|Bruins crush Flames, 9-0, behind Tuukka Rask’s latest shutout||01.05.12 at 9:27 pm ET|
Since losing to the Stars on Saturday night, the Bruins may have developed a habit of blowing teams out of the water. They did so for the second straight night Thursday, crushing the Flames, 9-0, behind Tuukka Rask‘s third shutout of the season.
This one was never close following Tyler Seguin‘s tally 74 seconds into the game, and the Bruins weren’t afraid to pile it on once again. Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton each had two-goal nights, while the B’s also received goals from Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille.
The Bruins picked up the win without forward Brad Marchand, who was out with flu-like symptoms. The B’s certainly made due without the 23-year-old, as Bergeron’s line still produced three goals.
The Bruins will next play on Saturday when they host the Canucks in a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— No Marchand? No problem. Pouliot was superb in filling in for the ill winger on the second-line, getting four shots on goal and assisting Seguin and Bergeron’s goals. Benoit Pouliot did a nice job of stealing the puck in the neutral zone, feeding Seguin to set top Bergeron’s goal in the second period. He now has 13 points (seven goals and six assists) in 31 games this season. He got secondary assists on Seguin’s goal and Bergeron’s second tally.
The three assists for Pouliot matched a career-high, and it doubled his assist total this season.
— More of the same from Rask. The B’s backup lowered his league-best goals-against average and save percentage with the shutout, and has now allowed just one goal over his last five games. Scary to think that this is a guy who might not even get a start in the postseason.
– Good to see Paille score a shorthanded goal on the breakaway. Very quietly — a secret that’s been kept off the stat sheet for the most part — Paille has been putting together a heck of a season. He now has seven goals on the season, and if he had a better finishing touch he could easily have double that.
— Joe Corvo was a plus-4 on the night despite not picking up a point in the game with a game-high seven shots on goal. His plus/minus was best among the Bruins, while Flames defenseman Chris Butler was a horrific minus-7. In Butler’s case, Wednesday’s game could ruin him in that category for the season.
— Given how many goals the B’s scored on the night, of course it was another night in which the Bruins scored goals within a minute of each other. Bergeron’s first goal and Kelly’s tally came 47 seconds apart, marking the 13th time this season the B’s have scored two goals in less than a minute.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
|Teammates defend Tyler Seguin, but they haven’t missed meetings||12.08.11 at 12:24 pm ET|
Are you ready for Tyler Seguin‘s apology for skipping a team meeting and being scratched as a result?
“I talked about it the other day,” Seguin said Thursday. “I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”
That’s all Seguin would say on the matter, as the Bruins would not permit further questions about his actions in Winnipeg and the discipline he’s received. He will be in the lineup Thursday against the Panthers.
While Seguin was not allowed to elaborate on his confusing time zone mixup excuse, teammates did not shed light on the matter.
Jordan Caron, who was rooming with Seguin when the team arrived early Tuesday in Winnipeg, said that he simply thought Seguin was sleeping a few minutes later Tuesday morning.
“It was an accident. I got up real early and didn’t want to wake him up,” Caron said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I went to breakfast, and then the meeting started. We tried calling him a few times. It’s an accident. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. It happens.”
Caron noted that Seguin was indeed in the room, and that “he wasn’t out or anything.” The Bruins arrived in Winnipeg early Tuesday morning after playing in Pittsburgh Monday night.
“We came in really late. We went to bed at the same time and I woke up really early and went and got breakfast,” he said. “I didn’t want to wake him up first. It was an accident.”
The Bruins did not permit questions about the incident during Seguin’s media availability, with the second-year forward saying only the following: “I talked about it the other day. I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”
Like Seguin, Nathan Horton was once a top-5 pick (third overall in 2003). Has he ever missed a meeting?
“I haven’t,” Horton said. “I’m too afraid to miss them, so I show up real early. Things do happen, and you just can’t let it happen I guess.”
Seguin received a talking to from Shawn Thornton Tuesday, but Horton said that more than one player talked to the youngster about it.
“I think a lot of guys have [spoken to him],” Horton said. “He obviously knows what he did wrong. It’s just, try to forget about it and move on, and try not to let it happen again.”
Dennis Seidenberg also said he has never missed a meeting in his career. He did, however, defend Seguin by echoing the youngster’s claim that he missed the meeting because he still had his phone on Boston time.
“He missed adapting to a time change, or changing the time on his cell phone,” Seidenberg said. “The wakeup call just didn’t go off, so that’s why he missed.”
It was then pointed out that, if the phone story is to believed, Seguin would have woken up an hour early.
“Oh yeah, that’s true,” Seidenberg said with a laugh.
Asked then whether he bought Seguin’s excuse, Seidenberg laughed and remarked, “I have no idea. I’ve got nothing.”
All kidding aside, Nathan Horton has never missed a meeting in his career. Dennis Seidenberg has never missed a meeting. Combined, that’s 17 seasons without a single meeting missed. Tyler Seguin has missed “more than a few” in one season and two months. Pun very intended:
|Bruins-Sabres Live Blog: Marc-Andre Gragnani makes it 6-2||11.12.11 at 6:56 pm ET|
|Nathan Horton touches on everything: Concussion, depression and bad penalties||11.02.11 at 1:57 pm ET|
Speaking with the media for the first time in nearly two weeks amidst his cold start to the season, Bruins right wing Nathan Horton touched on how things have been for him to begin his second season of the Bruins. Horton heavily implied that his struggles are somewhat related to the concussion he suffered in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Canucks.
Horton is long removed from symptoms of his concussion, which ended his postseason, but he said that he still hasn’t gotten back to feeling satisfied with his game since the hit from Aaron Rome.
“I’m still trying to get my game back,” Horton said. “I obviously don’t feel 100 percent out there. I’m not myself, you know? I’m just trying to get that back. Last game, I thought we played better. Hopefully we can build off it.”
Asked specifically whether he was dealing with anything physical, Horton replied, “No, no.”
“Obviously I just need to get my timing and stuff,” he said. “I still don’t feel like I’m myself out there. Like, I’m fine, but I just need to be better obviously. That’s it. I just need to be better.”
Horton said that he has not had any issues with depression, a symptom of post-concussion syndrome.
Here’s the rest of what Horton had to say:
“Obviously they help. I’ve said a ill ion times that they’re great players. I played with them last year, so it definitely feels more comfortable for me.”
On whether he felt it would take time before he would be comfortable again:
“I had never had a concussion or anything like that. I didn’t know what to expect coming in. Obviously it has, but I’ve just got to keep working through it. I know I’ve got to be better, and I can be better. It’s just a matter of time. I want to be better, so I think it’s got to come sooner or later.”
On whether the penalties he’s taken have been out of frustration:
“Obviously in the Carolina game, yeah, but in the other ones, not really, no. I just try to get in there. Guys are turning and I’m just kind of still finishing my check a little bit, and that’s how it happens. Except for the one game, [no].”
On the fact that the bad penalties have happened more than once:
“I mean I guess I’m getting myself in the wrong spot at the wrong times, but there’s a lot of calls that are being missed out there, too. I obviously have to be more cautious of when I do it, but if they’re not a call a lot of them that they get on you, you’re obviously going to get mad and want to do something, too. It’s just a matter of holding back and not getting that last whack in, because I guess that’s what they’re calling.”
On being physical coming off concussion:
“I’ve got hit, I’ve hit some people, but obviously I haven’t gotten killed. I’ve gotten hit as much as you can, I guess. I have gotten hit pretty hard. Again, I’m just trying to forget what happened and just move forward.”
On whether he thinks about his concussion when he plays:
“I’m only human. I do think of it. I think anybody else, anybody would that was in my situation. It’s not easy, obviously, but again, I’m still trying. I want to be better, and I think that’s what matters.”
On whether he is depressed:
“Nope. No depression issues. Other than the fact that I want to do better, that’s about it. No depression issues or anything.”
On opening up about his concussion:
“Whenever it’s brought up, I try to forget about it. I definitely want to move on, and it seems like it’s just kind of dragging on. People keep asking about it, so I’m going to talk about it, but obviously I don’t want to talk about it. I want to forget about it, and that’s it. I feel fine. Now I just want to be better.”
On avoiding the media:
“I’m not giving an excuse or anything. I’m just saying obviously I want to be better and that’s it. I just think I haven’t been around. I don’t know.”
On whether he is dealing with a lack of motivation:
“I actually feel like I’m trying. I’m backchecking. I think it’s all about when I get the puck, or when I don’t have the puck, I’m just thinking too much. When you think too much, it doesn’t go the way you want it too. When you’re not thinking too much, it just falls into place, and good things happen. Definitely, that’s what I want to get back to here.”
On whether his concussion impact preparation for season:
“Definitely. It did interrupt my summer. ‘¦ It was a short summer, but definitely a tough one. I’m just trying to forget it, like I said, start doing better and playing more like myself and let this pass through. That’s what I want to get back to doing.”
|Practice notes: Mark Recchi stops by, Adam McQuaid ‘symptom-free’||10.26.11 at 1:48 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid was declared “symptom-free” by head coach Claude Julien after the defenseman once again. He will be a game-time decision when the Bruins play the first game of a home-and-home against the struggling Canadiens on Thursday.
McQuaid has played in only three games this season, missing the season-opener with an illness and being held out of the last four games with a neck injury that the team had been treating as a concussion.
Some other notes from practice:
– Retired forward Mark Recchi was in the house at Ristuccia Arena, sitting up top with management as he watched his former team prepare for the Habs. No word on how he feels about Max Pacioretty‘s wrist injury.
– Julien said his move to switch Rich Peverley and Nathan Horton was done in an effort to create a little more depth and a little more production. Peverley got off to a good start this season when skating with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, so getting that line going would be big for the B’s. Marchand has been held without a point in the last four games, and said after practice that if he can get going, as an energy player he can create a ripple effect on the rest of the team.
Krejci said he hasn’t liked the start he’s gotten off to, so the move to have Horton with he and Benoit Pouliot isn’t all about just getting Horton going.
– Speaking of Marchand, he and the other players to visit Children’s Hospital Tuesday weighed in on the experience and their costumes. The best line came from Marchand, who said there was a child who honestly thought Zdeno Chara was dressed as an alien in his bunny costume. Marchand was Prince Charming, and asked why he wasn’t Aladdin for the sake of skipping out on a shirt, said that Adam McQuaid‘s Fred Flinstone costume was too similar.
– Some of our friends in the Montreal media are in town already, with one asking Chara about potentially playing against Pacioretty if he is indeed healthy enough to go in one of the upcoming games. Chara responded by saying, “I’m just happy to play the game.”
– The Bruins worked on the shootout late in practice, with Horton providing perhaps the prettiest of goals when he beat Tim Thomas glove-side.
– Tyler Seguin broke a pane of glass with a wrist-shot in practice. That’s a heck of a shot when it’s on net.
|Nathan Horton says he thought Tim Gleason wanted to fight, reflects on disappointing start||10.19.11 at 3:48 pm ET|
Nathan Horton did not speak to the media after his roughing double-minor with 8:30 remaining in a one-goal game essentially secured a Bruins’ loss against the Hurricanes Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Horton faced both the media and a sign from his coach that his slow start needs to end quickly.
After skating on the second line in practice for the first time all season (click here to see the Bruins’ revamped lines, which featured a demotion for Horton and a jump to the first line for Chris Kelly), Horton shed light on Tuesday’s incident in which he continuously punched Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason, who had declined to fight.
Though Gleason, who had slashed Horton, kept his gloves on and did not engage Horton after his challenge, the Bruins’ right wing said Wednesday that he was unaware the Hurricanes defenseman did not want to go.
“I thought he wanted to fight,” Horton said. “I turned around and waited for him. He kept acting like he was going to, but it was not the right time. I know that. It was just a little frustration, I guess.”
Added Horton: “I don’t know what [Gleason] was thinking. I just thought he wanted to [fight] because he turned around and slashed me. I turned around and he was right there. He was looking at me the whole time, and I thought he nodded his head. It’s my fault. Obviously I can’t be taking penalties like that, especially after we just scored.”
Losing his cool Tuesday hasn’t been the only bad thing to happen to Horton this season. An incredibly strong starter last season (he led the B’s with nine points through six games), Horton has just two points through six contests this season, a goal and an assist.
“It’s not something where I want to be, or as a team, not playing the way we can. We just need to get back to playing the way we can, especially myself, playing the way I can.”
The type of play to which Horton is likely referring is that of a power forward, as he displayed at points last season. One knock on Horton throughout his entire career has been his tendency to disappear for games at a time, and motivation was something with which he struggled as a member of the Panthers prior to coming to Boston.
Both Horton and the Bruins, who are now 2-4-0 on the season, seemed to be turning a corner on Saturday when the 26-year-old scored the game-tying goal, his first tally of the season, in a game the B’s would eventually win in a shootout against the Blackhawks. In a season in which positive signs have been scarce, the Bruins were unable to build any momentum from the win, as they suffered a 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes that got out of hand late.
“You can always think that way, but until you actually do it, it doesn’t matter,” Horton said of taking the Chicago win as a positive step. “Obviously, we got back to playing the way that we were before that, and it’s not going to work. As you can see, we didn’t win.”
All of Horton’s struggles and the team’s frustrations coincided in ugly fashion when Horton took his costly penalty late in the game.
“We’re not scoring, me personally or the team,” Horton said. “We’re not playing how we want to play. It’s just a little bit of frustration there. It was a bad time, obviously. I didn’t mean to hurt my team there, but that’s the way it happened and I can’t change it now.”
With new lines and three tough home games coming up against the Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens, Horton and the B’s have to hope at this point that there’s nowhere to go but up. As such, Horton expressed no frustration with the fact that he was demoted and taken off Milan Lucic‘s line.
“I think there definitely comes a time when you have to change it,” he said. “[Claude Julien]’s been overly patient with us, and we definitely need to start turning things around now.
|Five stats on the Bruins through five games||10.17.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Five games into last season, one could hardly tell the Bruins were going to be Stanley Cup champions, but a couple of things were apparent. For starters, it was clear that Tim Thomas was capable of playing at a high level again after his offseason hip surgery, and it seemed that Nathan Horton had it in him to play some big games for the B’s.
Now five games into this season, there are a few things that are apparent about this team, though injuries to the likes of David Krejci and Adam McQuaid have made it tough to effectively gauge some things.
The Bruins started off the season in a 1-3-0 funk, but may be coming out of it after their 3-2 shootout victory over the Blackhawks Saturday in Chicago. Up next is a four-game home stand with the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens coming to town.
“I feel we’re turning the corner here,” coach Claude Julien said Monday of the team after five games. “I liked our game in Chicago, the way we progressed through tut the day. Today in practice we seemed to have a much better pace. Hopefully that’s a good sign of us turning the corner.”
Here are five quick stats on the Bruins through five games, with a look at last season as well.
1. Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins with five points, which is a little less than a quarter of his 22 points from all of last season. He also leads the team with a plus-3 rating and has 16 shots on goal, good for tops amongst forwards and second only to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
2. Last season, Horton led the team with seven points through five games. This season, he has a goal and an assist through five contests, struggling mightily in the first few games of the season before seemingly finding himself of late. Bottom-six forwards Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron (who has only played in three games) are the only Bruins’ forwards with less than his five shots on goal.
3. Thomas has won two and lost two this season, allowing eight goals in four games. Five games into last season, Thomas had allowed three goals in four games, and had won all four of his starts. He picked up his first shutout in the second game of the 2010-11 season and went on to have two more by the end of the month.
4. Bruins were 4-for-19 on the power play through five games last season. This season, they are 1-for-21, as they have not scored on the man advantage since Brad Marchand scored on the team’s first power play of the season.
5. Seidenberg leads the B’s in ice time with an average of 25:26 a night yet also has a minus-2 rating that is tied for worst on the team. Further proof that plus-minus rarely tells the whole story.