BostonBruins.com - Chris Kelly has two goals in four games to start off the 2013-14 season.
"Yeah, better than last year," the dry humored centerman remarked to reporters following the Bruins' 3-1 win over Columbus on Saturday, in which he scored the equalizer that set his team up for three straight unanswered goals.
"Last year wasn’t the best year. But every year is a new year and you want to come in and play to your capabilities and you try to learn from previous years and move on," Kelly said of his clean slate.
Last season may not have been his best showing; but the way he ended the year certainly was.
After not getting his first playoff point of 2013 until Game 2 of the Final, he then put up two goals and an assist in the series, anchoring the B's best line.
COLUMBUS, OH - Loui Eriksson may not admit it, but he was likely feeling pressure to get on the board as a Bruin.
He only had to wait four games, netting his first in the spoked-B on Saturday, the game-winner in a 3-1 matinee victory over the Blue Jackets in Columbus at Nationwide Arena. Boston improved to 3-1-0 on the season.
Chris Kelly netted the game-tying goal and Milan Lucic added an empty-netter, both their second goals on the season.
Eriksson's winner came just 49 seconds into the third period, with the game knotted at 1-1. After Reilly Smith tipped in a neutral zone chip-in from Johnny Boychuk, Patrice Bergeron pounced on the puck down the left side and quickly fed it through the crease to the Eriksson, who whacked in an off-angle backhander.
WILMINGTON, MA - For the first time amidst the regular season, every Bruin was on the ice for practice Friday morning at Ristuccia Arena, including Carl Soderberg.
Though, he was in a black jersey unlike his fellow forwards, as all four of the B's lines from their first three games stayed intact.
It marked Soderberg's first time skating with the team since injuring his ankle in Saskatoon on September 27. He had been working out on the ice with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides since Monday.
Head Coach Claude Julien said Thursday prior to the match-up with Colorado that joining the team was a start, and he was progressing well, but that contact was the next parameter before he could be considered game ready. Clearance from the medical staff will also need to come first.
"It’s getting better. But I’m not 100 percent yet, so hopefully I’m good soon," Soderberg said following practice.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins knew what they were facing.
On Thursday night at TD Garden, they were facing off against a fast, young, passionate Colorado Avalanche team rolling into the season on a 3-0-0 start with a fiery new head coach in Patrick Roy behind the bench.
They knew the game plan against Colorado, but didn't end up on the winning side, falling 2-0 in Game No. 3 of 2013-14. The B's now have a 2-1-0 record.
"We weren't surprised at what they were bringing. You know, the coaching staff told us what they were going to do and they came out and they did what they wanted to do, and they executed," said defenseman Torey Krug, who sent four of the Bruins' 39 shots on Avs netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
And that was the consensus throughout the room - and from Head Coach Claude Julien - following their first loss of the season.
"I think they did exactly what we talked about doing before the game," said alternate captain Patrice Bergeron. "They were moving their feet and they were first on the pucks in the first period and we were slow getting there. We gave them some life, I think, and they played a good game from the get go."
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins held an optional pregame skate on Thursday morning at TD Garden prior to facing off against the Colorado Avalanche.
It came after three straight days of practices, so Milan Lucic and David Krejci opted to stay off the ice, as did Head Coach Claude Julien, a normal occurrence for optional skates run by the assistant coaches.
Why an optional? Because, frankly, the Bruins are ready for puck drop.
"Our guys have had a lot of jump and they’ve been sharp," said Julien. "For some guys, they don’t feel the need to go on. They’ve heard me say that often – those morning skates can be put aside…and it’s hard to get that out of their heads, that they need to skate in the morning; for them they’ll tell you they feel better. So I think with time, you’ll see less and less of that."
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins are set to host the Colorado Avalanche tonight for the teams' first meeting since October 10, 2011.
The Black & Gold are a confident group at the start of Claude Julien's seventh season as head coach, currently 2-0-0 on the season. New Avalanche Head Coach Patrick Roy's team sits at 3-0-0.
It will mark the the debut of Roy behind Garden bench, after spending much of his time between the pipes for the Montreal Canadiens in the old Boston Garden.
After four days with no game action, Boston is ready to go -- and so are the Garden stanchions.
In a light moment following Thursday's pregame skate, Julien explained how he made good use of his team's down time.
"I spent the last couple of days solidifying the glass between the benches," smirked the B's bench boss. "And it gave me lots of time to do a lot of different things. So that’s the good part about having a few days off."
Of course, Julien's comment comes in reference to Roy's coaching debut against Anaheim, in which he nearly pushed over the stanchion between the home and visiting benches during an argument with the referees and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.
BostonBruins.com - Once the game plan of a power play is set, it's all about execution; no hesitation.
From there, it's up to the players to take over, using their talents to the best of their abilities. And when you find the seemingly right mix, as the Bruins have in 2013-14, it can pay dividends.
Albeit just two games into the season, the Bruins have scored two power play goals on only seven attempts, good for a 28.6-percent success rate and currently ranked eighth in the league. That follows a seven-game preseason, with nearly a third of their 24 goals coming on the power play.
"I think the whole dynamic of our power play, even though maybe people see some of the same faces, is much different," said Head Coach Claude Julien.
"You've got Zdeno, he’s still on the power play, but he’s in a different position. [Jarome] Iginla can take a good one-timer which we thought we struggled with last year on that left elbow. And then, same thing, you add Krug to that and then you bring [Loui] Eriksson in and so now we feel that we have two power plays that can really do a good job."
WILMINGTON, MA - The four days with no Bruins' games is nearly coming to an end. The Black & Gold had one final practice Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena before making TD Garden their home base as they host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in Game No. 3 on the season.
Everyone besides Carl Soderberg hit the ice for practice. The forward skated with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides for the third straight day prior to the team skate, as he recovers from a "day to day" ankle injury.
The next step before graduating to "game time decision" will be joining the team for a full practice. From these eyes, it doesn't look like he's too far off, as intensity begins to ramp up in his skates with Whitesides, and blueline to blueline rushes were added into the workout.
The skate began with plenty of work on breakouts and regroups, along with some significant special teams time (it's enjoyable to watch the Bruins' power play, even in practice).
BOSTON, MA - In the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, days can be tough.
But for the young patients, they'll mark Tuesday, October 8, as special.
A visit from two gentlemen decked in Black & Gold, with spoked-B's on their chests did the honors of helping make that happen.
A span of four days off from games for the Bruins is rare; in fact, it didn't exist last season. So, with the B's in the midst of a layoff, it gave Shawn Thornton and Tuukka Rask the chance to stop by the Boston-based hospital for a visit.
The pair went from room to room, spending time with the patients who, not surprisingly, were all huge fans of No. 22 and No. 40.
"It’s great. We don’t have an opportunity to do this too often because of our schedule, so whenever that window opens, we like to go out there," said Rask. "And these hospital visits are I think the most important thing to do."
WILMINGTON, MA - For the second straight day on Tuesday, Carl Soderberg was out skating with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides before his teammates hit the ice for practice.
It's all part of the process for a Bruin coming back from injury, as Soderberg continues his ankle recovery.
"Day to day is the best I can say right now. He’s skating, and when I say day to day it’s just, he’s getting closer to practicing with us and then I get the okay from the medical staff and we’ll move forward," said Head Coach Claude Julien, following the team's skate at Ristuccia Arena. Soderberg was the only Bruin absent from practice.
"So day to day doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow but he is progressing extremely well."
While Soderberg has been out of game action since the B's final preseason game in Saskatoon on September 27, when the injury occurred, the third line with center Chris Kelly and wingers Jordan Caron and Reilly Smith has powered forward.
When the forward is back to full strength, it could be a difficult decision for Julien.