It’s Monday in New England, and while many continue to dry their eyes from Sunday’s Super Bowl loss, let’s attempt to turn the page with some news and headlines.
* The New York Giants once again defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 21-17. Eli Manningcompleted 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and on touchdown, while Ahmad Bradshawscored the game winning touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Also, the Patriots recorded five penalties for 28 yards, too. Manning was named the MVP for the second time in four years, as the Giants earned their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.
* The Boston Celtics won their fourth consecutive contest on Sunday at the TD Garden, as they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 98-80. Kevin Garnettled the Green and White with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Rajon Rondohanded out 14 assists. Boston will return to the hardwood on Tuesday when they host the Charlotte Bobcats.
* The Boston Bruins snapped their two-game losing streak on Sunday in Washington D.C., as the Black and Gold defeated the Capitals, 4-1. Tim Thomasturned away 35 shots, while Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguinand Rich Peverleyall scored goal for Boston. The Bruins will conclude their short road trip on Wednesday when they travel to Buffalo.
* Lastly, Monday marks the first day of the men’s Boston Beanpot, which enters its 60th year. Boston University will face-off against Harvard at 5pm, while Boston College will take on Northeastern at 8pm.
BOSTON, MA – The Bruins knew that they would be facing a Canucks’ team with a lot of vengeance on Saturday. What the B’s didn’t know is that they would also be going against the referees in their 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.
In what may have been the most physical game of the NHL season, the B’s and Canucks combined for 30 penalties, 18 power plays and 107 total penalty minutes. Boston went 0-for-7 on the man advantage while Vancouver scored all four of their goals on the power play, going 4-for-11.
It’s not typical to see 30 penalties in one game, but the refs did have a lot of questionable calls on Saturday. They tried to do their best to control the game, but despite that, they tossed two Bruins players as both Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were given 10-minute game misconducts.
When asked about it after the game, Claude Julien wasn’t too happy, saying, “It doesn’t really matter guys. Like I said – you guys know – we can’t comment. Our job is to assess our team. Our job is to assess our players. Our job is not to assess or comment on referees. I’m not stupid enough to stand up here and criticize them. What I can tell you is that [Vancouver] scored four power play goals, so we gave them an opportunity to score on their bread and butter. Instead of criticizing the referees, I would much prefer criticizing us for the penalties – whether they’re worthy or not, take the responsibility”
Lucic received his penalty in the first period when he allegedly left the bench to take part of a scrum on the ice. After further review, the NHL rescinded the game misconduct because Lucic was entering a shift which legally allowed him to be on the ice.
However, Marchand’s penalty is a bit debatable. In effort to avoid getting slammed into the boards bySami Salo, Marchand ducked and hit Salo low. The Canucks defenseman hit the ice hard and stayed down for a while before heading down the tunnel. Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault later announced that Salo had suffered an upper body injury and will be reevaluated.
As aforementioned, Julien didn’t want to talk about the refs but he did share his opinion on the incident.
“All I’m going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves. The last thing I want my players to do is get hit and then end up with a concussion, said the Bruins head coach. “In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys because that’s the consequences you end up paying for taking runs at guys, too.”
Would the outcome have been different if Lucic hadn’t been sent out of the game? Maybe. Regardless, it wasn’t the deciding factor. Boston’s played well five-on-five, but facing 11 power plays — without two of your best forwards — is no easy task for any team.
“It was what it was,” said Julien after the game. “I think the build-up from last year is still there, but I’m going to reiterate the same thing I said this week: It was only a two-point game, and that’s how we had to approach it. There’s a lot that happened last year in the playoffs that carried over to today’s game. As much as the referees tried to control it, at times, it became a challenge.”
Although it wasn’t the outcome the Bruins hoped for, Julien made no excuses for the loss by stating, “They did the right things, and we didn’t do enough to win the hockey game. Let’s be man enough to admit it and move on.”
BOSTON, MA – Against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, Boston added yet another win to their “November to remember,” as well as stretched their most recent winning streak to four games with a 4-2 victory at the TD Garden.
“[This win] is more like us,” said Bruins left winger Milan Lucic. “That feeling around here is starting to be like we’re used to… it’s been a lot of hard work, and [we’re] starting to have a lot of fun, and we want to keep having fun.”
Boston kicked-started their offense seven minutes into the first period with a Johnny Boychukgoal, as well as Jordan Caron’s first score of the season, which gave the hometown team a two-point advantage before Edmonton erased it three minutes later with two quick strikes in a span of 29-seconds, which came off the sticks of Ryan Smythand Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
“[It was] a tough start,” said Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, who finished the game with 27 saves. “I was bouncing the puck between rebounds, and then you get guys like Smyth in front of a net, who’s really good with that stick and tipping those pucks.”
The Bruins eventually overcame their lackluster play during the final few minutes of the opening period, as Brad Marchandand Tyler Seguin rifled two shots past Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk,(22-saves) in the second period before Smyth registered Edmonton’s final goal of the game late in the third period.
However, Edmonton’s potential rally was denied literally two minutes later, as Boston recorded two back-to-back strikes in a span of 44-seconds to secure their seventh victory of the season, and their fifth at the Garden.
“I thought we were doing pretty good things out there, and that results in those scoring chances,” said Rask.
“They’re a team that goes to the net really hard. They play pretty sound defensively and they really try to lock up that neutral zone and try to force that other team to make mistakes and unfortunately for us tonight, we kind of played right into their game plan,” said Oilers left winger Taylor Hall.
The Bruins will look to extend their four-game winning streak to five games on Saturday when they host the Buffalo Sabres for a 7:00pm clash.
BOSTON, MA – The Boston Bruins are on their best roll of the season right now. They won their third straight game Monday night, a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
The home team got on the board just 1:32 in the game. Benoit Pouliot took a centering pass from Jordan Caron and beat Evgeni Nabokov to make it 1-0. For Pouliot, it was his first goal as a Bruin, and first goal overall in 32 games, dating back to February of 2011 when he played for the Canadiens.
“He’s a guy that’s working hard,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “His work ethic…is there, we’ve just got to keep working with him and see how far we can go.”
Three seconds later, the sellout crowd at TD Garden was on its feet again when Adam McQuaid and Matt Martin decided to drop their gloves at the Boston blue line and go after each other. They would each spend the next five minutes in the penalty box.
The Islanders evened the score at the 5:52 mark. Matt Moulson deflected Steve Staios’ shot from the point past Tuukka Rask to tie the game at 1.
The Bruins jumped back on top, on the power play. With Travis Hamonic in the box for cross-checking, Nathan Horton beat Nabokov with a wrist shot to make it 2-1. Just 29 seconds later, Patrice Bergeron set up Tyler Seguin to make it 3-1.
Seguin has four goals in the last two games, and extended his point streak to four games. Bergeron now has a seven-game point streak.
That goal sent Nabokov to the showers. Al Montoya took over in net.
“We are getting a lot of chances,” said Horton. “When you get that many chances they’re eventually going to go in.”
The Isles closed to within a goal late in the period, courtesy of Michael Grabner’s fourth goal of the season at the 18:36 mark.
The second period featured no scoring, but plenty of opportunities. Boston had the better chances, but Montoya was up to the challenge. He and Rask combined to stop all 28 shots they faced in the period, several of them of the point-blank variety.
There was a scary moment early in the third, as Boston’s Daniel Paille got hit in the face with a slapshot. He was down on the ice for a couple of minutes. Julien said Paille was seeing a specialist after the game, and hoped to know more on Tuesday.
A few minutes later, the Bruins scored two goals less than a minute apart for the second time on the night. Horton broke in and fed Milan Lucic, who beat Montoya for his seventh goal of the season to make it 4-2. Lucic now has a goal in four straight games.
Just 49 seconds later, Horton scored his second of the night, putting home a rebound of a Joe Corvo shot to make it 5-2.
“We really put a lot of emphasis on following up a strong shift after a goal scored or after a goal against,” said Julien. “It’s about holding on to the momentum or regaining it.”
The Bruins have never lost when leading after two periods. The Islanders have never won when trailing after 40 minutes of play.
The Bruins return to action on Thursday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers. Faceoff is at 7:00.
“We definitely put ourselves in a hole,” said Lucic of overcoming the team’s slow start. “We’re the ones that are going to have to get us out of this funk.”