Notes: Bruins fists should get a rest vs. Detroit

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Notes: Bruins fists should get a rest vs. Detroit

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. Those hoping for the Bruins to roll out the fisticuffs and fireworks for this weekends home-and-home series with the Red Wings will be sorely disappointed.

The Bruins lead the NHL with 55 fighting majors this season, but Detroit has the fewest brawls with five fighting majors. The Red Wings dont have much of a fighting component to their game, and are instead looking to play a smooth, transitional game based on special teams and systems play.

That will make it difficult for the Bruins to really let their emotions bubble over or explode as they did against the hated Habs on Wednesday night, and its doubly so with the struggling Red Wings simply looking to get back on the right track.

There was a lot of emotion running there," said coach Claude Julien. "The Big Bad Bruins are often pointed at as being the Big Bad Bruins, but its pretty obvious that it takes someone to stir the pot as well.

"Milan Lucics penalty was retaliation after taking two shots to the back by Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Im not sure its being viewed that way. Same thing with Gregory Campbell fighting Tom Pyatt, but Pyatt threw the first punch.

I couldnt care about any of that except that our guys stood up for each other and that we played to our strengths. We did both of those things Wednesday night.

The Bs will get an excellent test this weekend when they play the Wings at TD Garden in a rare Friday night game the first Friday night NHL game in Boston in more than 20 years (the Celtics normally play on Fridays, but their game against the Lakers was switched to Thursday for national television) and then travel to Detroit on Sunday for the home-and-home rematch.

The Wings are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are hitting their first real rough patch of the season despite the return of Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup last week. But the Bruins have struggled all season against the Western Conference teams and dont seem to have a strong answer for NHL teams they dont play against very often.

You dont see them that often, but we know what theyre all about and what theyre capable of doing, said Julien. I do know that theyve been very unhappy with the way theyre playing and theyll be coming at us with their best on Friday.

Its a team with a lot of experience and a lot of guys that have won Stanley Cups, and for us its one of those games where were going to have play with a lot of energy and play really smart if we want to be successful.

Irish Micky Ward, the decorated boxer from Lowell that recently had the Academy Award nominated film The Fighter made about his life story, will drop the ceremonial puck before the BruinsRed Wings game on Friday night at TD Garden.

Ward won three New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He started off 14-0 in his professional career and retired with a 38-13 pro record, having captured both the WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title. He was involved in Ring Magazines Fight of the Year three consecutive years from 2001-03 for his bouts with Emanuel Burton (2001), Arturo Gatti (2002) and Arturo Gatti again in 2003. His first battle with Gatti has been hailed by many boxing fans and experts as the Fight of the Century and Round 9 of that fight has been labeled the Round of the Century.

Julien said none of the Bruins were in danger of suspensions or supplementary discipline as a result of the 187 penalty minute extravaganza Wednesday night against the Canadiens.

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

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

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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.

 

Haggerty: Trouba deal is one Bruins need to get done

Haggerty: Trouba deal is one Bruins need to get done

Bruins management has been in a holding pattern waiting for something to “shake free” in the top-four defensemen department and that might have finally happened this weekend.

With the news on Saturday that Jacob Trouba won’t be reporting to training camp with the Winnipeg Jets and has asked for a trade, a player is becoming available that the Black and Gold have had their eyes on for months and months.

CSN was the first to report that the Bruins were putting together a plan for an offer sheet for the 22-year-old American-born defenseman back in June, but that never materialized. GM Don Sweeney eventually backed off that aggressive plan to nab a player they have tapped as a top-four, right-shot defenseman, but clearly there is still interest from a Boston team that literally did nothing to upgrade their back end over the summer.

Cam Neely admitted to CSN a couple of weeks ago that the Bruins were still positioned to make a move for a D-man if something opened up on the market.

“Basically from April to now everybody is talking about our back end, and not being able to land a top-four defenseman. We still have an opportunity as far as cap space goes if something shakes free, and I know Don [Sweeney] has been working hard trying to do something,” said Neely. “But I feel like as a group we can do better than we did last year.

“I think Tuukka [Rask] can play better than he did last year. If that happens we should be a better club. It’s going to be a challenge and it’s going to be competitive. But I feel like the changes we’ve made through the organization, and not just in player personnel, that there’s opportunity for our group to improve.”

Well, here’s a memo for the B’s brass on Causeway Street: things just opened up as high and wide as a vintage Rich Peverley shot off the high glass. The ninth overall pick in the 2012 draft is going to be made available and will undoubtedly be the best defenseman to move in trade between now and the start of the regular season.

He’d also go a long way toward providing the B’s with the kind of bridge D-man that could improve markedly in the present, and allow the back end to be much closer to good until young defenesmen Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon and Brandon Carlo are ready for prime time.

This Saturday night statement from agent Kurt Overhardt explains the situation succinctly, but basically Trouba doesn’t want wind his career away stuck behind Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers on the right side of Winnipeg’s defense.

“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter,” said Overhardt in the statement. “There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.

“To the Jets credit, the club has two outstanding right shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties’ best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade.

Our client has nothing but respect for the people and City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jets, its fans, management and ownership - our desire to get him moved has everything to do with opportunity. We will continue to work with the Jets in good faith to achieve this end.”

Clearly, Trouba will draw big interest around the league: he’s a 6-foot-1, 200-pound, right-shot defenseman who posted 10 goals and 29 points in his rookie season as a teenager and has averaged more than 22 minutes of ice time per game since entering the league. 

This is yet another chance for Sweeney and Co. to close a deal on a defenseman and finally start to address some of the damage done while shipping away Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton in successive years. It will undoubtedly cost a pretty penny in terms of assets, but there has to be a reason why Sweeney has been stockpiling centers headed into training camp.

A package of Ryan Spooner, Joe Morrow and a first-round pick would be considerable, but it also might not be enough to get a deal done for a high-demand talent in Trouba. Undoubtedly the Jets would also for a blue chip D-man prospect such as Carlo, or perhaps they’d be more interested in  veteran right-shot option Adam McQuaid, who could immediately replace Trouba in the Winnipeg lineup.

The worst-case scenario is Kevin Cheveldayoff taking a page from the Kevin Shattenkirk trade talks, and both starting and ending any conversations with David Pastrnak as the main trade chip. The Bruins have made it clear they’re done “sprinkling their talent around the rest of the league” as one B’s front office exec made clear to CSN.   

The bottom line: it’s not going to be easy, but this is exactly the kind of situation where Sweeney needs to become a closer rather than a lamenter who starts an explanation with “price are high” or “it takes two to tango.”

It takes a good manager to close a deal his team desperately needs. This Trouba situation is shaping up to provide the B’s with that opportunity.