For many who have watched the Bruins this season, a common criticism has been that they don’t seem fully engaged or motivated this season.

Tuukka Rask has seen the same thing. But after a 3-2 loss to the red-hot Blackhawks, Rask insisted the Bruins are headed in the right direction.

“We played a pretty good game,” Rask said, trying to find a silver lining after watching his teammates drop their sixth game in eight tries. “Tough couple bounces there, the first two goals. We fall behind 2-0 and we battled back and made it a game. When you’€™re winning games, things go your way and when you’€™re not really in the groove like we aren’€™t really, it’€™s tough to find it. We are just going to keep battling and good things are going to happen.”

Chris Kelly has been engaged and is one of the Bruins trying to provide a spark. His third period bout with Andrew Shaw came after Milan Lucic was shoved to the ice after feeding Torey Krug for a goal to make it 3-2. Rask was asked if he sees feistiness and grit returning to the team.

“I think it has been lacking for the most part this season,” Rask said. “The last game in Phoenix, we put emphasis on that, really battling for every puck and really being hard to play against. We did that and then [Thursday] we did the same thing and when two teams are doing that, emotions flare and sometimes there are fights. It’€™s a good sign that we do that.”

“It all comes from hard work and never quitting and that’€™s what we have been doing in practices and in the past couple games and as long as we keep doing that I think good things are going to happen for us and we are going to start winning hockey games and everybody can be smiling.”

All of the talk about true grit and character won’t mean much if the Bruins don’t start soon translating that into wins, especially against the best teams in the league, like Chicago.

“We have been able to play against the best for sure. [We’re] not necessarily getting all the results we wanted but at the end of the day it’€™s all about winning and we have to find a way to win these games,” Rask added.

“I mean if you look at the effort and you look at the plays we made, for the most part it was our style of hockey. I thought a lot of times we were the better team out there. So I guess you can take the positive but from a goalie standpoint, two deflections off of your own sticks and it obviously sucks. We just have to keep working and find ways to get those bounces our way, not against us.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

According to TSN, the Winter Classic is expected to come back to Boston.

Bob McKenzie reported on TSN’€™s Insider Trading that the Bruins are favorites to host the annual outdoor game in 2016. The B’€™s hosted the event in 2010 when they played the Flyers at Fenway Park.

According to TSN, the Winter Classic is expected to come back to Boston.

Bob McKenzie reported on TSN’€™s Insider Trading that the Bruins are favorites to host the annual outdoor game in 2016. The B’€™s hosted the event in 2010 when they played the Flyers at Fenway Park.

“I would think that by mid-January to mid-February, that it could be finalized if all goes well,” McKenzie said. “That’s the primary focus right now, but the deal not done just yet.”

It is unknown where the potential game would be held.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Dennis Seidenberg knew his hit on Jonathan Toews looked bad the moment it happened in the second period, as the Bruins were trying to kill off the final minute of consecutive penalties that put the Bruins in penalty kill mode.

Dennis Seidenberg knew his hit on Jonathan Toews looked bad the moment it happened in the second period, as the Bruins were trying to kill off the final minute of consecutive penalties that put the Bruins in penalty kill mode.

But the strong, hulking defenseman made a point after the game that he meant no harm and certainly didn’t intend to put Toews out of of commission for the rest of the game. For the record, 49 seconds after getting hit by Seidenberg, Toews was actually on the ice, getting called for hooking Chris Kelly.

But after serving his hooking penalty, Toews went to the Chicago dressing room and did not return.

After the game, Seidenberg insisted he meant no ill will toward the Chicago star center.

“I pride myself on being a clean player and a hard player to play against, so when I went in on that one on one battle there, I thought I saw his right shoulder and at the last second he might have turned I don’€™t know. I didn’€™t really see the replay or anything and obviously I never want to see a guy go into the boards like that.

On if he agrees with Claude Juliens position on the hit…
I mean everybody is, if you go through the middle, you have to have your head up right? Again it was just unfortunate how he went into the boards obviously. Again I try to be clean, I thought I had his right shoulder but it just kind of happened and it just didn’€™t look that great. Again I try to play clean and hard and that’€™s all I can say.

“I would never want to hurt a guy. That’€™s the last thing on my mind. I like playing hard and winning my board battles and that’€™s about it.”

Seidenberg acknowledged that part of the issue with the dangerousness of the play was the proximity of Toews and Seidenberg to each other.

“When he went into the boards it didn’€™t look good,” Seidenberg added. “I tried to go through the hands and it just kind of happened to be that he spun a little bit. I don’€™t know, I would have to look at it again and then maybe I could talk more about it.

“I mean it definitely always happens, it’€™s a battle along the boards. Again he might have turned, he might not have turned, you just try to get to the puck and that’€™s my thought on the play and that’€™s it.”

Seidenberg has never even had a call from the NHL‘s “Player Safety Department.” Is he worried about getting a call on this one?

“How do you know if it is going to be reviewed?” Seidenberg replied. “I don’€™t know, obviously it didn’€™t look good but we’€™ll see what happens. There’€™s nothing I can do.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The first 30 minutes of Zdeno Chara‘s return could not have been much shakier. On his fourth shift Thursday night, Chara committed a bad turnover in his own end that led to a great chance for Marian Hossa.

The first 30 minutes of Zdeno Chara‘s return could not have been much shakier. On his fourth shift Thursday night, Chara committed a bad turnover in his own end that led to a great chance for Marian Hossa. Thankfully for Chara, Tuukka Rask bailed him out with a great toe save.

A few minutes later, Chara tried to cover for Dougie Hamilton after Hamilton misplayed a puck in the Bruins zone, but Chara wasn’t able to get position on Brandon Saad and wound up taking a hooking penalty. Chara then took another penalty 8:50 into the second when he shot the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt, giving Chicago an extended 5-on-3.

It wasn’t the start Chara would have liked, but it shouldn’t have been surprising either. After all, this was Chara’s first game in nearly two months, and it came against arguably the best team in the NHL. A little rust while getting up to game speed should have been expected.

“It was exciting to be playing a game, that’s for sure,” Chara said. “There’s no secret that I felt the absence of missing a good chunk of time. I’m not going to make excuses. Just you have those games that you have to break in.”

And rest assured, as the game went on Chara broke in. After that second penalty, he was a noticeably positive force for the Bruins. He was reading plays better and winning pucks, and he looked calmer with the puck on his stick.

As he usually does, Chara made plays that helped the Bruins spend more time in the offensive zone than their own zone. He ended up playing 24:11 in the game (second on the Bruins behind only Hamilton) and finished with a 65-percent Corsi-for rating (tied with Zach Trotman for tops among Bruins defensemen). And he did it while playing his usual tough minutes against the opponent’s top lines.

“As the game went on I felt better and better,” Chara said. “But yeah, it’s something that you can’t just read plays just by practicing. You’ve just got to play the games.”

Chara will only continue to get better as he gets more game action under his belt, but if his progression from the start of Thursday’s game to the end of it was any indication, it won’t be long at all until he’s in top form.

Chara in top form doesn’t solve all the Bruins’ issues — like the fact that they only have two dependable lines right now, for instance. But it does make a huge difference on the back end.

It gives the B’s a true top pairing (Chara-Hamilton) that can match up against all the league’s best lines again. It allows Dennis Seidenberg and Torey Krug to play easier minutes that should help them shake some of their early-season struggles. And it creates a healthy competition between Trotman, Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski and Joe Morrow for the fifth and sixth spots.

“It was very important for us I think,” Krug said of Chara’s return. “Obviously he does what he does on the ice, but in the locker room, on the bench, he speaks a lot and he communicates very well, so it was a big emotional lift for our team.”

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

There’s still a lot of people who view the Bruins as a sleeping giant, and for good reason. Despite the changes this team has undergone and the injuries it’s suffered, Boston’s squad has a reputation of being an extremely tough team to oppose. 

The bad news is that they don’t let you through to the next round on reputation. 



Bruins coach Claude Julien feels badly whenever a superstar goes down with an injury like Chicago’s Jonathan Toews did Thursday night at the hands of contact with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

Bruins coach Claude Julien feels badly whenever a superstar goes down with an injury like Chicago’s Jonathan Toews did Thursday night at the hands of contact with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

But he also feels Toews and others should be taught better how to handle themselves when they are approaching the boards. In short, Julien suggested that Toews shoulders some responsibility for the violent collision with the boards that resulted in him missing the entire third period.

“I’ve been saying that for a long time, we need to educate our players to protect themselves better,” Julien said. “We keep turning our backs, we keep trying to curl away.”

Then Julien came to the defense of his defenseman, who picked up a two-minute boarding penalty.

“A player’s job is to finish his check and a player should know he’s going to be hit,” Julien added. “It’s not about tonight, it’s about the whole league. I’m one of those guys who has put a lot of pressure on people who look at those kind of things and say, ‘It’s OK to take away those hits from hits from behind when they’re warranted. But what about the other guy? Does he not have a responsibility?'”

As for Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, he was reserved in his comments and reaction.

“Dangerous,” Quenneville said, before noting that what made it so dangerous was his contact with the big Bruins defenseman. “Tight area. Strong guy.”

Told the NHL is looking at that hit with no decision on a hearing yet, Quenneville would not offer an opinion on whether it warrants a suspension.

“I gotta look at it,” Quenneville said. “I haven’t really looked at it yet.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia