Morning Skate 415: Krejci doesn't like P.K. Subban

191545.jpg

Morning Skate 415: Krejci doesn't like P.K. Subban

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com
WILMINGTON, Mass. Its pretty clear David Krejci doesnt like Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban after the Habs rookie drew a hooking call on the Bs center in last nights first period that would have been judged as a 10.0 by the Russian judges at the Olympics.The Bruins received a quick make-up call when Montreal scrapper Ryan White was called for a roughing penalty on Andrew Ference in the corner, but that still didnt stop Krejci from speaking his Czech Republic mind after the game.He wont be getting together for any dinners with Subban this summer, and its the start of some necessary hard feelings between the Bruins and Canadiens as the series moves along.Im not going to say what I think about him," Krejci said. "But I dont like him. He didnt have to go down that easily. It was a call. I dont think it was a bad call or a good call. It was just a call that was made, but if he made the call thats fine with me but hes got to make the call on the other side. That happened to me, so thats what Im kind of mad about.We knew there was going to be some bad calls or some missed calls. Were all human. Us as players, we make mistakes on the ice and the refs do too. It is what it is. Youve just got to fight through it.One quick addition to Krejcis thoughts: Itll be much more meaningful if he and the rest of the Bruins actually start showing on the ice how much they dont like Subban and the rest of the Canadiens. Our new Game Story at CSNNE.com compiled and created by the talented Adam Hart a feature that takes you through an entire day of Game 1 BruinsHabs coverage by CSNNE in two minutes. The glorious story of the Green Men at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver byThe Provinceyears after they first appeared following the Canucks. Yet another gift from It's Always Funny in Philadelphia. Five questions with Dustin Byfuglien from the Atlanta Journal Constitution as the Thrashers defenseman watches the playoffs from the outside looking in. Joe Colborne with some veiled criticism of the Bruins on his way out of the door with the Maple Leafs. Guess he didnt like being held accountable. The Stanley Cup predictions from the CBC crew including the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup and Milan Lucic taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy in his concocted scenario. David Perron talks about his battles through concussions, and the notion that hed considering playing next season even if hes not 100 percent. Hope thats just hyperbole on his part. A group of 20 burning Stanley Cup questions from the writers at the Hockey News.
ht CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman remarks on the pressure being applied to both Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli thats made them say some pretty strange things lately. A good look by WEEI.coms D.J. Bean at the legend of the Andrew Ference E-Bay Bruins jacket players are passing to each other after wins, and the germination of the Darth Quaider nickname. Looch Skywalker is brilliant. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Puck Daddy asks what the fame equivalent to a Stanley Cup playoff beard is, and thats a pretty fair question. Here are some great thoughts from the iDesk by CBCs talented host Jeff Marek after the first batch of playoff games.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Cassidy ‘proud, honored and privileged’ after getting Bruins' permanent gig

Cassidy ‘proud, honored and privileged’ after getting Bruins' permanent gig

BOSTON – Bruce Cassidy made just a passing mention of the 14 years in between NHL head coaching gigs, but there’s no doubt the newest head coach of the Bruins thought many times about a day just like Thursday morning. 

His general manager complimented the work he did to lead the Bruins to an 18-8-1 record after taking over after Claude Julien’s dismissal and guiding the Bruins back to the playoffs for the first time in three years.

“I think it was an important step and I think that our players, our core players in particular, some of them had tremendous seasons. Their demand to make sure our younger players sort of catch up and play the right way – we pushed the group,” said GM Don Sweeney. “I think Bruce, in particular, our staff and Bruce, they really pushed the group to get to a higher pace. I think our aggressive nature churned.

“I think something that I felt would be injected into our group right from Day One at practice because I know what his core principles are, and I think the group responded. The record speaks for itself.”

Cassidy embraced all of the defensive strengths of Julien’s existing system and tweaked things for chances to be more aggressive and creative in the offensive zone with a Black and Gold roster that clearly had more to give. 

Clearly, it came up short for Sweeney, Cassidy and the Bruins when their undermanned, injured roster fell to the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round of the playoffs, but Thursday morning was a good day for the 51-year-old Cassidy after grinding his way back to the big leagues.

“I’ve made no secret that I grew up adoring this team and I’m very proud, honored, and privileged to be a part of it, and to be named the head coach [of the Bruins],” said Cassidy, who coached the Washington Capitals from 2002-04 and spent eight seasons coaching in Providence before joining Julien’s staff as an assistant coach this season. “To be quite honest, the core group, the veteran leadership, they gave me an opportunity to go in and earn their respect, and they bought into what we were selling for the most part…not for the most part, 100 percent.

“The veteran guys, they afforded me that opportunity and I can’t thank them enough. We’ve got some Stanley Cup champions in that room and it showed with the high character players and I was very thankful for that. From there, we’re trying to build something together now. That’s the process going forward.”

The numbers certainly didn’t lie. The offense went up in the post-Julien era and the defense actually performed better under Cassidy: The Bruins ranked first in the NHL in goals per game (3.37), first in the NHL in fewest shots allowed (741), tied for second in the NHL in wins (18), tied for second in the NHL in power-play percentage (27.8), tied for third in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.30), tied for fifth in the NHL in face-off percentage (53.6) and tied for sixth in the NHL in takeaways (229).

Anecdotally, the Bruins also performed much more consistently on their home ice at TD Garden and pulled out of the kind of late season four-game losing tailspin that doomed the B’s in the previous two seasons under Julien. It was a challenge for Cassidy taking over midway through the season without the benefit of the training camp, but it was one that embraced and ultimately excelled at in earning the full-time gig.

“It’s hard to measure the degree of difficulty [taking over midseason]. You’re given an opportunity and it’s up to you to take advantage of it and be prepared. I’ve been a head coach before so, once you’re into that part of it, it becomes second nature. I was around since training camp, so I knew the players and some of their strengths and weaknesses, how we played, where I thought we could be better, where the players were looking for improvements after talking to them quickly in those first couple of days. So, we implemented a couple of things, and off we went,” said Cassidy. “You hope that you make the right call in those areas we talked about; right away, about being a team that would play – and the term “play fast” is getting thrown around a lot out there -- but, we were going to upgrade our transition game; how we were going to move the puck quicker and attack.

“I guess that was our description of playing fast. I think it worked. It got our D involved, so you start scoring and obviously, that helped. People get excited about that – scoring goals and getting on offense. I don’t think we lost a lot on the defensive side of things. As we went along, we tried to maintain that balance. That was the message right away. Players bought in and we had success, and that obviously helps. Winning solves a lot of problems and puts a lot of smiles on people’s faces.”

The biggest smile on a face on Thursday morning was on Cassidy, who has come full circle with life experience and a second chance to be the kind of NHL head coach he always knew he could be while working, growing and succeeding in the AHL. Now the Bruins have a president, GM and head coach all working in tandem with the same philosophies and world view when it comes to how their team should play and Cassidy gets another chance to prove how ready he is for the challenge of making good on his second NHL chance. 


 

‘No firm decision yet’ from Bjork about signing with Bruins

‘No firm decision yet’ from Bjork about signing with Bruins

BOSTON – The Bruins still hold out hope they’ll be able to sign Anders Bjork this summer as he prepares to play for Team USA at the World Championships.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney said there’s an active dialogue ongoing with the Bruins prospect’s family advisor since Bjork finished a Hobey Baker-level junior season at Notre Dame and he has yet to inform the B’s brass of a final decision. 

The 20-year-old is coming off 21 goals and 52 points for a Notre Dame team that lost in the opening rounds of the Frozen Four and clearly would be a fast-skating, offensively polished winger who could potentially be a top-six left wing candidate for David Krejci’s line.

Sweeney made it clear the ball is completely in Bjork’s court at this point, but there becomes a real danger he could follow the Jimmy Vesey route to unrestricted free agency if he heads back to college for his senior season. The B’s general manager made it clear that they would like the 5-foot-11, 183-pounder in the fold, and there are plans for him next season and beyond if he decided to sign an entry-level deal this summer.

“We’ve had discussions. We’ll continue to have discussions. He hasn’t made a firm decision, whether or not he’s leaving school. So it will be his decision,” said Sweeney. “The opportunity is there for him to join us, and we’d like him to. But again, that’s his decision to make at the right time.”

Bjork, a former fifth-round pick, has clearly elevated his NHL profile since he was drafted three years ago, and also holds strong ties to Notre Dame: His father Kirt was an All-American hockey player there and his cousin, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Erik Condra, also played for the Irish. So there might be real, genuine interest for Bjork to return to Notre Dame for personal reasons, and another chance at an NCAA title with a loaded group after falling a couple of games short this season.