Tag Archives: Ray Bourque

Bruins Looking To Blow Leafs Away Tonight

Boston Bruins forward #46 David Krejci scores the game winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime in game 4, the goal capped off his 2nd career playoff hat trick

Boston Bruins forward #46 David Krejci scores the game winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime in game 4, the goal capped off his 2nd career playoff hat trick

The Boston Bruins have put themselves in an excellent position for game 5 tonight at the TD Garden. After a big overtime win in Toronto, the B’s head home with a 3-1 series lead having won both games at the Air Canada Center. They have played much better than they have all season in this series, and look more like champions and less like the pitiful excuse for a hockey club we got down the stretch into the playoffs.

A big part of there turn-around is the ever reliable David Krejci in post season play. While Tim Thomas was shutting down every team the Bruins faced in the 2011 Stanley Cup Run, it was Krejci who was quietly leading the NHL in playoff points. While Timmy soaked up all the spotlight, Krejci put up 12 goals, 11 assists, and a +8 in all 25 of the B’s playoff games. He also added 4 game winners in that run, and a hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The hat trick from 2011 was important to bring up because he scored his second NHL playoff hat trick in game 4 against the Leafs. His performance as been incredibly valuable to the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs, and it is a big reason they lead Toronto 3-1 with a chance to win the series tonight on Garden ice. He is also leading the entire NHL in playoff scoring with 5 goals, 5 assists, and a +7 in 4 games.

Not to be overlooked in his performance Wednesday night is Zdeno Chara. Chara had a 4 assists playoff game which is a Bruins playoff record. That’s right, not even Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, and Brad Park had more assists in a single playoff game. Big Z is also averaging a monstrous 27:30 minutes of ice time a game.

Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton continue to erase their roller coaster seasons with solid performances every night. Some credit does go to David Krejci here again, but we have seen a more aggressive Lucic, and another clutch showing from Horton. In fact, Horton already has 2 game winning goals against Toronto, which brings him to 5 in 25 career playoff games.

Tuukka Rask’s numbers may not show how outstanding he has been, but anyone who has watched him in this series will tell you. Rask has allowed 10 goals in the Bruins first 4 games against Toronto on 147 shots against. His save percentage is stellar at .932, but his goals against average is 2.39. I tend to place more emphasis in value on the save percentage in this situation though, given Rask had to face 45+ shots in both games in Toronto. Regardless of how you look at it, Rask has been good for the Bruins, and he has likely put to rest any concern for his playoff abilities.

All is not well in Toronto though, despite what was arguably their best game in game 4, they came away with an overtime loss. They will be up against it in a big way when they take the ice in Boston tonight. Its win or go home for the Leafs tonight, and they have to do it against a experienced Bruins team which has had their number for the better part of the last five seasons.

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This Week In Boston Bruins History: April 21-27

Bruins players tap the phrase that has united the city in the last week.

Bruins players tap the phrase that has united the city in the last week.

Sometimes history takes decades and decades to create and sometimes it happens in the blink of an eye or in a 12-second span. The tragic and unfortunate events that hit Boston last week will undoubtedly be forever etched into the history of the city, but they won’t be remembered as its darkest times. Instead, the people of Boston and the world will remember the completely selfless actions of strangers running into danger as well as the unrelenting work done by our law enforcement agencies. Let’s now jump forward to this week in Bruins history, which features a record-setting achievement for one of the best ever, an interesting comment from a rival GM, a pair of overtime thrillers to stun the Canadiens and coach’s birthday. This is This Week In Boston Bruins History: April 21-27. 

Fans at TD Garden This Past Week.

Fans at TD Garden this past week.

April 21:

On April 21, 1970, the Bruins beat the Black Hawks, 4-1, in Game 2 of the NHL Semi Finals. This was their third of 10 straight wins and they went on to win the Cup.

On April 21, 1974, they beat Chicago with an 8-6 victory in Game 2 of the semis to tie things up at a game apiece. The B’s would go on to win the series in six, but would lose to the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

On April 21, 1991, Ray Bourque picked up two assists in the team’s 3-2 win over the Canadiens. With the two helpers, Bourque passed Phil Esposito as the franchise’s new all-time leader in postseason assists with 103.

On April 21, 2010, the Bruins beat the Sabres, 3-2, in double overtime in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. Former Sabre, Miroslav Satan, scored the game-winner on the power play 7:41 into the second overtime.

On April 21, 2011, Michael Ryder won Game 4 of the Bruins’ first-round series against the Habs with a goal at 1:59 of overtime. Ryder had three points on the night and helped the Bruins come back from 3-1 down in the second period. The goal tied the series at two and of course, the Bruins would go on to win it in seven.

April 22:

On April 22, 1979, the Bruins swept the Penguins with a 4-1 win in Game 4 of their first-round series. They had finished the season 43-23-14, but were eliminated by an overtime goal in Game 7 against Montreal in the next round.

On April 22, 1980, Boston was eliminated in Game 5 of the second round of the playoffs with a 4-2 loss to the Islanders. It was the final game for coach Harry Sinden and he finished his coaching career with a record of 153-116-58.

On April 22, 1999, the Bruins opened the playoffs with a 2-0 win over the Hurricanes as Ken Belanger and Rob Dimaio scored goals. Byron Dafoe posted the shutout and the B’s would win the series in six after falling behind, 2-1, but they lost to the Sabres in the next round.

On April 22, 2009, the Bruins completed a four-game sweep of the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs with a 4-1 win in Game 4. Ryder had two goals and an assist for Boston.

On April 22, 2012, Tyler Seguin scored the game-winning goal 3:17 into overtime to force Game 7 of Boston’s first-round playoff series against the Capitals. It was Seguin’s first goal of the playoffs and it came from Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Five Bruins had multi-point afternoons in this one, including Seguin, Lucic, Krejci, Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley.

Tyler Seguin forced Game 7 with this goal.

Tyler Seguin forced Game 7 with this goal.

April 23: 

On April 23, 1960, Claude Julien was born in Blind River, Ontario. In six seasons as head coach of the Bruins, Julien has won 254 games, which is good for the second-most in team history and, of course, he led his team to a Stanley Cup championship. As an NHL coach, Julien’s teams have gotten points in 60 percent of his games, which is the 17th-best all-time among coaches.

On April 23, 1982, the Bruins beat the Nordiques, 6-5, in overtime of Game 6 of their second-round series with their first win since Game 2. They would drop Game 7, however.

On April 23, 1989, Cam Neely and Michael Thelven combined to score the fastest pair of goals in Boston playoff history as they lit the lamp just seven seconds apart in the second period of their 3-2 win over Montreal in Game 4 – their only win of their second-round playoff series.

On April 23, 1995, they won their fourth straight game, 5-4, against the Rangers to improve to 23-16-3 on the season. Neely had a hat trick in the game, but this team failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs.

On April 23, 2011, Nathan Horton scored at 9:03 of the second overtime as the Bruins beat the Canadiens, 5-4, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It was the 12th-longest game ever played in Bruins’ history and it prompted Montreal’s Max Pacioretty to tweet that “this game was longer than Marchand’s nose.”

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This Week In Boston Bruins History: March 24-30

Tomas Kaberle did something on March that he only did once.

Tomas Kaberle did something on March 24 that he only did once.

For the first time, This Week In Boston Bruins History will look back on some of the great Boston playoff runs before the NHL started playing right on through April. Also featured are a milestone for one of the all-time greats, some milestone victories, a double-digit win streak, a few instances of matching up against the Canadiens in the playoffs, the final game for one coaching great and, most importantly, the team’s first Stanley Cup championship. This is This Week In Boston Bruins History.

March 24:

On March 24, 1938, the Bruins lost, 1-0, in two overtimes against the Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. They would go on to get swept, 3-0.

On March 24, 1963, the B’s completed their season on a nine-game winless streak. In the season finale, they lost, 4-3, to the Black Hawks. The team finished the season with a 14-39-17 record and just 45 points.

On March 24, 1968, the Bruins played their first 71st game of the season as the season length had previously been 70 games. They would fall to the Red Wings in Detroit by a score of 5-3.

On March 24, 2006, the team signed longtime forward, P.J. Axelsson to a three-year contract extension. In 11 NHL seasons (all with the B’s), Axelsson scored 103 goals in 797 games and added 184 assists. He ranks 10th all-time in franchise history in games played.

On March 24, 2011, rental, Tomas Kaberle, scored his only goal as a member of the Bruins in a 7-0 win over the Habs. Kaberle would help the team to win their sixth Stanley Cup during his half-season in Boston.

March 25:

On March 25, 1937, the B’s beat the old Montreal Maroons, 4-0, in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs. They would go on to lose the series, 2-1, in three games, however, and finished the season at 23-18-7.

On March 25, 1950, they would lose, 8-0, to the Leafs in their second-to-last game of the season and fall to 22-32-16 on the year. It was their worst loss of the season in George Boucher’s only year as coach.

