BruinsThrashers: 5 from the First

BruinsThrashers: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Thrashers tied at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes of play on a day the Bs can clinch the Northeast Division with one point.1)Good response from the Patrice Bergeron line after they were challenged a bit by Nathan Horton in practice on Friday. They buzzed around the net and supplied the first goal for the Bruins with a Mark Recchi stuff job in front after Brad Marchands shot pinballed in front of the net and Ondrej Pavelec. 2)Speaking of Marchand, a well deserved Seventh Player Award for the Bs agitator after an outstanding rookie season that really surprised many people. Everybody knew about the sandpaper in his game, but perhaps the skill was a little underrated headed into this year. With Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask and Marchand as the last four Seventh Player Award winners, that says quite a bit about the Bs draft-and-development history in recent years, doesnt it?3)Alexander Burmistrov up to his antics against the Bruins today. Some may remember his embellishment on a Daniel Paille hit from behind helped the Thrashers earn a win in Atlanta earlier in the season, and this time he earned himself an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by firing a puck at Tuukka Rask long after the whistle had been blown. That little infraction earned the ire of Tomas Kaberle and the rest of the Bs, and gave Boston their first power play of the game. After having watched Burmistrov a number of times, the Russian has a lot of weasel in his hockey game.4)So Tuukka Rask flips a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, and then gets handcuffed by a Dustin Byfuglien Frisbee point shot that skimmed off a stick or skate on its way to being his 20th goal of the season. Does Rask yell and flap his arms at himself for that one? Got go give my man at Pro Hockey Talk, Joe Yerdon, credit for coming up with that one in a tweet. Well done.5)Ten total shots in the first period. This BostonAtlanta action late in the season is fantastic, isnt it? Yes that was sarcasm.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.