Firing talk doesn’t bother Bruins’ Julien

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There are rumors that Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien’s job being on the line this season, but he insists to CSNNE.com that those murmurs aren’t a problem.

“If they think I can do the job, that’s great. If they don’t think that the job has been done to the expectations of what should have been done, that’s their prerogative,” Julien said. “Those things don’t even faze me in the least bit. Trust me when I say that. I’m here, I’m happy and I’m doing my job working with players, and people around me, that I enjoy working with. When that doesn’t suffice anymore then you move on, and that’s the life of a coach.”

If nothing else, Julien boasts the sort of resume that would place him in high demand if his eight-season tenure with the Bruins does end. He’s won a Stanley Cup, made it two championship rounds, grabbed a Presidents’ Trophy and guided the B’s to a playoff berth in every season so far.

Heading into Thursday’s games, the Bruins have 67 points in 60 games played, good for the East’s final wild card spot. That lead is pretty slim, however, so Julien & Co. have to be feeling the heat a little bit.

That margin is even smaller with David Krejci on the mend. ESPN’s Joe McDonald reports that Krejci was placed on LTIR. While that doesn’t necessarily keep him out for the entire season, it’s another reminder that an offensively challenged Bruins team has its work cut out for it.

Bonino expected to return for Canucks versus Bruins

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The Vancouver Canucks, inundated with injuries of late, will actually have a player returning to the lineup tonight in Boston.

Nick Bonino (11G, 14A) is expected to be back centering the second line. The 26-year-old has been out since Feb. 9, when he hurt his foot blocking a shot versus Minnesota.

“It’s always good when you get some guys back,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said, per NHL.com. “You know he’s a big part for us and we’ve missed him while he’s been out. So if he’s back it’ll be great.”

The Canucks will still be without a number of regulars versus the Bruins, including three key defensemen, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev. Winger Alex Burrows is also expected to miss tonight’s game. And, of course, Ryan Miller will be sidelined for a while, leaving the starting goalie duties to Eddie Lack.

The Canucks have two games left on their five-game trip. They finish up Thursday in Buffalo.

Projected lines tonight:

Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Zack Kassian
Shawn Matthias – Nick Bonino – Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins – Linden Vey – Derek Dorsett
Ronalds Kenins – Bo Horvat – Jannik Hansen

Related: With Krejci injured (again), opportunity knocks (again) for Spooner

Bruins’ Krejci (knee) to miss 4-6 weeks

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The Boston Bruins will be without David Krejci for 4-6 weeks due a partially torn MCL in his left knee the club announced Monday.

Krejci suffered the injury during the Bruins’ 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

He left the game after checking Alexander Steen early in the second period. You can see the incident below:

The Bruins have placed the 28-year-old on injured reserve.

Krejci has seven goals and 26 points in 38 games this season while averaging 18:06 in ice time.

Related: Despite losing road trip, Chiarelli sees ‘promising signs’ from Bruins

Despite losing road trip, Chiarelli sees ‘promising signs’ from Bruins

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With all the negativity surrounding the Boston Bruins lately, it’s probably a good time to bring out those old clichés about not letting the lows get too low and things never really being as bad as they seem.

Because let’s face it, despite the losses, it’s not like the Bruins have been getting completely run out of the rink. In their just-completed road trip, they gave away two goals on “mind-boggling” mistakes in Vancouver, blew a 3-0 lead in Calgary and lost in overtime, outshot the Oilers 41-30 only to lose in a ridiculous shootout, held the Blues to 15 shots but had a rookie goaltender between the pipes, and won 6-2 in Chicago.

While it’s hard to defend how they played against the Canucks, and blowing a 3-0 lead is pretty inexcusable, there were elements of bad luck on that trip.

“Obviously, we struggled during this road trip, but it was a good, convincing win [over the Blackhawks],” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Sunday. “Again, it’s not up to where we should have been on the overall road trip, but if you look back to the last period of the Edmonton game, I think our legs and hands are coming around. I liked the way we skated with the puck in the St. Louis game, and [in Chicago], too — so some promising signs.”

The B’s have a good opportunity to build on those promising signs in their next few games. Tuesday they host Vancouver, Friday they’re in New Jersey, Saturday they host Arizona, after which they get four days off to prepare for visits from the Flames and Flyers.

Even without David Krejci, Boston should be the betting favorite in all five of those games.

Related: Krejci’s injury is reportedly to his knee, might be long-term

Bouncing back? Bruins blast Blackhawks

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Heading into this weekend, things seemingly looked ugly for the Boston Bruins. Instead, it ended up being an uglier run for the Chicago Blackhawks, at least on Sunday.

The Bruins blasted the Blackhawks 6-2 today, and with the score 6-1 at the end of the second period, it was a laugher after a lopsided middle frame.

One game doesn’t cure or create all ills, yet all of a sudden the concern may shift to Chicago.

The Bruins came in on a six-game losing streak including a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Friday. They had also only won a single game in all of February before this startling beatdown.

This game put Chicago’s relative struggles under the microscope, however.

They’ve now lost three in a row and have generated mixed results (at best) since 2015 rolled around, going 10-10-3 since Jan. 1. The Bruins have been impressive in Chicago lately, it seems, too:

Corey Crawford had a tough Sunday, allowing four goals on 14 shots before being pulled 32:19 into the game. Antti Raanta gave up two goals of his own before Boston took its foot off the gas in the third.

Patrice Bergeron reached a nice, personal milestone in the contest:

Blowout games draw some attention, but again, it’s still just one contest. The Bruins fattened their slim wildcard lead over Florida, Philadelphia and others while Winnipeg’s in shouting distance of taking Chicago’s third spot in the Central, yet we could easily look back at this contest as a blip on the radar.

Still, it certainly looked like an eyebrow-raiser in action.