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Patrice Bergeron takes home the hardware in regular season finale 04.28.13 at 7:59 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron. (AP)

The Bruins announced their regular season award winners before the regular season finale with the Senators Sunday night. Patrice Bergeron was the recipient of the Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle and determination, chosen by the “Gallery Gods”) as well as the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy (outstanding performance during home games, determined by the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association).

Gregory Campbell was selected for the John P. Bucyk Award (greatest off-ice charitable contributions, chosen by John Bucyk); and Tuukka Rask (First Star), Bergeron (Second Star) and Tyler Seguin (Third Star) were named the Bruins Three Stars (top performers at home over the course of the season).

Eddie Shore Award and Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy

Bergeron, the team’s alternate captain to Zdeno Chara, was also selected by the “Gallery Gods” as the Eddie Shore Award winner for demonstrating exceptional hustle and determination throughout the 2013 campaign. The reining Selke Trophy winner currently leads the Bruins with a +25 rating (5th NHL), is second in assists (22) and is tied for fourth in points with 32 (10-22). The Bruins centerman also leads the NHL in faceoff percentage, winning puck drops at a 61.9-percent clip.

In addition to the Eddie Shore Award, the BPHWA has selected Bergeron as the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy recipient for his outstanding performance during Bruins home games this season. At TD Garden this year, Bergeron has notched eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. The forward’s +20 rating and 66.8% (280/419) faceoff percentage in Boston, leads all Bruins players.

John P. Bucyk Award

Gregory Campbell has been an active participant in the Boston Bruins off-ice charitable events in this years condensed NHL season. Campbell has spent many of his rare off days making community visits throughout the Greater Boston area, including visits to the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club, Home for Little Wanderers and was a one of the team’s participants in their annual “Cuts for a Cause” event. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will the playoffs be the time for Tuukka Rask to shine? 04.26.13 at 4:58 pm ET
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The last time Tuukka Rask started a playoff game was one all Bruins fans would like to forget.

It was May 14, 2010. Rask was spotted a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers. The Bruins would lose the game on a power play goal by Simon Gagne when the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice.

The game marked Boston’s collapse after going up 3-0 in the series and three goals in the final game on home ice. Rask was thrown into the spotlight that season when Tim Thomas was nursing an injured hip that eventually required surgery. Rask was 7-6 in the playoffs that season with a 2.61 goals against and a .912 save percentage. Not bad but a lot of Bruins fans felt Rask was exposed.

Of course, that was all forgiven 12 months later as Thomas and the Bruins won their sixth Stanley Cup in history.

Now, Thomas is gone. It’s Tuukka’s time to shine, and shine is exactly what Rask has done this season. He has five shutouts, including a 2-0 blanking of the Lightning on Thursday in which he turned aside all 30 shots. He is a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy awarded to the top goalie, sporting a 19-9-4 record with a sparkling 1.97 goals against and a .930 save percentage.

There’s no doubt he’s the goalie going into the playoffs. Still, there were questions about Rask and the Bruins in the last three weeks, as the team has struggled with consistency.

How important was Thursday night in terms of confidence? Even Rask isn’t sure it means all that much.

“I don’t know. I guess you always try to take the positives no matter how it goes, but the playoffs is a different season,” Rask said. “Everybody knows that. I just try to feel comfortable out there and play the game one at a time.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Claude Julien on bounceback win: ‘I’m not looking for perfection, I’m looking for reaction’ at 12:59 am ET
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After his team shut out the Lightning, 2-0, to clinch home ice in the first round of the playoffs, Bruins coach Claude Julien said he was happy with his team’s response to Tuesday night’s loss in Philadelphia.

“Like I said [Thursday] morning, we’re going to find out quickly if it was just a little bump in the road or whether it was a step back,” Julien said. “I thought our guys played hard tonight. I’m not looking for perfection, I’m looking for reaction.”

What kind of reaction?

“Reaction, to play with some emotion, play with some grit, desire, determination,” Julien added. “I saw all those things tonight. The identity of our team is as such, we’re a team that prides ourselves on being a physical team, a team that’s hard to play against. We have to create that, the rest of the game will come along. That’s what we’re looking to see from our guys for 60 minutes and I think they did a good job of playing a full 60 tonight.

Tuukka Rask was a big part of the reaction Thursday, turning back all 30 shots in recording his fifth shutout of the season.

“Overall, I thought we played hard, we moved the puck quickly, when there was a breakdown Tuukka was there to make the big saves. I was pretty happy with the game, I know that if we keep playing that way we’ll only get bet better.”

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Brad Marchand: ‘I was definitely fighting back tears’ 04.18.13 at 11:19 am ET
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Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand could not have picked a more emotional night to make their returns from concussions.

Bergeron hadn’t played since April 2, a span of six games. Marchand missed the last two games since being elbowed by Anton Volchenkov of the Devils.

Neither player figured in the scoring but both had a positive signs of bouncing back on a night the city of Boston looked to bounce back.

“They both played well and they both played hard,” their coach Claude Julien said after Boston’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres. “You know, it’s unfortunate they didn’t get rewarded with anything tonight, but they had some great opportunities. And you’ve got to give their goaltender credit; he played extremely well for them tonight and allowed them to stay in that 2-1 game for a long time. I think had there been another goaltender it could have been a totally different story.”

Marchand, like everyone in the building, wasn’t thinking about himself but rather being part of something bigger during the national anthem.

Never were the emotions higher than during the national anthem for Marchand.

“It was extremely emotional. I was definitely fighting back tears,” he said. “To see again how everyone was reacting to that video, it obviously touched not only people who were here tonight but everyone at home, too, watching. It’s something that we’ll never forget. For everyone to show their respect and obviously give their thoughts and prayers for everyone, it’s great that everyone is kind of coming together at this time and helping each other out.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Claude Julien: Bruins fans ‘made you feel proud of this city’ at 9:32 am ET
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Whether player, coach or team staffer, Wednesday night was a night of solidarity.

That was a point made unmistakably clear by Bruins coach Claude Julien, even after a 3-2 loss to the Sabres at TD Garden.

Julien was asked about his reaction to the fans singing the national anthem and the “We are Boston” chants throughout the game.

“Well, I think like everybody else, it was pretty emotional,” Julien said. “In a way, it made you feel proud of this city and of our fans of this solidarity that was shown throughout this whole thing. Certainly, like I said, proud of this city for how they responded.

“The national anthem was pretty touching. And, obviously, everything that they did. I remember the video, I remember the national anthem and we even saw those people up there on the screen in the TV timeouts. And looking up there and realizing that those guys have done an unbelievable job for this city throughout this crisis and we should be grateful to a lot of people and we should also feel for the people that are going through it right now. I think we still do.”

Did it ever felt like a normal hockey game to Julien and his staff?

“I don’t know,” Julien said. “I think through it all, our guys really wanted to battle hard and make it happen. We had a lot of chances and, sure we probably didn’t bury those and we’d like to be better in regards to that, but the main goal is to go out there and really play well for the cause and I thought we played a really decent game. Unfortunately, sometimes bounces don’t go your way. They tied it up late in the game and I thought we probably deserved to win at that point.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Video: With national anthem, Bruins fans show just how Boston Strong they are 04.17.13 at 8:26 pm ET
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In one of the most powerful and stirring moments in recent Boston sports history, Bruins fans took over for national anthem singer Rene Rancourt Wednesday night, singing the entire national anthem in tribute to the victims and the heroes from Monday’s Boston Marathon attacks that killed three and left over 170 injured. Before the anthem, the Bruins showed a wonderfully crafted video tribute to the first responders who rescued victims from the carnage on Boylston Street. That video – courtesy of the Boston Bruins – is below.

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Anton Volchenkov suspended 4 games for elbowing Brad Marchand 04.11.13 at 2:18 pm ET
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Brad Marchand, left, holds his head while going down after being elbowed by New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. (AP)

The justice for Brad Marchand was swift.

Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended for four games, without pay, for elbowing Marchand during Wednesday’s game in New Jersey.

The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced the ruling Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred at 15:11 of the second period. Volchenkov was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct (per Rule 45). [The NHL details the hit and the explanation for the suspension in the video below].

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Volchenkov will forfeit $91,891.88. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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