Notes: Rookie Hamill settles in


Notes: Rookie Hamill settles in

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON After failing to register more than a blip on the radar screen in his first game with the Bruins this season, rookie Zach Hamill looked a lot more at home creating and playmaking in Bostons 8-6 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday.

Hamill finished with 14 shifts and 10:30 of ice time, but found himself on a shortened bench during the third period as Gregory Campbell starting taking shifts with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder. Hamill did make some plays, though, and get himself noticed in a positive way. His sweet backhanded pass through two Canadiens defenders to a wide-open Ryder set up his first goal of the night in the second period, and showed exactly what Hamill is capable of as a 22-year-old rookie.

Hamill is being given an audition to see what he can at the NHL level while the Bs sit Tyler Seguin as a healthy scratch, and theres certainly some promise and potential there at the center spot.

He made some good plays. On that goal obviously, I think it was Michael Ryders goal. He made another pass later on, I think it was between Looch Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, said coach Claude Julien. He made some good plays and thats what his game is all about. Hes a smart player and hes a great passer, hes always been known as a great playmaker and he showed some of that tonight.

Hamill wasnt out there at the end of the game not shocking given Juliens system of using players at the end of games that he feels most comfortable with but there was more than enough to warrant a few more looks at what the former 2007 first round draft pick can bring to the Bruins. Ryder can be one of the most misunderstood players on the Bruins when he's going through one of his dry stretches in the goal-scoring department, but Wednesday night's 8-6 win over the Canadiens wasn't one of those nights.Ryder scored a pair of goals and showed some instant chemistry with Hamill while demonstrating exactly what makes him so valuable: the right wing shows up at the most important times and is one of those players who rises to the level during the postseason. Ryder snapped an eight game goal-scoring drought against his former team and looks ready to embark on a hot streak for the B's."I think its been a while since I scored and I was getting some chances," said the ex-Canadien. "But tonight it finally went in. It took me two tries on one power play to get the second goal, but I think I have success when Im skating and working hard just keep doing that and Ill find the back of the net again."The Bruins scored their two first-period goals in a span of 12 seconds (13:16 and 13:28). That matches their fastest two goals in a row this season, first accomplished on Jan. 10 at Pittsburgh in a 4-2 win. It's also the fifth time the Bruins have scored two goals in 15 seconds or less: including games against the Penguins and Hurricanes. The line of Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton exploded against the Canadiens on Wednesday night, and finished with three goals, 8 assists and a plus-15 between the three forwards in the 8-6 win. The five points for Horton were a career-high, and Lucic extended his career-best mark in goals by potting his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season and Lucics sixth goal in the last nine games after a long cold spell in December.

We knew we could be a threat every time we went on the ice and that is what we have kind of talked about as a line yesterday, said Lucic. We wanted to be that threat and you know get in there and play with that emotion. We wanted to be the guys that coach counts on, and so its definitely great that we had a game the way we did. We have to keep pushing it and keep getting more.
Shawn Thornton had no opinion about the four-game suspension for Matt Cooke after he charged Columbus BlueJacketsdefensemanFedor Tyutin, and looked like he was hoping to avoid the entire conversation about the Pittsburgh rabble-rouser."I don't give an expletive about that," said Thornton. "I haven't seen it and I don't plan on seeing. He hasn't pulled any of that stuff against our team this year."

The win was Juliens 300th game as coach of the Bruins, which puts him at seventh on the Bs all-time franchise list.

Johnny Boychuk was playing in his 100th career NHL game, and ended the night with an absolute beatdown of Jaroslav Spacek with less than a minute to go in the third period.Carey Price allowed a career-high eight goals in the loss to the Boston Bruins.

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.