Milestone Night for Bruins’ Marchand

Image(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

Seven hundred NHL games under his Black N’ Gold belt, the Bruins’ Brad Marchand was asked on Hockey Hall of Fame Night in Toronto a pretty on the nose postgame question after helping his team snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs: You ever think you might be in the HHOF?

The man once known as the Nose Face Killah had a telling response: “No, No I don’t… To be honest, I don’t really think about it.”

Well, there’s many people thinking about it now. Because 700 wasn’t the only numerical accolade highlighted on Marchand’s milestone night north of the border (and earlier this week). To wit:

Speaking of highlights, the right-off-the-faceoff third period tally that gave the B’s an all-important 2-1 lead (and subsequently set “Marchy” up for the above historic record) just 11 seconds into the final frame was both indicative and illustrative of No. 63’s top-notch talent and work ethic.

Go strong to the net with speed and skill then truly put the stick to stick-to-itiveness — that’s a Brad Marchand specialty order. Thankfully for the B’s, he had one more order up his sleeve. And that proved pivotal (and point-ful) in that it became the game-winning goal later in the third. In fact, it was almost the same recipe for success: a strong shot on net, a dogged perseverance to get the rebound, then a deft finishing touch!

Like him or not, Marchand is quickly (if not so quietly) becoming one of the best players in the league this year. But, that’s not surprising for an all-star who consistently puts up big points season after season. What else is not surprising? How no matter the stage, he always finds a way to stick his nose out after a powerful performance.

Seven hundred games into his salty and successful NHL career, there’s one thing for sure about Brad Marchand. He’s not changing how he plays or who he is. And that’s definitely deserving of a few honors, be it in Boston or Toronto, right now… and perhaps even (hall of) famously later.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins No Longer Playing “Lights Out” Hockey

Image result for bruins panthers power outage

(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

On Military Appreciation night at TD Garden, all the accolades went to those who were suited up in the stands. And rightfully so.

Because what happened to those in Black N’ Gold who suited up on the ice, especially from the 3rd period onward… well, it was woefully void of anything appreciatory, celebratory or congratulatory.

In short, the lights literally and figuratively went out on the Boston Bruins.

On a night everyone was supposed to remember for all the right reasons — sacrifice, duty, service — the Bruins gave us a performance we’ll remember for all the wrong ones. Ironically, it involved the team lacking all of the aforementioned qualities during a stretch of hockey that was easily the worst I’ve ever seen in my *lifetime.

*(I’m not counting the forgettable fiasco YouTube’d below since I only heard the expletives shouted from the other room by family members and was told later that everyone was seeing “Stars” — and not the kind I should be dreaming about. Then again, how can you dream when nightmare scenarios like this happen as a hockey-loving kid…)

 

Speaking of things that will keep you up all night… up 4-0 with twenty minutes of hockey left to play on home ice — and in major need of a win after losing three uninspired games in a row — the B’s treated all their fans, and those in uniform let’s not forget, to one mistake and mishap after another.

This led to four unanswered goals from a truly powerless Panthers club and pulled the plug on any electricity Boston originally brought to the game, TD Garden grids aside (not to be confused with the ol’ Boston Garden grid that flexed some series outage awesomeness during the ’88 Stanley Cup Finals against Edmonton).

 

You know who also had an outage of epic proportion in this grotesque game? Tuukka Rask. The “Big O” we were all hoping for was supposed to be on the scoreboard, not the switch board. And after the first two periods, it looked pretty pretty pretty good. Talk about enthusiasm being curbed shortly thereafter.

From everyone rooting for a shutout, the B’s were soon heading for a SHOOTOUT — Rask letting in at least two soft goals in the interim. And since it’s an NHL rule that Boston can never win after OT, you could see the extra point evaporating as quickly as Coach Cassidy’s lackluster line-up of would-be scorers (who are all bereft of breakaway abilities, never mind shootout sureness).

Thank goodness it’s only November. If there is such a thing as a “Stanley Cup Hangover,” then it may be cured for the B’s by the holidays as opposed to February or March when it could be too late to recover. But unlike simply flipping a switch to restore power, these beleaguered Bruins will now have to work harder than they have since the postseason to get all the energy back from their hot start.

