Bruins ready for 'measuring stick' vs. Canucks

Bruins ready for 'measuring stick' vs. Canucks

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com
VANCOUVER The Bruins are finally at Rogers Arena to take on the Vancouver Canucks for their measuring stick game with all of their newly comprised pieces, and see how they stack up against the class of the Western Conference.The Canucks lead the entire NHL with 87 points through 62 games, and have risen to the top out West.The Bruins are 4-7-2 this season against the Western Conference teams and have struggled through the first few months, but it was a different more determined Bs bunch that took the ice earlier this week against the Calgary Flames. Conversely, the Canucks are 10-4-2 against the Eastern Conference this year, so clearly something has to give.The Bruins are hoping that same Black and Gold squad comes out to play against the Canucks on Saturday night.I thought we played a solid game against Calgary. Thats important on the road: a solid game, said Claude Julien. Defensively we were very good and offensively we capitalized on some plays when we had opportunities, and we made some good plays that way.You watch the Canucks play on TV and see how well theyre doing. The fact that you get a chance to measure yourself up against a team right now thats first is a good opportunity to seize. Its going to be a good game, a good challenge and after the game you have a pretty good idea of where you stand.Brad Marchand went through morning skate without a problem at Rogers Arena, and looked 100 percent fine for tonights game against Vancouver after taking a shot off the leg.
His leg seemed okay. I wasnt sure about his hands this morning, said Julien. I asked him that this morning: did you hurt your leg, or your hands? Hes totally fine and ready to go.Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice and looks like hell be getting the start against the Canucks. Thomas is 12-4-3 in his last 19 starts and was one third period goal away from notching a career-best eighth shutout of the season against the Flames. Roberto Luongo was the first goalie off the ice for the Canucks and is having a solid season in Vancouver, though his last win came all the way back on Feb. 19 against the Dallas Stars.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Dupont: If Bruins throw money at Stamkos, they move Krejci

Dupont: If Bruins throw money at Stamkos, they move Krejci

Kevin Paul Dupont joins Michael Felger on Sports Tonight to give his opinion on whether or not the Boston Bruins should sign Steven Stamkos and what other moves could be coming down the road this offseason.

Hayes: 'I know I've got to bounce back and have a strong year'

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Hayes: 'I know I've got to bounce back and have a strong year'

DORCHESTER –Bruins general manager Don Sweeney spoke last weekend of the need for big winger Jimmy Hayes to step up next season if Loui Eriksson should indeed depart via free agency.

“I think Jimmy had a pretty good start to the year, but he really tailed off when the team needed him most. He should take some responsibility for that,” said Sweeney. “We had a pretty frank discussion about that to challenge him to take his game to another level, and be able to help out a younger player. He played a lot with Ryan Spooner.

“I have to put ownership on Jimmy in terms of saying ‘Hey, I have to take more responsibility. It’s not just about finishing and scoring goals.’ He has the capacity to do that. He gets power play time and net-front time, and he needs to get to the hard areas of the ice with more consistency. It’s an area that he needs to continue to improve upon. We as an organization feel that we need to have players that are driven to get better.”

Hayes heard that loud and clear just as he received the same message during exit interviews with the Bruins back in April, and knows that he needs to simply put more into next season.

Hayes’ numbers dropped from the previous season with the Florida Panthers, and he finished with 13 goals, 29 points and a minus-12 while going through long stretches where he completely disappeared on the ice. That’s a difficult thing for a 6-foot-6 forward to do, but Hayes managed while going weeks at a time without scoring and failing to play the big man’s game around the net on most nights.

The 26-year-old Hayes knows that needs to change for both his personal benefit and for the well-being of the Black and Gold this upcoming season.

“It’s definitely something that’s going to motivate me beyond just already motivating myself [this summer]. We had our own discussions [during exit interviews], and I know I’ve got to bounce back and have a strong season,” said Hayes. “I need to make sure I help my team win, and that’s what it’s all about. I want to be consistent and available every night to try get two points for our team, and get us as an organization back where we want to be.

“We just talked about how the season went, and we were really up-front with each other. We just want to continue to get better and more consistent, and get better through the season rather than have these spurts where you’re putting up numbers. And if you’re not scoring then you’ve got to find other ways to help the team win, and get to those areas where you’re going to get rewarded for going to those hard areas on a consistent basis.”

This isn’t the first time that Hayes has said all the right things about turning around his game, and really, truly living up to the hope he could be a big-bodied factor down low for the Black and Gold tipping, redirecting, screening and shoveling home rebounded pucks from areas all around the front of the net.