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B’s optimism remains high

Saturday, 09.30.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Boston Bruins
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B’s optimism remains high
Despite Setback, B's Ready for Season
By John Bishop,

Boston – Despite a 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers in their seventh and final preseason warm-up, the spirit of the Boston Bruins remained intact as the team filed in and out of the locker room early on Saturday evening at the TD Banknorth Garden.

As they prepared for their final few days of training camp en route to a five game road trip to start the NHL regular season, the Bruins had the real games in mind and refused to focus on any exhibition losses.

"I think the overall atmosphere is more positive [than last year]," explained Patrice Bergeron in front of his locker post game. "We don't get discouraged when we are down by three.

"I think in the third period we came back and stuck with it. I think that's what we are going to do during the season."

The Bruins, who finish 4-3-0 on the exhibition docket, lost for the second straight game to the New York Rangers (now 5-2-0). However, Boston head coach Dave Lewis is confident that his charges will learn from their experiences during preseason and be better players for it.

"Actually, it was a great learning tool for us," said Lewis. "The Rangers have a tremendous power play and have great personnel. When you have guys like Brendan Shanahan and Jaromir Jagr at the top of the circle, shooting the puck, it's hard on everybody…I thought we did some things well, but not enough.

"Today will be a tool for us to teach from."

The Rangers led by Nigel Dawes, who had two goals, and Petr Pruchna, Jagr as well as Shanahan, who all had a goal and an assist, overwhelmed the undermanned Bruins, who were missing defensemen Zdeno Chara and Milan Jurcina, as well as star forward Marco Sturm.

"It's coming," promised Bruins forward Glen Murray. "We've played a [few] games and we're starting to get our legs under us.

"Next week is when it really starts, and we're ready…I don't think we've had our whole team together for two games.

"We'll get Big Z back and Marco, and get all our D healthy – you know what, it's going to be fun," explained Murray.

The Bruins, playing their one and only preseason game in the Garden, under a dazzling new scoreboard and amongst other improvements in the building, were under the gun early as the Rangers came out firing.

"At first we were a little tentative, a little nervous," said Lewis. "It was our first home game and there were a lot of new faces but as the game went on, I think the guys got some momentum.

"In the second period, we took over the game and had some glorious chances."

But the Bruins were victims of the referee whistle throughout the afternoon, as they were called for 11 penalties for 22 minutes that led to four power play goals for the Rangers.

"We have to do a much better job, particularly killing 5-on-3 or 4-on-3," said Lewis. "I know that in today's game special teams are critical.

"That's why [New York] won the game, but I saw a lot of positives out there."

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was tested several times early by the Bruins who peppered the New Yorker with several quality shots at the end of the first period and continued to test the Swedish Olympic hero throughout the game.

Lundqvist finished with 31 saves.

Boston's Murray finally scored for the Bruins at 13:30 of the second period (from P.J. Axelsson and Marc Savard), and the Bruins attempted a comeback in the third period with goals coming from Brad Boyes (assists to Patrice Bergeron and Phil Kessel) and Petr Tenkrat (Savard, Andrew Alberts).

In the end, however, Boston was unable to overcome the deficit. Yet, after the game, the Bruins, who could be called "Team Optimism" during this training camp, remained a very optimistic team.

"We've had some major positives this preseason," said Bruins defenseman Paul Mara. "And we have four days of practice to get ready for Friday night.

"There are some good things that came out of these seven games and we are going to build on that."

The Bruins next play the Florida Panthers on Friday October 6.


Three Stars, Chosen by WBZ
#1 NYR N. Dawes
#2 BOS M. Savard
#3 NYR J. Jagr
Coors Light - To the Black, The Gold, and The Cold




1 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
2 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
3 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
4 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
5 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
6 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
7 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
8 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31


P. Bergeron 47 11 21 7 32
C. Soderberg 48 10 21 7 31
L. Eriksson 47 11 18 9 29
D. Hamilton 48 8 18 2 26
B. Marchand 43 13 12 12 25
M. Lucic 47 9 16 7 25
T. Krug 44 9 15 6 24
R. Smith 48 9 14 5 23
D. Krejci 28 6 16 6 22
C. Kelly 46 5 16 6 21
N. Svedberg 5 5 0 .922 2.22
T. Rask 20 11 7 .919 2.35
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