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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 1:42 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Bergeron, Campbell not 100 percent for Bruins

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins’ depth up the middle might be tested at the start of training camp as veteran centers Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell continue to recover from injuries incurred during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Bergeron famously played through a broken rib, injured rib cartilage, punctured lung and separated shoulder in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. Just as famously, Campbell broke his leg in the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins and had to have surgery.

Both players took their physical exams and went through off-ice testing with their teammates at TD Garden on Wednesday. Also, both might be limited when on-ice sessions start Thursday.

Posted On Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 1:28 AM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Chara won't blame injury for tough time

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has a Norris Trophy, several All-Star Game appearances and a Stanley Cup championship on his resume. The 6-foot-9, 255-pound blueliner is widely regarded as the best shutdown defenseman in the NHL.

So that he was on the ice for 10 of the Chicago Blackhawks' last 12 goals over the course of the last three games of the Stanley Cup Final was a major shock. There had to be a physical reason for Chara's struggles.

Unfortunately, the hockey world will have to wait a couple of days to find out what was hampering Chara other than the Blackhawks' top line of Jonathan Toews, Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane.

"I'm not thinking about my physical status. Sorry," Chara said after the Blackhawks defeated the Bruins, 3-2, at TD Garden on Monday in Game 6 of the Cup Final.

Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:56 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Ference understands both sides of Game 6

BOSTON -- Most players in the Boston Bruins dressing room were part of the 2011 team that avoided elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final then won the Cup on the road two nights later.

But few in black and gold know what it's like to be in the Chicago Blackhawks' position, which is leading the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 Monday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Defenseman Andrew Ference is one who's been on each side.

In addition to helping the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, Ference played for the Calgary Flames in 2004. That season, the Flames were at home for Game 6 and did not finish the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning won Game 7 as well.

"Well, it's a tough one, for sure," Ference said Monday after the Bruins morning skate. "I've been on both sides, where I had a chance to win in Game 6 and didn't and ended up losing, and then vice versa. It's a difficult game to win. At this point of the series there's no secrets between each other. Everybody knows the stakes and what you're going to get out of each other. And it's just a matter of that razor-thin line of success or defeat. It just depends on individual performances and small little details, that if you're showing up for your first hockey game tonight you wouldn't be able to see. But everybody in the room knows what they have to do and you hope that's enough to put you over the edge."

Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:36 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' focus: defensive awareness, more physicality

BOSTON -- With nine goals allowed in the past two games, eight with a goaltender in the crease, the Boston Bruins defense has been much leakier than it had been previously in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So as they try to avoid elimination Monday in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), the Bruins are going to have to do a better job of containing some of the Chicago Blackhawks' best players, including Patrick Kane.

Kane has scored three goals in the past two games.

"Well, it takes an extreme amount of awareness of everybody on the ice," Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said after his team's morning skate. "Our defensive game relies on a five-man unit picking up their assignments and just being ultra-aware of positioning and where the threats are. So like I said, you're not asking anybody to do anything that they've never done before. Everybody knows what it takes. We've played against some pretty amazing offensive players and teams, and I think you're asking everybody to play defensively to the potential that they've shown."

Posted On Friday, 06.21.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins might use Soderberg, reconfigure fourth line

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien used his team's practice at TD Garden on Friday to test out a new fourth line.

Rookie Carl Soderberg wore a merlot-colored sweater along with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley during the 35-minute session in preparation for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. EST, NBC, CBC, RDS). The rest of the Bruins lines remained the same from Game 4.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

"Just trying something else here," Julien said before boarding the bus in front of a throng of fans outside the Garden. "Again, I'll make that decision [Saturday]. But just get a different look at what that would look like, that's all."

Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:52 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Kelly, Marchand talk missed opportunities

BOSTON -- In a 6-5 game, there were obviously plenty of offensive chances players cashed in during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden.

However, two Boston Bruins forwards missed great opportunities to turn the game in their club's favor. Instead the Bruins fell to the Chicago Blackhawks and now the teams head to the Windy City for Game 5 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) at United Center with the best-of-7 series tied 2-2.

Boston's Chris Kelly hit the left post with enough room in the net to fit a St. Bernard in the closing minute of the second period with the Bruins trailing 4-3. Rich Peverley had just threaded a cross-ice pass to his linemate.

The goal horn sounded, but play continued.

"No, I knew I didn't score. But the horn kind of threw me," Kelly said Thursday on his team's off day at the Garden. "I thought the period was over. And then I looked up and I think there was 40 seconds left. But no, it didn't throw me off to think I had scored. I knew I didn't score."

Posted On Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 12:31 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins again ratcheting up defensive play

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are doing it again.

With their relentless team defense, the Bruins are shutting down another of the League's elite offensive teams.

After a bit of a blip in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in triple overtime, the Bruins have allowed one goal in their last two games to take the series lead heading into Game 4 Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.

The Bruins' suffocating defense mostly has carried over from the Eastern Conference Final, when Boston limited the Pittsburgh Penguins to just two goals in four games. The Penguins had been averaging more than four goals per game entering that series.

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins get lift from having Campbell around again

BOSTON -- The lanky, athletic figure came around the corner just seconds after you heard the final clanks of the bottom of his crutches hitting the waxed floor.

Once Gregory Campbell, with his surgically repaired right leg elevated and half protected by a plastic brace, made it to the front of the TD Garden elevators Monday morning, those waiting to go up just a couple floors were reminded what real toughness is.

Most then decided to walk up the steps while the Boston Bruins center waited. After all, everyone looks like a wimp when standing next to the guy famous for playing more than 50 seconds of a penalty kill with a broken leg.

Campbell has been out of the lineup with a broken right fibula ever since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last Monday he underwent surgery for the damage Evgeni Malkin's slap shot caused in that dramatic Bruins win.

As they prepared for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks with the series tied 1-1, the Bruins were visited by Campbell for the first time since his surgery.

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 12:54 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Horton's presence allows Julien to keep top six intact

BOSTON -- While Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien had to do some juggling with his bottom-six forwards during his teams Game 2 overtime win Saturday in Chicago, at least he was able to keep his top-two lines together in their usual alignment.

Prior to the second game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, it looked like Julien might've had to start the game with a new top six because of Nathan Horton's injury status. Not only did Horton play, he performed well enough to stay in his usual spot on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

Horton logged 21:29 of ice time.

Horton, Krejci and Lucic figure to again be together when the Bruins host Game 3 of the Cup Final Monday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.

Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 3:23 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Getting waived best thing for Daugavins

BOSTON -- In late March, Kaspars Daugavins barely could crack the Ottawa Senators' lineup and eventually was waived.

Now, the left wing not only is heading to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Boston Bruins, he seemingly is part of their top 12 forwards in the aftermath of Gregory Campbell's broken fibula sustained in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 24-year-old said he feels blessed he was plucked off the waiver wire by Boston on March 27.

"Well, obviously I was lucky to get out of there [Ottawa] and come to a great organization, and I wasn't thinking this far," Daugavins said after the Bruins practiced at TD Garden on Monday. "Like at the time, I was just hoping to get some ice time and play and prove that I can be in this League. And we picked up in the playoffs, so it's awesome. It's like a big bonus right now."

With Campbell out for the remainder of the postseason, it's likely Daugavins will continue to fill Campbell's spot when the Cup Final begins Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

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