Bruins suffering from ‘hangover’

Boston Bruins headshots

The Canadiens are in Boston for their first meeting of the season against the Bruins, and they’ll play again Saturday in Montreal. It’s the first time this season the Canadiens play back-to-back games. Boston hasn’t played since last Saturday.

This is also the first time in 39 years that the Habs will play a Boston team that is defending the Stanley Cup. By contrast, the Canadiens have been champions seven times in that period.

While Montreal fans have obsessively chewed over their team’s slow start, they might be interested to know that after Wednesday’s win over the Flyers, they are tied with the Bruins — and the Islanders — for 12th in the East with six points. The B’s have won one more game than the Habs and have lost five; in addition to their two wins, Canadiens have two points from regulation ties and have lost five in regulation.

For Boston, the new season has brought concerns about a Cup “hangover.”

Two weeks ago, Coach Claude Julien noticed the B’s were not properly focused. “Sometimes you can feel the looseness in the dressing room,” he told reporters after a Thanksgiving/Columbus Day loss to the Avalanche. “This is starting my fifth year, and you kind of learn to read your team better all the time. And tonight I came in and I told my coaches and I even brought that to their attention before the game. I said, ‘You know what, we seem a little loose in here. We might want to focus a little bit better because we’re going to be surprised if we’re not.'”

GM Peter Chiarelli seems a bit miffed at his team’s form as well and isn’t sure what to do about it. “This is a first-time thing for a lot of guys, myself included,’’ Chiarelli told the Boston Globe this week. “I haven’t minded our level of compete; I think it can be better. To me, the common denominator in all this is two things. We’ve had more offensive chances and better quality chances in this first part than we did last year, and we’re not scoring. So that, to me, is a foundation of getting things back, too. When you’re scoring early, you set the tone.

“The second thing is just getting the proper mind frame again. I don’t know how to do that. I think it may be more of a natural process and we’re working on it. This is new to us and I don’t want to overreact. Unfortunately we have to do it game by game for now.

“I’ve talked to GMs, coaches, and players who have been through this,’’ he continued. “These guys have different stories but they all say there is something that happens that you can’t avoid. ‘Malaise’ is too strong a word, but it’s just a bit of a cloud right now. One team said it was 20 games before it was back to normal. There’s no easy answer. We’ve just got to deal with it….At some point, if I don’t like the way things are going, I’ll have to do something.’’

Right now, he’s doing little more than watch. The Bruins have allowed the first goal in each of the last six games. They’ve scored only 19 goals in eight games, but that’s the same number they’ve surrendered. They haven’t had a lot of attacking zone time, but more one-and-dones. “So far,” Fluto Shinzawa of The Globe observed, “the Bruins haven’t ramped up their in-zone cycling game, which emphasizes placing pucks behind defensemen, establishing the forecheck, and putting consecutive shots on goal.”

Some in Boston hope that a visit from the Habs will cure the hangover. Julien doesn’t seem among them. “Montreal is a great rivalry,” he said on Thursday. “But for me, it doesn’t matter who comes in. We just have to understand that we have to get ourselves winning on a more consistent basis and it’s as simple as that. It’s more about looking at ourselves than looking at the opponent. I know it sounds cliche, but that’s what it is. For us, whoever we play, we have to have that sense of urgency that will allow us to get ourselves back on track and back to the team everyone thinks we should be.”

His personnel hasn’t dramatically changed from the one the Habs met in the first round last spring. Tomas Kaberle and two former Habs, Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder, have moved on. To replace them, Tyler Seguin has gotten more work, Chiarelli traded for Joe Corvo and signed another former Hab, Benoit Pouliot (pictured above). Seguin leads the B’s with 3 goals, 6 assists and a plus-7, Corvo has 3 assists and is a minus-4. Pouliot is scoreless in seven games and is minus-2.

Who’s hot for the B’s? Besides Seguin, Milan Lucic — who was largely invisible in the first six games — broke out last Thursday with a goal and two assists against Toronto, followed by a goal and assist Saturday against the Sharks.

Who’s not hot? In addition to Pouliot, Brad Marchand has no points in his last four games and is minus-2.

The remaining cast are the B’s you know and, er, love.

Jordan Caron/Benoit Pouliot, David Krejci, Nathan Horton
Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly, Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg, Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference, Steve Kampfer

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

49 Comments

  1. Neutral says:

    everything seems rosy today. wait till tomorrow should they lose.

  2. Tony McLean says:

    Can’t wait to see Blunden ‘bothering’ FrankenChara. Happy Hallowee’en you dirty freak.
    ——————————–
    “Bill 101 is garbage.” – Ted Tilden

    • Chorske says:

      Because somehow magically Chara is going to be intimidated by someone who is 6’3″? Really?

