|Second period notes: Bruins 2, Rangers 1||05.23.13 at 8:48 pm ET|
NEW YORK — The Bruins stand 20 minutes away from their second trip to the Eastern Conference finals in three years. They received power play goals from Nathan Horton and Torey Krug to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Rangers got one back when Tuukka Rask fell on his backside trying to skate back into his crease, allowing Carl Hagelin‘s otherwise harmless backhander to slide into the net for a Rangers goal.
Here, thanks to the Bruins media relations department, are other second period notes:
‘¢ New York’s Micheal Haley is playing his first NHL playoff game tonight.
‘¢ Nathan Horton has a goal and an assist tonight, giving him 2-3=5 totals in four of his last five games and points in eight of his last 11 games with 5-6=11 totals.
‘¢ Torey Krug has a goal tonight, giving him 3-1=4 totals in three of his last four games played.
‘¢ David Krejci has an assist, giving him six assists in four of his last five games and extending his league-leading 5-12=17
totals in nine of his last 11 games.
‘¢ Brad Marchand has an assist, giving him 2-4=6 totals in four of his last five games with 2-6=8 totals in six of his last ten
‘¢ New York’s Derick Brassard has an assist tonight, giving him 2-9=11 totals in seven of his last nine games.
‘¢ The Bruins scored the game’s first two goals … It is the fourth game of this post-season in which the Bruins have held a two-goal lead in a game … They entered the game with a 3-0 record in those games, including a 1-0 mark when they have led 2-0.
‘¢ The Bruins held a two-goal lead in 21 games during the regular season with a 16-2-3 record in those contests … That included a 12-1-2 record in games in which they scored the first two goals. Read the rest of this entry »
|First period notes: Bruins 0, Rangers 0||at 7:57 pm ET|
NEW YORK — As has been the case for most of the series, the Bruins dominated in almost way and fashion in the opening 20 minutes of Game 4 Thursday night here at Madison Square Garden. And, as has been the case for most of the series, Henrik Lundqvist has kept the Rangers in the game.
The Bruins out-shot the Rangers, 12-4, with four of those 12 shots coming on an early Bruins power play.
Here, thanks to the Boston Bruins media relations department, are some other notes:
‘¢ All four games of this series have now been tied after the first period, including a scoreless deadlock entering the second period of the first and third games of this CSF.
‘¢ The Bruins have been scoreless after one period on five prior occasions in this post-season and are 2-3 in those contests.
‘¢ The Rangers have been scoreless after one period three times previously in this post-season and are 1-2 in those games.
‘¢ The Bruins are 4-3 this post-season when tied after the first period … They finished the regular season with a 13-5-1 record
when even after the first period.
‘¢ The Rangers are 2-4 this post-season when even after the first period … They finished the regular season with an 8-8-2 mark
when tied after the first period.
‘¢ The Bruins are 0 for 1 (0.0%) on the power play following the second period tonight and they are now 4 for 26 on the power play in this post-season (15.4%) … They finished the regular season ranked 25th in the NHL at 18 for 122 on the power play (14.8%) and they allowed two shorthanded goals.
‘¢ The Rangers are 0 for 1 (0.0%) on the power play following the second period tonight and they are now 2 for 39 on the power play in this post-season (5.1%) … They finished the regular season ranked 23rd in the NHL at 24 for 153 on the power play (15.7%) and they allowed four shorthanded goals.
‘¢ The Bruins are 1 for 1 (100.0%) on the penalty kill following the second period tonight and they are now 27 for 32 on the penalty kill this post-season (84.4%) … They finished the regular season ranked 4th in the NHL at 142 for 163 overall on the penalty kill (87.1%) and they scored five shorthanded goals.
