Notes: Savard not in Boston for Games 3 and 4

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Notes: Savard not in Boston for Games 3 and 4

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- There was a report in the Boston Herald two days ago that Marc Savard would be attending Games 3 and 4 at the Garden in his first visit back to Boston since announcing he was going to sit out the rest of the season.

But a team source checked in with CSNNE.com on Wednesday and said Savard was not in Boston and not coming down for either of the games.

The Bs center is still battling the post-concussion syndrome symptoms that have plagued him since his latest head injury suffered in Colorado. He's hopeful he can make it to Boston during this postseason run if the team keeps on winning.

Coach Claude Julien felt like hes seen some good things recently out of Milan Lucic, who's searching to break out of his 20-game goal-scoring drought. Even though the goals aren't coming there are plenty of plays being made by Lucic in the offensive end, but they are passes leading to goals rather than the lamp-lighters themselves because the defenses are paying so much attention to No. 17,

I liked watching his game in Game 3, said Julien on Lucic. He was a much better player, he was skating better, he was physical and made some plays. In practice he's really coming around, and sooner or later youre going to see him contribute on the score sheet.

Shane Hnidy played less than three minutes in Game 3, and Julien said that, because of power plays and special teams, Hnidy wasn't needed any more than that. With McQuaid very unlikely to play on Friday, count on Hnidy to play at least a slightly bigger role in the Bs defensemen corps.

He was ready to go and he still is ready to go, Julien said. We have confidence in him, but we also understand the fact that he hasnt played much this year because of injury. Right now the guys we have in our lineup are capable of sharing our ice time.

The talk of the day Thursday, obviously. about the Bs being up 3-0 in the series against the Flyers and sitting on the precipice of an Eastern Conference finals berth, just as they were last season before the roof caved in on them. Julein and his players are all holding firm to turning the page on last year and focusing on winning one more game to put down a Philly team thats proven it wont quit.

Right now I like where we are, said Julien. The biggest thing will be putting the past aside and thinking about the present. Living in the moment. Thats what has enabled us to stay focused.

Steve Kampfer practiced with the Bruins for the first time on Thursday in a no-contact session, and is still some time away from being ready for game action.
I think right now he just started skating yesterday for the first time, Julien said. He felt good enough to skate with us today. We had no contact in our drills, so it was a good skate for him. Were moving forward as were being told by our medical staff. Hes looking better every day, so we just have to stay with it. But hes not ready.

Zdeno Chara was given the day off on Thursday after his man-sized Game 3 against the Flyers, which featured a pair of goals and 28-plus minutes of punishing defensive play.

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.