Breaking: Bruins Place Steven Kampfer on Waivers

Carolina Hurricanes v Boston Bruins - Game One

( Photo Credit: CBS Boston )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins announced today that the club has placed defenseman Steven Kampfer on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.

Kampfer has played in four games this season for the Bruins posting no points. The 31-year-old Ann Arbor, Michigan native and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL draft by the Anaheim Ducks. The Bruins re-signed Kampfer this past offseason to a two-year deal worth $800,000 per season.

The news comes after the Bruins are gaining some defenseman back into their lineup as John Moore played his second game of the year after returning from offseason shoulder surgery which scratched Connor Clifton and Kampfer.

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Bruce Cassidy Provides Update on Injured Bruins

bergy

( Photo Credit: ESPN.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Bruins have hardly been completely healthy in what seems like a very long time. That trend will continue on Sunday night in Boston when the Bruins host the Canadiens for their third matchup with their all-time rivals this Month and their first at TD Garden this year. The Bruins will be without one of their most valuable players again with Patrice Bergeron set to miss his fourth straight game this week.

After the Bruins took the ice for practice on Saturday at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Bruce Cassidy gave updates on the banged up Bruins. Patrice Bergeron was not on the ice again and it was announced that he will not play tomorrow night against Montreal with his lingering lower-body injury. Bergeron has missed his last four games and six out of the last eight games for the Black ‘N Gold.

Earlier this season, Cassidy has stated that he would rather keep Bergeron out until he is 100% healthy rather than rush him back into the lineup and risk further injury. There is no reason for Bergeron to come back unless he is more than healthy enough to return. The Bruins are continuing to roll this season and have won six in a row and have points in 10 straight games including an 8-1 thumping of the Canadiens last Tuesday night.

The Bruins continued their dominance on Black Friday during the Thanksgiving Showdown game when they hosted Henrik Lundqvuist and the New York Rangers for the traditional matinee Thanksgiving game. The Bruins fell behind by 2 but were able to comeback and win the game in overtime to continue their dominance at home. The Bruins still have yet to lose a regulation game at home and have a 10-0-4 record on Causeway Street.

Brad Marchand was also not on the ice as he was playing through flu-like symptoms yesterday but was able to finish the game. As a result he was held out of practice on Saturday and the team will assess how he feels tomorrow. Brad Marchand was also hit up high from an elbow by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in the second period. The NHL’s concussion spotter did not pull Brad Marchand from the game until early in the third period which did not make Brad Marchand very happy after the game:

“The guy’s up there eating pizza’s and cheeseburger’s and can’t watch the game. Maybe next time he’ll pull his head out of his butt and watch the game.”

Marchand later apologized in a tweet for his comments stating that his emotions got the best of him and that he did not want to miss a shift when the Bruins were down in the hockey game.

Brett Ritchie was also not skating at practice but Bruce Cassidy did shed some light on some positive news stating that David Backes and John Moore are very close to returning to the lineup.

The Bruins continue to be banged up in the forward group and the defense core but are continuing their dominance over the NHL and have soared to the top of the NHL’s overall standings.

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Bruins Place Torey Krug on IR, Recall Paul Carey from Providence

krug

( Photo Credit: USA Today Sports )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins announced that the team has placed defenseman Torey Krug on injured reserve and has recalled forward Paul Carey from the Providence Bruins. The news comes after the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in Toronto 4-2 on Friday night and ahead of the club’s big tilt against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden tonight.

Torey Krug left the game before the start of overtime in the Bruins 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on November 10th. Krug has missed the last two games against the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs and will be out tonight against the Capitals. In 17 games this season, Krug has two goals and 11 assists and a minus-four rating with all of his assists coming on the potent Bruins power-play. Krug adds to the list of banged-up Bruins including Brett Ritchie, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, and Karson Kuhlman.

Paul Carey leads the Providence Bruins in scoring with seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 17 games. The 31-year-old forward is a Weymouth, MA native and has played 99 career NHL games notching eight goals and eight assists for 16 points.

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

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Bruins Recall Urho Vaakanainen on Emergency Basis

urho

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins announced that the team has recalled defenseman Urho Vaakanainen from Providence on an emergency basis and joined the team for practice today, November 11, at practice at Warrior Ice Arena following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday Night.

Urho Vaakanainen has played in 15 games for the Bruins AHL affiliate Providence Bruins this season tallying two assists and four penalty minutes. The 20-year old defenseman has played in two NHL games during the 2018-2019 season but has yet to record a point in the NHL. His last NHL game was October 23, 2018 in Ottawa when Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki elbowed Vaakanainen and injured the young defenseman with a concussion. The 6’1″ defenseman from Joensuu, Finland was drafted in the first round, 18th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins.

This call-up by the Bruins is most likely due to the Bruins losing Torey Krug in Sunday nights game against the Flyers. After the game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said that Krug left the game prior to the start of overtime with an upper-body injury. If Krug is unable to go on Tuesday when the Bruins host the Florida Panthers, it is likely that Vaakanainen will draw into the lineup.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller was also skating Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena wearing a normal black practice jersey which is a good sign for the 31-year-old defenseman who has played just three NHL games since February.

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Bruins Remain Atop NHL’s ‘Super 16’ Power Rankings for Fourth Straight Week

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( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

Halloween is here which means the first month of the 2019-2020 NHL season is coming to a close with the Bruins as arguably the best team in the league thus far. The Bruins head into November atop the Atlantic Division and the NHL.com’s “Super 16” Power Rankings list for the fourth straight week.

You read that right, the Bruins have remained at the top of the NHL’s weekly power rankings for the fourth straight week after the Bruins came flying out of the gates to start the season. This week the Bruins were just one vote away from being a unanimous number one when twelve out of the thirteen NHL.com writers voted for the Bruins to be the top spot on the rankings.

The Bruins are coming off a 12 game month of October with a 9-1-2 record for 20 points in the standings. This is good for the Bruins’ best start in their first 12 games since the 1929-1930 season – a year in which they made the Stanley Cup Finals. They are tied in points with the Buffalo Sabres for the top spot in the Atlantic Division but the Bruins have the slight edge in regulation and overtime wins with nine to break the tie.

The Bruins have been clicking as of late offensively as they have the second-highest goal differential in the NHL at +16. Part of their high flying offense has been the play of David Pastrnak who has 24 points in 12 games by way of 12 goals and 12 assists. His linemates have been right there with him in terms of production offensively with Marchand scoring 12 goals and adding seven assists for 21 points and Bergeron burying five goals and seven assists for 12 points. Along with their depth at forward and defense as well as strong goaltending from Rask and Halak, it is no surprise that the Bruins have been number one on the power rankings the whole month of October.

This week the Bruins are ahead of the Washington Capitals who climbed up from the third spot into the second because of their 6-0-1 record in their past seven games. Bruins division rivals Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning also made the sweet 16 power rankings with the Leafs coming in at 12 and the Lightning at 14.

The Lightning were slotted at number one on the power rankings before the season started on October 2nd with the Bruins at number four before the puck dropped on the season. The Lightning hold a 6-4-2 record for 14 points and currently sit a point out of the last wild card spot held by the 6-5-3 Toronto Maple Leafs. Granted it is extremely early with a ton of hockey left this season, it is not the start that Leafs and Bolts fans wanted to see out of the gate this year.

While the recognition of being the best team in the league every week in October is good, the Bruins are just getting started, however. With only 12 games down and 70 to go, the Bruins have a lot of work to do. Odds are Tampa Bay and Toronto will figure out their struggles, as well as Buffalo could continue their strong start and along with the Joel Quenneville coached Florida Panthers, the Bruins are going to be battling all season for a top spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at TD Garden to kick off the month of November.

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Bruins Off to One of Best Starts in Franchise History

boston-bruins-celebrate

( Photo Credit: TSN )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins are absolutely rolling out of the gate for the 2019-2020 season. They currently sit atop the Atlantic Division and have won four straight games after a 5-1 thumping of the San Jose Sharks and even have an eight-game point streak going dating back to the 12th of October. As a result, the Bruins are off to a historic start with no desire of slowing down.

After losing on home ice in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in June, Bruins and hockey fans were curious to see how the Bruins would come out of the gate. After a long hard-fought season and long series against the Blues, the Bruins had a shorter summer with shorter time to recover from injuries. With virtually an identical team with few departures and additions to the 2019-2020 lineup for Bruce Cassidy’s B’s, they have come out of the gate flying.

The Black ‘N Gold hold a 9-1-2 record as of October 30th which is good for 20 points and the top spot in the Atlantic Division as well as the second spot in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Alex Ovechkin and the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. The Bruins have 11 points in 12 games which give the Bruins the tie for the best 12-game stretch to start a season since the 1929-1930 Bruins. That year, the Bruins made the Stanley Cup Finals but fell to rival Montreal Canadiens.

Part of the strong start has been the outstanding play of the first line consisting of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak. David Pastrnak has racked up 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in just 12 games played. Pastrnak has no doubt been the NHL’s MVP for the month of October and is likely motivated this year, not only because of the way last season ended for the team but more importantly for how Pastrnak missed time due to an off-ice thumb injury that hindered his production late into the season and the playoffs.

His linemates haven’t been too shabby as well with Marchand posting seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 12 games and Patrice Bergeron posting five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 12 games.

Tuukka Rask has also been a huge part of the Bruins’ hot start with a 6-0-1 record in seven games played with a 1.52 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage and two shutouts. Him and Jaroslav Halak have been splitting most of the games thus far and the best goaltending tandem in the league is picking up exactly where they left off last year as Jaro is supporting Rask with a 3-1-1 record in five games played.

But Can They Keep It Up?

That is the biggest question. Can the Bruins keep up this incredible play all season? The short answer is probably not. There is always high’s and low’s in the long NHL season but it is certainly an incredible start for the Bruins to rack up points early instead of playing catch up like their division rivals Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Montreal Canadiens who have all had slow starts to the year.

With the Bruins playing into June last season, it was interesting to see how the Bruins would be out of the gate but it has certainly been everything you can ask for as a Bruins fan so far this season. It will be interesting to see if the Bruins can gear up for another long playoff run after last year’s Stanley Cup Final and keep up this incredible start throughout the 2019-2020 season.

Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask Set to Play in 500th Career Game

tuukka-rask-500

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Bruins are gearing up for a big matchup against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. There will certainly be a buzz in the building as the Boston and Toronto rivalry writes another chapter but there will also most likely be much louder “TUUKK” chants coming from the Black ‘N Gold faithful as well.

That’s because Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes for the Bruins and it will be his 500th game in the National Hockey League. On November 24, 2007, Rask got his first win against the Maple Leafs with a 30 save performance in a 4-2 win for the B’s. Twelve years later it all comes full circle as Rask will skate in the milestone game against the very same team that drafted him and that he got his first NHL victory against.

Bruins head coach, who started coaching Rask in 2008, has rotated starts between Rask and Jaroslav Halak who have arguably been the league’s best goaltending tandem for the past two seasons. The lesser workload for Rask has allowed him to play better and more consistently all season long. Last season, Rask played in 46 games which allowed him to be fresher for the Bruins long playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Rask and Halak have picked up right where they left off last season and the Bruins hope the goaltending tandem can emulate their success from last season.

“They say it’s like 1,000 games for players, he said after practice on Monday when asked about his upcoming milestone game. “It’s a big milestone. I think you play 500 as a goalie, it’s going to take some years. Just goes to show how old I am, that’s about it.”

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara also weighed in on his longtime goaltender’s achievement: “I think it’s a great achievement. It just shows his durability and the way he takes care of himself and we are certainly happy for him. He deserves the accomplishment and whatever it comes with.”

Tuukka Rask was drafted 21st overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, his opponent for his 500th career game, but has only played for the Boston Bruins. His rights were traded to the Bruins on June 24, 2006, for goaltender Andrew Raycroft and he then signed a three-year contract in May of 2007. He played most of his early career for the Bruins backing up Tim Thomas and won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 but still has not yet won the Stanley Cup as a starter – failing to beat the Blackhawks in the 2013 Cup Finals and the Blues in the 2019 Cup Finals.

The Bruins goaltender has posted a 3-0-1 record this season in four starts posting a 1.72 goals-against average to go along with a .946 save percentage. The Bruins look to bounce back on Rask’s big night on home ice against the Leafs after falling to them on Saturday night in overtime 4-3.

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.

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Weymouth Native ‘Mighty Quinn’ To Drop Puck at Bruins Game

mightyquinn

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

Meet 3-year-old Quinn Waters from Weymouth, Massachusetts. The big Bruins and Charlie Coyle fan who is battling cancer will drop the ceremonial puck at the Bruins game on Tuesday, October 29th when the Bruins host the San Jose Sharks. That night, the Bruins will be hosting Hockey Fights Cancer night at the TD Garden.

Last February, just a day after celebrating his third birthday, Quinn went to Boston Children’s Hospital and was quickly diagnosed with a brain tumor on his brain stem called Medulloblastoma. That very next week after turning three, he underwent an eight-hour surgery to remove the tumor. He has undergone numerous rounds of chemotherapy and has spent months of his young life in the hospital.

This past summer, after his countless rounds of treatment for cancer weakened his immune system, he was unable to go outside. This prompted many of his family and friends to visit Quinn at his house through his window. The story went viral and soon visiting requests for The Mighty Quinn at his window came pouring in at the Weymouth home. Quinn was getting all kinds of visits from friends and family, Weymouth residents and sports teams, local first responders, and local celebrities like The Dropkick Murphy’s. He even received a personal video from New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady and Cornerback Stephon Gilmore telling Quinn that he is a champion and that he has the support from all of the Patriots.

Fellow Weymouth native and Bruins forward Charlie Coyle was also part of the hundreds of visitors to Quinn’s window this past August. Coyle along with Blades, the Bruins mascot, presented him with a personalized #13 Bruins jersey with Quinn’s name on it. Coyle proceeded to chat with Quinn and brighten his day as well as even partaking in a Nerf gun fight. Since then, Quinn and Coyle have become the best of friends as Coyle continues to support the Waters family and Quinn’s battle with cancer. The Bruins forward was also seen with a blank “Hockey Fights Cancer” sign in which he wrote, “I fight for The Mighty Quinn” in support of his new friend.

Just last week, the Waters family announced fantastic news that Quinn’s latest MRI showed no signs of new disease. Doctors have been amazed by Quinn’s recovery that although he is continuing his fight, he is making incredible progress.

At the end of September, Quinn was allowed to leave his house for the first time in months and is now set to make an appearance on TD Garden ice dropping the ceremonial puck for the Bruins and San Jose Sharks game on October 29th.

It will no doubt be an emotional night for Quinn and his family but hopefully will be a joyous occasion for Quinn in support of his favorite hockey team. I also suspect that when called upon, Charlie Coyle will line up and receive the ceremonial puck drop from his friend Quinn.

If you would like to support or follow Quinn and his fight against cancer, click here.

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 Forward David Backes Hopes Unique Offseason Training Revitalizes Career

backes

( Photo Credit: NBC Sports )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

On July 1, 2016, the Boston Bruins signed veteran forward David Backes to a five year $30 million contract. He has not quite lived up to his $6 million yearly valuation in a Bruins uniform despite continuing to work hard to remain in the Bruins lineup. The 35-year-old veteran forward is entering his fourth year of the deal and has recently revealed his offseason training to try and keep his NHL career alive.

After a recent preseason game against the New Jersey Devils, in which Backes was arguably the best forward on the ice, he revealed what he decided to do differently this offseason. He was skating at his old high school back home in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota when he got a text from a friend saying that their sister-in-law was teaching figure skating on the other rink and the girls would love for him to go and say hello.

Backes willingly went over to the rink to chat with the girls and ended up joining them in some skating drills. That is when David Backes realized that he could not do skating drills that these 12-year-old girls were doing easily. He couldn’t believe that he could not do the drills as a professional hockey player. So, David went home and thought about the eye-opening experience and decided to call the skating coach named Katie McDonough and ask for her help.

Backes hopes that this new training in the offseason will pay off for this upcoming season as he battles for a spot on the Bruins roster. Backes was scratched numerous times last season and even games five, six, and seven of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues.

Last season, Backes had his worst season in the NHL pointwise with just seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 70 games played. Backes knows that he can return to the hockey player that he once was and is doing everything in his power to continue his career with the Black ‘N Gold at the NHL level. There is no doubt that David Backes brings a lot of leadership and experience to the Bruins lineup. With the infusion of youth prospects into the veteran core group of the Bruins, it is a perfect recipe to teach the younger players for the future but take another stab at a Stanely Cup Championship at the same time.

You have to respect David Backes for his recognition of his struggles on the ice and how he is working hard to get back to the level of play that he is capable at this stage of his career. We will see if the offseason skating has a big impact on Backes’ play but as of September 30, all signs point to David Backes making the opening night roster against the Dallas Stars on October 3rd.

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

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Extremely Bold Prediction: Torey Krug Wins 2020 Norris Trophy

krug

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

Hear me out: Torey Krug is arguably the best offensive defenseman on the Bruins and as well as across the league. Krug is entering the last year of his contract before he is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July first, 2020. Here is why I think he will have his best season as a pro and will not only be in the top three votings for the Norris trophy, but he will win it.

Torey Krug was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State University in March of 2012. After playing most of the 2012-2013 season with the Providence Bruins, he was called up on an emergency basis and made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals series. In game one of the series, the Bruins were down 2-1 in the third period and Torey Krug scored his first goal in the playoffs in his first playoff game becoming the first Boston Bruins defenseman to do so since Glenn Wesley in 1988. From that series, Krug scored four goals in five games and instantly became a fan favorite.

Krug has since become a staple on the Bruins blue-line and often been labeled as the Bruins quarterback on the powerplay. Krug has scored 39 or more points in each of his six seasons in a Black ‘N Gold uniform. Krug hit a career-high in points during the 2017-2018 season at 59 and this past season, Krug reached his second-best offensive season with 53 points.

Krug is only going to improve as he matures as a veteran. His point totals will continue to climb as he quarterbacks the deadly Bruins power-play that I think will be lethal again this season. His ability to find passing lanes, his vision, hockey IQ and his speed allows him to set up scoring plays and contribute to the Bruins offense. In January, he set up Pastrnak with an incredible pass from his own defensive zone that Pastrnak was able to corral and deke past the Flames netminder for one of the best scoring plays of the season.

Probably the biggest reason why I think he will win the Norris trophy this season is that he is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. There is no doubt that whether Krug is going to re-sign with the Bruins or another NHL club, he will get paid. Some believe that Krug will be looking for a contract of seven or eight years at around 45 to 50 million dollars. Krug’s predicted contract is compared to some other top defensemen that got new contracts like Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators who signed an eight-year $50 million contract as well as Keith Yandle of the Florida Panthers who is signed at seven years, $44.4 million.

Players that are set to get contracts often have big seasons as they await to sign. I think Torey Krug will have a monster year for the Bruins and will have his best offensive season. Torey Krug is also healthy at the beginning of the year for the first time in a few seasons which will allow him to have a fast start out of the gate.

He does have some competition for the Norris Trophy, however. Last year’s winner Mark Giordano won the award after a huge year for the Calgary Flames with 17 goals and 57 assists for a whopping 74 points. Previous winners Victor Hedman, Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, and Erik Karlsson will also most likely have good years but I think Krug will get the recognition that he deserves this season and will win the Norris Trophy as the leagues best defenseman.

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

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