WILMINGTON — Patrice Bergeron was named an NHL All-Star on Wednesday. The Bruins’ center will represent the Atlantic Division in the new 3-on-3 tournament format in Nashville.

This is the second consecutive and second overall All-Star nod for Patrice Bergeron. The silly event will take place Jan. 30-31 at Bridgestone Arena.

Bergeron leads the Bruins with 37 points. With 15 goals, he’€™s on pace for a career-high 32 goals. Bergeron has hit the 30-goal mark twice in his career, reaching the plateau in 2005-06 (31 goals) and 2014-15 (30).

Other All-Stars include Boston College product Johnny Gaudreau and former Bruins Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Seguin.

Bergeron is the Bruins’ only representative in the tournament, meaning Zdeno Chara will not be able to participate in the Hardest Shot competition for the second-straight All-Star game. Chara holds the record for hardest recorded shot at 108.8 miles per hour, set in 2012.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara were all missing from Wednesday’€™s practice at Ristuccia Arena.

McQuaid suffered an apparent head injury in the second period of Tuesday’€™s loss to the Capitals. Wednesday marked the second time in three practices dating back to Sunday that Bergeron has not been on the ice.

Claude Julien did not offer an update on the status of McQuaid and termed Chara’€™s and Bergeron’€™s absences maintenance days. The lines in practice were as follows:

Eriksson-(Marchand)-Ferraro
Beleskey-Spooner-Connolly
Vatrano-Kemppainen-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot-Randell

Blog Author: 
WEEI

David Pastrnak scored 10 goals as a rookie last season. (Harry How/Getty Images)The Bruins are having trouble scoring, and David Pastrnak is back in North America.



Loui Eriksson

Loui Eriksson

In a result that surprised just about no one, the Bruins, sans David Krejci and Brad Marchand, dropped a game to the best team in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night.

Washington took a 1-0 lead in the first period and never trailed en route to a 3-2 victory at TD Garden.

Now, compared to the B’€™s poor effort in a 5-1 loss to Montreal on New Year’€™s Day, Tuesday’€™s one-goal defeat might even qualify for ‘€˜moral victory’€™ status to some.

However, when the B’€™s big picture now paints a season-worst funk, with the team having lost five out of their last six games, it was hard to find great optimism in the Boston postgame locker room after the Capitals defeat.

“I don’€™t know, a little bit up and down,”€ said winger Loui Eriksson of his team’€™s effort. “We’€™re playing a good team and they took advantage of us in the first [period]. We came back a couple times but in the end, they won a game. It’€™s a tough one, we need to start winning here again.”

Head coach Claude Julien approved of the will, but not quite the way.

“Yes, for me disappointed in the loss,” Julien said. “Not disappointed in the effort. There’€™s no moral victory but I can’€™t criticize the effort our team gave tonight. In the situation we’€™re in we almost had to play a perfect game to beat those guys. Our guys worked hard, they had chances and this is a good [Washington] hockey club. We gave ourselves a chance there, I don’€™t think we ever quit. We were down a goal, then down two and came back into it. They made a big save on ‘€˜Z’€™ [Zdeno Chara] at the end to keep that game from being tied. I think our guys tried, really tried but at the same time in this league you’€™ve gotta win hockey games. We gotta be disappointed, hungrier for next game so we can turn things around here. Hopefully the bitterness in our mouth from losing tonight is going to carry into Friday in New Jersey.”

In addition to New Jersey on the horizon, there is some possible help awaiting there, too, with winger David Pastrnak close to returning as well as just one more game to serve on Marchand’€™s suspension ledger. Krejci’s return date remains unknown. However, no matter the reasons, an extended losing streak given the ultra-tight league standings could be fatally damaging to the team’s playoff hopes.

“It’€™s a huge road trip,”€ said Patrice Bergeron of the upcoming five-game journey to face the Devils, Senators, Rangers, Flyers, and Sabres. “It’€™s a long one, we know we’€™re playing some big teams, some good teams. We have to turn this around. I think we have to find ways to generate more goals and more chances. It was a much better effort [tonight] but still not good enough. At the end of the day you’€™ve got to get wins, and the standings are way too tight to let games like this slip by. Hopefully we can be a little better next game.”

Even from the back end of the ice, goalie Tuukka Rask could see the need for increased scoring chances in the attacking zone.

“€œOffensively we’€™re not creating as many chances as we used to,” said Rask. “That’€™s probably the difference, that’€™s all I can see from my perspective. Obviously we’€™re missing a couple of key forwards. But we’€™re not getting inside there and getting those second chances.”

Rask continued: “We played a bit smarter overall [tonight]. Still, it’€™s a loss. Not as many scoring chances allowed defensively from around the net area, so that was an improvement. I guess we played a decent game. It was a weird game. Some moments when we had a lot of emotion, but then at times there was kinda not a whole lot going on out there. It was a weird game. OK for a tough team. I really don’€™t know what to think of this game. We lost.”

And it’€™s been a weird year, indeed, when going on the road seems to the best possible news. The Bruins’ road record is 11-3-2, with a home mark of just 9-11-2.

“Our team’€™s been a lot better on the road, so I guess it might be a good thing for us,” said Ryan Spooner. “It’€™s a long season, you’€™re going to get some ups and you’€™re going to get some downs. Some of those [losses] I feel like we haven’€™t played the best we can. I think tonight we played a pretty solid game, just didn’€™t get the bounces. There’€™s some stuff to build off of and some stuff to fix, for sure.”

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Ken Laird and DJ Bean are at TD Garden to discuss the Bruins 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Tuesday night, the team's 5th loss in their last six games.

[0:02:08] ... make that push play in the game a couple times Ryan Spooner Zdeno Chara you thought that maybe they're action title game but. Anyone of those who looked errors against the team as talented and it's ...
[0:02:42] ... getting some ice time big buzz before the game was why is David Foster not not here you know they. Had some roster issues that he was sent down to DHL for a night could they ...
[0:04:03] ... this kid down long. My guess would be that he's on this road trip. That's for Julian with younger players. I think it's just a matter of she doesn't like players whom he does not trust and I would not the David Foster not. In that category because younger players such as David crate she. Perhaps most notably. We Brad marsh and have gained. Claude Julien trust. Very very easily four plus much injuries played big minutes right right all I mean toss and electing Gerald he's a ...
[0:06:34] ... a lot happier than than say Friday. I have been pretty good road trip that team so close you still do on the road trip. Apple's three roses tonight for DJ Dino tailored it'll liberals Bosnia podcast presented by AT&T. ...






If the Bruins wanted to use a game against perhaps the best team in the league as a measuring stick, Tuesday could have been a lot worse.

They say that in order to be the best, you’€™ve got to beat the best. The Bruins are not the best and they did not beat the Capitals Tuesday.

Despite the B’€™s suffering their fifth loss in their last six games, Tuesday did not prove to be the rear-kicking that many expected when the Eastern Conference-leading Caps came to town. Down a defenseman for most of the night (Adam McQuaid left in the second period — see below), the slumping Bruins managed to keep the game close before ultimately suffering a 3-2 loss at TD Garden.

Boston pushed back hard in the third period and came within a goal thanks to a two-point night from Patrice Bergeron (one goal, one assist), but the B’s were unable to put a third puck past Washington netminder Braden Holtby. That’s a common tale given Holtby’s dominance over the Bruins, but Tuesday was one of the more encouraging performances in what’s been a bad stretch for the Bruins.

The Bruins will play their next five games on the road, beginning Friday in New Jersey.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:

MCQUAID LEAVES WITH APPARENT HEAD INJURY

The Bruins had to play most of the game with five defensemen because of a dirty hit that Adam McQuaid from Zach Sill on his second shift of the second period. Sill slammed McQuaid into the glass along the half wall head-first, forcing McQuaid to fall to the ice, where he remained for multiple minutes. Surprisingly, no penalty was called on the play. McQuaid did not return to the game.

If McQuaid is to miss any stretch of time, Zach Trotman could return to the lineup.

KEMPPAINEN RETURNS

Speaking of returning to the lineup, Joonas Kemppainen played Tuesday night after missing the previous 11 games with an upper-body injury. Kemppainen centered a third line with Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes.

Kemppainen also took a second-period penalty for hooking Marcus Johansson, but the ensuing Washington power play didn’€™t last too long given that T.J. Oshie took an interference minor 48 seconds later.

BELESKEY LOSES A GOAL

Prior to the game, the NHL announced a scoring change from the Winter Classic. The change, which came four days after the game, credited McQuaid with Boston’€™s only goal of the game. It had appeared live that Matt Beleskey had redirected McQuaid’€™s shot from the point past Canadiens goalie Mike Condon, but the change indicated that the puck had touched a Montreal player and not Beleskey.

With the scoring change, Beleskey is now back down to seven goals on the season.

AND ERIKSSON GETS ONE

Wearing the ‘€˜A’€™ on his sweater for the second straight game, Loui Eriksson broke out of a mini goal-scoring slump when he took a second-period pass from Brett Connolly on an odd-man rush and beat Holtby short side. Prior to the game, Eriksson had gone five straight games without a goal, though he was a point-a-game player in that stretch thanks to five assists.

Beleskey’€™s current goal-scoring pace has him in line to score 30 goals this season. In case you forgot, he’€™s a free agent at season’€™s end.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Joonas Kemppainen

Joonas Kemppainen

Over the years, the Bruins’€™ forward group has been overflowing with centers. The B’€™s place such an emphasis on strength down the middle that they’€™ve never shied away from carrying so many centers that pivots end up playing wing (i.e. Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin, Chris Kelly).

The Bruins have had to deal with many changes this season, one of which has been playing without as many centers. Kelly was injured early in the season, while Joonas Kemppainen was hurt last month and David Krejci is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Claude Julien loves having options at center, but those options haven’€™t really been there of late. With Kemppainen likely to return Tuesday from an upper-body injury (he was activated off injured reserve Tuesday afternoon), Julien hopes he’€™ll be able to better balance his lines and control possession.

“It hurts,” Julien said of not having as many centers as usual. “I think it’€™s been obvious in the faceoffs and how we’€™ve lost faceoffs in our own end especially, losing them clean and other teams getting possession of the puck a lot more than we’€™re used to. When you don’€™t win them, you’€™ve got to chase that puck. When you win them, you get to start with it.”

Kemppainen, a strong defensive center, is one of three Bruins who have won most of their faceoffs. His 52.3 success rate at the dot puts him behind Patrice Bergeron (56.6 percent) and Max Talbot (52.8 percent).

“People sometimes don’€™t realize how important (winning faceoffs) is,” Julien said. “For our team not to have those centermen winning draws closer to 55 percent or more a game is huge. We miss that. And it’€™s been a huge part of our game; it’€™s been a strong suit for a long, long time. So there’€™s no doubt that hurts our game.”

The Bruins did not have a full morning skate on Tuesday, so it’€™s unclear where Kemppainen might play in the lineup. If Sunday’€™s and Monday’€™s practices are any indication, Kemppainen figures to play between Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes.

Kemppainen is not known for his offense, as is evidenced by his one goal and two assists for three points in 24 NHL games, but the Bruins could use any offense they could get out of him. The B’€™s have scored more than one goal just twice in their last six games (2-4-0) and the sharp-shooting Vatrano has gone six games without a goal.

The fact that the B’€™s will face a Washington team that ranks second in the league in both goals against (2.2 per game) and goals for (3.1 per game), further underscores Boston’€™s need for a good offensive showing on Tuesday. They might not get it from Kemppainen, but Julien can only hope that the Finnish center’€™s return allows him to use a lineup more suitable to his preferences.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed Tuesday that the Bruins’€™ demotion of David Pastrnak to Providence came as a result of a roster crunch and the fact that the player would not be in Tuesday’€™s lineup anyway.

Pastrnak, who was in Finland for the World Junior Championships, got to Boston on Monday afternoon. He did not practice on Monday, making it very unlikely that he would play Tuesday vs. the Capitals. With the Bruins only having 11 forwards at their disposal (12 on their roster due to the suspended Brad Marchand taking up a spot) and 22 total roster players, the B’€™s needed to activate Joonas Kemppainen from injured reserve in order to have a full group of forwards against the Capitals. Adding Pastrnak would have left the B’€™s over the 23-man roster limit.

