Boston Bruins

Bruins feeling boxed in by refs

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Bruins feeling boxed in by refs

MONTREAL The Bruins believe the National Hockey League might just be on the lookout for them this season after they bullied their way to a Stanley Cup championship over the Vancouver Canucks, and they have the numbers to prove it.

One of the iconic images from last years Cup Finals was Brad Marchand punching the closest available Sedin with five or six jabs to the head while A) the refs refused to call any penalties and B) Sedin refused to protect himself or engage with Marchand when nobody came to his defense. Even better was Marchands because I felt like it defense.

Now it looks like the league is keeping close tabs on Boston this season via their refereeing crews. The refs have called a bevy of penalties on the Black and Gold in the early portions of the season, and that has played into Boston's difficulties.

The Bruins were whistled for eight penalties and 19 penalty minutes in a 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Saturday night, and at least three of the calls were retaliatory penalties after the Bs truly lost their cool.

Any time we retaliate were getting called for it, said Marchand. Teams are staying away from physical fights and stuff like that with us. They know that gets us going and gets us a lot of emotion. So other teams are trying to stay away from it.

We have to be able to take it and hurt them on the scoreboard. Thats the way you do it.

Coach Claude Julien blew his stack several times during the game with some interesting gestures at the refs, and afterward the Bs coach felt like the Bruins are being treated differently as the big, bad bully on the block by the NHL.

I thought it was a tough night as far as a lot of the calls were concerned said Julien. Thats my opinion. Overall you dont look at that, but you blame yourselves and your discipline. We have that reputation and it's there. We have to be careful because theyre looking at us to retaliate and then penalize us. We have to be smarter in that area.

We have to somehow find a way to stay focused and grind things out like we did in the third period when we found a way to get back into the game.

P.K. Subban was able to induce both Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference into taking penalties when they came after the Montreal defenseman the Habs scored a power-play goal after Ferences roughing call and Nathan Horton took an extremely selfish cross-checking penatly inretaliationon immovable object Hal Gill in the third period with his team down by a 3-1 score.

More surprising, however, is the amount of penalties the Bruins are taking on this season after having been one of the least-penalized teams in the league over the last few years; only the Ottawa Senators have more than the Bs 175 penalty minutes this season (17.5 per game).The Bruins were closer to middle of the pack last season with 13.6 penalty minutes per game last season.

The 61 overall penalties whistled on the Bruins ranks them among the five worst in the NHL this season, and it screams out a hockey team that A) definitely fights a bit more than most teams while attracting major penalties and B) also clearly is having some issues staying disciplined and under control when its required of them while trailing the majoriy of the time.

Guys were a little more frustrated as I was, to be honest with you, with some of the things where wed reach out with a stick to make a play. Then, as soon as you put a finger on the player, the hand goes up for a penalty, said Julien. That was frustrating. We lost our focus a little bit and thats when the retaliatory penalties came into play.

We need to stay focused and stop blaming everybody else around us.

Whether it was an edict from high among the NHL officials to call things a little more closely on the Cup champion Bruins or a group of players that simply cant get with the discipline program this season, the Bs need to smarten up if they hope to cure their current hangover.

Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

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Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

BOSTON – The Bruins ended Tuesday night’s preseason home date with another feel-good victory over the Red Wings, but it may have come at a cost.

Both Torey Krug and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson were injured in the second period of the B’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden, and didn’t return to the game. Krug was hit in the face with a puck in the defensive zone during the second period, and quickly exited the ice with Bruins trainer Don DelNegro after the impact of the puck hitting his face initially took his feet out from under him.  

“[Krug] clearly didn’t finish the game, and took a shot up in the facial area,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug, who had a couple of shots on net in 9:10 of ice time while largely playing with Charlie McAvoy in an offensive-minded pairing. “We’ll probably have an update tomorrow.”

Forbacka Karlsson took a hard tumble into the end boards in the game’s middle period, and never returned after serving up the primary assist on Danton Heinen’s goal earlier in that very same period. JFK tried to return to Tuesday night’s win over the Red Wings, according to Cassidy, but was kept out of the game with an upper body injury that has his status as questionable moving forward.

“He went into the boards late in the second. He’s day-to-day, upper body. I think wanted to – he did come back and try [to return to the game],” said Cassidy of JFK, who put up an assist and a plus-1 rating in 8:37 of ice time before leaving the game. “I don’t think it’s serious, but I can’t speculate. We’ll get another update tomorrow. It didn’t look good, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looked. We’ll know more [about JFK] tomorrow.”

It certainly sounds like both Krug and JFK could miss a day or two of practice moving forward after the injury wear-and-tear of preseason action, but the hope is that the Black and Gold won’t be missing a couple of key performers for anything more than that.  

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Talking Points: Austin Czarnik puts on a show vs. Red Wings

Talking Points: Austin Czarnik puts on a show vs. Red Wings

BOSTON -- The good, the bad, and the ugly from the Bruins' 4-2 exhibition win over the Red Wings Monday night at TD Garden:

GOLD STAR: Austin Czarnik once again showed that he can really put on a show during training camp after winning an NHL job last season based on his strong preseason. Czarnik finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-1 rating in 15:15 of ice time, created a penalty shot situation solely based on his skating speed and perfectly executed a 3-on-1 late in the third period while feeding a one-timer dish to Teddy Purcell for the insurance marker. Czarnik tied David Pastrnak with a team-high four shots on net for the night, and won 8-of-15 draws for the Bruins while manning his natural center position. Czarnik showed once again that he can play effectively when he’s motoring at a high pace and playing aggressive hockey, a couple of things he didn’t always do with the Bruins once the routine of the NHL regular season settled in last year.

BLACK EYE: Brandon Carlo didn’t have a particularly terrible night, but he did end up as the only Bruins player with a negative plus/minus. Carlo was on the ice for both goals scored by Detroit, and otherwise didn’t really factor into the game while clocking in a solid 17:48 of ice time. His only other major contribution was an interference call halfway through the first period that put the Wings on the power play. Carlo was playing without his usual partner, Zdeno Chara, of course, and one of the remaining questions about the 21-year-old D-man is exactly how good he can be as a shutdown defenseman when he doesn’t have the big captain on his left side. Clearly, it was a good night overall for the B’s, but Carlo was far from his best in his preseason debut.

TURNING POINT: Nobody would have blamed the Bruins if they were a little frustrated after outshooting the Red Wings by a 13-8 margin, and not seeing any points up on the board. Instead of getting frustrated they kept working and finally busted through with a pair of goals within 90 seconds of each other in the second frame. Ryan Fitzgerald finished off the first chance off a nice dish from Jakub Zboril, and Danton Heinen followed by banging home a backdoor dish from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson across the ice. The two goals from two of Boston’s young forward group pushed the B’s out to a lead that they would never relinquish against Detroit.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jakub Zboril probably hasn’t received some of the fanfare of the other first-round picks in Bruins camp, but the skilled, improving D-man played an excellent first preseason game for the Black and Gold. It was Zboril’s one-man rush from his defense position that helped set up his creative dish to a wide-open Ryan Fitzgerald for Boston’s first goal, and he followed that up with 19:12 of mostly solid ice time. Zboril finished with the assist and a plus-2 rating along with a shot on net and a registered hit while also playing a special teams role on both the power play and the penalty kill. Zboril is still working on the polish to his game that will eventually make him an effective pro, but he was noticeable in a good way in his first preseason action of the season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the team-leading number of shot attempts for David Pastrnak in his first action of the preseason while skating with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Who is hard on the puck? Who is winning pucks? Who can keep their pace up? I think [the young forwards] are all capable of making plays, the young skilled guys. You can probably list seven or eight that have talent and could make NHL plays.” – Bruce Cassidy, on what he’s looking for out of B’s forward prospects that want to win NHL jobs.