NEW YORK - Heading into Wednesday night's matchup with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had a simple answer for what he wanted to see from his team.
They had just won two straight games, including a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
"Same thing. We need to be a solid team all-around, played a solid 60 minutes in the last game, and we're going to need more of that," said the bench boss. "We need consistency in our play and good trust and we need those 20 skaters coming in and doing their job."
"It's demanding a lot of your team, but it's what we're going to need here to progress along the way."
Julien didn't get the same thing from his squad, as they fell 3-2 to the Rangers.
"I don't think we competed hard enough to get to the net and get pucks to the net, so we gave them an easy night, as far as that was concerned," he said. "They played well. We didn't play well enough."
The Bruins didn't face Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, with the Rangers' starter sidelined by an upper-body injury. That didn't matter. Goalie Cam Talbot needed to make 18 of 20 saves for the win.
Boston didn't register its first shot on goal until 7:45 into the first period, when Adam McQuaid fired a drive that Talbot turned aside with his pad.
NEW YORK - Milan Lucic is expected to be in the Bruins' lineup on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers.
Lucic was en route to New York City from Boston when Head Coach Claude Julien addressed reporters at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday morning. The forward missed Tuesday's practice with the flu and did not travel with the team, instead staying back as he battled the flu.
"He’s on his way, he’s feeling better," Julien said. "So I guess projected right now that he will play tonight, if he’s on his way."
Lucic's centerman was glad to hear the news.
"It’s exciting, you don’t want to miss a guy like that; he’s a big part of the team," said David Krejci. "So definitely good news and can’t wait to play with him tonight."
That's positive news all around for the Bruins, who have mentioned to keep a healthy lineup amidst their recent stretch of success, winning eight of their past 10 games.
"We’re definitely going in the right direction," said Krejci. "We’re not where we want to be yet, but heading there, so got to keep the foot on the gas and just keep winning hockey games."
Despite consistently producing points, the Bruins can take a look at the standings and see themselves in the second Wild Card spot for a playoff position. The Washington Capitals jumped them by a point with a 4-0 win over the LA Kings.
WILMINGTON, Mass. - Loui Eriksson was back at practice on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena, as the Bruins hit the ice before traveling to New York City in anticipation of Wednesday's matchup with the Rangers.
Eriksson had been battling a stiff neck from taking a hit late in the third period of Saturday's eventual 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. He missed Monday's practice as a result.
"It's all right. I got treatments on it yesterday and felt better today when I woke up, so I felt good on the ice today," said Eriksson. "So it was a good day."
Luckily for the forward and his concussion history, the hit didn't affect his head. There was no worry from him in that regard.
"I didn't feel any headaches at all when I got hit," said Eriksson. "Felt my neck start burning so I was a little bit scared that something happened but as I went in [to the locker room], it felt better and it's been good today so it's a good thing."
Chris Kelly and Dennis Seidenberg were also back on the ice, after taking maintenance days along with Eriksson on Monday. Julien had anticipated all three Bruins would be at practice, and making the trip to New York, so it's a good sign that there was nothing to deter that.
BostonBruins.com - Tuukka Rask is in a groove.
The netminder has started eight straight games, most recently backing the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings and their eighth win in 10 games on Saturday night.
The victory capped off an 8-1-3 month of January for the Bruins. Rask started 11 of those games, going 7-1-3, including a 3-0 shutout of the New York Rangers on Jan. 15.
For his efforts, he was named the NHL's Third Star of the Month for January.
Rask and the Bruins only had one regulation loss throughout the month, coming on Jan. 17 against Columbus. Through his 11 appearances, he allowed just 18 goals for a 1.64 goals-against average and stopped 336 of 354 shots for a .949 save percentage .
Rask held opponents to two goals or less in nine of those 11 games.
"Tuukka’s been solid for so long," Daniel Paille said. "So even when he was playing [earlier in the season], he was still playing well — just no one was helping him."
"Maintenance days, for all three of them," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "I would expect them, all three, to be at practice [on Tuesday]."
Eriksson left Saturday night's win over Los Angeles late in the third period after taking a hit from Robyn Regehr into the boards.
"He’s doing OK," Julien said on Monday. "He’s stiff from that neck thing. He’s expected to be OK for the next game, but it wasn’t as, I guess, as severe as it could have been. But it was a neck injury."
Given Eriksson's two concussions last season that kept him out for nearly half of the 2013-14 campaign, the forward's exit from the game didn't look optimistic. But Julien confirmed that there is no worry in that regard.
