|Injured Lindy Ruff won’t coach Sabres Wednesday||02.08.12 at 12:48 pm ET|
BUFFALO — The Sabres’ will be without an important piece Wednesday night against the Bruins, and it isn’t anyone who shows up on the stat sheet.
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff, who broke three ribs earlier this week in a collision with defenseman Jordan Leopold, will not be behind the bench when the teams meet Wednesday at First Niagara center. In place of Ruff, assistant coach James Patrick will call the shots from behind the Buffalo bench.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said the hit shows the potential danger that coaches face in practices, and said that coaches wearing helmets would be logical, though he wouldn’t want to wear one.
“I guess it just goes to show there is a risk in our job as well as those players have, especially in practice,” Julien said. “I’ve had a few collisions with players. It happens. That’s why you’ve got to be ready all the time. When you see it, you can brace yourself, but when you don’t, it can be a tough fall. We don’t have that much protection underneath that sweat suit, except for the extra weight we carry.”
The Sabres will also be without forward Thomas Vanek, who is dealing with an upper-body injury. Vanek participated in Wednesday’s morning skate, but Patrick said after the skate that Vanek would not play.
|Tuukka Rask to start for Bruins vs. Sabres||at 12:38 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Bruins coach Claude Julien doesn’t usually flat-out say which goaltender will start that night’s game, but he made an exception a day after declaring he would not answer any more questions about concussed forward Nathan Horton.
Julien revealed Wednesday night’s starting goaltender, saying that Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes for the B’s against the Sabres.
Rask is third in the NHL in both save percentage (.936) and goals-against average (1.88), but has not won any of his last three starts (0-2-1). His last victory came on Jan. 16 against the Panthers in Florida.
The team’s forward lines remained the same as they were in Tuesday’s practice, with David Krejci still on the third line between Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron.
|Claude Julien ‘done talking’ about Nathan Horton’s condition||02.07.12 at 12:38 pm ET|
“Guys, protocol is protocol,” Julien said when asked about Horton. “When you see him on the ice with us, he’s moving in the right direction.”
Julien was then asked another question about how Horton feels since skating, and the coach went into detail as to why he’s staying quiet on the matter.
“Guys, I’m done talking about it,” Juien said. “I look at every team that has guys with concussions, and guys, you’ve got to give him a chance to let him go through the things. I can’t give you an update every day on this guy because it could be long, it could be short. When you see him on the ice with us, it’s going to be a really good sign, so we’ll leave it at that. I don’t have the answer, so I’m not going to give you an answer. We don’t know what concussions are all about. There’s forward steps, there’s backwards steps. I can’t just come out here every day and give you guys an update, because it doesn’t make sense.”
Horton was injured in the Bruins’ 6-5 shootout win over the Flyers on Jan. 22 on a hit from Philadelphia forward Tom Sestito. There was no discipline from the league on the play.
|Claude Julien to coach Zdeno Chara’s All-Star team||01.20.12 at 4:10 pm ET|
Straight from the “no duh” department, but the NHL announced Friday afternoon that Bruins coach Claude Julien‘s staff, consisting of Julien and assistants Doug Houda, Doug Jarvis and Geoff Ward, will coach Zdeno Chara‘s team in the All Star Game on Jan. 29.
Daniel Alfredsson’s team will be coached by John Tortorella and Todd McLellan.
Chara and Alfredsson will pick their teams in a fantasy draft on Jan. 26.
|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.”