Bruins

Julien: 'It doesn't matter who they throw in net'

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Julien: 'It doesn't matter who they throw in net'

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com
BOSTON The Bruins were made aware theyll be seeing a different goaltender between the pipes for the Flyers tonight when Peter Laviolette announced 22-year-old Russian rookie Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start for the Flyers in Game Four down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.Bobrovsky is 0-1 with a 3.28 goals against average in five appearances during the playoffs for the Flyers, and looked excellent in Game Two for Philly at the Wells Fargo Center when he came on in relief of an injured Brian Boucher. A team can normally derive some spark or energy from a goaltending change, but that might not apply to a Flyers club that has switched goalies in seven out of the 10 playoff games theyve played thus far. Thats a recipe for disaster and an indictment of a severely shoddy defense.Bruins coach Claude Julien said it didnt matter to the Bruins which goalie shows up to play against them, and its more about the Bs finishing off the job theyve started in their first three wins over the Flyers.The book on Bobrovsky is hes very beatable on anything shot upstairs in the net as are most goaltenders but Julien said that theyve already gone over their Philly scouting reports and are ready for anything.It doesnt really matter to us who they throw in net, were prepared for every scenario at this point, said Julien. Its just a matter of going out there, doing the job and doing it right. Andrew Ference was asked during pregame availability what the difference in approach has been from the intense seven game series against the Montreal Canadiens compared to the current series against the Flyers.His answer was pretty telling and reveals just how seriously the Bruins are taking things at this point.This is as focused as Ive ever seen our team before, said Ference when asked to describe the Game Four mindset for so many guys that lived through last seasons collapse. "This series there has been no shortage of us really wanting to do well. The first series against the Habs was emotional. This has been much more business-like" The Bruins added this tidbit to their weekly notes package on Friday afternoon: Since the playoffs started, the following five players are tied for the second highest amount of Bruins namenumber t-shirt orders in the Boston Bruins Pro Shop, according to Retail Director of the Pro Shop, Lauma Cerlins: Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara.What may be surprising to some is that the best seller thus far is Brad Marchands No. 63, as the Pro Shop has had to order three-times as many tees (compared to the group of five players above) to meet the demand for the popular Bs rookie. The Bruins announced that all of their season tickets for the 2011-12 regular season have been sold out, and that the team has started a waiting list for season tickets in the loge and balcony sections. So we have reached our capacity for season tickets in the loge and balcony, which is twelve thousand seats and we started a wait list just so we can start to take, in order, people who are interested in season tickets, said Bruins Vice President of Ticket Sales Amy Latimer. Its a one hundred dollar deposit per seat. Their benefits throughout the year are that they are going to get additional offers for Bruins tickets, Garden events and they will have a season ticket rep. that will work with them basically on their preference location, price range, all those things. Julien said that defenseman Adam McQuaid skated for the first time on Friday morning since spraining his neck after tumbling face-first into the boards at the Wells Fargo Center in Game Two, and hes getting better. Still no timetable on a return for McQuaid however.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Sweeney says Kovalchuk would be 'nice addition' to Bruins

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Sweeney says Kovalchuk would be 'nice addition' to Bruins

As the free agency period of July 1 inches closer, the hype machine for 35-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk will grow more and more frenzied for teams like the Bruins.

And coach Bruce Cassidy gladly added to it on Tuesday in Las Vegas, telling reporters assembled for the NHL Awards that the Russian winger would be “a nice fit” for the Black and Gold. 

“Yeah, that would be interesting . . . you never want to speculate,” Cassidy said to reporters in Vegas during his press availability as a finalist for the Jack Adams Award. “You can’t get too far ahead . . . he’s a top-six guy, he can play left and right wing, he’s a big body. He’d be a nice addition. I am sure any team would say that right now. 

“He’s going to make your team better, and I think that’s what you always look at as a coach, and fitting [talented players] in is the easy part. The tough part is getting those types of players.”

MORE HAGGERTY

The Bruins will be among a handful of teams vying for Kovalchuk, who spend the last five seasons playing in the KHL after bolting the New Jersey Devils and the NHL after the lockout-shortened 2013 NHL season. Even at his advanced NHL age, the expectation is that Kovalchuk can still have an impact offensively even if he’s not exactly the same player who posted 37 goals and 83 points in his last full season in Jersey six years ago. 

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound winger still has the big shot, the scoring ability, the size and the game-breaking skills that made him a former first overall pick in the NHL draft, and it may just be that he has more left in his tank than the younger Rick Nash. Clearly there was a concussion that played a big part in Nash’s time in Boston, but he also didn’t look like the explosive scoring ability was still there like it was in the Columbus/New York power forward’s younger years. 

The Bruins haven’t yet locked in a time when they’ll make their pitch to Kovalchuk’s camp, but it’s expected to happen ahead of the July 1 opening of free agency. Kovalchuk's representatives have already had meetings with teams on the West Coast like the Kings and Sharks. It’s expected that Kovalchuk, 35, be looking at a shorter-term deal making something close to the $6.67 annual salary he was being paid by the Devils when he departed the NHL. 

If Kovalchuk were to land in Boston, he’d fill a need for secondary scoring behind the big guns of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.He would allow the Bruins to keep their top forward line intact while filling a hole on the second line right wing alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. 

With the news that next season’s salary cap is going to be in the $79-80 million range, the Bruins will also have somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 million in cap space for their offseason shopping list. That should give them plenty of room to sign Kovalchuk to a short-term deal and still address the other openings on their NHL roster, including third-line center and a backup goaltender. Still, Kovalchuk would be the big fish, and that’s why the talk about him is front and center.

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Bruins open home season with a day game against Ottawa

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Bruins open home season with a day game against Ottawa

The Bruins normally start the home portion of their schedule with a festive Opening Night celebration. But not this year.

This year, it'll be an Opening Day ceremony.

The Columbus Day matinee makes it a rare day opener for the B's. But they'll have had a normal Opening Night before that, and what a night it figures to be:

(The Caps say Banner 'Day' since they'll be raising their Stanley Cup championship flag, but since Oct. 3 is a Wednesday -- and since this is opening game of the entire NHL schedule -- the assumption is it'll be played at night.)

The NHL will release the full schedule tomorrow, but teams are being allowed to Tweet out the dates of their home openers. So, in addition to the season opener in Washington and the home opener against the Senators, we know two other game dates for the Bruins:

And tomorrow, we'll know the whole thing.