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Alain Vigneault calls Claude Julien old, raises important question of whether Brad Marchand or Henrik Lundqvist would make a more desirable son 11.28.15 at 1:08 pm ET
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Alain Vigneault and the Bruins have gone back and forth in the media ever since the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup championship over the Vigneault-coached Canucks. Despite Vigneault being long gone from Vancouver, that spat is now in its latest installment.

The Rangers coach responded Saturday to Claude Julien and Brad Marchand voicing their frustrations with an uncalled Henrik Lundqvist embellishment on a Brad Marchand goaltender interference penalty in Friday’s Bruins win. In particular, Vigneault seemed annoyed with Julien summarizing Lundqvist’s dive by quipping, “I know he does some acting on the side, but I don’t think it needs to be on the ice.”

“Well, [the Rangers public relations staff] filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said Saturday, per the New York Daily News. “I mean, it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets.

“Who would you rather have as a son: Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

The “check his eyesight” comment is absurd given that there is little debate as to what happened on the play. Marchand made contact and Lundqvist had a woefully delayed reaction. Both players deserved penalties.

As for the stuff about having Marchand as a son, this marks the latest occurrence of Vigneault having something peculiar to say about the B’s left wing. After Marchand low-bridged Sami Salo in a January 2012 game that earned him a five-game suspension, Vigneault made what the Bruins perceived to be a threatening comment about Marchand.

“Marchand — and this is just my feeling — but some day he’€™s going to get it,” Vigneault said back in 2012. “Some day, someone’€™s going to say ‘€˜enough is enough’€™ and they’€™re going to hurt the kid because he plays to hurt players. And if the league doesn’t care, somebody else will.”

Then-Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had an impromptu media session with reporters after those comments were made to voice his feelings on Vigneault’€™s handling of the situation.

“I think we’ve learned our lesson over time that that’€™s a real inappropriate comment,” Chiarelli said. “That’s a real inappropriate comment, and it’s an unprofessional comment.”

Vigneault’s words about Marchand aren’t the only comments about the Bruins he’s made in recent days that raised eyebrows. On Friday he compared an uncalled boarding penalty on Matt Beleskey to Aaron Rome targeting the head of Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the 2011 Cup Final.

The Bruins did not practice on Saturday, but they’ll have the opportunity to respond to Vigneault’s words after Sunday’s practice.

Read More: Alain Vigneault, Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Henrik Lundqvist
Claude Julien, Brad Marchand call out Henrik Lundqvist for embellishing: ‘He must’ve got hit with a cement block’ 11.27.15 at 5:13 pm ET
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If the Bruins hadn’t come back Friday afternoon, it would have been a tough loss to swallow. Not coming back would’ve meant that the Rangers’ winning goal would’ve come on a power play they shouldn’t have had.

With 12:01 remaining and the game tied 2-2, Brad Marchand drove to the front of the net as Adam McQuaid put a shot on goal from the point. Marchand made a little bit of contact with Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and Lundqvist reacted with a delayed flop to the ice.

The referee called Marchand for goaltender interference, which may have been a bit of a soft call, but there was contact, so you can at least understand that.

What’s hard to understand, though, is how Lundqvist didn’t get called for embellishment. Worst-case scenario for the Bruins should’ve been matching minors. Instead the Rangers got a power play and then scored on it to take a 3-2 lead.

After the game, the Bruins didn’t hide their frustration with the no-call, and with Lundqvist himself.

“I was upset when it first happened. I think this was the second time — in preseason Lundqvist did the same thing,” Claude Julien said. “I know he does some acting on the side, but I don’t think it needs to be on the ice.

“Referees are there to protect goaltenders, and they should, but goaltenders shouldn’t take advantage of referees. He may think it’s a good play for his team to get a power play, but we’re all trying to get that out of our game. If my guys do that, I’m going to address it. I’m not hypocritical about that. We’re trying to improve the game here.”

Marchand, who has embellished more than once himself in the past, also didn’t appreciate Lundqvist’s behavior.

“He must’ve got hit with a cement block the way he went down,” Marchand said. “I didn’t know I was that strong. It’s tough. It seems like they don’t call goalies on that one. Maybe they should. There’s a lot of that around the league.”

Fortunately for the Bruins, the no-call and ensuing power-play goal didn’t cost them the game. Ryan Spooner tied the game with 3:46 to go and then David Krejci scored what proved to be the game-winner with 1:43 remaining.

“We didn’t get all rattled and thrown off our game,” Julien said. “We just stuck with it. It was frustrating to see them score on that, but at the same time it was up to us to keep our heads there.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Henrik Lundqvist,
5 things we learned as Bruins suffer regulation loss to Rangers 02.04.15 at 10:30 pm ET
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Loui Eriksson

Loui Eriksson

A rough second period cost the Bruins Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, as they relinquished a lead en route to a 3-2 loss to the Rangers.

