Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Dwight Foster

( Photo Credit: Legends of Hockey / HHOF.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Happy 63rd Birthday To Former National Hockey League Forward Dwight Foster!

Foster was born on April 2nd, 1957 in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Canada’s most popular city for a better part of his childhood. After playing many years of youth hockey around the mecca of hockey (Toronto) Dwight joined the Ontario Hockey Associations Kitchener Rangers as a 17-year-old. After Fosters rookie season which he contributed 39-51-90 numbers in 70 games during the 1974-75 season, he would go onto play the next years in Kitchener serving as the team’s captain. In his OHA career, all with the Ranger club Dwight would post 171-250-421 numbers with his best year offensively in his second to last season in Kitchener going 60-83-143 earning the leagues Eddie Powers Trophy for most points.

Dwight was selected by the Boston Bruins in the 1977 National Hockey League Amateur draft with the B’s taking him with the 16th pick in the first round. That same year Foster was also selected by the now-defunct World Hockey Association when the Houston Aeros took him in the first round with the 10th overall pick. He would start his professional hockey career bouncing up and down from the NHL Boston club to the minor pro affiliate the Rochester Americans. With the Americans team, he posted 11-21-32 numbers in 25 appearances and even played several games for the Broome Dusters in the North American Hockey League posting 1-3-4 numbers in 7 games. The Broome Dusters played their games at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, New York, and the Dusters club was actually the inspiration for the movie “Slap Shot” per Wikipedia.

After spending his first four seasons with the Bruins team posting 47-70-117 numbers in 192 games played, Foster signed as a free agent in July of 1981 with the Colorado Rockies organization following the 1980-81 season where he had his best NHL campaign contributing 24-28-52 in 77 games for Boston. After playing one season in Colorado, Foster and the Rockies franchise would relocate the organization to New Jersey in June of 1982 and be named the Devils. Not spending much time in the Ocean State in October of 1982 Dwight was traded to the Detriot Red Wings for cash.

After playing several seasons with the Red Wings organization, in March of 1986 Foster was traded to the Boston Bruins for his second tour of duty for Edmonton, Alberta native Dave Donnelly who totaled 9-12-21 numbers in 62 games for the Bruins. Joining the Boston club late in the 1985-86 season, Foster didn’t register a point for the Bruins in their remaining 13 games of the season but in his final NHL campaign in 1986-87 he would contribute 4-12-16 numbers in 47 games.

Dwight’s NHL career saw him play for four teams appearing in 541 games posting 111-163-274 numbers and 420 penalty minutes. After ten seasons playing in the top professional league in the world, Foster would hang up his skates and retired in 1987 due to knee injuries. They say his best years in the NHL were when he centered Rick Middleton and Stan Jonathan for the Bruins which was a nice mix of offensive capabilities with the added grit factor.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Alex Smith

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Smith was born on April 2nd, 1902, in Liverpool, England but grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. The 5′-11″ 176-pound left shooting defenseman played a majority of his National Hockey League career with the Ottawa Senators winning a Stanley Cup in 1927. On January 25th, 1933, Smith was traded from the Senators to the Boston Bruins for future considerations which ended up being Earl Roche who played only three games going pointless during the 1932-33 campaign.

In 61 games played for the Bruins, Smith posted 9-10-19 numbers in two years of service. He was traded by the Bruins to New York Americans for cash considerations in October of 1934. In his 11 year NHL career, Alex would make stops in Boston, Detriot, New York, and Ottawa. Playing in 443 NHL games, Smith would go onto post 41-51-82 numbers in a playing career that lasted from 1925 to 1935 and amassed 645 penalty minutes. The former defenseman passed away at the age of 61 in November of 1963. Smith who was nicknamed “Boots” was inducted into the Lisgar Collegiate Institute Athletic Wall of Fame in 2009.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday John Wensink

( Photo Credit: bostonbruinsalumni.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Happy 67th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward John Wensink!

Wensink was born on April 1st, 1953, in Cornwall, Ontario and was a seventh-round selection (104th Overall) of the St. Louis Blues in the 1973 National Hockey League Amateur Draft. Before being selected by St. Louis, the 6′-0″ 200-pound played his junior career with the Cornwall Royals where he appeared in 169 games and posted 30-54-84 career numbers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Wensink had his best season of major-junior hockey in his NHL draft year when he contributed 9-26-35 numbers in 52 games in his final season with the Royals.

John’s first year in the NHL didn’t go exactly as planned for the rugged rookie left-winger as he only appeared in three games for the Blues in the 1973-74 season. After being out of hockey for a season and a half due to having back surgery, Wensink would sign with the Boston Bruins on October 12th, 1976 and be sent down to the Bruins American Hockey League affiliate the Rochester Americans. With the AHL Americans, Wensink would appear in 49 games posting 11-15-26 numbers as a 23-year-old in the 1976-77 season. In that same season, he would return to the NHL when Boston recalled him and he posted 4-6-10 numbers appearing in 23 games finishing the 1976-77 regular season.

Wensink would play in Boston for a better part of four years and posted 57-55-112 numbers. In his first full season with the B’s John would compile 181 penalty minutes and finish his time in Boston amassing 429 minutes in the penalty box in 248 career games with the Black and Gold. After having his best career NHL season (28-18-46, 76GP) with Boston in 1978-79, his numbers went down to 9-11-20 the following season. In October of 1980, The Bruins lost Wensick in the waiver draft as the Quebec Nordiques selected him as the new NHL franchise was transitioning from the defunct World Hockey Association into what is now the NHL.

John would play only three more seasons in the NHL after leaving Boston making stops in Quebec, Colorado, and New Jersey. He ended his NHL career posting 70-68-138 totals in eight years of service and a whopping 840 penalty minutes. John would retire from the game of hockey after the 1984-85 season playing in Holland for the SIJ Nijmegen club where he contributed 15-12-27 numbers as a 31-year-old veteran.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

On This Day In Bruins History: Jacques Plante!

A Look at the Bruins in the Hockey Hall of Fame(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

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

It’s not too often a legendary Montreal Canadiens goaltender can also share the spotlight in Boston Bruins history. Even if only for a minute.

That’s exactly what happened when NHL Hall of Famer Jacques Plante was traded to the B’s in the twilight of his hockey career in early 1973. And on this day — March 28th — he won his final game in the NHL, leading the Bruins to victory over the Rangers 6-3.

Plante was 44 years old at the time of the victory making him the oldest Bruins goalie to win an NHL game. In another fun historical fact, he’s one year younger than the man who owns the record as the oldest ever NHL goalie: Maurice “Moe” Roberts. And way  back when in 1925 at the ripe age of 19, Roberts made his professional hockey debut for… you guessed it… the Boston Bruins!

I couldn’t have Plante-d a better nugget of B’s history as we March towards April. Stay tuned to the Black N’ Gold blog for more OTDIBH (On This Day In Bruins History) articles as our break from hockey continues into the Spring — but hopefully not all Summer!

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Bruins’ Top-Six: Best Regular Seasons Of All-Time

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Will Montanez | Follow me on Twitter @Willfro3

The B’s sealed a tightly contested win over with a shutout effort on Tuukka Rask’s 33rd birthday on March 10, 2020. With that win, they summited the 100 point threshold for the third season in a row, the sixth time in the past decade and the 24th time in their illustrious 95 years of competition. With the NHL’s hiatus in response to coronavirus fears, the team remains the only franchise to post that many points in the current season that finds itself in jeopardy. In honor of the team’s achievement, we’ll take a look at the top-six best regular seasons in franchise history.

The NHL’s schedule has changed through time as teams have been added to and dropped from the League. The points awarding scheme has also changed, progressing from different formats to the current two-point system that features the dreaded loser point. To avoid controversy, it is best to consider points percentage as the key indicator of dominant seasons since it normalizes for games played and how points are doled out to teams in the case of overtime, ties, shoot-outs and the like. With this criteria in mind, let’s see how the current iteration of the Black ‘n’ Gold compares to the great teams of yore.

6.) 2013-14 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .713

( Photo Credit: Steve Babineau | Getty Images )

This is the position that Bruce Cassidy’s 2019-20 squad would claim if the season had officially ended today. The regular schedule has not yet played through and may be canceled or altered in some way, so it must be omitted from the all-time lists until the dust settles. The sixth-best season in B’s history, therefore, goes to Claude Julien and his post-Seguin-trade roster.

That controversial blockbuster brought in Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson from Dallas and then General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, further bolstered the win-now group by signing Jarome Iginla, Carl Soderberg. The coaching staff identified two talented young defensemen from the franchise’s system to add to the back-end when Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug proved they were ready for the Show after strong training camp and playoff appearances respectively.

In spite of an injury-riddled season for many of the team’s regulars, indicated by their 202 man-games-lost, the Bruins remained competitive throughout the season. The team went on a 12 game run, with only one game going beyond extra time while outscoring the opposition 47 to 17 late in the campaign. When all of the games were wrapped up, the Bruins found themselves atop of the League in points with 117 and in the top three of both Goals-For and -Against. Aside of team success, Tuukka Rask captured the Vezina Trophy and Patrice Bergeron was awarded the Selke Trophy as he posted his first 30+ goal season since his concussion in 2007.

5.) 1973-74 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .724

( Photo Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame | http://www.hhof.com )

After capturing their second Stanley Cup title in three years, the Bruins’ organization saw a widespread change. Gone were names like Gerry Cheevers and Derek Sanderson as they left the organization in favor of the NHL’s competitor, the World Hockey Association. In spite of those departures, the team still held star players like Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and John Bucyk who helped post stellar offensive numbers throughout the season. Backstopped by the tandem of young Gilles Gilbert and veteran Ross Brooks, the team finished with the third-best save percentage in the League helping to maintain a complete team.

The ’73-74 Bruins went on a tear from November 8, 1973, to December 20, 1973, during which they posted a 16 game unbeaten-streak that featured two ties. Bruins finished their regular season first in the league with 113 points and saw several individual awards earned by their players. Most notably, Phil Esposito captured the Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsey awards and would have clinched the Rocket Richard had it been doled out at the time.

4.) 1971-72 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .763

( Photo Credit: sportsecyclopedia.com )

The beginning of the decline for the Big Bad Bruins core and they finished first in the league with 119 points. Again led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, the Bruins were an offensive juggernaut finishing first in the league in goals-for. While there were not any lengthy win- or unbeaten-streaks, the team finished with the fewest losses among the active teams.

Numbers seven and four finished top-two in scoring among skaters and received individual accolades. Orr has bestowed the honors of both the Hart and Norris in the same season while Esposito finished with the most points in the League culminating in his third Art Ross.

3.) 1938-39 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .771

( Photo Credit: sportsecyclopedia.com )

This Bruins team featured ten Hall-of-Famers, three of which have their numbers hanging in TD Garden’s rafters. As geopolitical tensions rose in Europe and the Pacific, the Boston Bruins ran roughshod in their newly donned black and gold uniforms. The team managed to upgrade in the net when previously acquired Frank Brimsek supplanted Tiny Thompson in the crease passing the baton from one Bruins great to the next.

The team finished first in overall League standings, goals-for, and goals-against. Roy Conacher finished first in goals and Brimsek won the Calder and Vezina for rookie of the year and best goaltender in the League. The famed Kraut line began to grow into their potential and helped propel the Bruins into a winning streak of eight games over the last eight tilts of their regular season to secure the team’s position atop of the leader boards.

2.) 1970-71 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .776

( Photo Credit: Boris Spremo | Getty Images )

The peak of the Orr era, this squad set multiple offensive records and saw several notable players register career highs. One such mark is Phil Esposito’s 76 goal, 152 point effort, which still stands as the highest for both metrics in franchise history. Those efforts fueled a season where the Bruins logged a total of 399 goals, 108 more than the second most accumulated tallies by the Montreal Canadiens.    

With the League’s most potent offense and solid defense and goaltending, the Bruins dominated during the regular schedule. This dominance was exemplified by a 13 game winning streak between February 23, 1971, and March 20, 1971. Further, they did not lose a game by more than three goals during the entirety of the season. Individually, Bobby Orr claimed his second consecutive Hart trophy and third straight Norris while Esposito collected his second Art Ross.

