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In showdown of elite centers, Patrice Bergeron dominates Flyers’ Claude Giroux 10.09.14 at 12:23 am ET
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In theory, Wednesday night’€™s season opener between the Bruins and Flyers should have given us a great back-and-forth battle between two of the NHL‘€™s best centers. Patrice Bergeron and Claude Giroux both finished in the top five in Hart Trophy voting last season, and their lines were matched against each other for most of the game Wednesday night.

But instead of that great battle, what we got was a total beatdown in favor of the Bruins. Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith dominated Giroux, Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek all game long, rendering one of the best players in the league virtually invisible.

Bergeron won 10 of the 12 faceoffs he took against Giroux and ended up with a plus-16 Corsi (22 shot attempts for, 6 against), according to hockeystats.ca, while Giroux finished the night with a minus-18 Corsi (6 attempts for, 24 against). Bergeron and his linemates combined for seven shots on goal, while Giroux and his managed just two. It seemed like every time the two lines were on the ice, the puck was in the Flyers’€™ zone, and the numbers reflect that.

“They take pride in being a better line than the line that they’€™re facing up against,”€ Claude Julien said. “It’€™s just a trait that they have. They worked hard. You have to give them credit, too, for how they checked against that line because it had a lot of potential to be dangerous offensively. But those guys did a pretty good job of taking away those opportunities.”

The key was winning battles. Bergeron is one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, but it’€™s not like he won all 10 of those faceoffs cleanly. Some of them required him outworking Giroux on a second or third attempt to win the puck back, and some of them required Marchand or Smith to jump in and beat the opponent to a loose puck.

Battles in the corner led to longer offensive-zone possessions. One of the best examples of this came with around 9:40 left in the second when Bergeron won a 1-on-1 battle in the corner to the left of the Flyers’ net. He came away with the puck and moved it back to Zdeno Chara at the left point. Chara then moved it over to Adam McQuaid, who sent a shot through a nice Smith screen, one that he was able to set by winning a battle for position. The shot didn’€™t go in, but it wasn’€™t an easy save either. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Patrice Bergeron
Claude Giroux and the Flyers took the banner as a ‘slap in the face’ 10.07.11 at 2:08 am ET
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Claude Giroux is one of the holdovers from the Flyers team that was dispatched by the Bruins and then dismantled in the summer. These Flyers who traded captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have been remade. But Giroux was on that team last spring and he remembered how it felt last May when the Bruins sent them packing.

He also watched as the Bruins used that four-game sweep as a springboard to the Stanley Cup title they celebrated Thursday night with a banner-raising ceremony.

“Coming to a game here, especially the first game of the season when they are raising the banner, it’€™s a slap in the face and its motivation for a little payback even though it’€™s the first game of the season,” Giroux said. “It’€™s good for our ego and everybody was ready to go tonight.”

Giroux put his money where he mouth was by scoring a power play goal with less than two minutes left in the first. That was followed a minute late by a goal from Jakub Voracek. On Giroux’s goal it was another newcomer who played a big role – Jaromir Jagr – who fed a speeding Giroux down the slot.

“Yeah I think that he saw that I had speed,” Giroux said. “I don’€™t really remember what happened, it happened so quick. I made the inside move and I was able to beat that defenseman and take it to the net.”

It’s just one game but the Bruins’ sweep in May netted a lot of change in Philly, including Ilya Bryzgalov, the new $30 million goalie for the Flyers. And for one night, it paid off for Philly.

“I mean everyone was pretty excited and nervous and it turned out great,” Giroux said. “Obviously Bryz had the key saves at the end to make sure we got that win.”

Those saves on Nathan Horton and David Krejci were just the kind of game-stoppers Bruins fans remember Tim Thomas making last spring en route to the Stanley Cup title.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Giroux, David Krejci, Tim Thomas
Report: Patrice Bergeron out for Game 2 05.17.11 at 10:23 am ET
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Bruins center Patrice Bergeron will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning Tuesday night, according to the Boston Globe. Bergeron has been out with a concussion since leaving Game 4 of the conference semifinals following a hit from Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux.

Bergeron began skating on Sunday, and has skated each day since. He has not been cleared for contact yet, which was made evident by his leaving Monday’s practice (his first with the team since suffering the concussion) early.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Giroux, Patrice Bergeron,
Patrice Bergeron back on the ice for Bruins practice 05.16.11 at 11:17 am ET
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In a sign that he may be ready to return for Game 2 Tuesday night against the Lightning, Patrice Bergeron returned to full practice Monday morning with the rest of the Bruins. Bergeron has missed the last week – including Boston’s 5-2 loss in Game 1 of the Eastern finals against Tampa Bay Saturday night – with a mild concussion, suffered when he was hit by Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux on May 6.

Bergeron was one of four forwards wearing a white sweater, joining first-liners David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic.

Before practice, Bergeron came on the ice and skated in front of general manager Peter Chiarelli before participating in power play and penalty kill drills.
He was then cleared by the coaching staff to join in full practice. Bergeron participated in a light skate before Saturday morning’s pregame skate at the Garden and skated again Sunday before being cleared for Monday morning’s practice.

On Sunday, coach Claude Julien said Bergeron would not return to game action until the forward was considered back to 100 percent.

Bergeron skated with the power play until then worked on penalty kill drills against the Bruins’ second power play unit. Bergeron then took a shift with his normal linemates of Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi before leaving the ice at about 11:25, while the Bruins continued practicing. Bergeron was on the ice for approximately an hour.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Claude Giroux, NHL
Bruins prepare for Lightning strikes without Patrice Bergeron 05.12.11 at 1:35 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron was again absent from Bruins practice on Thursday as he continues to recover from a mild concussion suffered in the Game 4 series-clinching win last Friday against the Flyers.

“All I can say is he keeps progressing on a daily basis,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Bruins practice Thursday. “He hasn’t been on the ice or done any of that stuff yet so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that thing will be clear and more optimistic as we move forward.”

Bergeron, who has yet to take part in any physical on-ice or off-ice activity, sustained a concussion when Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux finished a check in the Bruins defensive zone early in third period. Bergeron had a difficult time get up from the ice and making his way to the bench. It was the third concussion he’s had in his career in Boston, the second since his most severe concussion when he was checked into the board’s by then-Flyers defenseman Randy Jones in Oct. 2007.

The Bruins are preparing to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at TD Garden in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals without Bergeron available, as Chris Kelly has taken Bergeron’s spot with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi on the team’s second line.

Tyler Seguin is also preparing for his first taste ever of NHL playoff action as he has been placed on the third line with Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Claude Giroux, Claude Julien
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
Second period summary: Bruins vs. Flyers – Game 4 05.07.10 at 8:39 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — It looks like the Flyers want to continue to play hockey in the spring of 2010. They scored two goals to take a 3-2 lead into the third, the first time in the series where they have had a lead entering the deciding period.

The Bruins got a power play opportunity early when Danny Briere pinched Dennis Wideman on the half wall and got his stick up just a bit too high and whacked Wideman in the face for Boston’s first man-advantage of the game. Boston was able to get a couple shots off but did not break through Brian Boucher and the chance slipped by.

Chris Pronger then gave the Flyers a rare thing for them in the series — a lead. He had a slap shot from the high slot that deflected off of defenseman Mark Stuart’s skate on its way through Tuukka Rask to make it 2-1 at 4:28.

It looked like Boston would be able to grab the momentum right back when Daniel Carcillo went to the box for cross-checking at 5:26 but the Philadelphia penalty kill was again on top of its game as Boston got off another couple shots before it was killed.

Philadelphia then had a series first for it when it took a two-goal lead at 8:35. Forward Scott Hartnell was in a scrum at the very corner of the net and kicked the puck through the crease where a crashing Claude Giroux made it 3-1 as he slammed it home passed Rask.

Boston got a goal back at 10:56. Michael Ryder had a shot from the slot go wide of Boucher but bounced off the end wall back to the side of the crease. Boucher went to cover the puck but Vladimir Sobotka crashed the net and hit Boucher’s glove, dislodging the puck and sending it through the pads into the net to make it 3-2.

Read More: Brian Boucher, Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux, Daniel Carcillo
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