Sports Spot 11/5/18: Episode 6: Bruins Need A Top-Six Winger

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By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

It’s all Bruins and Patriots in episode six of Sports Spot. The Bruins need to balance out the scoring up-front and a trade for a top-six, scoring winger might be just what they need. We talked about multiple players that could be a good fit including the big fish in the pond, Artemi Panarin, as well as guys like Wayne Simmonds, Mats Zuccarello, and Josh Anderson. Listen and enjoy.

Bruins segment:


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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Philadelphia: 10/25/18

Boston Bruins' Jake DeBrusk celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens in Boston, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Philadelphia Flyers

Boston’s Lineup


Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – DeBrusk

Bjork – Nordstrom – Wagner

Donato – Kuraly – Acciari


Chara – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Moore

Lauzon – Kampfer




Philadelphia’s Lineup


Giroux – Couturier – Konecny

Laughton – Patrick – Voracek

Lindblom – Weal – Simmonds

Weise – Lehtera – Knight


Provorov – Hagg

Gostisbehere – MacDonald

Sanheim – Gudas




First Period

Coming off of a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, the Bruins came into this one looking to start a winning streak. With Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller, and now Urho Vaakanainen out of the lineup, Jeremy Lauzon is the next man up on the back end. The Bruins come into this one with a 6-1-2 record against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden in their last nine contests.

The game started out with some good back-and-forth on both sides of the ice. Jeremy Lauzon landed a solid open-ice hit on Oskar Lindblom. Most notably, the third line was buzzing with energy and offensive zone pressure for the Bruins.

At the 12:49 mark of the period, David Pastrnak and Claude Giroux were sent to the box for hooking and holding the stick respectively, creating a 4-on-4. The extra room to work on the ice did not prove fruitful in getting on the score sheet, but another opportunity came for the Bruins shortly after. Robert Hagg sat for two minutes after slashing Brad Marchand, creating a big chance for the Bruins to take advantage of being a man up. One shot on goal and two minutes later, both teams still held goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Zdeno Chara fell victim to an awkward delay of game penalty with just under two minutes to go in the period. The Bruins held off the Flyers’ power play for the remaining minute and 55 seconds, but Chara’s penalty will bleed into the second period for five seconds.

The first period was much of the same throughout. A back-and-forth period overall just like the start. Philadelphia looked a bit lackadaisical at times. Jeremy Lauzon did not look fazed in his first period as an NHL defenseman in 3:28 of ice time. Anders Bjork really stood out while buzzing around the puck pretty consistently. The shots were 7-7, a deadlock, just like the score.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Jaroslav Halak made some key saves in the first half of the second frame. They stood out central to the goaltending battle theme of this game.

Danton Heinen put one in the high glass while all alone in front of Brian Elliott – both teams were snakebitten. Heinen made up for it and helped break the ice by feeding Zdeno Chara for a one-timer that beat Brian Elliott exactly seven minutes to go in the period. It was the second goal of the year for Chara, third assist for Heinen.




The good old too many men on the ice sent the Flyers to the penalty kill, with Travis Konecny serving the minor penalty. David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk made them pay for the bench minor. DeBrusk parked himself out front for a quick tip past Elliott to make it 2-0 Bruins. It was the third goal of the year for DeBrusk, assisted by David Krejci (7) and Steven Kampfer (1).

It took a little while to get on the scoresheet, but the Bruins took control and capitalized on a Philly team that just couldn’t find the back of the net. The shots still remained tied after two, this time with 18 on both sides. Jaroslav Halak left the ice for intermission with an 18-save shutout going.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Third Period

Steven Kampfer was throwing his weight around in the third. First on Corban Knight, the on Scott Laughton. The hit on Laughton drew an angry mob to the scene. Kampfer took Laighton to the ground and landed some jabs. Simmonds and Kampfer were penalized for roughing as a result of the skirmish, with Kampfer getting four minutes. Ryan Donato joined him to serve the penalty.



The penalties didn’t end as Chara went to the box for a second time, this time for tripping. The Bruins killed off a four second 5-on-3 and then some to finally get back to even strength.

In a game where they struggled to score, Travis Konecny took a tripping penalty with five-and-a-half minutes to go. Just over a minute and 30 seconds into the power play for the Bruins, Jake DeBrusk was called for interference while fighting for territory in front of Brian Elliott. Steven Kampfer and Scott Laughton exchanged words after their encounter earlier in the game, and Andrew MacDonald ended up in the box for slashing Jake DeBrusk in response.

