|Claude Julien: ‘We’re really struggling with our finish lately’||10.15.13 at 10:19 am ET|
Claude Julien isn’t about to panic about his team’s lack of finish to start the season.
After all, the Bruins have been through this before in the last several seasons and eventually found their touch when it mattered most late in the season.
Still, Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Red Wings stung because the Bruins not only have five power play chances but a 5-on-3 for nearly a full two minutes and had good puck possession time in the offensive end but couldn’t get one past Jonas Gustavsson. The Bruins have just 12 goals in five games. Only Buffalo and Ottawa have scored fewer in the new eight-team Atlantic Division.
“We’re really struggling with our finish lately,” Julien said. “It looks like we’re feeling the pressure of scoring goals and they’re not coming easy. So it’s been like that. Even the game in Columbus, took us a while to get going there, obviously Colorado. So I think our goal scoring confidence is probably not where we’d like it to be right now but you have to work through those things.”
As for the experience of having gone through this before, Julien says there are similar tendencies he seen over the years.
“We go through that it seems like every year at some point,” Julien added. “You’re seeing guys either fanning or shooting over the net. There were some scrambles there today where everybody thought the puck was going in the net and whether the goalie stops it or pucks are bouncing it doesn’t matter; the confidence isn’t there right now. So wait on that when the confidence comes back; you’re going to see us score some goals because we feel we have some guys that can score goals on this team.”
The only player who seems to be gripping the stick tighter than anyone right now – by his own admission – is Jarome Iginla. The star forward is still looking for his first goal in a Bruins uniform. He had five more shots on goal on Monday and 19 for the season in five games and still nothing.
“I had some great looks,” Iginla said. “I’ve had great looks for a few games. And pretty much I’ve been getting more chances and you get to a five on three you get chances like that you want to score. I think I missed the net on a couple goals, I think it’s probably just being a little too anxious. Just lifting my head up and you want to get that goal for the team and just get one and get feeling it. At times you squeeze a little too hard, its all those clichÃ©s, sayings you hear, you try to swing a little too hard and lift my head a little bit. And just not in a grove there where you just want to kind of will it in the net as opposed to let it happen.”
“I think he can shoot the puck a lot better than we’ve seen him because we know he’s a good shooter,” Julien said. “So, whether that’s pressing or whether that’s circumstances I don’t know. But he’s been around the league long enough, he’s going to find his way and he’s going to score some goals for us and he’s going to be the player that we thought he would be for our hockey club. So right now it just isn’t there and I see maybe a little hesitation in shooting where, when a player has confidence, their release is a little quicker too.”
|Patrick Roy back in Boston, won’t attack Claude Julien||10.10.13 at 12:59 pm ET|
Patrick Roy gave Bruins fans plenty of bad memories in Boston over the years, and now the former Canadiens and Avalanche goalie is back in town as Colorado’s head coach.
The Hall-of-Famer played 10 seasons for the Habs, winning two Conn Smythes and three Vezinas for the Bruins’ biggest rival.
“Especially with Montreal, playing so many good games here, [it brings back memories],” he said Thursday. “I guess most of my career when I played with Montreal, we were playing in the Garden, but there were a lot of great memories. No doubt about it.”
Now, after eight seasons of coaching the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Roy is the bench boss for the team with which he won two of his four Stanley Cups.
Roy’s tenure as Avs coach is off to a good start with a 3-0-0 record, but it was his antics in the team’s season-opening win over the Ducks last week that were most notable.
Following a knee-on-knee hit from Ben Lovejoy on Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon, Roy went after Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau, pushing the glass between the benches at him in a fit of rage.
“I’ve spent the last couple of days solidifying the glass between the benches,” Claude Julien said Thursday morning. “It gave me lots of time to do a lot of different things, so that’s the good part about having a few days off.”
Whether or not he appreciated the joke, Roy stressed after the Avalanche’s morning skate that he couldn’t see himself throwing one of his signature tantrums against someone he respects as much as he does Julien.
“I don’t expect any problems with Claude Julien,” Roy said. “To be honest with you, I have so much respect for him, and he’s a great coach. I mean, when you’re in the finals of the Stanley Cup in two years of the last three, there’s certainly a lot of credit and respect.
“Every time I’ve spoken to him, I’d ask a few questions. If I called him, he was available. He said, ‘Any time you want to talk.’ It’s fun to see guys open up like this with a junior coach, I and I respect that. I’m happy to see him being so successful here in Boston.”
|Carl Soderberg joins morning skate, not ready to play||at 11:50 am ET|
The Bruins held an optional skate Thursday morning, with Carl Soderberg joining his teammates on the ice for the first time since injuring his left ankle nearly two weeks ago.
Soderberg has been skating on his own since Monday but had not practiced. The morning skate was a good opportunity for the B’s to get him in a practice situation, as morning skates are less physically trying and do not involve contact. Claude Julien said that he Soderberg to practice Friday.
“I think it’s a start,” Julien said. “He’s skated enough the last [few days], so it was good to see him out there and doing at least some line rushes and stuff like that. He’s progressing well, but obviously not ready to play.”
|Carl Soderberg skates, Bruins get silly in practice||10.07.13 at 12:43 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Carl Soderberg returned to the ice Monday, skating before the team’s practice at Ristuccia Arena as he works his way back from an ankle injury. Soderberg did not participate in practice, with Jordan Caron remaining on the third line left wing.
“He skated this morning, so he’s getting closer,” Claude Julien said of Soderberg.
After Soderberg finished up and the ice was cleaned, the Bruins acted silly by doing drills with the opposite-shot sticks. After doing offensive zone drills for about 10 minutes, they had a shootout, with a left-handed Shawn Thornton actually scoring on Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins last skate with opposite-shot sticks in a laugh-a-minute practice last season, so with four days between games (they took Sunday off and play the Avalanche Thursday), Julien took the opportunity to keep things light.
“For me, the [hardest] drill in practice is finding a warmup drill where you allow guys to get guys to get their legs and goaltenders feeling pucks,” Julien said. “It was one of the things we’ve done before, give them a chance to loosen up and have fun with it. We’re three days away from the next game, so I don’t think we have to be too hard on them in a Monday morning practice.”
|Bruins thrilled to see Andrew Ference named captain of Oilers||09.29.13 at 12:32 pm ET|
While the Bruins haven’t yet revealed who will wear Andrew Ference‘s ‘A’, the hockey world learned Sunday which letter the veteran defenseman will wear in Edmonton: ‘C’.
Ference, who signed a four-year, $13 million dollar with the Oilers on the first day of free agency this summer after not being brought back by the B’s, was named captain of the team on Sunday. There, the 34-year-old will a team with such young stars as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.
The folks around TD Garden were delighted to hear the news.
“Captain?! Really?! I didn’t know that,” an animated Patrice Bergeron said upon being told. “That’s awesome! It’s well-deserved. It’s not really surprising to me, to be honest with you, but like I’ve said before, I’m going to miss him because he’s a great guy that I was really close to. I’m really happy for him and I think he’s going to do a great job.”
In his time with the Bruins, Ference’s leadership and value to the community was constantly on display. He came up with various things in to unify the team, from the ‘Darth Quaider’ t-shirt and the old nylon jacket in the 2010-11 season, to the chain the following season, to the short-lived rooster shirt last year and the Army Ranger jacket following the Boston Marathon bombing.
“I just sent him a text to congratulate him,” Claude Julien said. “I think he’s deserving. Everybody that knows him here knows what kind of a person he was and what kind of a leader he was on and off the ice.
“They’ve got a young team over there, and the minute he signed there, in the back of my mind I thought he had an opportunity to become the captain there. I think they made a great choice. He’s very deserving because of what he is and what he represents and what he does for a hockey team.”
|Claude Julien would be all right with third line being all left||09.13.13 at 6:39 pm ET|
The biggest question for the Bruins entering training camp is what their third line will look like, but it figures to be three members of a pretty big group.
Yet of those nine players, only two — Knight and Camper — are right shots.
All three of the Bruins’ other three lines (assuming Paille stays with the Merlot Line) features a mix of shots, and the idea of having three lefties on one line might not be super appetizing.
Then again, some of the left-shooting wingers have experience playing right wing. Smith was a left-shot right wing in college and split last season between right and left wing, while Caron has played a decent amount of his off wing in the NHL. Julien said Friday that he would indeed consider having a line of three players of the same handedness.
“You work with what you got,” Julien said. “It’s not the end of the world and you have to make due with what you have and in way, what is the best scenario. I know Jordan’s played a lot of the right side, he played that in Juniors, I know he’s played that in Providence as well, we’ve used him there a few times, so it’s not like Jordan’s not capable of playing on the right side.
“Then there’s Smith, another guy that we got from Dallas that is having a really good camp. And on the left side, Fraser is one of those guys that we can’t over look either. And that’s why I think down the road with some of those other guys from Providence, we’re going to have some tough decisions to make.”
|Patrice Bergeron still has ‘lingering issues’ from his injuries||09.11.13 at 5:19 pm ET|
No one could’ve expected Patrice Bergeron to be back at 100 percent so soon.
As it turns out, Bergeron himself admitted Wednesday that he’s still dealing with some aches and pains from the multitude of injuries he sustained in order to help the Bruins try to win the Stanley Cup in late June.
He was back in front of his locker Wednesday for the start of training camp and even passed the conditioning test that allows him to take part in full practices with his team.
To recap, Bergeron suffered a separated shoulder, broken rib, torn rib cage cartilage and, most serious of all, a punctured lung between Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Blackhawks.
To see him back on Wednesday for the start of training camp was a great sign but as Claude Julien cautioned later, he still hasn’t been cleared for preseason games.
“If I feel fine in the first couple of practices, and I feel like I can bang around and play physical in the 1-on-1 stuff on the ice, I’ll pretty much feel like I’ll be ready to get going and move forward,” Bergeron said, before acknowledging that he still has to be cautious early on in camp. “I guess the next couple of days will really tell me where I stand with the lingering issues.”
This summer, Bergeron spent most of his time rehabbing instead of traditional training.
“Honestly, I’ve been able to do most of my workouts,” Bergeron said. “It just took me more time to start that and get that going. So, I was doing a lot of rehab early on and after that it was more issues with core and reaching out on my sides too much so I’m not doing too many core exercises and stay away from that as much as possible but otherwise, I was able to do pretty much everything.”
And when he wasn’t rehabbing, he was busy getting married to his longtime girlfriend Stephanie Bertrand.
“It went well,” Bergeron said. “It was a fun day and everything went well.”
Bergeron and Gregory Campbell became icons for Boston sports in the spring when both played through remarkable pain to help the Bruins in the playoffs. Bergeron heard a lot of praise over the summer and offered perspective on it on Wednesday.
“I’ve been told that a few times and to be honest, I’ve talked to Soupy a couple of times already about it,” Bergeron said. “We don’t feel like it was anything special, anything extraordinary to be honest with you. We felt like we were just trying to do our job. Same thing for me, I was just trying to be out there and help the team as much as possible on the ice. I’m 100 percent positive that all the guys would’ve done the same thing, especially late in the season in the finals like that. You want to be out there, helping your teammates out.”
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