|Andy Brickley on M&M: Andrej Meszaros ‘gives you options’||03.12.14 at 2:57 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Andrej Meszaros, the B’s defense and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
While Brickley still has doubts about the Bruins depth at wing, he sees the Meszaros trade as one that will help the Bruins figure out their best defensive combination.
“I’m not sure I’m convinced that if there are injuries to the four lines, as currently constituted, that they have enough in the wings waiting to step in,” Brickley said. “The organization, obviously, believes they probably do, but the emphasis was to definitely go get a defenseman, and now bringing in Meszaros, that gives you options.”
Added Brickley: “And it gives you — ’cause he can play left or right — and it gives you competition for ice time and actually be in uniform. You see Dougie Hamilton, the first casualty. They’re trying to figure out guys. Who’s going to play with [Zdeno] Chara in the playoffs? They want that shutdown pair and they’re not sure where it’s at right now and that was the whole reason to go get a guy like Meszaros.”
While the Bruins like what they see from Meszaros so far, the real test starts Wednesday night against Montreal, according to Brickley.
“I think the competition has started,” Brickley said. “It started the other night in Florida with Meszaros going to the lineup. They really like what he brought on that power play, being a left shot, being able to work the overload on the one side with other left shots on the half wall, whether it’s [Carl] Soderberg or [Loui] Eriksson, whoever it might be. They like that look.”
Added Brickley: “Now keep in mind that’s the Florida Panthers. That’s a pretty easy matchup for your first game as a player. Tonight you’ll probably get some different results and I’ll be curious to see how the defensemen in the lineup tonight handle a team like Montreal and the intensity and the speed.”
|Dougie Hamilton a healthy scratch vs. Canadiens as Andrej Meszaros stays in Bruins lineup; Daniel Paille skates||at 12:20 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Dougie Hamilton will be a health scratch for the second straight game Wednesday night, as Claude Julien will use the same six defensemen vs. the Canadiens that he used Sunday against the Panthers.
“Dougie’s going to be out again,” Julien said. “I’m going with the same D core as I had the other night.”
With Hamilton and Corey Potter both sitting, it is likely that Julien will keep Zdeno Chara with newcomer Andrej Meszaros. The Bruins’ deadline day acquisition had a goal and a team-high six shots on goal in his Bruins debut Sunday.
Wednesday will mark Hamilton’s fourth healthy scratch of the season, as he sat out two games in October. He has also missed 13 games due to injury. Julien had said on Tuesday that Meszaros’ presence didn’t mean Hamilton would be a regular healthy scratch.
‘Dougie’s not going to sit long,’ Julien said. ‘Dougie has played good hockey and he’s been good for us, so Dougie is not going to be the guy that is going to be singled out here. Dougie is going to be back in our lineup, and it’s just a matter of me making those tough decisions.
In other lineup news, Jordan Caron will play on the fourth line in place of Daniel Paille, who is out with a concussion. Paille took part in Wednesday’s morning skate, though he is not expected to play until Saturday at the earliest.
“We felt it was a real minor concussion, but protocol is what it is,” Julien said. “You have to respect that, and right now he’s gone through the stages and is doing very well. Today he skated without contact and hopefully we move on to the next level by tomorrow.”
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|Claude Julien: Dougie Hamilton is ‘not going to sit long’ for Bruins||03.11.14 at 6:06 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Healthy scratches aren’t expected to be a regular thing for Dougie Hamilton, so it was rather surprising in the team’s first practice since Hamilton was benched for Andrej Meszaros that Hamilton was skating on the team’s fourth pairing with Corey Potter.
“No, no, don’t read into that guys, I didn’t even make pairs today,” Julien said at the mention of Hamilton skating with Potter. “They just kind of paired themselves, believe it or not. We were just doing a practice here at moving pucks and so on and so forth. There was nothing; don’t read anything into what you saw today as far as who’s with who. Like I said, I didn’t even make pairs today.”
Though he did not say whether Hamilton will be back in the lineup Wednesday against the Canadiens, Julien stressed that Meszaros wasn’t acquired to take Hamilton’s job.
“Dougie’s not going to sit long,” Julien said. “Dougie has played good hockey and he’s been good for us, so Dougie is not going to be the guy that is going to be singled out here. Dougie is going to be back in our lineup, and it’s just a matter of me making those tough decisions.
“We hadn’t lost a game and we put Mez in; we played fairly well. Now we won again, [but it] doesn’t mean my lineup’s not going to change. So I’ve got to make some tough decisions here as we move forward, but the good part is we’ve got a lot of games in a short span of time, so there’s lots of room for everybody to get in there.”
As for Meszaros, Julien said that the team is trying out the left-shooting Meszaros on the right side — as it did Sunday when he played with Chara — to make sure he is comfortable playing both sides.
“He’s played left all year. He’s played right most of his career, but right now we know he can play left,” Julien said. “The toughest part is for a guy to play on his off-side, so we’ve got him playing right in practice right now just to make sure, because he hasn’t played the right side this year. He’s played for about 10 years on the right side, but this year he hadn’t played there, so we’re just giving him an opportunity here to get comfortable there as well because we’re going to need him to play both sides.”
|Canadiens chase Tuukka Rask, beat Bruins||01.30.14 at 9:39 pm ET|
The Canadiens interrupted the Bruins’ recent hot streak Thursday, taking a 4-1 contest at TD Garden and improving to 2-0-0 against the B’s this season.
