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Patrice Bergeron takes home the hardware in regular season finale 04.28.13 at 7:59 pm ET
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The Bruins announced their regular season award winners before the regular season finale with the Senators Sunday night. Patrice Bergeron was the recipient of the Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle and determination, chosen by the ‘€œGallery Gods’€) as well as the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy (outstanding performance during home games, determined by the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association).

Gregory Campbell was selected for the John P. Bucyk Award (greatest off-ice charitable contributions, chosen by John Bucyk); and Tuukka Rask (First Star), Bergeron (Second Star) and Tyler Seguin (Third Star) were named the Bruins Three Stars (top performers at home over the course of the season).

Eddie Shore Award and Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy

Bergeron, the team’s alternate captain to Zdeno Chara, was also selected by the ‘€œGallery Gods’€ as the Eddie Shore Award winner for demonstrating exceptional hustle and determination throughout the 2013 campaign. The reining Selke Trophy winner currently leads the Bruins with a +25 rating (5th NHL), is second in assists (22) and is tied for fourth in points with 32 (10-22). The Bruins centerman also leads the NHL in faceoff percentage, winning puck drops at a 61.9-percent clip.

In addition to the Eddie Shore Award, the BPHWA has selected Bergeron as the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy recipient for his outstanding performance during Bruins home games this season. At TD Garden this year, Bergeron has notched eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. The forward’€™s +20 rating and 66.8% (280/419) faceoff percentage in Boston, leads all Bruins players.

John P. Bucyk Award

Gregory Campbell has been an active participant in the Boston Bruins off-ice charitable events in this years condensed NHL season. Campbell has spent many of his rare off days making community visits throughout the Greater Boston area, including visits to the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club, Home for Little Wanderers and was a one of the team’€™s participants in their annual ‘€œCuts for a Cause’€ event. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Boston Bruins Foundation, Gallery gods, Gregory Campbell
Canadiens hold moment of silence for Boston, Bruins express condolences 04.15.13 at 7:57 pm ET
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Bruins past and present expressed their condolences in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Bruins weren’t the only ones in the hockey world concerned, as the rival Canadiens held a moment of silence prior to their game against the Flyers Monday.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Tyler Seguin,
Opinion: Claude Julien needs to schedule rest time for weary Bruins 04.12.13 at 1:34 pm ET
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I’€™m sick of hearing that the Bruins are tired.

“We ran out of gas,” Claude Julien claimed after Thursday night’s loss to Islanders. “The effort and will was there. They were obviously a little fresher than we were.”

Maybe.

That quote came just two days after he said, “The schedule has been as tough as it could ever be on an athlete. We’€™ve got to be careful of how hard we push those guys, because they are tired.”

I don’€™t disagree.

The schedule obviously has been brutal. Yes, the Bruins face the same difficulties as every other team in the league, but they currently are in the worst of the gauntlet. Whereas they started the season with more days off than most other teams, they are paying the price for that now.

So I’€™m happy to concede that exhaustion is playing a role in their recent string of uninspired performances.

Normally, this is the time where I would remind athletes and coaches that if they avoid making an excuse out loud, someone will make it for them. We all know the schedule is tough; let us remind people and it will sound more like an explanation and less like an excuse.

And for Tyler Seguin, who said Thursday night that while he wasn’€™t making excuses, “we ran out of gas after three games in four nights,” I would repeat that message.

But to Julien, I would offer some additional advice.

If your team is so tired, do something about it!

Look, we all know the Bruins are going to make the playoffs and it’s a virtual certainty that they will fill either the second or fourth seed. So, what would be the harm in resting a few exhausted players for a game or two? If they are so desperate for some fresh legs, why not create them?

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Read More: Claude Julien, Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara
How will Tyler Seguin respond to demotion? 04.08.13 at 1:38 pm ET
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With Claude Julien shuffling the lines Saturday and again on Sunday, no player has gotten more attention than Tyler Seguin. The third-year player began Saturday’s game at center in place of the concussed Patrice Bergeron, was moved back to wing after a rocky start against the Canadiens and then demoted from the second line to the third line Sunday.

Saturday’s game was Seguin’s second of the season at center, as he centered Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr Thursday night, but he was 3-for-12 on faceoffs and was a far cry from Bergeron defensively. The line was on the ice for the Canadiens’ first goal Saturday night, and Seguin was replaced in the middle by Rich Peverley midway through the first period. In Seguin’s defense, the expectation should have been that Seguin would struggle at center early on in the experiment, which makes it rather puzzling that Julien would try it in the first place if he was going to pull the plug so quickly.

“I figured it would take a little while,” Seguin said after Monday’s morning skate. “I wasn’t expecting to snap right back into it right away. Obviously, that would have been nice, but I knew it was going to take a bit to adjust. I think when you’re going into a game like Montreal, it’s a big game. I guess there shouldn’t be any time for adjusting. You just have to go out there and do it, and I wasn’t doing it.”

Seguin, who was drafted as a center after playing center in the OHL, said that he wasn’t surprised that Julien broke up the line and moved him back to wing.

“Well, it wasn’t working,” he said. “We were out there for the first goal there and it just wasn’t good work in our own zone. We were kind of running around a bit, and I can’t say I was shocked that it got changed.”

Whenever Julien does anything involving Seguin, there seems to be some level of outrage on the part of the fans. It dates back to Julien limiting his ice time when Seguin was timid as a rookie, and it’s continued up to Saturday with Julien not putting Seguin, who led the Bruins with 29 goals last season, out on the ice at the end of a one-goal game with the B’s on a 6-on-4.

While coaches will be scrutinized no matter what, why isn’t there any finger-pointing being done at the player? People love railing against Milan Lucic whenever anything goes wrong, but is criticism of Seguin not allowed?

Seguin had no shots on goal Saturday, marking the second time in a seven-game span that he’s failed to get a puck on net. Seguin’s the fastest player on the ice almost at all times, yet he still loses races for pucks if there’s a chance getting there first also means getting hit. Is he Boston’s most talented player? Sure, but at age 21 he is not without his faults. Maybe Julien bumping Seguin out of the top six is his way of making the former second overall pick work his way out of some bad habits.

Seguin, who did not speak to the media Sunday, didn’t make any complaints about the situation Monday. He can’t be happy with being taken off the second line, but if he’s mad, he’s keeping it to himself.

“I think we’re mixing things up,” he said. “I’ve played third line before, I guess my first year and not so much last year. I’m just going to go out there. Obviously Kells is a playmaking player to play with as well.”

Read More: Tyler Seguin,
Chris Kelly expected to return for Bruins Monday at 11:42 am ET
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The Bruins held an optional morning skate Monday, with Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference not taking the ice.

Chris Kelly (leg) did participate in the morning skate, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that the Bruins expect Kelly to make his return to Boston’s lineup Monday night against the Hurricanes. Kelly, who has been out since March 11 with a broken tibia, has skated on a line with Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille the last two days. Kelly said after the morning skate that he has been medically cleared, is able to take contact and is ready to return if Julien puts him in.

Anton Khudobin was the only goaltender on the ice Monday, but he stayed out after the skate, suggesting that Rask will be the starter against the Hurricanes. Kaspars Daugavins also stayed out longer, so the guess here is that Jordan Caron would be in tonight over Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo.

Here are the projected lines for Monday night:

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton
Brad MarchandGregory Campbell – Jaromir Jagr
Daniel PailleChris KellyTyler Seguin
Jordan Caron – Rich PeverleyShawn Thornton

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Chris Kelly, Tyler Seguin,
What to make of these Bruins as they head into homestretch at 1:26 am ET
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How good are the Bruins? Depends on your mentality.

The optimist loves their chances. He remembers that the team is one of just four with fewer than 10 regulation losses. The pessimist, on the other hand, is worried. He notices that five of those losses have come in their last 11 games. The realist, meanwhile, is trying to figure out just who these Bruins really are.

Good luck, realist.

Regardless of your level of hope, there is no doubt that Bruins are scuffling right now. The team that looked dead in Philadelphia, asleep for 50 minutes in Buffalo, gave up 87 shots in two home games and then embarrassed itself when it couldn’t even muster a shot in their six-on-four power play late in Montreal is clearly not the same group that cruised to a 19-4-3 record to start the year.

There are some obvious differences. These Bruins have had serious personnel changes since the start of the year. Not only have they lost the contributions from two key centermen (Chris Kelly and now Patrice Bergeron), but their loss has tested their depth at the position. It has forced Claude Julien to juggle his lines and shift both Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley from the wing, weakening two of his four lines. They’ve also been forced to test their depth on the blue line as Matt Bartkowski and Aaron Johnson have spelled the injured Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuck.

Fortunately for the B’s, I think the optimists win this one. Boychuck is already back. Kelly is close to returning. McQuaid has now skated with the team. Only Bergeron remains as a great mystery for the playoffs, and without him I think we all become horribly pessimistic. He is that important to their postseason chances. Without his presence, as Paul Pierce said about Kevin Garnett‘s effect on the Celtics, ‘€œThey aren’t going anywhere.’€

During this downturn, however, we’ve seen a run of third-period losses. A team once built upon late-game surges has seen its power turned off in key spots. I see two possible explanations: Either the Bruins are getting tired in the third periods, or their goalie keeps losing concentration.

I think the B’s are just tired, and so on this question I’ll remain optimistic as well. Much has been made of the condensed schedule and the toll it is taking on especially physical teams. Julien’s blueprint has always been to beat you up for 40 minutes then take advantage of your exhaustion late. If the schedule has prevented them from playing as physically as they’d like, I’ll assume that they are smartly keeping something in reserve for the playoffs.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t causes for major concern.

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Read More: Bruins, Claude Julien, Tyler Seguin,
Bruins trying to solve an offensive mess 04.07.13 at 11:23 pm ET
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Claude Julien said before the season he was going to be quicker to make reactionary moves this season. It would be impossible to blame him for doing so after Saturday’s loss to the Canadiens.

Julien demoted Tyler Seguin to the third line, put Rich Peverley on the seldom-played fourth line and promoted Gregory Campbell to the second line (making the second line the 2010 version of the Merlot Line, except with Jaromir Jagr in place of Shawn Thornton) for Sunday’s practice. The moves speak to how in flux Boston is offensively, as the B’s have scored two goals or less in four of their last five games, with three one-goal showings.

The lines looked like this:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille/Jay Pandolfo-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins/Jordan Caron-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton

Sunday’s lines could have just been a threat on Julien’s part to wake up some of his slumping forwards, and there are plenty of candidates. Brad Marchand wasn’t demoted with the revamped lines, but he has just two goals in his last 17 games. He and Seguin combined for zero shots on goal Sunday night in what was a very untimely disappearing act for two of Boston’s top scorers.

Then there’s the Peverley thing, which is very interesting. Julien clearly expects way more than he’s getting out Peverley (no points, minus-2 rating last five games). After Peverly was a healthy scratch last month, it appears he is back in the doghouse.

It hasn’t been a no-win situation for Peverley, but you do have to take into consideration that he hasn’t been playing with top players for the most part. His linemates have included Chris Bourque, Jay Pandolfo and Kaspars Daugavins. It isn’t exactly like Peverley’s been put in a position to win the Hart Trophy, but it’s reasonable to expect better numbers than he’s put up even with subpar linemates.

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Read More: Claude Julien, Tyler Seguin,
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