BOSTON - The cheering echoes in the distance, the clapping thunders, and the stream of 30,000 runners is constant.
The scene towards the end of the 119th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 20 was celebratory, despite the consistent rainfall that was starting to pick up.
Out of those thousands of runners, a group of 30 finished the race with the Spoked-B on their chests, right above their pinned on numbers, representing the Boston Bruins Foundation.
The runners together raised $150,00 for the foundation.
"It was actually by Fenway Park where I got choked up and got really emotional," said Brittany Young, who works with the Boston Bruins Foundation and finished her fourth Boston Marathon on Monday. "Taking this corner, from Mile 23 to here I was like, 'alright, we're done,' and then I got to the corner and I was like, 'I don't want it to end,' so I actually purposely started running slower and and really relish each moment."
BOSTON — Charlie Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North’s Boston Holdings, and Boston Bruins President Cam Neely addressed the media at TD Garden on Wednesday afternoon, several hours after announcing that Peter Chiarelli had been relieved of his duties as general manager of the Bruins.
Jacobs said he and Neely, among others, came to their decision on Tuesday at the conclusion of “an ongoing dialogue.” Chiarelli was informed of the decision on Wednesday morning, Jacobs said.
“It was really about, how do we improve our club moving forward?” Jacobs said. “And it’s a task — or, frankly, an audit — that we take every year after the season is over. This season happened to end a lot earlier than many [others] for us, and we’ve been very fortunate in that regard.
“I think Peter had a very good tenure here, when you think about the stretch of playoffs — one, trips to the playoffs, and two, success in the playoffs — that he’s had. But it became time, we believe, to separate and move forward.”
BostonBruins.com - USA Hockey announced on Tuesday that defenseman Torey Krug has been named to the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship from May 1-17 in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic.
It marks Krug's first time playing for Team USA.
The native of Livonia, Michigan suited up in 78 games for the Bruins this season, registering 39 points with 12 goals and 27 assists. He played his first full NHL season in 2013-14, putting up 40 points through 79 games off 14 goals and 26 assists.
Krug's U.S. hockey roots began in Michigan, and then he worked his way to the junior level, playing for the Indiana Ice in the United States Hockey League. He then played three years for Michigan State, serving as captain of the Spartans, before signing with Boston as an undrafted free agent in March 2012 and spending most of the 2012-13 season in Providence.
BostonBruins.com - On Monday at TD Garden, players filtered in and out of the locker room, holding court speaking with reporters in front of their stalls, and sitting down for meetings with their bench boss and general manager, who also addressed the media during a joint press conference.
Following another 82 games, the Bruins were left uneasy and lamenting their 2014-15 season, instead of preparing for their eighth straight playoff appearance.
From all of the players, to Head Coach Claude Julien, to General Manager Peter Chiarelli, everyone voiced his own shortcomings and took responsibility for the disappointing end.
"Obviously we didn’t deliver this season, and that’s why we’re talking here on April 13th," said David Krejci. "It’s obviously not a good feeling."
Blame can be pointed in all directions.
"I think it’s really about us not playing to our potential," said Patrice Bergeron. "I think no one’s going to stand here and say that they’ve had a good year or that they’ve overachieved, obviously. It’s a definite down year for us and we didn’t get the results because of it."
BOSTON — As the Bruins packed up their lockers on Monday afternoon at TD Garden and were asked to pinpoint the reason why they are beginning their summer vacations rather than their playoff preparation, one word came up over and over again:
“We didn’t play consistent hockey, even within the games,” said goaltender Tuukka Rask. “We barely put a 60-minute game together, so that won’t take you too far, obviously. But we battled, and we were really close, but when you can’t find that consistency over the course of 82 games, you have failed as a team. That’s why we’re not in the playoffs.”
The Bruins’ Opening Day win back on Oct. 8, it seems, would epitomize what was to come for this club throughout the 2014-15 season. They scored the opening goal against the Flyers, but despite outshooting Philadelphia 33-20, they couldn’t put another puck in the back of the net — that is, until Chris Kelly got the job done with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
The Bruins eked out a victory, and for most of the season, those same themes plagued them: too many close calls, too many missed opportunities and an inability to score when they needed it most.
TAMPA, Fla. - The Bruins entered Saturday night with a chance.
By the time the puck dropped on Game 82 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, they were relying not only on themselves to pick up a win, but on the Pittsburgh Penguins to drop a loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
It shouldn't have come to this, but it did.
By the time Boston trailed Tampa Bay 2-1 early in the third, it didn't matter if they pushed to earn the two points. Halfway through the third period, the Bruins knew their fate, with Pittsburgh's 2-0 win over Buffalo.
For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Spoked-B wouldn't be in the postseason.
"Well, I think everybody's pretty down right now. When you don't make the playoffs, as you know, you've failed," Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame from Tampa, following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Bolts that would have no implications moving forward.
"You like to think that everybody in there is a proud athlete and is certainly not taking this lightly, and I know all of us seem to be feeling the same way right now. Disappointing, to say the least, it's a failed season for us."
TAMPA, Fla. - The Bruins and Lightning both have something to play for on Saturday night, when the puck drops on Game No. 82 of the season for both sides.
The Black and Gold's "something" just happens to have greater consequences.
With Pittsburgh dropping a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night, the Bruins had three scenarios on Saturday that would put them into the postseason.
The first depends on Ottawa's Saturday afternoon game in Philadelphia (which was a 2-1 lead for Ottawa after the second period as these hands are typing at 2:20 p.m. ET). With an Ottawa loss in regulation, and a Bruins win in fashion on Saturday, they would clinch.
The other two scenarios depend on the Penguins, and their matchup against the Sabres in Buffalo on Saturday night (a 7:00 p.m. start, with Boston's game against Tampa Bay set for 7:30). Regardless of the outcome of the Ottawa game, the Bruins would clinch a playoff spot if: Pittsburgh loses in regulation and they win in any fashion, or if Pittsburgh loses in overtime or a shootout, and they win in regulation.
TAMPA — Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien knows there will be no need to issue a fiery pregame speech in Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
He knows what is at stake. The players know what is at stake. At this stage, all they can do is execute, and then hope for the best.
“We know we’re playing against a great team, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against; it’s what you have to do,” Julien said following Boston’s pregame skate at Amalie Arena on Saturday morning. “You have to get the result. You have to have a win. It’s about winning a hockey game, and you have to be able to go out there and not be tight, and play with energy.
“That’s the challenge for us tonight, is not to be tight and have the energy that you need in order to succeed. If we can accomplish that, I think we’re going to give ourselves a good chance.”
The Bruins could be playing scared on Saturday night in the regular-season finale against the Lightning. They could be playing tight, knowing that their chances of extending the season further are nil if they fail to get two points.
TAMPA, Fla. - Following a back-to-back in D.C. and Sunrise against the Capitals and Panthers, the Bruins did not hold a practice on Friday in Tampa. They next face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
With the team off and, as a result, no media availability, General Manager Peter Chiarelli made himself available to the Boston media at the team's hotel.
Not surprisingly, the GM was asked many questions about the disappointment of the club slipping out of a playoff position with Thursday night's 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.
To make the postseason, Boston now needs a win over Tampa Bay, and either the Ottawa Senators to lose in regulation to Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, or the Pittsburgh Penguins to only pick up one point between their final two games, against the Islanders on Friday night and then the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
SUNRISE — Now, with their backs pushed as far against the wall as they have been all season, the Bruins’ fate is out of their hands.
Now, they need help; they didn’t want to be in this situation, but back-to-back losses to Washington and Florida have cost them. Now, they are out of a playoff spot with just one game left to play, and it is going to take a win, coupled with someone else’s loss, in order to continue the 2014-15 season into next week.
“It’s tough,” said forward Chris Kelly following a 4-2 loss to the Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday night. “We’re a proud group that’s always wanted to do things on our own, and now we’re looking for help.
“I think we’re good enough. Obviously, we’re here battling for a playoff spot; a lot of teams have been eliminated. I think we’ve got a talented group in here, and it’s unfortunate that we’re not getting the results that we’re used to.”