Boston Bruins

Haggerty: Bruins find nothing positive in performance


Haggerty: Bruins find nothing positive in performance

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON If the Bruins wanted to look more like they were chasing the Red Wings around for autographs rather than attempting to play the game of hockey, then they accomplished their goal.

The Bs captured the triple crown of crap in a bogus, effortless 6-1 loss to the legendary Red Wings at TD Garden, and showed exactly why they dont play too many Friday night games at home.

They couldnt score with the puck. They couldnt take the puck away from the fleet, finesse group of Red Wings players. They couldnt keep the Red Wings from putting pucks into their own net.

When all three of those things are going on for a hockey team, thats a sign that dead hockey team skating has taken the ice and thats exactly what the Bruins were on this night.

Well I think you can see tonight they just outplayed us, admitted David Krejci after the loss without any attempt to pretty up the pig of a game they just played. They were just playing another level of hockey today and we just couldnt keep up with them.

But we played bad. Its not like we played good and they just outplayed us. If we play our game, like weve played in the last couple weeks, but we didnt.

Its pretty easy to start counting the ways on this dog of a hockey game, and it all started with Tuukka Rask between the pipes. The Finnish goalie was pulled from a loss to the Buffalo Sabres on New Years Day that didnt seem deserved at the time, and still doesnt upon further review.

But Rask allowed a soft goal to his short side off the stick of Todd Bertuzzi just 70 seconds into the game, and that was symbolic of the impotent brand of hockey that was going to follow.

Rask saw defensive breakdowns in front of him as the Wings simply played keep away from the Bs defenders in their puck possession style, and he also had three different goals hed certainly like to have another crack at stopping.

In all, Rask allowed five goals on 19 shots, and was all kinds of ready to move on after the defeat that dropped him to 5-11-1 on the season.

They come and first two shots are goals, said Rask flatly. Thats something that should never happen when you think about it as a goalie.

Im not going to start analyzing whether I should have been pulled. I thought I deserved to get pulled. I didnt play to my level today.

Rask wasnt the only one, however. There were plenty of Bruins that didnt play to their level.

The normally excellent, grinding line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi couldnt get their tired legs up to speed, and watched as the Detroit Red Wings simply played games with them all night while skating circles around them. The trio finished with a very uncharacteristic minus-9 and had no answers for the Daniel Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg line that scored at will against the Black and Gold.

Marchand seemed to understand just how badly his line was performing on the night, and attempted to drop the gloves with a completely disinterested Patrick Eaves in the third period but by then it was way too late and the Bs couldnt even make a third period statement toward their game Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

It seemed to everyone watching that the Red Wings dictated their finesse, puck control and power play style of play to perfection against the Bruins, but credit the team leaders with acknowledging that they never even got started against the Winged Wheels.

It was obvious, and it was admitted.

They played their game, but we werent even close to half of what we could play, said Bergeron. Yes, they played well but we beat ourselves as well. Like I said, we were watching the whole game.

Several Bruins players have in the past admitted that the best approach to counteracting Bostons size, strength and toughness is to simply let them sleep and not do anything to stir them up and thats exactly what the least controversial team in the NHL did with a no fight, no frills dissection of the Bruins.

For the Bs to taste success in Detroit they quite simply need to wake up, hit a few people, separate a few players from pucks and make things a lot more uncomfortable for big hockey names like Zetterberg, Lidstrom and Holmstrom that tore them apart on their own home ice.

Itll be interesting. Interesting to see how we respond, said Tim Thomas. Weve always responded well in the past to these types of challenges. Id imagine Sunday were looking to get a modicum of respect back, from the Red Wings, too.

Probably the way we played tonight, they dont have too high of an opinion of our game either.

Thomas is right that the Bruins have responded more often that not to these kinds of situations this season, and responded with vigor.

That will have to be the case again Sunday afternoon in Detroit before a national audience on NBC, or they could undo a lot of good things the Bs have cobbled together over the last six weeks.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers


Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that US democracy still works even there are extreme factors that our founding fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined. 


*Edmonton Oilers reclamation project Zack Kassian continues his journey from villain to hero in the eyes of the Oil Faithful. 


*Old warrior Chris Neil is weighing NHL offers right now along with a number of other older veterans still waiting for the right situation to present itself for next season. Many of these veterans are probably going to have to report to training camps on tryout agreements and beat out younger players for jobs, and that may be exactly what happens with a grizzled, tough old bird like Neil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins bring in a veteran or two on PTO agreements in camp, and that could be the ultimate fate for guys like Neil, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and even Thomas Vanek. 


*The Vegas Golden Knights are still looking to inspire with a developing locker room message as their maiden voyage still awaits this season. 


*PHT writer James O’Brien has longtime Habs defenseman Andrei Markov leaving for the KHL after he couldn’t come to an agreement to stay in Montreal with the Canadiens. 


*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Kennedy has a prospects mailbag at this quiet point in the summer, and he’s very, very high on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat. 


*The Hockey News details why somebody needs to step up and sign the legendary Jaromir Jagr as one of the aforementioned veteran forwards still looking for a job. 


*For something completely different: Solid Steve Lattimer reference in this Pro Football Talk story about performance enhancing drugs. 

Morning Skate: Star players must get more involved in CBA negotiations to make Olympics a reality


Morning Skate: Star players must get more involved in CBA negotiations to make Olympics a reality

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that we’re just now learning about the massive rap skills of the brotherly duo of Andrew and Pete Frates. 


*Ken Campbell from the Hockey News says that if influential players, like Connor McDavid, want to go to the Olympics then they need to get more involved in the CBA negotiations


*Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang shows what a class act he is by taking the Stanley Cup to a children’s hospital in Montreal.


*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Minnesota Wild looking to find long term deals for both restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter. That was pretty clear when they chose to deal off Marco Scandella in order to clear up some cap space to afford both of them. 


*The Edmonton Oilers are going to face higher expectations for next season, and are willing to embrace that kind of pressure.


*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance wonders aloud whether there will be any offer sheets coming for restricted free agents. I appreciate Craig wanting to add a little more intrigue to the NHL’s offseason, but it isn’t going to happen as long as GMs are treated like they have small pox once they go that route with an offer sheet. Take a look at the future job prospects for general managers that went with offer sheets in the past, and you’ll see why GMs simply don’t do them. This is why the Bruins are uncomfortable with David Pastrnak sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent, but not overly concerned that he’s going to sign a mega-offer sheet elsewhere.  


*The CCM hockey brand is apparently changing hands from its former home at Adidas


*For something completely different: Speaking of Pete Frates, MLB has announced a fundraising drive for ALS research in his name.