|Bruins don’t believe in measuring-stick games||01.19.14 at 5:27 pm ET|
CHICAGO — Are there still measuring-stick games when a team has been the Stanley Cup finals twice in the last three seasons? If it’s against a team as talented and deep as the Blackhawks, probably.
The Bruins rose to the occasion in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks Sunday, coming a Tuukka Rask miscue or one less Gregory Campbell whiff away from wrapping up a two-game road trip with four points. After the game, players agreed that the two teams brought their best in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals, but not all of the Bruins felt they needed to learn how they measured up against Chicago.
“No,” David Krejci said. “We know what we can do, so it doesn’t matter who we play against. If we play our best game, then we can beat anybody. We’ve proven that so far in the last few years. As long as all four lines are going and all six D and goalie [play well], then we can beat anybody in the league.”
The Bruins had been treading water of late, as they were 4-5-0 in their previous five games, but their effort at United Center was one that would have likely earned them a win in any of those contests.
Claude Julien said the showing Sunday — which didn’t necessarily look promising early on — was simply a case of the B’s knowing they needed to play better than they had been.
“I think that we just kind of looked at ourselves here and told ourselves that we needed to be better and we knew we could be better,” Julien said. “That’s just about going out there and showing it. We don’t have to prove anything; we just have to show that we’re a good team night-in, night-out. It’s as simple as that.”
The Blackhawks are second in the NHL with 75 points this season, while the B’s lead the Atlantic Division and are second in the Eastern Conference with 62 points. The Bruins will have another game against an elite Western Conference team Monday when they host the Kings at TD Garden.
|David Krejci named to Czech Olympic team||01.06.14 at 2:28 pm ET|
The Czech Republic’s men’s ice hockey roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics has been announced, with Bruins forward David Krejci among the players chosen.
This is the second Olympics appearance for Krejci, who represented the Czech Republic in the 2010 games in Vancouver. Krejci will be joined by former Bruins Jaromir Jagr, Vladimir Sobotka and Tomas Kaberle.
The complete roster is as follows:
Goaltender: Jakub Kovar, Ondrej Pavelec, Alexander Salak.
Defense: Michal Barinka, Radko Gudas, Tomas Kaberle, Lukas Krajicek, Zbynek Michalek, Michal Rozsival, Ladislav Smid, Marek Zidlicky.
Forward: Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny, Ondrej Palat, Tomas Plekanec, Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien tweaks overtime approach to avoid shootout||11.23.13 at 5:45 pm ET|
The Bruins showed they don’t like the shootout Thursday night by saying they don’t like the shootout. Claude Julien did it Saturday by loading up on forwards during overtime.
In an attempt to get some scoring during the five-minute 4-on-4 session, Julien played Patrice Bergeron’s line with Zdeno Chara and then David Krejci‘s line with Johnny Boychuk, so three forwards and one defenseman rather than two and two.
“We’ve practiced that this year when we’ve done our 4-on-4,” Julien said following the win. “For me, we haven’t been very lucky in shootouts — or we haven’t gotten much out of our shootouts — so I just thought it was important to maybe get a line out there, give us maybe some more offense because of the fact they’re used to playing with each other and not about taking that chance, but taking that strategy and having one defenseman there and making sure a forward always came back. Tonight it paid off.”
Julien’s move paid off, as the B’s got a goal from Krejci’s line when Jarome Iginla split two Hurricanes defenders to set up Krejci’s game-winning goal in Boston’s 3-2 win over Carolina.
|David Krejci bails Bruins out in overtime||at 3:39 pm ET|
The Bruins let the Hurricanes hang around in a game they had no business being in, but the B’s got away with a 3-2 overtime win thanks to a David Krejci goal off a feed from Jarome Iginla.
The goal was Krejci’s first point in six games and improved the B’s to an Eastern Conference-best 32 points on the season.
Carolina came back to tie the game in the third period on a Patrick Dwyer shorthanded goal off a Milan Lucic turnover, sending the game into overtime despite the fact that the B’s had carried the play through the first 40 minutes.
The Hurricanes got on the board in the first period when, with Carl Soderberg in the box for hooking, Andrej Sekera fired a wrist shot from the point that sailed past Chad Johnson. The B’s answered back with a power play goal of their own, as Zdeno Chara was in front to pick up a rebound off a Lucic shot and put it past Cam Ward.
From there, the Bruins dominated play to the tune of registering 15 consecutive shots on goal, including Reilly Smith‘s fourth goal of the season at 13:31 of the second period. Though the B’s entered the third period with a one-goal lead, they easily could have led by two or three goals in a game that saw missed opportunities pile up.
The Bruins will finish their three-game home stand Monday when they host the Penguins. As of the end of Saturday’s Bruins game, the B’s and Penguins are currently first and second in the Eastern Conference, respectively.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Chris Kelly’s line turned in another strong performance as the B’s continued to get production from their bottom-six forwards. Smith’s goal was meant that prior to Krejci’s goal, the last five forwards to score for the B’s were from bottom-six forwards. The B’s got goals from Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille Tuesday against the Rangers, while Gregory Campbell and Soderberg provided the team’s goals Thursday against the Blues.
– The Bruins dominated the first two periods, so much so that the Hurricanes went 22:43 without a shot on goal. That’s the amount of time that came between a Jeff Skinner shot midway through the first and Eric Staal‘s slapshot on Johnson for the Hurricanes’ first shot on goal of the second period.
The Bruins held a 15-0 shots on goal advantage during that span.
– The Bruins got away with one in the second period when Chara slashed and snapped the stick of Jiri Tlusty while the Carolina forward was on a breakaway. There was no call on the play.
– Chris Kelly appears to be better after splitting faceoff responsibilities with Soderberg Thursday due to an undisclosed injury. Kelly took all of his line’s draws Saturday and won 11 of 16 in regulation.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR BRUINS
– Hopefully Johnson was screened on Sekera’s goal, for his sake. Both Brad Marchand and Chara seemed to obstruct his view, which would explain why the puck sailed in so easily.
Other than that, there were no issues with Johnson. Of course, he was hardly tested, as Tlusty’s breakaway wold have been his biggest challenge, but it ended prematurely. You obviously can’t blame a goalie for a shorthanded 2-on-0.
– File this under unknown: The B’s appeared dodged an injury bullet, as Torey Krug seemed hobbled after blocking a shot late in the third period. He went down the tunnel, but returned to the bench. He did not return to the ice, however. Krug noted after the game that he was fine.
|Shawn Thornton on D&C: Tuukka Rask ‘unbelievable’ vs. Rangers||11.20.13 at 11:44 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss the team’s recent hot streak.
That streak includes a 2-1 win over the Rangers on the road Tuesday night. Thornton tallied the game’s first goal, his third of the season. He also scored against the Blue Jackets last Thursday. Despite the offensive outburst, he still recognizes his role as the team enforcer.
‘That’s still my job, first and foremost,’ Thornton said. ‘[I’ve been] a little lucky the last few games, but I’ve still got my real job.’
Linemate Daniel Paille scored a shorthanded, game-winning goal in the second period.
‘After Paille scored that goal, it kind of gave us a little bit of a lift, and you tend to get pumped up when you see the grinders pop one shorthanded,’ Thornton said.
In the last five games, the fourth line — Thornton, Paille and Gregory Campbell — has a combined four goals, three assists and 19 shots.
‘I always joke with the media that it doesn’t matter who’s on my line, we’re always the fourth line,’ Thornton said. ‘I remember a few years ago, when [Blake] Wheeler was here, I got bumped up to play with [David] Krejci and Wheeler, but everyone just talked about how Wheeler and Krejci got demoted to the fourth line. It doesn’t matter who it is, if I’m on it, it’s still the fourth line.’
