|Claude Julien: Proving Jarome Iginla wrong not Bruins’ priority vs. Penguins||05.27.13 at 1:20 pm ET|
Jarome Iginla chose the Penguins over the Bruins, and now they have a chance to make that decision look wrong.
The Bruins and Flames agreed to a deal prior to the trade deadline that would have sent Matt Bartkowski, Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round pick to Calgary in exchange for Iginla. The veteran right wing had said he would waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins, Penguins, Kings or Blackhawks, but upon the agreement of the trade informed the Flames that he would only go to the Penguins. The Flames then negotiated a deal with Pittsburgh to accommodate him.
At the time, the Bruins said they took no issue with Iginla’s decision, but the Iginla-Boston storyline will certainly get attention during the Conference finals. Claude Julien understands that, but he sees bigger motivation to beat the Penguins than simply proving Iginla wrong.
“I would say that moving to the Stanley Cup Finals is way more important than that situation,” Julien said. “That’s where our focus has to be.”
|Jarome Iginla helps Penguins past Bruins||04.20.13 at 3:16 pm ET|
It was bad enough that Jarome Iginla didn’t want to play for the Bruins, but on Saturday he helped the Penguins defeated the B’s, 3-2, at TD Garden.
With Brad Marchand in the box for roughing, Iginla scored on a slapshot from the point 4:43 into the third period to break a 1-1 tie. The puck went through traffic before zipping past Tuukka Rask’s five-hole. Kris Letang scored on a wrist shot at 8:29 of the third to make it 3-1. Tyler Seguin scored with 2.6 seconds left to make it a one-goal late, but it was too little, too late.
The win was Pittsburgh’s sixth straight and it allowed the Penguins (66 points) to sew up the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the season. The Bruins (57 points), meanwhile, are two points behind the Canadiens (59 points) with five games to play. The Canadiens will play the Capitals Saturday night and will have played 45 games to Boston’s 44 by the end of the day.
Brad Marchand opened the game’s scoring with a power-play goal on a wrist shot that went off Tomas Vokoun and in, but Jussi Jokinen tied the game in the second period by backhanding a rebound past Rask.
The Bruins suffered a pair of injuries in the game, as Nathan Horton was lost for the game after fighting Iginla in the first period and Adam McQuaid was hurt following a second-period hit from Matt Cooke.
The Bruins will host the Panthers Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Horton was lost for the game after fighting Jarome Iginla in the first period. The fight was very short-lived, with the two power forwards essentially wrestling one another down, but Horton was spotted favoring his left wrist as he left the ice.
– McQuaid left the game and returned, but his situation is still one to keep an eye on. The defenseman jumped up a bit as Cooke went to deliver a clean hip-check and it left McQuaid down on the ice by the Bruins’ bench as he inched his way off. McQuaid was helped down the tunnel by teammates, but he was back on the bench shortly after and returned to the game. He didn’t look like he was 100 percent, however. McQuaid challenged Cooke in the third period and was declined.
– Both of the Penguins’ third-period goals came on the power play. They allowed the Hurricanes to go 2-for-3 on the power play last Saturday and the Sabres were 4-of-6 on the man advantage Wednesday, making Saturday’s contest the third straight game in which the B’s have allowed two power play goals.
– Carl Soderberg didn’t have the strongest showing in his NHL debut, which was to be expected given that he has played on the bigger ice surfaces in Europe for his entire professional career. Soderberg finished the game with a minus-1 rating (he was on the ice for Jokinen’s goal) and no shots on goal. Soderberg did get some power play time, though nothing came of it as he was not on the unit that yielded Marchand’s goal).
– Zdeno Chara ended up in the box again for coming to the aid of a teammate, as he was called for roughing when he went after Cooke following the hit on McQuaid. Considering Cooke’s hit was clean, an answer wasn’t necessary. Of course, one can’t blame Chara for seeing his teammate down after a hit from someone with Cooke’s reputation and thinking otherwise.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– With the lines in flux (Milan Lucic was a healthy scratch as Claude Julien continues to tinker with the lineup), the familiar line of Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin was as once again strong. Bergeron had a superb showing at the faceoff dot, winning 18 of 26 draws, while the line landed 16 shots on net (six for Seguin and four apiece for Bergeron and Marchand).
– With Horton out, Rich Peverley took his place on Krejci’s line, as he has in the last two seasons. The trio of Krejci between Gregory Campbell and Peverley had a strong second period and generated multiple scoring opportunities on a mid-second period shift.
|Jarome Iginla coming to Boston after spurning Bruins||04.18.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
It isn’t the way that people may have expected at around 10:30 p.m. on March 27, but Jarome Iginla is coming to Boston.
Just over three weeks after squashing a trade to the Bruins, Iginla will take the Garden ice Friday with the Penguins, the team he told Flames general manager Jay Feaster to deal him to after Feaster had told the Bruins they had the player.
The story is ancient history by now: Iginla, in the final year of his deal, told the Flames he would waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins, Penguins, Kings or Blackhawks. The Bruins submitted an offer of Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and their first-round pick this year, and Feaster told Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli around noon of the 27th that the deal was done. Both sides scratched their players that night, but Iginla told Feaster he’d only go to the Penguins. Feaster avoided Chiarelli’s calls throughout the day, finally calling him back to say that Iginla wanted to be a Penguin and that the Flames were forced to make a deal with them.
So how do you think he’ll be accepted Friday?
“I’m sure the fans are going to be all over him,” Milan Lucic said Thursday. “I think it will just increase this rivalry that is kind of increasing as this season’s gone on.”
Yet as fired up as the fans may be to give Iginla a hard time, the Bruins say there are no hard feelings. There should be obvious motivation to prove Iginla’s decision wrong, but the B’s insist they weren’t offended by the veteran power forward’s refusal to play in Boston.
“We’ve put that behind us,” Brad Marchand said. “We can’t let that affect us. We can’t let that determine how we’re going to play tomorrow. He felt that they have a good team, and they do. They’ve got some great players over there. That’s fine. That’s his decision. We can’t hold that against him. He’s got a certain level of respect that he’s owed. He’s played a long time in this league, and for him to make that decision, that’s fine. We’re not going to judge him for that. It’s not going to alter or determine how we play tomorrow.”
Marchand said the whole ordeal was made easier by the acquisition of Jaromir Jagr, a former Penguin himself who adds his own twist to the rivalry. Jagr has seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven games for the Bruins, while Iginla has two goals and four assists for six points through eight games for Pittsburgh.
“The team did a great job at bouncing back and getting another great player. He’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” Marchand said. “‘¦ We’re lucky to have Jags here.”
Not only did Jagr not think the Stars would trade him, but he too thought that Iginla was a Bruin when reports of the deal began surfacing. He played 11 seasons as a Penguin and ruffled feathers when he opted to sign with the rival Flyers rather than going to where he began his career when he returned to the NHL prior to last season. Between being the consolation prize in the Iginla derby and his history with Pittsburgh, there should be plenty of reasons for him get up for Friday’s game. He has another in mind.
“They’re first in our conference,” Jagr said. “Maybe we’re going to meet them in the playoffs, so we have to do our best to show them that we can play against them.”
|Claude Julien: Jaromir Jagr is ‘coming to help us, he’s not coming to save us’||04.02.13 at 11:15 pm ET|
Clearly, the Bruins felt a positive buzz from the acquisition earlier in the day of Czech superstar and future hockey hall of famer Jaromir Jagr. The Bruins went out, fired 50 shots on net and beat the Senators, 3-2, at TD Garden.
But Bruins coach Claude Julien made it very clear that he’s not expecting the 41-year-old player to save the Bruins, just help them, much in the same way Mark Recchi helped Boston to a Stanley Cup in 2011.
“Well, there’s no doubt he’s going to help us,” Julien said. “And I think that’s the key word, he’s coming to help us, he’s not coming to save us. That’s what people have to understand. He’s a great player, and he still is a great player, but at the same time, if we expect to watch him do the work we’re not going to be going anywhere.
“We need our team to play better and he’s certainly going to help our team be better. I like the acquisition ‘ a big strong guy, he’s hard to knock off the puck around the net area, in the corner; he does a great job. To me, he seems to suit our needs and what we’re all about. Again, I know he’s happy to come here and we’ll certainly be happy to have him in our lineup because he’s going to help in a lot of areas.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Matt Bartkowski happy Jarome Iginla trade fell through||03.29.13 at 2:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — He was signed to a contract extension so he could be traded, then he was scratched because he was traded, then he wasn’t traded and now he’s practicing and going to work every day with the Bruins, even though he still might be traded. He’s Matt Bartkowski, ladies and gentlemen.
Bartkowski, who was signed to a one-year, one-way extension Wednesday worth $650,000, was one third of the package that the Bruins agreed to ship to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, with Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round pick also included in the deal. When Flames general manager Jay Feaster told B’s GM Peter Chiarelli that the deal was done, both sides agreed to scratch all players involved in the deal for that night’s games.
Bartkowski, who had played the previous two games in place of the injured Johnny Boychuk, saw the B’s recall another defenseman (Torey Krug) to play in his place Wednesday against the Canadiens, and was left to wonder what was happening. During the game, reports of the package headed to Calgary surfaced.
“Throughout the game, I started hearing rumors and stuff like that,” Bartkowski said. “It was a little unsettling.”
The trade obviously didn’t go down, so Bartkowski found himself in the odd position of being on a team that he knows tried to trade him. The trade deadline has still yet to pass and the Bruins obviously have moves to make, so there’s still a good chance that Bartkowski could be moved. The time between now and Wednesday’s deadline (or a trade; whichever comes first) might be awkward or nerve-wracking, but the 24-year-old defenseman is trying to keep it out of his mind.
“It’s not something that I can control, so I try not to worry about it or pay attention to it,” he said.
In fact, as strange as all of this has been, Bartkowski says he’s glad with the end (so far) result. While Bruins players should feel slighted that Iginla chose the Penguins over them, at least one Bruin was relieved when it all fell apart.
“I’m happy that it didn’t go through,” Bartkowski said. “I like it here, I like being here and I’m excited about being here.”
WILMINGTON — Jarome Iginla slighted the Bruins when, after the Flames and B’s agreed to a trade Wednesday, he told the Flames that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to go to Boston and would rather play for the Penguins. That’s it, plain and simple, but the Bruins on Friday showed no effects of having been spurned.
David Krejci likely would have been Iginla’s center, and the addition of the rugged right wing would have given Krejci a more consistent scorer in a season in which linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton have seen their offense go missing for long stretches.
“I’ve got nothing [to say] about it,” Krejci said. “I’m just playing a game. I heard rumors he might be coming here and I guess he picked Pittsburgh, and that’s his decision. We’re still the same team as we were a couple days ago.”
The message Bruins players could have gotten from the fiasco is that Iginla thought he had a better chance of winning with the Penguins than he would have with the Bruins. That should add extra motivation for the Bruins to prove him wrong, but the B’s don’t want to make it about Iginla.
“They’re a great team, so it’s always been a motivation to play Pittsburgh,” Patrice Bergeron said. “I don’t think this should change anything. We’re confident in our team. It’s always been that way, so to me it doesn’t matter.”
The Penguins have won 14 games in a row, while the Bruins have gone 7-5-2. The Penguins have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, two of the best three or four players in the league. The Bruins don’t blame him for picking Pittsburgh, but they feel they’re still capable enough to make him regret not picking the B’s.
“That was his entitlement. He’s got a no-trade clause, and when you look at what Pittsburgh’s done, you’ve got to respect the guy’s decision. It was his decision to make, and he made that,” Claude Julien said. “It will be at the end of the the year that he’ll see whether he made the right decision or not.
“Certainly there’s no animosity here. We’re a good team, and if he would have come here it would have made us better. He’s not here because he went somewhere else and we’ve turned the page. It’s about us right now, not about him.”
|Steve Yzerman says Lightning will not trade Martin St. Louis||at 12:30 pm ET|
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun Friday that the team will not trade right wing Martin St. Louis. Following the trade of Jarome Iginla to the Penguins, it had been speculated that the Bruins could target St. Louis in a trade, but that should be put to rest now.
“Marty St. Louis is not going to be traded,” Yzerman told LeBrun. “He remains one of the best players in the league and an extremely important player to our team, both on and off the ice. We are a team in transition, we just made a coaching change, Marty is one of the leaders of the team, he is not going anywhere.”
St. Louis, 37, is signed through 2014-15 with an annual $5.625 million cap hit and has a no-trade clause. In 33 games this season, he has eight goals and 34 assists for 42 points and a minus-3 rating.
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