Julien: 'Pleased and impressed' with Hamilton


Julien: 'Pleased and impressed' with Hamilton

BOSTON -- Dougie Hamilton registered his second and third assists of the season in the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Islanders and after the game, coach Claude Julien had nothing but good things to say about the youngster.

"We have to be pleased and impressed with a young player playing the way Hamilton has been," said Julien. "Right now he's playing with a lot of confidence . . . He sees the ice well, he finds the passing lanes."

For more, check out the video above.

Sweeney: Bruins still want to ‘become a deeper, more talented team’

Sweeney: Bruins still want to ‘become a deeper, more talented team’

BOSTON – As one would expect, the Bruins viewed getting back into the Stanley Cup playoffs and introducing some young players into the NHL fold this season as a positive step in the right direction. 

It was certainly better than choking down the stretch in each of the previous two seasons to miss the playoff cut by a point, and there’s no doubt the Black and Gold compass is pointed in the right direction when Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak are building up their experience to help carry Boston into the next hockey generation.

The hiring of Bruce Cassidy “to a multi-year deal” as their 28th head coach this week was also a positive move after he guided them to an 18-8-1 record down the stretch after the firing of Claude Julien. But Bruins GM Don Sweeney also cautioned at the press conference announcing Cassidy’s hiring that there is still a long way to go for the Bruins before they can be anywhere close to a legit Cup contender. That will be the challenge this summer after finally gaining a foothold.

“The way our team responded to his message, we had an aggressive bent to our game, we scored more goals and didn’t lose any of our defensive structure or foundation,” said Sweeney. “Our penalty kill remained tops in the league and our power play got better as the year went along, and to me it spoke to the change that our team responded to, our core players responded to and our young players responded to.

“I felt very comfortable moving forward that Bruce will do a great job, and that our staff overall did a very good job. We have a lot of work to do as an organization still. We want to become a deeper, more talented team from top-to-bottom. Taking one step forward, in my opinion, is not successful. It’s a good step, but we have work to do in a lot of areas if we want to continue to get better.”

Sweeney listed the “middle of the [forward] lineup, transition-minded defensemen and the backup goaltender position” as places he had in mind for offseason upgrades. Those were glaring areas of need throughout the regular season and postseason. 

More specifically on Sweeney’s to-do list: a left wing to be paired with David Krejci, a revamping of a third line that underachieved far too often and another top-four defenseman capable of moving the puck to go along with a more dependable backup goaltender situation than the Jekyll and Hyde performance from Anton Khudobin last season.

Clearly, it's a very good thing there's no level of satisfaction from the Bruins management group after getting things pointed in the proper direction. It’s an ambitious offseason checklist for Sweeney to be sure. But those are the kinds of upgrades and improvements the Bruins need if they’re to become the “deeper, more talented team” than the group that finally gained some traction this season. 


Thursday, April 27: Julien loses longtime Habs assistant

Thursday, April 27: Julien loses longtime Habs assistant

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while reveling in Fred Hoiberg’s folly.

*A longtime Montreal Canadiens assistant coach has resigned following the end of their season, and it sounded like Claude Julien didn’t want to lose him.

*It will be another battle between the Penguins and Capitals in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it will be without Kris Letang this time around. There’s still a belief, though, that the Pens can come out on top.

*It was a tough day for the hockey world on Wednesday as nearly the entire ESPN.com hockey department was wiped out by layoffs.  

*Here’s more on the Penguins and Capitals series, which you’ll be able to watch on the NBC Sports network of channels.

*Congrats to former Bruins forward Travis Green, who is looking to lead a rebuilding Vancouver Canucks group as their new head coach.

*Misquoting a classic Billy Madison line is just unforgivable in this context. I’ll never forget Shawn Thornton always yelling the same thing every time he saw Carl Soderberg come through the Bruins dressing room.

*Wow, Apparently Nikita Kucherov went scorched earth on some of his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates after missing the playoff cut.

*For something completely different: Did Deflategate coverage and fallout have anything to do with yesterday?