|Bruins prepared to play without Zdeno Chara, however long that may be||12.12.11 at 7:54 pm ET|
The Bruins are going to be without Zdeno Chara — reportedly for at least a week — but the B’s captain isn’t ready to count himself out for even Wednesday’s game against the Senators.
“There is no time frame when I’m going to be back, but most likely I won’t be playing tomorrow,” Chara said Monday at Ristuccia Arena. “That’s as far as I can tell you right now, because honestly it’s at a stage where we can’t really talk about any further than 24 hours ahead.”
Chara injured his left leg in a collision with Antoine Vermette Saturday night in Columbus. The Boston Globe reported Sunday that he would miss at least this week, and could potentially held out until after Christmas.
The 6-foot-9 defenseman has not missed more than five games in a season since signing with the Bruins prior to the 2006-07 season. With that being said, he understands that injuries do occur, and that he hopes to return as quickly as he can.
“It’s just the nature of this sport. In any sport, you do get hurt. Injuries do happen, and there are some things as players that you can’t control,” he said. “They do really happen. As a player, really your job is to try to do your best with the treatments and rehab to get yourself back and on the ice with the team as fast as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do right now, but also at the same time, you don’t want to rush it. You want to be smart about it.”
With Chara out, the Bruins practiced Monday without drastically shaking up their defensive pairings. Claude Julien simply subbed in Steven Kampfer for Chara on his pairing with Johnny Boychuk and left the Dennis Seidenberg – Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid pairings alone.
It will be Kampfer’s first NHL game since Nov. 17, though he played two games for Providence when the B’s sent he and Jordan Caron for some game action earlier this month.
Assuming Chara does indeed miss the team’s games this week, Kampfer, who played in three straight games last month, will get the opportunity to do so again here. For a seventh defenseman, playing time and opportunities in the lineup may come sporadically, but a week’s worth of game action will give him time to get settled in and shake off any rust.
“I think you can always get a rhythm, even if you’re not playing,” Kampfer said. “You get in for one game, you’re practicing, you’re playing well and you’ve got the guys around you that are keeping you in a rhythm, so it’s definitely easier when you’ve got a team playing as well as we are.”
With Chara out, Seidenberg, who is averaging 24:12 of ice time per game (second only to Chara’s 24:28), could see an increased work load. He wouldn’t complain if that were the case, though the B’s probably don’t want to tire their second best defenseman.
“It’s up to the coaches,” Seidenberg. “We’ve been playing pretty even minutes these last few games. Guys have been playing pretty great as a group, and no matter who’s on the ice, [Doug Houda] feels comfortable putting them out there.”
With all the hoopla surrounding Chara’s injury, it’s clear that the best news is that it isn’t serious enough to keep him out for significant time. The B’s have good depth defensively, but removing arguably the best blueliner will certainly create a challenge for the B’s. It’s a challenge the other defensemen think they can handle.
“I think that some of the other forwards on the other teams will probably be in better moods, but that’s probably the biggest change,” Ference said. “He’s a big presence. Guys don’t like playing against him. He’s obviously a huge matchup against other teams’ top lines. That’s something that there’s quite a few of us back there that have played against top lines and top two lines in the league. It’s not like anybody’s getting outside of their comfort zone.”
|Teammates defend Tyler Seguin, but they haven’t missed meetings||12.08.11 at 12:24 pm ET|
Are you ready for Tyler Seguin‘s apology for skipping a team meeting and being scratched as a result?
“I talked about it the other day,” Seguin said Thursday. “I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”
That’s all Seguin would say on the matter, as the Bruins would not permit further questions about his actions in Winnipeg and the discipline he’s received. He will be in the lineup Thursday against the Panthers.
While Seguin was not allowed to elaborate on his confusing time zone mixup excuse, teammates did not shed light on the matter.
Jordan Caron, who was rooming with Seguin when the team arrived early Tuesday in Winnipeg, said that he simply thought Seguin was sleeping a few minutes later Tuesday morning.
“It was an accident. I got up real early and didn’t want to wake him up,” Caron said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I went to breakfast, and then the meeting started. We tried calling him a few times. It’s an accident. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. It happens.”
Caron noted that Seguin was indeed in the room, and that “he wasn’t out or anything.” The Bruins arrived in Winnipeg early Tuesday morning after playing in Pittsburgh Monday night.
“We came in really late. We went to bed at the same time and I woke up really early and went and got breakfast,” he said. “I didn’t want to wake him up first. It was an accident.”
