User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Bruins' back line boosted by rookies

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Bruins have three rookie defensemen in the lineup for the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Rangers.

Advertisement
It's not because they want to.

It's because they have to.

``As you know, we're getting thin here,'' Bruins coach Claude Julien said on Friday, a day after Torey Krug, in his first career NHL playoff game, scored to send the game into overtime and Boston defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven, second-round playoff series.

With veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden injured, the Bruins used first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton along with Krug and Mart Bartkowski on defense. Hamilton assisted on Krug's goal with 2:55 left in regulation, and Bartkowski played a career-high 26 minutes in the 3-2 victory over the Rangers.

``For a coach, you couldn't ask for a better situation,'' Julien said on Friday, when his team took the day off to rest up for Sunday's Game 2. ``A lot of credit goes to the coaching staff down there (in the minor leagues) that's done a great job at preparing those guys.''

Julien would not say whether any of his injured players would be able to return for the second game. If not, he'll continue to rely on his rookies. Hamilton, who made the team out of training camp and played 42 games in the lockout-shortened season, said it helps to know that he won't be yanked out of the lineup with one bad shift.

Even if it's only because the Bruins have no choice.

``For all of us, it's not just trying to belong, but getting that opportunity to get regular shifts. It helps you stay focused,'' he said. ``It makes it easier when you have that confidence that you can just stay in the game and focus on the game.''

Hamilton, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 draft, had five goals and 11 assists this season while averaging about 17 minutes per game. But he moved up the depth chart when injuries stripped the Bruins of three of their top six defensemen.

``We've got to remember that he's 19 years old,'' Julien said. ``He's made some unbelievable plays on some goals; we saw that early when he came in and we seemed in awe of that. Playoffs is another step and he's taken that step extremely well, to me.''

To help fill in, the Bruins called Bartkowski up from the AHL for the third time this year; he had two assists and six penalty minutes in 11 games for Boston this year. And Krug, who's played three NHL games in the past two seasons, was brought up from Providence on Tuesday after Seidenberg lasted just 37 seconds in the first-round finale over Toronto.

``What we've seen from (Krug) the few games he's played with us, he doesn't seem to be intimidated by anything, or any circumstances,'' Julien said. ``I didn't see a guy that was nervous at all. If anything, I saw a guy that was extremely confident at making the executions that he needed to make.''

The other change the Bruins made on defense was to rely even more heavily on Zdeno Chara. The 2009 Norris Trophy-winner, who averaged about 25 minutes per game in the regular season, has played about 30 minutes per game in the playoffs, including 35 minutes in Game 7 against the Maple Leafs and more than 38 in the opener of the Rangers series.

``He's in great shape, and he's got a couple of days here to recover. So I don't see that being an issue,'' Julien said. ``To be honest with you, right now we don't have a choice. You deal with it the best way you can.''

And so do the Rangers.

``With all the minutes he has, the more tired he's going to get,'' New York defenseman Steve Eminger said. ``At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if they have six veterans (on defense). We just have to put even more pressure on them and generate more offensively.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Grand Salami - December
Sharks beat Canadiens, 'under' cashes
Flames edge Wild in shootout, 3-2
Coyotes recall C Gaudet
Bruins F Blidh gets first career recall
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
5-2 +425 L4 Days, 5-2 L7 G-Plays
5-1, +455 L6 NHL Guarantees
3-1, +235 L4 Selections
7-4, +282 Record L11 G-Plays
15-8 +849 L23, 21-11 +1,226 L32
3-1 Last 4 NHL Picks
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1312
Bruce Marshall + 273
Joe Williams + 139
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 385
Stephen Nover + 325
Doc's Sports + 235
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 290
Stephen Nover + 72
   
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 847
Stephen Nover + 692
Kevin Rogers + 290
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 200
Stephen Nover + 100
Bruce Marshall + 100
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 410
Gary Bart + 350
ASA + 100
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership