Category Archives: Bruin Strategy
One Natural Goal Scorer, Please
The reason for keeping Tyler Seguin out of the lineup was his tendency to make bad judgments, due to inexperience, and turnovers. Of course that’s what everyone else on the Boston Bruins has been doing in Games 1 and 2. What would have been lost if he were to have been added to the lineup then? Nothing. What would have been gained? Maybe a goal. This quickly occurred to me after observing the team’s performance in the first period of Game 2. So it should have occurred to Julien sooner than that.
There was no good reason to keep Seguin out of the lineup. He would at least have brought speed and one natural goal scorer to this team. One natural goal scorer would have tied up the first game and very possibly provided the confidence needed to win the second.
Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but dressing Seguin in Game 2 was a real possibility after observing the team’s performance in Game 1. No, he won’t be the Bruins’ savior (this kind of talk has been flooding the media and is absurd), but at this point, the Bruins can only benefit from his presence.
Analysis by BruinsUnite
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was hospitalized last night for dehydration, the team announced this morning. “As of Saturday, he was being evaluated by the team’s medical staff” but Coach Claude Julien said today that he expects Chara to be in the lineup for tonight’s Game 2. (WEEI)
“Chara had five shots on goal in 25:06 of ice time in Thursday’s Game 1” and was arguably the only player apart from Brad Marchand who was psychologically present for Game 1. Chara was on his game and performed according to the usual expectations, which are quite high.
Game 1 Performances: Carey Price not a Major Factor
Brad Marchand played, well, just like Brad Marchand. He’s fast, intelligent in his decision-making, plays with the physicality of player twice his size and does his best to draw penalties. All that is enough to get the job done–in the regular season. Let’s hope the same will hold true in the post season.
In contrast with the performance of the rest of his team, Marchand was the highlight of the night for many Bruins fans.
On the D side of things, the essential components that Chara brings are sometimes overlooked in a fast-paced game in which the fans are focused on the next much-needed goal. But this analyst counted approximately 4 excellent Montreal opportunities directly shut down by Zdeno Chara Thursday. Were it not for Chara Thursday, the game could easily have ended 6 – 0. Read the rest of this entry
Analysis by BruinsUnite
As Douglas Flynn at NESN reports, things are going to be getting a little weird after this first week of playoff activity because after Thursday’s Game 1, Saturday’s Game 2, and Monday’s Game 3 in Montreal, “the clubs have to wait until next Thursday for the second game in Montreal, with Game 4 pushed back a day because the Bell Centre is occupied on Wednesday for a Rush concert.”
The strange scheduling situation might be indicative of a hidden layer in this program, or it might just be a pleasant coincidence for the Canadiens. If foul play has occurred, the greatest beneficiaries will be already hurting investors with a great deal to lose if the Habs go down. This will be revealed in what follows.
First, let’s look at the weird series of Bell Center events that lie ahead.
Playoff Schedule Weirdness
You would think that the Bell Center is more than capable of scheduling a Rush and Lady Gaga concert around its all-important hockey team. Maybe that’s exactly what Geoff Molson has done. Read the rest of this entry
The Montreal Canadiens had the best of the Boston Bruins during the National Hockey League’s regular season, but Don Cherry doesn’t believe that trend will continue in the playoffs.
The two Original Six rivals open their best-of-seven playoff series Thursday night in Boston. Montreal won four of the six regular-season meetings between the two but the colourful and outspoken host of CBC’s Coach’s Corner believes injuries on defence will be the Canadiens’ downfall against the Bruins.
“They (Canadiens) are not the same team without Josh Gorges and (Andrei) Markov,” Cherry said during an NHL conference call Monday afternoon. “That’s a big killer to them right off the bat.” Read the rest of this entry
Analysis by BruinsUnite
When we listen to a post-game analysis from a coach, we want to hear something we didn’t already know before tuning in. That’s why we’re listening to him, and that’s why he’s the coach.
But this isn’t a realistic expectation when it comes to Claude Julien. It’s frustrating to listen to him and it feels like the fans are being cheated. We want the complete experience and we’re not getting it. We pay a pretty penny to attend games and to get NESN broadcasts in our area. So when the game is over, we want to hear the coach say something intelligible. If they want to raise concession prices and sell playoff tickets, one thing they can do is to stop insulting our intelligence.
Julien will say things like “we didn’t have a good start” when the team doesn’t have a good start and “it just wasn’t there” when the energy just wasn’t there. We can get that from watching the game. As I listen to those words, I realize that’s 5 seconds of my day that I’ll never get back. Julien speaks like it’s our pleasure and a luxury to listen to him, and proceeds as though his only real media obligation is to show up and be seen. Well it’s not. The obligation is to communicate.
Let us be fair, however. Last night, he actually communicated for a brief moment, saying:
We gave them the first two goals. I don’t think they had to work very hard for those. The first one, the player comes out of the corner and takes a whack at the loose puck. We should have taken care of that. The second one, we leave a player behind us all by himself. It’s not like they had to work for those two goals in our mind, and it set us back. It’s important here to have good starts and we didn’t have a good start with those first two goals.
So what happened after the first period? Why didn’t the coach walk into the dressing room with authority and find a way to have instill some confidence in his team? A valid question.
I felt the players’ mood tonight from the first moments at warm-up. They crawled onto the ice with their heads down and backs arched, lacking their usual conviction. I foresaw a loss and suddenly wished I hadn’t worn my jersey to the Bell Center. But it was too late. I had been spotted, and heckled at least a dozen times before even finding my way to my seat. That is not an exaggeration.
When asked why he put Rask in net, Julien appealed to statistics, claiming that “Timmy against this team probably has the worst goals average than against any other team.” This is a ludicrous reason to start Rask, who had only played 5 games in the past month. Psychologically, this team needed a win against Montreal and everyone knew it. Did Julien? Maybe he did and was reluctant to tell us his actual reasons for starting Rask. No communication. Perhaps we don’t deserve to hear the truth. And perhaps the Bruins don’t deserve our playoff ticket money.
Julien added: “We felt it was a chance for Tuukka, after winning four in a row, for him to step up and give us an opportunity here. We made that decision and felt comfortable with it and we’ll live with it.” Well this loss isn’t going to be easy for Julien’s team to live with and it’s not going to be easy for Rask to shake it off. No one will be comfortable with what happened last night and the decision to start Rask was wrong. We all know it. Did Julien?
We also know that Julien has committed some serious blunders throughout this season and the last, like consistently putting Blake Wheeler on the powerplay and saving his time-outs like each one could be his last. But the most serious issue here is the powerplay itself. With the talent on the current roster, there is no excuse for the Bruins’ performance. Clearly, the players need guidance and that comes from the coach. Julien might not be in charge of poweplay logistics in this organization but he is in charge of this team. Things have to change very quickly, before the playoffs begin, and something tells me the problem isn’t with the players. An organization that cannot benefit on the powerplay from Kaberle’s presence is an organization that’s not working.