Given the adversity Claude Julien’s faced during his time as Bruins head coach, you wouldn’t think Thursday’s double overtime loss would rattle him.
And you’d be right.
Julien preached composure following a 4-3 loss in Game 1, saying he had no problems with the two penalties called against the Bruins in OT — including the Matt Bartkowski hold that led to P.K. Subban’s game winner — and that his team wasn’t going to lose its cool.
“This is just game number one here,” Julien said, per the Bruins’ Twitter account. “You don’t get frustrated after one game.”
The coach is speaking from experience. Boston lost its series opener against Detroit in Round 1 but rebounded with aplomb, winning four straight to close it out. During the 2011 playoffs, Boston lost three Game 1s — against Montreal, Tampa Bay and Vancouver — but rebounded to win the Stanley Cup.
As for the overtime penalties to Bartkowski and Daniel Paille, Julien took the levelheaded approach as well:
Most would have a tough time arguing the Paille call, as he stuck his knee out on Brendan Gallagher and was full value for the two-minute minor (the play could’ve been a lot worse, injury-wise). The Bartkowski call was a little dicier, especially given when it was called (less than four minutes after Paille exited the box) and the amount of holding and obstruction going on.
In a telling statement, B’s goalieTuukka Rask — who wasn’t happy with his performance on the night — didn’t focus on the penalty call, but rather Boston’s inability to kill it. “We played a great game — got to kill those penalties,” he said. “I’ve got to keep the puck out of my net so that’s the only changes we need.”
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.