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Get the latest from the Bruins Beat with Caryn Switaj & Jess Isner and follow on Twitter at @NHLBruins

POSTED ON Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 3:09 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BUFFALO — Every team goes through it. Every team deals with injuries, with inconsistency. Every team endures hot streaks, and every team endures cold streaks.

The Bruins are struggling to find consistency in their game right now, and for them, the solution is just about getting back to basics, keeping it simple and trying to find a spark that will help them get on a roll as they prepare to face the Sabres at the First Niagara Center on Thursday night.

“I think the easiest way [to build consistency] is just to keep things simple,” said forward Reilly Smith. “It was tough, the way last game ended. We obviously wanted to kind of build on the little bit of consistency we had going into that game, so kind of just have to bounce back now and keeps things simple.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 6:39 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com - As the Bruins hit the ice in their Spoked-B practice jerseys on Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., there were different faces in different color schemes.

With the team at 5-6-0 on the season and struggling with inconsistency, Head Coach Claude Julien decided to mix it up.

“You know what, guys? Every coach, every team does that, so obviously there’s some guys that aren’t quite playing at their level and they’re struggling to find their game; some are just line combinations,” Julien told reporters following practice, before the team traveled to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Thursday night.

“So, we make changes.”

Reilly Smith, facing a slower start to the season than he expected, skated in a burgundy jersey on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell.

Brad Marchand wore a gray jersey, with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Matt Fraser filled in for Marchand, when he left practice early after “tweaking something,” according to Julien, who hoped he would be in Thursday’s lineup.

With those switches, Patrice Bergeron was flanked by Chris Kelly and Simon Gagne, all in the gold jerseys.

“You switch up the lines to try and spark some energy, create some new chemistry,” said Smith. “So it’s to be expected. Me, March and Berg haven’t had the same chemistry we had last year, so you mix things up and hope that something new will create and we’ll see next game, how it works out.”


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 4:09 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

WILMINGTON, Mass. - The Bruins’ blueline is already without Zdeno Chara, sidelined for four to six weeks by a left knee injury, and Kevan Miller, out indefinitely with a dislocated right shoulder.

On Wednesday morning, General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that Torey Krug will miss two to three weeks with a broken finger.

Krug sustained the injury in Tuesday night’s game against Minnesota on his final shift, after taking a slash.

For reinforcements, the Bruins called up David Warsofsky and Joe Morrow from Providence to travel with the team to Buffalo in advance of Thursday’s matchup with the Sabres. Zach Trotman also remains with the team.

“I mean, if we sat here in August and said this is what was going to happen to the D corps here, I think we would have all been shaking our heads,” Warsofsky said before flying to Buffalo with the team. “So it’s a little bit different, but for me, it’s an opportunity and that’s how I’m looking at it, just to take advantage of it.”

Once again, the Bruins will need to rely on their defensive structure, operating as one unit with support all over the ice. This won’t just fall on the defense.

“For us, with our system, it’s about not just about the defensmen, but really the whole aspect of all the guys on the ice and playing a good system,” Patrice Bergeron said following Wednesday’s practice. “And that’s what we need to have.”


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 11:02 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON - The Bruins had taken a step forward.

They were one victory away from a winning record entering Tuesday night's game against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.

The Wild was the tired team. It had suffered a crushing blow the night before, allowing five third period goals in a 5-4 loss to the Rangers in New York City.

Instead, the Bruins let a 3-1 lead get away from them, allowing three goals in the final 20 minutes for a 4-3 loss to the Wild, and a 5-6-0 record.

"We should have been the fresher team," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "We knew they were going to compete hard, that's the way that team plays all the time."

"So it was up to us to push the pace all night long, and we didn't do that."

Boston entered the final frame with a 3-1 lead off two net-drive goals from rookie Seth Griffith, and a third goal on the power play from Milan Lucic, assisted by Griffith and Torey Krug.

"Well, that's probably the brightest thing of the night for us, was the fact that Seth really played a strong game," said Julien. "If there's anybody that should be walking out of there with his head up high, it's him."

"It's kind of hard to be happy about the two goals," said Griffith. "Obviously the win's more important, so it's too bad we didn't have a very good third."


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 2:41 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON - The Bruins have been pushing to get a winning record, something they have yet to achieve since opening the season on October 8 with a win over Philadelphia.

Sitting at 5-5-0 on the season, the Black and Gold have an opportunity to do just that as they host the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

"We don't want to take any steps backwards," alternate captain Chris Kelly said on Tuesday morning following the team's pregame skate. "I thought that we played a really good team game in Toronto. The 6 D back there played unbelievable, I thought our four lines played well, played the exact same way - worked hard, skated, defended well and capitalized on some offensive opportunities - so that's got to be the effort."

"We need to play that way in order to have success - that's been our bread and butter for a lot of years."

The Bruins' 4-1 win over Toronto on Saturday proved that if they operate as one unit, and support each other with defensive layers all over the ice, they'll find the success they've been accustomed to.


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POSTED ON Monday, 10.27.2014 / 6:19 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON - Halloween came a few days early for the patients at Boston Children's Hospital.

On Monday, the Bruins made their annual visit to Boston Children's, reverse trick-or-treating and surprising the children with Bruins' goodies and signing autographs.

Through the years, there have been a number of memorable costumes, like Zdeno Chara as a bunny, or Dougie Hamilton's get-up last year as a 6-foot-5 baby.