The Bruins did not permit questions about the incident during Seguin’s media availability, with the second-year forward saying only the following: “I talked about it the other day. I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”
Like Seguin, Nathan Horton was once a top-5 pick (third overall in 2003). Has he ever missed a meeting?
“I haven’t,” Horton said. “I’m too afraid to miss them, so I show up real early. Things do happen, and you just can’t let it happen I guess.”
Seguin received a talking to from Shawn Thornton Tuesday, but Horton said that more than one player talked to the youngster about it.
“I think a lot of guys have [spoken to him],” Horton said. “He obviously knows what he did wrong. It’s just, try to forget about it and move on, and try not to let it happen again.”
Dennis Seidenberg also said he has never missed a meeting in his career. He did, however, defend Seguin by echoing the youngster’s claim that he missed the meeting because he still had his phone on Boston time.
“He missed adapting to a time change, or changing the time on his cell phone,” Seidenberg said. “The wakeup call just didn’t go off, so that’s why he missed.”
It was then pointed out that, if the phone story is to believed, Seguin would have woken up an hour early.
“Oh yeah, that’s true,” Seidenberg said with a laugh.
Asked then whether he bought Seguin’s excuse, Seidenberg laughed and remarked, “I have no idea. I’ve got nothing.”
All kidding aside, Nathan Horton has never missed a meeting in his career. Dennis Seidenberg has never missed a meeting. Combined, that’s 17 seasons without a single meeting missed. Tyler Seguin has missed “more than a few” in one season and two months. Pun very intended:
|Dennis Seidenberg: ‘We don’t want to be .500′||11.12.11 at 12:05 pm ET|
When the Bruins raised their Stanley Cup champions banner on the night of the season-opener with nearly their entire Cup-winning roster still intact, nobody would have believed that they would be talking about trying to get above .500 for the first time this season on Nov. 12. That’s where they are, as Saturday’s meeting with the Sabres will provide them with an opportunity to have a winning record for the first time this season.
The Bruins started the season with a dreadful 3-7-0 record that landed them at the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference. Since then, they’ve rattled off four straight wins en route to evening their record at 7-7-0. While they’ve enjoyed their run of late, they’re far from satisfied with being 11th in the conference. Just ask Dennis Seidenberg.
“We’re not out of it yet,” the defenseman said after the team’s morning skate. “We have to keep climbing and we have to keep going. We’re only .500 right now, and we don’t want to be .500. We want to be on top of the league or on top of the division, so today’s a very important game.”
|Practice notes: More maintenance for Rich Peverley, Dennis Seidenberg||11.03.11 at 1:27 pm ET|
For the second straight day, Rich Peverley and Dennis Seidenberg were the only two players missing from Bruins practice. Coach Claude Julien said after the skate that the past two days have simply been maintenance days for the two players, and that he expects both players to be good for Saturday’s game in Toronto.
The forward lines Thursday remained the same as they were on Wednesday. They were as follows:
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Here are a few notes from the practice:
– The B’s got some power play work in before practice, as Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, Andrew Ference, David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Chris Kelly spent upwards of 20 minutes prior to practice down at one end working on the man advantage.
– With those guys working on the PP, the other end saw Adam McQuaid, Steven Kampfer and Jordan Caron doing some power skating with ice wizard Besa Tsintsadze. The power-skating coach got the three players’ feet moving, so much so, in fact, that McQuaid blew a tire and went crashing into the boards. Unfortunately for McQuaid, that isn’t anything new.
– Horton had some fun with the media Thursday. A day after he spoke for the first time in nearly two weeks and was asked why he has not made himself available to the press this season, Horton was sitting at his stall and declared, “I’m ready!” After greeting the reporters, Horton sarcastically said, “See? Nobody wants to talk to me.”
|Adam McQuaid leaves early; maintenance days for Rich Peverley, Dennis Seidenberg||11.02.11 at 2:15 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Rich Peverley were the only two to not take the ice for Wednesday’s practice at TD Garden, with Claude Julien saying afterward that he had given the two players maintenance days.
Adam McQuaid, meanwhile, left the practice early after he was cut on the chin, but there didn’t seem to be much concern from Julien’s end.
Aside from Peverley being out, the forward lines were the same.
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Also, if you have access to today’s Globe or Bostonglobe.com, you have to check out Fluto Shinzawa’s story on how being a sportswriter furthers his conquests as a foodie. A great, off-beat read from one of the best in the business. Significantly better than my attempt.
|Five stats on the Bruins through five games||10.17.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Five games into last season, one could hardly tell the Bruins were going to be Stanley Cup champions, but a couple of things were apparent. For starters, it was clear that Tim Thomas was capable of playing at a high level again after his offseason hip surgery, and it seemed that Nathan Horton had it in him to play some big games for the B’s.
Now five games into this season, there are a few things that are apparent about this team, though injuries to the likes of David Krejci and Adam McQuaid have made it tough to effectively gauge some things.
The Bruins started off the season in a 1-3-0 funk, but may be coming out of it after their 3-2 shootout victory over the Blackhawks Saturday in Chicago. Up next is a four-game home stand with the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens coming to town.
“I feel we’re turning the corner here,” coach Claude Julien said Monday of the team after five games. “I liked our game in Chicago, the way we progressed through tut the day. Today in practice we seemed to have a much better pace. Hopefully that’s a good sign of us turning the corner.”
Here are five quick stats on the Bruins through five games, with a look at last season as well.
1. Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins with five points, which is a little less than a quarter of his 22 points from all of last season. He also leads the team with a plus-3 rating and has 16 shots on goal, good for tops amongst forwards and second only to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
2. Last season, Horton led the team with seven points through five games. This season, he has a goal and an assist through five contests, struggling mightily in the first few games of the season before seemingly finding himself of late. Bottom-six forwards Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron (who has only played in three games) are the only Bruins’ forwards with less than his five shots on goal.
3. Thomas has won two and lost two this season, allowing eight goals in four games. Five games into last season, Thomas had allowed three goals in four games, and had won all four of his starts. He picked up his first shutout in the second game of the 2010-11 season and went on to have two more by the end of the month.
4. Bruins were 4-for-19 on the power play through five games last season. This season, they are 1-for-21, as they have not scored on the man advantage since Brad Marchand scored on the team’s first power play of the season.
5. Seidenberg leads the B’s in ice time with an average of 25:26 a night yet also has a minus-2 rating that is tied for worst on the team. Further proof that plus-minus rarely tells the whole story.
|Struggles aside, Bruins remember Tomas Kaberle fondly||10.11.11 at 11:40 pm ET|
When the Bruins play the Hurricanes Wednesday night in Carolina, they will play against a member of the 2010-11 champions for the first time, and perhaps no one fell victim to the harsh Boston spotlight more Tomas Kaberle.
Kaberle, for whom the Bruins traded former 16th overall pick Joe Colborne, a first-round pick and a second-rounder to the Maple Leafs, came to the Bruins on Feb. 18 of last season with big expectations. The veteran blueliner was popular amongst his teammates, but struggled in his stint with the Bruins, failing to improve a wretched power play, hesitating to shoot and proving to be a liability in his own zone. When his contract expired the Bruins told him to test the waters, and he ended up taking a three-year deal worth $12.75 million with the Hurricanes.
“I don’t know if the pressure bothered him. I mean, he played in Toronto, where there’s tons of pressure,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “He felt like it was the best situation for him to go to Carolina, and he got a good deal, so it’s good for him.”
Kaberle had averaged upwards of 22 minutes per night in his career with the Maple Leafs, but he saw his ice time with the Bruins cut down significantly as time went on. Things looked their worst in the Eastern Conference finals, when he committed costly turnovers and ended up playing what at the time was a career-low (injuries excluded) of 11:35 in Game 4 against the Lightning. He played better in the Stanley Cup finals, but in Game 7 set a new career-low with 9:14 of ice time.
“It’s never good if you see a player that’s been so successful in the past to struggle a little bit, but he was really good,” Seidenberg said. “He knew how to handle himself, and you would never knew how he was doing on the ice with the way he acted in the locker room with us. He’s just a great guy.”
Though he will be on the other team Wednesday, Seidenberg admitted Tuesday that the members of last season’s historic Bruins team will always remember one another fondly.
“I think even if we didn’t win the Cup, Tomas is just a really nice guy, and good to hang out with and a great team guy,” Seidenberg said. “Winning the Cup with him definitely makes it a little more special. Down the road, it’s going to be nice to exchange stories and talk about.”
This season, Kaberle is playing on the Hurricanes’ top power play unit. He has no points and is a minus-3 for the Hurricanes, who are 0-2-1 through three games.