Bruins: Brian Boucher

Boucher leaves in 2nd, back in 3rd

May, 2, 2011
PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers goalie Brian Boucher can’t buy any luck when he plays the Bruins.

Boucher was chased from Game 1 of this series in the second period after allowing five goals on 23 shots, then with 8:59 left in the second period of Game 2, the Rhode Island native left the game with an apparent hand injury and was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky.

Boucher appeared to hurt his glove hand on a Johnny Boychuk shot, but was back in the net to start the third period.

Last season, Boucher injured his knee in Game 3 against the Bruins and never returned in the series. Michael Leighton replaced him and went on to lead the Flyers to their historic comeback from a 3-0 series deficit.

Bergeron an artist on the draw

May, 4, 2010
BOSTON –- If the ability to win a faceoff on a consistent basis is an art form, then Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is Picasso.

Bergeron went 16-for-22 on puck drops in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night at the Garden. He went 9-for-9 in the first period and was 14-for-17 after two periods.

Bergeron spreads his legs, gets really low and uses his quick hands and power to win faceoffs time and again. Early in the game on Monday, one of his wins turned into Boston’s first goal. With the drop to the right of Flyers goalie Brian Boucher, Bergeron won the puck directly back to defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who stepped into a shot that found the back of the net at 5:12 for the first period.

“He’s been great. He won that one back and I just stepped into it,” said Boychuk. “He wins key faceoffs and he’s doing a great job for us.”

Boychuk didn’t get a clean look at the shot, and didn’t think it was going in.

“Nope,” he said with a laugh. “I just wanted to get it off as soon as possible. I just wanted to get it off my stick because they have been doing a good job blocking shots.”

The always-humbled Bergeron isn’t about to take credit for his ability to win puck drops, but coach Claude Julien has no trouble praising his centerman.

“He’s been good for us all year,” said Julien. “That’s something he’s been well known for. Obviously on the [Canadian] Olympic team, that’s one of the reasons they took him. They thought he was great on faceoffs and could bring that element. What you see is what you get out of Bergy every night. He takes a lot of pride about being dominant in the faceoff circle. That’s an important part of the game that sometimes gets underestimated.”

Bergeron frequently works on his faceoffs during practice and he showcased that prowess in Game 2.

“I take a lot of pride in that,” he said. “We were fortunate enough to get that first goal off the faceoff. It’s something I’ve always taken pride in. Luckily we got that goal, but I have to keep going.”

A tale with some bite

May, 3, 2010
BOSTON –- It practically was an Abbott and Costello act.

But playing the roles of the vaudeville comedians in Monday night’s performance were the Bruins’ Marc Savard and the Flyers’ Dan Carcillo. Except this wasn’t “Who’s on First?”

At the 5:55 mark of the second period in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal game, the Bruins were attacking when Philadelphia goaltender Brian Boucher gloved a shot. Savard was sitting in front when he swung at the puck and slashed Boucher.

Savard, who was suspended one game in 2003 for biting Darcy Tucker, admitted after Boston's 3-2 victory that he got a little too excited and swung his stick at the puck when it was already in Boucher’s glove.

Immediately Carcillo and teammate Kimmo Timonen jumped Savard and started throwing punches, with Carcillo saying afterward that Savard bit his finger.

What followed was a he-said-he-said.

(Enter Carcillo)

Carcillo: Last time I have been bit was in grade school. It’s not a good feeling. It is pretty cowardly. . . . Guys don’t bite. Men don’t bite.

Savard (with a sinister laugh): Yeah, he embellishes everything. We were in the scrum and he was scrapping at my face and he pulled on my teeth. I guess that’s biting when a guy tries to pull your front teeth out. I don’t know what to say about it.

Carcillo: Yeah, that’s what I do when I get in a scrum. I try to pull people’s teeth out. Whatever, man. He bit me.

Savard: That’s part of the game. I felt great getting into those battles. That’s part of the playoffs.

(Enter Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, clueless)

Laviolette: I heard something about it. I'll be honest, I haven't thought about a bit finger yet. I'm still kind of in the game. Those things usually sort themselves out. If he was, I'm sure it'll get looked into.

(Enter Flyers teammate Mike Richards)

Richards: I have no idea. Maybe [Carcillo] bit himself.

To be continued . . .

What to watch for in Game 2

May, 3, 2010
BOSTON -- The game plan is very simple for both the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night at TD Garden.

The Bruins hold a 1-0 lead in this series and obviously want to extend that, while the Flyers are hoping for a split before the matchup shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Wednesday.

The Bruins exhibited a first-period prowess in Game 1 that they were not able to create in their first-round series against the Sabres. Boston produced high-quality scoring chances and got a lot of pucks to the net and plenty of traffic in front of Flyers goalie Brian Boucher.

Philadelphia needs to stifle that surge and create its own in the first period if the Flyers are to have success tonight.

Before this series started, the key for both teams was to be physical, so it was a little strange to see a total of nine goals scored in Game 1. That trend probably won’t continue and it’s a safe bet there will be more of a physical presence from both sides Monday night.

After a sloppy second and third period for Boston in Game 1, the Bruins took it to the Flyers in overtime before Marc Savard netted the game winner at 13:52 of the extra frame. Philadelphia skated on its heels in overtime and Flyers coach Peter Laviolette expects his team to come out with a better approach for Game 2.

“You go back and you think about [Game 1], you watch it again and I definitely think that there are areas that you can improve on,” Laviolette said. “We can be better and we’ll certainly try to do that tonight.”

Here are three things to watch for:

GOALTENDING: Boucher was actually surprised by the number of goals scored in Game 1. He doesn’t expect a repeat performance tonight. Boucher enters tonight’s game with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage in six playoff games, while Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask has a 2.36 GAA and a .921 in seven games.

Boucher doesn’t know too much about Rask, but he did watch highlights from the Buffalo series and knows he’s a solid goaltender.

“He’s obviously had a great year,” said Boucher. “He’s a great goalie with great reflexes. He seems to be a pretty good athlete. For him to beat Buffalo in the first round, obviously, he had to have done a pretty good job. We’re going to have to bear down on our chances because I don’t think we’re going to get four goals on him every night, especially the way they play defense. We’re going to have to bury our chances when we get them.”

The Flyers’ plan of attack on Rask is similar to what the Bruins did to the Sabres’ Ryan Miller. Philadelphia will use its size and strength to create havoc in front of the Bruins’ net. Besides the pair of power-play goals the Flyers scored in Game 1, Philadelphia’s other two tallies were goals Rask should have had.

“Nothing I wasn’t expecting,” said Rask. “I knew that was their style of play and they can get pucks to the net. It wasn’t anything unusual and I just have to adjust to that.”

SPECIAL TEAMS: It’s not surprising the Bruins allowed two power-play goals after Marco Sturm left Game 1 with a knee injury. He’s lost for the season with a torn ACL and MCL, so Boston’s penalty-killing unit will need to be tweaked just a bit. Prior to the Flyers scoring a pair of goals while on the man-advantage, Boston was a perfect 21-for-21 on the PK in the playoffs.

“I think we’ve got some other guys who can step in there,” said Julien. “We’ve got guys that can do the job.”

The coach pointed to the likes of Mark Recchi, Vladimir Sobotka and Steve Begin as players who will be relied upon heavily on the penalty kill with Sturm out of commission.

Moving ahead for the Flyers in this series, it’s important they focus on staying out of the box because they have a better shot for success at even-strength play.

HOME ICE: The Bruins enter Game 2 tonight with a 4-0 record at home this postseason and they’re looking to build on that success. Even on the road, Boston stole a game in Buffalo during the first-round series. The Bruins are confident on home ice and on the road.

“You’ve got to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios,” said Julien. “When you’re at this stage and you got good teams left in the playoffs, you have opportunities to win at home as well as on the road.”

Julien added the team’s not intimidated going on the road.

“We don’t fear that and I’m sure a lot of teams are thinking the same way.”

That is exactly the Flyers’ mindset.

“You want to come here and get a split,” said Boucher. “Our focus was Game 1 and we really wanted Game 1. We didn’t get it and now our focus shifts to Game 2. This is a big one for us.”
WILMINGTON, Mass. –- Mark Recchi knows exactly what type of goaltender the Boston Bruins will face in their upcoming Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Bruins’ veteran forward was a teammate with Flyers netminder Brian Boucher, playing with him for three seasons (1999-2002) in Philadelphia.

Boucher, a Woonsocket, R.I., native, has a history of success in the Stanley Cup playoffs. During his first stint with the Flyers during the 1999-2000 season, he posted an 11-7 record with one shutout in 18 playoff games before Philadelphia lost in the Eastern Conference finals to the Devils.

“He was wonderful. He’s a good goalie,” said Recchi. “He was great then and he gave us every opportunity to win all the way through. He’s a great guy and a good goalie. He’s shown down the stretch and the first round that he’s capable of doing a great job for them.

“He’s character guy and the guys really like playing for him.”

As usual, goaltending has been front and center already during the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, including Boucher, the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask and the Canadiens’ Jaroslav Halak.

The Bruins have already faced, and beaten, a top-notch goalie in the Sabres’ Ryan Miller by getting plenty of traffic in front of him and scoring "garbage"-type goals off rebounds, tips and off-post tallies.

Boston will need to do the same against the Flyers and Boucher.

“I don’t think we took Miller lightly. He was a pretty good goaltender and we had to find ways to score on him. That shouldn’t be any different against Boucher,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “He’s played well in the stretch to get them into the playoffs and he’s played well in the playoffs. We’re just going to have to find a way to get pucks behind him.”

Getting to him will be the tough part, according to Julien.

“Goaltenders all play a big role when it comes to playoff success. Ours has shown that he’s been solid and has gotten us to the second round,” said Julien. “Obviously, Philly being in the second round after beating [New Jersey] in five games means that their goaltender played well also. It’s going to be one of those series that’s hard-fought. I can’t stand here and pinpoint one area. It’s going to be hard fought and we’re going to need a lot more than just figuring out the goaltender if we want to win.”

There was a lot said during Boston’s last series about the head-to-head battle between Rask and Miller. Both goalies were solid, but Rask came out on top. Interestingly enough, Rask no doubt respected the talent of Miller, but it was clear he didn’t like talking about his opposing goalie.

Rask respects Boucher too and has given some praise to his upcoming opponent.

When asked if he thought the Philadelphia goaltending situation is being overlooked because of the number of netminders the team used during the regular season, Rask dismissed that notion.

“I’m sure not any more. Maybe they were when [Boucher] first got the job,” said Rask. “He’s shown everybody that he’s capable of doing this. He played a great series. Good for him.”

Mark Recchi previews upcoming series

April, 29, 2010
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Bruins veteran forward Mark Recchi talks about the team's upcoming semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Recchi played for the Flyers from 1998 to 2004 and knows it will be a physical series. Recchi also credits the Flyers recent success to goaltender Brian Boucher.