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Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘I have no problem with tinkering with lines right now’ 04.02.14 at 12:32 pm ET
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Andy Brickley

Andy Brickley

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ final stretch of games in April before the playoffs begin. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

With the season winding down, Claude Julien may change some of the lineups to see how different players play together and give rest to others.

“€œI have no problem with tinkering with lines right now,”€ Brickley said. “€œIf I expect a few guys, like [Patrice] Bergeron or even a David Krejci, get a night off between now and the final game against Jersey, the regular season, then you’re going to be forced to have different combinations. And if you choose to break up some lines in order to see what something look likes, now is the time to do it.”

The Bruins went 15-0-2 in the month of March, playing in multiple back-to-backs on their way to securing a division title. According to Brickley, the third and fourth lines were a big reason they were able to do that.

“That third line along with the fourth line and their ability to play and handle significant minutes during that month when you’€™re playing 17 games really sets this Bruins team apart from the rank and file,”€ Brickley said.

Brickley sees two distinct views when it comes to projecting the first opponent of a team during the playoffs.

“€œDo you want to start out with a team that you know you can pretty much handle, and then you want to gradually increase that emotion and adrenaline to keep you getting in the postseason?”€ Brickley said. “Or do you want someone really meaningful right off the bat, get that emotion where it needs to be in the postseason? I’€™m of the school of thought that it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to beat three really good teams to get to the final. You’ve got to beat four unbelievable teams to win a Stanley Cup.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, David Krejci, Detroit Red Wings
Bruins not dwelling on recent struggles vs. Canadiens 03.11.14 at 6:36 pm ET
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The Canadiens have beaten the Bruins in their last five meetings. (AP)

The Canadiens have beaten the Bruins in their last five meetings. (AP)

MONTREAL — Whenever the Bruins and Canadiens play, it’s a big game. For the last year, the rivalry has been a big disappointment for the Bruins.

The Habs have won the last five meetings between the two teams dating back to last March 3 and are looking to improve to 3-0-0 against the B’s this season. In each of the last three games between the teams, the Bruins have scored just one goal.

The B’s can’t put their finger on why the Habs have had their number, but Claude Julien ventured a guess Tuesday.

“I can’€™t answer that, but I can tell you one thing: I don’€™t think we’€™ve played well against them,” Julien said. “Have they given us trouble or have we given ourselves trouble? That’€™s the thing we’€™ve got to figure out here because in my mind it’€™s not to take any credit away from them but I’€™m going to talk more about this year.

“The game in Boston [a 4-1 Habs win on Jan. 31], we just weren’€™t playing well at all, so hopefully tomorrow we’€™ll paint a different picture, and if we play the way we’€™ve played lately I think it’€™s going to be a great game. So we’€™ve just got to focus on that.”

While the troublesome outings have been there for the B’s in recent meetings with the Canadiens, Julien wouldn’t go as far as saying that the Habs do something that throws them off their game. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci,
Zdeno Chara, David Krejci return to Bruins practice; Niklas Svedberg, Matt Linblad recalled 02.24.14 at 1:10 pm ET
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Niklas Svedberg

Niklas Svedberg

The Bruins recalled forward Matt Lindblad and goaltender Niklas Svedberg for Monday’s practice as the team awaits getting its full roster back from the Olympics.

Back for the practice were Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, while the team is still without Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Tuukka Rask and coach Claude Julien.

Though the team has called up players in recent days to fill out its practice roster (Lindblad practiced Friday and was sent back down), Svedberg could have stayed up with the team and gone to Buffalo if the team wanted to let Rask rest after the Olympics. Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward said that is not the case, and that Svedberg is simply up with the team to practice.

“No, he’s here just to make sure that we’ve got a complement,” Ward said. “As far as the other guys go, I’m sure you probably won’t see them at practice tomorrow, but they’ll be getting back quickly.”

The Bruins will practice Tuesday and then travel to Buffalo for their first game back from the Olympic break.

Read More: David Krejci, Niklas Svedberg, Zdeno Chara,
Bruins playing it safe with families given threat of danger at Olympics 01.23.14 at 11:41 pm ET
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With suicide bombings striking Russia and the threat of more — three potential suicide bombers are rumored to be on the loose — leading up to the Olympics, Bruins representatives are unsure of whether they want their families there.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who will be Slovakia’s captain and flag bearer, has plans for his father, a former Olympic wrestler and coach, to go. However, he told WEEI.com Thursday that his family is still taking things (one of which is safety) into consideration.

“Not sure,” Chara said. “We’re planning. Everything is set up for him to come, but we have to still wait for a few things [and see] how it goes.”

David Krejci, who will represent the Czech Republic, does not want his mother to go, though she intends to see her son play.

‘€œI told my family not to go, but my mom wants to go so I can’€™t stop her,” Krejci said. “I would prefer if she didn’€™t go. I understand everybody who doesn’€™t want their families to go. It’€™s a scary situation. I’€™m sure the Russian president is going to take care of everything and he’€™ll make the Olympic Games safe, but we’€™ll see what happens.”

Added Krejci: ‘€œI’€™ve been reading papers and watching TV, so I know there’€™s been a lot of talk about it. I know [the United States] have sent lots of military people over there, so it’€™s going to be interesting. You kind of don’€™t know what you’€™re getting into but I’€™m sure they’€™re going to do everything they can to make it safe.’€

Claude Julien, who is on Canada’s coaching staff, faces a similar situation with his wife, who wants to go, while Julien would rather his family be safe.

“That’s still a debate right now. Not my family. If anything, it will be my wife, but that’s still under debate right now,” Julien said. “There is concern, like anybody else, but there’s concern like that everywhere else. I think it’s been exposed more because of what it represents, but it’s a decision we’ll make later.”

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara,
Bruins don’t believe in measuring-stick games 01.19.14 at 5:27 pm ET
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The Blackhawks are second in the NHL with 75 points. (AP)

The Blackhawks are second in the NHL with 75 points. (AP)

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.

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci,
David Krejci named to Czech Olympic team 01.06.14 at 2:28 pm ET
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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.

Read More: David Krejci, Jaromir Jagr, Tomas Kaberle,
Claude Julien tweaks overtime approach to avoid shootout 11.23.13 at 5:45 pm ET
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Claude Julien

Claude Julien

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.

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci,
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