Notes: Krejci scores three in losing effort

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Notes: Krejci scores three in losing effort

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

TAMPA Recording a hat trick in the Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs would be a career highlight for some, and a dream come true for most.

But Bruins center David Krejci didnt have the look of a man who'd accomplished either of those things Wednesday night. His three goals were in a losing effort as the Bruins dropped Game 6 to the Lightning, 5-4.

So instead, the 25-year-old playmaker had the look of a man who knew he and his teammates hadn't quite grasped an opportunity to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

I think we were going to the net hard tonight and we really wanted it, said Krejci. Its really frustrating when you dream about it as a little kid to get into the Finals and have a chance to win the Cup. We were really close today, but it wasnt enough.

"But theres still one more chance.

Krejci's first goal was a sweet little wrist shot over Dwayne Rolosons glove hand from a nice spin-o-rama Daniel Paille feed during a line change.

The second and third were more redirects and dirty work in front of the net, with Horton and Lucic feeding pucks toward Krejci and Krejci turning scorer instead of playmaker for a change.

Its always nice to score goals, but in the playoffs it doesnt really matter. You want to do well, but a loss is a loss, said Krejci. A win is a win. I just need to forget about it, and its a new game in Game 7 starting 0-0. Just go get it, you know?

Krejcis three goals give him a team-leading 10 in Bostons 17 postseason games, and sole possession of the team scoring lead in the playoffs. It was readily apparent Krejci was one of the best players on the ice from beginning to end, and he finished first among Bs forwards with 23:59 of ice time (behind only Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in total time on ice).

Bostons whole top line bounced back in a big way after a couple of efforts best described somewhere between decent and subpar, and the four Bruins goals were supplied by Krejci and linemate Milan Lucic. That line accounted for 9 of the teams 20 shots in the game, and showed off the kind of dominant performance thats been good enough for a win during the entire postseason.

The Bruins were an amazing 11-0 entering Wednesday night when one of the KrejciLucicHorton trio scores a goal, and dropped their first postseason game with any production from their top three forwards. If there were any consolation prizes during the playoff losses, the latest would be that theres been an offensive awakening from Bostons big-name forwards when they need them most.

They were very good tonight, said coach Claude Julien. That line needed to be big for us, and they were. Thats certainly something you can build on heading home. If those guys play like that again then you would have to like our chances."

It would appear Julien is on to something: if Krejci, Lucic and Horton play the same kind of game on their own home ice Friday night in Game 7, the chances of the outcome being different are remarkably close to 100 percent.

Krejci was right in the middle of a power play that struggled to get one goal in five chances, and only managed five shots on net in those five possessions. None of that was good enough to close out a quality team like the Lightning, and it certainly wasnt good enough to take them down in their own building.

It appeared early in the game that the Bruins players were aiming high glove side on Dwayne Roloson as they got comfortable in their games and both Lucic and Krejci scored their first-period goals on shots just under the crossbar in the right corner of the net. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Roloson closed things down a bit in the third period and the 41-year-old veteran is now 7-0 in elimination games during his storied NHL career.

The Bruins had killed 11 straight Tampa Bay power plays headed into Wednesday nights Game 6, but ended up allowing three straight man-advantage goals once the Lightning got their high-powered attack moving along. The Bolts are now 5-for-22 on the power play in the conference finals against the Bruins.

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

Pare 'brings energy' as big-bodied, sixth-round Bruins pick

Pare 'brings energy' as big-bodied, sixth-round Bruins pick

CHICAGO – The Bruins aren’t ever going to shy away from big, strong centers with a willingness to play on the physical side, so it was no surprise they selected big French-Canadian center Cedric Pare in the sixth round of the NHL Draft Saturday at the United Center.

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The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Pare was described as “a project” by Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley, who said that he’s looking forward to the big-bodied forward playing a top-six role in the QMJHL next season. Pare had five goals and 16 points in 64 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs before posting three points in 18 playoff games. Bradley said the Bruins hope to see more offense as he gets more exposure as a player.

“Pare is a developed kid that we got in the sixth round. He went to the Memorial Cup and we’ve seen good things from him. We think we got good value there,” said Bradley. “He plays with a lot of energy and I think his skating is undervalued. Over the course of the year he really picked it up with his skating, and his stride has lengthened a little bit. We just like that he plays with energy and he scored in the Memorial Cup despite playing a limited role.

“He was playing on the fourth line last year. I think this year he’ll be playing on one of their top lines as a top-six forward and he’ll get a lot of ice time...hopefully get some good development there.”

Pare indicated that the Bruins had shown interest in him throughout the season and he had an idea the Black and Gold might call his name in the later rounds. While there’s always room in the B’s prospect cupboard for a big-bodied center that plays with plenty of energy, it remains to be seen if Pare was worth using a sixth-round pick on when there are plenty of big-bodied hockey players out there willing to play with energy and aggressiveness. 

Bruins tap Maine-bound goalie Swayman in fourth round

Bruins tap Maine-bound goalie Swayman in fourth round

CHICAGO – It was thought the Bruins might swing for the fences with Boston University goalie Jake Oettinger, particularly if they traded down in the first round, but they ended up filling their goalie quota on Saturday in the fourth round of the NHL Draft at the United Center. The B’s selected University of Maine-bound Jeremy Swayman with the 111th pick in the draft after an impressive run for the Alaska native at Sioux Falls as a junior hockey player.

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The 6-foot-2, 183-pound Swayman posted a 2.90 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in 32 games for a poor Sioux City junior team, but distinguished himself with his size, athleticism and competitiveness as the rare goalie prospect to come out of the great state of Alaska. Swayman was eating breakfast in his Alaskan home while watching himself get drafted by the Bruins. Needless to say, he was pumped as he readies for his first season in Hockey East.

“I’ve been working my whole life for this and just to kind of have the notion of, your work has paid off in a small area of time or a small trinket, it’s very worth all of the hard times and tough times, and kind of working at everything for it. It’s kind of a token back and just an incredible opportunity for sure,” said Swayman, who said he models his game after Braden Holtby while also envying Tuukka Rask’s flexibility. “I would describe myself as a challenge goalie. So, a competitive goalie just kind of fighting through traffic at all times. Being able to see the puck from anywhere on the ice, whether there is a screen in front or a point shot and, of course, a point blank shot. Again, I trust my ability on my skates. I have good feet. I can stay up longer than most goalies in situations where they would have to slide. So, I can stay up and cover more net on a backdoor pass, per say. I also like to cut down the angle a lot.”

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley admitted that Swayman wasn’t the first choice of everybody at the B’s draft table, but said the scouts were confident making him the pick after another goalie was taken off the board before him. There were three goalies taken in the fourth round, including Prince Albert netminder Ian Scott taken one pick before the B’s selection, so it’s difficult to tell which other goalie Boston had their eyes on.

Clearly, the hope now is that Swayman follows in a proud tradition of stud Black Bears goalies that include Ben Bishop, Jimmy Howard, Scott Darling, Mike Dunham and Garth Snow, and that the B’s have drafted a new goalie of the future with Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre in the AHL.

“He’s a goalie that [Bruins goalie coach] Bob Essensa had really liked, and had scouted him. Most of our staff was on board with the goalie. We targeted another goalie, but he just went before our pick,” said Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley. “We heard good things from [the University of Maine] staff there, and we did our due diligence on him. We’re happy with him.”

It remains to be seen how Swayman develops in college, but the B’s hope it’s a steady, ascending development like that of McIntyre after they drafted him prior to his starring run at North Dakota.