|Barry Pederson on D&C: Rangers’ shot-blocking style causing problems for Henrik Lundqvist||05.20.13 at 9:45 am ET|
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.”
|John Tortorella on 2-0 hole to Bruins: ‘There’s no give’ in Rangers||05.19.13 at 7:44 pm ET|
There were no FCC violations during his postgame presser. There were no explosions. There was a little agitation with one reporter’s question, but other than that, John Tortorella demonstrated good behavior after his team was dismantled 5-2 in Game 2 Sunday at TD Garden. The loss puts his Rangers in a 2-0 series hole, but it’s a familiar spot for Tortorella’s Rangers, who were down 2-0 to the Capitals before Henrik Lundqvist got hot and the Rangers won four of the next five to save their season.
“Listen, we don’t want to lose two games here,” the Rangers taskmaster said. “No one does. But there’s no give in the team. There will be no give in this team. Again, we need to go win a game. Not look anywhere else, just try to win our first home game this series.”
What gave Torts hope that his team can rebound in Game 3 Tuesday night in New York?
“If you’re talking about the latter part of the first, second period, I think that’s the way we have to play. And I think we can. I think we can sustain that,” Tortorella said.
The Rangers outshot the Bruins 16-9 in the second period and had three shots on a power play that now is 2-for-34 in the playoffs. But then the Rangers allowed a goal from Johnny Boychuk on a wrister to the left of Lundqvist and a two-on-one breakdown goal to Brad Marchand 26 seconds into the third that left Tortorella shaking his head.
“The third and fourth goals are defendable,” Tortorella said. “We made coverage mistakes. Our second period is where we want to be. We can’t put it in the net. We had multiple chances. We felt really good going into the third, and to have that type of goal go in on just a two-on-two, it hurts you. And then they’re just going to fill the middle and they’re just going to jam you, so we couldn’t generate much more.”
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|John Tortorella: ‘We got spanked’ by Bruins in OT||05.17.13 at 2:24 am ET|
No one tells it like it is quite like John Tortorella, especially after a kick-in-the-gut loss like his Rangers experienced Thursday night at the hands of the Bruins in overtime.
The Bruins manhandled the Rangers in overtime, outshooting them 16-5, with the final shot coming off the stick of Brad Marchand 15:40 into overtime and delivering the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1. Six of those 16 shots came on one power play when the Bruins took complete charge and didn’t let go.
“In the overtime? We never regrouped,” Tortorella said. “It was a surge. We couldn’t stop it.
Still, the Rangers had their chances. They scored on a Ryan McDonough slap shot with 1.3 seconds left in the second period to tie the game. They scored just 14 seconds into the third and had a lead. But Torey Krug scored his first career playoff goal in his first career playoff game two minutes later on the power play, tying the game, 2-2.
“We were OK,” Tortorella said. “We’re going to need to be better. If we’re going to win our next game here we need to be better.”
Before getting outshot in overtime, Tortorella felt his team was hanging in with the Bruins on the road in Game 1. But Tortorella, like he normally does, put everything in perspective.
“I thought it was pretty even going into the overtime,” Tortorella said. “But we got spanked in the overtime.”
|Here comes John Tortorella||05.16.13 at 1:47 pm ET|
Rangers coach John Tortorella grew up around these parts. He went to high school at Concord-Carlisle and played college hockey at Maine. Now the Rangers’ head coach is back in New England to coach against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, so how does he –
“Don’t ask me questions about me,” Tortorella said. “Ask me about the team, please.”
And we’re off.
Tortorella is known for his unusual dealings with the media. Like Bill Belichick, he doesn’t have much interest in divulging information or patience for questions he doesn’t like, but unlike Belichick, he can be confrontational about it. That’s not a knock on him; it’s just the way he is with the media.
On Thursday, Claude Julien‘s press conference concluded with Channel 7′s Rhett Lewis asking if the Boston coach had any pointers for getting reporters to answer their questions.
“I’m sure he’s excited about answering your questions,” Juien said with a grin. “Good luck, guys!”
And then Julien, almost in drop-the-mic fashion, got up and left. Then Tortorella came in, and things weren’t so funny.
