|Peter Chiarelli happy with how his summer moves have worked so far: ‘That’s what is expected of me’||02.08.14 at 5:35 pm ET|
Eyebrows were a bit more than raised when Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli traded away young gun Tyler Seguin and reliable forward Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars last summer in return for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser.
That was a Fourth of July calculated gamble that Chiarelli was willing to take just a week after his team lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Smith has 18 goals this season on the Marchand-Bergeron line, second only to Marchand’s 19 goals this year. Add to that the addition of veteran forward Jarome Iginla to replace Nathan Horton on the top line, and the moves have worked out quite nicely for the Bruins.
Iginla scored again Saturday and all of a sudden has 17 goals with 25 assists. Eriksson assisted on the first two goals Saturday and has 14 helpers on the season, not bad considering he’s missed 21 games with a pair of concussions.
Before he joins one of seven Bruins off to the Sochi Winter Games, Chiarelli was asked before Saturday’s 7-2 demolition of the Senators at TD Garden just how satisfying it is knowing the deals he made in the summer have paid off.
“It’s good, I mean that’s what is expected of me,” Chiarelli said. “Certainly I’ll hear it from you guys if they don’t. You, know Iggy ‘ high character. So you know you’re going to get a good effort. What were my other deals? Loui [Eriksson], yeah Loui is still a work in progress but I’ve seen parts of his game that I’m going to expect at some point that I have seen before. He’s got to work his way through it but he is a very good two way player and I’m happy with him. Reilly [Smith], of course has been good. So yeah it’s good. That’s what I’m expected to do and it helps bringing these players into a successful team and structure. It’s easier to do that provided they buy in and these guys have bought in.”
Will he look at bringing in veteran leaders at the March 5 trade deadline?
“Usually when I’m trying to add something on a temporary basis, on a rental basis, I’d like that player to have some experience,” Chiarelli said. “So, that usually translates into being a veteran. Playoff experience would be good too so that’s something I look for, I don’t know if I’m going to get it if we add somebody but that’s what I look for, I think it’s important. I t’s not so much for leadership; I feel our group has strong leadership. It’s more for having been in the battles and having that composure because that is what you need to win, is composure and compete by the composure also.”
|Bruins beat Canucks for first time since 2011 Stanley Cup finals||02.04.14 at 9:39 pm ET|
Though it didn’t mean as much as their last win over the Canucks, the Bruins beat Vancouver on Tuesday at TD Garden for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins picked up a 3-1 victory, good for their sixth win in their last seven games.
Vancouver native Milan Lucic made it 1-0 at 5:12 of the first period, with David Krejci passing it back to him while on a 2-on-2 with Jarome Iginla. Lucic finished off the play by beating Roberto Luongo stick side from the slot. Iginla added to the lead with a power-play goal off a feed from Zdeno Chara in the second.
Newly acquired Canucks defenseman Raphael Diaz beat Tuukka Rask with a slap shot on a waffling puck in the second at 11:28 of the second, but a Daniel Paille breakaway goal off a stretch pass from Johnny Boychuk increased the Bruins’ lead back to two.
The game was the third played between the B’s and Canucks since the 2011 Cup finals, with Luongo making his first start at TD Garden since Game 6 of the series. He was out dueled Tuesday by Rask, who made 27 saves.
Tuesday marked Chara’s last game with the team before he leaves for Sochi to be Slovakia’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday. The B’s have two games left before the break, as they’ll play in St. Louis on Thursday and host the Senators Saturday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Boychuk was a beast, starting the play that gave Paille his goal and providing a bruising presence. Boychuk found Paille coming onto the ice with the B’s stuck in their zone and sent a pass from the hashmarks of Boston’s zone to Paille at the Canucks blue line. Paille took it from there, beating Luongo low with a stick-side backhander.
That wasn’t all Boychuk did, as he used his body well on Canucks forwards, most notably crushing David Booth multiple times, including a massive hit along the wall in the Vancouver zone late in the second period.
The Bruins will need a couple more performances like that from Boychuk before the Olympic break, as the 30-year-old will be the elder statesman of Boston’s blue line for the next two games without Chara.
– Speaking of Chara, it was good for B’s to get two points in his last game with them before the break. The next two won’t be easy, as the B’s, who are already without Dennis Seidenberg, will be down their best two defensemen. David Warsofsky will play the next two games after being recalled Monday and sitting Tuesday.
