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Tim Thomas gets ‘first win out of the way’ and looks great doing it 10.08.11 at 11:23 pm ET
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No it wasn’t a shutout for Tim Thomas on Saturday night but in stopping 25 of 26 shots from the Lightning, he certainly showed he has the capability of replicating his historic year of a season ago.

Thomas made all the big saves, especially when the game was in doubt helping the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Lightning team they edged in seven hard-fought games in last spring’s Eastern finals. And it served as a nice bounce back after dropping the season-opener on Thursday to the Flyers.

“You get the first win out of the way so kind of get the monkey off of our backs to get the season back in the direction we wanted to be going,” Thomas said.

“I felt just as comfortable the first night. Both teams we played during the playoffs so semi-familiar, even though there’s some new faces on both teams. Both general systems are the same and I felt comfortable right off the bat the other night and I felt good tonight. But the team had a good game in front of me tonight. We put a lot of shots on goal, found ways to get pucks in the net with a great penalty kill. A lot of good efforts out there all over the place.”

To Claude Julien, the performance of his goalie was solid when the game called for it and spectacular when needed.

“To me, Timmy looked more like the Timmy we know,” Julien said. “He looked calm, and he looked comfortable in net, and he made things look pretty easy. Even on the big saves, he was challenging well. To me, that’s as close to last year as I’ve seen Timmy. He certainly played a solid game for us.”

But, without question, the save he made on Teddy Purcell from the low slot on a one-timer was the save of the game. The Bruins were leading 2-1 early in the third when Purcell had a clean look and appeared to have an open side to Thomas’ right. Thomas slid over before falling to the ice and making the big save just 1:44 into the third.

“The [puck] was passed through the slot and whoever it was did a good job of tipping it over to Purcell,” Thomas said. “So, I was actually originally just on the first pass and I had to scramble to get over to the second pass, which is why I sort of made the save while I was falling down.”

Just over a minute later, David Krejci scored at the other end. Bruins up, 3-1. Game, set, match.

“I think any goaltender, in those key situations, that makes those kinds of saves is certainly going to give your team a boost, and Tim has done that for us on numerous occasions throughout his time here,” Julien said. “I’m not saying we’re used to it but we like it.”

“I’m not thinking of one big save,” Thomas said. “I’m thinking I have to make some saves, basically, [because] you never want to give the other team a sniff. We’ve learned our lessons over the years. I remember a game where we were up three goals with three minutes left against St. Louis and they tied it up and won in overtime. So, that was quite a few years ago now but that happened to us last year a few times where teams came back on us late. You’ve got to play the full 60 minutes That’s what we learned last year.”

And last year turned out pretty well thanks, in large part to Thomas and the lessons learned.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning
Claude Julien knows it’s time to put champagne bottles down 10.07.11 at 2:02 pm ET
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Now, Claude Julien can simply get back to coaching his team and getting them ready for a regular season Saturday night game in October.

He – and every Bruins player – admitted following Thursday night’s 2-1 loss to the Flyers that the season-opener was anything but regular or ordinary.

Now, with Steven Stamkos and the Lightning coming to town for a battle Saturday at TD Garden, it’s time to treat the game like 1-of-82.

“We’re basically all looking forward to it,” Julien said. “As you know, if you go to a party and you stay until four or for two, three days, after a while, you get tired of it, right? The bottles of champagne are empty, so it’s time to go home. I think that’s how we feel right now. We’ve had a great time with it this summer, we’ve had some great experiences, but right now, we basically would like to re-do this, and we know there’s a lot of work and a lot of things that have to come into play before that happens. We need to turn the page.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers
Hangover? It’s only a movie to the Bruins as they’re ready to defend title 10.04.11 at 5:59 pm ET
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As the players spoke one after another at media day Tuesday, they all sounded like they knew it was coming. How are the Bruins going to deal with wearing the crown in 2011?

Some teams have handled it very well, like the 2009 Red Wings, who made it back to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals the next year before losing to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on home ice. Some others have had a lot more difficulty. The 2010 Cup champs – the Blackhawks – had to back in to the playoffs last year on the last day when the Stars lost to Minnesota.

The Blackhawks seemed doomed in the first round before battling back from 3-0 down, only to lose in OT in Game 7 to Vancouver. Those close to the team publicly expressed a fatigue in the first two months of the season as the Blackhawks tried to get their legs back under them.

So, how are the Bruins prepared to handle success starting Thursday night against the Flyers?

