Bruins

Cassidy: Loss to Avalanche 'wasn't a good effort from young, old, in-between'

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Cassidy: Loss to Avalanche 'wasn't a good effort from young, old, in-between'

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t have anything that really went right for them on Monday afternoon.

Tuukka Rask gave up a couple of pretty soft goals in the first period to dig an early hole, the Bruins did a lot of settling for shots from the outside against a very good Semyon Varlamov and the youthful talent looked like rookies after such impressive debuts last week.

That all added up to a 4-0 loss to the lowly Colorado Avalanche that evened the Bruins record at 1-1-0 on the season, and a B’s group with some things to prove after a fairly rudderless effort after getting three days of rest following their home opener. In a refreshing change after the game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy spread out the blame evenly to pretty much everyone and everybody, including himself.

“We had plenty of time to get back in the game. The core group that we rely on – it just wasn’t a good effort from young, old, in-between, and I clearly put myself in that category. We’re supposed to be ready to play at home, especially after a couple days off, so that was the biggest disappointment to me,” said Cassidy. “Things aren’t going to go your way some nights, you’re going to fight the puck, and it clearly looked like it was going to be that night, but to not have the energy to sustain it and get yourself back in the game is disappointing.

“We lose some key guys on certain lines and so now the lines again, you kind of start over a little bit. So some of [the line changes] are going to be, was self-inflicted through injuries and some of it is on me for not being more consistent. But that’s the way we’re going to do things around here until we see what we like. We liked what we saw against Nashville after a short period of time. We seemed to get everyone where they best fit. Tonight I never found the right combination. So, I think it goes on both the players – it’s their job to play, whatever position they’re out there – and it’s up to the coach to find the chemistry. I couldn’t find it tonight, so shame on me.”

Clearly, Rask failing to execute a clean glove save on the first shot of the game wasn’t Cassidy’s fault, however, and getting a “passenger” type game out of Brad Marchand wasn’t something to blame at the coach’s feet either. But it’s a welcome change to hear the Bruins head coach accepting some of the blame for a loss after that was rarely the cause under Claude Julien, who for all his good qualities could sometimes rub players the wrong way for singling them out after losses while rarely accepting his own responsibility in losses.

Cassidy certainly could have pointed to the injuries to Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Noel Acciari, and the rustiness of a returning player like Torey Krug, as excuses for Monday’s stink-bomb on the Garden ice. Instead, the message the B’s head coach was sending is that the Bruins win as a team and lose as a team, and that’s probably the only one positive development to come out of an atrocious matinee loss to a bad Colorado hockey team.  

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Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis

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Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis

BRIGHTON -- In a development that was certainly much sooner than originally anticipated, David Backes has returned to the ice just a matter of weeks after having 10 inches of colon removed during surgery for diverticulitis. It remains to be seen how gradual a process it will be for the 33-year-old to actually return to game action given his original timetable for recovery was eight weeks following the early November procedure, but it seems like it might end up being ahead of the two months Backes was initially expected to be sidelined. 

For his part, Backes was happy to be back skating with his teammates and pushing his recovering body after feeling pretty sluggish for the first few days following surgery. He confirmed he’d been skating for a couple of days while the team was on the West Coast, but Monday was his first team doing anything post-surgery with the rest of the team. 

“It’s good to be back with the guys and to be around the room, and to have seen the kind of resiliency that these guys showed on the road trip. The back half of the road trip was impressive,” said Backes, who has an assist in five games with the Bruins before succumbing to the surgery. “To be on the ice and moving around after sitting around doing nothing for too long where you don’t think you’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it feels good. 

“The doc’s advice is that if it doesn’t hurt then I can keep moving forward and add more of a workload on, so that’s the update for today. It’s still non-contact, but we’ll keep moving along and hopefully I’ll be back doing what I love to do on a regular basis. I haven’t been notified that the timeline has changed at all, so I’m just going to keep putting in the work. The more I seem to do the work the better it is, and I seem to be able to do a little more each day. So those are all positive signs.”

For the Bruins it’s clearly a morale booster to see the big power forward back doing regular hockey activities, and serving notice that he’ll be bringing his size, strength, leadership and physicality back to a B’s team that definitely needs him. Clearly the return of another high-end forward would also immensely help a Bruins team that’s still very undermanned up front, but it would appear there will be some other B’s forwards getting back prior to Backes. 

Brad Marchand and Ryan Spooner appear poised to return to full practice on Tuesday with a possible return to the lineup not too far beyond that after all three injured forwards took part in Monday’s optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena. 

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Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

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Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after a rough weekend for the Justice League movie. 

 

*Radko Gudas was suspended for 10 games after slashing at the head of Mathieu Perreault, and it’s an appropriate sentence for a play that has no place in the NHL, and from a player that really deserves to get slapped around by the Department of Player Safety. Some like the Hockey News here believe it should have been a more severe suspension, but this is the right move with a player that’s headed toward a Raffi Torres sentence the next time he crosses over the line. Let’s hope the message finally gets through to a dirty player, but I’m not holding my breath given his past history.  

 

*Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is beginning to take some heat in Edmonton with a hockey team that’s performing way under expectations to this point. 

 

*All Alexander Radulov wanted was to feel like he was wanted, you guys. The Dallas Stars just so happened to say that to him in the form of money and contract years. 

 

*NHL.com does a Calder Trophy voting poll with their own staff and it looks like Clayton Keller is strongly in the lead, and that Charlie McAvoy isn’t getting nearly the mount of consideration that he should be getting right now. This is the only rookie averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, people…c’mon now. 

 

*It’s officially over for the Montreal Canadiens just a couple of months into the season, and it may be for GM Marc Bergevin as well. I’m not sure the Habs are dead and buried quite yet, but Carey Price as a question mark certainly doesn’t help matters. 

 

*Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were both honored in Anaheim this weekend after their Hockey Hall of Fame honors last weekend. 

 

*For something completely different: Here’s a petition for fans to get a home release of the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. These people thirsting for ponderous, bombastic drudgery in their comic book movies amazes me. While I feel for Snyder and his family given their tragedy over the last year, I think his movies are god-awful and can’t fathom why anybody would be pounding the table demanding to see a cut that left the DC and Warner Brothers execs running and screaming for Joss Whedon.