BostonBruins.com – The Bruins hit the ice this morning at United Center for their pre-game skate, in preparation for a crucial Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final. During Friday’s practice back in Boston, Carl Soderberg took the spot of Kaspars Daugavins on the fourth line, alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton.
Today, at the Bruins pre-game skate, Daugavins took the first rush with the fourth line, but alternated with Soderberg. B’s Head Coach Claude Julien would not commit to a final lineup.
“Why? Because I'm the coach, and because I can,” said Julien, when asked why he has tinkered with the fourth line. “You guys ask me why I make those changes. I didn't spend three days thinking about that. It's a situation that I can do. If I do that tonight, we'll see where it goes.
“I may just go back to Daugavins, because, again, I'm tinkering between those two, like I have from the beginning of the series.”
Soderberg played just six games during the regular season, which is why, Julien said, the native of Sweden has not seen any game action during the playoffs. But with the season-ending injury to Gregory Campbell in Game Three against Pittsburgh, a spot opened up.
BostonBruins.com – Defense will be number one on the list of priorities for the Bruins in Game Five against the Blackhawks tonight. The B’s had numerous breakdowns in their own end in Game Four – allowing a playoff-high six goals – and could not contain Chicago’s top-end offensive talent.
Patrick Kane tallied a goal and an assist, Jonathan Toews potted just his second goal of the playoffs, and Patrick Sharp also scored.
The Bruins aren’t too concerned about the defensive lapses as they prepare for Game Five. They feel that many of the mistakes they made in Game Four are easily correctable.
“I feel fine with it,” said forward Tyler Seguin of the team’s defensive game plan. “I think that we are a very consistent team in our D zone, so I think [Wendesday] night wasn't a night to remember in that part.
“But we’re a team that can definitely bounce back, and a team that, again, we’re successful when we’re staying at an even keel after wins or losses. We’re learning from it. We did video [Thursday] morning, and now were moving on.”
“Obviously it's a brand new series and its always hard to win on away ice. We want to come out a lot stronger than we did last time,” said forward Tyler Seguin, who stopped to talk to the media while signing autographs at the Bruins’ fan sendoff at TD Garden Friday morning.
“It’s tough, but we know we can do it,” added captain Zdeno Chara of the series returning back to Chicago tied 2-2. “We have a good enough team. We just have to be ready. It’s going to be a battle.”
Having already won a game in Chicago (a 2-1 win in Game Two), the Bruins know what it takes to play well in hostile territory.
BOSTON, MA – Before heading off to the airport to fly to Chicago for Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins practiced this morning at TD Garden. The B’s went through a fast-paced session that lasted for about 45 minutes.
The lineup remained the same, with the exception of the fourth line. Carl Soderberg replaced Kaspars Daugavins on the left wing, alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton. Daugavins returned to the group of extra forwards (Jay Pandolfo and Jordan Caron) that he had been skating with prior to entering the lineup following Gregory Campbell’s season-ending injury in Game Three against Pittsburgh.
Soderberg, talking during the B’s sendoff celebration at TD Garden, said he has not been informed that he will in the lineup for Game Five.
“Obviously I was on that [fourth] line [during practice], but I haven’t talked to Coach [Claude Julien] yet, so I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow,” said Soderberg.
BOSTON, MA – The Bruins have already bounced back from a tough overtime defeat in this Stanley Cup Final. After a deflating triple overtime loss in Game One of the Final, the Black & Gold rebounded, winning two straight to take the lead in the best-of-seven series. Now, after losing a 6-5 thriller in extra time in Game Four on Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Bruins must regroup and find a way to do it again.
“I said it last night, you move on. It's one loss. We've got two wins, we've got two losses. It's about preparing for the next game, and our mood is fine,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, who met with the media at TD Garden Thursday afternoon.
“Who wouldn't be happy to be in the Stanley Cup Finals? You've got to remember where we are and what's at stake here, and certainly not hang your head over a loss. Last time I looked it was an overtime loss, so it's not like we didn't play well, but it's not like we were pushed out of a game here. We had a chance to win that anyways.”
BostonBruins.com – The Bruins have a chance to take a 3-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at TD Garden. But even though the B’s have seemingly shutdown the Blackhawks’ offense over the past five periods of action, they are staying focused on the task at hand - Game Four.
