BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 3: Loui Eriksson #21 of the Boston Bruins walks to the locker room after warm ups prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the TD Garden on October 3, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Eriksson pointless as he transitions to Bruins’ style


We’re just two games into the Bruins’ campaign, but you would have to stretch to find things to fault Boston for so far. They’ve won their first two contests by comfortable margins and most of their major players have gotten their first point. One notable exception to that is forward Loui Eriksson.

That’s nothing to stress over and it’s also not terribly surprising to Bruins coach Claude Julien.

“You can’t judge or expect miracles in the first few games of the season,” Julien told CSN New England. “You give them a good month to get to know each other and play together, and you hope in that month it progresses. I’ve seen that so far from training camp until right now.”

Eriksson is used to playing an “overload” style where players tend to keep close to each other while carrying the puck through the neutral zone, but the Bruins don’t share that philosophy. So far, Eriksson has had some difficulty breaking those habits.

“I usually adjust to systems pretty well, but just the one thing I did in all my years in Dallas was cutting through the middle and supporting the other winger,” Eriksson said, according to the Boston Herald. “But we’ve been practicing it every day and we’ll get better at it.”

It might be a bit before Eriksson finds his groove in Boston, but he’s still a great forward and Julien seems content to let this transition run its course. That’s certainly easier to do when the team is winning anyways.

Iginla: Fighting is ‘definitely part of Bruins hockey’


In his first game with Boston, Jarome Iginla endeared himself to the TD Garden faithful with a spirited scrap against Tampa Bay’s Radko Gudas.

Following the tilt, Iginla said it was all part of embracing his team’s style.

“It’s definitely part of Bruins hockey, playing against them over the years and watching them,” Iginla told the Boston Globe. “It’s a very competitive, aggressive team.

“Trying to play alongside of that and contribute in those areas. Try to play physical, try to go [to] the net. Sometimes fights happen. It happened to be in the first game. Every guy takes a lot of pride in competing hard. Fights do happen. Guys are ready for that, too.”

While Iginla doesn’t fight very often — he has just nine over the last four seasons, according to — his scraps often have a flair for the dramatic.

After receiving a lukewarm introduction in his Bruins debut, he won over the B’s fans with the Gudas tilt.

Last year, he infamously fought Nathan Horton in his first game in Boston as a Penguin, just weeks after spurning a trade deadline deal to the Bruins.

Iginals’ most famous fight, though, might’ve come during the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, when he (as captain of the Flames) took on Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier:

More on that incident, from the Canadian Press:

There can be no disputing the positive results that have followed such an encounter this post-season, a trend that should prove alarming to Tampa Bay.

Iginla fought Vancouver defenceman Mattias Ohlund in game three of the opening series. Calgary went on to win three of the next four games to eliminate the Canucks.

In game two of the next series, Iginla squared off with big Detroit defenceman Derian Hatcher. Again, the Flames went on to take three of the next four games and knock off the Red Wings.

“That’s why he’s our leader,” said Calgary forward Chris Clark. “If he’s going to go out and fight, be rough, and he’s the best player in the league, you know people are going to follow him.”

Chris Simon, one of the NHL’s primary enforcers, was moved onto the top Flames top line Saturday with Conroy and Iginla, but he knows that Iginla likes to fight his own battles.

“That fight was huge, it really set the tone physically for us and we talked before the game that we had to bring a physical presence,” Simon said.

As for fighting in general, Iginla said that while he wouldn’t mind seeing less of it, he’s not prepared to ban it outright.

“Part of it is it’s been a part of our sport for so long,” he explained. “So, I think in my opinion I don’t mind seeing less of it, [but] like I said, I don’t think I’m there where I’d like to see it all gone.”

Chara sparks power play as Bruins beat Detroit, stay undefeated

Zdeno Chara

For one night, Boston looked mighty good with the man advantage — and they had the big guy to thank.

That was the story at TD Garden on Saturday as the Bruins beat the Red Wings 4-1 on the strength of a dynamic-looking power play, led by defenseman Zdeno Chara.

Chara was an big net-front presence as Boston went 2-for-4 on the man advantage. The 6-foot-9 rearguard provided a nice screen on Torey Krug’s game-opening PP goal, then notched one himself in the third period on a great skill play:

Brad Marchand and Jordan Caron also scored for Boston on the night, pushing the Bruins to a perfect 2-0-0 on the year.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the lone goal for the Wings, who are now 2-1-1.

The big story on the night, though, was the play of Chara on the PP. Boston’s been criticized heavily over the last few seasons for its poor production with the man advantage, and that narrative looked like it would carry into the 2013-14 season when the B’s went 0-for-3 on the power play in the season opener against Tampa.

Boston also managed seven shots on the power play all told, a pretty solid total. The goal now will be for the B’s to carry that production over to Thursday’s game against Colorado.

Bruins extend Seidenberg: four years, $16 million


On Wednesday, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said re-signing Dennis Seidenberg was a “pretty high” priority for his club.

He wasn’t kidding.

A day later, the Bruins signed Seidenberg to a four-year, $16 million extension with a no-trade clause, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The deal runs through the 2017-18 season and, barring a waiving of the NTC, will keep Seidenberg with the B’s until he’s 36 years old.

Seidenberg, who has been with the Bruins since 2010, will see his four-year, $13 million deal expire at season’s end. The German rearguard has been an important cog for Boston over the last few seasons, including the Stanley Cup-winning campaign of 2010-11 in which he tied a career-high with 32 points while averaging over 23 minutes a night.

Seidenberg was also a workhorse in last year’s playoffs, averaging 25:59 per game — second only to Zdeno Chara.

Monetarily speaking, the deal is a good one for Boston. The Bruins retain Seidenberg’s services with a nominal annual pay bump — $3.25 to $4 million per season — and prevent him going to market in what could potentially be a thin year for UFA defensemen.

Iginla, Eriksson set to make Bruins debuts


Thursday night will be an evening of firsts at the TD Garden — specifically, the regular season Bruins debuts for Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson.

Iginla, 36, will start on a line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, taking Nathan Horton’s role on the popular “HuLK line” of a year ago.

“I want to make a good first impression,” he told “It’s a great building to play in and a tough building to play in and we want to keep it that way.”

Eriksson, 28, has a slightly different perspective heading into tonight. Having spent his entire career in Dallas, he’s excited about playing in a hockey-mad city for the first time — a far cry from Iginla, who spent 17 years in a passionate Calgary market.

“I’ve seen in these weeks that I’ve been here, there are a lot of fans around here,” Eriksson said. “Everyone talks hockey in this town, and it’s nice to be in an environment like that.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Eriksson is slated to play alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the B’s second line.

The third and less ballyhooed debutant will be Reilly Smith, who came over from the Stars along with Eriksson in the Tyler Seguin trade.

He’s projected to be on the third unit with Jordan Caron and Chris Kelly, and is keen to show off some of the offensive flair that saw him score 58 goals over his final two seasons at the Miami University (Ohio).