“I don’t know about all that hangover stuff or whatever, I just know we are ready for the season to begin,” chirped Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton, who won his first Cup with the Ducks in 2007. “I literally don’t know. This is my second one. All I know, when you get that first one, all you want to do is win another one. You win two, all you want is to do is win three.

“Listen, there’ll be times in the this season where we’ll be down and I’m sure you guys [media] will jump all over the fact because it’s something to write about. There’s ups and downs throughout a whole season and as long as we keep it even keel and continue to have a steady climb, getting ready for wherever we’re going to go, I think that’s the most important thing. That’s what we were so good at last year, not letting the highs get too high and the lows get too low.”

‘We all know we’ll be asked about it and have to address it with the way we come out and play,” added center Patrice Bergeron. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL, Patrice Bergeron
Claude Julien expects Bruins to make more cuts after Islanders game 09.23.11 at 2:05 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien indicated after Friday’s practices that a second round of cuts may come after Friday’s preseason game against the Islanders.

“I think we’re going to be minimizing our roster I guess starting probably after tonight’s game,” Julien said Friday. “There’s a possibility there. A lot of that depends on the game tonight and who shows well, and etc., etc. The number we anticipate may be changed, but I think there might be some changes made after tonight’s game and leading into that trip to Halifax we’ll minimize our group a little bit.”

The Bruins made six cuts on Wednesday, sending Tyler Randell, Yannick Riendeau, Stefan Chaput, Calle Ridderwall and Kyle MacKinnon to Providence and Anthony Camara back to Saginaw of the OHL.

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Claude Julien: Stanley Cup hangover is real, and Bruins must avoid it 09.16.11 at 1:13 pm ET
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If things this time last year were about responding to one of the worst collapses in professional sports history, the Bruins can consider themselves fortunate to have a different frame of mind as they prepare for next season.

The coach made that clear Friday following the opening of training camp, as Claude Julien noted that it’s important for his players to not lose focus because they are the defending champions.

“What we accomplished last year really doesn’t matter this year,” Julien said. “It’s going to be starting from scratch and building our team up to go through the highs and lows of a season and battle through it and work your way into a playoff spot and be ready to battle for it. There’s a lot of things that need to happen throughout the course of the season for us to have success again.

“The famous Stanley Cup hangover that everybody talks about, I don’t think we should be different from anybody else. What we’ve got to be better at is how we’re going to handle it.… Obviously it is a real thing, and we need to be ready this year even more than last year.”

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Claude Julien has his day with the Cup 08.07.11 at 11:46 am ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien had his day with the Stanley Cup on Saturday, and he used it to combine some good family time with a day’s worth of sharing. Stops at the Rideau Canal, which is said to have great views of Ottawa, and his family’s home town of Navan, Ontario, were made. After being had by Julien and Peter Chiarelli lately, the Cup is back with the players. Patrice Bergeron has it on Sunday.

Here’s an NHL.com video documenting part of Julien’s day.

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Claude Julien optimistic about Joe Corvo’s impact with Bruins 07.11.11 at 1:29 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien discussed the Bruins’ offseason moves and their prospects on the final day of development camp Monday. The B’s lost Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle to free agency, replacing them with Montreal’s Benoit Pouliot and Carolina’s Joe Corvo.

In the case of Kaberle and Corvo, Julien said the 34-year-old Corvo can help the power play, much like Kaberle was expected to when the B’s sent a package of commodities (a 2011 first-round pick, a 2012 second-rounder and center Joe Colborne) to Toronto or the defenseman.

“It’s not about replacing [Kaberle] but taking on his role,” Julien said of Corvo. “I think you look at Corvo, who’s got a really good shot. He’s a player that may be a little bit more physical and more engaged. We’re going to have to work with him as far as making him understand the way we play here. And I think the way we play will certainly help him a little bit, because we don’t want him running around. We want him playing well positionally.

“Again, he skates well and he’ll move the puck well. That’s where Kaberle … people that thought he underachieved a little bit. I think at the beginning we weren’t quite getting what we wanted. But once you saw him get a little comfortable, we’ve got to give him credit. He’s a smart player, he sees the ice well, makes good plays and that’s where his strength is. When you look at Corvo, his shot is going to be a lot better and hopefully on the power play which we did [get] some good shots from the back end, it will certainly help us.”

Corvo, for whom the Bruins traded a fourth-round pick, had 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points last season. Kaberle had four goals and 43 assists for 47 assists with the Maple Leafs and Bruins in the regular season. He signed a three-year, $12.75 million deal with Carolina last week.

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