Right now, what's your confidence level in the Bruins on a scale from 1-5, 5 being the highest?
- 4 (48%, 21 Votes)
- 3 (27%, 12 Votes)
- 5 (20%, 9 Votes)
- 2 (2%, 1 Votes)
- 1 (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 44
Right now, what's your confidence level in the Bruins on a scale from 1-5, 5 being the highest?
Total Voters: 44
WILMINGTON, Mass. — Let the tinkering begin.
Although things are always subject to change, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien flashed a new power-play look for his club today during practice. The Bruins are just 2-for-30 over the last seven games with the man-advantage. Injuries and overall ineffectiveness have both contributed to the struggles.
Included among the tweaks, a shift of Patrice Bergeron from the point on the first unit to a forward’s slot along the wall with the second group.
Bergeron hasn’t played up front on the power play since before the 2006-07 season.
“I’ve been playing there for a while. Now it’s back to being a forward, so I have to get used to it,” Bergeron said after the hour-long practice. “It’s no different than 5-on-5, except you have more space. But you still have to work hard.” (more…)
WILMINGTON, Mass. — Few call-ups from Providence (AHL) have ever landed in Boston with more momentum than winger Martins Karsums brought with him for practice today at Ristuccia Arena.
Karsums, one of two call-ups along with Vladimir Sobotka, just finished leading the Latvia national team to a berth in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games with a 3-0-0 record in the Group F qualifying tournament in Riga, Latvia. Karsums scored one goal and registered five points for his homeland, as Latvia defeated Hungary, Ukraine and then, in the final, Italy.
“The whole team was a great team. The atmosphere was unbelievable,” said Karsums after he practiced with a Bruins team that lacked Petteri Nokelainen (eye) and Chuck Kobasew (upper body) for today’s session. “That’s probably why we won the tournament. We had a good attitude in the team. Against Hungary, all the teams we played, we went out there and played like it was our last game.” (more…)
WILMINGTON, Mass. — After a day of mostly off-ice workouts yesterday, the Boston Bruins are on the Ristuccia Arena ice this morning for a full practice.
As expected, wingers Chuck Kobasew (upper body) and Petteri Nokelainen (eye) are not on the ice. In their place, Vladimir Sobotka and Martins Karsums are skating after being called up from Providence (AHL). Karsums is skating with Patrice Bergeron, while Sobotka is skating with David Krejci and Blake Wheeler.
All seven defenseman are also on the ice.
WILMINGTON, Mass. — There’s no way the Boston Bruins keep winning at the clip they’ve been at since the start of the season with Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder out of the line-up and Phil Kessel not scoring goals the way he was during November and December.
It’s as simple as that, and the third-year winger knows it. After racking up five shots on net against Philadelphia Saturday, Kessel nailed San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov three times and also had three attempts blocked Tuesday against the Sharks.
Kessel, however, is keeping his outlook optimistic
“Obviously, it’s not going in right now. In that sense, you’re a little frustrated. You’ve just got to keep going and obviously it’s going to turn one of these days,” he said today after an off-ice workout at Ristuccia Arena. (more…)
WILMINGTON, Mass. — With the Boston Bruins still atop the Eastern Conference with a 13-point lead on the next-closest club, it’s hard to nit pick their deficiencies.
But even though they’ve managed a 4-1-2 record over their last seven, they know the power-play proficiency has to improve. During their recent stretch, Boston is just 2-for-30, including 0-for-8 over the last two games (both defeats).
“If our power play was on our game right now, I think we could counter that. I think that’s the main thing,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien today after practice about his team’s 0-for-5 effort against the aggressive penalty-killing approach of San Jose Tuesday. “Their PK looked good because our power play didn’t look good. … We need to move the puck a little better. We need to be going in with a little bit more speed and we’ve got to be willing to outwork the PK. And that’s been a little bit of a downfall for us lately. We’re dusting the puck, not moving it quick and with authority and I think we have to find that groove again.”
Not to make excuses, but the personnel shuffle the Bruins’ power play has had to endure since the All-Star break hasn’t made life easy. First Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Ference rejoined the fray. Then Michael Ryder went out. Now Chuck Kobasew might miss some time. It can be difficult to build up chemistry and run set plays when you don’t play with the same four guys for more than a period or two in a row.
“When you don’t have a lot of your key elements on those, it has a certain effect. You’d like to think that you have enough depth, that certain guys can step in,” said Julien, who also pointed to Marco Sturm, out for the season with a knee injury, as a key missing component for the PP. “But it is the reality of things. … We’re putting guys there that haven’t really played there much this year, and it’s probably not their strong point.”
WILMINGTON, Mass. — Boston Bruins head coach had no update on wingers Petteri Nokelainen or Chuck Kobasew, who were both injured during the loss to San Jose last night.
All Julien could confirm still was that Nokelainen suffered an eye injury and he was meeting with doctors.
As for Kobasew, who left the third period with an upper-body injury, Julien could only say that the veteran is a “question mark.”
Bruins brass will provide an update a little later today.
WILMINGTON, Mass. — After coming up on the short end of the battle of the top two teams in the NHL last night, 5-2, to San Jose at TD Banknorth Garden, the Boston Bruins are holding an optional on-ice practice.
Just Manny Fernandez, Mark Stuart, Matt Hunwick, Blake Wheeler and Byron Bitz are on the ice with Craig Ramsay, Bob Essensa and Doug Houda.
The rest of the players are all working out off the ice.
More in a little bit.
Success in pro sports is all about taking it one game at a time — sometimes even one shift at a time — and Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien is always quick to remind everyone about that.
Whether it’s line combinations, goaltending decisions or match-ups with opponents, he always tries to not look too far ahead. But after his club fell to the San Jose Sharks last night, 5-2, in a battle of the top two teams in the NHL at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Julien actually tipped his hand a little bit and let his mind wander a few months away.
He was just asked if the Sharks were the best team Boston faced this season. He answered in the affirmative, and then some.
“They’re the best team we’ve played so far this year and it would be nice to get another shot at them and hopefully with both teams being healthy. Hopefully we can work our way there. But that’s a long ways away and there’s a lot of things to be done before we can even think about that.”
Ah, dreams of a Stanley Cup final involving the Bruins. And seven games like the one played last night. That’s worth breaking from the old one-game-at-a-time formula, even if just for a couple minutes.
BOSTON — The Boston Bruins had been collecting points like Pacman working his way through a maze for two weeks before the San Jose Sharks came to town tonight.
The Sharks’ impressive 5-2 win over the Bruins in a battle of the Eastern and Western Conference’s top teams ended the Bruins’ string of points at nine straight. But this loss might’ve been the best remedy for what’s been ailing the Bruins.
You see, the last two games before San Jose’s visit, Boston earned points (including two in Ottawa) despite blowing two-goal leads. And 60-minute efforts have been few and far between, even in some of the games the Bruins didn’t squander leads in during their recent two-week stretch against some of the top teams in the NHL.
So think of this Sharks game, one that featured the Bruins twice leading and taking a one-goal lead into the third, as an intervention. The Bruins were getting addicted to points that weren’t hard-earned. And now they can get back on the wagon. They should be sobered up and back to the hockey that they played while building up a double-digit lead in the conference by the time they take the ice in Newark Friday night. (more…)
BOSTON — With time winding down to less than 30 seconds remaining in the first period of the Boston Bruins’ 5-2 loss to San Jose tonight at TD Banknorth Garden, Bruins forward Petteri Nokelainen took a high stick to the face from Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle just outside the Sharks’ blue line.
Nokelainen skated to the bench holding his face, and then went to the dressing room with the trainers attending to his right eye. As of a few minutes ago, head coach Claude Julien said Nokelainen was still in the hospital. There was no update available as of 11:15 p.m.
“He’s at the hospital, it’s an eye injury. And again, I don’t think it’s looking good right now,” the coach said.
There was no high-sticking call made on the play, which would have given the Bruins a four-minute man-advantage. Inexplicably, no one saw the play.
“Well, the explanation is nobody saw it,” Julien explained. “And they felt that they thought it was the puck that hit him in the eye. So that’s the explanation I got.”
Nokelainen wasn’t the only Bruins forward to have injury problems during the game. Winger Chuck Kobasew left midway through the second period with a lower-body ailment. He returned for the start of the third but left again after six shifts with an upper-body malady.
BOSTON — The Boston Bruins saw their nine-game point streak end tonight at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, 5-2, at TD Banknorth Garden.
You can read the complete recap at Yahoo!
The three-goal loss to the top team in the Western Conference is the first defeat for the Bruins this season of more than two goals. They also had an eight-game home point streak stalled by the Sharks, who are now within six points of the Bruins for first place overall in the NHL with four games in hand.
BOSTON — As expected, tonight’s goaltending match-ups will feature Tim Thomas and Evgeni Nabokov.
And here area your Boston forward lines, as per warm-ups.
It appears Matt Hunwick will be the healthy scratch on defense.
I’ll have more after the game. Plus you can read my live blog during the game at NESN.com. And I’ll be on the postgame show on XM Radio NHL Home Ice at around 11 p.m.
BOSTON — Boston Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward went head to head with Claude Lemieux tons of times during the hottest periods of the Detroit-Colorado rivalry in the ’90s.
Tonight he gets to butt heads again with Lemieux, who after departing the NHL after the 2002-03 season is back in the big leagues with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks and Bruins will collide tonight in a battle of the top two teams in the NHL at TD Banknorth Garden.
When I asked Ward after the Bruins’ morning skate today what he remembers about battling Lemieux, his response was a question: “I don’t know, is he still playing the same way?”
When informed that he probably is, Ward then said: “I guess it’s just wait and see. What I remember is, it had a whole different flavor to it because he was playing in Colorado and there was so much of a subplot involved with that one. I’m so happy to have that gone. I think it’s not something we haven’t seen before. We’ve seen (Patrick) Kaleta in Buffalo and I just think you have to approach it the same way.”
Ward may or may not be pleased to hear that Lemieux think he’s still the same player he was in his heyday — or at least in his agitating best when he was with Montreal.
“I have to play the same way,” Lemieux said after the Sharks’ morning skate. “I think as you get older, you get wiser and you may do a few things differently. But I have to be physical. And it’s something that this team needs is a physical presence. I can be that guy and I’m comfortable in that role.
“So it’s kind of going back to the role that I had in my early years in Montreal. And you get playing 18, 20 minutes a game, it’s a little difficult to be as physical. But in this third-, fourth-line role, there’s plenty of energy to get that done.”
BOSTON — San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is hoping his stint in tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden lasts longer than the last time he visited the Hub.
That night, Jan. 10, 2006, Thornton lasted just 5:13 of game action until he was ejected for hitting Hal Gill from behind. While Bruins fans might’ve cheered Thornton’s leveling of the less-than-popular defenseman back then, they’ll no doubt show some love and some hate for Thornton tonight. But it might be tough for Thornton to stick around because the same referee that ejected him three years ago, Chris Rooney, will be working tonight’s game.
“We actually talked about it last week, we had a good laugh about it. So it should be an interesting pair again tonight,” said Thornton after the Sharks finished their morning skate.
More important than Thornton’s return is that tonight’s game is the battle of the two best teams in the NHL. Thornton, whose Sharks teams have been in the playoffs every year since he first donned teal and white, isn’t surprised that Boston has shot to the top of the Eastern Conference after struggling in the aftermath of the trade.
“I think really in the new NHL, I think you can rebuild a team within in a year, to be honest with you,” he said. “You can roll over, get some new, young players and be great the next year. So it’s not unthinkable over there.”