Morning Skate: Thursday, May 24


Morning Skate: Thursday, May 24

The female demographic is targeted for the already infamous While the Men Watch commentary provided on CBC during the Stanley Cup playoff run.

FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jesse Spector catches us up on the happenings of the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers in their playoff series that has taken a turn for Jerseys way.

Bruce Arthur has a column on the Phoenix Coyotes finishing the season under a cloud of several things.

Tom Renney was a steady, fatherly hand for a young Oilers team over the last couple of years, and there is some disappointment that will no longer be the case in Edmonton.

Drew Doughty has entered the Conn Smythe discussion after a strong series against the Phoenix Coyotes, and he appears to these eyes to be the closest thing to Ray Bourque in the NHL these days.

Former Boston College standout Stephen Gionta has taken a big step up for the New Jersey Devils during the playoffs, and is beginning to carve out his own place next to his well-known brother.

The Pro Hockey Talk boys say that Bolts general manager Steve Yzerman is working the European circuit during the offseason as he overhauls things with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

For something completely different: Ad Rock opens up to Rolling Stone about the death of Beastie Boys partner Adam MCA Yauch.

Bruins need to "find a way to start playing with a lead"

Bruins need to "find a way to start playing with a lead"

BOSTON -- There’s only so long that a team can hope to thrive, or even survive, in the NHL if they’re constantly chasing the game on the scoreboard, and chasing the puck after digging themselves a hole. The Bruins have been that team in the first couple of weeks during the regular season, and made it five times in five games that they’ve given up the game’s first goal in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

It’s a pattern that is long past getting old to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who can’t seem to play the front-runner this season despite three comebacks that have allowed for a 3-2-0 record overall this season.

“I hope it’s not a habit. It’s certainly not what we’re looking for, but there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious that with the amount of games we’ve played, five games, we haven’t scored first,” said Julien. “We talked about that this morning, trying to get that first goal, and it hasn’t happened yet.”

The start to the game wasn’t really the problem on Saturday night as it’s been a couple of times this season. Instead the Bruins enjoyed a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes against the Habs, but couldn’t come through and finish off those plays when it might have meant an early lead.

Instead it lead to what Julien termed a “terrible” second period that was flat, full of mistakes and ended with the B’s trailing Montreal by a couple of goals. The Bruins scratched and clawed their way to making it a one-goal game in the third period, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get in losing their ninth straight home game to the arch-rival Canadiens.

“It’s kind of been a story about how things are going for us this far, we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead. If you don’t capitalize on your chances, you see what happens when you come out [flat] in the second period,” said Torey Krug, who finished a game-worst minus-3 in the loss for the Bruins. “We had another poor second period and you know it’s kind of… you got to make sure that we put our hand on that and it doesn’t become a thing for the team this year. You see that when you don’t capitalize on chances early, that’s what’s going to happen.”

It’s been a positive development that the Bruins have shown the willingness and backbone to fight back into games after early deficits, and they showed that quality once again on Saturday night by scoring a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close. But the Bruins would be best served if they can start lighting the lamp a little earlier in these games, and see how the other half lives by playing with a comfortable lead every once in a while.