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Chara/By S. Bradley

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
exorcise the poor habits and attitudes that have overtaken this
team. It’d be a shame that the players’ inability to execute could
cost the coach, but that’s the reality of life in the 2010-11
NHL.