|How the Bruins have become Team Unity, and why it matters||02.04.11 at 8:57 am ET|
Just four minutes into Thursday’s slugfest at the Garden, Stars forward Adam Burish came in on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and fired a shot several seconds after the whistle had clearly blown, stopping play.
That is a big hockey no-no.
And Andrew Ference made sure Burish paid the penalty. The Bruins defenseman came over to enforce the hockey the law, eventually drawing Burish into a fight ‘ which Ference clearly won ‘ and a message had been sent. Don’t mess with these Bruins or you pay the price, especially on Boston’s home ice.
“We’re a tight group,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice and assisted on an empty-netter. “We’ve always said that and we all know that. We’re ‘¦ we get along real well off the ice and we try to bring that on the ice. I think that Ference fight is the best example just by showing that he took a shot after the whistle on Tuukka and Andy responded right away. So I think it’s ‘¦ it showed our unity, and we’ve got to keep going.”
As for Ference himself, he said Thursday’s win showed how the Bruins can get back to being the right mix of talent and toughness, just like 2008-09, when they were the top seed in the East and a favorite to get to the Stanley Cup finals.
“One of the good things we did in that year, and something we’ve established over the last few is, when our team is emotionally and physically involved, we’re a very good team,” Ference said. “We’ve proven that the other way around, too. When it’s not there, we lose games. You know, go back to the Carolina series a couple years ago. I think that’s what almost all of us pointed our fingers at, it was missing. We know that that has to be there for us to be successful, and it was good [against Dallas].”
Bruins coach Claude Julien certainly had no problem with it.
“It was an opportunity for us to step up for each other, and we did and I thought it certainly played in our favor,” Julien said of the four fights in four minutes ‘ three in the opening four seconds. “We’re a team that can handle that and guys seem to be ready for it and certainly that part of it was good. Those two quick goals also were proof that we were ready to play.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Patrice Bergeron continues hot streak with three-point night||02.03.11 at 10:48 pm ET|
After being named the NHL‘s first star of the month for January, Patrice Bergeron has continued his hot streak right on into February. After scoring the game-winning goal Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Hurricanes, he Bruins assistant captain registered two more tallies and an assist in Thursday night’s 6-3 win over the Stars to give him four points in two games so far this month.
Bergeron scored the game’s second and third goals, his 18th and 19th markers of the season, eight minutes apart in the first when he buried two Brad Marchand centering passes.
‘It’s been going well,’ Bergeron said of playing with Marchand. ‘[Marchand] has that speed and he has those great hands. He made two easy tap-ins for me.’
Bergeron returned the favor by setting up Marchand for an empty-netter late in the third after missing a chance at the hat trick when he shot wide of the open net.
‘That last one, I guess I didn’t want it, so I gave it to him,’ Bergeron joked. ‘I guess one [hat trick] was good enough this year.’
For Bergeron, Thursday marked his team-leading 13th multi-point game of the season. He now has 11 goals and nine assists in his last 14 games. When asked if this is the best stretch of his career, though, Bergeron said he’s not really concerned with that.
‘To be honest, I’ve kind of stopped thinking about that,’ he said. ‘But I feel good and got to keep it going.’
He also noted that his linemates ‘ Marchand and veteran winger Mark Recchi ‘ have been a big part of that. Recchi started the rushes that led to all three of the line’s goals Thursday with crisp breakout passes.
‘That’s all because of him,’ Bergeron said of Recchi. ‘The three breakouts on those three goals, that all starts with him.’
Bergeron was also quick to deflect credit for his first star of the month honor.
‘I have to give credit to all my teammates and my linemates for this award,’ he said. ‘There’s no award that can be credited only to yourself. It’s all about my teammates. I’m trying to work hard each and every night and bring everything I can to put up wins for the team, so I’m happy to get recognized like that.’
|Bruins beat up Stars, 6-3||at 9:44 pm ET|
Three fights in the first four seconds, a goalie change in the first 80 seconds, and a 6-3 Bruins’ victory after 3,600 seconds. Boston has to like that result.
The Bruins played a hard-fought (literally) game on Thursday behind lots of fighting majors and timely scoring. Patrice Bergeron had two first-period goals for the B’s, with Milan Lucic opening the scoring and Shawn Thornton also scoring in the first. Tyler Seguin provided the B’s with an important goal after the team, leading 4-0 in the second period, allowed three unanswered goals.