‘¢ The Rangers are 1 for 1 (100.0%) on the penalty kill following the second period tonight and they are now 18 for 22 on the penalty kill this post-season (81.8%) … They finished the regular season ranked 15th in the NHL at 120 for 148 on the penalty kill (81.1%) and they scored five shorthanded goals.
|Claude Julien in closeout state of mind: ‘We’re going to do whatever it takes’ to win Game 4||at 1:22 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Short and sweet.
That’s the way both coaches kept their press conferences on Thursday before Game 4 and that’s the way the Bruins would like to wrap up their Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at Madison Square Garden.
“We’re here to win a hockey game tonight,” Claude Julien said at the beginning of his 98-second press briefing. “We’re going to do whatever it takes.”
Julien’s press conference was about a minute longer than John Tortorella‘s press briefing with reporters, that was limited to two questions.
Speaking of Julien, the Bruins coach was asked about the importance of the home crowd at MSG, and keeping the New York fans on their hands.
“As important as it has been in every game,” Julien said. “Whether at home or away, you get the crowd in or crowd out. That’s not going to change.
“I think we want to play a 60-minute game. That just shows the character of our guys playing hard right ot the end. It’s a great thing to have and you hope you can keep it.”
Brad Richards has been informed that he’s been benched for tonight as a healthy scratch and Aaron Asham is likely to sit out as well.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Julien said.
“I think it’s going to be more difficult just because they’re going to have two players who are going to step in there and want to change the game and they’ll probably be their two best players tonight,” Daniel Paille said. “It’ll most likely going to be a low-scoring game and make sure we’re not panicking out there and stay focused on our system and things will go well for us.”
As for Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden, both of whom skated with the team Thursday, Julien said he won’t reveal anything until game time.
“Our lineups will be on the ice tonight for warmups and that’s all I’m going to say about that,” Julien said.
As for the players, they’re taking the typical one-game-at-a-time approach.
“I don’t think we focus too much on sweeping,” Paille said. “We focus more on today. Obviously, it’s great to look at on paper but there’s a lot that goes into that. Everyone is in a confident, positive attitude and we want to continue that trend today.”
Read the rest of this entry »
|John Tortorella has no use for a pregame press conference||at 11:00 am ET|
NEW YORK — Maybe it’s the pressure of being down 3-0 to a superior team. Maybe it’s the fact he knows his team is cooked. Or maybe, just maybe, John Tortorella has absolutely nothing of value to say to reporters hours before a game that could end his season and his tenure with the Rangers.
Whatever the reason, Tortorella needed just 19 seconds Thursday to dismiss any questions from reporters before his team’s morning skate here at Madison Square Garden.
Reporters asked just two questions and then became hushed.
Here were the two questions and answers:
Any update on defenseman Anton Stralman, after he was knocked out of Game 3 in the third period?
“No. No updates,” Tortorella said.
What do you tell your team before a game like this?
“I’ve talked to them. I don’t need to talk about it here,” he responded.
After six seconds of silence, Tortorella uttered the word “OK” and exited stage right.
Game 4 is Thursday night (CNBC, 7 p.m.).
|Wednesday practice notes: Claude Julien likes where his team is right now||05.22.13 at 4:49 pm ET|
NEW YORK — The Bruins have the look of a very confident team right now, as well they should being up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals and getting stronger and stronger with each game.
But Claude Julien knows full well he’s going to hear plenty about being up 3-0 in 2010 against the Flyers and 3-1 against the Maple Leafs last round, showing incredible difficulty in closing out in both cases.
“I think we live in the moment,” Julien said, sounding a highly philosophical tone. “You learn from the past but you live in the moment but you don’t live in the past. So, right now, we’re living in the moment. I like where our team is right now.
“The attitude, the approach and we’re certainly not looking at it the way all the people are going to look at it and try and find reasons to give New York some hope and say, ‘Look these guys have done this and these guys have had trouble doing this.’ We’re certainly not even going there. We’re looking at the present right now and the present is getting prepared to play a real good game [Thursday], kind of like we played [Tuesday].”
Julien, repeating the theme of taking nothing for granted, said a closeout of the Rangers will require an effort as good – if not better than – Tuesday’s performance in Game 3.
“I think if we don’t take the same attitude as we took [Tuesday], then we shouldn’t expect to win the hockey game,” Juilen said.
Other notes from Wednesday’s practice:
It was a light turnout for a laid-back practice on the ice as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley, David Krejci, Daniel Paille, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuck, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic all had the day off from skating. Bergeron and Marchand were among those working on their hand-eye skills with a soccer ball in the hallway outside the Bruins dressing room.
The Bruins skated for about 40 minutes before calling it a day.
Claude Julien said both Seidenberg and Redden are making significant progress each day and their status will be evaluated Thursday. Meanwhile, Ference (lower body), who hasn’t played since Game 5 against Toronto, is still nursing an injury that has put him on the sidelines indefinitely.
“He’s doing OK,” Julien said. “He’s improving although you haven’t seen him on the ice. Better. I haven’t talked to our trainers about his return date to the ice but I think it’s getting closer all the time.”
NEW YORK — Dennis Seidenberg hasn’t played in a game since skating his first two shifts in Game 7 against Toronto on May 13, when he suffered a lower body injury.
“There’s a chance for sure,” Seidenberg said after skating for about 40 minutes during an lightly attended skate Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. “But again you don’t want to come back too early so I think we’ll see how it feels [Thursday] and go from there.”
How did he feel?
“Better again,” he said. “Today I went a little harder in practice and felt OK. But again, it’s still day-to-day, see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”
Considering the Bruins are up 3-0 and all three rookie defensemen – Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski – are handling themselves well, there’s no sense in rushing back until he’s 100 percent, or close to it.
“It’s a little bit more comforting but at the end, you want to be back as quick as possible,” Seidenberg said. “Watching games is always the toughest part, and not being part of it. You definitely want to be back in there as soon as possible. You also want to be smart about it.
“For the team, it’s great. To see them perform the way they have, being poised with the puck, playing strong defensively is definitely something nice to have that depth coming from Providence. It’s nice to see. Everybody knew they knew how to play hockey and they were really good players in the minors. To have them come up and play with poise, playing confident hockey and just contributing offensively as well as defensively is definitely nice to see.”
Seidenberg missed time during the 2010 playoffs when he suffered a freak injury to his wrist, and had to watch as the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to the Flyers.
“It’s always the same,” he said. “You don’t like sitting out. We talked about it a couple of years ago. It’s not fun watching games. I definitely want to be back in there and help.”
“Every day they’re better,” Julien said. “That’s progress. To me, it goes down to making that decision when the time comes and that decision will be made tomorrow. I like the direction both of those guys are going in right now so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
|Claude Julien: ‘We’re a very focused group right now’||at 12:06 am ET|
In the wake of a 2-1 win in Game 3 that leaves them one win from the Eastern Conference finals, Bruins coach Claude Julien says he can sense his team has found its groove.
‘We’re a very focused group right now, and the challenge is to stay there.’ Julien said. ‘After the second period, we’re playing a good road period. I thought with a couple of breaks in the first period, we could’ve been ahead. We didn’t care if we had to go to overtime, we just wanted to get that first goal.
‘There’s no doubt. I don’t only see it on the ice, I feel it in the dressing room everywhere else. The Jekyll and Hyde thing I haven’t seen since midway through the Toronto series.’
Since falling behind 4-1 with 11 minutes left in the third period of Game 7 against Toronto, the Bruins have outscored the competition 14-3 while winning four straight games.
The Bruins also handed New York its first home ice loss of the playoffs after the Rangers won Games 3, 4 and 6 on Madison Square Garden ice in the first round against Washington.
‘You have to be proud of your team,’ Julien said. ‘[Playing] a Rangers team that hadn’t lost here in a long time, playing well here in the playoffs. We had to be better. We’re playing well and eventually get that goal and it came.’