Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Haggerty of the Big Bad Blog at WEEI,
“We haven’t played Bruins hockey, and played the way that this team has grown its identity over the last couple of years,” said Mark Recchi. “We have to get back to it and realize how hard it is. Get our focus back. I really believe it’s not that far away. This is a little bit of a wake up call, and this isn’t a bad time to go through this.”
With that in mind, here are three things the Bruins can do turn things around just five games into their 82-game schedule:
1. Will the real Looch please stand up — The bruising 21-year-old winger might have been in too much of a light-hearted mood after becoming the B’s newest millionaire several weeks ago, and by his own admission lost some of his surliness over the last few games.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
All we know for sure right now about the Bruins is that something isn’t right. In fact, a lot is not right.
They’re engaged, but only sometimes. They hit, but not nearly enough. They think, but their thoughts wander to risky places even AIG workers wouldn’t dare go. There is nothing at all special about their special teams, which yesterday went a listless 0 for 5 on the power play and killed only one of three shorthanded situations.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Geez, talk about getting ahead of the curve. The Bruins lost only six times on Garden ice last season, their best record on Causeway Street in a quarter-century, en route to finishing first in the Eastern Conference and winning back a lot of lost love in the Hub of Hockey.
Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Don’t look.
For the second time in three home games, the Bruins last night rolled out their “D’’ game, looking mostly “dull,’’ quite often “disinterested,’’ sometimes almost comically “discombobulated’’ in an embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
More people probably raised eyebrows at the fact that a player who scores, on average, one goal every four-plus games somehow merited an almost 500 percent raise. (Sure the guy brings intangibles, but geez, $4 million worth of intangibles?)
It’s amazing this contract passed the desk of notorious skin-flint and ownership hawk Jeremy Jacobs. Because, what the Bruins did, in effect, was help Lucic have a little more resolve if there is another lockout.
That’s because the $1 million bonus is due to be paid July 1, 2012. For those of you not keeping score, that could very well be a couple of months before another labor disruption. The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2011-12 season, but the players have the option of extending it for another year, which means it could very well come to an end after that season.
So if the owners lock the players out the way they did in 2004, Lucic will at least have $1 million in his pocket to get him through the lean times. You have to think the NHL isn’t crazy about teams giving their players lockout protection.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed forward Milan Lucic to a three-year contract extension through the 2012-13 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
from Michael Hurley of NESN,
With the puck ready to drop on Thursday evening, here are the top 10 reasons to watch the Bruins this season.
10. Fists will be flying
If the preseason is any indication, gloves will be dropping all over the ice this year. Peter Chiarelli added Steve Begin to the mix, joining Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton as the resident tough guys. Byron Bitz won’t be afraid to join in from time to time as well.
In eight preseason games, Bruins players engaged in 14 fights….
1. These guys have playoff experience
Having a strong season in the regular season is all well and good, but the playoffs are when the games really matter. Having the best record in the conference didn’t win the Bruins anything last season, but their 11 games in the postseason provided valuable bits of learning that will prove to be invaluable this year….
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Up front, Julien is coaching a four-line group that general manager Peter Chiarelli considers some of the NHL’s best backchecking forwards.
“You build from the back end out,’’ Chiarelli said.
This season, at least to start, “defense first’’ will be the mantra because it is the known commodity. In goal, Thomas and Rask give the Bruins an effective 1-2 punch of veteran savvy and youthful excitement. Chara, counted on to mask some of Ward’s shortcomings, could become even more effective as a shutdown defenseman and offensive threat. Julien will deploy the veteran threesome of Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron, and Chuck Kobasew against dangerous forwards - look for the No. 3 line, along with Chara and Morris, to see plenty of reps against Alex Ovechkin tomorrow - in hopes that their close-quarters checking will stifle opposing attacks.
Defense is what Julien and assistant coach Craig Ramsay, who supervises the defensemen, know best.
“There is an expectation on my part and I think in the community at large that we share the same goal. My ambition is to win a Stanley Cup. I think we’ve got the personalities in place from management, coaching and players, so I look for a great season.
“I’ll be disappointed in anything less than that.”
-Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs via Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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