It's 'looking good' for Chara to play Game 3


It's 'looking good' for Chara to play Game 3

By JoeHaggerty
MONTREAL The Bruins had a bit of good news on Monday morning as Zdeno Chara joined the rest of his teammates for a morning skate at the Bell Centre prior to tonights pivotal Game 3 match. Chara looked a bit more energetic and certainly steadier on his skates than he did in the moments prior to Saturday nights Game 2 at TD Garden, but Claude Julien revealed after practice that the 6-foot-9 defenseman wont be a full go until tonight.The Bruins captain and stalwart defenseman missed Game 2 with severe dehydration stemming from a bug," according to Mark Recchi, that crept up on him at the end of last week and caused him to be hospitalized following practice on Friday. The Bs coach wouldnt guarantee hell be in the lineup for Game 3 after missing Game 2, but Chara certainly looked like he was ready to play this morning.His teammates could use him as the rest of the defensemen corps looked as organized as an elementary school fire drill during the opening minutes of Game 2 at TD Garden, and couldnt combat Montreals speed with anything approaching defensive resolve.I think hes better, said Julien following a full morning skate for his team. You saw him on the ice this morning. As we speak right now, its looking good. But I cant stand here right now and say hes a definite in.Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice and will get the start against the Canadiens after playing through a subpar Game 2 that included a pair of poor rebound goals.Tyler Seguin was one of the last players off the ice at the Bell Centre during morning skate, and it appears that he wont be getting into Game 3 despite a Boston power play thats been 0-for-7 in the first two games and a player in Michael Ryder who has been little more than luggage on the ice for the Bruins during this postseason.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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


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