BruinsSabres: 5 from the Third

BruinsSabres: 5 from the Third

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins and Sabres tied at a 3-3 score after the first 60 minutes of their final regular season meeting of the year and headed for overtime.1)Really active day for Zdeno Chara amid all of the pressure and speculation. Two assists, two shots on net, two hits, two blocked shots and plenty of physical play that flies in the face of all the overreacting yahoos in the city of Montreal.2)Between the boarding call on Zdeno Chara in the second period, the tripping call on Tomas Kaberle that led to a goal in the second and the tripping call that led to a 5-on-3 goal for Tim Connolly in the third period, the refs had a dogs breakfast of a game in Boston while handing the Buffalo Sabres seven power plays. Tough to discern what the message is there, but the physicality certainly wasnt that one-sided. Ian Walsh and Brad Watson having a tough time out there.3)Where has Tomas Kaberle been over the last few games? He looked smooth and offensively creative in his first few games, but there hasnt been much hint of that 5-on-5 or on the power play lately. No points in his last six games with the Bruins, and one assist in nine games with Boston and only one power play goal.4)Only one takeaway for the Bruins against a Buffalo Sabres team thats been known to be loose with the puck on occasion among a young defensemen corps. That means there wasnt a great deal of fore-checking force going on tonight with the Bruins.5)Adam McQuaid has become so adept at pinching and keeping possession in Bostons offensive zone in such a short time. Its been amazing to watch for a player that so little was expected of offensively.

Chara on slumping Bruins: Players shouldn't have to be told to work hard

Chara on slumping Bruins: Players shouldn't have to be told to work hard

BRIGHTON -- The on-ice portion of Bruins practice kicked off about an hour later than scheduled at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning.

The B's are reeling, having lost four games in a row for the first time this season after getting dumped by the Penguins, 5-1, in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. Their standing in the Atlantic Division, and the playoff picture, is tenuous at best with so many other teams holding games in hand over them, and it truly looks like they're going to slide out of the race if they can’t reverse their fortunes.

So Claude Julien, saying "desperate times call for desperate measures," summoned the players to a video session where flaws, mistakes, half-hearted efforts and bad systems-play was pointed out in front of everyone. The team then took the ice to iron out those problems in an hour-long practice that the embattled Bruins coach hopes will lead to better results in the final two games, against Detroit and Pittsburgh, before the All-Star break.

“He was showing details that we were doing well early on in the season to have success, and little things that we’ve gotten away from that we need to correct,” said captain Zdeno Chara. “We need to start doing them again. It’s a game of little details and we need to make sure we do them right.”

While Chara wouldn’t comment on the tone of the video session, it’s clear that things like effort, determination and desperation were probably talking points just as much as fine-tuning Julien’s long-held offensive and defensive systems.

“It’s commitment," said Chara. "That’s for sure, that we need to have everybody doing that. We shouldn’t . . . at this level, at this time of the season, [have to be] asking guys to work hard. We’ve got to make sure that everybody is working hard, and everybody is paying his dues to be in the lineup and earn a spot.

“That’s the No. 1 priority: You have to compete and you have to work hard. Usually when you do those things, good things happen. We’ve got to back to those little things [with] hard work, commitment and competing every shift.”

Will an honest, direct video session between head coach and players be the key to stopping the team’s most demoralizing stretch of the season, and lead to a prolonged winning streak? Only time will tell.

But the Bruins need something to get spinning in an entirely different direction.