|Claude Julien acknowledges Jarome Iginla trade rumors swirling||03.27.13 at 11:55 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien acknowledged the trade rumors involving Calgary Flames veteran superstar Jarome Iginla were swirling around his team after the Bruins blew it two-goal lead in the third period and lost 6-5 to the MontrÃ©al Canadiens in a shootout Wednesday night at TD Garden.
“I don’t know if it affected the game, but I know it’s present,” Julien said. “You know, there’s a lot of rumors circling around our team. I called a couple players into my office just to talk before the game about certain things and they were a little jumpy ‘ they were all expected the worst news. And it had nothing to do with trades more than talking about the game. So it’s present and it’s pretty obvious why.
Julien also would not offer specific comment on two controversial calls against the Bruins late in the third that eventually ended in the game-tying goal, unlike earlier in the month when he accused the Canadiens of “embellishment” in drawing penalties in a win at TD Garden over the Bruins.
Brendan Gallagher scored the decisive goal in the sixth round of the shootout as the Canadiens beat the Bruins, 6-5, in overtime Wednesday night at TD Garden. Gallagher also scored once in the third period before the Canadiens tied it with 8.2 seconds left in regulation. The Bruins had a pair of two-goal leads but couldn’t hold on, as they fell a point behind the Canadiens in the Northeast Division. The Bruins went 0-for-6 in the shootout while Gallagher was the only Canadien to score in six tries.
With his team battling for the top spot in the Northeast Division six floors below, Bruins president Cam Neely went back and forth on the ninth floor, shadowed by security. This led to speculation about whether the Bruins might be ready to pull the trigger on a major trade for Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla, who was scratched from his game Wednesday night, the first game the 35-year-old has missed since Feb. 2007.
For a second straight game, Claude Julien juggled his lines at the start before reverting midway through the game. And, for the second straight game against a division rival, the Bruins came out flat in the first period. They were held without a shot for the first eight minutes of the game.
With the exception of Seguin, the Canadiens generated most of the energy on the ice in the opening 20 minutes. It paid off for the visitors when former Bruin Michael Ryder got enough on a snap shot from the low slot and beat Tuukka Rask just 4:15 into the game for a 1-0 lead.
The Canadiens appeared to be in the driver’s seat when arch-nemesis P.K. Subban blasted a slap shot from the right point through a screen and past Rask 2:53 into the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Despite falling behind for the fourth straight game, the Bruins did not panic. And as they did on Monday, when they also fell behind by two goals at the start to the Maple Leafs, the Bruins woke up just in time.
It was a rush from Seguin that got things going 30 seconds after the Subban goal. Seguin came flying down the right wing and fired a shot off the crossbar. The puck came down in front of Bergeron. He couldn’t put it in the open net but Dougie Hamilton was in the right place at the right time and drilled a one-timer from between the circles past Price and the comeback was on.
Less than four minutes later, with Julien again rejoining his regular lines, Marchand netted the game-tying goal by battling for position in front of Price and knocking the puck past the Montreal goalie. Marchand, who started the game on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron, was reunited with Bergeron and Seguin. It was Seguin who won the battle in the corner and fired the puck in front of the net for Marchand.
After Lars Eller hauled down Shawn Thornton on a rush down the left wing, the Bruins went on the power play. With 14 seconds left on the man advantage, Bergeron potted his 10th of the season to put the Bruins up, 3-2. The play was set up when Zdeno Chara fed Torey Krug, called up earlier in the day. Krug fired a shot from the right point. The shot deflected off Rich Peverley in front and onto the stick of Bergeron who finished it off.
With the Garden crowd still buzzing, David Krejci fed Nathan Horton on a mini-break and Horton beat Price 35 seconds later for a 4-2 lead. After spotting the Canadiens the game’s first three shots in the opening seven minutes, the Bruins outshot Montreal 26-8 and finished with a 26-11 advantage after 40 minutes.
Price was pulled in favor of Peter Budaj to start the third. Andrew Ference drew a hooking penalty and the Bruins had a power play but could generate little momentum. Then moments later, Ryder added his second of the night, drawing the Canadiens within one, 4-3, with just over 16 minutes still left in regulation.