"No. It was not concussion-related," said Julien. "It was neck-related."
WILMINGTON, Mass. - Within the first few minutes of Thursday night's eventual 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Long Island, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien made swift line changes with his right wingers.
The Bruins' fourth line stayed intact.
Isles bench boss Jack Capuano was trying to match his top line with John Tavares to Krejci's line, hoping to take advantage of the young Pastrnak and his 12 games of NHL experience heading into the matchup. Tavares is tough for vets to contain, let alone 18-year-olds.
"[Thursday] night, they were trying to exploit a young player, an 18-year-old, by putting their top line against him so I have to be willing to make those kind of changes, sometimes quicker than others," Julien said following the team's Friday practice at Ristuccia Arena. "And at the same time, we got good results from all the guys that moved around."
"I thought Reilly, as you know, had a good game and I thought that Loui played well on Bergy's line, and Dave, as the game went on, seemed to find his legs and his groove there with Carl's line, so wasn't a bad change in my mind."
WILMINGTON, Mass. - On Friday afternoon at Ristuccia Arena, following a few hours of pre-practice drills and a standard team skate with a shootout tacked on the end, Malcom Subban took a seat in his stall, took a minute to catch his breath, and took down a protein drink.
Just another day's work for the goaltender.
Only, this was after his first official NHL practice with the big club, following his first NHL recall on Friday morning.
"Just try to take a professional approach and get myself ready for practice and practice hard and try hard every shot," said Subban, of his approach to the callup. "And just be ready in case anything happens. When you're up here, anything can happen, so I'm just trying to stay focused right now and practice hard."
In his second year pro, Subban was taking in the experience of being in the Bruins' dressing room, seating next to Tuukka Rask's equipment, though his stay could due short.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced the recall in conjunction with another roster transaction that sent Boston's backup Niklas Svedberg to the Providence Bruins on a conditioning loan.
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins did not have practice on Tuesday, due to inclement weather.
They are set to practice on Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena at 12:00 p.m. ET, before traveling to Long Island to face the New York Islanders Thursday night in their first game following the NHL All-Star Break. The B's have been off since January 21, when they dropped a 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche in Colorado.
COLUMBUS - Patrice Bergeron has accolades upon accolades that give him all-star status.
He's a Stanley Cup winner, two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time Selke winner as the NHL's top defensive forward. He'll score, put up assists and backcheck until the end of time, making sure to take care of his own end.
The NHL All-Star Game doesn't always lend to the latter, with shutdown defensive structure not a high priority, as was the case in the 2015 version in Columbus at Nationwide Arena on Sunday night.
Bergeron and Team Toews took the game 17-12, with 92 total shots fired on goal, including four from the Bruins center in his first All-Star Game.
He scored one of his team's 17 goals and recorded four assists, setting up the Islanders' John Tavares for every one of his goals. He was a plus-4, went 57-percent on the faceoff dot and logged 14:35 in ice time, the third lowest total on the team, just above rookies Filip Forsberg and Johnny Gaudreau.
He was one of the candidates for MVP, though Columbus' Ryan Johansen earned the honors with some help from the home crowd.
Bergeron played like Bergeron. He wasn't flashy, though putting up the primary assist on a player's four goals gives a little flash to the night. He put his stick in the passing lanes, and just played his game.
COLUMBUS - The light atmosphere of NHL All-Star Weekend has lended itself to a more relaxed Patrice Bergeron.
After being the ninth selection of "Team Toews" during Friday night's NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, Bergeron walked the red carpet prior to Saturday night's Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena.
The Bruins center hasn't ever been flashy and never will be, but he's been embracing these star-studded events, like the NHL Awards in Las Vegas last June.
"Yeah its definitely different, I don't think I could get used to those red carpets but it's fun to see the fans and how people are happy to be here and love hockey," Bergeron said, after pausing for a dozen interviews on the red carpet. "So far it's been great and just looking forward to the Skills Competition."
For five days, the talk around the League and the Bruins has turned from scoring, forechecking, turnovers, wins and losses, and 'turning their game around,' to all-stars, red carpets, fantasy drafts, shootout moves and topics that don't pertain the 2014-15 season.
Knowing that, Bergeron has embraced the weekend for what it is - a time to enjoy it and relax, while knowing that once Monday rolls around, the mindset will shift right back to much more important matters.
When we caught up with the alternate captain before the Skills Competition, he was enjoying himself and preparing for his duties for the night on Jonathan Toews' team (Columbus' Nick Foligno is serving as captain of the other squad).