Bruins

NHL player: If this was NHL's first offer, we'd be playing now

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NHL player: If this was NHL's first offer, we'd be playing now

The NHLPA and its membership are slowly dissecting todays Collective Bargaining Agreement from the NHL. Even better the NHLPA and Executive Director Donald Fehr should be answering with their own counter-proposal response within the next few days and continuing a dialogue that could lead to a hockey season in November.

According to a source close to the CBA negotiations the NHL proposal is indeed a 5050 split of Hockey Related Revenue, but it also contains some vague language about the first year transitional period that will need to be fleshed out over the next 10 days of negotiations.

The proposal is for a six-year deal with an NHL option for a seventh season, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, and would in all likelihood be extended if things are working for the long-term benefit of the league. In addition NHL players wouldnt become free agents until the age of 28 and eight years of service in the league, entry level deals would reportedly remain at three years and contract terms would be locked with a five-year limit rather than the 10-12 year deals that have been prevalent in recent years.

The NHLPA conference call began at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and went on long after players had expected it to be over. But that was a good thing according to one of the many players sitting in on the call and waiting patiently for the NHL to return to action. Theres also a slight level of vexation that the NHLs best offer didnt come sooner in the process, but it appears that both sides are willing to put that behind them and focus on saving the 2012-13 hockey season.

"It's good that we had a long conference call today because it means that we actually had something to talk about, said one player to CSNNE.com. It's a step in the right direction. If the league's latest offer was the first offer that we received months ago then we'd be playing hockey right now."

A second source within the NHLPA told Comcast SportsNet that an appropriate response should be forthcoming over the next couple days.

The league has finally put forth a proposal that looks like it is in good faith, said the NHLPA source. After analyzing the proposal, the negotiating committee will be acting accordingly over the next couple of days.

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.