On both Wednesday and Thursday, Julien had some nice words for Tortorella, saying Thursday that even though he didn’t plan on talking to him during the series, he can appreciate him as a coach.
“I certainly respect him for what he’s done and who he is,” Julien said. “He has his own personality and I’m one of those people that respect people for who they are. I’ve had some good chats with John in the past.”
Tortorella didn’t exactly return the favor.
“I’m not going to talk about him,” he said. “I’ll talk about the Rangers.”
This series could come down to goaltending, as two of the league’s goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist and Tuukka Rask will face one another. What does Tortorella think of Rask as a player?
“I don’t coach him,” he said. “I’ll answer questions about the Rangers.”
Tortorella was then asked about getting more zone time on the power play as the Rangers’ first-round series against the Capitals went on. The Rangers were 2-for-28 on the man advantage against the Capitals over the seven-game series.
“Eh, it still wasn’t good,” Tortorella said of the power play.
The Rangers’ coach isn’t a man of many words, but this will certainly be an interesting series with him around.
Claude Julien isn’t apologizing for his team’s miracle in Game 7 Monday night that has them opening an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers.
He also doesn’t want his team apologizing for being there either.
“For some reason, this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people,” Julien said after Thursday’s pre-game skate at TD Garden, hours before Game 1 with the Rangers.
“For us, it was a great character win, we’re looking forward to moving ahead and we’re not looking at it the way a lot of people are looking at it. It’s not a chance to redeem yourself because we’re in the second round, we don’t have to redeem ourselves for anything. What we have to do here is look forward to this series and do whatever we can to move ahead. The character win that this team showed in Game Seven should be looked upon as a positive. That’s the way I look at it.”
One thing is for certain, no one is going to feel sorry for the Bruins having three injured defenseman heading into the series. With Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden all missing Thursday’s skate, it’s high likely that Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski will all play in Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.
The one advantage of it all, though, is the fact that two of the three, Krug and Bartkowski, have played the same defensive system with AHL Providence this year.
“It helps everybody because [Providence Head Coach] Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff seem to see the game the same way we do,” Julien said. “There’s a good connection there in the way we coach our teams, very much the same approach. I know I’ve talked to Bruce; the things we do, he does as well.
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|Bruins looking forward to second meeting with Rangers||02.13.12 at 6:38 pm ET|
After grinding out a hard-fought win Saturday in a shootout against the Predators, the Bruins will need to bring another complete effort if they want two points Tuesday night against the Rangers.
Yet when it comes to facing the Rangers, the B’s have more to gain than just two points. A win against John Tortorella‘s club in their second meeting can prove that the Bruins can hang with the squad that’s been the best team in the Eastern conference this season.
The Bruins were able to hang with the Rangers last time around, but lost, 3-2, in overtime after Andrew Ference was ejected for shoving Ryan McDonagh into the end boards, making way for a Marian Gaborik power-play goal to give the Rangers the win. It was an ugly way to end it for the B’s, but they’re determined to bring another strong effort to the table against New York Tuesday.
“We’re a good team. We’re a confident group,” Chris Kelly said after Monday’s practice. “This is a great challenge, a great opportunity for us to play another good team.”
This season, the Rangers have been more than just a good team. They boast a conference-best 77 points and are second in the league in goals-against against (the Bruins are fourth). The B’s average a league-best 3.4 goals per game, and the Rangers are 10th with 2.8.
The Bruins and Rangers have their similarities and differences — both teams get outstanding goaltending from the best netminders in the league, while the Rangers block far more shots than the Bruins — but the biggest difference between the two teams this season is consistency. After both teams got off to slow starts, the B’s caught fire for two months and began slumping, while the Rangers really haven’t slowed down since heating up. They’ve won five of their last six games.
The Bruins have played one less game than the Rangers this season (53 to New York’s 54) and trail them by seven points for the conference lead. Should the race come down to wire late in the regular season, the Bruins will be hurt by the fact that they’ve gotten six of their wins in the shootout this season, while the Rangers have won only three in the shootout. When teams finish the season tied in points, the tie-breaker is ROW, or regulation and overtime wins. The Rangers currently have 33 such victories, tops in the NHL, while the B’s have 28. For that reason, it’s likely that the Bruins will simply need to finish the regular season with more points in order to secure the top seed. A regulation win over the Rangers Tuesday would go a long way in helping their cause.