On March 25, 1954, the Bruins lost to the Canadiens, 8-1, in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs. They would be swept, four-games-to-none, in the series and get outscored, 16-4, in the span.

On March 25, 1973, Phil Esposito scored his 50th goal of the season in a 6-1 win over the Sabres. Esposito is second in the team’s history with 459 career goals.

On March 25, 1982, Barry Pederson became just the fifth rookie to ever score 40 goals in a season as he picked up No. 40 in the team’s 75th game of the year – a 5-1 win over Buffalo.

Barry Pederson had one of the best rookie seasons in team history.

Barry Pederson had one of the best rookie seasons in team history.

March 26:

On March 26, 1927, the Bruins won their regular-season finale, 4-3, against the Rangers in overtime before making their first postseason appearance in their third season. They would lose to the Senators in the Stanley Cup Finals.

On March 26, 1942, they beat the Black Hawks, 3-2, to advance to the NHL semi-finals where they were eliminated by the Red Wings in two games.

On March 26, 1950, Boucher coached his final game with the team in a 3-3 tie against the Maple Leafs. The team finished the season 22-32-16 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1943-44.

On March 26, 1983 the Bruins scored seven goals in consecutive games with a 7-4 win over the Whalers. They would finish the season 49-18-9, but go on to lose to the Islanders in the Conference Finals.

On March 26, 2002, the B’s beat the Hurricanes, 3-2, to improve to 41-21-5-7. Goals were scored by Sergei Samsonov, Brian Rolston and Glen Murray. Boston would lose to Montreal in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

March 27:

On March 27, 1952, the team lost to the Canadiens, 4-0, in the first round of the playoffs to go down 0-2 in the series. They were outscored, 9-1, in the first two games and wound up losing in seven after picking up wins in Games 3, 4 and 5.

On March 27, 1974, the B’s won their 50th game of the season – something they have done just eight times in their history with the last time being in 2008-09. They beat the Rangers, 3-2, to improve to 50-14-9 on the year, but would lose to the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

On March 27, 1982, the Bruins began a three-game stretch in which they allowed six or more goals in each, losing all three. They fell, 6-5, to the North Stars in this one before going down, 9-5, and 8-5 in their next two. Despite the skid, they still finished 43-27-10 under Gerry Cheevers, but lost to the Nordiques in the division finals.

On March 27, 1997, Ray Bourque recorded his 1,000th career NHL assist in a 6-3 loss to the Islanders. He became the fifth to ever do it and the first to have accomplished the feat with just one team.

On March 27, 2007, the Bruins won their only game in a 12-game stretch to end the year, beating the Senators, 3-2. They would lose 11 of their final 12 games and finish the season at 35-41-6.

Ray Bourque recorded his 1,00th NHL assist on March

Ray Bourque recorded his 1,00th NHL assist on March 27, 1997.

March 28:

On March 28, 1946, the team beat the Red Wings, 4-3, in overtime to clinch their semi-final series with their third straight win and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they would, again, fall to the Canadiens in five games.

On March 28, 1972, the Bruins lost just their 11th game of the season with a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Red Wings in the 75th game for them. They would finish the season 54-13-11 on their way to winning their fifth Stanley Cup.

On March 28, 1973, the B’s won their 10th straight game, handling the Rangers, 6-3, in New York. They would win 50 games for the third consecutive year, finishing at 51-22-5, but lost to the same Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The team also had win streaks of five (twice), six and eight games that season.

On March 28, 1979, the Bruins lost, 9-2, to the Sabres in what was tied for their most lopsided loss of the season. It was also tied for the most goals they allowed on the year and the team would go on to lose, 5-4, to the Canadiens in overtime of Game 7 of the NHL semi-finals.

On March 28, 2009, the B’s beat the Maple Leafs, 7-5, in the second of six straight wins for them. They improved to 30 games over .500 at 47-17-10 with the win. Matt Hunwick and Dennis Wideman each had three points for Boston while Boyd Devereaux was minus-3 for Toronto.

March 29:

On March 29, 1929, the Bruins defeated the Rangers, 2-1, to win their first Stanley Cup championship. The team went 5-0 in the playoffs, sweeping both the Canadiens and Rangers and won each of their final nine games dating back to the regular season. Cy Denneny led the team to a division-best 26-13-5 record and Tiny Thompson played every game in net for the team. Eddie Shore was third on the team with 12 goals and Dit Clapper and Lionel Hitchman were also on the first championship team.

On March 29, 1941, the Bruins would lose for the last time in the playoffs with a Game 5 setback against the Leafs. They would come back to win the series, 4-3, and then sweep the Cup Finals over the Leafs culminating with their sixth straight win to claim their second championship in three years.

On March 29, 1969, the B’s played their first 75th regular-season game in a 5-3 loss to the Canadiens.

On March 29, 2008, they won their 40th game of the season in Game No. 78, improving to 40-28-11 with a 4-0 win over the Senators. Four different Bruins scored in the game, but, again, the team would go on to lose to the Habs in the first round of the playoffs.

On March 29, 2011, Boston beat Chicago, 3-0, as nine different players registered points in the contest for the eventual champs. They improved to 43-23-10 with the win.

The 1929 Stanley Cup champion Bruins.

The 1929 Stanley Cup champion Bruins.

March 30:

On March 30, 1933, the Bruins beat the Leafs in Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs in the third straight overtime game played in the series. They won the game, 2-1, to take a 2-1 series lead, but would lose the next two, ending their season with a three-games-to-two first-round playoff loss.

On March 30, 1949, Clapper coached his final game for the Bruins as they were eliminated from the playoffs with a 3-2 loss to Toronto.

On March 30, 1969, the team beat the Habs, 6-3, in their regular-season finale. In the process, they became the first NHL team to ever score 300 goals in a single season as they finished with 303 on the year. They wound up 42-18-16, but would obviously lose to Montreal in the second round of the playoffs.

On March 30, 1993, the B’s started an eight-game winning streak in their final eight games of the regular season with a 3-1 win over the Hartford Whalers. Bourque and Cam Neely each scored goals in the game. The team finished up at 51-26-7, but were swept by the Sabres in the first round of the playoffs.

On March 30, 2004, the Bruins won their 40th game of the season, 3-2, over the Hurricanes. They improved to 40-18-15, but, if you have not picked up on the pattern yet, they lost to the Canadiens in seven games in the first round of the playoffs. They blew a 3-1 series lead to the seventh-seeded Habs and lost in seven.

Sorry about all the playoff losses to the Canadiens. Not a good time of year to be playing them apparently. Hopefully, this Wednesday will yield a better outcome and it seems pretty much impossible that the teams will match up in the first round of the playoffs this year. Look out a week from today for history from March 31 through April 6 with a special look at April Fool’s Day events.

 

Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.

Dan Paille Deserves Bruins’ Seventh Player Award

Boston Bruins forward #20 Daniel Paille deserves to win NESN's 7th Player Award

Boston Bruins forward #20 Daniel Paille deserves to win NESN’s 7th Player Award

The Boston Bruins seventh player award is awarded to a player who exceeds all expectations in a season. Previous winners of the award include Tim Thomas, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and Milan Lucic. Many high-profile Bruins have won the award and gone on to have excellent careers with the black and gold. Last season the award was given to Tyler Seguin for his breakout performance of 29 goals, 38 assists, and a +34 in 81 games.

While the Bruins’ prized young player certainly played well, I think we all expected him to play at the level he did. The award should have really gone to the now injured Chris Kelly. Kelly blew everyone away with a career high in goals with 20, 19 assists, and a career high +33 in 82 games.

I bring up this award in particular because I feel as if the award is unfairly awarded to players who are fan favorites. Yes, it is a fan vote, and in reality it is a relatively meaningless reward. This season it will likely go to Brad Marchand and his 13 goals so far this season, when in reality, the award belongs to Dan Paille. Paille has been outstanding this season and has exceeded every expectation I had for him going into the season. Exceeding expectations is what this award is all about, not a top six winger scoring a few more goals than last year.

The Bruins’ fourth line is considered one of the league’s best, and has been since it was assembled three seasons ago. Gregory Campbell has been just what the Bruins needed in the fourth line center role after various attempts at finding a player that worked. Shawn Thornton provides his usual brand of pugilism, leadership, and the occasional nifty deke to score a goal. Dan Paille has the speed that some high-end players in the NHL wish they had, great positioning, and a willingness to do the little things that help the team win. There are few lines in the NHL who have the chemistry the “Merlot” line does, and while Campbell and Thornton have played well this season, it is Paille who has played at a higher level.

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Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers

Tuukka Rask leads the league in wins through eight weeks of play, but what stats aren't you aware of?

Tuukka Rask leads the league in wins through eight weeks of play, but what stats aren’t you aware of?

It’s hard to believe another two weeks have come and gone so quickly. The Bruins‘ 39 points have them in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, just one behind Montreal. Some of the numbers haven’t been kind to the team, however, including three-goal leads and Tuukka Rask‘s odds against one particular opponent. In case you missed it, and chances are you didn’t pick up on all these stats, here is the Bruins’ last two weeks by the numbers.

