Morning Skate: Wednesday, Dec. 5

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Morning Skate: Wednesday, Dec. 5

One of the underreported things that might have also contributed to Tuesdays progress: brilliant NHL COO John Collins was considering leaving the league if the lockout continued much longer.
 
Dustin Penner (right) spends his free time interning on Conan OBriens late night show, and manages to inflict violence on everybody.

Sidney Crosby and Ron Burkle are front-and-center at the Tuesday CBA meeting between owners and players that might have been a breakthrough. Give the Penguins credit for putting a plan into action.

Mike Ilitch presents a plan for a new 650 million arena in downtown Detroit. Say it aint so, Joe Louis Arena.

The Winnipeg Sun imagines what the conversation was like once the Tuesday meeting got underway between the six owners and 18 players.

Craig Custance with a good piece on decertification, and how its truly no easy route for the NHLPA should things go horribly wrong. This is true, but its also no easy route for the NHL as well and therein lies the value.

Important piece from ESPNBoston.com reporter James Murphy about NHL pensions for retired players, and their role within the current CBA negotiations.
 
The Provinces Tony Gallagher says that its time for Gary Bettman to reel in his catch and let the NHL Board of Governors know how good the deal will end up being. Probably not as good as they planned, but something they certainly should be able to live with provided they start the NHL season soon.
 
For something completely different, Mark Wahlberg wants to fight Tie Domi. No Im not kidding.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.