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Milan Lucic misses morning skate, but will play Game 3 vs. Lightning 05.19.11 at 1:08 pm ET
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TAMPA — Bruins forward Milan Lucic was not on the ice for Thursday’s morning skate at St. Pete Times Forum, marking his second straight absence from a morning skate after getting hit on the right foot by a Tyler Seguin shot in Monday’s practice. Despite whatever discomfort Lucic may be feeling, coach Claude Julien confirmed after the skate that the team’s regular-season leader in goals will be in the lineup Thursday night vs. the Lightning.

“There’s no issues,” Julien said of Lucic. He’s going to be in tonight. “During the playoffs, there’s certain things you do, and you give guys time off for whatever reason. He’s going to be in there, and there won’t be any excuses to his game at all. ‘€¦ There’s very minor issues when it comes to that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Mark Recchi, Milan Lucic
P.J. Stock on D&C: Let’s see how Tyler Seguin reacts on road at 10:57 am ET
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TSN and Hockey Night in Canada analyst and former Bruin P.J. Stock joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to preview Game 3 of the Bruins-Lightning Eastern Conference finals series. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

When asked if he thought coach Claude Julien waited too long to insert 19 year-old Tyler Seguin into the lineup, Stock said he did not have a problem with the coach’s decision. “No, not at all, and you know what? He probably wouldn’€™t be in there without [Patrice] Bergeron being injured,” Stock said. “I watched him play a lot during the year, and many times I thought he wasn’€™t ready.

“A lot of people are excited about his last two games, but 30 games ago were people saying the same thing? He was a frustrating player that was learning a lot of things. … I didn’t know if he was ready.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, PJ Stock, Shawn Thornton
Barry Melrose on M&M: Shawn Thornton deserves to be in lineup 05.18.11 at 4:12 pm ET
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ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon to talk about the Bruins’ 6-5 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Melrose was quick to compliment the play of Bruins rookie center Tyler Seguin, who tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in Game 2.

“He certainly rode over the horizon at the right time on his white horse because Boston needed a spark and Seguin, in the last two games, has given Boston a spark,” Melrose said.

Seguin, who scored only 11 goals in the regular season, patiently waited for his opportunity and took full advantage of it in crunch time.

“He’€™s done everything right,” Melrose said. The kid’€™s kept his mouth shut. He’€™s never complained. He’€™s never gotten his agent involved. He’€™s never gone to the press. And when he got a chance to play in Game 1, bang, he was great. And then in Game 2, when they put him on the power play, bang, he scored.

“That’€™s what he has to do. He’€™s letting his actions speak for himself, and now Claude [Julien] has to play him. And the kid doesn’€™t hurt you defensively, he competes. Is he going to win the Selke award? No. But the guy who wins the Selke isn’€™t going to make the plays that Seguin is making either.”

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Read More: Barry Melrose, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Middleton
Shawn McEachern on D&C: Bruins ‘just don’t have another player’ with skill of Tyler Seguin at 8:24 am ET
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Former Bruin Shawn McEachern appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the Eastern Conference finals, which the Bruins evened up with a 6-5 victory over the Lightning in Game 2 Tuesday night. McEachern, a Waltham native who went on to star at Boston University and win a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1992, now coaches the hockey team at The Rivers School in Weston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins held on Tuesday night in a high-scoring affair, a game in which no lead appeared to be safe. “This whole year in the playoffs, all around the league, nobody’s been able to hold a lead,” McEachern said. “It’s been great to watch. It looks like hockey back in the ’80s, when Wayne Gretzky was scoring 90 goals.”

McEachern didn’t predict a winner, but he said the series appears destined to last for a while. “I think it’s going to be a long series. I think it’s a six- or seven-game series,” he said. “I hope it’s high-scoring like last night, because it’s an awful lot of fun to watch.”

Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin exploded with two goals and two assists in Game 2 after scoring a goal in his postseason debut in Game 1. However, McEachern said he had no problem with coach Claude Julien sitting Seguin for the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“He’s a 19-year-old kid,” McEachern said. “Probably the biggest thing that helped Tyler Seguin was sitting upstairs and watching the first 11 games of the playoffs. The game really slows down for you. He probably really figured it out a little bit.

“The other side is there’s no expectations on him when he comes back into the lineup. He wasn’t going to be the game-breaker they needed. They were hoping they’d get something out of him, but he played only nine minutes in the first game.”

Added McEachern: “I think the thing with Seguin is that he brings something that the Bruins don’t have. That high-end speed and skill, they just don’t have another player like that.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Shawn McEachern, Tyler Seguin,
Unlike fans, Bruins and Lightning aren’t thrilled with 11-goal game at 1:49 am ET
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Savor the 11-goal thriller while you can, because it’€™s probably not going to happen again. The Bruins and Lightning entered this series as the top two defensive teams in the postseason. High-scoring games like Tuesday night’€™s Game 2 are not their preference.

‘€œTo be honest with you, it was a pond game tonight,’€ Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. ‘€œWhen you play a pond hockey game, there is a chance that it won’€™t turn your way. It’€™s your breakaway, it’€™s my breakaway. It’€™s your 2-on-1, it’€™s my 2-on-1. It might be exciting for the fans, but from the teams’€™ perspective and standpoint, it’€™s not how we have played.’€

The Bruins were obviously happy to get the win, but coach Claude Julien acknowledged that he wasn’€™t particularly thrilled with how wide-open the game was, either.

‘€œNot the way it opened up to the point that there were breakaways,’€ Julien said. ‘€œWhen two teams start the series and they are two of the best defensive teams in the playoffs, and then you see a game like this, I don’€™t think anybody’€™s happy. We want to score goals, there’€™s no doubt there, but the way we’€™ve been giving up goals is not something that we’€™re proud of right now.’€

The Lightning players said the anomaly of a game was due in part to a breakdown of their defense-first structure. Forward Vincent Lecavalier said the Bruins did a good job using their speed to exploit those breakdowns.

‘€œWe didn’€™t play the way we usually do with our structure,’€ Lecavalier said. ‘€œI don’€™t want to take credit away from the Bruins. I thought they came out flying in the first and second. ‘€¦ Giving up five goals in that second period was tough. It seems every time we had a good chance, it would just come back. I think we just gave them a lot in the second, but they were skating. They were playing hard.’€

Now the focus for both teams in the lead-up to Thursday’€™s Game 3 will be to get back to playing the type of defense that got them here, and to not allow as many odd-man rushes and quality scoring chances as they did Tuesday.

‘€œReally for both teams it was a strange game,’€ said Bruins forward Mark Recchi. ‘€œI expect it to be much different when we both go back down there, to be the style we both usually play. It will be hard, another close one coming up, so we have a lot of work to do.’€

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Guy Boucher, Mark Recchi
Claude Julien: ‘Sloppy’ Bruins were ‘hanging on’ at 1:36 am ET
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While the Bruins were hanging on for dear life, coach Claude Julien admitted to feeling exactly was every Bruins fan was feeling watching the third period of Tuesday night’s Game 2 win over the Lightning at TD Garden. The Bruins were lucky to get away with a 6-5 regulation win to even the Eastern Conference final at one game apiece.

“I don’€™t think anybody in that dressing room is extremely happy with our game because we got sloppy at times,” Julien said of his team’s defense after building a 6-3 lead heading into the final period. “And we turned pucks over and weren’€™t strong on in the third period. But there’€™s no doubt we were hanging on. And thank God time was on our side and we came up with the win. So we need to regroup here, take the win for what it is in the playoffs, and know that we got to get better.

“When two teams start the series and they are two of the best defensive teams in the playoffs and then you see a game like this, I don’€™t think anybody’€™s happy. We want to score goals, there’€™s no doubt there. But the way we’€™ve been giving up goals is not something that we’€™re proud of right now. And we need to be better in regards to that.”

Julien also hinted that the play of Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder could coincide with the return of Patrice Bergeron in Game 3. Bergeron missed the first two games of the series with a mild concussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL
Claude Julien won’t say whether Patrice Bergeron is in, says Milan Lucic is fine 05.17.11 at 12:00 pm ET
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The Bruins had only two absences for their morning skate Tuesday, with forwards Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic the only players to miss the skate. Recchi does not take part in postseason morning skates, while Lucic could have been given the morning off due to a shot off the foot he took from Tyler Seguin on Monday.

Coach Claude Julien noted after practice that there was nothing to worry about with Lucic, and offered very little on the status of Patrice Bergeron, who was on the ice Tuesday morning but will reportedly miss Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals due to the concussion from which he is still recovering.

“As far as Bergeron is concerned, I think if he’s in, you’re going to see him in the warmups,” Julien said. “With Lucic, there is no issues there are all.”

Bergeron has two goals and 10 assists this postseason for a team-leading 12 points in 11 games. Lucic, who led the team with 30 goals in the regular season, has two goals and three assists for five points.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin

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