TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 12: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates Dion Phaneuf goal against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs May 12, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Will Boston make significant changes if they lose Game 7?


If the Boston Bruins cough up a 3-1 series lead and are ultimately eliminated by the Toronto Maple Leafs, will that significantly change the Bruins’ gameplan going into the summer?

Could we see significant moves in an attempt to shakeup the squad after what would be their second straight first-round exit? Is Bruins coach Claude Julien’s job even on the line?

Julien won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and that recent success will almost certainly be a major consideration if the Bruins’ season ends tonight. At the same time, Julien hasn’t been without his strong critics lately.

Retired NHL star forward Tony Amonte doesn’t understand why Julien hasn’t shaken up his lines in an effort to spark a team that has just two goals in their last two games.

“There is not another coach in the NHL that wouldn’t have changed his lines by now,” Amonte told CSN New England. “You have to change it up. You have to spark something offensively. Let’s look at the Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 6, against the Islander. Their top line – Dupois, Crosby, Kunitz – they split them up. They were the best line in the NHL all regular season until Crosby got hurt. They scored every game … and they change it up.”

Meanwhile, Julien isn’t happy with the team’s inconsistency in 2013 and went as far as to call them a “Jekyll & Hyde hockey club,” perhaps lending fuel to the argument that serious changes need to come from a player perspective if this team can’t win when their season is at stake.

Mike Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont discussed the subject below:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.