Patrice Bergeron has seen his opponents score at an alarming rate.</p>
<div class=

MONTREAL — The two-game Canadian road trip the Bruins had this week was an opportunity for them to show they can win games that aren’€™t at home and against bad teams.

Max Pacioretty scored twice against Niklas Svedberg Thursday. (Getty Images)

Max Pacioretty scored twice against Niklas Svedberg Thursday. (Getty Images)

MONTREAL — The two-game Canadian road trip the Bruins had this week was an opportunity for them to show they can win games that aren’€™t at home and against bad teams. Instead they looked more like the struggling team they were early on in the season, just without Zdeno Chara and David Krejci.

Claude Julien‘€™s decision to start Niklas Svedberg over Tuukka Rask looked good early on, as the Bruins held a 1-0 lead after a first period that saw Svedberg deny Max Pacioretty on the doorstep, but things gradually fell apart for the Bruins for a second straight night. With Thursday’€™s 5-1 loss to the Habs (box) in their final trip to the Bell Centre this regular season, the Bruins fell to 0-2-0 this season against their biggest rivals. They also lost both games of the Toronto-Montreal trip by an aggregate score of 11-2.

Entering Thursday, Svedberg had only started against two teams this season: the Sabres twice and the Islanders once. The Islanders are nothing to sneeze at, but the Sabres entered Thursday last in the NHL with eight points. The Habs proved to be a much different animal, as Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals as part of a run of four consecutive goals for the Habs beginning in the second period.

Because it’€™s Montreal and we technically didn’€™t learn why Alexander Khokhlachev was recalled (see below), this will be a six things we learned. Here are the other five:


In Toronto, we pointed out that Patrice Bergeron had been on the ice for four five-on-five goals against in a two-game stretch. Make it seven in three games, as Bergeron’€™s line and the Dougie Hamilton – Dennis Seidenberg pairing allowed two second-period goals Thursday and allowed another in the third.

For as swell as it is that Bergeron’€™s line was producing more recently and that Hamilton has played big minutes and put up points (including a first-period power play goal Thursday), the Bruins aren’€™t happy when anyone gives up goals in bulk, let alone their best players.

The last time Bergeron had a minus-3 rating in a game prior to Thursday night was on Feb. 11, 2011. Bergeron has now been a minus player in seven of his 18 games this season; he was a minus player just 14 times all last season.


Thursday’€™s game was Milan Lucic‘€™s first game back at the Bell Centre since doing that thing he did with his hand last month. Rather than making another not-so-wise choice, however, Lucic was the guy drawing the dumb penalty Thursday night.

After placing a big open-ice hit on Jiri Sekac late in the second period, Lucic was approached by P.K. Subban. Lucic seemed interested in dropping the gloves, but Subban instead cross-checked him. Knowing Subban wasn’€™t going to fight him, Lucic didn’€™t retaliate and Subban was the only player given a penalty.

The Bruins didn’€™t score on the power play, but that was one of the minor, minor victories they could take from the night.


Dale Weise, who first made enemies with the Bruins as a Vancouver Canuck in the 2011-12 regular season and only heightened things last postseason, figured to remain a big part of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry this season. That was put in doubt, however, when the man Milan Lucic not-so-affectionately referred to as a “œbaby” after Game 7 was made a healthy scratch by the Habs in the first meeting between the teams this season.

Weise was in the lineup Thursday, however, and he made quite the impact. First, Weise fought and defeated Gregory Campbell in the opening minutes of the game. In the second period, the veteran winger was tripped by Dennis Seidenberg while on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot on which he scored easily on a gaping five-hole exposed by Svedberg. He also picked up the primary assist on Max Pacioretty‘€™s second-period goal. He also took a goaltender interference penalty late in the game, which earned him a punch to the head from Adam McQuaid.

Speaking of five-hole goals for Weise, that’€™s a spot that’€™s been good to Weise in this building against the Bruins. Weise beat Rask on a breakaway in Game 3 of the second round last postseason.


The Bruins recalled Alexander Khokhlachev on an emergency basis Thursday, with Claude Julien saying prior to the game that the recall had nothing to do with David Krejci being out and that a different player would be a game-time decision against the Habs.

Khokhlachev didn’€™t take a single line rush in warmups and was made the healthy scratch. The good news for him: he gets the NHL pay. The bad news: The Moscow native’€™s parents, who now live in Toronto, made the trip to Montreal for the game.

Mark Divver of the Providence Journal tweeted earlier Thursday that Carl Soderberg was the player in question. Soderberg played through a wrist injury earlier in the season but did not miss any games.


Matt Fraser fought back in his days of junior hockey in the WHL and dropped the gloves twice last season, but he says he doesn’€™t consider himself a fighter. Instead, he considers himself a player who wants to show his team he’€™s willing to do anything.

That’€™s admirable, but maybe Fraser shouldn’€™t be so willing to fight for a little bit. The third-line left wing dropped the gloves in the second period and got clocked by Nathan Beaulieu amidst multiple punches he took from the Habs defenseman. Fraser didn’€™t look in great shape as he went straight to the training room rather the penalty box.

Perhaps surprisingly, Fraser returned to the game in the third period.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB, following broadcasting the Bruins’ blowout loss to Toronto Wednesday night and to discuss the state of the team going into Thursday̵

Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB, following broadcasting the Bruins’ blowout loss to Toronto Wednesday night and to discuss the state of the team going into Thursday’s game against Montreal. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

McGuire was inside the benches during the Bruins’ 6-1 loss Wednesday night, and did not like what he saw from the Bruins team, which was unexpected as he thought they would have played well going in.

“I said this last night, and I meant it sincerely, I haven’t seen the Bruins get beat like that in a long time,” said McGuire. “I was dumbfounded by that because I was around their room, I talked to their coaches before the game. The players really had an intense situation that they were looking at, they were looking like they were up to the challenge.

“The coaches were really excited — they had won six of their previous seven, all seven games that they had played previously [Zdeno] Chara wasn’t there, and they were finding ways to get it done. Obviously [Patrice] Bergeron and [Dougie] Hamilton were really playing well. I had the feeling they were going to play a really good game last night, and I was really wrong. They did not play a good game last night.”

Tuukka Rask was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals and although he might not have played in the second half of the back-to-back, McGuire says he should after what took place Wednesday night, and Rask not playing the entire game.

“[Tuukka] has to get his team’s confidence in Montreal, so that the team knows that he can deliver there,” he said. “It is up to him, and if I were Claude [Julien], he’s playing tonight.”

“You have to get back on your horse and Tuukka is going to play guilty tonight,” he added. “I don’t know if he is going to be good enough to win or not, but he has to get in there and play guilty and say, ‘I wasn’t good enough last night.’ I think he’s that honest with himself and with his teammates, that I think he will play guilty tonight.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at

On why playing Montreal after Wednesday’s game is a good thing: “I think one of the best things that could happen in this, is to actually have to play the next day after a humiliating loss in Toronto. Now they are playing with edge, you got to think they are all going to play with edge. They are going to bring a little bit nasty tonight.

“I can tell you one thing, on the bench, Claude Julien was not pleased and the one thing he kept saying was, ‘You’re never going to win games if you don’t touch the other bodies, you’re never going to win games if you don’t hit somebody.’ And he kept saying it, and kept saying it. He got the players attention, guys were trying, but they were a step slow and they were not engaged. They knew the game was over and they had a game tonight so they weren’t engaged.”

Is Montreal the best team in the Eastern Conference?: “No, no, no, no. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh right now are better than Montreal. Montreal isn’t playing great and they would be the first people to tell you. Carey Price has covered up a lot of their blemishes on the back end. Their power play has not been very good — that is why they went out and got Sergei Gonchar. They are not getting consistent offense from Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais and they need both those guys to provide consistent offense.

“I do Montreal radio everyday, and have for the last 17 years, and the one thing I will tell you, is the fans are really excited about this team, but this team has under delivered thus far based on expectations of their fan base.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!

BROSSARD, Quebec — Tuukka Rask doesn’t win too often at the Bell Centre.

BROSSARD, Quebec — Tuukka Rask doesn’€™t win too often at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens know it, but they also know that history doesn’€™t matter in the present.

“€œThey said the same thing about Henrik Lundqvist last year,” P.K. Subban said. “€œHe seemed to play pretty well.”

Indeed, Lunqvist did. After not winning in Montreal since 2009 being sat at the Bell Centre since 2012, the Rangers’€™ netminder went into Montreal and allowed three goals over the first two games (both Rangers wins)€” of the Eastern Conference finals. New York would win the series in six games.

Rask has a career record of 3-11-3 against the Habs and in the regular season and a 3-€“6-0 against them in Montreal in the regular season (4-7-0 including playoffs). He also lost two of his three starts against them last at the Bell Centre last postseason, though his one win was a shutout. Rask blanked them in Montreal in the 2009-10 season.

It isn’€™t like Rask has been a disaster against the Canadiens, but then again, not beating the Canadiens qualifies as a disaster for the Bruins.

“I wouldn’€™t look too much into it,”€ Subban said. “When he comes to this building, whenever we play Boston, it seems that we do a good job of getting traffic in front of him and not make it easy on him. It’€™s not an easy building to play in, but to say that he can’€™t have a good game here –” I mean, I think he’€™s one of the best goalies in the league. He’€™s proven that and he’€™s played well against us at time.

“To be honest with you, when you see some of the goals that we’€™ve scored, we’€™ve done a good job of creating traffic. It’€™s not easy stopping second and third shots. We’€™ve had a couple of breakaways against him — that’€™s a 50-50 chance –€” so I think if we’€™re not prepared to get traffic in front of him tonight and make his life a living hell, then I don’€™t think we’€™re doing ourselves justice.”

Rask was pulled after allowing five goals in 47:15 in the Bruins’€™ only game at the Bell Centre this season. The Bruins gave him the start Wednesday in Toronto, which could have set up either a back-to-back for the reigning Vezina winner or a start for Niklas Svedberg. Because the Bruins pulled Rask early in the second period after he allowed his fourth goal, Svedberg had to play against the Leafs.

It might not be the wisest idea for the Bruins to play Svedberg two nights in a row given that he hadn’€™t played since Oct. 30 prior to getting in Wednesday’€™s game. Had Rask finished Wednesday’€™s game, the smart move for the Bruins might have been to go with the Rangers/Lundqvist method and keep him away from the Canadiens. Lundqvist proved that goalies can win in any building in the postseason despite their past troubles. Rask is Lundqvist’€™s peer as one of the five best goalies in the league, so he should be held to the same standard.

Should Rask play, the Habs will be aware that he’€ll want to prove something. That, Subban said, gives the Habs something to prove as well.

“€œIf anything, if the history is that he does have a tough time playing here, I think that puts even more of an onus on us to to try and be ready to play,” Subban said, “€œbecause you know he’€™s coming in here with the mindset of he wants to play well.”

That’€™s if he plays.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

MONTREAL — According to multiple reports (first reported by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports in Montreal), the Bruins have called up center Alexander Khokhlachev for Thursday night’€™s game

Alexander Khokhachev

Alexander Khokhachev

MONTREAL ‘€” According to multiple reports (first reported by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports in Montreal), the Bruins called up center Alexander Khokhlachev for Thursday night’€™s game against the Canadiens.

The Bruins do not have a morning skate Thursday, so it’€™s tough to predict where Khokhlachev would slot in the team’€™s lineup. It is unknown whether Khokhlachev will replace a healthy player or whether one of Boston’€™s forwards isn’€™t able to play Thursday. Brad Marchand did not play the final 6:23 of Wednesday’s loss.

Assuming those who played Wednesday are healthy, the B’€™s have some options. Khokhlachev is amidst an impressive stretch in Providence, so it’€™s possible the B’€™s could put him in Chris Kelly‘€™s place on Milan Lucic‘€™s line with Seth Griffith and return Kelly to Carl Soderberg’€™s line. Claude Julien shook up Boston’€™s lines in the second peril of Wednesday’€™s loss to the Maple Leafs, moving Matt Fraser from Soderberg’€™s line to the fourth line. Fraser or Simon Gagne could be options to sit, though Gagne scored Boston’€™s only goal Wednesday.

A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Khokhlachev has five goals and six assists for Providence in 12 games this season. The Moscow native has centered a line with wingers Jordan Caron and David Pastrnak, with Anthony Camara playing left wing on the line the last four games while Caron nursed an upper-body injury.

Assuming he cracks the lineup, Thursday will be Khokhlachev’€™s second career NHL game. He skated in last season’€™s regular-season finale against the Devils.

David Krejci did not travel with the B’€™s to Toronto or Montreal. He remains out due to a hip injury suffered in the final game of the preseason.

For more Bruins news, visit

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean