Notes: Seguin starting to 'get it'

191545.jpg

Notes: Seguin starting to 'get it'

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

UNIONDALE, N.Y. They certainly come from different puck backgrounds with totally different styles, but 22-year-old Brad Marchand and 19-year-old Tyler Seguin will both go into the Bruins record books together.

With Seguin notching his 10th goal and 10th assist in Bostons 6-3 victory over the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, the rookie duo became the first Bs first-year players to pot 10 or more goals in a season since three rookies did it for Boston during the 1992-93 NHL season.

That trio of rookies was the memorable Steve Heinze, Ted Donato and Joey Juneau during the golden era of the modern Bruins, and they also had 26-year-old Dmitri Kvartalnov potting 30 goals in his first season despite being too old to be considered a rookie.

While Marchand has been gaining notoriety for his strong play with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi over the last six weeks, its Seguin thats beginning to earn plaudits from Claude Julien after his recent stretch of games. It appears that Seguin finally gets it, and has ramped up his battling willingness and puck determination while getting involved in 1-on-1 skirmishes all over the ice.

To hear Julien tell it, its not about Seguin running over people or making a bit hit. Thats not it at all. Instead its about the skilled, intelligent young center simply getting in the way, playing aggressive and refusing to give away any puck battles in the priority areas all over the ice.

I thought he played well and skated well. I think hes really starting to get a chance to show us what that talent is all about. I think earlier things werent happening for him offensively for him, and thats what came most naturally to his game, said Julien. Ive said all along this is a young man thats pretty smart and he gets it.

Thats exactly what we talked to him about: take time to make plays and dont get rid of the puck so fast. The most important part of the game that he has is the skill level, and theres the compete level where he needs to go into the corners and come out of battles with the puck. Theres no need to run somebody into the boards because thats not his game. But hes a smart individual and hes figuring it out.

Julien liked what we saw offensively out of his Bruins team, but there were still some defensive miscues that the normally sound Bs dont even come close to making.

I thought we played well offensively, said Julien. Defensively we had some breakdowns. Its been better and the defense was better, but that doesnt get corrected overnight. Thats going to make some, but we just need to keep working on those little things.

The opportunities and the chances that were giving away defensively are things that weve got to correct. Those are the things that are going to help us win some hockey games at the end.

Mark Stuart was a healthy scratch for the Bs after playing well in his last handful of games, and was nowhere to be found in the Bruins locker room after the game was over a set of circumstances that did nothing to cut down speculation Stuart is on the verge of being traded to Chicago.

Its pretty clear the refs are watching the New York Islanders like hawks after the incident between the Isles and the Pens at Nassau Coliseum last week. Michael Haley was chasing Gregory Campbell all over the ice challenging him to a fight to no avail, and Haley ended up getting slapped with a 10-minute misconduct.

Likewise Zenon Konopka got into a first period scrap with Adam McQuaid, and seemed to catch McQuaid squarely in the eye that limited the big defensemans ice time to 38 seconds in the first period. The refs deemed that Konopkas fight was premeditated following Bostons first goal in a futile attempt to win back some momentum for New York.

While Tomas Kaberle isnt a member of the Bruins just yet, check out this list compiled by Elias Sports Bureau: the top power play assist men in the NHL over the last six seasons, and perhaps one or two of the names will surprise you. A hat tip for CSN Producer David Green for emailing this my way earlier this season.

176 Thornton, Joe
163 Crosby, Sidney
157 Kaberle, Tomas
152 Lidstrom, Nicklas
151 Gonchar, Sergei
150 Sedin, Henrik
138 Pronger, Chris
138 Richards, Brad
138 Savard, Marc
131 Datsyuk, Pavel
130 Ovechkin, Alex

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

Thursday, Aug. 25: Nearly two decades later, the Whalers live on

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Thursday, Aug. 25: Nearly two decades later, the Whalers live on

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while in disbelief mode that the summer is almost over.

*Good piece on the remainders of the Hartford Whalers organization in Connecticut trying to keep the dream alive for the Whale.

*Tyler Seguin sits down for a podcast this week that I freely admit I did not have the time to listen to. I wonder if Boston even rated a mention in the conversation?

*Rating the top NHL contracts, according to the fancy stats hockey analysts, sounds like an interesting exercise.

*Tracey Myers has Duncan Keith bowing out of the World Cup of Hockey while recovering from an injury, and getting replaced by Jay Boumeester.

*The “Da Beauty” Hockey League has kept players like Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan McDonagh and David Backes in hockey shape this summer while slowly getting ready for the season.

*The Arizona Coyotes make a historic hire by naming Dawn Braid as skating coach, making her the first female coach in the NHL.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Rich Shirtenlieb guested on the #DORK podcast this week, and it sounds like he didn’t love “Stranger Things.” At the very least he liked “Preacher” better. I thought Preacher was entertaining, but I didn’t even think it was in the same stratosphere as Stranger Things. Rich also has me wanting to watch “It Follows” now, however, after his endorsement.

 

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

It’s no secret Bruins fans are getting fed up with a hockey team in decline, one that’s missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Now there are numbers to prove it.

Channel Media and Market Research, Inc. came out with its annual New England Sports survey,  tabulating responses from over 14,600 polled, and, according to the numbers, the Bruins are dropping in popularity, fan support and faith in the current management group.

The B’s are holding somewhat steady with 16 percent of voters listing them as their “favorite sports team” behind the Patriots (46 percent) and Red Sox (29 percent) while ahead of the Celtics and Revolution. Claude Julien also ranked ahead of John Farrell among the big four teams in the “coaches/manages most admired” category.

But after sitting at a relative high of ranking at 27 percent for “ownership performance” in 2014 -- they year after their trip to the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks -- the Bruins now rank dead last in that category at 2 percent, behind the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and even the Revolution. Ouch, babe.

Also sitting at a lowly 2 percent is Bruins president Cam Neely in the “leadership performance” category. In "management performance," Neely has dropped from a solid 49 percent in 2014 to just 16 percent in this summer’s survey.

So B’s fans are clearly upset with a team that traded away Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, and has featured a decimated defense corps for each of the last two seasons. But do the B’s fans think that things are getting any better with prospects coming down the pipeline?

Not really.

In the “which team has done the best job making its product better.” category, the Patriots (35 percent) and Red Sox (31 percent) were resting at the top, with the Celtics (27 percent) a respectable third. The Bruins limped in at just 4 percent with a fan base that very clearly sees that, on paper, this upcoming season’s club doesn’t appear to be much better than last year's.

On top of that, only 13 percent of those surveyed believe the Bruins have gotten better over the last year, and 52 percent believe they’ve just gotten worse. A lowly 3 percent of those surveyed think the Bruins have the best chance of the five teams to bring a world championship back to Boston; the Patriots (79 percent), Red Sox (11 percent) and Celtics (5 percent) all ranked higher.

Finally, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Hayes were at the top of the list of the Boston athletes “who did not meet expectations” last season. None of that is a surprise, given the state of Boston’s defense along with Hayes’ subpar season.

The good news for the Bruins: They still have a passionate fan base. But they need to start reversing course immediately before they do lasting damage to the B’s brand.

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with the Olympics coming to a close . . .
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke sorts through the aftermath for the Bruins after losing out on Jimmy Vesey

-- Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an interview where he said the Red Wings aren’t Stanley Cup contenders this season. 

-- Related to Holland’s comments, some of the media in Detroit aren’t taking the dose of reality all that well

-- It’s a big season for New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, who will be starring for Team USA on the World Cup team. 

 -- PHT writer Cam Tucker says the Buffalo Sabres still have a strong group of forwards even without Jimmy Vesey.

-- Jamie Benn is giving everything to his Dallas Stars team, and that means that the World Cup of Hockey is taking a backseat
 
-- The Colorado Avalanche are nearing the end of their head coaching search as they look for their replacement for Patrick Roy.
 
-- For something completely different: NBC is making the argument that millenials watched the Olympics, but just not on the traditional formats