|Reilly Smith is just trying to ‘keep the ball rolling’||11.23.13 at 8:22 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien looks on the ice and sees the skill of Reilly Smith. Then he has to remind himself and others that he is just 22 years of age.
On Saturday, he saw a sure-fire sign that Smith is fully capable of handling the load at the NHL level. With 6:29 left in the second period of a 1-1 game, Smith broke in on Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward and had the puck on his backhand. Earlier in the season, Smith’s eyes might have gotten too big and he might have felt the pressure to rush the shot. But not Saturday. He waited.
Smith took a pass from Carl Soderberg in the low slot between the circles, skated across the crease and flipped the puck just hard enough that Ward couldn’t control it, providing the go-ahead goal, already the fourth of the season with his new team.
“Kells [Chris Kelly] was tied up in front so he kind of set up a good pick, I didn't want to force it right through and I thought I might have a little more net going to my backhand,” Smith explained. “Cam [Ward] still almost had it so I was kind of lucky that it snuck through.”
Does Saturday’s patience on the goal show he’s getting more comfortable?
“Absolutely, just little things like that where probably a few weeks or a month ago I probably wouldn't have done that, I probably would have tried to get it on net right away,” Smith said. “With every day, you build confidence.
“Every day gets a little bit easier. When you stay with the same linemates, for a few weeks or a month, everyday gets easier, chemistry builds every day so just take it day by day but I think everything is going pretty well right now, just try to keep the ball rolling.”
With Kelly and Carl Soderberg on the third line, the young winger acquired along with Loui Eriksson from Dallas for Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley is looking more and more ready to fit in on a regular basis.
“They just feel better more and more about playing together,” Julien said. “They're reading off of each other extremely well; I said that earlier in an interview about how they're just reading off each other, they're anticipating, so they're always on top of the puck. We still have some lines right now that are kind of waiting to see what the puck carrier is going to do with it and you hope that with time we can get that same level as that third line is right now of anticipating well. They know exactly where they want to go and where they're going to put the puck so they're on top of it all the time and the last few games they've had a lot of chances and a lot of offensive zone time.
“Again, we're talking about a young player here. I keep saying it all the time, we always seem to overlook his age and he's a young player. And the way I think he's handled himself in pressure situations and handling the puck a little bit better and holding onto it. And at the same time, I thought tonight he shot the puck a little bit more; he had a little bit better of a nose for the net and before, looking to make plays versus shooting the puck. So he's really turned a corner and is really coming along well for a young player.”
It’s not just Julien either. Smith is winning over veteran teammates at the same time.
“I didn't know much about him before he got traded,” David Krejci said. “I know he's a great player, he's still young, but he's playing like a ten year vet [veteran]. It's good to see him doing well; hopefully he can keep it up.”
|Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘We’re working our [butts] off, but we’re not working that smart’||11.06.13 at 10:29 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the team's shootout loss to the Stars on Tuesday, and their recent slump.
Dallas knocked off Boston, 3-2, at TD Garden thanks to the shootout heroics of a pair of former Bruins, Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley. Seguin scored the first shootout goal, and Peverley ensured the victory with the second, as the pair played Boston for the first time since being traded from the Bruins this summer.
'Losing sucks, period, right now, but we didn't put too much stock into the fact that [Peverley] and [Seguin] were on the other sideline, it was just the Dallas Stars,' Thornton said.
Seguin and Peverley were shipped to the Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson and three Dallas prospects on July 4. Seguin has thrived in the new environment, scoring six goals and assisting on nine in the Stars’ first 15 games, while Peverley has chipped in with two goals and five assists.
'[Seguin] played pretty hard last night. He's at center, so when he was on the wing with us he had to win a lot of those war battles in our zone, and I think he'd probably say the same thing, I think he's more suited to use his speed in their system up the middle,' Thornton said.
The crucial play in Tuesday's game came with Boston leading 2-1 with less than three minutes remaining in the game. Stars forward Vernon Fiddler streaked unabated to the goal on a breakaway, and Bruins defender Dennis Seidenberg opted to hook Fiddler and bring him to the ground. The violation lead to a penalty shot, which Fiddler buried to tie the score at two and send the game into overtime.
'I know [Seidenberg] was coming on the ice and tried his best to get there and do what he could to negate a goal and unfortunately there was a penalty shot called,' Thornton said. 'But that's just one play that ended up in a goal, the whole game doesn't come down to that. '¦ I think there's a lot of stuff that went wrong during that game that we're going to have to work on.'
The Bruins entered Tuesday's bout with Dallas desperate for a win after losing three of their last four games. The overtime loss dropped them to a tie for four place in the Atlantic Division with Montreal.
'Sometimes it's not the effort maybe, but the way we're working, too,' Thornton said. 'I can speak for our line I guess that we're working our [butts] off, but we're not working that smart, we're not reading off of each other properly. It's almost like you get frustrated and you want to do too much, and that's counterproductive sometimes.'
|Claude Julien asks media to ‘give it a break’ on Tyler Seguin||11.05.13 at 11:01 pm ET|
Claude Julien was in a foul mood to begin with. His team had just blown a 2-1 lead late in the third period and then blown the extra point by losing in a shootout when not only Tyler Seguin but Rich Peverley both scored against their former Boston teammates to give Dallas a 3-2 win.
But then the Bruins coach was asked if losing to Seguin was extra painful.
“I don’t care about that. Give it a break,” Julien responded sharply. “I’m mad because we lost. Next.”
Julien did explain what he felt was the problem with his team in the last two games, losses to the Islanders and Stars.
“When you play that way, you find ways to lose hockey games and that’s what we’re doing right now, we’re finding ways to lose,” Julien said. “Bad change on the tying goal, real bad change. So, it’s not just the young guys, it’s good players, it’s everybody right now. We’re not playing well right now. We’re finding ways to lose versus finding ways to win.”
|Rich Peverley reflects on a strange few months, says he’s ‘really proud’ of Tyler Seguin||11.04.13 at 5:36 pm ET|
Rich Peverley knew at the start of the offseason that he wasn’t going to be back in Boston.
He had two years remaining on a three-year, $9.75 million deal he had signed the previous season, but Peter Chiarelli informed him at the exit meetings that the B’s were going to have to trade him to free up cap space.
Now Peverley finds himself in Dallas, having been shipped with Tyler Seguin to the Stars in the July 4 blockbuster.
“No hard feelings,” Peverley said. “It’s a business. You wish them the best, but now I’m focused on being in Dallas.”
Peverley admits that the time between breakup day and the trade was strange. He knew he wasn’t going to be with the Bruins, but he wasn’t a free agent and he didn’t know where he was going. It was strange.
“It definitely was,” he said. “I knew it was coming, but it is what it is. I just kind of got away a little bit. It was a long season, having the lockout and going to Europe and coming back and [playing] all the way to July, it was a long season. I was just trying to clear my mind, but having that in the back of your mind, not knowing where you were going to go was a little bit stressful.”
The veteran forward says he doesn’t regret signing his deal with the Bruins. It was inked the season after he was traded to the Bruins and had won the Cup, so he wanted to stay. The fact that he was moved doesn’t mean he regrets trying to stay as long as he could.
“I don’t have regrets at all,” he said. “I thought I’d be here for those three years, but things change quickly. I don’t know if I would have gotten traded if the salary cap hadn’t gone down, but things happen and you have no control over it. That’s why there are trades in the NHL.”
That brief time between the end of the season and the trade wasn’t the only strange thing Peverley’s encountered the last few months. He missed all of training camp and the first game of the season due to an irregular heartbeat that required a procedure to correct it, and in 13 games he has two goals and five assists for seven points and a plus-3 rating.
Of course, Peverley wasn’t the biggest name that went to Dallas in that trade, and his exit from Boston was certainly less noteworthy than Seguin’s.
Seguin was shipped amidst character concerns after a postseason in which he underperformed on the ice and had a little too much fun off the ice, but Peverley sees a change in Seguin’s attitude and dedication. He would know better than anybody the difference between what Seguin was like in Boston vs. what he’s like in Dallas.
“I’ve been really proud of him, to be honest,” Peverley said. “He’s kind of put it in the back of his mind, and he’s being really professional about it.”
|Patrice Bergeron ‘under observation’ in hospital after playing through injuries||06.26.13 at 11:07 am ET|
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.”
