Rome should be burning

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Rome should be burning

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

We were anxious to hear the results, but there was very little to gain from the NHLs ruling on Aaron Rome (unless it involved a DeLorean).

It didnt really matter how the league punished Rome. They could have suspended him for life. Fined him 10 million. Fed him to a pride of lions during tonights first intermission. Who cares? It doesnt change the fact that some scrub ended Nathan Hortons season.

Now that the suspensions been handed down, you can appreciate it. No one wanted to see Rome again, skipping along freely while Horton sits at home with a blinding headache. Thats just wrong. Especially since, with the Bruins' luck, Rome definitely would have scored the game-winner in Game 7.

But do you actually care that he was suspended? Do you feel in the least bit redeemed for what happened to Horton? Does it make one bit of difference in terms of who spends their summer with Stanley?

The only thing that matters is that the Bruins are down their second-leading scorer, and for absolutely no good reason. Its like the Rondo injury against Miami. A cheap shot leads to disaster. And if by some chance the Bruins dont pull this series out, theyll be haunted with the questions of what could have been.

Listen, I know they scored eight goals Monday night without him. Its obviously not as bad as what happened with Rondo. But if the Bruins offense reverts back to Games 1 and 2, or just fails to find a rhythm with the new lines, Horton will be a factor.

And at no point will anyone think: Well, to be fair, the Canucks dont have Rome.

I dont disagree with the NHLs ruling. With Horton done, its only fair for Rome to sit. Not to mention, Rome gave the league an opportunity to make a statement. He was the perfect fall guy; someone they could make an example of without upsetting too many people.

They didnt have to suspend him for the whole series. They could have gotten away with two games; that would have been enough. But they saw the opportunity to set a new, safer precedent . . . and it worked. Players will remember what happened to Rome. He lost his mind for one second, and had a lifelong dream taken away. Im not saying that well never see another cheap hit at this level, but theres no question that this will serve as a deterrent. The NHL will end up a safer place because of it.

But for now, it does absolutely nothing for the Bruins.

It doesnt bring them justice. In this case only one thing will.

The Stanley Cup.

The next step comes tonight.

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins took Wednesday off and returned Thursday with assurances they weren’t thinking about history repeating itself for a third straight season. 

The easy parallels are there, of course. 

The Bruins lost 9 of their final 14 games and missed the playoffs by a point two years ago. Last season they went a pathetic 3-8-1 in the final 12 games and once again missed the postseason by a single point.

So their recent three-game losing streak has set off some warning bells and whistles, as has the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have passed them and pushed the B’s into the second wild-card position. Boston holds a slim two-point lead over the New York Islanders for that final playoff position, and is facing huge games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (tonight) and the Isles (Saturday).

So with all that in mind, has interim coach Bruce Cassidy’s message changed at all to his players? 

“These are teams [close to the Bruins to the standings, so the games] get more magnified and rightfully so,” said Cassidy. “We accept that and we know what’s at stake. The last two didn’t go the way we wanted them to, but the things we do well, we need to keep doing well. We’ve created some looks at the net. We’re generating some offense. We need to finish a little better, and those pockets of the game that get away from us . . . we need to minimize those. We had a few too many of those [moments] against Ottawa. 

“We’re aware of it. We know who won and who lost last night. But we need to take care of our business. If we do, we’ll be fine. We really will. If we take of our business, it doesn’t matter what this team does or what that team does.

"That’s a fact. That’s the message. It’s quite simple. If we take care of business, we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we’re hoping.”

Clearly taking care of their business includes dispatching both the Lightning and the Islanders. Hoping is what the Bruins ended up doing in each of the previous two seasons, and it left them fully out of luck once the music stopped.


 
 

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while having never said “break a leg” for good luck to fellow Stoneham, Mass., native Nancy Kerrigan on social media, or otherwise.

 *A brief video history of Sidney Crosby spearing, or otherwise targeting, opponents in the crotches prepared with care and thought by the Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski.

*Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts for the week and a few of them centered around new Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.

*Could the NBA’s star-resting phenomenon reach into the NHL when it comes to getting in-season time off for the superstars?

*Give the Leafs credit because they picked up coach Mike Babcock when he made a rare screw-up against the Blue Jackets.

*Check out the sick USA/Russia skating kicks on Alex Ovechkin, who had them custom made for a charity event.

*Speaking of Ovechkin, could T.J. Oshie and not Ovechkin actually lead the Capitals in scoring this season?

*For something completely different: Hide the women and children, the Scorpions and Megadeath are going on a North American tour together.