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Travel and fatigue are challenges, not excuses, for the down but not out Bruins 06.05.11 at 10:34 pm ET
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One thing is for certain, that five-hour plane ride that began early Sunday morning in Vancouver would’ve been a lot shorter if the Bruins had found a way to hold onto their 2-1 third-period lead in Game 2 Saturday night.

But the Bruins had no choice but to get on the 7 a.m. bus and catch their 8 a.m. (PT) flight back for Boston. At least it was a charter and at least it was a big plane so most everyone could catch up on sleep and relaxation.

“We’re not going to hide the fact that we don’t travel as much as they do,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, referring to the fact that the Canucks basically head out on a lengthy road trip every time they don’t play at Rogers Arena. “They’re probably used to this more than we are. So I think it was important for us to really look at it in a way where we had to make it the best possible way for us.”

When they beat Tampa Bay, 1-0, in Game 7 of the Eastern finals, Julien and the Bruins knew managing their travel would be nearly as important as solving Roberto Luongo. Julien wanted his team to leave Sunday morning so they could get back Sunday afternoon and get back on Eastern time ASAP, with Game 3 Monday night at 8 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup, 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien
Bruins downplay Alexandre Burrows feasting on them at 12:03 am ET
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VANCOUVER — There was plenty of buzz over whether Canucks first-line winger Alexandre Burrows would play in Game 2 in the hours that followed his bite on Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period of Game 1. The league’s decision not to suspend Burrows hurt the Bruins big-time Saturday, as he had a hand in all three Canucks goals and scored the game-winner 11 seconds into overtime in a 3-2 Vancouver win.

The Bruins and coach Claude Julien were quick to dismiss the connection between Burrows’ act the impact Wednesday he had Saturday.

“No comments. That’s got nothing to do with that,” Julien said when asked whether Burrows’ performance made him reconsider whether he felt the league made the right call. “I never thought about that that way. They made a decision and we moved on. If we start using that as an excuse, we’re a lame team. To me, it’s not even a consideration.”

Bergeron had cuts on his right pointer finger and had to get a tetanus shot following the bite. Given all the attention surrounding his finger, Canucks forward and longtime Bruins nemesis Maxim Lapierre waved his finger at Bergeron and even put his finger in his face in an effort to taunt the B’s center.

“I’ve got nothing to day about it,” Bergeron said of Lapierre’s gesture. “That’s just him I guess.”

Throughout the Bruins’ room, players tried to downplay any irony or added frustration from Burrows being the man who did them in.

“You don’t want to get too much into it with each little guy,” David Krejci said. “You’ve just got to take it the way it is. He scored. He’s just another player from their team.”

Added Bergeron: “I don’t see the relation there, but obviously just for us to lose like that, we’ve got to make sure we bounce back.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alexandre Burrows, Patrice Bergeron, Stanley Cup Finals
More memorable moments from Tyler Seguin would be big for Bruins 06.03.11 at 9:16 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — Bruins rookie forward Tyler Seguin has obviously had an up-and-down rookie year. Though it’s easy to get hypnotized by his skill given his age, the learning process has not always been easy for Seguin. He was a healthy scratch for seven games in the regular season, as well as in the team’s first 11 games of the postseason. In most instances, it was warranted.

When Patrice Bergeron‘s concussion opened up a spot in the lineup, Seguin showed at points of the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals just why having him on the ice can pay off. Seguin was flashy, smart and even more mature at the same time.

On Friday, the 19-year-old was asked at the University of British Columbia if he recalled a “welcome to the NHL” moment in his rookie campaign.

“Umm,” Seguin said as he thought about it. “I’ve heard before that people have had their one thing that [got their attention]. I had a ‘welcome to the playoffs’ moment.”

No, that moment was not on his first-period goal against the Lightning in Game 1 in which he embarrassed Michael Lundin at the blue line. The moment came before that.

“My second shift, where Tampa scored two goals on my line, that was kind of my ‘welcome to the playoffs,’” Seguin said. “It wasn’t a good welcome, but luckily on my third shift, I scored one.”

Seguin did score one, and he scored two more in the second period of Game 2. In Game 3, he executed a smart play by holding onto the puck and drawing two defenders over to him before sending the puck deep on a play that resulted in an Andrew Ference goal.

Yet since then, it’s been quiet for Seguin. Considering he didn’t get an assist on the aforementioned Ference goal, the rookie has gone six straight games without a point, and he hardly did anything Wednesday to provide a ‘welcome to the Stanley Cup finals’ moment.

Seguin, skating on his normal line with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, logged 6:21 in ice time, his lowest total this postseason and second-lowest total since coming to the NHL. He played 6:16 on February 26th, which coincidentally (or not) was also against the Canucks. Seguin did not register a shot on goal in Game 1 Wednesday.

“There’s a lot of guys that have gone scoreless in those six games as well,” coach Claude Julien said Friday when asked about Seguin. “As I mentioned earlier, he’s 19 years old. We don’t expect him to carry our team on his back.

“After the first two games in Tampa, they certainly were respectful of him a lot more than they were in the first two, they realized the damage he could make. Good players have to find ways to fight through that. This is the opportunity that Tyler has to gain even more experience in regards to that.”

The potential reward for the Bruins of having Seguin in the lineup is tremendous, and other teams are realizing it as they try to limit the rookie’s chances. It’s been a memorable and, at times, chaotic season for Seguin, and with the team trying to win the Stanley Cup, a few more good memories would be a good thing for everybody.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, Stanley Cup Finals
Mike Emrick on The Big Show: ‘I thought there was adequate evidence’ to suspend Alex Burrows at 3:23 pm ET
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Announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick, who is calling the Stanley Cup finals for NBC and Versus, joined The Big Show Friday afternoon to offer his insight into the Bruins-Canucks series while watching injured Canucks forward Manny Malhotra practice with his team in Vancouver. To hear the interview, go the The Big Show audio on demand page.

Discussing the Bruins’ struggling power play, Emrick said: “I’m not sure that there’s a solution to this problem, or the Bruins would have had it by now. So, maybe they’re just going to have to win the way they know how to win, which I thought was the way they played in Game 1.”

Added Emrick: “This is kind of like a team in the NFL winning key games with a negative rushing yardage. You just don’t see it. But then again, this has been an exceptional team that has played really well, done a lot of things just like this. There’s nothing that says if you can win a seventh game in overtime against Montreal and not score a power-play goal in any of the seven games ‘€” including overtime, when you had a power play ‘€” then maybe you’re a team of destiny. We’ll know a little more after the second game.”

Touching on the controversy involving Alex Burrows‘ alleged bite of Patrice Bergeron‘s finger, Emrick questioned the league’s decision not to suspend Burrows.

“I was surprised, because I thought there was ‘€” at least to the layman ‘€” I thought there was adequate evidence,” he said. “And I think the thing that meant more to me than actually watching the video ‘€¦ was to talk to players who were not affiliated with either Boston or Vancouver and who were retired, who know the players’ mentality. And this may seem naive, but I approached it in this way: Does he know what he’s about to do, and does he know what he’s doing when he does it? And the clear answer was yes, he does. So then, if you add that together with the video evidence, you have to say that’s suspendable.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Alex Burrows, Manny Malhotra, Mike Emrick, Patrice Bergeron
Brad Marchand on M&M: ‘There were a few cheap shots out there’ at 2:25 pm ET
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Bruins winger Brad Marchand joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday afternoon from Vancouver, as he and his teammates prepare for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Marchand said the Bruins are working on fixing the mistakes they made in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss in Game 1.

“We just have to clean it up a little,” he said. “We were a little sloppy in areas. We still didn’t put our best game forward, so we just have to clean up a few areas around the blue line and in our own zone.”

The Canucks are known for their skill, but they also showed a propensity for stirring up trouble in the opening game.

“There were a few cheap shots out there,” Marchand said. “I got a little rattled about that when I got speared when I was going to the bench, and I ended up taking a penalty because of it. But we do, we hate this team, they hate us. There were a lot of guys running around out there, so I think it’s only going to get worse as the series goes on. There’s no love between us right now.”

Asked how the B’s can stay away from retaliating and receiving penalties, Marchand said: “It’s tough. They’ve got a few guys over there that like to play that style, try to suck guys in. Me being an emotional guy, I’m going to be one of the guys they go after. So, I have to make sure that I just kind of skate away from it, anytime someone’s talking to me, just kind of turn my head and skate away. It’s tough, though. You want to go back, but that’s exactly what they want. We just have to skate away from everything right now and play between the whistles. If we do that, maybe we’ll frustrate them. I think that’s the biggest thing we can do.”

Canucks forward Alex Burrows appeared to bite Bruins center Patrice Bergeron‘s finger Wednesday but escaped punishment from the league.

Said Marchand: “It’s a tough situation there. I think if we weren’t in the finals, maybe it might be a different situation. But it’s tough to give a guy a suspension in the finals. There’s so much riding on the line right now. That’s a tough situation. But I don’t think you much greasier than that.”

One of Vancouver’s Green Men, an individual who goes by the name “Force,” joined The Big Show Friday and said that he was on the receiving end of a water bottle spray from Marchand while taunting the player from just outside the penalty box.

Said Marchand: “I think those guys in those green masks, they’re too ugly to show their faces in public, so they’re just trying to cover up their faces while they go to the game. ‘€¦ They’re just trying to get a taste of the life. They paid a couple of grand to watch us play, so they can enjoy it.”

Read More: Alex Burrows, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron,
Mark Messier on D&C: Game 1 loss ‘might be a confidence-builder for Boston’ at 7:48 am ET
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Hall of Fame center Mark Messier joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the Stanley Cup finals, which continue Saturday night in Vancouver. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Messier said the Bruins can build on their performance despite losing, 1-0, in Wednesday’s Game 1.

“It might be a confidence-builder for Boston,” he said, adding, “Any time you can hold Vancouver to one goal, I think that you have to be happy. They’re not happy that they didn’t win the game; they had their opportunities as well. But overall, I don’t think either team was leaving that game deflated with the loss. Obviously, Vancouver’s more than happy that they won it. I think Boston can take some solace that they played an excellent game. With some bounces the other way there, they could have come out on top in Game 1.”

The Bruins were unable to solve Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo Wednesday, but Messier said the B’s shouldn’t be looking to try anything new Saturday.

“It would be my message to don’t change your game plan, do what we’ve always done, and let the goalie make a mistake,” he said.

Touching on the NHL’s decision not to suspend Canucks forward Alex Burrows for his apparent bite on Patrice Bergeron‘s finger, Messier indicated that he supported the league’s ruling. “I think the NHL made the right decision in that regard,” he said. “I think that Boston’s probably a little disappointed, because they would like to see Burrows out of the lineup. But in the end, nobody’s really hurt, nobody’s going to miss any games. Tough decision, but I think the right decision was made.”

Read More: Alex Burrows, Mark Messier, Patrice Bergeron, Roberto Luongo
Chris Kelly a common spectator for hockey bites 06.02.11 at 6:38 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — Bruins center Chris Kelly said Thursday that there isn’t a place for actions like Alexandre Burrows’ bite on Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, saying “I don’t’ think biting’s part of the game.” Yet in Kelly’s case, he has seen multiple times now that it can be part of the game.

Kelly, who was acquired in February from the Senators for a second-round draft pick, was playing for Ottawa when teammate Jarkko Ruutuu got tried dining on the thumb of Sabres’ winger Andrew Peters. For a relatively quiet guy, Kelly has a sense of humor, so his perspective on how his team dealt with having a teammate bite a player was sharp.

“I didn’t think Ruutes bit him. I don’t know,” Kelly said with a laugh. “I’m always going to stick up for teammates. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Maybe Kelly didn’t know, but the league did. They suspended Ruutu for two games for the incident, which occurred on January 6, 2009. Unlike Ruutu, Burrows was not suspended for his bite.

It’s far from an epidemic, but Kelly has seen two bites in the last three seasons. Still, he’s not about to start worrying the next time he face-washes an opponent.

“I don’t think too many guys go and bite people,” Kelly said. “I don’t think you need to worry about it.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alexandre Burrows, Patrice Bergeron, Stanley Cup Finals
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