Bruins Post-Game Recap: St. Louis at Boston: 10/26/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Michael Dwyer)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

For the first time since June’s Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston Bruins meet the St. Louis Blues and above all else, on home ice in the TD Garden. The Bruins won their last game over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2 the final score, and will look to build on that tonight. This is the first game of a back-to-back that sees Boston play the Rangers tomorrow.

Looking at St. Louis, they are victorious in each of their last two games including a big 5-2 over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. The Blues are third in the Central Division with a record of 5-2-3. St. Louis Head Coach Craig Berube stated how tonight’s game will be an emotional one for both clubs considering the war they endured on one another in the seven-game series last season.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (6-1-2)

Away: St. Louis Blues (5-2-3)

Bruins Last Game: 4-2 win vs TOR

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Bruins forward David Krejci will miss his fourth-straight game with an upper-body injury, but Head Coach Bruce Cassidy says “Tuesday looks good for him” regarding a return. Forward Joakim Nordstrom will make his return to the lineup while David Backes and Steven Kampfer are healthy scratches.

First Period:

The big question was how emotional was this game going to be. Well, less than a minute into the game we get our answer. Zdeno Chara absolutely levels Brayden Schenn on a St. Louis breakout attempt and the two engage in a wrestling match – resulting in offsetting minors – 4-on-4.

At 13:57 of the first period, we finally get a whistle after five consecutive minutes without a stoppage in play. Not too many shots from either team within the back-and-forth action, but great pace nonetheless. Bruins have landed some hard hits in the game as well. After the whistle though, Krug and Perron re-ignite their rivalry and both head to the box for roughing – back to 4-on-4.

On the 4-on-4, the Blues get the first good chance for a goal in the game when Oskar Sundqvist gets in on a breakaway off of a McAvoy turnover but Rask holds his ground and makes a great save to keep it tied. Prior to that, he wasn’t challenged at all.

With 5:52 to go in the opening frame, Charlie Coyle brings the puck hard into the zone and in the process, draws a holding penalty on David Perron. The penalty is the fourth minor that Coyle has drawn on the season, most on the Bruins according to Matt Porter. Bruins to the power-play. Not long into the man-advantage, the lethal Bruins power-play strikes. David Pastrnak gets a beautiful feed from Krug for a blistering one-timer – 1-0 Bruins.

Right after the goal, the Bruins take a penalty of their own. Sean Kuraly is caught cross-checking and the Blues get their first power-play of the night. Fortunately, the penalty-killing unit was great, especially Par Lindholm who has been a solid depth utility player for Boston – back to even-strength.

Not done yet as Sundqvist is whistled down for a tripping minor with 1:48 left to tick away in the first. Boston to their second power-play of the game. The B’s get a few chances but ultimately do not score. They will have twelve seconds of time on the man-advantage to begin the second.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 10 STL: 9

Score: 1-0 Bruins – Goals: Pastrnak (11) PPG Assists: Krug (7), Marchand (10)

Second Period:

The Bruins could not score on the very short power-play but they are showing off good zone rushes and they are doing pretty good defensively as well. Five minutes into the period, they’re the better team in this game without a doubt.

The best chance of the period so far came from the Bruins just around six minutes into the frame. Anders Bjork did a good job on the forecheck to allow a pinching Matt Grzelcyk to rifle a shot that rings the bar. Close chance.

Those two managed to come together later in the period. With 10:29 left in the middle regulation period, Matt Grzelcyk brings the puck in the zone and feeds it to Anders Bjork who bombs a shot past Binnington for his first goal of the season – 2-0 Bruins.

On the very next shift, Torey Krug gets caught on a minor penalty, allowing the Blues to get a chance to tie the game on the power-play. Not the best penalty-kill, but thanks to Tuukka Rask – the Bruins successfully kill of the Krug penalty and we go back to 5-on-5.

St. Louis is showing frustration and it may be working in the favor of the Bruins. Oskar Sundqvist takes a boarding penalty after a hard hit on McAvoy, giving the dangerous Boston power-play another chance to score. Patrice Bergeron nearly buries one but Binnington makes a tremendous cross-crease blocker save to keep it a 2-0 game. Penalty ends.

The Bruins did a good job for the rest of the period, however, took an interference penalty with less than a minute left in the period and will have to kill off over sixty minutes of Grzelcyk’s penalty to start the third.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 19 STL: 16

Score: 2-0 Bruins – Goals: Bjork (1) Assists: Grzelcyk (2), Heinen (1)

Third Period:

The B’s kill of the shortened penalty and the game returns to 5-on-5 with 18:38 remaining in the final regulation period of play. Bruins hold a 2-0 lead.

The line of Bjork, Lindholm, and Heinen has had a good game tonight – getting the puck and winning battles along the boards. The line ended up drawing a hooking call against the Blues, giving the Bruins a chance to make it a three-goal game. Unfortunately for the B’s, they were unable to capitalize and we go right back to even-strength.

With 11:38 to go, the 12th penalty of the entire game is called, this time against Torey Krug and the Boston Bruins – two minutes for holding. Another big penalty-kill for Boston as a goal for St. Louis here can give them momentum in the final half of the third.

As the game comes to a close, the Bruins’ strategy clearly changed to defending the two-goal lead and the Blues tried their hardest to bury one with the zone time they earned. Chris Wagner blocked a bomb off his left leg, hobbled to the dressing room, only to return a few minutes later. Not long afterwards, Charlie McAvoy makes a massive block on a play that was surely going to make it a 2-1 game – great work.

In the final few minutes, Boston starts to muster chances of their own. Bergeron gets a close shot on Binnington who makes the pad stop – the first shot on goal for the B’s in over 12 minutes of playing time.

With just over two minutes left to expire on the scoreboard, the Blues pull Binnington from the net, giving them a 6-on-5 advantage to attempt two goals in as many minutes. In the final minute, Brandon Carlo buries it, snapping a 14-game regular-season goalless drought. Bruins take a 3-0 lead.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 24 STL: 26

Final Score: 3-0 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS G Tuukka Rask – 25 Saves, 47th Career Shutout

2nd Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 1 Goal (GWG), 3 Shots, 17:33 TOI

3rd Star: BOS F Brad Marchand – 1 Assist, 2 Shots, 21:30 TOI

With the win, the Bruins now improve to 7-1-2 on the season. The team will now make the trip from Boston to New York for a 7:00pm EST game against the New York Rangers tomorrow night. It is the first back-to-back series of the 2019-20 campaign for Boston and they’ll be looking to grab four-of-four points.

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

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

Bruins Game 10 Preview: St. Louis Blues

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals goes down tonight in the same building where the St. Louis Blues hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history – the TD Garden. The Boston Bruins welcome the Blues into the Garden coming off of a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, bringing their overall record to 6-1-2. Tonight’s game is the first half of a back-to-back that has the B’s playing the New York Rangers tomorrow.

Tonight’s game for the Blues is the first road game after four consecutive home games that saw them win twice and lose twice. The Blues currently hold the third spot in the Central Division with a record of 5-2-3 after ten games. St. Louis has come out victorious in back-to-back games with wins over Los Angeles (5-2 on Thursday) and Colorado (3-1 on Monday).

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 4-0-1 1.78 GAA .944 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 4-2 win vs TOR

STL: Jordan Binnington 4-1-3 2.58 GAA .916 SV% Last Game: 33 Saves in 5-2 win vs LAK

Who’s Hot:

Tuukka Rask played in his 500th career NHL game on Tuesday and in the process, picked up career win number 269 with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs in Boston. Rask is first in the NHL in save percentage (.944%) and goals-against-average (1.77) with a minimum of four games played and he remains undefeated in regulation with a record of 4-0-1. Tuukka is historically known for being a slow-starter in a season, but in 2019-20, he has been solid and will look to continue that tonight.

Brayden Schenn leads the Blues in points with eight goals and three assists through ten games played and he is currently riding a two-game goal streak including a two-goal performance in the win over the Los Angeles Kings. Schenn has scored a point in every game this season except for two (Washington and Montreal) and has been averaging just around 18 minutes on the ice per game.

David Pastrnak has not slowed down and you have to wonder if he ever will anytime soon. Pastrnak leads the National Hockey League with ten goals and has played the least amount of games out of anyone in the top thirteen goal-scorers. The 23-year-old is on a remarkable seven-game point streak and a four-game multi-point streak. Pastrnak’s last game saw him score a terrific goal and add an assist as well.

Who’s Not:

Ivan Barbashev is one of the better depth players on the Blues roster, but so far this season he has not found his point-production that St. Louis most likely wants from him. The 23-year-old forward has only two assists through ten games and is pointless in each of his last six games. Barbashev has averaged around thirteen minutes of time on the ice over the course of that time span, but neither the goals nor points are coming for him right now.

With the absence of David Krejci (upper-body), Charlie Coyle has seen more opportunities in the top-six for the Bruins in order to keep a natural center alongside Jake DeBrusk, but Coyle has not been terrific this season. Off of his strong postseason, Coyle is still yet to find the back of the net and only has two assists to his name with a -3 rating. He also saw more than five minutes of a reduction in ice time in the last game in comparison to last Saturday’s contest. Bruins need him to start producing with Krejci out.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is two assists away (498) from 500 career NHL assists

St. Louis Blues:

  • F David Perron is two points away (498) from 500 career NHL points
  • F Alex Steen is one even-strength goal away (137) from passing Pavol Demitra (137) for sole possession of 7th-most even-strength goals in Blues history

Bruins vs Blues Outlook:

On either side of the ice tonight, expect an emotional battle with memories of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. For the first time since the heartbreaking loss, the Bruins take to the ice with the St. Louis Blues on the opposite side. The challenge will be to not let the memory of June’s result take over their emotions for tonight and for the Blues, they must remember to stay calm against the team they beat for the Stanley Cup.

Bringing things back to the 2019-2020 season, this is one of those games that the entire league will want to watch. Boston and St. Louis are only separated by a single point in the NHL league standings and a win for either side can possibly give them a boost in the overall standings.

The best power-play in the league will look to keep that 35.7% by capitalizing on St. Louis’ 11th-best penalty-kill in the league. Boston’s trio of Marchand, Pastrnak, and Bergeron has put the league on watch with their precise passing and hockey IQ, creating brilliant plays while on the man-advantage. The Bruins know it is one of their big threats and they make teams pay for their penalties.

On the other side, the Blues have the sixth-best power-play in the NHL at 25.8% while the B’s have an 84% success rate on the PK (9th in the NHL). Boston has done a good job on the penalty-kill recently with some great efforts by Brad Marchand in numerous games so far this season.

Some big news for the game tonight – the Blues will be without Vladimir Tarasenko (upper-body) and forward Sammy Blais is considered a game-time decision for the Blues. In Boston, David Krejci will once again be absent, his fourth-straight game out of the lineup, due to an upper-body injury. However, Joakim Nordstrom is expected to return to the lineup for the Black and Gold.

Puck drop for tonight’s Stanley Cup Finals rematch is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from Boston, Massachusetts.

Projected Lines:

Boston Bruins:

St. Louis Blues: 

Forwards

Schwartz – Schenn – Sundqvist
Steen – O’Reilly – Perron
Sanford – Bozak – Thomas
Blais – Barbashev – MacEachern

Defense

Parayko – Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester – Faulk
Dunn – Bortuzzo

Goalie

Binnington

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

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

Bruins Game 9 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

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PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

For the second-consecutive game, the Boston Bruins take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. This time, however, the arena is different as the two teams make the move to the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins lost the last time out, 4-3 in overtime in Toronto, but was able to secure a point without second-line center David Krejci (upper-body) in the lineup.

Toronto has had a game since the win over Boston, losing 4-3 in overtime themselves against the Columbus Blue Jackets off of a penalty-shot winner in the OT session. The Maple Leafs are third in the Atlantic division with a record of 5-3-2.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 3-0-1 1.72 GAA .946 SV% Last Game: 33 Saves in 4-3 loss vs TBL (SO)

TOR: Michael Hutchinson (Likely) 0-1-1 3.97 GAA .886 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 4-3 loss vs WSH

Who’s Hot:

Tuukka Rask is starting in his 500th career NHL game tonight against the franchise who drafted him 21st-overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rask has been great for the Bruins this year, remaining undefeated in regulation with a record of 3-0-1. Tuukka has a 1.72 GAA (3rd in NHL*) and a .946 save percentage (3rd in NHL*) with one shutout back on October 12th against the Devils.

*minimum of four games started

Mitch Marner leads the Maple Leafs in points this season with 3-9-12 numbers in ten games so far, riding a two-game point streak coming into tonight’s contest as well. On Saturday, Marner finished the night with two assists against Boston – including the game-winning shot that hit Morgan Rielly in front, giving him a primary assist. Marner has been a force, as usual, and he seemingly thrives against the Bruins. Watch for that again tonight.

