Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes: In-Depth Series Preview

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

Following Monday’s Game Six shutout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Boston Bruins officially move on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since their Stanley Cup Finals run in the 2012-13 season. Boston now has a combined 8-6 record in the 2019 postseason and they prepare for a third-round match-up with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes entered the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second wild-card team, but courtesy of a Brock McGinn overtime winner in Game Seven, the Canes eliminated the Washington Captials who were the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Carolina then faced the New York Islanders in the second round, a team who had swept the experienced Pittsburgh Penguins in their first round match-up. The ‘Bunch of Jerks’ dominated the Islanders, winning four straight – sweeping New York to meet at that time, either the Bruins or Blue Jackets.

For the second consecutive series, the Bruins will have to face a team who has had plenty of time to rest after their previous round ended while they have to deal with minimal rest in comparison to Carolina. However, the Bruins do have a few more days than they had between the Toronto and Columbus series which should be a great break for the team to regroup with only two rounds left to go.

Skaters To Look Out For

Boston Bruins:

  • F Brad Marchand: 13GP – 5G – 8A – 13P
  • F David Pastrnak: 13GP – 6G – 5A – 11P
  • F David Krejci: 13GP – 4G – 6A – 10P
  • F Charlie Coyle: 13GP – 5G – 3A – 8P
  • F Patrice Bergeron: 13GP – 5G – 3A – 8P
  • D Torey Krug: 13GP – 1G – 7A – 8P – 21:25 TOI
  • D Charlie McAvoy: 13GP – 1G – 5A – 6P – 24:46 TOI

The first-line trio of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron had some early struggles in the 2019 postseason, but near the end of the best-of-seven series against the Blue Jackets, the top line started to heat up. In the crazy Game Five, Pastrnak tallied a pair of goals and his linemates of Bergeron and Marchand have been on the scoresheet numerous times as well.

David Krejci and Charlie Coyle have been the two best point-producing forwards aside from that line and Coyle himself has had some big goals including the game-winner in Game One’s first overtime session. Marcus Johansson and Sean Kuraly (not listed above) are also having themselves a big postseason. Both of them scored the insurance goal in each of the first series (Kuraly vs TOR in Game 7, Johansson vs CBJ in Game 6) and have been finding their game all over the ice.

On defense, Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy have arguably been the names seen the most, with them both having large time-on-ice numbers throughout the 13 games thus far, but players such as Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk have also been huge for Boston on the back-end. Going back to Game Five against Columbus, Carlo shut down Artemi Panarin in the defensive zone before passing it up to Marchand and then to Pastrnak for the game-winning goal in the dying minutes of the third period.

The experience of the Bruins roster is something to watch out for as they have been able to battle through a lot of adversity throughout their years together as a core group, especially in 2018-19.

Carolina Hurricanes:

  • D Jaccob Slavin: 11GP – 0G – 11A – 11P – +8 Rating – 26:36 TOI
  • F Teuvo Teravainen: 11GP – 6G – 3A – 9P – +8 Rating – 20:20 TOI
  • F Warren Foegele: 11GP – 5G – 4A – 9P
  • F Jordan Staal: 11GP – 4G – 5A – 9P
  • F Sebastian Aho: 11GP – 4G – 5A – 9P 21:25 TOI
  • D Dougie Hamilton: 11GP – 3G – 4A – 7P 20:11 TOI
  • F Justin Williams: 11GP – 3G – 3A – 6P

Surprisingly, Jaccob Slavin leads the Hurricanes in points during the post-season with 11 assists in the same number of games. Three of those assists came in the Game Seven win over the Capitals. The 25-year-old defenceman averages the most minutes-per-game on the entire Hurricanes roster, with D Justin Faulk behind him, averaging 25:54 on the ice per game.

Behind Slavin, four Carolina forwards have nine points, putting their display of depth scoring on the max setting. Teuvo Teravainen led the team with 3-2-5 numbers in the four-game sweep of the Islanders. Seven players had three or more points in that same time span,

If the series goes to the do-or-die seventh game, then the Hurricanes will have a strong asset in captain Justin Williams. Williams holds the NHL record for most points in Game 7 with 15 throughout his career and boasts an 8-1 record in those crucial games. Williams was named the captain of Carolina in September 2018 and he has been the embodiment of leadership for the young locker room, having won the Stanley Cup on three occasions (’06 with CAR, ’12 & ’14 with LAK).

