Bruins

B's rookies 'looking for a bounce-back game' after dreadful loss

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B's rookies 'looking for a bounce-back game' after dreadful loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It wasn’t a particularly enjoyable video session for Jake DeBrusk and his fellow young players on Tuesday morning ahead of Bruins practice. There were blown assignments in the D-zone, plays in all zones that could have been executed better and missed opportunities to play a simple, basic game when sloppy ice conditions on a humid afternoon pretty much called for that.

DeBrusk finished a minus-3 in 13 minutes of ice time with just a shot on net and found himself dropped to the fourth line at certain points of the game. Anders Bjork was also a minus-3 in 14:38 of ice time and similarly had trouble putting forth the 200-foot consistency that was necessary in the game. Charlie McAvoy finished a minus-2 with just a shot on net and a couple of giveaways in 19:28 of ice time, and clearly wasn’t at his best either. 

The Bruins brought up Danton Heinen from Providence and signed hard-hitting Ryan White on a PTO after he was recently released by the Vancouver Canucks organization, so it’s clear there will be other options for the Bruins coaches if the rookie struggles hit repeat mode. Still, it looks like they will go into their first road game of the season on Wednesday night in Colorado with their young players in the same respective spots while expecting a better result.  

“It’s a solution-oriented business. At least that’s the way I see it at times big picture versus small picture as you try to balance the two,” said Cassidy. “We need to get better in certain areas. We happen to be playing the same team [in Colorado], so let’s make sure we correct them and put our best foot forward tomorrow.

“[Competition] doesn’t hurt. We want to let guys relax and play, but by the same token this is a business. We have a standard. We didn’t play to it [on Monday] and we’re going to try to get back to it tomorrow. We talked about that. If creating competition is an avenue that will make that better than that’s something we have to look at.” 

It was a remarkable plummet back to Earth after the B’s rooks were all spectacular in the season opening win, and now the down note provides a chance for each of those young players to prove they are “bounce-back guys”, as Bruce Cassidy called them after the game. 

“We did video today and saw lots of mistakes that we made. Some mistakes that I made personally. The good news is that they’re all fixable. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but it’s a big learning experience for me and for the other guys as well,” said DeBrusk. “I thought that my first game went well, and my second game didn’t go so well. So I’m looking for my ‘A’ or ‘B’ game going into Colorado, and knowing what they did on our home ice. 

“We’re looking for a bounce-back game. It shows your character as a player and as a person. It’s about how you bounce back and deal with that stuff. It’s not going to be easy by any means. But we’re all driven and motivated. I know I want to stay in the lineup, and so do the other guys that wanted that game back in Colorado. We’re going to put our best foot forward and give our best effort.”  

With DeBrusk and Bjork again on each of David Krejci’s wings at Tuesday’s practice and McAvoy right back in his customary role on the back end, the young Bruins players will get that opportunity in the Mile High City to show they’re truly “bounce-back guys.”

Bruins crush the Habs for third time in eight days

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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.  

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

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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. 

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