|Will the Bruins be able to beat the Hurricanes this season?||01.27.13 at 1:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — In the next seven games, the Bruins will face only two teams that made the playoffs last season, but don’t think that means guaranteed smooth sailing.
The B’s will kick off a stretch of four games in six days by facing the Hurricanes, who finished last in the Southeast Division last season but beat the Bruins in all four of their meetings.
The Hurricanes improved in the offseason by adding forwards Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin, but they were problematic enough for the Bruins without them. Only one of the four contests between the two teams last season was a one-goal game (a 3-2 Hurricanes win on Oct. 12) and Carolina beat Boston by a combined score of 14-5.
“There’s certain teams that give other teams trouble, and we’re one of the teams that gives other teams trouble as well. ‘¦ They play a certain style that gives us a lot of trouble,” Claude Julien said after Sunday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. “They’re a four-man attack team. Even this year, they always have a D up in the rush. We haven’t played our best against them, but at the same time, they’ve played some good games against us.
“This is going to be one of those probably more mental challenges than anything else. We’ve got to get over that hump and get that win as quick as we can so we can get that monkey off our back, if you [will]. Certainly it’s something that we’re well aware of, and we’re going to go in there tomorrow hopefully well-prepared.”
In the Bruins’ streaky 2011-12 season, Boston always ran into the Hurricanes either when they were slumping or to begin a skid. The Bruins lost to Carolina twice during their 3-7-0 month of October and later dropped a pair of games to the Hurricanes on Jan. 14 and Feb. 2, during a 7-9-1 stretch.
“There’s enough players around from last year that they know what this team did to us,” Julien said. “This is a team that didn’t make the playoffs, but they still beat us four games out of four. If you don’t realize that, you have to take a look in the mirror and understand that there’s a pretty god challenge ahead of you.”
|Claude Julien still sees plenty of room for improvement||01.26.13 at 10:46 am ET|
The Bruins have started out 3-0-1 and have looked impressive in the process.
But for 40 minutes Friday night, Claude Julien watched as his team was sluggish, falling behind 2-1 to the Islanders before recovering to tie the game, 2-2, before the third period.
“Obviously happy we haven’t lost in regulation yet. But, I don’t think we’re extremely happy with our game [Friday],” Julien said. “For 40 minutes, I didn’t think we were on top of our game, we didn’t seem to be in sync, we didn’t seem to have the energy that we usually show. So, it was a struggle for us tonight, but the last 20 were a little bit better, we found a way to win. A lot of times, that’s what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to push through those kind of nights and we did. So, you take the two points and you move on.”
Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien on Rangers: ‘Let’s go at it’||01.19.13 at 12:39 pm ET|
For the most part, the Bruins have a relatively easy schedule for the first third or so of the season. They’ll only face two teams that made the playoffs last season in their first 15 games, but one of them is the Rangers, and they’ll face them three times.
To narrow it down even more, the Bruins will face the Rangers twice in their first three games of the 48-game season. The B’s and Rangers are two popular favorites to make it out of the Eastern Conference this season, as the B’s no longer have the Stanley Cup hangover excuse, while the Rangers have added six-time 30-goal-scorer Rick Nash to a roster that grabbed the top seed in the East last season.
That means both teams will have a couple of big tests right off the bat, and could easily begin the season with two early losses if they aren’t sharp enough. Claude Julien said after Saturday’s morning skate that he embraces the challenge.
“I don’t know if I feel more weight; I think I like that opportunity,” Julien said. “I really do. I’d rather play one of the best teams in the conference than not. And right now let’s go at it. Like I said, we’re both at the same stage where we’ve had six days of training camp. Let’s go at it. You know, we go at it again on Wednesday. So there’s no issue from my end of it, and as I’ve always said you control what you can and control your team and the schedule is made and then you go with it.”
Tuukka Rask, who will get the nod in net for the B’s Saturday, said that he expects the Rangers to be a difficult opponent with the addition of Nash, but that he expects every game to be a challenge.
