More musings on Bruins after collapse to hated Habs


alt="" width="179" height="244" /> Tonight’s Bruins

loss at Montreal was just too putrid to rest after just one post

for the evening, even if it’s a Saturday night and I should just

watch the rest of HNIC and then go to bed. So for those readers

that don’t follow me on Twitter (why don’t you?), here are some

more points of disgust I’d like to make:

•If the recent benchings of Marc Savard and Nathan Horton

weren’t enough to get some players to play every shift like it

could be their last and have an ounce of killer instinct, what

will? That Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler both took lazy stick

penalties in the offensive zone with the game on the line proves

that neither guy has any fear that he could lose ice time or his

lineup spot. That was the fear with these Bruins once they became

cap compliant and it became obvious that making another move would

be difficult. All that competition for jobs the Bruins had in

training camp and early in the season is gone. A deserving player

like Jordan Caron got shipped to the minors and players have been

able to major gaffes without repercussions. •The Savard benching

obviously didn’t work. He coasted through three periods and managed

no shots on goal and lost 67 percent of his draws. He even tried a

wild behind the back pass that deflected out to the point and

easily could’ve turned into an odd-man rush for Montreal. It was

the type of pass a player with Savard’s skills does when he has

completely lost faith in his ability to find an answer to his

struggles. Could a turn in the press box be next for Savard? How

about a shift to the wing? That one worked in overtime against

Philadelphia in Game 1 last spring. The Bruins have to get this

Savard thing worked out. If Savard’s situation wasn’t bad enough,

Monday night he’ll be on the ice against Matt Cooke for the first

time. •I’m the first one to always defend Zdeno Chara against

people’s perception that he’s not a good captain. I believe there

are different types of captains and, especially in this day and

age, you don’t need some great Mark Messier-type leader of men to

wear your team’s ‘C’ and still have leadership. The ‘C’ these days

is more symbolic and it’s OK for other players to be the vocal

leaders. But Chara, again, deciding not to speak after a bitter

defeat — in which he had a big hand in the loss — is poor form.

Chara pulled a similar move in the Carolina playoff series in ’09

after his giveaway led to a Hurricanes overtime goal. He said he

was too emotional to speak. Well, that’s the point of post-game

locker room availability: to get your immediate feelings and

reaction — not to give you a day or two to come up with

boilerplate, politically correct statements. Take the heat for your

boneheaded icing, explain your reaction to the Max Pacioretty

“touch” and maybe even call out your teammates for taking their

feet off the gas up 2-0 in the third period. Don’t just exit stage

right. •That Chara icing debacle (I know, if he scored it would

have been a triumph — but it was still too large a risk in a

one-goal game) was compounded by head coach Claude Julien’s

decision to have Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton

on the ice with a minute to go went. That move was against

everything Julien has done the last three years. OK, Bergeron’s

line was worn out. David Krejci had had enough time to recover

after he was on the ice for the Scott Gomez 2-1 goal. You roll him

out there with Wheeler, a responsible player, and either Campbell

or Milan Lucic to close the game out. It’s that simple. Campbell

lost the draw and the puck never left the zone before the tying

goal. This space has been a supporter of Julien all through this

season of discontent from the masses, but on this night he got

outcoached and his team looked like it had no heart. If this was

the first time the Bruins collapsed, you could take into account

the opponent and the site and maybe accept it as a blip on the

radar. But the Bruins have made a habit of losing leads lately

after spending most of the first couple months of the season

mailing in the first period or two. A team that is handcuffed by

the salary cap and can’t make player moves easily might have no

choice than to make a change behind the bench in an attempt to

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