Bruins

Bergeron doesn't skate with Bruins, expected to miss more games

bruins_patrice_bergeron_101317.jpg

Bergeron doesn't skate with Bruins, expected to miss more games

GLENDALE, Arizona – Patrice Bergeron hopped on the bench for the end of Bruins practice at the Gila River Arena home of the Arizona Coyotes, but it was just the 32-year-old getting a head start on a post-practice skate on his own. While head coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t rule Bergeron out for this weekend’s games vs. the Coyotes and Golden Knights, the Bruins do-it-all center looks like he’ll miss the weekend with the mysterious lower-body injury that’s already caused him to miss the three games of the season.  

It’s been weeks since Bergeron was able to go through a full-tilt practice with the Bruins, and that will have to change before No. 37 is going to get tossed back into games. Cassidy wouldn’t completely rule out a miracle in the desert with Bergeron somehow being able to play, but it doesn’t sound like that’s in the cards for him.

MORE: 

“He’s out there skating [on his own] so that’s a good sign, but obviously not being able to participate in practice you’re always concerned that you need one of those good practices before you can play. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” said Cassidy. “It hurts. He’s arguably our best player night in and night out. He makes people around him better and we use him in all situations.

“We need to find somebody else to go in and do [the job]. It’s that simple. I’ll do that on the phone with my wife tonight. I’ll complain about missing him, but now he’s not in. So it’s next man up. I know it sounds simple, but we have to have guys in that locker room that are going to get hungry and respond to that challenge.”

So far Riley Nash and Ryan Spooner have skated in place of the injured Bergeron, and neither one has been able to adequately fill in for the four-time Selke Trophy winner.

Kevan Miller left practice early after taking a puck off the top of his right knee and was helped back to the dressing room in a scary-looking scene. Cassidy said afterward it might have been a case of Miller’s leg simply going dead after taking the shot off the knee, but it looked like he had dodged a bullet and was going to be okay. With Bergeron expected to miss a couple more games this weekend, here are the line combos and D-pairings with Austin Czarnik potentially replacing Ryan Spooner as third-line center in the game night lineup:

 

Marchand-Nash-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork

Beleskey-Czarnik/Spooner-Vatrano

Schaller-Kuraly-Heinen

White

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Miller-McAvoy

Postma

 

Khudobin

Rask 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruins crush the Habs for third time in eight days

bruins_pastrnak_1202018.jpg

Bruins crush the Habs for third time in eight days

MONTREAL – The Bruins had a chance to utilize their killer instinct and truly bury the Habs’ playoff hopes on Saturday night.

That’s exactly what they did with two goals from David Pastrnak in a strong, intense game where the Bruins ended up with a 4-1 win at the Bell Centre, and swept Montreal in all three meetings that the two arch-rivals had over the last eight days.

The Canadiens actually opened up the scoring midway through the second period when Paul Byron picked Charlie McAvoy’s pocket in the neutral zone, and created a 2-on-1 that Max Pacioretty finished high on Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins stormed right back, though, and a leaky Carey Price goal took all of the momentum away from Les Habitants. David Pastrnak threw a puck at the skates of Price from a bad angle, and somehow it squirted through Price’s pads to give Boston the game-tying goal.

Less than two minutes later after a lengthy shift for the Perfection Line (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak) in the Habs zone, Torey Krug rifled a sniper shot over Price’s shoulder to the short side.

The Bruins appeared to have their insurance goal in the third period when Bergeron shoveled one in on the power play after Pastrnak snapped his stick on a point shot, but Claude Julien challenged that the play was off-side. It was a good challenge with Bergeron crossing the line before the puck was in the zone, and that kept it at a tight one-goal game for nearly the entire duration of the third period.

Pastrnak cinched with the insurance goal late in the third as he cleaned up a rebound of a Torey Krug point shot, and fired the loose puck past Price for the insurance marker.

Riley Nash added the empty net goal while Bruins were mockingly singing “Ole” in the stands at the Bell Centre with the game well in hand.  

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

There will be extra satisfaction if Bruins can help put a nail in Habs coffin

boston-bruins-paul-postma-92817.jpg

There will be extra satisfaction if Bruins can help put a nail in Habs coffin

MONTREAL – It’s not often the Boston Bruins get a chance to literally deal the death blow to their arch-rival Montreal Canadiens.

But that’s really where the B’s stand on Saturday as they visit the Bell Centre for a third meeting in eight days against the hated Habs after winning each of the first two rivalry match-ups. The Canadiens are nine points out of a wild card playoff spot with four teams ahead of them, and sit 11 points out of an Atlantic Division playoff spot more than halfway through their season.

It would take an epic hot streak like the one engineered by Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond and the Ottawa Senators three seasons ago for Montreal to simply get into the postseason. It would also require the Canadiens to actually start winning divisional games like the one facing them on Saturday night against Boston. So the Bruins know they could plunge the dagger into the Habs by sweeping the third game this weekend, and they’re taking just a little bit of pleasure at the position they’re in while on an 11-0-4 run in their last 15 games.

“We’re aware of the standings. We know that we want to keep climbing up and trying to catch up to Tampa. That being said, you look at Montreal and whichever teams that are behind you and you want to push them down,” said Patrice Bergeron. “When you face them it’s big games for them, and it’s the same for us. It will be a big battle. They had a big win last night and are feeling good about their game, so we need to make sure that we’re ready.”

They’ll take even more please out of it if they leave Montreal tonight with two points secured in their column while pushing the Habs deeper into their tailspin.

“I don’t think we’re going into the game talking about that, but if works out that way at 10:30 when we’re getting ready to get on a plane out of town…I think there would be a little extra satisfaction,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think some of our young kids are still getting a taste of it. Last Saturday [Jake] DeBrusk and Charlie [McAvoy] got an idea of how loud it is in here, and how passionate [the fans are].

“But at the end of the day we play 82 times a year, and this one of them to get two points and keep climbing up in the standings.”

While the Bruins are rested and ready after getting a full day off on Friday, the Habs were battling until the final buzzer in Washington on Fridaynight to eke out a win against the Capitals. It was a nice win for the Habs after the embarrassment of dropping a stink bomb in Boston on Wednesday night, but it also should leave them as fatigued, easy pickings if the Black and Gold come armed with their killer instinct on Saturday.

“They know [the importance of the game] on the other side. I expect a desperate effort tonight from them, and giving it their all in front of their home fans,” said Bruins rookie winger Jake DeBrusk. “It’s a four point game and it’s against Montreal, and we got the first two [games]. It would be nice to get the third one here, but we just want to keep things going. It doesn’t really matter who we play except for games like this. We just need to keep our head on straight and play the way we can play.”

It’s true the Bruins/Habs rivalry loses a little juice when one of the teams is really down as Montreal is this season, and the real revenge factor for Boston was getting a decisive win in former coach Claude Julien’s return to Boston in mid-week. But there’s little doubting that having been the one kicked around so many times in the long, storied history of the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry, any chance for Boston to really put a hurting on Montreal still means a little something to those in Black and Gold. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE