Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli joined Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Joe McDonald and Pete Blackburn Sunday morning to talk all things Bruins heading into the final few games of the regular-season as the team battles to make the playoffs.

Peter Chiarelli said Milan Lucic has been in a group of players that have underperformed with the Bruins this season. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Peter Chiarelli said Milan Lucic has been in a group of players that have underperformed with the Bruins this season. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli joined Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Joe McDonald and Pete Blackburn Sunday morning to talk all things Bruins heading into the final few games of the regular-season as the team battles to make the playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Weekend Shows audio on demand page.

A lot of players have been criticized for their play this season, one of those players being Milan Lucic. Chiarelli said he has been just like most players on the roster, a group that has underperformed this season.

“I think I would put him in the overall group that we’ve all kind of underperformed,” Chiarelli said. “I haven’t made any real decisions on really anything and that includes Milan’s case. He’s done a lot for this organization. But, like I said, I think a lot of personnel have underperformed, so I would put Milan in that category like the rest of the group, myself included.”

Also a major topic of late with the Bruins is the job security for both Chiarelli and Claude Julien. Unlike past seasons, the final games of the regular-season have much more importance and therefore Chiarelli is in a different position than he’s ever been in.

“Yeah, interesting is a good way to put it,” he said of this season. “The year has been a bit of a difficult year. We’re battling for a playoff spot now. Much chronicled about Claude’s job and my job, but we’re professionals. We try and get the best out of our team — I try and make the right decisions and it’s a grind every game to watch. It seems like every game goes to overtime and it’s been difficult, but part of the business.”

When asked if he thinks his position should be reviewed, especially having made the postseason seven straight seasons, he didn’t want to go into that.

“I am not going to comment on that,” said Chiarelli. “I am a professional paid to make the right decisions and make decisions that are best for the organization. These are things that happen in our business. … If it’s my job, it’s my job, but I hope that it’s not.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

On the trade deadline: “I am satisfied with the way it worked out. Listen, you can arm-chair quarterback on deals that would have been, could have been, but you don’t know how those deals would have been until those players are in your locker room. What I can tell you is that with [Brett] Connolly getting injured that was a disappointment. He’s a good young player that will really help our team. I am happy with that deal. And bringing in Max Talbot, he’s been a good addition. I am happy with the two things that we did. It’s unfortunate that Brett got hurt, but those are things that happen.”

On if he likes the current contracts of Bruins players and the salary cap: “I’m fairly comfortable with it. The big issue with the mismanagement of the cap is the overages on [Jarome] Iginla and that was a risk that we took to try and win a risk that we took in hopes that some of the young guys would step up [in some spots this year.] I am comfortable with all our contracts. They are all movable if we have to move them. We tried to be aggressive with the cap and I am not saying it didn’t work this year, we had a lot of things occur this year, including cap difficulties. There are a lot of teams that have success with that cap issue and cap discipline. Put it on the list of things that have been criticized for us and things we will need to overcome.”

On Tuukka Rask: “He’s been important for us this year. Obviously a very good goalie and we rely on him. This stretch it’s going to be important for him playing and playing a lot. I can’t say without talking to our coach in-depth on the goaltending plan — I’ve done that, but I am not going to disclose to you what it is. He’s played a lot of games. There are a lot of goalies that have played a lot of games in that group, so I would expect that to continue.”

Blog Author: 
WEEI
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.

[0:19:24] ... I'm sure president coach Julien said exactly that locker after yesterday's game. Zdeno Chara said the same thing even Lou each. Lucci said the same thing between religion and eBay's loosen the same thing that. Look ...
[0:27:00] ... back with the second hour of Sunday skate companies yeah yeah. This Zdeno Chara and listened to the solar industry. It's in my everything kind of just kept growing after. After we got separate from the ...
[0:28:24] ... same game which. We've talked to vote that line Odyssey in mostly Chris Kelly on the left wing. With Soderbergh and Ericsson we talked about how Louie Ericsson has had to be outlines driver. For awhile ...
[0:29:11] ... second I think it is as far as forwards. In a platelet Patrice Bergeron you've gone up against. You know price get a life and worry tackler Perry so I would do indeed DJ do you. ...






How did the Bruins beat the Rangers? Why did the Leafs beat the Senators? Why did the Leafs… want to beat the Senators? Are the Senators actually bad? Are the Bruins still bad? Is Tuukka Rask hydrated? Will Pete Blackburn ever have his name said in the show open?

Discuss all these things and more in the Sunday Skate Live Chat with Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean and Joe McDonald from 7-9 a.m. Click here to listen to the show online. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli will join the show in the 8 o’clock hour.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: ‘The Leafs are Kind of the Bruins’ Heroes Now’ Edition
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Milan Lucic scored two first-period goals Saturday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)The Bruins’ worst offensive period is the third period.



The Bruins got a big lead on the Rangers early and then held on for a 4-2 win without their most important player. Fortunately for them, Tuukka Rask is OK.

Tuukka Rask did not appear to be hurt when he left Saturday's game. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask did not appear to be hurt when he left Saturday’s game. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Bruins got a big lead on the Rangers early and then held on for a 4-2 win without their most important player.

After Boston put three pucks past Henrik Lundqvist in the first period, Tuukka Rask left the game 10 seconds into the second. At the period’€™s first stoppage, he said something to referee Jean Hebert, after which Herbert permitted him to head to the bench. Rask’€™s skating was fine and he did not appear to be in noticeable pain as he headed to the tunnel.

Niklas Svedberg came in to spell Rask with the Bruins leading. The B’€™s added to it with Reilly Smith’€™s 13th goal of the season, though Rick Nash would net his 40th goal of the season to get the Rangers on the board.

The Bruins offered no update on Rask until they said he was “unlikely to return” to the game with seven minutes left. Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa changed into goalie equipment and was ready as the team’s emergency goaltender.

The win netted the Bruins a pair of much-needed points, improving them to 87 points on the season through 75 games. The Senators, who have 85 points in 73 games entering their Saturday night contest against the Leafs.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

LUCIC NETS TWO

Though they gave Kevin Hayes’€™ line ample opportunities, Ryan Spooner’€™s line with Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak once again produced.

Lucic had a pair of goals (the first of which came with Patrice Bergeron on the ice for Spooner on an early shift) to bring him to 17 goals on the season. Lucic’€™s second goal came as a result of some pretty passing from Spooner and Torey Krug.

With Saturday’€™s performance, here are the updated numbers for the Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak line:

5-on-5: 8 GGF, 2 GA
Partial 5-on-5 (two members of line): 2 GF, 3 GA
4-on-4: 1 G

SMITH AND SODERBERG GET IN ON THE ACTION

There were plenty of positives for the Bruins Saturday, but none were bigger than the fact that both Reilly Smith and Carl Sodeberg can feel good about their games for the first time in a while.

Smith had as pretty a shift as he’€™s had all season when he executed a quick self-pass up the boards in the defensive zone before racing through the neutral zone and dumping the puck off to Torey Krug. The play was capped by Smith taking a feed from Loui Eriksson and beating Lundqvist from the slot to make it 4-0.

Earlier in the game, Soderberg knocked the puck away from old friend Matt Hunwick in the neutral zone and caught up with it for a breakaway. He then deked and beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot for his 12th goal of the season.

KICKING OFF THE SCORING

Boston’€™s first goal looked like a sure thing to be disallowed, but the Bruins, a game after perhaps falling victim to a bad non-call, got some help from the officials.

Patrice Bergeron‘€™s shot on Henrik Lundqvist on an early first-period rush yielded a mammoth rebound. With Lucic going hard to the net, the puck went off the side of his skate and, because of his momentum, fired into the net as if the puck had been shot. The play was immediately called no-goal on the ice, with replays showing little to suggest there was no distinct kicking motion.

(GIF courtesy of @PeteBlackburn and Days of Y’Orr)

Perhaps to the surprise of many, the call on the ice was indeed overturned after a video review. The league offered the following explanation following the ruling:

At 1:41 of the first period in the Rangers/Bruins game, video review determined that the puck deflected off Milan Lucic‘s skate and into the net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 “A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal.” Good goal Boston.

BACK-END SHUFFLE

Without Dougie Hamilton, it seems the Bruins will mix and match on their back end more than they usually do.

Saturday’€™s line rushes saw Zdeno Chara paired with Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug with Dennis Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski with Zach Trotman. As was also the case Thursday, Claude Julien wasn’€™t afraid to move guys around in-game.

Trotman skated most of his shifts the first two periods with Chara, which he did often last Sunday against the Lightning. Seidenberg saw ample time with both Krug and McQuaid, with Bartkowski playing mostly with McQuaid.

 

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will return from a seven-week layoff to face the Bruins Saturday.

Lundqvist, who has been out with a blood-vessel injury in his neck, has not played since Feb. 2. The Rangers have still found success without him, as their work with Cam Talbot has taken them to the top of the Eastern Conference. With 101 points through 73 points, New York is the clear front-runner to take the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins enter Saturday’€™s game desperate for two points, but the Rangers may be equally motivated to decrease Boston’€™s chances of being their first-round opponent.

“We’re ready for a tough game,” Patrice Bergeron said Saturday morning. “We’re ready for a big game and it’s definitely going to be right from the start. I think it shouldn’t matter who’s in net. We need to make sure we worry about our start and the way that we want to play and establish that right from the get-go.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the league's top two-way forward twice.</p>
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The Bruins prepared for the Rangers Friday, skating at TD Garden in anticipation of a Saturday matinee against the best team in the Eastern Conference.

Boston’s lines and defensive pairings were unchanged from Thursday’s overtime loss to the Ducks, though Friday did mark the first full practice in which Brett Connolly has participated since breaking his finger earlier this month. Connolly, who also took part in Thursday’s morning skate, hopes to be game-ready before the end of the regular season.

The Bruins’ lineup in practice was as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Krejci
Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak (Connolly)
Smith-Soderberg-Eriksson
Kelly-Campbell-Talbot (Paille)

Chara-McQuaid
Krug-Seidenberg
Bartkowski-Trotman

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean