|Bruins coach Claude Julien a man of low profile, high achievement||07.04.13 at 10:30 am ET|
Claude Julien‘s New Jersey Devils had just defeated the Bruins, 3-1. Winners of four of their last five, with their stars finally healthy, the Devils stood second overall in the Eastern Conference with 102 points and appeared poised to make another extended postseason run.
“They are a good example of one of the best defensive teams in hockey,” Bruins coach Dave Lewis said during the postgame press conference. The defeat marked the eighth loss in the Bruins’ last nine games, and Boston was firmly entrenched in the basement of the Northeast Division.
The game was played on April 1, 2007. The next day, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello fired Julien. The biggest blemish for a coach in the National Hockey League is to lose his players. The loss of the coach’s job, naturally, soon follows. Speculation ran rampant that Julien had lost control of the players in the dressing room.
The reason for Julien’s dismissal in New Jersey, in Lamoriello’s eyes, was not complicated.
“I don’t think we’re at a point,” Lamoriello explained in 2007, “of being ready both mentally and [physically] to play the way that is necessary going into the playoffs.” Lamoriello, recognized as one of the finest executives in hockey since the day he arrived in East Rutherford in 1987, already had led to the Devils to three Stanley Cups. His words against Julien — a man whose life was completely intertwined with hockey — were condemning. He had lost his players.
A REBUILD IN BOSTON
Move ahead six years, and the Bruins, having just swept the extremely talented Penguins, huddled together to accept the Prince of Wales trophy. A collection of superstars, led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, were no match for Julien’s well-balanced team.
In the midst of the ensuing postgame celebration, Julien was asked what going to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in three years meant to him. “What it means to us,” the polite Julien corrected, “it means a lot.”
While slowly silencing detractors, Julien has built a family on the ice in Boston. He is the longest-tenured Bruins coach since Milt Schmidt, who guided the Bruins from 1954 until 1961. Since his hire in 2007, Julien has won more playoff games (50) than any other coach except for Detroit’s Mike Babcock (51). Two more victories would have catapulted Julien atop that list, as well as captured another Stanley Cup for his Bruins. Yet the man born in Blind River, Ontario, does not care to hear about his success or tell you how much he knows about the game. He has no time to share anecdotes from his playing days. Even after a painful defeat at the hands of the Blackhawks, his narrow lens is focused entirely on the ice.
“Our team likes to deflect credit,” says Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. “The humble roots of Claude and the team, it’s an important part of our makeup. It starts from the top and works its way down.”
|Patrice Bergeron says Tyler Seguin ‘is going to learn’||07.02.13 at 12:30 pm ET|
Bruins forward Tyler Seguin was the target of some tough love from management over the weekend when Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli shopped him and then called him out for not being professional enough. Patrice Bergeron weighed in Tuesday and seemed to acknowledge that there’s room for improvement from the 21-year-old, but Bergeron had his teammate’s back more than anything.
“I didn’t read or see his comments, but I think Tyler is a young guy still,” Bergeron said. “He’s got a lot to learn, but at the same time, he’s improved a lot. At that stage, when you’re learning like that it’s going to happen. You need to make sure you learn from it though and find a way to get better. That’s the main thing with him. It’s just about him finding ways to battle through it and find ways and build some character out of it. He’s a terrific player, a terrific person and sometimes you need to have some lows to get back up and feel better and play better.”
That’s a lot nicer than what Chiarelli said Sunday at the draft.
‘He’s got to commit his mind and focus to the one task at hand,’ Chiarelli told reporters. ‘He’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.’
Seguin had just one goal in the playoffs and was demoted to the third line, but Bergeron went out of his way to compliment his linemate of the last two seasons.
“I thought he was really good, the way that he helped us,” Bergeron said of Seguin. “He found a way, even though he wasn’t scoring as much as he would have liked to, he was still battling hard and doing little details that you don’t always see on the scoresheet that goes a long way. That wasn’t gong unnoticed from us as players and as teammates. Like I said, he’s a terrific young player, so he’s going to learn.”
The interesting difference between the two isn’t the tone, but the content of the quotes. Bergeron says that Seguin was playing better than he looked, while the GM said that the criticisms that Seguin was being timid was warranted.
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Because he was in the hospital during last week’s breakup day, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron met with the media Tuesday at TD Garden for a season-concluding press conference. He indicated that he will not receive any surgeries this offseason after playing with a broken rib, cartilage and tissue damage, a separated shoulder and a hole in his lung. He also said that after resting and allowing the injuries to heal, he expects to be ready for training camp.
Bergeron said that he does not believe the whole in his lung was suffered prior to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals , as an X-ray was taken before the game after he received a nerve-block procedure to help him deal with the pain. He did say that he received another shot in the second period, so it’s likely that the second shot was what punctured the lung.
As for a timeline on Bergeron’s injuries, he said the rib cartilage and tissue damage was suffered in Game 4 against Chicago, while he broke a rib on his left side in Game 5 and then separated his right shoulder in Game 6. Though all of the injuries and procedures forced him to spend three days in the hospital after the Bruins lost Game 6, the B’s alternate captain admitted that with the Bruins leading the Blackhawks in the final minutes of Game 6, he thought that he would play Game 7 in Chicago.
At that point I thought, ‘I’m just going to do the same thing all over and hopefully I can go through it,'” Bergeron said. “Now that I look back, I would have been in the hospital, so I wouldn’t have been able to play the game. It was a tough way to lose.”
It is believed that the Bruins and Bergeron, 27, will try to wrap up an eight-year extension for the 2011-12 Selke winner, and Bergeron said that he intends to spend the rest of his career with the Bruins.
“It would mean a lot. That’s the goal,” Bergeron said. “It’s the team that believed in me when I was 18 coming up, and now it’s my home. I love the city, I love the people and I love the organization. It would mean a lot to me and hopefully we can work something out.”
Asked if he’s confident the deal will get done, Bergeron responded, “Yeah I am.”
Added Bergeron: “I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I’m very confident, yeah.”
|Peter Chiarelli on Patrice Bergeron: ‘Of course he was at risk’||06.26.13 at 9:52 pm ET|
The only thing Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli felt certain of when it came to Patrice Bergeron Wednesday was that Bergeron was putting himself at some risk by playing with a broken rib and torn cartilage in Game 6 against Chicago.
Chiarelli confirmed that Bergeron, who also suffered a separated shoulder in the first period of Game 6, went to the hospital after the Blackhawks won the Cup and remained there for observation after it was determined that he had a small puncture in his lung.
Chiarelli said that Bergeron took a shot for the pain in his ribs before Game 6, “freezing” the area in pain.
“Of course he was at risk. Anytime anyone gets frozen up they’re at risk,” Chiarelli said. “Not for future injury, but from a pain perspective, and certainly he was at risk from the lung perspective, but it was a small puncture and he’s fine now.”
What was not clear from Chiarelli or Claude Julien on Wednesday is exactly when he suffered the puncture.
“There’s a freezing type of procedure, the nerve block, that Patrice opted to do so he could play in [Game 6], and at some point before or after the game, it could have been the cracked rib, there was a puncture in his lung,” Chiarelli said. “That’s why he was under observation following the game. It was a very small hole, and he’s fine. Patrice is fine. I don’t know when it happened.
“I don’t think he could have played if it happened during the game. I just, I don’t. I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think he could have played if it happened. He was aware of the risk going into it.”
Did Bergeron put his life at risk by playing?
“No, I don’t know exactly what had happened, but he couldn’t have played if it had happened during the game, so it may have happened after,” Chiarelli said. “We caught it and it was like he had a pain in his lung and we brought him to the hospital.”
It was Claude Julien who watched Bergeron closely from behind the bench throughout Game 6.
“If [punctured lung] had happened during the game, he wouldn’t have been able to recover as far as having that little puncture in his lung,” Julien said. “He wouldn’t have been able to recover, so the biggest speculation is that it didn’t happen during the game.”
“If it had happened during the game, he would have felt the pain and then he wouldn’t have been able to play, and the same thing, he would have been sent to the hospital and it would have been rectified,” Chiarelli said.
|Patrice Bergeron played with hole in lung||at 1:02 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said at Wednesday’s breakup day that in addition to Patrice Bergeron‘s broken rib, separated shoulder and torn cartilage and muscle tissue, it was revealed after Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals that Bergeron also had a small hole in his lung.
Bergeron was taken to the hospital following Game 6, where they discovered the hole in his lung. The team was unclear as to when or how the lung was punctured, though it was likely from a needle as a means of freezing the cartilage or from his broken rib. Bergeron left Game 4 briefly, left Game 5 and was taken to hospital and Chicago, and remains under observation in the hospital from his trip after Game 6.
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Immediately after Monday night’s heartbreaking Game 6 loss that handed the Stanley Cup to the Blackhawks, Patrice Bergeron re-entered the hospital and remains there, the team announced Wednesday morning during break-up day at TD Garden.
Bergeron announced after the game that he was playing with a broken rib, torn cartilage and torn muscle from earlier in the final before suffering a separated shoulder during Game 6. The team said Bergeron was “under observation” at a local hospital.
Brad Marchand, Bergeron’s line-mate, spoke Wednesday about what it was like to watch Bergeron try and play through the injury in Game 6.
“You can’t say enough about him,” Marchand said. “He’s such a warrior. The fact he was able to play the whole game, every time I came to the bench, I was kind of nervous about him. I kind of watched him and I could see the pain and agony he was in. It was unbelievable to see him play through that. It just gives you that much more respect for him.”
Rich Peverley added, “It’s hard not to be in awe of him, as a player and a man.”
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|Barry Pederson on D&C: Bruins ‘are going to be a good team for a long time’||06.25.13 at 10:05 am ET|
NESN analyst Barry Pederson, in an interview on the Dennis & Callahan show, identified a number of roster decisions that now face the Bruins following their elimination in a Game 6 loss to the Blackhawks. Still, Pederson suggested that the team’s long-term outlook remains excellent.
With a number of young, still-improving talents like Tyler Seguin, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton, Pederson suggested that if Boston can re-sign restricted free agent Tuukka Rask and lock up Patrice Bergeron — who now has one year left in his contract — to an extension, the team has the core to continue to build upon its run of two Stanley Cup Finals and one championship in the last three years.
He emphasized the need for players like Tyler Seguin, Carl Soderberg and Jordan Caron to get stronger to help carry the Bruins through a 2013-14 season that starts in 13 weeks, but overall, Pederson pointed to a sunny outlook for a team that just endured a devastating defeat. Read the rest of this entry »