Tag: Zdeno Chara

Report: Coach Julien inks three-year extension with Bruins


The Boston Bruins have agreed to a three-year contract extension with coach Claude Julien, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. The 54-year-old is in his eighth season as the Bruins’ bench boss.

When Julien took over the team, Boston had missed the postseason for two straight campaigns and hadn’t won a playoff series over its last seven seasons. Under his guidance though, Boston has reached the postseason for seven straight years and in 2011, the Bruins won their first championship since the 1970s. They made it to the finals again in 2013, but lost to Chicago.

Not including tonight’s game against Ottawa, Julien has won 435 career regular season games, which is good for 28th place on the all-time head coaching list. Julien also won the Jack Adams Award in 2009.

This season might be one of his most challenging in years though. The Bruins were forced to watch Jarome Iginla walk over the summer due to cap restraints and they traded defenseman Johnny Boychuk for the same reason. They’re also trying to get by right now without Zdeno Chara (knee), Torey Krug (finger), and David Krejci (undisclosed).

Bruins trying to get above .500 tonight without Krejci

David Krejci

The Boston Bruins have a chance to get above .500 for the first time since they won their season opener, but they will have to do so without David Krejci. He was a late scratch for tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

Krejci didn’t participate in Friday’s practice, but Bruins coach Claude Julien seemed pretty confident he would be available anyways, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty.

With Krejci out of the lineup, Chris Kelly is playing alongside Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith.

This is obviously a big blow for the Bruins. Krejci came into this game as their leader with nine points in nine contests. On top of that, Boston is missing key blueliners Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara.

Bruins coach praises Sabres, who ‘came to play’

Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres
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The Boston Bruins needed a third-period comeback, then overtime, to get by the woeful Sabres last night in Buffalo.

Despite the welcome two points for Boston, it wasn’t the dominant performance many were expecting against arguably the worst team in the NHL.

Overall, though, B’s coach Claude Julien was happy with the result, and to get back to .500 (6-6-0).

“We have to be careful of those games. Buffalo played by far their best game of the year and that’s coming from their organization, their team members and all of that stuff,” said Julien, per CSN New England. “This is the NHL. There are no easy games in the league. I know we want to look at the standings and say ‘Wow, we just barely got past these guys.’ Our skating and forecheck was probably not at the top of what we expect, which means our back pressure suffered.

“Our skating game wasn’t at its best. But we still broke out of our end much better, and we didn’t give them much. In our books they had about four scoring chances at even strength, and we gave them just three shots in the second period. So there were things to build off of. [Buffalo] came to play.”

Missing injured defensemen Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, the Bruins played last night with one blue-liner, Joe Morrow, who was making his NHL debut, and a couple of others — Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky — who don’t have much more NHL experience than Morrow.

Yet even with all that inexperience on the back end, the B’s still managed to limit Buffalo to just 15 shots, compared to Boston’s 37.

So actually, in terms of the shot disparity, the Bruins did end up dominating. The thing is, much of that disparity was built in the third period, with the Sabres trying to protect a 2-1 lead and the B’s desperate to avoid an embarrassing defeat. Other teams have dominated Buffalo right from the start.

“We’re a .500 team right now, and the guys are still trying to find that confidence level that comes with winning on a regular basis,” said Julien. “So it’s something to build on, and we’ve got a bigger test [Saturday at home to Ottawa].”


‘Obviously, our defense has gotten better,’ says Ducks coach Boudreau

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Bruce Boudreau knows the statistics. And the numbers are pretty clear: good defensive teams win Stanley Cups. Bad, or even mediocre ones, have a much tougher time.

The Ducks coach is, therefore, happy to see his team allowing the fifth-fewest goals per game (1.90) in the NHL.

“Obviously, our defense has gotten better,” said Boudreau, per the LA Times. “If you look at teams that have won the Cup, they’re high in the defensive standings — L.A. was the best defensive team last year, won the Cup. Chicago before that, won it. When Boston won … there’s definitely a trend there.”

In fact, the last Cup-winning team that didn’t rank highly in goals against during the regular season was the 2008-09 Penguins (17th, 2.84).

While the Ducks may not have a Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman like Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith or Zdeno Chara, they do have a good mix of young talent and veteran experience on the back end. Plus, they added a former Selke Trophy recipient in Ryan Kesler, and they’ve received excellent goaltending from Frederik Andersen and John Gibson (Tuesday in Chicago, especially).

The Ducks could still be better defensively, as evidenced by the 29.3 shots per game they’re allowing. That ranks them right around the middle of the NHL. Their possession stats are only mediocre as well.

But with all the firepower and finishing ability they boast up front, the Ducks may not have to be the best defensive team. Assuming they keep burying a high percentage of their chances and the goaltending holds up, above average may suffice in order to take a serious run at the Cup.

Anaheim is in St. Louis to play the Blues tonight.

Goals against of past six Stanley Cup champs
2013-14 Kings (1st, 2.05)
2012-13 Blackhawks (1st, 2.02)
2011-12 Kings (2nd, 2.07)
2010-11 Bruins (2nd, 2.30)
2009-10 Blackhawks (6th, 2.48)

Bruised Bruins: With Krug hurt, Boston recalls AHL defensemen (Updated)

Torey Krug

Boston’s thinned-out blueline suffered another hit on Tuesday night, prompting a quick response Wednesday morning.

After Torey Krug was hurt late in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota, the B’s recalled a pair of defensemen from AHL Providence today: Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky, per the Providence Journal.

UPDATE: The Bruins have made the moves official, along with news that Krug will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a broken finger.

More, from CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty:

Krug finished the Wild game with a whopping 24:07 TOI, but wasn’t out in the final moments when the B’s pulled Tuukka Rask for an extra skater while looking for the equalizing goal. The 24-year-old leads all Boston d-men in scoring this season, with six points in 11 games.

The Bruins are already without the services of Zdeno Chara — sidelined 4-6 weeks with a torn PCL in his knee — and Kevan Miller (dislocated shoulder); they also traded away Johnny Boychuk just prior to the start of the regular season due to a salary cap crunch.

The result is that Boston could now head into Thursday’s game in Buffalo with a top-six defense of Dennis Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Zach Trotman, Matt Bartkowski and either one of Warsofsky or Morrow.