Kukla's Korner Hockey
Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks scored with 1:26 left in the 3rd period for a 1-0 win over the Bruins.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.
The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.
The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.
“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
This is a team that, for understandable salary cap reasons, entered into a rebuilding phase years ago. Key, veteran players were allowed to leave, replaced by high draft choices and prospects. The scouting staff and management appear to have done a good job with their draft picks, adding a long list of kids who should represent the next generation of players wearing the ‘B’.
But such a program is not about now, it’s about the future – about where the organization is two, three, even four years down the road. To be obsessed with making the playoffs this season is silly and counterproductive, which is why team owner Jeremy Jacobs’ remarks earlier this season – his expectation that the B’s would not only qualify for the playoffs, but make a deep run -- was so frivolous, misguided and harmful.
That aided the process not one bit. The whole point of a rebuild is to stay patient and wait – even it means taking a step back now to take two steps forward later.
Also misguided and harmful – downright nuts is more like it – is the prospect that coach Claude Julien could be fired, which seems to be the red-hot rumor du jour.
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
If the terrible home loss to the New York Islanders was one that produced some soul-searching, the Bruins did most of that behind closed doors on Tuesday after the scheduled 10:30 a.m. practice at Warrior Ice Arena was canceled.
Still, the B’s, who’ll get back on the horse Wednesday night in Detroit, felt like a team in crisis this morning after they frittered away two more points that they should have had on Monday. And the coach was in a circling-the-wagons mode.
He canceled practice because he had sensed fatigue both in the 4-0 loss to the Islanders — though he said it wasn’t the only reason for the defeat — and this morning when the team arrived at the Brighton facility. He instead opted for a video session for the players.
If there was any airing out of those players, Julien did not bring it into the press briefing room.
Five for interference.
from CBS Boston,
The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to discuss the current state of the team, and said the B’s don’t have many options when it comes to shaking things up.
“I don’t know about a shakeup. It’s just the reality of where they are. They have a lot of good, young players, who if they hit their projections they should be pretty good players in a couple of years,” said Shinzawa, noting prospects such as Charlie McAvoy, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Jeremy Lauzon. “But by then, where are you? Where is [Patrice] Bergeron in his career? Where is [David] Krejci in his career?”
Shinzawa warns fans against hoping too much for a big trade, which just doesn’t happen very often in the current NHL.
“It’s so hard for teams to make trades because of cap issues and because of parity and expansion,” he explained. “If you look at this roster, it’s just not as good as where it was before. They still haven’t replaced [Dougie] Hamilton. They’ll never replace what they traded away in [Tyler] Seguin. They have no [Milan] Lucic or [Johnny] Boychuck, pieces that made the Bruins what they were: A robust, legitimate top-place contender. You haven’t recycled and refreshed the roster to the point where they can be competitive with Columbus and Pittsburgh. They are who they are in terms of fighting for that final playoff spot and might miss it for the third season in a row. That’s the reality.”
Skate fitting sure has come a long way.
via Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Bruins legend Milt Schmidt has died at the age of 98.
Schmidt had suffered a stroke recently, and was living in a care facility in Westwood.
He played for the Bruins from 1936 to 1955 and was a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Wikepedia page of Milt Schmidt.
Below, watch a 24 minute Legends of Hockey feature on Milt Schmidt.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, December 31, that forward David Backes has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely as the team follows the NHL's concussion protocols. The injury occurred in the first period of the team's 4-2 win at Buffalo on Thursday, December 29.
Backes, 32, has skated in 33 games with the Bruins in 2016-17, recording nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points with 31 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound forward also leads the team with 98 hits. In his 11-year NHL career, Backes has played in 760 games, compiling 215 goals and 264 assists for 479 points with 1,000 penalty minutes.
if you missed the play where the injury occurred, watch below...
Jack Edwards not happy with the linesmen.
Bruins say upper-body injury.
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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