Bruins can't take advantage of early gift

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Bruins can't take advantage of early gift

BOSTON -- The Bruins caught an early break on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. They thought it would lead to a win at home.

Instead, that early break was followed up with a major breakdown midway through the third period, resulting in a 2-1 Montreal win.

The B's had gone six straight games without scoring the first goal. They went 2-4 during that span. The last time Boston put the first puck in the net was back on Oct. 8 -- the second game of the regular season -- in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It marked their first win of the year.

Thursday night marked the Bruins' sixth loss of the season. They couldn't take advantage of the good fortune they received on the first goal of the game.

"We were definitely hoping," said Bruins forward Brad Marchand. "When you get breaks like that, you want to find a way to build off it, and build some momentum. But after that, he seemed to tighten up and make some big saves."

That early break came in the form of what soccer fans would call an "own goal" off the stick of Canadiens center man Tomas Plekanec.

Plekanec won a face off in his own zone a little too cleanly, apparently, as his draw back to Montreal goaltender Carey Price went under the 'tender's stick, off the inside of his right skate, and into the net, for a 1-0 Bruins lead with 5:55 left in the first period.

"I just Bill Buckner'd it," said Price after the game. "Just a mental lapse. I just went to go play the puck, and I didn't let go of my stick, and it was in the back of the net."

Bergeron was credited with his second goal of the season, but that would be all Boston would get on this night.

"A few times this year, we've started out games behind, so when you can get a bounce like that and get out ahead, you're hoping it can be something that cascades into something else," said Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. "But it didn't happen."

Thursday night started with an early break. It ended with a late breakdown, which ultimately cost the Bruins the game.

Midway through the third period, the luck didn't go Boston's way, as defenseman Adam McQuaid's attempted breakout pass through the neutral zone didn't go as planned, and it ended up on the stick of the Canadiens.

Following the neutral-zone turnover, Plekanec turned and took the puck down the right wing and into the Bruins' zone.

With McQuaid in his face, Plekanec took an initial shot that got past the B's defenseman and was saved by Thomas. Plekanec then skated right by McQuaid, and put home his own rebound on a quick snap shot.

"He took the shot from 10 feet away, he's a goal scorer," said Thomas.

"I was looking to try and hit Bergy up the middle there," said McQuaid. "I passed it a little too far in front of him, and they made a quick transition. So a bad pass on my part."

McQuaid had missed the previous four games with a headneck injury. And while it would be easy to point the finger at that late mishap, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn't about to throw any one player under the bus.

"It's his first game back," said Julien. "The way we're playing right now, it's too easy to jump on guys. And I'm not going to do that."

Perhaps the only thing that went right for the Bruins on Thursday night was the goal credited to Bergeron in the first period.

"We got the start that we wanted," he said afterwards.

They just didn't get the finish they were hoping for.

Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

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Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while gearing up for Big Papi weekend.

 
*A “behind-the-scenes” look as Jimmy Vesey was sold on the New York Rangers, but there’s not too much detail about the pitches from the other teams. Feels pretty apparent at this point that Vesey wanted to live, and work, in New York City.

*Damien Cox says that the World Cup of Hockey better get it right the next time, or else…or else what, Damien? You’re going to block them on Twitter?

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban making their preseason debuts on Saturday. David Backes and David Pastrnak will play their first preseason games for the Bruins as well.  

*It’s a complicated, strange story with Vladimir Sobotka, the KHL and the contract he seemingly can’t get out of to again play for the St. Louis Blues.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is ready to get back to work with the Arizona Coyotes after his World Cup experience.

*San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier is out for the next month with mono, which is definitely worse timing than Zach Senyshyn getting hit with the mononucleosis bomb over the summer.

*A quick look at the Philadelphia Flyers in advance of their preseason meeting with the Black and Gold tonight, which won’t be televised.

*For something completely different: there will be some pretty funky stuff happening on The Walking Dead this season.

 

 
 

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It hasn’t been difficult to spot Claude Julien randomly at Fenway Park on a nice summer night in Boston over the past ten years. The Bruins coach doesn’t hide his affection for the Old Towne Team. 

So, Julien didn’t waste much time before sharing his thoughts on the final season for David Ortiz and the celebration of his Hall of Fame-worthy career that’s going on at the Fens this weekend.

It might have been a chore when the rest of the Team Canada coaching staff was watching the Toronto Blue Jackets during the World Cup of Hockey, but Julien never strayed too far away from his Red Stockings.

“He’s finishing in style, and you don’t see that very often,” said Claude Julien of Big Papi, who was sitting with numbers of .316 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI that border on the ridiculous at 40 years old. 

“A lot of times when people retire the game has caught up to them big time. Not him. He doesn’t seem to have missed a beat here. I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled this year, and what he’s done. If I’m correct he just hit the home run last night for the game-winner.

“But as you know I was in Blue Jays land for about two weeks, so I had to keep a low profile. They were watching the Blue Jays and I’m Canadian too...but I was watching the Red Sox. So, it was healthy competition for our [World Cup] coaching staff.”

The most intriguing part about all is that the best is still yet to come for Ortiz in his farewell tour as he gets one more chance to clutch up in the postseason. It'll give Julien more to marvel at over the next few weeks while showing again why Big Papi will go down as the greatest clutch hitter in the history of Major League Baseball.