Notes: Bruins fists should get a rest vs. Detroit

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Notes: Bruins fists should get a rest vs. Detroit

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. Those hoping for the Bruins to roll out the fisticuffs and fireworks for this weekends home-and-home series with the Red Wings will be sorely disappointed.

The Bruins lead the NHL with 55 fighting majors this season, but Detroit has the fewest brawls with five fighting majors. The Red Wings dont have much of a fighting component to their game, and are instead looking to play a smooth, transitional game based on special teams and systems play.

That will make it difficult for the Bruins to really let their emotions bubble over or explode as they did against the hated Habs on Wednesday night, and its doubly so with the struggling Red Wings simply looking to get back on the right track.

There was a lot of emotion running there," said coach Claude Julien. "The Big Bad Bruins are often pointed at as being the Big Bad Bruins, but its pretty obvious that it takes someone to stir the pot as well.

"Milan Lucics penalty was retaliation after taking two shots to the back by Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Im not sure its being viewed that way. Same thing with Gregory Campbell fighting Tom Pyatt, but Pyatt threw the first punch.

I couldnt care about any of that except that our guys stood up for each other and that we played to our strengths. We did both of those things Wednesday night.

The Bs will get an excellent test this weekend when they play the Wings at TD Garden in a rare Friday night game the first Friday night NHL game in Boston in more than 20 years (the Celtics normally play on Fridays, but their game against the Lakers was switched to Thursday for national television) and then travel to Detroit on Sunday for the home-and-home rematch.

The Wings are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are hitting their first real rough patch of the season despite the return of Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup last week. But the Bruins have struggled all season against the Western Conference teams and dont seem to have a strong answer for NHL teams they dont play against very often.

You dont see them that often, but we know what theyre all about and what theyre capable of doing, said Julien. I do know that theyve been very unhappy with the way theyre playing and theyll be coming at us with their best on Friday.

Its a team with a lot of experience and a lot of guys that have won Stanley Cups, and for us its one of those games where were going to have play with a lot of energy and play really smart if we want to be successful.

Irish Micky Ward, the decorated boxer from Lowell that recently had the Academy Award nominated film The Fighter made about his life story, will drop the ceremonial puck before the BruinsRed Wings game on Friday night at TD Garden.

Ward won three New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He started off 14-0 in his professional career and retired with a 38-13 pro record, having captured both the WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title. He was involved in Ring Magazines Fight of the Year three consecutive years from 2001-03 for his bouts with Emanuel Burton (2001), Arturo Gatti (2002) and Arturo Gatti again in 2003. His first battle with Gatti has been hailed by many boxing fans and experts as the Fight of the Century and Round 9 of that fight has been labeled the Round of the Century.

Julien said none of the Bruins were in danger of suspensions or supplementary discipline as a result of the 187 penalty minute extravaganza Wednesday night against the Canadiens.

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

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

If it was based solely on his 42 years as owner of the Boston Bruins, it might be debatable as to whether Jeremy Jacobs would have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Bruins have won one championship and been to a handful of Stanley Cup Finals during Jacobs' long stewardship, of course. They also enjoyed the longest running playoff streak (29 years) in NHL history, though it began before he purchased the franchise. Altogether, the B's have won one Cup, four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff berths during the Jacobs Era.

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But Jacobs didn't make the Hall of Fame solely on his accomplishments with the Bruins organization. He's being inducted in the "builder” category, which is defined as "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general.”  In addition to overseeing the Bruins over the last four-plus decades, he has been a power broker at the league level for just as long.

"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me,” said Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."

The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was the overriding on-ice moment in his stewardship of the team, and the Jacobs family has had a major, altruistic impact in Boston. No one should overlook the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has touched so many lives with the $28 million that's been awarded to those in need since its inception in 1993.

Unfortunately, Jacobs will always have a reputation with a large portion of the Bruins fan base that his ownership wasn't willing to spend enough for truly competitive teams. At times he was viewed as an absentee owner living in Buffalo, overseeing the team from afar while Harry Sinden ran the operation. Those fans hold that grudge even today, despite the Bruins consistently spending to the salary cap ceiling while fielding competitive teams. They view Monday's Hall of Fame announcement as something akin to Montgomery Burns being inducted into the Springfield Hall of Fame.

Cam Neely disagrees.

"As a player, I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins,” said Neely, who has served as Bruins president for nearly a decade after a Hall of Fame playing career highlighted by his years in Boston. "Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen firsthand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."

That commitment to hockey is a key factor in Jacobs' Hall of Fame selection.

Jacobs was unanimously voted in as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors in 2007, and he's been a major driving force in each of the last couple of oft-contentious CBA negotiations. While Jacobs clearly had a hand in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season due to a labor dispute, and in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, those CBA negotiations ultimately led to the imposition of a salary cap and a pathway for small-market NHL teams to survive as the cost of doing hockey business continues to go up.

Without Jacobs as an often hawkish, hard-line owner, there's a chance that a team like the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators might not have been able to survive in the NHL, and it's highly doubtful they'd be able to be as competitive as they are now if teams like Toronto, New York and Chicago could outspend everybody else. So there's no denying the seismic impact that Jacobs made at the league-wide level with his leadership and commitment to growing the game, and that the NHL is better off for the battles waged in collective bargaining while he's been in a position of power.

If you polled every single Bruins fan on the street, it's unlikely he'd be a populist choice for the Hall of Fame. The lean budgetary years durinhg the playing days of Neely, Ray Bourque and others will always be part of the Spoked B history. Some will hold those grudges forever, which is part of makes us who we are as a fan base.

But faithful, rabid fans continue to stream into TD Garden, continue to spend money to support their favorite hockey team, and continue to provide the kind of support that's led to a 338-game home sellout streak. It's a sign Jacobs and Bruins ownership continue to do things very right, even if we shouldn't be scheduling any popularity contests anytime soon.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.