For more, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|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 »
|A closer look at Bruins’ scoring — and Corey Crawford’s glove — in finals||06.20.13 at 7:21 pm ET|
It's kind of awkward that the book is now out on Corey Crawford, and everyone knows it.
Glove side. Glove side, glove side, glove side. The Bruins have scored 12 goals in the Stanley Cup finals, and 10 of them have beaten the Blackhawks goaltender's glove. The Bruins played dumb on Thursday, a day after they scored four goals glove side on Crawford. Asked whether players might overthink it now when they want to go glove side and they know that Crawford knows they're thinking glove side, the smart alecky Brad Marchand cut off the question.
'I thought it was five-hole,' Marchand said with a straight face.
Yeah, no. Glove side. Always go glove side. Tyler Seguin joked that perhaps the B's will have to go stick side from now on to keep Crawford on his toes, but he tried that in overtime and it didn't work. Go glove side.
Here’s a breakdown of each Bruins goal scored this series — who scored it, where they beat Crawford, and which Blackhawks were on the ice.
Game 1: Lucic at right circle hashmarks glove side – Hjalmarrson, Sharp, Toews, Oduya, Hossa
Lucic slap shot glove side — Hjalmarsson, Handzus, Oduya, Bickell, Kane
Bergeron (PP) slap shot glove side — Keith, Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Handzus
Game 2: Kelly rebound of Paille shot, stick side with Crawford down — Leddy, Sharp, Handzus, Rozsival, Kane
Paille in overtime glove side wrist shot — Keith, Seabrook, Kruger, Bollig, Frolik
Game 3: Paille snap shot from right circle glove side — Leddy, Sharp, Smith, Rozsival, Bolland
Bergeron (PP) stick side from bottom of the circle — Seabrook, Toews, Oduya, Bolland
Game 4: Peverley (PP) glove side, Crawford missed it by a mile — Hjalmarsson, Saad, Handzus, Rozsival
Lucic backhand in front off Chara rebound glove side — Hjalmarsson, Sharp, Toews, Oduya, Kane
Bergeron (PP) rebound off glass in front, high glove — Seabrook, Kruger, Oduya, Frolik
Bergeron snap shot below glove — Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Oduya, Bolland, Shaw
Boychuk slap shot glove side — Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Oduya, Bolland, Shaw
Here are some takeaways and trends:
- Glove side.
- From rewatching the Bruins’ goals, it’s pretty interesting how little screens have had to do with beating Crawford. Unless you want to count Johnny Boychuk‘s goal in Game 4 as one, none of the Bruins’ goals have been from the point. Boychuk stepped up and was almost to the high slot by the time he released his shot. Nathan Horton was skating by late in the play, but Crawford saw Boychuk’s shot the whole way.
It hasn’t been about establishing bodies in front, but rather creating off turnovers (Chris Kelly‘s goal, Daniel Paille‘s goal in Game 3) and burying rebounds (Kelly’s goal, Lucic’s goal in Game 4, Bergeron’s goal in Game 4). Of course, burying rebounds as closely as the Bruins have means they’ve been getting to the front of the net, but they haven’t need to set up and screen Crawford so their D can beat him from the point.
- Even on the rebounds, the Bruins are going glove side. Watch Bergeron’s goal in the the second period of Game 4. The puck bounced off Crawford’s mask, off the glass and back over the net in front, but Bergeron’s instinct was still to go high glove rather than just trying to jam it in. These guys haven’t just read the book on Crawford. They’ve memorized it.
- No Bruins goals this series have been redirected past Crawford. They’re beating him cleanly.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson was on the ice for all three Bruins goals in Game 1 and four of their five goals in Game 4.
- Johnny Oduya was on the ice for four goals against in Game 4, as was Marcus Kruger.
- Andrew Shaw was not on the ice for a Bruins goal until Bergeron’s second goal in Game 4. He was also on the ice for Boychuk‘s game-tying tally.
- Bryan Bickell has been on the ice for only goal against in this series. Part of that can be explained by the fact that he was on the fourth line in Game 3 and wasn’t exactly playing against top scorers.
- Duncan Keith has been on the ice for two Bruins goals. Zdeno Chara has been on the ice for six Blackhawks goals.
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