Game Day: Bruins @ Sharks
Boston visits San Jose for the second of three in CA.
Thursday, 01.14.2010 / 1:18 PM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
Prior to the game, Coach Julien talked about maintaining the emotion the Bruins generated last night.
"That’s probably the most important thing I think right now," he said. "It’s one of those situations where you need the effort every night and you need the competitive level to be at its best and I think we can continue to work at that.
"But again, if you got that, then the only thing you have to worry about is cutting down on your mistakes. So you’re basically hoping that you get the same kind of effort tonight and cut down on you're mistakes and that’ll give you an even better chance of succeeding."
It's live blog time. Join us over there.
As I first reported @NHLBruins via Twitter. Trent Whitfield will play tonight. David Krejci is injured and will not see action.
"It was nonstop, so it wasn't so bad," said Andy Wozniewski of his travels when he was greeted by the media just a few minutes ago. "I left at 9:15 [a.m.] out of Boston so, it was an early wake-up in Providence.
"I just got in here a couple of hours ago."
Wozniewski has appeared in 38 games for the P-Bruins and recorded 7-20-27 totals this season. His 27 points are tops among all Providence blueliners and rank second overall on the team.
There has been no official word as to whom Wozniewski would replace if he played. And the "if" still remains in play, as well.
"I'm not sure," said Wozniewski when asked if he were playing. "I went to the rink this morning with our team services guy [in Providence] and he wasn't sure and said everyone had finished the game last night," said the big defenseman.
On a lighter note, Wozniewski never actually saw the Bruins fall to the Ducks last night.
"I watched the first and second period last night and kind of fell asleep, so I really didn't see [anyone get hurt], either," said Andy. "But, I'll be prepared either way."
You can watch this interview on bostonbruinsTV.com.
The B's are beginning to arrive in the HP Pavillion (a.k.a. The Shark Tank) and prepare their equipment for tonight's contest.
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Andy Wozniewski from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) on an emergency basis. Wozniewski will join the team in San Jose today and be available for Thursday's game against the Sharks.
The 29-year-old Wozniewski made his Bruins debut on December 18, 2009 in Chicago and has skated in two games for Boston this year.
Last night, Coach Julien spoke about Bitz and McQuaid's contribution to the effort on Wednesday.
"We had a couple young kids even step up there and stand up for our hockey club," said Julien. "Some of those guys really showed that they want to make a difference and help this team win hockey games and that’s what we need right now."
The Bruins continue to see good things from McQuaid.
"Well he’s just one of those guys that keeps his game simple but he’s pretty physical," said Julien. "As you saw, he’s pretty tough as well. He handles himself well, he’s a big guy. With time, with a little more experience, he’s only going to get better.
And Julien also thought that the B's, overall, competed better as a unit.
"We did a lot of good things tonight that has made us a better team," he said. "The outcome wasn’t better, but a lot of things were better.
"So again, it’s the little mistakes that really irk you that ended up costing us at the end. You got to be happy with the effort from the players because it was there tonight."
Unfortunately, things won't get any easier against the Sharks and with the number of missing faces on the club, the B's remain behind the eight ball.
"It’s unfortunate because the guys that we’re missing are pretty key players for our hockey club and their absence is definitely being felt," said Julien.
The only B's to take the ice this morning are Tim Thomas, Trent Whitfield, Mark Stuart and Patrice Bergeron.
9:49 a.m. (in San Jose)
There's no morning skate for the B's in San Jose as the club will rest up from what was lauded by many as the Bruins best recent effort.
Even the fans chimed in via Twitter.
"Regardless of the outcome, the Bruins still played a good one," said one Tweet that captured the sentiment around the Hub of Hockey.
But as there are fewer games ahead then there are behind, the Bruins know that they can't pass up any opportunity for points.
"I thought we battled hard, especially in the second," said Zdeno Chara. "We had momentum and played a pretty good game. At the end, we made some mistakes that cost us goals."
Bruins head coach Claude Julien had to agree.
"The effort was there tonight and that is what is frustrating," said Julien. "The mistakes ended up costing us in the end.
"At the other end, we really challenged them and had some great opportunities, even late in the game – cross bar – but somehow they just wouldn’t go in.
"It is probably a little frustrating but you hope that is a good sign," he said.
Fans who stayed up to watch the game saw plenty of displays of emotion from Boston, as well. Slammed sticks, nasty exchanges of words with the Ducks and pleny of fighting.
Youngsters Adam McQuaid and Bryon Bitz each squared off with a player from Anaheim.
"That is what we need, a little bit of anger and guys wanting to get mad and do something about it," said Julien.
Mark Recchi, who filled in at center for Boston, liked everything but the final score.
"It was much more consistent and much more competitive than we’ve been playing from lately – we’re going to take some positives from it," he said. "They got a couple breaks in the third and they ended up winning the game.
"They are on a roll right now. They are playing well and we came in here and matched them – we went toe-to-toe with them. It was a good battle for us."
Most importantly, and despite the loss, the B's seemed to prove that they can compete at a very high level. Now they just need to put in a mistake free, complete effort.
"We stick together and that is the reason why we were in this game. We competed hard, as well as they did [and] it was a heck of a game," said Recchi. "I’m sure it was a fun game to watch.
"There was a lot of physical play, some good fights, and when you get some goals scored like that, it is always fun for everybody. We’ve got a lot of positive to build for ourselves and especially with all the injuries we have [had]."
Selanne Breaks Jaw
The Ducks recived tough news following the game. Superstar forward Teemu Selanne broke his jaw against the Bruins when he was struck by a bouncing puck.
"He will be unavailable for a number of days, weeks here going forward," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "He got a puck in the face and it broke a bone in his jaw.
"It will be surgically repaired [Thursday] and we’ll have to see what kind of time frame they are going to give us with it."
Boston fans have grown accustomed to seeing Tuukka Rask's sintilating saves. But last night, they surely marvelled at the West Coast's puckstopping phenom.
Anaheim's Jonas Hiller is simply on fire. Hiller extended his winning streak to a season-high five games, stopping 27-of-30 shots. In those five contests, he has stopped 152-of-161 shots with a .944 sv% and 1.80 GAA. In his last 13 starts since Dec. 12, Hiller has gone 10-3-0 with a 2.18 GAA and a .933 percentage (393-of-421 shots).
"It was a great game coming back from being down 3-2 after two periods," said Hiller. "I was definitely happy with my game in the third period. It was not easy to come back after the second, which was tough not getting a lot of shots and getting scored on three times.
"At the end, you add up the 60 minutes, that is what counts and we found a way to win."
Hiller, whose team went through a very tough spell that saw them slip out of the playoff picture, may have also given Bruins fans reasons to take solace and the Black & Gold words to live by.
We're not giving up...
"It shows that we’ve gained some confidence over the last couple of games," said Hiller. "We’re not giving up and the team is not falling apart. Our guys are stepping up.
"We know we have to play 60 minutes at our best to have a chance."