Bruins feeling boxed in by refs

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Bruins feeling boxed in by refs

MONTREAL The Bruins believe the National Hockey League might just be on the lookout for them this season after they bullied their way to a Stanley Cup championship over the Vancouver Canucks, and they have the numbers to prove it.

One of the iconic images from last years Cup Finals was Brad Marchand punching the closest available Sedin with five or six jabs to the head while A) the refs refused to call any penalties and B) Sedin refused to protect himself or engage with Marchand when nobody came to his defense. Even better was Marchands because I felt like it defense.

Now it looks like the league is keeping close tabs on Boston this season via their refereeing crews. The refs have called a bevy of penalties on the Black and Gold in the early portions of the season, and that has played into Boston's difficulties.

The Bruins were whistled for eight penalties and 19 penalty minutes in a 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Saturday night, and at least three of the calls were retaliatory penalties after the Bs truly lost their cool.

Any time we retaliate were getting called for it, said Marchand. Teams are staying away from physical fights and stuff like that with us. They know that gets us going and gets us a lot of emotion. So other teams are trying to stay away from it.

We have to be able to take it and hurt them on the scoreboard. Thats the way you do it.

Coach Claude Julien blew his stack several times during the game with some interesting gestures at the refs, and afterward the Bs coach felt like the Bruins are being treated differently as the big, bad bully on the block by the NHL.

I thought it was a tough night as far as a lot of the calls were concerned said Julien. Thats my opinion. Overall you dont look at that, but you blame yourselves and your discipline. We have that reputation and it's there. We have to be careful because theyre looking at us to retaliate and then penalize us. We have to be smarter in that area.

We have to somehow find a way to stay focused and grind things out like we did in the third period when we found a way to get back into the game.

P.K. Subban was able to induce both Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference into taking penalties when they came after the Montreal defenseman the Habs scored a power-play goal after Ferences roughing call and Nathan Horton took an extremely selfish cross-checking penatly inretaliationon immovable object Hal Gill in the third period with his team down by a 3-1 score.

More surprising, however, is the amount of penalties the Bruins are taking on this season after having been one of the least-penalized teams in the league over the last few years; only the Ottawa Senators have more than the Bs 175 penalty minutes this season (17.5 per game).The Bruins were closer to middle of the pack last season with 13.6 penalty minutes per game last season.

The 61 overall penalties whistled on the Bruins ranks them among the five worst in the NHL this season, and it screams out a hockey team that A) definitely fights a bit more than most teams while attracting major penalties and B) also clearly is having some issues staying disciplined and under control when its required of them while trailing the majoriy of the time.

Guys were a little more frustrated as I was, to be honest with you, with some of the things where wed reach out with a stick to make a play. Then, as soon as you put a finger on the player, the hand goes up for a penalty, said Julien. That was frustrating. We lost our focus a little bit and thats when the retaliatory penalties came into play.

We need to stay focused and stop blaming everybody else around us.

Whether it was an edict from high among the NHL officials to call things a little more closely on the Cup champion Bruins or a group of players that simply cant get with the discipline program this season, the Bs need to smarten up if they hope to cure their current hangover.

Monday, May 30: Sullivan reminisces about coaching Thornton

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Monday, May 30: Sullivan reminisces about coaching Thornton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while honoring and remembering those that paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freed on this Memorial Day.

*Here’s a hockey column from Mark Madden, which kind of proves his dopiness when it comes to pucks. He writes about Pittsburgh’s excellent shutdown pair of Ian Cole and Justin Schultz, who have averaged a whopping 15 and 13 minutes of ice time respectively in these playoffs. Yeah, that’s not a shutdown pair. That’s called a bottom pairing.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri with another chapter in hockey’s version of the Never-ending Story: John Scott wants to make his own World Cup team with Phil Kessel.

*Mike Sullivan reminisces about coaching Joe Thornton, and playing for the San Jose Sharks, as his Penguins ready to take on San Jose in the Stanley Cup Final.

*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s me wondering what the heck the Bruins are doing on Sports Sunday last night on CSN.

*Apparently Alex Semin is going to stay in the KHL for this coming season. I don’t think anybody is too heartbroken around the NHL about this given the way things ended for him.

*Buffalo’s Mike Harrington says that Sidney Crosby returns to the Stanley Cup Final with a new kind of hunger

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Zeisberger goes 1-on-1 with Joe Thornton, who says that the cat likes his Hillbilly Jim playoff beard.

*For something completely different: I haven’t yet read this Joe Posnanski piece on the play Hamilton and his daughter, but I’ll include it because everybody says that it’s great.

Sunday, May 29: Kevin Stevens dealing with drug addiction

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Sunday, May 29: Kevin Stevens dealing with drug addiction

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like I was watching the Heart of a Champion in that Golden State/Oklahoma City game last night. That Klay Thompson is something else.

 

*PHT writer James O’Brien wonders what the next step is for Troy Brouwer now that he’s ready to hit free agency, and the ride has finally come to an for the Blues this season.

 

*Excellent piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Paul Dupont on the sad story of Kevin Stevens, and the drug addiction demons that have had him in their clutches for a long time. I’ve known about Stevens troubles for a while, and it’s too bad because he really is a gregarious guy when you get to know him.

 

*Allan Muir speculates on the future of Steve Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning now that the offseason has begun for both of them.

 

*P.K. Subban doesn’t sound like he’s got any hard feelings about being left off Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey, and said he’ll still be rooting them along.

 

*Pat Hickey mentions the Subban snub, but is incredulous that Habs center Alex Galchenyuk was left off Team North America.

 

*Larry Brooks breaks down how exactly former Bruins head coach and New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan was able to emerge from John Tortorella’s shadow some 10 years later.

 

*For something completely different: sad story all around in Cincinnati where they had to had to shoot an endangered gorilla dead when a four year old child fell into his enclosure.