|Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Those defensemen are playing unbelievable’||05.20.13 at 10:16 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the B’s-Rangers series.
The Bruins took a 2-0 series lead with Sunday’s 5-2 victory, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers continued to play below par.
“I think they had their chances, to tell you the truth,” Thornton said. “I think the second period, it could have went either way. We were fortunate to get out of that with the lead. It could have been a different game if Tuukka [Rask] didn’t stand on his head for us in the second period.”
The big story of this series has been the play of the Bruins’ young defensemen, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton, who have sparked the Bruins with their fresh legs.
“Those defensemen are playing unbelievable,” Thornton said. “Torey Krug, obviously — not just the goal and the assist, those are great plays — but there were some plays he made that probably went unnoticed during the game that made our lives as forwards a heck of a lot easier. Some of the vision he has and some of the plays he made look easy, but they weren’t really easy plays, especially in the neutral zone.”
Thornton said he hasn’t thought much about what will happen when injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return.
“I don’t know what the timeline is for those guys, but I’m sure Claude [Julien] will have some decisions to make once everyone’s healthy,” Thornton said. “Not easy decisions, I’m sure, but good decisions. It’s nice when you have that many options. It’s better than the opposite, when you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, we can’t find anyone to put in the lineup.’ ”
As for the possibility of hard feelings if a veteran sits in favor of a rookie, Thornton insisted it won’t be issue.
“Not in our locker room,” he said. “I’ve been that veteran guy squeezed out of the lineup for the playoffs. It’s all about winning this time of year. There’s no time for any personal feelings or agendas. It’s all about the team. We have a good bunch of guys in that room, and everyone’s aware of it.”
|Patrice Bergeron takes home the hardware in regular season finale||04.28.13 at 7:59 pm ET|
The Bruins announced their regular season award winners before the regular season finale with the Senators Sunday night. Patrice Bergeron was the recipient of the Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle and determination, chosen by the “Gallery Gods”) as well as the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy (outstanding performance during home games, determined by the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association).
Gregory Campbell was selected for the John P. Bucyk Award (greatest off-ice charitable contributions, chosen by John Bucyk); and Tuukka Rask (First Star), Bergeron (Second Star) and Tyler Seguin (Third Star) were named the Bruins Three Stars (top performers at home over the course of the season).
Eddie Shore Award and Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy
Bergeron, the team’s alternate captain to Zdeno Chara, was also selected by the “Gallery Gods” as the Eddie Shore Award winner for demonstrating exceptional hustle and determination throughout the 2013 campaign. The reining Selke Trophy winner currently leads the Bruins with a +25 rating (5th NHL), is second in assists (22) and is tied for fourth in points with 32 (10-22). The Bruins centerman also leads the NHL in faceoff percentage, winning puck drops at a 61.9-percent clip.
In addition to the Eddie Shore Award, the BPHWA has selected Bergeron as the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy recipient for his outstanding performance during Bruins home games this season. At TD Garden this year, Bergeron has notched eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. The forward’s +20 rating and 66.8% (280/419) faceoff percentage in Boston, leads all Bruins players.
John P. Bucyk Award
Gregory Campbell has been an active participant in the Boston Bruins off-ice charitable events in this years condensed NHL season. Campbell has spent many of his rare off days making community visits throughout the Greater Boston area, including visits to the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club, Home for Little Wanderers and was a one of the team’s participants in their annual “Cuts for a Cause” event. Read the rest of this entry »
|Fourth line getting into postseason form for Bruins||04.26.13 at 12:55 am ET|
It’s getting to be the time of year when tight games are often decided by players like Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. As the Bruins wrapped up home ice in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-0 win over the Lightning on Thursday, their Merlot Line came through with a goal that solidified the victory, playing the way they’ll likely need to when the postseason begins.
Paille became a 10-goal scorer for the first time since 2009-10 at 13:31 of the second. Campbell found him open at the top of the right circle and sent the puck right into his wheelhouse, setting up Paille to fire a one-timer past Tampa Bay goalie Anders Lindback.
Paille had three shots and another that was blocked on Thursday, as many as any Bruin. Although they weren’t all over the scoresheet, the fourth line was one of the Bruins’ most energetic, creating chances with an aggressive forecheck and consistently maintaining possession in the Lightning’s zone.
“We know, for our line, if we don’t score it’s not a big deal, but the main goal for us is to create as much energy as we can and it felt like we did that today,” Paille said. “With [Thornton] taking the puck from a couple of guys, and [Campbell] as well, you know, I thought we all contributed in a positive way today, even if we didn’t score.”
Entering Thursday’s game, the trio had a combined 16 goals on the year. They’re not on the ice to score on every shift, but the Bruins will welcome any offensive contributions from them, especially with just two games left in the regular season. And although they haven’t been exempt from the Bruins’ recent line-shuffling, Paille acknowledged that the three of them do always seem to wind up back together.
“We know we’re not going to play a ton of minutes, but we’re happy with who we play with,” Paille said. “And I think that’s a big thing going on the last few years that we’ve been here.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he thought that line did its job on Thursday, overcoming some issues it had earlier in the year.
“There’s some confidence there — you know, [Campbell] making that pass and Paille not hesitating, great shot, and the goaltender didn’t have much time to get across,” Julien said. “So overall making the right plays and keeping pucks in down low and battling. And [Thornton], the same thing. Not only that, but they’ve had some challenges at times this year where they weren’t making good line changes and leaving the next line … hanging. But they were sharp in all those areas tonight, so I thought they were good.”
|Brad Marchand breaks goal drought with help from Gregory Campbell, Jaromir Jagr||04.08.13 at 11:28 pm ET|
Brad Marchand scored two goals on Monday in a 6-2 Bruins win after scoring two over his previous 17 games. He was so grateful to his new linemates, Gregory Campbell and Jaromir Jagr, for making it happen that when he had chances to score a third, he went out of his way to try and set them up instead.
“I think I wanted to be a little unselfish there,” Marchand said. “One time I tried to give it to Jags when I had a pretty good shooting lane, and then that 2-on-1 where I tried to give it to [Campbell] – but I just wanted to return the favor on both of those goals they gave me.”
Both of Marchand’s goals came on second chances produced by his linemates’ shots. On the first, Campbell drove to the net and attempted a wraparound with Hurricane defenders hanging on him. While he couldn’t get enough on it, Marchand was ready to tap the rebound past Carolina goalie Justin Peters.
Then, with just under three minutes left in the first period, Jagr carried the puck behind the net and tried for a wraparound (all three first-period goals from the B’s involved wraparounds). His attempt slid through the slot and out to Marchand, who was in exactly the right spot to flick it past Dan Ellis, Peters’ replacement.
By the middle of the second period, the Bruins had a comfortable 5-0 lead, so Marchand seemed content to spread the wealth around. He broke free of the Carolina defense and cut down the left wing, but instead of accelerating and taking a shot, he sent a pass back to Campbell, who was entering the zone with a defender on him and couldn’t do much with the puck.
Marchand did the same later with a pass to Jagr, who picked up two assists on the night but didn’t score. Campbell also had two assists, his sixth and seventh of the year.
“I probably should have shot on both of them, but they’re quick, second decisions, and that’s how the game goes,” Marchand said.
The line finished with eight of the Bruins’ 36 shots (four for Marchand, two each for Jagr and Campbell) in their first game together. Bruins coach Claude Julien said he thinks Campbell’s work ethic fit well with the two more offensively-oriented wingers, even though Campbell hasn’t seen much time as a top-six center in Boston.
“He’s a very versatile player that you can move up and down,” Julien said. “His style is not fancy. It’s straightforward. It’s about hard work. It’s about getting pucks to the net and getting your nose dirty in all the areas, and he was a decent centerman for those guys who like to move the puck around. He made room for those guys and he opened up some passing lanes.”
Passing up shots didn’t hurt the Bruins Monday as they got plenty of offense from unlikely sources, including Jordan Caron and Andrew Ference. However, Julien said he hopes Marchand’s line will take the shots they have as they settle into playing together.
“Tonight it was more Jags trying to feed [Marchand], forcing a pass, trying to get him his hat trick,” Julien said. “Eventually those guys will get used to playing with each other and they’re going to encourage each other to take the shot when it’s there. I know I will.”
|Bruins score season-high six goals to beat Hurricanes||at 9:42 pm ET|
Claude Julien‘s revamped lines worked against the struggling Hurricanes, as the B’s got their best best offensive performance of the season and beat Carolina, 6-2, at TD Garden.
Brad Marchand scored a pair of goals for the B’s, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to his tallies and a goal from Rich Peverley, who got the B’s on the board. Boston added second-period goals from Andrew Ference and Jordan Caron before the Hurricanes got on the board in the third period on tallies from Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman. Nathan Horton made it 6-2 with just over three minutes to play.
Dwyer’s goal broke up Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid with 9:57 left to play. Rask still made 40 saves in the win. The B’s chased Carolina starter Justin Peters after the first of Marchand’s two goals to make it 2-0, with Dan Ellis replacing him and allowing four goals in relief.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- If Claude Julien’s going to face criticism for demoting Tyler Seguin to the third line in favor of Gregory Campbell, he should get credit for it paying off. Campbell had a pair of assists and was a plus-3 on the night, and his line with Marchand and Jaromir Jagr looked really good. All three players had multi-point nights, with Jagr also contributing a pair of assists.
Seguin’s numbers didn’t jump off the page (one shot on goal through the first two periods) and he had one rough shift that included a turnover and a missed opportunity on a breakout, but he would have had an assist had Chris Kelly hit the net on a first-period scoring chance.
- The scoreboard suggested a blowout, but Rask had to work and come up with some big saves to have his shutout bid last as long as he did. He stopped 30 shots through two periods, the biggest of which came when he robbed Zac Dalpe all alone in front by getting his left pad on Dalpe’s bid.
The Hurricanes could have made it a two-goal game with less than seven minutes to play, but Rask came through with a split to stop Riley Nash.
- The Bruins first three goals came as a result of wraparounds. Peverley got control of the puck after missing the net and scored a wraparound goal to make it 1-0, with both of Marchand’s first-period goals also coming from wraparounds. First, Marchand sent the rebound of a Campbell bid past Peters, and he made it 3-0 when he beat Dan Ellis following a wraparound from Jagr.
- Ference put in the work in front and got a goal out of it. With Campbell feeding Dennis Seidenberg at the point, Ference was plenty disruptive in front of Ellis, battling with Jamie McBain. Seidenberg’s shot went off Ference and in to make it 4-0.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Daniel Paille – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin line was the only line to not produce a goal for the B’s.
Seguin had one of lowest time-on-ice totals of the season. His lowest total of the season entering the night was 14:30, which came on Feb. 21 against the Lightning.
|Merlot Line a difference-maker in win over Islanders||01.25.13 at 11:49 pm ET|
Through four games, the Bruins have one point-per-game player and his name is Gregory Campbell.
The Bruins’ fourth-line center scored and had an assist in Friday’s 4-2 win over the Islanders at TD Garden on a night that saw the members of the Merlot Line produce a pair of goals (Shawn Thornton scored the Bruins’ first-goal of the game).
The line of Campbell, Thornton and Daniel Paille had its ups and downs last season, but their performance was massive in what was on the whole a relatively sloppy night for the B’s. There was the typical show of solidarity from Thornton, who came to Paille’s defense in the first period when Matt Martin wanted to drop the gloves following a clean hit in the corner, but the line also brought offense, defense and energy.
“Tonight they were the ones that were doing the right things,” Claude Julien said. “Both goals that they scored, they had somebody in front of the net, Thorty on the first one, and Soupy on the second goal, things that our others lines weren’t doing for two periods. Once we got ourselves going we were a lot better. They set the example I guess for the rest of the team for the third period.”
Said Campbell: “We’ve been playing together for the last two years, which is a rare thing in hockey,” he said. “We get along off the ice, which is good because it transfers on the ice. We accept our role and know our role. Sometimes it is not an easy job but we are willing to help the team. It’s a role that we take pride in.”
Campbell, who had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) all of last season, has a goal and three-assists thus far in the shortened campaign.
“I mean, it is what it is,” Campbell said of leading the B’s in points. “I’m just trying to contribute. I felt like I worked hard in the lockout in the last four months and I feel good right now. As I said, I am just trying to contribute, whether it’s goals or assists, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just helping the team win.”
Zdeno Chara fired a wrist shot past Rick DiPietro with just under 13 minutes left in the third period to break a 2-2 tie, as the Bruins bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 4-2 win over the Islanders Friday night at TD Garden. Rookie sensation Dougie Hamilton added two assists and set up Boston’s fourth goal with a pretty outlet pass as the Garden crowd began to chant his name.
The Bruins overcame a two-goal night from Waltham and Chelmsford, Mass. native Keith Aucoin to improve to 3-0-1 in the young season. With seven points on the season, they also have gained a point in all four games.
Tuukka Rask has started all four games and stopped 24 of 26 shots on the night to record his third win.
The Bruins jumped on top just under five minutes into the game when Shawn Thornton collected a loose puck and put it past DiPietro. Hamilton set up the goal when he took a shot from the right point that deflected off the stick of Daniel Paille. DiPietro couldn’t control the shot and Thornton was in the right spot on the doorstep for his first goal of the season and Hamilton’s second NHL point.
The Islanders tied it six minutes later when the red-hot Aucoin took a pass from Colin McDonald from the side of the net and put it past Rask.
The first period featured a fight between Milan Lucic in which the Bruins leveled Matt Carkner with a right cross, getting the Friday night Garden crowd into the game.
The Islanders opened the second period on the power play. While they couldn’t score, they used the advantage to gain momentum of the game. That proved productive when Rask and the Bruins allowed a loose puck to bounce uncontrolled to the high slot. Aucoin was in the right spot at the right time again and blasted a slap shot past Rask at 9:50 of the period for an unassisted goal, his second of the game and third in two nights.
The Bruins used good fortune to gain the equalizer four minutes later when David Krejci threw a puck on net from the far boards. The puck glanced off the skate of Islanders defenseman Joe Finley and onto the stick of Gregory Campell, who put it past DiPietro to make it 2-2 after 40 minutes.
With just under 13 minutes left, the Bruins regained the lead when Lucic took a pass from Nathan Horton and fired a pass from the right circle to the tape of Chara. The Bruins captain snapped a wrist shot from the slot past DiPietro to give the Bruins the lead with 12:53 remaining. It was his first goal of the season and he pumped both hands in the air in relief after the goal. Read the rest of this entry »
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