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

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.

*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.

*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?

*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.

*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.

*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.

*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.

*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin