|Amidst trade rumors, players try to block out the chatter||02.16.11 at 5:07 pm ET|
By now, there are few people who don’t know that Peter Chiarelli wants to trade for a defenseman. Not only has the Bruins general manager stated it several times, but it’s been discussed heavily by media and fans alike as the Feb. 28 trade deadline grows nearer.
Tomas Kaberle has been the most popular name in the rumor mill, and with reports emerging Tuesday that the Bruins are the only team he would accept a trade to, many are playing hypothetical GM in trying to predict what the B’s could move to Toronto should a deal be made.
Yet as the rumors are generated, players face the annual task of trying to block out all the trade whispers. Claude Julien admitted Wednesday that there’s “no doubt” that players can have a tough time dealing with it, adding, “I’m sure there’s some players thinking about that.”
From the moment the Bruins acquired Chris Kelly late Tuesday night, rumor sites and various sultans of speculation made the connection that given the two players’ cap hits, Blake Wheeler could potentially be expendable in a trade for a defenseman. The 24-year-old has heard his name in various rumors before, and will use past lessons learned to handle this trade season.
“I guess the first lesson you learn [is] you don’t read anything because you’re always better than you are when things are going good, and you’re always worse than you are when things are going bad,” Wheeler said Wednesday. “Trades and all of that are the same way.”
“I can’t speak for everyone in our locker room. I know personally, I don’t read anything. I’m sure most of the guys don’t read much either, because what good does it do to read your name and that you’re going to be traded? Ninety-five percent of the time it’s not true anyways, so until that happens, you’ve just got to worry about your business here.”
While players are better off not focusing on names and who could go where, the Bruins are in a different situation from years past, as it is universally know that the team has a move in mind. With Chiarelli targeting a defensemen, the logjam that already exists on the blueline could face even more competition. Johnny Boychuk was the team’s healthy scratch on Tuesday, and the B’s have scratched a different defenseman over the last three games.
While the seven guys on the Bruins’ blueline are already pushing one another for a spot in the lineup, Boychuk would welcome another defenseman under one condition.
“If it’s going to help our team, then yeah,” Boychuk said Wednesday. “Anything to help our team.”
Earlier in the season, various rumors suggested Wheeler could be on the move to the Coyotes, the team that he elected not to sign with after they spent a fifth overall pick on him. Nothing happened there, but Wheeler can bet that he will continue to hear his name brought up in rumors. With Wheeler a part of a team that is in the midst of a season-worst three-game losing streak, the winger is more focused on changing the team’s luck than worrying about a change in uniform.
“The rumors you hear never happen, and the ones you don’t hear about, those ones seems to happen,” he said. “From our standpoint, I think our focus is that we have games to play. We have points to earn, and we can’t worry about what’s being written in papers, or online in blogs.
“We start worrying about things we can’t control and all of a sudden things we can control are going to slip. We’ve already lost three straight, so the most important thing for us is to start winning. Whatever happens from other standpoints is going to happen, and that’s out of our control.”
The Bruins will be on the road for the next six games and will not return to the Garden until March 3. Julien can see why players could worry about whether they’ll be with the club for that next game in Boston, but at the same time knows that it isn’t the hands of anyone in the dressing room.
“I know it weighs on players’ minds all the time when you hear rumors about a certain player on your team,” Julien said. “At the same time, you want the players to be professionals and deal with the issues as professionals and say it’s out of your control. At the same time, those players, if it’s not here, it will be somewhere else.
“It’s not like they’re not going to be playing hockey anymore. You really have got to take that approach and say, ‘You know what? It’s one game at a time. Right now I’ve got to do my job and let the people that make those decisions that are out of my control make them. That’s the best way to approach it.”
Five more days and the players won’t need to think about it. For now, the only change they’ll need to focus on is in the final scores.
|Everything you need to know about the Bruins’ music change||02.12.11 at 4:10 pm ET|
Something has been different about the Garden the last week. Sure, there has been the fluctuation in energy from Wednesday nights’ thumping of the Canadiens and Friday’s no-show effort against the Red Wings, but that’s already been touched on.
The big difference can be seen before the puck is dropped, though come to think of it, it can’t be seen at all. People can hear the difference, and they’re asking questions.
What happened to “Whiskey In The Jar?”
Yes, the Bruins, who have skated out to Metallica’s cover of Thin Lizzy’s cover of the Dubliner’s interpretation of the Irish folk classic, no longer do so. The last two games, rather than Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask leading the team out to the crunch of Metallica’s power chords, the B’s have skated out to Wiz Khalifa’s hip hop hit, “Black and Yellow.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Patrice Bergeron expected to play vs. Canadiens after receiving stitches||02.08.11 at 1:17 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron left Tuesday’s practice after a puck off the stick of teammate Johnny Boychuk bounced off a partition in the glass and hit him in the chin. Bergeron was taken to the hospital, where he received stitches and had x-rays taken. Coach Claude Julien said that the x-rays were taken “just as a precaution” and that he expects Bergeron to be in the lineup Wednesday night against the Canadiens.
“Just basically stitches,” Julien said of what Bergeron’s trip to the hospital consisted of. “He felt good leaving here, but medically you’ve got to make sure that you cover all angles.”
Bergeron leads the Bruins with 44 points (19 G, 25 A) on the season, and has eight points over his last six games. He was named the league’s No. 1 star of the month for January, a month in which he led all NHL scorers with 17 points.
|Bruins try to keep momentum going as they host Sabres||01.19.11 at 10:29 pm ET|
After sweeping a home-and-home with the Hurricanes on Monday and Tuesday, the Bruins will return to the Garden Thursday to face the Sabres for the fifth time this season. Thus far, they’ve gone 2-1-1 against the Sabres, with the most recent meeting resulting in a 7-6 shootout loss on Jan. 1.
That New Years Day game was a memorable one, as Tuukka Rask was yanked after three first-period goals, while Drew Stafford had a hat trick and scored one of the Sabres’ three shootout goals. Luckily for the Bruins, Stafford is not expected to play Thursday due to a groing injury.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The Bruins are 12-8-3 in home games this season. They’ve gone 3-2-0 at the Garden since the New Year, and have received a pair of Tim Thomas shutouts over their last four home games. Only one of the four meetings between the two teams this season has been at the Garden, with the B’s taking a 3-2 shootout win on Dec. 7.
- The Sabres are 9-9-4 on the road this season and have gone 2-1-1 away from HSBC Arena in 2011. In their most recent road contest, they took a 5-3 loss to the Islanders on Saturday.
- Four different Bruins’ defenseman scored in the Jan. 1 game, as the B’s got first-period goals from Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara in the first, as well as third-period tally from Steven Kampfer. The defense wasn’t exactly overwhelming in their own end, as the B’s blew three different leads in the game.
- Ryan Miller has started 22 games dating back to Nov. 26. And people were worried about Thomas’ eight in a row last month…
- The Bruins have the second-best goal differential in the Eastern Conference at plus-39. The Sabres have a minus-9 differential.
- Mark Recchi has four multi-point games in the Bruins’ last 12. Linemate Patrice Bergeron has five multi-point games in that stretch.There’s no doubting that their line with Brad Marchand has been one of the most consistent of late.
- Johnny Boychuk scored his first goal of the season Tuesday in Carolina. He was initially credited with the goal, a blast from the point, before credit was given to Marc Savard. A second change to call gave the goal to Boychuk for good.
STORYLINES GOING IN
- The Sabres are eight points out of a playoff spot, and have played less games than every team currently in line for a trip to the postseason. Given how they’ve fared against the B’s thus far and the fact that they’re coming off a win over the Canadiens, this is a big game for the Sabres. The Bruins have played 46 games to the Sabres’ 45, though the eighth-place Thrashers have played 48. Buffalo isn’t counting this season as a lost one, and even without Derek Roy, who had 35 points in 35 games before a left quadriceps tear ended his season in December.
- Ference was again kept out of Tuesday’s game, with Claude Julien saying he could have played in a pinch. Ultimately, both Kampfer and Adam McQuaid have filled in admirably for the B’s and the team doesn’t feel pressured to rush Ference back at the risk of the upper-body injury that’s ailed him. Ference has missed the last three games for the Bruins.
|Tim Thomas helps Bruins past Hurricanes again||01.18.11 at 9:37 pm ET|
The Bruins beat the Hurricanes, 3-2, Tuesday night to grab their second win over Carolina in as many days.
Milan Lucic took a pass from Mark Recchi on the power play at 11:49 of the third period with the game tied at two and sent a wrist-shot past Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward to secure the game-winning goal. The Bruins also got goals from Johnny Boychuk and Brad Marchand in the first and third periods, respectively.
Tim Thomas made a season-high 43 saves as the Hurricanes put 45 shots on goal. Carolina got goals from Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu.
The Bruins went 2-for-5 on the power play while killing off four of their five penalties. They will return to the Garden to face the Sabres on Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Thomas carried the Bruins throughout the night, but the second period stood out for the Vezina favorite. The Hurricanes outshot the B’s, 19-9 in the second, and on the night, Thomas made a season-high 43 saves. Thirty-seven were made in the first two periods.
- After initially being credited, having the goal taken away, and being credited once again, Boychuk finally has his first goal of the season in his 36th game. Boychuk had five in 51 games for the B’s last season.
- Lucic scored his first goal in the last 13 games when he put the B’s up, 3-2, on the power play. He continues to lead the Bruins with 17 goals.
- The members of the Wheeler-Campbell-Thornton were strong for the B’s, as Wheeler drew an elbowing penalty from Tuomo Ruutu and the line’s pressure late in the second period forced the Hurricanes to flip it over the glass in their own zone for a delay of game penalty.
- The Bruins weren’t handed too many opportunities in the second period, so they took advantage when handed one in the third. Following an icing by the Hurricanes, Mark Recchi won the face-off and Zdeno Chara threw a shot on Ward from the point, with Marchand scoring on the rebound.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Despite Marchand scoring and drawing a gift penalty from Eric Staal, he had a regrettable hooking penalty in the first period. With the B’s leading, 1-0, Marchand whiffed on a puck from right around the hashmarks, and as the play went the other way, he hooked Ian White to put the Hurricanes on the man advantage. It was on his power play that Jokinen tied it up at one.
- Nathan Horton still has just one goal over his last 16 games, as he was robbed in the second period when Ward picked his wrist-shot from the slot.
Horton, who has struggled to consistently get pucks on net, tied for the Bruins’ lead with four shots on goal on Tuesday. He had just one on Monday.
|Bruins and Hurricanes tied after one||at 7:51 pm ET|
The Bruins and Hurricanes find themselves knotted at one after Marc Savard and Jussi Jokinen scored in the first period Monday night at RBC Center.
Though Jokinen did the damage against the B’s, he also helped their case when he tripped Zdeno Chara just 17 seconds into the game to set up Boston’s first power play.
Johnny Boychuk thought he had his first goal of the season when, with Jokinen in the box, Boychuk sent a shot from the point past Cam Ward. The goal was later changed to Savard’s, who appeared to have tipped it.
With less than 20 seconds left in a hooking penalty to Brad Marchand, Blake Wheeler tried skating the puck out of the zone but had it stolen near the blueline. That cost the Bruins after Jokinen sent a rebound off an Eric Staal shot past Tim Thomas.
Each team took two penalties in the period, with the Bruins potentially taking a third, as it appeared Thomas was called for roughing at the end of the period. They’ll begin the second period down a man.
The B’s are being outshot, 19-11. Thomas looked good ast the Hurricanes picked it up in the second half of the period, and over the course of the first made a couple of big kick saves on Sergei Samsonov and Erik Cole.
|Bruins adjusting to life without Matt Hunwick||11.30.10 at 2:18 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Johnny Boychuk doesn’t find it polite to talk on the phone during dinner, so when he was out to dinner with Milan Lucic on Monday, he stood a good chance of being out of the loop when the team traded defenseman Matt Hunwick.
Yet thanks to text messaging, and his mother, the blueliner found out right after the trade broke.
“She messaged me or something like that. She’s always on that stuff,” Boyhcuk said. “It was before [we] even knew, so it was right away. Kind of weird.
When Lucic found out, it meant losing a teammate he’s known since he entered the organization as a second-round draft pick in 2006.
“I’ve known him from the very first development camp back then, and I’ve been able to kind of grow with him in this organization. He’s done well for himself. He’s a good player and I wish him all the best in Colorado.”
With Hunwick the defensive core will see some shaking up, as Adam McQuaid, who has been a healthy scratch since the return of Boychuk from his forearm injury, will return to the lineup. It also means the team will have to respond to the ugly stretch (5-6-2) they find themselves in without a guy who’s been there for them.
“It’s always tough to see one of your teammates go, especially a guy like Matt. He was such a great teammate, such a great guy in the locker room. We all wish him the best, but it’s part of the business. We realize the importance of this coming week. We haven’t performed as well as we should, so it’s going to be a big week. We have to respond somehow and get better results. ”
The coach, meanwhile, isn’t happy to see his top skating blueliner go, but like the rest of the team, understands that it was something that had to be done for the sake of being able to activate Marc Savard.
“It was hard to let a guy go like that because he was our best skater back there, probably the guy that you leaned on the most to bring the puck up the ice,” Julien said. “… We had to make some room. Those are things that are done for the situation of liberating some cap space.”
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