|Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Those defensemen are playing unbelievable’||05.20.13 at 10:16 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the B’s-Rangers series.
The Bruins took a 2-0 series lead with Sunday’s 5-2 victory, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers continued to play below par.
“I think they had their chances, to tell you the truth,” Thornton said. “I think the second period, it could have went either way. We were fortunate to get out of that with the lead. It could have been a different game if Tuukka [Rask] didn’t stand on his head for us in the second period.”
The big story of this series has been the play of the Bruins’ young defensemen, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton, who have sparked the Bruins with their fresh legs.
“Those defensemen are playing unbelievable,” Thornton said. “Torey Krug, obviously — not just the goal and the assist, those are great plays — but there were some plays he made that probably went unnoticed during the game that made our lives as forwards a heck of a lot easier. Some of the vision he has and some of the plays he made look easy, but they weren’t really easy plays, especially in the neutral zone.”
Thornton said he hasn’t thought much about what will happen when injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return.
“I don’t know what the timeline is for those guys, but I’m sure Claude [Julien] will have some decisions to make once everyone’s healthy,” Thornton said. “Not easy decisions, I’m sure, but good decisions. It’s nice when you have that many options. It’s better than the opposite, when you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, we can’t find anyone to put in the lineup.’ ”
As for the possibility of hard feelings if a veteran sits in favor of a rookie, Thornton insisted it won’t be issue.
“Not in our locker room,” he said. “I’ve been that veteran guy squeezed out of the lineup for the playoffs. It’s all about winning this time of year. There’s no time for any personal feelings or agendas. It’s all about the team. We have a good bunch of guys in that room, and everyone’s aware of it.”
|Bruins’ little big man Torey Krug proving he belongs on big stage||05.20.13 at 9:49 am ET|
Every year, a player comes out of no where to become a big factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
That man for the Bruins this year so far is 5-foot-9 Torey Krug.
He did it again on Sunday. He scored the game’s first goal in the first period, beating Henrik Lundqvist. He did it again on the second goal, pinching in from his perch on the left point and firing a shot on goal that led to a rebound that was put away by Gregory Campbell.
Krug has been instant offense at the blue line for the Bruins. For a 22-year-old rookie in his second NHL playoff game, Krug looks like a trusty veteran.
“Yeah, well I’ve said it time and time again, I come into this locker room, very comfortable, calm,” Krug said after Sunday’s 5-2 rout of the Rangers in Game 2. “I get to watch some of the best professionals in the world prepare for games like this, as if it’s any other game. So, I have a lot of guys to lean on and they all give me confidence back. So, it’s unbelievable.”
What is so very striking about Krug is his confidence with the puck. Much like Dougie Hamilton displayed early in the season, Krug looks like he wants the puck at every chance, either rushing up the ice or setting up on the power play. Why is that?
“Well I’m a player. I’m 5-9, I’m not very big, I have to play with the puck to be an impact player,” he answered. “So, for me, you’ve got to be confident with the puck. If I’m not making plays, I’m not going to be effective and guys are going to go out there and they’re just going to find a 6-2 guy that can do the same thing without the puck. So, you just got to be confident and play with the puck.
On his goal, he managed to use his skates to control the puck, setting up the shot on his stick.
“That’s a skill that sometimes you work on it after practice,” he said. “You don’t have to work on it too much. It’s just a couple of extra reps here or there at the end, picking up pucks with your feet. So, it’s just something that I try to do, and I was lucky enough that it bounced my way.”
And his set-up of Campbell’s goal?
“It’s the same thing,” he said. “All that comes with confidence and being calm. If you’re freaking out, out there because the pucks not exactly where it is, you’re going to get yourself in trouble.”
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|Barry Pederson on D&C: Rangers’ shot-blocking style causing problems for Henrik Lundqvist||05.20.13 at 9:45 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to discuss the Bruins’ strong start to their series against the Rangers. Boston holds a 2-0 series lead following Sunday’s 5-2 victory.
The Bruins have been rejuvenated by the play of young defensemen Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton.
