Zac Rinaldo made his Bruins debut Thursday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

After drawing both a penalty and the ire of some Jets in his Bruins debut, Zac Rinaldo can expect nothing short of chaos in his second game.

Saturday night will mark Rinaldo’€™s 11th career game against the Canadiens, but his first against them as a Bruin. Considering that Rinaldo’€™s hated by plenty of opponents to begin with, he could be a welcome addition to a rivalry that has always invited madness.

Given that he considers himself an energy player, he wasn’€™t exactly energetic when asked about entering the Boston-Montreal rivalry. That’€™s because he prides himself on taking all opponents seriously.

“I never have embraced one specific team because of the rivalry of each team,” Rinaldo said Friday. “If I have personal issues with someone on the ice, I’€™ll keep that to myself and I’€™ll deal with that when that time comes, but I’€™ve never taken a more [seriously], I’€™d never work harder against the Montreal Canadiens than I’€™ll work against the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks or LA Kings. I’€™m going to play every game the same way I play every team in the league.”

Rinaldo obviously didn’€™t see the result he wanted from his first game with the B’€™s, but he did take a positive from Thursday’€™s 6-2 loss. After watching Patrice Bergeron catch an elbow to the face from Winnipeg forward Alexander Burmistrov, Rinaldo said he was impressed that Bergeron went after the player rather than trying to milk a better call than the minor that was assessed.

Rinaldo, who has been suspended multiple times in his career for a total of 14 games, said he told Boston’€™s alternate captain after the play that he was impressed by the character he showed.

“A lot of guys in Bergeron’€™s situation, they would have dove,’€ Rinaldo said. “… I told him, I said, ‘€˜I really appreciate you not going down like that, you’€™re not flopping around on the ice and acting like you’€™re hurt. Instead, you got up and you dealt with your business like a grown man should and like a leader should.’€™ That was unbelievable on his part.”

Rinaldo knows dirty hits well, having committed his fair share in his young career. Though his reputation makes him a target capable of drawing penalties, a lot of the shots he takes could go uncalled by officials because of his past sins.

That means that if Rinaldo wants to avoid getting suspended again, he’€™s going to have to put up with more than he dishes out. Rinaldo said he held up on multiple plays Thursday against the Jets because he’€™s trying to be more cautious of getting suspended. After seeing Sharks forward Raffi Torres slapped with a 41-game ban for his preseason hit on Jakob Silfverberg, Rinaldo said he’€™s taking the Department of Player Safety much more seriously.

“Raffi’€™s a great guy,” Rinaldo said. “I met him in the summer and we both understand how hard it is to make that right decision. It’€™s a quick millisecond — not even, quicker than that — but it did open my eyes. My family and my friends told me to watch out because they’€™re not messing around. They want to make a mark and they did that. It really opened my eyes.”

Rinaldo’€™s gone one game as a Bruin without crossing the line, and he intends to make it a lot longer than that. The Canadiens have brought out the worst in guys like Milan Lucic in the past, so Saturday will be a bigger test of his restraint.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The Bruins kept the same lines and defensive pairs from Thursday’€™s season-opening loss in Friday’€™s practice, but they could be closer to having Zdeno Chara back.

WILMINGTON — The Bruins kept the same lines and defensive pairs from Thursday’€™s season-opening loss in Friday’€™s practice, but they could be closer to having Zdeno Chara back.

Chara practiced with the team again on Friday, looking more comfortable taking slap shots as the B’€™s prepared for Saturday night’€™s game against the Canadiens. The 38-year-old defenseman has been out since Sept. 24 with an upper-body injury.

The lines and pairings in practice were as follows:

Hayes-Spooner-Connolly (Randell)
Kelly-Kemppainen-Rinaldo (Talbot)

Morrow-Kevan Miller
Chara-Colin Miller

Rask, Gustavsson

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Maybe it’s appropriate that the best comments on the Bruins’ lack of offensive finish in a 6-2 season-opening loss Thursday night came from their goalie.

On a night when the Bruins outchanced the visiting Winnipeg Jets badly in the first period, Tuukka Rask had to make several saves close in to preserve a 1-0 lead heading into the first period. There were chances from Ryan Spooner, Brett Connolly and Brad Marchand, all in close and around Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec minutes after the Bruins were staked to a lead on a pretty goal from David Krejci.

“I mean I think most importantly, we want to take that offense,” Tuukka Rask said of what he saw from his vantage point 180 feet away. “We created a ton of chances, and had a chance to score way more goals than we did, so I think that’€™s the most important thing to take from this game.”

There was the sense as the Jets tied the game, and eventually took the lead for good at 2-1, they were dictating the pace and using Boston’s desperation against them.

“When we start cheating offensively a little bit, then one mistake leads to another very quickly, and we did that today a couple times,” Rask said. “It’€™s a process in the making, and we just have to correct some things out, but it’€™ll be good.”

Patrice Bergeron was another player who had his chances from close range but could not finish to beat Pavelec.

“It definitely would have been nice to come out of that [first] period with more than one goal,” Bergeron said. “That definitely wouldn’€™t have hurt us. Looking back in the second, we had a few breakdowns that they capitalized, which we didn’€™t. That was the story of the game right there. We definitely lost momentum, yeah – we got to find ways to score when we do have our chances and generate some more momentum with that.”

The Bruins outshot the Jets, 14-6, in the first 20 minutes and headed into the first intermission with a power play, thanks to a cheap shot elbow to the face of Bergerson by Jets defenseman Alexander Burmistrov.

“I think it would’€™ve been nice to come out of there with a better lead than we did after the first with the type of opportunities that we had,” Claude Julien said, echoing the words of Bergeron. “It should’€™ve been a two- or three-goal period. But we misfired or missed those opportunities and allowed them to stay in the game. And then the second period they came out and kind of took over and we started making some defensive mistakes. Whether, I thought, whether it was coverage, layers, or whether their was decisions with the puck or D-zone awareness, we made all of those mistakes tonight which resulted in goals against.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Matt Irwin was a minus-3 Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Matt Irwin was a minus-3 Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

If you were worried about the Bruins’€™ defense being a disaster with Dougie Hamilton gone and Zdeno Chara banged up, your worst fears were realized in Thursday night’€™s season-opening loss against the Jets.

The game actually didn’€™t start off too badly at all. The Bruins were on the attack most of the first period and the defense didn’€™t really give the Jets any good looks on the few occasions they did get into the Bruins’€™ zone.

But then the second period happened. The Jets’€™ first goal came off a combination of all three Bruins forwards getting caught up ice and Joe Morrow not putting enough on his pass into the neutral zone, leading to an easy interception for Dustin Byfuglien and an odd-man rush the other way.

The second came off a brutal turnover by Matt Irwin behind the Bruins’€™ net, as Andrew Ladd picked his pocket clean before setting up former Bruin Blake Wheeler right in front. The third resulted from another tough sequence for Irwin and defensive partner Zach Trotman. Trotman couldn’€™t get his stick on a pass through the slot that went right by him, and then Irwin compounded that by completely losing track of his man and allowing Drew Stafford an easy finish on the doorstep.

Things didn’€™t get any better in the third. After the Bruins cut the deficit to 3-2, Irwin got caught pinching in the offensive zone (as you’€™ve probably gathered by now, the UMass product did not have a good night) and David Krejci, who was the closest to being able to cover for Irwin, could not keep up with Chris Thorburn on the rush the other way. The Jets then made it 5-2 when Torey Krug couldn’€™t clear out 5-foot-9 Nicolas Petan and watched a centering pass bounce off Petan’€™s skate and in.

‘€œI think the examples are pretty clear of where we made those mistakes and where it cost us goals,’€ Claude Julien said after the game. ‘€œIt was clear right from the get-go there, so it’€™s going to be easy to show those kinds of things. We’€™re early in the season, you’€™ve got to show those kinds of things. We’€™ve got to work and rectify those things as soon as possible.’€

It’€™s true that Thursday night was only one game. And it’€™s true that Chara probably won’€™t miss too many more games, if any. But Thursday night still has to be highly concerning for the Bruins and their fans.

This defense was projected to be a weakness for good reason. It’€™s inexperienced. It has guys who are best-suited for third-pairing roles playing on the second pairing (and with Chara out, the first pairing). It has stay-at-home guys who don’€™t contribute much offensively and offensive-minded players who have yet to prove they can be trusted with tough defensive assignments, with Chara being the only one you’€™re confident can do both.

All of those concerns were brought to light Thursday night. When you add in forwards cheating to the offensive side of the puck and a couple bad line changes, you get a total disaster.

‘€œAll you have to do is do your job,’€ Morrow said, echoing Bill Belichick. ‘€œWe’€™re just trying to maintain things and get a little better every day, and with that experience will come better play and more comfortable defense pairings and little things like that. The performance tonight was inexcusable. It wasn’€™t what we wanted. It wasn’€™t nearly what we expected.’€

The Bruins’€™ defense will almost certainly start to look at least a little better, especially when Chara returns. Even at age 38, he’€™s still a bona fide No. 1 defenseman who should almost single-handedly give the B’€™s a solid top pairing, even if it isn’€™t on the level of last year’€™s Chara-Hamilton pairing.

But how much better this group gets will be the biggest question the Bruins face all season. Thursday night dispelled the fantasy that maybe this group would somehow be way ahead of where anyone expected, that maybe some of these unprovens would grab top-four roles and run with them right from the get-go.

As it turns out, and as we all expected, the Bruins really are starting from scratch on the blue line. They have a long way to go, and Thursday night made that crystal clear.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

Claude Julien wasn’t happy about his team’s performance in Thursday night’s season-opening loss to the Jets, but his criticism extended past his players to one Alexander Burmistrov.

The Bruins missed Zdeno Chara badly in Thursday's season-opener.</p>
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DJ Bean checks in live from TD Garden after the Bruins 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in the season opener. Ken Laird anchors from the WEEI.com Podcentre

[0:02:52] ... second period he couldn't settle out yeah actually get pretty about locked. Chris Kelly obviously did not shot blocked off. Off off the readout from I wanna say it was paid. A lot of really good ...
[0:04:36] ... Know what does not mean on the growing type I still keep. Charlie Villanueva 1000000% ready but I think that on the back end you know it is very much be glued situation that are with ...
[0:05:50] ... we certainly saw that. The night after the giveaway for all your Boston Bruins cover they'll get checked out roads page in the big bad blog at WB I dot com. Or search Boston Bruins hockey on iTunes podcast app you'll find archive Bruins jets. For DJ dean I can Laird says date WEEI dot com post game ...

Claude Julien wasn’t happy about his team’s performance in Thursday night’s season-opening loss to the Jets, but his criticism extended past his players to one Alexander Burmistrov.

The Jets forward cut back to catch Patrice Bergeron with an elbow to the head late in the first period of Winnipeg‘s 6-2 win over the Bruins. Bergeron, who has had a number of concussions in his career, was irate with Burmistrov following the play, taking a cross-checking penalty in retaliation.

Though Burmistrov was given a minor penalty for an illegal hit to the head, Julien said after the game that the play deserves supplemental discipline.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’€™t be further consequences [for] that.”

Said Bergeron: “It was a hit to the head. Even though he apologized after, it’€™s one of those that I didn’€™t have the puck at that time. You have to realize where the guy is and his position.’€

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Without Zdeno Chara, the Bruins’€™ defense figured to be suspect at best. At least there were no surprises on opening night.