Fanatics Authentic Line Of Boston Bruins Hand Signed Memorabilia

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

If you’re a diehard Boston Bruins fan and either want to start a personal fan cave or already have a shrine that you’d like to add to, please take a look at the fantastic officially licensed items below from the National Hockey League. All items to come with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic.

If you’d like to find other Bruins related items or fan memorabilia from other major sports such as the NBA, MLB, NFL, Nascar, NCAA, and other NHL teams, please click the official Fanatics Banner to the right of our website. All purchases through our connected links from our partnership with the Fanatics company are commission based without any extra charges to the customer. We are simply a middle person looking for alternative ways to cut our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast and affiliated blackngoldhockey.com which is being viewed now. We thank all who’ve used our connected links in the past and continue to do so. We enjoy what we do and can’t do it without the overwhelming support from our listeners and readers.

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(Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Phil Esposito Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ White Jersey Skating Vertical Photograph – $79.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Phil Esposito. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Phil Esposito Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ White Jersey Skating Horizontal Photograph – $79.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Phil Esposito. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 8″ x 10″ Raising Cup Photograph – $79.99

This 8″ x 10″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 8″ x 10″ White Jersey Horizontal Skating Photograph – $79.99

This 8″ x 10″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Raising Cup Photograph – $89.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Mini Stick with “HOF 2005” Inscription – $149.99

This mini stick has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely with the inscription “HOF 2005.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Vintage Goalie Stick With HOF 85 Inscription – $119.99

This stick has been personally hand-signed by Gerry Cheevers with the inscription “HOF 85.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Bobby Orr Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Logo Hockey Puck – $189.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Bobby Orr. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Logo Puck With HOF 85 Inscription – $44.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Gary Cheevers with the inscription “HOF 85.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Phil Esposito Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 90th Anniversary Logo Puck – $69.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Phil Esposito. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2017-18 SP Authentic #18 Card – $49.99

This highly collectible trading card has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. The card is then encapsulated in a tamper proof acrylic case which also includes an ID tag and hologram to guarantee the authenticity of the item. This will make a great addition to the collection of any true sports fan. Please note that autographs may vary.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey #13 Card – $39.99

This highly collectible trading card has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy. The card is then encapsulated in a tamper proof acrylic case which also includes an ID tag and hologram to guarantee the authenticity of the item. This will make a great addition to the collection of any true sports fan. Please note that autographs may vary.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2011 Stanley Cup Champions Logo Hockey Puck – $79.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Mini Goalie Mask with “HOF 85” Inscription – $69.99

This goalie mask has been personally hand-signed by Gerry Cheevers with the inscription “HOF 85.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Black Mitchell & Ness Jersey – $499.99

This jersey has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Brandon Carlo Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey #17 Card – $19.99

This highly collectible trading card has been personally hand-signed by Brandon Carlo. The card is then encapsulated in a tamper proof acrylic case which also includes an ID tag and hologram to guarantee the authenticity of the item. This will make a great addition to the collection of any true sports fan. Please note that autographs may vary.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Deluxe Tall Hockey Puck Case – $99.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud. Each case is made of 1/8” thick acrylic and features a black acrylic base. It has a clear acrylic removable lid engraved with the team logo and a collage of images. This product is officially licensed by the National Hockey League. The display case measures 10” x 5” x 5.5.”

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Deluxe Framed Autographed 16″ x 20″ Black Jersey Shooting Photograph – $249.99

This 16” x 20” photograph has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud. It measures 26.5” x 27.5” and comes ready to hang in any home or office.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Deluxe Framed Autographed Black Adidas Authentic Jersey – $637.49

This jersey has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. Each framed jersey comes double matted in a black wood fame, has two photos, and has two engraved team logos. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud. It measures 36” x 44” x 2” and comes ready to hang in your home or office.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Goal vs. Winnipeg Jets Photograph – $59.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Official Game Puck – $59.99

This hockey puck has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Goal Celebration Photograph – $52.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy & David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Spotlight Photograph – $112.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy & David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Brandon Carlo Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ White Jersey Skating with Puck Photograph – $37.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Brandon Carlo. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Brandon Carlo Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Black Jersey Skating Photograph – $37.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Brandon Carlo. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Has Toronto Overtaken Montreal As The Bruins’ Biggest Rival?

( Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/AP Photo )

By: Jack McCarthy  |  Follow Me On Twitter @73johnnymac

Bruins vs. Canadiens Rivalry

The Boston Bruins have enjoyed a long and storied rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens, long considered their fiercest rival.  The rivalry dates back to December of 1924 and has seen the teams meet in 923 regular season games as well as 177 playoff games.  The animosity that has existed for almost a century including an NHL record 34 playoff meetings has lifted the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry into the upper echelon of the all-time great rivalries in sport.  Think Yankees-Red Sox, Celtics-Lakers, Manchester United-Liverpool.

Montreal has held the upper hand over the Bruins for much of their history.  Bruins fans growing up watching the Bruins in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were particularly frustrated as Montreal won 18 consecutive playoff series over the B’s between 1946 and 1987.  The streak was finally snapped when the Bruins defeated Montreal 4-1 at the Forum on April 26th, 1988.  The records have been much more even since the streak ended, the Bruins winning 7 of the last 12 series between the two clubs.

The rivalry has been fueled by frequency, both regular-season meetings as divisional opponents and through frequent playoff matchups  Classic games such as Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, better known as the Don Cherry, too many men game, to Mats Naslund’s game 5 dagger with 51 seconds remaining to give Montreal a 1-0 victory and a 3-2 series win in their 1985 Adams Division semi-final.  More recently, Nathan Horton’s game 7, overtime, series clinching goal which propelled the Bruins on their path to winning the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship stands out as a game that produced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for the respective fan bases.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Rivalry

As the Bruins prepare to do battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second consecutive opening round, and third time in 6 seasons, the question begs, has Toronto become a bigger rival than the Canadiens?

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The Bruins and Maple Leafs also have a long history.  The teams first met in the 1924-25 season and have faced off 750 times in the regular season as well as 76 times in the playoffs.  The Bruins and Leafs have not played as frequently as the Bruins and Canadiens, including over a hundred fewer playoff games, as Toronto resided in the Western Conference prior to the 1998-99 season.  In all, the current series marks the 16th all time playoff match-up between the Bruins and Maple Leafs with Toronto holding an 8-7 advantage.  The Bruins however, have won the last 5-playoff meetings. Toronto’s last playoff victory over the Bruins was in the 1958-59 season.

Toronto, as we know, is a hockey mad city, the self-proclaimed centre of the hockey universe.  It is also a city whose beloved Leafs have been deprived of playoff success for more than a generation.  It last paraded Lord Stanley’s silverware in 1967.  There are a few factors that have intensified the Bruins and Leafs rivalry over the past decade.

The first significant event that began to bring this rivalry to life was the Phil Kessel trade on the eve of the 2009-10 season.  Kessel was traded to Toronto for a package of draft picks and then the Maple Leafs proceeded to have a couple of poor seasons allowing the Bruins to draft Tyler Seguin in 2010 and Dougie Hamilton in 2011.  It became obvious fairly early on that the Bruins would benefit from that trade and when the Leafs visited the Bruins in Kessel’s return to Boston in December, 2009, the B’s faithful packed the Garden.  That game marked the beginning of a sell-out streak that is now approaching 10 years for the Bruins.

The next, and perhaps biggest contributing factor was the epic Bruins comeback against the Leafs in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.  Toronto led Boston 4-1 early in the third period of game 7, before Boston staged one of the most memorable comebacks in the history the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Bruins became the first NHL team to win a game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period, winning 5-4 in overtime.  Combined with last seasons’ seven game opening round series, also going the Bruins way in a third period comeback, the rivalry is alive and well.

The question is, has the rivalry with Toronto overtaken that with Montreal for the Bruins and their fans?  The answer depends entirely on whom you talk to.  Arguably, Boston and Toronto has become the ultimate rivalry for a new generation of hockey fans, those not old enough to recall Joe Thornton in the black and gold or Mats Sundin in the blue and white.  Those of us who are a little longer in the tooth however, likely still hold just a little bit more disdain for the Canadiens than we do the Leafs.  That said, the Canadiens had better hurry up and make their way back into the playoffs, after all, with every new chapter the Bruins and Leafs write, the gap is closing.

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Point(s) Taken: New Way To Look At Bruins Recent Draft History

Image result for boston bruins draft(Photo Credit: USA Today Sports)

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

With all the recent hubbub in the Hub of Hockey on how the Bruins’ youth movement is moving forward (or backward?), especially considering the season-long influx of Providence talent being showcased in Beantown, I thought the timing of a recent article from The Athletic concerning Boston’s recent draft history was quite interesting, fortuitous, and even eye-opening. Here’s the tweet that proved to be a head-turner/knee-jerker upon seeing it — then reading it:

So, the Bruins’ draft picks in the 21st century thus far have produced the most points out of every NHL franchise? Let me cue a universal Black N’ Gold reaction:

Image result for bruins gif really?(GIF: NHL.com)

“Huh?” is exactly right. But, then I started thinking about it… or more accurately more astute journalistic minds starting thinking about it, and commenting on my social media about it, which in turn turned my thoughts about it to have an about face.

A valid point, indeed! Sure, the B’s have seen some of their top draft picks since 2003 — the first year of this draft study — score the majority of their NHL points for another franchise, namely Phil we’re-no-longer-thrilled Kessel & Tyler traded-too-soon Seguin. But, it’s still pretty impressive when you actually sit back and reflect on it, especially considering just how mercilessly the city, the media and the fans scrutinized Boston’s 21st-century GM’s for their lack of “draft success” on the whole (yes, we’re referring to you Mike O’Connell and Peter Chiarelli — and to more recent effect Dealin’ Donny Sweeney).

 

Yet, for all the “misses” over the last sixteen years for the Bruins (let’s not even bring up one name from 2007, where a combined 6 draftees combined for 5 career NHL points), there are some names that will forever make the aforementioned points breakdown truly worthwhile. And here they are, ranked in descending order, based on how many points they’ve banked for the B’s (and still CONTINUE to produce for them):

David Pastrnak – 280 Points (2014)

Image result for bruins draft david pastrnak (Photo Credit: FanSided)

To order up a serving of “Pasta” every time No. 88 scores a goal or notches an assist would be akin to heart failure. Thankfully, the deliciously nicknamed David Pastrnak impacts our ticker in many other ways — specifically, making it race with excitement & adrenaline whenever he touches the puck or skillfully skates around a deft defender. To wit: the B’s most recent “W” against the Rangers in which he had as many points as the number one star credit he was given postgame. Love or hate the recently unemployed “Chia” pet up in Edmonton, but you’ve got to give him credit (or at least his scouting team) for Pasta. Let’s keep those 5-point games on the menu!

Brad Marchand – 556 Points (2006)

He’s the most productive pest in modern-day NHL history and he’s as big of a character as you’ll ever find in B’s history — and that’s saying something! He’s Brad Marchand and he’s only just begun, to paraphrase a Carpenter’s classic (not to be confused with former Bruin Bobby Carpenter–another point-filled pugilist). And to think both Kessel and Milan Lucic preceded him in 2006 when interim GM Jeff Gorton was doing his damnedest to pry Nicklas Backstrom away from the Caps for every pick the B’s had! Would “Marchy” have been on that potential list? Who bleepin’ cares now is what I say. And to think… Twitter and Instagram weren’t even a part of Marchand’s life yet!!!

David Krejci – 637 Points (2004)

The above video says it all: when you have a highlight reel gone viral because you had the most points in the postseason for your Stanley Cup-winning team, then you deserve plenty an accolade. Ironically, all David Krejci deserves right now is a 2nd-line winger who can consistently score ala David Pastrnak! Or, did we just see that recently? I digress. But, while on the subject of scoring, let’s not overlook just how invaluable the Czech center has been for the B’s since he was drafted more than a decade ago — ironman status included starting last season. Just think: if he keeps producing and playing alongside another popular B’s draft pick (Jake DeBrusk), then this point-filled list is going to need an update real soon!

Patrice Bergeron – 811 Points (2003)

Image result for patrice bergeron bruins draft(Photo Credit: Barstool Sports)

Trying to describe just how much Patrice Bergeron means to the Bruins organization, the franchise, the fandom… well, it’s an impossible task because you literally can’t say enough about him as a player and as a person. Thankfully, BN’G colleague @phonymahoney did that for us shortly after “Bergy” celebrated his 1,000th game in a Bruins’ jersey:

There’s a quiet grace about Patrice Bergeron that makes people forget exactly how good a player he is, and it’s unbelievable how long he’s been an important fixture in the Bruins’ lineup. One of the best players in the world, Bergeron is a member of the Triple Gold Club (World Junior Championship, Olympics, and Stanley Cup), and a four-time Selke Trophy winner, as the National Hockey League’s best defensive forward. This is a player who is so consistently effective night in and night out, that the only reason any of the milestones he’s achieved as a Bruin have been remotely surprising is because it’s so easy to forget he’s been with the team for 15 years.

Not bad for a second round pick sandwiched between Mark Stuart (93 career NHL points) and Masi Marjamaki (goose egg) way back in ’03! And as we just discovered all but a game ago, No. 37 in his 15th season with the B’s just eclipsed yet another earmarked milestone alongside his inspired linemate on this list:

Talk about a solid three years of drafting in the early oughts for the B’s! So, do you now measure the success of the Bruins’ modern draft machine a bit differently considering all of the above? Do also believe the team is only going to add to these impressive totals what with all the young scoring talent yet to emerge (aka on the cusp)? You do! Well, good.

Point taken!

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My Pick for Bruins’ 7th Player Award

carlo

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

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

The NESN’s 7th Player award is presented annually to a player on the Bruins roster who has performed above and beyond expectations this season. The award has been given out since the 1968-69 season when Ed Westfall won the award that season according to Fandom.com.

