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Bruins not sure who their All-Star is 01.09.15 at 3:58 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

Asked Friday which teammate should represent the Bruins in the All-Star Game later this month, one Bruin confidently responded, “€œOur best player is Tuukka.”

Then, after showering and thinking about it, the player came back.

“I change my answer,” he said. “Bergy.”

The player was correct –€” not for choosing Patrice Bergeron, but for being indecisive. With All-Star teams being named Saturday, there is no obvious answer as to which Bruin (or, less likely, Bruins) should be there in this tumultuous season.

The annual exhibition returns this month from a two-year absence and, aside from those making money off it and a shockingly high number of Latvian voters (big ups, Zemgus Girgensons), it’€™s hard to imagine that many folks have missed it. All-Star appearances, aside from the extra dough they earn the player, aren’€™t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, as fan voting for six of the 42 players and the fact that each team needs a representative water down the distinction.

With the Bruins receiving few standout season-long performances (they don’t have anyone in the top in points) it will be interesting to see who goes to Columbus. The player folks should most want to see would be Zdeno Chara so he can defend his title in the Hardest Shot contest, but he has not performed to his level of seasons past and has missed 19 games this season due to a torn PCL.

The most popular guess from Bruins players was that Patrice Bergeron was the best candidate, with players also voicing their support for Tuukka Rask, Carl Soderberg, Chara and Dougie Hamilton. Multiple players expressed hope that Chara could go so he could put on his until-recently annual slapshot clinic.

Bergeron was a pretty obvious candidate in the 2011-12 season, but was passed over in favor of linemate Tyler Seguin. Chara, who captained one of the teams, and Tim Thomas were also there for the Bruins in 2012, the last All-Star Game played before it fell victim to the lockout in 2013 and Olympics last season.

This season, Bergeron’€™s play has dipped a bit from last season, though he leads the Bruins with 31 points and is on pace for a respectable 20-goal campaign. Given what happened in 2012, one could argue he is owed an All-Star appearance. Bergeron has still never been an All-Star in his 11-season NHL career.

If the NHL seeks a big name who has raised his performance this season, Hamilton is a good candidate. He has regularly played against opponents’€™ top lines, with only Dennis Seidenberg getting fewer offensive zone starts on average than him. Hamilton frequently led Boston defensemen in time on ice while Chara was out and is third on the B’€™s in average time on ice with 22:01. Chara leads the way, averaging 22:40.

Furthermore, Hamilton is fifth on the Bruins in points with 23, which leads Boston defensemen and is 19th among NHL blueliners.

Hamilton doesn’€™t buy it, however. He feels Dougie’€™s Big All-Star Game will have to wait.

“I don’€™t think so,” he said with a smirk when asked whether he felt he was having an All-Star season. “I think there’€™s too many good D in the league. I think I had a good start and everything, but I don’€™t think I’€™m an All-Star.”

When Seguin was an All-Star in 2012, he felt he needed to apologize to Bergeron. Hamilton said that if he were chosen this year, he’€™d feel there were other Bruins more deserving as well.

“I think with our team, we’€™re known to be a team,” Hamilton said. “There’€™s not one guy who puts himself ahead of other guys. I would probably feel the same way [as Seguin did]. Guys like Bergie — Krej was hurt and Zee was hurt — but even Carl, Loui and Marchy, the list goes on. For me, I’€™m just trying to contribute to the team and win some games.”

Well, someone has to go to the stupid thing.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Dougie's Big Year, Patrice Bergeron,
5 things we learned as Bruins get much-needed win over Penguins to re-enter playoff picture 01.07.15 at 10:54 pm ET
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The Bruins are back in the playoff picture for now. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Bruins are back in the playoff picture for now. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Milan Lucic chose the right time to have one of his better games of the season.

After turning in a heavy performance with new linemates in regulation, Lucic fired a wrist shot from the top of the zone in overtime that Patrice Bergeron tipped on its way past Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Bruins a desperately needed 3-2 victory over the Metropolitan-leading Penguins on Wednesday (click here for boxscore). Lucic finished the game with a pair of assists, both of which came on Bergeron goals.

With the Maple Leafs losing to the Capitals Wednesday night, Boston’s victory put the Bruins into the playoff picture. Now 20-15-6, the B’€™s are currently in possession of the second wild card spot to sit eighth in the Eastern Conference.

The victory was Boston’€™s first with a healthy roster this season, as they are now 1-1-3 in games in which they’ve had no players out with injuries.

Tuukka Rask made 37 shots on 39 shots faced. The win technically extended a point-streak to five games for the Bruins, though they’€™re just 2-0-3 in that span.

Here are four more things we learned Wednesday:

BRUINS MORE NERVOUS THAN DETERMINED

Given how they played Sunday and what Charlie Jacobs said about the team Tuesday, you would think that the Bruins would come out furious each period. Instead, the Bruins came out for the first two periods Wednesday looking just as indifferent as they have all season.

The Penguins carried the pace early in the first period before the B’€™s found their legs as the frame went on.

Given that the B’€™s were able to tie the game late in the period on a Zdeno Chara slap shot, you would think they’€™d come out for the second period riled up. Instead, the Bruins did not attempt a shot until 8:31 into the second.

In the third period, the Bruins landed just one shot on goal in the first 13-plus minutes, though they were at least shooting the puck, which was, horrifyingly, a step in the right direction.

Things like leadership are not quantifiable, but some of the alarmingly poor starts to periods the Bruins have had this season were not regular occurrences in years past.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Pittsburgh Penguins,
Patrice Bergeron returns to practice, David Pastrnak skates with David Krejci 01.06.15 at 10:58 am ET
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Patrice Bergeron returned to practice Tuesday at TD Garden, while David Pastrnak skated alongside David Krejci for the first time since training camp.

Pastrnak, recalled Tuesday morning, served as the fourth forward on Krejci’s line with Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith.

Bergeron took a maintenance day and missed Monday’s practice but was back with his usual linemates Tuesday.

The lines in practice were as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Griffith/Pastrnak
Marchand-Bergeron-Smith
Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson
Paille-Campbell-Cunningham/Caron

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – McQuaid
Krug – Miller
(Bartkowski)

The B’s will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins Wednesday.

Read More: David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron,
Struggling Bruins return to practice without Patrice Bergeron 01.05.15 at 11:24 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Patrice Bergeron was the lone Bruin absent from Monday’€™s practice at Ristuccia Arena, which began half an hour later than scheduled.

Coming off perhaps their lowest point of the season in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Hurricanes that saw most of their forwards go without a shot on goal, the B’€™s were scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. skate in Wilmington, but the ice remained vacant until Dennis Seidenberg stepped on 28 minutes later, with teammates trickling out shortly after.

Bergeron missed last Monday’€™s game against the Red Wings with an undisclosed injury but has played in three games since. Claude Julien said after the practice that Monday was a maintenance day for Bergeron.

With Bergeron absent, Boston’€™s lines were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Marchand – Cunningham – Griffith
Paille – Campbell – Caron

All seven defensemen and both goaltenders participated in practice.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Patrice Bergeron,
Bruins fall in shootout to Hurricanes 01.04.15 at 3:57 pm ET
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You’€™ll never guess what the Bruins did Sunday.

Looking for their first win in three games, the Bruins, behind two nonexistent periods, lost in a shootout to the second-worst team in the league as the Hurricanes took a 2-1 victory over the struggling B’€™s in Carolina. With the loss, the Bruins fell to 19-15-6 on the season.

Though the Bruins have actually gotten points in four straight (1-0-3), Sunday’€™s loss is the latest low point of the season for Boston. The Bruins are now 0-1-3 this season in games in which they have a healthy lineup.

The Bruins didn’€™t land a shot on goal until 16:55 of the first period and managed to get just two pucks on net in the first period altogether. For the second straight game, Claude Julien changed up his top-six wingers during the game, as he switched right wings Seth Griffith and Reilly Smith a day after switching first-and-second-line left wings Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.

Patrick Dwyer scored for Carolina in the final minute of the first period, with Patrice Bergeron getting the Bruins on the board with a one-timer off a feed from Marchand at 14:35 of the second period. Bergeron nearly netted the game-winner in overtime, but Nathan Gerbe got a stick on the puck to break up Bergeron’€™s backhand bid.

The B’€™s managed just two shots on goal in the third period, with seven B’€™s forwards going the whole 65-minute contest without a shot on goal (David Krejci, Griffith, Marchand, Loui Eriksson, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Craig Cunningham).

Tuukka Rask stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced during game action and surrendered the lone goal of the shootout to Eric Staal. The Bruins are now 1-1-3 in the last five games in which Rask has allowed two goals or less.

The Bruins will next play Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask,
Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron return to Bruins lineup 12.31.14 at 6:37 pm ET
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Both Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron will return to the Bruins’ lineup Wednesday after missing Monday’s game with undisclosed injuries.

The Bruins’ lineup is as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Cunningham – Campbell – Paille

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Seidenberg
Krug – Miller

Rask

Jordan Caron, Zach Trotman and Matt Linblad are the healthy scratches. Lindblad was the only player missing from warmups.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron,
Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic practice, still considered day-to-day 12.30.14 at 1:12 pm ET
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Both Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic practiced with the Bruins in Tuesday’€™s practice, participating in line drills and working with their respective power play units.

Claude Julien said after the skate that both players remain day-to-day after missing Monday’€™s win over the Red Wings with undisclosed injuries. The Bruins will not have a morning skate prior to Wednesday’€™s game against the Maple Leafs, so it will be difficult to tell whether the players will be in the lineup against the Maple Leafs.

Lines in practice were as follows:

Marchand – Krejci/Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Caron
Lucic/Lindblad – Cunningham – Griffith

All eight defensemen, including Adam McQuaid (still on injured reserve with a thumb injury) were on the ice.

PP1: Krug, Krejci, Griffith/Lucic, Marchand
PP2: Hamilton, Smith, Eriksson, Bergeron, Soderberg

Read More: Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron,
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