|Johnny Boychuk, Daniel Paille play unlikely heroes as B’s get back to winning||11.01.11 at 9:44 pm ET|
The Bruins needed some different results after starting the season 3-7-0, and they got them Tuesday from some different faces in a 5-3 win over the Senators at TD Garden.
Johnny Boychuk and Daniel Paille scored their first goals of the season 37 seconds apart in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and send the B’s on the way to their first win in four games. The victory also snapped the Senators’ six-game winning streak.
Ottawa got three ugly goals from the likes of Nick Foligno, Stephane Da Costa and Jared Cowen. Milan Lucic had a power play goal in the first period for the Bruins, with Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly providing tallies in the second period. Tim Thomas picked up his fourth victory of the season.
There were two fights in the game, as Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves with Zenon Konopka in the first period and Gregory Campbell fought Zack Smith in the third.
The Bruins will next play Saturday, when they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Good to see the fourth line get back to providing a little offense, which they did more than anyone expected a season ago. Paille’s goal marked the line’s first score of the season, with Thornton and Gregory Campbell getting assists and notching their first points of the 2011-12 campaign. It was Paille’s second tally of the season. Benoit Pouliot is now the only skater on the team without a point.
- Bergeron is on a five-game point streak, with three goals and two assists over the Bruins’ last five contests. With Bergeron’s second-period goal, Brad Marchand‘s five-game pointless streak was snapped thanks to a secondary helper.
- The Bruins put a ton of shots (41) on Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, and one would have guessed entering the night that it would be their plan. They were facing a team that’s given up more goals per game than any other team in the league, so when the scoreboard read five for Boston by the end of the night, it wasn’t ultimately surprising. The Bruins’ five goals were the second-most they’ve had this season, behind only the six they had on Oct. 20 in their win over Toronto.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins are back to their old tricks when it comes to allowing the first goal. Foligno’s first-period goal made it the eighth game this season in which the B’s opponent has scored first. Unlike the majority of those other contests, the Bruins got two points out of the night.
- It’s still unknown whether Pouliot sat Tuesday as a healthy scratch or due to illness, but Jordan Caron had a rough start before picking up an assist on Boychuk’s goal. Caron was on the ice for the Senators’ first two goals and played sparingly.
- Tyler Seguin set up Bergeron’s second-period goal by taking the puck down the right wing and hitting his center in the high slot, but the youngster had some frustrating moments as well. The second-year player whiffed on a one-timer, causing the puck to leave the zone on a power play in the first period, and also sent a puck off a rebound over the net with tons of space. The most puzzling moment, however, was when Seguin beat Ottawa’s defense at the blueline to give himself a breakaway. Rather than shooting, Seguin tried a drop-pass, which was intercepted for an easy turnover.
|Bruins need chances turn into goals quickly||10.24.11 at 4:12 pm ET|
The Bruins were able to do something last Thursday against the Maple Leafs that they haven’t done much this season: score goals in bulk. Their six-goal effort was one of just two games this season in which they were able to score three goals, so it’s no surprised their satisfactory 19 goals allowed is matched by a subpar 19 goals for.
The offensive struggles have been especially apparent early on, as quality chances haven’t yielded ideal results, which explains why the opponent has scored the first goal in the Bruins’ last six contests. When opportunities turn into squandered opportunities, and squandered opportunities turn into losses, the results aren’t pretty. The Bruins’ 3-5-0 record through eight games is proof of that.
“I think we’ve done a good job of creating chances,” third-line right wing Rich Peverley said Monday after the Bruins’ practice. “It’s not only first and second opportunities, it’s other opportunities. Third opportunities and fourth. At the same time, maybe we’re holding our sticks a little too tight, but we’ve got offensive guys in here that I think can put the puck in the net, so maybe it’s just finding their stride for some guys.”
The Bruins have a good chunk of time to loosen the grip on their sticks, as they will next play Thursday against the Canadiens at TD Garden. Maybe all the time off (they took Sunday off and may take another day off this week) will provide an opportunity to forget about their in-game woes, but the time they have in practice can also help them get back to basics.
“I think sometimes you need practice to help with structure,” Peverley explained. “There are obviously some things that we feel we need to work on. It’s important that we correct those.”
Boston has outshot its opponents in the last four games (2-2-0) after doing so just once in the season’s first four contests (1-3-0). The B’s had their fair share of scoring bids both early and late Saturday against the Sharks, but quality chances and odd-man rushes didn’t end up registering on the scoreboard until the third period and the Bruins lost, 4-2.
Now, with the statistical output not matching the team’s bids, the B’s have time to shake off their frustrations. Guys like Brad Marchand (no points the last four games) and even fourth-liners such as Daniel Paille, who has had multiple chances of late, figure to see results in time, however they may come.
“Sometimes it takes a lucky break to get a guy’s confidence back, but it’s just shooting the puck and putting the puck on net,” Peverley said. “Sometimes it will just find its way in.”
|Plain and simple: Bruins win the Stanley Cup||06.15.11 at 10:45 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — The Stanley Cup never entered TD Garden when the Canucks had a chance to win it on Monday. Now, it’s safe to say it will be in plain sight in Boston for quite some time.
The Bruins knocked off the Canucks, 4-0, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night to win the Cup for the first time since 1972 and take the trophy for the sixth time in franchise history.
It was only fitting that the longest tenured Bruin, Patrice Bergeron, sure-fire Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas and top rookie Brad Marchand stole the show in Vancouver in providing Boston with the most coveted trophy in all of sports.
Both Bergeron and Marchand had a pair of goals on the night, factoring for all of the Bruins’ tallies. Marchand’s second was an empty-netter with just over two minutes remaining.
Bergeron opened the scoring for the Bruins at 14:37 of first period, taking a pass from Marchand in the slot and sending the puck past a pair of Canucks skaters and just past Roberto Luongo‘s right leg.
The goal marked one bookend of a telling issue for the Bruins, as they did not record another shot on Luongo until 7:40 into the second period. Marchand had another superb opportunity in that span, though he saw his backhanded bid in front of Luongo go off the crossbar.
Despite the lack of work provided for Luongo, Marchand made his presence felt by beating the Vancouver netminder on a wraparound at 12:13. The rookie finished the postseason with 11 goals, and the B’s won all nine games in which he scored.
If it’s possible for a dagger to come in the second period, Bergeron provided it with a shorthanded goal on a breakaway late in the period. The play was reviewed to determine whether Bergeron punched the puck into the net, though the goal stood, and so too did the Bruins’ lead.
Thomas’ performance capped a remarkable series for the anticipated Vezina winner, as he allowed just eight goals over the entire series and set the record for most games in a Stanley Cup finals series. His shutout was his fourth of the postseason and second of the finals.
Though first period yielded the Bruins’ first goal, though it was not the most encouraging 20 minutes. The B’s managed only five shots on goal, with the fourth line of Gregory Campbell between Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille. The line’s tireless work and aggression stood out for the Bruins, with each member getting a shot on Luongo. By the end of the period, the line had contributed 60 percent of the team’s shots on goal.
An injury scare occurred for the Bruins early on as well, as a hit from Chris Higgins at the blue line in the first period left captain Zdeno Chara down on the ice for a few moments. Chara got up and returned to the bench without any further issues.
The Canucks came out of the gate much stronger than the Bruins, and had quality opportunities throughout the night despite the Bruins’ attempts to push the play to the side. Vancouver’s best opportunity came a little over nine minutes into the second, when Chara was attempting to send the puck up the boards in his own zone, only to see the puck deflect off of Henrik Sedin and in front of the net to Alexandre Burrows. The controversial Vancouver winger had an empty net to work with, but Chara made up for his own miscue by getting in position to save the puck for Thomas.
A few odds and ends from the game:
- Mark Recchi will now retire having won three Stanley Cup championships with three different teams, as he won it all with the Penguins in 1992 and Hurricanes in 2006.
- Dennis Seidenberg is now the second German to win the Stanley Cup, joining Uwe Krupp (1996).
- Both Henrik and Daniel Sedin were on the ice for the first three Bruins’ goals. Henrik was one of the players in front when Bergeron’s shot went past him on its way to Luongo on the first goal.
- The Canucks’ power play finished the Stanley Cup finals just 2-for-31.
