Bruins working power-less play at practice

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Bruins working power-less play at practice

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com
WILMINGTON, Mass. The Bruins finished 20th in the NHL in power play percentage with a 16.2 percent success rate through the season, and languished without their Marc Savard-playmaking presence healthy and producing in the middle of the man advantage.Savard isnt walking through that door and may not walk through that door ever again, but that didnt stop the Bruins from getting to work on the power play during Wednesdays practice.Everybody was present, accounted for and healthy, but the PP got special attention by Claude Julien, Geoff Ward and Doug Houda at the end of practice.The special teams need plenty of work and strengthening, and that started at Ristuccia Arena with Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and David Krejci camped down low with Zdeno Chara and Tomas Kaberle on the point.The second working Bs unit had Mark Recchi, Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand with Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg on the points, and all of them are trying to work up some magic.Its an area that Tyler Seguin could potentially help out with, but the Bruins will start off against the Habs with the 19-year-old as a healthy scratch unlikely to play in the first couple of games. Instead, the power play hopes will center on Kaberle and the calming influence he brings to the blue line a plan that hasnt exactly worked since the former Toronto Maple Leafs star arrived in Boston.The Bruins were 7-for-67 in 24 games with Kaberle after his trade from Toronto, and have managed only a 10 percent success rate on the man advantage after it was expected hed be the answer man in Boston. If it turns into a special teams festival then the Bruins might be in trouble against the Canadiens, but theyve got to find a way to do some man advantage damage when given the chances.We all realize how important these things are. Were playing a team thats very good on the power play, said Julien. Theyve had success. Weve got to stay out of the box as best we can, and when we are going to end up in the penalty box our penalty kill has to be good for us.As you know specials teams play a big role in the playoffs, and we expect special teams to come up big for us.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


 

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Beleskey/Blidh-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

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