ChrisBourque

Report: Bruins’ Bourque, Avs’ Vincour jump to KHL

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KHL club AK Bars Kazan has agreed to terms with NHL forwards Chris Bourque and Tomas Vincour, according to Russian news outlet R-Sport.

Bourque, 27, made headlines last season when he made the Bruins roster out of abbreviated training camp, carrying on the legacy set by his father — Ray Bourque — who spent 21 seasons in Boston during his Hall of Fame career.

The younger Bourque appeared in 18 games with the B’s last season, scoring 1G-3A while averaging over 12 minutes per game.

What’s curious about the timing of this announcement is that Bourque is currently traveling as one of Boston’s Black Aces in the Stanley Cup final, and has one season left on the two-year, $1.1 million deal signed in 2012.

That said, this move didn’t come entirely out of left field — Bourque does have a history with the KHL, having spent the 2010-11 season with Atlant Moscow Oblast.

As for Vincour, the 22 year old Czech appeared in 88 games with over three seasons with Dallas — scoring a career-high 10 points in 2011-12 — before being shipped to Colorado at this year’s deadline.

Vincour proceeded to appear in two games for the Avs, but spent the majority of his time with AHL Lake Erie.

Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead

Patrice Bergeron
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The Boston Bruins won the battles in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Their reward was a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Faceoffs are a kind of battle, and the Bruins won 40 out of 56 of those tonight. That’s a success rate of 71.4 percent, and it came against players like Jonathan Toews and Michal Handzus, two of the best faceoff men in the game.

Boston’s star two-way center, Patrice Bergeron, went 24-4 in the circle — that’s 85.7 percent — and scored a power-play goal for good measure.

Toews, this year’s Selke Trophy winner and the 2010 playoff MVP, went a mediocre 8-11 and hasn’t scored in his last 10 games.

Handzus went an embarrassing 0-for-10, with eight of those losses to Bergeron.

Of course, the most important battle of the night was won by Game 2 hero Daniel Paille. Early in the second period, he out-worked Chicago center Dave Bolland in front of the Blackhawks’ goal and snapped the puck past Corey Crawford for the opening score of the contest. And that play was preceded by Bruins forward Chris Kelly winning a battle with Nick Leddy.

The NHL doesn’t track battles, other than faceoffs. But it’s those feats of determination that so often decide games.

“We got to make sure that every play is critical,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, “every shift is important, value being out there and doing the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Bruins coach Claude Julien thinks his team is “playing the best hockey of the season right now.”

“I think it’s the energy in the game, the effort,” said Julien. “You see our guys, like I said, they’re back-checking, having layers, so when somebody makes a mistake, you have somebody covering up.

“We’re blocking a lot of shots. The commitment is totally there.

“Throughout a whole season, it’s not easy to have that full commitment. But I think when you get to this stage, players start feeling it. They go above and beyond.

“That’s what you’re seeing from our team right now.”

Discuss: Bruins smother ‘Hawks, take 2-1 series lead

laughsandbearsgetty
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The Chicago Blackhawks lamented that they played into the Boston Bruins’ hands in Game 2. If that’s true, then they were stuck in a straight-up bear hug in Game 3.

Boston won 2-0, totally befuddling Chicago in all areas of the game. The B’s now have a 2-1 series lead and could really take a stranglehold on the series if they win on Wednesday. Let’s chat it up.

  • No doubt about it, people are going to be talking about the Blackhawks’ putrid power play. But what about the credit for the Bruins’ penalty kill? This unit shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins’ potent man advantage in their third-round series and are doing the same in the Stanley Cup Final. Heck, they were outstanding way back in 2011 against a dangerous Vancouver Canucks group, too.
  • Blackhawks fans: what was the most frustrating moment of futility on those power plays? Duncan Keith passing up a wide-open shot might make a few lists, but there were likely other notable moments.
  • Let’s go back to a theme of Discuss posts: how much is Tuukka Rask worth now? He’ll be a restricted free agent, but this is the kind of run that could add a million or two (or 10) to a contract, overall.
  • How much did the Blackhawks miss Marian Hossa? Did Joel Quenneville put together the right kind of lines to cope with that late crisis? What should he do if Hossa misses more time?
  • The brightest spot for Chicago might be Corey Crawford. Do you expect him to be this strong in the future?
  • Asking again: what’s the best nickname for the Tyler Seguin – Chris Kelly – Daniel Paille line? (People don’t seem impressed by SKiP.)
  • A hearty congratulations to Jaromir Jagr, who pulled ahead of Paul Coffey for fifth all-time in playoff scoring on Monday, giving him 197 in his outstanding career.
  • Do you expect to see a “different” Blackhawks team in Game 4 or could the Bruins take a 3-1 series lead?

Turtle Wax Weekend Recap: Bruins steal home ice

ToewsChara

The Boston Bruins knew that in order to capture the 2013 Stanley Cup, they’d need to win at least one game at Chicago’s United Center.

On Saturday, they did exactly that.

The Bruins got the all-important split in Chicago and wrestled home ice advantage away from the ‘Hawks with a 2-1 overtime victory over the weekend, sending the Stanley Cup Final back to Boston knotted a one game a piece.

Boston managed to survive a Chicago onslaught in the opening frame, as netminder Tuukka Rask stopped 18 of 19 shots faced (the Bruins, meanwhile, only put four shots on Corey Crawford).

From there, the B’s steadily put their mark on the game, upping the physicality while limiting the Blackhawks’ chances on goal.

And by limiting, we mean limiting: Chicago had 19 shots in the opening frame…and just 14 through periods two, three and overtime.

“Maybe we left something out there,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “[We] had everything right in that first part of the game; had some good looks, as well. [We] did what we were looking to do.

“But, hey, it’s a long game. You know, we got to be better than that.”

The series will now turn to TD Garden, where the Bruins have a long history of Stanley Cup Final dominance.

In 2011, the B’s mopped the floor with Vancouver in Boston, winning their three home games by 8-1, 4-0 and 5-2 scorelines — a combined 17-3 count that represented one of the most lopsided home ice advantages in playoff history.

As you’d expect, the Bruins are excited about the opportunity to get things going at the Garden, but know they’ll need a better start in Game 3 than they had in Game 2.

“Once we simplified our game and got our feet going, that’s when things started happening for us,” Milan Lucic told CSNNE.com. “Hopefully we don’t wait a period in the next to actually wake up.”

Coach Julien hoping Bruins learned from ‘bad’ first period

Claude Julien
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The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks have both proven that they can bounce back from an early deficit. That doesn’t mean a strong start isn’t important and Bruins coach Claude Julien certainly doesn’t want to see another first period like the one he saw during the Bruins eventual 2-1 overtime win on Saturday.

Chicago outshot Boston 19-4 through 20 minutes and the Bruins’ might have been effectively out of the game at that point if not for goaltender Tuukka Rask.

“I felt we had a really slow start,” Julien said during Sunday’s press conference. “I felt our team was ready to play, knowing our players. I was really surprised to see how much we played on our heels.

“You know, you have to give the other team credit. They came out hard. They deserved that credit. We didn’t respond well.”

Julien suggested he might bring his players in earlier today to prevent a similar start, but he also feels that Saturday’s early performance was uniquely bad by Boston’s standards. With that in mind, he doesn’t expect history to repeat itself tonight.

“You learn from past mistakes,” Julien said. “That’s a mistake I think our team hopefully has learnt. We’re going to go back and play the same way.”

Of course, Boston still won that game and put themselves in a great position in the process. Game 3 will start at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Related:

Playoffs Tonight: We’re tied going into Boston