Goaltenders in the Between the Posts

BOS: Tuukka Rask – 8-5 .938 SV% – 2.02 GAA

Before the second-round battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets even started, one of the biggest concerns was how good Sergei Bobrovsky is and was most likely going to be for the duration of the series. Bobrovsky was good, but Tuukka Rask was outstanding for the Bruins for all six games, especially in the final three wins for the B’s.

In Game 4, Rask made 39 saves on 40 shots with the only goal going in creating controversy after the puck clearly hit the netting above the end boards. In Game Five, Rask was solid for the majority of the game, before allowing three third period goals in what was an insane final frame. Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella claimed Rask was “dented” after Game Five, but Tuukka came back even stronger with a 39-save shutout to eliminate Columbus.

One could very well argue that the reason that the Boston Bruins are prepping for Conference Finals, is Tuukka Rask’s elite play in net.

CAR: Curtis McElhinney – 3-0 .947 SV% 1.56 GAA OR

Petr Mrazek – 5-3 .913 SV% 2.22 GAA

Petr Mrazek was the starting goaltender throughout the regular season and was to begin the playoffs as well, eliminating the Washington Capitals and taking Game One against the Islanders. However, in Game Two, Mrazek suffered a lower-body injury that is being listed as a groin injury and did not play for the remainder of the series. Former Maple Leafs goalie, Curtis McElhinney, stepped in and won three straight to complete the sweep.

The eight-day break for Carolina allowed Mrazek to improve with his injury and it seems like he will be the goaltender that starts in Game One, but as of 1:00pm EST, Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour would not directly release who that starting goaltender is. If it is McElhinney, the Bruins can expect Mrazek to be back in the lineup maybe as soon as Game Two on Sunday.

Either way, both netminders in the red and black sweaters for the Canes will be at the top of their game as they have shown throughout the postseason so far. Boston is used to playing against a hot goaltender, dealing with both Frederik Andersen and Sergei Bobrovsky in the opening two rounds.

Season Series

The Bruins and Hurricanes played in three games during the 2018-19 campaign, with Boston finishing the season series with a 2-1-0 record.

  • October 30th/18: Bruins 3 – Hurricanes 2
  • December 23rd/18: Hurricanes 5 – Bruins 3
  • March 5th/19: Bruins 4 – Hurricanes 3 OT

Both of Boston’s wins over Carolina this season were only by a lone goal when the final buzzer sounded, including an overtime win to close out the season series on March 5th. Carolina won their only game of the series by a final score of 5-3. Tuukka Rask allowed five goals on 37 shots against while Petr Mrazek stopped 27 of 30 shots that faced him.

Throughout the NHL history, both franchises have had some legendary playoff moments as well. That dates back to the days of the Hartford Whalers before the relocation to Raleigh, North Carolina for the 1997-1998 season. For more on that history, check out fellow BNG’s teammate Evan Michael’s article regarding the Bruins/Hurricanes before their 2019 clash.

Projected Lines for Game One

Boston Bruins:

Forwards:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Backes

Johansson-Coyle-Heinen

Nordstrom-Kuraly-Wagner

Defence:

Chara-Clifton

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Kampfer

Goaltender:

Rask

Scratched: Noel Acciari (upper-body), Karson Kuhlman (healthy), Charlie McAvoy (suspended for an illegal hit to the head), Zane McIntyre (healthy), John Moore (healthy).

Carolina Hurricanes (per @NHLCanes on Twitter):

Forwards

Svechnikov-Aho-Teravainen

Niederreiter-Staal-Williams

Foegele-Wallmark-McGinn

Ferland-McKegg-Martinook

Defence

Slavin-Hamilton

Pesce-Faulk

Fleury-de Haan

Goalies

A starting goaltender has not been announced.

Scratched: Bean (healthy), Brown (healthy), Maenalenen (upper body), van Riemsdyk (upper body).

