Bruins hung up on hangover talk

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Bruins hung up on hangover talk

CHICAGO The Bruins have had about enough of the whole Stanley Cup hangover thing, and the season is only four games old.

The Black and Gold roll into the United Center for a Saturday night meeting against the Blackhawks that should press down firmly enough on the Bs emotional buttons. But its also appropriate theyre going up against the poster children for the Stanley Cup hangover.

Tyler Seguin came up with the line of the day, but it typified how everyone in the Bruins dressing room was looking at things after a couple disappointing losses to Carolina and Colorado.

I liked part 1 and 2 of the movie The Hangover, but this catchphrase isnt something we want sticking with this team, said Seguin. Its getting annoying and we dont want to keep it over our heads.

So how does somebody put the hangover chatter to bed?

Its pretty simple:

Win.

The Bruins have lost focus largely at the beginning of games, but at certain points throughout in three out of the four games played this season, and its cost them. Theyve been a little light on the physical side, without a fight in any of the four games, and they haven't stirred memories of the Big Bad Bruins.

But the NHL will still assume that Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper have been smuggled onto the Bruins roster unless the reigning Cup champs can find a way to minimize the struggles. It starts with upping the intensity and focus and continues when pride starts getting involved with players that know the Stanley Cup party is pretty much over at this point.

Of course there are effects from winning the Cup, but I wouldnt call it a hangover, said Tim Thomas, who hasnt shown any hangover effects in the early going and seems the likely choice as starter on Saturday. By talking about it and by having it brought up in the media all the time, it brings it up into your conscious mind. It gives you an excuse or it allows you to think that way.

The battle as a player is to not waste your time thinking in negative directions like that, and instead stay positive and in the moment. That was last year and this is a new year. If you want to have success, we need to focus on what each of us need to in each individual period and each individual game.

The Bruins are working on simple, fundamental things like transition passes, forechecking and special teams during their Friday practice in Chicago, and its about hammering home the basics for the coaching staff. Claude Julien believes his players have the will to win, but that needs to translate into the kind of Bruins hockey that everyone is accustomed to.

For a lot of people the hangover seems unavoidable, but we dont want to be accepting that, said Julien. If anything, wed like to be the exception to the rule and battle our way out of it. Right now our mental state is whats probably hurting us the most.

Its not clicking right now whether its the transition game or our forecheck. The attention and the will seem to be there, so its just finding a way to push ourselves past that zone and find our game again.

A couple of power-play goals wouldnt hurt; the Bs havent notched a man-advantage tally since their first goal of the season on Oct. 6 against the Flyers when Seguin hit Brad Marchand with a home run stretch pass.

It seems to be a pretty good signs that the Bruins players are getting a bit peeved about the Stanley Cup hangover talk, and the next step is doing something about it by winning some games.

The Bruins continue their effort to find the cure for the common hockey hangover Saturday night against the Blackhawks.

Lucic heads to Edmonton with seven-year, $42M deal

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Lucic heads to Edmonton with seven-year, $42M deal

The Bruins had made a little noise about a Milan Lucic reunion last weekend at the draft.

Instead, Lucic, 28, will be reunited with former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who now runs the Edmonton Oilers. The ex-Bruins forward agreed to a seven-year, $42 million contract with Edmonton on the opening day of NHL free agency, Lucic's agent, Gerry Johansson confirmed to the Associated Press.

Lucic, traded to the Los Angeles Kings in a draft night deal last year by the B’s, had  20 goals and 35 assists in his lone season in L.A. 

Source: ‘Fairly certain’ Bruins will part ways with Connolly

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Source: ‘Fairly certain’ Bruins will part ways with Connolly

Things didn’t look good for right winger Brett Connolly returning to the Bruins after they opted not to tender him a qualifying offer a couple of days ago. Now it appears the former No. 6 overall pick will be headed toward unrestricted free agency. 

A league source told CSNNE.com on Friday morning that “it was fairly certain” Connolly wouldn’t be re-signing with Boston leading up to July 1 and that the right wing would be getting a fresh start someplace else next season. 

The B’s had maintained some level of public interest in keeping Connolly, 24, after relinquishing his RFA rights, but there hasn’t been much in the way of substantive communication between the two sides over the last few days.

Connolly scored nine goals and 25 points with a minus-1 in 71 games for the Black and Gold last season in a disappointing offensive season playing on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. 

He went long stretches without scoring goals or posting points last season and never played like the 6-foot-2, 193-pound power forward-type he was projected to be coming out of junior hockey. 

It was a step back from a decent season as a Tampa Bay Lightning third liner in 2014-15, and a clear bummer after they’d shipped a pair of second round picks to the Bolts in exchange for the former lottery pick.

With Connolly now headed for free agency with zero assets coming back to the Bruins in exchange for him, chalk this up as another total loss for the Bruins at a trade deadline where they’ve really damaged their long term organizational prospects over the past couple of years. 

 

Bruins sign David Backes after losing Eriksson to Vancouver

Bruins sign David Backes after losing Eriksson to Vancouver

The Bruins have made some signings to varying degrees of significance on the July 1 opening of NHL free agency

The Bruins signed rugged, productive center David Backes to a five-year contract worth $6 million a year that will take the 32-year-old up until he’s 38. The former St. Louis Blues captain is tough, intense and physical along with being a guy that can chip in 20 plus goals on offense, and he will bring some of that fire to the Black and Gold starting next season. But the 6-foot-3, 221-pound forward has also already played 700 plus games in the NHL, heavy miles logged given his physical style of play. It will be interesting to see what kind of player Backes is when he approaches the 36-38 year old range a few years down the road.

The Backes signing came soon after word came that the B's lost Loui Eriksson to the Vancouver Canucks to a deal believed to be worth $36 million over six years. 

"I am as excited as can be to join an Original Six team w/tons of history & a great chance to win," Backes told CSNNE.com. "The courtship period and vision for winning with this group was irresistible."

In announcing Torey Krug's contract extension on Thursday night. Bruins GM Don Sweeney said of he B's free agent pursuits:  “The flexibility piece is there. Now, we just need to make it happen, be it through trade or free agency, we’ll continue to improve. Players on this roster or whatever we have to do — there are certain players that I’ve mentioned before that are a big part of our group in winning and we’re very, very unlikely to move.

“But discussions will come down with different general managers — they’re going to want, they’re going to have the asks, and I do, too, so you have to try and make it work and you realize that good players are exchanged and it’s not a fun process, but in order to improve your team, you’re going to have to give something up.

In addition to Backes, who scored 21 goals and 45 points in 79 games last season, the Bruins also inked backup goaltender Anton Khudobin to a short-term deal and re-signed John-Michael Liles to a one-year, $2 million contract after arriving at the trade deadline last spring.