David Pastrnak was awarded the First Star of the Week according to the National Hockey League and rightly so. The 23-year-old Czech Republic native has dominated the NHL with nine points in three games last week – seven of them being goals. His nine goals on the 2019-20 season puts him tied for first in league and Pastrnak is also top-five in points with 15 in only eight games. Pastrnak put up a goal and an assist in Saturday’s loss to the Leafs.

Who’s Not:

With Frederik Andersen getting the start last night for the Blue and White, it is very likely that we see backup goaltender, Michael Hutchinson in between the pipes for the third time this season. So far, the 2008 3rd-round pick of the Boston Bruins has a win-less record of 0-1-1. Hutchinson has only started twice, but made five saves on five shots against the Lightning in replacement of Andersen who was pulled. With a GAA of 3.97 and a SV% of .886, Hutchinson has not be the best in net when he does get his chance.

Sean Kuraly is yet to find the back of the net in the 2019-2020 campaign, putting up only two assists in the opening eight games. Kuraly had a particularly poor game on Saturday, turning the puck over on numerous occasions with one breakout attempt directly leading to a Toronto goal. Kuraly is one of the better depth players in the NHL, but is starting off the year on a slower pace than expected from a Bruins team needing depth support.

Charlie McAvoy is atop the Bruins roster regarding the younger players, no doubt, but he has not performed at the peak of his potential this season so far. McAvoy has only one assist and is a -1 rating through eight games and against the Leafs last weekend, he made numerous turnovers and seemed out of position on a few rushes by Toronto. Boston needs him to be more consistent tonight and for the games to come.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • G Tuukka Rask is playing in his 500th career NHL game
  • F Patrice Bergeron is two assists away (498) from 500 career NHL assists
  • F David Pastrnak is one point (299) from 300 career NHL points

Toronto Maple Leafs:

  • F Auston Matthews is three assists away (97) from 100 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Maple Leafs Outlook:

Saturday’s game was an entertaining game between these two teams with both teams getting chances on either end and both teams having solid goaltending throughout the course of the game. This time around, both teams will be putting out different starting goaltenders and will be playing in a different arena – bringing the possibility for another competitive game.

The Bruins managed to earn a point in the loss, keeping them tied in points with Toronto, but are ahead of the Canadian team due to their lack of total games played in comparison. Boston will be looking to win a regulation game on home-ice to take a full two points. Even early on in the season, these points are huge considering the level of competition in the NHL’s Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Earlier today, the Bruins announced that forward David Krejci (upper-body) has been placed on the injured-reserve and will not play tonight. In response, the organization recalled forward Anders Bjork from the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League to fill the vacant roster spot. Joakim Nordstrom was on the ice for practice, but no word on if he will return to the lineup. Karson Kuhlman did not practice and will likely miss tonight’s game after blocking a shot from DeBrusk in the last game.

The Bruins and Leafs are expected to have yet another strong game, even with the absence of Krejci and Tavares respectively. There are opportunities available for young players now, especially Bjork, to prove his worth in the depth charts and make a case for a top-six role.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Projected Lines:

Boston Bruins:

Toronto Maple Leafs:

The above lines for the Maple Leafs are for their game last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Things may change, but expect Hutchinson to get the start.

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

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

Bruins David Pastrnak Named NHL’s First Star of the Week

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

NHL Public Relations, (@PR_NHL on Twitter) officially announced that Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak has been named the first star of the week for October 14th to October 20th. Washington Capitals defenceman John Carlson and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton were awarded the second and third star respectively.

Pastrnak led the National Hockey League with seven goals and two assists for nine points this week, all coming in only three games played this week. Pastrnak’s highlight moment of the week was his four-goal game against the Anaheim Ducks on October 14th. The Bruins forward has been lights-out to start the new season, scoring 9-6-15 numbers in the first eight games.

This is the second time that Pastrnak has been named as one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week in his young career as he was named the 1st Star back in the week of November 12th in the 2018-2019 NHL season. He is also the most-recent Bruin to win the weekly award since Patrice Bergeron was named the 2nd Star of the Week back on February 10th of last season. The 23-year-old winger has only seen constant improvements throughout his young season, setting a career-high in goals (38) and points (81) last year and he is on pace to break that in 2019-20.

John Carlson of the Washington Capitals is breaking records of his own, scoring 1-7-8 totals in four games played this past week, extending his season numbers to 3-15-18 in ten games played. Carlson leads the entire league in assists and points and has put himself in rare company among NHL defensemen. He became only the third defenceman (Bobby Orr x2, Paul Coffey) to score 18+ points in his team’s opening ten games of a new season. The Capitals are fourth in the league standings (6-2-2) and have a meeting with the Calgary Flames on October 22nd.

The Buffalo Sabres are first in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and third in the overall league standings with a combined record of 7-1-1 through the first nine games. Leading them to that record, goaltender Carter Hutton who finished both games this week with shutouts – stopped a grand total of 72 shots in two games. Hutton has won five straight games in net and has a goals-against-average of 1.40 with a save percentage of .953%. The Sabres have a game against the San Jose Sharks, looking to win their third-straight.

Back to the Bruins, they look to rebound against the Toronto Maple Leafs on home ice tomorrow after losing in overtime on Saturday in Toronto. Pastrnak will look to stay hot, building off of the two-point night he had against the Maple Leafs. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start in net, marking the 500th time in his NHL career that he gets such a job.

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

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

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Toronto: 10/19/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

After their first post-regulation loss of the new season, the Boston Bruins look to rebound right away with a win in the first game of the home-and-home series against the Maple Leafs. Boston managed to force overtime and eventually a shootout with a late third-period goal from David Pastrnak, (8-5-13) in their 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In Toronto’s last outing, they took a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals, just one day removed of their win over the Minnesota Wild. The Leafs will be without forward John Tavares (finger) for the next few weeks and will miss both games against the Bruins.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Home: Boston Bruins (5-1-1)

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3-1)

Bruins Last Game: 4-3 loss vs TBL (SO)

Bruins Gameday Lineups:

Boston Bruins forward David Krejci (upper-body) and Joakim Nordstrom (upper-body) did not make the trip to Toronto and according to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, are considered day-to-day at this moment. Forward Patrice Bergeron missed practice yesterday after blocking a shot against Tampa Bay, but he will be in the lineup tonight.

First Period:

In the early three minutes of the game, the Bruins are taking control of the road-building with pressure, forecheck, and four shots on goal in the opening three minutes. Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock immediately made sure Matthews did not play against the Bergeron line due to the defensive shut down. Good start for Boston.

The great start for Boston was stopped by a goal by the Maple Leafs roughly six minutes into the period. Morgan Rielly took a shot from the point that hit Brandon Carlo right in the chest and bounced down, between the legs of Jaroslav Halak and Toronto takes a 1-0 lead at home. Tough break for the Bruins who were playing good all-around.

After the goal, there was some pushing and shoving around the benches between Andreas Johnsson, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand that settled itself out. At almost the same time, Alex Kerfoot gets a breakaway chance that is shut down by Halak, setting up Jake DeBrusk the other way for a breakaway of his own that Andersen stops. Good action continues for both teams.

Toronto began to pick up the pace and momentum after the opening goal, getting more rushes into the zone and more chances on Halak. Bruins still hold a lead in the shot department, 11-10, but it is clear that the first goal was a big one for the Leafs. Boston needs to get a goal back before the end of the period to slow down the momentum.

That is the complete opposite of what happens as Sean Kuraly fails to clear the puck out of his own zone and it goes right to Dmytro Timashov who makes a subtle fake before sniping it past Halak, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead late in the first period. The goal is the first career goal of Timashov’s NHL career, a big one for the Leafs.

Needing a big goal before the intermission, the Bruins switch up the lines, resulting in a second-line of DeBrusk, Coyle, and Wagner. The hard forecheck behind the Leafs net eventually leads to Coyle taking the puck and finding Jake DeBrusk wide-open in the slot. DeBrusk finally buries his first of the 2019-20 season and the Bruins cut into the Toronto lead, it’s 2-1. The period ends after that.

Note: Before the Bruins’ goal, Jake DeBrusk took a hard slapshot towards the net that hit what appears to be the inside of the foot of Karson Kuhlman who showed clear pain and went off the ice and did not return. However, there were only less than two minutes left to tick away before intermission, but it is something to keep an eye out for.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 18 TOR: 15

Score: 2-1 Maple Leafs – Goals: Rielly (1) Assists: Marner (7), Johnsson (3); Timashov (1) Assists: Gauthier (1); DeBrusk (1) Assists: Coyle (2), Wagner (2)

Second Period:

As the play starts up again following the intermission, it is worth noting that Kuhlman is on the Bruins bench to begin the second period. A scare for Boston who needs his speed and threat, but he seems to be alright.

The first penalty of the hockey game comes less than two minutes into the middle frame as Ilya Mikeyev takes a holding penalty on Jake DeBrusk and the Bruins head to the power-play that is 8-for-21 to start the season. However, Boston did not have the best man-advantage that they could have had, with some decent chances shorthanded by Toronto. The B’s do get a couple shots from McAvoy and Heinen late on the power-play, but the Leafs ultimately kill it off and we return to 5-on-5.

Roughly eight minutes into the frame, the Bruins have one of their best shifts of the game. They did a great job cycling the puck around Toronto’s zone, generating some great chances to tie the game. Brett Ritchie did a nice job tossing the puck towards the crease for an open Patrice Bergeron, but he narrowly missed a wide-open net. Later on, Par Lindholm keeps it in the zone and skates it further in before drawing a tripping penalty – Boston to their second power-play.

Power-play ends without a goal for the B’s, but they had some good chances that were either stopped or missed the net. The best chance was off of a brilliant passing play that created a great chance for DeBrusk who hit the side of the net. Boston now 0-for-2 on the man-advantage tonight with some improvements from the first one.

With 3:19 left in the second, David Backes tries to drive the puck towards the net but collides hard with Frederik Andersen. The whistle blows and the referee calls for a penalty, assuming it is goaltender interference, but it turns out to be coincidental minor penalties due to roughing by Marincin after the play, 4-on-4. Right away on the 4-on-4, Kuraly makes another bad turnover that leads to a great chance for Toronto – but Halak makes a big save.

In the dying seconds, the Bruins have yet another strong shift that draws a hooking penalty and the Maple Leafs are back on the penalty-kill. The second-period ends before Boston can capitalize. Either way, a much-better period for the Bruins, just could not score a goal. It’ll come with that play, though.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 33 TOR: 18

Score: 2-1 Maple Leafs

Third Period:

The Bruins finally strike on the power-play. Brett Ritchie does a nice job passing it across the zone to find Danton Heinen who rips one top-shelf past Andersen for his second goal of the season and the Bruins equalize the game. Heinen becomes the first Bruin aside from the first-line to score two goals in 2019-20.

The tie was short-lived, only 61 seconds after Boston’s power-play marker, Alex Kerfoot finds the puck in the slot and backhands an odd shot past Halak who was off-balance in the crease and the Maple Leafs take back a one-goal lead in the third period. Charlie Coyle did a poor job staying on Kerfoot, leading to the goal against.

The Bruins have had a few good chances to tie it up once again in the final regulation period, but Andersen has been stellar between the pipes and the Leafs are starting to play better defense while getting some good offensive opportunities as well. Just over eight minutes to go and the Bruins have reached the 40-shot mark.

At the 15:34 mark of the period, Marchand makes a nice neutral zone dangle to bring the puck into the zone, feeds it to Bergeron whose shot gets partially blocked. Bergeron does a good job working for the puck back, allowing him to pass it to Marchand who quickly gets it off to Pastrnak for a blistering one-timer that beats Andersen. Quick offense and we are tied 3-3.

After an incredibly entertaining period of hockey, this game heads to the always-exciting 3-on-3 overtime.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 44 TOR: 27

Score: 3-3 – Goals: Heinen (2) PPG Assists: Ritchie (1), Pastrnak (6); Kerfoot (3) Assists: Muzzin (3), Mikheyev (4); Pastrnak (9) Assists: Marchand (8), Bergeron (6)

Overtime:

The Maple Leafs have the best chances to win the game in overtime throughout the first couple of minutes. Charlie Coyle has been poor defensively tonight and that came out in the overtime session, making poor judgements but fortunately, the Bruins and Halak are able to save him.

Late in the 3-on-3 OT, the Bruins are stuck on the ice, showing clear signs of exhaustion in the defensive end. That only allows Auston Matthews to set up Mitch Marner in the high slot for a one-timer that beats Jaro Halak, Leafs win in overtime by a final score of 4-3. Great game, but Bruins just got caught.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 45 TOR: 29

Final Score: 4-3 Maple Leafs

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: TOR G Frederik Andersen – 42 Saves, .933 SV%

2nd Star: TOR F Mitch Marner – 1 Goal (Game-Winning), 1 Assist, 4 Shots

3rd Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 1 Goal (Game-Tying), 1 Assist, 23:58 TOI

Boston returns home to the TD Garden for the second-consecutive game against Toronto to end the home-and-home series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST on Tuesday.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 8 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

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PHOTO CREDITS: (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

One of the biggest rivalries in the National Hockey League – the Boston Bruins vs the Toronto Maple Leafs makes it’s the debut of the 2019-2020 season tonight in Toronto. The Bruins are coming into the game with a 5-1-1 record, losing in a shootout to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a close game.

For Toronto, they boast a 4-3-1 record, giving them the first wild-card spot. The Leafs have been off to a slow start – often trading wins and losses so far this season bringing them to the record they have. In their last time out, Toronto took a 4-3 defeat to the Washington Capitals in Washington.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 2-1-0 1.69 GAA .951 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 4-2 win vs ANA

TOR: Frederik Andersen 4-2-0 3.14 GAA .893 SV% Last Game: 27 Saves in 4-2 win vs MIN

Who’s Hot:

David Pastrnak is virtually unstoppable right now. The 23-year-old winger has eight goals, five assists for thirteen points in seven games so far and is currently riding a five-game point streak with two consecutive games now with three or more points. Against the Lightning, Pastrnak scored two goals and added an assist including the game-tying goal that eventually forced a shootout. Pastrnak has had great success against the Leafs, scoring 11-8-19 numbers in 15 regular-season games against Toronto.

Fresh off his brand new contract with the Maple Leafs, Mitch Marner is picking things right up from his 94-point campaign in 2018-19 with now nine points in the opening eight games played. Marner has scored three goals and helped with six assists on the scoresheets – leading the Maple Leafs in points. Marner was held pointless against the Capitals but had a three-point game the night before against the Wild.

Morgan Rielly is tied with Mitch Marner in points, however, all of them are assists. Rielly has been the number-one defenceman in Toronto for the past couple of seasons and it seems each year he finds improvements. Against Minnesota, Rielly put up four assists in 21:44 of ice time followed up by a pointless night against Washington in over 27 minutes of time on the ice. Four of his nine assists were on the power-play.

Who’s Not:

Jake DeBrusk is still of his game and it may be a little bit concerning for the Bruins who are struggling to find depth scoring, even more so now with the absence of David Krejci on the second line. DeBrusk played 17:11 in Thursday’s game, finishing the night with a -1 rating, two shots on goal, and zero points. In the first seven games, DeBrusk has only one assist. Jake only has one goal in six regular-season games against the Maple Leafs.

The entire depth charts at the forward position can be listed for the Boston Bruins in this category. Aside from the first-line, only Sean Kuraly has more than one point (2), while seven forwards have only a single point this season. Without the power-play and the top line, the Boston Bruins likely would not be as high in the standings as they are right now. The B’s cannot rely on David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to carry the workload for all 82 games.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is three assists away (497) from 500 career NHL assists
  • F David Pastrnak is three points away (297) from 300 career NHL points

Toronto Maple Leafs:

  • F Auston Matthews is five points away (95) from 100 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Leafs Outlook

The first of two meetings in the next four days between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs goes down tonight in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The rivalry between these two Original Six franchises has seemingly never been so competitive nor entertaining for that matter. After the Bruins eliminated the Maple Leafs in both the 2018 and the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Toronto is looking to come back and finally get revenge over Boston.

Both teams will be without big players in their lineup as well. Newly-named captain John Tavares is out for at least a couple of weeks due to a broken finger suffered from blocking a Morgan Rielly shot. On Boston’s side, forward David Krejci is out once again with an injury and forward Joakim Nordstrom is also not travelling with the team to Toronto.

Speciality teams have always played a big factor in this rivalry and it should again tonight. The Bruins come into the contest with the second-best power-play percentage in the NHL (38.1%), while the Leafs have the 8th-best man-advantage at 26.9%. On the penalty-kill, the Bruins have killed off 85.7% of their penalties compared to Toronto’s 80.8% success rate while short-handed.

With both teams coming off a loss earlier in the week to strong Eastern Conference teams, it should make for a back-and-forth, entertaining hockey game – as it usually is between Toronto and Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from Toronto, Canada.

Projected Lineups:

Boston Bruins:

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 7 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Winslow Townson/AP)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

After two consecutive wins over the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim Ducks, the Boston Bruins now look to start the hardest four-game stretch of the early season, starting things off against the Tampa Bay Lightning before a home-and-home match-up with the Toronto Maple Leafs and then the St. Louis Blues to wrap it all up. Boston is tied for third in the league standings with a 5-1-0 record and ten points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have not had the best start to the new season, or at least not what they had hoped for coming off of their shocking first-round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning hold a 3-2-1 record after the first five games, positioning them in the first wild-card spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.

Tampa is coming off of a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday after losing to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The defending Presidents Trophy winners are still a great team, but have struggled early on.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 3-0-0 1.33 GAA .957 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 3-0 win vs NJD

TBL: Andrei Vasilevskiy 3-1-0 2.53 GAA .921 SV% Last Game: 33 Saves in 3-1 win vs MTL

Who’s Hot:

David Pastrnak. David Pastrnak. David Pastrnak. David Pastrnak. Why did I say his name four times? That’s how many goals the superstar forward scored against the Anaheim Ducks on, lighting the lamp four times en route to a 4-2 win over the Ducks in Boston. The performance led Pastrnak to becoming the first Bruin in the 2019-20 season to hit double-digits in points with 6-4-10 totals in six games so far. Everything is working for him right now and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

For many years now, Steven Stamkos has been the face of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Season after season, he is always near the top of team scoring and for that matter, league scoring. In 2019-20, nothing has changed, Stamkos currently leads the Lightning in points with 4-4-8 numbers in six games – tied with Nikita Kucherov. Stamkos has also been great on the face-off dot, winning 57.89% of the draws he takes. In 39 career games against Boston, Stamkos has 21-10-31 totals and will look to add to that tonight.

Even with the dominant performance from David Pastrnak against the Ducks, Brad Marchand was still as threatening. Anaheim managed to prevent Marchand from getting any shots on goal, yet he still finished the night with two assists – bringing his season total to 4-5-9 – second on the team in points. Marchand has found success against the Lightning throughout his career as well, scoring twelve goals and sixteen assists for 28 points in 33 games against Tampa.

Who’s Not

In one of the biggest moves of the 2018 Trade Deadline, defenceman Ryan McDonagh was traded from the New York Rangers to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season, the 30-year-old scored 9-37-46 totals in a full 82-game season with Tampa Bay, but only has one assist in the opening six games in 2019-2020. McDonagh only has two hits on the season and averages 21:52 time-on-ice. The one bright spot for him is his +5 rating in the plus/minus category, however, that statistic often gets a bad rap.

Today, Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk turns 23-years-old and it would be a perfect time for him to score his first goal of the new season. DeBrusk has one assist in six games, even though he has had opportunities to score in multiple games this season so far. With his center, David Krejci, out tonight with an upper-body injury, DeBrusk needs to step up offensively to bring some depth scoring to Boston against a stacked Lightning offence.

Charlie Coyle will move up in the lineup to be the second-line center for DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie, yet he himself only has one assist that was achieved in the opening game against the Dallas Stars back on October 3rd. The third-line of Heinen, Coyle and Ritchie had some chances in the last game against Anaheim, but failed to score. Tonight would be a good game for him to find his game that he had in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and get back on the score-sheet.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • G Tuukka Rask is playing in his 499th career NHL game
  • F Patrice Bergeron is four assists away (496) from 500 career NHL assists
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one assist away (496) from passing Rick Middleton (496) for sole-possession of 6th-most assists in Bruins history

Tampa Bay Lightning:

  • F Steven Stamkos is three goals away (397) from 400 career NHL goals

Bruins vs Lightning Outlook:

The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning have a rich history as Eastern Conference teams. Throughout the regular-season, the two franchises have played in 102 games against each other, with the Bruins having the better record of 64-28-9-1 – averaging 3.31 goals-for-per-game and 2.60 goals-against-per-game. In the playoffs, the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals come to mind when Boston defeated the Lightning in a razor-close Game 7 to advance to the Finals where the eventually won the Stanley Cup.

More recently, the Lightning dispatched of the Bruins in the 2018 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in only five games after the B’s won Game One. These two teams have been atop the NHL’s Eastern Conference standings for the better part of the past decade and each game has created an entertaining affair.

Tampa Bay won the season series of four games in 2018-19, defeating the Bruins three times, (3-2, 5-4, and 6-3) while the Bruins won once by a final score of 4-1 on February 28th. Boston scored a total of thirteen goals for and allowed fifteen against in the four games.

Regarding specialty teams, this could be a very entertaining hockey game. On the power-play, both teams are tied with a 31.3% success rate on the man-advantage, however, the Bruins have a better penalty-kill percentage (83.3%) compared to Tampa’s 73.9%. Either way, it will be interesting to see what team’s specialty teams out-performs the other. It may just be the difference in who wins.

Bruins Projected Lineup:

David Krejci is out for the Bruins tonight after playing minimal minutes against Anaheim on Monday. After the game, Head Coach Bruce Cassidy expressed hope that Krejci would be able to play tonight, but evidently has decided to keep the veteran center out of the lineup. Charlie Coyle moves up while Par Lindholm centers Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman on the third-line. The first and fourth lines remain the same as of right now.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Boston Bruins: The Goal Is To Rebuild On The Fly

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By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The Boston Bruins have been one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference for over a decade. Notably, Boston won their sixth Stanley Cup in the 2010-2011 season followed by a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in both 2013 and 2019. During this stretch of success, the organization has seen the same core of players rule the competition.

Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, and Tuukka Rask were apart of each one of those successful seasons, but the remainder of the Bruins team has been altered, changed, and re-vamped with the emergence of the young players across the National Hockey League.

Today, the Bruins have star players that are staples in their lineup. David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Danton Heinen are all on the starting roster night in and night out, wearing the Spoked-B proudly. Don’t get them wrong, though. These young players are not here because the Bruins are at the bottom of the standings, in fact, it is quite evidently the opposite. The Boston Bruins are defending Eastern Conference Champions.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (WEEI.com)

In the National Hockey League, there are multiple ways that a franchise can build their team for success. The Free Agency period always has serviceable players that can bring some talent to a roster and bring them to a more-successful season. The idea of trading is there, but it is sometimes difficult to convince another team to trade their top players without sacrificing one of your top assets in return. You could also be the Vegas Golden Knights who became a Stanley Cup-contending team from the expansion draft – but that is out of the question for everyone but Seattle now.

Without a doubt in my mind, the best option for teams to build a roster that contends for the Stanley Cup falls on the NHL Entry Draft. The best of the best young players around the world in a seven-round draft where all 31 NHL teams can select the players they feel will make their team better. The issue with this method is the waiting period for most rookies.

Looking at the Bruins, players like Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen, and Anders Bjork have been in the system for a couple years now – yet none of them are secured positions on the team due to their position already being filled by someone with either more experience or more success. In other drafts, the Bruins have had struggles with their selections, to the point where they fail to play a single regular season game with the franchise before being shipped off or let go when their contract expires.

In many cases around the league, the waiting period is not of concern for management. As long as one day, they can have a competitive roster once again, it’ll all be okay again. That idea is great and all – if you want to risk losing ticket sales, profits, and a fanbase in general. The Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, and others are prime examples of this fact alone.

Circling things back to Boston, the owners and fellow management personnel are not willing to sacrifice the years of money and profit that comes from a successful franchise to have a full-on “rebuild” when those veterans and core pieces begin to retire and move on from their hockey careers. Boston has shown over the past decade and continue to show into the 2019-2020 campaign that they are at the top of the NHL at performing a method of getting better on the fly commonly called – “retooling”.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

When retooling a franchise, there is one main factor that must stay consistent – competitiveness. Without the idea of competing for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one could argue that it is more of a rebuild. In order to complete this retooling, you must have a group of veterans to lead another group of young, upcoming players who are taking their opportunities and thriving. Looking at the 2011 Stanley Cup win over the Vancouver Canucks, not much has changed regarding the landscape of the roster.

In 2010-2011, the Bruins had an average age of 28.3 and had ten players above the age of 30, (Michael Ryder, Chris Kelly, Andrew Ference, Tomas Kaberle, Shawn Thornton, Marc Savard, Zdeno Chara, Shane Hindy, Tim Thomas, and Mark Recchi). In 2019-2020, the Bruins have an average age of 28.9 and have eight players above the age of 30, (Brad Marchand, Steven Kampfer, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Jaroslav Halak, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, and Zdeno Chara).

In 2010-11, the Bruins had younger players producing on their roster such as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Blake Wheeler, and so on. Today, those once-young players are now entering the later stages of their prime or have moved on from the franchise altogether in the event of trade or free-agency, but with the emergence of David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Karson Kuhlman, Danton Heinen, Connor Clifton, and so on, the youth is still vibrant as ever – keeping the cycle fresh.

It does not stop there, either. This season, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins, the Providence Bruins, have one of their best rosters of the last few seasons. As of October 15th, the Baby Bruins have a record of 3-1-0 – tied for second in the AHL league standings. Forward Anders Bjork has been the top player so far for the P-Bruins, scoring three goals and two assists for five points in the opening four games, showcasing his skills that could be in the NHL sooner rather than later.

The lineup in Providence is filled with players that have caught the eye of management and fans alike, keeping people hopeful that the Boston Bruins can continue this success that they are seeing this season into future seasons for years to come – and they have every right to feel that way. In fact, they should. Only a few seasons ago, David Pastrnak was in Providence and on the fourth-line in Boston, now he is scoring four goals in a game and leading the team in goals.

Call it what you want – retooling, rebuilding on the fly, staying competitive – it’s all the same. The Boston Bruins are professionals at this by now. The idea puts pressure and expectations on young players, but with the guidance of the veterans that have been there before, it works. With a record of 5-1-0 to begin the 2019-2020 regular-season, the Bruins are proving that.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 6 Preview: Anaheim Ducks

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian Bruins fans (including myself) and a Happy Columbus Day to all of our American Bruins fans. To celebrate, the Boston Bruins have their first matinee game of the 2019-20 season – a home game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Bruins were victorious, 3-0 over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night and look to win their second consecutive game today.

On the other side of the rink, the Ducks will be equally ready. The Ducks matched the best start to a season in franchise history with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday. To begin the year, Anaheim is 4-1-0 and is 2-1-0 on their four-game road trip that ends today against the Bruins.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 1-1-0 1.53 GAA .957 SV% Last Game: 32 Saves in 4-2 Loss vs COL

ANA: John Gibson (Likely) 3-1-0 1.26 GAA .961 SV% Last Game: 26 Saves in 2-1 Loss vs PIT

Who’s Hot:

Another game, another strong performance for Brad Marchand and his season-starting hot streak is continuing full steam ahead. In Saturday’s win over the Devils, Marchand scored the eventual game-winning goal in the first period while adding in an assist later in the game for his second multi-point game of the year. Marchand now has 4-3-7 numbers in five games.

After five games played, there is one lone player atop the Anaheim Ducks player stats – 23-year-old winger Ondrej Kase. The 205th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has one goal and three assists this season and continues to look to play better and better, especially considering the fact that he missed a large portion of the 2018-19 campaign after undergoing shoulder surgery. The former 20-goal scorer can be a threat in this league and has done well throughout ’19/’20 thus far.

Patrice Bergeron scored his first goal of the season against New Jersey, extending his point streak to four games. Bergeron has been apart of the dangerous first line of the Bruins and has been dominant on the faceoff dot as well – to no one’s surprise, winning 55.77% of faceoffs taken this season. On the season now, the 34-year-old has 1-3-4 numbers in five games and will look to extend it against Anaheim today.

Who’s Not:

At one point in his career, Adam Henrique was a 50-point scorer in the National Hockey League, most recently hitting the plateau in the 2015-2016 season. Last season, the 29-year-old scored 42-points for the Ducks but has only one goal to begin the 2019-20 campaign – keeping him on a three-game pointless streak. Henrique has seen a jump in ice time over the past two games, so a breakout is possible soon.

Charlie Coyle was brought to the Bruins roster at the Trade Deadline last year and had himself a playoff run to remember, scoring big goals and adding depth scoring to the Boston team that helped push them to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Unfortunately this season, Coyle has only one assist in five games and has not found great chemistry at this point in time. We are still early on in the year, but the lack of offensive production should hopefully end soon.

Other than those two, not too many players on either roster are struggling. Both teams are near the top of the NHL right now and both teams bring their own style and strengths – looking good early to cap it all off.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is one assist away (495) from tying Rick Middleton (496) for 6th-most assists in Bruins history

Anaheim Ducks:

  • F Adam Henrique is playing in his 600th NHL regular-season game
  • F Ryan Getzlaf is one even-strength goal away (176) from tying Paul Kariya (177) for 3rd-most even-strength goals in Ducks history

Bruins vs Ducks Outlook

Being in opposing conferences, the Bruins and Ducks only meet twice a year, but each game brings a different story and usually produces an entertaining hockey game. In 36 games between the two franchises, the Bruins have a 15-18-2-1 record against the California team – winning both games (3-0 and 3-1) in 2018-19.

On the official NHL standings today, both the Ducks and the Bruins are in the top-six in the league in points and with identical records, have the same amount of points. The Ducks have a better goal differential in comparison to Boston, scoring eleven goals while only allowing six against. Boston has scored twelve goals but allowed eight against over five games played.

Anaheim is known for being a big, physical team who, when hot, can be a hard team to pick up a win against. Goaltender John Gibson is expected to get the start, even though he has not been confirmed to be the starting netminder as of 11:45am EST, making it a tough matchup for the B’s. Gibson has a 3-1-0 record with a 1.26 goals-against-average and a .961 save percentage.

Specialty teams are a big factor in hockey games throughout the past few seasons and this game is evidence of that as well. The Bruins boast a 23% success rate on the power-play, (17th in NHL), and a 78.6% success rate on the penalty-kill (17th in NHL).

Anaheim is one of four teams to have yet to score a power-play goal, coming up short on all ten man-advantages presented to them. However, that is balanced out somewhat by their third-ranked penalty-kill percentage, killing off 93% of the penalties that they take. It should be interesting to see the battle of the strong Bruins power-play to Anaheim’s strong PK.

Bruins Lineup:

Bruins forward Brett Ritchie will lace up the skates against his brother, Nick Ritchie, today as well. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:00pm EST from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Post-Game Recap: New Jersey at Boston: 10/12/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The Boston Bruins are home again, finally, and host the New Jersey Devils in the first home game of the 2019-2020 NHL season. Boston is 3-1-0 heading into tonight’s contest with a loss against the Colorado Avalanche in their last time out. For New Jersey, they have started the season on a 0-2-2 stretch and look to earn their first win tonight.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (3-1-0)

Away: New Jersey Devils (0-2-2)

Bruins Last Game: 4-2 Loss vs COL

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Forward Brett Ritchie is back in the lineup after being a scratch in Thursday’s game while forwards David Backes and Par Lindholm are the scratches for Boston tonight.

First Period:

The opening first couple minutes of the game saw both teams going back and forth down the ice with a few shots on goal here and there. Bruins defenceman Connor Clifton had the first highlight of the game with a massive hip check on Wayne Simmonds as he skated into the Bruins zone.

Less than four minutes into the game, Boston scores first. Brad Marchand brings the puck into New Jersey’s zone but is met by P.K. Subban. Subban forces Marchand to turn around, which he does, allowing Marchand to get a little bit of room for a blistering wrist shot from the point area, beating Schneider for the game’s first goal. 1-0 Bruins.

In the first half of this first period of hockey, the Bruins have done a solid job stopping chances from the Devils including a couple great defensive plays by captain Zdeno Chara with his large reach that brought the oncoming rush to an immediate halt. B’s looking good all-around eight minutes in.

There has not been a line on the forward core that has looked bad as we get through the opening frame and that is shown in the second goal of the game. The Devils iced the puck after a long time in their own zone, dealing with the pressure of the Bruins. On the ensuing faceoff in New Jersey’s zone, the fourth-line of Wagner, Kuraly and Nordstrom battle around the slot area until the puck eventually deflects off of Nordstrom’s stick and into the net – his first of the season – 2-0 Bruins.

It has been a good period for Boston, good control in both zones as well as the neutral zone and for the most part, has been controlling the game and the pace at which it is played at. However, with 4:36 remaining in the frame, Sean Kuraly is sent to the box on a hooking penalty. Boston to the penalty-kill for the first time tonight.

Immediately on the PK, the B’s are aggressive on a pair of shorthanded opportunities by the duo of Bergeron and Marchand but Schneider makes the saves. The Devils do get a chance late on the power-play, but Rask makes a great save while scrambling in his crease to rob Nikita Gusev. Only seconds later, a shot hits Marchand in the skates – leading to a shorthanded breakaway that gets stopped by Schneider. Fantastic penalty-kill by Boston, back to five-on-five hockey.

As it seems like the first period is about to end, Charlie Coyle does a good job bringing the puck from his own zone to the depths of the Devils’ zone. In the meantime, he draws a hooking penalty on Mirco Mueller with 16.4 seconds remaining. Bruins will begin the second-period with 1:44 of power-play time.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 15 NJD: 10

Score: 2-0 Bruins – Goals: Marchand (4) Assists: Pastrnak (4); Nordstrom (1) Assists: Wagner (1), Kuraly (2)

Second Period:

Unable to bury one on the power-play, the Bruins are now 0-for-1 on the man-advantage. With the extra man, the B’s get a couple fairly-decent opportunities to extend the lead to three goals, including a wide-open Pastrnak one-timer that missed the net by almost a mile-wide. Pastrnak’s reaction following said it all. Back to even-strength.

Karson Kuhlman had himself another solid shift later on in the period. The speedster has done a great job so far this season in driving hard to the net and getting valuable zone entries and that was on display again. 6:12 into the second period, Kuhlman draws a tripping penalty as he tried to spin the puck around while skating backward right in front of Schneider, getting tripped up by a defender laying down. Boston to their second power-play of the night. Bruins fail to convert on that man-advantage as well – falling to 0-for-2 on the game.

In a game largely controlled by Boston, the Devils nearly cut the lead in half off of a Brandon Carlo turnover behind Tuukka Rask that gives Jack Hughes a chance right in front of Rask that rings off the post and stays out. Hughes draws a hooking penalty on the play and New Jersey off to the power-play. On the penalty-kill, Brad Marchand controlled it himself – bringing it into the zone and single-handling killing off Carlo’s penalty. Great effort from the Bruins – back to even-strength.

Tuukka Rask has had to make some really good saves – the biggest coming on a shot from Miles Wood and his own rebound shot as well. The Devils have slowly gained some momentum offensively and Rask has had to meet that with stellar play in net. Not long after that, David Pastrnak is assessed a minor penalty for a faceoff violation, (using the hand) and Boston heads back to the penalty-kill, where they successfully kill it off – improving to 3-for-3 on the night. New Jersey now 0-for-14 on the power-play this season.

Only 1:01 remaining in the second frame, Kyle Palmieri gets his leg behind Charlie McAvoy’s leg, causing him to fall. The officials see it and send him to the box for tripping. Not wasting any time, the Bruins score only fifteen seconds into the man-advantage. Patrice Bergeron pushes home a loose puck that was right by the pad of Schneider and the Bruins take a 3-0 lead with less than a minute to go in the middle period.

Not as good as the first period for the Boston Bruins, but was far from a bad period. Numerous successful penalty-kills, good defensive stops and the power-play goal to end the period. Continuation of this play should lead to a win for Boston after the final twenty minutes of regulation time.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 24 NJD: 26

Score: 3-0 Bruins – Goals: Bergeron (1) PPG Assists: DeBrusk (1), Marchand (3)

Third Period:

Kuhlman’s strong game and start to the season as a whole is continuing into the third period tonight, picking off a breakout pass and getting a quick shot on Schneider who makes the chest save. Kuhlman has shown his speed, skill, and even defensive side of his game in the first five games, but just lacks the finishing ability right now.

The third period was great entertainment-wise, not much happened worth mentioning until the 8:45 mark of the frame when Zdeno Chara gets called on a two-minute holding penalty. Just a case of being a bigger, (much bigger), player than Nico Hischier. Boston to the penalty-kill once again. Without any true issues or concerns, Boston makes the kill yet again.

That essentially is all she wrote – Bruins win 3-0.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 32 NJD: 31

Final Score: 3-0 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS G Tuukka Rask – 31 Saves, 46th career shutout

2nd Star: BOS F Brad Marchand – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 18:30 TOI, Game-Winning Goal

3rd Star: BOS F Patrice Bergeron – 1 Goal, 2 Shots, 2 Takeaways, 67% Faceoffs, 16:10 TOI

Boston’s record improves to 4-1-0 and now looks ahead to Monday’s matinee game against the Anaheim Ducks in Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:00pm EST.

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