BOSTON — Good afternoon from TD Garden where tonight the Bruins will look to bounce back after losing two in a row at home when they take on the New Jersey Devils on Military Appreciation Night.
In the last two games, the Bruins have been outscored by a combined score of 5-1 against the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins gave up the first goal of the game on both occasions and tonight they will look to get off to a better start against a struggling Devils squad, who are currently in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with a 5-10-2 record.
“It’s been unacceptable,” said Bruins forward Blake Wheeler about the last two games at the Garden. “I think tonight we got to get on them tonight from the drop of the puck and try to build a lead. We’re tough to play with when we have a lead so if we can get an early goal its going to help us a lot.”
The last time the two teams played was back on October 16th where the Bruins scored four unanswered goals in a 4-1 victory at the Prudential Center (aka the Rock) in Newark. But tonight the Bruins will want to dictate the tempo early and not fall behind in the first few minutes.
“We played them already and it took us awhile to get going,” reflected Bruins head coach Claude Julien about the first meeting between the two teams. “I think right now, no matter who we play, we got to still worry about our game. They do a good job in the neutral zone, but they do a good job in the neutral zone as well.
“We’ve got to focus on moving the puck and moving it with some speed in the neutral zone…and we need to defend the neutral zone as well. We’ve worked on that and we have to be ready to play a tough game here tonight. They’re a team who has good size and they try to wear you down and they try to make you break and when they do then they got you beat.”
Head Shots vs. Cheap Shots?
Late last night, blogger Tyler Dellow of mc79hockey.com posted a series of e-mail conversations between NHL head disciplinary Colin Campbell and others in the NHL front office on former NHL official Dean Warren. While talking about the subject, the e-mails suggest that Cambpell called Bruins forward Marc Savard a “fake artist” during a game back in February of 2007 when his son, Bruins forward Gregory Campbell — who was playing with the Florida Panthers at the time of the incident — was called for a high-sticking penalty.
Dellow’s blog entry (and web site) has since been removed and there’s no word why as of now. But Greg Wyshynski over at Puck Daddy has posted a blog entry detailing the e-mail exchanges on that night back in February of ’07. Of course this has led to some speculation that Colin Campbell has an agenda against Savard (and the Bruins) dating back to when Savvy was a member of the New York Rangers and Campbell was his coach.
The Bruins would not talk about the e-mail exchanges between Campbell and Savard after the skate today, but, Julien went on to talk about the severity of concussions in today’s NHL after the morning skate when asked about the ongoing debate.
“I guess some people would say its because of our style and because of how we play,” said Julien, who has seen the likes of Savard, Patrice Bergeron and now David Krejci injured from a headshot. ”I really think the Bergeron one was, you know, I don’t think there could’ve been any player on any team in that specific situation getting hit like that from behind into the dasher board. I guess anybody would’ve had the same result. Savard is the same to me. He looked the same as the Booth hit last year [from Mike Richards]. Krejci’s hit was a bit of bad luck. We don’t know exactly where it happened, but nonetheless he’s doing much better right now.
“We all talk about it it’s a real touchy subject and I think we’re all unanimously trying to make it better and try to avoid those situations,” Julien continued. “But somehow it’s still in our game and we all hope that someday we can find a solution to really minimize those concussions.”
The headshot debate has been widely talked about for quite sometime in the league and the subject will probably continue to gain steam during the next GM meetings. But one thing is for sure, Colin Campbell’s popularity in Boston has dipped to a new low.
The original post on mc79hockey.com from Dellow is back up and running. Click here to read the original post from last night.