With Hamilton in the penalty box for holding, Budaj kept the Canadiens in the game with a huge save on Gregory Campbell on a shorthanded breakaway with 10 minutes left. Seguin then gave the Bruins huge insurance with a backhander to beat Budaj with just over eight minutes left, putting Boston up, 5-3. The Canadiens made it a one goal game again as the Seguin goal was being announced as Brendan Gallagher got a lucky bounce off the mouth Dennis Sidenberg and beat Rask with 7:42 left. The Bruins killed off their first five shorthanded situations, including an elbowing call on Chara with 4:40 left in regulation.
But a delay of game on Aaron Johnson with 1:27 left, led to a 6-on-4 with Montreal’s empty net. A shot from Subban deflected off the stick of Chara past Rask with 8.2 seconds left to tie the game. Andrei Markov was credited with the goal The Bruins got a power play with 1:20 left in overtime when Alexei Emelin was called for a hooking penalty. Krejci had one final chance to win it but Budaj smothered the shot from the right circle two seconds before the end of overtime.
The Bruins are off Thursday and Friday before visiting Philadelphia for a matinee with the Flyers on Saturday. For more, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Tuukka Rask defensive, but says confidence isn’t shaken||03.24.13 at 2:17 pm ET|
After jumping out ahead of the pack in the Eastern Conference early on in the season, the Bruins find themselves in their most trying times with 18 games left on their schedule. They’ve lost three of their last four in regulation, and Claude Julien has tried different tactics in recent days to wake a team that’s been bad for the first time.
Part of that included giving back-to-back starts to Anton Khudobin for the first time this season when he put the backup between the pipes Thursday in Ottawa and Saturday in Toronto. That followed a 3-1 loss to the Jets Tuesday in which Winnipeg marched back from a 1-0 deficit in the third period with three unanswered goals (one of which was an empty-netter), resulting in Julien saying following the game that the B’s needed “timely saves” and didn’t get them from Tuukka Rask.
Rask made his return to the net in the third period of Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs, but it’s been a strange week for him. He got called out by his coach for the first time this season and was then given his longest stretch of time on the bench all year.
The 26-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent following its expiration, bit his tongue when asked about Julien’s comments.
“We do need timely saves,” Rask agreed. “It’s no secret I don’t think, right?”
As for Khudobin getting back-to-back starts, Rask doesn’t feel threatened or shaken by Julien’s decision.
“I’d like to play every game, obviously, but I didn’t take it too personally,” he said. “I’ve got to play good games, I realize that. Some tough losses there, I let in two goals in Pittsburgh and Winnipeg and we lose the games, but I wasn’t awful. It shouldn’t break my confidence.”
Julien insists that he wasn’t trying to send any sort of message to Rask by sitting him for consecutive games. He was correct in pointing out that Khudobin’s been more than serviceable thus far and added that he simply wanted to reward Khudobin for breaking Boston’s two-game losing streak Thursday.
“Tuukka is Tuukka. He’s hard on himself,” Julien said. “My thinking behind that was that Khudobin’s played well for us this year, and after playing that game in Ottawa where he was really good, he deserved a second start. I anticipated that this week coming up, Tuukka would have lots of opportunities to play. It was more based on what I saw coming up and on [Khudobin’s] play. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out [well] but Tuukka went in there and I thought he was solid in the jobs that he got in the third period.”
In fact, Rask wasn’t very hard on himself, but more defensive on Sunday. After saying that he agreed with Julien’s “timely saves” comment, Rask was asked how he’d assess his level of play of late. He responded by saying that he was between the pipes as the Jets came back, but that he didn’t single-handedly blow the game.
Said Rask: “I’m not blaming myself for those goals, but we were still up 1-0 and it would be nice to at least get a point out of that, but I don’t think I’ve been awful, if that’s what you’re saying.”
Rask wouldn’t be getting all of this attention were it not for Julien’s comments Tuesday. He’s been one of the league’s top goaltenders this season (Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports even wrote on Tuesday that Rask should be the favorite to win the Vezina) and his team hasn’t scored in front of him. Still, the last week has served as a bit of a speed bump in Rask’s first full season as a starter and it will be interesting to see how he comes out of it.
The morning after the Bruins concluded their 1-3-0 road trip, Claude Julien shook up his lines for Sunday’s practice. All four lines were different, with Milan Lucic receiving the biggest demotion by going from the first line to the third line.
The lines were as follows:
Asked why he altered the lines, Julien responded, “Because I can. Because I’m the coach.”
The Bruins scored just six goals over the four-game road-trip. They will return to action Monday against the Maple Leafs.
Johnny Boychuk (leg) did not practice, and he remains day-to-day after leaving Friday’s practice.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien admits: ‘We’re certainly not perfect right now’||03.08.13 at 12:26 am ET|
The Bruins had to battle with a Toronto team that, despite playing on the road the night before, came into Boston and gave the Bruins a game before wilting under the persistent pressure of Boston’s top line of Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Still the Bruins are 15-3-3 right now, good for 33 points and a spot near the top of the Eastern Conference with Montreal Canadiens.
“We’re certainly not perfect right now,” Julien said. “We’re certainly not firing on all cylinders. I think right now, we’re laboring through it. But, the work ethic was there tonight. The peaks and valleys of a season are pretty obvious that watching us play, nothing is real easy right now. The fact that we’re working through it ‘ if we keep working like that it will come back.”
Julien did like one particular aspect of his team – the fact that they didn’t panic when the Leafs cut the lead to one, 3-2, with just over five minutes left in regulation. The Bruins were up, 3-2, against the Canadiens Sunday night and lost, 4-3. They blew a 3-0 lead in Washington Tuesday night and lost 4-3 in overtime. The Bruins were determined not to have it happen again.
“I think their whole attitude was, ‘listen, we’re here to win, let’s not play on our heels. Let’s go get the next one,'” Julien said. “We had a couple good scoring chances after they made it 3-2. Like I said before, we even scored that empty netter. At least we didn’t sit back,we didn’t panic. Our guys responded well, we looked more like the team of before, when they made it 3-2, than we did the last couple games.”
The Bruins got a big boost from Anton Khudobin, who stopped 25 of 27 shots in the win.
“I don’t know if it was to find out more, but I think that it’s the confidence we had in him that we could put him in against real good team,” Julien said. “The Leafs played a really good game for a team that played last night and they played hard and gave us all that we could handle. But he deserved to be in that game and we knew he could give us that and again it’s about the schedule and making sure that we rotate our goal tenders and make sure that we keep our goal tenders as fresh as possible because there are guys that on a lot of nights that will make a difference in a game. So it wasn’t so much about what can he do more we have the confidence that he can do it.
For more, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien: ‘I didn’t say anything wrong’||03.04.13 at 12:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said Monday that he doesn’t regret Sunday’s comments about the Canadiens embellishing, though when speaking about it Monday, he steered away from singling out the Habs.
“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Julien said. “I didn’t blame the refs, I didn’t blame [anyone]. I said the embellishment puts refs in a tough position because they call it, it’s one thing, but if they call it and the guy’s really injured, it makes them look bad. We’re not helping the referees by embellishing. It makes it tough for them. It’s not as easy to correct as it seems because there’s consequences if they make a mistake on calling an embellishment.”
Added Julien: “Like I’ve talked about before with hits from behind, responsibility also has to come from the guy getting hit, to stop putting yourself in a vulnerable position. I think embellishment is the same thing. You’re embarrassing the game and there’s no room for it.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
“Well, it doesn’t help,” Julien said. “Again, we’re a good enough team that that shouldn’t be the factor and it wasn’t. We only gave them four shots in the third period, but two of them ended up in goals. I thought we could have done a better job in the D-zone. The way that they scored their goals was exactly the way they normally score them. I think we could’ve been a little bit more alert.”
Several times during the games, the Bruins appeared to be fighting the puck in their own end, especially Andrew Ference. He had a couple of turnovers and the normally sure-handed Dennis Seidenberg had another. Tuukka Rask picked up Ference and Seidenberg on all of them but couldn’t stop the Canadiens in the third.
“I didn’t feel like we were moving the pucks as well as we can,” Julien said. “Sure, they forecheck well, but for some reason passes weren’t as crisp coming out of our own end on a lot of occasions and it kind of got us in trouble a little bit. When we got the puck out and went and did the same thing in their end, we had our chances too. They were giving us those opportunities as well. I just felt that defensively when there were some breakdowns we weren’t really there to cover their mistakes and pucks ended up in our net.”
“That’s just it,” Julien said. “By far, they were our best line tonight. And that’s the unfortunate thing; we didn’t have enough of those other lines going for us. You can’t win big games like that relying on just that one line. We need more out of the other lines and tonight wasn’t a night where we got that. It’s a credit to them, I think Patrice had a great night. Obviously, Marshy with three assists, and Tyler I thought was skating well and competing well. That was a good line for us. Another line or two like that, with that same work ethic, we would’ve been fine.”
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