“You know what? It doesn’t matter who you play against in this league,” he said. “Every team has good players, and everybody knows they added him during the offseason. They’ve got some power up front, so we’ve just got to be aware of that and get ready.”
|Bruins hold off-ice workouts||01.18.13 at 12:00 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins stayed off the ice Friday at Ristuccia Arena, taking a day for off-ice workouts after skating for the previous five days. Only Jordan Caron (out with an upper-body injury) and Milan Lucic (who missed Thursday’s practice due to the birth of his daughter) took the ice, which had to be disappointing for those in the packed stands.
The Bruins will kick off the season Saturday at TD Garden against the Rangers, marking the first game of their 48-game schedule. Two of the Bruins’ first three games will come against the Rangers, who finished first in the Eastern Conference last regular season and added power forward Rick Nash in a trade with the Blue Jackets.
“I think it’s a good want to start for us,” Claude Julien said. “It’s a team that I think a lot of people are predicting has a real good chance of winning a Stanley Cup, so we might as well get at it right away and play against a good team. If anything, it will certainly make us better quicker, and to me, it’s a great way to start.”
|Fan suffers cardiac episode at Bruins practice||01.17.13 at 1:31 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — It was a very scary scene at Ristuccia Arena Thursday as one fan had a cardiac episode in the stands, stopping the Bruins’ practice and providing Terry Gardner to be an unlikely hero.
Gardner, an EMT, was watching practice from the stands when he heard somebody scream to call 911. He rushed over to the fan and recognized agonal breathing (gasping). He began performing chest compressions on him as uniformed paramedics showed up and used the defibrillator machine to determine that it was a cardiac episode before eventually reviving him and taking him to the hospital.
“It was a cardiac episode,” Gardner explained. “The [defibrillator] picked up a shockable rhythm on him, which means that it was a cardiac issue. It obviously wasn’t a seizure, but it appeared to be at first because at that point he was still moving, he had rapid breathing at first. That’s what it appeared to be at first. It only took a couple seconds before that subsided, and it became apparent that he needed CPR.”
Gardner said that the presence of the defibrillator machine, which was on hand at Ristuccia, was critical in saving the fan.
“They had the defibrillator here on scene, which probably made a world of difference for him,” he said. “If this happened at home, it may not have had such a good outcome.”
The Bruins, meanwhile, all took a knee as fans scattered to make room. Claude Julien then pulled them off the ice until everything was resolved.
“Obviously we knew something was going on in the stands and that it was an emergency,” Julien said. “I don’t know the details of what happened, but all I saw was a bunch of people there on the spot obviously helping. As far as I’m concerned, I thought when we stepped on the ice and found out what was happening, I think the last thing they needed was to hear pucks banging off the glass. I think out of respect we just let them do their job.”
The players were both relieved and thankful to see a fan step up in such a critical situation.
“That’s incredible,” Gregory Campbell said of Gardner’s work. “Obviously that gentleman was lucky to have that. For somebody to have that knowledge is an important thing. You never know when that’s going to come in handy, and that’s very special.”
Gardner showed up to Ristuccia on Thursday planning to watch the B’s practice, but as an EMT, he is always ready to be called to action. The circumstances were certainly different this time around, but he was glad to help.
“Having the spotlight on you is definitely a little weird,” he said. “I don’t normally work with this kind of crowd when we do it coming with the ambulance and stuff like that. It’s definitely a little weird having the Bruins watch you, as opposed to you watching the Bruins. It was a little role reversal.”
|Why Claude Julien is a perfect fit for the Bruins||07.24.12 at 3:49 pm ET|
There are plenty of reasons Peter Chiarelli and Bruins management decided to extend the contract of Claude Julien this week.
First of all, his contract was expired after last season.
Secondly, no one else since Harry Sinden has been behind the bench as the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
And thirdly, no one is more respected for his ability to blend character, discipline and humor the way Julien has since taking over for Dave Lewis after the 2006-07 season.
There’s another much more subtle reason to keep Julien behind the bench for the Black and Gold – stability. Should the Bruins and the rest of the NHL not figure out their pending labor issues by the Sept. 15 deadline, the season could easily be shortened, and like the NFL and NBA in 2011, teams may have to wing it to get their teams ready for competition.
No one knows more what he wants or expects from the Bruins than Julien.
“The one thing you try to do as a coach is keep things fresh,” Julien said at his contract extension press conference at TD Garden Tuesday. “Every year you try to attack certain areas that will maybe change just a little bit that will give guys a fresher look. That’s how you keep your team interested, intact and hopefully competitive.”
To Chiarelli, what he sees is a coach over five years that hasn’t just won a Stanley Cup, he’s instilled just the right amount of discipline, walking that fine line between motivation and expectation from his players.
“Leadership in a coach manifests itself different ways with different people,” Chiarelli said. “To me, I like to talk about a coach’s persona. His person in a venue like this [press conference] and his persona in the room. It’s about commanding respect. It’s about motivating the players in a respectful way and a professional way. It’s about the ideas, the formats, the approaches. It’s all professional, it’s all to an end. There’s a plan.
“Claude’s ability to have that persona and have players respect what he stands for and to be able to deliver that message in a way that engages them, that’s what I see as leadership and that’s what Claude has, and a large part of that leadership is character.”
For Julien, there have been rocky times to be sure. Remember the May 13, 2010 when the Flyers completed their comeback from 3-0 down to eliminate the Bruins? Remember in their Cup run of 2011 when P.K. Subban scored to force overtime in Game 7 in the first round. If the Bruins don’t win that game, it’s a near certainty that Julien is not up on the dais Tuesday talking about his vision for the Bruins. Even this year, when the Bruins were fading a bit in the final two months of the season, falling from first to third in the East, there were whispers that players were tuning out Julien. Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien already has his place in Bruins history||at 7:21 am ET|
Claude Julien‘s stay in Boston has worked out pretty well, and to the surprise of no one, it isn’t over yet.
The Bruins announced Monday that they locked up the coach with a multi-year deal, with a press conference to take place Tuesday at TD Garden. With him will be Peter Chiarelli, the man who finally stopped the revolving door of Bruins coaches in 2007 and found the coach who could not only last more than a couple of seasons but could bring the Stanley Cup to Boston.
As far as Bruins coaches go, Julien, at 460 regular-season games coached, has a ways to go before catching Art Ross (728) and Milt Schmidt (726). Assuming he coaches every game this season, Julien will be at 542. Should he coach the following two seasons in Boston (after all, it’s a multi-year deal that will start in 2013-14), he’ll break the 700-game mark.
In many ways, Julien has perhaps been underappreciated in Boston. Though he may have once appeared to be the Marty Schottenheimer of the NHL for his ability to consistently get teams to the playoffs only to come up short in the postseason, he was there to lead the Bruins out of the mess they’d been in since the lockout and back to respectability.
In his first year on the job, Julien took Boston from a club that had previously finished 13th in the Eastern Conference to a playoff team. The Bruins grabbed the eighth and final playoff spot in 2007-08 and lost to Julien’s former team in the Canadiens, but it was the 2008-09 season — a campaign in which Julien picked up the Jack Adams Award for the league’s top coach — that things really stared to change in Boston. The B’s finished tops in the conference, and it was the first of three consecutive seasons in which the Bruins got past the first round. The last time the Bruins had accomplished such a feat was when they won at least a round in five straight playoffs from 1988 through 1992.
Julien’s crowning achievement, of course, was the 2010-11 season in which the Bruins beat the Canadiens, Flyers, Lightning and Canucks en route to hoisting the Stanley Cup. It seemed that Julien was criticized by select media and fans more than he’d ever been in that season. The Bruins were coming off an embarrassing playoff defeat in 2010 in which they’d blown a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers, and after they were blanked by Jonas Hiller and the Ducks at home on Dec. 20 of the 2010-11 season, it seemed hard to find a fan who didn’t want Chiarelli and Cam Neely to can the coach.
In the playoffs, Julien was scrutinized for his handling of Tyler Seguin. His sticking with Michael Ryder over the then-rookie proved to be right, as Ryder’s Game 4 performance (two goals, one of which was the game-winner in overtime, and an assist) tied the team’s first-round series with the Habs. Seguin shined when he finally got his turn in the Eastern Conference finals, but Julien’s handling of the situation was correct.
Julien definitely has faced some good ol’ fashioned Boston scrutiny thus far in Boston, but if his future with the B’s matches what he’s accomplished in the recent past, fans won’t have much to (logically) complain about.
Now if only they could do something about that power play …
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