Patrice Bergeron

Bruins’ Bergeron not a fan of possible faceoff changes

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Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is one of the best faceoff guys in the league, but if the league changes how draws are taken he won’t be a big supporter of it.

Bergeron told Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com that changing the protocol for how to do faceoffs, a change proposed by NHL general managers, doesn’t make sense to him.

“I don’t know if I like that. I think so far it’s been great just the way it is. I don’t know why we need to play with that,” said Bergeron. “It’s a face off, and it’s important to win the draw. I’m not big on it, but I’ll try to get used to whatever rules they implement… just like what they had with the tucked in jerseys.”

Bergeron, who has won 58.9 percent of his draws this season, added that he doesn’t see why it’s a big deal a guy gets thrown out of the circle the first time. He points out that sometimes teams do it to get an extra little bit to rest before play starts again.

Using the jersey tuck rule to make his point is interesting because after all the attention that got at the start of the season, it seems to have worked just fine since players aren’t being called for penalties for violating it. If faceoff changes do happen, players will adapt because they have to or else.

Make it 12 straight wins: Bruins beat Coyotes with strong third period

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The Boston Bruins have recently proven to be unstoppable.

They won their 12th consecutive game, thanks to a huge third period against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night. Jarome Iginla scored twice, giving him 28 goals on the season, and Shawn Thornton deflected home the winner with less than four minutes remaining in the third period to give Boston a 4-2 victory.

Also impressive about Saturday’s win was Boston had played and won the night before on the road against the Colorado Avalanche to clinch a playoff spot. But 11 straight wins … that was so yesterday.

On Friday, it was back-up Chad Johnson who helped lead the Bruins to a victory. On Saturday against the Coyotes, Tuukka Rask was back between the pipes, and he made 31 saves for the win.

The Bruins are now up to an NHL best 103 points. As for the Coyotes, well, the loss makes things even more interesting in the Western Conference playoff race.

They remain in the second Wild Card spot with 79 points. However, the Dallas Stars, thanks to their win over the Ottawa Senators earlier in the day, moved to within two points of the Coyotes. Even the Vancouver Canucks, with 74 points, are still hanging around, but just barely.

For a full look at the Western Conference standings, click on this link.

Video: Avalanche blue liner Benoit makes the save on Bruins’ empty-net attempt

Washington Capitals v Colorado Avalanche
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Colorado Avalanche defenseman Andre Benoit saved what could’ve been a sure goal with a rather unconventional save.

Benoit threw himself in front of a Jarome Iginla empty-net attempt late in the third period of Friday’s game between the Avalanche and Boston Bruins. With the Avalanche down a pair of goals, and their net empty with Patrick Roy pulling Semyon Varlamov for the extra attacker, the Benoit save at least gave his team an extended chance at perhaps getting a goal to get back in this one.

In the end, however, the Bruins withstood any Colorado attack in the third period for a 2-0 victory. It’s Boston’s 11th consecutive win, which helped them clinch a playoff berth.

Bruins defeat Avalanche, win 11th straight game and clinch a playoff spot

Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche
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The Boston Bruins have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs – thanks to their 11th consecutive victory.

Yes, they have won 11 straight games and, with this latest run, have to be considered the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference later in the spring. The Bruins – Stanley Cup champions in 2011 and finalists in 2013 – held on to defeat the Colorado Avalanche by a final score of 2-0 on Friday night.

Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg provided all the offence the Bruins would need.

They would fend off the charges of the Avalanche, which included head coach Patrick Roy pulling Semyon Varlamov for the extra attacker with about five minutes remaining in the third period.

As per NHL.com, the Bruins would’ve clinch a post-season berth with any win over the Avalanche, or if they got a single point against Colorado and the New York Rangers lost in regulation to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

OK. The Rangers limited the options with their victory over Columbus earlier. But the Bruins didn’t seem to care about the scenarios. All they did was win. All they’ve been doing is winning.

Bruins not ruling out playoff return for Seidenberg

Dennis Seidenberg
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From our friends at CSN New England:

The Bruins certainly aren’t getting their hopes up, but coach Claude Julien — like team president Cam Neely the day before — on Friday wouldn’t rule out the possibility that defenseman Dennis Seidenberg could rejoin the Boston lineup during the playoffs.

The German defenseman had surgery for a torn right ACL/MCL in early January after injuring his knee in a Dec. 27 game against the Ottawa Senators, and the Bruins said at the time he was done for the year.

The best-case scenario is that Seidenberg wouldn’t be ready until deep into a Boston playoff run, and even then there would be some hesitation to parachute someone who hadn’t played in six months into the most important games of the year.

Of late, the Bruins have been doing just fine without Seidenberg. And that’s an understatement. They head into tonight’s game with the Avs on a 10-game winning streak, a streak that’s pushed them four points ahead of Pittsburgh for the top seed in the East.

There does, however, remain concern that Boston’s back end — featuring the likes of Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller, Dougie Hamilton, and Torey Krug — lacks the requisite experience to excel in the playoffs.

Then again, even without Seidenberg, there’s still Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk, and a team could do worse than those two as veteran presences.