Morning Skate 519: Julien sick of 'mind games'

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Morning Skate 519: Julien sick of 'mind games'

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher told reporters Thursday morning that the Bolts underestimated the speed of Tyler Seguin, and based on that the calculated Boucher decided the 19-year-old rookie would receive the verbal bouquets that the Tampa coach had been saving for Tim Thomas during the balance of the series. Heres the Boucher quote about Seguin, which Claude Julien took umbrage with as mind games when he was apprised of the comments later on at his portion of the press conference: The first two games it's clear," Boucher said. "I think the players and everybody underestimated his speed. That's the main thing. His speed is obviously a weapon for him and for his team. Being a young guy, having success right away certainly takes a lot of nervousness away. For us we know that he's going to be on the ice and we have to be able to keep on him.Julien has heard Boucher call Thomas an enigma and now wax poetic about Seguins skating speed, and the peeved Bs coach said its about time for the Tampa coach to start complimenting his own talented bunch of skaters.Tampa has been very good at complimenting our team," Julien said. "They do a really good job of that. I think Tampa has got some pretty good speed themselves, St. Louis and those kinds of guys Stamkos. They've got the same kind of players. So my answer to that would be I think they're pretty well served on their side. I don't think they're worried so much about Tyler more than they want to flatter him. We know that there are the mind games that teams play, and right now we're just focusing on what we have to do here. If anything, I would be more tempted if I were Boucher to compliment my own players such as St. Louis and those guys that are just as good as Seguin when it comes to speed. The Sports Hub 98.5 sports talkers Gresh and Zo wonder why there are so many complaints about a Bruins coach that has his hockey team within three wins of the Stanley Cup Finals. A great Inside Hockey piece by CBCs Elliotte Friedman on the University of Vermont connection between Tim Thomas and Marty St. Louis. The shots of Thomas and St. Louis as collegians are fun to watch. Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox chats with Hall of FameBruins goaltender Gerry Cheevers after heart bypass surgery administered after a routine check-up for a knee procedure. Barstool Sports puts a hammering on the Bruins market department for pulling a group of clever signs around TD Garden that poked fun at Tampa Bay Lightning hockey fans. Ive heard the back story on this and understand why the Bruins opted to go that route. Lets just say the Tampa radio personality and his listeners set a new standard for the dregs of society. Chris Botte has a good take on what the New York Islanders should do with Evgeni Nabokov as the player and team sit at a standstill with no easy solution. Bruins legend Terry OReilly chats with XM Home Ice about the BruinsLightning series, playing for Don Cherry and what it was like watching the 1972 Stanley Cup team as one of their Black Aces in the stands. Justin Bourne weights in on Ben Eager losing his mind against the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Finals, and what it all means. Bourne, as usual, thinks it out beautifully. FOH (Friend of Haggs) and Yahoo! Sports hockey blogger Puck Daddy has the story of how Tyler Seguin saved the bacon of sports gear company Under Armour during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.