“It’s a very big game,” Brad Marchand said Monday. “They’re obviously at the top of the conference right now and we want to try and catch them. They’re playing very good hockey right now. We have to make sure we’re prepared for that and out out best game on the ice.
|24/7 running diary: Ilya Bryzgalov says more crazy things||12.21.11 at 10:07 pm ET|
We’ll see how this goes…
10:01 – In the “previously on…” they show the Bryzgalov “hum-an-gous big” part. If that’s the funniest part of this episode, I still won’t mind.
10:03 –Henrik Lundqvist is in a Foo Fighters cover band? Maybe he and Tuukka Rask can form a goaltending super-group. Rask plays drums, but he’s more of a Metallica guy.
10:04 – John McEnroe as the fun-loving guitarist? This show has jumped the shark 64 minutes in.
10:06 – Dan Girardi’s kid reacted to the news of going to Philadelphia like the video was being sent to Jimmy Kimmel.
10:09 - REO Speedwagon. You betcha.
10:10 - On second thought, it still doesn’t beat last week’s Mac Miller scene.
10:11 - Good to see HBO can still do cool slow motion airport scenes even after Entourage is done. This is straight out of “Sundance Kids.”
10:14 – I’ll say it. I’m disappointed in Tortorella thus far. Sure, anyone can swear, but I thought that he would just… swear more.
10:15 - Laviolette answers the players’ questions on the ice? He doesn’t direct them to Paul Holmgren?
10:16 - Zac Rinaldo being shown pre-Lucic hit from behind.
10:17 – Bryzgalov time. What took so long?
10:18 – This scene of Harry Zolnierczyk asking Bryzgalov at lunch if he thinks he’s the star of the show is straight out of Mean Girls. Next, Regina George is going to ask him if he thinks he’s really pretty.
10:21 – Brandon Prust should be Tyler Seguin’s roommate. Got Boyle up without a problem.
10:23 – There’s the Tortorella we were hoping for. Imagine the Mighty Ducks movies if he played Gordon Bombay.
10:24 – Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Tortorella one?
10:26 - Can that kid who re-did the Miracle speech on YouTube do this Laviolette one? It will help put me to sleep.
10:29 – “Instead we’re killing another FRICKIN’ penalty!” – Peter Laviolette. Or maybe it was Dr. Elliot Reid. Looked like Laviolette. Sounded like Smelliot.
10:35 – Love that they show how good these guys are with the community. Hockey players and coaches always are. Good to get a break from the laughing and swearing and see how down-to-earth they are.
10:37 – Pronger’s on the ice. If you’re not on twitter, you don’t get that joke.
10:38 – “Why so like, PAINFUL? You know, like? I don’t want to be goalie now.” – A Flyers fan needs to show their fanhood by getting a tattoo of that quote.
10:40 – If Bryzgalov asks, “So who is more crazy: Me, or ___?” the answer is always Bryzgalov.
10:46 – Were they taking an x-ray or creating a Wii avatar?
10:46 – Gaborik did not celebrate the 300th goal of his career by suffering the 300th injury of his career.
10:49 – Another slow-motion transportation scene. I smell a spinoff.
10:50 – The UNH grad in me can’t help but wonder why there’s been no JVR this episode, and barely any last week.
10:51 – “Holy f****, boys.” In case the standings don’t suggest other teams are overwhelmed by the Bruins, that does.
10:53 – They’re showing a bloodied Couturier undergoing cognitive testing after getting hit in the head with the puck. That’s why this show is so fascinating.
10:55 – The hit from behind scene was a little underwhelming. Simmonds yelled at him. Was hoping for more than “you hit him from behind.”
10:57 – All in all the footage from the Bruins game was underwhelming. The episode was somewhat lacking. Maybe they can sprinkle in cameos from the How to Make it in America Actors now that they cancelled it. Luis Guzman as a power-skating coach? I smell a spinoff.