WILMINGTON, MA - The Bruins hit the ice Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena, with all healthy members of the Black & Gold on the ice.
There was one familiar face around the locker room, however. Loui Eriksson, who has been out indefinitely with a concussion since October 23, was at the rink while the B's skated.
"The one good news is that he did show up this morning. He came by and that’s usually good news when a guy can leave his home and come to the rink," Head Coach Claude Julien told gathered reporters after practice.
"So we’re taking it day-by-day with him. I think right now, you’re probably not going to see him in the next week and I don’t think he’s going to skate in the next week so I guess we can put it at that stage for now."
Julien prefaced the bit of good news, though.
"He’s doing better I guess. ‘I guess’ is because you never know."
BOSTON, MA - With the Bruins up 3-1 over New Jersey after the first period on Saturday night, the Black & Gold saw their lead slip away thanks to four power-play goals from the Devils, including two in the final 1:08.
The 4-3 loss snapped their four game winning streak and marked the first time the Bruins had allowed four goals on the man advantage since January 7, 2012, in a 4-3 loss to Vancouver.
A somber B's locker room following the game was diplomatic and swift with their postgame interviews, clearly wanting to put the toughest defeat of the season quickly in the past.
But not before holding themselves accountable.
"It’s been definitely a while, and definitely something that can’t happen," said Patrice Bergeron, on the power-play goals allowed by one of the league's top penalty kills, which was killing at a rate of 87.5 percent and had only allowed three scores through the first nine games.
BOSTON, MA - With Loui Eriksson out indefinitely with a concussion after being diagnosed on October 24, the updates on his status will continue to filter in as the Bruins monitor his progress.
One such update came our way following the Bruins' pregame skate on Saturday morning prior to the matchup with the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.
"Loui's doing okay, I guess, for a guy who suffered a concussion," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "It’s the same thing – you have a good day, you have less of a good day – and it’s early on but we’re just, like always, you keep your fingers crossed that it’s going to get better sooner than later for his sake."
Eriksson’s scratch from the lineup for the game against the Sharks on Thursday night snapped a 148 consecutive games played streak with his last game missed on March 19, 2011 as a Dallas Star. Eriksson had missed just three of a possible 436 games over the past 5-plus seasons.
BostonBruins.com - Tuukka Rask has the best career goals-against average and save percentage of all active NHL goaltenders who have played in 25 or more games.
Throughout his 146-game NHL career (heading into October 26 vs New Jersey), Rask has allowed an average of 2.10 goals per game and has saved, on average, .928 of the 4,004 shots that he has faced.
These numbers include his first eight games of the 2013-14 campaign, in which he has allowed just 10 goals against, with his latest lights-out performance coming against the first place San Jose Sharks on October 24 at TD Garden.
The Bruins were outshot 39-17 in the eventual 2-1 win, with Rask earning 38 saves. He stopped all 16 shots he faced in a dominating first period by the Sharks and their league-leading offense, which had scored and average of 4.3 goals per game entering the contest with Boston.
His night earned him the First Star, and allowed the squad in front of him to finally break through with Jarome Iginla's first as a Bruin late in the second period. David Krejci's buzzer beater with just 0.8 left in the third earned Boston their fourth straight victory and handed San Jose its first loss in regulation this season.
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins all knew it was coming.
Jarome Iginla had fired 26 shots on goal, and on Thursday in the Bruins' 2-1 win over San Jose at TD Garden, his 27th found the back of the net for the 18-year veteran's first goal in the spoked-B.
The score put Boston up, 1-0, with 1:12 to go in the second period. Milan Lucic immediately pointed at the right winger, and Krejci lit up as soon as he saw the puck pass the goal line. Iginla's infamous smile beamed as he passed through the fist bump line at the bench.
It was fitting that the goal was a team effort, with all three forwards helping set it up, and Dennis Seidenberg's play to keep the puck in at the blueline making Iginla's first possible.
"I think it’s deserving and he should have had one a long time ago the way he’s played," Head Coach Claude Julien said following the game. "But it’s nice to see him get that goal and get rewarded for all the hard work he’s done since the start of the season."
BOSTON, MA - After nearly every Bruins game, you'll hear a phrase uttered from the bench boss and his team.
"We played the full 60 minutes."
Thursday night may not have been the prototypical all-around Boston was looking for against first place San Jose at TD Garden, but it was all about the finish.
With the clock winding down, and the game knotted at 1-1, David Krejci fought his way to the slot and tipped a point shot from Adam McQuaid through Antti Niemi with 0.8 seconds left in regulation, after a simple Milan Lucic dump in. 2-1 Bruins.
The win - the B's fourth straight - handed the Sharks their first regulation loss of the season.
"We stuck with it," said Krejci, with his 'business as usual' persona in the locker room postgame. "The last goal was a perfect example of not trying to be too cute. A few seconds left into the game, Looch chips it in to himself, get it back, point shot, a lot of traffic. So we just stuck with our system and got the job done."
BostonBruins.com - Prior to heading into Wednesday night in Buffalo, Head Coach Claude Julien knew his team couldn't look afford to look past the Sabres to the first place San Jose Sharks, ready and waiting in Boston for their matchup with the B's on Thursday night.
"The biggest challenge is probably making sure that we focus on ourselves," Julien had said, prior to the game. "If you start focusing on the other team and their struggles, then you’re not mentally preparing yourself the way you should."
"There’s going to be a tough week – we have three games in four days – and it’s not going to get any easier so we might as well take advantage of the situation that we’re fresh and that we’re ready to go here and make sure that we play a strong game."
"Not only to win this hockey game, but build some momentum going into the next one."
The Bruins did just that, not letting a divisional win get away from them. It marked their third straight victory and improved the club to 6-2-0 on the season.
BUFFALO, NY - About six minutes into the third period of the Bruins 5-2 win in Buffalo, Loui Eriksson was hit by John Scott at center ice. He didn't see it coming, and the winger was slow to get up.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli issued an update following the game that "Loui is staying over night in Buffalo for precautionary reasons. He is expected to return to Boston on Thursday."
The Bruins face the San Jose Sharks at home Thursday night in the second game of their back-to-back.
Boston powered to a 5-2 win, thanks to two goals apiece from Milan Lucic and Torey Krug, along with a score from Dougie Hamilton, that gave them their third straight victory. But the mood postgame wasn't quite that of a win.
Head Coach Claude Julien and the Bruins were mostly concerned with Eriksson's condition.
BUFFALO, NY - With the Bruins set to face off against the Sabres in Buffalo at First Niagara Center Wednesday night, Chad Johnson will be getting his first start of the 2013-14 season between the pipes.
Through Boston's first seven games, Tuukka Rask had played every second in goal amidst their 5-2-0 start. He and San Jose's Antti Niemi have been the only two netminders up until this point in the season to start every contest in nets for their clubs.
The back-to-back, first in Buffalo and then against the Sharks at TD Garden Thursday night, along with a slate of three games in four days (the Bruins host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday) allowed Boston to finally get Johnson into game action.
Chad Johnson was the first goalie off at morning skate, and confirmed afterwards that he would indeed be between the pipes.
WILMINGTON, MA - With a slower month of October, the Bruins are one of only three teams to have played just seven games.
At 5-2-0 on the season, the schedule doesn't necessarily pick up quite yet, but the Bruins are set to face their first back-to-back of the season this week. And it comes against two opponents currently at opposite sides of the spectrum.
The Buffalo Sabres, the B's opponent on the road Wednesday night, currently sit at 1-8-0 on the season, which equates to their worst 10-game start in franchise history. With 13 "goals for," they have scored more than two goals only once this season, coming in a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders, their own W to date.
While the personnel and coaching has had significant turnover since the start to 2012-13, the Sabres did hand the B's their first regulation loss of last season, 7-4, thanks to an always-hot-against-Boston Tomas Vanek and his hat trick.
The message? Don't underestimate them.
"I think our guys understand the situation, so it shouldn’t be [tough to get up for]. If anything you want to build on the last game and to be able to do that you have to play the same way," said Head Coach Claude Julien, following the Bruin's Tuesday morning practice before jetting off for Buffalo.