Bruins

Haggerty: 15 thoughts on Bruins-Rangers

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts on Bruins-Rangers

NEW YORK CITY Here are five thoughts after the third period with the Bruins and Rangers headed to overtime at a 3-3 score after the first 60 minutes of action at Madison Square Garden in a Wednesday Night Rivalry game on NBC Sports Network.

FIRST PERIOD1) How about that Marian GaborikRick NashBrad Richards line that John Tortorella has put together after struggling out of the gate? Gaborik finished with both goals in the first period after a slow start to his season, but it was a team effort getting both those scores. The second goal actually came after Tortorella double-shifted the trio to get them on the ice without Zdeno Chara defending, and that allowed Gaborik to walk in close to the net with Dougie Hamilton far out of position and way away from the net. The first goal was just a nice play set up by a redirected Richards pass in the neutral zone that turned into a NashGaborik 2-on-1 odd man rush. Eight shots on net in the first period for that trio.2) Dougie Hamilton is learning quickly tonight that players like Nash and Gaborik are a lot better than top players on Winnipeg like Blake Wheeler and Olli Jokinen. Hamilton is being paired with Andrew Ference tonight to perhaps keep him away from those dangerous Rangers forwards as you could see the damage they could do when Hamilton was out of position and wandering far away from the net prior to New Yorks second goal. Those are the biggest areas of weakness for the 19-year-old in his rookie season.3) Good job by Adam McQuaid standing up for himself and trying to stir up the emotional pot a little bit when Brian Boyle fired a puck at his leg after the whistle had blown the play off-sides. McQuaid immediately went after Boyle and landed a few heavy rights on the 6-foot-7 Hingham native, and was slapped with a two-minute penalty for instigating the fight. Pretty ridiculous given Boyles antics, but the Bruins will gladly accept that for a player sticking up for himself.4) The Bruins are 0-for-2 on the power play tonight and 0-for-11 on the season, and there is nobody really asserting themselves on that unit. Tyler Seguin was named the quarterback of the power play during camp and has the ability to do damage from the half-wall, but hes playing way too passively right now and it shows. Too many shots passed up on the PP in the first 20 minutes tonight.5) Funny how the Rangers look like the Bruins did on Saturday night, and the Bruins look like the Rangers did in the home opener at the Garden, isnt it?

SECOND PERIOD
1) Bruins fight back in the second period with energy and determination they didnt seem to have in the first period. They outshot the Rangers by a 12-7 margin and finally broke through for a pair of goals to get back in the game. Of course the Rangers scored 46 seconds later for the go-ahead goal, but the Bruins got off the mat in the second period to make it a hockey game.2) The Bs comeback started with the second power play unit finally breaking through after 11 fruitless tries. It was Dougie Hamilton that helped create the scoring play by firing a puck from the high point that Brad Marchand redirected into the open net for Bostons first goal. Watching Hamilton make plays while working the blueline like a tightrope artist on the PP gives you an idea of just good hes going to be for a long, long time. The assist was Hamiltons first NHL point and it was an important.3) Milan Lucic now has two goals in three games, and battled for a couple of rebounds in front before finally backhanding a shot through Henrik Lundqvist. No hits tonight for Lucic, but hes been active offensively with three shots on net.4) The Bruins have gone to a five-man defensemen rotation since Aaron Johnson was on ice for Taylor Pyatts go-ahead goal. Seems like he might not be in the Claude Julien circle of trust at this point.5) The Bs fourth line also couldnt get the puck out of the zone when Shawn Thornton had a chance to clear it right before the goal. Those are the kinds of plays that the fourth line needs to make if theyre going to be used in those situations.

THIRD PERIOD
1) Four hits for Adam McQuaid, who continues to lay the lumber physically. Though he did get called for a boarding in the third period when a Rangers skater took a flying leap into the boards.2) The LucicHortonKrejci line deserved more offensive results after the way they played, and both Horton and Lucic get goals tonight. The Horton one was a big game-tying strike nearly a year to the day after he suffered a concussion that knocked him out for the season.3) Dougie Hamilton has more skill than any defenseman the Bruins have had on their time in a long, long time. He made one play where he corralled a bouncing puck at the blue line and dangled through traffic before firing from the high slot. You never see a D-man do that for the Bruins in this day and age.4) Havent seen much offensive impact from Chris Bourque through the first three games. He needs to find a way to get into the mix offensively and be the guy that he was for the P-Bruins.5) Tuukka Rask made a pair of game-saving stops in the final minute of the third period when he stopped a Rick Nash full blast wrister through traffic and then recovered enough to jump on a Marian Gaborik follow attempt. Those were No. 1 franchise goaltender kind of stops. Big time. Twenty eight saves for Rask in this one. Hes been good again tonight.

