Chara: 'Tough game to lose' after Bruins tribute to Schmidt

Chara: 'Tough game to lose' after Bruins tribute to Schmidt

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins organization usually does a very good job with the special events and pregame presentations, so it was no surprise they put together a wonderful ceremony to commemorate Milt Schmidt’s 80 years with the Original Six club one day after his passing at 98 years old. There were 15’s painted on the ice behind each net, and a No. 15 patch on each player’s sweater that will remain there for the rest of the season.

The video presentation did a masterful job of illustrating Schmidt’s many Hall of Fame accomplishments while sprinkling in plenty of examples of his gentlemanly personality, and the moment of appreciative applause held for Schmidt at the end of the video tribute was a nice touch. Unfortunately the Bruins didn’t follow that touching, on-the-money presentation with the kind of collective effort one would hope for, and instead dropped another home game in a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden.

“I was obviously close to Milt [Schmidt] and [there] would be nothing better than winning the game in his honor for what he has done. I felt like we didn’t do a good job,” said Zdeno Chara, who dropped the gloves in the first period with Patrick Maroon to try and fire up his Bruins teammates. “For sure [it was] a tough game to lose, especially on a night like this. It was a night where it was dedicated to Milt [Schmidt] and what he has done. I felt that we let him and obviously his family, including the fans, down. [It was a] tough way to lose. I thought we were obviously playing a tight game and then we lost it by mistakes happening in the third. They got the two-goal lead and we made [it] one goal, but you know we fell short.”

Clearly Chara felt the individual responsibility to win one for Milt given his own personal friendship with the Bruins legend, and Patrice Bergeron sounded the same tone as the longest tenured Bruin going back to his rookie season in 2003-04. Losing a flat one-goal game to an Edmonton team that could have been taken on Thursday night was regrettable, but failing to find that extra level on home ice during such a special day for the franchise left a bad taste in Bergeron’s mouth.

“If you let these teams get those types of chances, they’re going to hurt you. It’s really frustrating, especially on a night like tonight with the passing of Milt [Schmidt],” said Bergeron, who scored his fourth goal in the last games in defeat for the Bruins. “So it’s really tough right now with this loss.

“Defensively, the chances in the slot, we’ve definitely got to figure that out. Obviously it’s always the same kind of things that are coming back and creeping back into our game. We have to fix it.”

The Bruins will continue trying to fix things that have been wrong about Boston’s game for the last month. But one thing they won’t get: Another chance to follow-up the organization’s wonderful pregame tribute with a winning on-ice tribute of their own to Schmidt, the Ultimate Bruin as a former player, captain, coach and general manager. 

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

bruins-zane-mcintyre.jpg

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.