The Bruins announced Friday morning that they have signed Torey Krug and Reilly Smith to contract extensions.

Krug’€™s deal is for one year and $3.4 million, while Smith’€™s deal is for two years with an annual cap hit of $3.425 million.

The Bruins announced Friday morning that they have signed Torey Krug and Reilly Smith to contract extensions.

Krug’€™s deal is for one year and $3.4 million, while Smith’€™s deal is for two years with an annual cap hit of $3.425 million.

Both players were set to become restricted free agents at season’€™s end. They were both late to training camp this season because the B’€™s had yet to give them what eventually became matching one-year contracts for $1.4 million.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

It’s been the one thing that has haunted these Bruins all season.

They can’t find a way to finish scoring opportunities in and around the net and wind up regretting it at the end of the game. Such was the case again Thursday night in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames. There were several chances for the Bruins to put some distance between themselves and Calgary in the early and middle parts of the game and they simply couldn’t find the finishing touch.

There was Daniel Paille with a wrister on Flames goalie Karri Ramo midway through the first period. There was a slap shot from Dougie Hamilton that was deflected away by a stick at the last moment. But there was no better example of Boston’s inability to find the scoring touch than when Loui Eriksson, on a 3-on-1 rush, had the puck on his stick and fired wide of an empty net midway through the third period.

Carl Soderberg, without a goal since Jan. 17 against Columbus, has now gone 17 games without a goal. He had two chances in the opening period and couldn’t find the back of the net.

“Again, the challenge of our lack of finish is probably the biggest concern right now,” coach Claude Julien said. “So I think we had the better of the game, five-on-five. There’€™s no doubt we played a lot more in their end then they did in ours.

“It’€™s a little bit of maybe confidence, and you squeeze your stick you’€™re trying so hard. There’€™s a lot of guys, use Carl Soderberg as an example. He’€™s really struggled the last little while scoring goals, and guys are putting pressure on themselves. There’€™s games where you like your team’€™s game, but your finish is what ends up killing you at the end.”

Julien realizes that the Bruins had chances leading 1-0 and 2-1 to really do damage and failed to seize on the opportunity because they simply couldn’t finish.

“Well we should have, I guess,” Julien said of putting the gameaway earlier. “If we finish around the net, it’€™s over. I think we had some good chances in the second period, so right now that’€™s our biggest challenge, is the finish around the net area.”

Nowhere does the Bruins lack of finish become more obvious than in a shootout. That’s why it surprises no one — not even Julien or the players — that Patrice Bergeron was the only Bruins player to score in eight chances.

“Well the first two, you look at them, and same spot. The puck jumped up in the air on [Ryan] Spooner and Torey [Krug]. It’€™s like, there’€™s bad ice right there. So what can you do in those situations. But again, that’€™s not the reason we lost tonight. I think we’€™ve definitely been challenged in that area. We’€™ve been challenged all year with shootouts.”

Hurting Boston’s cause even more were the penalties Thursday, causing a season-high seven short-handed situations. The Bruins killed off five of them but the flow of their already fragile offense was clearly interrupted.

“I thought we had a great start there in the first period, and two or three penalties right there at the end of the first kind of took it away from us there, and they managed to tie the game,” Julien said. “But again, in the third period, we got a power play, and then we get that whatever, interference call I guess is what they deemed it. So that was a power play that was nullified, and then another one later on. So, again, staying out of the box is an important part of the game for us, especially when you struggle to score goals, and our penalty kill right now has been giving up too many goals. We’€™ve got to get ourselves right in that department.”

Hanging onto the final playoff spot by two points, Julien was asked if it’s time to put up or shut up for the team in general.

“I think it’€™s always been that way,” Julien said. “I don’€™t think anything’€™s changed. We’€™re in a battle here to make the playoffs. It’€™s as simple as that, and we’€™ve got to make it happen. No matter what the challenges are, we’€™ve got to make it happen.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Zdeno Chara and the Bruins stumbled again in Thursday's game against the Flames, a shootout loss. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)The Bruins know they have one of the best rosters in the Eastern Conference.



Claude Julien hates shootouts, just like everybody who has anything to do with the Bruins hates shootouts.

Claude Julien hates shootouts, just like everybody who has anything to do with the Bruins hates shootouts.

The reason the Bruins hate shootouts is because they’€™re bad at them. After falling in eight rounds to the Flames on Thursday, Boston’€™s 2-7 record in the shootout this season is better than only the Kings’€™ 1-7 mark.

So, when asked about shootouts following Thursday’€™s loss, Julien cut off the question.

“€œThey suck,”€ he said.

The reporter responded, “hm?” before Julien annunciated a little better.

“They suck,”€ he repeated as clearly as he could. “€œThat’€™s my [feelings on] the shootout.”

Julien was then asked if he was talking about his players or the shootout, which was a good question, given that Bruins players happen to — to borrow a term –€” suck at shootouts. He said he meant shootouts, though he was probably just being nice.

Though the Bruins have participated in nine shootouts this season, no Bruins player has multiple goals. Reilly Smith, who leads the Bruins in attempts, is 1-for-10. Patrice Bergeron is 1-for-8.

The Bruins also participated in the NHL‘€™s worst shootout of the season less than a month ago, as neither the Oilers nor the B’s scored until the 12th round in the teams’€™ Feb. 18. In case you had to guess, it was the Oilers that scored and won.

To make matters worse, the Bruins had to deal with bad ice as they tried to turn their shootout luck around Thursday. Both Ryan Spooner and Torey Krug lost the puck as they tried to skate in on Karri Ramo, with Spooner losing the puck so badly that he couldn’€™t attempt a shot. The puck also skipped on Brad Marchand.

The good news for the Bruins is that there aren’t shootouts in the playoffs. The bad news is that you get more points and make the playoffs when you in shootouts.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins needed a third-period comeback to force overtime in what could have very will been an easy victory.

Loui Eriksson

Loui Eriksson

The Bruins needed a third-period comeback to force overtime in what could have very well been an easy victory. That was the highlight of the night, as they then lost to the Flames in the eighth round of a shootout.

Patrice Bergeron scored the shootout’s first goal when he beat Karri Ramo in the seventh round, but Calgary scored in the seventh and eighth rounds to win the battle of eighth-place teams.

The Flames had no business being in the game, but through penalties and mistakes the B’€™s gave a third-period lead to a team they’€™d mostly dominated on the night.

Here are five things we learned on a frustrating night for the B’s:

JULIEN GOES BACK TO WHAT WORKS

Claude Julien has pulled a lot of tricks with his lineup this season. He’€™s got an underachieving group to work with, so not all of the tricks pay off.

The one that seems to time and time again, however, is reuniting Chris Kelly, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson.

Amidst a frustrating third period that saw Eriksson miss a wide open net on a 2-on-1 before the Bruins handed over a 3-2 lead to the Flames, Julien pulled Kelly up from the fourth line and played him on Soderberg’€™s left wing in place of Daniel Paille. The result was the goal for which Eriksson was overdue in the period.

After Kelly tipped a Soderberg shot in front of the net, Eriksson put in the rebound to tie the game and save the Bruins some embarrassment.

TALBOT GETS ON THE BOARD THE WRONG WAY

Max Talbot made his Bruins debut Thursday. He skated on the fourth line with Chris Kelly and Brian Ferlin and was used on the penalty kill. He also took a dumb penalty in the first period.

The veteran grinder threw Dennis Wideman into the corner from behind in the Flames zone, making for an offensive zone boarding penalty to kick off his Bruins career (GIF courtesy of Pete Blackburn and Days of Y’€™Orr).

PENALTIES COME IN BUNCHES (AND LATE)

The first period was all Bruins, but three late penalties in a span of 3:30 derailed things and cost Boston a lead going into the first intermission.

After the B’€™s killed off Talbot’€™s boarding penalty, Matt Bartkowski was called for
hooking Drew Shore in front of the net. That led to a Sean Monahan power play goal at 18:49. Less than one minute later, Carl Soderberg hooked Monahan as the Bruins tried to get back to break up a Calgary scoring bid.

Monahan’€™s goal and the ensuing Soderberg penalty meant that the Bruins went into the second period on the penalty kill for 1:45 in a tied game despite dominating the first period.

Less than a minute after Jiri Hudler tied the game late in the second, the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice, though they killed it off.

All in all, the Bruins took seven penalties on the night, two of which were stick penalties by Bartkowski.

SPOONER HEATING UP

Ryan Spooner is now riding a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and has points in four of his last five games after assisting a first-period Milan Lucic goal.

Spooner, who got schooled by Chris Kelly on draws in Wednesday’€™s practice, won a faceoff to set up the possession before feeding Lucic from behind the net.

It wasn’€™t a perfect night for Spooner, as he probably should have been responsible for Jiri Hudler on Calgary‘€™s second goal. Hudler raced to a bad rebound kicked out by Tuukka Rask as the Kelly and Spooner lines were in the midst of a line change and buried a shot to make the game 2-2.

Spooner was also the victim of a phantom interference penalty early in the third period with the Bruins on the power play. He continues to play on Boston’€™s first power play unit.

It’€™s tempting to wonder where Spooner will play once David Krejci returns from his injury. Of course, by doing that one would be assuming the Bruins don’€™t have any other injuries in five weeks. Given this season, waiting and seeing might be the best approach.

BRUINS MISS AN OPPORTUNITY

The Bruins appeared to catch a major break when, after the Flames took the lead on a third-period power play goal from Johnny Gaudreau, T.J. Brodie took a delay of game penalty for sending the puck over the glass. The Flames are already without their Norris-worthy No. 1 in Mark Giordano, so Brodie, Calgary’€™s other really, really good defenseman going off the ice for two minutes provided the Bruins with a terrific opportunity to tie the game.

Instead, the B’€™s squandered the power play and Reilly Smith took a holding penalty with 34 seconds remaining in Brodie’€™s penalty.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB to look back at what the Bruins did at the trade deadline and to discuss other NH

Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB to look back at what the Bruins did at the trade deadline and to discuss other NHL matters. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins didn’t add any defensemen at the deadline, rather trading for forwards Brett Connolly and Max Talbot. Many have said the asking price for some of the defensemen available was just too high, and McGuire agreed.

“I respect Peter [Chiarelli] because I think the price points were a little excessive on trade deadline day, I can tell you that,” said McGuire.

One of the players the Bruins did add in Connolly suffered a broken finger in practice and his now out for six weeks. McGuire said the former Tampa Bay forward has had some questions in the past.

“There were questions about his ability to be a complete player and then you compound that with the hip flexor and the abdominal stuff and there were more questions about him,” said McGuire. “All that being said, I know in Tampa they had high hopes for him, but I think if they had a mulligan and they could do it all over again in that draft, they would have taken Cam Fowler instead of Brett Connolly.”

Even with all the injuries the Bruins have had to deal with this season, McGuire still expects them to make the playoffs. He also referenced the 1992 Bruins when they used 55 players during the season because of injuries. He has a lot of faith in the Bruins’ organization.

“I still think this coaching staff is amazingly good,” said McGuire. “I think the management group is outstanding. The future for the team is extremely bright, they have some very good young players coming. Everybody is kind of panicking now, I understand that if you’re a fan of the team, I don’t bet on any of the horses in the race, but I can tell you the Bruins are a very respected franchise in the league.”

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

Blog Author: 
WEEI