|Claude Julien watches his Bruins implode due to ‘self-inflicted’ sloppiness||01.01.14 at 1:26 am ET|
There were bad bounces Tuesday night. There were highly questionable calls that went against them in the second and third periods.
But in the end, the real reason the Bruins blew a 3-1 lead to the bottom-feeding Islanders on Tuesday evening was a lack of discipline. The Bruins took penalty after penalty, and on Tuesday night, their penalty kill couldn’t erase the mistakes. They allowed four power play goals in eight New York chances in a 5-3 loss to the Islanders at TD Garden.
“I think when we took the 3-1 lead [in second period] we kind of relaxed and they came back hard and they kind of got the momentum back and we couldn’t regain it,” Claude Julien said. “They made their own breaks and they made their breaks by getting some good bounces and got themselves back in the game but in the third period, they were the better team, again. We lost because I think it was, like you said, probably self-inflicted. We took a lot of ill-advised penalties that at one point caught up to us and I didn’t think our penalty kill obviously was very good tonight.
“A lot of things I didn’t like tonight. Obviously our penalty kill wasn’t very good, some of the decision making, even again, we talked about our forecheck ‘ we were late, we weren’t winning battles, they dominated the battle area ‘ and when you start losing those kind of things, to our team it’s certainly not a good sign.”
What did he see from the penalty kill that made it so ineffective?
“Sloppiness,” Julien said. “You guys got your answer.
Then the subject turned to Tuukka Rask, the victim of shoddy penalty-killing Tuesday. Rask, it was pointed out to Julien, has allowed eight goals in his last two games.
“I don’t evaluate players just to ‘ you guys can evaluate him the way you want,” a curt Julien said. “All I know is that he’s been a real great goaltender for us and players sometimes have good games, they have so-so games, and I’m certainly not going to throw him under the bus with everything he’s done for us so I’ll leave it at that.
“Bad PK tonight. I’m not going to start analyzing the game here guys. You guys can do that. I have enough of that to do on my own.”
What caused the high amount of penalties?
“Well I mean if we’re going to talk penalties here you’re going to have to be specific. What I mean is that, some of them I thought were really bad penalties on our part. Other ones, I don’t agree with the [Milan] Lucic penalty at the end.
“To me that’s a battle, to me that’s a battle and that’s what I mean. We can discuss that. To me, I don’t agree with those calls. They were made but there were some that, again, Lucic’s penalty at center ice and [Brad] Marchand‘s, some of those penalties are penalties that ended up hurting us a lot on the road so we have to take ownership of that.”
|Bruins score 3 power-play goals, pull away from Predators late||12.23.13 at 10:35 pm ET|
The Bruins scored a season-high three power-play goals Monday night as they beat the Predators, 6-2, in their final game before breaking for Christmas.
Jarome Iginla redirected a Zdeno Chara shot past Carter Hutton just 1:16 into the game, with Matt Fraser scoring his first goal as a Bruin shortly after off a rebound that was bad enough for the Predators to replace Hutton with Marek Mazanek. The B’s made it 3-0 on Reilly Smith‘s second power-play goal in as many games.
The Predators got on the board in the second period with a Craig Smith power-play goal and made it a one-goal game on Smith’s second of the game at 3:25 of the third, but the Bruins got two goals out of a 5-on-3 and subsequent 5-on-4 from Iginla and Carl Soderberg, respectively. Brad Marchand made it 6-2 off a feed from Smith late in the third.
The Bruins will break for Christmas and return to action Friday against the Senators.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Both power-play units have been very good, and the B’s weren’t so bad on the 5-on-3 either. With Chara back at the point on a third-period two-man advantage, the Bruins got a goal from David Krejci‘s unit and then got Soderberg’s goal with Paul Gaustad still in the box. The goals came within 50 seconds.
— For the second straight game, the Bruins got a power-play goal out of Soderberg feeding Smith from the goal line. It was the fourth time the B’s have scored on that play, but perhaps the biggest takeaway with that goal is that the second power-play unit of Smith, Soderberg, Spooner, Patrice Bergeron and David Warsofsky has moved the puck extremely well the last two games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— With a second-period hooking penalty, Bergeron now has 15 penalty minutes in the last four games.
– It was nice to see Adam McQuaid back, but he ended up missing most of the first period after a fight on his second shift. McQuaid returned to the game late in the period, but maybe fighting isn’t the smartest thing for a player who should be easing his way back.
With McQuaid returning to the lineup, the Bruins elected to make Matt Bartkowski a healthy scratch and keep Warsofsky in the lineup. Bartkowski hadn’t looked great playing on a pairing with Dennis Seidenberg, while Warsofsky’s work on the second power-play unit probably was reason enough for the Bruins to keep him in.
|Claude Julien: Loui Eriksson ‘feeling better’||12.22.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The updates on concussed Bruins forward Loui Eriksson have been minimal, but the 28-year-old was at Ristuccia Arena again Sunday as the Bruins practiced.
Eriksson has not been skating, and though Claude Julien didn’t share too much regarding what type of activity (if any) Eriksson can endure, the B’s coach did say that Eriksson is feeling better.
“I don’t know exactly what he’s doing. I think the fact is he’s feeling better,” Julien said. “He doesn’t mind being around right now. That’s a step in the right direction. At one point, he just couldn’t tolerate too much noise or too much activity around him. It’s a step in right direction here. I don’t know exactly where he is in rehab, but it’s a good sign to see him here.”
Eriksson has missed the last seven games after suffering a concussion on a hit from Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7. It’s the second concussion of the season for Eriksson, as he missed five games earlier in the season following a hit from John Scott on Oct. 30 in Buffalo.
The two concussions Eriksson has suffered this season are the first two of his career.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien critical of officials following win||12.21.13 at 10:44 pm ET|
Claude Julien was not a fan of the job done by Saturday night’s officials and he made it pretty clear after the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Sabres.
The game was officiated by referees Ghislain Hebert and Don VanMassenhoven with linesmen Steve Barton and Derek Nanson, and the crew made a bad call late in the game when they gave Steve Ott a slashing penalty for the mere act of Zdeno Chara‘s stick breaking.
Julien had issues with the rest of their work as well, as he was angry with a second-period cross-checking penalty assessed to Patrice Bergeron and said he felt Tyler Myers should have been penalized prior to Myers’ second-period fight with Bergeron.
This was Julien’s answer when he was asked what he thought about Bergeron fighting:
“Well, I mean, he’s got to stand up for himself. I couldn’t believe they didn’t call the cross-check and the punch to the head. It’s one of those nights that I was really disappointed in a lot of the calls. I know they got a bad one at the end there maybe on Ott, but when I look back at it, it was a tough night.
Those 5-on-3s, obviously the four minute [minor penalty for Gregory Campbell drawing blood on a high stick on Jamie McBain] is there, but the cross-check that they gave Bergy, it’s like these, to me, are not really good calls in mind. It did put us in a tough situation tonight and we had to battle tonight and we did. We killed those 5-on-3s and thankfully were able to capitalize on some goals after that.”
There probably won’t be any Christmas cards exchanged here.
|Patrice Bergeron: Bruins stick up for Brad Marchand||12.16.13 at 1:38 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — There was plenty of reaction to Brad Marchand‘s Stanley Cup-themed taunts Saturday night in a game the Bruins lost, and one of them came from the always quotable Kevin Bieksa.
Bieksa, who took perhaps the worst dive of the 2011 playoffs in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and called the Bruins “stupid” a year later, said after Saturday’s game that the Bruins don’t stick up for Marchand.
“Everyone knows Marchand’s deal,” Bieksa told ESPN.com. “I don’t want to get into a war of words but you know what Marchand is like. I think his teammates know what he’s like, too. There weren’t too many guys sticking up for him in those scrums.”
Patrice Bergeron, who has been a linemate of Marchand’s for the past four seasons, politely disagreed with Bieksa’s assessment.
“I’ve never been the guy that’s going to [talk trash] in the media, [but] I think we all stick up for one another,” Bergeron said Monday. “I think it’s something that we’ve done throughout the time that we’ve been here, so I don’t think that’s really an issue. That particular incident, yeah, maybe Marchy would like to take that one back, but it’s also part of his game. That’s it.”
Claude Julien was critical of Marchand’s actions following the game, saying that his behavior against the Canucks was “definitely not something we will accept in our organization. He declined to say Monday whether he had called the player into his office over the incident.
“If I did, I think it’s for us to keep internally,” Julien said. “I don’t think it’s for anybody else to know about. I was pretty clear in my comments. I think it’s not something that we want, so we deal with it internally in those situations.”
|Claude Julien: Brad Marchand’s behavior vs. Canucks ‘definitely not something we will accept’||12.15.13 at 3:00 am ET|
The Bruins pest was up to his old tricks Saturday as the B’s and Canucks played each other for the second time since the B’s beat Vancouver in the finals. First, Marchand took off his glove and kissed his ring finger following a second-period spat with Ryan Kesler (something Marchand would later say was a response to Kesler eye-gouging him). Then, with the Bruins on the way to a 6-2 loss in the third period, Marchand raised an imaginary Cup in the air and kissed it.
Claude Julien didn’t exactly give his actions a ringing endorsement after the game.
“I heard,” Julien said. “I did hear, and obviously I don’t watch the game; I coach the game, but I heard. He’s a good player, and he’s an agitator, and there’s some good things to that part of his game, but there’s certain areas where — again, I’ve said it before — you can’t cross the line. Sometimes his emotions get the better of him.
“We’ve worked with him and we’re going to continue to work with him. The perception it gives our organization is not what you want to see with those kind of things. Again, I don’t know what he said to you guys, but it’s certainly something we’re going to deal with.
“He’s too good of a player and we don’t want him to be a different player, but there’s certain things we want him to be different at. From what I hear, what happened, that’s definitely not something we will accept in our organization.”
Kesler wasn’t a fan either.
Kesler on Marchand kissing his ring: “Obviously no class.”
‘ Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 15, 2013
Marchand said he had reason for the ring-kissing gesture, and this isn’t the first time he’s called a player out for dirty antics. He did so a season ago with Jeff Skinner when he accurately pointed the Carolina forward’s tendency to slew-foot players.
Marchand on the ring kissing: ‘I did it after [Kesler] was eye-gouging me. Just my emotions were a little high after that.”
‘ Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) December 15, 2013
It isn’t the first time since the Bruins’ victory Marchand has reminded the Canucks of 2011. After Kevin Bieksa called the Bruins “stupid” following the teams’ January 2012 meeting (when Marchand delivered a low-bridge hit on Sami Salo for which he later was suspended five games), Marchand responded that the Bruins were “smart enough to win a Cup.”
|Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘No maliciousness’ from Max Pacioretty on Johnny Boychuk hit||12.06.13 at 11:56 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday, following Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Canadiens in Montreal.
The Bruins had a 1-0 lead after a period but struggled in the second as the Canadiens took control.
“There’s nothing there in way of explaining why they played the way they did in the second period,” Brickley said. “In fact, the four days off should have worked to their benefit in the second period. You knew you were going to get a better push from Montreal than what they were able to give you in the first 20 given the fact that this was game three in four nights for them, plus travel.
“But this Montreal Canadiens team is a little different in the sense that they don’t just try to beat you with their speed and their skill, they do have a little sandpaper to their game. They compete a lot harder for pucks, they know that they had to add that element to their game if they wanted to win the Atlantic Division with a team like the Bruins in there, and the Bruins being — I don’t know if it’s the gold standard, but certainly the measuring stick that you need to play similar to in over to win the division.
“That being said, you expected Montreal to have a much better second period, and for some inexplicable reason, the Bruins played maybe one of the their worst periods of the year — Claude Julien used the word ‘atrocious’ following the game, and you can’t argue with that. When they’ve played poorly in second periods this year it’s been for a variety of reasons, but the common thread is just that lack of — I don’t know if you want to call it a sense of urgency — for me it’s more paying attention to detail.
“I’m lost, really, for an explanation as to why they are so inconsistent in the second periods when they have opportunities to put teams away after 40 minutes.”
“It was a borderline hit. I thought the call was accurate that it was worthy of a two-minute boarding call,” Brickley said. “He tried to get him on the side and not from the back, but it’s in that dangerous area, distance away from the boards and a player almost with his back to you. What they’re trying to do is educate players, even though you’ve played the game a certain way for so long, it has to change because too many guys are getting hurt. They have to continue to work on that and further educate these guys and maybe tweak the rules a little bit to allow you to make different types of hits in those situations.
“But there was no maliciousness there, I didn’t think, from Pacioretty. It was just one of those reactionary hits, two guys battling in an area where always there’s a puck battle. And it was just the awkwardness that Boychuck went into the boards.”
Brickley said he was impressed with how the Bruins kept their composure after the incident.
“As far as the players are concerned, they did a terrific job, I thought, of maintaining some focus. Because your focus and your attention and your emotional feelings change when you see that happen,” Brickley said. “Your focus is totally on a first-place game against your arch rival, a game that you really want, a game that you should out-energize them, and you had some decent things happening in the first period. And now your focus changes dramatically.
“And the Bruins did a pretty good job of doing what they needed to do the rest of that period to take a lead into the intermission. But then to just give it away in the second period was so disappointing.”
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