The Days of Y'Orr crew attended last night's "State of the Bruins" event for season ticket holders. It is basically what it sounds like... the Jacobs, Chiarelli, Julien, Mr. Neely and a few players (this year was Bergeron, Recchi and Chara) sit up on a stage and kind of review the offseason and cover basic issues then open up the floor to questions from the crowd and do their best to answer the stupid questions with humility and strategically avoid the good questions to not give up any good info. We were entertained.
Prior to the State of the B's, Comcast SportsNet New England hosted a question and answer session at Johnnie's On the Side/West End Johnnie's.
Mike Giardi hosted while Joe Haggerty, Milan Lucic and Bob Beers fielded questions from the crowd. Mary Paoletti worked the crowd and encouraged questions. Definitely a great time. If they have these in the future, we highly recommend you attend. It was a great time and the entire CSNNE team was very approachable and happy to chat with fans. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Haggs. She was super nice as well. Good times had by all.
We also ran into Cornelius Hardenbergh of Hockey Blog Adventure. If for some reason you haven't checked them out, you really should. Talked hockey for a bit before we headed over to TD Garden. Great guy, great blog.
After the jump, the highs and lows (mostly lows) from the State of the Bruins.......
These events are odd. They're nice to go to and all but you really feel like you're just getting lip service. What are Chiarelli and Julien supposed to say? Fans asked what the goals for the season were. Obviously they're going to say win a Cup. Although we thought it would be hilarious if Chiarelli was like "We plan to sit all our starters, call up all the AHL guys and go for a lottery pick."
So while it is nice to hear ownership and management say they're dedicated to winning... well, every team is going to say that. Outside of the Panthers. But they're just idiots. I bet Atlanta management said the same thing too. Oh well.
And seriously... fellow fans/season ticket holders.... please, please, PLEASE stop asking such stupid questions. Last year someone asked Lucic what his favorite cereal was. This year some dude asked how the team plans to circumvent the salary cap. Really? Just... wow.
Children, some that could not have been any older than 10, asked the best questions tonight. Seriously.
We tried to ask the question "Who do we talk to about getting the announcers to refer to the 'neutral' zone as the 'kill zone' when Johnny Boychuk is on the ice?" but they would not let us. They too fear the Boychuk.
Here's a rundown of points from what we remember (in no particular order):
- Cam Neely is still awesome. They didn't say that, but we're just pointing that out.
- Chiarelli continues to do his best to temper expectations with Seguin. "If" he makes the team, etc. We like that the Bruins are trying to not put too much pressure on him. Too bad fans won't have any of that. Seguin doesn't stand a chance in this city unless he puts up at least 80 points this season.
- Someone asked Julien about the goaltending "problem" with Thomas and Rask competing. Julien says we'll see a very hungry (no pun intended we assume) Tim Thomas this season and a more driven Rask. Says the situation with two hungry goaltenders is an asset, not a problem. Says that if there is a better 1-2 goalie punch in the league, he wants you to point it out because he doesn't see it. We can agree with him on this one.
- Julien was asked what he most wants to see improved this year. He simply replied "scoring goals." Easier said than done, but at least they acknowledge the issue.
- Julien also later defended Michael Ryder saying that Ryder does in fact "care." Not sure if he saw the quotes at the end of the season where Ryder admitted coasting during the regular season. But who knows these days. Good chance Ryder was misquoted. After all, Pat Burns died. Oh wait no he didn't.
- Some dude prefaces his question with "Thank you for trading Dennis Wideman" as everyone on stage instantly got a little uncomfortable. Chiarelli ignored that in his response. Hey look... we know Wideman screwed up a lot last year. The Days of Y'Orr staff certainly wasn't innocent when it came to harsh words about Wideman. But come on. Let it go.
- When asked about Prague, Chara said he was excited but that the Bruins were there for business and to get four points. You tell 'em big guy.
- Someone asked about the Savard rumor that he is out for the season. Chiarelli got a bit testy at this point. Admittedly, we loved that, ha. He said that rumor was completely false and that Savard is expected to return to Boston soon to meet with doctors again.
"Don't believe everything that you read. Trust me, there's a lot of stuff that gets written, especially with this new media. It seems that there's something new every day with some website or some blog that gets cut and pasted somewhere else, and then I have to answer for it all the time. It gets tiresome."
- Recchi was asked like 50 times what the key to a long career is. Apparently fans didn't listen the first 49 times someone asked him that. At one point he simply answered "red wine." Then he broke into song.
It keeps him rocking all of the time.
Recchi also dropped an interesting nugget of info in regards to his long career. He noted that while players have become bigger, faster, more athletic etc, he mentioned that he thinks a lot of the the injuries we see in younger players are due to over-training. That would certainly make sense. The Recchi is wise.
- Things got interesting and tense when some guy decided to get a little sarcastic. He opened his question by sarcastically saying "we all know how much the Jacobs family LOVES spending money....." and then launched into a question about how they were planning to circumvent the salary cap to get future free agents under contract. Looked like Jeremy Jacobs wanted to jump the boards and pummel the guy. Jacobs just said there's rules against that and the Bruins would not be doing that and moved on.
- Another fan asked Jeremy Jacobs when he was going to stop treating the Bruins like a business and start being more invested in the team, and showing passion and a desire to win. Jacobs repeatedly referred to the Bruins as an asset, no doubt hurting his case with the fans. Kept saying he's been around more in recent years, loves the team, etc. Didn't like his answer. Buy the Sabres instead Buffalo Bill.
- Some lady wasted time by asking if the concession stands would get new food. Jacobs then spoke about how he's been busy on that end. We assume he means acquiring more companies. Whatevs.
- A fan asked if the players like to see all fans wearing the same colored jerseys, rally towels, etc. Recchi said players like it when they come out and see a "sea of yellow." Neely quickly corrected him and said "gold" in a funny moment. Oh that Neely.
- Recchi spoke highly of Seguin and embraced the mentoring role. Recchi then went on to say that if Seguin wants to learn the center position, there is no better mentor than Patrice Bergeron and went on to shower Bergeron with praise. What a guy. Love Recchi. Love Bergeron too.
- The management staff was asked about the Horton trade and their reluctance to go after big ticket free agents. Neely stepped up and said the Bruins are dedicated to building from within with draft picks and really developing home grown players. Also noted that it is better to develop their own players as they can really ingrain the history of being a Bruin into these players and develop a culture of knowing what it means to wear the spoked B. Solid answer by Neely.
- Someone directed a question at Chara, asking how much home fans and cheering encourages the players. In a hilarious moment, Chara thought he asked about family and went on a lengthy explanation about how much his family means to him. It was touching. But then Recchi stepped up, realizing Chara misunderstood and continued to praise the fans, noting that an 82 game season does wear you down and there are some nights players just feel drained. But he said coming out of the locker room and hearing the fans welcome the players really energizes the players.
- Claude Julien said the goal for this season was to see more of the punishing, physical style we saw from the Bruins in 2008-2009. Said he wants to see more of his players head to the front of the net and that this goal has been expressed to the players.
- Someone asked Bergeron how he was recovering from his post concussion "systems." Guess this guy doesn't watch much hockey. Berg politely informed the gentleman he has been healthy for awhile now and is feeling 100%. Would've been funnier if he jokingly held his head and said the guy was giving him a headache.
I'm sure we're leaving some points out but that was the gist of it. Can the season just start already?