“Really the only [thing] was he didn’€™t arrive until yesterday afternoon,” Sweeney said. “We had him checked out, and he’€™ll skate today and we’€™ll re-evaluate. Really, it’€™s a matter of we play tonight, Joonas in all likelihood will come off IR, so our roster is what it is at this point in time. We’€™ll make a decision going forward, and David will be a part of that process.”

Sweeney added that the Bruins are not concerned with a finger injury through which Pastrnak played WJC games. Sweeney was noncommittal when asked whether Pastrnak would play any games in Providence before returning to the NHL roster.

In 10 games this season, Pastrnak has two goals and two assists for four points.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Brett Connolly

Brett Connolly

The story sounds familiar enough — a top pick of the Lightning has not become a star and figures to eventually be traded — but Brett Connolly can’€™t put himself in Jonathan Drouin’€™s shoes completely.

On Sunday, the Lightning sent Drouin, whom they drafted third overall pick in the 2013 draft, to Syracuse of the AHL. That led to agent Allan Walsh revealing that his client had requested a trade from Tampa in November, news that was still somewhat shocking despite ongoing murmurs that the 20-year-old left wing was not happy with how the team and coach Jon Cooper were using him.

Based on his own experience, Connolly — the Lightning’€™s first pick (sixth overall) in 2010 — hopes that Drouin doesn’€™t expect anything in the league to just come to him. He calls Drouin a “good kid” whom he feels can be a star wherever he ends up.

“He’€™s a good player. He’€™s got a lot of talent,”€ Connolly said of his former teammate. “Young guys come in the league and you realize really fast that it’€™s a tough league. You’€™ve got to find your game and you’€™ve got to work at it. It’€™s not going to be given to you no matter how high a draft pick you are.”

Connolly knows what its like to be drafted early by the Lightning and not ascend to stardom as quickly as planned. Like Drouin, Connolly returned to his junior team for another season after being drafted and then turned pro a season later. Both players spent their first pro season playing for Tampa given that the CHL/NHL transfer agreement required players under 20 to either stay with their junior teams or play for their NHL club. Most notably, neither one put up mesmerizing numbers in the NHL in the early going; Connolly had four goals in 68 games in his first NHL season, while Drouin had four goals in 70 games as a rookie.

Yet Connolly’€™s situation is different from Drouin’€™s in that he wouldn’€™t have had a problem in Tampa. The team traded him last season because they had a crowded forward group and couldn’€™t send him down without waivers. At least from the outside, a lack of patience from a still-developing player appears to be a big factor in Drouin’€™s case. Drouin has two goals in 19 games this season, giving him a total of six goals in 89 career NHL games.

Connolly spent the lockout-shortened season in the AHL, where Cooper was his head coach. The right wing — who has often sung Cooper’€™s praises — says that he was receptive to Cooper’€™s style, but that it isn’€™t for everyone.

“I think that he’€™s one of those coaches that it just depends on how you react to the criticism,’€ Connolly said. “I think some guys have a little bit thicker skin than others. He was hard on his players, he was demanding, he was fair — a lot of similarities to Claude [Julien].

“It’€™s just a matter of sticking with it. Sometimes he’€™s not going to be happy with you. He’€™s not going to be happy with you all year. You’€™ve just got to take the most out of it and take it with a grain of salt.”

Said Connolly of Cooper and Drouin: “Their relationship, when I was there, it didn’€™t seem like an issue, but we’€™ll see what happens. It’€™s an interesting move on their part.”

As for the trade request, Connolly seemed surprised that it came as early in Drouin’s career as it did, but he doesn’t besmirch the player for being proactive.

“You can look at it both ways. I think that sometimes in this business, you’€™ve got to be bold sometimes,” Connolly said. “If you don’€™t feel like it’€™s going to work out somewhere, you might as well get out of there, or you can look at it as he’€™s a young kid, a high pick, maybe people are thinking he’€™s a little entitled, but at the same time, it’€™s his career. If he feels that he’€™s going to have a better chance somewhere else, then maybe that’€™s the way he’€™s going.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean