Claude Julien

Claude Julien

The Bruins might not even need to win all three of their games this week. The Red Wings are mediocre enough that it would be a surprise if they came into Boston Thursday having not lost to the Flyers the night earlier.

Yet whether it means winning two games or winning three, the Bruins need to do whatever is required of them to make the playoffs this week. If not, an organization that already needed changes might make more drastic ones. Even if he isn’t a primary reason for the Bruins’ situation, Claude Julien could be an obvious fall guy.

“We’re not even there,” Julien said of the idea of missing the postseason. “We don’t even talk about that.”

Julien is in his ninth season with the Bruins. Players like Zdeno Chara (10 years) and Dennis Seidenberg (seven years) have been around to see much better days in their time with the B’s. The Bruins’ recent era of dominance essentially ended when Johnny Boychuk was traded ahead of last season, but the longer-tenured Bruins who have won before feel they can win again in Boston.

“We look at the next game tomorrow, that we’ve got to win that. All the other [expletive], there’s no reason to look any further than that,” Seidenberg said. “I’m confident we’re going to win all these three games and make it to the playoffs.”

The Bruins will play their final three games of their regular-season schedule at TD Garden, starting with Tuesday’s contest against the Hurricanes.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Dennis Seidenberg

Dennis Seidenberg

Dennis Seidenberg returned to practice on Monday, but it doesn’t look to be a good bet that he’ll return to games just yet.

Seidenberg, who has missed the Bruins’ last two games due to injury, took part in Monday’s skate and took some contact, though he left practice early after attempting battle drills. Claude Julien said Seidenberg’s status was “unknown,” but Seidenberg didn’t sound optimistic about a potential return for Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes.

“I felt OK,” Seidenberg said. “I mean, I was moving my legs, doing what I had to do and then got off. It was OK.”

Added Seidenberg: “There’s no timeline set [as to] when I’m going to come back, so it’s really tough to say.”

Adam McQuaid practiced after an injury scare in Saturday’s game, though Kevan Miller and Brett Connolly did not. Miller suffered a lower-body injury in Friday’s win over the Blues, while Connolly sustained a lower-body injury in the first-period of last Tuesday’s loss to the Devils.

Julien said that Miller remains day-to-day. Miller could be seen walking without crutches Monday morning as the Bruins took their team picture.

With Miller and Seidenberg’s status looking doubtful for Tuesday, Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman could be good bets to remain in the lineup.

The Bruins’ forward lines looked as follows Monday:

Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Beleskey-Krejci/Kelly-Pastrnak
Vatrano-Spooner-Stempniak/Griffith
Ferraro-Acciari-Hayes/Randell

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Claude Julien is in his ninth season with the Bruins. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)Missing the playoffs two years in a row would be completely unacceptable, especially given how bad the Eastern Conference is this season. 



If the Bruins can manage the way they did in the third period Sunday for the rest of the season, they’ll be in great shape. That’s a nice way of saying the Bruins didn’t allow six goals in the third period.

If the Bruins can manage the way they did in the third period Sunday for the rest of the season, they’ll be in great shape. That’s a nice way of saying the Bruins didn’t allow six goals in the third period.

They did, however, allow six goals over the first 40 minutes Sunday in Chicago, and though they stormed back from a 6-0 hole with four straight goals, the B’s missed out on two key points with a 6-4 loss to the Blackhawks.

Playing without injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Kevan Miller, the B’s managed through a first-period that saw them allow a tough-luck power play goal and a 4-on-4 goal. Both first-period Chicago goals came against Boston’s young defensemen, as Zach Trotman correctly tried to block a shot in front of the net during a Hawks man advantage, but when Artemi Panarin’s shot was a dud that limped to Artem Anisimov, the Chicago center had plenty of space to put the puck past Tuukka Rask. Patrick Kane then scored a breakaway goal off a Joe Morrow turnover.

It was the second period that saw the floodgates open, however, as the Blackhawks scored two more in the period’s first two minutes to chase Tuukka Rask and then added a pair against Jonas Gustavsson.

The Bruins would storm back behind a pair of goals from Patrice Bergeron as well as tallies from David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, but were unable to fully close the gap.

Boston remains outside of the playoff picture, sitting one point the Red Wings with three games remaining for each team. Given that the Bruins host the Red Wings on Thursday, the Bruins can still make the playoffs if they win all three remaining games and beat Detroit in regulation or overtime. Should the Bruins fail to do so, they risk missing the playoffs for the second straight season.

Here are four more things we learned Sunday:

NO MILLER, BIG PROBLEM

Kevan Miller and Dennis Seidenberg both catch flak for various reasons. Seidenberg’s contract is too long and, at this point, too much money. Miller is a third-pairing who is often overutilized.

Yet if there was any question as to whether the Bruins would be better off without them in the lineup at this point, the answer is a resounding no.

Consider that Miller helped shut down Kane in the Bruins’ March 3 win, when the B’s limited Kane to two shots on goal and scored three goals when he was on the ice. On Sunday, Kane scored a hat trick as he toyed with Claude Julien’s multiple attempts at defensive pairings.

TOEWS GETS THE BEST OF CHARA (AGAIN)

The Boston and Chicago captains have an interesting history that dates back to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, when Jonathan Toews essentially called out Zdeno Chara and said the Blackhawks could “expose” him. Chara was hobbled at the time with a hip injury, but Toews’ words rang true as Chicago went on to win the next two games and the Cup.

On Sunday, Toews took advantage of Chara once again, tussling with him after a whistle late in the first period to earn both players unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Though the Blackhawks were missing players (Duncan Keith chief among them), they still had enough offensive talent in their lineup to make taking Chara and Toews off the ice together a great deal for Chicago given how little the Bruins had defensively aside from Chara. The Bruins’ defense promptly failed in 4-on-4 play when Morrow gave the puck to Kane at the blue line to set up a breakaway goal for Chicago.

BERGERON SETS CAREER HIGH

Amidst the mess that was the Bruins’ second period came Patrice Bergeron’s 31st goal of the season. Bergeron tipped an Adam McQuaid shot past Scott Darling just 11 seconds after David Pastrnak had scored Boston’s first goal of the game. Bergeron’s goal, which came with five seconds remaining in the second period, gave the Bruins a glimmer of hope heading into the third period.

That glimmer grew slightly bigger when Bergeron scored again 2:39 into the third period to make it 6-3. Bergeron’s second goal of the season gave him a new career high in goals and put him four points shy of his third 70-point season.

HURTING EVEN MORE ON D?

Adam McQuaid collided with Loui Eriksson in the third period, which would be a potentially devastating injury to a defensive group that doesn’t need any more. Colin Miller was made a healthy scratch for Sunday’s Providence Bruins game, indicating the Bruins are keeping their options open as far as a possible callup goes.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Red Wings eked out a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs Saturday in Toronto, leapfrogging the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division in the process.

Saturday was Detroit’s 79th game of the season; they now hold a one-point lead over Boston as the B’s head into their 79th game, a matinee against the Blackhawks Sunday in Chicago.

The Red Wings eked out a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs Saturday in Toronto, leapfrogging the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division in the process.

Saturday was Detroit’s 79th game of the season; they now hold a one-point lead over Boston as the B’s head into their 79th game, a matinee against the Blackhawks Sunday in Chicago.

The Bruins and Red Wings will play each other on April 7, which will be both teams’ 81st game of the 82-game regular season. Detroit will be playing the second game of a back-to-back, as they’ll host the Flyers on Wednesday. Saturday marked the first time in the Red Wings’ last 10 back-to-backs that Detroit won the second game.

Assuming Detroit picks up wins in its other games, the Bruins need to win three of their last four (including a regulation win against the Red Wings) in order to secure the third spot in the Atlantic. For now, that spot is the only realistic one for the Bruins, though the second wild card spot might become something of a possibility if the Bruins win Sunday in Chicago and the Flyers lose to the Penguins.

Through three meetings, the Bruins are 2-1-0 against the Red Wings this season. The only loss came on Feb. 14, when the Bruins were without the services of Patrice Bergeron.

To add another wrinkle to the playoff situation, the Lightning announced Saturday night that Steven Stamkos will miss one to three months due to blood clot surgery. The Lightning are currently in line for the second Atlantic spot, meaning they would play the Bruins in the first round if their status went unchanged and Boston were to leapfrog Detroit.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

As the classic adage goes, “They don’t ask how, but whether or not you did indeed end up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.”

The Bruins ended up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.

As the classic adage goes, “They don’t ask how, but whether or not you did indeed end up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.”

The Bruins ended up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.

After breaking through offensively to take a 5-2 lead through two periods, the Bruins experienced a third period scare that saw the Blues control the play en route to scoring twice before a late Boston power play led to Patrice Bergeron’s 30th goal of the season.

Though the two goal-lead Bergeron’s tally provided looked to put the game away with 3:24 remaining, a Kevin Shattenkirk goal with under 21 seconds forced the Bruins to sweat out the final seconds before escaping with a 6-5 victory over the Blues.

Friday’s win marked the first time in eight games that the Bruins scored at least three goals against a goaltender. The B’s were mired in an offensive slump entering the game, having scored just 16 goals in their previous 10 games. The Blues, meanwhile had allowed one goal over their last five games combined before the B’s put five past Brian Elliott and another past Jake Allen.

The win for the Bruins was massive, as the Red Wings defeated the Wild before the conclusion of Boston’s game. With the victory, the Bruins remain one point ahead of Detroit for the third spot in the Atlantic Division, which is likely the only attainable playoff spot for either team. The Bruins will host the Red Wings on April 7 in Boston’s 81st game of the season.

The Bruins will next play Sunday in a matinee against the Blackhawks, which will be their final road game of the season. The Blackhawks will be without Duncan Keith, who will be serving the second game of a six-game suspension for swinging his stick at the face of Wild forward Charlie Coyle.

Here are four more things we learned Friday:

KREJCI TAKES OVER

Based on both his play in recent weeks and the fact that he has been kept off the ice for practices at points this season, it isn’t a leap to presume that Krejci is not completely healthy. Whatever might be ailing Krejci didn’t prevent him from taking over a key game Friday.

Krejci had a pair of goals and two assists for a four-point game, marking his second multi-point performance in the Bruins’ last three games. His first assist on Friday came on Matt Beleskey’s 15th goal of the season. The other came on Bergeron’s tally, Boston’s second power-play goal of the night. The Bruins also got goals from Loui Eriksson and Frank Vatrano.

B’S LOSE ANOTHER DEFENSEMAN EARLY

Last season, injuries to defensemen in the final games exacerbated the Bruins’ problems, as Dougie Hamilton missed the final 10 games with a rib injury, while Zdeno Chara was hurt in the 79th game of the season but played through it.

Already without Dennis Seidenberg for Friday and Sunday due to an undisclosed injury, the Bruins lost Kevan Miller to a lower-body injury for the game in the first period, as the veteran defenseman went hard into the boards at the tail end of a race with Magnus Paajarvi. Miller remained down and was helped off the ice by teammates.

Should Miller be unavailable in the coming games, Zach Trotman would likely slot into the lineup after missing the last 11 games as a healthy scratch. Trotman last played on March 7. PASTRNAK STICKS IT OUT In other injury news, David Pastrnak appeared to hurt his right knee when he fell funny in an attempt to avoid a hit in the second period. Pastrnak was holding his knee as he left the ice, and he promptly went down the tunnel rather than staying on the bench. Pastrnak would stay in the game, however, returning after missing 6:50.

GRIFFITH IN, HAYES OUT; SPOONER AND LILES RETURN

The Bruins saw two players return from injury and also brought a third in for performance reasons. John-Michael Liles and Ryan Spooner, who had two and one-game absences, respectively, due to lower-body injuries, both re-entered the lineup on Friday.

Both players made big contributions in the win over St. Louis, as Liles had a pair of assists (one of which came on a nifty stretch-pass to set up Eriksson’s breakaway goal) and had a huge shot block on Alex Pietrangelo during a first-period Blues power play.

Spooner, meanwhile, picked up an assist on Krejci’s power-play goal in the second period, as the young center was placed back on the Bruins’ top power play unit. It wasn’t all pretty for Spooner, however, as he was called for holding Parik Berglund with 11:09 remaining, shortly after the Blues had scored their fourth goal to cut Boston’s lead to one.

Claude Julien also opted to make Jimmy Hayes a healthy scratch and play Seth Griffith in his place. Boston’s lineup Friday looked as such:

Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak
Vatrano-Spooner-Stempniak
Ferraro-Acciari-Griffith

Chara-Liles
Morrow-Miller
Krug-McQuaid

Rask

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

As the classic adage goes, “They don’t ask how, but whether or not you did indeed end up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.”

The Bruins ended up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.

After breaking through offensively to take a 5-2 lead through two periods, the Bruins experienced a third period scare that saw the Blues control the play en route to scoring twice before a late Boston power play led to Patrice Bergeron’s 30th goal of the season.

Though the two goal-lead Bergeron’s tally provided looked to put the game away with 3:24 remaining, a Kevin Shattenkirk goal with under 21 seconds forced the Bruins to sweat out the final seconds before escaping with a 6-5 victory over the Blues.

Friday’s win marked the first time in eight games that the Bruins scored at least three goals against a goaltender. The B’s were mired in an offensive slump entering the game, having scored just 16 goals in their previous 10 games. The Blues, meanwhile had allowed one goal over their last five games combined before the B’s put five past Brian Elliott and another past Jake Allen.

The win for the Bruins was massive, as the Red Wings defeated the Wild before the conclusion of Boston’s game. With the victory, the Bruins remain one point ahead of Detroit for the third spot in the Atlantic Division, which is likely the only attainable playoff spot for either team. The Bruins will host the Red Wings on April 7 in Boston’s 81st game of the season.

The Bruins will next play Sunday in a matinee against the Blackhawks, which will be their final road game of the season. The Blackhawks will be without Duncan Keith, who will be serving the second game of a six-game suspension for swinging his stick at the face of Wild forward Charlie Coyle.

Here are four more things we learned Friday:

KREJCI TAKES OVER

Based on both his play in recent weeks and the fact that he has been kept off the ice for practices at points this season, it isn’t a leap to presume that Krejci is not completely healthy. Whatever might be ailing Krejci didn’t prevent him from taking over a key game Friday.

Krejci had a pair of goals and two assists for a four-point game, marking his second multi-point performance in the Bruins’ last three games. His first assist on Friday came on Matt Beleskey’s 15th goal of the season. The other came on Bergeron’s tally, Boston’s second power-play goal of the night. The Bruins also got goals from Loui Eriksson and Frank Vatrano.

B’S LOSE ANOTHER DEFENSEMAN EARLY

Last season, injuries to defensemen in the final games exacerbated the Bruins’ problems, as Dougie Hamilton missed the final 10 games with a rib injury, while Zdeno Chara was hurt in the 79th game of the season but played through it.

Already without Dennis Seidenberg for Friday and Sunday due to an undisclosed injury, the Bruins lost Kevan Miller to a lower-body injury for the game in the first period, as the veteran defenseman went hard into the boards at the tail end of a race with Magnus Paajarvi. Miller remained down and was helped off the ice by teammates.

Should Miller be unavailable in the coming games, Zach Trotman would likely slot into the lineup after missing the last 11 games as a healthy scratch. Trotman last played on March 7. PASTRNAK STICKS IT OUT In other injury news, David Pastrnak appeared to hurt his right knee when he fell funny in an attempt to avoid a hit in the second period. Pastrnak was holding his knee as he left the ice, and he promptly went down the tunnel rather than staying on the bench. Pastrnak would stay in the game, however, returning after missing 6:50.

GRIFFITH IN, HAYES OUT; SPOONER AND LILES RETURN

The Bruins saw two players return from injury and also brought a third in for performance reasons. John-Michael Liles and Ryan Spooner, who had two and one-game absences, respectively, due to lower-body injuries, both re-entered the lineup on Friday.

Both players made big contributions in the win over St. Louis, as Liles had a pair of assists (one of which came on a nifty stretch-pass to set up Eriksson’s breakaway goal) and had a huge shot block on Alex Pietrangelo during a first-period Blues power play.

Spooner, meanwhile, picked up an assist on Krejci’s power-play goal in the second period, as the young center was placed back on the Bruins’ top power play unit. It wasn’t all pretty for Spooner, however, as he was called for holding Parik Berglund with 11:09 remaining, shortly after the Blues had scored their fourth goal to cut Boston’s lead to one.

Claude Julien also opted to make Jimmy Hayes a healthy scratch and play Seth Griffith in his place. Boston’s lineup Friday looked as such:

Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak
Vatrano-Spooner-Stempniak
Ferraro-Acciari-Griffith

Chara-Liles
Morrow-Miller
Krug-McQuaid

Rask

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean