|Andy Brickley on D&C: Coach Claude Julien correct to question Bruins’ effort||01.18.12 at 10:04 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to dissect the team’s recent struggles. The Bruins lost to the Lightning Tuesday night, their second loss in three games.
Coach Claude Julien questioned the team’s work ethic, and Brickley backed him up.
“Everybody knows it’s a fine line between winning and losing if you don’t bring the kind of effort, and then you add to that you’re missing a couple of key skill guys and how it changes your lineup,” Brickley said. “But it does, it boils down to battles, one-on-ones, who wants it more.”
With Brad Marchand serving the final game of his five-game suspension and fellow forward Rich Peverly dealing with a personal matter, the Bruins appeared to be missing a spark Tuesday in Tampa.
“They’re tremendously talented kids, they’re hockey players, they’re smart, they play the game the right way. But it’s their speed that changes the dynamic of the Bruins,” Brickley said. “When you’re watching last night’s game, the Bruins on the breakout, you see them caught by a lot of the backcheckers of Tampa. You don’t see that explosive forecheck. You don’t see them getting 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s because they have speed through center ice. ‘¦ The whole dynamic of your offense changes, but it’s the speed element that you miss the most.”
After visiting the Devils Thursday night, the Bruins host the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers Saturday afternoon.
“I’m pretty curious to see how these two teams match up,” Brickley said of Saturday’s game. “I like the way both teams are built, I like the way they’re both coached. Meaning, what’s it going to look like in April and May, because I like the way their built as far as playoff hockey. Yeah, they’ll be real good regular-season teams, too. But because of the way they play — the physical style, the physical nature, the toughness the one-on-one battles, all that kind of stuff — that’s the way both those teams are built, with a lot of talent sprinkled in. I think they’re two of the best teams in the East and I’m very curious to see where they both match up against each other and the styles that they play.”
|Claude Julien finds Canucks ‘so hypocritical’ for pointing finger at Brad Marchand, Bruins||01.09.12 at 1:53 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien was among those who took issues with the Canucks’ criticism of Brad Marchand‘s style of play. The B’s coach responded to Vancouver coach Alain Vignealt‘s comments that Marchand’s hit on Sami Salo was dirty and that Marchand “plays to hurt players.”
“I think it’s pretty hypocritical, everything that’s been going on,” Julien said. “It’s unfortunate. Sometimes you’ve got to look in your backyard. We all know that he’s got the same type of players on his team, and they’ve all done the same thing. You just have to look at Burrows putting his blade in Thornton’s throat. It’s so hypocritical. It’s unfortunate. I guess we’re stupid. We’re idiots and they’re the smartest team in the league. I guess we need to listen to all the gab they have to say.”
Like general manager Peter Chiarelli, Julien did not like that Vigneault said “someone is going to hurt” Marchand, as former Canucks forward Brad May infamously said Avalanche Steve Moore had a “bounty” on his head before then-Canuck Todd Bertuzzi ended Moore’s career with a cheap punch to the back of the head.
“We all know that that comment’s been said before, and it didn’t turn out well,” Julien said, “so we’ll leave it at that.”
Julien also said he feels teams focus on the Bruins as being dirty more than they do on similar plays from other teams, including the Canucks.
“They can say whatever they want, but everything that happens, whether it’s Zdeno Chara last year, him in Montreal, we saw how many clips of that happening to everybody else, yet the focus was on Chara,” Julien said. “The focus is on Marchand right now. Why isn’t it on [Mason] Raymond for last year? Why isn’t it on other people? There’s [Keith] Ballard on [Jamie] McGinn.
“There’s all kinds examples, but somehow the Bruins happen to be the team that people prefer picking on and think we’re the bruisers and we’re the example of the league. We have to live with that, but the one thing we won’t do is change our style of play. Our team is built that way. I think we play pretty entertaining hockey. We’re a fast team. We’re a skilled team. We’re also a physical team, and we’re Stanley Cup champions, so I don’t see why we should change.
|Claude Julien felt Brad Marchand was protecting himself||01.07.12 at 5:24 pm ET|
While the big question Saturday regarding a possible suspension surrounds Bruins forward Milan Lucic, he isn’t the only Bruins’ left wing who could be in trouble with the league.
Brad Marchand was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for clipping Canucks defenseman Sami Salo in the Bruins’ zone in the second period of Saturday’s loss to Vancouver. Marchand got low when Salo came in to hit him, and what resulted was a dangerous play that Kevin Bieksa said should get Marchand suspended.
A fired-up Bruins coach Claude Julien defended Marchand following the game, saying he was protecting himself from what could have been a dangerous hit.
“We all have our opinions on what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else,” Julien said after the game. “All I’m going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves. The last thing I want my players to do is get hit and then end up with a concussion, and they have to protect themselves. Whether it’s the right way or the wrong way, it’ll depend on how the league looks at it.
“I’d rather have a guy take a two-minute penalty than turn his back to the play, stand up straight, and then get his face knocked into the glass and be out for maybe the rest of the year with a concussion, or maybe end his career like [Marc] Savard. So I think we have to really look at those kinds of things. In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys because that’s the consequences you end up paying for taking runs at guys, too. Who knows where we’re going to go with this. I know we’re all trying hard to fix that part of the game, but it’s still there, and it’s still not fixed.”
|Andrew Ference on D&C: Bruins ‘ready to respond’ to Canucks||01.06.12 at 12:05 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and talked about Saturday’s Stanley Cup finals rematch against the Canucks, coach Claude Julien‘s coaching style, and Thursday’s 9-0 beatdown of the Flames.
Thursday’s rout of the Flames was the Bruins’ ninth win in 10 games and their second straight home rout of eight goals or more. For Ference, though, it wasn’t the type of game he likes to play in.
“The tight games are more fun than that,” he said. “The nail-biters when you come out on the right side are a little more enjoyable than that. That was a defeated team out there last night. I don’t know if you want to call it sympathy, but we don’t have any sympathy for guys you play against. But that sucks to be on the other side of that.”
Ference said he didn’t feel bad for Calgary and that it was important the Bruins didn’t stop playing hard.
“You don’t want to gloat about it,” Ference said. “You want to keep playing your game. Obviously, we have bigger things to worry about than feeling bad for Calgary. But you don’t want to throw it in their face. We stopped celebrating and coming by the bench when we scored goals. We don’t stop playing, you keep playing your game, but we’re not celebrating after the goals. You try to be a little bit more muted about stuff like that. But you can’t stop playing, you can’t let your guard down. That’s when guys get hurt, is when you let your guard down, when you let up or start playing a little easier. You can’t do it.”
Ference said that the Bruins are much further ahead of where anyone expected them to be at this point in the season, something that he attributes to the a strong core group of players with a winner’s mentality.
“I think after that first month where we kind of just, I don’t know, I don’t know what we were doing but I think we kind of just picked up back at the hockey that we were playing during the spring,” Ference said. “That playoff kind of hockey is one where its great consistency, every line is playing the same style, not really taking any shifts off, and that’s something that a lot of teams build up toward during the spring. And I think as the season goes, the games get closer and closer and closer because teams are tightening up their defense, and I think we kind of just skipped a couple of steps this year. We’re kind of just playing that good spring hockey but at a different time of the year, so that’s obviously what we’re trying to work up and get better and stay sharp and do all those things as well. And that’s probably the biggest thing we have to remember, we can’t just get comfortable and be satisfied because the teams around us are going to get better.”
|Rich Peverley to return to Bruins lineup||12.31.11 at 2:33 pm ET|
Bruins forward Rich Peverley will return to the lineup Saturday night against the Stars, coach Claude Julien confirmed to reporters following the team’s morning skate. Tim Thomas was first netminder off the ice in the morning skate and is expected to get the start in goal.
Peverley missed the team’s last two games with an undisclosed injury that Julien said was helped by rest. The team kept him out of the lineup last Friday agaisnt the Panthers and this Wednesday against the Coyotes. With Peverley’s return to the lineup, Zach Hamill will be a healthy scratch.
In 30 games this season, Peverley has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points.
|Claude Julien hopes his team is ‘heading in the direction’ of the Red Wings||12.04.11 at 12:36 pm ET|
For all the talk of a Stanley Cup “hangover” following a 3-7-0 start, the Bruins are in the midst of one of the best early-season runs any defending champ has had in recent memory.
The numbers are remarkable.
A 10-game winning streak, points in 14 straight games, and a 13-0-1 mark in those 14 contests.
They dispatched of their division rival Maple Leafs, 4-1, on Saturday at the Garden, sweeping the home-and-home series. They have manhandled the Leafs, 24-6, in winning all four games this season.
What’s next for this powerhouse?
How about doing it year-after-year? That’s what Claude Julien is thinking, just like the Red Wings, the only team to beat the Bruins in this remarkable stretch, the day after Thanksgiving.
“As a coach you are always afraid you’re going to peak to early and then when things start going bad, it will take a while to get yourself back on track But I feel differently about this because of the, I guess the sentiment in the room and the feeling is we’re not taking anything for granted,” Julien said. “We’re staying poised, we’re not getting cocky, we’re not getting complacent, we’re still focused and that’s the part I like. And again, that’s probably from experience and we’ve seen other teams in the past and we talk about the Red Wings and every year they come back strong and maybe we are a team heading in that direction.”
But the Bruins don’t have to wait until possible rematch with the Red Wings in the Cup finals for their next big test. That’ll be Monday night in Pittsburgh against the East-leading Penguins with a now-healthy Sidney Crosby back and powering his team.
|Bruins know Maple Leafs don’t want to be embarrassed again||11.29.11 at 12:48 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The next two games will have a big impact on the standings, as the Bruins enter this week’s home and home with the Maple Leafs trailing Toronto by one point for the Northeast division lead. The B’s have crushed the Maple Leafs twice this season, and they now have an opportunity to grab four points and leapfrog them in the standings.
Yet with so much at stake, the Bruins aren’t thinking about four points any more than they are thinking about getting two points twice. The first challenge will come Wednesday in Toronto.
“That’s all you can really do, is focus on the first game,” Gregory Campbell said after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve done well against them thus far this season. Whether that’s motivation for them or not, it’s going to be anther hard one for us. We have to go in there and play good hockey. Wins will come if we play well. We’ve been playing well so far, so we have to continue that.”
The last time the Bruins were in Toronto, they gave the Leafs a 7-0 beating, with Tyler Seguin recording his first career hat trick. The Leafs went on to lose four of their next five, but have now won three games in a row and are coming off a 3-1-0 road trip. The Bruins know they’re facing a hot team that doesn’t need any help being motivated against a team that embarrassed them in their own building.
“It’s not something you forget when you’re on the receiving side, so I don’t think it’s going to be a hard game for them to be motivated for,” Claude Julien said. “We’ve just got to be ready for that.”
Air Canada Centre isn’t the only opponent’s building in which the B’s have found success. They’re 5-2-0 on the road this season, and have won their last four road games.
“I think our style of game is such that we’re just kind of a simple north-south team,” Campbell said. “On the road we just kind of go to work and play our game. We’re not out to impress anybody or to do anything that’s uncharacteristic of our team. We’re just trying to get two points, and everybody says this and it’s kind of cliche, but you just want to play a good, solid, smart road game. It’s usually simple hockey, but it’s usually the most effective for us.”
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