Kampfer scratched, Seguin plays for Bruins

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Kampfer scratched, Seguin plays for Bruins

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

DETROIT The Bruins made some lineup changes in the wake of Fridays troubling 6-1 beating by the Red Wings, and the roster changes were pretty decisive.Mark Stuart was back in the Bs lineup after getting scratched for the last eight games, and Michigan native Steve Kampfer who had roughly 50 friends and family coming to the game to watch his NHL debut at his hometown rink at Joe Louis Arena got the healthy scratch treatment.Meanwhile Tyler Seguin was also back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last two games and played center. He scored the game's first goal early in the first period.
Fellow rookie Zach Hamill was a healthy scratch for the Black and Gold.Seguin is a 19-year-old thats trying to grow into an NHL-er and gain the consistency that goes along with it, said Julien. Hes a teen-ager playing against men, and hes trying to make all of those adjustments. We knew at some point hed be watching some games, so weve looked at it as a growing thing rather than a negative thing.Julien indicated that Kampfers game had slipped over the last handful of games for the Bs, and it amounted to difficult timing that saw the 22-year-old defenseman get scratched in his NHL home city against the team he grew up cheering for. Its certainly got to sting Kampfer not playing in front of the friends and family, and the Bruins have to hope the move acts as a motivation for a youngster that has plateaued recently.Kampfer had one assist in his last 10 games, was only a plus-1 over that time and had seen his ice time drop below 20 minutes over the last two games leading into the healthy scratch Sunday afternoonvs. Detroit in front of a national NBC audience.I know its difficult timing with Kampfer, butweve got to make decisions for the right reasons, said Julien, referring to the typical excitement centered around a young player making his debut in his home city. Weve talking to him for a while now about his game and in the quick decision-making department area hes been struggling now for a bit, and thats his biggest area of strength. Hes having a tough time with it.Were going to sit back there, keep working with him and get him back on track.

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

Bruin players talk the talk after failing to walk the walk vs. Lightning

Bruin players talk the talk after failing to walk the walk vs. Lightning

BOSTON -- All the Bruins -- the leaders and the core veteran group -- were front and center on Thursday night, taking accountability for what had just happened on the ice.

It was ugly: Boston frittered away three one-goal leads in the second period and then came totally unglued in the third period, allowing three consecutive goals in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. There were moments when focus and concentration were clearly an issue, and other moments when the Bruins lacked their usual discipline with veteran players were taking some ill-advised penalties.

With pressure mounting as the Bruins, losers of four in a row, appear to be headed towards their third consecutive late-season collapse out of the playoffs, the players were saying all the right things while vowing to move forward with eight games left.

"I think it's not good enough from top to bottom," said David Backes. "I'll be the first guy to point fingers at my chest and say I need to be better. Tonight was certainly not our best when it's that time of year [and] you need your best every night to win, no matter who you're playing against or what the circumstances may be. This one certainly hurts . . .

"But now's not the time to not be giving ourselves a chance to win and we need to be doing that every night. Tonight, we didn't and we've got eight games left and they all need to be really good-to-great ones so that we can find our way into these playoffs."

Backes finished a minus-2 with just a single shot on net and seemed a step behind Tampa Bay most of the game, so it was proper to him to call himself our for personal ineffectiveness. But as interim coach Bruce Cassidy put it, responsibility for Thursday night -- the low point of the Bruins' season -- rests on "Player 1 through Player 20". And all 20 of the Bruins will be needed to find a successful way out.

Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity'

Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity'

BOSTON – While there were some warning signs over the last few weeks that the Bruins might be getting away from their game, it didn’t really hit home until Thursday night’s frustrating loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The Bruins blew through three different one-goal leads in the second period in the 6-3 loss to the Bolts at TD Garden, and each time surrendered a tying goal to Tampa in less than two minutes after initially scoring. It was a clear indicator that the Bruins weren’t fully focused on the task at hand despite having already lost three games in a row, and that their ability to bounce back from adversity is going away from them again. 

That much was obvious when the bottom dropped out in the third period, and Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov turned into a two-man Lightning wrecking crew outscoring the Bruins by a 3-0 margin in the final 20 minutes. 

“I think the frustration is more in-game, where we’ve got to have a stronger mental capacity to handle those [challenging] situations in-game. Let’s face it, when you get on a bit of a losing streak, all those things creep in, whether it’s in October or whether it’s in March,” said Bruce Cassidy. “You have doubts, you start pressing, and again, it’s my job to alleviate the kind of attention in those situations.

“But, as I told you, we all have to be accountable and be responsible for ourselves, and that’s where we just need to have better focus and better discipline in those areas. It was there when it was 3-3 [on the scoreboard]. We’ve got to push back after they score, and that’s where I thought we started to come apart a little bit where we should’ve stuck together and stuck with the program. [We needed to] get ourselves slowly back into the game. We had 10 minutes to even the score, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Clearly this wasn’t just the coach alone in his pointed observations, however, as the lack of focus showed unfortunately in a rudderless second period for the Black and Gold where they couldn’t gain any separation from Tampa Bay despite scoring three goals. 

“[It’s] not being focused, not being sharp, and obviously at this time of the year it’s unacceptable, and it’s up on us to be better,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “Those kinds of situations shouldn’t happen. So, for sure, we need to address those things and hold each other accountable.”

One thing is clear: The Bruins have a lot of work to do if they hope to avoid the same kind of late season tailspin that doomed them each of the last two seasons, and already seems to be happening over their last four losses to varying levels of hockey talent.