Morning Skate 225: A family affair in Vancouver

Morning Skate 225: A family affair in Vancouver

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comVANCOUVER It was family day at the Pacific Coliseum on Friday morning with friends and family members adorned in Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi jerseys as the Bruins players practiced at the home of the Vancouver Giants.Mark Recchis three brothers have made the trip to Vancouver from their hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia, and Lucics entire family has been around all week given that big No. 17 grew up a five minutes drive away from the East Vancouver rink.In fact between the Pacific Coliseum and the adjacent Agrodome Skating Rink where Lucic first learned how to lace up the skates and get is feet going, the Bs have basically journeyed to the cradle of their power forwards hockey career.Its been enjoyable to watch Lucic handle the adulation and praise from folks around Vancouver that literally tracked his birth and development into a hockey superstar, and the best part comes Saturday night when he gets put his skills on display against the Vancouver Canucks team he grew up worshipping.On to the links:David Perron talks about the concussion thats knocked him out of commission for the majority of this season, and the Vancouver specialist hes hoping will help him as he did teammate Andy McDonald.A look by Yahoo! Sports hockey columnist Nick Cotsonika at the wheeling and dealing going around the NHL this season.The New Jersey Devils have won nine games in a row, and actually pulled themselves into within nine points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Can you believe it?A good look by Pro Hockey Talks Joe Yerdon at the five players still most likely to be moved by the NHL trade deadline on Monday.Phil Kessel looks like hes finally turning the corner for the Maple Leafs, and Mike Zeisberger has the story in the Toronto Sun. I contend that finally doing some damage against the Bruins really opened things up for Phil the Thrill to start really flying for the Leafs.The AHL has turned into the trash compactor where NHL teams dump their unwanted contracts, and where viable NHL players must serve their time for simply flying in the face of the salary cap, the Wall Street Journal reports.A good look by CSNNE.coms Mary Paoletti at the concussion epidemic in pro sports, and where we stand as the numbers keep going up across the spectrum of sports.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.