Bruins spend final moments with Cup at Foxboro

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Bruins spend final moments with Cup at Foxboro

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
The Bruins players knew heading into Sunday that it was going to be their final day with the Stanley Cup, and they savored it the best way they know how. The Bs players enjoyed a police escort down Route 1 and then shared the Cup with 70,000 screaming Patriots fans prior to New Englands 30-21 victory over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.

The majority of Bs players were somewhat relieved that their portion of the 100 days with the Cup was over, but also felt that taking it to a huge NFL rivalry game was the best way to go out with Lord Stanleys chalice.

For some Bruins, like Tyler Seguin, it was their first time attending an NFL game in person. For others, like Milan Luci,c it was their first chance to get a real taste of the Patriots-Jets rivalry. Claude Julien and Johnny Boychuk had talked about going to CFL games in the past, but theres nothing quite like a back-alley fight between division rivals like the Pats and Jets.

Its good to be a part of it," Julien said. "For the most part the Bruins players arent from a city with an NFL team, so for the most part theyre fans of the Patriots. Its fun to go there and support a team, and also get recognized by them for what weve done.

Whether it helps the Patriots motivationally or its just being recognized, this should be the last time you see the team going around with the Stanley Cup. Thats my wish anyway. Its the time when were really turning the page.

Lucic has spent enough time in Boston to know the landscape of sports in Boston, and he's already developed a hatred for the Jets in the border wars that have taken place over the last 10 years.

Id never been to a Pats-Jets game before. I knew it was going to be pretty intense, said Lucic. Just being around Boston you really learn how to hate teams like the Jets and the Yankees and the Lakers . . . all of the rivals of the Boston sports teams. Its the Boston way, right?

Anytime we get a chance to share our championship with another Boston team thats been there and done it, were definitely going to do it.

Is there going to be any separation anxiety for the Bruins players now that they know their time with the Stanley Cup has officially come to an end for this season?

I think this is it. Its the last thing and its probably a good thing, said Lucic. Its time to move on after this. Im going to have to give Stanley one last hug and kiss before we let him go.

The Bruins said their goodbyes with Lord Stanleys Cup after leaving Foxboro at halftime of the football game, and now they are truly on to the mission of repeating the whole thing again next year.

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

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while having never said “break a leg” for good luck to fellow Stoneham, Mass., native Nancy Kerrigan on social media, or otherwise.

 *A brief video history of Sidney Crosby spearing, or otherwise targeting, opponents in the crotches prepared with care and thought by the Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski.

*Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts for the week and a few of them centered around new Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.

*Could the NBA’s star-resting phenomenon reach into the NHL when it comes to getting in-season time off for the superstars?

*Give the Leafs credit because they picked up coach Mike Babcock when he made a rare screw-up against the Blue Jackets.

*Check out the sick USA/Russia skating kicks on Alex Ovechkin, who had them custom made for a charity event.

*Speaking of Ovechkin, could T.J. Oshie and not Ovechkin actually lead the Capitals in scoring this season?

*For something completely different: Hide the women and children, the Scorpions and Megadeath are going on a North American tour together.

 

Vatrano looking to snap slump for Bruins, who could really use him

Vatrano looking to snap slump for Bruins, who could really use him

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s been 11 games and counting without a goal for Bruins winger Frank Vatrano, but the sharp-shooter may be seeing the light at the end of the goal-scoring tunnel.

Vatrano had four shots on goal and a couple of Grade-A scoring chances in Tuesday night’s loss to the Senators and has a combined seven shots on net in the past two games after watching his shots and chances crater in the middle of the goal-scoring drought.

So the 23-year-old East Longmeadow, Mass., native takes heart that a slump-busting event is going to place sooner rather than later.

“Obviously it’s in the back of your head, but you can’t stress on it too much,” said Vatrano, who last scored back on Feb. 26 in a win over the Dallas Stars. “It’s nice to score goals, but the rest of my game needs to take over. That’s when the goals start coming. If I’m moving my feet, being first on the puck and being physical, being hard on it, then that’s when I’m going to get my chances.

“Sometimes it gets away from you, especially when you haven’t scored in a little bit. In the back of your head you think you need to change something, but for me I’m a hard-nosed player, playing hard up and down the wing. Last game I got a bunch of opportunities being hard on the puck, so hopefully I get more of those chances [against Tampa]. Every goal is important right now, so you need to make sure when you get those chances that you’re bearing down.”

One thing that Vatrano, and any number of Bruins players, could do to help the situation is get a little closer to the net and look for a hard-earned bounce or two rather than constantly trying to pick corners on the goalie. That’s something Bruce Cassidy wants to see out of his players as space on the ice gets more crowded and congested in these late season games, but he also wants Vatrano to keep using his best skill: a lightning-quick release and dangerous shot that’s designed to beat even the best goalies from the scoring areas.

“I thought his last game was good in terms of chances,” said Cassidy of Vatrano, who has 10 goals in the 39 games since returning from foot surgery. “When you stop getting chances as a goal-scorer that’s when the red flags really go up. But he needs to keep shooting. His release is usually what catches goalies off-guard, and [Craig] Anderson happened to stop a couple of them.

“He needs to keep getting to the dirty areas and get there even more. A lot of times it’s a greasy one that gets you going. But for him I just highly recommend he keep shooting. That’s what he is, and you want to keep playing to your strengths.”

The bottom line is this: Vatrano is among the most able B’s players when it comes to putting the puck in the net and the Bruins need a guy like that to step up so they’re not solely reliant on Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak goals for victories. Production from the third line has waned lately and the Bruins need it to return at crunch time with wins and points desperately needed.