    • Neutral says:

      not too many out there is gonna intimidate big chara – I don’t like the way he plays but he can put on the hurt when he want’s to. yes it was dirty what he did to max but hockey players have long memories the incident in boston started it and chara wanted to even it up, the only thing wrong chara went overboard in a dirty way. with his size he could have made max pay without been dirty.

  3. Timo says:

    So… PG has expressed a vote of confidence for JM. Does it mean they both won’t survive this week?

    One can only dream… one can only dream.

  4. Funny how all the naysayers jump back into the shark tank with one win against a disheartened, depleated Flyers team. Folks, nothing has changed. The scapegoat firing still leaves PG in firm control and JM leading this team into the well with nowhere to go but indifference. Molson has to get the message from the fans that we’ve had enough of mediocrity, trading away our great prospects for a few aging players and filling in the holes strategy. We hope that Max-pac will stay healthy, but is that all we have. Run this team like a true championship prospect and fans might not be duped for the 19th season. I still ask the question, doesn’t Molson want to win the cup? We may have ha a dynasty, but in this 30 team league, we are middling at best because of the French requirement at coaching which is why Montreal is NOT a true sports city. I’ve lived in New York for over 18 years now and that is a sports city. No props to losing teams. No favors. The Yankees damn well better win or the fans start throwing molotovs. So why are Montreal fans quick to boo but do nothing else? No question it is nearly impossible to build a team a la 1970’s Lafleur led, but come on, switching up lines like a juggling act? If you can’t see the skill in front of you, leave (JM). Just watch what happens next and those of you who know what I’m talking about (losing to middling teams, getting up for stronger teams, fading out after the first half of a game, disorganization, stifling skill and flair a la PK) will remind themselves that once a team has exhibited a coach that plays a trapping system that cannot win with the D-men and short circuited offense that we have, what are the prospects for the next 10 years under PG. I for one am sick of it and am sorry they won so convincingly (sorry Max and Carey) because that takes most of the pressure off of PG and JM.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

  5. CanadienBoy says:

    It about time to have some grit behind the bench move over Martin
    let real hockey players talk to the boys how it done

  6. Timo says:

    Here is to hoping Chara’s career ends tonight.

  7. CHimbote says:

    I want to see EMELIN tonight or we will be watching Lucic destroying our little Swiss Dmen.

    Go Habss Go

  8. habfab14120 says:

    I know that it probably had nothing to do with the choice of number, but since I first saw him in a B’s uni, I wondered how Lurch felt about Benny’s 67.

    • slychard says:

      67. 10. 9. 99. 66…It don’t matter what number he wears. by this time next year he’ll be lucky if he can get a semi-pro contract in Germany.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      The HABelicious HABe (pr. babe) leaned forward and told the bruins fan; “Kiss my HABS!” He took one look at her displayed HABS and realized her HABS were indeed quite kissable, as opposed to his Big Bud ugly Bruinettes with their hair teased sky-high and excessive make-up. A tear ran down his cheek knowing her suggestion was a tease so he did what any red blooded man could do, he converted to HABSnation. All is well.

  9. Old Bald Bird says:

    Those were two great periods after an abysmal first period. Props to Cole whose drawing of the late first period penalty turned the game around. I still want to see see Yemelin in the lineup. If we lose this guy after waiting for so many years, I’ll not be happy.

  10. slychard says:

    For a guy with a bad wrist he sure put in a great performance, maybe if we mess up his other wrist he’ll score 4 in Boston tonight. Can’t wait to see the “classy” bruins fan’s reaction to Pacman.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The HABelicious HABe (pr. babe) leaned forward and told the bruins fan; “Kiss my HABS!” He took one look at her displayed HABS and realized her HABS were indeed quite kissable, as opposed to his Big Bud ugly Bruinettes with their hair teased sky-high and excessive make-up. A tear ran down his cheek knowing her suggestion was a tease so he did what any red blooded man could do, he converted to HABSnation. All is well.

  11. Habsrule1 says:

    Hey guys,
    Good win last night. Now we need to build on it.
    Question for the “tank” team of HIO. First, I believe fans of any other city, or even Geoff Molson reading that Habs fans want the team to tank after 8 games would think this site has many mentally challenged posters on it (no offense if any of you actually are mentally challenged (HH)).
    My question is how do we tank? I can only thinkof a couple ways to actually do it:
    1) Lose on purpose
    2) Trade or send our good players to the minors and play almost all AHL’ers
    What else can we do? I think to get a high draft pick, the team has to just be plain bad, play their hearts out and still lose consistently. I don’t think that will happen with this group.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Seguin has already replaced Ryder and can only get better. I still think he’ll outshine Kessel as time goes by (not to mention the added bonus of having Hamilton and Knight).

    Kaberle is in decline and the Bruins were smart to not give him a long term deal. Corvo is a real adventure in his own end but he’s really with the Bruins to prop up the PP, which is why they traded for Kaberle in the first place.

    Recchi is a loss, no doubt about that. The Bruins may not be able to replace him until the trade deadline. A shoutout to Pouliot. Be careful, Jordan Caron just might steal your job by Christmas.

    • slychard says:

      You read like a bruins fan. You know this is a HABS site don’t ya?

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      The HABelicious HABe (pr. babe) leaned forward and told the bruins fan; “Kiss my HABS!” He took one look at her displayed HABS and realized her HABS were indeed quite kissable, as opposed to his Big Bud ugly Bruinettes with their hair teased sky-high and excessive make-up. A tear ran down his cheek knowing her suggestion was a tease so he did what any red blooded man could do, he converted to HABSnation. All is well.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Just studying the enemy. Isn’t that the point of Stu Hackel’s threads?

        • slychard says:

          Yeah….I’m wondering about Stu now.

          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

          The HABelicious HABe (pr. babe) leaned forward and told the bruins fan; “Kiss my HABS!” He took one look at her displayed HABS and realized her HABS were indeed quite kissable, as opposed to his Big Bud ugly Bruinettes with their hair teased sky-high and excessive make-up. A tear ran down his cheek knowing her suggestion was a tease so he did what any red blooded man could do, he converted to HABSnation. All is well.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          THe loss of Recchi in the dressing room could be significant. Whether we like/d him or not he epitomized the classic veteran in the dressing room. That team still has lots of depth and an ape I despise on the Blue Line, but there are lots of attitudes on that team which I suspect Dr. Recchi M.D. was keeping in check.

    • avatar_58 says:

      He doesn’t need to outshine Kessel. They won the cup ergo they won that trade. You think Bruins fans really care about Kessel’s hot streak?

      Only leaf fans care if they ‘won’ or not. Thing is no one really cares if they also don’t win a cup

  13. piper says:

    loved how Max steps in and shows Plec how to bury those rebounds.

  14. cuzzie says:

    PG says“This is just one move that starts right away and the big picture of trying to function differently,” he said. “Like I told the players earlier, this is not a reflection on Mr. Pearn’s job and it’s not this action that’s going to change anything. But over time, we’re going to function more efficiently. We’re going to function out of the box a little bit more than we have. This is one thing that’s part of that change.” When has PG functioned outside the box?

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    So Carey Price says MaxPac has some big nuts, don’t think I’ll touch that one or those, but will say MaxPac is an Xman.

    • savethepuck says:

      The quote was actually “lotta guts, big nuts”. He’s a poet too, and I didn’t think it was a cliche.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  16. HabFanSince72 says:

    Ain’t no hangover. The Bruins are by any measure the worst Cup winner of all time.

    They are the same bunch of thugs with a hopeless coach, except now the league isn’t desperately trying to get them a Stanley Cup.

  17. jonnyp says:

    Any word on markov or Gomez returns????

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So Gauthier mentioned Markov could or should or would be on the ice next week. Assuming that will be the start of his training camp. Have to believe that at best he is 3 weeks away.

      But the Markov updates are starting to sound like groundhog day.

      • mongoose says:

        I wish we would just be told the truth on the Markov situation enough of Gauthiers cloak and dagger routine its getting old.

        Toronto Maple leaf fans and ignorance walk hand in hand in the land of stupidity

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I want to hear sometime this week… Gomez sent to minors. I don’t want him around the youngsters anymore. Pay attention captain Gionta.

      @jimlaplante

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Will my Bulldogs ticket prices rise substantially when Gomez is playing in the Hammer? Maybe he will need to be billeted, I could rent him a room in the quaint city of BUrlington on the edges of Hamilton. What do you think $2,500 per month and an extra $500 if he uses the hot tub.

  18. j2w4habs25 says:

    GO HABS GO

    Carey Price #31

  19. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Pouliot looks un- comfortable in that ridiculous nightgown.

    • slychard says:

      LOL

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      The HABelicious HABe (pr. babe) leaned forward and told the bruins fan; “Kiss my HABS!” He took one look at her displayed HABS and realized her HABS were indeed quite kissable, as opposed to his Big Bud ugly Bruinettes with their hair teased sky-high and excessive make-up. A tear ran down his cheek knowing her suggestion was a tease so he did what any red blooded man could do, he converted to HABSnation. All is well.

    • Habinator says:

      Yeah, just like the rest of them

      Habinator

  20. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Great update Stu! Know your enemy!

  21. jpsh34 says:

    Kinda missing the point of that statement don’t you think? They are clearly talking about they’re play not there current standings!

  22. HabComplex says:

    They just want a % of people that would actually say something like that, and magically make $ with the info.


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