Matt Beleskey was among those on the ice as the Bruins held a well-attended optional skate Saturday morning.

Beleskey, who missed Friday’s practice due to illness, is a possibility for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jackets. He said after skating that he was feeling better, though Claude Julien would not confirm the player’s status.

Jonas Gustavsson was the only goaltender on the ice for the morning skate, an indication that Tuukka Rask will get the start.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The Bruins were without Matt Beleskey for Friday’€™s practice at Ristuccia Arena, with Claude Julien saying after the skate that the left wing was ill and sent home.

Beleskey’€™s absence contributed to some wonky practice lines, which were as follows:

Patrice Bergeron spent this past summer skating with Daniel Paille. He spent the previous six seasons with Paille as his teammate. At the end of the summer, Bergeron went to Bruins training camp as usual, while Paille’€™s routine changed rather drastically.

Unsigned that season as a free agent, the 31-year-old Paille went to the Blackhawks’€™ training camp, where he was cut before eventually signing an AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’€™s minor-league squad. Thirty-one AHL games and a Spengler Cup appearance with Team Canada later, Paille finally returned to the NHL this week when he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Rangers worth $575,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL.

“I’€™ll be honest. I’€™m surprised that it took so long, but I’€™m happy,” Bergeron said Friday. “He was in Rockford for most of the time, he went to the Spengler Cup and did well there and won. I’€™m happy for him. Hopefully he gets a good shot at it and he can show what he can do.”

Paille’€™s inability to find work was a product of teams opting to give chances to players on entry-level deals rather than signing veterans, even if the veterans’€™ immediate impact might have been higher. Other players who spent the summer unsigned included Lee Stempniak, David Schlemko and Marek Zidlicky. It’€™s a trend that might hurt current Bruins Chris Kelly and Max Talbot once their contracts expire at season’€™s end.

“To me, it seems like the cap situation for most of the teams and the fact that they want to see their young players and see how they react to the league kind of pushed the older guys away a little bit, and it was unfortunate,” Bergeron said. “It was definitely the worst I’€™ve seen in the summer, with older guys not getting jobs and stuff like that.”

Paille is best-known in Boston for rounding out the Bruins’€™ Merlot Line in their Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 season after Brad Marchand moved up to Patrice Bergeron’€™s line. He also scored in overtime of Game 2 of the 2013 Cup Final to tie the series in Chicago.

“He brought us some good years,” Claude Julien said. “He was part of that Stanley Cup run that we had, so absolutely. When you see a player like that get an opportunity somewhere, you’€™re happy for him.”

After scoring 10 goals as a fourth-liner and penalty killer in the aforementioned lockout-shortened 2013 season, the performance of both Paille and the Bruins’€™ fourth line trended downward. The Bruins notified Paille at the end of last season, which saw him spend time as a healthy scratch, that they would not be retaining him.

Despite how long it took to get back to the NHL, Paille is still and NHL caliber player in Bergeron’€™s eyes.

“I skated with him all summer, or most of the summer anyways, and he still looks like the Piesy we all know,” Bergeron said. “He skates well and is very good on the penalty kill. He’€™s a smart player, so I’€™m sure he can still do the job.”

Blog Author: 
WEEI

WILMINGTON — The Bruins were without Matt Beleskey for Friday’€™s practice at Ristuccia Arena, with Claude Julien saying after the skate that the left wing was ill and sent home.

Beleskey’€™s absence contributed to some wonky practice lines, which were as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Ferraro
Spooner-Krejci-Eriksson
Hayes-Kemppainen-Connolly-Pastrnak
Rinaldo-Talbpt-Randell

All seven defensemen were on the ice. The Bruins will host the Blue Jackets Saturday at TD Garden.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

If momentum in baseball is limited by the next day’€™s pitcher, momentum in hockey seems limited by the next game’€™s puck management.

And for the Bruins, all their Thursday momentum aided by David Krejci‘€™s return to the lineup and the team’s three-game winning streak – which included a rare win over arch-rival Montreal on Tuesday – vanished at TD Garden in a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks thanks to sloppy play at inopportune times.

“We play well for three or four games, we do the things that we need to do, and then we get away from it for a bit,” center Ryan Spooner admitted after the defeat. “As a team now, we need to play the same way.”

Perhaps the B’€™s lineup changes prohibited the ability to repeat recent quality performances. Out went Frank Vatrano and Joonas Kemppainen, while in came Krejci and Landon Ferraro after injury absences. Three of Boston’€™s four forward lines had personnel tweaks entering Thursday’€™s action.

And by the end of the night, lacking enough quality scoring chances, there would be more tweaks coming from head coach Claude Julien.

“€œSloppy plays and a lot of giveaways and turnovers,” explained Julien. “I didn’€™t think we were at our best here tonight. As much as it looked good in the first period I think we might have had four scoring chances. A lot of were high slot and we didn’€™t have net-front presence. There were a lot from the outside. Four scoring chances is not bad for a period but we should have had more. We should have been a lot harder on their goaltender than we were.”

Julien continued: “I changed lines more because not much was happening, that’€™s why I moved guys around a little bit. I didn’€™t think we played that well and I needed to try and get something out of our players.”

Late in the second period, winger David Pastrnak swapped places with Matt Beleskey, sparking a Jimmy Hayes goal from a newly-formed line that tied the game 1-1 headed to the third period.

But, the same forward trio that was on the ice for the goal to the good – Hayes, Pastrnak, and Spooner – were also on the ice for Vancouver’€™s go-ahead goal less than two minutes in the period three.

“It’€™s part of the game, we weren’€™t scoring goals so you mix it up,”€ said Hayes. “€œYou’€™ve got to play the same way no matter who you’€™re playing with. Obviously, you don’€™t want to be out there for any goals against, but I think we were out there for two of them. Gotta find a way to keep the puck out of your net and be better.”

Pastrnak in particular was charged with seven turnovers on the game’€™s official event summary. And although those totals are often disputed, Julien indeed singled Pastrnak out afterwards as Exhibit A of mistake-makers.

“€œIn Dave Pastrnak’€™s case I know he had an assist tonight but I think he had about four or five giveaways there, unforced errors, and he’€™s playing against top lines and we need players to be better in those areas,”€ said Julien. “€œSo I tried to put a little more experience to play against that and put him in a situation where he has less pressure and more room. And then with [Spooner] and him on the same line it just seemed they were being a little outmatched there by the other team. Whether it was from the way we played or from youth and inexperience I’€™m not quite sure but I still had to make some more changes.”

By game’€™s end, Ferraro was up in Pastrnak’€™s spot on the Spooner line, and Pastrnak was resigned to fourth-line minutes.

Then, after some Vancouver sloppiness gave Brad Marchand his 18th tally of the year to tie the game at 2-2, Boston’€™s only line of stability on the night – Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and Brett Connolly – gave the lead right back to the Canucks with some poor puck management of their own in their defensive zone.

“Mistakes happen out there, no one is perfect, but I thought we could have managed the puck a little better and got at least a point,”€ said Krejci. “Frustrating loss. I thought we did a good job in the third period of coming back. They scored right away, we came back. We had a couple chances, but it’€™s frustrating to lose like that. Especially when you come back and guys are rolling, you want to just jump on the train and keep it going. A little sad for my comeback.”€

Boston’s night-full-of-mistakes weren’€™t limited to one end of the ice.

“€œNormally when we’€™re able to sustain a forecheck it’€™s because guys are coming back and it allows the ‘€˜D’€™ to pinch up and keep the puck in,” said Marchand. “€œWe didn’€™t do a great job tonight of covering up for each other and pucks were able to get out of the [offensive] zone because of that.”

“I think we made the game easy on them tonight,” said Ferraro. “We struggled with that through a lot of the game, especially in the third I don’€™t know how many times we iced the puck tonight. That’€™s not on the ‘€˜D’€™ that’€™s on forwards as well. They were moving it up and we weren’€™t getting sticks on them. Overall, it wasn’€™t a very tidy game.”

“€œIt’€™s just getting pucks in deep and continuing to put pressure on the defensemen,” said Hayes. “€œBeginning of the game we weren’€™t really getting pucks in the corner and getting in there on them. Find ways to keep it simple.”

Unfortunately for the Bruins so far, it’€™s been anything but a simple year. One thing is clear: how they manage their final 36 regular season games will make all the difference in how simple their spring is, too.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

Ryan Spooner is on pace for 61 points this season.</p>
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DJ Bean and Ken Laird weigh in from TD Garden after the B's have their 3-game win streak snapped by Vancouver in a 4-2 defeat.

[0:00:01] ... Quite a TD garden bus and it seeing another Boston bruins' post game report can Laird bruised foot DJ being from WEEI dot com. How lost that they tumor can actually DJ fortitude ...
[0:04:45] ... allows you to do that guys like Louis Ericsson. Better guys to Patrice Bergeron and the Ericsson you can stick on any lines about lives going to be OK the Bruins and have many players that. ...
[0:05:25] ... the date plate twelve earliest he said it's one of those rare Western Conference games against Vancouver and even though the cup history stared. There wasn't much of that tonight and it was one of those ...
[0:05:57] ... in the west as well so. Yeah I mean that the mortar Eastern Conference teams especially in the more divisional teams for them right now the the better because. That. Did they beat Federer once they ...






David Krejci‘€™s return to the Bruins’€™ lineup was ruined by a shaky third period that ended up snapping the team’€™s three-game winning streak.

David Krejci‘€™s return to the Bruins’€™ lineup was ruined by a shaky third period that ended up snapping the team’€™s three-game winning streak.

Though Brad Marchand managed to tie the game at two after the B’€™s had allowed the go-ahead goal in the opening minutes of the third, the Canucks once again took the lead at 7:03 of the period on Daniel Sedin’€™s 20th goal of the season. That third goal, which came when Sedin buried a rebound that Zach Trotman was unable to corral, proved to be all the Canucks needed. Sedin would add an empty-netter with 22.1 seconds remaining to give Vancouver a 4-2 victory at TD Garden.

Krejci’€™s return and inconsistent play from some of Boston’€™s forwards saw Claude Julien juggle his lines throughout the night, something that might continue given that the B’€™s were held to a pair of goals Thursday.

The Bruins will next play Saturday when they host the Blue Jackets.

FERRARO ALSO RETURNS, KEMPPAINEN SITS

In addition to Krejci returning, Landon Ferraro was back in the Bruins’€™ lineup after missing Tuesday’€™s game with a lower-body injury.

With both players returning, the Bruins opted to keep Max Talbot in the lineup and scratch Joonas Kemppainen, who had been serving as the team’€™s third-line center while Krejci was out. Frank Vatrano was sent to Providence earlier in the day in correspondence with Krejci’€™s activation.

On defense, Colin Miller sat for a third straight game. The Bruins’€™ lineup began the game as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly
Eriksson-Krejci-Pastrnak
Beleskey-Spooner-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot-Ferraro

Chara-Trotman
Morrow-Seidenberg
Krug-Kevan Miller

Rask

RETOOLED THIRD LINE GIVETH AND TAKETH AWAY

Playing with Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner, Jimmy Hayes had multiple scoring chances through the first two periods — many of which were farther away from the net than the slot from where Hayes typically scores — but he finally buried one late in the second period for his 11th goal of the season when he sent a wrister from the top of the left circle that might have gone off Christopher Tanev on its way past Jacob Markstrom.

Hayes’€™ goal came on a shift that saw Pastrnak jump down to the third line in place of Beleskey, who moved back up to Krejci’€™s line. That move allowed Loui Eriksson, who began the game at left wing, to go back to right wing and give the Bruins the Beleskey-Krejci-Eriksson line they had for much of the season leading up to Krejci’€™s injury.

Of course, the new-look third line gave up a goal on its first shift of the third period when Pastrnak was unable to break up a pass from Emerson Etem to Alexandre Burrows in the high slot, leading to a Burrows slapper past Tuukka Rask. Pastrnak was eventually dropped to the fourth line as he struggled with giveaways throughout the night.

NOTHING SPECIAL

In a display of how long ago 2011 was, neither team took a penalty on Thursday. That made the game the second this season in which the B’€™s haven’€™t had a single power play. It was also the third time (second in six games) that the B’€™s never had to kill a penalty.

SPOONER KEEPS ‘€˜EM COMING

Spooner had the secondary helper on Hayes’€™ goal, giving him 10 assists and 12 points over his last 11 games. With 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists) through 46 games, Spooner is now on pace for 61 points this season.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Tuukka Rask is expected to start against the Canucks Thursday at TD Garden, but the team still has some things to clear up regarding the rest of its lineup.