|Bruins/Canadiens Preview, 11/11||11.11.10 at 11:33 am ET|
The Bruins likely have a ton of positive energy following a five-goal third period that propelled them to a 7-4 come-from-behind victory over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. They return home to face the Canadiens for the first time this season on Thursday.
UPDATE [6:04 p.m.]: It appears that Claude Julien said during his session with French-speaking reporters that Tuukka Rask will be in net for the B’s.
Here’s everything you need to know going in.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The Bruins are a modest 2-2-1 as the home team this season (they were the home team in the season-opening 5-2 loss against the Coyotes in Prague).
The Habs are 5-2-0 on the road, with their most recent road loss coming last Tuesday, a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
- After scoring in the third period of the Bruins’ victory in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, Nathan Horton now has 149 career goals. He can go for No. 150 against the Habs on Thursday night in front of the home crowd.
- The Bruins have averaged 2.2 goals this season in the third period when entering the period trailing.
- The Canadiens have the worst power play in the league, scoring on just 7.8 percent of their power plays.
- The Bruins have had back-to-back games just twice this season. They are 1-0-1, beating the Coyotes on Oct. 10 in Prague and losing in a shootout to the Blues on Saturday.
- After playing a career-high 17:22 giants the Sabres last Wednesday, Tyler Seguin has played 12:21, 9:49, and 12:32 in three games since. He is averaging 13:06 of ice time each night, and after assisting Mark Recchi’s goal, he has six points on the season (3 G, 3A). Seguin is on pace for a 21-goal, 21-assist campaign.
- While we’re extrapolating stats, seven Bruins are on pace to score at least 20 goals this season: Horton, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, Zdeno Chara, Shawn Thornton (!), Jordan Caron, and Seguin. Remember, Marco Sturm was the only Bruin to score 20 last year, as he led the B’s with 22.
STORYLINES GOING IN
- Former Boston College star and current Canadiens captain Brian Gionta has had a rough start to the season, but things are starting to look up. After having just three points through the team’s first 12 games, Gionta has a goal and an assist over the last two games.
- Carey Price has been a rock in net for the Habs, softening the blow of just how good Jaroslav Halak has been (1.79 GAA, .932 save percentage). In 14 starts, Price has gone 8-5-1 with a 2.28 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
Price is coming off a shutout against the Canucks on Tuesday, but has allowed three goals in three of his last five starts, all three of which the Habs lost.
|Video: Tyler Seguin joins the media, stumps Jordan Caron||11.01.10 at 1:35 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — With Jordan Caron getting the attention from a couple of reporters after Bruins’ practice on Monday, fellow rookie Tyler Seguin decided to try his hand as a member of the media. First, he leaned in as Caron answered a question, and then, once the pack had swarmed to Caron, submitted a question of his own regarding Caron’s “selfish” play. Special thanks to ESPN’s Jimmy Murphy for the video, and of course, for cooperating with Seguin.
|Don’t expect Tyler Seguin to live with Mark Recchi||10.29.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Tyler Seguin knows that he’s staying, but where is he staying?
After being told Thursday night that he would not be sent back to juniors, the biggest question immediately became whether he, like many young players before him, would live with a teammate, much like Patrice Bergeron in his rookie year with Martin Lapointe.
The obvious line of thinking would lead one to think Mark Recchi, a future Hall-of-Famer and Seguin’s linemate, could be an obvious choice to host the 18-year-old. As a result, both players were bombarded with questions about whether Seguin might should study up on the rules of the Recchi home.
The verdict? The mentorship will have to be limited to the ice and the locker room.
“I don’t have a big enough place right now,” Recchi told WEEI.com on Friday. “I think the team will let him go on his own around the guys. Everybody’s right down town. [Jordan Staal] lived with me [in Pittsburgh], and I had a guest cottage on my property, so it was kind of the best of both worlds. He had his own space, and he hung out with us all the time for dinner and stuff like that. They’ll figure out exactly what [Seguin] wants, and the guys are all within such a small area that everybody’s going to be looking after him anyways.”
Seguin figured as much, and it appears the teenager will try living on his own, but in close proximity to his teammates.
“Right now I think I might be getting my own place, and everyone else kind of in the same building.”
The second overall pick in June’s draft, Seguin has two goals and two assists, good for four points through seven games. Some tried stirring the pot when it came to suggesting there was even a possibility Seguin would return to the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, as the B’s could have sent him back to juniors without burning a year on his contract. In the end, the B’s elected to not wait for the nine-game trial to expire, telling Seguin after seven to get comfortable in Boston.
Recchi, who has seen just about everything in the NHL, couldn’t see a scenario in which the goal-scoring center didn’t stick.
“I didn’t think there would be any doubt [he'd stay],” Recchi said. “He’s talented, and the great thing about it is that he’s got the whole year to grow as a player and learn and get better. It’s a good spot for him to do it, so he’s in a good situation.”
Seguin still keeps in contact with some of his teammates from Plymouth and received a text message from head coach Mike Vellucci after he scored his first career goal. Seguin appreciated the kind thoughts from Vellucci, who essentially resurrected his junior career two years ago, but noted on Thursday that he isn’t rushing to tell him that they officially are no longer affiliated.
“I’m not going to be the one to call him and tell him that I’m staying up here,” Seguin said. “It’s not my place or my position. Once he finds out I’m sure he’ll call me.”
|Tyler Seguin told he won’t return to Plymouth Whalers, will stay with Bruins||10.28.10 at 10:26 pm ET|
Claude Julien announced on Thursday night that Tyler Seguin will be staying with the Bruins and not returning to the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers.
“He’s here to stay,” Julien said of the second overall pick of the draft and former OHL MVP, relaying a message from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.
Seguin scored his second goal of the season in the second period of Thursday’s 2-0 victory over the Maple Leafs, beating Toronto netminder Jonas Gustavsson with a wrister from the circle. It was his first goal at TD Garden, and he now has four points on the season.
The Bruins gave Seguin the news after he spoke with reporters on Thursday, but his comments on the subject before finding out his fate were the same as they have been all along — that he wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“I think I came out here and I think I worked my hardest, and in the end, that is all I can really ask of myself,” Seguin said. “I think I’ve been improving with that kind of situation.”
Last season with the Whalers, his second OHL season, Seguin scored 48 goals and added 58 assists for 106 points. He was chosen with a pick acquired from the Leafs in the Phil Kessel deal, which also netted the B’s Toronto’s second-round pick in 2010 and a first-rounder in 2011.
Tim Thomas appears set to make his fifth start of the season after being first off the ice in Thursday’s morning skate. Thomas is 4-0 on the season with a 0.75 goals against average and a .980 save percentage. Should Thomas be between the pipes on Thursday vs. Toronto, he’ll face an old teammate in Phil Kessel, who was traded to the Leafs prior to last season.
Thomas can understand the hoopla surrounding Kessel, but noted after the morning skate that the B’s have more to worry about than one player.
“It isn’t the Boston Bruins vs. Phil Kessel, it’s the Boston Bruins vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Thomas said. “Phil is definitely a part, and you have to be aware of him. It takes a lot of hard work. You’ve got to be on your toes all the time because he’s so exploise and so fast and he’s got that quick snap shot. As a goalie, I have to be on my toes and try to find it through traffic. That’s how I’m going to deal with it.”
Thomas said that he doesn’t necessarily feel he has an advantage against a former teammate just because he was used to practicing against him.
“I’m sure he’s learning new tricks all the time,” Thomas said of Kessel. “I don’t want to cheat when I get into a game based on what I think he would do in practice. What he does in practice and what he does in the game are two different things.”
|Video: Claude Julien after Bruins morning skate Thursday||at 12:58 pm ET|
Claude Julien had plenty of media on hand for his press conference Thursday from both the Boston and Toronto outlets. The Maple Leafs are in town as Phil Kessel tries to notch his first goal against his former club, while Tyler Seguin, a player chosen with one of the picks received in the Kessel deal, will play against the team he grew up rooting for. Seguin grew up in Brampton, Ontario, about 40 minutes away from Toronto.
“I am not going to stand back here and deny that this is a pretty special game for Tyler. … I mean his emotions are going to be running high tonight, there is no doubt about that,” Julien said of the second overall pick in June’s draft. “There’s a certain extent that [if] you see that as becoming an issue, you’ve got to address it, but heis a pretty level-headed individual that’s been able to handle situations pretty well so far and I don’t see it being an issue tonight.”
Asked by a Finnish reporter about the team’s goaltending situation, Julien adressed it as such: “Plain and simple, I don’t have a No. 2 goalie. That’s the dilemma I have right now. I don’t have a backup. I have two No. 1′s.”
|Phil Kessel says he doesn’t want to ‘stick it to’ Bruins||at 12:27 pm ET|
Former Bruins fifth overall pick Phil Kessel spoke with the media Thursday as he and the Maple Leafs prepare to take on the B’s at TD Garden. Kessel was traded to the Leafs for a package of draft picks (one of which was spent on Tyler Seguin) and went without a goal in six games against his former club last season.
“I don’t want to stick it to them, I want to obviously play well,” Kessel said. “Last year I had a lot of chances, I just didn’t score. Hopefully I can change it this year and the most important thing is just getting wins.
“They’re a good team over there, so it’s not easy to score against them anyways,” he added. Kessel noted that he isn’t concerned with the reaction given to him by the crowd, who he said can “do whatever they want.”
The Bruins were unable to strike a long-term deal with Kessel prior to the trade, but the way things ended in Boston won’t change the 23-year-old’s view of the city and his experience.
“I loved it here,” Kessel said. “They city was great to me, the fans were great to me. I loved playing here and I had great teammates here. Obviously, it didn’t work out, but that happens.”
Seguin and Kessel met over the summer in Atlantic City for a Bauer promotion they were doing, with Seguin saying Wednesday that the two discussed the cities of Boston and Toronto. Kessel gave Seguin pointers on local dining and other goings on. One topic that was not brought up, as noted by Kessel on Thursday, was that the two will likely be linked to one another for their entire careers because of the trade, which also sent a 2010 second-rounder and a 2011 first-rounder to the B’s.
“No, we never talked about that,” Kessel said. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
If the former 36-goal-scorer truly believes that it isn’t a big deal, he’ll be in for a surprise when Seguin-mania meets Kessel-mania for those on hand at the Garden Thursday night. Kessel has seven goals on the season, good for third-best in the NHL.
Kessel did say on Thursday that he feels for Marc Savard, who the Bruins have been without all season due to post-concussion syndrom symptoms. Kessel kept up with following Savard’s progress as he initially tried coming back from a March 7 hit from the Penguins’ Matt Cooke, and hopes his former teammate can overcome his current setback.
“I’ve talked to him a little bit, but not lately,” Kessel said. “Not for a while. When [the concussion] happened, I sent him a text or two. Obviously I followed it. Obviously it’s a tough issue and hopefully he can come through.
“I feel terrible for him,” he added. “Obviously, any player that gets hurt like that, it’s not a good thing.”
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