Blue Jackets' Nash to Boston? Keep dreaming

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Blue Jackets' Nash to Boston? Keep dreaming

Last year it was widely reported that the Boston Bruins was one of the teams Rick Nash was willing to accept a trade to if the Columbus Blue Jackets found a return to their liking, and that hasnt changed over the last five months.

The Bruins are still one of the six teams the disgruntled Blue Jackets superstar would agree to play for should a trade actually happen, but there are several stumbling blocks that will keep the 28-year-old from ever donning the Black and Gold. Beyond the purely obvious game plan that Bs GM Peter Chiarelli has mapped out to keep his core of Bruins players together after they won a Cup two seasons ago, there are some other very good reasons.

According to hockey sources, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson continues to insist on the best and brightest from teams interested in Nash. The price for the Bruins has been constant and unappetizing: either Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton or Milan Lucic and Hamilton as the centerpieces for a Nash deal.

It amounts to a treasure trove of hockey talent, and its a price that teams like the Rangers and Flyers have balked at over the last month as Columbus attempts to deal their franchise player. Yes, Nash has scored 40 goals twice during his career and has racked up All-Star appearances as a 6-foot-4, 216-pound prototypical power forward with a strong offensive bent.

But last years 30 goals and 59 points were Nashs worst offensive totals since 2006-07, and hes managed to appear in only a smattering of playoff games during a career stuck in Columbus.

Nash also isnt the kind of physical presence that Lucic provides for the Bruins, and the Blue Jackets star also appears to be on the downslide of his career. Seguin and Hamilton should both be considered untouchable by the Bruins, and neither Boston rising star would be included in a Nash deal. Its conceivable that Seguin could mature into a better scorer than Nash over the next two or three seasons, and Hamilton would have been the No. 1 overall pick in this years draft based on his junior hockey season in Niagara.

Above and beyond the price in players, the Bruins wouldnt be interested in the 7.8 million price tag for Nash over the next six years either.

It makes much more sense for the Bruins to get involved in the Bobby Ryan trade talks with Anaheim for a big, talented offensive winger with a much lower price tag in terms of trade costs and salary owed. Anaheim wants a No. 2 center as the centerpiece of the deal, and David Krejci would be a nice fit if the Bruins and Ducks can come to an agreement on a deal.

But those wishing for Nash in Black and Gold are continuing to push forward an NHL pipe dream that really has no shot of happening.

Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity'

Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity'

BOSTON – While there were some warning signs over the last few weeks that the Bruins might be getting away from their game, it didn’t really hit home until Thursday night’s frustrating loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The Bruins blew through three different one-goal leads in the second period in the 6-3 loss to the Bolts at TD Garden, and each time surrendered a tying goal to Tampa in less than two minutes after initially scoring. It was a clear indicator that the Bruins weren’t fully focused on the task at hand despite having already lost three games in a row, and that their ability to bounce back from adversity is going away from them again. 

That much was obvious when the bottom dropped out in the third period, and Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov turned into a two-man Lightning wrecking crew outscoring the Bruins by a 3-0 margin in the final 20 minutes. 

“I think the frustration is more in-game, where we’ve got to have a stronger mental capacity to handle those [challenging] situations in-game. Let’s face it, when you get on a bit of a losing streak, all those things creep in, whether it’s in October or whether it’s in March,” said Bruce Cassidy. “You have doubts, you start pressing, and again, it’s my job to alleviate the kind of attention in those situations.

“But, as I told you, we all have to be accountable and be responsible for ourselves, and that’s where we just need to have better focus and better discipline in those areas. It was there when it was 3-3 [on the scoreboard]. We’ve got to push back after they score, and that’s where I thought we started to come apart a little bit where we should’ve stuck together and stuck with the program. [We needed to] get ourselves slowly back into the game. We had 10 minutes to even the score, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Clearly this wasn’t just the coach alone in his pointed observations, however, as the lack of focus showed unfortunately in a rudderless second period for the Black and Gold where they couldn’t gain any separation from Tampa Bay despite scoring three goals. 

“[It’s] not being focused, not being sharp, and obviously at this time of the year it’s unacceptable, and it’s up on us to be better,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “Those kinds of situations shouldn’t happen. So, for sure, we need to address those things and hold each other accountable.”

One thing is clear: The Bruins have a lot of work to do if they hope to avoid the same kind of late season tailspin that doomed them each of the last two seasons, and already seems to be happening over their last four losses to varying levels of hockey talent. 

Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

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Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.