“We’ve been in this position before this year in the playoffs and you’ve got to go out there and play on your toes and play to win,” said Milan Lucic of how the Bruins are preparing for Game Four. “You got to approach it the same way the Hawks are going to approach it and that’s play to win and it’s the Stanley Cup Final. There’s no gimmes – I know we are up 2 to 1 – but there’s no reason to be overconfident about anything right now because, as the series goes on, it gets tougher and tougher. The series is long from over.”
Lucic expects the Blackhawks to be raring to go in an effort to head back to Chicago with the Cup Final tied at two. As a result, No. 17 believes Game Four is a pivotal game of the series.
“I think, as every series goes along, every game gets bigger and bigger and we know what this game means for them and we know what this game means for us,” he said. “Lots to look forward to, they are going to bring their best and we need to bring ours.”
BOSTON, MA – Everything starts with defense for the Boston Bruins. That commitment to the defense-first mentality set forth by Head Coach Claude Julien has the B’s two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.
In the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh – the league’s highest scoring team – the Bruins held the high-powered Penguins to just two goals in a four-game sweep. Penguins’ stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Jarome Iginla were all held without a point.
The lockdown defense has carried over to the Stanley Cup Final. In Game One, the Bruins got away from their system, surrendering a pair of two-goal leads in an eventual 4-3 triple overtime loss to the Blackhawks. And in the first period of Game Two they allowed Chicago to outshoot them, 19-4. If it were not for a stellar showing from Tuukka Rask, they may have been down more than just 1-0.
BostonBruins.com – This Boston Bruins team has shown that it is a resilient one all season long. And in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, it was no different. The B’s came back to win, 2-1, in overtime, a feat that seemed almost impossible when they were outshot 19-4 by the Hawks in the first period.
The Bruins knew they needed a major turn around in order to get themselves back in the series.
“We have a collective group of guys,” said Torey Krug. “The leadership’s amazing in the room. It’s never quiet in there. There is always someone talking and letting you know what’s going on. The overall message was that we got to come out better prepared for the next period and ready to go.”
Now the Bruins will be looking to carry over their momentum into Game Three back at TD Garden tonight. But despite stealing away home-ice advantage from the Hawks, the Bruins aren’t getting too high.
“I don’t think we should be too comfortable, but we should be confident with our game right now,” said Daniel Paille, who potted the winning goal in Game Two. “We know we got a good goaltender helping us out there, and I think we all have faith and trust in our game.”
BOSTON, MA – For the second time in three years, the Boston Bruins are headed to the Stanley Cup Final. The B’s tasted the glory of winning the Cup in 2011, and ever since, they have been on a mission to do it again.
“The excitement is there,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien. “You’ve heard people say, ‘Once you’ve been there, you want to go back.’ It’s true, we really want to go back; we made it happen. We’re excited about it and we also know what kind of challenge lies ahead for us. It’s about acknowledging that and being ready for it.”
The challenge before the Black & Gold is the Western Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks, who won the President’s Trophy with the most points during the regular season. The Final pits two of the last three Cup winners against each other (the Blackhawks took home the prize in 2010). And for the first time since 1979 (Montreal vs. New York Rangers), it will be an all Original Six Final. It also marks the first time these two teams have ever met in the Final.
BostonBruins.com – For the second straight series, the Bruins hold a three-games-to-none lead. Last round against the New York Rangers, the B’s dropped Game Four at Madison Square Garden, before finishing off the Blueshirts in Game Five. The B’s don’t want a repeat performance; they want to end things tonight and move on to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years.
“We've been through it with the Rangers, we were up 3-0 and we know how hard that last game was to win,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien during his media availability at TD Garden on Thursday, as his team stayed off the ice to rest following the 2-1 double overtime win that crept into the morning.
“That has to continue to be our belief, and the one thing we do know is we've got to play a better game than we did [Wednesday] night. We might have won the game, but we're certainly not pleased with the way we played. We know they played better but I don't think we did, and we've got to make sure we're at the top of our game [tonight].”
The Black & Gold also had a 3-1 lead against Toronto in the first round and were forced to a seventh game, in which they had to make a historic third period comeback to advance. The B’s hope to use their experiences from both prior series this postseason as they try to close out the Penguins.