BostonBruins.com - It's been a season of milestones for Jarome Iginla. But, then again, every season nearly is for the likely future Hall of Famer and veteran of now 17 NHL seasons.
On March 17, Iginla played in his 1300th career NHL game. He fired in two goals in the Bruins' 4-1 win over Minnesota to reach his 14th 25-goal season. It placed him at 555 career goals, just one goal shy of catching Bruins legend Johnny "The Chief" Bucyk on the all-time goals list (556).
Chief had joked with Iginla at the beginning of the season, that the Bruin would catch him.
"Pretty cool," Iginla had admitted.
Whether they're forced milestones, rounded numbers or significant achievements, Iginla's at the point in his career where everything keeps adding up.
"I think it would be tough for him to keep track," Chris Kelly laughed, when I asked if they keep track for him. "1300 games."
The Bruins' alternate captain took a few seconds to let that sink in, and then shook his head slightly.
"That’s a lot of hockey games."
BOSTON, MA - On Monday night, the Bruins quickly hustled around the locker room at TD Garden packing their Black & Gold hockey bags before catching their flight to New Jersey.
It was already back to business, following their 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
'Does a nine-game win streak actually mean anything?' Bruins' alternate captain Chris Kelly was asked, as he stood in his postgame workout clothes.
"Not really," he remarked, to a round of laughs among the handful of gathered reporters, who weren't too surprised by his answer.
"It’s nice to win. It’s better than losing, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the next game. It’s about New Jersey tomorrow and we’ll go from there."
The Bruins now have just 14 games left until the postseason begins. Following their win over the Wild - which gave them the second longest winning streak in the NHL this season at nine games - they next face the Devils at the Prudential Center at Tuesday night, giving them yet another chance to continue fine-tuning their game.
BOSTON, MA - Torey Krug fired in a wrister with 9.4 on the clock to cap off a 5-1 win for the Bruins over Carolina on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Cam Ward two-handed his stick on the cross bar in frustration.
Boston had put up a three-goal third period. They got commitment - and got rewarded - until the final buzzer.
The Black & Gold are now an eight-game winning streak, spanning back to March 2. It marks their longest since a ten-game stretch in November of 2011. And there was no sign coming from their locker room that there would be any letting up.
"I think you just go out on a nightly basis, you’re trying to fine-tune your game," said Krug. "I’m not worried about it because we have leaders in here that will take care of that when the time comes."
"We’re playing good hockey. We’re still fine-tuning some things. Defensively, we’re playing well right now. Our goalies are unbelievable, as usual. We’re scoring goals, everything’s coming together well."
'How do you not get complacent?' I had asked Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien heading into this game.
"Easy," he said responded. "You don't look at it that way - and we don't. We haven't even talked about that. We just talk about game by game, and it just seems to give us a better feeling and a better focus. So that’s the way you don’t get content or comfortable and you keep plugging away."
WILMINGTON, MA - On Friday morning, the Bruins recalled forward Matt Lindblad from Providence. He joined the team for their optional skate at Ristuccia Arena, and there's a chance he could be in Boston's lineup on Saturday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in a matinee at TD Garden.
It would mark his NHL debut, on his second NHL recall.
Lindblad received his first recall to the big club on February 24, towards the end of the Olympic Break, when the Black & Gold needed some reinforcements for practice with Olympians Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson getting their rest.
Following the NHL's trade deadline, each team is limited to four non-emergency callups from their minor league affiliates until the affiliate's season has ended. Once that time comes, unlimited recalls are allowed, provided that a player is signed to one its 50 contract slots.
The Bruins utilized one of those callups for Lindblad.
In his first full AHL season, the forward has skated in 43 games for the P-Bruins, recording seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points. He's coming off of a two-assist game in Providence's 9-3 win over the Adirondack Phantoms last Sunday.
WILMINGTON, MA - The Bruins held on optional skate on Friday at Ristuccia Arena following back-to-back wins against Montreal and Phoenix.
Daniel Paille was on the ice skating for the third straight day in his recovery from a concussion sustained on Sunday, March 9, in Florida against the Panthers.
"We felt it was a real minor concussion, but you know, protocol is what it is, and you have to respect that," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had said after Paille had first returned to the ice on Wednesday in Montreal. "And right now, he’s just going through the stages and is doing very well."
He's missed two games while going through the proper concussion protocol, but has had no setbacks in his quick progression. While there were only seven Bruins on the ice for the optional skate on Friday (including goalie Chad Johnson), Paille took contact with them.
Right when the Bruins forward got off the ice in Wilmington, he met with media for the first time since being deemed out with the minor concussion. At that time, he had not yet been cleared for game action, but was meeting with doctors later in the day.
BOSTON, MA - With less than seven minutes left in the second period on Thursday night at TD Garden, Johnny Boychuk fearlessly slid across the crease in front of Tuukka Rask and blocked away a shot from Phoenix Coyote Oliver Ekman-Larsson point-blank.
The Boston blueliner lost his stick in the process, so Matt Bartkowski quickly pushed it towards him with just enough time for him to pick it up and clear the puck up the ice and out of the zone.
The Bruins' 2-0 lead they had built in the first period, thanks to goals from Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla, remained in tact. They would go on to earn the 2-1 win over Phoenix, and pick up their seventh straight victory.
"I see commitment from everybody," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame. "It’s pretty obvious, when you play the number of games that you’ve played, and you look at the way you’ve played, there’s a pretty good commitment right now from our guys."
Boychuk's block wasn't the only indication on the night.
With the Bruins holding their 2-1 lead late in the period, and fatigue setting in from playing their second game in the past 24 hours, Coyote Antoine Vermette nearly tied the game.
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins weren't about to let their strong play end in Montreal.
The Canadiens took it to them early on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre, but the Black & Gold flew back to Boston with a 4-1 win, a successful road trip and six-game winning streak in tow.
"It would be a shame to not give our best effort on this last game," Gregory Campbell had said prior to the matchup.
Boston had already picked up four points down in Florida against the Lightning and the Panthers.
"We talked about our mindset going into this game. It was just about focusing on what we've done well up until this point, especially on this road trip," Milan Lucic said postgame, after notching his 20th goal of the season.
"And we just wanted to play to our strengths and you don't forget, when you lose a game the way you did last time."
When Boston last played the Canadiens at TD Garden, they fell 4-1. They gave themselves trouble, and didn't play their game.
MONTREAL, QC - Daniel Paille was back skating on Wednesday morning at the Bell Centre when the Bruins held an optional pregame skate before facing the Canadiens.
It's a great sign moving forward for the winger, who was deemed out with a concussion. He took a hit on his first shift Sunday against the Panthers, and did not return to the game.
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had stressed postgame on Sunday in Sunrise, FL, that he was told by the doctors "it's not very serious." He had seen Paille after the game and he was feeling pretty good.
It was the second concussion sustained by Paille this season, after he suffered the first one of his career back in December while the Bruins were on a road trip through Western Canada. That concussion was more serious, and he missed seven games as a result.
The Bruins were off on Monday in Florida, so Tuesday's practice in Montreal is the only day that Paille was kept off the ice. He's currently in the midst of going through the proper protocol.
MONTREAL, QC - On Wednesday night in Montreal, the Bruins will face the Canadiens will meet for the 724th time during the regular season.
Always an intense rivalry, with nine of the last 10 games ending in one-goal decisions, Boston hasn't had as much luck against the Habs lately. The Black & Gold dropped the first two games of the season series, and are 0-4-1 in their last five games versus the division rivals.
But it's not so much what the bleu, blanc et rouge are doing; it's what the Bruins are not.
"I can tell you one thing: I don’t think we’ve played well against them. Have they given us trouble, or are we giving ourselves trouble?" said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.
"So hopefully [tonight] I’ll paint a different picture and hopefully, if we play the way we’ve played lately, I think it’s going to be a great game, so we've just got to focus on that."
The Bruins are on a five-game winning streak, their longest of the season. They took care of business down South against the Lightning and Panthers, and are focused on closing out the road trip strong, especially against the Habs, and facing another back-to-back that concludes at home on Thursday night against Phoenix.
MONTREAL, QC - The Bruins were all together at dinner on Monday night in Florida, when they received some startling news.
Their friend and former teammate Rich Peverley had collapsed on the bench from a cardiac event during the Dallas Stars' game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center. He was in stable condition.
"Rich Peverley is resting comfortably and being monitored at UT Southwestern St. Paul. He is currently undergoing testing to discover what triggered the cardiac event last night," Stars General Manager Jim Nill said in a statement.
"Rich has been communicating with his teammates and friends. He is extremely grateful for all of the prayers and support that he’s received from fans and friends alike."
On Tuesday, the the Bruins flew to Montreal. When they met with media following their practice at the Bell Centre, the focus was centered around concern for "Pevs."