– Though his line didn’t have the prettiest night, Paille continued to contribute. The tripping penalty he drew in the first period was the fourth penalty he’s drawn in the last four games, while he continues to use his speed (or, as was the case Tuesday, a fortunate line change) to create chances. Paille has eight goals through 48 games this season after registering 10 in 46 contests last season.
– Iginla has points in five of his last six games, registering three goals and eight assists for 11 points over that span. His assist on Lucic’s goal was the 600th helper of his career.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Brad Marchand missed out on a couple of goals in the second period. What appeared to be the Bruins’ third goal was waved off after it was determined Torey Krug obstructed Luongo. Krug was in front of the net and fell into Luongo as Reilly Smith took the puck behind the net and fed Marchand, with Marchand having half the net open with Luongo down. Luongo immediately argued that the goal should be disallowed, which it was.
Later in the period, Marchand hit the post on a backhand bid in front.
– Statistically speaking, Patrice Bergeron‘s line has cooled off since its torrid stretch in mid-to-late January. The trio of Bergeron, Marchand and Smith now has gone four games without producing a goal.
|Jarome Iginla puts up four points as Bruins crush Flyers||01.25.14 at 3:40 pm ET|
Jarome Iginla had a four-point day as the Bruins crushed the Flyers, 6-1, in Philadelphia Saturday.
Both Iginla and Zdeno Chara had two goals apiece in the win, with the Bruins picking up three power play goals for the third time this season.
Chara opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 6:30 of the first, with Iginla firing a shot from the right circle past a screened Steve Mason with 18 seconds remaining in the period to make it 2-0.
The B’s got two more in the second period, as Reilly Smith scored his first goal in eight games after splitting Nicklas Grossman and Mark Streit and Patrice Bergeron beat Mason on a low-angle shot following a rebound from a Brad Marchand shot. That was enough to end Mason’s day, as he was replaced by Ray Emery.
Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid was broken up at 7:55 of the third period on a Claude Giroux power-play goal, but second helpings on the power play from Iginla and Chara kept the route on for the B’s.
Dougie Hamilton made his return to the lineup after missing the last four games with a concussion. He had three shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in 18:55 of ice time.
The Bruins will next play Monday as they head to New York to face the Islanders.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Bergeron’s line remains red hot, as it has now scored 10 goals over the last five games. Brad Marchand has six, Bergeron has three and Smith has one. Saturday’s second-period goal also snapped a seven-game goal-less stretch. Smith’s longest drought without a goal this season is eight games.
- Reilly Smith is superb at getting wherever he needs to go, but there’s no way somebody should have been able to split the D the way he did in the second period when the Grossman and Streit let him muscle through. Smith squeezed by Philadelphia’s second pairing to backhand the puck off the post, causing it to then go off Mason and in.
In general, the Flyers were super weak defensively Saturday, turning pucks over and making Boston’s day much easier than it needed to be.
- The Bruins’ first line spent what seemed like days in the offensive zone. The line has been rather light on the production of late, but Saturday’s performance, which did only yield one goal in 5-on-5 play, was very encouraging.
- With his first of the day, Chara became the Bruins’ eighth 10-goal-scorer this season. Marchand and Smith lead the way with eight goals apiece.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Ryan Spooner missed the game with an illness. As a result, Carl Soderberg moved to center for the first time this season and centered a third line with Daniel Paille and Loui Eriksson. Chris Kelly remains out of the lineup but is nearing a return. Adam McQuaid remains out with a leg injury.
- Gregory Campbell is no stranger to losing fights, and he can add Saturday’s bout with Luke Schenn to the list. Speaking of fights, Johnny Boychuk picked up his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves with Scott Hartnell.
|Bruins score 3 power-play goals, pull away from Predators late||12.23.13 at 10:35 pm ET|
The Bruins scored a season-high three power-play goals Monday night as they beat the Predators, 6-2, in their final game before breaking for Christmas.
Jarome Iginla redirected a Zdeno Chara shot past Carter Hutton just 1:16 into the game, with Matt Fraser scoring his first goal as a Bruin shortly after off a rebound that was bad enough for the Predators to replace Hutton with Marek Mazanek. The B’s made it 3-0 on Reilly Smith‘s second power-play goal in as many games.
The Predators got on the board in the second period with a Craig Smith power-play goal and made it a one-goal game on Smith’s second of the game at 3:25 of the third, but the Bruins got two goals out of a 5-on-3 and subsequent 5-on-4 from Iginla and Carl Soderberg, respectively. Brad Marchand made it 6-2 off a feed from Smith late in the third.
