Haggerty: Bruins find nothing positive in performance


Haggerty: Bruins find nothing positive in performance

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON If the Bruins wanted to look more like they were chasing the Red Wings around for autographs rather than attempting to play the game of hockey, then they accomplished their goal.

The Bs captured the triple crown of crap in a bogus, effortless 6-1 loss to the legendary Red Wings at TD Garden, and showed exactly why they dont play too many Friday night games at home.

They couldnt score with the puck. They couldnt take the puck away from the fleet, finesse group of Red Wings players. They couldnt keep the Red Wings from putting pucks into their own net.

When all three of those things are going on for a hockey team, thats a sign that dead hockey team skating has taken the ice and thats exactly what the Bruins were on this night.

Well I think you can see tonight they just outplayed us, admitted David Krejci after the loss without any attempt to pretty up the pig of a game they just played. They were just playing another level of hockey today and we just couldnt keep up with them.

But we played bad. Its not like we played good and they just outplayed us. If we play our game, like weve played in the last couple weeks, but we didnt.

Its pretty easy to start counting the ways on this dog of a hockey game, and it all started with Tuukka Rask between the pipes. The Finnish goalie was pulled from a loss to the Buffalo Sabres on New Years Day that didnt seem deserved at the time, and still doesnt upon further review.

But Rask allowed a soft goal to his short side off the stick of Todd Bertuzzi just 70 seconds into the game, and that was symbolic of the impotent brand of hockey that was going to follow.

Rask saw defensive breakdowns in front of him as the Wings simply played keep away from the Bs defenders in their puck possession style, and he also had three different goals hed certainly like to have another crack at stopping.

In all, Rask allowed five goals on 19 shots, and was all kinds of ready to move on after the defeat that dropped him to 5-11-1 on the season.

They come and first two shots are goals, said Rask flatly. Thats something that should never happen when you think about it as a goalie.

Im not going to start analyzing whether I should have been pulled. I thought I deserved to get pulled. I didnt play to my level today.

Rask wasnt the only one, however. There were plenty of Bruins that didnt play to their level.

The normally excellent, grinding line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi couldnt get their tired legs up to speed, and watched as the Detroit Red Wings simply played games with them all night while skating circles around them. The trio finished with a very uncharacteristic minus-9 and had no answers for the Daniel Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg line that scored at will against the Black and Gold.

Marchand seemed to understand just how badly his line was performing on the night, and attempted to drop the gloves with a completely disinterested Patrick Eaves in the third period but by then it was way too late and the Bs couldnt even make a third period statement toward their game Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

It seemed to everyone watching that the Red Wings dictated their finesse, puck control and power play style of play to perfection against the Bruins, but credit the team leaders with acknowledging that they never even got started against the Winged Wheels.

It was obvious, and it was admitted.

They played their game, but we werent even close to half of what we could play, said Bergeron. Yes, they played well but we beat ourselves as well. Like I said, we were watching the whole game.

Several Bruins players have in the past admitted that the best approach to counteracting Bostons size, strength and toughness is to simply let them sleep and not do anything to stir them up and thats exactly what the least controversial team in the NHL did with a no fight, no frills dissection of the Bruins.

For the Bs to taste success in Detroit they quite simply need to wake up, hit a few people, separate a few players from pucks and make things a lot more uncomfortable for big hockey names like Zetterberg, Lidstrom and Holmstrom that tore them apart on their own home ice.

Itll be interesting. Interesting to see how we respond, said Tim Thomas. Weve always responded well in the past to these types of challenges. Id imagine Sunday were looking to get a modicum of respect back, from the Red Wings, too.

Probably the way we played tonight, they dont have too high of an opinion of our game either.

Thomas is right that the Bruins have responded more often that not to these kinds of situations this season, and responded with vigor.

That will have to be the case again Sunday afternoon in Detroit before a national audience on NBC, or they could undo a lot of good things the Bs have cobbled together over the last six weeks.

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

Carlo, Heinen and DeBrusk highlight young B's lineup for preseason opener


Carlo, Heinen and DeBrusk highlight young B's lineup for preseason opener

The Bruins had already let it be known that Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes wouldn’t be playing Monday night in their preseason opener vs. the Blue Jackets. 

Instead, all three will participate in their first day of training camp practice on Monday morning, and the Bruins will ice a young, prospect-laden group against Columbus at TD Garden.

“[Camp] has been really good,” said assistant coach Jay Pandolfo. “There are a lot of new faces around here, so we’re just getting them to understand how we want to play. I think they did a good job with it and they should be ready to go [against Columbus].”

Here is the lineup of players expected to suit up for Boston’s preseason opener on Monday night: Brandon Carlo, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Jimmy Hayes, Danton Heinen, Anton Khudobin, Sean Kuraly, John-Michael Liles, Zane McIntyre, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Peter Mueller, Riley Nash, Rob O’Gara, Tyler Randell and Jakub Zboril. 

Carlo, Cehlarik, Heinen and DeBrusk are all serious candidates to threaten for an NHL roster spot, and these preseason games will be a big test to see how roster ready they might actually be at their precocious young age.

The Bruins haven’t said when the first cuts of training camp are expected, but one round of early cuts are expected next week perhaps after Wednesday night’s preseason home game against the Detroit Red Wings.

“We’ll see how tomorrow night goes and then make a decision [on a lineup] for Wednesday, but I think we’ll try to give all the guys a pretty good look and go from there,” said Pandolfo. 

Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?


Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what a crap shot this Presidential debate is going to be on Monday night.

*Brett Connolly has hooked on with the Washington Capitals, and the Caps hope they’ve found a “gem” in the former Bruins winger.

*John Tortorella is putting his Blue Jackets through an absolute boot camp thus far in Columbus. Bold strategy…I wonder how this will play out.

*The Pittsburgh Penguins appreciate the gifts of defenseman Kris Letang, even if Team Canada didn’t for the World Cup.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ken Wiebe has the details on Jacob Trouba asking to get moved from the Winnipeg Jets.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Saturday night’s World Cup of Hockey showdown between Russia and Canada as another chapter in the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby rivalry.

*It’s sad to see respected veteran player Clarke MacArthur have to be helped off the ice after a vicious hit in a training camp scrimmage. What a dumb move by a guy that’s never going to crack the Senators roster.

*For something completely different: a good father/son piece on learning to appreciate things that your kids are interested in, and how rewarding it can be in the end.