Ryan Donato got jumped for crashing the net and started yet another skirmish in the Philadelphia defensive zone before Oskar Lindblom took an interference penalty in the final two minutes of regulation.

Make it two for Zdeno Chara. What did he do with the empty net opportunity behind the Bruins goal line? He sent it on net, because why not? It worked and marked his third goal of the season. Jaroslav Halak notched the first assist of his Bruins career on the goal. To keep up with a common theme, there was a scuffle at the buzzer.

The final shots were 26-25 in favor of the Flyers, making it a 26-save shutout for Jaroslav Halak. Next up for the Bruins are the Montreal Canadiens at home at 7:00 PM.

Final Score: 3-0 Boston

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Ottawa: 10/23/18

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Ottawa Senators

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup


Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – DeBrusk

Bjork – Nordstrom – Wagner

Donato – Kuraly – Acciari


Chara – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Moore

Vaakanainen – Kampfer




Ottawa’s Lineup


Boedker – Duchene – White

Dzingel – Tierney – Stone

Formenton – Carey – Ryan

Pyatt – Smith – Paajarvi


Chabot – DeMelo

Lajoie – Wideman

Borowiecki – Jaros




First Period

The last time the Bruins and Senators met, Patrice Bergeron scored a hat-trick in a 6-3 victory in Boston’s home opener. Since then, things have been rough as the Bruins have lost their last three games on the road. They came into this one look to find the win column away from home.

Jake DeBrusk rung iron early, under a minute into the game within a series of decent chances from the top two lines early. Zdeno Chara nearly sprung Anders Bjork free in the neutral zone with a stretch pass, but to no avail, as the puck slid past Bjork for icing. The urgency was clearly their early. Less than three minutes into the period, the shots were 6-0 Bruins. Patrice Bergeron managed to catch an attempted pass through the slot with the inside of his foot, but couldn’t bury it amongst the scrum that ensued in Ottawa’s crease. Urho Vaakanainen took a forearm to the face from Mark Borowiecki away from the puck that shook him up a bit – a questionable non-call from the referees. Vaakanainen can be found in the bottom right of the frame in the picture below.

Fast forward about a minute later, Zdeno Chara found himself in the box for hooking with 16:01 remaining in the period. Ottawa had some solid chances, none better than a wrist shot from the slot from Bobby Ryan that snuck past Rask, nearly crossing the goal line and giving Ottawa a 1-0 lead.

The Ottawa power play seemed to wake the Senators up a bit. Ryan Dzingel and Tom Pyatt saw some good-looking chances come their way with speed not too long after it. Ottawa evened up the shots at eight just past the halfway point of the first period, after being outshot 6-0 early.

This is becoming a common theme – David Pastrnak scored. With 8:43 left in the period, Pastrnak waltzed into the offensive zone from off the bench and ripped one right past Craig Anderson. After some intense back-and-forth, the Bruins break the ice on Pastrnak’s ninth goal of the year, assisted by Danton Heinen.

Chances went back-and-forth for the remainder of the period, but the one-goal advantage stuck in Boston’s favor headed into the second intermission. The shots were 15-10 in favor of the Bruins.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

The second period started off rough for the Bruins as Ottawa managed to maintain offensive zone for 1:14 of even strength time at one point within the first three minutes. Five-and-a-half minutes in, Noel Acciari found himself in the box for tripping, giving Ottawa an opportunity to get on the board early in the period and turn the tide. Ottawa failed to convert and the score remained 1-0.

For the majority of the period, it was all Ottawa in terms of shots, as with around five minutes left in the period, the shots were 8-1 in favor of the Senators. Matt Grzelcyk was on the receiving end of a big hit from Zack Smith –one in which Brad Marchand responded hastily to. Marchand then challenged Smith to a scrap to stick up for his boy Matt Grzelcyk. In a fairly lackluster period, the Bruins needed a spark like that from one of their leaders in Brad Marchand.

Zdeno Chara found himself in the box for cross-checking with 3:41 left and a visibly angry look on his face. This time, Ottawa took advantage of the power play thanks to a one-timed slapper of the stick of Thomas Chabot with 2:09 to go.

Alex Formeton sat for two not too long after the goal for holding the stick. Ryan Dzingel joined him due to a hook on David Pastrnak. It didn’t take long for David Krejci’s second goal of the year to capitalize on the 5-on-3 advantage, assisted by David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron.

