Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

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Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The Bruins know they need to show a little killer instinct.

The Bs have been up in playoff series before, and theyve finished off the Montreal Canadiens before. But there have been times when theyve been poised to close out teams when it really matters and stumbled badly. They haven't always been able to step on another teams throat and finish them off.

We all realize the importance of that game, and we all have to bring the same mental approach that the Canadiens are going to bring, said Zdeno Chara.

Does the Bruins captain want to avoid a Game 7 situation? He has yet to win a Game 7 in his NHL career.

We have it in our hands, said Chara. The further you go, you know every game is so important. Weve been showing heart all season. We fell behind in the first two games and werent at our best. But we showed some desperation, and most of all youve got to be focused and work very hard.

The Bruins will get their opportunity on Tuesday in Game 6 at the Bell Centre thanks to the Lady Gaga tour barnstorming through Montreal on Monday. The B's know theyll be facing a Habs team backed into a corner fighting for its life. Once again itll be all about getting a quick lead on Montreal early in the game and taking the passionate crowd out of the proceedings.

I think thats been something weve had to really adjust to in this series, is making sure we dont give them an early lead, said coach Claude Julien. But when they are in that situation I think they are playing out of desperation, they are playing for their lives, you have to play that game with determination and thats the difference.

For us its about determination, for them its about desperation and you have to hope that the determination is better than their desperation. Its as simple as that.

The Bruins should be prepared for a team in desperate straits after they were in that position during the first two games of the series, and now one squad is facing elimination for the first time in an entertaining series.

The Bruins continue to be the only team in the playoffs that has yet to scratch out a power-play goal, and they sit 0-for-15 on the man advantage through the first five games while looking for something, anything to build on. Julien and assistant coach Geoff Ward made some adjustments on the PP between Games 3 and 4 when they pushed Patrice Bergeron up close to the net on the first power-play team, but that still hasnt yielded results in the last two games.

At this point the power play is clearly pressing, but theres also a setting reality that the Bs might have to soldier throughout much of the playoffs without a fully functioning special teams. So far there hasnt been much evidence that things will be any different in the immediate future.

The one thing I could tell you about the power play right now is its really, really about our guys are so tense right now, said Julien. They know just as much as you guys know. We know as coaches that our power play has not been up to par this year. The longer it goes, the tougher it gets. Somehow weve got to overcome that.

Weve got to somehow do the simple things and have the confidence to do it. When you see your best players having trouble executing, its pretty clear whats going on. Our job right now has really been to try and get them to relax and play with confidence. You got to play with confidence but you also have to outwork the PK. Somehow we got to create that situation. We are desperately working on that and trying to rectify it because we know its a major issue that we have to overcome.

Julien was asked if hes feeling any sympathy for the Western Conference's top seed Vancouver Canucks as they are will play a do-or-die Game 7 with the No. 8 seed Blackhawks.

Thats a real tough question, sympathy," said Julien. "I think I understand what theyre going through. We lived through it. You watch those games and you see how another team can grab momentum pretty quick and confidence and belief. Its there again this year. Theres an opportunity again to create what happened last year to our team for another team. Whether thats a trend thats going that way now, I dont know. But it certainly shows theres parity in this league and nothing is over until its over.

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

Bruins release complete 2016-17 exhibition schedule

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Bruins release complete 2016-17 exhibition schedule

The Bruins will open training camp on Thursday, Sept. 22, and play their first exhibition game less than a week later, the team announced today.

In addition to releasing the complete exhibition-game schedule, the B's also announced that rookie camp will start on Thursday, Sept. 15.

The exhibition schedule (all home games played at TD Garden):

MONDAY, SEPT. 26 -- vs. Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 28 -- vs. Red Wings, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 30 -- at Red Wings, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCT. 1 -- at Flyers, 7 p.m.
TUESDAY, OCT. 4 -- vs. Canadiens at Quebec City, 7 p.m.
THURSDAY, OCT. 6 -- at Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCT. 8 -- vs. Flyers, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, May 31: Will NHL follow MLB's lead and retire O'Ree's number?

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Tuesday, May 31: Will NHL follow MLB's lead and retire O'Ree's number?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while blaming both the zoo and the parents in Cincinnati. Is it okay to do that, or does everything in life have to be all or nothing?

-- Dan Rosen says Sidney Crosby has a twinkle in his eye as he returns for, and wins, Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

-- Tim Panaccio has a few thoughts on the sad passing of Philadelphia Flyers legend Rick MacLeish at the age of 66.

-- It looks like Ken Hitchcock will be back once again as head coach of the St. Louis Blues despite their fall in the Western Conference Finals.

-- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gives a number of scenarios for potential expansion, including waiting another year before doing anything.

-- A good Players Tribune piece on hockey dad Matt Cullen preparing with the family for the Stanley Cup Finals with the Penguins.

-- Jacques Martin, currently serving as a member of Mike Sullivan's Pittsburgh coaching staff, is appreciating his first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

-- Joel Ward wants to see the NHL retire Willie O’Ree’s No. 22, similar to Jackie Robinson's No. 42 permanently retired by all Major League Baseball teams.

-- Ken Campbell says that the San Jose Sharks won’t be in a panic after dropping Game 1 to the Penguins.

-- So Ulf Samuelsson will be a head coach in the AHL next season for the Charlotte Checkers. Teams might want to stock up on the foil

-- This goal call by Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi for Nick Bonino’s game-winner in Game 1 is pretty damned awesome.

-- For something completely different: Bernie Sanders attending the Warriors/Thunder Game 7 on Monday night, a week before the California primary, might qualify as a savvy political move, but it’s also pretty clear that he's a big basketball fan. Did you see footage of that textbook old-man jump shot while Sanders was waiting for primary results a few months ago? Ball don’t lie.

 

 

Report: Khokhlachev leaves Bruins, signs with Russian team

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Report: Khokhlachev leaves Bruins, signs with Russian team

Another once-valued Boston Bruins asset might be heading out the door with nothing coming back in return.

Russian prospect Alex Khokhlachev has signed a contract with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, according to a report out of Russia. The deal will become official after his entry-level contract with Boston runs out on June 30.

Khokhlachev, 22, was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft and spent the last three seasons as one of the Providence Bruins' leading scorers. In that time he appeared in only nine games in Boston, with no points and a minus-4.

At the start of last season's training camp, Khokhlachev said he’d never been given a legitimate chance by the Bruins at the NHL level. But “Koko” also never exactly crushed his chances in preseason, or during his regular-season stints with the parent club.

The belief is that Khokhlachev’s camp would have rather the Bruins traded him, as his family had settled in the Toronto area over the last few years. But he was, in essence, forced to go to Russia since the Bruins would continue to hold his NHL rights as a restricted free agent.

According to sources close to Khokhlachev, the last straw came when the Bruins signed a European free agent -- 28-year-old Finnish center Joonas Kemppainen -- before last season and gave him more than four months to prove himself at the NHL level. It was the kind of audition that Khokhlachev never felt like he received during his time in the Bruins organization, despite posting 59 goals and 168 points over the last three years in the AHL.

Clearly, there are still questions about whether the 5-foot-10, 181-pound center is a “tweener” -- not big enough or fast enough to score at the NHL level. And it looks like those questions will go unresolved as Khokhlachev returns to Russia for the foreseeable future.