After the win, a day of rest in Lake Placid

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After the win, a day of rest in Lake Placid

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

LAKE PLACID, New York The Bruins finally wrestled some momentum away from the Montreal Canadiens with a Game Three victory at the Bell Centre on Monday night, and on Tuesday they met and rested.The Bruins gathered for meetings at the Olympic Center smack dab in the middle of Lake Placid at 2364 Main Street the hallowed hockey spot where the 1980 U.S. Olympic Miracle on Ice took place and recharged their batteries for a solid Wednesday practice, followed by an equally immense Game 4 back at the Bell Centre.Its so pretty. You look at around and even in Lake Placid you get a pretty good showing of media, said Andrew Ference. I dont think you really escape anything, but you feel relaxed in a setting like this. You go outside and its really casual and relaxed. You just chill out for a couple of days.The visit to Lake Placid is more meaningful to some players than others. Tim Thomas is was born in Flint, Michigan and he grew up influenced by the Miracle on Ice that inspired him to become a hockey player and be like his boyhood hero, Jim Craig. But while its an inspiration setting for Thomas and a hockey Mecca of sorts, the Bs goaltender also said it wasnt going to be a Miracle-style upset if the Bruins rip off three more wins against Montreal.This is a great place to visit and very special for me, but my main focus is Thursday and playing the game in Montreal, said Thomas. It wouldn't be a 'Miracle' if we win Thursday, so its a different page in a different book. The only Bruins to practice Tuesday afternoon were Tyler Seguin, Shane Hnidy, Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton, Adam McQuaid and Tuukka Rask and the rest of the Black Aces from the Providence Bruins. Claude Julien said Zdeno Chara was understandably tired after playing 26-plus minutes during Game 3 after returning from a bout of severe dehydration, but that hed bounced back well after waking up on Tuesday morning.He was good, said Julien. He pushed hard to make what he did yesterday happen. There was no doubt after the game he was tired, but I think even as a healthy player youd be tired. He stood in there and I thought he had a great game. For all of the challenges I thought he had to overcome, he played well. He was solid, physical and I thought he was very focused. Andrew Ference, not wanting to receive a penalty that would have negated the power play the Bruins were about to receive, said he was careful to wait for Benoit Pouliot to drop hisgloves before jumping into a fight with him in the first period ofMonday night's 4-2win at theBell Centre.
The 6-foot-5 Pouliot -- who tangled with David Krejci in the fight night atTD Garden during the season --left his skates and attempted tothrow an elbow, which wound up off target, toward Johnny Boychuks head. Pouliot was the second man in after Ryan White had already stapled Boychuk to the boards with a heavy body hit near the corner. Theunderachieving Habs winger was slappedwith a charging penalty whilealso earning himself a fighting major.Ference once again was among the first to respond when an opponent took liberties with one of his teammates. If it was up to him, Pouliot would have received supplementary discipline from the NHL . . . but the league, after reviewing the incident, declined to impose any further penalty. Ference avoided the instigator in the smart hockey player, and stood up for his teammate at the same time.
From what I saw, it looked like a really dangerous play," said Ference. "A hit like that especially to your partner you want there to be some answer for it. But I didnt want to drop the gloves without him dropping them so as not to receive an instigator penalty. I was 100 percent aware of that. Chris Kelly was sporting a healthy shiner around his right eye after getting tripped by Scott Gomez and hurtling face first into the post during the first period of Monday nights win at the Bell Centre. Kelly finished the game after being momentarily dazed and Gomez was called for an interference penalty. But Julien didnt believe that there was true malicious intent to Gomezs actions.They got a penalty for interference. To be honest with you its a little bit of the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty. Its a hit that turned out badly, said Julien. But I think in Kellys case it was interference, but he didnt mean to push him in the net or cause him to hit the post."Youve got to understand that sometimes the result of what happened wasnt exactly the intention. So is it a penalty? Absolutely. But I didnt think there any intent to injure and thats something you dont like to see.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Guy Boucher proves to be a man of the people

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Morning Skate: Guy Boucher proves to be a man of the people

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while putting the pieces together now that the hockey season is O-V-A-H here in Boston. 
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Arthur takes a look at the end of the season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who put on a good show with their young, talented crew. 
 
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here is this morning’s interview with Toucher and Rich where I talked about the Bruins taking a step forward despite their season being over. 
 
-- He might look and sound like a Bond Villain, but Guy Boucher was far from it in stopping to shake hands with Senators fans at the airport after their playoff win over the B’s. 
 
-- Interesting that John Stevens is named head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, since the change isn’t expected to be a big departure from what was already going on there. 
 
-- The San Jose Sharks are all done for this season, and one wonders if GM Doug Wilson is going to have to choose between Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau moving forward. 

 -- Speaking of the Senators, PHT writer James O’Brien has Clarke MacArthur and Craig Anderson making Ottawa’s playoff victory all the more emotional

 -- For something completely different: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is coming to a theatre near you soon, and here’s a review. I’m looking forward to this one.

Haggerty: Cassidy should be rewarded for a job well done

Haggerty: Cassidy should be rewarded for a job well done

BOSTON -- After the Bruins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday, nearly every player was in agreement in identifying the turning point of the season:

The coaching change.

The B's went 18-8-1 in the regular season after Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien and rallied to make the playoffs after a late-season, four-game tailspin had them in danger of missing out for the third straight year. And despite being ravaged by injuries, they showed fight and spirit in pushing Ottawa to six games, including a road victory in a double-overtime, Game 5 thriller, before eventually succumbing in overtime, 3-2, on Sunday.

Certainly there were moments of sloppiness -- ill-timed penalties, moments when the Bruins simply couldn't bust through Ottawa's 1-3-1 trap -- but Boston's gutty playoff showing, coupled with the regular-season surge, makes it seem clear Cassidy deserves to be awarded the full-time head coaching gig. 

Several Bruins players voiced their endorsement of Cassidy on Sunday, lauding him for bringing energy, offensive thrust, and open-mindedness to using younger players. 

"The results speak for themselves," said David Backes, who played some of his best hockey in Games 5 and 6 once he was paired with center Sean Kuraly. "We were climbing uphill when [Cassidy] took over and we made our way [to the playoffs] . . . [He] certainly did a heck of a job."

And how does Cassidy -- who had gone more than 13 years since his last NHL head coaching job before replacing Julien on an interim basis, and spending the previous eight seasons at the AHL level in Providence -- feel? 

"Absolutely. 100 percent," said Cassidy, when asked if he wanted the Boston job on a permanent basis.

And if he got it, perhaps those improvements would continue.

"Maybe a full year with him, he changes a few things," said Backes.

"That will be determined going forward by management whether I continue to be the head coach, and what players will be here will [also] be determined by management," said Cassidy. "So it's a tough question to answer [on what improvements need to be made]. I think we scored some goals this year. We were good on the rush as well and the power play . . . and we were always a good forechecking team. This series took on a personality that we were going to have to score on the forecheck. 

"I thought that's why you see guys like [Noel] Acciari and Kuraly get into the lineup and really contribute. It's the strength of their game, and maybe less so from other guys that are more line rush guys. Don't forget, we had a lot of neophytes going into this series in terms of National Hockey League playoffs. So there's a learning curve for them and that's part of the growth process that we hope that, if we're sitting here next year at this time talking about advancing, that they learn something from this year. That's what every team goes through and the [David] Pastrnaks of the world, [Charlie] McAvoy . . . pick your players that are new to it, and [they] have to learn from [it]."

The decision to start Anton Khudobin in Brooklyn late in the regular season after the Bruins had lost four in a row was a turning point-type move, where Cassidy certainly pushed some buttons with No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask. And his insertion of Kuraly for Ryan Spooner in Game 5 worked on every level, and probably prolonged the series. So give him credit for both of those things along with the pumped-up offense he helped orchestrate in the final few months of the regular season. 

The Bruins won't be making any public statements or pronouncements on Monday, but one has to assume Cassidy holds the inside track on the job after guiding the team back into the playoffs for the first time in three years. Certainly there may be courtesy interviews for other candidates like Providence College coach Nate Leaman, but it's difficult to see anything else Cassidy would have to accomplish to be fit for the position. 

As Backes said himself, the results speak for themselves.