Bruins knew it was a goal all along


Bruins knew it was a goal all along

By Danny Picard

BOSTON -- It was the clunk, not the ting.

That sound allowed Mark Recchi to make the call himself with 2:49 remaining in overtime on Tuesday night at the TD Garden. As soon as Dennis Seidenberg's shot re-directed off some part of the Buffalo net, the veteran winger pointed towards the ref as if to say Seidenberg's slapper on the 4-on-3 power play went in.

Seidenberg stepped into the high slot and let go a shot that appeared to hit either the crossbar or the inside padding under the crossbar. The Bruins thought it was the latter. The on-ice official behind the net thought it was the former, and made no call. Play continued for nearly another minute until Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller covered the puck up for a stoppage.

Replays showed Seidenberg's shot hit the padding underneath the crossbar, giving the Bruins a 3-2 overtime win.

Bruins players began to celebrate before the on-ice officials even made the call. They saw the replay on the TD Garden jumbotron. But it's something they didn't even need to see. Everyone had a feeling it was a goal.

"We all knew on the ice that it was in," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara after the win. "I think all those guys who were on the ice knew."

"I thought it went in," said Seidenberg. "I wasn't sure, but I thought it went in. I was just hoping for a quick whistle so they could check it."

Even those on the bench had a similar feeling.

"From the bench, I saw the mesh go up," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "But you don't know if it's the stick that hits it, or whatever, and we saw Recchi kind of signaling a goal. I just asked upstairs, through assistant coach Geoff Ward, whether it was a goal or not, as the play was going on. And we were told that it was."

Some judged the puck's fate by its sound.

"I knew it went in," said Recchi. "You could hear the clunk. It wasn't the ting, the crossbar sound. It was underneath.

"You've got to keep going," added Recchi. "I mean, you think it went in. I heard the thud, and I knew it was in, but you've got to keep playing."

The Bruins kept playing and kept the pressure on during their four-minute power play, which was caused by a Luke Adam's high stick on Marc Savard that drew blood.

And while the goal was originally given to Seidenberg, it was quickly changed and credited to Recchi, his sixth of the season. Recchi was screening Miller out front, and got a piece of Seidenberg's shot with his hand, re-directing it upstairs.

"It just hit me, really, I mean, I was just trying to get a good screen for Seidenberg," said Recchi. "It was a great shot by him, and it was a good PP. It was a good 4-on-3, we really did a good job."

Seidenberg's shot from the point was an example of the Bruins' defensemen creating offense, a little bit better than they have been all season. The only current Bruins defensemen with a goal are Seidenberg (1) and Chara (4).

Seidenberg's ability to quickly set up for a blast in the high slot is exactly what the B's are looking for more of.

"I think it's coming around, and what we're doing better, and what you saw Dennis Seidenberg do well, is he got himself in a shooting lane, so when David Krejci gave him that pass, he had a shooting lane, and he just let it rip," said Julien. "That was the biggest thing earlier on. I think we were getting the puck and by the time we were teeing it up to shoot, they had a player lined up in that shooting lane. So we're doing a better job of getting to open lanes here, and getting those shots through. I think that's a big key for our D to help us create some offense."

Even if the goals don't immediately count.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

It’s no secret Bruins fans are getting fed up with a hockey team in decline, one that’s missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Now there are numbers to prove it.

Channel Media and Market Research, Inc. came out with its annual New England Sports survey,  tabulating responses from over 14,600 polled, and, according to the numbers, the Bruins are dropping in popularity, fan support and faith in the current management group.

The B’s are holding somewhat steady with 16 percent of voters listing them as their “favorite sports team” behind the Patriots (46 percent) and Red Sox (29 percent) while ahead of the Celtics and Revolution. Claude Julien also ranked ahead of John Farrell among the big four teams in the “coaches/manages most admired” category.

But after sitting at a relative high of ranking at 27 percent for “ownership performance” in 2014 -- they year after their trip to the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks -- the Bruins now rank dead last in that category at 2 percent, behind the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and even the Revolution. Ouch, babe.

Also sitting at a lowly 2 percent is Bruins president Cam Neely in the “leadership performance” category. In "management performance," Neely has dropped from a solid 49 percent in 2014 to just 16 percent in this summer’s survey.

So B’s fans are clearly upset with a team that traded away Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, and has featured a decimated defense corps for each of the last two seasons. But do the B’s fans think that things are getting any better with prospects coming down the pipeline?

Not really.

In the “which team has done the best job making its product better.” category, the Patriots (35 percent) and Red Sox (31 percent) were resting at the top, with the Celtics (27 percent) a respectable third. The Bruins limped in at just 4 percent with a fan base that very clearly sees that, on paper, this upcoming season’s club doesn’t appear to be much better than last year's.

On top of that, only 13 percent of those surveyed believe the Bruins have gotten better over the last year, and 52 percent believe they’ve just gotten worse. A lowly 3 percent of those surveyed think the Bruins have the best chance of the five teams to bring a world championship back to Boston; the Patriots (79 percent), Red Sox (11 percent) and Celtics (5 percent) all ranked higher.

Finally, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Hayes were at the top of the list of the Boston athletes “who did not meet expectations” last season. None of that is a surprise, given the state of Boston’s defense along with Hayes’ subpar season.

The good news for the Bruins: They still have a passionate fan base. But they need to start reversing course immediately before they do lasting damage to the B’s brand.

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath


Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with the Olympics coming to a close . . .
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke sorts through the aftermath for the Bruins after losing out on Jimmy Vesey

-- Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an interview where he said the Red Wings aren’t Stanley Cup contenders this season. 

-- Related to Holland’s comments, some of the media in Detroit aren’t taking the dose of reality all that well

-- It’s a big season for New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, who will be starring for Team USA on the World Cup team. 

 -- PHT writer Cam Tucker says the Buffalo Sabres still have a strong group of forwards even without Jimmy Vesey.

-- Jamie Benn is giving everything to his Dallas Stars team, and that means that the World Cup of Hockey is taking a backseat
-- The Colorado Avalanche are nearing the end of their head coaching search as they look for their replacement for Patrick Roy.
-- For something completely different: NBC is making the argument that millenials watched the Olympics, but just not on the traditional formats