Claude Julien

Bruins head coach fumes about Montreal’s ’embellishment’


The Montreal Canadiens didn’t just snatch first place in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Some would argue they also got in their heads.

The rage boiled over when Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara got into fights about 30 seconds apart, but the angriest person might just be head coach Claude Julien. He griped about Montreal drawing penalties to’s Joe Haggerty.

“There was a lot of embellishment,” Julien said. “It’s pretty embarrassing for our game.”

Haggerty believes that Julien’s irritation isn’t just related to tonight’s contest.

The Bruins’ next game against Montreal takes place in Boston on March 27. After that, their final match of the 2013 season will happen in Montreal on April 6.

Bruins reportedly going with Khudobin in goal against Lightning


The Boston Bruins appear to be giving Anton Khudobin the start in goal today against the Tampa Bay Lightning, although, as Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald reports, that information came from the goalies – not the coach.

We’re playing a lot of games, 17 games in 30 days, so I’m going to play more than I played last month, for sure,” Khudobin told the Boston Herald.

“We’ve got four back-to-backs (in March), so I hope I’m going to get at least four or five games. If I get more and more and more games, I’ll be happy. If not, I just have to be ready for the games that the coach gives me.”

The Bruins – and likely Khudobin – go up against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that has three wins in its last 10 games.

The Lightning do feature Steve Stamkos, who leads the league in points (31) and goals (14). He was also named the NHL’s first star for the month of February.

The Bruins might worry about containing Stamkos, but at the top of their list should be the power play on home ice.

There has been no power play on home ice for the Bruins.

Joe Haggerty of CSN New England reported that the Bruins still do not have a power play goal at TD Garden.

“[Not having a power play goal at home] is actually something I hadn’t even heard about. But we’re not going to put any emphasis on it because that will just make things worse. We know that we need to be better,” the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron told

NHL on NBCSN: Inconsistent Islanders face steady Bruins

John Tavares

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the New York Islanders host the Boston Bruins at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. ET.

No team has won fewer games at home than the New York Islanders (2-7-0) and to make matters worse for them, they’ll be facing one of the best road teams in the NHL tonight (7-1-1).

Almost everyone on the Boston Bruins seems to be living up to expectations so far this season and consequently they’re one of the deepest teams in the league, led by a superb young goaltender in 25-year-old Tuukka Rask.

Goals are hard to come by against the Bruins, which is one of the reasons that no team has beaten them this year when Boston has scored first or has the lead after 20 minutes.

That’s particularly problematic for the Islanders, given how inconsistent they’ve been lately. Their recent play has frustrated head coach Jack Capuano.

“If guys want to play individualistic, go play golf or tennis,” Capuano suggested after the Islanders suffered a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, according to New York Newsday.

One beacon of light for the Islanders win or lose has been 22-year-old forward John Tavares. He’s tied for first in the NHL with 13 goals this season and has found the back of the net nine times in his last 10 games.

However, even Tavares’ sparkling play has turned into a point of controversy at time for the Islanders. Starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov recently suggested that his team has become over-reliant on the young superstar.

“It’s a matter of, do we want to play as a team, go hard every shift, or do we wait around for Johnny Tavares to score a goal and then say, ‘OK, now I’m going to play today, too’?” Nabokov asked in a New York Newsday report.

So will the Islanders come out of the gate strong and will the rest of the team give Tavares the support that he needs? Even if they do, will that be enough to stop the superb Boston Bruins?

Probable goaltenders: NYI – Nabokov (8-6-1, 2.91 GAA, .903 SV%) | BOS – Rask (9-1-2, 1.97 GAA, .925 SV%)

Top scorers: NYI – Tavares (13-12-25, 19 GP) | BOS – David Krejci (4-9-13, 15 GP)

Notable Injuries:
New York – Forwards: Jesse Joensuu (hernia) Defensemen: Brian Strait (ankle), Matt Carkner (lower body)
Boston – Forwards: Marc Savard (concussion)

Seven Bruins miss practice with ‘flu-like symptoms’

Bruins score

It’s a good thing the Bruins’ next game isn’t until Thursday in Tampa Bay, otherwise the fact seven players were held out of practice Tuesday with “flu-like symptoms” might be problematic.

Per, Boston’s coaching staff had to make do with fewer bodies than usual today, with the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference absent.

One player that did participate was Milan Lucic. The big winger missed Sunday’s win in Winnipeg after returning home to attend to a personal matter.

“It was for personal reasons. The good thing is that everybody is home and healthy now,” said Lucic. “That’s basically it. It was a long last couple of days flying to Winnipeg and then flying all the way back once I got there. But everybody is happy and healthy, and that’s the main thing.”

Bruins coach: ‘There’s no doubt we’re going to get better’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins are off to their best 10-game start ever, but head coach Claude Julien told that he expects to see even better work ahead.

“If anything, I think we’ve been consistent,” Julien said. “There’s no doubt that we’re going to get better. I think there are still some guys that aren’t at the peak of their game yet. That’s pretty indicative of how hard we’re working to score goals.”

The Bruins lead the Northeast Division with an 8-1-1 record for 17 points despite playing the fewest amount of games in the East. Still, Julien is right about the goals coming with difficulty; they’re currently ranked 28th in the league with a paltry 10.3 percent success rate on the power play.

The Bruins won their 2011 Stanley Cup with a PP than often sputtered, too, but Julien hopes to see that the man advantage and other scoring areas improve.

“We’re a better scoring team than what we’ve shown thus far. I think we’ve shown that we’re capable of creating the chances, but right now the finish isn’t there,” said Julien. “There’s certainly room for improvement. But I like where we are at this stage of the season and how we’ve handled those types of games. But there’s a lot more in our hockey club than we’ve shown so far.”

They’ll face a tough task in scoring against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers on Tuesday. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Network starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.