Bruins hung up on hangover talk


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:


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.

Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team


Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while saying RIP Vine but not really feeling it since it’s a rabbit hole I never really delved down into. 

*Down Goes Brown celebrates the “NHL’s old guys”, and yes, that means a gratuitous shout out to Zdeno Chara as the top defenseman on the All-Graybeard squad. 

*Hampus Lindholm has signed a long term deal with the Anaheim Ducks, so now that deal leaves everybody to wonder who is leaving the Anaheim roster in the eventual salary cap crunch. It will be interesting to see if this hastens any Cam Fowler trade talk as far as the Bruins are concerned because it looks like they need the help.  

*Pro Hockey Talk has the Oilers off to their best start since the Wayne Gretzky Era and people in Edmonton finally getting to see the hockey they’ve been waiting for over the past few years. 

*In honor of the Halloween season that we’re in, here are a few cool and scary goalie masks with a bit of spooky flair. 

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is confident that his young team is going to rebound after a rough start to the season. 

*Speaking of creative uniforms, it’s a most wonderful time of the year for hockey when they bust out their Oktoberfest sweaters. 

*For something completely different: this matchup of Peanuts and Stranger Things hits all the right notes for fans of both. 


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?

While the good news is that it doesn’t appear that Tuukka Rask is dealing with a knee injury, there are still some significant muscular issues to work with concerning his left leg. 

According to former Bruins defenseman and NHL analyst Aaron Ward on CSN’s Great American Hockey Show podcast, the Bruins franchise goaltender has been dealing with a hamstring issue that’s also become a hamstring and groin issue as he tried to play through in the first week of the season. Rask clearly tweaked something in his left leg opening night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, missed the Saturday night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and then appeared to aggravate the injury in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils. 

According to Ward, it’s hamstring and groin issues for Rask as the Bruins attempt to survive without him while potentially working toward a possible return for the Finnish netminder this weekend vs. the Red Wings. Rask hasn’t skated with the Bruins since finishing out the 2-1 win over the Devils last Thursday night, and tweaking the problematic left leg in the process. 

“What I was told is that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and now it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” said Ward to CSN Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty on the Great American Hockey Show podcast. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off. The crazy part was watching it on video where the shoot came from the left side and went wide, and the next time he injures it shot comes from the same spot, misses it wide and [Rask] is in the exact same position wincing.

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“I think [the Bruins] are smart rather than trying to play a guy that’s 90, 80 or 70 percent, whatever it is, to just get it over with. Endure the short term pain to get the greater gain, and that’s having Rask in there. There’s no greater endorsement to keep him out than seeing the [bad losses without him] because you need a healthy Tuukka to let the rest of the team settle.”

It’s been disastrous without Rask, of course, as the Bruins have allowed 11 goals in back-to-back losses to the Wild and Rangers with rookies Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre between the pipes, and Anton Khudobin out for three weeks while sporting a cast on his right hand in the last B’s game at TD Garden. 

Meanwhile, Rask (3-0-0, 1.67 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage) is trying to heal and time it perfectly so he returns once he’s past the danger of potentially blowing out the muscles in his left leg and making the situation even worse than it already might be. 

Ward also discusses his relationship with "Toucher & Rich" and the "Cuts for a Cause" charitable event that he helped start.