Notes: Bruins fists should get a rest vs. Detroit


Notes: Bruins fists should get a rest vs. Detroit

By JoeHaggerty

WILMINGTON, Mass. Those hoping for the Bruins to roll out the fisticuffs and fireworks for this weekends home-and-home series with the Red Wings will be sorely disappointed.

The Bruins lead the NHL with 55 fighting majors this season, but Detroit has the fewest brawls with five fighting majors. The Red Wings dont have much of a fighting component to their game, and are instead looking to play a smooth, transitional game based on special teams and systems play.

That will make it difficult for the Bruins to really let their emotions bubble over or explode as they did against the hated Habs on Wednesday night, and its doubly so with the struggling Red Wings simply looking to get back on the right track.

There was a lot of emotion running there," said coach Claude Julien. "The Big Bad Bruins are often pointed at as being the Big Bad Bruins, but its pretty obvious that it takes someone to stir the pot as well.

"Milan Lucics penalty was retaliation after taking two shots to the back by Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Im not sure its being viewed that way. Same thing with Gregory Campbell fighting Tom Pyatt, but Pyatt threw the first punch.

I couldnt care about any of that except that our guys stood up for each other and that we played to our strengths. We did both of those things Wednesday night.

The Bs will get an excellent test this weekend when they play the Wings at TD Garden in a rare Friday night game the first Friday night NHL game in Boston in more than 20 years (the Celtics normally play on Fridays, but their game against the Lakers was switched to Thursday for national television) and then travel to Detroit on Sunday for the home-and-home rematch.

The Wings are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are hitting their first real rough patch of the season despite the return of Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup last week. But the Bruins have struggled all season against the Western Conference teams and dont seem to have a strong answer for NHL teams they dont play against very often.

You dont see them that often, but we know what theyre all about and what theyre capable of doing, said Julien. I do know that theyve been very unhappy with the way theyre playing and theyll be coming at us with their best on Friday.

Its a team with a lot of experience and a lot of guys that have won Stanley Cups, and for us its one of those games where were going to have play with a lot of energy and play really smart if we want to be successful.

Irish Micky Ward, the decorated boxer from Lowell that recently had the Academy Award nominated film The Fighter made about his life story, will drop the ceremonial puck before the BruinsRed Wings game on Friday night at TD Garden.

Ward won three New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He started off 14-0 in his professional career and retired with a 38-13 pro record, having captured both the WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title. He was involved in Ring Magazines Fight of the Year three consecutive years from 2001-03 for his bouts with Emanuel Burton (2001), Arturo Gatti (2002) and Arturo Gatti again in 2003. His first battle with Gatti has been hailed by many boxing fans and experts as the Fight of the Century and Round 9 of that fight has been labeled the Round of the Century.

Julien said none of the Bruins were in danger of suspensions or supplementary discipline as a result of the 187 penalty minute extravaganza Wednesday night against the Canadiens.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: