Game 5

Bruins back in a hole, from which they’ve emerged before

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The last time the Boston Bruins fell behind 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Final, it was no great shock for head coach Claude Julien, a man that had already seen his team fall behind and prevail before.

“We’ve been through this, I don’t know how many times,” Julien said on June 15, 2011, after a 1-0 loss in Vancouver. “We’re not a team that’s done anything the easy way, so in a way, it’s not a surprise we’re here.”

The Bruins, of course, would go on to win Games 6 and 7 to win their first NHL championship since 1972.

Now, two years later, they’re right back where they were, down 3-2 in the Cup final and going back home for Game 6.

And, once again, Julien is happy to give reporters a history lesson.

“It’s do or die,” he said Saturday following a 3-1 loss at the United Center. “We’ve been there before, and we’ve done well in that situation.”

Granted, there are notable differences from 2011.

First, it’s the Blackhawks, with a core of stars that’s shown it can get the job done — not the Canucks, with a core that hasn’t — that the Bruins are trailing.

On top of that, Boston’s best center, Patrice Bergeron, is hurt and questionable for Game 6, and its best defenseman, Zdeno Chara, has been on the ice for eight goals against in the last two games.

But if there’s a team that knows how to pull together when its backs are against the wall, the chips are down, and other assorted clichés, it’s these Boston Bruins. The Canucks learned that in 2011, as did the Montreal Canadiens. Most recently, the Toronto Maple Leafs thought they had the B’s beaten, only to regret not finishing the job.

“There’s no panic,” said Julien. “You’re not going to push us away that easily. We’re a committed group, and we plan on bouncing back.”

Bruins’ Bergeron banged up in Game 5

bergerontoewsgetty
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The Boston Bruins must feel like they’re in a perilous situation in Game 5 on Saturday. It’s bad enough that Patrick Kane has scored two goals to make it 2-0, but now it appears that regular Selke Trophy candidate Patrice Bergeron is banged up.

Bergeron missed some penalty kill shifts and was only able to take a brief 10-second shift after showing signs of injury in the second period.

Head coach Claude Julien was cryptic when asked about the 27-year-old’s status, saying only that the team “will give him some time.”

No doubt about it, Bergeron will be missed if this ends up being serious. As the playoffs have gone on, the hockey world has been clued in to his status as a top two-way player.

We’ll see if that means “limited shifts” or something more serious as the game (and series) progresses. Stay tuned for updates.

Here’s video that shows when he might have gotten hurt:

Update: Bergeron remained in the locker room to begin the third period.

Bruins insert Carl Soderberg for his playoff debut

soderberggetty
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The debate is over: Carl Soderberg will take Kaspars Daugavins’ spot in the Boston Bruins lineup for Game 5 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

This marks the 26-year-old Swede’s playoff debut. He hasn’t played for Boston since the regular season finale against Ottawa (on April 28) and only has six NHL contests on his resume. He collected two assists in that time.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports that Soderberg skated with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley during warm-ups, making them his likely linemates.

Bruins aren’t sweating anything heading to Game 5

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four
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The way Game 4 played out for the Boston Bruins, you could wonder about how they’re handling things. After all, they appeared to have issues with Chicago’s speed and made countless errors on defense that led to being beaten 6-5 in overtime.

Coach Claude Julien says he’s not sweating how his team handles things headed into tonight’s Game 5.

“We’ve had our ups and downs. Are we disappointed when we struggle, absolutely, but I don’t think there’s ever been a panic where we’re concerned,” he said.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things, but panic isn’t something that our team does.”

That ability to stay even-keeled is something Boston will need to draw from in front of a raucous crowd at United Center tonight. Of course, getting their defensive play tightened up and cutting down on the turnovers would do wonders as well. But hey, playing cool in a big spot is important as well.

Bruins rookie Soderberg may draw into Game 5

Carl Soderberg
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Lost in the Bruins’ 6-5 overtime loss to Chicago in Game 4 was the lack of playing time for their fourth line. Part of the problem there was the dicey play of Kaspars Daugavins. Boston coach Claude Julien may have an answer for that in Game 5.

Rookie forward Carl Soderberg, he of all of six games played in his NHL career, skated on the fourth line at practice today with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton signaling the possibility he gets the call tomorrow night. Julien told reporters today, as shared by NHL.com’s Matt Kalman, that he was giving things a different look.

“Just trying something else here,” Julien said before boarding the bus in front of a throng of fans outside the Garden. “Again, I’ll make that decision [Saturday]. But just get a different look at what that would look like, that’s all.”

In his six games this season, Soderberg has no goals and two assists as well as six penalty minutes. He played third line type minutes averaging nearly 15 minutes of ice time per game, but he’s yet to appear in the playoffs.

Limiting minutes for fourth line players isn’t hard to do, but Julien may be looking to give his three better lines more of a break by having a better fourth.