Bruins

Bruins: No Campbell? No controversy

191545.jpg

Bruins: No Campbell? No controversy

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER One of the few things that has soured Bostons trip to the Stanley Cup Finals has been the constant yammering from Vancouver and around the NHL, for that matter about unbiased calls and officiating are tilted toward the Bruins.

Its not just the normal rampant homerism in the Stanley Cup Final, however. There is a belief, most recently propagated by the Vancouver Provinces Tony Gallagher, that the fix is somehow in for the Bruins because NHL Hockey Ops Director Colin Campbells son Greg plays for Boston. It was an easy argument to make over the years despite the fact Campbell removed himself from any suspensions or other supplemental discipline decisions involving his sons team during his career with the Panthers and Bruins.

But now, with the news from multiple outlets that Campbell will be stepping down in his role as the NHLs sheriff (to be replaced by former All-Star Brendan Shanahan), the Colie Effect should be a moot point.

The younger Campbell was not made available for comment, but coach Claude Julien certainly thinks its a non-issue.

I dont think Greg has had any issues about it and neither have we, said Julien. Its been publicly known here that Gregs father had no decision to make with anything regarding our team. It was done fairly and it was somebody else dealing with those issues.

Even before Greg came to our hockey club, Ive always understood how tough Colies job was. Even when it didnt favor us, I always respected the decisions that had been made. Nothing has changed. Hes one of those guys thats no different than the referees. If he does something good nobody gives him a pat on the back, but the minute he does something people dont agree with hes criticized from all sides. It takes somebody special to do that job. Im one of those people that respect the jobs that people have in this game, and that includes referees. I dont think it will affect Gregs game much. His father is still with the league. Basically theres a responsibility being taken away from him for now.

One of Campbells outspoken teammates, Andrew Ference, put things a little more succinctly when asked about the supposed Colie Effect on the Bruins.

Colie doesnt deal with any of our stuff, so it doesnt matter, said Ference. Those insinuations are coming from people that have a lot less faith in the league than I do.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Talking Points: Signs point to Pastrnak busting out of mini-slump

bruins_penguins_david_pastrnak_112417.jpg

Talking Points: Signs point to Pastrnak busting out of mini-slump

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak netted the game-winner in the third period after getting freed up for a breakaway chance, and then throwing a double-move at Matt Murray before tucking one under his glove hand. It was the first goal in six games for Pastrnak, and it capped off a day when he topped 22 minutes of ice time, had a team-high five shots on net and battled through some physical play from the Penguins to get toward his offense. The 21-year-old continues to set the pace for the Bruins offensively, and has shown all the signs in the last couple of games that he’s busting out of whatever mini-slump was holding him down. Everybody knows that Pasta isn’t good for Thanksgiving, but it is certainly good for Black Friday.

BLACK EYE: A tough afternoon for former Boston College standout Brian Dumoulin, who got rocked by a couple of heavy Noel Acciari hits later in the game, finishing with a minus-2 rating while sitting on the ice for a couple of goals against. Dumoulin finished with three giveaways in 20:03 of ice time, managed only a single shot on net and was one of the weaker links on the ice for Pittsburgh in a game where they didn’t play too badly in the final 40 minutes. Dumoulin seems to struggle a bit when he comes back to Boston, and Black Friday afternoon was no exception.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were outplayed in the second period despite outshooting the Penguins by a 14-8 margin, and they watched as Pittsburgh pressed them for three goals in the middle 20 minutes. But in what turned out to be a very important play in the game, Matt Grzelcyk finished off a broken play in front of the net to score his first NHL goal on the Garden ice where he grew up skating. That goal allowed the Bruins to move into the second intermission with a tied hockey game, and set things up for the third period heroics where David Pastrnak scored the game-winner on a breakaway strike.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk put together another strong performance, and his line played a giant role in the Bruins jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. He set up the David Krejci goal that got the Bruins up and rolling in the first period, and then he also fed Krejci again in the second period on a shot attempt he fanned on in the slot. The puck drifted over to Matt Grzelcyk for Boston’s third goal, and it capped off a day where the rookie winger topped 18 minutes of ice time, had two assists and a plus-1 rating, finished with four shots on net and had a couple of hits in there for good measure.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – the placement the Bruins now have in the Atlantic Division after winning four games in a row, which puts them back into a playoff spot on the day after Thanksgiving. What a stunning turnaround it’s been over the last couple of weeks.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “it’s exciting. You’re on NBC, you’re playing against the Stanley Cup Champions, everyone is watching, let’s put our best foot forward. I know it’s one of 82, but it’s a bigger one of 82 the way I look at it, and I think they felt the same way coming out [in the first period].” –Bruce Cassidy, on the strong start from the Black and Gold. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Pastrnak's third-period goal gives Bruins their fourth straight victory, 4-3 over Pens

Pastrnak's third-period goal gives Bruins their fourth straight victory, 4-3 over Pens

BOSTON – The Bruins always hope to give their fans something good in their annual matinee on the day after Thanksgiving, and that was the case Friday.

They got off on the right foot with a great first period, then finished with an electric breakaway from David Pastrnak in the third period, and posted an entertaining, solid 4-3 win over the back-to-back Stanley Cup champ Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.

Pastrnak’s 11th goal of the season was the game-winner. The Penguins had battled back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits and tied the score, then Pastrnak was freed up by a brilliant neutral-zone pass from Riley Nash. He sped in all alone and flipped the puck over Matt Murray’s glove hand at 5:06 of the third.

David Krejci and Sean Kuraly had opened things up with goals in the first period, as the B's outshot the Penguins by a 14-4 margin. But Sidney Crosby and the Pens answered back in the second with three goals of their own, including a controversial game-tying score from Sid the Kid after Boston had moved ahead 3-1 on a goal from Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk.

The Crosby goal came after it appeared the refs had called play dead with a whistle as the puck sat on Anton Khudobin’s waist in the crease. It also appeared to have been goalie interference, as Crosby’s stick had made contact with Khudobin while the puck was in mid-air. But on replay the officials overturned the call of no-goal on the ice, and the score was tied 3-3 after two.

That set things up for Pastrnak, who snapped a five-game goal-scoring stretch, and handed the red-hot Bruins their season-high fourth win in a row.