Zdeno Chara

Jack Edwards says the Bruins’ blue line ‘is in a crisis right now’

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Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards is like a lot of Bruins fans.

No, not because he really wants the Bruins to win. Well, not only that. But also because he’s worried what will happen when the Zdeno Chara era comes to a close in Boston.

“Chara is still an immense presence, especially in his own zone, but he’s going to be 39 [in March],” Edwards told Sportsnet in a lengthy interview. “He’s still an alpha dog, and he can carry this team for stretches, and maybe significant stretches – though we haven’t seen it since his PCL injury. Maybe he can for two or three years, but there’s no heir apparent.

“The D core is in a crisis right now as far as a mid- to long-term outlook. There’s no alpha dog on the way. Colin Miller is not going to be an alpha dog. He’ll be a top-four defenseman, no doubt, but right now he doesn’t look like a guy who’s going to turn into Duncan Keith.”

And, of course, the Bruins don’t have Dougie Hamilton anymore. He was supposed to be the “heir apparent,” but it didn’t work out that way.

Anyway, it’s a good interview. Give it a read if you’ve got the time.

The Bruins did draft a defenseman with one of their three first-round picks in June. Jakub Zboril went 13th overall. This season, he has a modest nine points in 20 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs. Boston also selected defensemen Brandon Carlo and Jeremy Lauzon 37th and 52nd overall, respectively.

But for now, those three are just prospects. They may pan out, they may not.

Remember, it’s a high bar for defensemen in Boston. The B’s have boasted the Norris Trophy winner 14 times since Bobby Orr won his first in 1967-68.

Edwards knows that. That’s why he’s calling it a “crisis” right now.

And he’s absolutely right.

Chara isn’t satisfied with Bruins’ recent success

Zdeno Chara
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The Boston Bruins didn’t get off to a great start in October or November, but in both instances, they were able to turn things around in the back half of the month.

Right now, everything seems to be going right for Boston, but if you think they’re satisfied with their current five-game winning streak, guess again.

“We did some things well, and we did some things that we need to improve, keep working on and keep getting better,” captain Zdeno Chara told CSN New England. “ It’s nice to win games, and it’s nice to be getting points. But I think we also want to improve our play systems-wise, and be better in certain areas.”

A big reason for their success comes from their improvement on special teams, specifically on the penalty kill.

Boston still has the 27th ranked penalty killing unit in the league, but they’ve killed 15 of their opposition’s last 16 power plays during their recent winning streak.

They’re power play is clicking at a mind-boggling 32.5 percent, which is tops in the NHL this season.

The Bruins will get their first crack at former GM Peter Chiarelli’s new team when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

War of words continues between Rangers and Bruins on Saturday

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The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.

After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.

On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.

“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

High-flying Bruins (sounds weird to say) beat Rangers for fifth straight win

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Somebody tell the Boston Bruins there’s a goal-scoring crisis in the NHL.

This afternoon, for the 14th time this season, a Bruins game featured at least six goals. The final score was 4-3, as Boston came back to beat the Rangers in a wildly entertaining Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC.

David Krejci scored the winner with 1:43 remaining. Krejci’s goal came just 2:03 after teammate Ryan Spooner had tied it on the power play.

The win was the Bruins’ fifth straight. Though the defensive mistakes remain…

…Claude Julien’s troops have been finding ways to overcome them.

The running and gunning Boston Bruins.

When was the last time you could call them that?

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Bruins in the ’15 Thanksgiving Showdown

Ryan McDonagh, Brad Marchand

The Boston Bruins are hosting the New York Rangers in this year’s Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC — but if you’re unable to watch on TV, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

You can watch the game online via NBC Sports’ Live Extra. Coverage begins just prior to puck drop at 1 p.m. ET.

For the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist will get the start in goal, looking for redemption after he got the hook in his last outing, a 5-1 drubbing against Montreal.

Boston will counter with Tuukka Rask, who stopped 39 of 42 shots in his last start — a win over Toronto on Monday.

While their starting goalie remains the same from the Habs loss, the Blueshirts will make chances elsewhere. On defense, Dylan McIlrath draws in for Dan Boyle while at forward, Emerson Etem with take Viktor Stalberg‘s spot.

For the Bruins, Kevan Miller — the defenseman that’s missed the last four games with an upper-body injury — could draw back into the lineup. Miller practiced this week and appears primed to skate in a pairing with Dennis Seidenberg.