Bruins

Morning Skate: Chara's Instagram ode to Marchand

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Morning Skate: Chara's Instagram ode to Marchand

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while the business of hockey is back to normal.

*Here’s a pretty cool Instagram post from Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on watching Brad Marchand evolve and develop throughout his career.

I remember the day like it was yesterday when I was in the gym in 2008 getting ready for a game and watching world juniors on TV when Team Canada scored and this kid was jumping on the glass and threw his stick in the crowd. I was like “Who the f*** is this kid”?? Our coach back then J. Whitesides was watching it with me, turned to me and said “He is ours“. Quick fast forward and Brad had a big impact on our 2011 Championship or 2016 Worlds and 2016 World Cup. When Brad started playing in the @nhl what I liked about him was his willingness to learn. Something so vital for anybody in any field, or simply in real life. I am very happy for him, that his hard work is paying off. Congratulations Marshy and Thank you for representing us @nhlbruins at the All Star game in Tampa. Your captain #NHLAllStar 💫 #bostonbruins #bradmarchand #nhl #icehockey ——————————————————————— Pamätam si ako keby to bolo vcera ked som bol v 2008 v posilovni a pripravoval sa na zapas. V TV vysielali majstrovstva juniorky a tento mlady chalan dal za Kanadu gol, vrhol sa na plexisklo a hodil hokejku do publika. Hovorim si “kto je k**** tento chalan?” Nas vtedajsi trener J. Whitesides pozeral spolu so mnou, pozrel sa na mna a hovori: “Ten je nas”. Ked sa presunieme v case o par rokov dopredu, Brad mal velky vplyv na zisk Stanley Cupu 2011 a na Majstrovstvach Sveta a Svetovom Pohari 2016. Ked zacal hrat v @nhl pacil sa mi jeho zaujem a otvorenost ucit sa. Nieco tak dolezite pre kohokolvek v akomkolvek obore, alebo jednoducho v realnom zivote. Som pre nho velmi stastny, ze sa mu tvrda praca a snaha vracaju. Gratulujem Marshy a dakujem za to, ako si nas @nhlbruins reprezentoval na All Star v Tampe. Tvoj kapitan

A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33) on

*Now it’s the Chicago Blackhawks’ turn to take a look at the Bruins and Los Angeles Kings as role models while they retool on the fly.

*So, how long is it going to be before Erik Karlsson is mentioned as a trade target for the Tampa Bay Lightning after last weekend’s pirate-filled NHL All-Star adventure?

*It might be the end of an era for Jaromir Jagr as he clears waivers and there doesn’t appear to be legitimate interest from any NHL teams.

*It was very clearly the Brock Boeser Show at the NHL All-Star Game as the Canucks rookie showed why he’s been a first-year sensation in Vancouver.

*For something completely different: Good for Tom Brady, who cut off an interview with WEEI’s morning show after one of their personalities said some really dumb, unprofessional and tasteless things about his 5-year-old daughter.

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Morning Skate: Yes, Kessel values Cups more than scoring titles

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Morning Skate: Yes, Kessel values Cups more than scoring titles

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while shaking my head at the disparity in talent levels between Ilya Kovalchuk and anybody on Team USA...no offense to the guys we sent over there.

*Phil Kessel said he values winning Stanley Cups over scoring titles, but does he value them more than hot dogs from his favorite food stand in Toronto? That is the question.

*Here’s a fine tribute from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Steve Conroy about his late partner at the Boston Herald, columnist/hockey writer Steve Harris, who sadly passed away a couple of days ago while still manning the beat until the past week or so. It’s still such a shocking loss for everybody in the local hockey community, and this piece does a good job of capturing his spirit.

*So, controversial Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is going to now also be the CEO of the team as well? Yikes.

*Damien Cox takes a look at the Canadian NHL teams that look like they’re going to fall short of the playoffs and what they need to do to right their respective ships.

*The Nashville Predators explain how they are “all in” at the NHL trade deadline with another clear shot at a Cup run.

*For something completely different: A ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies from worst to best that suffers from recent-itis where a number of movies just released are probably given way, way too much deference even though they are good superhero flicks.

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Bruins look for another turning point with rugged trip ahead

Bruins look for another turning point with rugged trip ahead

When the Bruins take the ice against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night deep in the outer reaches of Western Canada, there will be a couple of things at play. One will be the start of a long sprint to the end of the regular season with 27 games in a scant 52 days with no more long breaks to catch their collective breath.

The worst of the worst will be 16 games in March, which could be the thing that ultimately knocks the Black and Gold down a peg after they’ve managed to play through everything else this season.

Trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning by just a couple of points for the NHL’s top spot, the Bruins know the schedule itself will be one of their biggest challenges of the season.

“We’re certainly aware of our schedule the rest of the way, and we know that it’s going to be a challenge. There aren’t too many more days off and we’re pretty much playing every other day,” said Patrice Bergeron. “So some of it will be about getting the proper rest and making sure we’re doing everything to be ready to play. But this has also been a group that’s done a really good job of handling other things that have been thrown at us whether it’s injuries or something else. This is just another challenge to take on.”

But the other, smaller picture is of the five-game trip through Canada with a final stop in Buffalo next Sunday. The Bruins will play those five games in ten days in their longest trip of the regular season. They hope to conjure up some of the same mojo that kicked off their three-month winning binge way back in mid-November. It was then that the Bruins righted the ship on a trip through California and won games in Los Angeles and San Jose that kicked off a four-game winning streak that helped change the season.

The Bruins are much more comfortable now with a giant cushion for a playoff spot and a legitimate chance to overtake the Lightning, but Bruce Cassidy is hoping to see the same kind of hunger in this particular long stretch away from home.

“This is much more about what we are and what we look like, but having said that the [California trip] was the beginning of us [turning things around]. It had us gutting out some wins in typically tough places to play like L.A. and San Jose. [Anton] Khudobin was in net and we were relying on some call-up guys, but that was really when our D-corps really stiffened up,” said Cassidy. “It kind of got us back to our heads above water, and from there we kind of took off. But now this is a different group in a different position, and we’re pushing to be in a different position.

“I think you can say Tuukka [Rask] won us all these games or [Brad] Marchand or [Patrice] Bergeron. Our best players have been our best players, but our support players have been very good, especially on those nights when we’ve needed to lean on them a little more when they’ve able to shut down [the Bergeron Line]. I think our support players deserve a lot of credit for that.”

The Bruins clearly hope this mammoth trip can be another seasonal turning point that pushes them in a direction toward a strong, decisive finish to the marathon of a regular season.

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