Boston Bruins

Caps end Bruins' season with 2-1 overtime win

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Caps end Bruins' season with 2-1 overtime win

BOSTON -- Joel Ward played the role of villain in Boston on Wednesday night.
The Capitals winger knocked home a rebound just three minutes into overtime of Game 7, giving Washington a 2-1 win, ending the Bruins season in the first round of the playoffs, a year after winning the Stanley Cup.
The game-winner came as a result of a Bruins turnover on an attempted dump-and-change from the neutral zone. But Benoit Pouliot's slap shot was blocked by Mike Knuble, who then skated it into the B's zone on an odd-man rush.
Tim Thomas made the initial save on Knuble as he took it hard to the net, but Ward came over and quickly put home the rebound, ending Boston's season.
BruinsTalk: See what the Twitter-verse is saying about the B's loss
Tyler Seguin's goal in the second period was the reason the game went to overtime in the first place. Seguin put his body on the line to tie the game at 1-1 with 5:33 left in the second period, as he dove into the crease for a loose puck that somehow snuck under the arm of Braden Holtby after Johnny Boychuk blasted a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
The puck sat in the crease and Seguin wanted it more than anybody else apparently, as he dove in and poked it into the open net.
The Capitals went into the second period with a 1-0 lead, thanks to Matt Hendricks' re-direction of a John Carlson shot from the right point that beat Thomas low to his blocker side with 8:37 left in the first period.
Washington scored first, and then scored last, sending the Bruins home much earlier than expected.

GOLD STAR: Tyler Seguin had seven shots on net, scored Bostons only goal and put together his best full effort of this years playoffs just as things were ending for the Bruins. That gave Seguin three points and two goals in his last two games, and puts a better punctuation mark at the end of this seasons sentence than where things were headed when the 20-year-old had been scoreless through the first five games of the postseason. The best part: Seguin showed the kind of grit and grime that is needed to taste success in the playoffs when he fought through both Karl Alzner and John Carlson to poke home the rebound of a Johnny Boychuk blast.BLACK EYE: Milan Lucic didnt get a single shot on net and didnt score one goal in the seven game series against the Washington Capitals. The Bs power forward is a big game player and leads the Bruins with three goals scored in Game 7s throughout his career, but he just didnt have that extra gear once the playoffs got moving. Lucic did have five hits and helped create the offensive sequence that led to Tyler Seguins goal in front of the net, but the offense is a component that the Bruins have come to expect out of Lucics game. It wasnt there in Wednesdays Game 7 and it hadnt been there for the entire playoff series with Bostons resident power forward.TURNING POINT: The Bruins could have won it earlier in overtime when Patrice Bergeron had a perfect scoring chance by the doorstep 45 seconds into OT off the rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg shot, but the Bs center just couldnt get a handle on the puck. Instead he fired it wide of the net with a wobbly attempt while trying to settle a puck that was bouncing. But it was pretty clear the injury affecting Bergeron played into his inability to get the meaty part of his stick on the puck and control a shot attempt at a net that was momentarily open. It was just another example of the Bruins being unable, unwilling or unavailable to park home a puck that was hanging around the net. Minutes later Joel Ward had the game-winner for the Capitals.HONORABLE MENTION: Dennis Seidenberg played upwards of 25 minutes had three shots on net, three hits and five blocked shots and helped extend the game to overtime when he jumped in front of a screaming Alex Ovechkin blast during Washingtons third period power play leading up to the end of regulation. The German defenseman also completely knocked Ovechkin off his pins with a stiff hit in overtime, but that one came just mere minutes before Joel Wards game-winner in the extra session.BY THE NUMBERS: 7 the number of Stanley Cup champs in the last nine seasons that have failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs the following season. The Bruins became the seventh on Wednesday night in Game 7.QUOTE TO NOTE: We had a lot of chances, its just I dont really know what to say. Its just disappointing to be done in April when youre used to going into May and June. Its just disappointing. Thats all. Johnny Boychuk on the shocking realization that the Bruins season is over after a first round exit at the hands of the Washington Capitals in seven games.
Danny Picard contributed to this story

Czarnik trying not to be 'the forgotten man' in Bruins camp

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Czarnik trying not to be 'the forgotten man' in Bruins camp

BOSTON – With all of the talk about young forward prospects Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk, it would seem that Austin Czarnik wants to serve a reminder that he can play a little hockey too.

For the second year in a row, the 24-year-old diminutive forward is putting together a strong start to his training camp with a multi-point performance in a 4-2 exhibition victory over the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Czarnik finished with a penalty-shot goal, two points and tied for the team-lead with four shots on net while playing with the energy, skating aggressiveness and in-your-face attitude that he’s going to need for NHL success. He also made his point that there are more than just a couple of young forwards in camp who can potentially help in Boston this winter.

“He was very good. I think the forgotten man, maybe, he was thinking [a bit] because we’ve talked about a lot of young guys. He’s still a young guy, and wants to make his mark and push for a job on the team,” coach Bruce Cassidy said of Czarnik, who posted five goals and 13 points in 49 games for the Bruins last season. “I thought he looked real good tonight. He won a lot of pucks. He’s always going to make plays in space, that’s his game. He won a lot of pucks and did a lot of little things well.”

It was Czarnik who really helped put the game away in the second period when he sped past a pair of defenders and forced them into hauling him down for a penalty shot with the B’s already up, 2-0. Czarnik patiently slowed his penalty-shot attempt before ripping one past Petr Mrazek’s glove hand in what ended up being the game-winning goal. Czarnik was in the middle of things again in the third on the insurance marker as he engineered a 3-on-1 rush before expertly feeding to Teddy Purcell for the sizzled one-timer.

Czarnik was downplaying the idea that he’s been overlooked in camp but show there was a strong need to remind the B’s organization how he can potentially help them as a fast, aggressive, pesky little center that can also make some plays.

“I’m not going to worry about [getting overlooked]. It’s part of life, you know it’s happened a lot? I’m not going to worry about that,” said Czarnik, who similarly won a job with the Bruins after a strong initial training camp last season. I’m just going to worry about myself and just try to do the right thing every single time and show them what I can do.

“I need to be an energy guy. There’s a lot of young talent now, you know, on the power play and everything now, so I need to try to create energy on the penalty kill and the fore-check. So that’s what my main focus is going to be.”

The energy really is the key to Czarnik’s long-term hopes with the Bruins and, consequently, the rest of the NHL. If he can play with the same skating legs, high energy and rapid pace that he’s consistently shown in preseasons, then there’s no reason to think he can’t help the Bruins. But there were far too many lulls in Czarnik’s rookie NHL season where the skating game wasn’t good enough, there wasn’t enough bite to his fore-check and there just weren’t enough plays being made on the ice.

Clearly, Czarnik is trying to change that impression in this camp with the B’s, but that could prove to be a much more difficult task with so many more quality forwards now battling for a few jobs on the roster in Boston. 

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Morning Skate: Sorry, Shaughnessy but young B's are on the rise

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Morning Skate: Sorry, Shaughnessy but young B's are on the rise

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while appreciating that Brad Marchand is willing to say something is “an absolute joke.” There are not enough candid players in the NHL like good, ol' No. 63.

*So FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy writes that the Bruins are “a lowly number four nowadays” in the power rankings of the big four Boston sports teams. Certainly, Danny is technically correct in saying that the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics are ahead of the Bruins in terms of the Boston pro sports zeitgeist and that they dominate the sports conversation.

But Shaughnessy points to the Bruins doing nothing to improve themselves last summer as some kind of reason behind their low position among the other Boston sports franchises, and that’s not really a factor. The problem right now is that the Bruins are extremely young and still a couple of years away from returning to true Stanley Cup contention as a result. 
Once Charlie McAvoy is a few years into his career, some of the other Bruins prospects are in the NHL for good and Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask are still at the back end of their prime, the Bruins will once again be a Cup contender that’s pushing their way back into the championship conversation that commands the attention of the Boston fan.

Would Shaughnessy have been more satisfied with the Bruins if they spent bad money on a big free-agent contract as they did with Matt Beleskey and David Backes in back-to-back years, or if they traded premium prospect Brandon Carlo for hired gun Matt Duchene? That would be the kind of “big splash” move that a bad management group would make to appease the casual fans that don’t truly understand what the B’s are going with their draft-and-development plan.

This Bruins outfit is still a playoff team while they’re building back to that Cup-worthy level. They were playing a much more exciting, entertaining brand of hockey once Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien last winter. This isn’t a lowly team unworthy of the fans’ attention, or more importantly their sports dollar. This is much more about the all-time greatness of the New England Patriots, the deserved excitement for a Celtics team that is truly going for it after being in the Bruins current “building it back up” phase for the past few years and a playoff-level Red Sox team that really has no competition in the summertime.

This isn’t about what the Bruins aren’t doing right now. This is about what the Patriots and Celtics, and to a lesser degree the Red Sox, are doing right now. It's as simple as that in a local sports landscape that’s cyclical and constantly in motion.  

*What a great Facetime hit here from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ray Ferraro with Jay and Dan now that they’re thankfully back to their rightful home in Canada. The technical difficulties really make the whole thing come together.  

*Congrats to Jonathan Drouin for making a commitment to the city of Montreal that goes well beyond being a player for the Canadiens.

*Lots of prayers and well-wishes to Hingham, Mass., native and New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle after his stunning cancer diagnosis. Anybody that knows the Boyle family knows how courageous they are, and how much love and support that Brian will have at a time when he’s going to need every bit of it. I also included a link to a New York Post Q&A with Boyle where he talks a bit about his father’s miraculous battle with cancer as well.   

 *John Chayka is trying to bring with him a new chapter to the history of the Arizona Coyotes, but it’s seemingly always an uphill battle there.

*Nobody should have any problems with the contract extension handed out to Mikko Koivu by the Minnesota Wild.

*For something completely different: Are we seriously living in a world where the Juggalos are marching for their rights?

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