- Tyler Seguin has gone from No. 2 overall pick to Stanley Cup champion in less than a year.
- Of the four major sports, the Patriots now have the longest Boston championship drought, as they las won the Super Bowl in February of 2005.
|Bruins know they can’t get carried away with going for shorthanded goals||06.08.11 at 1:17 pm ET|
The Bruins have done a great job shutting down Vancouver’s power play this series, as they’ve held the league’s best man advantage to a 1-for-16 showing. Not only did they keep the Canucks scoreless on their eight power plays in Game 3, but the Bruins netted a pair of shorthanded goals — one from Brad Marchand and one from Daniel Paille.
On Wednesday, Paille said it’s important for the Bruins penalty killers to not get caught up in trying to score while shorthanded. He said they can’t force plays that could result in them being caught out of position.
“I don’t think that was the plan,” Paille said of being aggressive and getting shorthanded goals. “I think it obviously turned out that way, and we just kind of went with it. Fortunately it helped us in the end. It has cost us in the past, so we don’t want to do that too much.”
Marchand, who tied for third in the NHL with five shorthanded goals during the regular season, agreed with Paille and said the key for him is to just take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.
“I just think a lot of it’s luck, a lot of lucky bounces,” Marchand said. “You get opportunities if the pucks hops over sticks and you get breakaways and stuff like that. If you saw a lot of the goals I scored shorthanded, they’re very fluky, pucks popping up behind the net in open cages. So a lot of it’s just lucky bounces.”
As far as Paille goes, Claude Julien said he’d be happy if him and linemate Gregory Campbell just keep doing what they’ve been doing. The duo has made a formidable penalty-kill unit all season for the Bruins.
“We’ve liked them there since the start of they year. They’ve been great penalty killers,” Julien said. “When Dan is skating, he does a really good job pressuring the D and makes it hard for them to break out cleanly. Certainly his speed is great. Turnovers and scoring opportunities as well.
“Gregory has been a great penalty killer because he’s willing to block shots. You get a second and third effort from him all the time. Those guys have been really good for us. Whenever they didn’t get an opportunity to play much as a fourth line, you could certainly rely on them heavily to help you out through the penalty kill.”
|Ray Ferraro on M&M: Alex Burrows should have been suspended||06.06.11 at 2:29 pm ET|
Former longtime NHL player Ray Ferraro, who now has a radio show in Vancouver and provides game analysis for Canadian television, joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday and offered a small dose of optimism for Bruins fans. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“I think the Bruins can get back in the series tonight,” said Ferraro, who retired in 2002 after 18 NHL seasons and 898 points (408 goals). “I think if you played 100 games, I think the Canucks would win more. I really do. I think the Canucks are a deeper, better team. But that doesn’t mean that they’re going to win this series. What it means is tonight is absolutely imperative to the Bruins. They lose, they don’t have a chance. They win, then they’ve got a chance. They give themselves a chance in Game 4 to even this series.
“I think the Bruins can win tonight. But they’d better be letter perfect, because the Canucks are a good road team.”
Ferraro said it’s important for the B’s to get off to a good start, and physical play from Shawn Thornton — who has not dressed the first two games — might help in that regard.
“I would make that move,” Ferraro said, adding: “If the Bruins are going to get back in the series — and really, without poo-pooing a 2-0 deficit, they haven’t really haven’t lost anything. They haven’t lost at home. At some point, they’ve got to win a game in Vancouver to win the series. Now, they’ve got to take care of their business here at home.
“They’re looking for an aggressive start. Well, Dan Paille is playing four minutes a game. So, if Shawn Thornton goes into the lineup in his place, the opportunity Thornton plays those four, five, six minutes — and he had a good season for the Bruins — he’ll give you some physical play. If I’m coaching, I’m really thinking about it. The only concern I would have is if the pace of the game is too fast for Thornton. You’ve got to make sure that he can keep up with the pace of play, because right now it is a track meet out on the ice. It is extremely fast.”
Canucks forward Alex Burrows had two goals and an assist in Game 2 after apparently taking a bite of Patrice Bergeron‘s finger in Game 1. Ferraro said he felt it was a suspendable offense.
