We’re just two games into the Bruins’ campaign, but you would have to stretch to find things to fault Boston for so far. They’ve won their first two contests by comfortable margins and most of their major players have gotten their first point. One notable exception to that is forward Loui Eriksson.
That’s nothing to stress over and it’s also not terribly surprising to Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“You can’t judge or expect miracles in the first few games of the season,” Julien told CSN New England. “You give them a good month to get to know each other and play together, and you hope in that month it progresses. I’ve seen that so far from training camp until right now.”
Eriksson is used to playing an “overload” style where players tend to keep close to each other while carrying the puck through the neutral zone, but the Bruins don’t share that philosophy. So far, Eriksson has had some difficulty breaking those habits.
“I usually adjust to systems pretty well, but just the one thing I did in all my years in Dallas was cutting through the middle and supporting the other winger,” Eriksson said, according to the Boston Herald. “But we’ve been practicing it every day and we’ll get better at it.”
It might be a bit before Eriksson finds his groove in Boston, but he’s still a great forward and Julien seems content to let this transition run its course. That’s certainly easier to do when the team is winning anyways.
You can add Jussi Jokinen to the list of Florida Panthers livid with Justin Abdelkader‘s hit on Aleksander Barkov.
“I’m very upset,” Jokinen said, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I don’t know if I’m too emotional because that’s my best friend on the team. It looked really dangerous.”
Barkov was knocked woozy by a big Abdelkader check during Detroit’s 3-0 win over the Panthers on Monday. The hit forced the young Finn from the game, and also forced him to miss yesterday’s contest in Buffalo.
Abdelkader wasn’t fined or suspended for the hit and, according to the Sun-Sentinel, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety didn’t contact him at all.
It’s also worth pointing out that Abdelkader wasn’t penalized at the time of the incident.
But that didn’t stop Nick Bjugstad and head coach Gerard Gallant from calling the hit “cheap,” with Gallant suggesting Abdelkader left his feet to make the hit, and caught Barkov in the jaw.
Jokinen put the onus on the league to wipe out checks of this nature.
“There are too many hits like that an no suspensions,” he explained. “Fans want to watch Barkov, not those guys. The league has to do a better job of taking those hits out of the game.”
Florida and Detroit next play on Mar. 19, in case you’re wondering.
When the Colorado Avalanche came out of the All-Star break, they were presented with a four-game home stand and a great chance to build an even bigger playoff cushion.
Last night, that home stand ended with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver. In the four games, the only point they managed came in a 4-3 OT loss to Dallas. Colorado’s still in a playoff spot, but only by two points over Minnesota, which has played three fewer games.
“Unfortunately for us, we had four games at home (and) a good opportunity to pick up some big wins, and we didn’t do it,” head coach Patrick Roy told the Denver Post.
The loss to Vancouver was painful for a number of reasons. First, the Canucks are one of the teams chasing Colorado for a wild-card spot; they’re now just four points back of Colorado, with three games in hand. Second, the Avs couldn’t convert on a pair of 5-on-3 power plays, which always hurts. Third, the Avs trailed 2-1 going into the third and couldn’t muster much of a push. In fact, it was Vancouver that scored the only goal in the final 20 minutes. And the Canucks had to play the period without two key players, Alex Edler and Brandon Sutter.
“I’m looking around the league, and everybody goes through tough times,” said Roy. “It’s not a period of time when you feel sorry for yourself. You have to find solutions and ways to bounce back.”
The Avs kick off a three-game road trip Thursday in Ottawa, with stops in Detroit and Buffalo on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Jaromir Jagr keeps getting it done. Because of that, he’s on pace to speed up various all-time ranks and lock down milestone after milestone.
He recently hit his 1,600th game played, but if that doesn’t do it for you, check out goal 739 from No. 68 in the video above.
Whether you deem it a “beer league” goal like Sportsnet does or not, it’s impressive that he’s still such a reliable scorer for the Florida Panthers, who throttled the Buffalo Sabres last night (even if Evander Kane won three fights).
That tally leaves Jagr two goals behind Brett Hull for third all-time in goals at 741.
The seemingly ageless one would have a fitting person to chase if he then eyes the second all-time goalscorer, as Gordie Howe defied age himself in racking up 801.
Chicago had a disallowed goal in its 2-0 home loss to San Jose on Tuesday night, when Brandon Mashinter‘s tally was wiped out after Dennis Rasmussen was judged to have interfered with Martin Jones.
It marked the second disallowed goal the ‘Hawks have had in a week and, for head coach Joel Quenneville, it appeared to be a breaking point.
“It’s gone to a different level,” Quenneville said. “I don’t know the rules anymore or something’s changed because my understanding, played a lot of hockey, that, I don’t know.
“I think everybody has an interpretation of what’s a good goal and what’s a bad goal, but I can’t believe it.”
And with that, Coach Q stormed off.
We all should’ve seen this coming, really.
Last Thursday, the ‘Hawks had another disallowed goal in an eventual win over Arizona, a call that sent Quenneville into histrionics on the bench.