While Thornton and Paille provided the offensive fireworks in Tuesday’s victory, goalie Tuukka Rask shut down the Rangers. He allowed just one goal, and recorded 43 saves.
‘Every time we play against those guys he’s unbelievable,’ Thornton said. ‘I think he just really enjoys the challenge of facing Henrik Lundqvist. He earned it last night, he was unbelievable.’
Despite Thornton’s solid play of late, coach Claude Julien opted to make him a healthy scratch for the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Hurricanes on Monday.
‘I don’t like sitting out, obviously, no one likes being the guy that’s the odd man out,’ Thornton said. ‘He told me that it wasn’t because of my play, that I’ve been playing pretty well, it’s just [Jordan] Caron was coming up on sitting out 10 games straight, I think, and he wanted to get him in. And Carolina didn’t really have an enforcer threat, so it was as good a time as any to try to get him back in the game.’
|David Krejci fine after concussion scare||11.14.13 at 11:44 pm ET|
The Bruins got quite a scare midway through the first period of Thursday’s win over the Blue Jackets when David Krejci lost an edge and was slow to get up after going head-first into the boards on a hit from Brandon Dubinsky.
It was a play that featured no wrongdoing on anyone’s part, just bad luck when a helmetless Krejci remained down on the ice and had to be tended to by trainer Don DelNegro. Krejci didn’t play the rest of the period as he went to a quiet room to be examined under the NHL’s mandatory concussion protocol, but the B’s were able to get him back for the start of the second period, when he took the faceoff and remained in the game without any issues.
Though things looked shaky at the time of the hit, Krejci didn’t seem woozy as he skated off the ice and down the tunnel. Krejci said to a pool reporter following the game that he took no issue with the hit.
“I don’t think it was on purpose,” he said. “I just kind of lost an edge. At the same time, his knee kind of went into my head and then the other side — I think I hit the board [with] my head and my helmet came off.”
Though the Bruins were fortunate to have Krejci back, he had a pretty rough night at the faceoff circle, going 3-for-13 on draws.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins bounce back to beat Ducks in shootout on Jarome Iginla goal||10.31.13 at 9:46 pm ET|
The Bruins bounced back from a bad start and picked up a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks on Thursday at TD Garden. Jarome Iginla had the only goal of the shootout, ending a two-game losing streak for the B’s and improving them to 8-4-0 on the season.
Zdeno Chara tied the game with a power-play goal off a pass from David Krejci in front with 2:50 to play. The goal was Chara’s second of the season, and in picking up the primary assist Krejci managed to register at least one point for the 10th time in 12 games this season.
The Ducks got on the board in the first period when a Carl Soderberg defensive zone turnover led to a Devante Smith-Pelly goal just 1:52 into the game. It was a rough first period for the B’s, who were credited with one shot on goal but appeared to have none through the first 20 minutes.
The Bruins found both their legs and more chances in the second period, tying the game on a breakaway goal from Soderberg, but they surrendered a goal to Mathieu Perreault off a Gregory Campbell faceoff loss with 20.9 seconds left in the second, putting them behind once again going into the third period.
Johnny Boychuk left the game in the second period and did not return to the game. He played only three shifts in the second and missed the last 14:39 of the period. The reason for Boychuk’s absence is unknown.
The Bruins will try to make it two wins in a row Saturday when they take on the Islanders in New York.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Ryan Spooner, who was called up Thursday, was able to produce in his first NHL game of the season. The 21-year-old earned his first career NHL point, as he got the secondary assist on Soderberg’s goal thanks to his breakout pass to Chris Kelly. He went first in the shootout and was stopped.
Spooner, who was one of the final cuts in training camp but was sent back largely because there wasn’t room for another center on the NHL roster, centered Kelly and Soderberg, with Jordan Caron sitting out as a healthy scratch.