|Shawn Thornton on Game 7: ‘Obviously, we didn’t want to be here’||05.13.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
Leave it to Shawn Thornton to lighten the mood heading into a winner-take-all Game 7 against the Leafs at TD Garden. Asked what was the biggest advantage to flying back to Boston on the morning of Game 7 instead of flying back right after the Game 6 loss, Thornton had an immediate response.
“I didn’t have my dogs kicking me in the back in the middle of the night,” Thornton said. “I probably got more sleep last night staying over than I would have coming in. I think we got some more rest. We didn’t fly out at an atrocious time this morning. Everyone got their sleep, got in, had a good meal. I don’t know. I feel pretty good.”
The Bruins flew back to Boston mid-morning, after being grounded in Toronto Sunday night due to a “malfunction” with their charter plane. Thornton said the key for the Bruins in Game 7 will be attitude.
“Try not to get too high before the game and try to keep it fairly even keel,” he said. “If you get too ramped up, everyone can start looking like they have my hands, bobbling pucks. We have a lot of experience but they’re going to be pretty fired up over there, too. You have to try and keep it even keel but we have to be ready for them.”
Thornton also said the mood in the dressing room is not one of nervousness.
“Not uneasiness,” Thornton said. “Obviously, we didn’t want to be here but we are so you turn the page and get ready for tonight and embrace it. Game 7s are pretty fun for everyone so just have fun with it.”
“This is a great opportunity,” added Chris Kelly. “Play in Game 7 at home. We’ve worked hard all year to put ourselves in this situation. Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation but I don’t think it is for them, too. I’m sure they wouldn’t have wanted to play a Game 7 at the start of the series. But we are where we are and I’m excited.”
Kelly has been centering the third line with Jaromir Jagr and Rich Peverley. Kelly is confident that face-off wins can finally result in goals in Game 7.
“I think we’ve done a good job in the face-off circle, not ony the center men but a five-man unit getting in there and helping out,” Kelly said. “It’d be nice to manage the puck a little bit better than we have, putting it in better situations than where we can retrieve it after those face-off wins.”
|Bruins don’t believe in momentum||05.12.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
TORONTO — Momentum is mass times velocity. The Bruins believe that’s all it is.
With the Maple Leafs having forced Game 6 but the Bruins playing a strong third period in their Game 5 loss, one question that came up a bit from the Toronto media Sunday was which team has the momentum in the series, and how big a factor it is.
“I don’t know if there is such a thing, honestly,” Claude Julien said after Sunday’s morning skate. “When you’re in the playoffs, whether you win or lose, you turn the page and [focus on] the next game. As a losing team, you have to bounce back. As a winning team, you’re trying to keep that momentum but you know that there’s going to be some desperation from the losing team.”
Julien made the point that if momentum was as big a factor as people like to believe, you’d see sweeps after one team won a game, but that there was only one sweep in the first round (San Jose over Vancouver) in the first round.
While momentum can definitely be played up a bit too much, it’s still a factor and something the Bruins could give the Leafs if they don’t end the series Sunday. A Game 6 win would give the Leafs two straight wins and a whole lot of confidence that was built with their backs against the wall.
Yet the B’s don’t want to acknowledge it as such. While they can’t explain why they came out flat in Game 5 against the Leafs, they don’t think either team wouldn’t have reason to come out as hard as they can in Game 6. They view a win as a win and a loss as a loss, and every playoff game as one worth showing up for.
“To me, the next game is the next game,” Chris Kelly said. “Momentum, a lot of times, is just a word. It depends on who’s playing their game that given night.”
|Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic ready to tough it out in Game 5 for Bruins||05.10.13 at 2:37 pm ET|
A few little scrapes aren’t about to get in the way of a hockey player’s appointed Stanley Cup rounds.
Just ask Milan Lucic (right eye) and Chris Kelly (right cheek), both of whom took nasty shots in Game 4 and both of whom have the bruises and stitches to show for it. Both will be ready to go in Game 5 against Toronto.
“I’ve been icing it the last few days, but I probably have the worst eyesight on the team and I’m squinting all the time [normally], so it shouldn’t be a problem,” Lucic joked. “I feel good. I’m looking forward to tonight. Obviously I’ve got a little bit of a shiner on my right eye, but looking forward to tonight and there’s a lot on the line for both teams. After last game, we expect them to come out hard and bring their best because we know what they’re playing for and we need to come out with the same approach as the Leafs are.”
As for Kelly, he was injured when he took a high stick to the face from Toronto’s Nazem Kadri in the opening minute of the third period Wednesday. He received what he called “nine or 10 stitches” and returned.
“Just a little swollen, just a cut, it’s fine,” Kelly said Friday morning. “It was bleeding and the refs knew it was bleeding, so there’s no need for me to lay on the ice; skate off and get it done quickly.”
At least Lucic and Kelly are playing. The same can’t be said for Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser. He had surgery Thursday to repair a broken bone in the forehead after being hit with a puck shot by Lucic in the third period.
“He’s back home resting comfortably,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said Friday. “It is tough when you lose players, and lose players to that type of injury.”
|Chris Kelly expected to return for Bruins Monday||04.08.13 at 11:42 am ET|
The Bruins held an optional morning skate Monday, with Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference not taking the ice.
