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It might be time to worry about the Bruins

Mar 14, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

Marty Turco, Tim Thomas AP

In case you haven’t noticed, times are tough for the defending champs these days. The Boston Bruins are mired in a funk of sorts that reminds people of the Stanley Cup hangover they started the year off with, but this one is different.

Just once since mid-January have the Bruins won consecutive games (on March 6 and 8 against the Leafs and Sabres) and they’ve been bitten rather cruelly by the injury bug of late. Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley, Adam McQuaid, and Tuukka Rask are all injured in some form while others have dodged their own issues lately.

After seeing Marty Turco and Tim Thomas get bombed on by the Lightning last night, there’s something really wrong with the Bruins and coach Claude Julien tells CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty that their big problem now is fatigue.

“The thing that keeps coming up right now – and the thing I can sense – is that fatigue is setting in,” said Julien of a team that has played a lot of hockey over the last two seasons. “It’s the biggest challenge I have now. We’re not playing well and you’ve got the fatigue factor, too.”

Being tired isn’t an excuse fans want to hear, nor is it one that other teams will accept when going up against them. Being the defending champs means everyone is coming after you every night, tired or not. The injuries stink, but again, all teams deal with them.

Whatever the root of the problem is for Boston, they have to get it figured out soon. The Ottawa Senators are just two points behind them for the Northeast Division lead entering tonight’s game against Montreal and with how consistent they’ve been, it’s possible the Bruins could wind up on the road in the first round.

  1. lsxphotog - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I love the fatigue argument. Every team has their own story and their own schedule that sucks the energy out of its roster. It’s up to the coaching staff to create ways to keep the team happy and rested up. If there is indeed fatigue setting in for Boston, they should sit down and think about how to consolidate it’s player workouts with other low-strain exercises. They need to monitor player diets and keep them eating foods that will give them the energy they need to play that week, etc.

    This argument is lame.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Totally agreed. How many times have the Bruins played out of their time zone this season, 10? Their longest road trip this year was six games (they don’t even have a five gamer other than that by the looks of it). Their last game in the Pacific time zone was in the Stanley Cup Finals, the last regular season game in the Pacific time zone it was over a year ago. Cry me a river Claude, if the Bruins can’t play 40-60 minutes every night with their creampuff schedule, even after their Cup run, then there’s a problem with their preparation.

      Of course, not being able to get excited about a regular season game is understandable, but allowing the Senators into the divisional race is just ridiculous.

      All that being said, they are largely the same team that won last year so for the rest of the league it would certainly be premature to not worry about the Bruins.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Much of that team is on the shelf. But playoff aspirants can’t use that as an excuse. Look at the Pens.

      • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        All I see is another superstar that was taken out by a Bruins’ headshot.

  2. solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    A lamer excuse would be pinning this on Tim Thomas’ refusal to show respect towards the President and sexually active women.

    But me thinks this is like the Red Sox and has more to do with too much booze, hookers and blow in clubhouse.

    • kitshky - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Please tell me you’re not one of the people who actually believe that contracpetives are used primarily by “sexualy active women” …and that’s what the issue was about.

      (Altho don’t get me wrong, I’m with you on the stupidity of blaming this on Thomas’s BS.)

      • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        You’re saying that birth control pills are primarily eaten like Skittles by old men?

    • kitshky - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      There are innumerable medical uses for contraceptives beyond simple “birth control” that millions of women should have access to… I suggest you read something beside Thomas’ Facebook once in awhile.

      • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        Not sure what your point is since I never mentioned birth control. You brought it up.

        I said that Thomas disrespected sexually active women.

        If you’re on the pill but are not a sexually active woman, I apologize for not including you in my generalization.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Why even bring it up?

  3. gotampabay52 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    a#% whooping love beat boston teams must suck being a guy in boston after your team loses chicks are ugly beer sucks

    • kitshky - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      @gottampabay52

      I hate Boston so much that last year I actually made myself a promise to never step foot in that city again (Yanks and Canuck fan here … sue me) but you’re comment is so stupid it’s actually made me think about visiting Boston again just to distance myself from people like you as much as possible.

    • wheresdapuck - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      I may not like the B-team, but hey I know a few Irish women from B-town and they are dang good lookin’.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Boston is the biggest college town in the country. If you’re looking for chicks, it doesn’t get much better than that.

      While Tampa…well, I’ve been there. Tampa is full of retirees and people whose skin is falling off from too much sun.

      • kitshky - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        So true … and I dont care where you’re from, lay off the beer kid, it did nothing to you!

  4. crusty14 - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Hey gotampa, what language is that? You need some serious grammar lessons!

  5. rainyday56 - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Fatigue? give me a break! No eastern team whose players get to sleep in their own beds after 2/3 of their away games should be fatigued. Maybe the two round trip flights to the west coast during last year’s final did them in. :)

  6. wheresdapuck - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Boston has gotten as a$$ whooping from the Caps, Pens and Lightning. Maybe one game, but three games of getting your butt stomped says something – these have not been close games. And the Caps did it on Boston Home Ice.

  7. richie500 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Or maybe they just won the cup in a down year for the NHL, and these are the real Bruins.

    • odj810 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Don’t try to downplay the hard work it takes to win a stanley cup in any year. The boston bruins won the stanley cup in 2011 that is a fact stop trying to downplay it and make excuses as to why they won it. Of course every team needs a break or bounce to go there way here or there. Thats the parity in the league, teams are so close.
      That being said these excuses are a joke, injuries? yea they have some injuries so does everyother team in the league. Its not an excuse. You have quality players play like it. The goaltending has been bad but the team defense has been worse. Our defense man are just playing terrible undetailed hockey. they were embarrassed the last few games.
      That being said anything can happen in the playoffs and they could just as easily turn it around and be a contender as they could flop in the first round, only time will tell. Either way the playoffs will be fantastic just like every year. Should be some good matchups.

      • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        By break you mean broken neck and by bounce you mean stanchion.

        Ignoring the obvious “missed” suspension, if the Habs had Pacioretty in the line-up, the Bruins don’t win that series.. in fact, it probably doesn’t even make it to OT or even game 7.

      • odj810 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        i’m sure you wake up with nightmeres everynight on how if your canadians just had a few bounces go there way they’d be number one in the league this year to. wake up from fantasy land. That was a good series.

      • odj810 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        you must wake up everynight with a cold sweat thinking that if only the canadians got a bounce here or there we’d be in first place. Stop living in fantasy land. We can debate that play till there is no end but whats the point? Live with the fact the bruins won the cup. Canadians played a great series. I’d get over it though.

      • odj810 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        double post thought one didn’t send oops!

    • kitshky - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      I’m with you on the “dont downplay what it takes to win a Cup but along the lines of “solador78″‘s comment … if the refs showed up for Game 7 Tampa’s probably in the Finals last year.

      • odj810 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        I think you can respect that i don’t make excuses when my team looses, why doesn’t everyone act that way. That was one of the best officiated game in alot of peoples eyes including NBC. Even the lightening coach said the bruins were unbeatable in that game.

      • kitshky - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        I wasn’t making excuses, I was making an observation. Guy Boucher is a classy dude but that doesnt change the fact that when a game between the 2011 Boston Bruins and the 2011 Tampa Bay Lightning doesnt have ONE penalty called … that gives as much of advantage to Boston as slanted officiating the other way. That is the officials playing a part in the outcome of a game.

        You’re right though, Boston shouldn’t have lost that game, I was just making an observation that “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” can be applied to any situation.

        (and please don’t think I was taking “soldar’s” side on anything)

      • rhastaman - Mar 15, 2012 at 7:48 AM

        Give me a break… Looks like a tampa fan seems to be foregetting that Thomas stood on his head that game and stole the game for the Bruins by shutting out TB. It happens in hockey… get over it

      • kitshky - Mar 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Not a Tampa fan at all … re read my post you Boston homers.

  8. drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    “Fatigue” is an excuse this team is making in order to avoid saying “We think we’re screwed.” It’s a morale problem. An understandable one, but it’s the job of Claude and the vets to wake the team up.

    Definitely time to panic if you’re a Bruins fan. There’s only five points separating them from 8th. The team itself needs to remember its guts.

    • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      Boston fans should be used to this by now:

      Red Sox (Beergate)
      Patriots (Spygate)
      Celtics (Rondo)
      Liverpool FC (Suarez)

      That’s what happens when you support terrible people.

  9. gallyhatch - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    solador78, the whole “If Pacioretty was with the Canadiens in the playoffs…” excuse is frickin’ weak, and worse than what Claude is doing right now. he’s trying to take a little heat off his guys maybe with the hope that they turn it around.

    You? You’re still butthurt over, and making excuses for your team that got bounced last April. It was a year ago, get over it. The Habs will have their chance again this year in the playoffs right?

    Oh, sorry, too soon?

    • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      If you can’t win while respecting your opponent, displaying sportsmanship and promoting fair play, then you’re not a true champion.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins put bounties on opposing players.

      The only way the Bruins won was by taking over the NHL Board of Governors and manipulating the game behind the scenes.

      • gallyhatch - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Your reply says it all, thanks for saving me the time.

      • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        Glad you changed your mind and are now in agreement with me.

        It takes a real man to consider an alternative viewpoint and show support for it.

  10. ktboston - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    @solardor

    If I could only reach through my iPad and punch you in the face!

    • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      I know the truth hurts, but you really should work on your rage issues.

      Think about it: your day was ruined by an comments on the internet.

      I’m scared to think of what you might do if the Bruins experience a collapse of Red Sox proportions and miss the playoffs entirely.

      ;p

    • back2backbees - Mar 15, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      If you tried to punch Solador in the face you’d probably end up hitting Habsman in the ass.

  11. tampabayirish - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Fatigue….nonsense, everybody is tired this time of year. Every team has injuries to deal with. Get your political commentator goalie hot again and the Bruins will start winning games again. Who would have thought 2 weeks ago that Breezy Bryzgalov would earn 3 shutouts ever again, let alone in the last 2 weeks. He was awful. The Flyers let him play through his struggles and now he is hot and playing with a ton of confidence. Confidence in athletics can not be overstated. Ryan Miller is playing better in Buffalo and magically, the once left for dead, Sabres are 2 points out of a playoff spot. Tampa made a bit of a run from the basement (since January), then their goalie (Garon) gets hurt and they regress to the mean.

  12. ktboston - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    See you in the playoffs

    Oh wait the Canadians wont be there!!

    Stupid!

    • solador78 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      There will be tons of Canadians in the playoffs this year, but only three players from Boston:

      Keith Yandle
      Ryan Whitney
      Hal Gill

      The two guys from Boston that the Bruins have can’t even crack their line-up full of Canadians.

  13. jinxe11 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    With 13 games left on the schedule, the Bruins have time to get things back on track. They finished last season with 45 wins and stand at 40 now. It’s a long season full of hills and valleys. Were the Bruins as good as they were when they were beating teams 8-0 or as bad as they’ve been lately?The answer is somewhere in the middle. There’s still time to right the ship but a 7 or 8 seed doesn’t bode well..

  14. habsman - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    The biggest difference is that (most) gutless cheap shots and sucker punches are punished this year. They were not (Greg and Colie Campbell) last year. Bruins: 2011 Campbell Cup Champs!

    • jinxe11 - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      Campbell was relieved of his duties last playoffs and Shanahan was in charge so false info there habsman.

      • habsman - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Nice try, but your wrong. Campbell stepped aside (wink) just before the finals. He was seen with a big grin on his face when the Bruins won.

      • jinxe11 - Mar 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        I’m a little worried..

    • habsman - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM

      And to be clear, it wasn’t Shanahan who was involved in the finals. It was Campbell’s lap dog Mike Murphy. A man so inept, he asked Brian Burke for advice before suspending Aaron Rome in the finals.

  15. ktboston - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Habsman you ass clown!! Where the hell do you get your info from?

  16. crusty14 - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Habsman, if you had a kid playing in the NHL, and they won the cup, would you crack a smile?

    • habsman - Mar 14, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      Yes, I would. Especially if I played a big part in him winning it by turning a blind eye to multiple incidents by him and his teamates.

  17. crusty14 - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    You’re consistent if nothing else!

  18. drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Habsman and solador. No wonder people hate the Habs and their fans.

  19. drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Never before seen such an impressive duo of mental midgets.

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