Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 19 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 19 of the Providence Bruins season is upon us, and our favorite AHL team has a jam-packed weekend ahead. The spoked P comes into the game 26-17-6-1 (59 points) and 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. This past weekend the boys in black and gold saw their 12-point streak come to an end, but they followed that up with an impressive shutout against the Syracuse Crunch. Hopefully, that is the start of another long point streak. Let’s get into what is on tap for the Baby B’s this weekend.

The Bruins have a weekend full of home cooking ahead. It all starts out on Friday, February 15, 2019, when the Toronto Marlies come into town for their only game at the Dunk this year. The weekend action continues Saturday, February 16, 2019, when the Charlotte Checkers come to town to finish up the season series between the two clubs. Finally, the Dunkin Donuts Center is sure to be rocking on Sunday, February 16, 2019, when familiar foe the Springfield Thunderbirds make their way to Providence. It’s going to be a great weekend of fast-paced, exciting hockey that you do not want to miss.

Friday, February 15, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Toronto Marlies (HOME)

The Friday match-up marks the second meeting between the two hockey clubs this season. The Marlies are in the North Division, so because of that the Baby B’s only play them twice during the year. Once at home and once on the road. The first meeting between the two clubs saw the Bruins blank the Maple Leafs’ affiliate 5-0 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz, Zach Senyshyn (2), Karson Kuhlman, and Anders Bjork. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was excellent in net turning away all 35 shots he faced. Over the past five seasons, our boys in black and gold have had some good success against the Toronto hockey club with a record of 4-2-1 overall and 2-1 at home. This bodes well for the spoked P on Friday night.

The Toronto Marlies come into the game 25-17-5-3 (58 points) and 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the North Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. There are going to be a few major keys to this game. The first thing is playing total team defense. Like the Bruins’ last opponent, the Syracuse Crunch the Toronto hockey club scores goals, a lot of goals. In their 50 games played they’ve scored 176 goals. That’s a whopping 3.52 goals a game. Now the reason why total team defense is going to be key for the Baby B’s is that the Maple Leafs’ affiliate has eight players with a point per game total of 0.58 or higher. This means you have shut down more than just one line. Luckily for the Boston affiliate, they have excellent team defense giving up 137 goals in 50 games which 2.74 goals a game.

Another major key to the game will be special teams. The Toronto Marlies boast the top-ranked power play in the North Division and the second-ranked in the entire Eastern Conference at 23%. Meanwhile, the Providence Bruins are equipped with the second-ranked penalty kill in the Atlantic Division as well as the entire Eastern Conference. This plays back into the first key I touched on which was team defense being essential to shutting down the Toronto Squad. Finally, it’s imperative that the Baby B’s have a lead when the second period ends. When leading after two, the spoked P is 20-3-2-1, and the Toronto affiliate is 18-0-1-1. Being on the right side of these battles Friday night will almost guarantee a victory for the boys in black and gold.

Saturday, February 16, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (HOME) 

The Saturday match-up will mark the eighth time these two teams have faced each other, and things haven’t gone the Providence club’s way. In the first installment of the season series, the Carolina Hurricanes’ affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-3 with the Bruins getting goals from the now departed Jan Kovar, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie, Dan Vladar had a rough night in net turning away 20 of the 24 shots he faced. The second meeting did not yield better results for our boys in black and gold as the Checkers won 3-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Peter Cehlarik and Ryan Fitzgerald while goalie, Zane McIntyre played valiantly stopping 17 of 20 shots in the loss.

The third match-up between the two clubs saw the spoked P finally break through winning 2-1. They got goals from Peter Cehlarik and Jordan Szwarz. Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 25 of the 26 shots that were fired his way. The fourth installment between these two teams the Baby B’s fell in OT to Charlotte 3-2 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz and Trent Frederic. Zane McIntyre was great in net again, turning away 44 of the 47 shots he faced, and he pitched in with the rare goalie assist.

The fifth meeting between the two clubs saw the spoked P beat the Hurricanes’ affiliate 5-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Trent Frederic (2), Gemel Smith, Paul Carey, and Karson Kuhlman. Zane McIntyre was very good in net turning away 24 of the 27 shots he faced. In the six games of the season series, The Bruins beat the Checkers 2-1 in overtime getting goals from Ryan Donato, and Cameron Hughes (OT GW). Goalie Zane McIntyre was superb in net stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced. The last grudge match saw the Baby B’s beat Charlotte 1-0 in overtime getting their game-winning goal from Gemel Smith. Goalie Dan Vladar was excellent in net turning away all 37 shots he faced.

The Charlotte Checkers come into the game 32-13-6-1 (71 points) and 2-4-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for first in the Atlantic Division as well as the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s have had success against Charlotte not only this year but over the past five seasons. This year the spoked P is 4-2-1 against the Carolina affiliate and 6-4-1 over the past five seasons. Some major keys to this match-up are scoring early and keeping that lead. The Checkers are 16-3-1-1 when leading after the first period and 21-0-0-0 when leading after two periods. Meanwhile, our boys in black and gold are 12-5-2 when leading after one period and 20-3-2-1 when leading after two periods. Another major key is out-shooting the opponent. Both teams have great records when out-shooting the team they’re playing the Providence hockey club is 17-11-3-1 meanwhile the Charlotte team is 15-9-4-1. The season series between the two teams has been grueling, and the final game of the series will be nothing short of that.

Sunday, February 17, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (HOME) 

This game mark the ninth time the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net.

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The next installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced. Part five of the season series was a good one for the boys in black and gold. The Bruins beat the Thunderbirds 4-3 getting goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre continued to play well as he turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced.

The sixth part in the season series saw the Panthers’ affiliate beat the spoked P 3-2 in overtime. The Baby B’s were able to get goals from Gemel Smith, and Cameron Hughes with Dan Vladar giving a tremendous effort in net stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced. The seventh showdown saw the boys in black and gold win 2-1 in a shootout getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, and Trent Frederic netted the winning shootout goal. Zane McIntyre was excellent in net turning away 23 of the 24 shots he faced. The most recent throw-down between the two clubs saw the Providence hockey club win 3-2 getting goals from Mark McNeill, Gemel Smith, and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stopping 22 of 24 shots that came his way.

The Springfield Thunderbirds come into the game 21-20-6-4 (52 points) and 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s have had a good amount of success against the Panthers’ affiliate over the past five years with a record of 21-10-3 and 4-3-1 this season. Defense again will play a major role in who wins this game. The Thunderbirds have scored 170 goals in the 50 games they’ve played this season which is 3.33 goals a game their problem is they’ve given up 171 goals in that time frame as well which is 3.35 per game. As I stated earlier the preview, Providence’s defense is quite good giving up only 2.74 goals a game. Their offense is no slouch either scoring 3.30 goals a game. The other big key is again who had the lead after two periods. Despite their position in the standings the club from Springfield Massachusetts is 16-1-1 when leading after two periods and 0-18-1-1 when down after two periods. It should be an exciting game to end the jam-packed hockey weekend.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Zane McIntyre: The recent point streak the Providence Bruins went on, and their climb in the standings was in large part thanks to McIntyre. The University of North Dakota alum has been excellent recently. Over his past 11 games, the veteran net-minder is 11-0-0 turning away 241 of the 260 shots that came his way for a save percentage of .927 and goals against average of 1.70. It cannot be overstated how he has played recently. It seems like he took the quote “new year, new me” to heart and really turned around not only his season but the Baby B’s season as well.

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith has been nothing short of excellent since coming over to Providence. The gritty forward was acquired from Dallas in December and after three games with the big club in Boston, was sent down to Providence. Since then the OHL product has played in 22 games for the Baby B’s netting nine goals while dishing out 12 assists for 21 total points. That is a point per game total of 0.95 which is higher than his OHL days of 0.77 (89-114-203 in 264 games played). To top all of that off, he has registered a point in six of his last seven games in which he has found the back of the net three times and tallied six assists for nine total points.

Not

Kyle Cumiskey: Cumiskey has been pretty good for Providence since joining the team. However, the veteran defenseman is on a bit of a cold streak. The WHL product has only registered a point in one of his last six games dishing out two assists in that time frame. He also hasn’t found the back of the net since December 15, 2018. Despite the cold streak, he still is scoring at a point per game clip of 0.55 (3-13-16 in 29 games). This is higher than his AHL career of 0.48 (25-97-122 in 253 games played) as well as his WHL career of 0.45 (12-67-79 in 177 games played).

Mark McNeill: Mark McNeill has proven to be streaky for Providence this season. On the year he does have stats of 7-15-22 in 37 games played. This is a point per game total of 0.59. This is slightly higher than his AHL career of 0.57 (96-119-215 in 380 games played) and lower than his WHL days of 0.88 (97-146-243 in 276 games played). Despite this, the gritty forward has only registered one point in his last six games. The Baby B’s offense has still been clicking recently; however, with Kuhlman getting called up to Boston, Providence will need someone to pick up the mantle in the scoring department. McNeill could help do that.

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Jordan SzwarzSzwarz has had a good season for Providence this year. The Baby B’s Captain has netted 15 goals while dishing 11 assists for 26 total points in 43 games played. This is a point per game total of 0.60. This is right on par with his AHL career of 0.59 (105-135-240 in 407 games played), but lower than his OHL days of 0.78 (82-122-204 in 262 games played). On top of that, the gritty forward has been especially good against Charlotte, Springfield, and Toronto this season. In 15 games against those teams this season he has found the back of the net six times while dishing out four assists good for ten points against them this year. That means 38% of his points have come against these three teams. Look for the Captain to have a big weekend.

On the Blue Line

Urho VaakanainenUrho Vaakanainen has been good in limited time for Providence this season. The young defenseman has only played in 16 games with the Baby B’s because earlier in the year he was called up to Boston and in his second game with the big club, he got an elbow to the head leaving him concussed. After recovering from the injury, he then played for Finland in the World Junior Championships where he helped lead his team to the gold medal. Not only has he played well since returning to the spoked P, but three of his eight assists on the season have come in the four games against Springfield he’s played this season. Look for the future star to have a good weekend.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: I know it was stated earlier in the preview how good Zane has been for Providence, but he’s been so good that the numbers bear repeating. He was won his last 11 games that he’s played in while stoning 241 of 260 shots faced in that time frame. That’s good for a save percentage of .927 and goals against average of 1.70. He has also been especially good at home this season. With all three of the weekend games being played at the Dunk look for the veteran net-minder to continue his scorching hot play.

The Providence Bruins had their 12-game point streak snapped last Saturday night. However, they followed that up by shutting out one of the best offenses in the AHL the very next day when they beat Syracuse. That shows the heart of this team. It is very easy after losing a long point streak to let things snowball in the wrong direction. Instead of letting that happen, the Baby B’s had one of their best games of the season right after. The three games the boys in black and gold play this weekend are winnable. The toughest one coming Saturday when they take on Charlotte. I would expect the Bruins to secure at least four points this weekend continuing their hot play. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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Boston Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Anders Bjork

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Photo Courtesy of NHL.com

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Anders Bjork was drafted in the fifth-round (146th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft. The young forward was projected to go in the fifth or sixth round, so the Bruins drafting him here was not a stretch by any means. When a player is drafted in the middle or later rounds, not a lot is really expected of him. It is one of those things where if the player turns out to be useful great, and if not that’s okay too. Coming into the draft the Mequon, Wisconsin native was overlooked by a stronger forward class. However, he did possess strong offensive instincts, vision, creativity, and puck handling skills. Bjork’s major areas of concern were his defensive game and playing away from the puck. He had obvious holes in his game there, but those were overlooked, and the Bruins drafted him. Now that we know the when and why let’s get into what Anders has done since being drafted.

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Photo Courtesy of UND Athletics

The 2014-15 season was Anders Bjork’s first at the University of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish play in the grueling Hockey East Conference so it would be a good test for the young forward to see how he measured up. During his freshman season, the Wisconsin native had a promising year in which he netted 7 goals while dishing 15 assists for 22 total points and a +/- rating of –3 in 41 games played. That is a point per game total of 0.53. For a fifth-round draft pick playing in one of the tougher conferences in the NCAA, having a season like that was something the Bruins were happy with. Despite the successful first season in college, the speedy forward was being overlooked as a prospect. There were other forwards in the system that had a higher profile, but he was determined to show his worth to not only Boston but the rest of the NHL.

Something that was important to Bjork during his sophomore campaign was building upon his freshman season and putting his name on the prospect map for the Bruins organization. In 2015-16 the young Fighting Irish forward did just that. In 35 games played the slick winger potted 12 goals while tallying 23 assists for 35 total points and a +/- rating of +28. This means he was scoring at a point per game clip of 1.00. Bjork was able to really show off his offensive skills during this season. His ability to create in space, and get others involved in the offense were highlighted during the year. The Boston front office really started taking notice of their young prospect during this season. It was a good year to build on going forward.

As the 2016-17 season started, it brought added expectations and change for Bjork. It was his junior year at Notre Dame, and he was given a leadership role with the Fighting Irish when they added the “A” to his sweater. The newly appointed alternate Captain took that role and skated with it. The skilled winger took a giant leap forward and had a monster year. In 39 games he found the back of the net 21 times while also dishing out 31 assists for 52 total points and +/- rating of +17. That is a point per game clip of 1.33. Boston was extremely pleased with this season and the young forward shot up prospect rankings everywhere. Not only that, he was named a Hobey Baker Award finalist which is the award given to the best hockey player in the NCAA. It was a season which caused wild speculation about the possibility of the Fighting Irish star forgoing his senior year to sign an entry-level contract with the Bruins.

After much deliberation, Anders Bjork decided to sign a three-year entry-level contract before the 2017-18 NHL season. The Notre Dame Alum had a strong pre-season. The Bruins organization was really impressed with his speed, his shot, and his puck handling ability. They were so impressed that he started the year with the big club in Boston playing alongside David Pastrnak and David Krejci. The then-rookie started out on fire scoring seven points in his first 11 games. That’s when the season took a tough turn. He went on a cold streak which caused him to be sent down to Providence for a few games to work on his offense.

The former Hobey Baker finalist spent nine games in the AHL netting two goals and dishing out two assists for four total points and a +/- rating of –1. After those nine games, the Wisconsin native was called back up to the NHL, and in his first game back he had his rookie season cut short when he suffered a shoulder injury which would require season-ending surgery. His rookie season ended with stats of 4-8-12 in 30 games played. Despite getting injured and being streaky, the former Fighting Irish forward showed flashes of great offensive ability proving he can be a middle to top-line scorer in the league.

Coming into this season, Bjork was healed from his shoulder surgery and had a solid training camp coming off an injury. The second-year forward started the year playing sparingly spending most of his time playing on the third line. As a result of the Notre Dame alum was sent down to Providence to work on his game. While in the AHL, Bjork was playing well in 13 games he netted one goal and dished out nine assists for 10 total points and a +/- rating of -3. In his last game played something awful happened, and the Wisconsin native re-injured his shoulder and needed season-ending surgery for the second year in a row. While in Boston he managed to play in 20 games finding the back of the net one time and dishing out two assists for three total points and +/- rating of -1.

Anders Bjork has had a tough first few professional seasons of hockey. Having back to back shoulder injuries to cut short a season makes it hard to grow and develop as a hockey player. Despite this, I think that the skilled forward can be a very good second or third line wing in the NHL. He has shown flashes of great offensive ability both in his rookie year in Boston and playing this year in Providence. I believe that having surgery early when he did, and training and getting healthy for the 2019-20 is the best move the young winger could have made. I think next season we will finally see a fully healthy and fully motivated Anders Bjork and we are going to love what we see.

Interested in going to a Providence Bruins or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 18 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

The Providence Bruins come into the weekend 24-16-6-1 (55 points) and 8-0-1-1 in their last 10 games this is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s are currently riding an 11-game point streak which has seen them go 9-0-1-1. This has catapulted them from near the bottom of the conference to right in the thick of things in the playoff picture. This weekend proves to be another tough test for our boys in black and gold. They have three games this weekend, and the two teams they play against are both ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings.

The weekend action all starts on Friday, February 8, 2019, with a return home when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers invade the Dunk. The weekend continues Saturday, February 9, 2019, when the Bruins return the favor traveling to Bridgeport, Connecticut to take on the home team Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena. Finally, the exciting weekend wraps up with some more home cooking as the Syracuse Crunch make their first trip to the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday, February 10, 2019. These are going to be three games you do not want to miss.

Friday, February 8, 2019 (HOME) and Saturday, February 9, 2019 (AWAY) Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

The weekend home and home series will mark the either and ninth time that these two teams have met, and all the games have been closely contested games with five of the seven games going to overtime or shoot-out. The first game of the season series saw the Sound Tigers beat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime with the spoked P getting goals from the recently departed Colby Cave (2), and Jakub Zboril with goalie Dan Vladar playing well turning away 30 of 34 shots he faced. The next meeting saw the Providence club win 5-2 getting goals from Cameron Hughes, Colby Cave, Trent Frederic (2), and the now departed Jan Kovar. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked good in net stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.

The third meeting between the two clubs saw Providence breakout offensively winning 6-1 getting goals from Cameron Hughes (3), Zach Senyshyn (2), and Trent Frederic. In net, Dan Vladar was superb stopping 28 of the 29 shots fired his way. The next three meetings the Eastern Conference foes would play ended up going to overtime. The first of those ended up going the Sound Tigers’ way 5-4 with the Bruins getting goals from Jan Kovar, Anton Blidh, Jakub Zboril, and Ryan Donato. Zane McIntyre was in net for the contest, and he was a little off his game stopping 20 of the 25 shots that were fired his way.

The next meeting between the two teams had the puck bounce the Bruins way as they won 2-1 in overtime getting goals from Wiley Sherman, and Ryan Fitzgerald (OT). Goalie Dan Vladar was excellent in net stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced. The sixth game of the season series saw the Baby B’s fell in overtime 4-3 getting goals from Anton Blidh, Peter Cehlarik, and Kyle Cumiskey with goalie Dan Vladar stopping 13 of 17 shots he faced. Most recently, the Bruins fell 4-3 in a shoot-out getting goals from Jordan Szwarz, Mark McNeill, and Zach Senyshyn while goalie Dan Vladar stopped 12 of the 15 shots that came his way. It’s been a crazy season series thus far, and I would look for it to continue that way.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers come into the game 26-17-4-2 (58 points) and 4-6 in their last 10 games. This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold have had an up and down season against the Islanders’ affiliate this year going 3-0-3-1. However, over the past five years, the Baby B’s have seen success against the Bridgeport club going 23-16-5-3. This bodes well for the weekend series despite having more success at home than on the road. Major keys to this game will be special teams and getting a keeping a lead early.

The Sound Tigers have the eighth-ranked power play in the Atlantic Division, and 13th ranked in the Eastern Conference at 17.4%. Meanwhile, the Islanders’ affiliate has the fifth-ranked penalty kill in the Atlantic Division, and ninth-ranked in the Eastern Conference at 81.0% On the flip-side the Providence Bruins boast the second-best power play in the Atlantic Division and the fifth-best in the Eastern Conference at 20.1%. Their penalty kill is even stronger ranked second-best in the Atlantic Division as well as second-best in the Eastern Conference at 86.6%. In terms of grabbing an early lead and keeping it, the Sound Tigers are 13-3-2-1 when leading after the first period and 13-2-3-2 when leading after two. The Baby B’s are 11-5-2 when leading after one, and 18-3-2-1 when leading after two. It should be a closely contested home and home series with the two clubs.

Sunday, February 10, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Syracuse Crunch (HOME)

The Sunday afternoon contest marks the first time these two teams have played each other this season. The Crunch come into the game 28-13-2-1 (59 points) and 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for second in the North Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Over the past five seasons, the two teams have not played each other much because they are in different divisions, but the Bruins have a record of 1-3 against the Crunch in that time frame. Something that does bode well is that they are 1-1 at home in that time frame. Also, the Lightning affiliate is 10-8-2 on the road this season which is much worse than their home record of 17-5-0-1.

The Syracuse Crunch score a lot of goals. It is going to take a total team effort defensively to keep them off the score-sheet, and team defense is going to be a major key for the Bruins if they want to win. Despite only playing 44 games the Tampa Bay affiliate has scored 166 goals. That’s an eye-popping 3.77 goals a game. Luckily, for the Baby B’s they boast one of the best defenses in the Eastern Conference giving up 132 goals in 47 games played which is 2.80 goals a game. Another reason why I said it would take team defense to beat the Crunch is that you can’t stop just one guy or even one line from scoring and be okay. They have nine players with a point per game total of at least 0.71 and six of those players have at least 30 points on the year. It should be an exciting game from the Dunk.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Ryan Donato: Donato was sent down to Providence early last week before the team’s two games against Charlotte. The young winger promptly scored a goal and got an assist in his first game back. The former Harvard University forward has registered a point in six of his last nine games with Providence with stats of 6-4-10. He did have a stint in Boston mixed in there but has been excellent for the Baby B’s when with the club. In 12 games he has netted six goals and dished out five assists. That is a point per game total of 0.92 which is very close to his NCAA days of 1.07 (60-44-104 in 97 games played).

Paul Carey: The veteran forward has been excellent for the Providence Bruins since being acquired from the Senators in mid-January. Over his last five games he has netted four goals and tallied two assists, and in nine games with the Baby B’s he has a point per game total of 1.00 (5-4-9). Overall on the season the former Boston College Eagle and two-time NCAA champion has a point per game total of 0.93 (5-22-27 in 29 games). This is significantly better than his college days of 0.59 (45-41-86 in 147 games played).

Not

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson: The young forward was also sent down to Providence at the same time Ryan Donato was early last week. The former Boston University Terrier did register an assist in his second game back in the AHL but has not registered a goal in his last nine games with the Baby B’s and has only dished out three assists in that time frame. Forsbacka Karlsson was someone who the Bruins had hoped would take a big step forward this year, and thus far it’s been less than inspiring. On the year he has a point per game total of 0.41 (1-4-5 in 12 games). This is much less than his NCAA days of 0.81 (24-39-63 in 78 games played).

Jordan SzwarzThe Bruins’ Captain hasn’t registered a goal since January 19, 2019. That is a five-game goal-less streak. He has dished out three assists in that time frame, but the Baby B’s need him to start scoring more goals if they want to continue their hot streak. On the year the OHL product has a point per game total of 0.60 (14-10-24 in 40 games played). This is higher than his AHL career of 0.59 (104-134-238 in 404 games played) but is lower than his OHL days of 0.78 (82-122-204 in 262 games played).

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Cameron Hughes: Hughes has had a good first full season thus far for Providence. The former University of Wisconsin Captain has a point per game total of 0.55 (11-15-26 in 47 games played) and has been especially good against Bridgeport this season. In seven games against the Islanders’ affiliate, the young forward has potted four goals while dishing out three assists for seven total points. That means a little more than a quarter of his point total has come against the Sound Tigers. Look for him to have a big weekend.

On the Blue Line

Kyle Cumiskey: The veteran defenseman has played well for the Baby B’s this season. Cumiskey has a point per game total of 0.56 (3-11-14 in 25 games). This is up from his career AHL total of 0.48 (25-95-120 in 250 games played). On top of that, the WHL product has been especially good against Bridgeport this season in three games played he netted one goal and dished out three assists for four total points. This means he too has scored a little more than a quarter of his points against the Sound Tigers this season. I think he has a big weekend in store.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: Zane has been one of the biggest reasons the Providence Bruins are on an 11-game point streak. Over his last nine games played he has a record of 9-0-0 while turning away 189 of the 207 shots that he has faced for a save percentage of .913 and goals against average of 1.96. The veteran goaltender has solidified the back-end of the defense. Look for him to have another big weekend for the boys in black and gold.

A few weeks ago, in one of these previews, I mentioned that this Providence team was too good to not be in a playoff spot. Since then the boys in black and gold have proved my point. There are many young, exciting prospects on the verge of being ready to make an impact in Boston. Despite that, they have a tough weekend ahead. Both teams they will be playing are above them in the Eastern Conference standings. A big weekend could change. We could see the Baby B’s climb to fourth in the division. Who would’ve thought that 11 games ago that when they started this crazy streak, we’d be saying that? I believed in the team, but I wouldn’t have guessed a streak like this was possible. I hope they can continue it this weekend. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 17 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 17 is upon us for the Providence Bruins. They come into it with a record of 22-16-6-1 (51 points) and 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 meetings. That includes a nine-game point streak in which the Baby B’s are 7-0-1-1. This has catapulted them into fourth place in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. That spoked P is playing great hockey right now which is backed by the outstanding play of Karson Kuhlman and Zane McIntyre. They have another short weekend playing just two games for the second week in a row. I can assure though; these games are ones you will not want to miss.

The action kicks off on Friday, February 1, 2019, when the Providence Bruins travel down to Charlotte, North Carolina to take on the home team Eastern Conference-leading Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The weekend the wraps up on Saturday, February 2, 2019, with the Baby B’s staying in Charlotte to invade the Bojangles’ Coliseum once again to take on the Checkers for the second night in a row. It’ll be a tough test for the boys in black and gold, but I think they will be up for the challenge.

Friday, February 1, 2019, and Saturday, February 2, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (AWAY)

The weekend series will mark the six and seventh times these two teams have faced each other, and things haven’t gone the Providence club’s way. In the first installment of the season series, the Carolina Hurricanes’ affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-3 with the Bruins getting goals from the now departed Jan Kovar, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie, Dan Vladar had a rough night in net turning away 20 of the 24 shots he faced. The second meeting did not yield better results for our boys in black and gold as the Checkers won 3-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Peter Cehlarik and Ryan Fitzgerald while goalie, Zane McIntyre played valiantly stopping 17 of 20 shots in the loss.

The third match-up between the two clubs saw the spoked P finally break through winning 2-1. They got goals from Peter Cehlarik and Jordan Szwarz. Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 25 of the 26 shots that were fired his way. More recently the Baby B’s fell in OT to Charlotte 3-2 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz and Trent Frederic. Zane McIntyre was great in net again, turning away 44 of the 47 shots he faced, and he pitched in with the rare goalie assist. The last meeting between the two clubs saw the spoked P beat the Hurricanes’ affiliate 5-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Trent Frederic (2), Gemel Smith, Paul Carey, and Karson Kuhlman. Zane McIntyre was very good in net turning away 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

The Charlotte Checkers come into the weekend 31-11-4 (66 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for first place in the Atlantic Division as well as first place in the Eastern Conference. The Checkers moved to Charlotte in 2010 from Albany, NY where they were the River Rats. Since making North Carolina their home, the Hurricanes’ affiliate has a record of 5-3-0-1 against our Bruins including a 3-0-0-1 record at the Biscuit. It should be a big test for the Baby B’s who have played extremely well recently. Their nine-game point streak has seen them jump into a playoff spot. These games could measure how far the Providence club has come since the start of the season.

There are a few major keys to the games this weekend that we should keep a lookout for. First, as with most match-ups, special teams are going to be key. The Providence Bruins boast the fifth best power play unit in the Eastern Conference with 20.7%. On top of that, they have the second-best penalty kill unit in the Eastern Conference at 86.6%. The Checkers, on the other hand, have the 13th best power play unit in the Eastern Conference at 17.6% and the third-ranked penalty kill at 84.2%. Another key is going to be which team is going to be able to out-shoot the other. The Baby B’s are 15-11-3-1 when they out-shoot their opponent and Charlotte is 15-7-3.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Zach SenyshynSenyshyn has had an up and down season. He’s been streaky ever since coming to Providence from the OHL. Recently though, he’s played a lot better and has really been able to show his speed and play-making ability. Over his past four games, he has netted two goals while dishing out two assists for four points. Overall on the season, he has stats of 13-7-20 in 40 games played. This is a point per game average of 0.50 which is down from his OHL career of 0.91 (114-63-177 in 195 games played), but it is up from his career AHL total of 0.43 (25-21-46 in 106 games played).

Gemel Smith: Smith was acquired by Boston and sent down to Providence back in December. Since then he has been excellent for the Baby B’s. He has played in 17 games and netted eight goals while dishing out 8 assists. That’s 16 points in 17 games for a point per game total of 0.94. This includes two goals and two assists in his last four games. The young forward’s point per game total is closer to his OHL playing days of 0.77 (89-114-203 in 264 games) than it is to his AHL career of 0.50 (43-59-102 in 203 games played)

Not

Austin FytenFyten has skated into a bit of a cold spell recently. The gritty forward has not registered a point since January 5, 2019. So far on the year, the WHL product has netted three goals while dishing out six assists for nine total points in 40 games. This is a point per game total of 0.22. This is much lower than his WHL days of 0.63 (55-67-122 in 193 games played). It’s also much lower than his ECHL days of 0.72 (32-45-77 in 107 games played). Hopefully, the veteran forward can pick up his play and find himself in the hot category sometime soon.

Dan VladarThe young goalie has had an up and down season for Providence. He seems to be a streaky goalie who is on a cold streak right now. In his last five games, he has a record of 1-2-2. In the time frame, he has turned away 123 of the 140 shots he faced for a .878 save percentage and goals against average of 3.33. With Zane McIntyre up in Boston because of injury, the Baby B’s may need to rely on Vladar to find his game for the near future.

My players to watch for the Bruins

Up Front

Paul Carey: Carey has had an excellent season in the AHL this year. He was acquired from Ottawa on January 12, 2019, and the former Boston College Eagle and two-time NCAA Champion has not disappointed. In seven games with the Baby B’s the veteran forward has netted five goals and dished out three assists for eight total points. He has been especially good against the Charlotte Checkers this year. He has played in five games against them this season. The first four were for the Ottawa Senators’ affiliate, Belleville. In those five games, he has netted two goals and dished out three assists for five points. This includes one goal and one assist for Providence their last meeting with Charlotte. Look for him to have a big weekend.

On the Blue Line

Jakub ZborilZboril has had a pretty good season for Providence thus far. He has stats of 3-8-11 on the year while playing good defense. In the team’s last game against Springfield, he dished out two assists getting on the score sheet for the first time January 6,2019. That game against the Thunderbirds is the type of game that can catapult players into a hot streak. I have a feeling with how Zboril has played this season for the Baby B’s that it will do just that. Look for him to have a big weekend.

In Net

Dan VladarWith Zane McIntyre in Boston on an emergency basis because of a Tuukka Rask concussion we may see Vladar in both games this weekend. As stated earlier his last five games have not been pretty going 1-2-2 with a .878 save percentage and 3.33 goals against average. If these Bruins want to continue their point streak, Vladar is going to have to find his game and play well against Charlotte. Luckily this year, the young goalie has been better on the road than at home.

The Providence Bruins have a tough task ahead of them this weekend playing the Eastern Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers in back to back games on the road. It will be a chance for the team and our fans to see where the Baby B’s truly are in terms of being contenders for the Calder Cup. I think if the boys in black and gold can come out of the weekend with at least one win then it will bode well for their chances moving forward. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 16 Preview

babybs

Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Heading into week 16 the Providence Bruins currently sit at 20-16-6-1 (47 points) and 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for fifth in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. For the second weekend in a row, the Baby B’s managed to grab five of six possible points and are currently riding a seven-game point streak which has seen them go 5-0-1-1. This has catapulted them to the brink of a playoff spot. After a grueling five straight weeks of three-game weekends, the spoked P has a little bit of a reprieve having only two games this weekend.

The action kicks off on Friday, January 25, 2019, when the Eastern Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers roll into town to invade the Dunk. The weekend wraps up on Saturday, January 26, 2019, when a familiar foe, the Springfield Thunderbirds swoop in to play at the Dunk. It should be a great weekend of hockey for all involved and these are two games you do not want to miss.

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins Flickr

Friday, January 25, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (HOME)

The Friday evening match-up will mark the fifth time these two teams have faced each other, and things haven’t gone the Providence club’s way. In the first installment of the season series, the Carolina Hurricanes’ affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-3 with the Bruins getting goals from the now departed Jan Kovar, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie, Dan Vladar had a rough night in net turning away 20 of the 24 shots he faced. The second meeting did not yield better results for our boys in black and gold as the Checkers won 3-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Peter Cehlarik and Ryan Fitzgerald while goalie, Zane McIntyre played valiantly stopping 17 of 20 shots in the loss.

The third match-up between the two clubs saw the spoked P finally break through winning 2-1. They got goals from Peter Cehlarik and Jordan Szwarz. Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 25 of the 26 shots that were fired his way. Most recently the Baby B’s fell in OT to Charlotte 3-2 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz and Trent Frederic. Zane McIntyre was great in net again, turning away 44 of the 47 shots he faced, and he pitched in with the rare goalie assist.

The Charlotte Checkers come into the Friday game 30-10-4 (64 points) good for first in the Atlantic Division as well as the entire Eastern Conference. Formerly, the Albany River Rats, the Checkers have seemingly had the Baby B’s number since moving to Charlotte in 2010. Over the past five seasons, they have a record of 5-2-0-1 against Providence. Something that does bode well for the Baby B’s is they do have a winning record against the Hurricanes’ affiliate in that time frame at 2-1-1.

As with most match-ups, special teams will play a big part of who wins this game. The spoked P holds the advantage in not only power play 19.8% to 18.4% but also in the penalty kill 86.1% to 84.3%. Another key to this game is who is leading after two periods. When leading after two periods the Checkers are 19-0 but losing after the second period, they are 3-6-3. On the other side, Providence is 16-3-2-1 when leading after the second period and 3-13-2 when trailing after two.

Despite the large win differential, and the lack of recent success against Charlotte the Baby B’s have a good chance of winning this game. Their goals for and goals against stats look similar at 149 goals for and 125 goals against for the Checkers and 139 goals for and 126 against for the boys in black and gold. Look for a close battle this weekend.

Saturday, January 26, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (HOME)

This game marks the eighth time the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net.

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The next installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced.

Part five of the season series was a good one for the boys in black and gold. The Bruins beat the Thunderbirds 4-3 getting goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre continued to play well as he turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced. The sixth part in the season series saw the Panthers’ affiliate beat the spoked P 3-2 in overtime. The Baby B’s were able to get goals from Gemel Smith, and Cameron Hughes with Dan Vladar giving a tremendous effort in net stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced. The most recent showdown saw the boys in black and gold win 2-1 in a shootout getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, and Trent Frederic netted the winning shootout goal. Zane McIntyre was excellent in net turning away 23 of the 24 shots he faced.

The Springfield hockey club comes into this eighth meeting with a record of 20-14-6-4 (50 points) and 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division as well as fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Thunderbirds seem to have the Bruins’ number this year going 4-2-0-1 against our boys thus far. Something that bodes well for the Baby B’s though, is that they are 10-4-1 against the Panthers’ affiliate in the last five seasons at home and 20-10-3 overall.

Major keys to the game will be whether the game is close or not. In one-goal games, the Baby B’s are 8-8-6-1. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds are 5-6-6-4 under the same scenario. In two-goal games, the Bruins are 2-4 and their Atlantic Division foe is 5-3. Finally, in three-goal games the spoked P is 6-4 and Springfield is 5-3. Another key will be who is winning after the second period. As I said earlier the Boston Bruins’ top affiliate is 16-3-2-1 when leading after two. On the other side of the bench, the Panthers’ affiliate is 15-0-1. Whoever can jump out to an early multiple-goal lead stands a fantastic chance of coming away with two points Saturday night.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Paul Carey: Carey was traded to Boston from Ottawa in a minor trade back on January 11, 2019. Since being traded for, the former Boston College Eagle and two-time NCAA Champion has been excellent for Providence. In five games for the Baby B’s he has netted four goals and dished out two assists for six total points. Combine this with what the gritty forward did for the Belleville Senators in 34 total AHL games he has stats of 9-24-33 this is a point per game total of 0.97 which is much higher than his AHL career total of 0.67 (88-127-215 in 321 games played), and higher than his NCAA total of 0.59 (45-41-86 in 147 games played).

Karson Kuhlman: Kuhlman has quietly put together a really nice first full season with Providence. The former University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs’ Captain and NCAA champion has been excellent recently for the Baby B’s. The young forward has scored a point in 11 of his last 13 games with stats of 6-7-13 in that time frame. This superb play has pushed his season totals to 9-13-22. This is a point per game total of 0.51 which is higher than his NCAA total of 0.48 (39-41-80 in 166 games played.)

Not

Cameron Hughes: The young forward has seemed to run into a bit of a dry spell lately. The former University of Wisconsin Captain has found the score sheet just once in his past five games netting a goal against Springfield on January 13, 2019. This cold streak could be attributed to the fact that it’s the young forward’s first full season in Providence and sometimes it takes players times to adjust to the pro game. Still, he has a point per game total of 0.56 (10-14-24 in 43 games) which is relatively close to his college days of 0.66 (23-69-92 in 139 games played).

Joona KoppanenThe young forward was called up to Providence from ECHL Atlanta back in November. Since being called up to Providence he has played in 19 games finding the back of the net two times for two total points. The Finland native has not registered a point since January 4th, 2019. It is worth noting that he is only 20 years old, and this is his first full professional season in North America. It can take time adjusting to the different styles of play from the North American pro game to International play. The World Junior Cup Gold Medalist has a point per game total of 0.10 (2-0-2 in 19 games) which is significantly less than his Liiga days in Finland of 0.31 (2-12-14 in 45 games played).

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Jordan SzwarzThe Providence Bruins Captain has been great for the team this season. He’s netted 14 goals and dished out 9 assists for 23 total points. Szwarz has been especially good against Charlotte and Springfield this season. In 10 games against the two teams this year he has stats of 5-3-8. This is a point per game total of 0.80. Remember, the 6 goals away from 20 on the year. Once he hits the 20-goal milestone, he will be the fifth player in Providence Bruins history with 20+ goals in three different seasons for the club. Also, a big congratulations to the Ontario native for playing in his 400th career AHL game over the weekend.

On the Blue Line

Urho VaakanainenI know this is a repeat of last week, but I really do not want his play to go unnoticed. The young defenseman has been excellent in six games since returning to the Providence lineup. In those six games, he has dished out five assists for five points while playing excellent defense for the Baby B’s. Vaakanainen is easily my favorite prospect that the Boston Bruins currently have. Look for him to have another big weekend as three of his seven points this season have come against Springfield.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: Like Vaakanainen I know this is a repeat, but again I cannot let the play of McIntyre go unnoticed. The veteran goalie is a huge reason why the Bruins have gone on a seven-game point streak. In his last six games, Zane is 6-0-0 turning away 115 of the 127 shots he has faced for a .905 save percentage and goals against average of 1.97. His play has solidified not only the goalie position for Providence but also the back end of the defense.

For the second weekend in a row, the Providence Bruins were able to grab five of a possible six points. This has catapulted them to the brink of a playoff spot. While, both games this weekend will tough, with how the Baby B’s are playing, I have the utmost faith that this team will grab at the very least two points this weekend. However, do not be surprised to see them snatch up all four points as they continue their climb up the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference Standings. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 15 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson| Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Heading into week 15 the Providence Bruins currently sit at 18-16-6 (42 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for sixth in the Atlantic Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference. Despite being just out of the playoff picture, the Bruins managed to grab five out of six points last weekend and remain only four being behind fourth place in the Eastern Conference. This weekend, the Baby B’s have another full docket of games as it’s the fourth week in a row that they have a three-game weekend.  

It all kicks off on Friday, January 18, 2019, when the Thunderbirds of Springfield invade the Dunk. Next up, the spoked P takes the show on the road on Saturday, January 19, 2019, when they travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut to take on the home team Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena. Finally, the Baby B’s wrap up the weekend enjoying some home cooking on Sunday, January 20, 2019, when they play host to the Hartford Wolf Pack at the Dunk. It’s going to be an exciting hockey filled weekend that you don’t want to miss.  

Friday, January 18, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (HOME) 

This game mark the seventh time the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net. 

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The next installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced.   

Part five of the season series was a good one for the boys in black and gold. The Bruins beat the Thunderbirds 4-3 getting goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre continued to play well as he turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced. The most recent battle saw the Panthers’ affiliate beat the spoked P 3-2 in overtime. The Baby B’s were able to get goals from Gemel Smith, and Cameron Hughes with Dan Vladar giving a tremendous effort in net stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced.  

The Springfield hockey club comes into the seventh game of the season series with a record of 18-14-5-3 (44 points) and 3-4-3 in their last 10 games good for third in the Atlantic division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Thunderbirds seem to have the Bruins’ number this year going 4-2 against our boys thus far. Something that bodes well for the Baby B’s though is they are 9-4-1 against the Panthers’ affiliate in the last five seasons at home and 19-10-3 overall.  

Something that has been a major key for the Springfield Thunderbirds this year is balanced scoring. They have eight players with at least 22 points on the season and are second in the Eastern Conference in goals for with 139. Shutting down the high-powered offense of Springfield is going to be huge for Providence. Something that plays into the Baby B’s favor is that they are tied for fifth in the entire Eastern Conference in goals against this season with 119. On top of that, the boys in black and gold have gotten some key defenders back in the lineup. This should make for a great game this weekend. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AWAY) 

Saturday’s game marks the seventh time that these two teams have met, and all the games have been closely contented games with four of the six games going to overtime. The first game of the season series saw the Sound Tigers beat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime with the spoked P getting goals from the recently departed Colby Cave (2), and Jakub Zboril with goalie Dan Vladar playing well turning away 30 of 34 shots he faced. The next meeting saw the Providence club win 5-2 getting goals from Cameron Hughes, Colby Cave, Trent Frederic (2), and the now departed Jan Kovar. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked good in net stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.  

The third meeting between the two clubs saw Providence breakout offensively winning 6-1 getting goals from Cameron Hughes (3), Zach Senyshyn (2), and Trent Frederic. In net, Dan Vladar was superb stopping 28 of the 29 shots fired his way. The next three meetings the Eastern Conference foes would play ended up going to overtime. The first of those ended up going the Sound Tigers’ way 5-4 with the Bruins getting goals from Jan Kovar, Anton Blidh, Jakub Zboril, and Ryan Donato. Zane McIntyre was in net for the contest, and he was a little off his game stopping 20 of the 25 shots that were fired his way.  

The next meeting between the two teams had the puck bounce the Bruins way as they won 2-1 in overtime getting goals from Wiley Sherman, and Ryan Fitzgerald (OT GW). Goalie Dan Vladar was excellent in net stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced. Most recently, the Baby B’s fell in overtime 4-3 getting goals from Anton Blidh, Peter Cehlarik, and Kyle Cumiskey with goalie Dan Vladar stopping 13 of 17 shots he faced. It’s been a crazy season series thus far, and I would look for it to continue that way.  

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers come into the game 22-14-4-2 (50 points) and 4-5-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and second in the entire Eastern Conference. This game will be especially tough for Providence because, despite their 23-16-5-2 record overall in the past five seasons against Bridgeport, the Baby B’s are only 8-10-3-2 in Bridgeport during that time. A major key to winning this game will be special teams.  

The boys in black and gold boast the fifth best power play in the entire Eastern Conference at 20.6%, meanwhile, the Sound Tigers’ penalty kill is ranked ninth in the Eastern Conference at 80.4%. On the flip-side, the spoked P also has the second-best penalty kill in the entire Eastern Conference at 85.1% with the New York Islanders’ affiliate having just the 10th ranked power play in the Eastern Conference at 18.6%. Winning this match-up will go a long way to winning the game.  

Monday, January 21, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME) 

The Monday game marks the eighth time the two teams have faced off this season. The first match-up saw the Wolf Pack beat the Bruins 4-2 with Providence getting goals from Austin Fyten and Mark McNeill while goalie Zane McIntyre was pulled in the first period after stopping 7 of 10 shots faced. Dan Vladar finished the game turning away all 8 shots he would see. The second meeting between the two teams saw a better result with Providence winning 4-3 in overtime. The Baby B’s got goals from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic, and Cody Goloubef (OT GW), and goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 15 of 18 shots faced. 

The third leg of the season series saw the Pack come out victorious, winning 4-3. The Providence club got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Colby Cave, and Anton Blidh. Goalie Dan Vladar had a busy game stopping 26 of 30 he faced. In game four these two clubs both fought hard, but Hartford came out on top 4-3 in overtime. The boys wearing the spoked P got goals from Karson Kuhlman, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Kyle Cumiskey. Goalie Zane McIntyre turned away 18 of 22 shots faced in the losing effort. In the fifth meeting this year the New York Rangers’ affiliated blanked Providence 3-0. Goalie Dan Vladar played well in the game stopping 30 of 33 shots faced.  

More recently, the sixth meeting of the year could not have gone better for the spoked P, winning the game 5-1. The Bruins got goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Emil Johansson, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked excellent in net stopping 15 of 16 shots he faced. The two teams latest battle saw the Baby B’s score in bunches winning 6-3 getting goals from Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, Karson Kuhlman, Anton Blidh, Mark McNeill, and Chris Breen. Zane McIntyre was up to the challenge in net for Providence stopping 15 of 18 shots he faced.  

The Hartford Wolf Pack come into the Sunday match-up 18-17-2-2 (40 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. The Providence club has enjoyed some success at home against the Rangers’ affiliate over the past five seasons going 13-4-1-1 and 20-13-4-2 overall. Getting a lead early on, and keeping it is going to play a major factor in this game. The Bruins are 10-5-2 when leading after one period, and 14-3-2 when leading after two periods. At the other end, the Wolf Pack are 9-2 when leading after one period and 12-2-1-2 when leading after two periods. If our boys in black and gold can grab a lead early and hold onto it, they stand a fantastic shot at coming out of this game with two points.  

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins 

Hot 

Peter CehlarikCehlarik has been nothing short of spectacular for the Bruins lately. In his last four games with the Baby B’s, he has netted five goals while dishing out two assists for seven total points. This includes two separate two-goal games. So far this season in the AHL, the Swedish Hockey League product has potted 10 goals while helping with 19 assists for 29 total points in 37 games played. This is good for a 0.78 point per game clip. This is higher than his career AHL point per game clip of 0.74 (41-49-90 in 121 games played) and much higher than his SHL clip of 0.37 (22-27-49 in 132 games played). The young forward was playing so well he earned a call up to Boston this week and even scored two goals in his first game with the big club this year.  

Zane McIntyre: The veteran goaltender has been great for Providence recently. McIntyre has won his last four games played for the Baby B’s going 4-0-0. In doing so, he’s turned away 69 of the 78 shots that he’s faced for a .884 save percentage and goals against average of 2.25. Despite some drastic home and road splits this season, he has been a rock for the boys wearing the spoked P thus far and has been a big reason why they’ve begun to climb to standings in the Eastern Conference.  

Not 

Jeremy Lauzon: Lauzon has had an up and down year for the Baby B’s. When he was sent back down to Providence from Boston, the big club wanted the young defenseman to work on his shot and play-making ability. He has only found the stat sheet once over his past four games dishing out one assist for one total point. Despite this, so far this season he’s played 20 games in the AHL he’s found the back of the net once and dished out five assists for six total points. This is a point per game clip of 0.30 which is higher than his AHL career total of 0.18 (2-11-13 in 72 games), but still much lower than his OMJHL days of 0.65 points per game (35-95-130 in 200 games).  

Dan VladarThe young net-minder has had a rough go of it as of late. Over his last four games, he has a record of 1-2-1 turning away 111 shots of the 128 he has faced for a save percentage of .888 and goals against average of 3.49. Hopefully, Vladar can pick up his play the rest of the year. If the Bruins want to win and find themselves in the playoffs, they’re going to need both goalies to be on top of their game.  

My players to watch this weekend 

Up Front 

Cameron Hughes: Hughes has been very good for Providence this year and especially so against Springfield, Bridgeport, and Hartford. On the season, 11 of the young forward’s 24 points have come in the 19 games against these three teams. This is good for a point per game clip of 0.58 which is higher than his AHL career of 0.50. Look for him to have a big weekend for the Baby B’s. 

On the Blue Line  

Urho VaakanainenThe young defenseman returned to the lineup for Providence for the first time since October due to a combination of being called up to Boston, getting injured, and helping Finland win the gold medal at the U20 World Junior Championships. In the three games since his return, Vaakanainen was excellent playing great defense and dishing out three assists for three total points. Look for him to continue playing well further raising his stock as a prospect.  

In Net 

Zane McIntyre: As I stated earlier the veteran goalie has played really well for Providence going 4-0-0 in his last four games with a goals against average of 2.25 and a save percentage of .884 which saw him turn away 69 of the 78 shots he faced. Zane has been able to solidify the goalie position recently for the Baby B’s which has led to them slowly but surely climbing the Eastern Conference standings. Sometimes with goalies, you need to ride the hot hand. Look for the Bruins to do that this weekend.  

The Providence Bruins were able to grab five of six points last weekend to climb into sixth place in the Atlantic Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference. Their defensive play has really been a joy to watch since they’ve gotten Zboril and Vaakanainen back in the lineup. I would expect the Baby B’s to have another big weekend which will help catapult them in the division and conference standings. This team is too talented to not be in playoff contention. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!  

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 14 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Heading into week 14 the Providence Bruins currently sit at 16-16-5 (37 points) and 5-5 in their last 10 games good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s have a full docket of games this weekend starting out with some home cooking on Friday, January 11th when the Hartford Wolf Pack invade the Dunk again.

Next up, as Yogi Berra would say “it’s like déjà vu all over again” when the boys wearing the spoked P travel to Springfield, Massachusetts to take on the home team Thunderbirds at The MassMutual Center on Saturday, January 12th. Finally, the weekend ends back where it started on Sunday, January 13th when the Springfield Thunderbirds follow our boys in black and gold back to the Dunk. One thing to keep an eye out for is both teams that the Bruins play this weekend are ahead of them in the standings. Win all three games, and we could see our boys climb the division and conference standings.  

Friday, January 11th Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME) 

The Sunday game marks the seventh time the two teams have faced off this season. The first match-up saw the Wolf Pack beat the Bruins 4-2 with Providence getting goals from Austin Fyten and Mark McNeill while goalie Zane McIntyre was pulled in the first period after stopping 7 of 10 shots faced. Dan Vladar finished the game turning away all 8 shots he would see. The second meeting between the two teams saw a better result with Providence winning 4-3 in overtime. The Baby B’s got goals from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic, and Cody Goloubef (OT GW), and goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 15 of 18 shots faced.

The third leg of the season series saw the Pack come out victorious, winning 4-3. The Providence club got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Colby Cave, and Anton Blidh. Goalie Dan Vladar had a busy game stopping 26 of 30 he faced. In game four these two clubs both fought hard, but Hartford came out on top 4-3 in overtime. The boys wearing the spoked P got goals from Karson Kuhlman, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Kyle Cumiskey. Goalie Zane McIntyre turned away 18 of 22 shots faced in the losing effort. In the fifth meeting this year the New York Rangers’ affiliated blanked Providence 3-0. Goalie Dan Vladar played well in the game stopping 30 of 33 shots faced. More recently, the sixth meeting of the year could not have gone better for the spoked P, winning the game 5-1. The Bruins got goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Emil Johansson, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked excellent in net stopping 15 of 16 shots he faced.  

The seventh part of this season series should be a difficult task for the Baby B’s. The Wolf Pack come into the game 17-16-2-2 (38 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games good for sixth in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins have had a mixed back of luck against the Rangers’ affiliate overall this season going 2-3-1. However, the Providence club has been good against them historically going 12-4-1-1 against Hartford at home over the past five seasons and going 19-13-4-2 overall in that time frame. First-period scoring is going to be a major key in this game for clubs. When leading after the first period, Providence is 9-5-2 this season, and Hartford is 8-1. The other big key for the Bruins will be keeping center Peter Holland off the score-sheet. He is the leading scorer for the Pack with stats of 12-23-35. If our boys in black and gold can come out of the first period with a lead, while also keeping Holland from scoring they have a great chance of grabbing two points.  

Saturday, January 12th (AWAY) and Sunday, January 13th (HOME) Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds 

These games mark the fifth and sixth times the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net.

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The most recent installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced.  

The Springfield club comes into the two-weekend games with a record of 16-12-5-3 (40 points) and 3-4-3 in their last 10 games good for 5th in the Atlantic Division. You could say the Panthers’ affiliate has brought the lightning and the thunder against Providence this year. The Baby B’s are 1-3 against them so these two games will be anything but easy. Something that does bode well for our boys in black and gold is over the past five seasons they have records of 9-4 at home and 9-6-2 on the road for an overall record of 18-10-2. A major key to these games is going to be special teams.

The Thunderbirds have one of the best power plays in the league ranked first in the Eastern Conference and second in the entire American Hockey League at 25.3%. Meanwhile, the Bruins have one of the best penalty kill units in the league ranked second overall in the Eastern Conference and third overall in the entire American Hockey League. With both clubs being elite in the facet of the game it’s something that has the potential to turn a game over on its head quick. The other thing to look out for is Springfield’s balanced offensive attack. They have five players with 24+ points on the season. Playing an all-around good defensive game is something the Baby B’s must do if they want to win. 

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins 

Hot 

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith was acquired from Dallas via waiver claim by Boston earlier in the year. Since being sent down to Providence, he’s been excellent in 9 games with stats of 5-2-7 including 4-0-4 in his last three games. The former OHL product has a career AHL point per game average of 0.48 (40-53-93 in 195 games), but in his small sample with the Bruins, it’s 0.78. Let’s hope he continues his hot play throughout the rest of the season. 

Jordan SzwarzThe Bruins’ Captain has played very as of late. Especially over the weekend which saw him have stats of 2-1-3. Overall this season Szwarz’ point per game total is 0.63 (12-7-19 in 30 games) which is up from his career AHL total of 0.59 (102-131-233 in 394 games.) This has helped the spoked P greatly this year, and it is part of the reason why they named him captain in the first place.  

Not 

Zach SenyshynThe speedy forward did have stats of 1-1-2 over the weekend, however, they were his first points since December 12th. The OHL product has been a streaky player since coming to Providence. Sometimes it does take some time to adjust to the pro game. One positive note, the young forward’s point per game total this season is 0.47 (11-4-15 in 32 games) which is higher than his AHL career of 0.42 (23-18-41 in 98 games).  

Mark McNeill: The gritty forward found himself in the middle of a hot streak last week and was in the hot category, it seems as though he’s cooled off a little bit having not registered a point in his past four games. Though it should be noted, that the WHL product is still scoring at a higher point per game total this season 0.68 (4-13-17 in 25 games) than his AHL career of 0.57 (93-117-210 in 368 games), but it is closer to his WHL totals of 0.88 (97-146-243 in 276 games). 

My players to watch this weekend 

Up Front 

Peter CehlarikCehlarik has been excellent for the Providence Bruins this year with stats of 7-17-24. However, he’s been especially good against Springfield and Hartford in 10 games against the two clubs he has stats of 3-5-8 good for a point per game clip of 0.80. Look for him to have another big weekend.  

On the Blue Line 

Jakub ZborilThe young defenseman returned to the lineup last weekend after missing almost a month with an injury. Not only did Zboril play well defensively, but he also contributed offensively getting on the score-sheet with 0-2-2 numbers in three games. Look for him to continue to get stronger as he puts the injury behind him.  

In Net 

Zane McIntyre: This is a repeat from last week, but it cannot be stated enough how good McIntyre has been at home this season. Last weekend the young netminder improved to 7-0-1 at home with a .929 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average. With two of the games, this week at the Dunk look for Zane to have another big weekend. 

The Providence Bruins had a very good week 13. They were able to come away with four points and inch closer in the standings. With both teams they play this weekend ahead of them in the standings it’s another perfect opportunity to continue that climb. The Baby B’s have been good at home this season, and with two games at the Dunk, I would look for at least another four-point weekend. If they can pull that off, it would go a long way to climbing into playoff contention. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go! 

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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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 13 Recap

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(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By Tim Richardson| Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 13 for the Providence brought their first three games of 2019, and much-needed return home to the Dunk. Our boys in black and gold came into the weekend 14-15-5 (33 points) good for seventh in the Atlantic Division. The Baby B’s had hoped week 13 would bring some much-needed wins and points so they could to claw their way back into the playoff picture. When the weekend started, they sat at 13th in the Eastern Conference, which is just out of the playoff range.  

The Providence Bruins won two of three games over the weekend which improved their record to 16-16-5 (37 points). They remain in seventh place in the Atlantic Division, however, only four points separate the Baby B’s and fourth place in the division which currently belongs to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Meanwhile, the top Boston Bruins minor league affiliated moved up to 12th in the Eastern Conference, and only 6 points separate them and the sixth place Utica Comets.  

Hopefully, the Bruins can have a strong week 14, which is jam-packed with three games over the weekend. Two of the games are at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence where the Bruins are 9-3-2 this season. The one road game will be in Bridgeport, Connecticut against the Sound Tigers where the Bruins are 1-0-2 this season, and 7-13-3 overall.  

Let’s strap in and look back at the weekend that was for the Providence Bruins with some key offensive details for the first three games of 2019.  

Friday, January 4th Providence Bruins vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms (HOME)  

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(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

The first of three-weekend games on the docket was at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who currently sit third in the Atlantic Division. The Baby B’s came out with vengeance in the first period scoring three goals. The first came late in the period when Trent Frederic buried the puck in the back in the net in a goal that was assisted by Cameron Hughes and Karson Kuhlman. Less than a minute later with the Bruins on the power play, Gemel Smith was able to score to make 2-0 with assists coming from Jakub Zboril and Trent Frederic. The Providence club’s quick-strike ability struck again when less than 30 seconds later Gemel Smith found the back of the net again to make it 3-0 with the assists coming from Connor Clifton and Zach Senyshyn.  

With the Bruins ahead 3-0 going into the second period the Lehigh Valley Phantoms picked up their play. They would go on to score two goals in the frame and it would be 3-2 at the end of two periods. The score would remain that until early in the third period when Joona Koppanen scored to make it 4-2 on a goal that was assisted by Connor Clifton and Kyle Cumiskey. The 4-2 score would end up being the final with the Baby B’s getting a need two points. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked excellent in net stopping 20 of 22 shots. He improved to 6-0-1 at home with a .928 save percentage and 1.97 goals against average. Gemel Smith, who was acquired by Boston via waivers from the Dallas Stars earlier in the year has been very good in nine games since being sent down to Providence with stats of 5-2-7.  

The Providence Bruins would go on to out-shoot the Phantoms by a 34-22 margin and go one for three on the power play. The Baby B’s currently sit fifth in that category in the Eastern Conference with a 21.3% power play percentage which also ranks seventh in the entire American Hockey League. Meanwhile, the Bruins were also able to kill off both Lehigh Valley penalties. The penalty kill has been elite for the boys in black and gold which currently sits second in not only the Eastern Conference but the entire American Hockey League with 86.3%. 

Saturday, January 5th Providence Bruins vs Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY) 

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(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

The second game of weekend would see the Providence Bruins travel to Springfield, Massachusetts to take on the home team Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. The Florida Panther’s affiliate current sits at fifth in the Atlantic Division at 16-12-5-3 (40 points). The game would start out promising for the Baby B’s when they scored early in the first period to make it 1-0. The goal was scored by young prospect Zach Senyshyn his 11th on the year, and it was assisted by Austin Fyten and Chris Breen. The Bruins lead the Thunderbirds 1-0 after one period of play. 

The good news would stop there when thunder struck for Springfield and they would go on a scoring spree netting four goals in the second period to make it 4-1 after two periods of play. The Thunderbirds would score again a quarter of the way through the third period making it 5-1. This made five unanswered goals for the Panther’s affiliate in just over 26 minutes of play. The Bruins would go on to score two more goals in the third period to make it 5-3. The first third-period goal was on the power play scored by Jordan Szwarz assisted by Cody Goloubef and the second of the period was netted by Gemel Smith assisted by Chris Breen and Emil Johansson. The Baby B’s would go on to pull goalie Dan Vladar in the last few minutes of the game to try and get the extra attacker on the ice, but they still came up short losing 5-3.  

The Providence Bruins would go on to outshout the Thunderbirds 46-39, and both clubs would go one for five on the power play. Goalie Dan Vladar who’s normally sure-handed on the road, suffered the loss falling to 6-8-2 with a .897 save percentage and 2.82 goals against average overall on the season. Gemel Smith’s play stuck out again, making it two straight games with a goal.  

Sunday, January 6th Providence Bruins Vs Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME) 

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(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

The final game of the weekend saw the Providence Bruins return the Dunk for some home cooking against the Wolf Pack of Hartford. Our boys in black and gold would start off the game strong scoring two goals. The first came a little over halfway through the period when Captain Jordan Szwarz pocketed a goal that was assisted by Cameron Hughes and Kyle Cumiskey. Then in the final seconds of the period, Peter Cehlarik netted a power play goal that was assisted by Kyle Cumiskey and Jordan Szwarz. The period would end with Bruins up 2-0. 

The second period of play would bring out some chippy play with old friend Matt Beleskey fighting Wiley Sherman, but the period would end with the score still 2-0 Providence. The third period would see the Baby B’s score three more times. The first came about halfway through the period when Emil Johansson netted a shorthanded goal that was assisted by Karson Kuhlman and Cameron Hughes. A few minutes later, Peter Cehlarik would find the back of the net on a goal that was assisted by Wiley Sherman. Then with a little under five minutes to play and the Hartford goalie pulled, Gemel Smith would add an empty net goal for the Bruins that was assisted by Jakub Zboril to make it 5-0. The Pack would go on to spoil the shutout netting a power play goal of their own in the final three minutes of play to make 5-1 and that would be your final.  

The Providence Bruins would go on to out-shoot the Wolf Pack by a whopping 37-16 margin with both teams going one for five on the power play. Goalie Zane McIntyre was excellent again at home stopping 15 of 16 shots. He improved to 7-0-1 at home with a .929 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average. Gemel Smith would go on to score in his third game in a row and his fourth goal of the weekend.  

Honorable Mention 

Gemel Smith: Smith had an excellent weekend for Providence with stats of 4-04. Since being sent down to the AHL he has been a spark for the offense. 

Jordan SzwarzThe Captain had a great weekend for himself with stats of 2-1-3. The two goals brought his overall total to 12 on the year. Eight more goals and he will be the fifth player in Providence Bruins history with 20+ goals in three seasons. 

Jakub ZborilZboril returned to the lineup for the first time in almost a month due to injury and had stats of 0-2-2 while playing good defense for the Bruins. It was nice to see him back and on the score sheet. 

Zane McIntyre: Zane had a phenomenal weekend for the Bruins. He went 2-0-0 stopping 35 of 38 shots for a .921 save percentage and goals against average of 1.50. 

Not So Honorable Mention 

Zach SenyshynIt was nice that Senyshyn scored and got an assist over the weekend, but those two points were his first two since December 12. Hopefully, these two points will open the floodgates a little bit. 

Anton BlidhBlidh continues to be as cold as the ice the team skates on. The gritty forward has not registered a point since December 22.  

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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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 13 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of the Springfield Thunderbirds)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

The Providence Bruins come into the weekend 14-15-5 (33 points) and 3-6-1 in their last 10 games good for seventh place in the Atlantic Division. Our boys in black and gold kickoff a jam-packed three-game weekend coming home to the Dunk for the first time in five games when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms roll into town on Friday, January 4th. The Baby B’s continue the weekend on Saturday traveling to Springfield, Massachusetts to take on the home team Springfield Thunderbirds at The MassMutual Center. Finally, the Providence club finishes up the weekend with more home cooking on Sunday, when the Hartford Wolf Pack invade the Dunk. It should be an exciting hockey filled weekend for all involved.  

Friday, January 4th Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (HOME)  

The Friday match-up marks the fourth time the Bruins have faced the Phantoms this season. In the first meeting, Lehigh Valley beat Providence 5-4 with the Bruins getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, Cameron Hughes, Colby Cave, and Wiley Sherman. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was off his game stopping 21 of 26 shots in net. The second meeting between the two teams saw a much better result for the Bruins. The Baby B’s beat the Philadelphia Flyers affiliate 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Austin Fyten (2), Cameron Hughes (2), Ryan Fitzgerald, and Jordan Szwarz, while goalie Dan Vladar looked much better in net stopping 18 of 21 shots. The third match-up was another tough outcome for our boys wearing the spoked P. Lehigh Valley beat Providence 3-1. With Providence getting their lone goal from Joona Koppanen with goalie Dan Vladar continuing his solid road play stopping 17 of 19 shots he faced.  

The fourth installment in the season series is going to be tough for Providence. Lehigh Valley comes into the game 19-10-1-2 (41 points) and 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games good for third in the Atlantic Division with games in-hand. That doesn’t even fully illustrate the uphill battle the Baby B’s. The Philadelphia Flyers’ affiliated has the Bruins’ number over the past five seasons going 7-3-1 in Providence during that time and 15-7-1 overall. A major key for Providence will be scoring early and keeping the game close. When tied or leading after the first period this season, the Boston Affiliate is 12-4-3. Meanwhile, for the Phantoms a major key is out-shooting their opponents, they are 6-4-0-2 when doing so.

Saturday, January 5th Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY) 

This game marks the fourth time the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net. The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced.  

The Springfield Thunderbirds come into the weekend 15-11-4-3 (37 points) and 3-4-2-1 in their last 10 games. Providence not only has excellent numbers against Springfield (9-5-2 in Springfield and 18-9-2 overall in the past five seasons), they’re playing at a time where the Florida Panthers’ affiliate is on a downward trend. This could bode well for the Baby B’s. A major key to the game will be who’s leading after two periods. Springfield is 12-0-1, and Providence is 10-3-2 in that scenario. Meanwhile, when down after two periods the Thunderbirds are 0-10 and the Bruins are 3-12-2.  

Sunday, January 6th Providence Bruins Vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME) 

The Sunday game marks the sixth time the two teams have faced off this season. The first matchup saw the Wolf Pack beat the Bruins 4-2 with Providence getting goals from Austin Fyten and Mark McNeill while goalie Zane McIntyre was pulled in the first period after stopping 7 of 10 shots faced. Dan Vladar finished the game turning away all 8 shots he would see. The second meeting between the two teams saw a better result with Providence winning 4-3 in overtime. The Baby B’s got goals from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic, and Cody Goloubef (OT GW), and goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 15 of 18 shots faced.

The third leg of the season series saw the Pack come out victorious, winning 4-3. The Providence club got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Colby Cave, and Anton Blidh. Goalie Dan Vladar had a busy game stopping 26 of 30 he faced. In game four these two clubs both fought hard, but Hartford came out on top 4-3 in overtime. The boys wearing the spoked P got goals from Karson Kuhlman, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Kyle Cumiskey. Goalie Zane McIntyre turned away 18 of 22 shots faced in the losing effort. Finally, in the fifth meeting this year, the New York Rangers’ affiliated blanked Providence 3-0. Goalie Dan Vladar played well in the game stopping 30 of 33 shots faced.  

The Hartford Wolf Pack come into the sixth game of the season series with a record of 15-15-2-2 (34 points) and 4-5-1 in their last 10 games good for sixth in the Atlantic Division. Despite this year’s misfortune, this match-up is one the Bruins should be looking forward to. Over the past five seasons, the Bruins have an 11-4-1-1 against the Pack and are 18-13-4-2 overall in that time frame. Special teams will play a major key in the outcome of this game. The Baby B’s power play against Hartford this season is at 22.7% (5/22) this is up from their overall percentage of 20.8% (30/144). Meanwhile, their penalty kill is 83.3% (3/18) against the Pack which is down from their overall penalty kill of 86.6% (20/149). Hartford’s 16.7% (3/18) power play against the Providence club is down from their overall power play of 20.7% (30/145). Their 77.3% (5/22) penalty kill against the Bruins is also down from their total season average of 80.7% (28/145).  

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins 

Hot 

Karson Kuhlman: Over his past five games Kulhman has stats of 3-1-4. Last week, he was in the not category for Providence, and it was stated that the former NCAA Champion and the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs was very streaky thus far for the Baby B’s. This continues to be true, but after a good weekend, the gritty forward finds himself in the hot category.  This past weekend saw him go 2-1-3 in 3 games and it raised his point per game from 0.33 (4-7-11 in 33 games) to 0.39 (6-8-14 36 games). He’s slowly getting closer to his college average of 0.48 (39-41-80 in 166 games) points per game. The former UMD captain seems to be getting more comfortable playing against AHL talent, and we could see his point per game total rise even closer to his college average this weekend.  

Mark McNeill: McNeill has found himself in the middle of a hot streak with stats of 2-5-7 in his past five games. A product of the WHL’s Prince Alberta Raiders, the gritty forward, is a career AHL player who has been very good for the Bruins this year scoring 4-13-17 in 22 games. That’s good for a 0.77 point per game clip which is closer to his WHL days of 0.88 (97-146-243 in 276 games) than his AHL career number of 0.58 (93-117-210 in 365 games).  

Not 

Anton BlidhOver his past five games Blidh has scored 1-1-2. The gritty winger has been a streaky player since coming over from Sweden’s SHL to play with the Bruins. Despite being on a cold streak, Blidh’s season point per game total of 0.41 (6-8-14 in 34 games) is higher than his career AHL total of 0.31 (37-33-70 in 223 games). Hopefully, he can get back the scoring touch this weekend and make his way out of the not category.  

Cameron Hughes: Over the past five games Hughes has scored 0-1-1. The former University of Wisconsin Badger has still adjusted well overall to AHL talent since graduating. Even though he currently finds himself in the not category on the year, he’s scoring at a 0.56 (9-10-19 in 34 games) clip which is very close to his NCAA number of 0.66 (23-69-92 in 139 games). This is very good for someone in their first full professional season. The hope is that this is just a minor bump in the road and Hughes will find himself back in the hot category very soon.  

My players to watch this weekend 

Up Front: 

Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald has played very well all season, but he’s played particularly well against the three opponents the Bruins have coming up. Against Lehigh Valley, Springfield, and Hartford the young forward has played in 11 games with stats of 3-8-11. The Baby B’s will need him to carry the load for them if they want to win this weekend. If the former Boston College Eagle can keep up his play against these teams, he would remain a candidate to be called up to get a look with the big club.  

On the Blue Line:  

Cody GoloubefGoloubef has been good for Providence this season. He returned to the lineup from injury on December 29th and scored two goals against Hershey. On the year the defenseman has scored at a 0.73 (3-8-11 in 15 games) clip. Look for the former University of Wisconsin Badger to continue to regain his form coming back from injury.  

In Net:  

Zane McIntyre: Zane McIntyre has had an up and down season this year for Providence. However, at home, he’s been excellent. The young goalie has a 5-0-1 record at home stopping 160 of 172 shots for a .930 save percentage and 1.97 goals against average. These are fantastic numbers at home, and with two of the weekend’s games at the Dunk look for Zane to have a big weekend.  

The Providence Bruins have had an up and down season thus far. Being 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, I am optimistic that a little home cooking is just what the doctor ordered to turn the season around. Winning these three games would be important for multiple reasons. All three teams the Baby B’s are playing are ahead of them in the standings and are in the same division. Being able to win all three games would mean the boys in black and gold would gain ground in the division, and they could start to claw their way back into playoff contention. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go! 

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 12 Preview

PBruins

(Photo Courtesy of Amanda Statland – The Sin Bin )

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

This weekend is the last leg of the 5-game road trip for the Providence Bruins. Our boys in black and gold currently sit at 7th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 13-13-5 (31 points) and 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. The team continues the aforementioned road trip on Friday traveling to Allentown, Pennsylvania to take on the home team Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center. The Providence club finishes up the road trip with two games against the host Hershey Bears in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday.  

Friday, December 28th Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AWAY) 

The Friday match-up marks the third time the Bruins have faced the Phantoms this season. In the first meeting, Lehigh Valley beat Providence 5-4 with the Bruins getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, Cameron Hughes, Colby Cave, and Wiley Sherman. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was off his game stopping 21 of 26 shots in net. The second meeting between the two teams saw a much better result for the Bruins. The Baby B’s beat the Philadelphia Flyers affiliate 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Austin Fyten (2), Cameron Hughes (2), Ryan Fitzgerald, and Jordan Szwarz, while goalie Dan Vladar looked much better in net stopping 18 of 21 shots.  

The third game of the season series will not be easy for Providence. Lehigh Valley comes into the game 18-9-1-2 (39 points) and 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games good for 3rd in the Atlantic Division with games in hand. To make matters worse, over the past five seasons the Bruins are 4-6-0-1 at Lehigh Valley and 8-11-2-1 overall in that time frame. A major key in this game will be the number of goals scored. On the year the Phantoms score 3.8 goals a game, and Providence is 3-12-5 when giving up 3+ goals in a game. Along those same lines, the Baby B’s are 10-5-2 when they score first. Grabbing the early momentum and keeping it will go a long way to shutting down the Flyers’ affiliate. Despite the uphill battle, the Baby B’s hope they can break through against the Phantoms and grab a much needed two points.  

Saturday, December 29th and Sunday, December 30th Providence Bruins vs. Hershey Bears (AWAY) 

The Saturday and Sunday games will mark the second and third time Providence has played Hershey this season. In the first meeting between the two clubs, the Baby B’s beat the Washington Capitals’ affiliate 6-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Jordan Szwarz (2), Cameron Hughes, Anton Blidh, Kyle Cumiskey, and Tanner Pond while goalie Zane McIntyre looked great in net stopping 19 of 21 shots he faced.  

These next two games are ones the Bruins should be looking forward to. Hershey comes into them 12-17-0-2 (26 points) and 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 games good for 8th in the Atlantic Division. On top of that, Providence holds a 4-4-2 record in Hershey over the past 5 seasons and a 12-6-2-1 record overall in that time frame. A few things to look at this weekend, Providence is 9-6-2 when playing on Saturday or Sunday this season, and are 10-3-2 when leading after two periods. If they can get an early lead, the home team from Hershey could melt from the pressure. These are two games the Baby B’s should win to grab a needed four points in the standings.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins 

Hot 

Jordan Szwarz: Over the past 5 games the Bruins’ captain has played very well, scoring three goals and tallying two assists for five total points. Leading by example is big for Szwarz who has stats of 10-5-15 overall this year. Something to start looking for as the season progresses, if Szwarz scores 20 goals this year, he would be the fifth player in Providence Bruins history with three 20+ goal seasons. One thing the OHL product does have going for him is that he’s scoring 0.625 points per game which is higher than his AHL career mark of 0.59.

Peter CehlarikOver his past 5 games Cehlarik has netted two goals while dishing out four assists for six total points. He has looked good recently, and overall on the season, he’s posted 5-15-20 numbers. If the young forward can keep up these numbers we may see him up in Boston before the season is through.

Not 

Tanner Pond: Pond has produced 1-0-1 numbers in his last 5 games. Hopefully, the center can pick it up this weekend for Providence and light up the score sheet. The gritty forward has 24 penalty minutes in 13 games in his time with the Providence Club as he’s spent most of the 2018-19 season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators. Over his career in the ECHL, the former Northeastern Husky has scored at a 0.69 point per game clip with stats of 16-28-44 in 64 games. Given a little time to acclimate himself to the AHL’s talent, Pond could find himself in the hot instead of the not category.

Karson Kuhlman: Kuhlman has found the back of the net once in his last 5 games of action. The former NCAA National Champion and 2018 Tournament MVP with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs has been a streaky player since joining the Providence club after his commitment to his college team was over. The former Bulldog is another player who may just need some time getting used to the skill level of the AHL before climbing out of the not category. With Providence, he’s scoring at a 0.33 ( 4-7-11 in 33 games) point per game clip which is less than his college days of 0.48 (39-41-80 in 166 games).

My players to watch this weekend: 

Up Front: 

Anders Bjork: Since being sent down to Providence, Bjork is scoring at a 1.00 point per game pace with 1-9-10 numbers in 10 games played thus far. Look for him to keep it up this weekend. If he plays well, we could see Boston call him up for the Winter Classic which is being played at his Alma Mater Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

On The Blue Line: 

Connor Clifton: Clifton has played well for Providence this year posting 3-6-9 numbers in 22 games. He even saw a call-up to Boston when they needed help with injuries. Look for him to keep up his play this weekend. The young defenseman’s uptick in scoring is not as surprising as one may think. While at Quinnipiac University he was scoring 0.36 points per game (19-37-56 in 156 games). This is much closer to this season’s 0.41 points per game than last’s of 0.24. 

In Net:  

Dan VladarI would look for Vladar to have a good weekend for Providence, especially with the games against Hershey. The Bears have had a rough go of it this season, and Vladar could shine against them. Something to look for, the young goalie is 4-3-1 on the road this year stopping 212 of 234 shots for a .906 save percentage and  2.51 goals against average.

I am optimistic that the Baby B’s will find some magic this weekend before they return home. The game against Lehigh Valley will be tough. However, the two games against Hershey are ones they should absolutely win. If our boys in black and gold can skate away from the weekend with at least four points, it would go a long way to helping them climb the Atlantic Division standings. We will catch you up next week and let you know how the team fared but feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and Go, B’s, Go!

Interested in going to a Providence Bruins or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

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