Seidenberg key in Bruins third-period success

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Seidenberg key in Bruins third-period success

Sometimes it takes a period or two for a hockey coach to recognize who his hot hands are, and thats exactly what happened in Tuesday nights three-goal comeback with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

The German defenseman was solid throughout the eventual 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers at TD Garden, but Seidenberg had his number called quite a bit by Claude Julien in the third period as he responded favorably to the increased duty. Seidenberg was also inserted back into the Bruins power play in the third period in place of rookie Dougie Hamilton, and helped produce two of the Bs scores in the stunning last-minute comeback.

He was having a good game. I really felt he was playing very well. He seemed to be willing to shoot that puck, so we put him back there on the power play and gave him that opportunity, said Claude Julien. Its just about getting a feel about what youre seeing form your bench and from your team on specific nights. He was good tonightI thought he was a real good player for us. He was probably our best defenseman tonight.

Befitting Bostons best defenseman Seidenberg led the Bruins with 26:52 of ice time in the extra session game, led the Bruins with a plus-2 and finished with a pair of assists while admitting after the game he was feeling pretty good.

Its hard to explain but I felt like I had my really good skating legs moving around out there, said Seidenberg, who had only a single assist in eight games this season entering Tuesday nights loss to the Rangers. We had a lot of pressure going on. When we get pucks to the net with bodies there anything can happen, and thats what we did.

It was the first goal in the third period that keyed the whole comeback, and actually arrived a second after the Boston power play had expired. But the PP unit was still on the ice and that meant Seidenberg was out there after Julien had slotted him back into the special teams crew.

The German defenseman cranked a shot from the right point that Milan Lucic redirected from the slot area in front of the net. Henrik Lundqvist kicked the puck out toward his left right to David Krejci, and the center slipped a shot past the Rangers goaltender to get the blood pumping for the Black and Gold.

They scored to make it 3-0. What I said to our players once we got that first goal, you know, I was saying there was over 10 minutes left and the guys were saying listen its about getting a goal every five minutes, said Claude Julien. Its very doable and they believe in themselves. They just kept at it. We had some chances before we scored, but they just believe that they can do it.

All of that belief started with Seidenberg helping to finish off a play midway through the third period in one of his understatedly dominant performances for the Black and Gold, and the rest was history once the Bruins got rolling in their third period.

Thursday, Aug. 25: Nearly two decades later, the Whalers live on

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Thursday, Aug. 25: Nearly two decades later, the Whalers live on

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while in disbelief mode that the summer is almost over.

*Good piece on the remainders of the Hartford Whalers organization in Connecticut trying to keep the dream alive for the Whale.

*Tyler Seguin sits down for a podcast this week that I freely admit I did not have the time to listen to. I wonder if Boston even rated a mention in the conversation?

*Rating the top NHL contracts, according to the fancy stats hockey analysts, sounds like an interesting exercise.

*Tracey Myers has Duncan Keith bowing out of the World Cup of Hockey while recovering from an injury, and getting replaced by Jay Boumeester.

*The “Da Beauty” Hockey League has kept players like Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan McDonagh and David Backes in hockey shape this summer while slowly getting ready for the season.

*The Arizona Coyotes make a historic hire by naming Dawn Braid as skating coach, making her the first female coach in the NHL.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Rich Shirtenlieb guested on the #DORK podcast this week, and it sounds like he didn’t love “Stranger Things.” At the very least he liked “Preacher” better. I thought Preacher was entertaining, but I didn’t even think it was in the same stratosphere as Stranger Things. Rich also has me wanting to watch “It Follows” now, however, after his endorsement.

 

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