|Shawn Thornton, Adam McQuaid practice with Bruins; Jarome Iginla absent||12.16.13 at 10:57 am ET|
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
|Chad Johnson, Jarome Iginla lead Bruins past Oilers||12.13.13 at 12:09 am ET|
The Bruins continued what’s been a successful road trip Thursday with a 4-2 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.
Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a first period in which Dennis Seidenberg scored on one of his famous fake dump-ins, Jarome Iginla sent a puck past both a screening Milan Lucic and Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk, and Brad Marchand tallied a shorthanded goal.
Dubnyk was replaced by Jason LaBarbera at the start of the second period, and the Oilers got back in the game with a pair of goals from David Perron. After the Bruins were able to kill off a pair of late penalties in the third period, Iginla sealed the win for the B’s with an empty-netter.
Picking up the win for the Bruins was Chad Johnson, who improved to 6-1-0 on the season. Johnson made a career-high 39 saves in the win.
The Bruins will wrap up their West Coast road trip Saturday with their first trip back to Vancouver since winning the Stanley Cup there in 2011.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Johnson gave up a couple of bad goals in the second period, but he came up huge with a glove save on Nail Yakupov from the slot five minutes into the third period on a play that could have tied the game. He then made another stop on a Jordan Eberle shot with the Oukers on a man advantage midway through the third.
— The Bruins came up big on that third-period interference penalty on Marchand, as a unit of Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk silenced the Oilers on a very lengthy possession that saw Boychuk block a one-timer from Eberle.
The Bruins had an easier time on a Dennis Seidenberg penalty with just over three minute to play, as the B’s cleared the puck regularly against a desperate Oilers team late.
— The occasionally sneaky Seidenberg was up to his old tricks again for the Bruins’ first goal. Taking the puck through the neutral zone, Seidenberg looked to be dumping the puck into the offensive zone until he fired a wrist shot at the blue line that fooled Dubnyk. Remember, this is the same guy who had a pair of center-ice goals over the last few years, one of which came when he gained the red line and, faked a dump-in and threw a wrist shot past Mike Smith back on Dec. 2, 2010.
— It isn’t necessarily a good thing given that it took Lucic off the ice, but Lucic said recently that he expected to get to his usual six or seven fights a season and he meant it. Though his Nov. 30 fight against Dalton Prout was just his first bout of the season, Lucic’s fight Thursday with Luke Gazdic marked his third fight of the season, all of which have occurred over the last six games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— The B’s had another injury scare when Seidenberg got hit up high by a shot from the point. Seidenberg turned his head in time to not get hit in the face by the puck, but he was still down for a few moments, with trainer Don DelNegro tending to him on the ice. Fortunately for the banged-up Bruins, Seidenberg stayed in the game.
— The Oilers stepped up their game big-time in the second period, and it was capped by a bad goal late. Johnson, making a save off a puck Perron had tipped from Eberle, poked the puck with his blocker right back to Perron at the side of the net, with Perron then scoring on a wraparound.
— On the subject of Perron’s goals, neither of them were good goals for Johnson to allow. Perhaps Seidenberg was screening him on the Oilers’ first goal, as there’s no other excuse to not stop the wrist shot that beat him stick side high.
— His line was used as a fourth line, but Ryan Spooner‘s struggles at the faceoff dot weren’t an issue. Why? Because his line was only on the ice for one faceoff and he won it. That’s one way to solve the problem. Spooner was given only two shifts in the third period and didn’t play the final 12 minutes of regulation as Claude Julien shortened his bench in a one-goal game.
Campbell took most of the faceoffs for the Bruins, going 11-for-23. Spooner finished with just 8:16 of ice time.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: NHL will ‘make an example’ of Shawn Thornton with lengthy suspension, but Brooks Orpik should have answered call to fight earlier||12.12.13 at 12:17 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni via phone from Edmonton, where the B’s play Thursday night, for his weekly discussion about the team.
“No question he crossed the line, he’s aware of that, and the league will obviously discipline him, use him as an example,” Brickley said. “This is the type of stuff that’s a hot-button issue in the National Hockey League — injuries, concussions, bad decisions, bad hits in the game. That’s what they’re trying to clean up, and it’s an opportunity for the league to really make an example of him, which they probably will do.
“Certainly in the moment, when we were doing the broadcast, when the initial hit [by Orpik on Loui Eriksson] was made and then Eriksson was concussed, obviously, no penalty on the play, I thought it was a borderline hit, could have been a penalty, could not have been a penalty. I have a hard time even with my experience knowing what’s a penalty and what’s not a penalty anymore. …
“When the first hit by Orpik was made on Eriksson, then he was challenged initially, if you remember, by Dougie Hamilton — no response. Then Shawn Thornton had the opportunity to challenge Orpik — no response. That’s when you know, because you’ve been there, that this is going to get ugly. Because if you’re not going to handle it the way the Bruins feel it should be handled, then people were going to start crossing lines and the game was going to get ugly. You knew it was going to happen, and I think that’s where it started to break down.”
Brickley said Orpik, who is known as a hard hitter but someone who does not fight, could have handled the situation better.
“This kid, he’s a good player, he’s a good hitter, he likes to hit in open ice,” Brickley said. “But he’s also got a reputation for a guy that hits the Loui Erikssons, the Jeff Skinners. He broke Erik Cole‘s neck from hitting him from behind. … When you have a reputation like that, you have to answer for those types of hits if you’re going to play that way. It’s plain and simple. That’s code. If you want to talk code, that’s code.”
Added Brickley: “Just flip it around if you want to have this kind of conversation. If Johnny Boychuck stands up and knocks Chris Kunitz on a borderline hit, interference, on-the-puck play, if you want to call it that, and Deryk Engelland comes over and challenges Boychuck, what does Boychuck do? … That’s how those plays get defused and you don’t get into the nasty anymore.”
|Bruins review: Carl Soderberg coming alive, Malcolm Subban fights||11.10.13 at 5:38 pm ET|
Reviewing the week that was in Bruins land.
This week packed a punch. From Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Tim Thomas (kind of) and then Phil Kessel, it was reunion week at TD Garden. The Bruins won two of the three games and now stand at 10-5-1 with 21 points on the season. They trail the Lightning (24 points in 16 games) and will take them on Monday.
Seguin came back to Boston. We spoke at length with Peter Chiarelli about Seguin’s time here and the trade
Loui Eriksson returned to the lineup, as did Johnny Boychuk
Peverley came back too, and he beat the Bruins in a shootout
People booed the bejesus out of Seguin. Why?
Claude Julien corrected record about Tim Thomas winning the Bruins a Stanley Cup
Brad Marchand finally scored as the Bruins beat the Panthers, who fired everyone after because the Panthers stink
Tuukka Rask admitted that the consequences of him not being at his best are greater with the B’s a work in progress defensively
The third line the Bruins had planned on having in the preseason finally got together and did well
Panthers forward Jesse Winchester left his feet to elbow Chris Kelly in the head and was suspended three games for it
Scott McLaughlin gave his argument against fighting in the NHL and noted hits like Winchester’s need to be a priority
The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs, but with far less drama than last time
Adam McQuaid was hurt in the win and is unlikely to play Monday
As such, the Bruins will likely have three mobile defensemen in their lineup against the Lightning
IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR’¦
Carl Soderberg: The 28-year-old his playing the best hockey of his brief NHL career. It’s been a combination of him being more comfortable in the league and his ankle not bothering him as much as it did when he first returned. He has points in two of his last three games.
Jarome Iginla: The 36-year-old was a beast Saturday against the Maple Leafs and has been — to this point, at least — a regular-season upgrade over Nathan Horton.
Milan Lucic: The former 30-goal-scorer-turned-seven-goal-scorer tied his goal output of the lockout-shortened season when he notched his seventh goal of the season Tuesday against the Stars. It took him 46 games to get to that number last season.
Torey Krug: The undersized and over-talented blueliner still has his uh-oh moments defensively, and he’s going to have them. He’s also going to have weeks like this one, where he had goals in consecutive games.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR’¦
Brad Marchand: He isn’t out of the woods yet. Despite finally scoring his second goal of the season Thursday, he had a bad turnover in a following shift. He was also passive along the wall Saturday in allowing the Leafs to create a 2-on-1. Things are looking up, but it isn’t smooth sailing just yet.
Zdeno Chara (kind of): Only for Thursday. A bad line change with the Bruins holding a one-goal lead against the Stars against the Stars resulted in a Vernon Fiddler breakaway. Dennis Seidenberg had to hook him, resulting in a penalty shot on which Fiddler tied the game. The B’s lost in a shootout.
Gregory Campbell: The Merlot Line center has just one shot on goal over the last six games. His trio was also stuck in the Bruins’ zone for a while in the second period.
MEANWHILE, IN PROVIDENCE’¦
Matt Fraser had four goals Friday in an 8-5 win over Hartford that also featured a hat trick from Craig Cunningham. I wasn’t there and didn’t see it, but considering the lack of suspension, Fraser celebrated his goal differently than Joe Thornton would have.
Alexander Khokhlachev also scored in the game, giving him two goals in a three-game span after going without a goal in his first eight games of the season. With an assist Saturday and a goal Sunday, Khokhlachev seems to have found his rhythm after a quiet start.
Saturday’s 5-2 win over Worcester featured a pair of goals from Carter Camper, and last but not least, Malcolm Subban got in a fight in Sunday’s 6-0 Providence win over Hartford. Subban dropped the gloves against Hartford netminder Scott Stajcer for his first professional fight. His brother, P.K. Subban, has 11 career fights and a 12 in the preseason.
|Bruins bounce back to beat Ducks in shootout on Jarome Iginla goal||10.31.13 at 9:46 pm ET|
The Bruins bounced back from a bad start and picked up a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks on Thursday at TD Garden. Jarome Iginla had the only goal of the shootout, ending a two-game losing streak for the B’s and improving them to 8-4-0 on the season.
Zdeno Chara tied the game with a power-play goal off a pass from David Krejci in front with 2:50 to play. The goal was Chara’s second of the season, and in picking up the primary assist Krejci managed to register at least one point for the 10th time in 12 games this season.
The Ducks got on the board in the first period when a Carl Soderberg defensive zone turnover led to a Devante Smith-Pelly goal just 1:52 into the game. It was a rough first period for the B’s, who were credited with one shot on goal but appeared to have none through the first 20 minutes.
The Bruins found both their legs and more chances in the second period, tying the game on a breakaway goal from Soderberg, but they surrendered a goal to Mathieu Perreault off a Gregory Campbell faceoff loss with 20.9 seconds left in the second, putting them behind once again going into the third period.
Johnny Boychuk left the game in the second period and did not return to the game. He played only three shifts in the second and missed the last 14:39 of the period. The reason for Boychuk’s absence is unknown.
The Bruins will try to make it two wins in a row Saturday when they take on the Islanders in New York.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Ryan Spooner, who was called up Thursday, was able to produce in his first NHL game of the season. The 21-year-old earned his first career NHL point, as he got the secondary assist on Soderberg’s goal thanks to his breakout pass to Chris Kelly. He went first in the shootout and was stopped.
Spooner, who was one of the final cuts in training camp but was sent back largely because there wasn’t room for another center on the NHL roster, centered Kelly and Soderberg, with Jordan Caron sitting out as a healthy scratch.
|Jarome Iginla on his slow start to season: ‘I’ve been here many times’||10.15.13 at 1:57 pm ET|
The numbers are not pretty for 36-year-old Jarome Iginla to start the Boston portion of his career.
No goals, one assist in five games on 19 shots.
The effort is there, like the rest of the team. But like the rest of the Bruins, the finishing touch has yet to be put on his work. After failing to get the right winger at the trade deadline last spring, the Bruins signed him to a one-year, $6 million deal in the summer with the hopes of successfully replacing Nathan Horton and giving another right wing – 22-year-old Jordan Caron – more time to mature.
Last season, he had one goal in his first 16 games before finishing with 14 between Calgary and Pittsburgh. In 2011-12, he opened with two goals in his first 10 games and four in his first 15. The year before? Two goals in his first 17 games, before breaking out with a hat trick in Game No. 18.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been here many times,” Iginla said Monday. “It’s all part of the game and you just try to work hard and keep going and keep getting the chances and always keep saying that the next one is going to go in.”
Iginla is getting his chances with David Krejci and Milan Lucic and the general consensus is that he looks more in tune with with his linemates in his first five games than fellow newcomer Loui Eriksson on the second line with Patrice Bergeron with Brad Marchand line.
“Krech and Looch have been playing great and working hard and I’m trying to work hard with them and like I’ve said I’ve had really good chances for a number of games,” Iginla said. “Whenever you win you never feel as bad, you just shrug it off and say next time. But whenever you lose by a goal it always feels a lot worse when you know that one of those could have made a difference. But keep going and like I said I’ve been here before and you just keep working through it and stay positive and keep trying to get open and like I say, keep believing the next one goes in.”
In an attempt to get Iginla some momentum, Claude Julien placed Iginla on Boston’s 5-on-3 power play unit. Good chances, a couple of missed shots but still no dice.
“I think I had a few of them but two were good ones, one I just missed probably by a couple inches the top right corner, one I missed by a mile and that was just trying to hard and too excited and just missed it,” Iginla said. “But I thought ‘ when you’re feeling it those go in and unfortunately they didn’t. It was an important time of the game, it could have been a big difference. And you get out there in those situations and you definitely want to help the team and feel responsibility, all of us out there. So when you don’t score when you have a two minute one it stings but at the same time I think the guys did a great job and just keep going almost to that last second and really we almost found a way to get it to over time there.
Claude Julien isn’t about to panic about his team’s lack of finish to start the season.
After all, the Bruins have been through this before in the last several seasons and eventually found their touch when it mattered most late in the season.
Still, Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Red Wings stung because the Bruins not only have five power play chances but a 5-on-3 for nearly a full two minutes and had good puck possession time in the offensive end but couldn’t get one past Jonas Gustavsson. The Bruins have just 12 goals in five games. Only Buffalo and Ottawa have scored fewer in the new eight-team Atlantic Division.
“We’re really struggling with our finish lately,” Julien said. “It looks like we’re feeling the pressure of scoring goals and they’re not coming easy. So it’s been like that. Even the game in Columbus, took us a while to get going there, obviously Colorado. So I think our goal scoring confidence is probably not where we’d like it to be right now but you have to work through those things.”
As for the experience of having gone through this before, Julien says there are similar tendencies he seen over the years.
“We go through that it seems like every year at some point,” Julien added. “You’re seeing guys either fanning or shooting over the net. There were some scrambles there today where everybody thought the puck was going in the net and whether the goalie stops it or pucks are bouncing it doesn’t matter; the confidence isn’t there right now. So wait on that when the confidence comes back; you’re going to see us score some goals because we feel we have some guys that can score goals on this team.”
The only player who seems to be gripping the stick tighter than anyone right now – by his own admission – is Jarome Iginla. The star forward is still looking for his first goal in a Bruins uniform. He had five more shots on goal on Monday and 19 for the season in five games and still nothing.
“I had some great looks,” Iginla said. “I’ve had great looks for a few games. And pretty much I’ve been getting more chances and you get to a five on three you get chances like that you want to score. I think I missed the net on a couple goals, I think it’s probably just being a little too anxious. Just lifting my head up and you want to get that goal for the team and just get one and get feeling it. At times you squeeze a little too hard, its all those clichÃ©s, sayings you hear, you try to swing a little too hard and lift my head a little bit. And just not in a grove there where you just want to kind of will it in the net as opposed to let it happen.”
“I think he can shoot the puck a lot better than we’ve seen him because we know he’s a good shooter,” Julien said. “So, whether that’s pressing or whether that’s circumstances I don’t know. But he’s been around the league long enough, he’s going to find his way and he’s going to score some goals for us and he’s going to be the player that we thought he would be for our hockey club. So right now it just isn’t there and I see maybe a little hesitation in shooting where, when a player has confidence, their release is a little quicker too.”
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