As the expression goes, a win is a win even if it takes a shootout to get the win against the worst team in the NHL.

Ryan Spooner

Ryan Spooner

As the expression goes, a win is a win even if it takes a shootout to get the win against the worst team in the NHL.

That was the story for the Bruins Saturday night, as they managed only two regulation goals against a Blue Jackets squad that entered the night not only the worst team in the standings, but also the league’€™s worst defensive team. After skating to a scoreless overtime, the B’€™s earned the 3-2 victory on shootout goals from Ryan Spooner and Torey Krug, while Jonas Gustavsson stopped Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky.

Special teams proved to be the story of the overtime session. They first managed to kill off a Dennis Seidenberg penalty late in regulation that left the B’€™s shorthanded for the first 1:55 of overtime. Shortly after, a Columbus bench minor for too many men on the ice gave the Bruins a power play of their own. The B’€™s were unable to score, however, finishing the night 0-for-5 on the man advantage.

The Bruins will face the Flyers Monday in Philadelphia. Here are four more things we learned Saturday:


After tinkering with his lines throughout Thursday’€™s game, Claude Julien pressed the zany button before Saturday’€™s warmups, resulting in configurations that saw Ryan Spooner go from third-line center to first-line right wing:


Krug-Kevan Miller

Though Spooner isn’€™t exactly known for being tough along the walls, he ended up being a decent fit on the line. The trio connected on some nice passing that resulted in a Brad Marchand goal assisted by Spooner and Bergeron.

With the assist on Marchand’s goal, Spooner now has 13 assists over his last 12 games.


Spooner’€™s promotion to the Bergeron line and Joonas Kemppainen’€™s return from being a healthy scratch meant that Brett Connolly was banished to the press box.

Known for his shot, Connolly has only one goal (which was an empty-netter) in his last 23 games and has only scored once on a goalie in 35 games dating back to the beginning of November.


David Pastrnak had a night to forget on Thursday, as his several turnovers got him demoted to the fourth line by the end of the team’€™s loss to the Canucks. He snapped out of it Saturday, however, scoring a second-period goal by going hard to the net and knocking in a rebound of a David Krejci shot and drawing a penalty later in the period.


The Seidenberg-Morrow pairing was not good. After allowing goals on back-to-back shifts midway through the second period, Morrow was benched until Claude Julien let him take the ice for the last four seconds of the period.

Saturday marked Morrow’€™s fourth straight game in the lineup and Colin Miller’€™s fourth straight game in the press box as a healthy scratch. While Claude Julien is wise to not let players like Morrow sit for too long, perhaps Miller is due for his return to the lineup.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

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: 

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:


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

Blog Author: 
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.