|Bruins know Steven Stamkos injury isn’t good for anyone||11.11.13 at 5:32 pm ET|
It should come as no surprise that when Steven Stamkos flew into the net and pounded his fist in both clear pain and disappointment in the second period of Monday’s Bruins-Lightning game, the TD Garden crowd fell silent. When he was placed onto a stretcher and wheeled off the ice, the sold-out crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Boston fans aren’t always the most gracious, but the unanimous show of support for the Lightning star said that they both respect him — remember, this is the same ice on which Stamkos took a Johnny Boychuk slapshot to the face, got some stitches, slapped a cage on his helmet and went back out there in Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals — and don’t want to see the league lose one of its best young players.
The Bruins agreed, and though the top team in the conference losing the league’s leader in goals and points might bode well for the Bruins, it isn’t lost on them that a Stamkos-less NHL isn’t as good an NHL.
“I don’t care whether he’s on another team or not, a player like that is what people pay to come and watch,” Claude Julien said. “‘¦ This game is built on guys like that that have tremendous skills, that are good leaders and everything else. It’s unfortunate that those kind of injuries happen to those players. You hope that his injury isn’t too serious and if anything he’s going to come back quick.”
Unfortunately, the injury is serious and he isn’t going to come back quick. It’s a broken right tibia for Stamkos and he’s out indefinitely. He suffered the injury crashing into the net while battling for position with Dougie Hamilton, with his left leg hitting the post first and then the bottom of his right leg following in a scene of which you probably won’t want to catch too many replays.
Gregory Campbell knows a thing or two about tough injuries like this, as he had one of the most famous broken legs in sports history when he broke his blocking an Evgeni Malkin slapshot in Game 3 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals and finished his shift.
“I don’t like to see that happen to anybody,” Campbell said. “I have a lot of respect for him, but whether it’s him or somebody else, injuries are tough, tough to come back from.
Added Campbell: “He’s becoming the face of the game now, one of the key faces of the NHL. In an Olympic year, a lot of things that are negative about it for his own personal game it’s unfortunate. Injuries do happen, it’s something that you have to come to expect, unfortunately. It’s the beginning of a long process when you get injured, and he’s an important player to his team and to the league, but he’s a strong guy. I know he works hard, and I’m sure he’ll be back stronger than ever.”
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was confirmed out for Monday’s matinee against the Lightning with a lower-body injury, and the Bruins aren’t sure when he’ll be able to return.
“They haven’t told us whether it’s day-to-day or a week-plus,” Claude Julien said. “I don’t have the answer for you there.”
McQuaid appeared to grab his groin area during his second shift of the game Saturday against the Maple Leafs. He was slow to get off the ice and did not return. Asked to confirm that it was a lower-body injury, Julien said that it was the area McQuaid grabbed as he went down.
“I think everybody knows where he got hurt,” Julien said. “I think he grabbed it quick enough that it was pretty obvious.”
With McQuaid out, Matt Bartkowski will play Monday. He was paired with Johnny Boychuk in Sunday’s practice.
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|Bruins await word on Adam McQuaid||11.09.13 at 10:54 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid left Saturday night’s win over the Maple Leafs with a lower-body injury in the third period and did not return to the game. Following the game, Claude Julien had little to share on his status.
“It’s hard to give you a real good assessment after the game,” Julien said. “He didn’t come back because he couldn’t. We’ll probably give you more tomorrow when it’s a little bit clearer.”
McQuaid went down in his second shift of the game and first shift following a fight with Frazer McLaren. He was spotted by the Patriot-Ledger’s Mike Loftus walking out of the Garden under his own power following the game without crutches, but struggling to an extent.
If McQuaid is unable to go Monday against the Lightning, Matt Bartkowski could return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in nine of the Bruins’ last 10 games.
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The Bruins held an optional morning skate Saturday in anticipation of their first meeting of the season with the Maple Leafs. Toronto, who played Friday against the Devils, did not have a morning skate.
The B’s find themselves looking up at the Leafs in the standings, as the Leafs, who have played 16 games to Boston’s 15, are tied atop the Atlantic division with the Lightning. They’re also tied with the Penguins for the most points in the Eastern conference. The B’s have 19 points on the season.
James Reimer is expected to be in net for the Leafs. Reimer was the man between the pipes last May when the Bruins came back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period of Game 7 and won in overtime to win their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.
Following the season, the Leafs went out and traded for Jonathan Bernier, with Bernier having started nine games thus far this season to Reimer’s seven.
While being back in net at the Garden might bring up bad memories for Reimer, Claude Julien was quick to provide a reminder that Reimer, who allowed one goal in both Games 5 and 6 as the Leafs came back in the series, was solid for Toronto.
“He was good,” Julien said. “We could look at one little part of one game of his series or we could look at the whole picture. He was good. He’s a good goaltender. It’s unfortunate that sometimes you have to live with those things. We had to live with collapsing against Philadelphia years ago when we had a 3-0 lead, but at the same time it’s important that you look at the positives and what it did it for our team, and what it’s going to do for him in the future.
“I think they’ve got a real good duo right now as far as goaltending is concerned. They’re able to utilize both of those guys, and that’s always key to a team as well.”
|Claude Julien asks media to ‘give it a break’ on Tyler Seguin||11.05.13 at 11:01 pm ET|
Claude Julien was in a foul mood to begin with. His team had just blown a 2-1 lead late in the third period and then blown the extra point by losing in a shootout when not only Tyler Seguin but Rich Peverley both scored against their former Boston teammates to give Dallas a 3-2 win.
But then the Bruins coach was asked if losing to Seguin was extra painful.
“I don’t care about that. Give it a break,” Julien responded sharply. “I’m mad because we lost. Next.”
Julien did explain what he felt was the problem with his team in the last two games, losses to the Islanders and Stars.
“When you play that way, you find ways to lose hockey games and that’s what we’re doing right now, we’re finding ways to lose,” Julien said. “Bad change on the tying goal, real bad change. So, it’s not just the young guys, it’s good players, it’s everybody right now. We’re not playing well right now. We’re finding ways to lose versus finding ways to win.”
|Appreciative Jaromir Jagr on stint with Bruins: ‘We had a pretty good run’||10.28.13 at 12:11 pm ET|
Bruins fans gave a gift to Jaromir Jagr which he’d never received in all of years playing hockey.
“I remember my first shift I played here,” said Jagr, “everybody stand up and clap their hands. They show me the respect the first time I step on ice. That never happened to me before.”
On Saturday night, Boston welcomed back Jagr, the NHL’s active leading scorer, and the future Hall of Famer delivered two assists in the Devils’ come-from-behind 4-3 victory over his former team at the Garden.
The Bruins parted ways with Jagr shortly after the Blackhawks hoisted the Cup, and he signed with New Jersey in July. The former mulleted superstar from the Czech city of Kladno, who still claims he plans on scoring a goal at the age of 50, spoke highly of his time with the Bruins.
“The fans really like the hockey here, they understand the hockey here,” Jagr said. “We had a pretty good run. Maybe with a little more luck we would have been holding the Cup.”
Though Jagr is only 17 goals shy of 700, he failed to put the puck in the net during the B’s 22-game playoff run.
“I know a lot of people are going to say he didn’t score,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “And he didn’t. But he certainly added a lot to our team.”
Previously known for tormenting Bruins fans every spring during his time with Pittsburgh, Jagr’s lasting memory in Boston will be his assist on Patrice Bergeron‘s overtime goal against the Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Jagr won over his teammates by outdueling Evgeni Malkin for a loose puck on the boards, and the victory gave the Bruins a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
Along with Jagr’s buying into the team concept, Julien also was impressed with the example the veteran set for his teammates.
“He worked hard, he had a great attitude, he made things happen,” Julien said. “I still remember in overtime there in Chicago where he just took a shot, hit the crossbar, and it could have been the winning goal. He was a good example for young guys — working out, doing extra and trying to stay on the top of his game, so he led by example in a lot of ways. We were happy to have him.”
|Claude Julien: ‘Nobody’s clean in this game’||10.24.13 at 7:03 pm ET|
Claude Julien has said multiple times in the past that he wouldn’t play Shawn Thornton if he wasn’t actually a good player, so it wouldn’t be a leap to assume he wasn’t thrilled to see the one-dimensional John Scott give one of his best players a concussion with a dirty elbow to the head, as was the case on Wednesday’s hit on Loui Eriksson.
Julien said prior to Thursday’s game against the Sharks that he doesn’t have a problem with the 6-foot-8, 259-pound Scott playing, but that he’s got a problem with some of his recent actions. That includes trying to fight Phil Kessel in a preseason game.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that John Scott is a good guy,” Julien said. “I haven’t seen too many [players] that aren’t. It’s just unfortunate that you see those kind of players end up hurting the kind of players that you don’t want to get hurt. I don’t know where those decisions are coming from. You see him dropping the gloves against Kessel and now taking that blindsided shot at Loui. I think it’s uncalled for, but that’s the unfortunate part. If those guys know their role and they do their jobs and know who to go after when the time comes and they police their team as far as nobody’s going to take advantage of them, I’m fine with that. I’m disappointed that it’s the way that’s happened and who he’s targeted lately.”
The 31-year-old Scott averages 4:57 of ice time a game and has five career points. He isn’t capable of doing anything but be an enforcer, so when all he can do is go out and either fight or hurt somebody, he gives well-rounded enforcers like Shawn Thornton a bad name.
“In my first couple of years I probably couldn’t play all that much, but I think I worked hard personally to be able to contribute in other ways,” Thornton said. “I know for a fact I wouldn’t be on this team — I’ve been told as such, that if I can’t contribute on the ice other than just sticking up for my teammates. Guys have a job to do. Some guys go about it one way and some guys go about it another, I guess.”
Thornton’s next dirty hit will be his first, and he’s worked hard to be a physical player without being a dangerous player. Of course it isn’t easy.
Julien coaches guys who have been punished for bad hits. Daniel Paille‘s elbow to the head of Raymond Sawada three years ago was as bad as it gets, while Dougie Hamilton was suspended 10 games in the OHL for a hit to the head.
“I have guys like that in my lineup that could be stupid if they wanted to. Nobody’s clean in this game,” Julien said. “We’ve had some incidents happen that as a coach you wish didn’t happen. At the end of the day, we’re trying to clean our game up, and the only way we’re going to clean it up is if we did it as a group. Let’s not expect the league disciplinarian to do it by himself and let’s not expect the players to do it by themselves. It’s everybody, and I think a lot of it starts with respecting each other a little bit better than we have so far.”