The award has been given out to Bruins players who have turned into legends. To name a few: Terry O’Reilly, Cam Neely, Barry Pederson, and Rick Middleton. Recently, the award has been given to Bruins players like Tim Thomas, Milan Lucic, David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Charlie McAvoy.

This year, the Bruins have been one of the best teams in the league and one of the most dominant at times. Their dominance has been in part from incredible performances from up and down the lineup. Of course, the Bruins top line made up of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak is a constant threat night-in-night-out. But, part of the Bruins success comes from unlikely heroes in the forward group, the defensive core, and both goaltenders. Also, a plethora of injuries this year has caused many different players to be called upon through the “next man up” mentality.

 

With the Bruins so successful, we can easily make a case for 4 or 5 players who deserve the 7th Player Award. Jaroslav Halak has been a huge surprise as a strong backup sharing the net with Tuukka Rask. David Krejci has not missed a game this season and is having his second best season based on points with 65 through 76 games. Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly could also be in the conversation who have both become fan favorites in the bottom 6.

My pick, however, is Brandon Carlo. In his third season, he has been a big part of the Bruins success this season. He has not done it in a flashy way though. He has been doing the right things in the defensive zone and neutral zone and at times jumped in the offense. He might not be the clear-cut frontrunner for the player who has gone above and beyond this season because his numbers are not outstanding. But, if you watch Brandon Carlo play on a nightly basis, his shutdown play can’t be missed. There have been so many times this year where I have said to myself “wow, Brandon Carlo has really stepped it up this season.”

Carlo has had a couple of good seasons before this one but nothing too incredible. He hit a couple bumps in the road towards the ends of the last two seasons. On April 8, 2017, Carlo suffered a concussion after a collision with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. This knocked him out for the playoffs as he missed all 6 games against the Senators in the 2017 post-season. Right before the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Carlo suffered a broken fibula in the third period of a game against the Florida Panthers. For the second straight season, Carlo would miss the entire playoffs.

These injuries have definitely hurt the Bruins defense in the playoffs and have set back Carlo’s development into a top-tier defenseman. This season, he has come back from the injuries stronger, better, and more confident. He is making the right plays and using his size to eliminate opponent scoring chances. But it’s not just his defensive abilities. He also has the awareness and confidence to jump into the offensive rush at the right times and contribute to scoring chances in the attacking zone.

 

Carlo is averaging just about 21 minutes of ice time this season. He has scored two goals and six assists for eight points this season while also compiling a +18 rating. His hockey IQ and his defensive awareness has made him into a top shut down defenseman for the Bruins who is really growing into his top-four role for the B’s. He has been arguably the most consistent Bruin this season. He did miss a few games earlier this season but has not let it hinder his play or his confidence.

If Brandon Carlo stays healthy for the Bruins throughout the playoffs, it will be huge for the team defense in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Whether Carlo wins the 7th Player award or not, he is still a huge force for the Bruins this season and is vital for the Bruins defense to combat the high-flying Maple Leaf offense that the Bruins will almost certainly face in the first round. Either way, the Bruins have multiple candidates for the 7th Player Award which is a great thing, and any of those candidates can take home the hardware.

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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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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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Four Boston Bruins Players That Could Win The 7th Player Award

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

Every year, the New England Sports Network, better known as NESN, releases a fan vote where fans of the Boston Bruins can vote for who they think should be awarded with the annual 7th Player Award. The 7th Player Award is awarded to the Boston Bruin who “has performed above and beyond expectations”. In years past, the team honour is handed out at the end of March, so the countdown is on for the winner.

Before we get into who should win the award for the 2018-19 season, let’s take a quick look at the past winners of the last decade. Information regarding this is courtesy of Ice Hockey Fandom.com. 

  • 2008-09 David Krejci
  • 2009-10 Tuukka Rask
  • 2010-11 Brad Marchand
  • 2011-12 Tyler Seguin
  • 2012-13 Dougie Hamilton
  • 2013-14 Reilly Smith
  • 2014-15 David Pastrnak
  • 2015-16 Brad Marchand
  • 2016-17 David Pastrnak
  • 2017-18 Charlie McAvoy

Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy are the most recent winners of the award and for good reason. Marchand exploded three years ago with a 37 goals and a new career-high in points with 61. David Pastrnak also had a great year when he won it back in 2016-17, scoring 34-36-70 numbers from his 26 the year prior. Finally, last year, Charlie McAvoy scored 32 points in his debut NHL season and truly came out as one of the best young offensive d-men in the league.

In the past, the award has been handed out at the end of March, just ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April. We are already over a week into the third month of the new calendar year, so now is the perfect time to take a look at some of the players who can with the 2018-19 7th Player Award.

Jaroslav Halak -> 18-10-4, 2.33 GAA, .924 SV%, 4 Shutouts

When Anton Khudobin did not agree to a new contract with the Boston Bruins following the 2017-18 season, the concern came as to who the Bruins were going to fall on for the role of the backup goaltender position. Ideas of younger, prospect goaltenders from either the Providence Bruins or other affiliate teams were thrown around, but it was the free-agent market that would provide the solution for this new-found problem.

Boston signed journeyman goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year contract with an annual average salary of $2.75 million. Last season, Halak finished up his fourth season with the New York Islanders, the fourth NHL team of his 13-year career. Halak finished last season with a 20-26-6 record, a 3.19 GAA, and a .908 save percentage – not great numbers.

Lucky for Bruins fans and himself, Halak turned a new leaf while wearing the Spoked-B sweater and is showing glimpses of top-level play, the type of play that we saw from him during his time with the Montreal Canadiens. Early on this season, starting goaltender Tuukka Rask was not on his game. He was struggling in net and was losing more often than he was winning. However, Jaro Halak made an appearance and took over the show in the meantime, keeping the Bruins afloat in the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff race.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NBC Sports)

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy mentioned the fact that he may look to split the number of games that Rask and Halak play down the final stretch and that shows that Halak has done enough to earn starts when it matters. When the original signing was made, many people, including myself was not a fan mainly due to his performance in the previous season but he has exceeded everyone’s expectations and should be a favourite for the 7th Player Award because, without him, Boston may not be second in the Atlantic division.

Chris Wagner -> 66GP, 12G – 6A – 18P, 4th Liner

Chris Wagner never once scored ten goals in his five-year NHL career. In fact, he never scored more than 15 points in a single season, a mark he once hit in 64 games with the Anaheim Ducks last year in 2017-18.

When the Bruins signed Wagner, the Walpole, Massachusetts native to a two-year deal on the opening day of free agency, the signing of Joakim Nordstrom and the hope that the young, up-and-coming players within the Bruins organization will get more NHL minutes, it seemed like Wagner was going to be a spare tire – a depth piece for injuries or for a replacement for a player who is struggling but no, Wagner has become a near-permanent member of the 2018-19 Bruins.

Part of the reason for his success is the help of his linemates, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari, who have helped bolster the game of Wagner to a level never seen before in the NHL. The trio has brought a high level of intensity and energy to the bottom-six while being able to add in a few goals here and there. Additionally, Wagner leads the Bruins with 226 hits, a stat that ties him for 6th most in the National Hockey League.

In today’s NHL, all four lines of any team need to have the ability to score goals when they are so required to do so, yet provide a level of physicality and defence that can keep them in the thick of things. Chris Wagner has been a big reason for the success of that line and he deserves to be in the conversation for the 7th Player Award. No one expected the performance of Wagner to be this solid and a brief stroll in past Twitter comments will highlight that.

David Krejci -> 69GP, 19G – 41A – 60P, +3 Rating

Without a doubt, David Krejci is one of the best second-line centres in the NHL and is one of the best playmakers in the league for the past few seasons. It may seem hard for a player of that stature to win an award that presents the player that has exceeded expectations, but he needs to be in the conversation.

Since putting up 17-46-63 numbers in the 2015-2016 campaign, Krejci seemed to be on a decline for point production. In 2016-17, Krejci scored 54 points in a full 82-game season followed by a 44-point year last year in only 64 games played. However, with the growing chemistry with left-winger Jake DeBrusk, Krejci is on pace for just over 71 points this season. That total would be the second-highest single-season point total for Krejci since his 22-51-73 effort back in 2008-09 – ten seasons ago.

In that 2008-09 season, Krejci averaged 0.89 points-per-game. In comparison, Krejci is averaging 0.87 points-per-game, the third-highest PPG average in his 13-year NHL career. Krejci has found 15 of his points on the man-advantage, meaning the bulk of his numbers have come from five-on-five play, a huge attribute to take into consideration.

Throughout the past few seasons, the Sternberk, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) native has been on the receiving end of hard criticism but quite clearly, he has used that as motivation for his success this season. The 32-year-old has three game-winning goals this season, including the overtime goal in the 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on March 5th. Linemate Jake DeBrusk said the following about his chemistry with Krejci right after the game versus Carolina.

“I think when you play with a guy for almost 2 years now, you generate that w just games played & different things like that. He’s been playing great all year. He’s the biggest reason why I’ve had success personally as well. To have a guy like that in my corner is something that I don’t take for granted.” – Quote from Shawn Hutcheon (@ShawnHutcheon on Twitter)

David Krejci exceeded the expectations that were placed on him back in September before the puck dropped to begin the regular season. His name is back in the minds of teams across the league if they so happened to forget about him and he has been a factor for the success of the Bruins.

