BostonBruins.com - Matt Bartkowski had been awaiting his chance to get back into the Bruins' lineup.
When he did get in, he knew he would be a more confident player.
"Yeah, I'll be myself," he anticipated. "Mentally, I'm where I need to be, whereas before, I was just lacking confidence."
After seven games as a healthy scratch, and the Black and Gold coming off back-to-back 6-1 and 5-1 road losses, he was awarded that chance on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins came away with a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.
"I think I did alright, for how much time I sat out," Bartkowski said after the win, and after 17 days between games. "I was moving, didn’t really give them too much, a few chances but other than that, it went pretty well."
BostonBruins.com - Tuukka Rask likes to get right back it after a tough loss.
Wednesday night in Toronto qualified as that, with the netminder being replaced by Niklas Svedberg at just 3:32 into the second period after the Bruins fell down 4-0 in an eventual 6-1 loss.
There wasn't much help in front of him, with the Bruins all agreeing that the only thing they did together as a team on Wednesday was play poorly.
He had entered the game with a 10-2-0 record against Toronto, along with a 1.59 goals-against average and .954 save percentage.
"It wasn’t my best night, it wasn’t the team’s best night, and we just have to live with that and move on," Rask told reporters in Toronto.
On Thursday night, he sat and watched from the backup seat at the Bell Centre as the Bruins were scorched again, this time 5-1, at the hands of the Canadiens.
WILMINGTON, Mass. - The Bruins were back on the ice for practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday morning, following a rough road trip through Toronto and Montreal.
Prior to practice, David Krejci skated with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides. Krejci did not travel with the team and has been still dealing with his day-to-day undisclosed injury.
Friday marked the centerman's first day back skating since last playing against the Edmonton Oilers on November 6. Towards the end of the skate, he practiced wraparounds and one-timers, before wrapping up after a half hour.
MONTREAL - The Bruins went into Thursday night at the Bell Centre looking to rebound from a tough 6-1 loss the night before in Toronto.
"I don't think there is a right place to get back on the bike, except to get back on it," Head Coach Claude Julien said an hour before puck drop. "It was a real off night for us [in Toronto] in all areas."
The team scrapped that game, and tried not to consumed by the frustration.
"The biggest thing is to show the character that you have as a group and bounce back with a much better game," Julien said.
The Bruins did that for 20 minutes in Montreal, before collapsing in the second period and then not pushing back in the third, as they fell 5-1 for their second straight loss.
"We played the way we wanted to play [in the first] and we got the results we wanted to after one period," Julien said following the loss. "But to make a long story short, we weren't able to sustain it."
TORONTO - The Bruins don't give up six goals often. They don't usually allow three power play goals in a single game. They don't give up time and space freely.
Against the Maple Leafs, Phil Kessel and company are usually kept on tight watch. The middle of the ice gets closed off. When odd-man rushes happen, Tuukka Rask - with his 1.64 goals-against average against Toronto in tow - makes the stops.
But the Bruins defied their own odds on Wednesday night, dropping a 6-1 decision to the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
"We were just terrible all around," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said from outside the visiting team room after the game, noting that he didn't have enough time to talk about the lesson learned in the loss.
Because of that fact, his time speaking with media finished about 60 seconds after that statement.
"As a coach, there's not much you can say on a night like tonight," Julien said. "We just stunk the joint out."
Down 1-0 after the first, the Bruins allowed Phil Kessel to pot his second of the night just 18 seconds into the middle frame. A big rebound was fired past Tuukka Rask 1:16 later. Kessel was then tripped up in the Bruins' offensive zone, and a power play produced a 4-0 lead for the Leafs 1:58 after that, prompting Niklas Svedberg to replace Rask between the pipes.
James van Riemsdyk added the 5-0 dagger on the man advantage before the second period was halfway gone.
TORONTO - The Bruins kick off a two-game road trip against divisional opponents starting on Wednesday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, before heading to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Thursday.
The Black and Gold head into the matchup on a five-game win streak, while the Leafs have won two straight, putting up five goals in both wins over New York and Ottawa.
In October, the Bruins took the first meeting of the season between the two teams, posting a 4-1 win in their first game after Zdeno Chara was sidelined with his knee injury.
With players forced to step up to fill the void, the end result was a greater focus on playing a team game and respecting the system.
"Like we always say, it doesn't really matter who's in the lineup," Dennis Seidenberg said following the Bruins' optional pregame skate on Wednesday morning. "Zee is a big part, huge part of our team, but if everybody sticks to the system, communicates, we're doing fine and I think we just have to keep continuing to get better and just work hard."
"We play well defensively, and go from there."
"You know, we've got some good players on this team and you lose a few players here or there, you rely a lot on your team concept and your structure and you play as best you can," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.
BOSTON - By now you've already seen the end-to-end goal by Seth Griffith.
The highlight reel tally proved to be the game-winner en route to the Bruins' 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night at TD Garden. It helped them pick up their fifth straight win.
After being hemmed in the Bruins' zone, Griffith went on his right knee to block a shot from the left point by New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador. Absorbing the puck and then rushing through center ice, Griffith nearly split the defense before being double-teamed by Marek Zidlicky and Salvador.
Still racing towards the net, Griffith got around Salvador and outmuscled Zidlicky just before the blue paint. With his back to the net, Griffith then found the puck on his backhand and flipped it between his legs and under Cory Schneider's left pad.
The goal gave Boston a 3-2 lead with 1:59 left in the second period, and sent the Garden crowd into a frenzy, roaring when the replay was shown.
Chris Kelly made sure to watch the replay as well.
"It's one of those great goals where he blocks a shot and goes down and wins a battle - you didn’t realize how nice it was until you saw it on the replay," Kelly said postgame. "It was a great goal by him. Obviously it’s nice to be the game-winner, too."
A few questions into Kelly's time in the locker room speaking with reporters, Griffith walked into the room for his own media session. Most of the reporters parted ways with the alternate captain so that they could hear what the 21-year-old game-winning-goal scorer had to say.
BOSTON - David Krejci was absent from the ice when the Bruins returned to practice on Sunday morning at TD Garden.
"He's day-to-day, we'll leave it at that," Head Coach Claude Julien said following the skate. "He's still going through the same thing."
Krejci returned to the lineup on Thursday night after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. He has not been part of the Bruins' past two practices. The team was off on Saturday.
His status for Monday night's game against the New Jersey Devils is in question.
Julien was asked if Krejci's situation is something "chronic" that the bench boss will have to manage for a while moving forward.
"No, I think those are just speculations," Julien responded. "So I'm not going to comment more on that, but those are speculations right now."
Kelly's versatility has made the lineup juggling fairly easy for the Bruins so far in Krejci's absence.
"I roll with the punches," Kelly said after Friday's practice. "I think just you have some chemistry with certain guys, and then you're bouncing around and trying to figure out the strengths of other guys and things like that, but everyone, if you're communicating, it makes things easier."
WILMINGTON, Mass. - Defenseman Torey Krug was back practicing with the Bruins on Friday at Ristuccia Arena for the first time since having his left pinky finger broken with a slash.
Krug suffered the injury on October 28 against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.
"It's doing well. It's coming along nicely, made some good progress the last couple days," a smiling Krug said following Friday's skate. "And it's great to be back on the ice with my teammates, and competing and everything like that, so it's feeling better, that's for sure."
He had his left pinky finger wrapped in black tape.
"It was pretty bad," Krug smiled, acknowledging the photo of his broken finger that had surfaced around social media the night of the injury. "I mean, it's a freak accident, you know. You get slashed all the time, and it caught me in the perfect spot."
"It's not a good feeling - obviously you could see my reaction on the ice, but it's alright. It's feeling good, feeling better and hopefully I'll be back soon."
Krug has missed five games with the injury. The Bruins have Saturday off, and then will hit the ice Sunday for practice before hosting the New Jersey Devils on Monday night at TD Garden.
The blueliner's not sure what his status will be for the game.
WILMINGTON, Mass. - Defenseman David Warsofsky, who was filling in on the Bruins' blueline in the wake of injuries, will now be out for a while with an undisclosed injury.
"I know he's out for a while, I don't know how long," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said on Friday following the team's practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Warsofsky's absence from practice prompted the update.
"I haven't seen him today, to be honest with you," said Julien. "So I don't know [the situation], to be honest with you. I can't tell you more about that. When guys are injured, they're out of my sight. I deal with players who are healthy, and sometimes they could be here, sometimes they could be getting checked by a doctor, I have no idea."
Julien stressed the fact that he's not a doctor, but knows that Warsofsky is dealing with more than just a day-to-day situation. He did not know the amount of time the defenseman is projected to miss.
Warsofsky saw power play time amidst the Bruins' three-goals-in-three-minutes barrage in the third period of Thursday night's 5-2 over Edmonton at TD Garden. That served as his final shift of the night, with 6:46 left.
"I mean, those injuries don't always come at the greatest of times and you've got to - again, same with everybody else - we've just got to live with it, and adjust," said Julien.