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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 2:49 PM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com - Even though they hold a 2-0 series lead, the Bruins know they can’t let up. They learned that during their first round series against Toronto, in which they had a 3-1 lead in the series, but allowed the Maple Leafs to force a seventh game.

“I think we need to be aware with them being down 2-0 and realize that they're going to be a lot better,” said Daniel Paille, after the B’s optional morning skate Tuesday morning. “We felt that we had two strong games, but we can always improve. We don't want to do too much, just add a little bit more effort, a little more grit.”

The Rangers have recent experience being down 2-0, having won their first round series against the Washington Capitals by coming back to win the final four out five games and advance.

“We obviously know what happened against Washington, them being down 2-0 again,” said Brad Marchand. “We want to make sure that we don't take it for granted. They played an extremely hard game. This series could be in a completely different situation right now if we didn't get a couple lucky bounces.

“We want to make sure we bring our best game tonight and hope for the best.”


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POSTED ON Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 8:07 PM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON, MA – "Don’t be afraid to make mistakes." That was B’s Head Coach Claude Julien’s message to Torey Krug when the young blueliner was recalled from Providence before Game One against New York.

And that has been the focus that Julien wants all of his defensemen to have, including Krug’s fellow rookie teammates on the blueline, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski, as they get their first taste of postseason play.

“I said, ‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,’” Julien told reporters, of his message to Krug. “I don’t want him playing on his heels. In other words, I told him, ‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and play your game.’ So that was basically what I told him when he first got here."

"I said, ‘You know, I know how good you are, I know what you can bring to this team, just go out there and do it.’ I think it’s important, but the last thing you want to do is get those guys to play on their heels or play afraid to make a mistake."


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POSTED ON Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 8:26 AM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com – The Bruins and Rangers resume their second round series on Sunday afternoon on TD Garden, and after their 3-2 overtime win in Game One that saw Brad Marchand net the winner 15:40 into OT, the B’s are expecting the Blue Shirts to come out hungry in an attempt to tie the series at a game a piece.

“We expect them to come hard at us,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien following Bruins practice on Saturday. “We expected them to come hard at us last game, too. Our D’s handled it well, our forwards did a great job of coming back. It’s just a matter of being ready to up your game because the other team is going to be better.

“That should be something that you know automatically. We saw some things in our game that we talked about in our dressing room that we’ve got to improve on. That’s the adjustments you make game to game in these kinds of series.”

Game time is 3:00 p.m. ET. Catch the action on NBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and as always, the Bruins official Twitter feed @NHLBruins will post live updates from TD Garden.


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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 4:25 PM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON, MA – The Bruins and New York Rangers kick off their second round series tonight at TD Garden, in what is expected to be a hard-fought, defense-first type of series between the two Original Six rivals.

“I know we’re both gritty teams,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien. “We’ll go and grind it out. We don’t have all these so-called superstar players that can dictate the game one way or another. It’s about what we do as a group, and the same thing goes for them, I’m sure.

“It just makes for a good battle. The team that wins this series is the team that’s going to want to battle it out more than the other, be grittier, and get their noses dirtier than the other team. That’s what I anticipate, anyways.”

Both teams are coming off Game Seven victories in the first round and are anxious to start up a new round.

“You have two teams here that are excited to be here,” said Rangers goalie and Vezina Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist. “We're all excited players to get going in the second round.”


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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 9:15 AM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com – Both the Bruins and New York Rangers are coming off of Game 7 victories in their first round series. The B’s, of course, needing a comeback for the ages to take down the Toronto Maple Leafs, while the Blue Shirts handled business on the road, blanking the Washington Capitals, 5-0.

The two Original Six rivals will meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting on Thursday night at TD Garden, marking their first playoff match-up since the 1973 NHL Quarterfinals (the Rangers won in five games), in a rematch coming after the Bruins took the 1972 Cup from New York. Now, it appears the rivalry might be renewed.

