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Neely: ‘I was disappointed’

03.20.10 at 10:20 am ET
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Appearing on The Big Show, Bruins vice president Cam Neely relayed his frustration regarding his team, coming right out of the gate by answering Glenn Ordway’s inquiry as to how he was doing by saying, “I’ve been better. … I was disappointed last night.”

Asked what went wrong in in the B’s 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh, Neely said, “I’ve been trying to figure that out all year, Glenn, to be honest with you. It’s been very, very disappointing just to see the way our team has performed with that lack of emotion, if you will. It’s something we try to instill here. I’ve said this for years, I said this when I played, I said this after I played, people expect their athletes to compete and show that they care, and if they don’t win they’re OK with that as long as they compete, show that they care and work hard. I’ve heard it too many times this year and I don’t blame our fans for complaining they don’t see that compete or passion that they want to see.”

Neely went to to say that one aspect of this season’s Bruins team that caught management off guard was the “loss of leadership and character in the locker room. … We honestly didn’t think it would be as big an issue as it turned out to be.” He pointed to the absence of players such as P.J. Axelsson as one of the biggest differences in this edition compared to last season.

As for the Bruins’ loss to Pittsburgh, Neely refused to buy into the notion that the flu some of the players were reportedly suffering from made a difference. “We just didn’t play with the type of passion that’s expected,” he said. “That’s what’s frustrating for me. … After the two-minute mark it was business as usual, as it has been. That’s what was frustrating for a lot of people and I don’t blame them for being frustrated.”

Neely said that he didn’t think Milan Lucic was fully recovered from his high ankle sprain, but that he also has to realize that his “bread and butter” is being physical. “That’s how he’s going to be successful in this league,” Neely said.

To listen to the entire interview with Ordway, Steve Buckley and Butch Stearns, click here.

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