The Bruins will break for Christmas and return to action Friday against the Senators.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Both power-play units have been very good, and the B’s weren’t so bad on the 5-on-3 either. With Chara back at the point on a third-period two-man advantage, the Bruins got a goal from David Krejci‘s unit and then got Soderberg’s goal with Paul Gaustad still in the box. The goals came within 50 seconds.
– For the second straight game, the Bruins got a power-play goal out of Soderberg feeding Smith from the goal line. It was the fourth time the B’s have scored on that play, but perhaps the biggest takeaway with that goal is that the second power-play unit of Smith, Soderberg, Spooner, Patrice Bergeron and David Warsofsky has moved the puck extremely well the last two games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– With a second-period hooking penalty, Bergeron now has 15 penalty minutes in the last four games.
- It was nice to see Adam McQuaid back, but he ended up missing most of the first period after a fight on his second shift. McQuaid returned to the game late in the period, but maybe fighting isn’t the smartest thing for a player who should be easing his way back.
With McQuaid returning to the lineup, the Bruins elected to make Matt Bartkowski a healthy scratch and keep Warsofsky in the lineup. Bartkowski hadn’t looked great playing on a pairing with Dennis Seidenberg, while Warsofsky’s work on the second power-play unit probably was reason enough for the Bruins to keep him in.
|Jarome Iginla to play vs. Flames||12.17.13 at 11:45 am ET|
Jarome Iginla will play Tuesday against the Flames after dislocating his finger in a fight with Canucks forward Ryan Kesler Saturday night.
Iginla’s finger was bent well out of place in the fight, causing him to miss the rest of the first period Saturday, but trainers popped it back into place and he returned to the game. Iginla missed Monday’s skate while being examined before being given the go-ahead for Tuesday’s game against his former club.
“You just want to play in every game,” Iginla said. “I think if you went around the room, everybody, when it’s game day, you want to be a part of it. It sucks being out of the lineup.”
Iginla playing shouldn’t come as a massive surprise, as he has not missed a game due to injury since 2007.
With four fights this season, Iginla has dropped the gloves more through 33 games as a Bruin than he did in each of the last three seasons. A big part of that is that linemate Milan Lucic didn’t get into his first fight of the season until Nov. 30.
“I think part of it is that Looch is such a tough competitor,” Iginla said. “I don’t think he has many willing combatants and guys that can play like he does or are as tough as he is. I think he’s more than willing all the time, but I don’t think everybody else is more than willing. Otherwise, you just play.
“I’ve never necessarily looked for them or looked to avoid them. Sometimes they come in bunches and sometimes you go big stretches without them.”
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|Bruins injuries: Daniel Paille has concussion symptoms, Loui Eriksson not progressing well, Jarome Iginla being evaluated||12.16.13 at 12:53 pm ET|
The Bruins coach said that Paille told the team prior to last Tuesday’s game against the Flames that he wasn’t feeling well, at which point he was sent back to Boston to be evaluated. Paille remains off the ice, as he did not practice Monday.
The news isn’t good for Loui Eriksson, who is also out with a concussion. Julien said that Eriksson has not been progressing well since suffering a concussion on a hit from Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7.
“He hasn’t even come to the rink,” Julien said. “I guess that’s probably the only thing I can give you right now, which is not a good sign.”
Jarome Iginla, who did not practice Monday, is getting evaluated after suffering a hand injury in a fight against Ryan Kesler Saturday. Iginla had finished the game Saturday, but the team recalled forward Craig Cunningham from Providence Monday with Iginla’s status uncertain.
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins returned to practice Monday after returning from a four-game Canadian road trip. Shawn Thornton, who has until 4 pm Monday to appeal his 15-game suspension, was on the ice.
Also present was forward Craig Cunningham, who appears to have been called up from Providence.
Adam McQuaid, who has not played since Nov. 30 with a lower-body injury, was on the ice for the B’s. Jarome Iginla, who suffered a hand injury Saturday but stayed in the game, did not practice. Injured Bruins Dougie Hamilton (lower-body, Loui Eriksson (concussion), Chris Kelly (lower-body) and Daniel Paille (upper-body) were also absent.
The lines were as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Fraser
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Soderberg – Spooner – Johnson
Caron – Campbell – Cunningham/Thornton
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