Author: James O'Brien

Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche

Julien: Bruins ‘ran out of gas’ against Avs


The Boston Bruins have been on a roll since 2015 began, but they just couldn’t get it done against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, dropping a 3-2 decision via a shootout.

Head coach Claude Julien explained it simply to NESN: the Bruins “ran out of gas.”

The stats certainly back up such a sentiment. After slightly edging Colorado in shots 19-17 through the first two periods, the Avalanche dominated in that regard to the tune of a 19-5 disparity in the third period and OT.

Overall, Torey Krug and plenty of other Bruins seemed happy with most of their efforts, but disappointed with the outcome, as the team’s website reports.

“We played a good 58 minutes of hockey,” Krug said. “And killed a lot of penalties and Tuukks came up big for us in some key moments. They just outbattled us at the end and they scored the goal in the shootout that mattered.”

The Bruins enter the All-Star break playing some of their best hockey of the season, even with this last blemish. They’ve won six of eight and have generated at least a standings point in all but one of their games since Dec. 29.

While they aren’t in a perfect situation – the Florida Panthers could surpass the Bruins by winning in their four games in hand, for example – Boston is currently in the East’s second wild card spot as of the break. Considering how shaky certain stretches of the 2014-15 season have been, they’ll take it.

PHT Morning Skate: More on Metallica and the Sharks


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.

So, uh, apparently San Jose Sharks and Metallica teamed up for a special night last night. This post’s main image is one example of … “#MetalliSharks” (Kinda looks more Danzig than Metallica, if you ask me.)


PHT covered the finer details of this odd marriage yesterday, but let’s look at a few of the results of this strange offering. Dust off your Napster jokes if you still have them …

1. Wonder if the Vancouver Canucks feel jilted?

2. Perhaps it was too on the nose for Metallica to link up with the Tampa Bay Lightning?

3. Does Dan Boyle feel left out or would he have just trashed the combination because the band cut its hair about a million years ago?

… So many questions.

Moving on …

Toronto seems to be the one place Eric Staal would consider accepting a trade to, depending upon the rumors you may believe. The question is: why? (Sportsnet)

Check out what this “Hulk-like” hockey parent did. (Deadspin)

GM Steve Yzerman assesses the Lightning at the All-Star break. (Tampa Tribune)

How various Washington Capitals approach contract years. (Washington Post)

NHL on NBCSN: Sharks face Kings in California clash

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings
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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign with Wednesday’s second game as the San Jose Sharks host the Los Angeles Kings at the SAP Center at 10:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

Beating the Los Angeles Kings handily to open the 2014-15 season obviously didn’t erase all the pain from that infamous “reverse sweep” in the 2014 playoffs, but the San Jose Sharks still got a measure of revenge with that 4-0 win.

The Sharks will get another chance to spite the Kings tonight, as things haven’t been going smoothly for the defending champions lately. The aim is obvious enough for a Kings team that is currently on the outside of the playoff picture, as notes.

“We need to be in that playoff spot before the break. No doubt about it,” Drew Doughty said . “We need to win this game. It’s a division game and it’s a big rivalry. We need to win it, and we need to go into the break feeling good about ourselves.”

Really, you can trace the bad times back to a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 6. Including that defeat, the Kings have gone 6-7-7 in their past 20 games. More recently, Los Angeles has dropped three straight games and six of seven, squandering precious points from an expired seven-game homestand.

(While four of those defeats netted standings points, there was also the frustration of leaving points on the table.)

Much of those struggles stem from Jonathan Quick’s prolonged slump.

After starting brilliantly (.942 save percentage in October), Quick’s individual stats have dropped significantly each month; his January save percentage has been a putrid .861.

That’s not to say that the Kings are the only team that sees room for improvement, of course.

You know things aren’t going great for a team when its head coach questions their drive, as Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan did on Tuesday.

After beating Toronto to begin this seven-game homestand, the Sharks have dropped two straight games. They would greatly benefit from exploiting this opportunity to load up on standings points.

As much as these two perennial contending California teams have been struggling lately, there’s still plenty of talent on hand. From Joe Thornton to Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture, the Sharks remain loaded with scoring skill. Los Angeles can go toe-to-toe in that area with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter as well while also boasting elite defenseman Drew Doughty.

Sharks – Kings games are always an entertaining watch, but things get that much more interesting when there’s something on the line. That’s the case tonight, January game or not.