Chara: 'Tough game to lose' after Bruins tribute to Schmidt

Chara: 'Tough game to lose' after Bruins tribute to Schmidt

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins organization usually does a very good job with the special events and pregame presentations, so it was no surprise they put together a wonderful ceremony to commemorate Milt Schmidt’s 80 years with the Original Six club one day after his passing at 98 years old. There were 15’s painted on the ice behind each net, and a No. 15 patch on each player’s sweater that will remain there for the rest of the season.

The video presentation did a masterful job of illustrating Schmidt’s many Hall of Fame accomplishments while sprinkling in plenty of examples of his gentlemanly personality, and the moment of appreciative applause held for Schmidt at the end of the video tribute was a nice touch. Unfortunately the Bruins didn’t follow that touching, on-the-money presentation with the kind of collective effort one would hope for, and instead dropped another home game in a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden.

“I was obviously close to Milt [Schmidt] and [there] would be nothing better than winning the game in his honor for what he has done. I felt like we didn’t do a good job,” said Zdeno Chara, who dropped the gloves in the first period with Patrick Maroon to try and fire up his Bruins teammates. “For sure [it was] a tough game to lose, especially on a night like this. It was a night where it was dedicated to Milt [Schmidt] and what he has done. I felt that we let him and obviously his family, including the fans, down. [It was a] tough way to lose. I thought we were obviously playing a tight game and then we lost it by mistakes happening in the third. They got the two-goal lead and we made [it] one goal, but you know we fell short.”

Clearly Chara felt the individual responsibility to win one for Milt given his own personal friendship with the Bruins legend, and Patrice Bergeron sounded the same tone as the longest tenured Bruin going back to his rookie season in 2003-04. Losing a flat one-goal game to an Edmonton team that could have been taken on Thursday night was regrettable, but failing to find that extra level on home ice during such a special day for the franchise left a bad taste in Bergeron’s mouth.

“If you let these teams get those types of chances, they’re going to hurt you. It’s really frustrating, especially on a night like tonight with the passing of Milt [Schmidt],” said Bergeron, who scored his fourth goal in the last games in defeat for the Bruins. “So it’s really tough right now with this loss.

“Defensively, the chances in the slot, we’ve definitely got to figure that out. Obviously it’s always the same kind of things that are coming back and creeping back into our game. We have to fix it.”

The Bruins will continue trying to fix things that have been wrong about Boston’s game for the last month. But one thing they won’t get: Another chance to follow-up the organization’s wonderful pregame tribute with a winning on-ice tribute of their own to Schmidt, the Ultimate Bruin as a former player, captain, coach and general manager. 

Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself


Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.


Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.


Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: