Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe,
If I am Peter Chiarelli, this is what I do: I walk into the locker room and I tell the players, in no uncertain terms, that this season is entirely up to them. I tell them Claude Julien will be the coach here for years to come. I tell them that the management of the Bruins will continue to treat this team like a Stanley Cup contender, that help should be coming at some point in the next month.
And then I watch the next three weeks to see if my team has any pride at all.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Claude Julien is apparently tired of seeing his critical words about members of the Bruins get, in his words, “twisted” by the media, so he told reporters Tuesday he will no longer talk about individual players.
It could be for the time being, or it could be for the rest of the season.
Without referencing specifics, the Bruins coach said his words have been “twisted” and that he’s been criticized by media members for “throwing players under the bus” when he talks critically of them.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Amid speculation that the Thrashers are shifting to action mode in dealing star sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was not at the RBC Center yesterday to see his club’s latest loss, a 5-1 thumping at the hands of the revitalized Hurricanes.
But don’t bet on Kovalchuk, one of the game’s prime goal scorers, coming to the Hub of Hockey. The Thrashers will extract a high price, even if Kovalchuk departs only as a rental, and the Bruins would have to surrender such prized possessions as Milan Lucic and David Krejci to make such a deal.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
The Bruins [team stats] last night committed one of the cardinal sins of team sports: They let a team they should have been put away much earlier hang around and hang around - allowing a dreadful officiating call to decide the game at the end.
The word “dreadful” isn’t really sufficiently descriptive of the call by one or both referees, Tom Kowal or Dean Morton, that led to Columbus’ power-play goal with 1:31 left last night at the Garden, giving the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory.
It was such a bad call, NHL officiating supervisor Mick McGeogh hurried down to Claude Julien’s office after the game and apologized to the B’s coach.
“The supervisor came in and apologized to us,” said Bruin general manager Peter Chiarelli. “He said it was a mistake. At least that was good of them to admit it.”
continue for more on the game…
from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald,
If you blame the Bruins’ truly awful effort on their just-completed West Coast swing, you run the risk of being branded an enabler, and having hardliners scream at you about how every team has West Coast trips and how you have to suck it up, never quit, play to win the game and a bunch of other coaching cliches that sound like they were lifted from one of those beer commercials. Yet if you go the other way and shout that the schedule is no excuse, you then run the risk of being out of touch with the hard realities of modern-day sports travel, especially if you fail to take into account how banged-up the Bruins have been of late.
The facts: After playing three games out west, capturing three out of a possible six points (not too bad considering how banged up they are), the Bruins arrived home in Boston about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. B’s coach Claude Julien had the boys come in for some bike work Sunday afternoon as a tuneup for the annual Martin Luther King Day matinee. As for injuries, Patrice Bergeron (thumb) finally returned to the lineup, but Marco Sturm, Steve Begin and Byron Bitz were scratches yesterday.
Oh, and one other fact: The Bruins were blown out of the building by the Senators.
This is one in which each Bruins fan who watched the game must make his or her own call on whether it’s appropriate to pull the West Coast travel lever and give the Bruins a pass.
“There will be a lot of discussion during the Olympic break, and you may have deals done on a handshake and wait to [make them official]. But you’ll probably see more concentrated on the back end.”
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli discussing when will most of the trades be made. Watch the video at NESN as Chiarelli discusses the trade scenarios.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Is Ilya Kovalchuk, who has 323 goals but is minus-86 in his Atlanta career, a better trade rental than Marian Hossa was in 2008 when Pittsburgh got him and got to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final? I don’t think so. I may be in the minority, but I think Hossa is a better player (he actually can check) and, in his prime all he fetched was centre Erik Christensen, winger Colby Armstrong, suspect draft pick Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round draft pick -stocking stuffers really, although Hossa was 29, and Kovalchuk is only 26, so maybe he’d be worth more.
I still think the Boston Bruins are the short-term destination, although they don’t have long-term cap room, because Marc Savard and Kovalchuk have a history from Atlanta, and the Bruins can give up Blake Wheeler, their first-round pick (not the one they got from Toronto for Phil Kessel) and, say, centre Joe Colborne, who is a sophomore at University of Denver.
more plus Western and Eastern Conference notes…
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
According to an NHL source, the Bruins will kick off 2010-11 with two regular-season games in Prague. They will play Phoenix in both games. The Bruins will also participate in exhibition games against teams that have yet to be determined.
more on the Bruins….
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Now is the time for Chiarelli to drop that cool-handed Harvard thing and make something happen. The game tonight is the first of 16 his club will play prior to the Olympic break. It’s a good bet that Bergeron will miss about half those games and Savard will miss upward of a dozen. Trouble.
Without those two top playmakers in uniform, this is a team virtually absent an attack, and that’s precisely what the coach means when he’s talking about the need to be perfect. All of which makes Julien, a defense-anchored coach, preach even more defense to a team that many nights looks too much like that bunch of Trappist Wonks Jacques Lemaire coached for years in St. Paul.
With Julien’s current lineup, it makes sense, but it doesn’t make much of a case for putting pucks in the net at the other end of the ice. Translation: Either the Bruins are going to win by allowing a goal or two, or they aren’t going to win.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
While the Bruins coaching staff is left scrambling for line combinations and innovative, new ways to put the same odd-shaped pieces together that still remain healthy, Marc Savard began the long road back to recovery Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena.
Savard was walking gingerly, but without too much of a limp, after being diagnosed last weekend with a Grade 2 tear in the MCL of his right knee – an injury that’s basically a severe sprain of the joint that doesn’t require any surgery….
“I don’t stay [down] on the ice too much. I knew right away when it happened that it was sore and stretched out a bit,” said Savard. “I just wanted to be careful with it and hopefully everything heals up. It’s on a good pace, so hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later.
“We haven’t really had our full lineup all year. Hopefully we get rolling into the playoffs and we get a full lineup. Who knows how good we’ll be?”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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