After four consecutive losses, with the fourth coming as a result of blowing a four-goal lead to a team from Florida, things are indeed looking dark in Bruins Nations right now. Maybe it’ll LIGHT a fire for a team in desperate need of a spark!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Mark Your Bruins Calendar 2020 Update: Prague, Czech Republic

(Photo Credit: NHL)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

The Boston Bruins are going global. Again.

The NHL recently announced its 2020 Global Series and the B’s are international headliners for the third time in the last decade. The Black N’ Gold will open the ’20-’21 season on the road in Prague, Czech Republic facing off against the Nashville Predators at O2 Arena.

The B’s most recently opened abroad in 2018-’19 playing the Calgary Flames as part of the NHL China Games, an experience I wrote about for the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog last Fall.

It was an experience highly regarded by both players and management, much the same way Bruins’ veterans Zdeno Chara and David Krejci remember opening the season in Prague for the first time back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere Series. Krejci shared his thoughts about this trip in a team press release touting its return to familiar territory:

“Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends and teammates,” said Krejci. “It was the start of a year I’ll always remember. Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it’s great the League continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world.”

Later in that same release, the B’s forward with the hottest release in the league right now (15G, 15A – 30PTS) shared what playing in Prague means to him since he wasn’t apart of the 2010 trip. Here’s what David Pastrnak had to say about the Global Series against the Preds:

“I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague,” said Pastrnak. “I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I’ll never forget – I can’t wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim.”

The presser also notes the Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe and will each play in an exhibition match as part of the Global Series Challenge. As Pastrnak mentioned, the B’s will report to Mannheim, Germany and play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena.

Image result for bruins prague(Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder)

As you can see from the near-decade old photo above, the B’s are no strangers to Prague. Current players on the Bruins roster who grew up in the Czech Republic include forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak, as the B’s press release notes.

Krejci was born in Sternberk and played junior hockey for HC Kladno. He has represented his home country in international play on several occasions, including the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, and was awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic in 2013. Pastrnak was born in Havirov and played junior hockey with AZ Havirov. He has represented the Czech Republic in international play on several occasions and has been awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic each of the last three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For more information on the upcoming B’s season, stay tuned to the BN’G Hockey Podcast & Prospect’s Podcast!

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

 

Happy Halloween from the Boston Bruins!

IMG_4529(Photo Credit: Zdeno Chara’s Instagram)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

No tricks.

This may be the greatest Boston Bruins team photo of all-time! I mean, do the B’s do Halloween right, or what? Every year. Even before the 31st… when they dress up for area children’s hospital visits!

And if you visited any of the player’s social media sites this spooktacular season, you’ll see they’re loving the costume creativity just as much as we are. From Toy Story to Wayne’s World (The Bergeron’s)! From Dodgeball to Dumb and Dumber (Danton Heinen / The Backes’)! And from Stranger Things (The Marchand’s) to “strange behavior” (Kampfer as a waffle?), the Black N’ Gold went ALL IN on becoming the Black N’ GHOULD.

And we need to thank them. Tonight. Tomorrow. Everyday for the rest of the season. You can’t make Halloween any happier (or kookier & spookier) than this.

Dare I say, what a treat!

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

 

Bruins Early Season Play Still Sparks Trade Rumors

Image result for boston bruins david pastrnak jersey 4 goals(Photo Credit: LA Times)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

“Hands Down”… the Boston Bruins have started the season playing some of the most successful and spirited hockey in all of the league (hence why the team’s 7-1-2 record with 16 points is towards the top of the standings early on).

Yet, according to the popular puck YouTube blogger Hands Down Hockey, the strong start hasn’t quieted the sometimes deafening Bruins Trade Rumors about (take a guess):

  • ADDING A TOP SIX FORWARD / SECOND LINE WINGER
  • MOVING A BOTTOM PAIRING DEFENSEMAN
  • FIGURING OUT WHAT TO DO WITH PENDING UFA TOREY KRUG

 

To say this speculation is newsurprising or even unfounded would make any of us who follow the team consistently a bit dumbfounded. All of the above bullet points are a consistent topic of conversation within B’s Nation. But, with the recent injury to David Krejci combined with a complete lack of production from anyone not named David Pastrnak, you can see why GM Don Sweeney is not wasting any times “working the phones” as the video blog suggests.

Heck, we all know the likelihood of a trade happening before the deadline in 2020 is akin to Sweeney purchasing Michalengelo’s David (while we’re on the subject of “name dropping”). It’s a longshot. But, with potential other names like Taylor Hall and Alex Tuch and Jason Zucker being bandied about, it would be remiss of Sweeney not to put a tentative plan in place.

He’s already going to have some difficult decisions when Kevan Miller and John (not Josh as the blog mispronounces) Moore return from injuries to aid the back end — and that’s not even factoring in what will happen with Torey Krug, especially if the B’s hot start and consistent play fades by February. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy breaks down the likelihood of this happening:

What is actually happening re: Boston hockey right now? Nothing to complain about, fret about or worry about, despite the lack of secondary scoring and at times suspect D-zone coverage. Because point production, great goaltending and entertaining wins offset a lot of concerns in this game, not to mention speculation. But, that’s what being a Bruins fan (and blogger) is all about! It can be fun to play the “what if” game in between the real games. And it’s never really too early to do so, as Hacks with Haggs enjoys.

Now, you don’t have to agree with any of the above clips, tweets & posts — or even deem them worth of your time and attention. But, if they’re catching the attention of the B’s top brass and could, be it now or later this season, put this team over the top with a real chance at making another Cup run, then why not pay attention.

This truly is the best time of year for sports fans, and you can Bet(online.ag) on it! Isn’t it the SPORTS EQUINOX anyhow?

 

Former Bruins D-Man Dennis Seidenberg Retires

Image(Photo Credit: NHLPA)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

The Boston Bruins, in early 2010, made a “bits and pieces” trade with the Florida Panthers. Scratch that… Bitz and pieces, with the non-Dafoe Byron and somebody called Craig Weller going to the Sunshine State for a solid German blueliner (and others) known only to die-hard hockey fans.

About a year later, all hockey fans –especially those in Boston– knew his name. In fact, that trade became one of the best in recent team history when the B’s beat Vancouver to capture their first Stanley Cup in four decades primarily because that tough-as-nails D-man paired up with Zdeno Chara to form the most formidable back-end tandem in the game.

And now, after 859 career NHL games (nearly half in a Black N’ Gold sweater — 401 to be exact), Dennis Seidenberg is hanging up his skates.

“Seids,” as he was affectionately known to his teammates, coaching staff and the fanbase, was a beast for the B’s, shutting down not only the game’s best offensive players, but doing it when it counted the most — against Montreal, Philly, Tampa and the aforementioned Canucks during that magical Cup run of ’11. And let us not forget his spirited and inspiring play during the near-Cup run of ’13 and Presidents’ Trophy campaign of ’14 that further endeared him to the region and to many other players league-wide.

He was respected just as much off the ice, as well, often leading by example with his rigorous training and constant practicing (something young guys named Bergeron and Marchand took note of and learned from).

 

Speaking of his off-ice actions, did you know Seids was a culinary connoisseur, art appreciator, festive family man and social stud? It wasn’t until the very entertaining Door To Door series came out from the Boston Herald five years ago that I realized just how “chill” of a guy he was (and still is). If you didn’t like him enough already, this video put it over the top:

 

And since he truly is going out “on top,” having reached the pinnacle of hockey’s heroic mountain and doing it for an Original 6 franchise no less, Dennis Seidenberg can fondly and favorably reflect back on a successful career that millions in the area will forever be grateful for. Dare I say, he certainly didn’t play a Bitz part in Boston (or did he?)!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 150 that we recorded on 10-20-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

 

NHL20 Predicts A Bruins Championship

Image result for nhl20 bruins(Photo Credit: EA Sports – NHL20)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

It’s “game” time for hockey fans everywhere. And I’m not just talking about the NHL’s 2019-2020 season dropping the puck for Opening Night.

Rather, EA Sports’ NHL20 video game, which has made a Bruins prediction as bold as some of our recent BN’G blog posts: that the B’s will win it all this year. Huzzah!

Pretty impressive right? The B’s will beat the Leafs (no surprise there) in the opening round, then the Lightning in round two and then the Caps in the Eastern Conference Final before dethroning the Golden Knights in six games.

And, get this: everyone’s favorite productive pest Brad Marchand will win the Conn Smythe, con artists be damned, with a nearly point-plus per game proficiency. That’s a prediction that’s not only bold and gold, but truth be told, I’m sold on!

However, I know what some of your are already saying / thinking / posting / tweeting: “what a jinx!” Or, perhaps, “where was this last season?” Or, better yet, “the odds of that actually happening are absurd.”

Be it in real life or the gaming world, prognostications of simulations can lead to recreations of imaginations. Simply put: it ain’t easy to predict a Stanley Cup winner — on the ice with talent, or on the screen with cheat codes.

Yet, not cheating ourselves, how fun is it to speculate on the official eve of Bruins puck drop? I mean, now that you know the team’s Stanley Cup Runner-Up history, why not have a little fun playing a game about the B’s potential game play this season? So far, the social media world seems to be enjoying it… especially the fact that Boston takes down Toronto in yet another first round Game 7 match up (this alone makes the NHL20 Sim worth it).

What else is worth a lot? Hope. At least the hope of another entertaining hockey season in Boston. Sure, losing the Cup really sucked (and still hurts), but we sure as hell went along for the ride up until mid-June! Now, if we’re to put our fanatical faith, and perhaps even some frivolous finances, into another form of entertainment — NHL20 — it looks like we’ll experience a SIMilar Summer run of perspective Cup fun.

I’ll hit “PLAY” on that B’s button all day long!

 

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 147 that we recorded on 9-30-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

 

Boston Bruins: A Stanley Cup “Runner Up” History

Image result for bruins blues handshake line(Photo Credit: NBC Sports)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

When you look up and see the half-dozen Stanley Cup banners hanging high above the TD Garden ice, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride, admiration and accomplishment for the Boston Bruins. “An Original Six got six,” as my late grandfather belovedly bellowed after watching Zdeno Chara celebrate like a champion in 2011.

Image result for td garden banners bruins(Photo Credit: TD Garden)

But, there are some other banners that, if you pay them close attention, aren’t really as celebratory, or dare I say champion, as they seem. That’s because they reflect all the times the B’s have fallen short of hockey’s ultimate quest.

Some are marked by the Prince of Wales Trophy designation (for winning the Eastern Conference)… others the old Adams Division… even a few for the woefully unreliable Presidents’ Trophy acknowledgement.

What they all share in common is a familiar heartbreak for hockey fans in the Hub. One that began in 1927 at the hands of the original Ottawa Senators and was most recently relived courtesy of the cutthroat St. Louis Blues this past June of 2019.

In the 92 years in between, there were twelve other occasions where the B’s — from Brown N’ Gold to Black N’ Gold (with some honey and/or yellow mustards thrown in for forgettable measure) — played runners-up to the Cup.

That’s a lackluster record of six and fourteen. Or, typed out in a style that’s hard to miss, 6 – 14. That’s right, only 6 Ws compared to 14 Ls, all when competing for Lord Stanley’s coveted silver chalice.

And for some oddly annoying and historically humdrum reason, they seam to happen in spurts of two, all within a few short years of each other (or in modern-day terminology — during the same winning window). “Two” wit:

BOSTON BRUINS – STANLEY CUP LOSER STREAKS:

1927 & 1930 / Ottawa & Montreal

1943 & 1946 / Detroit & Montreal

*1957 & 1958 / Montreal & Montreal

*1977 & 1978 / Montreal & Montreal

1988 & 1990 / Edmonton & Edmonton

2013 & 2019 / Chicago & St. Louis

*Also lost in 1953 (Montreal) and 1974 (Philadelphia)

As you can see from above, even the outlier losing years were awfully close to the runners-up sequencing. Even hockey insiders like “Joey Mac” from The Athletic Boston have a hard time not noticing these unfortunate oh-so-close-to-glory trends.

Speaking of things not to glorify (a certain similar-sounding serendipitous song from St. Louis being one of them), McDonald’s article also points out the uphill battle the B’s now face in order to bounce back from a Stanley Cup-losing season.

As he mentions, no team in the modern-day NHL — a term we all keep going back to for six original reasons — has ever won the year after they’ve lost in a Game 7 final. Not even powerhouse teams of their respective eras like the Blackhawks, Devils & Red Wings.

Call it a hangover… call it depression… call it flat out not being as good (or as lucky) the following season, but history sure doesn’t seem to line up on the side of the B’s lineup in 2019-2020. But, maybe that’s exactly what the doctor ordered for Boston.

Maybe that’s exactly the kind of motivation this very talented team needs to get over the Cup hump one more time in the Chara/Bergeron Era. I know the aforementioned Mr. McDonald thinks so, and he isn’t even old and on the farm yet.

And considering the Bruins have one of the best farm systems in all of hockey, to steal a term made popular by their crosstown cohorts the Boston Red Sox, there’s a lot to be excited about both now and for future Cup runs in Boston.

Yet, if the Bruins really want their “Cup to runneth over”, especially during an upcoming season filled with plenty of historical harbingers and unsatisfactory stats as outlined above, then what they’ll need more than ever is the ability to forget — something history has made hard to do.

Thankfully (and regrettably at the same time) it’s history everyone wearing the spoked-B, or any “B” for that matter since 1927, has grown accustomed to — from Eddie Shore to Bobby Orr. From Cameron Neely to Donny Sweeney. From Uncle Milt to Tuukka’s guilt. The B’s know losing, especially in heartbreaking ways, whether we want to admit it or not.

So, how’s this for a banner statement: maybe NOT looking up to the TD Garden rafters this year will be what’s best for the B’s. Then, they can truly “look forward” to what every runner-up has ever wanted: an immediate next shot at the Cup!

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 147 that we recorded on 9-30-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

 

Bruins New Rinkside Reporter, Sophia Jurksztowicz, Making “Name” For Herself

Image result for sophia jurksztowicz bruins(Photo Credit: NESN)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

“What’s in a name,” mused William Shakespeare while soliloquizing a certain Juliet in his very famous star-crossed story from yesteryear. Well, this year for the Boston Bruins, a new name is joining the broadcast team in the role of rinkside reporter.

And for Sophia Jurksztowicz, it’s one that the players have been talking about (and trying to pronounce) since her preseason debut in September:

It’s only fitting that nearly every Bruins player from Europe in the video above expertly nailed the pronunciation of Jurksztowicz’s Polish surname down to the syllable (Zdeno Chara, Jaroslav Halak, Tuukka Rask… even David Pastrnak who “grew up 20 minutes from Poland”). Their American & Canadian counterparts & linemates, however, fared embarrassingly not as well. Specifically, Brad Marchand who campaigned for his 8th-try-at-pronouncing-her-name-correctly to be the official version: “I like the way I said it better.”

Here’s how Sophia, who’s had previous experience simplifying things for former Bruins coach (and one-time player) Don Cherry on Coach’s Cornerphonetically broke it down for the B’s, with the soft “j”, the hidden “v”, and the -ch-sounding “z”:

Yurk-shto-vitch!

Related image(Photo Credit: Hockey Night in Canada)

As the official press release from NESN stated earlier this Summer:

Since 2007, Sophia has worked with various sports broadcasting companies, including theScore, Rogers Sportsnet, CBC News Network and Hockey Night in Canada. She has served as a sports reporter and performed live updates in-studio and in-the-field reporting covering NHL, NBA and MLB stories.

Sophia was recently a host for the NHLPA’s special features with NHL players in collaboration with other NHLPA partner brands. As a broadcaster, journalist and producer at Rogers Sportsnet, Sophia was a social media expert for Hockey Night in Canada. Last month, she served as a reporter for CBC’s national coverage in Canada for the FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

“We’re very excited to have Sophia join NESN,” said NESN vice president Rick Jaffe. “She brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and understanding of the game to our broadcasts.”

That’s someone who’s already made a name for herself, both on and off the ice. Now, that’s she’s joined the Black N’ Gold, she plans on keeping it up — and making sure all the “Romeos” on the team know exactly who they’re dealing with!

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 147 that we recorded on 9-30-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

Mark Your ’19-’20 Bruins Calendar: Part VII

 Bruins vs. Senators(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

“And now, the end is near… And so I face the final curtain…”

Well, here’s hoping the end of March and the beginning of April for the Bruins resembles the exact opposite of the Frank Sinatra lyrics above. Because after what we all expect to be a season of successes over setbacks from the Black N’ Gold, this time of year should be yielding “a case… of which I’m certain!”

And that certainty is making the playoffs… and perhaps even winning the division for the B’s. Of course, the team will need to have followed suit (and jersey) over the past six months–and six parts of our epic Mark You Bruins Calendar series. But, based on the team’s 2019-2020 NHL calendar, that’ll be no easy task. Yet, for the remaining few games of the season that fortuitously line up in lineup favor for the Bruins, I’m more than confident of a winning and celebratory sendoff to capstone the B’s regular season.

March 31st & April 4th: A “Whale” Of A Series

Boston will end the month of March on the road in Carolina (aka Hartford South) playing a game that could have as much meaning as any ECF contest from yesteryear. Sure, I’m exaggerating the stakes but no one will look back defiantly if Game #80 on the season for the B’s in 2020 affords them a two-point boost in a playoff race that undoubtedly will be closer than a Bruins-Whalers alumni golf outing in Peabody.

 

And with the ‘Canes expected to be a playoff-contender yet again (after all, they did make it to the round before the Stanley Cup Final last season), this game could have even higher stakes for them than the B’s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a back-and-forth tilt with both teams trading chances & goals all throughout. That’s end-of-the-season entertainment for ya!

Speaking of literally the season’s end, Carolina will then travel to Boston to close things out on April 4th at TD Garden. So, this kinda-sorta “home-and-home” series (sandwiched around a very high profile match-up I’ll be marking on the B’s calendar below) has the potential to be HUGE — in terms of points, in terms of divisional standings, in terms of playoff seeding and in terms of modern-day rematch rivalries that instantly form after two teams collide in the later rounds of hockey’s second season.

When you factor in the geographic history of the two franchises as well (and the fact Carolina likes to rock their retro Hartford Whalers look when they play the B’s), the end result is spirited & memorable play that could be as chippy & chirpy as it is entertaining & enjoyable — all things the fans will love to end what we expect to be another successful year for the Black N’ Gold.

Thursday, April 2nd: “Blues Clues”

The Bruins owe the city, their fans and themselves a barn-busting “W” over the St. Louis Blues, especially after what they put us through in the Stanley Cup Finals this past Summer (I may never get over that Game 7 as long as I live, to be perfectly honest… it’ll linger much longer than the losses in ’88, ’90 & ’13, that’s a guarantee). So, in the penultimate game of the regular season — that’s Game #81 for those keeping calendar track at home — why not give us what we all want, and perhaps even take out some frustration that’s been boiling over since June in the process.

 

Many hockey scribes are predicting the Blues to be back in the Finals again this season, defending their Cup with an equal chance to win it ala the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 & 2017. And we all know the B’s want another shot at Lord Stanley’s coveted chalice so maybe they should treat this game as a preview or measuring stick.

Either way, it’ll be as “must see” of a game as you’ll find on the docket in early 2020, one the B’s hope to take advantage of and use a momentum builder and solid reminder that they can be as good, if not better, than last season’s spirited bunch. If that can be accomplished, even with a few ups-and-downs along the Causeway byway, then we’ll all be glad the B’s “did it My Way” in ’19-’20!

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 146 that we recorded on 9-22-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!