Charlie McAvoy Wins 7th Player Award


Photo Credit: The Suffolk Voice

By: Lauren Campbell | Follow me on Twitter: @lalalalaurrrren

Before Saturday afternoon’s showdown against the Florida Panthers, the Boston Bruins gave out  their annual NESN 7th Player Award — presented to the Bruin who exceeds the expectations of Bruins fans during the season.

This year, defensemean Charlie McAvoy was voted to win the award by a fan vote on

The 20-year-old has had a fantastic rookie season, becoming one of the team’s most dependable players. He ranks second on the team in ice time with 22:06 minutes per game and is also second in goals scored (7) and assists (25).

To add  to his impressive stats, McAvoy leads all rookie defenseman in plus/minus with a +26 rating as well as points-per-game with .54.

The D-man was selected 14 overall by the B’s in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and burst onto the scene and into the hearts of Boston fans in the 2016-17 NHL playoffs where he collected three assists through six games against the Ottawa Senators.

McAvoy is currently nursing a sprained MCL, but is set to travel with the team to Philadelphia.

Blues Schenn Will Not Face Discipline After Hit On Bruins Krejci


Photo Credit: NBCSports Boston

By: Lauren Campbell | Follow on Twitter: @lalalalaurrrren 

On Thursday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced there will be no further discipline for Brayden Schenn after he hit David Krejci in the head on Wednesday night.

Schenn was called for charging and given a two-minute minor in the second period during St. Louis’s 2-1 overtime win over the Bruins.

The Department of Player Safety claims there was no charging on the initial play because Schenn still had his skates on the ice once contact with Krejci was made. They also said the head was unavoidable on the play.

Thankfully, Krejci was uninjured after he took the hit and remained in the game, but the inconsistency of the Department of Player Safety continues.

Earlier this month, Boston’s David Backes, who had never been suspended in his 12-year career, was handed a three-game suspension for a very similar hit to head of Detroit’s Frans Nielsen.

Backes also received a match penalty and was ejected from that game.


BREAKING: David Backes Suspended Three Games


Photo: NBCSports Boston

By: Lauren Campbell | Follow on Twitter: @lalalalaurrrren

On Wednesday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Boston Bruins forward David Backes has been suspended for three games after his hit on Detroit Red Wings center Frans Nielsen.

The hit came late in the first period after Backes made contact with Nielsen’s head with his shoulder while Nielsen did not have possession of the puck.

Backes will forfeit $96,774.18 over the course of those three games.

The team is already without defenseman Charlie McAvoy (MCL sprain), center Patrice Bergeron (fractured foot) and goalie Tuukka Rask (undisclosed minor injury).

In 848-career games, Backes has never been fined or suspended. He will be eligible to return March 13 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Premature Panic: The Bruins Have Turned Their Season Around


Photo Credit: MassLive

By: Lauren Campbell | Follow on Twitter: @lalalalaurrrren 

It’s March 7, 2018, and the Boston Bruins are 41-15-8.

I was very, very wrong about this team.

Back in October, I wrote about how it was already time to hit the panic button on this season. They were 2-3-0 through their first five games, they couldn’t string together consecutive regulation wins until November, and Tuukka Rask was playing nowhere near the level he’s at now.

One thing that really stuck out to me from my previous article was that I wrote, “the young studs are not living up to the expectations surrounding them.” At the time, they weren’t, but players like Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen and David Pastrnak are very much exceeding those expectations now. Between the four players listed above, the young studs have 56 goals, McAvoy is playing like a veteran in his rookie season, Heinen is quietly making a name for himself while DeBrusk and Pastrnak just continue to score and collect points each game.

Trust me, I am extremely happy to have been so terribly wrong about this team. I never expected them to be this good – especially during Bruce Cassidy’s first full year as head coach, all the youth on this team and a year where there was a lot of questions surrounding Rask after how he started early in the season. But something happened between then and now – maybe it was getting Patrice Bergeron and David Backes back into the lineup, or maybe it was just a matter of time until this team started clicking.

Whatever it was, it’s worked. I had little hope for the Bruins after their slow and sluggish start. But now I have hopes for a deep playoff run. They’ve added depth with Rick Nash, Nick Holden, and even Brian Gionta. Rask, despite his last five games, has been playing phenomenally. But what has been standing out to me a lot, besides the rookies being fantastic, is the “next man up” mentality this team has when a player goes down.

Currently, this team is without Bergeron, McAvoy and Anders Bjork. Fortunately, Bergeron and McAvoy will be back this season, and they need McAvoy’s defense and Bergeron’s offense. But that gives opportunities for Holden, Nash, and Gionta to get more ice time, David Krejci to get more goals and Marchand to continue to step up and be the force on the ice this team needs.

We saw what this team is like without McAvoy and Bergy on Tuesday in their 6-5 overtime against Detroit. It was a game of the good, the bad and the ugly against a mediocre Red Wings team. But the team stepped up with two goals from Torey Krug, a natural hat trick from Marchand and some players dropping gloves. They are a completely different team – a team that is built for the playoffs. So when Bergeron, McAvoy, and Rask come back, this team will be even better because they will be at full health.

I was so very wrong about this team. But I am so pleased I was. 

BREAKING: Bruins Acquire Rick Nash From Rangers

NHL: New York Rangers at Dallas Stars

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By: Lauren Campbell | Follow on Twitter: @lalalalaurrrren

Ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline, the Boston Bruins completed a blockbuster deal to acquire six-time All-Star forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers.

In exchange for Nash, New York will get forwards Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, a first-round 2018 draft pick and a seventh-round 2019 draft pick.


The Rangers will also retain 50 percent of Nash’s remaining salary. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

It was earlier this month that New York asked Nash for a  list of 12 teams he would allow himself to be traded to. He will be reunited with defenseman Nick Holden, who the Bruins acquired in a separate trade with the Rangers last week.

This is just the second time Nash has been traded in his career. After spending nine seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he was traded to the Rangers during the 2012 offseason.

Nash has 18 goals on the season with 10 assists good for 28 points through 60 games.

Below is a video of exactly how new Bruin Rick Nash can play and what he could offer his new team for the rest of the season and presumably long Stanley Cup run in 2018

Zdeno Chara: The Bruins Ageless Wonder


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By: Lauren Campbell | Follow on Twitter: @lalalalaurrrren

In a year where the Bruins are completely exceeding expectations, there is one player who is quietly underrated. For what it’s worth, it’s definitely fun to talk about how fun this team is – from the rookies, Patrice Bergeron is having a spectacular year to Tuukka Rask completely turning into a brick wall – it’s easy to overlook one specific player.

That player is the captain of this team and someone who is proving age is just a number: Zdeno Chara.

Big Z will be 41-years-old in less than a month, and the’s shown no signs of aging. Maybe it’s playing with young kids such as Charlie McAvoy, or maybe he’s adopting some Tom Brady-like diet.

Or maybe he’s continuing to be a consistent, solid defenseman.

He showed just how solid of a player he is in last week’s 3-2 comeback win over Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Chara was matched up against McDavid, who is arguably the games most dynamic offensive player, for 15:12 of the 17:40 he was on the ice.

During that time, Boston outshot Edmonton 12-4, and David  Krejci scored the game-winning goal late in the third period. But what was truly amazing about Chara being matched up against McDavid for most of his ice time was McDavid’s final line: zero goals, zero assists, a minus-1 rating and had just two shots.

Those two shots came in a two-second span, and it was just the 10 time on the season McDavid was held to zero points in a game.

Chara has always been a force on the ice season after season, but this 2017-18 season, much like the entire Bruins team, is exceeding expectations and is playing incredibly well at the age of 40.

His numbers aren’t anything spectacular – six goals and 11 assists doesn’t jump out at anyone – but his ice time most certainly does. The captain leads the team in average ice time with 23:20.

Chara has been the captain of this team for several years and this season especially is proving why he is continuing to be deserving of sporting the C. He is a veteran leader for the rookies and isn’t afraid to stand up for his teammates and drop the gloves.

We saw that this season against Anaheim when he went up against Ryan Getzlaf in January. No, he’s not a 20-year-old Charlie McAvoy or 21-year-old Jake DeBrusk – but Chara’s presence on the ice is something that needs to be paid attention to.

The black and gold are doing something spectacular this season. They’re in second place in the Atlantic Division during what was supposed to be a rebuilding year – and Chara is playing a significant role in where this team is in the standings.

Age is just a number, yes. New England sports fans see that every season with Tom Brady and what he does for the Patriots each year. But now Boston has another 40-year-old player to get excited about because it seems as if Chara is indeed an ageless wonder this season.

Danton Heinen: A Quiet Star for the Boston Bruins


(Above Photo Credit:

By: Lauren Campbell                 Follow Me On Twitter @lalalalaurrrren

If you have been following the Bruins for the last month-and-a-half, then I don’t need to tell you they’re playing outstanding hockey. Things seem to be clicking on all cylinders for the B’s – from the offense to the defense to the goaltending and it’s clear this team is undeniably fun to watch.

With all the talent Boston has, there is one specific player who I feel has been overlooked. With a team with talents such as Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy is a talented young player named Danton Heinen.

He was drafted by the Bruins after he played just two years at the University of Denver where he collected 93 points in 81 games with the Pioneers. The B’s saw something special in Heinen, and even though it looked as if he was not ready for the NHL level last year, he has proven to be a solid draft pick.

Through the 39 games he has played, Heinen has 10 goals and 21 helpers – good for 31 points. On Jan. 3, the winger had notched 21 points through 22 games, with a plus/minus of 10 and had a two-point game against the New York Islanders where the B’s won 5-1.

Those 31 points put the 22-year-old in fourth for rookie scoring, and the three players above him have played between four and seven more games than him. Heinen is making an impact on the B’s and has been without a doubt exceeding expectations on the ice.

Essentially, Heinen came out of nowhere and has been producing numbers to help the Bruins be in the position they are. They’re second in the Atlantic Division, and without the help of his 31 points, the B’s may not be anywhere close to second.

However, it’s not surprising you don’t hear a lot of talk about the young stud – this team is loaded with talent and has been winning big games, including two wins against their rival Montreal Canadiens.

Tuukka Rask has been absolutely dominant between the pipes since December, Marchand was named to the All-Star team, Pastrnak has 18 goals, and McAvoy is dropping gloves and scoring goals. It’s easy to see why Heinen gets lost in conversation.

What makes his rookie season even more impressive is that Heinen played just eight games last year and didn’t record a single point. He was incredibly underwhelming, and after some work in the offseason, he has become someone the B’s can rely on while he’s on the ice.

Heinen has become a key contributor to this team whether he is talked about or not – which I think makes him all the more special. He’s apparently not letting the success he’s had this season get to his head – he’s just quietly climbing to the top of the rookie scorers list.

Tuukka Tales: The Turnaround of the Boston Goalie

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Lauren Campbell           Follow Me On Twitter @lalalalaurrrren 

If someone told me back in late October that the Boston Bruins would have 53 points heading into their bye week, I wouldn’t believe them – but alas, here we are on January 11 and the B’s are 23-10-7 with 53 points, good for second place in the Atlantic Division.

The three months of this season have been quite the roller coaster – from fans calling for Tuukka Rask to get off this team, to not being able to win two games in a row in regulation until mid-November, it became increasingly difficult to watch this team.

However, through the sloppy play, the sluggish hustle and the soft goals given up by Rask, this team started to click on all cylinders – and I believe it all started after Bruce Cassidy benched Rask in favor of the number two goalie, Anton Khudobin.

Khudobin had some solid starts and it seemed as if he was giving Rask a run for that number one spot back in November. The team seemed to be playing better in front of their back-up – they scored more goals, the urgency was there and the defense looked close to perfect.

This sparked a lot of conversation that Rask was the problem and either he was unhappy with the team or the players didn’t like him so in spite of Rask, the team played worse when he was in net.

The above argument seemed asinine but the Rask haters would really force it…that was until December when number 40 seemed to all of a sudden turn a bad start to the season completely around and come up with some big wins.

The pessimists were suddenly quiet after Rask was named the NHL’s first star for the month of December after he completed the month with nine wins and two shutouts and led all NHL goalies with a .955 save percentage.

The netminder currently has a 14-8-4 record and the team has at least one point in his last 13 starts. Those are pretty good numbers for a goalie who started off the season not looking like a starter.

Rask was essentially non-existent for a month but has since led Boston to 22 points through 14 games in December. Before their mandatory bye-week, Rask blamed himself for the 6-5 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He didn’t make up any excuses or throw his team under the bus, he simply put the blame on him.

The second half of the season starts on Saturday and it will be a huge test for Rask (assuming he gets the start) against their rival and former head coach, Claude Julien and the Montreal Canadiens.

It will be interesting to see if Rask keeps up this hot streak he’s on or if he will fizzle out. One thing is for certain: the Rask haters are waiting for him to fail while the supporters are waiting for him to prevail.