BruinsLightning: 5 from the Second

BruinsLightning: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Lightning locked in a 1-1 tie at the TD Garden after the first 40 minutes of playoff atmosphere at the TD Garden.1)Steve Kampfer has come back strong from getting scratched for a couple of the games by the Bruins, and responded to a mistake on the ice with a goal. His ill-advised pass off the boards turned into Eric Brewers goal for the Lightning, but he responding with his own strike from the top of the slot area minutes later. It was only Kampfers second point in the last 15 games, but perhaps a sign that hes lifting himself over the wall hed encountered lately.2)A lot of diving and dropping for calls by Tampa Bay to get Steve Stamkos and their power play out on the ice. In fact its a very Montreal-like game that the Lightning are playing tonight, and its a pretty good preview of what theyd do in a potential playoff matchup. It worked when Dominic Moore dropped to get a Nathan Horton tripping penalty, and the same thing with a Dennis Seidenberg cross-check on Blair Jones. The cross-check was legit, but Jones dropped to the ice as if hed been shot to get the whistle.3)Surprising to see Marty St. Louis stick his leg out and trip Mark Recchi on his way to the net during a cover-up and whistle in the second period. It sent Recchi spilling into the net and post, and left both teams pairing up in shoving matches afterward. Recchi was hot from the bench long afterward, and it was really unexpected from Lady Byng perennial candidate Marty St. Louis.4)The work done by Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley along the sideboards created the goal for Steve Kampfer, and both wingers got their earned assists on the goal. Thats exactly the kind of gritty grunt work that each player has been doing since they arrived, and is part of the reason why the Bruins have become that much tougher to play against. 5)Four shots on net for Dennis Seidenberg, who has been one of the players most affected in a positive fashion by the Tomas Kaberle trade. Hes been active, physical and playing some very good hockey after a slow start to the year. Once Kaberle arrived it really allowed all the rest of the Bs defensemen to slide into their proper spots.

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

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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