Morning Skate: Thursday, September 29


Morning Skate: Thursday, September 29

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Claude Julien knows its going to be a bit of a safe new world in the NHL this season as players, coaches and managers attempt to adjust to the new head shotboarding punishments being handed out by NHL Senior VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan.

Shanny isnt pulling any punches, and has handed out over 20 games of suspensions and 500,000 in lost game salary before the NHL preseason is even two weeks old. The biggest and most meaningful was the eight game regular season suspension for Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski that will cost more than a half million dollars in salary as a repeat offender.

The NHL isnt going to turn into a warm and fuzzy game of tiddlywinks anytime soon, but the belief is that setting the tone now will lessen some of the catastrophic injuries suffered by players like Marc Savard over the last few seasons.

Its like anything else. When youre trying to insert new rules youve got to go not overboard but youve really got to go to the extremes to send a message. Right now I really think hes sending a message, said Julien. At least hes bringing awareness that theyre serious about it. As a player youve got to be careful how youre going to be hitting guys with those head shots.

Eventually everybody will get comfortable with it and it will make things better. Thats how you need to put in the new rule. If you put something in and dont go to the extremes to apply then there will always be that gray area. Im supporting what Shanahan is doing right now. Hopefully the players understand that hes not trying to punish them or make a name for himself. Its about trying to clean up that part of our game that needs to be cleaned up.

Thats what everyone is hoping for, and so far everything Shanahan has done is coming up aces for player safety and bettering the game. On to the links:

Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski spoke with Aaron Portzline, and is looking ahead rather than dwelling on the slap down he received from the league this week.

The Vancouver Canucks will be recognizing local heroes that distinguished themselves during the Game 7 riots, and rightfully so given how many good people in Vancouver had nothing to do with the post-game chaos.

The Buffalo News wonders whether the Sabres will see the good or bad Brad Boyes once the season begins. He could be a key component for a loaded Sabres roster heading into an important season.

The USA Today has a photo gallery of the suspensions handed out from Brendan Shanahan thus far, and its an impressive compilation.

The winding road of recovery for Sidney Crosby as detailed in an excellent piece on yesterday afternoon.

Kudos to hockey humorist Down Goes Brown for satirizing the reign of Colin Campbell by imagining what his video breaking down the Matt CookeMarc Savard head shot would have looked like.

For something completely different: Joe Posnanski from Sports Illustrated does a great job of painting last nights baseball picture as one of the greatest regular season nights in Major League history.

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

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.



Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

Julien: 'The less said and the more shown' is good for Bruins right now

BRIGHTON, Mass – Claude Julien met with the media after Tuesday’s morning skate and there was a bit of a long pause between questions at one point early in the session.

“I understand because everything that needs to be said has already been said, right?” cracked the longtime Bruins bench boss, who was in good spirits after morning skate despite the turmoil around him.

It’s clearly less about words and more about results right now for a struggling team that’s lost a season-worst four games in a row in gut-punching fashion and has fallen out of a playoff position despite teams above them, Ottawa and Toronto, holding five games in hand on them. 

The Bruins are in a freefall at the worst possible time and at this point, Julien wants to see positive action and winning results from his team rather than the empty talk with the media.

“We want to respect our game plan, execute it well and that normally helps you. We’ve been a little bit all over the place, especially in the last game,” said Julien. “That’s what we addressed yesterday, moving forward.

“I haven’t used the All-Star break as a motivation. We’re basically looking at these last two games, and what we have to do in these last two games. I think we’re well aware of what’s waiting for them after that. The players normally know when the breaks are. That’s not for us right now. I’d like to see our focus on what we need to do [against the Wings] to right the ship. We’ve talked about it a lot, and I think right now the less said, and the more shown is probably the best thing.”

With two games left until the All-Star break, one has to wonder what Julien’s fate will be if the Bruins drop both games to Detroit and Pittsburgh before the group breaks up for All-Star weekend. 

A good showing might be enough to keep Julien calling the shots for the Black and Gold down the stretch this season. But the sense is that more of the same fragile, losing efforts from the Bruins in these final two home dates, a familiar look from this group over the past three seasons, could spell doom for the winningest coach in Bruins franchise history.

One thing is for sure: Words aren’t going to do anything for Julien, and instead it’s about cold, hard results for the coach and the Bruins players who are nose-diving in the middle of the regular season.