Final complaints


Final complaints

By Michael Felger

You thought a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals would end the carping?

Think again, dear child.

And just so you know, were moving the mailbag to Fridays for the remainder of this series. Get your complaints in by Thursday morning.

Hey Felger,In a game where the Bruins were shut out and went 0-for-6 on the power play, Tyler Seguin on got 6:21 of ice time and only 1:20 of PP time. And people wonder why I hate Claude Julien. Marc Malden

Id like to know what Seguin did wrong between Game 7 against Lightning (playoff high 14:53 of ice time) and Game 1 against the Canucks (playoff low of 6:21). Did he miss a meeting? Fall asleep during a film session? Blow gas in the pregame locker room? It really doesnt make any sense. I think it might be time for another "organizational meeting."

Hey Felger,The Bruins don't play to outscore the other team. They play for the other team to score less than them.I know thats a bit of a weird statement, but I feel it describes the Bruins style. That's the problem with the coach. You can't get the most out of your players if they are playing not to lose. Very simple. Its a great regular-season mentality, but its different in the playoffs. Adam

In other words, I get the sense youd like to set the agenda for the "organizational meeting."

Topic 1: You cant win a game 0-0.

Topic 2: Its not the regular season, Claude. You dont even get a point for it.

Felger,You keep bashing Claude for lack of change. Ive watched every game in the playoffs . . . He did make changes and his team keeps winning.Shouldnt you be bashed for your lack of change in your approach?ScottMaynard

Youre right. I should follow the Claude Julien approach to change slow, reluctant and only done between (never during) shows.

To: FelgerSubj: InsanityDoing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resultsAlbert Einstein

Todays definition of insanity: Mark Recchi.

He has played exactly seven weeks of playoff hockey, spanning 19 games. After Wednesdays game he has now played precisely 49:28 on the power play. And he has yet to score a single goal or register a single assist. He has the third-most power-play ice time among Bruins forwards this postseason, and he hasnt produced a single point on the man advantage. Yet Claude gave him another 3:34 of power-play time on Wednesday and had him on the ice on the crucial 5 x 3 advantage in the second period.

This is nothing against Mark Recchi. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. But is that the guy you would use on a two-man advantage when you had to have a goal with a championship on the line? Insanity.

Felger,Anyone who says the Bs would rather have even-strength play than power plays has no cred. The power play SUCKS, but who on earth doesnt want the Bruins have a man advantage? Robert
This guy.

Seriously, any time the Bs get a power play Im pissed. It usually guarantees two things: the opponent will kill it and gain momentum after doing so, and the referees will even up the call and ultimately put the opponent on a matching advantage. Seriously, every time the referee's arm goes up, its bad news for the Bs whether the call goes for them or against them.

Hi Mike,Regarding the apparent Vancouver strategy to attack Chara, I say the B's strategy should be: bring it on. Think of it as how the Pats have to handle a blitz. The more attention they give Chara, the less attention they are giving some other B's players. The B's have to find the holes that open up when Chara gets attacked en masse, and exploit it.ChrisThe Suburbs

Any way you slice it, theres a lot on Chara this series. He has to shut down the Sedins. He has to face down that tough Vancouver forecheck. He has to produce on the power play, both in the crease and up top. And he has to do it all while logging a grueling 30-plus minutes a night. Is that asking too much? Maybe, but its what the best defensemen in the game do at this time of year. And if Chara does it in this series, he will deserve that distinction.

Felger,Please don't beat this dead horse anymore! We get it, the PP has sucked. Claude is not going to make many or any changes, and we have to live with it. They didn't score on the PP and we didn't either. We are better 5-on-5 and in the end, you will have squawked for nothing. Bruins win the Cup. What do you say then, Felger? Claude sucks? You are so predictable.Joe

He doesnt suck, but he aint great. And his comment after Game 1, in which he said hes okay with being even on special teams with Vancouver, was repugnant.

Going 0-for-6 on the power play, including failures on a four-minute double-minor in the first period and a 5 x 3 advantage in the second period, is definitely not okay. When youre in a tight game and a championship is on the line, you simply have to score when you have a 5 x 3 advantage for 1:34. You had a chance to take the lead and put a tremendous amount of pressure on your favored opponent, and your team failed to do it again. Its why you lost the game.

Do you get that, Claude? Getting shut out is NOT okay.

Felger You DB!Well, that was a prime game for the Bruins to steal on the road. It's too bad they couldn't seal the deal. So now it becomes a matter of assessing blame.

