|Bruins see improvement in Maple Leafs||10.27.10 at 3:57 pm ET|
The Bruins are preparing for their first match-up against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night, in an always-anticipated clash of original six teams. In the 2009-10 season, the Maple Leafs were nothing special, finishing at the bottom of the Northeast Division with a 30-38-14 record. Now, eight games into 2010-11, it seems the Leafs have turned things around. Toronto won its first four starts, then dropped three games in a row before picking up a 3-1 victory over the Panthers Tuesday night. The Leafs’ 5-2-1 record currently has them sitting atop the division standings.
‘They’re a good team, they’re a young team,’ Patrice Bergeron said after practice on Wednesday. ‘Their players have developed into good players so I think that’s why they’re improved.’
Right wing Nathan Horton said he knows the Leafs have shown plenty of reasons for other teams to fear them thus far.
“Their defensemen are big, strong, physical, and their forwards are quick and fast,’ Horton said, adding the Bruins will need to be prepared to work for 60 minutes on Thursday. Coach Claude Julien seemed to agree, noting that the B’s are ‘facing a team that’s coming in with lots of confidence, lots of speed and lots of energy.’
Speaking of energy, it has seemed to be just that the B’s have lacked early on in each of their losses this season. On Saturday, the Rangers put up a quick 2-0 lead on the Bruins in the first period, and the Bruins, despite getting goals from Zdeno Chara and Horton, were never quite able to make a full comeback.
‘I think it’s just about making sure we have a good first couple shifts and be good on the forecheck right away,’ Bergeron said. ‘If we get scored one goal against, we’ve got to make sure we keep our balance instead of just getting back over our heels for a couple shifts and letting them score another one.’
|Video: Claude Julien discusses Marco Sturm, Marc Savard, Jordan Caron||10.26.10 at 2:05 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Here’s the video of Bruins coach Claude Julien talking to the media following the Bruins’ practice. He comments on Marco Sturm, who returned to the ice to skate by himself on Tuesday, saying that there is no set return date for the rehabbing winger.
|VIDEO: Claude Julien talks about Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid||10.25.10 at 1:41 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Here’s the video of Claude Julien speaking to the media following the Bruins’ practice on Monday at Ristuccia Arena. He talked about what losing Johnny Boychuk for four weeks means, and how the team has to respond to injuries.
“This is an opportunity to show that no matter what happens, we’re still a team and still a good team that’s going to stick together,” Julien said.
|Why Tim Thomas is a happy man||10.22.10 at 12:01 pm ET|
At the end of last year and in the playoffs, Tim Thomas wasn’t smiling that much. He was in pain from not playing and from bad hip that required labrum surgery in the offseason.
Fast forward five months and you have a spry 36-year-old goalie sliding easily from post to post, stopping 38-of-39 saves in a 4-1 win over the mighty Washington Capitals in the team’s first game of the season before a fired-up crowd at TD Garden. He is 4-0 to start the season, allowing only three goals while posting a 0.75 goals against and a .978 save percentage.
Why wouldn’t you be smiling?
“I felt good, I felt really good,” Thomas said. “My movement felt real good and maybe there was some rebounds, where there’s a different kind of on, where it just sticks to you and there’s no rebounds and stuff. I didn’t exactly have that tonight, so my D helped me out with the rebounds, but I had the movement and the speed. One of these days, you’ll have everything and one of these days I’ll play the puck the right way too.
“I think it’s been exceptional the last couple of weeks since, you know, I got back into the groove. I felt it coming in the early days of Czech and you know, it’s fun when you can move.”
Thomas even admitted he’s exceeded his own expectations in his recovery.
“For sure, and obviously, I couldn’t be happier with the way I’m feeling this far,” Thomas said. “You know, now I’ve just got to keep working hard and keep working in practice, and there’s ways that I can make it easier on myself. That will be my goal in practice.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Video: Julien discusses Bruins home opener vs. Capitals||10.21.10 at 12:06 pm ET|
Here’s the video of Bruins coach Claude Julien talking with the media in anticipation of Thursday’s home opener against the Capitals.
|Video: Claude Julien, 10/18/10||10.18.10 at 2:07 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Here’s the video of Bruins head coach Claude Julien talking about getting ready for the Capitals, keeping opposing teams on their toes with their revolving door of defensive pairings, and whether Saturday’s kneeing call against Brad Marchand was a fair one.
|Julien: Too early to ‘jump all over’ Bruins special teams||10.15.10 at 3:27 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins’ power play didn’t jump off the page in their first two games of the season, but then again superb play on the man advantage was not characteristic of their club a season ago.
The Bruins finished last season with a power play that was 23rd in the league (16.6 percentage). Their penalty kill was a different story, as they killed off 86.4 percent of their penalties, good for third best in the league.
Last weekend in Prague, the Bruins scored on just one of eight powerplays, while they were shorthanded on just three occasions but allowed a power play goal to the Coyotes on Saturday.
The Bruins saw many faces on the power play, ranging from Tyler Seguin to Milan Lucic to Matt Hunwick, among others. With the team still getting familiar with the season, the power play also is a work in progress.
“It all depends. I don’t think there’s number of games [at which you can tell],” Bergeron said of gauging a clicking power play. “Obviously, when there’s new guys on the power play, we need some time to adjust.”
As for where the weekend performance left the Bruins in regard to special teams rankings, Claude Julien noted that it’s simply too early to read into the power play and penalty kill, which rank 19th and 28th, respectively.
“I think we had 19 shots on the power play. We came out with one goal,” Julien said. “I know we had some opportunities, and we maybe didn’t quite finish. ‘¦ I wouldn’t jump all over the power play and say it hasn’t been good more than it hasn’t had the results.
“You get two more goals and you’re in the top five. That’s how close it is. It’s two games in. It’s just like our penalty kill. We gave up one goal, but because we only killed three right away, our penalty kill is getting a lot of questions. I think we need a little time here before we jump all over those special teams.”
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