Bruins David Pastrnak Wins Award

Image result for david pastrnak golden stick award 2018(Photo Credits: Tech2.go)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

For the third time in three years in a row, Czech-native David Pastrnak has won the Golden Hockey Stick ( Zlatá hokejka)). The award is given annually to the top-performing Czech ice hockey player. This year, Pastrnak beat Tomas Hertl, forward for the San Jose Shark and fellow Czech Jakub Voracek-who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers. Pastrnak led the poll with 59 points ahead of Hertle to win the top prize.

Pastrnak became the youngest Cezch player to win the award in 2017. Winning for the third time in consecutive years has not been done since Jaromir Jagr did it from 2005-2008. The 47-year-old Jagr has won the award 12 times while legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek won five times. Fellow Bruins and Czech player David Krejci finished fourth behind Voracek in the poll. Pastrnak and Krejci did not attend the ceremony. In a recent interview with Czech media, Pastrnak had a few words to say about the recent loss in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals:

“The last defeat, even after the few days, still hurts a lot. It’s a memory of the end of life and a big disappointment.”

The 23-year-old native of Havirov had 19 points during the post-season run in the 24 games played. Pastrnak enjoyed one of his best performances during the regular season as being part of Boston’s top line. He had accumulated 81 points with 38 goals and 43 assists in 66 games. David Krejci was voted sixth place last year and jumped to fourth this year.

For the final poll, Pastrnak had 464 points with Hertl at 405 points. The final top players were determined in two rounds and were voted by representatives of hockey associations, coaches and top competitive clubs along with journalists. Here are the top five NHL Czech Players that made the final cut:

  1. David Pastrnak-Boston Bruins
  2. Tomas Hertl-San Jose Sharks
  3. Jakub Voracek-Philadelphia Flyers
  4. David Krejci-Boston Bruins
  5. Michael Frolick-Calgary Flames

IN OTHER NEWS

Pastrnak had a tough end to the post-season and much like the rest of team had been dealing with an injury reaggravated during a game in the Playoffs.  Aside from physical injury, many players had to overcome mental hurdles as well. At the end of the season media presser, Coach Bruce Cassidy did touch upon the possibility of moving Pastrnak and stated the conversation would continue next season.

For his part, the young winger (who reaggravated his thumb in the Columbus series) was quick to say the injury was not the sole reason when it came to the lack of production. A lot of it came the way of criticism and the grind of the Playoff that affected the young Czech winger:

“It was defiantly tough. I wasn’t feeling great, but that’s why this was such a good group because we were picking each other up…I had 25 guys to help pick me up just like I would do the opposite. It was mental stuff…In this kind of life, even if you don’t want to see stuff, read stuff…it’s tough.

I will take a lot of positives from this. I’m just going to get stronger mentally. So it was a good experience. It’s a big mental experience…The mental stuff is what I learned the most…It’s the Playoffs and you just need to come back to the bench and make sure you’re ready for the next shift no matter what happened behind you…Sometimes you get stuck on thinking what happened before and that brings you down kind of.”

With the season down and Pastrnak joining some Czech legendary company, here’s to the young winger and may he reach his 100 point season next year!

The Disappearance of the Boston Bruins First Line

brad_marchand_patrice_bergeron_david_pastrnak.jpg(Photo Credits: USA Today Sports Photo)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It’s been a few days since the Boston Bruins suffered a tough end to a well-hard played season and as many weigh in on exactly what went wrong, it’s hard not to discuss one glaring issue: the production of the first line.

NHL Insider for NBC Sports Joe Haggerty dubbed the trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak “The Perfection Line.”  Throughout the regular season, the Bruins top line combined for many of the games top points and Brad Marchand hit 100 career points. At the end of the postseason, they combined for 59 points but despite that, the struggles of the first line had become a hot topic.

(Photo Credits: Harry How/Getty Images)

Last season saw the first line leading in team production, however, it was evident that the Bruins wouldn’t be able to survive on one line alone. This season Boston’s story turned around and as the team fought through injuries, the “next man up” mantra came into fruition. The Bruins kept winning despite all the line juggling and soon saw themselves punching their way into the Playoffs. The fourth line went full-steam ahead and with the addition of Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, Boston found their missing pieces.

As the Bruins trailed the series 3-2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the top line exploded with Marchand tallying up two goals and an assist, Bergeron with an assist and Pastrnak had two assists, forcing a Game Seven. But when it came time for Round Two and Round Three, things started to dry up a bit. Early on, Coach Bruce Cassidy addressed the concern in regards to the lack of  production from the top line-most notably Marchand:

“We asked him to attack a little more. What happens with Brad is if the puck’s not going in, he wants to make plays for Pasta, because Pasta can score, Berg, they’re all 30-goal scorers, so [Brad] defers a little bit. If the pass is there, obviously make it, but don’t be afraid to shoot. You saw it the other night, he rang one off the post, had one cross screen and nice blocker save, [Sean] Kuraly almost got the rebound, so there was some stuff going on there for him. I thought Pastrnak was closer than that, had a block on a wraparound, so he’s getting inside. That encourages me. So I feel they’re close, but St. Louis is tough. It’s tough to get inside, they defend well, goaltender’s playing well. So it’s a good battle right now.”

As with the Toronto series, the Bruins found themselves with their back against the wall, but were able to push back and force Game Seven on home ice.  But when the time was needed for Boston’s once-feared first line to explode again, the trio garnered little to no points and missed many scoring chances in the final Game Seven. If you look strictly at the plus/minus, all three had a -3 or -4  at one point in the series.

Related image(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Game Seven was arguably the most important game for the Bruins and it was a quite…lackluster. And while you can’t place blame on just one line nor should you expect just one to produce all the goals, the drought was ill-timed. The final game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is one of sports biggest stage and there were many mistakes made. For Marchand, that badly timed line-change is something he will always “live with.” And when asked about the line’s struggles,  Marchand stated:

“I mean, that’s playoff hockey. You’re not going to dominate every game, you’re not going to score every goal. It is what it is. Obviously, we hold ourselves to a high standard, and we would’ve liked to be better. That’s hockey.”

For as tough as this loss was, the focus will now turn to the buyout period and free agency. Changes are inevitable and many of the young players have expressed their strong desire to stay right here in Boston. In a few months, the team will once again come together and whether or not Coach Bruce Cassidy keeps the top line together remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure… the Bruins will use this loss as a lesson and raise the Cup sooner than you think.

Relishing The Moment: Boston Bruins Brandon Carlo

Image result for brandon carlo(Photo Credits: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

For the last two years, bad luck has struck a certain 6-foot-5 Boston Bruins defenseman and as 2018-1019 regular season drew to a close, the reaction was to wrap him up in bubble wrap.  This time around though, Lady Luck has FINALLY come knocking (with fingers and toes crossed) and Brandon Carlo is more than ready to hit the ice as he plays in his first Stanley Cup Finals.

For Carlo, this season has been his best so far and he has become one of the most reliable defensemen on the roster. In this post-season run, the 22-year-old has averaged 20:00 minutes of ice time and so far has two points in 17 games. As a first-year player, Carlo had to work in finding out exactly what type of NHLer he would become and had a pretty promising good season. However, his pairing with Torey Krug late in the second season led to less than favorable results and Carlo seemed unable to make the right adjustments. This time around though, the Bruins are seeing a more physical and mentally prepared defenseman:

“Once I got more of my mental game under me throughout this year, I started taking strides forward. When I make a mistake, I don’t really think about it anymore. I brush it off and move on to the next play. That’s a big thing the coaches have talked to me about, the staff as well at the end of last season. Just learning from that experience has been really big for me. And watching other players in the league do it as well.”

Aside from developing his mental game, Carlo has had the advantage of being on a team steeped with a veteran core that boasts the likes of  Chara, Bergeron, and Backes. And as the team gears up for tonight’s Game One against St. Louis, he recently touched on the subject of chemistry and how it has affected this team:

“Everybody loves one another. I think that’s a strong word, but overall it’s true. This group is all about playing for each other. Hanging out off the ice, doing everything. From top to bottom, whether you’re 42-years-old…to 20-years-old, just the chemistry between this group mixes really well and it correlates onto the ice as well.”

Image result for brandon carlo(Photo Credits: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

The time is here and Carlo (along with many that are playing in their first Playoffs) is soaking up the excitement as well as heeding advice from those core veterans. As the Colorado Springs-native explained about the mindset going into tonight:

“Just not to overthink things. You can get ahead of yourself and start to think about all the possibilities and whatnot. But they’ve done a really good job of letting us take some time away from hockey as well, and regroup as individuals mentally.”

Things have certainly changed for the Krug-Carlo pairing and both have been steady as a defensive duo, as the Bruins have been dealing with an injured Kevan Miller. Even Coach Bruce Cassidy has found ways to not break up the pair when Boston saw McAvoy suspended for a game and Chara dealing with an injury.

When it comes down to it, no one can predict the outcome of this series, which will undoubtedly be physical, but one thing’s for sure: this team will be putting everything on the line.

 

Unsung Hero: Bruins Jaroslav Halak

Image result for jaroslav halak(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It’s time for reflection for the Boston Bruins as they prepare to face their final battle en-route to hoisting the Stanley Cup. It’s been a very long season and for many players, it’s sort of surreal.  What makes this team successful is simply put: they played for each other. In the sport of hockey, many times games are decided on which goalie won the battle in the net. And for one goalie, he has more than stepped up into that trusted role and kept a battle-worn Boston team in any given game. This season, Jaroslav Halak has rightfully earned his keep and has proven to be one of the biggest reasons that the Bruins have made it this far.

TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE

With Anton Khudobin leaving Boston for the Dallas Stars, the Bruins signed Halak as the back-up goaltender for Rask, who some say (ok, maybe many) plays better when he isn’t in the net as often. And with Halak, Rask has been able to do exactly that. And while there will always be polarizing arguments about Rask’s eliteness, the 32-year-old Finnish native has been playing nothing short of outstanding. And when it came time to rest his number one goalie, Coach Bruce Cassidy was able to rely heavily on Halak, all while keeping the team in contention for a Playoff spot.

“He played excellent for us, picked us up a number of times… when we were basically a two-headed monster in the net. Both guys, I think they had very similar numbers, Halak’s might have been better in the regular season. Kudos to him. Tuukka has taken the ball and run with it in the playoffs. We didn’t know how that would play out, were hoping we would get consistent goaltending every night. We have. But he was a big reason, Jaro.”

Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy

Related image(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

Throughout the regular season, Rask played in 46 games, with Halak pulling up the rear. Jaro posted a 22-11-4 record with 2.34 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage at the end of the season. There have been times where Cassidy wasn’t afraid to “ride” the hot goalie, oftentimes calling up Halak to get the start. While the Bruins were hit with a stretch of injuries, and Rask taking a personal brief hiatus, Halak (much like the rest of the team) took the mantra “next man up” and ran with it:

“…In terms of, we knew Tuukka would be less than in previous years, closer to 50, 55-ish, somewhere in that number, depending on the injuries or anything like that…I think it helped him (Rask), I don’t know how much, only he can answer that. And that goes to Halak…he’s a big reason why we’re here. A big reason.”

Coach Bruce Cassidy

Image result for jaroslav halak boston bruins(Photo Credits; The Causeway Crowd)

Having two calm and well-poised goaltenders is a problem every NHL coach would love to have, and Boston is once again within the grasps of winning another Championship thanks to that very problem. Rask will get the start in net and is favored to win the Conn Smythe award for MVP of the Playoffs. Having Halak made it easier for the coaches to manage Rask’s schedule and that has not gone unnoticed:

“He’s been such a big part of our group, Jaro, all year. I’ve been on that side, not playing in the playoffs. He’s been, like I said, a really big part of our group. And I’m happy he’s my partner.”

-Goaltender Tuukka Rask

Boston Bruins’ Chris Wagner Out

usatsi_12703775.jpg(Photo Credits: USA TODAY Sports photo)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

Next man up: It’s a phrase that’s been thrown around the locker room and after last night, the Boston Bruins will once again be tested as they look to sweep the Carolina Hurricanes.  In an all-too familiar scenario, the boys in Black and Gold are down a fourth-line grinder. Bruins Head Coach issued an update this afternoon on Chris Wagner as further testing will be done in Boston.

Late in the third period, as Carolina’s Justin Faulk attempted a slap shot towards a brick wall (aka Tuukka Rask), Wagner instinctively blocked the shot. Unfortunately the puck would end up hitting his exposed arm/wrist,  sending the 27-year-old down on the ice, writhing in pain. The injury sent the forward to the bench initially before heading back to the locker room. Wagner did not return to the game and was seen leaving the arena with an arm sling after the 2-1 win.

Boston Bruins' Chris Wagner (14) and Brandon Carlo (25) celebrate Wagner's goal against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney during the second period in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final series in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)(Photo Credits: AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

As expected, the Walpole, MA native was not on the ice at this morning’s practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. Noel Acciari was slotted alongside Jaokim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly. Acciari, like Wagner, has had much success on the fourth-line, which has been a key component in the Bruins success post-season. The 27-year-old Rhode Island native has one goal and one assist this post-season and has not played in the last five playoff games. Prior to the announcement, Coach Cassidy spoke about Wagner:

“I thought he was terrific tonight… Right now I don’t have an update. Not good right now. He came off in a lot of pain”

With Acciari getting the nod to return to the lineup, the injury comes at pivotal time for the Bruins as they could potentially sweep the ‘Canes this coming Thursday at the PNC Arena.  Amidst all the  injuries that have plagued this team all season long, Boston’s resiliency is one of the many reasons why they are one game away from the Stanley Cup Final. Wagner, along with Kuraly, Acciari and Nordstrom have been somewhat the unsung heroes of this team. Unlike last season, where most of the reliance was on the first line, the Bruins have finally found the recipe for their recent success. As Hurricanes Coach Rod Brind’Amour noted:

“I kind of wish they were going off, to be honest with you. I wish we were sitting here going, ‘Man, how do we stop ‘em?’ Because you know eventually they’re going to get on the board and that is a little bit worrisome.

But that’s why they’re a good team. That’s why they’re still playing, that’s why they’re who they are because it’s not really about one line.

Even though they have a great line, they’ve got four good lines that they can roll out there and they’re not afraid to put anyone against anybody and that’s when you know you’ve got a team that’s cooking.”

With Thursday looming and a desperate Hurricanes team waiting in the wings, the Bruins will once again (as Coach Bruce Cassidy perfectly summed up) “need to create the storm”.

 

The Quiet MVP: Bruins David Krejci

Screenshot_20190508-091222-01(Photo Credits: Causeway Crowd/Twitter)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

Ask any Bruins player and they will tell you that this team plays for each other- a key factor for their continued success in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Throughout the regular season, some have set benchmarks in Bruins history, whether it be Marchand’s 100-point season, to Tuukka Rask’s surpassing Tiny Thompson’s record of all-time wins by a Bruins goaltender. But there’s one player that has low-key been having one of his best seasons wearing a spoked-B jersey, so much so that Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has called him the “underlying MVP to our season.”

Image result for david Krejci(Photo Credits: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

IT’S ALWAYS THE QUIET ONES

He may not be flashy on the ice, but David Krejci plays where it’s needed and with a gritty performance in Game Six against Columbus, the 33-year-old Czech native has accumulated 16 points in series-clinching games (second in Bruins history). And luckily for Boston, he has managed to play the entire season healthy and because of that, the team is able to get some great offensive play from the center-forward.  Whether it be a snipe pass to his ever-changing linemates, to setting up one-timers, Krejci is there. Quietly calculating his next move.

And let’s talk about the revolving door on that second line. Just who would be playing alongside his wing? Would it fellow Czech David Pastrnak? How about Danton Heinen or would it be Jake DeBrusk that’s slotted next to the veteran? Different line combinations were thrown Krejci’s way and he simply rolled with it. He scored, he set up plays, and did exactly what any good player would do in his situation: he adapted and it worked to the benefit of his teammates.

Image result for david KrejciKim Klement/USA Today Sports

Prior to this post-season run, Krejci tied a career-high with 73 points in 81 games. If you look back to 2011 and 2013, he led in scoring during the post-season (and as we all know the Bruins won the Cup in 2011). Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney offered some key observations about Krejci:

“He was healthy this year…working on his nutrition, working on his training and evolving as a player as you get older and that’s something you have to do…He deserves a lot of credit for where we are as an organization, and he’s generally played his best hockey in the playoffs, so that’s exciting for our group a well.”

Scoring depth has been a residual issue, particularly from last year’s post-season run that saw the Bruins exit the second round of the Playoffs. The Bergeron line led most of the team’s production, but as with many things, you need other lines producing in order to compete at a high level, especially when you’re talking Playoffs. With a healthy Krejci down the middle on the second line and coupled with the emergence of the fourth line, the Bruins are looking good. Really good.

MAKING SOME HISTORY

In the series-clinching Game Six against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Krejci got the Bruins on board, netting his 97th career post-season point. With that stat, he is now fifth in Bruins history to reach that marker and joins an elite group:

Ray Bourque (161)

Phil Esposito (102)

Rick Middleton (100)

Johnny Bucyk (100)

The Czech native now has 10 points in his last 11 games and as the Bruins continue to play further deep into the Playoffs, Krejci’s stats should only get better. Aside from his playmaking decisions, the 13-year veteran also has another special quality that the younger players can look up to. Offering more insight into Krejci’s mindset going into these games,  Head Coach Bruce Cassidy had this to say:

“I think it’s his composure. Guys are playing at a higher pace out there so its a higher physicality so everything is ratcheted up, there’s noise all night. He’s got that ability to block that stuff out…he can slow the game down. At this time of the year, it’s even that much more important to stay within yourself, stay composed and make the plays in front of you. He’s just real good at it.”

Image result for david Krejci(Photo Credits: Jay LaPrete, AP)

The Bruins have their eyes on the prize and as the pressure continues to mount, this team will need to play with a higher level of discipline and Krejci is that guy to deliver it:

“I just want to go out there and help the team whatever way it is to help the team win…we don’t need any heroes, we just want to do it as a team.”

Go B’s.

Round 2 | Game One: Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Related image(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

By: Liz Rizzo  | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It’s been a wild first round that saw the early exit of big heavy-hitting teams and the Bruins are one of those teams still standing. After a nerve wrecking victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7  this past Tuesday, the Bruins are now gearing up to face a new foe in Round 2.  For the first time in either teams history, the wild card team Columbus Blue Jackets and the league’s second-place Boston Bruins will face each other.

Boston has had little rest from Tuesday’s bout with the Leafs while the Blue Jackets had 10 days off after a stunning sweep over the Tampa Bay Lightning. For the first time in their history Columbus has advanced to the second round. Surpassing all Vegas odds and, pretty much anyone that watches hockey, the Blue Jackets will be looking to strong arm Boston at the TD Garden. The last time these two teams met on April 2nd, Boston defeated the Blue Jackets 6-2. Columbus  has won 11 out of 12 games in the regular season and swept the Lighting in four games.

Image result for BOSTON BRUINS VS BLUE JACKETS(Photo Credits: WCVB Boston)

For Boston, the continued emergence of the fourth line will hopefully once again show up tonight as they face a heavy, tough Columbus team. Sometimes rest isn’t always the best thing and that can bode well for the B’s. They’ll be looking to carry over their momentum from their Game 7 win to tonight’s game. If you look back to last postseason, the Bruins defeated Toronto and were able to defeat the Lightning in Game 1 of the second round, winning 6-2. But as history has it, the Bruins were unable to carry that energy over to the rest of the series.

