Krejci a game-time decision; Kampfer return 'likely'


Krejci a game-time decision; Kampfer return 'likely'

BOSTON -- The Bruins look like they may get a couple of new faces in the lineup for tonights tilt against a confident, loose Maple Leafs bunch at TD Garden.

David Krejci ran through line drills centering Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron during morning skate, and is a game time decision for the Bruins attempting to return from a core injury. If Krejci cant go then it appears Peverley will center a third line with Benoit Pouliot and Caron on either side of him.

Julien also said that Steve Kampfer is likely to play in his first game of the season after making it through morning skate, and looking sufficiently healed from a sprained MCL in his left knee.

I dont know if Im playing tonight. Its Claudes decision, but Im going to prepare tonight as if I were playing, said Kampfer. Ill be ready to go and its one of those things where Ill find out after warm-ups. Im looking forward to hopefully getting back in there.

The likelihood was made all the greater when the Bs announced that Matt Bartkowski was being assigned to the Providence Bruins Thursday morning after struggling in a handful of games as Bostons seventh defenseman. If for any reason Kampfer cant go then the Bruins could execute an emergency call-up from their AHL farm club.

Adam McQuaid was once again missing from morning skate at the Garden, and Julien confirmed that hes out for tonights game against the Leafs. But Julien maintained that the rangy defenseman is still day-to-day despite the fact hes been missing from the ice for three straight skating sessions.

McQuaid is not going to play tonight; he continues to be day-to-day, said Julien. Kampfer is likely tonight and Krejci will be a game time decision. Youll probably see Kampfer in unless something happens during the day that disallows me from using him. Then wed have a guy with an hours drive from Providence to get here, so it wouldnt be an issue.

The message for Bartkowski on his way down to Providence after failing to gain the confidence of the Bs coaching staff in three separate chances in the Bs lineup: speed up the decision-making and pacing.

He just needs to play a little bit more. I thought his training camp was extremely good. He just has to go and play, and make some quicker decisions with the puck and knowing what to do when he gets it, said Julien. The pace in this league is quicker. At times we felt like he was a little slow-reacting, and that got him into trouble at times. More playing time will help him with that.

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


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