|Brad Marchand gets ‘the monkey off the back’ and Bruins get a win||05.17.13 at 12:39 am ET|
Much was made of Tyler Seguin not scoring a goal in the seven-game series against the Leafs, and for good reason. After all, if the Bruins figure to go deep in the playoffs, they will eventually need one of their better players to get going offensively.
But the same could also be said of Brad Marchand, who also went goal-less in round No. 1.
He had three assists but no goals as the Bruins survived in seven games.
Marchand picked a great time to end his drought Thursday night against the Rangers.
Marchand took a perfect feed from Patrice Bergeron on an odd-man rush and beat Henrik Lundqvist at 15:40 of overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“I think it might’ve been Z [Zdeno Chara] who had a nice poke check on the three-on-two there,” Marchand said. “And then Bergy did a really good job. I was able to get a little bit of space, he made a great pass, and I just put it in the open net.
“It felt great. We had a really good game tonight, and to be able to finish it off with a win is very big. We’re happy that we’re able to capitalize in these overtime games. They’re very tough games to be in, but we’re happy with the win tonight.”
It was obvious in overtime that the Bruins, thanks in part to a Rangers penalty, picked up valuable momentum due to their re-energized power play, which didn’t scored but put six shots on goal.
“Yeah, it’s a whole new series and we’re happy to play the Rangers,” Marchand said. “They’re a very good team and a very good battle. It’s nice to finally get one there and get the monkey off the back, and hopefully they keep coming.
“That’s usually how it goes in the playoffs. One team does very well in overtime and then the other team gets a lucky one. We hit so many posts and had so many very good opportunities. They were bound to get one. But, again, we’re very happy to get the win tonight.”
Marchand pointed to the six shots on the power play as the key to maintaining energy in the extra period.
|Tyler Seguin: Series with Rangers is ‘fresh start’ for me and everyone||05.16.13 at 2:12 pm ET|
No one in black and gold was more under the microscope in the near-disastrous series with the Maple Leafs than Tyler Seguin.
The third-year super-talented winger had no goals and one assist in the seven games, with the one assist coming on the final goal of the series, when he was on the ice for the series-winning goal by Patrice Bergeron. Things got so bad that Seguin was demoted to the third line of Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley while Jaromir Jagr skated with Bergeron and Brad Marchand, a trend that continued at Thursday morning’s pre-game skate.
“Whole new series. Game 7 doesn’t matter and what happened in the last series doesn’t matter in this series,” Seguin said after Thursday morning’s pregame skate. “You have to come in fresh and ready to go.
“[This is a] fresh start for everyone. When I look at myself, it’s a whole new team, and my sisters don’t have to worry about going to school. It’s going to be nice. It’ll be nice to get things going.”
Seguin believes he was close to breaking through in the opening round series but just didn’t get rewarded.
“I thought the whole seires was kind of up and down,” he said. “I had a couple of games there where I thought I was playing great and wasn’t rewarded and there were a couple of games where I felt I wasn’t making smart plays or smart decisions and but in the end, being in overtime, getting the result says a lot, felt great and definitely gives me confidence.”
Seguin had three goals and four assists in 13 playoff games in 2011 after two goals and an assist against the Capitals in the only playoff series of 2012.
Seguin said he is hopeful that the team can take the momentum from the last 10 minutes of Game 7 and apply it toward this series, and maybe, just maybe, it will rub off on him.
“You try to take the momentum but also I think our team does really well and we succeed when we keep an even keel after losing and winning games,” Seguin said. “Obviously, you can’t block out the emotion of what happened in the last game and we wanted to make sure we enjoyed it but we want to make sure [we're focused] and get ready for tonight.”
Claude Julien isn’t apologizing for his team’s miracle in Game 7 Monday night that has them opening an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers.
He also doesn’t want his team apologizing for being there either.
“For some reason, this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people,” Julien said after Thursday’s pre-game skate at TD Garden, hours before Game 1 with the Rangers.
“For us, it was a great character win, we’re looking forward to moving ahead and we’re not looking at it the way a lot of people are looking at it. It’s not a chance to redeem yourself because we’re in the second round, we don’t have to redeem ourselves for anything. What we have to do here is look forward to this series and do whatever we can to move ahead. The character win that this team showed in Game Seven should be looked upon as a positive. That’s the way I look at it.”
One thing is for certain, no one is going to feel sorry for the Bruins having three injured defenseman heading into the series. With Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden all missing Thursday’s skate, it’s high likely that Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski will all play in Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.
The one advantage of it all, though, is the fact that two of the three, Krug and Bartkowski, have played the same defensive system with AHL Providence this year.
“It helps everybody because [Providence Head Coach] Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff seem to see the game the same way we do,” Julien said. “There’s a good connection there in the way we coach our teams, very much the same approach. I know I’ve talked to Bruce; the things we do, he does as well.
Read the rest of this entry »
|Milan Lucic: ‘Screw it, you just have to leave it all out there’||05.14.13 at 3:10 am ET|
How desperate were the Bruins in the last 11 minutes of the third period of Game 7, down three goals?
“I just said, ‘Screw it, you just have to leave it all out there and anything can happen.’ And that’s what happened,” Milan Lucic said after the greatest Game 7 comeback in Stanley Cup playoff history Monday night.
“That’s all it took, especially when you’re down. You do whatever you can to give yourself a chance, and we were finally able to have a clean break out into a rush, which we haven’t had in three games until [Nathan Horton's] goal. And then it seemed like we started to play more reckless and taking pucks to the net and everything like that.
“That’s where I talk about, ‘Screw it, leave everything on the line and everything hopefully will take care of itself.’ ”
Lucic said Patrice Bergeron helped lift a weight off the shoulders of his team by lifting a weight off his own shoulders, scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals in the 5-4 Miracle on Causeway.
“Definitely, it’s a weight lifted off the shoulder and it creates momentum, and hopefully that’s the case this year as well. You need guys to step up at key times,” Lucic said. “Things aren’t always going to go smoothly for you, just like things didn’t go smoothly at all for Bergy, Marchy [Brad Marchand] and Segs [Tyler Seguin]. But all said and done, it doesn’t matter. They were still able to step up and get a goal when it mattered the most. Hopefully, they can gain some momentum off that and the team can gain momentum off the win.
“Hopefully, it builds momentum. Two years ago, it definitely built a lot of momentum for our team. We have a lot to look forward to. We know it gets tougher as each round goes on.”
Another great aspect of the win is that it gives Boston and New York fans one more chance to go face-to-face in the playoffs. It was the Red Sox-Yankees in 1999, 2003 and ’04. It was the Patriots and Jets in 2006 and 2010. The Knicks just dispatched the Celtics in six games. And now, it’s Bruins-Rangers in the 2013 Eastern Conference semifinals.
“Here we go, Boston-New York, Red Sox-Yankees, Giants-Patriots, Knicks-Celtics this year and now we have Bruins-Rangers. Two cities there’s a lot hatred between in sports. I think from a fans perspective, and a players’ perspective, there’s a lot to look forward to,” Lucic said.
|Shawn Thornton on Game 7: ‘Obviously, we didn’t want to be here’||05.13.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
Leave it to Shawn Thornton to lighten the mood heading into a winner-take-all Game 7 against the Leafs at TD Garden. Asked what was the biggest advantage to flying back to Boston on the morning of Game 7 instead of flying back right after the Game 6 loss, Thornton had an immediate response.
“I didn’t have my dogs kicking me in the back in the middle of the night,” Thornton said. “I probably got more sleep last night staying over than I would have coming in. I think we got some more rest. We didn’t fly out at an atrocious time this morning. Everyone got their sleep, got in, had a good meal. I don’t know. I feel pretty good.”
The Bruins flew back to Boston mid-morning, after being grounded in Toronto Sunday night due to a “malfunction” with their charter plane. Thornton said the key for the Bruins in Game 7 will be attitude.
“Try not to get too high before the game and try to keep it fairly even keel,” he said. “If you get too ramped up, everyone can start looking like they have my hands, bobbling pucks. We have a lot of experience but they’re going to be pretty fired up over there, too. You have to try and keep it even keel but we have to be ready for them.”
Thornton also said the mood in the dressing room is not one of nervousness.
“Not uneasiness,” Thornton said. “Obviously, we didn’t want to be here but we are so you turn the page and get ready for tonight and embrace it. Game 7s are pretty fun for everyone so just have fun with it.”
“This is a great opportunity,” added Chris Kelly. “Play in Game 7 at home. We’ve worked hard all year to put ourselves in this situation. Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation but I don’t think it is for them, too. I’m sure they wouldn’t have wanted to play a Game 7 at the start of the series. But we are where we are and I’m excited.”
Kelly has been centering the third line with Jaromir Jagr and Rich Peverley. Kelly is confident that face-off wins can finally result in goals in Game 7.
“I think we’ve done a good job in the face-off circle, not ony the center men but a five-man unit getting in there and helping out,” Kelly said. “It’d be nice to manage the puck a little bit better than we have, putting it in better situations than where we can retrieve it after those face-off wins.”
|Postgame notes from Game 6||at 12:32 am ET|
Here are some key nuggets from the 2-1 Game 6 loss to the Maple Leafs from the Bruins media relations department.
• The Bruins now have a 10-14 lifetime record in Game 6s of best-of-seven series in which they entered with a 3-2 series lead.
• The Maple Leafs now have a 10-10 lifetime record in Game 6s of best-of-seven series in which they entered trailing the series
• Milan Lucic had a goal Sunday, giving him 1-6-7 totals in four of the six games of this series.
• Zdeno Chara had an assist, giving him 1-6-7 totals in four of his last five games.
• Jaromir Jagr had an assist, giving him single assists each in three of his last four games.
• Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk had two assists, giving him 2-3-5 totals in four of the six games of this series.
• Toronto’s Phil Kessel had a goal, giving him 3-1-4 totals in four of his last five games.
• Toronto’s Cody Franson had an assist, giving him 1-3-4 totals in four of the six games of this series.
• These teams played penalty-free second and third periods. They were the first periods of this series in which neither team was assessed an infraction. The third period of Game 3 did not feature a power-play opportunity for either team but the clubs were assessed coincidental minors in that stanza.
• Dion Phaneuf’s goal at 1:48 of the third period was the seventh of this series scored in the first two minutes of a period, with Toronto netting five and Boston two.
• The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs by a 30-26 margin. It was the first game of this series in which neither team had a 40-or- more shot game.
• Toronto’s Joe Colborne played his first NHL playoff game.
FIRST GOAL OF GAME
• The Maple Leafs scored the first goal of the game when Phaneuf scored at 1:48 of the third period.
• The Bruins now are 2-2 this postseason when allowing the first goal of the game. They finished the regular season with a 9-10-3 mark this season when allowing the first goal of the game.
• The Maple Leafs now are 2-2 this postseason when scoring the first goal of the game. They finished the regular season with a 19-9-4 record this season when scoring the first goal of the game. Read the rest of this entry »
|Claude Julien frustrated with his ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Bruins||at 12:14 am ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he didn’t want to say he was frustrated after a 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs that forced a Game 7 Monday night at TD Garden.
But after watching how his team handled or more accurately – in his eyes – mishandled the puck Sunday night, he’d seen enough.
“Before the game we talked about it, and after the first period, I didn’t think our puck management was very good,” Julien said. “That means being strong on the puck and making the right plays, shooting versus over-passing. I didn’t think it was very good.”
Asked about the inconsistent play of his team, he didn’t mince words.
“As I said to our players after the game, we’ve been a Jekyll and Hyde hockey club all year, and that’s what you’re seeing right now,” Julien said. “I think it’s important for us to bring the good Bruins team to the table for Game 7.”
Julien was asked about his team’s inability to put away teams when they have the chance.
“No doubt, I’d like to have it any other way but at this stage of the year, frustration on my part isn’t going to help my club turn it over,” Julien said.
What Julien wouldn’t do is throw one particular player or line under the bus.
“I have no comments on my lines,” Julien said tersely. “I’m not talking about certain lines. I’m talking about our whole team as a Jekyll and Hyde hockey club. You see when we play well how good we can be. Tonight, poor puck management never gave us a chance to win. It’s as simple as that.”
- Fresh Links: Yippee Paille Edition
- Wednesday Morning Skate: Shut It Down
- GIF RECAP: Bruins 2, Rangers 1: Doppelganger Hockey!
- Public Skate: Bruins vs. Rangers, 7:30 PM ET
- 3 Questions With... Blueshirt Banter's Kevin Power
- Fresh Links: The Wrong Garden Edition
- Game 3 Preview: Bruins vs. Rangers. MSG. No Seidenberg after all. Let's...