Notes: Bruins make Sunday practice a scrimmage

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Notes: Bruins make Sunday practice a scrimmage

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com
WILMINGTON A light day for the Bruins on a rare Sunday morning practice at Ristuccia Arena on the morning after they clinched the Northeast Division titled and dashed the dreams of the Atlanta Thrashers.The Bs held a shinny scrimmage on the ice after dividing up the roster between players with black and white jerseys, and then ended things with a spirited shootout. The White Team ended up winning by a healthy amount, and the highlight during the shootout was Tyler Seguin pointing at Tuukka Rask to call his shot before whistling a puck past his glove hand for the score.That meant the Black Team would be footing the bill for a team lunch once the squad hits the Big Apple after besting the white team in 5-on-5, 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 competition followed by the shootout. Things ended when Daniel Paille fanned on a shootout attempt on Rask, and then flung his stick down the ice in mock anger once his black team had been defeated.The Bs players appreciated the light practice fare chosen by Bs coach Claude Julien before loading up for the short flight to New York City for Monday nights game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Julien talked after Saturdays win about finding the middle ground between working and resting his team prior to the playoffs, and Sunday seemed to have that in mind.It was a tough loss for the Black Team, but well get them next time, said Brad Marchand about the fun-hearted scrimmage. It was a surprise coming in today, but we know we have a lot of work to do still.The coaches know that we know we have to be ready for each and every game, and even if we have a fun day today we have to come to the rink tomorrow prepared to do a job. Its always good of them to give us that scrimmage day, and respect and acknowledge how hard the season has been for us.Every player was accounted for at practice, and it appeared that the Bs managed to leave Saturday afternoons win against the Thrashers with a healthy unit. Shawn Thornton said that the swelling is still traveling through his sinuses from the cut on his forehead, and it didnt look like hed be available Monday night against the Rangers.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

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.