Sean Kuraly -> 66GP, 6G – 11A – 17P, 4th Liner

Sean Kuraly joins linemate Chris Wagner on this four-player list because, in a way, they have to be. Kuraly and Wagner, with the inclusion of Acciari, have surprised most Bruins fans and hockey fans throughout the league with their energy, tenacity, and offensive capabilities while throwing in the occasional hit or fight.

Sean Kuraly came to Boston on June 30th, 2015 in a trade with the San Jose Sharks that sent goaltender Martin Jones off to California and Kuraly with a 2016 1st Rounder (Trent Frederic) to Boston. Martin Jones was acquired by the B’s from the L.A. Kings in exchange for beloved Bruin, Milan Lucic only a few days prior.

Kuraly didn’t play with Boston until 2016-17, skating in eight games, scoring a single point. Kuraly was given an opportunity in the 2017 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals against the Ottawa Senators and he earned his way into the hearts of Bruins fans all over with two massive goals, one of which in the second overtime session in Game 5 of that series, forcing a Game 6.

After that remarkable game for Kuraly, he ended up playing 75 games during the 2017-18 season, scoring six goals and eight assists for a total of 14 points. In the offseason of this past year, Kuraly signed on the dotted line to a three-year, $3,825,000 contract extension, securing himself a position on the NHL roster for the time being.

Kuraly has done that and more. The Dublin, Ohio, USA native has matched his career-high in goals (6) and set a new career-high in points (17) and has played in twelve less games than in last year’s season. The threat of the fourth-line could be courtesy of the always hard-working Sean Kuraly. Kuraly still possesses that clutch goal-scoring talent, scoring two game-winning goals so far in 2018-19 – both coming in back-to-back games against the Sabres on December 29th and the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic on January 1st.

Kuraly has been one of those quite but deadly pieces to the puzzle that is the 2018-19 Boston Bruins – which can come across as a pleasant surprise for him, the management, and the fanbase.

My Winner: Chris Wagner

It seems like when the Bruins are down a goal late in the hockey game, scrambling to find their legs and score the tying goal or even the winning goal, Chris Wagner is inadvertently in the thick of things when the goal eventually crosses the red line. Wagner has scored the game-tying goal on three different occasions, two of which in the third and final period. Also, in each of those games where he scored the tying marker, the Bruins went on to either win the game or lose in a shootout.

I’ll be 110% honest here – I was fully anticipating Chris Wagner to be scratched for more games than he played and to see limited ice time when he is indeed in the lineup. Losing out on Tavares and Kovalchuk in free agency, at the time, it appeared as though Sweeney and the rest of the B’s management staff had no one else and wanted to go for depth. Tim Schaller, the now Vancouver Canuck, did not re-sign, but it looked like Nordstrom would replace him. Instead, the Bruins have a physical, gritty fourth-liner that has been big when scoring meaningful goals this season.

Chris Wagner is my personal pick to win this year’s 7th Player Award, who do you think wins the annual accolade? Was it one of the players I listed or does another player come to mind? Let me know via Twitter (@tkdmaxbjj) or on FaceBook comments!

Side Note: In the poll above, I listed D Brandon Carlo as an option, yet he is not on my list. I personally expected Carlo to be good this year, so he did not necessarily ‘exceed’ my expectations, but he has been great.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins Marchand Continues Dominant Season With ‘Devilish’ Game vs. Devils

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

Brad Marchand has been with the Bruins organization since the 2009-2010 season, following being drafted 71st overall (3rd round) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In that time, Marchand has not always been the point-producing scorer that we happen to know him as today.

Marchand started his career in the National Hockey League with only one point in twenty games during the ’09/’10 campaign but returned the following season with twenty-one goals and forty-one points in 77 regular season games. In his first six seasons, Marchand never amassed more than fifty-five points in a season, a mark that he reached back in 2011-12.

Within the 377 regular season games from 2009 to the end of the 2014-15 season, Marchand scored 116 goals and 112 assists for 228 points – not bad, but something that seems odd considering what Marchand has been doing for Boston in the past four seasons. Even at the time, it seemed like Marchand was capable of more because of his performance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, helping the B’s hoist the Stanley Cup with 11-9-19 numbers – including two goals in Game 7 of the Finals against the Vancouver Canucks.

For Brad Marchand, the offence truly started to click 2015-16. The Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada native scored thirty-seven goals that season and a lot of that could be attributed to his chemistry with Patrice Bergeron that had been growing strong over the previous seasons. Bergeron, even to this day, is one of the biggest reasons for the success of Brad Marchand.

Following that 37-24-61 year, Marchand entered the contract negotiation phase of career. Back in September of 2012, Marchand signed a four-year, $18 million contract worth $4,500,000 per season. With one year remaining, Marchand agreed to an eight-year, $49 million deal worth $6,125,000 every season until 2024-2025. Taking a look back on that deal, I and many other hockey fans feel that he could have very well demanded into the eight million range on the skill alone, but the age factor and the love of Boston persuaded him to take a little bit of a pay cut.

Right after signing the contract, Marchand went on to explode for eighty-five points on the final year of the previous contract, proving to all the naysayers that he deserves that long-term commitment. The 2016-17 season was so good for him, that he made it into his first career NHL All-Star Game. The question came up of course though, could he continue that success into the future years or was it a one-time sort of event to hit that point mark?

Well last season, Marchand answered that question by matching that exact point total. While he failed to meet the goal total, Marchand tallied six more assists than the year prior, mainly due to the emergence of young superstar David Pastrnak on the Bruins first-line. It is also fair to note, however, that Marchand scored 34-51-85 numbers in only 68 games.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images)

That takes us to this season – the 2018-19 season. Brad Marchand started off the year on a slower pace than in the years prior but that could largely be because of the skill increase of Czech forward David Pastrnak. Pastrnak took the league by storm with his shooting capabilities and the scoring of Marchand kind of went under the radar by other NHL franchises, at least, the fanbases forgot about him.

With that said, Marchand is currently on pace for another career season. After sixty-four games, Marchy is averaging 1.19 points-per-game, currently the second-highest average of his career, behind last year’s effort. Marchand has only missed one game, leaving him the chance to hit 81 games played and with that 1.19 PPG average, Marchand can reach the 94-point mark and become the first Bruin since Marc Savard in 2006-07 (96) to hit ninety points in a single season.

Of course, Brad would have to finish off the season on this pace and avoid missing anymore time from injuries or suspensions. Even then, for him to hit a new career-high of 86 points, he would have to score ten points in the next eighteen games – very possible for Marchand.

He’s on pace to set a new career-high in points, so how exactly is Brad Marchand falling out of the mouths of opposing teams and fanbases, especially on social media platforms? Suspensions, or lack thereof rather. Over the past number of years, Marchand’s name has been on the news headlines for his in-game antics. The dirty hits, the spearing to the groin, and don’t remind me of the whole licking events. However this season, knowing that he may have received his final warning, Marchand has not yet been handed a suspension in the 2018-19 season. *knocks on wood*

Even if he fails to break or even match his personal point record, the fact that he has been able to consistently help the Boston Bruins win games and play well, then that is a win in my books and I’m sure, in a lot of your books as well.

On Saturday, Marchand played in his 666th career NHL regular season game, entering the contest with a combined total of 666 penalty minutes. Who did he happen to be playing against – the New Jersey Devils. I’ll let you put the pieces together from there. Regardless, Brad Marchand is on pace for a career season and without that, the Bruins may not be on a sixteen-game point streak and ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs. From here on out to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we can only hope that Marchand’s season continues to build steam.

Marchand and the Bruins look to extend the point streak to seventeen games Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Bruins 4th Line, Merlot 2.0?

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(Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images)

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @lucaspearson_

4th lines across the NHL have changed quite a bit over the recent history of the NHL. The 4th line used to always be full of grinders and guys willing to drop the gloves. They didn’t play as much, but would always be a highly physical group of players that would change the tone of the game immediately.

While some of that stays true today, a look around the league’s 4th lines would show that the 4th lines of old don’t rear their heads much in the NHL now. One big exception to that is the 4th line of the Bruins, the “WAK” line consisting of Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari, and Chris Wagner. While the trio hasn’t been together all season long, their recent stretch of play has raised a lot of eyebrows and getting them the greatest compliment they could ever receive, do we have a new Merlot Line?

(Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham)

The Bruins Merlot Line boasted three absolute fan-favorites that put together an instrumental part of the Bruins Stanley Cup runs a few years ago. Left-winger Daniel Paille was a skilled, speedy winger that was a tremendous fore-checker. Shawn Thorton was an incredible leader both on, and off the ice. He was never afraid to stick up for a teammate but also had a lot more talent than people gave him credit for. Gregory Campbell centered the two and might be the toughest player I’ve ever seen play. He didn’t drop the gloves quite as much as Thornton (as if anyone did) he was just incredibly hard-working and again, had more skill than many thought. Also, who can forget when he finished a shift after breaking his leg.

This trio combined for 29 goals in the 2010-2011 season (with Paille missing half the season) and continued to play a very important role throughout the Bruins Stanley Cup winning season.

I’ve seen a lot of striking similarities between both 4th lines. The current “4th line” now has honestly been by far from just a 4th line. While the tendency to fight has gone down considerably in the league, all three guys are willing to chuck em’ to give the team some energy but again, they aren’t just a typical energy line. Coach Bruce Cassidy often has them playing against team’s top lines and they continue to do nothing but impress.

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

One reason why the line has been really successful is one that you might not think to be all that important. All three members have played a lot of center in their careers, which is huge considering they start over 67% of the time in the Bruins’ zone. If one gets kicked out during a big defensive zone faceoff? Another member (well both actually) can come in and take it, rather than forcing a winger to do something unnatural to them.

All three are usually relied upon to kill a lot of penalties as the second unit and have done a good job at that as well. They’ve helped the Bruins have the 12th best penalty kill in the league at 80.7% and is only 1.7% behind the 5th place Vegas Golden Knights. That number is even better considering the poor start to the season where the Boston held a 77.8% in December. Much of that can be attributed to the increase in the quality of play these guys have had.

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(By reading lips you can tell how much Don Sweeney loves this 4th line as well)

The line isn’t just good at keeping goals out of the B’s net, they have generated a lot of offense despite starting in the defensive zone over 67% of the time. The offensive leader of the bunch is Sean Kuraly, who’s having an impressive breakout season. His 17 points in 63 games put him on pace for 22 points, which is incredible from a 4th liner. Not far behind that is FA signing Chris Wagner, who is also having a break-out year, leading the line in goals with nine with another seven points on top of that. Noel Acciari certainly isn’t as offensively gifted as the other two, but still has a modest eight points in 55 games.

The Merlot Line proved that having a great 4th line is pivotal to a long playoff run. We even saw this as recent as last season where 4th liner for the Capitals, Devante Smith-Pelly, scored seven huge goals in the playoffs, three coming in the finals to lead Washington to it’s first ever Stanley Cup. Now we wait and see if the “WAK” line has what it takes to go down in Boston history with a Stanley Cup victory.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Why Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy Should Be In Conversation For Coach of the Year

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins have been on a roll lately and are currently on a 14 game point streak as of their February 28th matchup with the NHL’s best Tampa Bay Lightning. This team is feeling it right now, and season-long confidence from Bruce Cassidy and coaching staff has fueled this team to a top team in the league. Bruce Cassidy should be in the conversation with NHL’s elite coaches.

Bruce Cassidy’s Bruins have skyrocketed to the top of the Eastern Conference and the NHL’s overall standings. As of Thursday, they sit at 83 points which is second in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference and Third place in the overall league standings. They even came in second in the NHL’s weekly power rankings. Just one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, every point down the stretch is still critical for Boston and their playoff positioning.

At the forefront of every good hockey team is obviously good players. But, accompanying high-end talent on the ice, is high-end talent behind the bench. The Bruins have that in Bruce Cassidy. Bruce Cassidy was hired as interim head coach on February 07, 2017 after the firing of Claude Julien who coached the Bruins for 10 seasons and is the winningest coach in Boston Bruins franchise history. He then became the 28th head coach on April 26, 2017.

Bruce Cassidy undoubtedly has big shoes to fill. Throughout extensive injuries last year and this year, the Bruins under Bruce Cassidy have the second best record in the league since he was hired in February of 2017. Bruce Cassidy is currently 105-44-22 in parts of 3 seasons in Boston. He just recently became the second fastest Bruins coach to reach 100 wins when his team defeated Chicago 6-3 on February 12, 2019. With 100 wins in 166 games, only Tom Johnson was quicker in the 1971-1972 season when it took him 138 games to get to 100.

It is evident that Bruce Cassidy’s system is working in Boston and in my opinion, has to be in the conversation for the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s Coach of the Year. They continue to win games, and his voice in the locker room is strong. Bruce Cassidy has lost many players for parts of this season to injuries like David Pastrnak, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, and many others. As a result, he has shown a lot of confidence in the young players stepping into the lineup or into new line roles like Heinen, DeBrusk, Cehlarik, Kuhlman, Frederic, Vaakanainen and others. But despite these man-games lost, the Bruins are still climbing the NHL standings and solidifying their spot in the 2019 playoffs.

As the Bruins have battled their injuries this season, Cassidy has had to balance a lineup that has seen a lot of youngsters from Providence fill in for the injured B’s and has taken a lot of criticism for his line pairs. However, I think Cassidy has done his best with the lineup, and his system has worked. Thanks to their second-best powerplay percentage at 26.4%, strong leadership, experience, trade deadline help and consistent contribution up and down the lineup, the Bruins have emerged as a strong Stanley Cup contender from the East.

Wins speak volumes with whoever is in the lineup for the Bruins. Regardless of who has stepped in for Boston this season, the Bruins continue to win under Bruce Cassidy. Along with the likes of Bill Peters in Calgary, Barry Trotz with the Islanders and John Cooper with the Lightning, Bruce Cassidy has to be in the conversation for the Jack Adams Trophy as Coach of the Year.

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