This time around, the Bruins took it to another level, dressing up as the cast of the hit Disney movie, "Frozen."

Kevan Miller was dressed as Kristoff, Matt Fraser as Anna, Matt Bartkowski as Sven the Reindeer, Seth Griffith as Hans, Torey Krug as Olaf the Snowman and Hamilton as Elsa, the Snow Queen.


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POSTED ON Monday, 10.27.2014 / 1:51 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON - The Bruins hit the ice for practice on Monday morning at TD Garden, following an off day on Sunday.

The group remained the same, with the exception of defenseman Joe Morrow, who was assigned to the Providence Bruins on Sunday.

Kevan Miller remains out indefinitely with a dislocated right shoulder, while Zdeno Chara is sidelined with his left knee injury for about four to six weeks.

The Bruins' defense corps has begun to adjust without the two shutdown defensemen, and in doing so, put up a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs in their first test on Saturday.

The real challenge, though, will be sustaining that effort moving forward.

"Well, that's just it. I think when look at our situation, we played well last game, but that's just one game," Head Coach Claude Julien stressed following Monday's practice. "We have to be able to sustain it, that's the challenge that we have right now and that's the challenge that we're facing and that we've got to respond to."

"We've got to continue doing that on a daily basis, whether it's in practice or in games, continue to stay on top of our game here in order to compensate for losses to not just Zdeno, but Miller's been a pretty reliable defenseman back there, so we've got to continue to play the way we did last game and try and improve still."


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POSTED ON Sunday, 10.26.2014 / 6:03 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com - Entering Saturday night's game in Toronto, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had missed just 11 games due to injury since joining the Bruins prior to the 2006-07 season.

Chara had not been in the lineup for 20 out of possible 631 games overall in his time with Boston.

The remaining nine games came from other reasons, like coach's decision at the end of the regular season, or the two games the captain missed to carry his country's flag in the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympics.

"It's a great test for us," defenseman Torey Krug said, prior to the matchup against the Leafs. "I think everyone in here is excited about the opportunity to come together and put together a complete team effort."

"Anytime you have a big part of your team go down, the rest of the team has to come together and step up and fill that void, so it's a good opportunity for guys that maybe don't play those minutes and we're excited about the challenge."

With Chara's diagnosis - out four to six weeks with a left knee injury (PCL tear) - he could end up missing at least a dozen games.

"Did we lose a good player? We did. Is he a big part of our team? Yes, he is. But, you know, I'd like to think we're better than that, than to feel sorry for ourselves or get discouraged," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "That's not the case in our dressing room."


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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.25.2014 / 11:31 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

TORONTO - If you're the Boston Bruins, success comes from defense.

When your main defensive weapon is not available, your method for success doesn't change.

Keeping that game plan, the Bruins picked up a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night in their first test of at least a month without captain Zdeno Chara.

"I don't think we changed anything," said Dougie Hamilton, who tied a career high with a three-point night off a goal and two assists.

"I think it's just a lot of focus and everybody knew without him, everyone had to step up. So I don't think it's one guy - it's everyone as a team and our D corps and everything, and I thought we did well. Probably our best defensive game this year."

The Bruins sustained the full 60-minute effort they had been looking for, after coming up short earlier this week against the Isles.

"Well, we were more structured," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "Sometimes, there are things that brings it to attention."

"We spoke about that the last couple of days, about making sure we got better, and not just because Zdeno got hurt but because we weren't playing well enough within our structure."


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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.25.2014 / 1:48 PM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

TORONTO - The Bruins face off against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in the first meeting between the two division rivals this season.

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).

The Bruins are currently below .500, nine game into the season at 4-5-0, and are looking to bounce back from their 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Despite a losing effort in that game, Boston had a strong third period that they'd like to replicate for a full 60 minutes on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Leafs have been waiting around for the Black and Gold since Tuesday, when they took a 5-2 win from the Isles.

Saturday night in Toronto is the first game Boston will play without captain Zdeno Chara in the lineup. Bruins General Manager announced on Friday morning that Chara is out four to six weeks with a left knee injury (PCL tear).

"It's going to have to be done by committee here," Adam McQuaid said following the Bruins' optional skate on Saturday morning at the ACC. "And if everyone just chips in and does what they do, and worries about that, that's all we can do."

"It's a great test for us," said Torey Krug. "I think everyone in here is excited about the opportunity to come together and put together a complete team effort."

"Anytime you have a big part of your team go down, the rest of the team has to come together and step up and fill that void, so it's a good opportunity for guys that maybe don't play those minutes and we're excited about the challenge."


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 10 8 2 0 27 26 16
2 TBL 10 6 3 1 34 26 13
3 DET 9 5 2 2 22 19 12
4 OTT 8 5 2 1 22 17 11
5 BOS 11 5 6 0 29 28 10
6 TOR 9 4 4 1 25 25 9
7 FLA 7 2 2 3 10 16 7
8 BUF 10 2 8 0 11 33 4

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 8 3 6 4 9
M. Lucic 11 2 6 2 8
C. Soderberg 11 3 4 -2 7
C. Kelly 11 2 5 3 7
T. Krug 11 2 4 2 6
P. Bergeron 11 1 5 -2 6
S. Griffith 7 3 2 0 5
D. Hamilton 11 2 3 -1 5
L. Eriksson 11 2 3 1 5
R. Smith 11 2 2 -2 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 1 2 0 .951 1.57
T. Rask 4 4 0 .899 2.81
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