Canadiens overpower the Bruins, 3-1

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Canadiens overpower the Bruins, 3-1

By Danny Picard and Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Thursday night marked the first time all season theBruins allowed more than one power-play goal in a game. And they paid for it,allowing Montreal to score twice on the man advantage as they lost to theCanadiens, 3-1, at the TD Garden.

Brian Gionta put the Habs ahead 2-1 just 29 seconds into thethird period as he beat Tuukka Rask with a one-timer from the left post on thepower play. It was Montreal's second power-play goal of the game, and cameas a result of a perfect saucer pass from Michael Cammalleri from the rightwing.

Cammalleri lifted the puck over a sprawling DennisSeidenberg, and Gionta put it home, which proved to be the game-winner.

Scott Gomez added insurance just over 10 minutes later on apuck that trickled past the goal line after Gomez' initial shot appeared to hitthe cross bar and come down off Rasks skate.

The goal made it 3-1 Canadiens, and sealed the deal onRasks fifth loss of the season (0-4-1) in as many appearances.

The Canadiens got on the board first, after P.K. Subbanblasted a one-timer past Rask just 5:19 into the first period. It was apower-play goal for Montreal, coming 18 seconds after Tyler Seguin was called for tripping.

Zdeno Chara tied the game at 1-1 just over 10 minutes later,wristing a puck top shelf after Milan Lucic showed an extraordinary amount ofpatience, taking the puck behind the net, drawing several Canadiens playerstowards him, and hit Chara with a cross-ice pass up to the top of the leftcircle.

GOLD STAR:Patrice Bergeron helped set up Boston's only goal when he sacrificedhis body to keep possession in the offensive zone in the first period,and played nearly 21 minutes of competitive, battling, quality ice time. He finished with four shots on net along with hisassist, and won 14-of-21 faceoff attempts while continually creatingoffensive pressure in the first two periods.

BLACK EYE:One shot for Nathan Horton after he passed up numerous chances on thepower play? No registered hits for Zdeno Chara in a game against theMontreal Canadiens? Did Daniel Paille even actually play in Thursdaynight's game against the Habs? The Bruins had some pretty solidperformers in the loss to Montreal, but there were some curious momentssurrounding the rivalry game.

TURNING POINT:Once the Bruins started making a parade to the penalty box in thesecond period a trend punctuated by Shawn Thornton, who normally has shown the ability to stay out of the box for non-fighting penalties, taking twostraight minors it was only amatter of time for the Habs to break through.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6-1-1 the record of Habs goalie Carey Price at TD Garden against the Bruins during his star-crossed career with Montreal.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Last four games we gave up the first goal. The goal tonight was toscore the first goal. But as you saw it didnt happen. I don't knowwhat the problem is with it. We gave up the first goal. I don't knowwhy. We just don't come out like we want to." Dennis Seidenbergaddressing question about Bruins giving up first goal of game fourstraight games.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Thursday, Aug. 25: Nearly two decades later, the Whalers live on

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Thursday, Aug. 25: Nearly two decades later, the Whalers live on

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while in disbelief mode that the summer is almost over.

*Good piece on the remainders of the Hartford Whalers organization in Connecticut trying to keep the dream alive for the Whale.

*Tyler Seguin sits down for a podcast this week that I freely admit I did not have the time to listen to. I wonder if Boston even rated a mention in the conversation?

*Rating the top NHL contracts, according to the fancy stats hockey analysts, sounds like an interesting exercise.

*Tracey Myers has Duncan Keith bowing out of the World Cup of Hockey while recovering from an injury, and getting replaced by Jay Boumeester.

*The “Da Beauty” Hockey League has kept players like Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan McDonagh and David Backes in hockey shape this summer while slowly getting ready for the season.

*The Arizona Coyotes make a historic hire by naming Dawn Braid as skating coach, making her the first female coach in the NHL.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Rich Shirtenlieb guested on the #DORK podcast this week, and it sounds like he didn’t love “Stranger Things.” At the very least he liked “Preacher” better. I thought Preacher was entertaining, but I didn’t even think it was in the same stratosphere as Stranger Things. Rich also has me wanting to watch “It Follows” now, however, after his endorsement.

 

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