Tardif happy to chip in during first NHL game

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Tardif happy to chip in during first NHL game

TORONTO It probably wasnt the first NHL shift that 28-year-old rookie Jamie Tardif had envisioned, but it also meant that he was officially in the books.

Tardif was on the ice for all of about six seconds in the first period when Lane MacDermid and Mark Fraser dropped the gloves for the first of two competitive bouts in Bostons 1-0 win over the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Yeah, that first shift didnt go over so well, said Tardif, who estimated there were 20 family and friends in the ACC stands including a billet family he lived with for five years in Peterborough. But I got the bugs out and the jitters. I was fairly nervous the entire game, but thats pretty normal being in my hometown and my first NHL game. It was to be expected and Im just happy we got the win.

Perhaps it was the best introduction for a Toronto kid that was making his NHL debut after seven long minor league hockey seasons and 449 games in the AHL and ECHL before he saw how they do it in the big leagues.

Obviously I wasnt expecting to score in my first game, said Tardif. It helped calm me down a little bit that Im not an 18 or 19-year-old kid and I got more comfortable as the game went on.

Tardif did end up getting a little bit of time in the game and finished with a shot on net and a pair of hits in eight shifts and 5:03 of time in the game. The shot was a decent tester off a Johnny Boychuk pass that got the journeyman on the scoresheet, but he also showed some good grittiness levels skating on the fourth line.

It was Tardif that lined up Phil Kessel in the neutral zone in the second period and spun him around like a top, and that body contact led to Round 2 of MacDermid and Fraser in the Bs offensive end. The Providence Bruins forward knows its those kinds of plays that will help him fit in with a fourth line comprised of Gregory Campbell and MacDermid for the time being.

I happened to catch Kessel and then MacDermid came out of nowhere for that second fight, said Tardif. Its a part of the game. Its one of the things that I need to bring into the lineup.

Tardif just hopes he gets more chances to show what he can do in the Bruins lineup, but that will all depend on the health status of guys like Daniel Paille and Brad Marchand moving forward.

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.