“It's the first time for me since I've been here,” said B’s assistant captain Patrice Bergeron. “I've been here for 10 years, so it's been a long time. It's going to be fun, it's going to be interesting, obviously, there's some big rivalries with football and baseball.

“In hockey, I don't think it's any different, it's always tough games against them. We're expecting the same thing. They're a good team, it's going to be tough, we're going to have to fight for every inch.”


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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 8:51 AM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON, MA – Just 37 seconds into Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, the Bruins were down to five healthy defensemen. Dennis Seidenberg was injured after taking only two shifts, leaving the B’s defense corps in major trouble.

But the D group that remained stepped up, led by captain Zdeno Chara who logged almost 36 minutes of ice time in the Bruins epic comeback. Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid also helped guide the way, but the most impressive performances may have come from the Bruins two youngest D-men.

Matt Bartkowski, playing in just his second career playoff game, tallied a career-high 24:51 (his next highest time on ice total was 16:36 on April 11 against the New York Islanders) and netted his first-ever NHL goal at 5:39 of the first period, to put the Bruins up, 1-0. Rookie Dougie Hamilton played 21:08 (his second highest minutes total of the season) in only the third playoff game of his young career.

“Sure it was,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, when asked if playing so much in a Game 7 was beneficial for Hamilton and Bartkowski. “I think, again, we went down to five D’s in the first couple of minutes of the game. When you look at the ice time they got – they got quite a bit – and they did a great job. For them, it’s important that they build on that and take the confidence that they had in that game and carry it into the next series.”


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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 4:16 PM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON, MA – The B's held an optional skate on Thursday, not solely because they took a 3-1 series lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night, but they did some earn some R & R in the process.

In the Bruins 4-3 overtime victory in Game 4, do-anything-to-win mentality was on full display. Players were sacrificing, diving in front of shots, taking hits to make plays and draw penalties.

Chris Kelly, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton were all banged up in the win, but none were forced to leave the game.

Why? Because they’re hockey players – and it’s the postseason.

“It’s playoffs,” said Rich Peverley, when asked what it was like to see his teammates blocking shots and getting stitches during Game 4. “Everyone’s been through it. There’s going to be different injuries and things happen.

“This is playoffs, you’ve got to do whatever it takes.”


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 5:57 PM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com – The physicality of both the Bruins and the Maple Leafs has been on display through the first three games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The two squads have combined for 245 hits in the three games, with Toronto holding a 129-116 edge.

“I don't think it's pleasant, there's been lots of hits,” said Andrew Ference pregame, when asked if the playoff series seemed tame compared to the others in the league. “Lots of good, hard hockey, there's been a couple of fights. I don't think it's been tame, I know when they forecheck, they forecheck pretty hard and it still feels like a pretty real hit to me.”

For the Bruins, the physical play has been driven by the line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic. Lucic has found his game in the playoffs, following a tough regular season. The winger leads the B’s with six assists in the three games and has registered 11 hits.

Lucic, along with Horton, are using their size and strength to create room for Krejci (two goals, five assists), who leads the team with seven points in the series. The two 'bash brothers' are getting in on the forecheck and driving hard to the net to create goals, wreaking havoc on the Maple Leafs.


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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 5:20 PM
By Eric Russo - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BOSTON, MA – While the Bruins did not skate Thursday and had the day off in preparation for Game 2, the Toronto Maple Leafs held practice at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena, following their 4-1 loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

There were some changes to the lineup in practice, both up front, and on the back end, mostly due to occurrences from Game 1. Defensemen Cody Franson and Michael Kostka, along with forward Phil Kessel, were the only three players missing for Toronto.

Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle said following the practice that Franson had sustained a bruise after getting hit by a shot and Kessel was a “maintenance day.” Carlyle also said Kostka suffered a broken bone in one of his fingers.

“[Kostka’s] now out,” said Carlyle following the practice. “We have choices of [Ryan] O’Byrne and [Jake] Gardiner [to replace him]. I would suggest that one of them, or maybe both of them, are going to play.”

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