“I think right now they’re showing some signs of [being a better team with the rookies], just because of the element that these three young kids have brought, which is mobility, speed, I think right now playing with a lack of fear, a lot of confidence,” Pederson said. “But you can really see it, to me, from their offensive side. What I mean by that, a lot of times throughout the year when the offense has been struggling, everybody always points at the forwards. And vice versa, when the defensive game is struggling, everybody always point to the defense. I’ve always been a firm believer that your defense creates your offense, and your forwards create your defense.
“So, these guys are doing a really good job, to me, by jumping into plays, recognizing when there are outnumbered opportunities to make it a three-on-two, a four-on-three. Hamilton did a good job of that yesterday as well as Bartkowski and Krug. For now they’re doing I think a really good job of creating some offense and … they are bringing a little bit of speed and mobility that maybe the Bruins have not had back there in a while.”
With the strong play by the rookies, it’s led to a discussion about what coach Claude Julien will do if and when injured veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return. Pederson said he does not anticipate a problem in the locker room.
“The guys recognize what this is all about, is trying to win hockey games,” he said. “It’s one of those problems that you love to have. … You can never have enough good, young defensemen, because they’re first of all hard to come by. And it’s a situation where these guys right now are playing this way. We’ll see how things go when you go into a more hostile environment in New York.”
Added Pederson: “I think if I had to look at how I would rank them, the rookies being taken out, starting with the first guy, I would probably take a look at Hamilton, it would probably go Krug, and then last would be Bartkowski to be removed from the lineup when and if they came back.
“If Redden was the first guy back, I’m not so sure if I would make a move quite yet. These guys have, I think, kind of earned an opportunity to continue. If it was Dennis Seidenberg who was healthy, there’s no doubt that he’s coming back immediately. I just don’t get a sense with Ference that he’s even that close, but again we don’t know anything about the injuries, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
|Henrik Lundqvist on Bruins Game 2 win: ‘We gave it to them’||05.19.13 at 10:24 pm ET|
In the eyes and mind of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the Bruins didn’t take command of Game 2 and the series as much as the Rangers and their defense gave it to them.
“We gave it to them, we know,” Lundqvist said. “I thought we played great, we just, I didn’t think they had to work really hard to get a couple of goals there. We just made it really tough on ourselves. We just have to correct a few things and go home and turn this around. It doesn’t matter the score, it’s a loss. Overtime or 5-2, it doesn’t matter.”
Lundqvist was burned badly on yet another odd-man rush ending with Patrice Bergeron feeding Brad Marchand, just like the overtime game-winner in Game 1. This time, the Bruins used the Marchand goal 26 seconds into the third to take a 4-2 lead and all but seal their 2-0 lead, with the series shifting to New York for Game 3 Tuesday night.
“We did play well, we just made some mistakes,” Lundqvist said. “And like I said, it didn’t feel like they had to work really hard to get a couple of goals. So we just have to talk it through and be a little bit sharper on a few things, but a lot of things we did well.”
“This game was about tracking down pucks, and it was tough. A lot of late guys coming in, dragging the puck through the slot with guys in front of me, you just have to try to work hard to find pucks. It was definitely a tough game to play, no question.”
Lundqvist is hurting, and not just his ego. He took a shot to the shoulder in the third period that left a mark.
“It’s my shoulder,” Lundqvist added. “We’ll see. We’ll take a look at it.”
Lundqvist was the man who led the Rangers out of the darkness when they faced an identical 0-2 hole in the first round against Washington. Can they do it again?
“We have to look at it that way; we’ve done it before,” Lundqvist said. “But I think we are playing a better team now, so it’s going to be tough to do it. They’re a solid team and you can’t give them too much. They work hard and they pay attention to all the details in the game and that’s why they have been so successful so far in these two games.”
“I thought I was in position, but a couple of screens and when you give up five goals you can’t be satisfied, obviously. You have to look at the way they scored goals, too. It’s about teamwork out there, and today it didn’t really work for us. We just have to talk it through and I have to better and the guys in front of me have to step it up as well.”
What needs to change for the Rangers in Game 3?
“We’ll see,” Lundqvist said. “A lot of things were good today. But if you lose 5-2 you can’t be satisfied, that’s the bottom line.
“I think playing the Bruins is about paying attention to details in the game and I think they have been the better team in that department. All the details in the game, they play a solid team game and so do we, but when you lack that little bit it’s a tough game. But I’m confident and I’m going to go home and try to play a strong game in the next one.”
|John Tortorella on 2-0 hole to Bruins: ‘There’s no give’ in Rangers||05.19.13 at 7:44 pm ET|
There were no FCC violations during his postgame presser. There were no explosions. There was a little agitation with one reporter’s question, but other than that, John Tortorella demonstrated good behavior after his team was dismantled 5-2 in Game 2 Sunday at TD Garden. The loss puts his Rangers in a 2-0 series hole, but it’s a familiar spot for Tortorella’s Rangers, who were down 2-0 to the Capitals before Henrik Lundqvist got hot and the Rangers won four of the next five to save their season.
“Listen, we don’t want to lose two games here,” the Rangers taskmaster said. “No one does. But there’s no give in the team. There will be no give in this team. Again, we need to go win a game. Not look anywhere else, just try to win our first home game this series.”
What gave Torts hope that his team can rebound in Game 3 Tuesday night in New York?
“If you’re talking about the latter part of the first, second period, I think that’s the way we have to play. And I think we can. I think we can sustain that,” Tortorella said.
The Rangers outshot the Bruins 16-9 in the second period and had three shots on a power play that now is 2-for-34 in the playoffs. But then the Rangers allowed a goal from Johnny Boychuk on a wrister to the left of Lundqvist and a two-on-one breakdown goal to Brad Marchand 26 seconds into the third that left Tortorella shaking his head.
“The third and fourth goals are defendable,” Tortorella said. “We made coverage mistakes. Our second period is where we want to be. We can’t put it in the net. We had multiple chances. We felt really good going into the third, and to have that type of goal go in on just a two-on-two, it hurts you. And then they’re just going to fill the middle and they’re just going to jam you, so we couldn’t generate much more.”
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|Bruins get to Henrik Lundqvist in Game 2 win||05.19.13 at 5:45 pm ET|
The Bruins took a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 5-2 victory Sunday at TD Garden.
Unlike their previous two games, the B’s didn’t need overtime to secure the victory, as they added to a 3-2 lead entering the third period with goals from Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic. The game marked the first time in 32 starts against the Bruins that Henrik Lundqvist allowed more than three goals. The last time Lundqvist allowed five goals in a game was on March 9, 2011.
Torey Krug got the B’s on the board in the first period with his second goal in as many career NHL playoff games, but Ryan Callahan answered in short order by capitalizing on a Marchand turnover and some sluggish work from Dougie Hamilton. The B’s took a 2-1 lead on a goal from Gregory Campbell off a rebound from a Krug shot, with the Rangers once again answering in short order on Rick Nash‘s first goal of the postseason. Johnny Boychuk gave the B’s a third lead with his third goal of the playoffs, and that was the lead that stuck.
The series will resume in New York, where the teams will play Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- How about that defense? Boychuk’s goal marked the Bruins’ 11th goal from a defenseman in nine games this postseason.
- With three points in two games, the Bruins have to be thrilled with the production they’ve gotten from Krug. He’s put up such numbers while getting the least amount of ice time amongst Bruins’ blueliners, too, so he’s making the most of his time.
Though Krug is a strong skater and certainly is creating in the offensive zone, he’s still probably behind Matt Bartkowski when it comes to his likelihood of sticking in the lineup when everyone is healthy. Bartkowski finished third on the Bruins in time on ice again and is clearly the most likely to stick and should replace Wade Redden if and when the trio of injured defensemen are ready to go. Read the rest of this entry »
|Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, Wade Redden out for Game 2||05.19.13 at 2:07 pm ET|
Both Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden skated on Sunday, but both are out of the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Rangers, Bruins coach Claude Julien said prior to the game.
Andrew Ference will also miss the game and has yet to skate since missing Game 6 against the Maple Leafs. With the trio of injured defensemen out, rookies Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug will be in the lineup again.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
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