Bruins not looking past Game 6


Bruins not looking past Game 6

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON Milan Lucic wasnt even going to entertain it.

As soon as one reporter mentioned a potential Game 7 in Vancouver, he stopped the questioner right in his tracks after the Game 6 morning skate Monday at TD Garden.

"I don't even want to talk about a Game 7 because Game 6 hasn't been played yet, said Lucic before quickly moving on to the next question. The key for us is playing physical, no matter who were playing. When we play with physicality, emotion and energy then thats when we bring our best. We need that from the start.

Electronic Arts Sports, otherwise known as EA Sports video game creators, had the series played out as a seven-game affair with the home game taking each game before things even got started, for goodness sakes and it appears to be playing out exactly that way.

The Bruins have lost three heart-wrenching one-goal games at Rogers Arena, and the Canucks have been waylaid by Boston at TD Garden while looking intimidated by the hostile atmosphere the whole way through.

So it might be easy to assume the Bruins will take Game 6 as a foregone conclusion after pounding the Canucks by an 8-1 score in Game 3 and a 4-0 shutout in Game 4 that saw Roberto Luongo mercifully pulled from the game. The Canucks havent been a great road team this year, and they certainly looked a little shaken and stirred in games in Boston.

But the Bruins have been through assuming things will happen for them in the playoffs.

"Ive heard people are talking about they've won the three games in Vancouver and we've won two games here, so we'll automatically win tonight and then lose in Game 7, said David Krejci. It's a mindset. If you're strong in your mind, then you put these things aside. Were just focused on the job.

You have to put it aside. For some guys its easy and for some guys its a little harder. But thats our only chance to succeed and keep going.

The one-game-at-a-time mantra is a clich to be sure, but its also the way good teams approach a long, challenging championship run like the Bruins have over the last two months. The Bruins learned their lessons well when they blew things to Philly last season, and if they possibly lose Game 6 then it wont be because they looked past their opponents.

As a lot of teams have found out especially us last year up 3-0 against Philly its not over until its over, said Lucic.

The Bruins will be doing everything to make sure its not over tonight on their own home ice.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins sign pair of draft picks, including BC's Fitzgerald, to entry-level deals

Bruins sign pair of draft picks, including BC's Fitzgerald, to entry-level deals

Amidst the current turmoil at the NHL level, the Bruins delivered a little good news about the future today . . . with more potentially to come. 

The Bruins announced the signing of a pair of prospects/former draft picks -- Boston College forward Ryan Fitzgerald and defenseman Emil Johansson -- to entry-level contracts that will kick in next season. There will likely be another wave of signings with the Bruins from the amateur ranks once players like Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson are finished up with their college teams in the NCAA tournament, though it remains to be seen exactly which players end up taking the NHL plunge. 

There was some uncertainty as to whether Fitzgerald would definitely sign with Boston after completing his senior season at BC, but he will immediately join the Providence Bruins on an amateur tryout agreement after signing a two-year deal. Johansson will join the Bruins on a Professional Tryout Agreement with a three-year entry level deal that kicks off next season. 

The 5-foot-10, 177-pound Fitzgerald was an alternate captain for BC in 2016-17, with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 34 games with 56 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. Fitzgerald is also the son of Billerica native and former Bruins forward Tommy Fitzgerald, who took to Twitter on Friday to voice his overwhelming pride over his oldest signing an NHL contract. He was a fourth-round pick by the Bruins in 2013.

Johansson, 20, completed his first season with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League in 2016-17, establishing career highs with 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points with 26 penalty minutes in 49 games. The B's selected him in the seventh round in 2014.

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

BRIGHTON -- The Bruns got back to work on Friday, but were without their No. 1 goaltender for practice at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of their biggest game of the season Saturday night against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center 

Tuukka Rask was given a maintenance day after playing three games in four days, and Matt Beleskey was also missing “on family leave." The off-day for Rask could have very well about getting away from the rink mentally as it was physically; he has a 3-6-0 record during the month of March. 

Interim coach Bruce Cassidy said after practice that he wouldn’t be making a decision on his starting goalie in Brooklyn until Saturday, but it would be stunning if Rask didn't play.

“We’ll see how things clear up . . . and see where we’re at,” said Cassidy of any Bruins lineup changes against the Isles. “We’ll know by then. [The starting goalie] will be determined tomorrow. I don’t want to get out in front of it, to be honest with you.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s practice, with Cassidy uncertain of any changes he might make between now and Saturday night: 
C. Miller-K. Miller