Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first

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Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow@hackswithhaggs
VANCOUVER Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Vancouver Canucks by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of Game 7.1)Bruins fourth line didnt score a goal in that first period, but they did drag a nervous, skittish Bruins team into the game with a series of crash and bang shifts that rocked the Canucks. Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille were all playing in Vancouvers face and accounted for three of the five shots on net for Boston in the first period. The Bs fourth line brought it and overwhelmed Vancouver with their depth, but the B's need more than that from everybody else among the forward groups.2)Bruins are 11-1 in these playoffs when they score first, and they stunned the Canucks with a quick strike off of a face-off. Patrice Bergeron was Bostons best forward outside the fourth line in the first 20 minutes and was rewarded. He won the face-off and Brad Marchand got the puck and danced around Sami Salo in the corner. Marchand fired a perfect pass to Bergeron through a mass of people in front of the net, and Bergeron fired before Roberto Luongo was able to pick up the puck on the ice. A perfectly executed play in a game that requires flawless execution.3)No penalties for the first period with Stephen Walkom and Dan OHalloran refereeing the game tonight. Youll remember them as the refs from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final where not a single penalty was called. In one case, Chris Higgins jumped up and hit Zdeno Chara from the side near the Bs blue line far away from the puck, and the refs didnt call it. Looks like it might be another repeat of the 5-on-5 extravaganza from Game 7 of Boston-Tampa.4)Five shots by the Bruins is not enough pressure on Luongo. The Bruins looked nervous early and once again didnt start playing their physical, punishing style until a couple of pounding shifts by Shawn Thornton and Patrice Bergeron woke the rest of the team up. They'll need much more physicality moving forward.5)Five hits from Milan Lucic in 4:29 of ice time in the first period. Big No. 17 needs to keep up the physical pounding and get a little closer to the net.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.

 


 

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

BRIGHTON, Mass – Claude Julien met with the media after Tuesday’s morning skate and there was a bit of a long pause between questions at one point early in the session.

“I understand because everything that needs to be said has already been said, right?” cracked the longtime Bruins bench boss, who was in good spirits after morning skate despite the turmoil around him.

It’s clearly less about words and more about results right now for a struggling team that’s lost a season-worst four games in a row in gut-punching fashion and has fallen out of a playoff position despite teams above them, Ottawa and Toronto, holding five games in hand on them. 

The Bruins are in a freefall at the worst possible time and at this point, Julien wants to see positive action and winning results from his team rather than the empty talk with the media.

“We want to respect our game plan, execute it well and that normally helps you. We’ve been a little bit all over the place, especially in the last game,” said Julien. “That’s what we addressed yesterday, moving forward.

“I haven’t used the All-Star break as a motivation. We’re basically looking at these last two games, and what we have to do in these last two games. I think we’re well aware of what’s waiting for them after that. The players normally know when the breaks are. That’s not for us right now. I’d like to see our focus on what we need to do [against the Wings] to right the ship. We’ve talked about it a lot, and I think right now the less said, and the more shown is probably the best thing.”

With two games left until the All-Star break, one has to wonder what Julien’s fate will be if the Bruins drop both games to Detroit and Pittsburgh before the group breaks up for All-Star weekend. 

A good showing might be enough to keep Julien calling the shots for the Black and Gold down the stretch this season. But the sense is that more of the same fragile, losing efforts from the Bruins in these final two home dates, a familiar look from this group over the past three seasons, could spell doom for the winningest coach in Bruins franchise history.

One thing is for sure: Words aren’t going to do anything for Julien, and instead it’s about cold, hard results for the coach and the Bruins players who are nose-diving in the middle of the regular season.