|Bruins leaders question work ethic, Claude Julien says he’ll reevaluate lineup amidst early skid||10.11.14 at 11:10 pm ET|
Complain about Chris Kelly‘s cap hit all you want, but he’s the guy who’s going to hold the Bruins accountable when they play as poorly as they have the last two games.
“It’s tough to put into words,” Kelly said after the Bruins were shut out by the Capitals for their second straight loss. “I think we were outworked, outbattled, and obviously outplayed over the course of 120 minutes, not just 60. I think the only positive I can think of is, it’s game three. Other than that, it’s two poor, poor efforts.”
The Bruins barely had the puck in their 2-1 loss to the Red Wings Thursday, with Kelly saying after Saturday’s blanking that guys haven’t been working hard enough. Zdeno Chara said the B’s were “embarrassed” Saturday and that their play is ‘not acceptable.’
The Bruins’ roster is obviously not at full strength. David Krejci is eligible to come off injured reserve and potentially return to the lineup Monday, but it’s no sure thing that he does. Milan Lucic is coming off wrist surgery and is clearly not functioning at full capacity.
The fourth line has been more detrimental than it’s been a source of energy. That’s been made worse by the fact that the line playing above it (Lucic with Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser) have done nothing. Bobby Robins and Ryan Spooner have put themselves in tough positions if they want to stay in the lineup. Fraser has also been a non-factor, but deserves to get a look on a line without Spooner, as he has the best shot among Bruins forwards and has shown promise when playing away from his former Providence linemate.
Asked if the weakened roster has to do with the team’s struggles so far, Kelly said he didn’t care who was playing where or with whom.
“It’s a team-wide thing, it’s not just a few guys. You guys can see it just as much as we can,” Kelly said. “It’s not a passing thing or a positioning thing, it’s a working thing. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing with. You could play with two total strangers, and all you have to do is go out and work hard.”
If Krejci is able to return for Monday, the Bruins might be wise to keep Lucic and Fraser together and have Krejci replace Spooner, who could either move to the fourth line as a center or wing or serve as an extra forward. They could also consider playing Jordan Caron on the fourth line right wing, a job currently held by Robins.
Asked after the game whether he feels he needs to make lineup changes, Julien hinted at the possibility.
“You certainly have to reevaluate,” Julien said. “There’s no doubt there, and guys are given chances, and so on and so forth. When you play two games like that, you have to reevaluate, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
|Bruins react to Johnny Boychuk trade and its ‘reality check’ impact going forward||10.05.14 at 10:41 am ET|
With the season opening at home Wednesday against the Flyers, the Bruins don’t have long to be upset about the loss of one of their best teammates.
Still, even coach Claude Julien said after Saturday’s preseason finale that the team will take a little time to get over “the sting” of losing Johnny Boychuk ($3.37 million) to the harsh realities of today’s salary cap NHL.
Torey Krug, just 23, now understands just how important managing the salary cap is for each team after spending most of the summer without a contract because GM Peter Chiarelli couldn’t fit him under the cap. Krug and Reilly Smith had to wait all summer and through most of camp to sign their $1.4 million deals because the team couldn’t sign them.
“[It’s] another lesson in the business for me,” said Krug. “I learned a few things this summer for sure, and it’s always going to be part of it forever as long as this game exists and the cap situation exists in this sport, so it’s tough to see him go for sure.”
Several defensemen will have to pick up the slack for Boychuk and will have the opportunity to step right in and play a bigger role in place of the 30-year-old who was considered one of the heart-and-soul parts of the B’s Stanley Cup run in 2011 and their finals appearance in 2013.
Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski and Krug all are younger than Boychuk and all likely will get chances to play alongside Dennis Seidenberg on Boston’s No. 2 D-pairing.
“I mean, it’s been like this the last few years, so it doesn’t really change anything,” Seidenberg said. “For me, it’s just trying to play wherever they put me and trying to do it well.”
“I didn’t know that — there was some talk about different things and stuff, but I was pretty much shocked,” McQuaid said in reacting Saturday. “I don’t know, I guess maybe we all just kind of had that hope in the back of our minds that somehow we could all stay. He’s a guy that’s a huge part of this team and for me a guy that always put a smile on my face every day. Always came to the rink in a good mood and was cracking jokes. I think I’ve played seven pro seasons and six have been with Johnny, so we’ve been through a lot together. He’s a guy that — I don’t think it’s really sunk in quite yet — but a guy that will be sorely missed.”
|Milan Lucic makes preseason debut as Bruins beat Red Wings||09.27.14 at 11:16 pm ET|
Milan Lucic made his preseason debut as the Bruins beat the Red Wings, 3-1, Saturday night in Detroit.
Lucic, who sat out Boston’s first three preseason games as he recovered from offseason wrist surgery, played 14:57 for the B’s, registering no shots on goal and taking three minor penalties.
The Bruins got goals from Dougie Hamilton and Ville Leino, with Brad Marchand securing the victory with an empty-netter. Hamilton assisted on Leino’s goal, giving him a two-point night.
Tuukka Rask played two periods for the B’s, stopping 14 of 15 shots faced. Jeremy Smith stopped all eight shots he faced in the third period.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|David Pastrnak skating, Milan Lucic could see preseason action Saturday||09.26.14 at 11:33 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Milan Lucic may be getting in his first game action of the preseason this weekend, as the Bruins listed him on the traveling roster for this weekends games against the Capitals and Red Wings.
Lucic, who is returning from offseason wrist surgery, has taken contact in practices but was kept out of the first two games of the preseason. After the practice, Claude Julien said that Lucic will not play Friday against the Capitals but could be a possibility for Saturday’s game against the Red Wings.
David Pastrnak (shoulder) and Gregory Campbell (core) are not traveling and will miss both games. Anthony Camara, who is out with an illness, is also not traveling. Pastrnak has been skating the last two days by himself, according to Julien.
The roster is as follows:
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham, Loui Eriksson, Alex Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Simon Gagne, Seth Griffith, Bracken Kearns, Chris Kelly, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Ville Leino, Matt Lindblad, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Dan Paille, Tyler Randell, Bobby Robins, Ben Sexton, Carl Soderberg, Ryan Spooner.
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Smith, Malcolm Subban, Niklas Svedberg
|Milan Lucic (wrist) slowly getting back to normal||09.20.14 at 10:12 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Milan Lucic said after Saturday’s practice that he is happy with his recovery from wrist surgery thus far.
Lucic has taken some contact in training camp so far, and though his status for preseason games is unknown, he is getting more and more comfortable.
“It’s been better than what I expected, which is obviously a good thing,” Lucic said. “Just seeing my progression over the last two weeks, where it’s gone, it’s been good. My shooting feels ‘ I’m not going to say it’s completely back to normal, but I can get to where I can get full pressure into my shot and all that type of stuff.
“It’s just the battle stuff. I haven’t really practiced forechecking and hitting and stuff like that yet. That obviously doesn’t come until game time. As of right now, I think it’s just being smart and going about everything the right way and taking it step-by-step.’
The Bruins have a scrimmage Sunday in Providence and four preseason games this week.
“The games will come whenever I’m ready to play,” Lucic said. “You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re having setbacks right away.”
|Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell, Linus Arnesson limited to begin Bruins training camp||09.18.14 at 1:32 pm ET|
Lucic is recovering from wrist surgery and had said earlier this week that he would be taking it slow in training camp. Chiarelli confirmed as much, saying that Lucic is ‘a little slow’ to begin camp.
Campbell will not be on the ice when practices begin Friday due to what Chiarelli called ‘some minor mid-core stuff.’
Arnesson, meanwhile, was given Monday’s rookie practice off before leaving Tuesday’s rookie game with a tweaked groin. Chiarelli said Thursday that Arnesson ‘won’t be skating for a little bit.’
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Milan Lucic still recovering from wrist surgery, not sure of contractual future||09.15.14 at 2:28 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Milan Lucic told reporters back in Boston Monday that he needed to wear a cast on his wrist for 12 weeks following his offseason surgery.
Lucic, who underwent the procedure on his left wrist following the Bruins’ second-round defeat to the Canadiens, said that he figures he’ll be limited to begin training camp, and that he’ll be cautious as he continues to regain strength.
“I haven’t been able to do a pushup until a week ago just because of it being right there on the joint,” Lucic said. “But still, that’s something you’ve got to work at with rehab. It’s gotten better over the last week and you’ve got some time here before the season starts. As camp goes along here, you want to get your legs and everything underneath you, but you still have time to build your strength up until the season starts.”
Lucic was pretty candid about his contractual situation. With two years remaining on his contract with an annual salary cap hit of $6 million, Lucic might be tough to fit under the salary cap given Boston’s current cap situation. Peter Chiarelli recently signed David Krejci to a six-year, $43.5 million extension, but said on Sunday that he ‘can’t sign everybody.’
The 26-year-old Lucic said that with all eyes on Boston’s cap, he’s thinking about his own future.
“It’s hard not to. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t think about it at all,” Lucic said. “With two years left on this contract and when I come out of it, I come out of it as a UFA. You kind of see the direction that the team is going — they just signed Krech for six more years after this one, and obviously he’s a guy I want to play with. My plan’s as far as my future goes is to stay here and stay put in Boston, but obviously a lot of things are going to happen in the next year and two years, but I hope that both sides can keep me here for a long, long time.”
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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