Tuukka Rask was pulled for the fourth time this season and dropped to 2-10-2 in his career against the Canadiens. He allowed three goals on 18 shots before being pulled a little over halfway through the second period. Chad Johnson allowed one goal in relief.
The Habs got on the board 2:16 into the game when an Alexei Emelin shot from the point went through plenty of traffic but didn’t appear to hit anything on its way past Rask. Max Pacioretty made it 2-0 later in the period when he took a feed from Brendan Gallagher off a Daniel Paille turnover, flew down the wing and held off Johnny Boychuk on his way to beating Rask five-hole.
Dougie Hamilton got the B’s on the board at 15:38 of the first when a shot from the point hit a Montreal body and got past Peter Budaj, but it would be Boston’s only goal of the night. A Brian Gionta power-play goal at 11:54 of the second chased Rask, and a Daniel Briere breakaway goal on Johnson made it a three-goal lead for the Habs.
The loss snapped the Bruins’ four-game winning streak. The B’s have four games left before the Olympic break and will host Andrew Ference and the Oilers on Saturday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— Rask has now been pulled four times this season, all of which have come in the last month and a half. Rask was pulled Dec. 14 against the Canucks, Dec. 28 in Ottawa and Jan. 9 in Los Angeles. Though Gionta’s goal was the only particularly bad one he allowed, getting yanked at least four times in a season isn’t a great thing to have on a Vezina resume.
— The Bruins had scored six goals in three straight games (3-0-0) prior to Thursday’s game, but they were able to muster exactly one sixth of that mark Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »
|Dougie Hamilton: ‘I’m ready to play now’||01.24.14 at 1:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game against the Flyers, with Hamilton saying he is ready to return to the lineup.
Hamilton, who has missed the last four games with a concussion, practiced with his teammates for the second consecutive day Friday and said he was “finally” cleared for contact.
“I think I’ve been skating now for, I think this is my sixth day, so every day I’ve felt better and I’m ready to play now,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he suffered the concussion, which was the first of his career, in the third period of the team’s loss to the Kings on Jan. 9 and played the next game against the Sharks.
The concussion is Hamilton’s second injury this season, as he missed 10 games from Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 with a knee injury. Hamilton is in his second season and said that the last couple of months have been frustrating given that they’ve halted the progress of a strong second season.
“I think I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot better defensively, and just feel a lot better on the ice,” Hamilton said. “It’s just been an unfortunate month or two months or whatever. Hopefully I can just get back into the lineup again and have fun and help the team out.”
Kelly also practiced with the team for the second straight day. He has not played since suffering a broken fibula on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. Claude Julien said that there is a chance one or both could return to the lineup Saturday, and noted that Hamilton is closer to returning than Kelly because he has missed less time and is in better game shape.
Adam McQuaid did not practice Friday and will not travel to Philadelphia as he remains out with a leg injury.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton practice with Bruins; Adam McQuaid absent||01.23.14 at 11:22 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton returned to practice Thursday at Ristuccia Arena. Adam McQuaid, who is out with a leg injury, was the only player missing from practice.
Kelly has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula, while Hamilton has missed the last four games with a concussion. Kelly was wearing a grey (third line) jersey along with Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Ryan Spooner. With Kelly out of the lineup, Spooner has centered the third line.
“I was excited to come today,” Kelly said after the practice. “It’s been a little bit longer than I would have liked, but it’s all part of the process of getting better, and today was a good step in the right direction.”
Kelly said he isn’t sure when he will return to the lineup, but Claude Julien said that he will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game and could be in the lineup within a week. The veteran center added that he “pushed it pretty good” in Thursday’s practice and felt good.
“I think I’ve done everything I need to do,” Kelly said. “Conditioning, I felt great. Obviously you can never simulate the physical aspect of the game, but I felt good out there today.”
Julien said it is unclear whether Hamilton will travel, as he hasn’t been cleared to take heavy contact yet.
Also on the ice for the B’s was Zach Trotman, who was recalled Thursday morning on an emergency basis. Trotman had been returned to Providence Tuesday after playing Monday’s game against the Kings. Though the Bruins were off Tuesday and Wednesday, Trotman was able to get a practice in with Providence on Wednesday.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Dougie Hamilton out with concussion||01.14.14 at 11:43 am ET|
Dougie Hamilton is out with a concussion, Bruins coach Claude Julien revealed after Tuesday’s morning skate.
Julien termed the concussion “mild” and said that the team doesn’t expect Hamilton to miss too many games. Hamilton had returned earleir this month from a lower-body injury that had kept him out 10 games. He skated in five games before missing Monday’s practice.
“He’ll be out for a little bit,” Julien said, “but we don’t anticipate it being too, too long.”
Hamilton did not play the final six minutes of the team’s 1-0 win over the Sharks on Saturday, but Julien said it had “nothing to do” with the concussion. Given that Hamilton showed up Monday, didn’t go on the ice and was examined by team doctors, it’s likely that he was dealing with headaches (like Daniel Paille was last month) rather than being diagnosed right at the time of the concussion.
With Hamilton out, Kevan Miller will play in his place. The Bruins now have only six healthy defensemen on their roster. Given that they’ll leave for a two-game road trip Wednesday, the team might recall a blueliner from Providence.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.