency and we’re looking for an identity. And that’s what we’re starting to get right now, more of an identity. I think we’ve been a lot more consistent in the last three games.”
What is that identity?
“Same as it’s always been,” Julien said, referring to his team’s tough, rugged style that relies on good defense, a good forecheck, stellar goaltending and opportunistic play around the net.