Final complaints

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Final complaints

By Michael Felger

You thought a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals would end the carping?

Think again, dear child.

And just so you know, were moving the mailbag to Fridays for the remainder of this series. Get your complaints in by Thursday morning.

Hey Felger,In a game where the Bruins were shut out and went 0-for-6 on the power play, Tyler Seguin on got 6:21 of ice time and only 1:20 of PP time. And people wonder why I hate Claude Julien. Marc Malden

Id like to know what Seguin did wrong between Game 7 against Lightning (playoff high 14:53 of ice time) and Game 1 against the Canucks (playoff low of 6:21). Did he miss a meeting? Fall asleep during a film session? Blow gas in the pregame locker room? It really doesnt make any sense. I think it might be time for another "organizational meeting."

Hey Felger,The Bruins don't play to outscore the other team. They play for the other team to score less than them.I know thats a bit of a weird statement, but I feel it describes the Bruins style. That's the problem with the coach. You can't get the most out of your players if they are playing not to lose. Very simple. Its a great regular-season mentality, but its different in the playoffs. Adam

In other words, I get the sense youd like to set the agenda for the "organizational meeting."

Topic 1: You cant win a game 0-0.

Topic 2: Its not the regular season, Claude. You dont even get a point for it.

Felger,You keep bashing Claude for lack of change. Ive watched every game in the playoffs . . . He did make changes and his team keeps winning.Shouldnt you be bashed for your lack of change in your approach?ScottMaynard

Youre right. I should follow the Claude Julien approach to change slow, reluctant and only done between (never during) shows.

To: FelgerSubj: InsanityDoing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resultsAlbert Einstein

Todays definition of insanity: Mark Recchi.

He has played exactly seven weeks of playoff hockey, spanning 19 games. After Wednesdays game he has now played precisely 49:28 on the power play. And he has yet to score a single goal or register a single assist. He has the third-most power-play ice time among Bruins forwards this postseason, and he hasnt produced a single point on the man advantage. Yet Claude gave him another 3:34 of power-play time on Wednesday and had him on the ice on the crucial 5 x 3 advantage in the second period.

This is nothing against Mark Recchi. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. But is that the guy you would use on a two-man advantage when you had to have a goal with a championship on the line? Insanity.

Felger,Anyone who says the Bs would rather have even-strength play than power plays has no cred. The power play SUCKS, but who on earth doesnt want the Bruins have a man advantage? Robert
This guy.

Seriously, any time the Bs get a power play Im pissed. It usually guarantees two things: the opponent will kill it and gain momentum after doing so, and the referees will even up the call and ultimately put the opponent on a matching advantage. Seriously, every time the referee's arm goes up, its bad news for the Bs whether the call goes for them or against them.

Hi Mike,Regarding the apparent Vancouver strategy to attack Chara, I say the B's strategy should be: bring it on. Think of it as how the Pats have to handle a blitz. The more attention they give Chara, the less attention they are giving some other B's players. The B's have to find the holes that open up when Chara gets attacked en masse, and exploit it.ChrisThe Suburbs

Any way you slice it, theres a lot on Chara this series. He has to shut down the Sedins. He has to face down that tough Vancouver forecheck. He has to produce on the power play, both in the crease and up top. And he has to do it all while logging a grueling 30-plus minutes a night. Is that asking too much? Maybe, but its what the best defensemen in the game do at this time of year. And if Chara does it in this series, he will deserve that distinction.

Felger,Please don't beat this dead horse anymore! We get it, the PP has sucked. Claude is not going to make many or any changes, and we have to live with it. They didn't score on the PP and we didn't either. We are better 5-on-5 and in the end, you will have squawked for nothing. Bruins win the Cup. What do you say then, Felger? Claude sucks? You are so predictable.Joe

He doesnt suck, but he aint great. And his comment after Game 1, in which he said hes okay with being even on special teams with Vancouver, was repugnant.

Going 0-for-6 on the power play, including failures on a four-minute double-minor in the first period and a 5 x 3 advantage in the second period, is definitely not okay. When youre in a tight game and a championship is on the line, you simply have to score when you have a 5 x 3 advantage for 1:34. You had a chance to take the lead and put a tremendous amount of pressure on your favored opponent, and your team failed to do it again. Its why you lost the game.

Do you get that, Claude? Getting shut out is NOT okay.

Felger You DB!Well, that was a prime game for the Bruins to steal on the road. It's too bad they couldn't seal the deal. So now it becomes a matter of assessing blame.

Was it that Claude relapsed into the full Schultz? Was Boychuck too aggressive with the game poised for OT? Were the Canucks simply better? All of those are valid criticisms and absolutely up for debate. I, however, know one reason that is a rock solid unassailable fact. The Kaberle deal did nothing to improve this team. I know I have been bitching and moaning about the Kaberle deal nonstop. Make no mistake, Mikey, I want this team to win a Cup. If you told me that Kaberle was going to magically transform into Denis Potvin and lead the B's to a trophy, a big one, I would gladly take it and revel in my wrongness.But it's Chiarelli's smug attitude as he defends the trade which inspire the same sudden rush of rage and anger that came over me after we were told, post-Philly collapse, that the Bruins "were one of only five teams to make the second round two years in a row." Hold on as the Chiarelli merry go-round begins to spin . . . "I know hes added to the team," said Chiarelli. "Yes, he has been under heat, but what hes added to the team is something that we didnt have and something thats almost impossible to find at the trade deadline, and thats the ability to make strong plays with the puck offensively. Thats the ability to skate into a trap like we saw this past series."You mean the ability we saw in Game 7 of the Tampa Bay series, where Andrew Ference's rush broke down the 1-3-1 and set up the winning goal? No, what Tomas Kaberle added to this team was an out-of-shape finesse player with a regular-season game and a battle level straight out of Switzerland. He added another veteran presence that Claude would be beholden to play despite performance -- and he shoots less than Rondo on the power play. But it's not all bad, Mikey. His gutless turnovers behind his own net succeeded in adding an element of excitement every time the play moves behind Thomas. Given the fact that the B's D-to-D passing in their own zone was putting fans to sleep, that's quite an accomplishment. Kaberle was so bad, it left his D partner, the since-superhuman Denis Seidenberg, with a minus-4 rating after the first two games against the Habs. Last night he was on for 4:03 of power play ice time with no results.And before anyone points to his eight postseason points, Kaberle's eight helpers this postseason are of the secondary variety with the exception of one. This deal has been gnawing away at me since the trade deadline and Chiarelli's defense of it makes it even worse. One of the reasons why this team has done so well this postseason is that the Kelly and Peverley additions not only added depth, but their style of play suited Claude's system perfectly. So why overplay for the hockey equivalent of a one-tool player when the coach has no clue how to use it? A player that would have every weakness in his game exacerbated in the playoffs? There is no defending this deal. There is no way you ship a first, a top prospect and a second for a guy who is so flawed that, even strength, he's playing 100 minutes less than your third and fourth defensemen. Johnny Boychuck might not even be on the ice to make that mistake last night if Chiarelli got a defenseman that offered more resistance than the Pike EZ-Pass lane and Chara might not be suffering from exhaustion. Like I said before, I am begging to be wrong. I hope Kaberle channels Brian Leetch and the B's hoist the Cup. But there is no way that Mr. Magoo can piss in our faces and tell us it's raining in the wake of this trade and the power play's complete ineptitude. MikeAttleboro

Cant argue, of course. I would just add: What about the coach that keeps putting him out there? Just look at the power-play numbers. At the time they traded for him on Feb. 18, the Bruins power play was hitting at a rate of 18 percent. Since the trade, including playoffs, the man advantage is clicking at over 9 percent. Kaberle has cut the production in half. The sample size is now over 3 12 months long and still the Bruins continue to give Kaberle big power-play minutes. It never changes. Night after night. At what point are they going to acknowledge its not working? Ever?

Mike,You've suggested that Jacobs deserves credit for the recent change in direction contributing to the team's recent success, but consider the following:1) Are the Jacobses really interested in winning, or has the recent success of the other three local teams directly impacted their bottom line and put pressure on them to achieve the same success in order to stem the tide of dwindling revenue and be able to compete for local fans' entertainment dollar?2) The salary cap has allows the Jacobses to spend up against it and even go over a bit with long-term IR (e.g. Savard). But given that the Bruins have had the highest average ticket prices in the league for years, does this eally translate into a change of direction, considering that their profit margin is protected, or is it really just lip service recognizing the pressure they're under based upon the performance of the other local teams (see question 1)?I'm hoping that it is a change of direction and the Jacobses are committed to winning for winning's sake. But given how this owner treated the team's fans for decades, I'm not quite ready to give him the benefit of the doubt just yet.JohnLowell

Dont blame you one bit. This is Jacobs bed, and he has to lie in it. The only thing I will say in his favor is that hes done what he said he would do once he got his cap in 2005. Hes spent as much as anyone else in the league. Hes put the pieces in place to make a run at a title. That obviously doesnt erase what happened over the previous 31 years of ownership, but thats the way it stands today.

Felger,You are a total moron. Here's hoping the Bruins lose in FOUR. No more hockey talk. And how about some correct English grammar!!!??? "Tune in and listen to Tony and I?!?!?!?!"You total idiot. Its "ME!!!!" "Tune in and listen to Tony and ME." You are a total dummy!!!!! M

That you Dickerson? Tanguay? What's up Max? How you guys enjoying the NBA Finals?

Felgers weekly column appears Mondays. E-mail him HERE and read the mailbag next Friday. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.