Bruins

No Bergeron in B' s lineup for Quebec City preseason opener

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No Bergeron in B' s lineup for Quebec City preseason opener

BRIGHTON, Mass – Patrice Bergeron is one of the favorite sons of Quebec City, but that wasn’t enough to get him into the lineup for the Bruins Monday night preseason opener vs. the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec City. The 32-year-old Bergeron is coming off sports hernia surgery as a potential reason behind starting him off a little slowly with game action during the preseason, but there are clearly no red flags with him as No. 37 hasn’t seen any limitations or limited reps through the first weekend of training camp. 

Bergeron seemed to have an inkling he wasn’t playing in this one when he spoke with the media a couple of days ago, but was still happy that his fellow Quebecois would get another front row seat to NHL hockey this week. 

“It’s my hometown and you only get to go there so often, so it would be nice,” said Bergeron on Saturday. “But at the same time I don’t know what’s in the plan. It’s to them I guess and we’ll see what happens. I’ll play whenever they give me the tap on the shoulder, and that’s it. I’m ready to go whenever. I’m just trying to get better in practice right now, and I’m just happy that my hometown gets a little bit of NHL hockey at least. Hopefully eventually they get it full time back there.” 

As Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy alluded to on Sunday, it will be a very young lineup that travels to Quebec City on Monday night to play at the Videotron Centre, and will include NHL veterans Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner and Kevan Miller among others. Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Monday morning’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to the team leaving for Boston’s first meeting with Claude Julien and the Habs since he was fired by the B’s last season: 

 

Gabrielle-Nash-Acciari

Beleskey-Spooner-Bjork

Schaller-Cave-Senyshyn

Agostino-Studnicka-Porter

Hickman

 

Grzelcyk-Postma

Miller-Breen

Lauzon-Cross

Clifton

 

Subban

McIntyre

Cassidy: Too many men penalties 'a lousy way to lose'

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Cassidy: Too many men penalties 'a lousy way to lose'

BOSTON – The Bruins made plenty of mistakes in Saturday night’s overtime loss to the New York Rangers, but perhaps most glaring was the pair of too many men on the ice penalties late in the tightly contested hockey game.

The first too many men call wiped out the Bruins final power play of the game, and the second infraction set up the Mats Zuccarello overtime game-winner in the 3-2 victory for the Rangers. Bruce Cassidy had a wry smile on the Bruins bench right after the penalty was called, and copped to a guilty plea of trying to get away with a little something after the game was over.

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Truth be told, the too many men on the ice call in OT could have been called on any one of Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron or Brad Marchand as they headed off the ice after a long shift going back and forth up the ice. The Bruins were scrambling to try and change players while also catching up to a Rangers rush into the B’s defensive zone, and that’s where the trouble came in.

“We’re scrambling to get on the ice, so the call might have been from, like, [Charlie] McAvoy jumping for [Torey] Krug, it might have been Krech [David Krejci] going for Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. I don’t know. I can’t complain, I mean, we’re trying to gain an advantage there,” said Cassidy. “Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don’t. We didn’t. And the other one was on the power play; we had a forward jump for the wrong guy.

“We had six guys. So, it’s hard to complain about them, you know, we were at fault there, we’ll take the blame for that and unfortunately it’s a lousy way to lose, but we had some chances in overtime too, we just lost our footing on a couple too. It was one of those nights, it seemed like we were – we had some chances at the offensive blue line, even in overtime, we just lost control of pucks and lost our footing and took away some good chances for us.”

Cassidy and the Bruins had a little too many men on the ice trouble during their first-round playoff series against the Ottawa Senators last spring, but it hasn’t really been a recurring issue at all for the B’s bench this season. So the expectation is that Saturday’s OT loss to the Rangers, too many men on the ice penalties and all, was another example of a lot of odd things happening to the Bruins in a game they most definitely didn’t deserve to win. 

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Talking Points: Rangers make Bruins pay for penalties

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Talking Points: Rangers make Bruins pay for penalties

GOLD STAR: King Henrik Lundqvist has pretty solid career numbers against the Bruins, and has enjoyed some very good games against the Black and Gold over the years. King Henrik’s Saturday night was more of the same with 33 saves in the overtime win, including a number in spots where the Bruins began to get decent pressure on the New York net. Lundqvist did allow a power play goal in the third period to allow the Bruins to force an overtime, but he also stopped 15 shots in the third period to make certain that the Bruins didn’t get any more in the final 20 minutes. It was all there: The flashy glove save attempts, the quick reaction saves going post-to-post and the solid play that forced the Bruins to actually beat him for everything they got.

BLACK EYE: You’ve got to put this one on the Bruins bench for taking a couple of too many men on the ice penalties at tough moments in the game. The first wiped out a Bruins power play late in the third period that might have given Boston a chance to end things in regulation, and the second was in the 3-on-3 OT during a moment of chaos as gassed Bruins players were attempting to come off the ice during a Rangers rush. Instead, it was a too many men on the ice penalty again, and this time it was Mats Zuccarello that made the Bruins pay with a game-winning PP strike through a Chris Kreider screen in front of Tuukka Rask. Bruce Cassidy said the B’s simply tried to get away with one in the overtime, but they were caught on a night when Boston had way too many mistakes to actually win the game.

TURNING POINT: An early turning point for the Bruins could have changed the game in their favor when Ryan Spooner had a goal overturned very early in the first period. Jake DeBrusk was offside as David Krejci entered the zone with the puck just prior to the goal, and the Rangers bench quickly and successfully challenged the play directly afterward. Given that the Rangers have played a busy schedule as of late, the Bruins believed they could have really put a lot of pressure on the Blueshirts if they could have taken an early lead. Instead, the Bruins fell behind by a two-goal deficit, and were once again playing catch-up hockey before finally falling in overtime.    

HONORABLE MENTION: Danton Heinen continues to play well for the Bruins, and has essentially been given a vote of confidence by the Bruins with the assignment of Matt Beleskey to the minor leagues. Heinen scored his seventh goal of the season when he stood in front of the net and tipped home a Zdeno Chara point shot in the second period that finally got the B’s offense going. Heinen finished with four shots on net and six shot attempts in his 15:25 of ice time, and is actually tied with Patrice Bergeron for third in the Bruins in goals after potting his seventh of the season. It’s a really good sign as well when a young guy like Heinen isn’t afraid to hang around in the shooting lanes for tips and redirections when a big shooter like Chara winds up and blasts away.

BY THE NUMBERS: 22 – the number of giveaways the Bruins in the overtime loss to the Rangers where they consistently mismanaged the puck, turning things over to the Blueshirts on a regular basis. Brad Marchand led the B’s with four giveaways, but Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk were just behind him with three of their own.  

QUOTE TO NOTE:  “There were problems getting into the zone and there were problems in the zone…there were problems. We struggled on the power play. We’re not going to hide from that, but it got us a goal later, so we eventually kind of got it squared away. But we certainly had opportunities early to take advantage and we didn’t.” – Bruce Cassidy, talking about a Bruins power play that went 1-for-7 in the loss with just six total shots on net. 

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