Claude Julien

Bruins coach to power-play critics: Don’t worry about it


If there’s one area of their game that the Boston Bruins need to improve upon going into Monday’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, it’s their power play.

Through four games, Boston has converted on just one of 17 opportunities with the man advantage and have squandered entire two-minute stints without managing a single shot on goal.

Still, Bruins coach Claude Julien isn’t buying into the argument that this is a major cause for concern. If anything, he’s more annoyed that he keeps getting asked about it.

“I thought I’d be able to get away for at least one day without a power play question,” said Julien in a CSN New England. “The results haven’t been there, but I’d say in three of the four games that we moved the puck well, we hit a post and we had a goal disallowed. A lot of stuff has happened.”

His argument runs deeper than that though. He pointed out that the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup last season despite their power-play struggles (the Kings ranked 12th in the playoffs with a 12.8% success rate) and, for that matter, the Bruins won it all in 2011 while faring even worse than the Kings in that regard (Boston converted on just 11.4% of power-play opportunities in 2011).

“We want it to work well, but it’s not the end of the world,” Julien added. “We’re still winning hockey games.”

The Bruins are 3-0-1. As long as they keep excelling in five-on-five situations, it will be easy for Julien to continue to shrug off those kind of criticisms.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.