1.) 1929-30 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .875

( Photo Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame | http://www.hhof.com )

This Bruins team is the granddaddy of them all and represents the single best regular season in franchise history and the highest winning percentage on League record. With the legendary coach Art Ross at the helm, dominating offensive contributions form Cooney Weiland and Dit Clapper and a Vezina-winning performance from Tiny Thompson the Bruins laid waste to the League for the entire regular season. During their rampage, they lost a piddling five times and posted a 17 game unbeaten streak with their lone tie of the season included. That streak was good for 39% of the entire schedule.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 170 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Legend Turns 72

( Photo Credit: Parrysound.com )

By: Will Montanez | Follow me on Twitter @Willfro3

On March 20, 1948, Arva Orr gave birth to a sickly child that the family would name Robert. His spark and grit pulled him through his questionable early goings and carried on during his youth as he established himself as a young phenome in the sport of hockey against bigger and tougher opponents.  Bobby Orr would impress at every level of competitive hockey and roused interest from the Boston Bruins at a young age.  Eventually, Orr would go on to sign with the Bruins, citing their rebuild and his desire to be a part of a ground-up project.

What would ensue was an illustrious career in the NHL that has been recounted and shared through generations of hockey players and fans. Orr’s aggressive, up-tempo playing style revolutionized the defensive position and influenced the many greats that have laced them up since. He set numerous records, some of which stand until this day. Although his career was shortened to nine full seasons and parts of three others due to injuries he sustained, the legacy that Orr left in Boston and for the sport of hockey lives on and here are just a few of his accomplishments by the numbers.

132

The current record for most points in one season by a defenseman. Paul Coffey came close during the 1985-86 season but fell shy of matching it by one point.

102

The current record for single-season assists by a defenseman. Orr posted these totals along with 37 goals through the 1970-1971 season.

100

Orr became the first player in the history of the NHL to log 100 or more assists in a single season on April 3, 1971, when he notched a primary helper on a third-period goal by Ken Hodge in an 8-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

40

The number of seconds it took Orr to score the overtime Cup clincher against the Blues ending the Bruins’ 29-year championship drought.

30

Orr became the first defenseman in league history to light the lamp 30 times in a single season when he scored his second goal of the game against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-0 win on March 22, 1970. He again became the first defenseman to reach a goal threshold when he scored 46 goals in 1974-75 season, breaking the threshold of 40.

9

The number of hat-tricks Orr scored during his career. It remains a record among NHL defensemen. He tallied his first set of three in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on December 14, 1968, and his last against the Washington Capitals in a tilt on March 22, 1975. The Bruins were undefeated in those games with one tie.

6

The number of consecutive seasons in which Orr posted 100 or more points. This figure set the record in 1975 which was tied in 1980 by Guy Lafleur and has since been surpassed but remains the high-water mark for NHL defensemen.

4

Orr received four major awards during the 1969-1970 season: the Hart, Norris, Art Ross and Conn Smythe awards. Only one other player has accomplished the same feat: Alexander Ovechkin in the 2007-08 season.

( Photo Credit: Hockeygods.com )

2

Orr led the league in scoring twice. Once in the 1969-70 season and again in 1974-75 campaign. He remains the only NHL defenseman to receive this accolade.

1.39

In his injury-stunted career, Orr notched 915 points in 657 NHL regular-season games. He remains ranked fourth, all-time, in points per game behind three forwards: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Mike Bossy.

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

While there are many other accomplishments not represented above, Orr’s performance on the ice speaks for itself and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979, immediately after his mandatory three-year waiting period was completed. He became the youngest member to be included at the tender age of 31. Since his retirement from hockey, Orr became a player agent and after several mergers with other firms, he formed the Orr Hockey Group in 2002 which has represented or currently represents many star players including Connor McDavid. Orr frequently participates in current Bruins’ events and remains a symbol of pride for hockey lovers in Boston and around the world. Happy birthday Bobby Orr and to many more healthy years ahead!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 170 that we recorded on 3-18-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

On This Day In Bruins History: The Kraut Line!

Image result for bruins kraut line(Photo Credit: Bruins Pinterest)

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

Since so many of us hockey and Bruins fans are keeping our social distance during our current COVID-19 crisis, let’s take a look back at the “distant” past of our favorite franchise with a new feature series: “On This Day In Bruins History”!

Thanks to heralded hockey scribe Mike Commito, here’s the ideal way to drop the puck on these celebrated stories of B’s history — with a St. Patrick’s Day emphasis on some ‘Kraut, a perfectly palatable delicatessen for such an occasion.

And of course, that means deliciously writing about the famously formidable KRAUT LINE of Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart who, on March 17th eighty years ago, ended the NHL season as the top three scorers in all of hockey.

Our modern-day version of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak — nicely nicknamed The Perfection Line — could definitely appreciate the perfect scoring skill of The Krauts, all of whom helped lead the Bruins to two Stanley Cups in three years — 1939 and 1941, respectively.

Not only were these three remarkable B’s players admired and championed by their teammates, but also by their most heated opponents — The Montreal Canadiens.

In February of 1942, only days before Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart were scheduled to join the Royal Canadian Airforce and serve their country during World War II, their fellow countrymen from North of the Border did this after the B’s beat the Canadiens 8-1 at the Boston Garden:

 

Talk about a brilliant Black N’ Gold tribute from the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge! Stay tuned for even more historical tributes to the B’s as we continue to update this blog with even more “On This Day In Bruins History” feature stories as we await the restart of our favorite game.

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Bruins “Leap” Into Franchise History Books!

Image result for boston bruins sean kuraly(Photo Credit: NBC4)

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

While the “Kura-leap” by Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly can be experienced often (as pictured above), the B’s experiencing an actual LEAP DAY game is few and far between.

However, their February 29th, 2020 tilt against the New York Islanders on the road at the venerable Nassau Coliseum (well, that’s what it used to be called anyway) proved to be as entertaining as it was memorable; as enjoyable as it was historic; and as engaging as it was important.

That’s because the Bruins — for the first time in franchise history — won a game on Leap Year’s extra day while away from Boston. Their impressive 4-0 road win improved their overall Leap Day record to a now winning 5-4-1.

I had this game Marked On My Bruins Calendar since the Fall for exactly this fun reason: could the B’s end February — and in turn jump start their Spring playoff push — with a big W on a calendar-quirky day that rarely ever falls in line with their schedule. To wit:

BOSTON BRUINS LEAP YEAR HISTORY:

1940 – W, 4-2 over Montreal

1944 – L, 7-3 @ Toronto

1948 – L, 5-1 @ Chicago Blackhawks

1956 – L, 4-2 @ New York Rangers

1964 – W, 2-1 over Detroit Red Wings

1968 – W, 4-1 over Toronto Maple Leafs

1976 – W, 5-3 over Vancouver Canucks

1992 – T, 5-5 with Washington Capitals

2000 – L, 5-1 to Ottawa Senators

2020 – W, 4-0 over New York Islanders

Only ten Leap Day games since 1940 have lined up with the Bruins battling it out on the 29th of February. But for today’s historic happenings, it was well worth it. Multiple point games from Torey Krug and Long Island homecoming king Charlie McAvoy (well, that’s how the crowd cheered for him every time he touched the puck), as well as the 49th shutout of Tuukka Rask’s career highlighted only some of the successful on-ice work the B’s brought to the isle.

Now it’s time for Boston to focus on adding some extra hardware to their trophy case as the team gears up for a huge final few weeks of the regular season. The only thing extra they’ll need now is energy and rest because when it comes to the rest of the schedule, they may just want to leap forward over it.

The Lightning strike twice during the first week of March followed by some big Original Six divisional match-ups against the always pesky Red Wings and potential playoff partners (again?) the Maple Leafs. Then there’s that whole West Coast Kick road trip through California!

But if making history is any indicator of how well the B’s are performing this season, then expect a final stretch of hockey that could set the Black N’ Gold up for the ultimate historical payback: returning to the Stanley Cup finals and winning one year removed from losing — something even rarer than a Leap Day “W”.

I’d jump for that!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins’ Charlie Coyle: One Year Later

( Photo Credit: Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The 2020 trade deadline has come to a close, but since Bruins GM Don Sweeney took over in 2015, it is a no-brainer picking out the best deal he has made before any deadline; the Charlie Coyle trade. At the time, it may have seemed like an underwhelming trade, especially with giving up a promising prospect, but looking back one year later, Coyle has exceeded expectations and is now the future of the Bruins offense. 

Welcome Home Charlie

Charlie Coyle, the 6’3 200-pound forward, was acquired in 2019 from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional 5th round pick. Fans were reluctant to the trade at first and rightfully so, as Donato appeared to be the Bruins’ most promising prospect during the 2017-2018 season when he played in his first 12 NHL games, quickly racking up five goals and nine points with a +2 rating. The following 2018-2019 season, though, Donato struggled to find the magic he had in his first dozen NHL games, scoring only six goals and nine points with a -11 rating in 34 games played. The Donato experiment then ended, sending Coyle back home to his native state. After his impressive playoff performance, the Bruins rewarded Coyle with a six-year contract extension worth $5.25M a season.

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2019 Playoff Clutch

When Charlie Coyle arrived in Boston, there were many expectations and unfortunately, was off to a sluggish start with the Bruins, only producing 2 goals and 6 points with a -2 rating through 21 games played. Then the 2019 playoffs commenced, and his point production skyrocketed as he tallied nine goals and 16 points with a +8 rating through 24 playoff games. In those 24 games played, he also had an astounding shot percentage of 23.1%.

The Weymouth native lived his childhood dream moment in TD Garden when he scored the overtime winner in game one against the Columbus Blue Jackets. When it mattered most, Coyle stepped up and found ways to help his team win games, which lead the Bruins to a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals.

One Year Later

So far this season, Coyle has racked up 15 goals and 34 points with a +9 rating in 64 games played. For the majority of the season, he has had Anders Bjork on his left-wing, establishing chemistry between the two players has strengthened the 3rd line and improved the Bruins scoring depth. Coyle is an extremely versatile player that plays a strong two-way game, serves a role on the second power-play unit, and is very effective on the penalty kill.

Coyle is a valuable piece to the Bruins penalty kill, which currently ranks 3rd in the NHL at 84.0%. With Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron usually leading the pack in shorthanded offense, Coyle has taken advantage when being a man-down and currently leads the Bruins’ with two shorthanded goals already this season. Coyle also has 8 takeaways on the kill this season, tying his career-high from 2017-2018.

 

Charlie Coyle is not only a productive player but provides leadership to the team as well and is currently one of the assistant captains on the Bruins. He generates a huge spark to this team and will be ready to help lead the Boston Bruins back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

The Bruins’ Top-Six: Best Deadline Transactions

By: Will Montanez | Follow me on Twitter @Willfro3

Black N Gold Hockey Podcast website is proud to announce a new, recurring series in the rotation of entertaining articles: The Bruins’ Top Six.  In honor of the passing of the 2020 NHL trade deadline, the inaugural listing will be on the Bruins’ best Trade Deadline acquisitions of all time.

As part of the NHL’s “Original Six,” the Boston Bruins organization has a long and storied past. The hockey club has been in operation since 1924 and has participated in over 6,500 regular-season games, earning post-season appearances in 72 of those years. The crew went through all recorded trades that the Bruins participated in thanks to documentation by NHL Trade Tracker to pick the best and most influential Trade Deadline transactions made by the club. First things first, the trade must have occurred within six weeks of the NHL trade deadline of that year so readers will not find big trades such as the one that brought Cam Neely to Beantown.

6.) Dennis Seidenberg Poached from Florida

( Photo Credit: NBC Sports Boston )

Regular Season (Playoff) Stats with Bruins: GP – 401, G – 23, Pts – 117, +/- 54 (GP – 50, G – 2, Pts – 15, +/- 14)

The Bruins acquired Dennis Seidenberg before the Trade Deadline in 2010 from the Florida Panthers along with Matt Bartkowski for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and the Bruins’ second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Following the 2004 – 2005 lockout season, Seidenberg became an NHL full-timer with the Philadelphia Flyers.

A bit of a journeyman, he played for three teams in the span of five seasons due to various trades. Seidenberg was seen as a defenseman who would help better balance the D-corps by playing with Zdeno Chara on the right side of the rink. Matt Bartkowski ultimately failed to grab a spot with the Bruins and none of Bitz, Weller or 36th overall pick in the 2010 draft and current Providence Bruin, Alex Petrovic played any meaningful minutes for Florida.

Seidenberg played 17 games in that first season but was injured and missed the entirety of the playoffs which featured the historic collapse to the Philadelphia Flyers. The following season, Seidenberg became a household name in New England as he notched career highs in all offensive categories and helped lead the B’s back-end during the run to the Stanley Cup by logging 27:38 minutes of ice-time over all of the Bruins’ 25 games.

Behind only Chara, Seidenberg’s ice-time trailed the Captain by a mere second per game. The trade locked in one of the key pieces to the championship team in 2011. He also scored at least one goal from center ice three seasons, so that alone should get him into the top-six.

5.) Local Boys Swapped in Deal for Charlie Coyle

( Photo Credit: YouTube )

Regular Season (Playoff) Stats with Bruins: GP – 84, G – 17, Pts – 40, +/- 32 (GP – 24, G – 9, Pts – 16, +/- 8)

The B’s flipped promising forward Ryan Donato and a conditional pick that ultimately became a fourth-round selection in the 2019 Entry Draft to the Minnesota Wild for center and East Weymouth native Charlie Coyle. Originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks 28th overall in 2010, Coyle was the Wild’s centerpiece in the trade for Brent Burns in the 2011 off-season. Coyle broke into the league during the 2012 – 2013 season while splitting time between the NHL and AHL and never looked back the following year as he proved himself an NHL regular.

Donato came out of the gate quickly for Minnesota but has since shown the same defensive and effort related issues that plagued him in Boston. The pick in the deal was exchanged to Carolina in order to help Minnesota move up to the second round so that they could draft Hunter Jones, a goalie prospect in the Ontario Hockey League.

Since the trade, Coyle has proven to be a versatile top-nine forward that helped the cement the Bruins’ depth chart up the middle of the ice.  He has played spot time at wing in various line combinations. Despite an underwhelming early tenure that saw him post two goals, six points and a minus two rating, Coyle turned it in on in the 2019 playoffs scoring some big goals, particularly in the second round against the Columbus Blue Jackets, ultimately potting nine tallies that were tied for most on the team.

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Coyle is a serviceable player and seen as a stop-gap in Boston, evidenced by his five-year contract extension that will see him in the Black n’ Gold until 2026. He will help man the middle lane for the foreseeable future, as the Bruins transition from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to players like Jack Studnicka and John Beecher.

4.) Ray Bourque Given a Chance to Win

( Photo Credit: Globe Staff Lane Turner )

Regular Season (Playoff) Stats with Bruins: GP – 1,518, G – 395, Pts – 1,506, +/- 493 (GP – 180, G – 36, Pts – 161, +/- 14)

All-time great Ray Bourque was mercifully traded to the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche from a wallowing Bruins team that he dragged to mediocrity along with Dave Andreychuk for Martin Grenier, Samuel Pahlsson, Brian Rolston and a pick that eventually become Martin Samuelsson.

Grenier and Samuelsson never really put it together in the NHL, Pahlsson was jettisoned by B’s management in the first season of the millennium to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks where he helped the franchise capture an NHL title in 2007, Rolston carved out a solid career but left the Bruins following the lockout, save for a brief reunion in the 2011 -2012 season. On the other side of the ledger, Andreychuk left Colorado following the 2000 playoffs and Bourque led the star-studded roster to a Championship in 2001.

This trade entered the annals of folk-legend, in part because it exemplified a management team trying to find a way to get a long-time and faithful soldier to the promise land as repayment for years of loyalty and dedication while the organization continuously failed to put contending pieces together. The Bruins limited themselves to the best of the NHL teams of the time and took a below market-value return to make the move happen. The gesture would become synonymous with the relationships that management and core players develop in the Bruins organization even through the present day.

3.) Fresh Start for Adam Oates

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

Regular Season (Playoff) Stats with Bruins: GP – 368, G – 142, Pts – 499, +/- 22 (GP – 42, G – 11, Pts – 48, +/- -18)

Following a contract dispute between the St. Louis Blues and star center Adam Oates related to perceived discrepancies in pay, Blues management offloaded the disgruntled Oates in exchange for Boston’s Craig Janney and Stephane Quintal. Before the trade, Oates had been a key cog in the Blues’ offensive machine for two seasons, helping Brett Hull to Rocket Richard awards in both years.

Despite the reports of Oates’ malcontent demeanor, the Bruins acquired him to help provide offensive pop and complement stars like Cam Neely and Bourque. Janney established himself as an above-average playmaker as he bounced around the league and Quintal ultimately played a stay-at-home role in more than 1,000 regular-season contests with six different teams.

In each season Oates was with the team, the Bruins made the playoffs despite Neely’s injury-plagued decline in the first half of the 1990s. He led the league in assists during the season in which he racked up his career-high in points with 97 and 142 respectively. Oates signed a lucrative deal with the Bruins, but again felt he was underpaid.

When his contemptuous dealings with B’s brass began, they elected to rid themselves of the headache and traded him to the Washington Capitals during the ’96 – ’97 season. Oates was a star in his own right and a 21-time nominee for the Lady Byng award, but his relationship with management, in general, was anything but gentlemanly. This served only to leave a blemish on the talented forward’s legacy.

2.) Carol Vadnais Reinforces Big Bad Blue-Line

( Photo Credit: NESN.com )

Regular Season (Playoff) Stats with Bruins: GP – 263, G – 47, Pts – 181, +/- 67 (GP – 39, G – two, Pts – 21, +/- 12)

Prior to the 1972 playoffs, the Bruins determined that they would need additional depth on their blue-line behind their top pair of Bobby Orr and Dallas Smith. The club entered and won a bidding war with the Montreal Canadiens for the right to acquire the California Golden Seals’ Carol Vadnais and Don O’Donoghue in exchange for forward Reggie Leach and defensemen Rick Smith and Bob Stewart.

Vadnais would anchor the B’s second pair for the rest of that season and support a successful cup run during the year. He would play another solid three years and change until he was traded to the New York Rangers in 1975. Smith and Stewart fell to relative obscurity and Leach became a star forward in the National Hockey League, although with the Philadelphia Flyers after his time with the Golden Seals.

Since the trade dealt a future prolific scorer in Leach for an understated defenseman, its sometimes considered a poor one for the B’s. This is with the luxury of hindsight and retrospect. Vadnais, who passed away in 2014, was a steady presence on the Bruins blue-line for a team with eight 20-plus goal-scoring forwards that wanted to win now and had a need elsewhere on the roster. Pundits like to talk about which team won a particular deal, but at the heart of every hockey trade, both teams ought to be winning.

Although the Seals wouldn’t hold on to the asset, one of the futures they dealt for did turn out and the Bruins received the support they desired for the playoffs. In this regard, Vadnais represents a near-perfect deadline acquisition; he was meant to bolster the back end for a playoff run that culminated in a Cup win. He did just that and even stuck around for a few years after.

1.) Mentorship and Experience in Mark Recchi

( Photo Credit: ICON SMI )

Regular Season (Playoff) Stats with Bruins: GP – 180, G – 42, Pts – 107, +/- 14 (GP – 49, G – 14, Pts – 16, +/- 30)

In March of 2009, the Boston Bruins swapped Martins Karsums and Matt Lashoff for Mark Recchi and a second-round pick. This Chiarelli move would prove to be a shrewd one, as Mark Recchi would play valuable top-six minutes en route to a Stanley Cup two years later and the pick would be packaged with other minor pieces in the above Seidenberg trade. Karsums and Lashoff would both fail to become full-time NHLers with the former eventually bolting to the KHL in 2010 and the latter mostly toiling in the AHL while bouncing around continents.

Mark Recchi signed two team-friendly, one-year deals with the Bruins during the 2009 and 2010 off-seasons. Under head coach Claude Julien, he was ultimately assigned to line 1b duty with non-other than current top-line players Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron forming a defensively sound combination that was able to contribute offensively. Aside from his on-ice contributions, Recchi had a profound effect on the team’s chemistry and locker room environment. Bergeron credits him with becoming the leader he is today. 

While his performance on the ice was limited in comparison to his previous achievements, he helped to set the tone for the 2011 Championship and the continued excellence demonstrated by the organization’s core players before riding off into the sunset with the Cup in his saddle.

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