Tag: Zdeno Chara

Minnesota Wild v Boston Bruins

Bruins play it safe with Krejci


The Boston Bruins would love to get David Krejci back, but they’re not going to rush him. If that means that he can’t play against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, then so be it.

“If he’s ready then I’d want him in the lineup. Why sit him out a game if he’s ready?” Head coach Claude Julien told CSNNE.com on Wednesday. “If he’s not then I guess the weekend would certainly help him because it’s more days. That’s what we’ll have to see here. I’m going to talk to our trainers tomorrow morning, and if there’s any doubt then he won’t be playing. But if he’s okay to play then I don’t want him watching tomorrow.”

To their credit, the Bruins are finding ways to win even with significant injuries to players like Krejci and Zdeno Chara.

Still, it’s not as if they’re blowing out opponents during a three-game winning streak with overtime wins against Buffalo and Florida (along with a two-goal win versus Ottawa).

As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty notes, it’s obvious that Boston’s offense isn’t exactly buzzing without the 28-year-old.

It’s clear that the absence of Krejci is impacting to different forward lines: the Lucic-Kelly-Griffith line went without a single shot on net in Tuesday’s win over the Panthers, and the reconfigured third line wasn’t much of a factor either. His longtime left wing in Milan Lucic undoubtedly misses Krejci, but also understands that it’s not worth pushing it in early November.

Julien alluded to a schedule that indeed seems friendly to Krejci healing up. Following tonight’s match against Edmonton, the Bruins don’t play again until Monday (Nov. 10). That provides some useful flexibility, as they can either play him tonight (knowing that he doesn’t face a quick turnaround) or give him that extra rest until Monday.

Even with these injury issues bothering him to start the 2014-15 season, the Czech-born center has been productive when he manages to play; Krejci has nine points in as many games so far this season.

Video: Marchand nets OT winner

Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand scored at 3:37 of overtime as the Boston Bruins improved to 4-1-0 without captain Zdeno Chara in the lineup.

Patrice Bergeron had the other Bruins goal.

Jussi Jokinen had the lone Panthers goal.

Tuukka Rask made 18 saves in the win while Roberto Luongo stopped 23 shots in the loss.

Chara updates rehab progress, calls its ‘such a slow process’


Zdeno Chara doesn’t know when he’ll be back. He’s not ruling out surgery for his injured knee either.

“We’ll see,” Chara said, per CSN New England. “It’s always nice to be able to avoid surgeries. We’ll see how it goes, but [not having to undergo an operation immediately, and perhaps avoiding it altogether] was good news.”

He added: “I wish I could tell you exactly when I could return, but it’s such a slow process. Who knows when the date is going to be? You want to be playing, that’s for sure. You want to do your part rehabbing, and try to get back as soon as possible.”

The Bruins estimated that Chara would miss 4-6 weeks from the end of October.

Boston is 3-1-0 without the big defenseman.

Related: Rask surprised to learn Bruins have won five of seven

Bruins’ Julien is ‘still very hungry to win another Stanley Cup’

Claude Julien

Few NHL coaches enjoy the success and job security that Claude Julien’s managed with the Boston Bruins.

He’s currently in his eighth season behind the B’s bench, and with a multi-year contract confirmed, he could very well be this team’s head coach for more than a decade.* Even with rare job security, Julien told CSNNE.com that his drive hasn’t faded.

“As a coach, personally, it’s about understanding that if you think you have it all figured it out then you’re in trouble,” Julien said. “You keep learning, and every year or so there are things that change in our game. The thing that I feel the most is that no matter what we’ve accomplished, I still feel very hungry to win another Stanley Cup.”

The veteran coach added, “as long as I have that fire in the belly, I’m extremely happy being in this organization as long as they’ll have me.”

It’s difficult to see why the Bruins would opt against keeping Julien (and GM Peter Chiarelli) around for the foreseeable future.

Even with a tough 7-6-0 start to 2014-15, the Bruins’ record with Julien at the helm is pretty stunning: 317-169-65, with a Stanley Cup, two championship round appearacnes and a steady run of postseason success.

The timing of the extension is pretty clever, too.

Julien can focus on getting the most out of a battered Bruins blueline without the stress of wondering about his long-term financial future. He has his work cut out for him with 6-foot-9 safety net Zdeno Chara out of the mix for quite some time, yet this is also a chance to once again prove that Boston can shake off the challenges that frequently surface during an 82-game regular season.

He certainly has a sterling record of succeeding in that regard, so far.

* – Sports will teach you that a coach’s contract isn’t the sturdiest shield when a team starts to think about making a change …

Bruins confirm Julien’s extension

Claude Julien, Peter Chiarelli
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The Boston Bruins confirmed that they’ve signed head coach Claude Julien to a contract extension. While reports indicated that it’s a three-year deal, Boston merely deems it a “multi-year contract.”

(The NHL: where teams are needlessly opaque about more than just injuries.)

It’s easy to forget the sorry state the Bruins were in before Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli turned things around. This is Julien’s eighth season behind the bench in Boston.

Perhaps the worst criticism you can lob at Julien is that he seemingly butts heads with the occasional finesse player. Forgive the potential oversimplification, but some might argue that he was at least part of the reason that the team eventually traded the likes of Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin.

Even if that’s true, the Bruins should gladly take the limited “bad” with the abundant good; Chiarelli guided the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup win in decades during that exciting 2011 playoff run and helped them get to the final round in 2013.

They’ve now made the playoffs seven seasons in a row and won four division titles under Julien’s watch, so Boston’s enjoyed consistent success along with those especially high moments.

The 2014-15 season may very well provide his biggest test as a coach in some time, too. With Zdeno Chara out and other injuries/free agent losses threatening the team’s ability to dominate, Julien is tasked with getting the most out of the talent available.

Luckily, he’s shown a knack for doing just that.