Claude Julien

Bruins coach to power-play critics: Don’t worry about it


If there’s one area of their game that the Boston Bruins need to improve upon going into Monday’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, it’s their power play.

Through four games, Boston has converted on just one of 17 opportunities with the man advantage and have squandered entire two-minute stints without managing a single shot on goal.

Still, Bruins coach Claude Julien isn’t buying into the argument that this is a major cause for concern. If anything, he’s more annoyed that he keeps getting asked about it.

“I thought I’d be able to get away for at least one day without a power play question,” said Julien in a CSN New England. “The results haven’t been there, but I’d say in three of the four games that we moved the puck well, we hit a post and we had a goal disallowed. A lot of stuff has happened.”

His argument runs deeper than that though. He pointed out that the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup last season despite their power-play struggles (the Kings ranked 12th in the playoffs with a 12.8% success rate) and, for that matter, the Bruins won it all in 2011 while faring even worse than the Kings in that regard (Boston converted on just 11.4% of power-play opportunities in 2011).

“We want it to work well, but it’s not the end of the world,” Julien added. “We’re still winning hockey games.”

The Bruins are 3-0-1. As long as they keep excelling in five-on-five situations, it will be easy for Julien to continue to shrug off those kind of criticisms.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.