Red Sox still bitter over clubhouse "snitches"

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Red Sox still bitter over clubhouse "snitches"

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In an interview over the weekend, starting pitcher Josh Beckett claimed there were "snitches'' in the clubhouse, a reference to the fallout from last September and ensuing reports of beer and fried chicken being consumed mid-game in the clubhouse.

On Monday, manager Bobby Valentine said he would take a wait-and-see approach in determining whether it needs to be further addressed.

"Maybe as the group gets smaller,'' said Valentine, "and it seems like it's a situation that is festering and hasn't come to a head (late in March), maybe. I don't know.''

Beckett, in an interview with WEEI.com, said he was still resentful that details were leaked to the media.

"Teams are built on trust and teamwork,'' said Valentine. "Those are probably the two most important things championship teams have. So if there is distrust, I think it eventually would have to be addressed. But in my experience, those things usually present themselves.''

In the first two weeks of camp, a number of players and officials have expressed hope that the club could "turn the page'' on the disastrous finish to 2011, stressing the need for a fresh start for 2012.

"I don't think you turn the page on it,'' said Valentine. "You work through things and time is a great healer. But it's not the only healer. If someone was burned in (the Red Sox clubhouse), it's going to take some time for the sting to leave. And it's probably going to take some actions, too.

"I don't know that they have to be in a meeting form, or caucusing or small groups, big groups. Usually, they present themselves. And when they do, you'll find the true spirit.''

Valentine acknowledged that in conversations with some players, resentment over clubhouse leaks have surfaced.

"Saying 'Forget it,' '' said Valentine, "is like saying, 'Relax.' Those words mean nothing. It takes breathing and confidence and all those wonderful things to relax. It takes time and possibly, at times, apologies. But apologies come with actions to heal. I don't think you can just say, 'OK, we're going to have a meeting. OK, forget it, we're turning the page, it's over.'

"I don't particularly believe that.''

Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

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Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

BOSTON – The Bruins are starting to run out of adjectives and descriptors for these “no-show” performances on home ice.

The Bruins made it twice in two months that they’ve dropped a disappointing dud to one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams when they came out flat, and never showed any signs of life in a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The lack of effort and pitiful results were particularly disappointing coming off a solid five game stretch where they’d engineered high effort wins over Florida, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrice Bergeron finished a minus-3 on the afternoon, and said in quasi-disgust that he knew five minutes into the game that his team didn’t have “it” on Monday.

“Something that we talked [headed into Monday was] about building from the last few weeks, and how good it felt around the room, I guess, with winning games basically,” said Bergeron. “[The shutout loss] just shows that you have to show up every night and not take things for granted. I think we did [take things for granted] this afternoon.

“It was about finding someone to get us a shift to get us going basically. We had a few good shifts there, and we sustained a little bit of pressure there. But then we just couldn’t keep that for the next lines after going, we couldn’t sustain that or build from that. It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.”

Claude Julien mentioned the compacted schedule and potential fatigue playing into the Bruins looking “flat” on Monday against the Islanders, and perhaps that is partially to blame for an uncharacteristically lifeless performance from the Black and Gold. But the B’s essentially did nothing for 60 minutes after not having played for 48 hours dating back to a Saturday afternoon matinee win over the Flyers, so the fatigue excuse is difficult to swallow.

Instead it looked like a Bruins team that thought they were going to roll out the pucks and beat the worst team in the Metro Division that had lost four-of-five games. Instead a defensive zone breakdown led to a Nikolay Kulemin goal midway through the second period, and the Bruins collapsed after that. Josh Bailey tucked a short side goal past a late-reacting Tuukka Rask for a soft serve special allowed by Boston’s ace goaltender, and Kulemin scored again in the second period once the Bruins began cheating at the offensive end of the ice.

To make matters worse, the Bruins showed zero fight or willingness to scratch and claw their way back into the game in the third period. Instead it looked like they quit on two points that could end up being extremely important at the end of the season.

It also looked like the Bruins weren’t ready to play, and that they overlooked the downtrodden Islanders for the second time in as many months.

“Maybe we took them a little lightly, but we just weren’t ready [to play],” said Brad Marchand. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror and all be a little bit better. We all have to be prepared for every game. You can’t look at the guy besides us and think he’s going to do the job. We have to take a little onus on ourselves and all be a little bit better. As a team, again, we have to play the system together and we have to back each other up. We have to play as one unit and we didn’t do that.”

It’s long past the point where the words even matter that the Bruins are uttering after games like Monday afternoon. Instead it’s about results and nothing else, and the B’s were nothing short of putrid in that category against the Islanders with points at a premium this time of year.