After a less than successful three game homestand, the Claude Julien’s Bruins are heading out on the road to tour the Southeast Division. With blizzard like conditions throughout New England today, the B’s moved their practice up so they could get out of town before the weather prevented their charter from getting off the ground.
The trip starts tomorrow in Sunrise, FL against the Panthers and then moves north to Tampa to face the Bolts. To end the 2010 calendar year, the B’s renew acquaintances with the Atlanta Thrasher’s.
To open January, the Bruins leave the Southeast and play division rivals Buffalo on New Year’s night and Toronto a couple days later before returning home to face the Minnesota Wild on January 6, 2011.
After last Monday’s flop against the Anaheim Ducks, the internet, radio and TV airwaves became filled with ‘fire Claude Julien’ chatter. Going into last Thursday the Bruins and their fans were looking for a more spirited effort so Julien started the ‘energy’ line led by Shawn Thornton. With his parents in town for the game, Thorty set the tone for the night just two seconds in when he fought Eric Boulton. He also had a two goal evening for only the second time in his career.
In the closing minutes of the game, Freddy Meyer laid a questionable hit on Milan Lucic at the Thrasher blueline. With all the chatter during the week about the coach and the team’s heart, Andrew Ference jumped Meyer and a line brawl followed. Even Marc Savard dropped the mittens with Bryan Little. That made every B’s fan nervous knowing Savvy’s fight to comeback from post concussion syndrome. Because Ference did the initial ‘dirty work’ Lucic never got to respond to Meyer himself. When order was finally restored Lucic found himself within arm’s reach of Meyer in the scrum and he sent a straight shot to Meyer’s temple. He earned a match penalty for the shot and a hearing from the league office.
The hearing was conducted today by teleconference where the decision to not suspend Lucic was handed down. Today, the Bruins and Peter Chiarelli released a statement in regards to Looch.
“The NHL has informed us that Milan will not be suspended as a result of
the match penalty assessed to him during our game against the Thrashers
last Thursday. He will be fined $2,500 for the punch thrown in the scrum
and $1,000 for making an obscene gesture directed at the Thrashers
bench. He will join the team on the flight to Florida and be available
for Monday’s game against the Panthers.”
This roadtrip comes at a perfect time for Claude Julien and his troops. They can get away from Boston for the next eight days and not have to listen to the chirping from the media about Julien’s job security…unless that Thrasher game was just a one night stand with the emotion needed to play in this league.
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Written by Jim Mulligan