Julien: Bruins-Habs series starting faster than we expected


To hear Claude Julien explain it, the Bruins don’t sound thrilled about starting their second-round series against Montreal so soon.

From CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty:

The B’s bench boss admitted the Bruins were planning for a Friday or Saturday start to the playoff series with Northeastern University scheduled for Friday morning at TD Garden, and the thinking being that the TD Garden bull gang wouldn’t be able change over from playoff hockey sheet to graduating staging.

“We had to make some adjustments. Obviously at first, it looked more like a Friday, maybe Saturday. There was a lot of that talk,” said Claude Julien. “But there was never any talk of Thursday. So you plan accordingly and then you find out last night that you got to kind of move a little quicker than expected. That’s part of making adjustments as you go along.”

Last night, NHL officially announced the B’s-Habs series would start on Thursday — but has yet to announce the remaining times and dates for the series. A report from French-Canadian news outlet RDS claims Game 2 will go Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at TD Garden, which has yet to be confirmed.

Regardless of when either team thought the series would — or should — start, both will be sufficiently rested for Thursday’s Game 1. Montreal hasn’t played since closing out its opening-round series against Tampa Bay eight days ago, while the Bruins haven’t played since defeating Detroit on Saturday.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.

Habs win big against Rangers, may have lost big with Price hurt

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Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.

Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.

Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.

Again, people are pretty worried right now.

Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?

Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.

Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.

It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.