“I hope we’re ready. I can’t guarantee how it is. Eight or nine days off, I think we can say all the right things as I’m trying to do right now, but it comes down to the players being mentally ready. To me, its not a physical ready, its a mental readiness as far as ready to elevate your compete to start a series.”-Columbus Coach John Tortorella

Both Boston and Columbus had the best power play in the league postseason, with the Jackets in first and Boston in second. The Bruins power-play was instrumental in key victories over the Maple Leafs. For the Blue Jackets, their power-play was a huge factor in their winning sweep over Tampa Bay.  If you wanna talk stats, the Bruins were shorthanded 16 times in seven games, while Columbus was shorthanded six times in four games.

Image result for BOSTON BRUINS VS BLUE JACKETS(Photo Credits: NESN.com)

The Bruins will need to be mindful of the heavy forechecking by Columbus’s Josh Anderson, Nick Foglino and rookie Alexandre Texier.  Boston’s secondary scoring issues was hot topic during the regular season, however come postseason, has been a different story. In the pivotal Game 7, it was Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Marcus Johansson that got the Bruins on board. Although the first line has been quiet (aside from Marchand who’s been steadily producing), the team will  need all lines on deck for this series. Columbus’s Matt Duchene leads the team in points, goals and assists, while Brad Marchand leads in points, goals and assists.

Boston’s Chris Wagner and Connor Clifton will be back in the lineup tonight.

For Columbus, here are the projected lines for tonight:

Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Oliver Bjokstrand

Ryan Dzingel – Matt Duchene – Cam Atkinson

Alexandre Texier – Nick Foligno – Josh Anderson

Riley Nash – Booner Jenner – Brandon Dubinsky

Zach Werenski – Seth Jones

Markus Nutivaara – David Savard

Scott Harrington – Adam Clendening

Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo

Expect Tuukka Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky in their respected nets.

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight at TD Garden with puck drop at 7:00 PM

WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN

 

Bruins’ Captain Zdeno Chara Nominated

Image result for zdeno chara charity(Photo Credits: Ralph Freso/AP)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

As the Boston Bruins look to even out the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, the team announced this afternoon that Captain Zdeno Chara had been nominated for the 2018-2019 King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is given to the “player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” And for fans that have followed the team know firsthand that the Bruins organization is very keen on helping out the Boston community. For the Slovak transplant, Zdeno Chara is no stranger in having a heavy-handed involvement within the community.

Recently, the 6-foot-9 Chara was at the forefront (in his fourth year) at the Boston Bruins 12th annual PJ Drive benefiting Massachusetts children.  The Drive announced that a total of 21,000 pairs of PJ’s were the collected-the largest amount ever in their history.  Collections were held throughout the state with an in-game collection this past February.

Image result for zdeno chara charity marty walsh(Photo Credits: WCVB.com)

This past year, New Balance teamed up with the Bruins Captain to spearhead a shoe drive for those in need here in Boston and Slovakia. The charity, Soles4Souls, is a non-profit charity based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Not only do they provide many with shoes they also aim to create sustainable jobs. Chara personally bought and donated $7,500 worth of New Balance shoes.  Drop boxes were set throughout the area-one at New Balance stores, Warrior Ice Arena and an in-game shoe drive on the TD Garden this past March. Over 2,000  shoes were donated to the charity.

During the holidays, the Captain busily teamed up with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in collecting and donating over 3,000 pairs of socks to several local shelters. Chara participated in the annual team toy shopping and delivered to local Boston hospitals.  For the teams’ annual Thanksgiving pie delivery, Chara once again lead the way. Aside from purchasing $2,000 worth of pies, he also invited fans to donate in an online effort to raise more money. It worked. The effort raised an additional $3,500 that went to purchasing more pies.

Image result for zdeno chara charity(Photo Credit: Dr. Bryan Hoertdoerfer)

Chara is also involved in The Big Z Challenge, an annual charity headed by the Bruins team dentist, Dr. Bryan Hoertdoerfer. The event was held this past February, giving fans a chance to not only meet the captain but to square off with the defenseman in  “competitions.” The event has raised over  $150,000 and it was announced that this year’s funds went to benefit the expansion of the Elliot Regional Cancer Center in Southern New Hampshire.

Image result for zdeno chara charity(Photo Credits: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Last season, Chara joined social media and had quickly used his celebrity to shed light on the charitable efforts undertaken by the Bruins organization.  As Captain, Chara knows that being a Bruin is more than just being a player on the ice. Now playing in his 13th year in Boston, his leadership role has continued to extend to the community while inspiring those around him.

On April 23rd, the three finalists will be announced with the winner being revealed at the 2019 NHL Awards. The awards will be held on Wednesday, June 19th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  $40,000 in donations from the NHL Foundation will go the first-place winner, which will go to a charity of the winner’s choice.  The runner-ups will each receive a $5,000 donation that will also go to a charity of their choice.

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Few days ago I was able to make a surprise visit at ITALIAN HOME FOR CHILDREN in Boston and gave out many @newbalance shoes to every child. I WILL REMAIN HUMBLE BECAUSE I COULD HAVE LESS….. I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL BECAUSE I HAVE HAD LESS….. Thanks to @paulasueg and her team for all her help and support. #nbgivesback #giving #helpingothers **************************************** Pred pár dňami som prekvapil s návštevou deti z Detského Domova v Bostone a daroval @newbalance tenisky každému dieťaťu . STÁLE BUDEM SKROMNÝ LEBO SOM MOHOL MAT MENEJ… VŽDY BUDEM VĎAČNÝ LEBO SOM MAL MENEJ…. Ďakujem @paulasueg A jej team za ich podporu a pomoc. #detskydomov #darovat #davat #deti #pomahat

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Game Preview: Bruins vs Lightning

See the source image

(Photo Credits: Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

 

The boys in Black and Gold are back home playing their final season matinee game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a win this afternoon, Boston can notch their 50th win for the second consecutive season and 11th in club history. The Bruins have won their past two games and both teams have punched their way into the Playoffs.

Boston defeated the Minnesota Wild this past Thursday, in which fans got to see the NHL debut of Providence’s Zach Senyshyn, who would go on to notch his first NHL goal. The Bruins are now at 107 points, tied with the Calgary Flames in the league and locked at finishing second in the Atlantic Division. The top line continues to dominate as all three players have tallied up points to lead the team, as well as being in the top five in the league.

See the source image

(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

Brad Marchand is fifth in the league with 100 points; Patrice Bergeron is fourth in the league with four short-handed goals; David Pastrnak is fourth in the league for power-play goals (four). Marchand leads the team in points (100) and assists (64), while Pastrnak leads the team with 38 goals. The 22-year-old Czech forward has also accumulated 13 points in his last eight games played.

 

Jake DeBrusk has six points in the last five games played, while David Krejci has seven in his last five games played. Defenseman Torey Krug has notched five points in his last five games. Charlie Coyle will be playing his 500th game in his NHL career. Marchand has eight points in the last five games played.

See the source image

(Photo Credits: NESN.com)

The Tampa Bay Lighting come into the TD Garden looking to nab the NHL record for most wins in a single season. Tampa Bay has 61 wins and is within one win away from tying the Detroit Red Wings record of 62 wins back in 1996. Forward Nikita Kucherov is one point away from tying Alexander Mogilny record of most points in a single season. Kucherov has 126, while Mogilny has 127–the most by a Russian-born player. Kucherov leads the team in points (126) and in assists (86).  Fellow teammate Steven Stamkos leads the team with 44 goals.

Kucherov leads the league in both points and assists; Stamkos is second in the league with 19 powerplay goals and has 16 points in his last nine games.  The Lightning have a regular season record of 61-16-4 while the Bruins are 49-23-9.

(Photo Credits: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)

The Bruins rested many players on Thursday, but some could return today. Defenseman Kevan Miller sustained a lower-body injury on Thursday but is expected to play this afternoon. Expect goaltender Tuukka Rask in net today and for the Lightning expect Andrei Vasilevskiy in between the pipes. Chris Wagner is still nursing a lower-body injury, John Moore has an upper-body injury and Sean Kuraly is still recovering from hand surgery. For Tampa Bay, Dan Girardi, Victor Hedman, and goalie Louis Domingue are all nursing injuries.

Here are the Projected lineups:

BOSTON

DEBRUSK-BERGERON-PASTRNAK

JOHANSSON-COYLE-SENSYSHYN

NORDSTROM-ACCIARI-BACKES

HENINEN-FREDERIC-KUHLMAN

KRUG-CARLO

GRZELCYK-MILLER

CLIFTON-KAMPFER

RASK

TAMPA BAY

PALAT-STAMKOS-JOHNSON

GOURDE-POINT-KUCHEROV

KILLORN-CIRELLI-JOSEPH

ERNE-PAQUETTE-CALLAHAN

COBURN-STRALMAN

MCDONAGH-CERNAK

SERGACHEV-RUTTA

VASILEVSKIY

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Today with puck drop at 1:00 PM, TD Garden

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, SUN

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!  

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Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets 4/2/2019

Image result for boston bruins vs columbus(Photo Credits: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The Bruins continue their road trip when they visit the Nationwide Arena as they face the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are looking to clinch a playoff berth with a win tonight.  Meanwhile Boston can clinch second place in the Atlantic Division; they are four points ahead of Toronto. After tonight’s game, the B’s will have two more  left in the regular season before facing the Maple Leafs in the first round of the Playoffs. Boston will hopefully bounce back tonight as they are 1-3 in their last four games.

SURGING TEAM

Columbus have won five straight games and are looking to win their sixth tonight. Meanwhile, the Bruins are hoping to clinch home ice advantage if they win against the Jackets. It will be their third and final meeting with Columbus winning 7-4 in their first tilt and Boston winning 2-1 back at the Garden on March 16th. After dropping two in a row, the Bruins are hoping to bring their energy in the Arena in what hopes to be a hue Playoff atmosphere.

“It will be good for us. We need it. We’ve been two games where we were at our best, so hopefully they bring out the best in us. That’s the style they tend to play anyway, kind of a playoff, heavier style. Should be good for us”—Bruce Cassidy

Related image(Photo Credits: USA Today – Russell LaBounty)

Coming back from a lower-body injury, expect Chris Wagner to be back in the lineup while Danton Heinen will sit out due to an illness.  Sean Kuraly is still recovering from a fractured hand. If the Bruins win tonight and the Maple Leafs lose against the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston would have home ice. If Boston comes away with one point and the Leafs lose, the Bruins can still get home ice. Here were this morning’s rushes:

Brad Marchand was named NHL’s Third Star of the Month for March as he is two points away from a career high of 100 points. This month alone he has tallied 23 points with nine goals and 14 assists. He recently set a franchise mark for most shorthanded goals after scoring off a sick feed from linemate Patrice Bergeron in this past Sunday’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. Expect Tuukka Rask in net tonight.  The Bruins are 47-23-9, while Columbus is 45-30-4. Marchand leads the team with 98 points and in assists (63). David Pastrnak leads the team with 36 goals.

Image result for boston bruins vs columbus(Photo Credits: Charles Krupa | AP)

The John Tortorella-lead team has surged lately, with the power trio of Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson. Panarin leads the team in points (83) and in assists (56). Columbus is in the wild-card with 94 points and could clinch a spot tonight with a win over the B’s. They are currently one point ahead of Carolina and two over the Montreal Canadiens. Expect goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in net. The Jackets have outscored their opponents 24-4 in their last fie games.

Here are their projected lineups for tonight:

Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson

Ryan Dzingel – Matt Duchene – Josh Anderson

Boone Jenner – Alexander Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand

Riley Nash – Brandon Dubinsky – Nick Foligno

Zach Werenski – Seth Jones

Markus Nutivaara – David Savard

Dean Kukan – Scott Harrington

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

 

WHEN TO WATCH:  Tonight with puck drop at 7:00pm

WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN, NESN

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

Click Here For The Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com