Chris Kelly (leg) did participate in the morning skate, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that the Bruins expect Kelly to make his return to Boston’s lineup Monday night against the Hurricanes. Kelly, who has been out since March 11 with a broken tibia, has skated on a line with Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille the last two days. Kelly said after the morning skate that he has been medically cleared, is able to take contact and is ready to return if Julien puts him in.
Anton Khudobin was the only goaltender on the ice Monday, but he stayed out after the skate, suggesting that Rask will be the starter against the Hurricanes. Kaspars Daugavins also stayed out longer, so the guess here is that Jordan Caron would be in tonight over Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo.
Here are the projected lines for Monday night:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Gregory Campbell – Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron – Rich Peverley – Shawn Thornton
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|Wade Redden joins Bruins at practice, Chris Kelly skates with third line||04.05.13 at 11:42 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Chris Kelly was wearing his familiar gray jersey as he took the ice Friday at Wilmington with the Bruins. Kelly has been out since March 11 with a broken tibia, but he is expected to return to the Bruins’ lineup in the coming days.
Friday marked Kelly’s second consecutive day skating with his teammates, though it was his first actual practice after taking part in Thursday’s morning skate. Following the practice, Claude Julien said that Kelly is still considered day-to-day, and that he wouldn’t yet say whether he’d be a game-time decision vs. the Canadiens for Saturday.
Depending on whether Kelly is ready to go, the color-coded lines were unchanged from Thursday’s 1-0 win over the Devils.
Friday’s practice lines:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Tyler Seguin – Jaromir Jagr
Jay Pandolfo – Rich Peverley – Chris Kelly – Kaspars Daugavins
Daniel Paille – Jordan Caron – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Caron appeared to be the spare part on the Merlot line.
All eight defensemen were also on the ice, including Wade Redden, who was skating with his new team for the first time since being acquired by the Blues prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. Adam McQuaid (shoulder) skated with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides before the practice.
|Chris Kelly days away from returning to Bruins lineup||04.04.13 at 12:40 pm ET|
Chris Kelly skated for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday as he nears a return from a broken tibia suffered on March 11 against the Senators, but Thursday marked the first time he skated with his teammates.
Kelly participated fully in the Bruins’ morning skate, and though he will not play Thursday against the Devils, Claude Julien said that his return to the lineup is right around the corner.
“I think it’s just a matter of probably days now vs. a week that hopefully he’ll be back,” Julien said.
The coach added that Kelly will travel with the team to Montreal this weekend for Saturday’s game, though it’s too early to tell whether Kelly will actually play vs. the Habs.
Though Kelly is itching to get back on the ice (this is the longest he’s been out with an injury in his NHL career), he isn’t getting too far ahead of himself when it comes to jumping back in the lineup.
“It’s just about how I feel. If I feel good, I do a little bit more the next day,” he said. “If I don’t feel as good, maybe don’t push it as much. One step at a time. Today was my first day with the guys, and it was just a morning skate. Maybe if we practice tomorrow, I’ll get to skate a little longer with them and maybe do a little more.”
Morning skates aren’t a very physical affair, as the half hour is used for skating, line rushes, and other work such as special teams and face-offs. The next step in Kelly’s recovery would appear to be adding the physical aspect.
“I’m hoping not to get hit, to be honest,” he said with a laugh. “If they want to hit me, I guess that will be the next step.”
As for what he’s looking to get out of the final days before he gets back into games, Kelly said that it’s a combination of getting over the injury and getting his strength back.
“I think it’s a little bit of both. Conditioning is definitely a big part of it,” he said. “You don’t want to be fatigued and put yourself in a vulnerable position for other injuries. The fatigue aspect is definitely there. I need to work on that and just feel comfortable with the injury as well.”
When he does return, his line could look different. When he was injured, he was skating with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron on the third line, but since then the Bruins have added Kaspars Daugavins and Jaromir Jagr, both of whom could eventually be in the third line mix. The B’s have also used Jay Pandolfo more on the third line (Pandolfo and Daugavins played on Peverley’s wings in Thursday’s morning skate).
Kelly’s line struggled mightily before he went down, and the third line has continued to underachieve. He doesn’t view his eventual return as a chance to bounce back with a new linemate or two, focusing instead on just playing when he can.
“I just want to be back. Whoever I play with will be great,” he said. “I know adding [Jagr] was great, and Daugavins as well. There are a few new faces, but whoever I play with will be great with me.”
|Peter Chiarelli expects Chris Kelly to return to Bruins ‘soon’||04.03.13 at 5:30 pm ET|
Bruins center Chris Kelly skated for the third consecutive day when he took the ice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena. Kelly has been out since suffering a broken tibia on March 11 against the Senators and was ruled out indefinitely at the time, though general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday that the center is nearing a return.
“He’ll be back soon,” Chiarelli said of Kelly. “I know you’d like a little more detail, but I’m satisfied with his prospective return date and he’ll be playing for us soon.”
Chiarelli said that knowing Kelly would be back in the lineup in short order impacted his approach at the trade deadline. The Bruins, who lost Patrice Bergeron for the time being with a concussion, didn’t add any centers, though recently acquired winger Kaspars Daugavins can play in the middle.
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