Notes: Boychuk's mistake costs Bruins

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Notes: Boychuk's mistake costs Bruins

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER Johnny Boychuk probably doesnt need to be reminded that hes been on the ice for each of the last seven goals scored against the Bruins during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The minus-1 on Boychuks ledger from Game 1 of the Cup finals might have been the toughest one for No. 55 to stomach. It was his error in both judgment and execution that led to the winning goal by Raffi Torres with only 18.5 seconds remaining on Wednesday night.

Boychuk attempted to step up and play the body on Vancouver center Ryan Kesler as things moved quickly to the Boston defensive blue line, and the Bs defenseman lost the one-on-one battle with the Canucks do-it-all center.

Kesler worked the puck along the side boards in a play very reminiscent of one that Patrice Bergeron has often pulled during his career with the Bruins. He slipped around Boychuk and fed a nice pass to Jannik Hansen, who set up Torres for the game-winning goal.

I was trying to push it back toward the neutral zone, but it didnt happen, said Boychuk. I dont know if it hit or it went back in, or what happened. All I know is he got the puck, hesitated to see if was offside and made the pass to score in the last minute.

The goal begs the question why Boychuk was on the ice with Zdeno Chara in the closing minutes of a Stanley Cup Final playoff game when the CharaDennis Seidenberg combo has been a key shutdown pairing during the playoffs. The final seconds of a game is exactly when Chara and Seidenberg should be suffocating Kesler and Co. and pushing for a decision in overtime.

Boychuk was aware he made a mistake in that situation, but he didnt feel like it had much to do with a slight tweak in defense pairings headed into the game.

I played with Chara for most of the year, so its not out of the norm, said Boychuk. Theyve played well together in the playoffs, but this was just to switch it up. I just go out there when Im told.

Milan Lucic on the hip check by Dan Hamhuis near the benches: "I went over. He got hurt on it. That's it."

Interesting that Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki popped up on the jumbotron to wish my man Hoff luck in the Stanley Cup Finals as the German superstar wished fellow countrymen, Christian Erhoff, well in the final series.

Got to wonder: Where the love is for fellow German Dennis Seidenberg, who is tearing it up in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Bruins coach Claude Julien made some slight changes to the Bs power play with Chara camped down low and Tyler Seguin inserted into the man advantage for a bit of a different look. But neither of those things worked out as the Bs power play went 0-for-6 while also holding the high-powered Canucks to an 0-for-6.

The Bruins did manage to get 12 shots on net and had a very good possession during a four-minute power play after a high-sticking call against Daniel Sedin in the first period. But still, no actual production for a special-teams unit that needs some serious overhauling if its ever going to fully function.

I think our power play was better tonight than its been in a while," said Julien. "We had some shots. We had some opportunities. We had chances. We didnt score and obviously when your power play isnt doing well then its going to be criticized for not scoring.

But the same thing happened on the other side. As long as were able to stay on even terms with them on special teams, then Im okay with that.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.