|Barry Pederson on D&C: Jaromir Jagr ‘a star, not a superstar’||04.03.13 at 9:55 am ET|
NESN’s Barry Pederson talked to Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the impact Jaromir Jagr could have on the Bruins, what he’ll have to do to fit into the B’s system, and Patrice Bergeron‘s situation after leaving Tuesday’s game with an injury.
Pederson said he thinks Jagr will thrive in a supporting role, similar to the one he played in Philadelphia last year, not to mention in Pittsburgh when he first broke into the league.
“He’s coming to a good team that he’s just trying to make great,” Pederson said. “He’s probably a star, not a superstar. He’s definitely a top-six forward, and I think the other thing it does for this team is it brings in competition. For the coach, he doesn’t have to do a lot of yelling, or say a lot of things in the press. Just, ‘OK you’re not going on the top two lines, I’ve got another forward here, a Hall of Famer that wants to come in here and play.’ ”
Pederson played with Jagr on the Cup-winning 1990-91 Penguins team in Jagr’s first season in the NHL. He said Jagr had his own “Euro fashion” off the ice, but that on the ice he exhibited the qualities that have kept him among the league’s top players to this day.
“He came over with all kinds of raw talent,” Pederson said. “You have to remember, on that team, with [Mario] Lemieux there, he was the guy that was kind of making all those eyes turn. But what I remember about [Jagr] the most at a young age was how gifted he was, lower body down. Similar to a Ray Bourque where you have those strong legs and that big butt, you couldn’t knock him over. He had a great release. He’d go to those dirty areas and had a knack for getting in front and scoring big goals.”
Despite Jagr causing some locker-room controversy in his earlier days, Pederson said he believes Jagr has matured into a veteran leader.
“I think you’re going to be surprised as to what you’re going to hear in the dressing room,” Pederson said. “When you read all the accounts of Philadelphia ‘¦ they think they really missed his presence in the locker room. I think he’s really matured as a person and i think that’s really going to show here.”
|Patrice Bergeron leaves game, Bruins offer no update||04.02.13 at 10:30 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron left Tuesday’s win over the Senators after colliding with Ottawa’s Colin Greening early in the second period and did not return. Following the game, Claude Julien offered no update on his condition.
Replays showed that Bergeron hit his head on Greening’s elbow/forearm while Greening was attempting to shoot in the Bruins zone. Rich Peverley took Bergeron’s place on the second line with Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.
Bergeron, who has had three concussions in his career, left the ice and went down the tunnel following the collision. Bergeron’s last concussion came in 2011 against the Flyers.
Though Julien had no update on Bergeron and wouldn’t talk about the prospect of playing without him, Bruins teammates expressed concern for the reigning Selke winner.
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but we all know what kind of guy and what kind of player he is,” David Krejci said. “We don’t have to talk about it. It sucks, but I hope it’s nothing serious and he’s going to be back in the lineup soon.”
For more, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
DJ Bean contributed to this report.
The Bruins got both Jaromir Jagr and a win over Ottawa on Tuesday, but it still might end up being a shaky day for them as Patrice Bergeron was knocked out of the game in the second period against the Senators.
The B’s got goals from David Krejci, Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton in a 3-2 victory that put them one point behind the Canadiens in the Northeast Division. The Habs have 51 points to the Bruins’ 50 through 35 games.
Here’s what went right and wrong for the B’s:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Horton is producing like a man who has no interest in losing his spot on the top line to Jagr. He broke a third-period 2-2 tie by scoring his fourth goal in as many games after scoring just once in the previous 14 contests. The veteran right wing has been inconsistent this season, but he’s really making that top line a tough one to break up.
- Give Matt Bartkowski credit for staying focused and turning in some solid play despite knowing that the Bruins tried to trade him for Jarome Iginla. Bartkowski saved a goal in the second period, when Khudobin made a kicksave on Mika Zibanejad and kicked the rebound out to the bottom for the right circle. A Senators player was inches from knocking it in with plenty of open net, but Bartkowski got a stick on it just in time to break it up.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Bergeron was knocked out of the game on his third shift of the second period with what appeared to at the very least be some sort of upper-body injury. Bergeron lunged at Colin Greening while the Washington center was trying to shoot, and Bergeron’s head awkwardly hit Greening’s elbow/forearm. Bergeron left the game and did not return.
Though the Bruins offered no details on the injury, the play was obviously concerning given his history with concussions. He has had three in his NHL career, the most recent of which came in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers in 2011.
Bergeron leads the Bruins with 31 points (10 goals and a team-high 21 assists) this season.
- The Bergeron injury wasn’t the only one for the Bruins. Dougie Hamilton threw a hit on Erik Condra in the Bruins’ zone, and though the play got a massive cheer as both players went down, Hamilton couldn’t finish his shift. Upon getting up, he slowly tried to get in position before calling for a line change. He went straight down the tunnel and left the ice for about 10 minutes real time before returning to the Bruins’ bench with five and a half minutes to play.
- The Bruins appeared to get the save of the year from Anton Khudobin when he lost his stick diving across the net to stop a bid from Andre Benoit after being out of position. The play was reviewed, however, and the replay showed that Benoit’s slapshot had indeed gone in and bounced back out.
- Benoit’s goal tied the game at two, making for the Bruins’ latest blown lead in the third period this season. Boston has now blown leads in seven games this season and are 4-3-2 when leading after two periods.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins ‘definitely need another defenseman’||03.28.13 at 1:01 pm ET|
NESN’s Andy Brickley talked with Mut & Merloni on Thursday about the Jarome Iginla trade, Wednesday’s shootout loss to the Canadiens, and the tremendous play of Patrice Bergeron.
Brickley said of Iginla’s decision to go to Pittsburgh: “I don’t think it’s the timeline that’s the difference here. What it comes down to, and this is the bothersome part for me certainly, the Calgary Flames, their ownership and their management team and their responsibility to their fan base, they need to make the best deal possible for the future of that franchise. If you just stack up the two deals, the Pittsburgh offer and the Boston offer, there’s no comparison. The Boston offer is better. It leads you to believe that Jarome Iginla shortened his list, shortened it to one team when the deals were on the table.”
With this blockbuster falling apart, Brickley said that a trade may be necessary, but also some key players need to play better and get healthy for the stretch run.
“They’ve got to have [Johnny] Boychuk healthy,” Brickley said. “They’ve got to have [Adam] McQuaid healthy. They’ve got to have [Chris] Kelly healthy. They’ve got to have [Milan] Lucic and [Nathan] Horton playing a far more consistent game than you’re getting right now. … They need their power play to be a little sharper than it’s been. You hope that work in progress finds a good streak when you get into the postseason and then you have to add to that. They definitely need another defenseman, there’s no question about it.”
If the B’s do decide to go the route of acquiring a new player, they will have until Wednesday at 3 p.m. to complete a deal.
“I really like [Mark Streit],” Brickley said. “It all comes down to, ‘Do you think he’s a good fit? Can you afford him, and what’s the price to get him?’ It’s always that. That’s always the formula, those are always the variables. He would be definitely a guy that I think Bruins fans would appreciate. I think he’d fit in nicely here and I think he gives the Bruins far more options — versatility, flexibility on their back end.”
|What went right as Bruins beat Maple Leafs in shootout to pull even with Canadiens||03.25.13 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Leafs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period with goals from Joffrey Lupul and Nikolai Kulemin. The Bruins were able to come back with goals from Milan Lucic and Bergeron, with Lucic scoring his first goal in 16 games. Demoted to the third line for Monday’s contest, Lucic took a pass from Rich Peverley and flew past two defenders to give himself a breakaway on which he beat Leafs netminder James Reimer to make it 2-1 in the second period. Bergeron took advantage of some sloppy defensive play from Toronto in the third to tie the game.
The win improved the Bruins’ record to 21-7-3, pulling them even with the Canadiens with 45 points. Both the B’s and Habs have played 31 games this season, and the Bruins will host the Canadiens Wednesday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Daniel Paille was undoubtedly a beneficiary of the new lines, as he had scoring chance after scoring chance while skating on Patrice Bergeron’s trio. Paille’s chances weren’t limited to even strength, however, as a spin move he pulled around Dion Phaneuf with the Leafs on the power play in the second period nearly yielded a shorthanded goal for the Bruins. Paille led the Bruins with five shots through two periods.
- Bergeron had all the time in the time in the world with the puck after Dougie Hamilton fed him from behind the net. Dion Phaneuf was front of the net when Bergeron got the puck but didn’t make much of an effort on taking Bergeron out of the play. The drowsy effort from Phanuf allowed Bergeron to handle the puck just long enough before beating Reimer with a backhander.
- More of a general observation, but Julien reverted back to the team’s original lines about five minutes into the third period. Furthermore, when the game went to 4-on-4 play following matching roughing minors to Phaneuf and Andrew Ference, Krejci was paired with Lucic while Bergeron skated with Marchand.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The line of David Krejci between Brad Marchand and Nathan Horton moved the puck well and created chances, but they didn’t get the puck on net. The line combined for three shots on goal through two periods and missed the net on multiple chances. Early on in the first period, Krejci fed Marchand in front, only to have Marchand’s bid sail to the left of Reimer. Horton has just one goal the last 14 games.
- Speaking of Horton, both he and Seguin had zero shots on goal in regulation and in overtime. That’s not fantastic.
- Aaron Johnson had a forgettable second period, as his hit on Lupul gave the Maple Leads the power play on which Lupul scored to make it 1-0. Later in the period, he had a shot blocked that led to the long pass through the neutral zone past he and Andrew Ference to give Kulemin a breakaway.
|Business-like: Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask lead B’s to bounce-back win over Panthers||03.14.13 at 9:26 pm ET|
It was another milestone night at the Garden, this time for the Bruins. With the win, Claude Julien surpassed Milt Schmidt for second on the club’s all-time coaching wins list with victory No. 246. Art Ross (1924-1945) is far ahead in first, with 361 career wins for the Bruins. Now in his sixth season as Boston’s coach, Julien improved his record to 246-136-53 in 435 games.
The win improved the Bruins to 18-4-3 on the season and drew them to within one point of idle Montreal (40 points) for first place in the Eastern Conference standings, with two games in hand on the Canadiens.
Chara put the Bruins on top with a slap shot from the left point after a fluky bounce off the boards. The blast beat former Boston College goalie Scott Clemmensen and gave Boston a 1-0 lead 3:55 into the game.
The Bruins got three big saves from Rask in the first period, including a glove save on Jonathan Huberdeau midway through the period that protected Boston’s one-goal advantage.
Bergeron made it 2-0 when he took a perfect feed from Brad Marchand and one-timed the puck into the net vacated by Clemmensen on the right post. The Bruins appeared ready to take advantage of an injury-depleted Panthers team that has given up an NHL-worst 103 goals this season. But instead, the Bruins could not take advantage of several chances in the final two periods, including open nets for Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.
The Bruins gave one of the goals back by allowing a rare shorthanded goal by Florida’s Shawn Matthias at 3:10 of the second period. Matthias outworked Dougie Hamilton for the loose puck deep in the Boston zone and the Florida forward beat Rask for the unassisted goal. It was the first short-handed goal allowed by the Bruins this season in 74 power plays.
With momentum swinging against them, the Bruins’ NHL-leading penalty-killing unit killed off a pair of Florida power plays to hold onto the lead.
The Bruins finally finished a chance, with the help of a lucky bounce midway through the final period. Shawn Thornton centered a pass from a bad angle from the right circle. The puck bounced off the skate of Florida defenseman Colby Robak and back to the slot. Thornton circled behind the net and collected the loose puck and put it in the net for his third goal of the season at 12:43 of the third period.
Bergeron scored his second of the game and eighth of the season on an empty-net tally with 57.2 seconds left for the final score of the night. The Bruins are off Friday before hosting the Capitals at 1 p.m at the Garden in the first of a Bruins-Celtics day-night doubleheader on Causeway Street.
For more from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Brad Marchand says Tyler Seguin is ‘pressure’ free now, and it shows||03.08.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
Forget the pressure of playing against his hometown Leafs on Thursday. After all, Tyler Seguin has proven that’s not really pressure at all. It’s inspiration.
The true pressure test came early in the season in the form of expectations for the budding superstar of the Bruins.
On Sept. 11, he signed a six-year, $34.5 million contract extension with the Bruins, when he was still 20 years of age. He then lit it up in Switzerland during the four-month NHL lockout, just to stay sharp. Stay sharp he did with 25 goals and 15 assists in 29 games with Biel.
He started relatively slowly with three goals and seven assists in his first 17 games. But since the calendar turned to March he’s been on fire. He has four goals in two assists in four games in March and has turned the Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand line into the most productive on the team.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on him coming into the year with his new contract and with how well he did over in Switzerland,” Marchand said after Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Leafs in which he had two goals and an assist. “I think he was feeling pressure a bit because a lot of people were saying a lot of things about him, and it seems like right now he’s just very calm and confident, and he’s not really worried about anything else. He’s just focused on playing, and when he does that he’s a great player, and you see it night in and night out right now. He’s making a difference.”
Funny, it’s the assist he got that impressed everyone the most. After Marchand fought for a loose puck near the Toronto bench, he picked it up and made like a missile for the Leafs goal in the final minute of the first period. He was stopped but the rebound was left for Bergeron to tap home for a 1-0 lead.
“When Segs is on his game that’s the kind of things he does,” Marchand marveled. “He takes the puck to the net hard, and he uses speed and skill, and you saw that in the first goal, you saw it in the second goal, and I guess again on the third one. His speed, that’s how he has to play.”
In 14 career games against his hometown Leafs (actually, he grew up in nearby Brampton, Ont.), he has 10 goals and six assists. Any extra bounce for the player who is the reason for the “Thank you, Kessel” chants at TD Garden?
“I’d like to say no,” Seguin said with a smile. “I mean I try to prepare for every game but [Thursday] I thought we did a good job, I think all of our goals our line scored so it was a total line effort whether it was winning battles or making nice passes.
Is there is a little more relief now that these pucks are hitting the back of the net?
“Yeah, you could say that,” Seguin said. “I think every guy in here likes to score and I’m no exception so definitely feels good.
“I think the last couple weeks I’ve just been playing good in my D-Zone and competing a lot more than I think I was in the start of the season. Over in Europe I think I was circling a bit more and didn’t really have to battle, I don’t even know if I got hit over there for the few months I was there but I had to find that game again with me, and I think it’s coming around now.”
The fire everyone always wanted to see from Seguin has been lit. How long will it burn?
“I mean I think it just comes with not producing and just getting more determined and getting back to focusing on the little things more than the big picture or the statistics, I’m starting with that and things are rolling from there,” he said. “I mean it feels good. I think again, like I was saying, as a whole, as a line, I think we’re playing really well, we’re moving the puck well and winning battles and I think with our experience with each other over the last two years those two the last three, it’s really clicking right now.”
Seguin couldn’t help but get a little friendly jab in at Marchand when reminded that he’s scoring all the goals that Marchand was getting from his assists early in the season.
“I just gave it to March [early in the season],” Seguin said. “What else are you going to do, look at the stats?
Well, that’s not a bad place now for No. 19.
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