Anybody that expected a fire and brimstone speech from Cam Neely about heads rolling after the Bruins first round exit from the playoff probably left TD Garden disappointed on Thursday afternoon.
Those that expected a Bs ownership group and management team to express a disappointment after a seven-game loss to the Washington Capitals and the teams first opening round playoff exit in four seasons got exactly what they were looking for. Bruins ownershipmanagement liaison Charlie Jacobs used the term disappointing in his first sentence to the assembled media at Legends Restaurant at TD Garden, and the man signing the checks didnt sound much happier.
Of course the younger Jacobs also mentioned the term parity in attempting to reconcile the reasons behind losing in the playoffs, and mentioned a level of pride still there with the team.
We did expect to get out of that first round this year. We were probably a little better than the team that won the Stanley Cup when you look at the skill level and the age of the players, said Bruins Principal owner Jeremy Jacobs. We wanted to do better, we expected to do better and we have every reason to believe wed do better.
Neely said a philosophical change might be in store for the power play after it once again let down the Black and Gold at the worst possible time, but there was no fist pounding on the table in fury one year removed from winning the Stanley Cup. Instead the Bruins President hoped his young nucleus of players learned from the mental and physical grind associated with attempting to repeat as Stanley Cup champs.
Its disappointing to lose out in the first round. We didnt have this at all last year. I dont like this at all and I dont think anybody in the organization likes it, said Neely. I used this saying a lot when I was a player and I was dealing with injuries and everything else: I said quite a few times that may rear view mirror is broken. I cant use it. We had a lot to celebrate last year and weve had a lot of things to learn from this past season.
We can learn from it, and I believe because of the character of our players were going to come back even more motivated at the start of training camp.
The displeasure with losing early in the playoffs was clear coming from the top on Causeway Street, and it appears that the Bruins have moved on organizationally while already putting an emphasis on next year. If another first round playoff exit follows this one, then that fire and brimstone might just make a cameo appearance at this time next year.
BOSTON – The Bruins have won seven of eight games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy and are fortifying their position as the third playoff team in the Atlantic Division with each passing victory.
The 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden on Tuesday night probably shouldn’t be all impressive based on the Yotes standing as the second-worst team in the NHL, but it was a classic trap game coming off a long West Coast road trip. Instead of falling for the trap the Bruins exploded for three goals in the second period, energized by a shorthanded Riley Nash strike, and continue to extend the winning stretch they need in order to punch their playoff ticket.
The postseason clincher is still a long way away from reality, but Cassidy said the B’s are starting to achieve the elevated level of play they’re aiming for while finally getting the full potential out of their team.
“I just want the guys to make sure that they play confident, solid hockey and believe in themselves. And play to a [higher] standard,” said Cassidy. “We’re trying to set a standard where we’re one of the better teams in the National Hockey League. They’ve been there before, the leadership group here. That’s where we’re striving to get through in the end.”
They haven’t exactly shied away from the competition either, twice beating the first-place San Jose Sharks and shutting out the first place Montreal Canadiens in the final straw that saw Michel Therrien axed in favor of Claude Julien.
The B’s have now opened up a three-point cushion over the Maple Leafs for their playoff spot and they’ve averaged 4.13 goals per game (33 goals in eight games) while allowing just 2.13 goals per game (17 goals in eight games) in the eight games going from Julien to Cassidy.
The challenge now is to maintain that level of play over the final 19 games of the regular season to drive home their playoff bid and finish strong at a point where in each of the past two seasons they’ve utterly imploded.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world as NHL trade deadline day is upon us with no promise of fireworks in Boston.
*As referenced above, there’s a good chance the Bruins won’t be doing much today and they’re perfectly okay with that.
*Craig Custance grades every move made ahead of the trade deadline with plenty of action out of the way early.
*The Vancouver Canucks will not be trading Ryan Miller, which is smart given the normal market for No. 1 goaltenders.
*The New York Rangers lost out on the Kevin Shattenkirk rental sweepstakes at the deadline, so they’ve opted for Brendan Smith instead.
*The Florida Panthers may make a move at the deadline (which they did in acquiring Thomas Vanek) but they will not make or break their team with deadline deals.
*Doug Armstrong says that Shattenkirk was frustrated by his role with the St. Louis Blues, and that played into his trade to the Capitals.
*For something completely different: It’s a national holiday in Canada as Jay and Dan will be returning to their natural habitat.