Gregory Campbell, who was cheap-shotted by Steve Ott two years ago while Campbell was still a member of the Panthers, clearly didn’t forget about their history. He was the first of the Bruins players to drop the gloves, as he squared off with Ott just one second into the game. Ott tossed him a pretty good beating, though, and Campbell left the ice bloodied. He did return to the game later in the period. Shawn Thornton and Adam McQuaid also fought for the B’s two and four seconds into the game, respectively. Andrew Ference fought Adam Burish at 3:51.
With the Bruins leading 4-0 after the first period, the Stars outshot the B’s 16-9 in the second period and got three pucks past Tuukka Rask, courtesy of Karlis Skrastins, Brenden Morrow, and Brad Richards over the course of the final two periods. Seguin put the game out of reach with his eighth goal of the season, while Brad Marchand scored an empty netter after Bergeron hit the side of the net going for the hat trick.
Tuukka Rask earned the victory for the Bruins and improved his , The Stars went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Bruins were 0-for-4.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Any time there’s a fight off the opening draw, the crowd is going to go crazy. But two fights in the first two seconds? Three in the first four? Needless to say, the Garden was rocking, especially since Shawn Thornton and Adam McQuaid scored decisive victories in the latter two bouts. Milan Lucic made sure the energy boost didn’t go to waste by scoring 35 seconds into the game when he took in a pass from David Krejci and beat Andrew Raycroft with a wrester. Patrice Bergeron kept the wave of momentum going when he tipped home a Brad Marchand centering pass 45 seconds later. From there, the Raycroft’s night was done.
– Seguin redeemed himself in a big way in the third period. It had been nine games without a point for the second overall pick, and he was coming off perhaps his worst showing of the season Tuesday in Carolina. Seguin didn’t get off to a great start Thursday, as he seemed to be treading water between Adam Burish and Skrastins on the Stars’ first goal in the second period, but his third-period goal gave the Bruins some much-needed breathing room.
– How’s this for a crazy one from the WEEI.com stat truck: Thursday was the second time this season that Shawn Thornton has dropped the gloves two seconds into a game and scored. The other time, of course, was on Dec. 23 against the Thrashers, when Thornton fought Eric Boulton and scored two goals in the Bruins’ victory.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Daniel Paille laid a very dirty hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawada in the second period. Paille lined Sawada up from a good 10 feet away and left his feet for a blindside shoulder to the ear that left Sawada slow to get up. He was handed a five minute major and match penalty for a head shot.
It’s very difficult to see how Paille doesn’t get suspended for the play, as the match penalty carries a suspension pending review. That’s exactly the type of play the NHL is trying to get rid of, and Paille will have to answer to the league.
– The Bruins appeared to take a 5-0 lead 4:10 into the second when McQuaid fired through a Blake Wheeler screen for what would’ve been his second career goal. Instead, the goal was waved off and Wheeler was sent to the box for a goaltender interference call that was questionable at best. Wheeler had himself planted a good foot outside the crease and it appeared that Kari Lehtonen was the one who initiated contact by coming out of his crease.
– The Bruins won just 22 of the game’s 64 faceoffs. All four of Boston’s starting centers failed to win 50 percent of their draws. Blake Wheeler was the biggest culprit as he went four of 16, while Patrice Bergeron won just seven of 20, Gregory Campbell four of 10, and David Krejci six of 14.
Scott McLaughlin contributed to this report.
A lot of skaters saw the penalty box, and a starting goaltender saw the bench very early on as the Bruins outmuscled and outscored the Stars in the first period to the tune of a 4-0 lead.
An astonishing three fights took place in the first four seconds of the game, while Andrew Raycroft, starting in an exciting matchup against Tuukka Rask was pulled from the game after only 1:20.
Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves off the face-off with Steve Ott, and their tango just one second into the contest made for the quickest into a game this season that a Bruin has tangoed with an opponent. Campbell was bloodied and left the ice for the locker room. He would return later in the period.
The guy who previously held the distinction of quickest to get in a fight for the B’s this season, Shawn Thornton, wasn’t to be outdone. He fought Krystofer Barch one second later (the second time this season he dropped the gloves two seconds into the first period, Dec. 23 vs. Thrashers). Adam McQuaid did the twist with Bryan Sutherby two seconds later, with Andrew Ference and Adam
Thirty-one seconds after McQuaid’s fight (and still just 35 seconds into the game), Milan Lucic opened the scoring for the Bruins when he beat Raycroft with a wrist shot for his 21st goal of the season.
Forty-five seconds later, Brad Marchand took a pass from Mark Recchi and fired a shot from the top of the circle. Patrice Bergeron redirected it past Raycroft, ending his night after just 80 seconds. Bergeron would score his second goal of the night with 10:25 remaining in the first. The 25-year-old picked up his 19th of the season when Marchand returned his pass in offensive zone to set up the goal.
Thornton beat Kari Lehtonen top left corner with an absolute lacerate 16:01 for his eighth goal of the season. It is the second time he has fought two seconds into the first and also scored in a game, as he had two goals on Dec. 23.
Tuukka Rask stopped all nine shots he saw.
|Nathan Horton makes his first goal in a long time count, Bruins beat Hurricanes||02.01.11 at 9:31 pm ET|
Tim Thomas made 24 saves on the night and improved his season record to 25-5-6. His 25 wins put him in a tie with Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller for the league lead.
The Hurricanes received goals from Jamie McBain and Joe Corvo in the first and third period, respectively.
The Bruins will return the Garden Thursday night when they face the Stars.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– To say the Bruins needed Horton to get going in an understatement. The 25-year-old had just 12 goals entering the night, and only one of those had come in the last 20 games. With Marc Savard out, the Bruins need all their guys going, and can’t depend on Patrice Bergeron to continue scoring enough for multiple people. Speaking of which’¦
– Bergeron continues to score enough to make up for any slumps teammates may be going through. Bergeron, who was named the NHL’s No. 1 Star of the Month for January via his 17 points last month (8 G, 9 A) kicked off January in style by scoring his 17th goal of the season.
– With Adam McQuaid‘s plus-1 on the night, he is now a plus-16 on the season, good for fifth on the team. Chara was also a plus-1 and leads the Bruins with a plus-1 and leads the B’s with a plus-23 rating.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins found themselves shorthanded four times, with the last penalty, a Brad Marchand hooking call, resulting in a Carolina goal.
– Staying in the special teams department, the Bruins didn’t have a single power play over the course of the game, as the only time a Hurricanes player found the penalty box was when Jay Harrison got five for fighting following his first-period bout with Milan Lucic.
It was only the second game this season (Dec. 18 vs. Washington) in which the Bruins did not have a power play.
|Peter Chiarelli glad to see ‘deserving’ Patrice Bergeron get a rest at All-Star break||01.28.11 at 5:48 pm ET|
As the names are called one by one by Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom Friday night, the All-Star rosters will take shape, and Bruins fans will find out whether Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara will be teammates as usual, or whether they’ll end up going against one another come Sunday.
Yet some around these parts had been wondering whether the B’s might have ended up with a third player in the pool of names come Friday in Patrice Bergeron. With forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Ales Hemsky all bowing out due to injury and Jarome Iginla skipping the weekend to tend to an ill family member, Bergeron’s name came up across the web as a potential replacement. Philadelphia’s Danny Briere ended up getting the nod to replace Iginla, while Martin Havlat, Jeff Skinner, and Paul Stastny replaced the other three.
In all reality, the 25-year-old was a semi-long shot to head to Raleigh based on pure numbers despite having a great season for B’s. Bergeron leads the Bruins with 40 points and is tied for the league lead among forwards with a plus-21 rating. His point total fell short of Briere (45), Havlat (44) and Stastny (43), while Skinner had just as many as Bergeron. Skinner, who in his rookie season has emerged as one of the Hurricanes’ top forwards, held an edge over Bergeron based on location.
While Bergeron potentially could have been taking in the All-Star atmosphere with his teammates in Thomas, Chara and Tyler Seguin (the latter of whom’s talents will be showcased in the SuperSkills event on Saturday night), he will instead get the breather that many players can benefit from this time of year. His general manager has no problem with that.
‘He’s deserving of it, but he also deserves a rest,’ Peter Chiarelli said this week. ‘As a manager, you don’t mind if he’s not going, but he’s deserving.’
Bergeron is on pace for 66 points this year. He had 70 or more points in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 season.
|Tim Thomas named NHL’s First Star of the Week||01.24.11 at 12:34 pm ET|
The NHL announced Monday that Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has been named the First Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 22. Thomas went 3-0-0 over three starts last week, recording a shutout against the Hurricanes Monday and following it with a season-high 43-save effort on Monday. He made 32 saves in the team’s 3-2 win over the Avalanche on Saturday.
Thomas, who will play in this weekend’s All-Star Game, leads the NHL in goals against average (1.83), save percentage (.945), and his tied with Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist for the league lead with seven shutouts. He is second in wins with 23.
This is the fourth time this season a Bruins player has received a “Star” distinction. Thomas was the First Star of the Week for the week ending on Oct. 31 and was October’s Second Star of the Month. Patrice Bergeron was named Second Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 15.