Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner has played some solid hockey as part of Bruce Cassidy‘s ‘VHS line’. While Spooner is shining under Cassidy, he was often in Claude Julien‘s doghouse.
Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner might find himself in some hot water in the next few days. The 25-year old Spooner was interviewed by the press on Tuesday morning following their practice. Spooner offered his opinion on what he thought Claude Julien thought of him, and Spooner pulled no punches.
“I felt like the last coach … he just didn’t really trust me,” said Spooner about Claude Julien. “It might’ve been kind of on me not really playing to the potential that I have, but at the same time . . . I just don’t think that he really liked me as a player. It’s kind of in the past now.”
Spooner has a point here. Claude Julien only seemed to like Spooner when he dropped the gloves or played a technically perfect game. Even when Spooner had a two goal game, Julien would have rough words for the young forward.
Every year, I decide on a custom jersey. I usually make a humorous one of every player on the team, and when it came to designing the one for Spooner. This one popped out immediately.
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“It’s just a part of the game, continued Spooner. “It’s up to me to just go out there and just play, and not have that stuff in the back of my mind.
“I just kind of have to go out there and believe in myself and I think at times I wasn’t really going out there and doing that. Maybe that’s something to learn. This sport has ups and downs, and I’ve had my downs. You learn that you can just sort of push through it. If you do that then things can be good.”
Spooner has done some impressive things as part of the new third line. Bruce Cassidy took the often-maligned Spooner and paired him with Frank Vatrano and (of all people) Jimmy Hayes. While the ‘VHS line’ looked like it was going to be a spectacular disaster, the results were anything but.
The Bruins have gone 7-1 in the Cassidy era, and the new third line has done their part. The VHS line has put up 15 points (six goals) in eight games for Boston. They’re a collective +12 during that time period. Spooner is on track to a 40 point season right now. Mostly because the new head coach had faith in his potential.
I’m curious to see how the Boston media will handle this in the next few days. Some of the media are already bashing Spooner for speaking his mind, which is odd. Three weeks ago, they were lighting up Claude Julien as a massive failure, and now their screaming at a player who would dare impugn the reputation of the coach who brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston.
Joe Haggerty is defending Spooner.
Spooner’s right here. Claude Julien wanted his players to play his style of game as perfectly as possible. If that didn’t happen, they’d get relegated to the ninth level. (I’m pretty sure Spoons (or Hayes) has given the popcorn machine on the ninth level a name.) Cassidy’s system allows the greater possibility of errors, but it’s balanced out by the greater scoring potential.
The B’s are averaging four goals a game under their interim head coach. They’ve also pulled into a tie for second with the Senators in the Atlantic. The results speak for themselves.