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Claude Julien: We still need Tuukka Rask 02.11.11 at 10:28 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask has enough on his plate. He’s not about to try and read Claude Julien‘s mind on coaching decisions.

But to be honest, he didn’t exactly need to be The Amazing Kreskin to figure out what the Bruins coach was thinking when he yanked Rask after the second period of Friday’s 6-1 dud against the Red Wings before a displeased Garden crowd.

“I’m not going to start analyzing that,” Rask said. “I thought I deserved to get pulled. I didn’t play to my level today.”

That’s one way of putting it.

Rask admitted he did not have one of his finer performances of the year and that he deserved to get pulled after allowing five goals on 18 shots in two periods. Rask, who fell to 5-11-1, said he had no criticism of coach Julien, who started Tim Thomas in goal to start the third.

Julien said he has not lost confidence in Rask, who allowed goals on the first two shots he faced as the Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the first three minutes and never recovered. The last time Rask was pulled was on New Year’s Day in Buffalo when Rask allowed three in the first, despite the Bruins leading, 4-3.

Julien started him in the next game and Rask was very good in a 2-1 at Toronto.

“We didn’€™t feel he was as sharp as we needed him to be, that was number one,” Julien said of Rask. “He still made some good saves. I don’€™t think we didn’€™t recognize that as well, but he just wasn’€™t as sharp tonight and after discussing the situation, we just felt that the right thing to do was to give Timmy the third period.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Detroit Red Wings, NHL
Chara: Bruins need to do ‘everything’ better Sunday at 10:19 pm ET
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It isn’t surprising that after the 6-1 beatdown the B’s took from the Red Wings on Friday, they’re expecting a little more on Sunday when they face Detroit for the second time in three days. Coach Claude Julien understandably didn’t like what he saw from his team, as the Bruins came out flat against a highly skilled Detroit club with great puck-moving ability, and the Wings dominated throughout the night as a result.

“We weren’t skating tonight. We were second on the puck. Even when they had the puck, I just felt they had lots of time to make plays,” Julien said, adding, “it just seemed that nothing was going to go our way.”

The game left Julien looking to see what type of effort the B’s can give against the Red Wings Sunday in Detroit. The Bruins have won four of their last six games, but it’s games against top teams like the Red Wings (second place in the Western Conference) that will show whether the Bruins can hang with the best the league has to offer.

“We’re a much better team than we showed,” Julien said. “We have another shot and we can see where we stand with teams like Detroit.”

When it comes to tailoring their approach, captain Zdeno Chara says the difference on Sunday will have to be sticking to their game-plan, something that went out the window in the first 1:10 of the game on Todd Bertuzzi‘s first goal of the night.

“I think overall our game has to be better [Sunday],” Chara said. “Everything about it. We were losing battles, we didn’€™t skate with them, pretty much everything. We were just flat all around.”

The B’s will face the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena Sunday 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Read More: Claude Julien, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara,
Tuukka Rask, Bruins knocked out cold by Red Wings, 6-1 at 9:32 pm ET
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Maybe the Bruins should petition the league against any more home games on Fridays.

The last three haven’t turned out so great. They were blanked 3-0 in a clunker against the Hurricanes on Nov. 26. The time before that was even more painful. Last May 14 fell on a Friday, and so did the Bruins when the Flyers came from behind to eliminate the Bruins with a 4-3 decision in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis.

The latest Friday night fright was nowhere near as important as the defeat that ended the B’s season, but it was still a mighty punch in the gut – especially if you’re Tuukka Rask, who had the misfortune of playing in both.

With “The Fighter” Mickey Ward on hand for the ceremonial puck drop, Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and two assists and Todd Bertuzzi added a pair of goals as the Red Wings rocked Rask and the Bruins, 6-1, Friday night at TD Garden. The two teams will conclude their home-and-home series in a rematch on Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings, leaders in the Central Division, wasted little time seizing control of the game and making life miserable on Rask. Bertuzzi ripped a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Rask far side just 70 seconds into the first. Danny Cleary made it 2-0 exactly two minutes later when he flipped a shot past Rask from between the circles.

The Bruins rebounded with 2:07 left in the first when David Krejci snapped a 20-game goal drought with his eighth of the season. But the Red Wings put the game away with three goals in the second, capped off by Bertuzzi’s second of the night when Rask misplayed a puck to his right and the forward flipped it off the back of his pads and into the net. The crowd booed Rask early and often as the back-up goalie fell to 4-11-1.

Rask made just 13 saves on 18 shots in 40 minutes before being pulled for Tim Thomas to start the third. University of Maine product Jimmy Howard stopped 25-of-26 shots to improve to 27-10-3 on the season.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg, Mickey Ward
Red Wings pile it on Tuukka Rask in second period at 8:38 pm ET
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After two periods and a 5-1 Red Wings lead, one thing is certain: Friday is not Tuukka Rask’s night. The B’s goaltender allowed three second-period goals, including Todd Bertuzzi’s second of the night.

Jiri Hidler scored 1:09 into the period, the second time the Red Wings have scored within the first 1:10 of a period. A Henrik Zetterberg backhanded tally on the power made it 4-1, and 24 seconds later, Rask misplayed a puck and Bertuzzie fired it off the netminder and in from behind the net.

Brad marchand was unsuccessful on a couple of opportunities in the period, whiffing early on in a shot in front of the net and getting stopped point-blank by Howard with around seven minutes remaining. The teams have 18 shots apiece.

The Bruins will begin the third shorthanded, as there are 23 seconds remaining on a Nathan Horton slashing penalty.

Read More: Henrik Zetterberg, Tuukka Rask,
Bruins trail Red Wings, 2-1, after first period at 7:43 pm ET
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The Red Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 3:10 Friday, but David Krecji’s first goal in 21 games has the B’s down by just one entering the second.

The Wings got on the board just 1:10 into the game when Todd Bertuzzi beat Tuukka Rask on Detroit’s first shot of the game. Henrik Zetterberg got a secondary assist on the play, giving him 42 helpers on the season.

Detroit’s second shot also yielded a goal, as Jiri Hudler hit Daniel Clearly in front of the net, with the right winger picking up his 17th goal of the season.

With the Bruins on the power play, Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard came out of his net slightly to tend to Milan Lucic on a Zdeno Chara shot. Lucic gained possession of the puck and def it to Krecji, who sent it into the unoccupied net for an easy goal.

The Red Wings outshot the Bruins, 12-7.

Read More: David Krejci, Todd Bertuzzi, Tuukka Rask,
How the Bruins have become Team Unity, and why it matters 02.04.11 at 8:57 am ET
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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 »

Read More: Adam Burish, Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien
Bruins beat up Stars, 6-3 02.03.11 at 9:44 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Patrice Bergeron, Shawn Thornton, Tuukka Rask

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