With a 5-on-4 still intact after the goal, Pastrnak saw some nice scoring chances late, only to be stopped by Craig Anderson as the second period came to a close. The shots after two were 24-22 in favor of Ottawa. It was another solid period for Tuukka Rask in net. Bad news came during the intermission as it was confirmed that Urho Vaakanainen was ruled out of the game due to a concussion. Tough blow for a young player in his second career NHL game.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Third Period

With Urho Vaakanainen out of the fold for the rest of the night, the Bruins entered the third with five defensemen. Some gameplan adjustments need to be made by Bruce Cassidy and crew.

Just 21 seconds into the third frame, Pastrnak sent one towards the net to be deflected by Bergeron past Anderson. Going up by two goals less than 30 seconds into a period is always welcomed. The goal marked Bergeron’s seventh of the season.

Brandon Carlo bailed out his Tuukka Rask with this nutty save. Rask came out to play the puck, had a second shot bounce off his torso, setting up this save for Carlo.

It’s double digits for Pastrnak. Brad Marchand took Dylan DeMelo’s lunch money with a filthy toe-drag and dished it to Pastrnak back door. Some sick puck work on display to make it 4-1 Bruins. Shortly after, Zdeno Chara found himself in the sin bin again, this time for a trip on Bobby Ryan.

Tuukka Rask kept his impressive performance going throughout the third period as Ottawa continued to put decent pressure on him and the defensive core. He came into the game 4-0-1 in his last fives against the Senators, without a shutout in the mix.

Sean Kuraly nearly buried one within the final ten seconds like he did against Detroit, this time on a wraparound. It’s a 4-1 final for the Bruins over the Senators in Ottawa. Despite 39 shots from Ottawa, the Bruins kept control pretty consistently and picked up two big points over a divisional opponent. The final shots were 39-27 Ottawa. Tuukka Rask made 38 saves. The Philadelphia Flyers are up next on Thursday at 7 PM as the Bruins return home from their four-game Canadian road trip.

Final Score: 4-1 Boston

Sports Spot 10/22/18: Episode 4: Bruins Struggle On Canadian Road Trip

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By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Due to some horrendous audio hissing, our Red Sox segment had to be cut out of this episode four of Sports Spot. But, we’ve still got Bruins, Patriots, and Celtics talk in this week’s episode. Listen, share, and enjoy. Below you can find the show, as well as the timeframe of the Bruins segment.

Bruins segment:


Sports Spot 10/15/18: Episode 3: Bruins Are Rolling As Of Late

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By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

After some technical difficulties the first two weeks, here’s episode 3 of Sports Spot. Apologies for the hissing feedback on the audio throughout the show. The Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins are playing well and the Celtics are getting started tomorrow night with a lot to look forward to. Listen, share, and enjoy. Below you can find the show, as well as the timeframe of the Bruins segment.

Bruins segment:


Bruins-Red Wings Saturday Game Time Changed, Nordstrom Sees Practice Time On Second Line

Image result for bruins red wings 600x600(Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Earlier today, the NHL announced that this coming Saturday, Oct. 13 game between the Boston Bruins (2-1-0) and the Detroit Red Wings (0-1-2) will be rescheduled. The NESN crew will have Saturday’s game.

Originally set to start at 7:00 PM ET, the game will be rescheduled to 3:00 PM ET to prevent conflict with Game 1 of the MLB’s American League Championship Series (ALCS) between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, which gets underway at 8:09 PM ET. Now both games can take place independent of one another. It’s good to see the league getting on this schedule change so quickly, as the American League Division Series (ALDS) just ended late last night.

Standing in the middle of a three-game home stretch for the Bruins are the Edmonton Oilers (0-1-0), tomorrow night at 7 PM. Monday presented a 6-3 victory, in part thanks to a hat-trick from Patrice Bergeron in the home opener for the 2018-19 Bruins season against the Ottawa Senators. Fellow BnG colleague Max Mainville had the recap in that big first home victory, among other BnG content from Monday’s game.

Despite some different looking rosters in the preseason for both teams, it hasn’t been long since the Bruins, and Red Wings last squared off. September 22 and September 26 both saw some overtime action between the Bruins and Red Wings, with the Bruins losing in both contests. With the preseason in the past, the Bruins will look to start off a season series with their divisional foes from Detroit on the right foot on Saturday. Last season, the Bruins won all four of their games against the Red Wings en route to the earning the second seed in the Atlantic Division.

The Red Wings have a divisional clash standing in their way, as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night at Little Caesars Arena.

Nordstrom gets a look with Krejci and DeBrusk

After being scratched for Monday’s home opener, Joakim Nordstrom saw some time on the second line right-wing, along with Ryan Donato at practice today.

As one of the newer guys in the fold, establishing some familiarity with different players throughout the forward core is a good thing. Potential unexpected absences in the lineup and/or injuries can force lineup shuffling into action. Whether Nordstrom on the second line lasts long or not, using practice time to see if there could be a fit is a smart move. Head coach Bruce Cassidy seems fairly certain that Nordstrom will return to action tomorrow night.

On what this means for Ryan Donato, Cassidy is approaching his situation with an open mindset like last year. Despite a productive start to his Bruins career last season and into this one, there are always different things to learn as a 22-year-old professional hockey player like Donato. Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, and Matt Grzelcyk are a few guys who can attest to this.

After scratching Jake DeBrusk in November of last season, Cassidy had a lot to say. “The message to him was watch a game from up top. There are certain areas of your game that need to be better, and there are certain areas of your game that we like and need to be there every night. We talked about his energy and his legs. If he’s skating then everything else seems to fall into place for Jake, so that’s what we’re looking for.” While Donato brings plenty to the table and is already a valuable part of the team at a young age, watching the game from up top allows players to analyze things from a different point-of-view. Things have gone pretty good from Jake DeBrusk since then, a game off early in the regular season could very well do the same for Donato.

There is still some time before tomorrow night’s game for Cassidy to decide on whether he wants to go through with this move or not. Regardless of the outcomes of each game, Saturday’s going to be quite the day in Boston with mid-afternoon hockey, followed by playoff baseball at night. Before then, the Bruins are tasked with limiting Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Buffalo: 10/4/18

Image result for bruins sabres(Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Buffalo Sabres

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup


Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Donato

Heinen – Kuraly – Bjork

Nordstrom – Acciari – Backes


Chara – McAvoy

Moore – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Miller




Buffalo’s Lineup


Skinner – Eichel – Reinhart

Sheary – Berglund – Thompson

Sobotka – Mittelstadt – Okposo

Girgensons – Rodrigues – Pominville


Scandella – Ristolainen

McCabe – Dahlin

Beaulieu – Nelson




First Period

The season opener was dismal. No matter how you look at it, it’s hard to take positives out of a 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals. A back-to-back away from home presents the potential for a quick turnaround from a very tough loss. Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin, and company came into this one looking to set a new standard after a busy offseason.

From the start, it was apparent that things seemed to be clicking a little more in terms of puck possession and defensive zone breakouts. Some good back-and-forth action between both teams leads to the first goal of the season for the Bruins. Said back-and-forth action was highlighted by an impressive defensive effort from David Pastrnak. Brad Marchand then strolled into the offensive zone, stopped, and found the biggest guy on the ice, Zdeno Chara. The stern patience from Chara was very real as the mind games worked and he beat Carter Hutton top-shelf with 13:27 to go in the first. Charlie McAvoy had the secondary assist on the goal.

Vladimir Sobotka found a way to help his former team from long ago when he went to the box for slashing with 6:02 to go in the period. Towards the end of the power play came Ryan Donato’s first goal of the season, from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. 4:26 to go, and a 2-0 lead that has the Bruins feeling way better than they were on their way to Buffalo. Donato-to-Bergeron, Bergeron-to-Marchand, and Marchand back to Donato – a smooth zone entry capped off with a smooth finish.

Brad Marchand mentioned to NESN’s Alex Kraemer during intermission that doing the little things better helped in comparison their season opener. Things certainly looked more natural and efficient in the first. Rolling out a new-look lineup on top of moving further away from the feeling out process helped contribute to a 2-0 lead. Must be nice to be on the good side of a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Second Period

Just 2:47 into the second frame came an interesting slashing call on Danton Heinen, to say the least. A strong first penalty kill of the game allowed the Bruins to avoid getting behind the ball early in the period.

An interesting non-call came following a Sean Kuraly and Evan Rodrigues around. Kuraly then beat Rodrigues on a defensive zone draw and found himself on a breakaway, only to be denied on an attempt to squeak one through the five-hole of Carter Hutton. A huge stop by Hutton halted an attempt at a commanding 3-0 lead for the Bruins.

Responding to getting shut out 7-0 by tallying three assists within the first two periods is one way to get the offensive juices flowing – so Brad Marchand did just that. He hopped on a loose puck and found David Krejci who waited for a lane for David Pastrnak to bury his first of the season, making it 3-0 late in the second.

Heading into the offensive zone, a Nathan Beaulieu slap shot caught Charlie McAvoy pretty good on the inside of his foot with just around two minutes remaining in the period. McAvoy was slow to get up and headed off the ice to have the injury checked out. It’s one of the last things anyone on the Bruins wants to see as McAvoy is just starting his sophomore season with big expectations. Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller rotated in with Zdeno Chara after the injury.

A steady effort in the second was unfortunately hampered by losing such a prominent player to injury in Charlie McAvoy. The Bruins were set to roll five defensemen in the fold as they went into the final frame.

Score: 3-0 Boston

Third Period

The whole five defensemen thing didn’t last long as Charlie returned come the third period. This news was surely much to the relief of the Bruce Cassidy and crew especially as altering a game plan substantially with a three-goal lead isn’t ideal, at all.

Jaroslav Halak continued to make key saves, as Jake McCabe unleashed a wrister right into his chest with some heat on it in open space. The shutout is still intact at this point with 16:04 to go. Despite the 3-0 lead, shots were 24-23 Buffalo just around the halfway point of the third period.

The offensive momentum and the presence in Halak’s grill were definitely present, the Sabres just couldn’t convert. Sometimes it’s the defense, or bad luck or both. Just maybe it’s Kevan Miller eating a cannon from Jeff Skinner like it was no one’s business at the 5:42 mark as offensive chances become ever so important for Buffalo.

Big deficits can provoke desperation, and in this case, Carter Hutton vacated his crease with 4:30 to go. Perimeter work with the double-Rasmus blueline led to some extensive offensive zone time for Buffalo. David Backes and Zdeno both tried to airmail some empty-netters to put the game on ice, to no avail.

Not one, not two, not three, but four assists for Brad Marchand on the Patrice Bergeron empty-netter to make it 4-0 Bruins. Bergeron’s goal capped off an emphatic response after an eye-popping loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Jaroslav Halak picks up a 32-save shutout.

The Bruins now head prepare for their home opener on Monday against the Ottawa Senators with a 1-1 record – and some pep in their collective step. Some rest will be nice after starting the regular season with a back-to-back from Washington D.C. to Buffalo.

Final Score: 4-0 Bruins

Bruins Prospect Andersson Returned To SEL, Among Other Monday Roster Moves

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(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced a series of roster moves yesterday.

One of the most noteworthy comes in the form of 2018 second-round draft pick Axel Andersson being returned to Djurgarden IF of the SEL. Andersson had a solid summer in Boston, most notably in preseason action with the Bruins. Returning to his Swedish stomping grounds will allow the 18-year-old defenseman to grow and improve as a hockey player in SEL, a league in which he has past experience in. This past Saturday, Axel got in the board in some preseason action this past Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Additionally, four young Bruins are heading to Providence, as Cameron Hughes, Emil Johansson, Joona Koppanen, and Zachary Senyshyn have been sent to the AHL. Johansson and Senyshyn return to the Providence with 50+ games of AHL apiece, while Hughes and Koppanen are still getting their feet wet. All four, regardless of experience, join a group in Providence with a good mix of veterans as well as young, skilled players that could very well be a solid Atlantic division team yet again.

To wrap up the series of moves, forward Tanner Pond will report to Providence as well. After amassing 163 penalty minutes on top of 37 points in 61 games with the Atlanta Gladiators last season, Pond is not one to shy away from the fisticuffs.

The moves will continue to come as the regular season gets closer and closer to the regular season. One thing is for sure — roster decisions won’t become any easier for Bruins management as some roster battles still rage on.

Bruins Prospect Karson Kuhlman Brings Plenty To The Table

Image result for Karson Kuhlman(Photo Credit:

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

As one of the newer additions to the Bruins organization, Karson Kuhlman brings competitiveness and much more to the fold. Kuhlman officially signed with the Bruins back on April 10. He will be one of many attending Bruins rookie camp starting tomorrow.

Keeping with his Minnesota roots, Kuhlman eventually found himself playing hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth –– the school at which he spent four years. It only took him a year to earn a letter on his sweater as a UMD Bulldog, as he had an ‘A’ sewn on his sweater for his sophomore and junior years before earning the “C” as a senior. He did a damn good job as senior captain, leading the Bulldogs to the national title game where they took down the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a 2-1 win. He collected a goal, an assist, and Frozen Four MVP honors in the win. Not a bad way to go out for Kuhlman and his Bulldog teammates.

Despite having a letter on his chest for three seasons, it wasn’t his point production that shined through in Karson’s game. Kuhlman is known for his impressive work ethic, speed, and competitiveness. He possesses the tools to be an NHL player, likely in the bottom six forward pairings, and gave those in attendance a look at what he can do at development camp in June.

Karson will most definitely see some time in Providence this season with the P-Bruins, but that doesn’t mean NHL time is out of the question. He will be competing with guys like Noel Acciari, Chris Wagner, and Martin Bakos for NHL ice time. Unfortunately, there are always injuries throughout the regular season, so if he doesn’t make the team out of camp, he could surely be used for injury reinforcement and depth. Otherwise, his extensive background as a leader and competitor will serve him well as a 22-year-old joining an exciting bunch in Providence. The ability to play center and wing will only benefit him as well.

The ability to be a Swiss-army knife is a beautiful sight to coaches. Kuhlman was actually invited to Bruins development camp in the summer of 2017 before signing with the team. Clearly, he did enough then and throughout his career at Minnesota-Duluth to catch the attention of the Bruins’ brass, thus earning himself his first professional contract.

Watch below as Kuhlman comes in as the second layer on the forecheck. He further flusters Fighting Irish defenseman Andrew Peeke, leading to his teammate Jared Thomas scoring the second and deciding goal of the game for UMD.

Wherever he spends his time this season within the Bruins’ organization, there’s a good chance we see a lot of what we see in the video above. A player with the willingness to get in on the offensive attack and forecheck hard, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. The Providence Bruins and Boston Bruins alike are going to have guys that can pounce on loose pucks up and down the lineup, and Kuhlman will be there when he isn’t lighting the lamp every now and again.

The Potential Fluidity Of John Moore’s Role As A Bruin

Image result for john moore bruins(Photo Credit: @NHLBruins on Twitter)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Joining a new team can provide the potential for many new opportunities, no matter who you are. Former New Jersey Devils defenseman John Moore will hop into the Bruins’ defensive core with plenty on his plate.

As of now, the Bruins’ defensive core has eight NHL-ready defensemen on their roster with the addition of Moore on top of their core from last year, minus Paul Postma who saw brief NHL time last year. Moore’s contract is fairly similar to that of both Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller’s in terms of money and years, not how they were brought into the organization.

John Moore – Five Years / $13.75 million ($2.75 million AAV)

Adam McQuaid – Four Years / $11 million ($2.75 million AAV)

Kevan Miller – Four Years / $10 million ($2.5 million AAV)

In their respective tenures with the Bruins, McQuaid and Miller have seen some fluidity in their roles due to injuries and need for a change of pace every once in a while. In an interview with Matt Porter of the Boston Globe, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy had this to say, in part, about John Moore:

“We kind of know what the seven have for chemistry. [Moore’s] a bit of a question mark there, as for who he’s going to fit in best with. How does he adjust to the way we want to play? We play a little different than New Jersey, where he’s been for 3 years. That’s a learning curve as well.”

The ambiguity of Moore’s role at this time will allow time for him to find who he is most comfortable with on the ice. To find that comfort level, there is a chance he is playing in different situations, going hand-in-hand with different defensive partners. Moore possesses some good size at 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds and can skate pretty well for a bigger guy. He also moves the puck well, has a solid shot, and has shown that he can play on the right side on top of his natural position as a left-handed defender.

Moore has hovered around the 15-20 point mark per season over the course of his NHL career in seasons of 60 games or more. The 2016-217 season sticks out as he scored 12 goals and added 10 assists, good for 22 points in just 63 games. Last season featured a 7-11-18 stat line in 81 games, plus an assist in five playoff games.

The Bruins’ top defensive pairing will likely feature Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo. After that, the rest of the defensive core is sort of up-for-grabs among the group of eight defensemen. Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo, as well as Matt Grzelcyk and Kevan Miller, have proven to be solid matches for each other on the back end in the past.

The chemistry within the system that is already present will make things a bit difficult in terms of decision-making from Bruins management, as well as on Moore himself. The Bruins are coming off of a great season defensively, which is also worth noting. Adding Moore to that bunch provides depth and reassurance on the back end.

Having eight defensemen certainly isn’t a bad thing. Remember how bad the Bruins were hit by injuries last season? These injuries were especially present toward the beginning to middle portions of the regular season. Depth doesn’t hurt. Wherever John Moore fits in the lineup, the Bruins have plenty of options if things go haywire and/or a change of pace is needed.

(Via NJ Devils on YouTube)