Bruins Marchand Voted Best/Worst Trash Talker in NHL

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PHOTO CREDITS: (cbc.ca)

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

As announced today, March 20th, 2019, the NHL Player’s Association (NHLPA) voted Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand the best and somehow, worst trash talker in the National Hockey League. Over 500 current NHL players participated in the voting process and it is meant to add some fun awards to the league.

The NHLPA Player Poll has been in the running for the past two seasons and it covers a variety of different categories – all of which voted on by the player body. Below are some of the winners from the 2018-19 season.

  • Best Forward – EDM Connor McDavid
  • Best Defenceman – TBL Victor Hedman
  • Best Goalie – MTL Carey Price
  • Best Shot – WSH Alex Ovechkin
  • Best Female Player – CWHL Hilary Knight
  • Best Arena Atmosphere – T-Mobile Arena (Vegas Golden Knights)
  • Best Ice – Bell Centre (Montreal Canadiens)
  • Best Team Mascot – Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers)

And many more. For a full list of all the winners – CLICK HERE.

Back to Boston – Brad Marchand took home two winning awards from this voting event. Marchand won the best trash talker, earning 21.3% of the votes, beating out Drew Doughty (11.8%), Ryan Reaves (5.5%), Claude Giroux (4.8%) and Nick Cousins (3.3%). Somehow, Marchand also won the complete opposite of that award – the worst trash talker in the league, receiving 12.5% of the votes, ahead of Antoine Roussel (5.5%), P.K. Subban (5.1%), Nick Cousins (4.7%), and Brendan Lemieux (3.5%).

We all have a good idea on what exactly goes on the ice, even though we don’t get the mics on the players for every game. Although, that would be an interesting addition to the sport. Nonetheless, Marchand seems to be in the thick of things with words flying from his lips to the biggest or smallest of players in the league today. Brad has used this asset for exactly that – an asset.

In a meaningful game for a playoff position or a game against a heated rival like the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Flyers, etc., Marchand is able to stir the pot and get under the opposing team’s skin – hoping to get them off their game. In the past, Marchand has not been great with keeping this contained, as suspensions and fines, (with many, many warnings), have piled up. This season, however, the 30-year-old Marchand has not, (*knock on wood*), been handed a single suspension – not one and has gone on to set a new career-high in points.

Funny enough, Brad Marchand is not only good (or bad) at trash talking his opponents, but he has a fun time poking fun at fellow Bruin teammates. Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is one of Marchand’s main guys to have a little fun with on social media, especially on Twitter. Brad likes to make fun of Krug’s height which ironically, is the same as Marchand according to Hockey Reference. Here are a few of those gems.

Don’t worry though, Krug has had his fair share to return to Marchand on Twitter.

The friendly fire between Krug and Marchand is just a testament to how close this team has become over the past few years of success and even failure. Just this little back and forth banter between two of the most important players on the team right now shows that this team is more like a family and that is crucial come playoff time.

Aside from Marchand’s dual awards, the Bruins were in the running for a couple other ones as well, but just fell short. Forward Patrice Bergeron received 9.2% of the votes for the most difficult player to play against, finishing third behind McDavid (30.9%) and Crosby (16.0%). That’s not it as Bergeron was also voted 4th in the “Player You Would Start a Franchise With”, getting 1.7% of the votes for him, behind McDavid (60%), Crosby (18.5%) and Matthews (4.3%).

With the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, it is a nice little reminder that the players do enjoy their share of fun and games in these final few weeks of the regular season. Were these awards correct in your eyes or did the players get something wrong? Let me know on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj!

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Bruins, Chara Answer The Bell

Image result for bruins islanders chara fight(Photo Credit: NBS Sports)

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

“For Whom The Bell Tolls…”

Well, according to heady British poet & author John Donne, “it tolls for thee.” But if you ask punched-in-the-head(y) pugilist & Islander Matt Martin, it tolls for Zee. As in Big Z. As in Bruins Captain and former NYI wunderkind Zdeno Chara. And boy did he, and the Bruins, ever answer the bell — in a BIG way — against their 1st-place pals in the Metro Division to kickoff their Spring season.

As the B’s fearless leader recapped in his post-game interview, “we made some strong plays… and our specialty teams were also strong.” Very well said for arguably the strongest guy on the ice on a nightly basis (definitely, at least, this knuckled-up night). However, putting brute physicality & force aside, it’s a different kind of strength displayed by both Chara and his teammates that I found impressive. One that even the aforementioned Mr. Donne would equally tip his cornered hat to, hence why I’ll be waxing poetic with his eponymous words about it for the remainder of this postured post of puck prose.

“No Man Is An Island…”

Definitely not on this Bruins team. And definitely not against the Islanders (even though they were playing for an “island”). Because Boston’s strength, as I just alluded to, is truly in their numbers — i.e. EVERYONE is buying into what B’s management and the coaching staff, particularly head coach Bruce Cassidy, have been preaching since key players went down with untimely injuries earlier in the season: “be the next man up.”

And even as the injury bug piled up over the last month and a half, the next man did step up — individual statistics aside. Sometimes that came in the form of versatile veterans spelling some struggling youngsters for a game or two (namely Lee Stempniak and Paul Carey, like them or hate them). Other times it was the exact opposite, with eager Baby B’s jumping back into the mix (your Trent Frederics and Connor Cliftons) to relieve the pressure of the recognizable names still needing recovery time. Thankfully, as we’re finding out, almost all are ready to return to the line-up soon, with an order of Pasta finally seen on the Bruins’ menu (with a side of splint)!

No matter who was wearing the Black N’ Gold proudly over that injury-riddled time span, though, the result was the same: the Bruins were always competing, always fighting, always exhibiting a team strength & unity where no man truly felt like “an island” having to do it all (unless of course you were Matt Martin and you had fisticuffs with Zdeno Chara).

“Each Is… A Part Of The Main”

Mainly, I can’t think of a better way to accurately describe how the B’s are accomplishing all that they are right now. To quote NESN’s Jack Edwards, who ever-so-eloquently performs a form of poetic lyricism every time he calls a game, “if you would have told me the Bruins would be where they are in the standings [after Patrice Bergeron & Zdeno Chara went down on back to back days earlier this season]… I’d have been dead wrong!” Wouldn’t we all have been.

Yet, thanks to the every part is a valuable part mentality with which the B’s operate, there’s more than enough room on Edwards’ bandwagon for new friends & old returnees, as he likes to tweet, to get behind what’s currently (and Kuraly) happening in Boston. One needs to look no further than No. 52’s constructive comments following his 2-goal performance on Long Island, in particular: “I think we just try to stick to our game… our leadership, we just wanted to keep comin’ and keep playing hard.” Wise words, indeed!

“It Tolls For Thee.”

In conclusion, it all comes full circle back to that leadership Kuraly talked about. Be it Big Z’s big fight or Bergy’s big goal or the big shift from the Backes/Acciari/Nordstrom line that showcased not only toughness & talent, but also skill & skate savvy — aspects of every players’ game, in fact, that featured in this statement victory.

Speaking of statements, the whole point of Donne’s poem was to illustrate the interconnectedness of mankind — that if we’re all in it together, it doesn’t matter in the end who answers the proverbial bell, because (in the end) it will eventually toll for all of us. If we apply that same prescient & poetic philosophy to the 2018-2019 Bruins–a team very much interconnected in all the right ways–then here’s what you can expect: an exTOLLing of praise come playoff time.

That’s one bell well worth answering!

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Bear Trap? The Bruins’ Schedule This Week Will Test Them In a Few Ways

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( Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/ Getty Images )

By: Cam McCusker | Follow Me On Twitter @CSthinks

Up and Away

With the Bruins embarking on a four-game road trip on which they play four games in seven days between Tuesday and Saturday, they will be tested in more ways than one. While certainly, their playoff status is all but a foregone conclusion, the Bruins remaining ten games of the season will have an effect on whether or not they finish above Toronto and have home-ice for the first round of the postseason. As things stand, it is their advantage to lose.

Hurts so Good

In addition to the on-ice contests that see them face-off against the Islanders, Devils, Panthers, and Lightning, the Bruins will be tasked with playing consecutive road games with a lineup that is in flux. Bruins continue to come back from injury, which despite being a primarily positive thing, it does take away a level of consistency from the lineup.

 

Ambien Teams

To add another level of difficulty to the Bruins’ forthcoming stretch of hockey, their first and fourth games of the trip serve as the fancy playoff bread in a spam sandwich that features New Jersey and Florida as the middle (in that they are a substitute for playoff teams). That was not a good metaphor. But I have a tendency to write around lunchtime, my stomach is doing most of the talking here. The point is that the Bruins begin and end their stretch with games against strong, playoff-caliber teams, and in between these contests are slated to face off against two clubs whose playoff chances are six feet under.

While their game against the Islanders shouldn’t prove to be difficult to get excited for, their games against NJ and FLA are a bit more concerning. The Bruins have at times this season showed an inability to bring their best effort against lesser teams. Both New Jersey and Florida fall into this category that I’ll refer to as “Ambien Teams,” because they seem to have the effect of lulling the Bruins to sleep, and bringing them down to their level of play and intensity.

Rude Awakening

Should the Bruins play down to the level of the Devils and Panthers, then they will be passing up crucial opportunities to gain points and maintain their status as the two-seed in the Atlantic.

However, in the hopefully likely event that they do end up winning these two games, and even if they play well in those games, the Bruins are then thrust right back into a showdown with the President’s Trophy frontrunners in Tampa Bay.

While the Bruins are, in my opinion, the best matchup for Tampa in terms of skill (when healthy) and depth (when healthy), it is a daunting task to bring playoff-level intensity after playing in New Jersey and Florida. While the Black and Gold will have a day or two in Florida to relax and prepare for their contest against the Bolts, that does not negate the difficulty of playing on the road against the current Stanley Cup favorite.

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Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images

Perfect Storm

This road trip could be a huge positive to begin the last three weeks of the season for the Bruins, or it could turn out to be a setback and a reality check for an ailing squad. It’s my hope and my expectation that the B’s will play a strong style of hockey throughout the road trip, and that they will only improve as more of their injured compatriots return to the lineup.

But the combination of road games, lineup inconsistency, trap games, and stiff competition make this road trip one that will likely show what the Bruins are made of.

Let’s all make sure to overreact to every occurrence in the meantime.

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Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 23 Recap

( Photo Credit: Taylor Trebotte / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Atlanta Gladiators secured five points from three games in a what proved to be a good week for the Duluth based team. With 10 games remaining, the Glads are now level on points with the South Carolina Stingrays for the final playoff spot. Every game is crucial, and the Gladiators are rising to the challenge.

The South Carolina Stingrays were Atlanta’s first opponent of the week. After an impressive run of games, the Glads started Sean Bonar in net. With both teams fighting for the final playoff spot, the pressure was intense. South Carolina scored first, Mason Mitchell put the visitors ahead with the only goal of the first period. Midway through the second, the Stingrays doubled their lead after Jordan Samuel-Thomas beat Bonar. Four minutes later, the ‘Rays were three goals ahead, after Mitchell snagged his second goal of the night. Atlanta responded immediately, forward Brett McKenzie pulled one back for the hosts, assisted by Zach Malatesta. 3-1 the score after two.

Despite out-shooting South Carolina in the first two periods, the Gladiators had a lot of work to do in the third. It took five minutes for Matt Lane to get Atlanta within one, he was assisted by Zach Malatesta and Nolan LaPorte. Atlanta continued to pressure the Stingrays, and it finally paid off. Nick Bligh scored to tie the game at 3-3, Derek Nesbitt and Olivier Galipeau combined for the assists. The game went into overtime, and after a tense five minutes, the score remained tied. Both teams had to prepare for a shootout. Andrew Cherniwchan scored for the Stingrays, and Brett McKenzie found the net for Atlanta to make it 1-1 after three attempts each. After a series of misses from both teams, Alex Overhardt scored in the 11th round of the shootout before a save from Bonar secured a stunning comeback win for the Gladiators.

Game two saw the Florida Everblades come to town for the final time in the regular season. Following his heroics in the shootout, Atlanta stuck with Bonar as the starting goaltender. He was tested early by a Florida power play, but the Glads stood firm. The home team took the lead midway through the first period, with a goal from Nolan LaPorte, Matt Lane, and Zach Malatesta was credited with the helpers. The Gladiators held onto their one-goal lead until the second period, when Shane Walsh leveled for Florida. Neither team could find a second goal, even after overtime, so for the second game in a row, a shootout would determine the winner. Blake Winiecki beat Bonar to win the game for Florida, but the Glads came away with a crucial point.

The Glads took on the Norfolk Admirals for the third and final game of the week. After a string of good performances, Bonar started again. The game remained scoreless until the second period when LaPorte put the Glads ahead with an assist from John Furgele. Norfolk leveled the score with a power-play goal from Domenic Alberga, ending the second period 1-1. Both teams had chances to take the lead in the third, but it was Atlanta that pulled ahead. Nick Bligh scored the game-winning goal, assisted by Derek Nesbitt. 2-1 the final score, capping off a solid week for the Gladiators.

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Game Preview: Bruins vs Islanders

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By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The Boston Bruins travel to Long Island to square off against the New York Islanders, amid some positive reports that superstar right-winger David Pastrnak may return to the lineup this week. After an emotional overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, (with some fired-up encouraging words from MMA star Conor McGregor), the Bruins snapped their three-game losing skid. With that win, Boston will be looking to continue to carry over that emotion in tonight’s match-up at the Nassau Coliseum.

GETTING THEIR GROOVE BACK

Despite having dropped their last three games, the boys in Black and Gold quickly jumped back into their regular form with Brad Marchand netting the winning OT goal. As the regular season winds down with only 10 games left to play, the Bruins will continue to rack up the points and widen the gap between themselves and the Toronto Maple Leafs (who have lost their last few games). The Bruins are now 43-20-9 are still in second place in the the Atlantic Division  and are now third in the league, trailing Calgary.

At this morning’s skate,  Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy  updated the media on the possible return of Pastrnak:

“Not saying that he will (play), but he’ll make that decision in conjunction with the medical staff as early as (Tuesday) after morning skate. I would assume he’ll be a game-time decision…I suspect if he doesn’t play (Tuesday) that Thursday will be a real good day.”

If Pastrnak does return, it’ll be an adjustment for the winger. Since his injury was an upper-extremity, the 22-year-old Czech has been able to skate thus keeping his legs fresh. Even with the injury, Pastrnak is now tied with Brad Marchand for most goals at 31.  Marchand, for his part, has stepped his game tremendously alongside his linemate Patrice Bergeron. He leads the team with 56 assist and also leads in points (87). Another milestone for the Bruins; Captain  Zdeno Chara is one goal away from reaching the 200 career goal mark.

In other updates, injured defenseman Torey Krug was also seen skating at this morning’s optional pre-game skate in a red non-contact jersey. Kevan Miller, Matt Grzelcyk and Marcus Johansson did not travel with the team. Jake DeBrusk was reportedly not on the ice and in a camwalker boot. Expect Tuukka Rask in net tonight and has a 24-10-5 record with a 2.45 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.

Related image(Photo Credits: Fansided: Eyes On Isles)

SURGING ISLES

In their third meeting against the Islanders, the Bruins have won both previous games. The last time these two teams met was on February 5th  with Boston winning 3-1, snapping the Isles eight-game point winning streak.  New York hasn’t beaten the Bruins at home since 2013. With a recent 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild, the Isles are now tied with the Washington Capitals for first in the Metro Division at 91 points. The Islanders lead the league in goals against per game with a 2.33 average per game and under head coach Barry Trotz, have surged to a Playoff position.

Image result for new york islanders vs boston bruins(Photo Credits: Shutterstock)

On the injury front, center Casey Cizikas has been nursing a lower-body injury and will be a game-time decision for tonight. Former Bruins Johnny Boychuk will be a out for tonight’s game. Expect Robin Lehner in net tonight for the Isles. The 27 year-old goaltender has record of 20-11-5 with a goals against average of 2.19 and a save percentage of .927. Forward Anders Lee has netted  a goal in four consecutive games and leads the team with 27 goals.  Center Matt Barzal leads the team with 41 assists and 58 points.

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:00P PM- NYCB Live/Nassau Coliseum

WHERE TO WATCH: MSG+, NESN

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A Look At Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara On His 42nd Birthday

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter:  @yanlatz

The Bruins team is full of wise, experienced veterans in their lineup and Zdeno Chara is probably the wisest and most experienced of them. On Monday, March 18, Chara turned 42 and continues to lead the Bruins with no end in sight to his outstanding career in the NHL.

At Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, the team brought Chara a birthday cake and sang him Happy Birthday. Although he might not have eaten it, the gesture was fun and thoughtful of the Bruins coaches, players, and management for one of the greatest Bruin of all time.

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Zdeno Chara was born on March 18, 1977, in Trencin, Czechoslovakia. He was originally persuaded by many in his home country to play basketball because of his height. However, he continued playing hockey and was drafted in the third round 56th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft in St. Louis.

Chara spent his first year in North America in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars playing close to 50 games. The following season he split time between the Islanders squad and the then Kentucky Thoroughblades of the American Hockey League. Then, ironically, before he came to the Bruins, he spent time in Lowell, Massachusetts playing for the Lowell Lock Monsters, who was the New York Islanders AHL affiliate at the time during the 1998-1999 season.

After 4 seasons on Long Island and 4 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Chara signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Bruins on July 1, 2006, and was also named the team captain.

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Standing at 6 foot 9 inches tall, Chara is the tallest player to ever play in the National Hockey League and has yet to give up that title. Much like his body type, his play on the ice is monstrous. Throughout his career with the Bruins, he has been a strong, shut-down defenseman that can occasionally put the puck in the net with his record-breaking 108.8 mph slap shot. His dominant play has always given his coaches the confidence to play him against the league’s top lines and top players. He averages 24:20 time-on-ice for his career and even this season, at age 42, he is averaging 21:02 time-on-ice for the Bruins defense. From his shutdown play to versatility on the ice, Chara achieved the leagues highest defenseman honor with the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best d-man in 2008-2009. Chara also was an integral part of the Bruins bringing Boston its first Stanley Cup in nearly 40 years when Chara lifted the Cup the highest it had ever been lifted in 2011.

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Zdeno Chara has just turned 42 years old, and many fans have criticized him for his play in the past three years or more. Although he will never be as dominant as he was earlier in his career, he is still a force on the Bruins blue-line. Just one part of his importance with the Bruins for the rest of his career will be his mentorship for young Bruins defenseman. When Brandon Carlo stepped into the league in the 2016-2017 season, he was paired up with Chara for most of his rookie year, and now we have seen Carlo be one of the Bruins best defenseman this year. We have also seen Chara paired up with Charlie McAvoy as he was transitioning from College hockey to the big leagues and both have learned valuable on and off ice lessons from Big Zee. He knows what it takes to win mentally and physically and how to keep his body healthy to continue to perform at a high-level night in night out in which he can teach young defenseman valuable lessons.

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No doubt that Chara is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame when he does decide to hang them up, and we could even see #33 hanging from the rafters at TD Garden. Chara is one of the most influential pieces for the Bruins this season and postseason both on and off the ice and has proven to be a fierce competitor who has put his blood, sweat, and tears into the spoked B for over a decade. Happy Birthday, Zdeno!

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Bruins DeBrusk Returns To Lineup As Club Gets Healthy For Playoff Run

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( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images )

By: Cam McCusker | Follow Me On Twitter @CSthinks

Jake DeBrusk made his return to the Bruins’ lineup on Saturday after missing five games due to a lower-body injury he sustained against Carolina. An injury that, after sustaining, DeBrusk played with en route to scoring a goal and setting up the overtime winner with an incredible pass to linemate David Krejci.

 

Until Saturday, the Bruins had gone 2-3-0 since DeBrusk’s injury and had lost three straight entering their tilt against Columbus. This was the second time that the Black and Gold squared off against the Jackets in less than a week, and Columbus had handled the B’s in their matchup on March 12th, with Boston reeling from injuries.

In their first meeting, the Bruins went down 5-1 fairly early in the contest and, despite a solid push to even the score, ended up falling 7-4. While the game displayed the amount of compete that lives within the walls of the Boston locker room, it unfortunately also showed how shorthanded they were. Their weakened offensive punch failed to measure up to a healthy Columbus team.

Saturday’s game was a different story. While it was certainly a game that featured many fewer goals and better team defense and goaltending, the impact that DeBrusk made on the game was palpable.

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( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images )

The Obvious Benefits

Quite frankly, Jake The Snake rejoining the lineup is a horrible sign for teams in the East. Not only because he alone makes the Bruins lineup more effective in myriad ways, but because his return is the first domino to fall (or stand up again) in a series of key players on the Bruins that are coming back from injury.

DeBrusk’s return to the first powerplay unit not only adds skill and finishing to said unit, but it also moves a skilled player in Heinen back to the second powerplay unit, improving PP2 as well.

DeBrusk’s return to the second line moves players that play a more natural bottom-six role down to the third line, which makes the Bruins deeper throughout their entire middle six.

DeBrusk’s presence on the forecheck puts significant pressure on defensemen and eliminates their ability to beat him with skating. He shuts down the opponent and has a knack to aggressively hunts down pucks.

DeBrusk’s ability to stretch the ice with his own speed opens up the neutral zone for the Bruins and facilitates offensive-zone entries with possession.

DeBrusk’s ability to handle the puck down low extends offensive zone possession time and wears down the opposition. This lightens the load of the makeshift third line that will then likely be playing against worn down opponents, thus mitigating the possible negatives of players that are unfamiliar with one another. More time in the O-zone means more rest for the Bruins’ defensemen. This means fresher legs and better d-zone coverage.

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( Photo Credit: Elise Amendola/ AP )

The Pending Danger

Yep. DeBrusk brings a ton to the Bruins’ lineup when he’s playing at full capacity. Look at the tear he was on before he got injured. Look at his playoff performance against the Leafs last year. The kid is an absolute gamer, and you can see the intensity with which he approaches each game in the celebrations that, without fail, follow all of his goals. I would say he is made of pure energy, but there’s quite a bit of skill thrown in there as well.

So the obvious benefits of him being back are beyond beneficial (great alliteration by me, don’t mention it). But the tacit implications of his return to the lineup stretch much farther than his own individual impact on hockey games.

As DeBrusk was one of 6 Bruins to be sidelined with injuries diagnosed with short-term recovery periods, his resurgence only indicates that there is more firepower making its way back to the Black and Gold lineup. Accompanying DeBrusk are 2 more top-six forwards, in David Pastrnak (PastrBack? I’ll see myself out) and Marcus Johansson. While admittedly these two don’t carry the same weight in their respective impact on the Bruins attack, when the Bruins’ top two lines are healthy they are among the most effective in the league. In my opinion, they are the deepest top-six in the league when fully healthy.

 

But also in the current short-term injury crew are Kevan Miller, Matt Grzelcyk, and Torey Krug. In other words, a tough and reliable yet strong skating stay at home defenseman in Miller; an expectation-exceeding, smooth skating puck mover (Grz); a powerplay quarterback who makes a strong first pass (Krug). These three defensemen are all entities that have proven just how effective they can be to a healthy Bruins lineup. DeBrusk’s return from injury only signals that they are all that much closer to coming back themselves.

When the Bruins’ forward unit is whole, and their D-core is similarly healthy, then they are deep enough up front to bring it to the best in the league, and solid enough on the back end to stifle explosive offenses. We were able to see glimpses of the team’s potential against San Jose and Tampa Bay before the B’s got bit by the injury bug.

With the return of DeBrusk, comes the depth that the Bruins’ roster has not benefitted from in many years. Opponents haven’t needed to ready themselves for a Bruins team so well-rounded, and it’s my expectation that few teams, if any, will be able to adequately match up.

 

Simply put, DeReturn of DeBrusk is a big one for DeBruins.

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Pastrnak, Grzelcyk Among Other Returnees To Bruins Practice

david-pastrnak-010118-getty-ftrjpg_d8sgjt3htlw016pc8gyan44q9Photo Courtesy Of Sporting News

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced a bevy of updates at practice this morning, including the possible return of David Pastrnak who has been out since February 10th due to surgery on his injured thumb. The B’s have posted a record of 12-3-1 in his absence.

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Cassidy also announced that defenseman Torey Krug will travel with the team on their upcoming four game road trip after suffering an upper body injury during the B’s last road trip. Marcus Johansson and Matt Grzelcyk could potentially play on the road trip as well. Grzelcyk has been out for the last week after suffering an arm injury against the Penguins last Sunday night. Johansson has been out for the last two weeks since suffering a lung contusion against the Hurricanes on March 5th.

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Kevan Miller is unlikely to travel with the team this week and remains out since February 23rd. Tuukka Rask will start tomorrow night in New York when the Bruins face the Islanders. Cassidy expects Pastrnak to return to the first line when he comes back to the lineup. The B’s have been waiting to get healthy for nearly the entire season and today looked like a good sign that the team is getting close to being fully healthy.

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 23 Recap

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Sam Fryman | Follow me on Twitter @sfryman20

Friday, March 15th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Road)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Since its founding, Pennsylvania has always been known as the Keystone State. Beginning on Friday, the Bruins hoped two key victories against teams in that state would offer them the key to a playoff berth. First up were the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, a team sitting five points behind Providence after just three wins in their last ten games. The Bruins also looked much different than last weekend with Connor Clifton, Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey all up with the big club and five more players out with injuries.

First Period:

The action started just 47 seconds as Zach Senyshyn got a lucky deflection right in front of Alex Lyon. The first shot was set up by Karson Kuhlman who continues his consistent offensive play for Providence. Not even a minute later, the oldest member of Bruins proved he is still a force to be reckoned with. Lee Stempniak made it two goals on two shots and the Phantoms were quickly back on their heels. For the rest of the period, Dan Vladar came up with some huge saves, including a pair of robberies on Mike Vecchione and Justin Bailey.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Second Period:

Special teams became the story for both Providence and Lehigh Valley as the game got to its late stages. After David Kase out the Phantoms on the board just 56 seconds in the second period with a power play, Lee Stempniak continued his brilliant night early in the third. From a good steal by Karson Kuhlman, Stempniak got the puck unchallenged and easily found the back of the net.

Score: 2-1 Bruins

Third Period:

Two minutes later, the ever aggressive Tyrell Goulbourne got sent to the box for roughing and Gemel Smith made him pay. The Bruins forward picked up his 13th goal of the season to give Providence a 4-1 lead.

As the minutes ticked down in regulation, Lehigh Valley applied a highly aggressive strategy by pulling goalie Alex Lyon with over seven minutes remaining to try to stage a comeback. The plan backfired as Peter Cehlarik put one into the empty net. A couple of garbage time goals from Connor Bunnaman and Greg Carey gave the Phantoms a glimmer of hope, but in the end, it wasn’t enough as Providence walked away with a 5-3 victory to begin the weekend.

Final: 5-3 Bruins

Saturday, March 16th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

First Period:

Coming off of a solid win against the Phantoms, the Bruins went a little further up the Northeast Extension to take on the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. Through the first period of play, there were no goals to talk about although the Bruins held Wilkes Barre/Scranton to just five total shots in the period, many of them coming late.

Score: 0-0

Second Period:

The even battle was finally put to an end late in the second period with Jake Lucchini netting his first career AHL goal. He waited at the side of the net as a great two on one was started by Jimmy Hayes. Before that tally Zane McIntyre had been having one of his strongest periods of the season, turning aside many close chances from the Penguins.

Score: 1-0 Penguins

Third Period:

At the halfway point of the third period, the hard checking pressure for the Bruins finally paid off as they tied the game at one. Tristan Jarry was caught out of position and Ryan Fitzgerald found the puck on the doorstep. A three on two rush got the offense going for Providence and Karson Kuhlman was able to send in a deadly slap shot for his teammates to collect. Jakub Zboril thought he might have had the go-ahead goal with two and a half minutes to go but Jarry denied him with an aggressive, spinning save to keep the game tied.

Score: 1-1

Overtime:

Adam Johnson ended the game just over a minute into the overtime period for Wilkes Barre/Scranton. He lifted a superb forehand to backhand shot top shelf over Zane McIntyre to give the Penguins their 30th win of the season. The Bruins have one more game on the road against the Laval Rocket before returning home on Wednesday, March 22nd against the Belleville Senators. Every point will be on the line and we’ll recap every game!

Final: 2-1 Penguins

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UFC Fighter Conor McGregor To Drop Ceremonial Puck At Bruins Game Tonight

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Fox Sports)

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

A report earlier today by The Athletic writer, Joe McDonald (@JoeyMacHockey), Former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor will be in TD Garden tonight to drop the ceremonial puck prior to the actual puck drop for the Bruins vs Blue Jackets game tonight.

While it may seem odd to have one of the top superstars in the entire Ultimate Fighting Championship today drop a puck for an NHL game, especially a Boston Bruins game, this all adds together and has some good meaning behind it. Tonight, the Bruins are going to be celebrating the Irish Heritage – with St. Patrick’s Day rolling through tomorrow.

Conor McGregor is, well of course, from the country of Ireland and he has often showcased his Irish pride in his UFC fights. Before his emergence under the bright lights, the fanbase of fighting in Ireland was not as prevalent as the United States, Canada, or Japan. Today, however, Ireland is home to one of the largest, (and loudest) groups of fans in the entire industry – a big reason for that is Conor McGregor.

In addition to that, the city of Boston, Massachusetts has Irish history that dates back a few hundred years. In fact, people of Irish descent are “the largest single ethnic group in Boston”.  According to the Boston Globe, 22.8% of residents in the Boston metropolitan area from 2014, said they were from Irish descent. As I personally am not from Boston, I had to do some Google searches on why the Irish force is so strong in Boston and the answer appears quite clear.

Between the years 1845 and 1855, over 1.5 million people fled the country of Ireland to the eastern shores of American due to the Potato Famine, a mass starvation period where disease negatively affected the potato farms across the country, resulting in millions of casualties in a very short amount of time. Frustrated with the lack of help from their British neighbours, the Irish people travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to cities such as Boston and New York. Times in the American cities were not easy, but as the years went on, the presence of the Irish faithful only grew in America – especially the Massachusetts and New England areas.

Moving away from the history aspect, this will not be the first time that McGregor is involved with the city of Boston personally. The 30-year-old Dublin, Ireland native fought Dennis Siver back in January of 2015 in the TD Garden, securing a second-round TKO stoppage.

Also, in the fall of this past year, McGregor made an appearance at the Boston Fire Department Engine 33 Ladder 15 on Boylston Street to hand over Boston Red Sox World Series tickets to the on-duty firefighters – a way to thank the everyday heroes for their acts of bravery on a day-to-day basis. McGregor seems to love the city of Boston and to have the chance to drop the ceremonial puck tonight, it’s an opportunity he just can’t pass up on.

As for the Bruins, tonight is a big game in general. The B’s return home after losing their last three games in a row, just after an incredible 19-game point streak that lasted the majority of 2019. Boston faces a Columbus Blue Jackets team that beat them on Tuesday by a final score of 7-4 and the Bruins will be on the lookout to avenge that loss and start another streak.

Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that goaltender Jaroslav Halak will start and forward Jake DeBrusk is expected to be back in the lineup after missing the last few games with a foot injury. Without question, the return of DeBrusk will be huge for a team that is still dealing with injuries to David Pastrnak (thumb), Torey Krug (concussion), Marcus Johansson (lung bruise), Kevan Miller (upper-body) and Matt Grzelcyk (arm). Cassidy also gave updates on all those players listed and returns of them seem to be right around the corner.

The Boston Bruins are only two points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division and a win would extend that to four points – a near must if the Bruins want to have home-ice advantage in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Official puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7pm EST at the TD Garden.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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