0: In four chances, Rask has never beaten the Capitals. His latest loss came in the game on March 5.

0: The Bruiuns have not lost a regulation game to a member of the Southeast Division this season (7-0-1).

0.96: Patrice Bergeron‘s 0.96 points per game are good for 34th in the league.

1: The Bruins lost their first game to a Southeast Division opponent on March 5 against the Capitals, 4-3, in overtime. They had been 6-0 entering the game after going 7-13 against the same division last season.

1: The B’s were awarded their first penalty shot of the season in that game against the Capitals. Brad Marchand scored to put them up 1-0 at 6:29 of the first. It was their first penalty shot since Shawn Thornton scored on Ondrej Pavalec of the Jets on Jan. 10 of last season. Both penalty shot goals were short-handed.

1: Only one Bruins team has ever produced a better 22-game start to a season in its franchise history. In 1929-30, the team opened up 19-3-0 the season after winning their first Stanley Cup.

1: Marchand continues to be the only member of the Black and Gold to have reached double digits in goals. Tyler Seguin has nine and Bergeron has eight.

1:16: The first three goals of the March 3 game against Montreal were scored in a span of 1:16 in the middle of the first period. The Canadiens led, 2-1, after one.

1.91: Rask’s 1.91 goals against average is third-best in the league.

2: The Bruins scored two power-play goals in the first period of their win over Tampa Bay on March 2. They have scored just 10 other power-play goals this season.

2: Chris Kelly has missed the last two games since injuring his leg Monday against his former team, the Senators. They are the only two games he has missed as a member of the Bruins.

2: The B’s blew two two-goal leads in the last two weeks resulting in losses to the Caps and the Penguins.

2: Marchand scored his team-leading second short-handed goal of the season with the penalty shot against Washington. He is now one of three NHL players with multiple shorties this year.

2: The Bruins’ two road losses are tied for the fewest in the league with Montreal.

2.12: Boston’s 2.12 goals against per game is third-best in the league.

2:18: The Bruins scored three goals in a span of 2:18 in the first period of their 3-0 win against the Flyers on March 9. Goals went to Seguin (8), Kelly (2) and Daniel Paille (4).

2.92: Boston’s 2.92 goals per game are ninth in the league.

3: On March 3 against the Canadiens, Milan Lucic fought Brandon Prust for the third time in his career, marking the most he has ever fought a single player.

3: Dougie Hamilton was called for just his third penalty of the season on March 11 against Ottawa. He served a cross checking penalty at 6:27 of the third period. It was his first penalty taken since Feb. 21.

3: Thornton has three points in his last four games. He had one in January and February combined.

3: The Bruins have only been outshot three times this year, with the most dramatic of these coming on Tuesday when Pittsburgh outshot them, 34-16.

3.2: Seguin’s 3.2 shots on goal per game are 32nd in the league.

4: There were four boarding calls made in the March 2 game against Tampa Bay, three of which went against the Bruins.

4: Boston’s four regulation losses are the fewest in the Eastern Conference and trail just Chicago and Anaheim for fewest in the league.

4.25: In four career starts against the Capitals, Rask has a 4.25 goals against average.

5: Five players have 10 or more assists on the season, all of whom are forwards.

5: David Krejci leads the team with five power-play assists. Rich Peverley is second with three.

6: Though he still leads the team in goals with 12, Marchand has not scored since March 5 against the Capitals – six games ago.

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This Week In Boston Bruins History: March 10-16

While one Bruins legend turned 95 last week, we look back on the life of another one this week. Also featured, are a double-digit winning streak, milestone victories for a pair of legendary coaches (including also the final win for one of them) and a pair of lasts against two of the teams from the early years of the league. This is This Week In Boston Bruins History.

March 10: 

On March 10, 1929, the Bruins beat the Rangers, 3-2, to begin a nine-game winning streak. The ninth game? The Stanley Cup clincher against those same Rangers in New York.

On March 10, 1942, legendary coach, Art Ross, won his 300th game as coach of the Bruins in convincing fashion as the team scored a season-high nine goals in a 9-1 win over the Black Hawks. The B’s finished 25-17-6 that year. Ross would spend three more seasons behind the Boston bench and accumulated an overall record of 361-277-90 as well as winning the 1939 Stanley Cup.

On March 10, 1971, the Bruins won their eighth consecutive game, 8-1, over those California Golden Seals. They would go on to win five more before their streak ended at 13.

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