By Joe Haggerty
WILMINGTON, Mass. For those disappointed in the Chris Kelly acquisition, heres a simple couple words of advice: Dont be.The Bruins had an extra second-round pick floating around after trading Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild last season, and it was clear the pick wasnt going to be at the top of the round given Minnesotas surge over the last few months.So the B's dealt their pick and held onto the Wild selection that will be a bit higher in the round, and the Bs have done something to stabilize the third center spot that has been a problem ever since Marc Savard went down for the season with his concussion. Kellys arrival means the Bruins get a little more difficult to play against, and that pieces are being set in motion by Bruins coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli once the former Senators center arrives in the U.S. after work visa issues. Tyler Seguin will see an immediate impact from Kellys arrival, as hes been displaced as the third-line center on the Boston roster, and it appears that the 19-year-old might again be headed to a healthy scratch if things dont change.That leads to Blake Wheeler, who has been discussed in trade talks with several teams and figures to be one of the central pieces moved in a deal for a defenseman now that the Bruins have secured an additional forward. Wheeler hasnt been the same player over the last six weeks after showing some encouraging signs of intermittent physicality and snarl at the beginning of the season, and sources indicate he may be the eventual odd man out of Boston once the Bs make a deal.Either way the Bruins couldnt survive down the stretch and into the playoffs if they were playing with a top three center that they were hesitant to put on the ice, and felt was a defensive and offensive liability when he was out there. That's no fault of a young player trying to figure things out with frenetic NHL action flying all around, but its a reality for a hockey team thats got aspirations to move beyond the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.Kelly isnt the answer, but hes part of solving a problem that needed to be closed before the playoff bullets started flying.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins were supposed to hit the ice for the eighth day in a row on Tuesday following their empty 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon, but those plans were scrubbed.
The reeling Black and Gold instead cancelled practice, with only Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes and Zane McIntyre taking the ice at Warrior Ice Arena and the rest of the B’s hitting the giant reset button after an embarrassing loss.
“I think it’s one of those [things] where you’ve got to regroup and recharge the batteries, and feel better,” said Patrice Bergeron. “Maybe a little bit of fatigue was part of it [Monday vs. the Isles] and you use a day like today to look forward, look at videos and be better the next day. It happens today and we have another game tomorrow [against Detroit].”
While it is true that the Bruins and Winnipeg Jets have played more games than anybody else in the NHL in this wacky season with a condensed schedule, the B’s leaders weren’t having it as an excuse with both the Maple Leafs and Senators holding an incredible six games in hand on Boston. Blown opportunities against bad opponents are exactly the recipe for missing the playoffs, as they have in each of the past two seasons, and the Bruins are tracking to do that again.
“All of the teams are in the same situation. It’s about managing and finding ways to be at your best every night and in every game. Yes, maybe [the condensed schedule] is part of it, but you can’t just put the blame on that. We’re professionals and we need to show up every game.”
The Bruins didn’t show up against the Islanders on Monday afternoon and basically pulled their second no-show vs. the Isles on home ice this season. There’s no excuse for that given the B’s current situation battling for the postseason.
Maybe a day off the ice will improve that situation and maybe it’s simply rewarding a team that didn’t earn it on Monday afternoon, but the B’s have to hope it’s much more of the former than the latter.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while feeling like Felicity Jones could have been a little better on SNL last weekend. It didn’t feel like it was the right platform for her and she was just straight reading the cue cards in her monologue.
*Congrats to the Hershey Bears, who raised over $42,000 for charity with their Empire-inspired Star Wars jerseys from last weekend.
*When Bruins winger Brad Marchand begins to score his value goes way, way up, according to TSN stat maven Scott Cullen.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Harrington wants the Buffalo Sabres to get into “attack mode” rather than the passive mode they’ve been in for some time.
*A discussion about the NHL trade deadline and which players are likely to get moved still weeks and weeks away from that deadline.
*The Winnipeg Jets are searching for answers after another loss, and have called upon Ondrej Pavelec in a move of desperation.
*Funny commercial with Brent Burns and Joe Thornton, who have to be the ultimate bosom, bearded buddies in the NHL.
*For something completely different: as the next Lando, Donald Glover understands why the character is vital to the Star Wars universe.