Chara, Bruins players in action overseas

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Chara, Bruins players in action overseas

Bruins fans got a tiny little oasis in the middle of their own personal hockey desert Tuesday when ESPN 2 broadcast one of several KHL matchups scheduled to air this season. Even better, the game was between Prague and Moscow at the very same O2 Arena that housed both Premiere League games between the Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes two years ago, and Bs captain Zdeno Chara was one of the highlighted players in the marquee game for the Prague Lions.

The 6-foot-9 defenseman was wearing his customary No. 33 uniform in an odd red Prague Lev jersey, and brought his trademark physicality to what was otherwise a fairly nondescript 1-0 win for the Dynamo. Chara finished with 19:34 of ice time and fired three shots on net in only his second game with Lev, but couldnt will his club to victory in only his second game played over in Europe.

In other Black and Gold news around the European Leagues, David Krejci has a pair of goals in his last three games for HC Pardubice in the Czech League after the two sides finalized an insurance flyer to properly protect the Bs center. Tyler Seguin has a goal and three points in four games for Biel in the Swiss League, but is also living in the reality of life without linemate Patrice Bergeron and is minus-4 in those four games as well.

There are no statistics currently available for Andrew Ference or Patrice Bergeron after they left Boston for the Czech Republic and Switzerland respectively over the last week.

Dennis Seidenberg is scoreless in a pair of games for the Mannheim Eagles in Germany, and Rich Peverley has an assist and four penalty minutes in three games for JYP in Finland. Anton Khudobin is 3-3-2 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.77 goals against average in eight games for Moscow Oblast in the KHL.

There are currently nine Bruins players over in Europe staying in shape during the lockout, and more could be on the way in the next few weeks as the CBA negotiations continue to move at a slow-moving snails pace.

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

It’s no secret Bruins fans are getting fed up with a hockey team in decline, one that’s missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Now there are numbers to prove it.

Channel Media and Market Research, Inc. came out with its annual New England Sports survey,  tabulating responses from over 14,600 polled, and, according to the numbers, the Bruins are dropping in popularity, fan support and faith in the current management group.

The B’s are holding somewhat steady with 16 percent of voters listing them as their “favorite sports team” behind the Patriots (46 percent) and Red Sox (29 percent) while ahead of the Celtics and Revolution. Claude Julien also ranked ahead of John Farrell among the big four teams in the “coaches/manages most admired” category.

But after sitting at a relative high of ranking at 27 percent for “ownership performance” in 2014 -- they year after their trip to the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks -- the Bruins now rank dead last in that category at 2 percent, behind the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and even the Revolution. Ouch, babe.

Also sitting at a lowly 2 percent is Bruins president Cam Neely in the “leadership performance” category. In "management performance," Neely has dropped from a solid 49 percent in 2014 to just 16 percent in this summer’s survey.

So B’s fans are clearly upset with a team that traded away Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, and has featured a decimated defense corps for each of the last two seasons. But do the B’s fans think that things are getting any better with prospects coming down the pipeline?

Not really.

In the “which team has done the best job making its product better.” category, the Patriots (35 percent) and Red Sox (31 percent) were resting at the top, with the Celtics (27 percent) a respectable third. The Bruins limped in at just 4 percent with a fan base that very clearly sees that, on paper, this upcoming season’s club doesn’t appear to be much better than last year's.

On top of that, only 13 percent of those surveyed believe the Bruins have gotten better over the last year, and 52 percent believe they’ve just gotten worse. A lowly 3 percent of those surveyed think the Bruins have the best chance of the five teams to bring a world championship back to Boston; the Patriots (79 percent), Red Sox (11 percent) and Celtics (5 percent) all ranked higher.

Finally, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Hayes were at the top of the list of the Boston athletes “who did not meet expectations” last season. None of that is a surprise, given the state of Boston’s defense along with Hayes’ subpar season.

The good news for the Bruins: They still have a passionate fan base. But they need to start reversing course immediately before they do lasting damage to the B’s brand.

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

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Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with the Olympics coming to a close . . .
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke sorts through the aftermath for the Bruins after losing out on Jimmy Vesey

-- Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an interview where he said the Red Wings aren’t Stanley Cup contenders this season. 

-- Related to Holland’s comments, some of the media in Detroit aren’t taking the dose of reality all that well

-- It’s a big season for New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, who will be starring for Team USA on the World Cup team. 

 -- PHT writer Cam Tucker says the Buffalo Sabres still have a strong group of forwards even without Jimmy Vesey.

-- Jamie Benn is giving everything to his Dallas Stars team, and that means that the World Cup of Hockey is taking a backseat
 
-- The Colorado Avalanche are nearing the end of their head coaching search as they look for their replacement for Patrick Roy.
 
-- For something completely different: NBC is making the argument that millenials watched the Olympics, but just not on the traditional formats