|Bruins finally win two in a row, defeat Sabres||03.08.12 at 9:29 pm ET|
It took the Bruins long enough, but they finally won their second game in a row thanks to Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Sabres. The victory marked the first time in 26 games that the B’s have won back-to-back contests.
Jason Pominville gave the Sabres the lead in the first period when he beat Tim Thomas with a rocket over the veteran netminder’s glove. Gregory Campbell tied the game in the second, redirecting a Shawn Thornton slap shot past Buffalo starter Jhonas Enroth. Johnny Boychuk gave the B’s the lead in the third period with his fourth goal of the season, with David Krejci providing insurance at 15:52.
Thomas made 19 saves on 20 shots faced. The game was the seventh consecutive contest in which Thomas has played.
The Bruins will host the Capitals Saturday as they go for their — get this — third straight win.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Claude Julien called for more secondary scoring after Saturday’s loss to the Islanders, and for the third straight game since, he got it. After Jordan Caron dominated Sunday and Tuesday as a third-liner (three goals, two assists over the two games), it was the fourth line that chipped in with the equalizer in the second period. A Buffalo turnover left the puck waiting for Thornton to fire on not, and Campbell got a piece of it to tie the game. The goal was Campbell’s seventh of the season.
– Speaking of Caron, Julien switched Caron and Brian Rolston, putting Caron with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the second line and Rolston with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot. Rolston hasn’t made enough of a statement to earn top-six minutes since coming over in a trade from the Islanders last week, and it’s good for Julien to reward Caron for his improved play of late.
In picking up the assist on Boychuk’s goal, Caron extended his point streak to three games. The 21-year-old has three goals and three assists over his last three contests.
– The B’s new top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin has produced at least one goal in all five games since Julien put the trio together. Krejci has five goals over the last five games, while Seguin has four and Lucic has one. Some quick arithmetic shows that the members of the line have totaled 10 goals over their last five contests.
– The Bruins outscored their opponent in the second period for the third consecutive game. As has been well-documented, the Bruins have not been a good second-period team over the difficult stretch they’ve found themselves in since mid-January, but they have outscored their opponents 6-2 in the second over the last three games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Greg Zanon was made a healthy scratch for the first time since debuting with the B’s last week. Julien spoke highly of Zanon Thursday morning, calling him “sturdy” for the Bruins in his first four games with the Bruins, but the truth is that Zanon’s had a rough go of it since his debut. Zanon impressed in his first game with the B’s last Thursday, handling everything that was thrown his way and adapting to new partners as the team twice went to a five-man rotation. Since then, he’s had a rough time for the Bruins, having multiple flubs in front of Tim Thomas’ net, knocking a puck in and posting a minus-4 rating over his last three games. He was one of just two Bruins (Thornton being the other) to have a minus rating (minus-1) in Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs.
Mike Mottau played in Zanon’s place, skating on pairing with Adam McQuaid.
– Bergeron and Marchand have both gone the last six games without a goal. The second line is one that’s effective for its prowess in all three zones, but the B’s need two of their better forwards in Bergeron and Marchand to get going.
|Andrew Ference on D&C: David Krejci ‘a completely different player when he’s feeling good’||03.02.12 at 10:56 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to discuss Thursday night’s overtime victory over the Devils and his take on the dynamics of the team as the result of moves before the trade deadline.
Coach Claude Julien shuffled the lines Thursday night, putting David Krejci with Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic. The line responded with all four B’s goals, including a Krejci hat trick.
“It’s pretty tough to break them up after that,” Ference said. “The good thing about that — you’re happy to see anybody score and get some goals going, but especially Dave. He’s a completely different player when he’s feeling good, got that confidence going. It transforms him when he’s got a smile on his face, when he’s not as frustrated when he’s not scoring.”
Ference took only three shifts in the third period Thursday after suffering what Julien referred to as a lower-body injury. Despite his injury, Ference kept a positive attitude, praising the team’s efforts, especially goalie Tim Thomas, for pulling out the win. Asked if credit for the team’s success belongs more to Thomas or the defense, Ference said it’s a combination of the two.
“It’s like when last year, we talked about winning. No one guy could have won without the other; we’re not that kind of team,” Ference said. “Obviously Timmy was unbelievable, but without our system and without the way we play, we don’t win and vice versa. I think we have a great system and all that, but without Timmy playing the way he does, we don’t get it.”
The Bruins landed center Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau from the Islanders and defenseman Greg Zanon from the Wild minutes before the NHL trade deadline.
“I like what we did,” Ference said. “Obviously you can see there’s injuries at this time of year and you need those guys that have that experience to step in, instead of just throwing a rookie to the wolves that’s never played before, then expect him to just jump in at this time of year is pretty tough.”
|Andrew Ference on D&C: Tim Thomas ‘trying not to be a distraction’||02.10.12 at 11:18 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and spent some time addressing the issue of whether Tim Thomas‘ political statements have become a distraction to the team.
The Bruins have struggled to a 5-6-1 record since Thomas ignited the controversy by skipping the team’s trip to the White House on Jan. 23. Thomas on Thursday told the media that he would not answer questions about politics any more.
“I think when he doesn’t want to talk about it in the locker room, I think he’s trying to not be a distraction,” Ference said. “Like I said, in this city you definitely have to be aware of the fact that whether you like it or not, your comments and your actions are going to be scrutinized. And to a certain extent, rightfully so. We’re compensated very well to be sports figures in this town, which also comes with a certain responsibility socially.”
Added Ference: “He makes the views pretty clear. I don’t think he leaves too many blank spaces for people to guess where he stands. So, it’s his choice whether to answer or not. I think he makes it more difficult on himself not to just talk about it if he’s going to put it out there. But for us as teammates, it’s really not that difficult. Like I said, we know him. We can kind of just keep our mouths shut about it because nobody really wants to wade into that. I don’t know, it’s a mixed bag, I guess.”
Ference insisted that it doesn’t really matter what Thomas or anyone says, that it comes down to how the Bruins perform on the ice.
“We do have a tight team,” Ference said. “One of the things that makes us pretty strong is we’re very understanding of each other’s differences. … You’re never going to have the same opinions whatsoever. But the thing that makes teams good is their ability to look beyond that and respect each other even if you don’t agree with each other. Our job first and foremost isn’t to be buddies. It’s to be good teammates and play hard for each other and do whatever you can to win hockey games. That’s the most important thing. Good teams and good players realize that, and they can separate the fact that they agree with somebody or not about politics. It really doesn’t matter once you hit the ice.”
|Tim Thomas: Political comments ‘personal’||02.08.12 at 11:30 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was asked two questions about his Facebook comments about the Catholic church Wednesday. The first question wasn’t finished before he responded.
“That’s my personal life,” he said. “I won’t be talking about that. It has absolutely nothing to do with the game of hockey.”
Thomas was then asked whether he worried about the attention that his comments on Facebook attract.
“That’s my personal life,” he said. “I won’t be commenting on that. It has nothing to do with the game of hockey or my job as a Boston Bruin.”
|Tim Thomas posted another thing on Facebook||at 3:30 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas took to Facebook again Wednesday to express his political views.
Thomas posted the following on Wednesday:
“I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom.
‘In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.’
– by Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came….”
Thomas famously posted his reasoning for not visiting the White House on his Facebook page last month, and has used Facebook to post messages and quotes.
|Andy Brickley on D&C: ‘Too much inconsistency in the Bruins’ game right now’||02.01.12 at 10:33 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ first game since the All-Star break, the fans’ reaction to Tim Thomas and the Super Bowl.
Despite a sloppy start to Tuesday’s game, the Bruins’ first game in almost a week, the B’s impressed Brickley with their resolve by putting the pieces together in the third period for a 4-3 win.
“When the game was on the line and they had to take their intensity to a different level they did it in the third period,” Brickley said. “Third periods have been great for them all year. Now, if you look at the first 40, it looked like a team that had had five days off. That’s a lot of time.”
Added Brickley: “There’s still just too much inconsistency in the Bruins’ game right now.”
Tim Thomas received an ovation from the TD Garden crowd before the game, ending speculation that fans might turn on him following the White House controversy.
“If there were any boo-birds in the building, they were certainly going to get drowned out,” Brickley said, adding: “Nobody’s going to boo him. Even if his perception has changed with the Bruins fans, it’s not worthy of being booed. Absolutely not.”
As for Thomas’ play in the game, Brickley said: “He looked just like the rest of the team. He had his moments of real good play and then he had some inconsistent moments, some rebounds maybe he’d like to have back. But once again, that ultracompetitiveness takes over when the game’s on the line and he made the saves he had to make.”
|Zdeno Chara looks to keep hardest shot title for fifth straight year||01.28.12 at 3:11 am ET|
The All-Star captains picked participants for Saturday night’s skills competition, and it’s no surprise that Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber will once again square off in the hardest shot contest.
Chara, who has won the competition for the last four years (he broke his own record with a 105.9 mile per hour blast last year), will be joined by Dennis Wideman, Dion Phaneuf and rookie Luke Adams on Team Chara. Team Alfredsson’s group for the competition includes Weber, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and rookie Justin Faulk. Chara will also participate in the skills challenge relay.
Tyler Seguin will represent Team Chara in the accuracy shooting competition. He will be joined by Jamie Benn, Marian Hossa and rookie Cody Hodgson. Representing Team Alfreddson will be Spezza, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin and rookie Matt Read. Both Seguin and Tim Thomas will participate in the elimination shootout.
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