Bruins raffle offers youth teams chance to be coached by Julien

746868.jpg

Bruins raffle offers youth teams chance to be coached by Julien

While the NHL is locking out its players for the foreseeable future, it appears the Bruins will be putting coach Claude Julien to work for a good cause. The Boston Bruins Foundation announced a raffle that will give one Massachusetts youth hockey team the chance to be coached for a full game by the Cup-winning Bs coach.

No word on whether Julien will strictly deploy his young players into the left wing lock, but it would surely be a thrill for any local kid to have an NHL coach chirping at them on the bench. It should be a fun day for the always charitable coach as well. Julien wont have to worry about Brad Marchand taking mock golf swings at the opposing bench or wonder if Tim Thomas is going to skip the game for philosophical reasons.

The Bs coach is already set to coach the youth hockey team in a game set for Sunday, October 28 at 2 p.m. at the Haverhill Valley Forum.

The raffle is open now and will continue through Monday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. before the foundation will declare a winner. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased online at www.bruinsraffles.org for 5 per ticket, with the net proceeds benefitting the Boston Bruins Foundation and Massachusetts Hockey. Entrants must purchase a minimum of two tickets. Please note that the raffle is only open to Massachusetts residents.

Bruce Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity' in times of adversity

Bruce Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity' in times of adversity

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

ap_17083100627774.jpg

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.