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Zdeno Chara: Dennis Seidenberg ‘such a big loss’ for Bruins 12.30.13 at 7:23 pm ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is working his way back from an undisclosed injury, but that isn’t the biggest concern on Boston’s blue line.

That would be the season-ending ACL/MCL tear to Dennis Seidenberg, who will have surgery on his knee and should be ready to go for the start of next season. In the meantime, the B’s are down their second-best defenseman and runner-up in time on ice.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Chara told WEEI.com. “I was on the bench when it happened, and we all saw what happened, and right there I kind of knew it was a very unlucky collision. He’s such a big loss for us. He’s a [guy] who’s playing in all situations, logging a lot of minutes. He’s a true warrior. To lose a guy like that always hurts, but it’s something that we’re going to have to play through. Obviously it’s going to be a chance for other guys to step up and fill that role.”

Seidenberg’s injury means that Chara will have a new postseason defense partner for the first time in a long time. Paired together from Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals and onward, Chara and Seidenberg have teamed to make up a formidable top pairing that has shut down the top lines of some of the most offensively loaded teams in the NHL on the way to two Stanley Cup finals appearances.

Likely candidates to replace Seidenberg as Chara’s postseason partner would appear to be Dougie Hamilton and Johnny Boychuk, both of whom have played plenty alongside Chara during the regular season. Yet Chara isn’t looking that far ahead. After all, Chara himself and Hamilton both need to get healthy before the Bruins’ back end can begin to look like its usual self.

“I mean, we’ll see,” Chara said. “We’re far from the playoffs this time of the year. Right now we’re just really trying to focus on getting guys back, which will hopefully be soon. When we get a full lineup, then we’re going to be feeling what the ice times and positions are going to be like. But we’re obviously trying to get through tougher times right now with the injuries we have.”

Chara practiced for part of Monday’s session, with Claude Julien telling reporters on hand that his status for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders has yet to be determined.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Zdeno Chara misses Saturday’s game with injury 12.28.13 at 7:24 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara missed Saturday night’s game with an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day, according to the team.

With Chara out and Dennis Seidenberg now done for the season, the Bruins played both Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky Saturday against the Senators.

Saturday marked the first game Chara has missed this season, with Torey Krug now the only blueliner among the Bruins’ six opening night defensemen to not miss a game.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Curtis Glencross on Brad Marchand: ‘He’s a dirty player’ 12.17.13 at 10:22 pm ET
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Flames forward Curtis Glencross had a pretty black-and-white assessment of Brad Marchand‘s hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan.

“It’s dirty,” Glencross told WEEI.com. “He’s a dirty player.”

Monahan had turned and had his numbers to Marchand behind the Flames net when the Bruins’ forward hit him into the boards from behind. Marchand was assessed a two-minute boarding minor for the hit and was immediately chased down by Glencross in defense of his teammate.

“We’ve seen it from him how many times a year from him?” Glencross added. “It’s a dirty hit.

“You try not to worry about guys like that, but we’re trying to get those hits out of the game. It’s a dirty hit.”

Marchand was not made available to the media after the game, a 2-0 Bruins win. B’s captain Zdeno Chara said he did not see the hit, but that he knows the team needs to be alert with not making bad decisions.

“We’re aware of what’s going on, not just with our team,” Chara said. “Throughout the league there’s always names coming up for hearings and suspensions, but you are aware of it, but we try to really focus on the games. Speaking for myself, I’m always trying to focus on the game and not what is going on away from it.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien said the hit wasn’t worse than the call it was given on the ice.

“I look at that hit and it’€™s a two-minute penalty,” Julien said, “and I don’€™t think he was going in there looking to injure the guy. He was going to hit and the guy turned and how he got him deserved a two-minute penalty, but that’€™s as much as it is.

“I don’€™t want us to start thinking that everything Brad does is bad. It’€™s a two minute like a lot of other two minutes — not any worse than all the high sticks our guys took to the face tonight. He took the two minutes, went to the box and served it.”

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Zdeno Chara’s two goals, Tuukka Rask’s shutout lead Bruins past Flames at 9:37 pm ET
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Zdeno Chara scored twice and Tuukka Rask shut out the Flames as the B’s returned to TD Garden with a 2-0 victory Tuesday.

Calgary forward Lance Bouma high-sticked Kevan Miller in both the second and third period, and both resulted in power-play goals from Chara. David Krejci and Jarome Iginla had assists on both Chara goals, meaning Iginla has now registered a point agaist every NHL team in his career.

Rask made 20 saves in the shutout, his third of the season. Retto Berra stopped 29 of the 31 shots he saw in his second loss against the Bruins in eight days.

The Bruins will travel to face the Sabres in Buffalo Thursday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– With his two goals, Chara leads NHL defensemen with nine strikes on the season, surpassing Torey Krug and Erik Karlsson (eight apiece). Six of Chara’s nine goals this season have come on the power play.

– Though the shots were 10-9 in favor of the Bruins in the first period, they were lucky that Calgary stayed off the scoreboard in the first 20 minutes. Among their chances on which they failed to convert was a Brian McGrattan miss of an open net and two quick saves from Rask in succession on former B’s first round pick Joe Colborne.

Colborne also couldn’t finish on a third period play in which he was fed down low off the rush, so the Flames had their chances; they just didn’t capitalize.

- Craig Cunningham made his NHL debut as Matt Fraser was kept out of the Bruins’ lineup for an undisclosed ailment. The team did clarify that Fraser was not a healthy scratch. Cunningham played on Gregory Campbell‘s line with Jordan Caron.

– In not scoring Tuesday night, the Flames have still not scored at TD Garden since Oct. 19, 2006.

- Ryan Spooner only took faceoffs, but he won them all. Given how he started at the dot during this callup (and he was 1-for-6 last week against the Flames), that’s progress.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins could stand to do without any bad hits or unwise decision as their reputation heals in wake of Shawn Thornton’s suspensions and Brad Marchand’s antics in Vancouver, but Marchand turned in a bad hit from behind on Sean Monhahan in the second period. Monahan had already turned and his numbers were facing Marchand the whole way as the Bruins forward threw him into the boards. Marchand was assessed a two-minute boarding minor for the infraction, and it wouldn’t be a surprised if he gets a call from Brendan Shanahan as well.

Marchand also missed the empty net twice when the Flames pulled Berra, including once from the hashmarks.

– The refs missed one of the toughest calls to miss when Matt Stajan high-sticked Zdeno Char in the Bruins’ zone in the second period. Chara fell to the ice holding his right eye and remained down for a moment before skating off under his own power. The B’s were on the power play shortly after following a Lance Bouma high sticking double minor for catching Kevan Miller in the face, and fortunately for the B’s Chara was able to stay in the game and score on that power play.

Chara left the bench briefly later in the period but stayed in the game.

– Krug has had a quiet go of it goals-wise, as he has just one goal in his last 10 games.

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Bruins battling flu, team still expects Johnny Boychuk back for Tuesday 12.09.13 at 6:09 pm ET
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Four players were missing from Monday’s practice in Calgary due to the flu, according to the team. Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, Chad Johnson and Gregory Campbell were all absent.

Campbell played Sunday’s game with the flu, while Miller left the game in the final minutes after a hit from behind from Dion Phaneuf.

Johnny Boychuk did take part in the skate but said he “didn’t feel awesome,” according to the Boston Globe. Boychuk has been out with a sprained back since last Thursday, but Claude Julien is still optimistic he’ll be in Tuesday’s lineup.

As of Monday afternoon, the Bruins had not made any more callups. If they have to recall a defenseman from Providence, Zach Trotman would be a logical option.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins defense bounces back from Detroit disaster with pair of excellent games 11.30.13 at 11:55 pm ET
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The NHL was a different place in 2002. Goals and shots were as low as they’d been since the 1950s, and it wasn’t rare at all to see teams held under 20 shots on goal in a game. In fact, the 2001-02 Bruins — one of the better defensive teams in the league — held opponents under that mark 13 times.

But things have changed since then. The rule changes following the lockout in 2004-05 helped open the game back up, and although we’ll probably never get back to the eight-goals-per-game days of the 1980s, we’re at least seeing more shots and chances than the pre-lockout days. And we’re certainly not seeing teams hold opponents under 20 shots on goal as frequently as we used to — the 2011-12 Bruins, a top defensive team just like the B’€™s squad 10 years before, did it just four times.

All of that information sets up this: over the last two days, the Bruins have held their opponents under 20 shots on goal in back-to-back games for the first time since that 2001-02 season (April 11 and 13 of that season, to be exact).

It’s a feat that in today’s NHL would be impressive at any time. But for the Bruins, it’s even more significant considering it followed Wednesday’s debacle in Detroit, when they surrendered six goals on one defensive breakdown after another.

“We want to put that game behind us,” Zdeno Chara said. “You’re going to have a game like that where everything is off. Hopefully there’s not too many of them. But after that game, we really wanted to focus on how we were going to play defensively, and more focused on us than the teams we play. Don’t get me wrong — we want to respect their strength and whatever they do well, but mainly we want to focus on how we’re going to implement our game plan.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Zdeno Chara leads Bruins past Rangers 11.29.13 at 3:44 pm ET
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Zdeno Chara capped a Gordie Howe hat-trick with a slap shot from the point to break a 2-2 tie Friday as the Bruins outlasted the Rangers with a 3-2 win at TD Garden.

Brad Marchand got the Bruins on the board first when Chara sent a cross-ice pass to him in the first period that he one-timed past Henrik Lundqvist for his fourth goal of the season. The Rangers answered back with goals from Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh, but the Bruins were able to tie it on a Patrice Bergeron shot that went off Lundvist, then Dan Girardi in front and into the net.

Chara fought BC product Brian Boyle in the second period, winning decidedly after landing a number of rights.

Tuukka Rask made 17 saves for the Bruins as he kept the Rangers off the board over the final two periods.

Dennis Seidenberg returned to the Bruins’ lineup after missing the previous three games with a lower-body injury. Seidenberg skated on a pairing with Dougie Hamilton, while Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch after playing the previous nine games for the B’s.

The Bruins will play the second game of a back-to-back Saturday when they host the Blue Jackets at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– It’s nice to see Patrice Bergeron’s line get a couple of goals. Eriksson continues to put up points, as he now has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his last 12 games despite having no points in four of those contests.

Meanwhile, Marchand had his first multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist.

– The Bruins picked up their play in the second period, particularly in the case of David Krejci‘s line. The trio was silent in the first but had multiple scoring opportunities in the second, with Lundqvist leaving a rebound off a Milan Lucic shot in front for the taking, but Jarome Iginla couldn’t get to it. Iginla also missed the net on a slapshot glove-side from the high slot.

– Further proof that when Zdeno Chara asks you to fight, you politely decline. Chara stomped Rangers giant Brian Boyle after a scrum in front of Henrik Lundqvist’s net in the second period. The two were in one another’s faces with Chara repeatedly saying “Wanna go?” Even though he’s 6-foot-7, Boyle probably should have said no.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Rangers’ two-goal first period meant the Bruins allowed nine five-on-five goals against over a six-period span dating back to James Neal’s goals in Monday’s win over the Penguins. That’s a bit of a departure from how things normally operate with Claude Julien‘s club. For the sake of comparison, the Bruins allowed just two five-on-five goals in the six periods prior.

– Speaking of five-on-five goals, Nash’s goal marked at least the fourth five-on-five goal scored against Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara this season. They were on the ice together for just one five-on-five goal over last season’s 48-game schedule, but this season they have been on the ice for a pair of Henrik Zetterberg goals, a Tuomo Ruutu goal earlier this month and Nash’s first-period goal Friday.

– Lundqvist got some help from the iron surrounding him, as a couple of Bruins chances hit the post. First, a Chara bid in front off a pass from Bergeron beat Lundqvist high glove side but clanked off the post. In the second period, a Torey Krug shot from the point with Kelly in front appeared to grab some iron as well.

– Not a banner day for Reilly Smith, as he whiffed on a puck in the crease in the first period and was a bit out of position on McDonagh’s goal. Smith left the slot to chase the puck down low, but once he took a step the puck was fed high to McDonagh, who had space and a lane to fire a shot past Rask.

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