BruinsSabres: 5 from the First

BruinsSabres: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Sabres by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes at the TD Garden.1)Nathan Horton is getting the puck around the net, but didnt manage to squeeze off a shot in the first 20 minutes. Perfect example of Hortons passivity: hes the beneficiary of a Marc Savard pass that leaves all alone near the left faceoff dot, but he passes away to Michael Ryder in a play that gets broken up. He should be shooting that puck. Its not work ethic. Its not confidence. Its a real passivity in Hortons game that looks it comes and goes, and its the reason hes not scoring goals right now.2)Two blocked shots and a team-high three shots on net in the first period by Blake Wheeler, and it was hard work by Wheeler and David Krejci that led to them drawing a penalty while they were out on the penalty kill. Good work by Wheeler while he gets duty on the fourth line right now.3)A little youthful mistake combo by Steve Kampfer in the first period when he gives up a puck on a turnover to Jason Pominville, and then takes a hooking penalty when Pominville and Thomas Vanek work a 2-on-1 that Tuukka Rask was able to make a great save on. Just part of the learning process for Kampfer, but he had a few missteps in the first period.4)Another goal for the Bruins defensemen as Dennis Seidenberg scores off a faceoff win for Marc Savard. Seidenberg spoke with me this morning about the great job that the forwards have been doing screening for the defensemen on shots and thats what happened when Horton provided a big screen to allow Seidenbergs fourth goal of the season.5)Eleven saves for Tuukka Rask, who is looking solid again tonight between the pipes for the Bruins.

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.