Morning Skate: Bruins might part with prospects in right deal

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Morning Skate: Bruins might part with prospects in right deal

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while it’s once again snowing in Boston.
 
-- Interesting stuff as always from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman. Among his 31 thoughts: His notion that the Bruins have told other teams they won’t be trading away any of their young players. I think it’s pretty clear they have no intentions of dealing Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen or Anders Bjork, and rightfully so given the impact they’ve had on the NHL roster. But the Bruins certainly may be willing to deal some of their next wave of prospects if the right player becomes available, so I wouldn’t take that as a blanket statement that Don Sweeney won’t be trading any of his organization’s young players.
 
-- Scary stuff for the Chicago Blackhawks, as they’re worried that goalie Corey Crawford could be out for the season with vertigo issues.
 
-- Kid Rock's being named featured performer at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game received very “meh” reactions from those around the hockey world. Personally, I was hoping for Chaka Khan.
 
-- The Calgary Flames are finally living up to their big expectations after struggling in the first half of the season.
 
-- So what exactly do the Ottawa Senators have to play for in their final 40 games of the season after losing their way out of playoff contention?
 
-- Good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Arpon Basu on the lasting legacy that Claude Julien has left with the Bruins.
 
-- For something completely different: The synopsis is finally out for the new Han Solo standalone Star Wars movie, but still no trailer or teaser.

Sounds like some Bruins players suffering from Claude fatigue

Sounds like some Bruins players suffering from Claude fatigue

BRIGHTON, Mass – The resume for Claude Julien speaks for itself in terms of greatness in Boston, so he certainly will get a warm ovation from the TD Garden crowd in his first visit back to Boston since getting fired last February. Julien coached the Boston Bruins for 10 years, won a franchise record 419 games over that time span, made it to the Cup Finals twice and of course hoisted the Cup in 2011.

It won’t matter that he’s now the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens when Julien gets his video tribute, and basks a long ovation similar to the one he received when he was recognized for passing Art Ross on the B’s all-time wins list a couple of season ago. The warmth will be a little weird in the middle of a Bruins/Canadiens rivalry game, but it’s clear that Bruins fans appreciate the job done by Julien for such a long period of time.

The mutual respect was also clear when players like Patrice Bergeron spoke warmly of their coach ahead of last weekend’s showdown in Montreal, which the Bruins eventually pulled out in a shootout at the Bell Centre.

But it would seem the Bruins are starting to get a little tired of tossing verbal bouquets at the guy that’s now behind the Habs bench. It all started with Tuukka Rask’s postgame reaction on Saturday when asked if there was any extra emotion going up against his old coach for the first time.

“He was not playing a shift on the ice, so it doesn’t really matter. He was coaching, so it was nothing special,” said Rask, matter-of-factly.

So there wasn’t any added emotion for Rask going up against Julien’s new team for the first time?

“Nope,” said Rask.   

That line of questioning continued again after Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with Julien coming back to the Garden for the first time.

“Well, I can tell you what’s going to happen,” said Rask. “We’re going to start the game, at some point there’s going to be a video montage, we’re going to tap our sticks and the crowd is going to clap their hands and give him a warm welcome. Then the game is going to continue.”

Does Rask expect either he or some of his longtime teammates will get emotional if they see Julien showing some emotion during his ovation?

“No,” said Rask.

Is it really that cut-and-dry, the Bruins goaltender was asked?  

“It’s just another game,” said Rask, who improved to 8-15-3 lifetime against the Montreal Canadiens after last weekend’s shootout win. “It’s probably special for him to come back and be on the other side, but for us it’s just another game.”

Similarly, Marchand was much more understated speaking about Julien on Tuesday after speaking enthusiastically last weekend about the many discussions player and coach had about “becoming a better a pro” early in his career. But the Bruins winger wasn’t about to get all warm and fuzzy when asked about any greeting that his former coach is expected to get while the legendary Bruins/Habs rivalry plays out on the ice.

“I’m not really looking forward to it, but I’m sure he is,” said Marchand, when asked about the fan reception from Bruins fans awaiting Julien on Wednesday night. “It doesn’t really have anything to do with me, but I’m sure he’s excited to come back. He’s deserved that video and I’m sure a lot of people will be excited to see him again. I’m sure it will be a memorable game.”

Marchand went on to say he "learned a lot" from Julien during their time together, and clearly still has a high level of respect for his former coach. 

 Maybe it’s the very nature of the Bruins/Habs rivalry, or maybe the Bruins players are suffering from a little Claude Julien question fatigue with the two teams playing three times in a span of eight days. Maybe we're even finally seeing some of the Bruins players that had tired of the longtime coach's methods by the end of his long-running tenure in Boston. 

But it sure sounds like some longtime Bruins players might be over it when it comes to the “Claude Bowl” aspect of the ongoing rivalry week between the two storied rivals.  

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