Was it that Claude relapsed into the full Schultz? Was Boychuck too aggressive with the game poised for OT? Were the Canucks simply better? All of those are valid criticisms and absolutely up for debate. I, however, know one reason that is a rock solid unassailable fact. The Kaberle deal did nothing to improve this team. I know I have been bitching and moaning about the Kaberle deal nonstop. Make no mistake, Mikey, I want this team to win a Cup. If you told me that Kaberle was going to magically transform into Denis Potvin and lead the B's to a trophy, a big one, I would gladly take it and revel in my wrongness.But it's Chiarelli's smug attitude as he defends the trade which inspire the same sudden rush of rage and anger that came over me after we were told, post-Philly collapse, that the Bruins "were one of only five teams to make the second round two years in a row." Hold on as the Chiarelli merry go-round begins to spin . . . "I know hes added to the team," said Chiarelli. "Yes, he has been under heat, but what hes added to the team is something that we didnt have and something thats almost impossible to find at the trade deadline, and thats the ability to make strong plays with the puck offensively. Thats the ability to skate into a trap like we saw this past series."You mean the ability we saw in Game 7 of the Tampa Bay series, where Andrew Ference's rush broke down the 1-3-1 and set up the winning goal? No, what Tomas Kaberle added to this team was an out-of-shape finesse player with a regular-season game and a battle level straight out of Switzerland. He added another veteran presence that Claude would be beholden to play despite performance -- and he shoots less than Rondo on the power play. But it's not all bad, Mikey. His gutless turnovers behind his own net succeeded in adding an element of excitement every time the play moves behind Thomas. Given the fact that the B's D-to-D passing in their own zone was putting fans to sleep, that's quite an accomplishment. Kaberle was so bad, it left his D partner, the since-superhuman Denis Seidenberg, with a minus-4 rating after the first two games against the Habs. Last night he was on for 4:03 of power play ice time with no results.And before anyone points to his eight postseason points, Kaberle's eight helpers this postseason are of the secondary variety with the exception of one. This deal has been gnawing away at me since the trade deadline and Chiarelli's defense of it makes it even worse. One of the reasons why this team has done so well this postseason is that the Kelly and Peverley additions not only added depth, but their style of play suited Claude's system perfectly. So why overplay for the hockey equivalent of a one-tool player when the coach has no clue how to use it? A player that would have every weakness in his game exacerbated in the playoffs? There is no defending this deal. There is no way you ship a first, a top prospect and a second for a guy who is so flawed that, even strength, he's playing 100 minutes less than your third and fourth defensemen. Johnny Boychuck might not even be on the ice to make that mistake last night if Chiarelli got a defenseman that offered more resistance than the Pike EZ-Pass lane and Chara might not be suffering from exhaustion. Like I said before, I am begging to be wrong. I hope Kaberle channels Brian Leetch and the B's hoist the Cup. But there is no way that Mr. Magoo can piss in our faces and tell us it's raining in the wake of this trade and the power play's complete ineptitude. MikeAttleboro

Cant argue, of course. I would just add: What about the coach that keeps putting him out there? Just look at the power-play numbers. At the time they traded for him on Feb. 18, the Bruins power play was hitting at a rate of 18 percent. Since the trade, including playoffs, the man advantage is clicking at over 9 percent. Kaberle has cut the production in half. The sample size is now over 3 12 months long and still the Bruins continue to give Kaberle big power-play minutes. It never changes. Night after night. At what point are they going to acknowledge its not working? Ever?

Mike,You've suggested that Jacobs deserves credit for the recent change in direction contributing to the team's recent success, but consider the following:1) Are the Jacobses really interested in winning, or has the recent success of the other three local teams directly impacted their bottom line and put pressure on them to achieve the same success in order to stem the tide of dwindling revenue and be able to compete for local fans' entertainment dollar?2) The salary cap has allows the Jacobses to spend up against it and even go over a bit with long-term IR (e.g. Savard). But given that the Bruins have had the highest average ticket prices in the league for years, does this eally translate into a change of direction, considering that their profit margin is protected, or is it really just lip service recognizing the pressure they're under based upon the performance of the other local teams (see question 1)?I'm hoping that it is a change of direction and the Jacobses are committed to winning for winning's sake. But given how this owner treated the team's fans for decades, I'm not quite ready to give him the benefit of the doubt just yet.JohnLowell

Dont blame you one bit. This is Jacobs bed, and he has to lie in it. The only thing I will say in his favor is that hes done what he said he would do once he got his cap in 2005. Hes spent as much as anyone else in the league. Hes put the pieces in place to make a run at a title. That obviously doesnt erase what happened over the previous 31 years of ownership, but thats the way it stands today.

Felger,You are a total moron. Here's hoping the Bruins lose in FOUR. No more hockey talk. And how about some correct English grammar!!!??? "Tune in and listen to Tony and I?!?!?!?!"You total idiot. Its "ME!!!!" "Tune in and listen to Tony and ME." You are a total dummy!!!!! M

That you Dickerson? Tanguay? What's up Max? How you guys enjoying the NBA Finals?

Felgers weekly column appears Mondays. E-mail him HERE and read the mailbag next Friday. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.