Bruins skate all over Maple Leafs, 6-2

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Bruins skate all over Maple Leafs, 6-2

The Bruins needed something to turn their frustration around, and it turns out they found it in the rapidly improving Maple Leafs.

While the Leafs and NHL leading scorer Phil Kessel are the toast of the league, the Bruins reminded Toronto and everybody else how dangerous they are in a turn back the clock performance for a 6-2 victory over the Leafs at TD Garden. The Bruins received goals from each of their newly configured top two lines, and showed just how much scoring depth they can have when operating on all cylinders.

The Bruins started off the proceedings with a pair of power play goals in the first period, and tossed everything mentally, physically and emotionally at a Leafs team that still needs to prove plenty over the course of a long season. It appears that Claude Juliens tinkering with the lines also worked as the newly constructed line of Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin had a pair of five-on-five goals while Patrice Bergeron added his first strike of the season.

Lucic and Nathan Horton had their line broken up headed into Thursday nights game and both players came away with goals. Andrew Ference tied a career-high with three assists all collected in the first period, and Chris Kelly, Zdeno Chara, Ference, Seguin, Lucic all finished with multiple point nights after starting the night dead last in the NHL in goals per game.

Tyler Seguin capped off a three-point night with his second goal of the season that made it a five-goal lead late in the third period. Tim Thomas made 25 saves in a quietly effective effort that included several big stops in the second period when the game was still in question.

Chara on slumping Bruins: Players shouldn't have to be told to work hard

Chara on slumping Bruins: Players shouldn't have to be told to work hard

BRIGHTON -- The on-ice portion of Bruins practice kicked off about an hour later than scheduled at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning.

The B's are reeling, having lost four games in a row for the first time this season after getting dumped by the Penguins, 5-1, in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. Their standing in the Atlantic Division, and the playoff picture, is tenuous at best with so many other teams holding games in hand over them, and it truly looks like they're going to slide out of the race if they can’t reverse their fortunes.

So Claude Julien, saying "desperate times call for desperate measures," summoned the players to a video session where flaws, mistakes, half-hearted efforts and bad systems-play was pointed out in front of everyone. The team then took the ice to iron out those problems in an hour-long practice that the embattled Bruins coach hopes will lead to better results in the final two games, against Detroit and Pittsburgh, before the All-Star break.

“He was showing details that we were doing well early on in the season to have success, and little things that we’ve gotten away from that we need to correct,” said captain Zdeno Chara. “We need to start doing them again. It’s a game of little details and we need to make sure we do them right.”

While Chara wouldn’t comment on the tone of the video session, it’s clear that things like effort, determination and desperation were probably talking points just as much as fine-tuning Julien’s long-held offensive and defensive systems.

“It’s commitment," said Chara. "That’s for sure, that we need to have everybody doing that. We shouldn’t . . . at this level, at this time of the season, [have to be] asking guys to work hard. We’ve got to make sure that everybody is working hard, and everybody is paying his dues to be in the lineup and earn a spot.

“That’s the No. 1 priority: You have to compete and you have to work hard. Usually when you do those things, good things happen. We’ve got to back to those little things [with] hard work, commitment and competing every shift.”

Will an honest, direct video session between head coach and players be the key to stopping the team’s most demoralizing stretch of the season, and lead to a prolonged winning streak? Only time will tell.

But the Bruins need something to get spinning in an entirely different direction. 

Monday, Jan. 23: Yandle endorses Coyotes

Monday, Jan. 23: Yandle endorses Coyotes

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while sorting through all the Bruins-related alternative facts out there.

*Matthew Tkachuk is having some disagreements with his parents about his mouth-guard usage with the Calgary Flames.

*Former Yotes D-man Keith Yandle says that the Arizona Coyotes “know what they’re doing” despite their decent to the cellar in the Western Conference.

*Insights on every goaltending situation in the NHL from the crack ESPN.com staff breaking down the fantasy rankings.

*The struggles continue for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they can’t seem to gain any traction in the Atlantic Division.

*Wayne Simmonds took the blame for a late penalty that led to Philly’s undoing as they battle for playoff position in the East.

*Sounds like Patrik Laine might be nearing a return to the lineup, and that’s a very good thing for the Winnipeg Jets.

*For something completely different: We have a title for the next Star Wars film. It’s going to be called “The Last Jedi.”