NASHVILLE — Patrice Bergeron has been to Nashville many times before on the Bruins’ usual regular season docket.
This time around in 2016, he’s back in Music City as an NHL All-Star, 13 years after he was drafted 45th overall by Boston at the same arena in 2003.
“Brought back some memories, coming back here,” Bergeron said during Friday’s NHL-All Star Media Day at Bridgestone Arena. “I think it’s 13 years later now, so it’s definitely special and looking back, I never thought I’d be here that many years later at an All-Star Game, so it’s definitely a lot of fun.”
For the second consecutive season, Bergeron is taking in the All-Star experience. His first foray came in 2015 in Columbus.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s a true honor, just to be named to the All-Star Game and try to enjoy the moment and really take advantage of the whole weekend and try to have fun with it.”
It’s a unique experience for Bergeron this time around as well, given that he was able to bring his family along.
BOSTON — The site of the old Boston Garden is being transformed into a new development — “The Hub on Causeway” — that will revitalize the area around TD Garden and North Station.
An official groundbreaking ceremony ceremony took place on Wednesday, Jan. 27, with officials from Delaware North, Boston Properties, the City of Boston, and the state of Massachusetts.
The Hub on Causeway will feature 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use retail, office, hotel and residential space, as well as an expansion of TD Garden to provide a brand new entrance for fans and commuters.
The 2.5 acre site will also bring substantial improvements to North Station, will create major economic impact for the area, and strengthen the viability of this important district — merging the North End with the West End.
“The Hub on Causeway project has the potential to make this neighborhood one of the most desirable places to live and work in the entire Northeast,” said Boston Bruins Owner and Chairman of Delaware North Jeremy Jacobs.
“We will break ground on a new era of economic growth, and it will stimulate the dynamic transformation for this part of Boston.”
PHILADELPHIA — With just under eight minutes left in regulation, Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds fired in an equalizer to knot the game at 2-2.
It could have been an “Oh no, not again” moment for Boston.
In the teams’ previous two meetings, Philadelphia had rallied for third period comeback wins. The Bruins were looking to avoid the series sweep.
To see a 2-0 lead evaporate was frustrating. To utilize a Coach’s Challenge on the play leading up to Simmonds’ tying goal — when it appeared that Michael Del Zotto’s skate was clearly offside on a rush into the Bruins’ zone — and have the call on the ice stand, was even more frustrating.
“That second goal of theirs was a bit of a frustrating one — we really felt it was offside, said Head Coach Claude Julien. “But then, at the same time, our guys just stayed focused and found a way to win.”
PHILADELPHIA — Tuukka Rask will be a game-time decision on Monday night, when the Bruins face off against the Flyers in Philadelphia.
Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Rask took part in the team’s pregame skate at the Wells Fargo Center, and was the first netminder off the ice.
“We’re going to make a decision tonight,” Head Coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. “If he’s 100 percent, he’s going. So that hasn’t been answered yet.”
Rask had been scheduled to play on Saturday against Columbus, but he was not 100 percent, so a last-minute change was made to put Jonas Gustavsson between the pipes. Julien stressed Saturday night that the situations was “nothing major.”
BOSTON — The Bruins grabbed the two points that they needed on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, even if it took Ryan Spooner’s shootout winner to ultimately get the 3-2 win.
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak gave them a 2-0 lead early in the second. Columbus wiped that out quickly in a span of about three minutes. Spooner and Torey Krug both scored in the shootout, with Jonas Gustavsson stopping both Columbus shots he faced 1-on-1.
“I think the two points are really important at this time of the year,” said Head Coach Claude Julien. “But it’s not so much the two goals that we gave up — it’s the way we played tonight again, you know — we need to be better.”
“I thought our intensity was good, but not good enough and we need to be better with that. When you’re a little bit more intense, so is your execution, and I thought our execution was average tonight.”
The Bruins have just one loss in their past five games, but they know they haven’t been playing their best hockey.
BOSTON — Matt Beleskey took part in the Bruins’ optional pregame skate on Saturday morning, after missing Friday’s practice from being under the weather.
The Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at TD Garden in the teams’ first meeting of the season. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Head Coach Claude Julien was unsure of Beleskey’s status for the game.
“Don’t know — we’ll see,” said Julien. “He’s out there skating this morning. Obviously he was a little under the weather yesterday so we’ll see how he is after the skate and make a decision.”
“Yeah, that’s obviously Claude’s decision,” said Beleskey. “I feel better today, so I’ll let him know and see what happens.”
Though Beleskey still sounded like he wasn’t 100 percent, it would take much more to keep him away from ice.
BostonBruins.com — “That’s why I put you out there.”
David Pastrnak made his return to the Bruins’ lineup on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Prior to that, he had been out of the Spoked-B sweater for nearly seven weeks, first dealing with a fracture in his foot, then getting up to speed down in Providence, before heading overseas to compete for his native Czech Republic in the World Junior Championship.
Pastrnak's season hasn't necessarily gone the way Pastrnak — or the Bruins — would have hoped.
So, on Tuesday night against the Canadiens, in just his 14th game of the season, getting fourth line minutes wasn’t surprising. It was beneficial.
Pastrnak made use of the shifts doled out to him. He focused on doing his job. He earned a goal and an assist in Boston’s 4-1 win.
“I don’t have problem to play with any line, you know,” Pastrnak said following the Bruins’ practice at TD Garden on Wednesday, the morning after the big victory. “I try every time that I’m on a line, no matter what line I play and I try to read from the players, what they kind of need from me, so just trying to fit into every line.”
BOSTON — David Krejci is getting closer to his return to the Bruins’ lineup.
The Bruins next face the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night at home.
“Still day-to-day with David. So we’ll see,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following Wednesday’s practice. “Today was his first day with contact. We did a little bit extra there at the end, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and just continue to evaluate that way.”
He stayed on for extra work after practice and took part in battling drills in the corner.
MONTREAL — The Black & Gold left the Bell Centre crowd disgruntled on Tuesday night, changing the “Go Habs Go!” chants in the first minute of the game to boo birds by the time the buzzer sounded.
For the Bruins, the 4-1 victory in Montreal meant three straight wins for the first time since mid-December.
For the Canadiens, the loss marked their fifth straight defeat.
Boston added two more points to their repertoire, while the Habs fell out of a playoff position.
“It is very satisfying,” said Max Talbot, who scored his second goal of the season (and as a Bruin) to put Boston up 1-0 in the first period. “You know, yes, it’s Montreal in one way, but it’s the standings, you know? These are points we need to get that we work hard to get, because everybody’s so tight in the standings.”
MONTREAL — Center David Krejci has missed the past nine games and will miss No. 10 on Tuesday night, when the Bruins face the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Krejci is close to a return from an upper-body injury sustained on Dec. 27, but he remains on Injured Reserve. Krejci practiced with the team for the first time on Monday and did not take or give much contact.
“No. No chance for Krejci,” Head Coach Claude Julien said on Tuesday morning, confirming the center’s status. “He had one practice.”
As for winger David Pastrnak, who has missed the Bruins’ past three games with an upper-body injury, Julien suggested that he could be a game-time decision.
“We’ll see about some of those guys there,” Julien said, when asked about Pastrnak’s status. “We’ll have some decisions to make tonight. So we’ll make those later on.”
This season has been tough injury-wise for Pastrnak. He only played 10 games at the start before fracturing his foot and missing 21 games. He returned from a conditioning stint with Providence and playing at the World Junior Championship in Finland, suited up in three games with Boston and then was faced with an upper-body injury.