“I do,” Ferraro said. “I’m on the radio in Vancouver and it wasn’t a real popular position. I’m not a fan of — let me put it this way: I know there’s different standards for playoffs and regular-season games. I thought Nathan Horton should have been suspended for Game 7 [of the Bruins-Lightning series] for squirting a fan with a water bottle, because you get suspended in the regular season for that. And I thought Burrows should have been suspended for Game 2.
“The other thing, too, guys, is like, OK, so they decide not to suspend him. But for them to say there’s no conclusive evidence of him biting Bergeron — I said on our show, if that’s the case then I want to rob a bank in the city of the NHL, because I’ll never get caught. How much more evidence do you need than that? He shouldn’t have been in the game. And then you’re right, it is the NHL’s worst scenario, that a player that shouldn’t be in the game goes and has such a direct impact on the outcome of the next game.”
|Will it be a special night for the Bruins?||05.25.11 at 5:54 pm ET|
TAMPA — Perhaps fittingly, the reason the Bruins are on the brink of their first Stanley Cup finals appearance in 21 years is due to their special teams.
Obviously, we’re not talking about a power play that’s produced just four goals in 16 games.
Much was made of the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning and their power play unit coming into the Eastern Conference finals with a playoff-best 12 goals in 54 chances. How would the Bruins respond?
The B’s have allowed just two power play goals in 18 chances. The penalty kill unit’s success was never more evident than when it killed off consecutive Nathan Horton penalties to end the first and open the second on Monday night in Game 5 with the Bruins already down, 1-0.
“I think it kind of actually did the same thing in our favor that it did in their favor last game,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You know, we had those two early power plays in the second period and we didn’t do much and they built momentum off that. I know that when Horts [Nathan Horton] came out of that second one there, he scored a big goal for us and got us back in the game.
“So it did build some momentum. I think our penalty kill did a great job tonight for us. Right now, before the series started, special teams were the big concern, and right now I think in both areas, we’re pretty even.”
And the leader of that unit has been Daniel Paille. Not only has he helped killed off the penalties, he nearly scored twice on back to back chances in Game 5.
“Looking back on that game, we want to try to keep the same system going,” Paille said. “What was working for us is we just did the little things, stayed patient and did everything right. Obvously, we want to continue that throughout this game.”
The Lightning haven’t scored on the power play since Game 2 and the Bruins desperately would like to see that continue. If it does, they may be booking a trip for Vancouver this weekend.
|Brad Marchand: We better show up in the first period||at 1:05 pm ET|
TAMPA — Bruins rookie standout Brad Marchand admitted Wednesday morning, just hours before Game 6, that the pressure is on the Bruins to close out the Lightning tonight and avoid sending the Eastern Conference finals back to Boston for a Game 7 Friday night at TD Garden.
“Yeah, we want to,” Marchand said. “There’s definitely a lot of pressure. If it goes to a Game 7, anything can happen and it’s a situation we don’t really want to be in. We have to make sure we put our best game forward tonight and give ourselves the best opportunity.
“We do have to keep our emotions in check. The Stanley Cup finals, that’s obviously the end goal but there’s still a long ways to go to get there. They’re going to have to play an amazing game tonight, there’s no question about that. We have to make sure we’re really ready to counter these guys and put on a good game here.”
The veteran he is, Daniel Paille had a slightly different take. He was more concerned with the end result than how they got there.
“I don’t think we feel any more pressure tonight than we did the last game,” Paille said. “Even though we started out slow, we responded well and came out with a big win. It shouldn’t be any more or less than the last game.”
Paille and Marchand would probably agree on one thing for sure – don’t expect the Bruins to get outshot 14-4 in the opening 20 minutes like they were on Monday, only to recover and score twice in the second and stabilize the game.
“We want to carry the momentum from the last game into our first period and make sure we have a big start,” Marchand said. “They’re going to come out flying tonight and try to build off that. We have to make sure we have a lot better first period than we did last game. We were nowhere to be seen in that first period [Game 5] and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
If the Bruins beat the Lightning tonight, they will face the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals after Vancouver advanced with a 3-2 win over San Jose in double overtime Tuesday night. Face-off tonight at St. Pete Times Forum is 8 p.m. ET.