So much for a potential letdown.
After a thrilling 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in front of a nationally televised audience, the Boston Bruins got a quick start 30 hours later and established the tempo from the get-go in their 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were also playing their second game in as many nights.
“They played last night and we played yesterday afternoon,” said Jarome Iginla, who tallied an assist in the victory. “The Rangers was a good game for us - an NBC game, good emotions and a good win - but today, the two points, the momentum and all that was just as important.”
Here are three takeaways from the Bruins’ 18th win of the season.
Lucic first to 10 (plus) goals
There’s no denying that Lucic has bounced back nicely from scoring just seven goals in the Lockout shortened season.
Through the first 27 games, the first line power forward became the first Bruin to tally double-digit goals with his 10th and 11th of the season. His two-goal performance snapped a scoreless drought of six games.
Moreover, Lucic brought the intensity too as seen with his fight against Dalton Prout midway through the first. Lucic was also a force in front of the net and made Curtis McElhinney’s night difficult with several good chances in front. He scored one of his two goals on a deflection and became the second Bruins forward to score a goal on the power play in the process with his first period tally to give his team a 2-0 lead at 14:58.
Both of Lucic’s goal came with a little bit of puck luck. But the seventh-year Vancouver born forward will take them.
“Two goals without getting a real direct shot at the net,” Lucic said about his performance. “Sometimes they go in like that and fortunately I had some puck luck here tonight.”
He tallied his first power play goal, his first fight and nearly had his first Gordie Howe Hat Trick of the season. More importantly, even during his mini slump, Lucic is putting together some solid performances, and that is a far cry from last season.FULL ENTRY
That was the response the Bruins needed.
After taking a shellacking from the Red Wings Wednesday night in Detroit, the Bruins bounced back nicely with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in front of a nationally televised audience and the 181st consecutive sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD garden.
“We didn’t want to lose two games in a row and we did a really good job today getting prepared and getting the W,” said Brad Marchand, who recorded his first multi-point game of the 2013-14 season.
Marchand’s performance was just one of the three takeaways from the B’s victory. Here’s a complete look at the Bruins’ solid matinee performance.
Marchand plays his best game of the year
Through 26 games in 2013-14, the “Little Ball of Hate” has seen his share of ups and downs. Friday afternoon was certainly one of those ups.
Not only did Marchand tally a goal and an assist, he also went back to being a good brat, going in the dirty areas and creating opportunities. Early in the third, he shielded the puck from the Rangers defense on an odd-man rush and made a great feed to Patrice Bergeron for his seventh of the year to tie the game at 2-2.
“I think lately he’s picked up [his game] with the way he moves his feet and he creates a lot of chances for himself and gave himself more room,” Bergeron said about his fellow linemate who now has a goal and two assists in his last three games. “He was really good for us and gave us a lot of chances with his vision and also by skating.”
Chara gets the Gordie Howe Trick
Sure Marchand and others contributed to the Bruins’ 17th win of the season. But it was clear that they were inspired by their leader.
“We felt really bad about that game,” Chara said about Wednesday’s loss at the Joe Louis Arena. “It was just one of those nights where we didn’t execute anything and nothing was really happening for us. But those kind of nights happen, and it’s just the way you have to bounce back and regroup from nights like that. I thought today, we did a pretty good job.”
It was clear from the get-go that Chara inspired this team.
When a 6-foot-9 giant drops the gloves, the team takes note. That was no different when Chara and fellow big guy Brian Boyle scrapped with each other late in the second period during a scrum in front of Henrik Lundqvist.
Chara, who tallied an assist on Marchand’s fourth of the season at 14:32 of the first, followed up with the game-winner midway through the third period. Not bad for someone who easily came up with the upper hand in his first fight of the season.
“He’s obviously our leader and you feed off of him,” Bergeron said about Chara. “When you see the fire that he had, you want to step your game up. There’s no better leader in my mind, so it was great to see him get going like that.”
He may only be a minus-1 this season. But with six goals, five assists, and performances like Friday’s matinee, there’s still a reason why the 36-year old Chara is considered a perennial Norris Trophy candidate.
Rangers' streak snapped
For 101 games, the Rangers never lost in regulation when leading after two periods dating back to February, 2010. The Blueshirts lead 2-1 after the second period and looked to extend that streak to 102.
But Bergeron’s tally and Chara’s game-winner snapped that streak and the Bruins, who were 1-5-0 when trailing after two periods this season, earned a hard fought victory.
“We just told ourselves to keep playing our game,” said Dennis Seidenberg, who returned to the lineup after missing four games due to injury. “The only thing we had to do different [in the third period] was put the puck in the net and that’s what we did.”
Even though the Rangers did this mostly under former coach John Tortorella, its still an impressive accomplishment. The Bruins, however, were intent on getting on the right side of the scoreboard this time around.
See what the Bruins had to say about their win over the Rangers in their postgame comments.
As the autumn wind makes its last go around, and as we stuff our faces with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pies there are lots to be thankful for as hockey fans this Thanksgiving. Here are five things that we are thankful for here at Bruins Daily.
1) New additions paying off
General Manager Peter Chiarelli made quite the headlines this off-season when he sent Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith. Additionally, Chia signed Jarome Iginla just months after he choose the Penguins over the Bruins at the trade deadline, while also saying goodbye to Nathan Horton, Jaromir Jagr and Andrew Ference, just to name a few.