The defeat was just the Bruins’€™ second regulation loss in the last 15 games, but there could be more ahead with a difficult back-to-back stretch coming up when the B’€™s host the Islanders and Canadiens this weekend at TD Garden.

Tuukka Rask started his ninth consecutive game and had to deal with multiple odd-man rushes from the Rangers. The Bruins blew a bit of an opportunity, as Henrik Lundqvist missed the game with an upper-body injury. Cam Talbot only had to face 20 shots, however, and he stopped 18.

The one positive as the Bruins await the Islanders and Habs — both teams are currently riding losing streaks. The Islanders have dropped three straight while the Canadiens are coming off back-to-back losses.

Here are four more things we learned Wednesday:

SPEED KILLS

The last thing a team wants to do against a fast opponent is let players slip past them. That happened all too often as the Bruins tried to slow the speedy Rangers.

After Brad Marchand failed to get the puck in deep and turned it over to Kevin Klein, Rick Nash took a feed from Martin St. Louis and sprinted past Adam McQuaid, walking in on Rask all alone and backhanding his 32nd goal of the season past the Boston netminder.

Later in the period, Chris Kreider got behind Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, but was denied by Rask. The Bruins had to deal with another odd-man rush when Kevin Hayes got the puck out of the defensive zone and over Krug’€™s stick, racing to the puck in the neutral zone to create a 2-on-1 with Carl Hagelin against Miller. The Bruins survived it, as Hayes’€™ pass for Hagelin in front was stopped by Rask.

BRUINS HAVE SECOND-PAIR BLUES

Among the Bruins’€™ needs prior to the trade deadline is a steady top-four defenseman to solidify their second pairing. Assuming the pairs stay the same, Boston’€™s current second pairing of Seidenberg-McQuaid might not fare as well as the Ference-Boychuk postseason pair of years past.

The Seidenberg-McQuaid pair was split up late in the first period (the duo allowed the Nash goal), with Claude Julien going to Chara-McQuaid and Seidenberg-Hamilton. Julien went back to his normal pairings for the second period, only to see Seidenberg and McQuaid allow their second goal of the game when Derick Brassard scored on a snap shot from the high slot.

Though McQuaid made a nice play to get a stick on a Rangers scoring bid in the third that would have made it a two-goal game, both he and Seidenberg finished the night with rough numbers. McQuaid and Seidenberg finished the game with Corsi’s of minus-14 and minus-13, respectively.

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Read More: Cam Talbot, Henrik Lundqvist, Loui Eriksson, Tuukka Rask
Shawn Thornton on D&C: Tuukka Rask ‘unbelievable’ vs. Rangers 11.20.13 at 11:44 am ET
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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.

‘€œThat’€™s still my job, first and foremost,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œ[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.

‘€œAfter 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.

‘€œI always joke with the media that it doesn’€™t matter who’€™s on my line, we’€™re always the fourth line,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œI 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.

‘€œEvery time we play against those guys he’€™s unbelievable,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œI 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.

‘€œI don’€™t like sitting out, obviously, no one likes being the guy that’€™s the odd man out,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œHe 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.’€

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, go to the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Claude Julien, Daniel Paille, David Krejci
Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins ‘far more prepared’ to win a closeout game vs. Rangers 05.23.13 at 11:49 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to preview Game 4 of the Bruins-Rangers playoff series.

The Bruins are looking to close out the series with a sweep, but Brickley said he does not expect the Rangers to lay down.

“They’re not going to want to lose on home ice,” Brickley said. “They’re not going to want to go down four straight to this Bruins team. They want to force a Game 5. They absolutely have a lot of pride. They’re professional athletes. They’re a team that was expected to do something this year, and the opportunities are sliding away quickly. So, I expect them to bring their ‘A’ game, and I expected their goaltender to play as well as he did in Game 3.”

The Bruins are coming off an impressive win in Game 3, as they delivered a solid effort for 60 minutes and scored two third-period goals to pull out the win.

“The thing I loved about the Bruins in Game 3 was no Jekyll and Hyde persona that Claude [Julien] likes to talk about; far more consistent,” Brickley said. “The best measure is quality scoring chances given up, and you can count them on one hand against [Tuukka] Rask in Game 3. Even though they needed two goals in the third period, the Bruins were never in any real trouble despite the one goal that beat Rask through a whole bunch of bodies from a screen on that shot by [Ryan] McDonagh from the point.

“The only thing that concerned you a little bit was the scoring chances that they had in the first period and were unable to beat [Henrik] Lundqvist. But their mentality coming into the series was that’s what they expected from Lundqvist all along, even though they didn’t get it in Games 1 and 2. So, I think the Bruins mentally and emotionally were prepared for that kind of performance. And they just try to stay on the attack and play to their identity, which was to roll those four lines.

“What they’ve shown us in this series is incredible depth that they have. No [Dennis] Seidenberg, no [Andrew] Ference, no [Wade] Redden. You get [Matt] Bartkowski, [Torey] Krug and [Dougie] Hamilton, and that gives you a different dynamic to your team — that speed, quickness and mobility on the back end. But I think you also saw their depth in Game [3], with your fourth line and the matchups you get with that fourth line and how good they played, with experience and with familiarity and their forechecking game — simple, fundamental and effective. And they end up being difference-makers on the scoresheet.”

The Bruins’ lack of success in non-Game 7 closeout games over the past three years has been well-documented. Brickley said the B’s appear to be better equipped to provide a finishing touch Thursday.

“I still have memories of Game 5 on home ice against Toronto, up 3-1,” Brickley said. “The way [the Bruins] responded in Game 3 [vs. the Rangers] makes me think that they’re far more prepared — mentally, physically, emotionally — for a closeout game situation. They needed three closeout games to beat the Leafs. You hope it’s a lesson learned. I expect the Bruins, since they’ve found some consistency now in their game, that they’ll be far better tonight.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Andy Brickley, Claude Julien, Henrik Lundqvist, Tuukka Rask
Merlot Line leads Bruins to 3-0 series lead 05.21.13 at 10:11 pm ET
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NEW YORK — The Bruins’ fourth line stole the spotlight from Henrik Lundqvist Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden as the Bruins came back in the third period to beat the Rangers, 2-1, and take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

With the B’s trailing by a goal entering the third period, the Merlot Line produced goals in two if its first four third-period shifts, the latter of which yielded a funky go-ahead goal from Daniel Paille off a rebound that went off Lundqvist’s mask and stayed in the air for a good amount of time before landing on the door step. Johnny Boychuk produced Boston’s first goal (his fourth of the postseason) on a shot from the point that had to make its way through some traffic that was led by Shawn Thornton.

Tyler Pyatt redirected a shot past Tuukka Rask at 3:53 of the second period to give the Rangers the lead in the second period after the teams skated to a scoreless first. The goal came on a rather uncharacteristic shift for Patrice Bergeron on which he lost the faceoff and then was unable to get a clearing attempt out of the zone.

But that was the only harm done against Rask, who turned in his latest superb performance highlighted by a pair of big saves on Rick Nash in the third period.

The Bruins will have the opportunity to finish off the Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Daniel Paille, Henrik Lundqvist, Johnny Boychuk, Tuukka Rask
Barry Pederson on D&C: Rangers’ shot-blocking style causing problems for Henrik Lundqvist 05.20.13 at 9:45 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to discuss the Bruins’ strong start to their series against the Rangers. Boston holds a 2-0 series lead following Sunday’s 5-2 victory.

The Bruins have been rejuvenated by the play of young defensemen Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton.

“I think right now they’re showing some signs of [being a better team with the rookies], just because of the element that these three young kids have brought, which is mobility, speed, I think right now playing with a lack of fear, a lot of confidence,” Pederson said. “But you can really see it, to me, from their offensive side. What I mean by that, a lot of times throughout the year when the offense has been struggling, everybody always points at the forwards. And vice versa, when the defensive game is struggling, everybody always point to the defense. I’ve always been a firm believer that your defense creates your offense, and your forwards create your defense.

“So, these guys are doing a really good job, to me, by jumping into plays, recognizing when there are outnumbered opportunities to make it a three-on-two, a four-on-three. Hamilton did a good job of that yesterday as well as Bartkowski and Krug. For now they’re doing I think a really good job of creating some offense and ‘€¦ they are bringing a little bit of speed and mobility that maybe the Bruins have not had back there in a while.”

With the strong play by the rookies, it’s led to a discussion about what coach Claude Julien will do if and when injured veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return. Pederson said he does not anticipate a problem in the locker room.

“The guys recognize what this is all about, is trying to win hockey games,” he said. “It’s one of those problems that you love to have. ‘€¦ You can never have enough good, young defensemen, because they’re first of all hard to come by. And it’s a situation where these guys right now are playing this way. We’ll see how things go when you go into a more hostile environment in New York.”

Added Pederson: “I think if I had to look at how I would rank them, the rookies being taken out, starting with the first guy, I would probably take a look at Hamilton, it would probably go Krug, and then last would be Bartkowski to be removed from the lineup when and if they came back.

“If Redden was the first guy back, I’m not so sure if I would make a move quite yet. These guys have, I think, kind of earned an opportunity to continue. If it was Dennis Seidenberg who was healthy, there’s no doubt that he’s coming back immediately. I just don’t get a sense with Ference that he’s even that close, but again we don’t know anything about the injuries, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

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Read More: Adam McQuaid, Barry Pederson, Dennis Seidenberg, Henrik Lundqvist
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