Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
There was exhaustion evident in Peter Chiarelli’s face and tone as he addressed reporters in an empty hotel conference room on Friday.
It was the day after the Bruins had essentially knocked themselves out of the playoffs, after dispiriting losses to Washington and Florida in consecutive days left the Bruins needing significant help to continue playing beyond this weekend.
And while the Bruins’ general manager emphasized – over and over again – that he did not want to do a postmortem on the season that should have been for his team, he essentially did just that.
“We put ourselves in this position,” Chiarelli said. “I consider it a failure. And it’s a failure on everybody’s part. But being a failure doesn’t mean there has to be a complete overhaul of everything.
“Guys fail. Teams fail. And they get back on their horse. Again, I consider it a failure, but you don’t always succeed in this business. You don’t always hit the ball out of the park all the time and you’ve got to get back and do your job and we’ve shown we can do that. But right now it’s pretty disappointing.”
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
There were excuses interlaced with the lamentations. Just minutes after the Bruins left the ice after their most inexcusable loss of the season, a plea for help crept in. The team had arrived in the wee hours of the morning from Washington, and the mental and physical fatigue was evident.
Coach Claude Julien didn’t mince words when asked why this Bruins team hasn’t shown the composure and resiliency of his previous squads.
“I don’t think we have the same team we’ve had in the past,” he said after the Bruins had lost, 4-2, to the Panthers at the BB&T Center on Thursday night, putting them on the brink of elimination from the postseason. “Have a look at the roster. It’s not the same. We can’t live in the past. That’s what we’re trying to do here: work with the guys that we have. We’ve got a lot of young players and we’ve got a lot of players that haven’t played for expectations right now.”
They will have to play for them on Saturday night. Or maybe not.
Because with the loss to Florida, the Bruins could take the ice against the Lightning with nothing to play for, no reason to push themselves. They might already be eliminated from the playoffs. They need help at this point, from either the Senators or Penguins, two teams with no reason to provide any.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
For stretches of Wednesday’s third period, with his team staring at the goaltending equivalent of Mount Everest, Claude Julien considered pulling Tuukka Rask to throw an extra attacker at Braden Holtby.
Julien’s team, however, never gave him any indications that a sixth skater would even the playing field.
“I don’t think our team was doing enough for me to even have hope there with three minutes left to even get ourselves back in the game,” the Bruins coach said after the 3-0 loss. “When you sense it, you do it. When you don’t . . . we couldn’t even get to those loose pucks half the time. Whatever opportunity we had, we weren’t able to get that goal.”
Julien made the ultimate condemnation. He stopped believing in his team. Because of that, Julien chose to concede the result instead of emptying his coaching toolbox.
Julien is in an unusual position. Throughout his career in Boston, he’s been faithful to his players. Where other coaches would pull the trigger on benchings and line changes, Julien has been slow to take an eraser to his lineup.
Now, with only two games remaining in the regular season, Julien doesn’t know who to trust. It’s why he changed his lines before Wednesday’s game — a move that blew up in his face. By the third period, when Julien went back to the lines that had helped him win five straight games, the damage was done.
via Joe Haggerty tweets,
Krejci: "Obviously we talked about coming out playing on our toes & looked like we were playing on our heels. It's not how you want to play"
Patrice Bergeron: "We had some looks to get back into the game. The bottom line is we need to bear down & find a way to score some goals"
Krejci on Holtby: "Who cares? He's a good goalie but right now we have less than 24 hours to get ready for next one. Biggest game of season"
After Boston was defeated 3-0 by the Washington Capitals.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The Bruins are still in a wild card playoff spot, and the marching orders are pretty clear after Tuesday night’s Ottawa overtime win over the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Bruins need to win at least two games, and win at least one of those games in regulation or overtime in order to clinch a playoff spot. With the Washington Capitals still waiting to clinch home ice in the first round of the playoffs, there is plenty of reason for both teams to bring their best to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night.
That could be a challenge as the Bruins are 0-2 and have been outscored 6-0 in two games against the Capitals this season. The B’s should know it’s going to take something a little extra to take down a surging Washington team that’s risen all the way to second place in the Metro Division over the last few weeks. Certainly that’s the warning they are getting from their head coach.
“To this is going to be a man’s game tonight,” said Claude Julien. “If you want to play in that type of game then you’ve got to be willing to put everything on the line.”
via Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE,
Kelly Olynyk may be getting some angry stares from the guys down the hall.
Not the visiting team - but the Boston Bruins.
Olynyk, who played through a badly bruised left eye, accidentally spilled the beans Wednesday night after the Celtics' 100-87 win over the Pacers:
Dougie Hamilton is dealing with broken ribs.
Hamilton hasn't played since Mar. 21, missing the last five games, but the Bruins keep their injury news top secret - so nobody knew exactly what the injury was aside from "upper-body".
While discussing his eye injury, the Canadian-born Olynyk joked that he couldn't miss Wednesday's game or he'd hear it from Hamilton, who had divulged the broken ribs information to him a couple days ago.
“I remember two days ago I was texting Dougie Hamilton and he told me he broke his ribs and he’s trying to come back before the playoffs," Olynyk said. "I was like, ‘Man I can’t sit out, he’s gonna rip me' . . . all those hockey guys would have killed me so I had to do it.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The race for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference is apparently over.
The Senators have lost.
At least, that's the message being delivered by the Boston Bruins, who late Monday afternoon gave notice on Twitter that tickets for the B's first round Stanley Cup playoff games go on sale Friday at 11 a.m.
With the Bruins holding a three-point edge on the Senators, and having played one more game, some of their fans were unimpressed.
"We haven't made it yet," tweeted one of them.
"I almost feel like this is tempting fate," added another.
"Thanks in advance for jinxing us," stated a third.
from Michael Felger of CSNNE,
Fighting is down across the NHL, and the B's have been all too willing to go with the flow. I don't think that's a good thing.
According to the folks at hockeyfights.com, the Bruins rank 14th in the NHL with 26 fights. And for those of us who have watched most of them, calling some of these altercations actual "fights" is being kind. It's safe to say the B's are at a soft 26.
Anyway, that's way down from last year, when the B's had 46 fighting majors. And that's down from the year before, when the B's had 32 fights over 48 games (a pace of 55 over an 82-game schedule). And that was down from the 61 they put up in 2011-12.
I'm not good at numbers, but I'm sensing a trend. It's gotten so bad that Montreal fights more than the Bruins.
via the NHL Situation Blog,
At 1:41 of the first period in the Rangers/Bruins game, video review determined that the puck deflected off Milan Lucic's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Boston.
Watch the goal below...
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The Bruins had their closers on the ice with Chris Kelly, Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg playing in the final minute, but Corey Perry managed to tip a Ryan Getzlaf shot past Tuukka Rask for the game-tying score with 38.5 seconds remaining.
That led to the Getzlaf overtime game-winner in the 3-2 loss for the Black and Gold at TD Garden and a closer look at Perry’s third-period score for the game-tying goal. Both Perry and Matt Beleskey made “incidental contact” with Rask in the crease just before the game-tying redirection, and either player could have been called out on it.
Julien wanted a call at that crucial point in the game, but that isn't meant to be for this year's team.
“[It’s] really disappointing that the goal was allowed. There was, no doubt, goalie interference there and that’s why they talk about reviewing those kinds of goals and coaches’ challenges,” said Julien. “You can’t allow those kinds of goals. This was a big point we lost tonight on a missed call. Those are the things that are hard to swallow right now.”
Watch the goal below...
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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