Dominic Moore played under Guy Boucher from 2010 to 2012. (Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports)

Bruins fourth line center Dominic Moore played under Guy Boucher with the Lightning from 2010 to 2012. (Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports)

Over three years since he was fired by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and after three seasons in the Swiss League as the coach of Bern SC, Guy Boucher is back in the NHL and behind the bench of the Ottawa Senators. And Boucher, of course, is no stranger to the Bruins.

Behind the Lightning bench for an unforgettable seven-game war of an Eastern Conference Final against the Bruins in 2011, the Black and Gold were the ones that finally found the hole in Boucher’s then-famous 1-3-1 system that without question flustered every team they went up against and dazzled media members from high above.

“Everybody talks about how he used to have that neutral zone sit back, everybody talks about,” B’s coach Claude Julien said Wednesday. “But like anybody else he’s adapted to a game that’s evolved, too.”

With the Sens off an 11-7-1 start that’s put them in third place in the Atlantic Division, one point above the Bruins, Boucher has found success with an offense that’s averaging the seventh-most shots on goal per contest, and has spread the club’s best offensive talents in Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, and Kyle Turris on different lines throughout his top nine forward groupings.

“I would have to think he’s a better coach today because he’s had some experience in this league,” continued Julien. “But he’s a guy that loves to prepare well and loves to have his hands on everything, and that’s just the way he is.”

And while there’s familiarity within the room from behind the B’s bench, there’s direct experience with Boucher from somebody on it in Dominic Moore, someone that played for Boucher for two years with the Bolts from 2010 to 2012.

“I have a ton of respect for Guy,” Moore, who tallied 51 points in 133 games with the Lightning, said of his former coach. “First and foremost he’s a good person. and he’s having success again. He’s a very passionate guy, he brings a lot of that love to the game and instills it in his team and I think you’re seeing that with the way they’re playing.”

The Bruins went 7-3-0 against Boucher’s Lightning from 2010 to 2013.

 

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

It’s never good timing to lose your team captain.

But for the Bruins, without captain No. 1 defenseman Zdeno Chara for a one-game road trip tonight in Ottawa, good timing may come in the potential season debut for defenseman Kevan Miller.

Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

It’s never good timing to lose your team captain.

But for the Bruins, without captain No. 1 defenseman Zdeno Chara for a one-game road trip tonight in Ottawa, good timing may come in the potential season debut for defenseman Kevan Miller.

Absent for the first 19 games of the season with a fractured left hand sustained in the preseason finale against the Flyers (and just days after Miller dodged a serious knee injury in a preseason tilt against the Canadiens), Miller was a full participant in B’s practice yesterday at Warrior Ice Arena, and has been dubbed a game-time decision by head coach Claude Julien for their Thanksgiving game with the Senators.

“Obviously it’s tough that Z got injured right now,” Miller, Chara’s partner for an extended stretch of play last season, said of him being the next man up with Chara down. “He’s a big hole to fill, but nobody can really fill that hole like Z does, so it’s a collective group effort.”

Paired with Joe Morrow on the right side of the Bruins’ third pairing, Miller feels ready to rejoin the team if given the green light.

“Hand feels great. I put in a good amount of work to get back now,” Miller said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the lineup whenever that is, and I’m excited to play.”

In the first season of a four-year, $10 million extension signed in May, the 29-year-old Miller established career-highs across the board in 71 games last year, including five goals and 18 points.

If No. 86 is unable to go, expect Colin Miller to suit up in his place on the B’s blue line.

This will be the first of four meetings between the Bruins and Sens this season.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Patrice Bergeron's offensive numbers have taken a dive.</p>
<div class=



The Las Vegas Golden Knights will join the NHL next season following an expansion draft.</span></p>
<div class=



David Pastrnak has already missed more time than he’d like.

David Pastrnak (upper-body) has been cleared to return to the lineup (Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports)

David Pastrnak (upper-body) has been cleared to return to the lineup (Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports)

David Pastrnak has already missed more time than he’d like.

Limited to just 14 games this season — out for two because of a suspension for his illegal check to the head of the Rangers’ Dan Girardi late last month and absent from the last three games with an upper-body injury — the 20-year-old returned as a full participant in a Wednesday practice at Warrior Ice Arena and downplayed any frustration with the roadblocks in an incredibly successful season so far, with 10 goals and 14 points in 14 games played.

“It’s part of hockey and you have to get through it,” Pastrnak said of the missed time lodged in between hot streaks. “Every player’s going to be get suspended, every player’s going to be injured, but hopefully now I can keep playing well and keep playing now.”

Back in his usual spot on the Bruins’ first line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Pastrnak will travel to Ottawa with the team for Thursday’s game against the Senators, though no there’s no official status put on No. 88 for that game like in the case of Zdeno Chara (who is out).

“He was cleared to have full practice today,” Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed. “Unless there’s a setback tomorrow, I would anticipate him to hopefully play. Again, there might be a setback, this was his first day of full practice here, so we’ll see.”

“I’m ready,” Pastrnak said. “And [we’ll] see if I’ll be in the lineup tomorrow.”

In five games without Pastrnak this season, the Bruins have scored just nine goals on 166 shots, including two on 41 shots on Jake Allen in last night’s defeat at the hands of the Blues, but the team’s leading goal scorer doesn’t feel any added pressure in his potential return to the lineup.

“Literally no pressure,” Pastrnak, who became the first Bruin to score 10 goals in the first 13 games of the season since Cam Neely accomplished the feat in 1994-95, said with a chuckle. “Every game you’re not gonna score five goals like as a team. Some games you’re going to win 1-0 and some games you’re gonna win 5-4, so we have to keep playing in our system.

“No matter if we win 1-0 or 6-4, and I’d rather win 1-0 anyways.”

Tomorrow will be the first of four head-to-heads between the Bruins and Senators this season.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

For the third straight season, a preview of Life Without Zdeno Chara has hit the Bruins.

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

For the third straight season, a preview of Life Without Zdeno Chara has hit the Bruins.

Injured in the second period of last night’s 4-2 loss to the Blues and absent from Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed via press release that Chara has suffered a lower-body injury that will keep him out of a Thanksgiving night tilt against the Senators.

It’s unclear how or where Chara sustained the injury (the best guess was a collision with the Blues’ Jaden Schwartz in the corner on his one, 52-second shift in the second period), but the Bruins will have to make do without their best defender for at least the Ottawa game, but perhaps the club’s signature Black Friday home game against Dougie Hamilton and the Flames also.

“He’s not coming on the road trip, obviously” B’s coach Claude Julien confirmed after practice. “From what I’ve been told, he’s day to day. Day to day to me I think it’s pretty doubtful for these next two games.

After that, we’ll see. So that’s where we are with him.”

The 39-year-old captain has been a rock on a top-pairing with 19-year-old rookie Brandon Carlo, with a team-leading 22:41 of time on ice per contest this season, and has chipped in with one goal and six points to go with his plus-12 rating. Chara also ranks 12th among defenseman with at least 300 minutes of five-on-five time on ice in Corsi-For%, at 53.0%, for a B’s club that’s currently leading the league in possession at five-on-five play. So his loss, even for a game, is noticeable.

“I think I’m going to answer it the same way the same way I answered it at the beginning of the year when you guys asked me about our d-corps,” Julien, whose team is allowing just 27.3 shots per game (the third-best mark in the league in that category), said of somebody else shouldering the load in Chara’s absence. “We’re going to have to do it by committee.”

Without Chara, the Bruins’ defensive committee reunited their training camp pairing with John-Michael Liles and Carlo, while the second pairing of Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid has become a de facto first pairing for the club. Joe Morrow remained on the left side of the team’s third pairing, and Kevan Miller, out for the first 19 games of the season with a fractured left hand that finished his preseason slate, has been cleared for action and skated to Morrow’s right.

This is not the first time the Bruins have to skate without their captain — Chara missed 19 games in 2014-15 and then the first two games of last season — but with a personnel group that’s changed drastically from 2014 to 2015, and even 2015 to now, Julien knows that there’s no quick-fix, plug-and-play option that’ll mask the loss of the club’s go-to shutdown talent.

“We just lost our best defender,” Julien admitted.

“There’s no individual that’s going to step up and do his job more than we’re going to have to do it as a group.”

The Bruins have gone 11-9-1 without Chara over the last two seasons, including an 0-2-0 mark last season.

 

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

The Bruins were riding high, with a 1-0 lead and feverish pace of play, early in the second period when the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara made his way to the bench, down the runway, and did not return.