The trade with Dallas will always be debatable, but so far the deal is benefiting both squads. Seguin, who was notorious for his off-ice antics, is finally shining bright with the Stars (no pun intended) with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 23 games, while Peverley continues to log good minutes on the team's third line. Meanwhile - last night's debacle aside - Eriksson is heating up in November notching 10 points, and Smith is surprising many as the team's second leading scorer with 17 points.
Sure, Iginla has had an up and down season so far, but goals seem to come in bunches for the long-time Calgary Flame. Moreover, he's doing all the little things right on the Bruins' top line, which is benefiting Milan Lucic and David Krejci, who each have 18 points to lead the Black and Gold.
Things aren't perfect by any means and there's still work left to be done as seen in Wednesday's 6-1 loss to the Red Wings in Detroit. But the new additions have fared nicely through 24 games of the 2013-14 season.
2) Claude Julien, Cam Neely and Peter Chiarelli
The trio are one of a kind, aren't they?
The last time the Black and Gold missed the playoffs was in 2006-07, Chiarelli's first year. In the off-season, he fired Dave Lewis and brought in Julien, who was fired from New Jersey just days before the start of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Just a few months later, the Jacobs family brought in Neely to be the team's Vice President.
Surely enough, Julien, Neely and Chiarelli continue to be key cogs with the Black and Gold as they haven't missed the playoffs since that horrendous 2006-07 campaign. Additionally, they've witnessed three division titles in the old Northeast Division, two Eastern Conference championships, and a Stanley Cup.
Both Julien and Chiarelli have faced their share of public scrutiny here in Boston. But through it all, Neely, whose title was upgraded to President before the 2010-11 season, has kept those two in tact. It's certainly paid off, as Chiarelli continues to wheel and deal successfully while Julien installs a tough, disciplined brand of hockey behind the Bruins bench.
The days of a revolving door of head coaches and Mike O'Connell as GM are long gone, Bruins fans. Be thankful that you have these three overseeing the hockey operations side of things.FULL ENTRY
The Bruins welcomed Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins to Boston for the first time since the Bruins completed their sweep over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final last season. With the Bruins holding onto a one-goal lead and seconds ticking away, Crosby tied the game for the Penguins with just .3 seconds left on the clock.
Despite Crosby’s late tally, it was the Torey Krug and the Bruins who got the last laugh as Krug’s rocket over the shoulder of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fluery, helped the Bruins hold off the Penguins in what was a very entertaining 4-3 overtime win.
Here are Bruins Daily’s three takeaways:
Too much trust in Kevan Miller?
With Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid out of the lineup due to injuries, Kevan Miller has been getting a chance to showcase his talents, something he’s done very well. Playing so well has gained the confidence of Claude Julien, but Julien may have showed too much confidence in his young defensemen in the final minute of Monday's tilt.
Miller was paired with Zdeno Chara when Crosby found the back of the net to tie the game at three late in the third. Miller was caught watching Penguins forward James Neal along the half-boards. Neal would find Chris Kunitz who got the puck to Crosby just prior to Crosby’s tying tally.
It’s tough to blame Miller for the goal, but it’s a tough situation for a defenseman with just a handful of games under his belt to be in.
Despite being on ice for the goal, Julien had no issue with Miller’s game.
“Well he was solid. I think at that point it was the right defenseman. Johnny Boychuk had gone into the hallway there – he had gotten a puck in the throat – so he was a pretty reliable defenseman for us all night. So he was out there at the end and I thought he was a good player for us tonight. So again, sometimes you talk about experience but you also talk about merit; and he deserved to be there with the circumstances we were under at that time.”
Strange night for Sidney Crosby
He deflected Zdeno Chara’s shot into his own net to give the Bruins a third period lead, scored the game tying goal for his team with .3 seconds left, then was caught out of position for Krug’s game winning goal.
With the game knotted at two and just over five minutes to go in regulation, Chara sent a puck on net hoping for something good to come from it. Crosby tried to knock the puck out of midair with his stick, but instead, deflected the puck past Fluery and into the back of the net.FULL ENTRY
Kevan Miller solid once again
You probably didn’t notice Kevan Miller too much during the Bruins 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday afternoon, but hey who said that’s a bad thing? Miller was solid once again in this one as Miller continues to fit in just fine with the Bruins as he fills in for the injured Dennis Seidenberg.
Miller logged 14:27 of ice time playing alongside fellow young defensemen Matt Bartkowski. Miller has looked very comfortable through two games. Part of his comfort could very well be getting to play alongside Bartkowski who he spent time with down in Providence last season as they both played for the Bruins’ minor league affiliate.
Miller was very solid with the puck, making smart decisions and being safe with the puck. From a defensive standpoint he was again very solid as he registered a team high five hits. On the Bruins second goal of the game, a goal by Reilly Smith, Miller made a key pinch that kept the play alive, eventually leading to Smith’s goal
Miller will be sent back down to Providence once Seidenberg or fellow injured defenceman Adam McQuaid returns, but Miller’s play in just two games can only help the confidence of the Los Angeles, California native grow.
Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg keep on shining
You may feel like after every game someone is talking about something good he did, but as each game passes, Reilly Smith continues to get better and better. Smith scored his fourth goal of the season in Saturday’s win. The goal, his 15th point of the season, helps Smith climb to third on the team in scoring, just two points behind Milan Lucic and David Krejci for the team lead in points.
Carl Soderberg had arguably his best game of the season, picking up an assist on Smith’s goal. With a little bit of luck on his side, Soderberg could have easily had two or three goals. Soderberg was in Ward’s grill all game just missing out on goals on multiple occasions. It was Soderberg’s hustle on the back check that broke up the play in the Bruins zone and eventually led to Krejci’s overtime winner.
Smith and Sodeberg have been huge on the Bruins third line this season. Throw in Chris Kelly and you have yourself a pretty solid third line, something the Bruins have been desperately looking for in seasons past.
Second line non-existent in win
Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson combined for just five shots Saturday afternoon with three of those coming off the stick of Marchand. With the exception of one scoring chance by Marchand where he was robbed by Ward, the line was virtually non-existent.
With Marchand and Eriksson struggling to score goals at times this season, the Bruins need a more consistent effort from their second line. The Bruins were fortunate enough to escape this one with a win, but lack of scoring from their second line could come back to haunt them in close games like this. To their defense, the line has been better the past few games.
Despite not doing much as a line, Bergeron did manage to win 14 of 22 face-offs, a 64% success rate.
Thursday night’s showdown between the Bruins and the Blues at the TD Garden didn't need to end in a shootout. As a matter of fact, it was more entertaining without it.
Both teams came in with a 7-2-1 mark in their last 10, and its safe to say that they both brought the intensity. It was similar to a 15-round heavyweight title fight: when one team delivered a blow, the other team threw a counter punch, and it went on all night.
In the end, the Blues earned the 3-2 decision in, yes, the shootout, which we’ll get to later. In the meantime, here are the three takeaways.
As even as it gets
From top to bottom, these teams provide a solid 20-man roster. They are built on grit, toughness, depth and skill.
That was on display Thursday night in a matchup that was as even as it gets.
Both teams had quality scoring chances. Both teams were physical. Both teams were disciplined combining for only two penalties. And both teams played an entertaining contest.
At the end of the day, the game was worth the hype.
“We were expecting that, a physical game and a team that’s hard to play against. I thought we played that same kind of game,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It was pretty even, I thought. They had some chances and we played pretty solid. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the point.”
Thursday night was just an example of how these teams are mirror images of each other, with one exception.
“There’s a lot of similarities,” said Blues captain David Backes, who deflected a Kevin Shattenkirk shot from the point for his ninth of the season at 16:04 of the second period.
“I don’t know if we quite have a 6-foot-9 defenseman, but there’s tough to play against forwards and teams that are disciplined and stick to their game plan.”FULL ENTRY
With realignment taking place this off season, many Eastern Conference owners naturally believed their teams suffered from an uneven balance of 16 teams residing in the East, compared to 14 teams that makeup of the Western Conference. It’s hard to justify an argument against those sentiments hailing from the East, but don’t tell that to the Boston Bruins.
This season, the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers all joined the Bruins in the recently aligned Atlantic Division. Many, myself included, pointed to the Red Wings as the team that would endure immediate success playing against divisional foes in the Atlantic, but to the surprise of many, the Red Wings can be found in the middle of the pack, while the surprising Tampa Bay Lightning sit just one point back of the division leading Bruins.
However, unlike the Bruins, the Lightning’s early season success has come against Western Conference (7-2-0) foes and unlike Boston; Tampa Bay will be playing without their top player for the majority of this season.
Meanwhile in Boston, the Bruins are starting to find their stride after an inconsistent start to the season. Coming off a home stand that saw the Bruins pick up at least a point in all five games followed by back-to-back road wins in Carolina and New York, the Bruins are once again dominating their Eastern Conference counterparts.
After their road win in New York last night, the Bruins rank first in the Atlantic Division and second overall in games played against opponents hailing from the Eastern Conference. Overall, Boston is 12-5-0 against the East, but boasts a remarkable 8-2-0 record against divisional foes in the Atlantic.
Ideally, with a personnel overhaul like the Bruins endured this off season, you would want your schedule laced with out of conference opponents to ease the transition. Instead, the first quarter of the season ended with 17-out-of-21 games coming against Eastern Conference foes.FULL ENTRY
Just two months into his new 8-year, $56 million contract, Tuukka Rask is already making the most of his big payday.
His numbers are quite impressive: 12-5-1 with a .946 save percentage and 1.61 goals against average. But, Rask’s play through the first 21 games of the 2013-14 Boston Bruins season goes far beyond his statistics as seen in Tuesday night’s performance against the New York Rangers.
It was a game the Rangers were supposed to win. Rick Nash returned to the lineup to give New York’s struggling offense a needed lift. The Bruins, meanwhile, were playing their second of a back-to-back, and, thanks to Dennis Seidenberg’s injury, they had to play shorthanded on the blue-line for nearly 59 minutes.
In spite of all that, Rask was up to the task, again.
The Finnish netminder made 43 saves, tying a career high, and literally stood on his head in the Bruins 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. And surely, it was a victory that can pretty much be attributed to Tuukka’s play.
Don’t believe me? Just look at some of the timely stops he made throughout the night, including stoning Chris Kreider on a penalty shot during the first period.
“If it wasn’t for him again, it would’ve been a different outcome,” Shawn Thornton said of his starting goalie.FULL ENTRY
That's the number of consecutive penalties that the Boston Bruins have killed. That in and of itself is very impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that the B's are making it look pretty easy.
Thursday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was no exception. Even with backup goalie Chad Johnson between the pipes, the Bruins killed all four Blue Jackets power play opportunities, and sparked them to a 3-2 win to end their five-game homestand at 4-0-1.
The 26 straight kills are the most since the team killed 27 consecutive penalties last season. Either way, the Bruins still take great pride of using the penalty kill as one of their strengths.
"It's a huge asset of ours," said forward Brad Marchand, who had 2:24 of shorthanded time on ice Thursday night. "We've always been very proud to be on the PK and when something gets through, we have a great goalie back there to stop it. So it's just something we take a lot of pride in, and we want to keep building on that."
Additionally, the Bruins penalty kill has come through in clutch situations. During the third period of Saturday's 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the B's faced a key shorthanded situation against one of the league's top power play units within the last five minutes of regulation. However, they dug deep and allowed very little space in the entry zone and outmuscled the Leafs, who only had a couple of quality chances on that man advantage.
Thursday night, the Bruins had two shorthanded situations again in the third period. But timely saves from Johnson and good positioning from the shorthanded unit helped the B's kill off those two penalties to extend their streak to 26.
Not bad for a team that gave up four power play goals against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 26.
"We were really disappointed in that game against New Jersey and finding a way to bounce back and be real solid since then has been a goal of ours," said head coach Claude Julien, who's team has not allowed a power play goal in eight straight games. "Every game is a new challenge and guys are looking forward to it and they want to prolong it as long as they can. So tonight, we needed our goaltender as well to make the big saves at the right time and keep that streak going; and we did."
“Sometimes you can be doing all the right things and you get tough bounces. And in a scenario we had against New Jersey - whether we deserved to have four goals scored on us or not - it happens,” Gregory Campbell said after Monday's win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Sometimes those things like that are a wake up call and it’s not that we’re doing anything differently, but we take a lot of pride in the penalty kill and it’s a big part of our game.”
The next challenge for the Boston Bruins? Extending their streak to 27...and beyond. They'll have a chance to do that quickly as they face the Senators (ranked 21st in the league on the power play with a 16.7 percent conversion rate) in the first meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals tonight in Ottawa.
Chad Johnson comes up huge for Bruins
He hasn’t seen as much action as he would like as Tuukka Rask has gotten off to a great start, but Bruins backup goalie Chad Johnson came up huge for the Bruins in their 3-2 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night. Johnson made 28 saves including 12 in the third period for his second win of the year.
After allowing a tough goal in the second period where he left a juicy rebound for Nick Foligno to score on, Johnson shut the door at the perfect time. From the midpoint of the third period on, Johnson made two phenomenal pad saves to keep the game tied at two and allow the Bruins to pick up the win in overtime.
Thursday’s contest was definitely the most comfortable we have seen Johnson in his three starts so far this season. The Bruins needed exactly what Johnson game them Thursday night. Johnson’s play was huge as the Bruins will look to give Rask more rest down the road. A game like this helps build trust in Johnson and gives the Bruins coaches more confidence in playing Johnson.
Tough night for Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton
With Adam McQuaid out of action for a few games due to an undisclosed injury, the Bruins were forced to juggle their defensive pairings a bit as Matt Bartkowski has been inserted into the lineup. One of those changes has been Hamilton moving to the number one pair alongside Captain Zdeno Chara.
On Thursday the No. 1 pairing had a rough night, defensively at least, as Chara did manage to pick up an assist on Loui Eriksson’s third goal of the season. Both Hamilton and Chara were caught chasing the puck behind the Bruins goal on a dump in which left the front of the net wide open for Blake Comeau to skate in and fire home his second goal of the season to give the Jackets an early 1-0 lead in the first.
The blame could be put on Chara as Hamilton was playing the puck and the skater that was on his side but regardless the duo needed better communication on that one.
At other times during the tilt the two found themselves in trouble and were lucky enough to be bailed out by Johnson with some big saves. It could be as simple as the duo needing more time playing together but it’s certainly something to monitor as it looks like the Bruins will be rolling with these same pairings until McQuaid returns.
Bruins avoid scare as Krejci crashes into boards
Midway through the first period, David Krejci went into the corner with Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky. As Dubinsky skated in to ride Krejci along the boards, the Bruins leading scorer seemed to lose an edge and was shoved face first into the boards by the Blue Jackets forward. Krejci immediately went down to the ice as his helmet came flying off thanks to the hit.
Krejci was able to get up and skate off on his own after a minute down on one knee. He missed the remainder of the first period but was right back out there to start the second.
With the rash of concussions in the past few seasons, and Krejci’s history with the injury it was great to see Krejci back out there for the start of the second period. With the Bruins back to playing Bruins hockey and things finally clicking for the Black and Gold, the Bruins could not afford to lose Krejci, who leads the team with 16 points in 18 games.
For more video, visit Bruins Daily TV.
Despite their two previous victories over the Tampa Bay Lightning by a combined score of 8-1, the Boston Bruins had a good test in front of them against the Atlantic Division leaders.
Once again, the Bruins passed that test in a physical 3-0 victory in front of 17,565 at the TD Garden. Here are three takeaways from the victory.
Tuukka continues his dominance against the Lightning
149:28. That is a pretty good number for an NHL goalie, and it is no different for Tuukka Rask, who posted his second straight shutout against the B’s divisional foes.
The 26-year old Finnish netminder has not allowed a goal against the Lightning since opening night when Valterri Fippula scored at 10:32 of the second period. Additionally, Rask has a ridiculous 0.33 goals against and a .988 save percentage in three games against Tampa this year.
Rask, however, will give credit to how his team is playing in front of him.
“I think as a team we play pretty good games against them and it helps my job a lot,” Rask said. “I think one of the best games we play as a team is always against these guys.”
Tuukka’s success goes far beyond that shutout streak. After Monday’s win, the Finnish netminder is tied for third in the league in wins (10), while posting a .948 save percentage and 1.52 goal against average good for second and first in the league in those respective categories.
Rask’s early season performance is making him an early favorite for the Vezina Trophy, and it could even put him in the Hart Trophy discussion.
“It’s kind of becoming expected of him, so it’s a regular thing. It’s important to not forget about what he does,” a returning Matt Bartkowski said about Tuukka. “In my mind, he’s the best goalie in the league and he shows that game in and game out. It makes it easier knowing that if you do make a mistake, he’ll clean it up for you.”FULL ENTRY
Throughout Claude Julien’s tenure, the Boston Bruins’ penalty kill has been one of the best in the league. Things are no different so far in the 2013-14 season as the B’s are tied for 11th on the PK with an 84 percent success rate, and have not allowed a goal their last 18 times shorthanded.
Surprisingly, the power play is keeping up with their special teams counterpart.
It’s no secret that the Bruins power play was the subject of much ridicule the past few seasons. From the endless jokes about the man advantage being powerless, to the angry callers on 98.5, the B’s inefficiency on the power play was the biggest mystery going in the city.
Slowly, but surely, though, the power play is coming full circle. Sure, they may be in a tie for 15th with the Colorado Avalanche on the PP, but their 19.2 conversion rate is evidence that the ranking doesn’t indicate the B’s improvement with the man advantage.
But Julien and company can point to more than just statistics on this year’s success. Instead of being a momentum killer, the Bruins power play is turning into a momentum booster in the first two months of the season. And it became a difference maker as evident by a 2-for-3 performance Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Is the power play perfect? Absolutely not. But with key cogs like Torey Krug on the point and Zdeno Chara in front of the net, it is much better than in years past. And that’s an encouraging sign for the Black and Gold.FULL ENTRY
Bruins come out buzzing in the first period
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Bruins came out and played a very good opening period. With the Maple Leafs playing Friday night in Toronto, the Bruins knew a good start to this one was important. The Bruins dominated the Leafs in the first period and it showed as the Bruins carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission while out shooting the Maple Leafs 14-7.
“Yeah I think so. I think they’re—we knew they played last night so I guess we had to take advantage of that and I think we did that but they got back in the second and really pushed back and we had some great chances and Tuukka [Rask] stood tall, but they’re a great team like I said so I thought it was a great effort to get back and get that two points” said Patrice Bergeron who scored twice in the win.
The period was one of the Bruins best all season. It was a very physical and intense period for the Black and Gold. Their first period physicality and speed led to numerous scoring chances. It was certainly “Bruins hockey.”
Net presence continues to work for Chara
Zdeno Chara has three goals on the season, all power play goals and all three have come as a result of Chara’s new role on the Bruins power play. Chara got the Bruins on the board first in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Parked in front of Leafs’ goalie James Reimer, Chara was able to tap home a pass from Jarome Iginla.
“To me he’s always been good but he continues to be good on the power play in front where he takes a lot of space and he keeps a lot of the other team’s guys busy; allowing our guys to move the puck around” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
“And when he’s around the net he’s getting more and more comfortable at either screening or opening up to get into position to either tip or shoot a puck in. So I thought he was a really good player or us tonight which is one of the players that was probably a game changer.”
If you go back and watch the reply, right off the faceoff Chara heads for the net, an all-around smart play by the Bruins Captain as he was rewarded with his third tally of the season.
Hamilton continues to play with confidence
You can see it with each game, but there is no doubt that Dougie Hamilton is getting better and better as the season rolls along. Coming off a game where he had an assist and a team high five shots on goal in Thursdays 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers, Hamilton was right back at it with another solid game.
“Pretty good. His first part of the year he was in and out a little bit. But he’s played really solid for us and offensively continues to make good decisions, good plays, and very aggressive. Defensively he’s becoming better and better all the time. So he’s a young player – he’s a 20-year-old – but with experience, he’s starting to flourish and he just has to keep going that way” added Julien”
Since returning to the lineup on a full time basis after a few games as the healthy scratch, we have seen a different Hamilton, and that is certainly a good sign for the Bruins. Hamilton has been very solid in his own end, something he has struggled with a bit since being drafted by the Bruins.
Offensively, Hamilton has been good as he has chipped in with three goals and three assists in 16 games so far this season. Even though he only has three assists to show for it his confidence with the puck has led to a handful of Bruins goals this season.
Check out what Hamilton and Iginla had to say after the Bruins' win.
It wasn’t a complete 60-minute effort, but the Bruins got back to basics.
Behind Brad Marchand’s first goal in over a month, Torey Krug’s hot hand and Tuukka Rask’s 23 saves, the B’s got a 4-1 victory over the lowly Florida Panthers Thursday night at the TD Garden. Here are five takeaways from the victory.
Missed call, but Winchester should get a Shanaban
Still recovering from a lower-body injury, Tim Thomas did not get the start against his former squad. But it didn’t take long for the fireworks to go off.
Nearly five minutes into the contest, Jesse Winchester left his feet and leveled Chris Kelly with an elbow to the face, which did not get a call from the officials. Kelly managed to return shortly after and Winchester found himself dropping the gloves with Gregory Campbell in retaliation.
Brendan Shanahan will have a phone hearing with Winchester on Friday and could suspend him for as many as five games. Regardless, Claude Julien was relieved that things didn’t get worse.
“I don’t know what the league is going to do with it and we’re kind of thankful he came back and was only gone for a few minutes,” said the Bruins bench boss. “Those are the kind of things that are dangerous in our game."
Winchester did get his fourth of the year at 14:25 of the third, but Kelly and his team got the last laugh. And that’s all that matters for now.FULL ENTRY
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Brad Marchand plays best game of the season
It’s been a tough start to the 2013-14 season for Brad Marchand, that’s no secret. Heading into Tuesday’s matchup with the Dallas Stars Marchand was in the middle of a difficult stretch. With just four points in 13 games, Marchand knew things had to change.
You won’t find his name on the score sheet, but Marchand had by far his best game of the season as the fourth year forward was all over the ice tonight. If luck was on his side No. 63 would have had a goal or two.
It was certainly a step in the right direction for Marchand as he looks to get himself back on track.
“Yeah for sure. Everything’s not just going to go right in one night” said Marchand. “It’s a slow process and you’ve got to make sure you stay positive through it all but hopefully I can get it back on track here soon.”
Marchand had three shots on goal in 16:07 of ice time as he finally seemed comfortable with his game. It was a good sign to see as the Bruins really could use Marchand to start chipping in offensively.
Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley come back to haunt Bruins
Through 65 minutes of play, the Bruins did an excellent job keeping their former teammates quiet; unfortunately in the shootout Tuukka Rask couldn’t do much of the same. Seguin and Peverley accounted for the only two goals the Stars would score in the shootout.
The shootout goal was not only Peverley’s first of the season, it was also his first attempt of the young 2013-14 campaign.
“I think we’ve been in a couple, but I hadn’t been used” said Peverley. “I’ve been a decent shootout guy in the past, so it was nice to get another opportunity. We’ve got some pretty good guys on our side too. Tyler [Seguin] is obviously one of the best in the league. So, to get a chance after was good.”
We all know how dangerous Seguin is in the shootout from his time in Boston, but his goal on Rask was something different. Normally we Seguin use his speed and gifted hands to find the back of the net, but this time we saw a slower Seguin use his shot to whistle one past Rask.
Good to see Eriksson back in game action
After missing the previous five games due to a concussion via John Scott, Loui Eriksson returned to action just in time for a date with his former team. Eriksson was a bit rusty, but that’s expected from a guy who just came back from a concussion.
Eriksson was inserted right back into his normal position alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron as the line combined for 13 shots on goal.
“We got a lot of shots there in the beginning of the game and if you get a few goals there, we’re in a better position but we didn’t and they came back after that ten minutes, they came back and played good, and we didn’t play our game and we stopped playing, so it was bad.”
When the Bruins were awarded the second overall pick in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft thanks to their trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto, Bruins fans got excited as once again the Bruins would have themselves a young talented franchise forward.
The debate of Taylor [Hall] vs. Tyler [Seguin] began as the hockey world argued over which one of the promising teenagers should go number one overall. Ultimately, Hall was drafted first by the Edmonton Oilers leaving Seguin for the Bruins. Right away Bruins fans fell in love with the then 18-year old Seguin, and people couldn’t wait to see what the kid could bring to the table.
His rookie season was a roller coaster one for sure. It was a season in which Seguin saw much more time in the press box then anyone had expected, as Seguin managed just 22 points in 74 games. But the Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup that season and all Seguin did, or didn’t do, was essentially forgotten.
The 2011-12 season was Seguin’s coming out party as the Brampton, Ontario, Canada native led the Bruins in goals with 29, and points with 67. The Bruins were defeated by the Washington Capitals that season in seven games during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, a series where Seguin managed just two goals and an assist. Albeit one of those goals came in overtime of Game 6, as the Bruins fought off elimination and forced a Game 7.
In last year’s lockout shortened season, Seguin was good, not great. Seguin finished the season third on the team in scoring with 32 points and second in goals with 16, but when the playoffs rolled around, he was nowhere to be found.
We all remember what happened to the Bruins in last seasons’ Stanley Cup Playoffs, Game 7 against Toronto, sweeping the Penguins, triple overtime, 17 seconds, but Seguin never seemed to be a part of any of that. Seguin posted just eight points in 22 playoff games while adding just one goal. Clearly the Bruins needed more from their promising forward, and Seguin failed to deliver.
Fast forward a little over five months to now and here we are, watching Seguin take the ice in Boston, just as we have since the 2010-11 season, but this time it’s in Green and White. In case you missed the fireworks over the summer, the Bruins traded their once top prospect, along with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow.FULL ENTRY
If there is ever a city that comes together more during Championship runs, I want to know about it.
After the Red Sox clinched their eighth World Series Championship in franchise history (third in last 10 years) Wednesday night, the Bruins showed their support the following night before their game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Head coach Claude Julien wanted to extend his congratulations to Red Sox manager John Farrell, but hasn't talked to him directly since the Fall Classic.
“I’ve reached out to John several times during the playoffs so hopefully I’ll talk to him either tonight or tomorrow,” Julien said.
During his pre-game interview with NESN, Bruins center David Krejci rocked a World Series Championship t-shirt and matching hat which speaks volumes of the close knit group all Boston sports teams have.
It wasn't just David Krejci though. As the Black and Gold took the ice for their pre-game warm-ups, the entire team sported 2013 World Series Champions hats instead of their helmets. It was just a great scene to see if you were inside TD Garden.
If you were also at the game last night, you got a sneak peak at the World Series trophy as Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino took the short trip to the Garden to share the hardware with Cam Neely, the Bruins and the fans of Boston.
B’s defenseman Torey Krug was happy to see the Sox win the World Series despite not being able to witness it live.
“It was awesome,” Krug said. “It’s too bad- a little selfish of me- I wish we could have gotten to enjoy it, but were on the road there. But, it’s great. It’s great for the city. It’s a great group of guys that shows the way a team comes together and the right players and right situations and you have a championship. It’s just great.”
Chris Kelly--who is admittedly a huge baseball fan--also was excited to see the Red Sox World Series trophy on the ice. It brought back the memories he had when the B’s brought the Stanley Cup to Fenway in 2011.
“I noticed it right away,” Kelly said. “Yeah, it was awesome. I wouldn't mind getting a picture with it, but unfortunately we missed that game last night, but I remember us winning and us getting a chance to go in their locker room and celebrate with us. They were great about it so that’s fantastic for them to win.”
Kelly would welcome the Sox to come inside the B’s locker room, but knows he isn't the boss.
“I would love for them to come into our locker room, but you've got to ask Claude (Julien),” Kelly said. “I’m just an alternate captain.”
The four major sports teams of Boston have always shown their support for one another whether it being the Bruins for the Red Sox, the Red Sox for the Bruins, the Celtics for the Patriots and so on. It is just the city we live in. This is one of the reasons why it is the best sports town in the world.
There are more championships to come and more celebrations to be had. Buckle up, Boston. This is Titletown.
Playing their second game of a back-to-back, the Boston Bruins could have made plenty of excuses against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Bruins came out flat in the opening 20 minutes firing just one shot on Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. They picked up the pace in the second and gained momentum on Carl Soderberg’s first career goal, but their momentum was halted by Mathieu Perrault’s fifth of the season with 20 seconds left in the middle stanza.
But the Black and Gold did not give up, and after a strong third they were finally rewarded when David Krejci found Zdeno Chara to tie things up at 2-2. Jarome Iginla netted the only goal of the shootout and the Bruins found themselves on the right end of a 3-2 final in front of 17,565 at the TD Garden.
Here are three takeaways from the Bruins’ come from behind victory:
Not perfect, but they’ll take it
Certainly, the B’s were not perfect in this one, and their first period performance could very well have affected them. And even though they played well enough for the win, they are still looking for a complete 60-minute effort.
There’s still some kinks that need work, but Claude Julien and company were still very upbeat about the gutsy performance.
“It wasn’t our best performance,” said the Bruins bench boss. “But at the end of the day, I’m going to give us some credit for the way we gutted it out.”
As the old adage says, a win is a win. And, while it wasn’t pretty, the B’s are still satisfied with the two points.FULL ENTRY
You can’t script it any better.
One night after their 5-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins found a way to beat the San Jose Sharks.
It was a night where the Sharks were swarming around the sluggish B’s seemingly throughout Thursday’s contest. But despite being outshot 39-17, Tuukka Rask stood on his head, Jarome Iginla scored his first as a Bruin and David Krejci netted a game-winner with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to give the Black and Gold the 2-1 victory and hand San Jose its first regulation loss of the year.
Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s dramatics.
Tuukka saves the day
Thursday’s matchup was a chance for Rask and fellow Finnish goalie Antti Neimi to showcase their talents for Team Finland’s Olympic team. And boy, did Rask put on a show.
Rask stopped 38 shots and stymied the Sharks throughout the contest. But, with the Bruins having tired legs, particularly in the first period, another fine performance from Rask was absolutely needed.
“I just wanted to get a good start,” said Rask, who made his first start since Saturday’s 5-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Sometimes it’s better when you face a lot of shots in the first period, you kind of get yourself in the game if you were able to save the pucks.
“It’s more of a mental challenge, to force yourself to be at work and fully aware of what’s going on out there. Lucky that they had so many shots and I was able to save all of them in the first.”
On a night where the Bruins didn’t play their best hockey, and on a night where the Sharks kept the pressure on, it was a welcome sight to see Tuukka come through in another masterful performance.FULL ENTRY
It's puzzling to still see John Scott employed by a team in the National Hockey League.
After his cheap shot on Loui Eriksson Wednesday night, it will be even more puzzling if John Scott is still skating professionally.
For those who missed it, here is a clip of Scott's cheap shot to Eriksson in the third period of the Bruins' 5-2 win over the Sabres.
Does this hit look familiar? It sure looks like it does.
Just go back to March of 2010 when ex-Penguin Matt Cooke laid a vicious elbow to Marc Savard's head. Despite landing a cheap shot and effectively ending Savard's career, Cooke escaped suspension by then NHL chief disciplinarian Colin Campbell. In order to try to limit head shots, the league established "Rule 48."
Since it's inception, "Rule 48" has gotten quite the notoriety around the league. Whenever we see a head shot live on tv, in-person, on replay or on the nightly highlights, commentators and analysts - whether its a cheap shot or accidental - immediately refer to "Rule 48" as their talking point(s).
Another fine example of this rule coming to fruition came just 15 months after the Cooke incident when Aaron Rome elbowed Nathan Horton in the head during the Stanley Cup Final. That resulted in both Horton (concussion) and Rome (suspension) missing the rest of the series.
For a refresher, here is the NHL's definition of "Rule 48" in the official league rulebook:FULL ENTRY
Thursday night, Tim Thomas gets his first shot at facing his former team when the Florida Panthers welcome the Boston Bruins to South Florida. That saga was a journey in and of itself.
On April 28, 2012 - two days after the Bruins fell to the Washington Capitals in a shocking first round exit - Thomas entered the home locker room at the TD Garden for the last time. Fans, pundits and teammates figured that Thomas’ appearance would be the last with the Black and Gold. Two months later, Thomas indeed confirmed his “exile” from hockey in one of his many Facebook posts.
That 2011-12 season was not an easy one for Thomas, as he took a fall from grace. But first let’s turn back the clock a bit.
In 2010-11, Thomas posted one of the best single seasons for any goaltender in history. He surpassed Dominik Hasek for the top save percentage in league history during the regular season. Then, during the postseason, he compiled one of the best performances in Stanley Cup Playoff history that included four shutouts (two against the Vancouver Canucks) and was the backbone of the team’s first taste of Lord Stanley in 39 years.
Thomas was indeed the hero of the Stanley Cup run. His blue-collar work ethic was admired by many as he hoisted the Cup in Vancouver. He was on the face of many newspapers and magazines, both locally and nationally. He signed endorsements for Arbella Insurance and Discover. (Who can forget Peggy?) He could certainly do no wrong to many supporters in The Hub of Hockey.
Then, on a late January afternoon, Thomas decided to make headlines again. But not for the reasons he hoped.FULL ENTRY
After one of the memorable sports days in Boston sports history, it was the Bruins turn to try to keep the momentum going from Sunday’s dramatic wins by the Patriots and Red Sox.
Unfortunately, the Black and Gold ran into an aging, but still talented Detroit Red Wings squad Monday afternoon at the TD Garden. And, despite several quality chances throughout the Columbus Day matinee, the B’s fell to their Atlantic Division foes, 3-2.
Here are three takeaways from Monday’s contest:
1) Second period haunts Bruins
Certainly, you can’t fault the B’s for throwing pucks at Jonas Gustavsson (28 saves) all afternoon, and the second period was no exception. They were able to get pucks towards “The Monster” but they were a step slow in pouncing on the loose pucks.
The Red Wings made them pay for the missed opportunities, and that was the difference in this one. Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary took advantage of the Bruins cracks in the D and gave the Wings a 3-1 lead with their goals coming 2:20 apart.
The Bruins threw everything but the kitchen sink, but they’ve still come up empty on the scoreboard. As a matter of fact, they’ve had trouble finishing in their last three games and have been outscored 6-5 in that span.
“We’re having trouble finishing on goals right now,” head coach Claude Julien said. “We saw it tonight, last weekend in Columbus and all the way to Thursday against Colorado.”FULL ENTRY
After just two games during the first week of the 2013-14 National Hockey League season, the Bruins returned to action Thursday night as they hosted the 3-0 Colorado Avalanche. The Bruins got off to a sloppy start in this one, and it showed in the opening 20 minutes as Ryan O’Reilly’s tally late in the frame was all the Avalanche would need, as they defeated the Bruins 2-0 in front of a sold out TD Garden crowd.
Here are three takwaways from the Bruins first loss of the season.
Third line continues to be Bruins’ best
With names like Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, it should surprise you that none of those four plays on what should be currently considered as the Bruins’ best line, well at least after three games they are. The Bruins third line of Jordan Caron, Chris Kelly, and Reilly Smith has been the Bruins’ best thus far.
Although they failed to find the score sheet on Thursday, clearly, the trio was all over the ice creating chances and playing all-around good hockey, much like they have done so well this season. It certainly has been a pleasant surprise for the Bruins, especially after how much the line struggled last season.
A big part of why the line has been so good has been because of Jordan Caron. Caron had a great chance to score, again, but was robbed on an absolute beautiful save by Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. It’s nice to see a motivated, confident Caron again.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere steals the show
After watching starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov lead the Avalanche to three straight wins while allowing just three goals in those games, backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere got the nod for the Avalanche on Thursday, and boy did he make the most of his opportunity. Giguere stopped all 39 shots he saw for his first shutout of the season, and the 37th of his career.
“I felt good” said Giguere. “It wasn’t perfect in any way; there are things that I would like to improve. Overall coming in here, it’s a tough building, my first game of the season and I’m pretty happy with the result.”
Giguere was very good in this one coming up with save after save, especially on the Bruins 4-3 man advantage late in the third as the Bruins were really buzzing as they were looking for the tying goal.
Second line chemistry not quite there yet
Much was talked about regarding the Bruins second line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Loui Erikkson as the season began a week ago. Through three games it seems like the line has yet to find that chemistry that will eventually make them a very good line.
“No it’s getting there” said Eriksson who is pointless in three games as a Bruin.
“We get some good chances today and it’s just a matter of putting the puck in and score some goals. Like I said, we have so many games left to play so yeah we’re just going to continue to work on it and get better.”
The goals are going to come for Eriksson and his line mates, once Eriksson gets going the chemistry will surely develop.
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