BOSTON -- Its too bad the Bruins couldnt find a way to get through this first round series against the Washington Capitals.<br><br>The Bs could have been looking at a manageable, weakened opponent like the Ottawa Senators in the next round, and they would have had a skilled young player in Tyler Seguin that was finally starting to come around. The 20-year-old potted his second goal in as many playoff games during Wednesday nights 2-1 loss in Game against the Washington Capitals in Game 7, and provided the only real offensive energy for the Bs in a tired, flat defeat at the hands of underdog Washington.<br><br><img src="commonglobal_imagesblog_divider.png">With last year obviously winning it and all you feel lucky and fortunate. But you dont really grasp the whole worth of the Stanley Cup, said Seguin who lead both teams with seven shots on net and numerous scoring chances during Game 7. I think more and more you get to learn and losing here, we definitely get a new feeling.<br><br>Seguins goal was a thing of blue collar beauty as he fought through Washington defenseman Karl Alzner and John Carlson to get to a Johnny Boychuk shot that had trickled through Braden Holtbys pads before settling in the blue paint. Seguin barreled through both Washington defenders before flipping the loose puck in the back of the net.<br><br>I tried going in front of the net and I actually fell in front of Johnny Boychuk's shot, said Seguin. I kind of saw the puck laying there so I just dove in and whacked it with my stick.<br><br>Its the exact kind of grit and willingness to engage in one-on-one battles that those around the Bruins team have been waiting for to see in the youngsters developing offensive game. The humble pie served up when Bostons leading scorer during the regular season had been shut down in the first five games of the series will be exactly the kind of motivational burn Seguin is looking for while getting ready for next season.<br><br>I think the more games you play in playoffs the more experience youre going to gain, the more confidence and composure youre going to have for the next time it happens,: said Seguin. I look forward to next year.<br><br>That goes double for everybody around the Bruins organization thats looking for another big leap next season for a talented 20-year-old that tripled his point output from last season and became the youngest player in franchise history to lead the team with 29 goals scored.<br><br>Whats left to wonder is what kind of encore the ridiculously talented forward is capable of this early in his career, and how hungry an unlikely first round exit will make the premium hockey talent next season.
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.
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.
*Wayne Simmonds took the blame for a late penalty that led to Philly’s undoing as they battle for playoff position in the East.
*For something completely different: We have a title for the next Star Wars film. It’s going to be called “The Last Jedi.”