|Johnny Boychuk unleashes Johnny Rocket and Bruins are finally on target||11.02.11 at 1:08 am ET|
Say this much for Johnny Boychuk – his timing couldn’t be better.
He scored his first goal of the 2011-12 season Tuesday night with a slap shot from the right point, putting the Bruins ahead 4-3 midway through the third, as the Bruins earned a much-needed 5-3 win over the Senators at TD Garden.
Boychuk didn’t score his first goal last season until Jan. 18, his 36th game of the season. Boychuk only needed 11 games this time around. Was he relieved?
“Yeah,” Boychuk said. “There were a couple where I just barely missed the net and I finally got one through.
“Obviously it feels a lot better. Getting that first one by you and now you don’t have to worry about it. I think last year it took me until January, so I feel a little bit better.”
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|Johnny Boychuk, Daniel Paille play unlikely heroes as B’s get back to winning||11.01.11 at 9:44 pm ET|
The Bruins needed some different results after starting the season 3-7-0, and they got them Tuesday from some different faces in a 5-3 win over the Senators at TD Garden.
Johnny Boychuk and Daniel Paille scored their first goals of the season 37 seconds apart in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and send the B’s on the way to their first win in four games. The victory also snapped the Senators’ six-game winning streak.
Ottawa got three ugly goals from the likes of Nick Foligno, Stephane Da Costa and Jared Cowen. Milan Lucic had a power play goal in the first period for the Bruins, with Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly providing tallies in the second period. Tim Thomas picked up his fourth victory of the season.
The Bruins will next play Saturday, when they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Good to see the fourth line get back to providing a little offense, which they did more than anyone expected a season ago. Paille’s goal marked the line’s first score of the season, with Thornton and Gregory Campbell getting assists and notching their first points of the 2011-12 campaign. It was Paille’s second tally of the season. Benoit Pouliot is now the only skater on the team without a point.
– Bergeron is on a five-game point streak, with three goals and two assists over the Bruins’ last five contests. With Bergeron’s second-period goal, Brad Marchand‘s five-game pointless streak was snapped thanks to a secondary helper.
– The Bruins put a ton of shots (41) on Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, and one would have guessed entering the night that it would be their plan. They were facing a team that’s given up more goals per game than any other team in the league, so when the scoreboard read five for Boston by the end of the night, it wasn’t ultimately surprising. The Bruins’ five goals were the second-most they’ve had this season, behind only the six they had on Oct. 20 in their win over Toronto.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins are back to their old tricks when it comes to allowing the first goal. Foligno’s first-period goal made it the eighth game this season in which the B’s opponent has scored first. Unlike the majority of those other contests, the Bruins got two points out of the night.
– It’s still unknown whether Pouliot sat Tuesday as a healthy scratch or due to illness, but Jordan Caron had a rough start before picking up an assist on Boychuk’s goal. Caron was on the ice for the Senators’ first two goals and played sparingly.
– Tyler Seguin set up Bergeron’s second-period goal by taking the puck down the right wing and hitting his center in the high slot, but the youngster had some frustrating moments as well. The second-year player whiffed on a one-timer, causing the puck to leave the zone on a power play in the first period, and also sent a puck off a rebound over the net with tons of space. The most puzzling moment, however, was when Seguin beat Ottawa’s defense at the blueline to give himself a breakaway. Rather than shooting, Seguin tried a drop-pass, which was intercepted for an easy turnover.
|B’s set to play on Garden ice for first time since Game 6||09.23.11 at 12:09 pm ET|
It won’t be as hectic an environment on Oct. 6’s season-opener, but on Friday the Bruins will play in front of their home crowd for the first time since June 13. That was the day of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, a day B’s fans will forever remember, and a day Roberto Luongo would love to forget.
Over three months and one Cup later, there’s no doubt that those on hand will greet the defending champs with cheers of both support and gratitude. Even if the game doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things, the B’s hope their energy can match that of the fans.
“It’s always nice to be playing at home, in front of our fans,” captain Zdeno Chara said after Friday’s practice. “I’m sure they’re very excited, so we just need to have a good performance.”
Added defenseman Johnny Boychuk: “We’ve had a lot of support throughout the summer since we won, and I don’t expect it to die down at all.”
It will be interesting to see how one of the newcomers in Benoit Pouliot is received. The former Canadien in the lineup for Friday and will play in front of the Garden crowd for the first time as a Bruin.
|Andrew Ference has inkling he and Joe Corvo have at least one thing in common||07.20.11 at 3:10 pm ET|
When players begin showing up for captains practices and eventually training camp as the summer winds down and the preseason begins, Andrew Ference, like the other returning players from the Stanley Cup champions, will have a couple of new faces to meet.
Ference will have a new fellow blueliner in defenseman Joe Corvo, for whom the B’s traded a fourth-round pick to the Hurricanes the day Tomas Kaberle signed with Carolina. Ference may not know Corvo personally, but he knows they’ll have a good ice-breaker for when they meet.
“I know he’s got a lot of tattoos, so we’ll be able to swap,” Ference said with a laugh.
Ference, the team’s resident tattoo aficionado, flew his tattoo artist in from Calgary so he and his teammates could commemorate their Stanley Cup championship with ink on breakup day. While many players discussed what types of tattoos they were considering that day, the final tally of players to go through with it was a measly seven, including Ference, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Ference noted that other teammates simply got them on other days, such as Chris Kelly, whom Ference said was set to get his this week.
While a simple google search will show that Seguin and Marchand (the latter of whom rarely wore a shirt in the week that followed the Cup win) got “Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins 6-15-11″ on the side of their ribs, Ference went with a very plain black-and-white spoked B on his right arm.
“Some guys got the writing, and I went with the B,” Ference said. “I don’t know. I left room for more years though.”
Ference will also meet Benoit Pouliot, with whom he’s already had at least one dealing. It was Ference who sparred with Pouliot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after the then-Canadiens forward attempted to hit Johnny Boychuk high on a dangerous play in the corner. Ference isn’t concerned about having any difficulty befriending who was once the enemy, citing the team’s ability to do it in the past.
“We got along fine with Michael Ryder,” Ference pointed out, as Ryder spent his entire career in the Montreal organization before becoming a popular guy in the Bruins’ dressing room.
While there are similarities between the two situations of Ryder and Pouliot in that both came to the Bruins after playing for the Habs (Ryder signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the B’s back in the summer of 2008), one would generally be far more skeptical of Pouliot today than they were of Ryder in 2008. Ryder was an established scorer in the NHL, while Pouliot, to borrow a bit of logic from Jack Edwards, has been nothing short of a fantastic bust since being drafted fourth overall by the Wild in 2005. For Pouliot to do anything like Ryder on the stat sheet would make the $1.1 million they dropped on the 24-year a sound investment.
|Kerry Fraser on D&C: ‘Nobody came to the aid of Daniel Sedin’||06.15.11 at 11:04 am ET|
Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts from a referee’s viewpoint on the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
‘This is not a typical series, certainly not a typical Stanley Cup final,” Fraser said. “We’ve seen such crazy, bizarre things go on, and the officials have certainly been under a lot of scrutiny. There has been some inconsistencies for sure, from my perspective. They need to make sure they are well prepared and call that first penalty that happens, otherwise they’re going to be batting uphill all night.’
Fraser was asked about Game 7s and if the referees don’t call as many penalties as in other games.
‘It’s got to be imagined,” he said of that perception. “The players will dictate what the officials do and how they respond. That being said, the officials have to respond appropriately. I found in most Game 7s, the players just want to play. All the stuff that happened in the previous six games is over, it’s forgotten, now it’s do or die. … This is the kind of game where one call, one penalty can make a huge difference in the outcome of the game.”
When asked about the Johnny Boychuk hit that knocked out Mason Raymond for the rest of the series, Fraser said he didn’t feel like it was deserving of a suspension. “The Vancouver fans are furious,” Fraser said. “That was a normal, acceptable kind of play. Twenty seconds in, Johnny fork-hooked the legs of Raymond. It should have been a two-minute hooking or interference penalty. That was it. Once he turned him and their momentum carried him into the boards, it was an awkward position, that’s all it was. There was no suspension deserved.”
|Mason Raymond (vertebrae) out 3-4 months||06.14.11 at 4:08 pm ET|
The Canucks announced Tuesday that forward Mason Raymond sustained a vertebrae compression fracture in his first-period collision with Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and will be out for three to four months.
Raymond remained on his stomach after the play and was taken to the hospital. He had no points and was a minus-3 in the finals vs. Boston and finished the playoffs with two goals and six assists for eight points and a minus-1 rating.
With Raymond out, forward Jeff Tambellini should return to the lineup after sitting the last three games in favor of Tanner Glass.
|Ice conditions could be a factor in Game 4||06.08.11 at 2:09 pm ET|
Combine temperatures in the 90s with Tuesday night’s Glee concert and there will naturally be questions about the ice conditions heading into Wednesday night’s Game 4. Players on both sides said the playing surface was a little soft during morning skate, leading to pucks ending up on their edge or taking bad bounces.
Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows didn’t hold back at all when asked about the ice.
“It was terrible this morning,” Burrows said. “And it was sloppy last game. I’m not sure if the concert had anything to do with it.”
Bruins players said it wasn’t quite that bad and that they didn’t expect it to be a huge factor in the game. Rich Peverley said everyone just needs make sure their passes are hard enough to reach their destination, while Johnny Boychuk noted that players will definitely need to take extra care of the puck.
“It’s not too bad,” Boychuk said. “We did it in Tampa Bay, where it’s hot. It’s about the same conditions as that. You just have to play it safe, I think. You can’t really take too many chances, because when you do, it’s probably going to end up in the back of the net.”
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault also downplayed the impact the ice could have on the game, pointing out that both teams will have to deal with it.
“The ice is the same for both teams,” Vigneault said. “Throughout the season, teams play sometimes on real good ice and sometimes on ice that is not as good. I think it will get better, though, as the day goes on.”
Claude Julien said he didn’t think there were any issues with the ice, and even cracked a joke when asked about it.
“I know I was flying. I don’t know if you guys noticed,” Julien said. “It was very good. They made some adjustments to this building. I think it’s been some great adjustments. To me, the ice looked really good. I think the guys were pretty pleased with it last game as well.”
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