BruinsMaple Leafs: 5 from the Second

BruinsMaple Leafs: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Leafs locked in a 2-2 tie at the TD Garden after the first 40 minutes of a game thats taken a back seat to the trade rumor mill.1)Tyler Seguin has 9:21 of ice time thus far in the game, and give him a lot of credit for really continuing to show just committed he is to avoiding the healthy scratch status for the time being. Seguin has been knocked down on multiple occasions while going straight to the front of the net or the lions den as some might call it during possessions in the offensive zone. Seguin got crushed by Keith Aulie before the puck had arrived near the net midway through the second period and drew an interference call that led to a power play. Seguin is really showing some progress since his two-game sit down. 2)The Bs first power play unit hasnt done much tonight, but the second unit is really threatening for more time with the way theyre producing and scrapping for goals. Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell teamed for a power play goal at the end of the second period when Marchand was crushed right before releasing the shot. James Reimer gave up a high rebound and Gregory Campbell swatted it through for a goal. Theyre not dazzling anyone with their skill, but Campbell and Marchand are muscling pucks past goalies on the PP.3)Mark Stuart played less than two minutes in the second period after throwing around some bodies in the first period and setting up a goal. Wonder if theres a reason the Bruins curbed his ice time and minutes in the second? Hes up front and center in the Bs trade rumors, so do stay tuned.4)Mikhail Grabovski with a little frontier justice on the Bruins when he went after David Krejci in the second period. The Leafs forward was blasted behind the Boston net by a violent Zdeno Chara hit, and Grabovski was slow to get to the Toronto bench afterward. So Grabovski came in high on Krejci with a high stickglove to the head area, and was called for a high-stick as Krejci skated off checking to make sure all his teeth were intact.5)Six shots for Dion Phaneuf over the first two periods in an active game for the Leafs. Meanwhile his brother in combat, Nathan Horton, has one shot on net in 8:14 of ice time and hasnt done a whole heck of a lot.

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