Puck drop for Game One is scheduled for tonight, May 9th at 8:00pm EST in Boston, followed by the remaining possible six games:

*if required

Game Two: Sunday, May 12th – 3pm EST in Boston

Game Three: Tuesday, May 14th – 8pm EST in Carolina

Game Four: Thursday, May 16th – 8pm EST in Carolina

Game Five*: Saturday, May 18th – 7:15pm EST in Boston

Game Six*: Monday, May 20th – 8pm EST in Carolina

Game Seven*: Wednesday, May 22nd – 8pm EST in Boston

With that, let the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals begin!

Help Wanted: Join Our Digital Content Team!

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast and affiliated blackngoldhockey.com website is looking to fill several open positions on our Boston Bruins related digital content team. We are seeking enthusiastic individuals that are team oriented and willing to participate in group discussions. Applicants don’t need to have sports a journalism degrees to join our team but we do ask that you either have previous writing experience or possess decent punctuation and writing skills. Knowledge of the media program WordPress is preferred but not required. We do offer a training program for those who might not be familiar with WordPress.

We are looking for more contributors in the following areas:

  • National Hockey League Boston Bruins Writers
  • American Hockey League Providence Bruins Writers
  • Premier “AA” ECHL Affiliate Writers
  • Bruins CHL Prospects Writers ( OHL / QMJHL / WHL )
  • Bruins European Prospect Writers ( KHL /  Czech Extraliga / SHL / Finland SM-Liga / German DEL / IIHF World Juniors etc. )
  • Bruins NCAA Prospect Writers ( Men’s Division 1 Only )
  • NWHL Boston Pride Women’s Hockey Writers
  • Bruins Player Analytic Writers ( Corsi / Fenwick / Heat Maps )
  • Bruins Youtube Video Contributors  ( Minimal Writing Required ).
  • Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast Co-Host. We are looking to add another member to our show covering the Providence Bruins and B’s prospects in all delevlopmental leagues around the world. This is a weekly show during the regular season.
  • Editors and Copy Writers Are Needed! These Specialties Come With Reduced Article Publications Per Month. Workload Can Be Discussed During Interview Process.

If you are interested in any one of the open positions above, please continue forward with our website requirements below to see if you have the time and dedication to be a team member with us.

  • Must have a Twitter account or means of establishing one.
  • Article length is to be 500 words or more unless you have access to the “Breaking News” group where a maximum of 250 words is acceptable to get the news out faster. Deeper In depth articles are accepted but please stay under 2500 words because a majority of our readers are viewing from mobile devises
  • From September 1st to when the Boston Bruins regular season and playoffs are over, each member is required to post four articles a month. During the offseason the required total monthly posts to keep an account with us is two.
  • We have a Slack channel for team communication and activity on there is mandatory or at least please acknowledge important group announcements. Slack can be viewed via mobile phone app or on any PC.
  • We ask that you be a team player and take a few minutes to support other group members with the kind gesture of sharing everyone’s work on your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter and so on. Everyone here at BNG is expected to have each other’s backs with the ultimate team support.
  • If an opportunity comes up to attend a Boston Bruins related events as a media member/guest, these privileges will go to those who go above and beyond. To be granted access under the BNG team umbrella, you must be a member that we can count on and show up to these events as a professional and not a fan. Bruins fan attire that will not be acceptable in any media situation include team jerseys, t-shirts, and so on. Please dress appropriately.
  • Besides original articles, if you happen to get an article idea from any member of “Big Media” you need to give those folks credit by hyperlinking  their twitter account when mentioning the author and also hyperlink the article you got the information from. Plagiarizing other media members work without the appropriate mention from where the news came from will result in immediate termination.
  • Last but not least, please write your articles as a professional. This means do not bash any player or the Bruins organization for something that you don’t agree with. Bring respectful angles to your argument  instead of this sucks and that player is terrible types of contributions.

If you’ve read through everything above and are interested in applying for one of the many open positions available, please send an email to blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com and tell us a little about yourself and provide a writing sample of your previous work if available. We hope to here from you  as we look to grow our team! Take Care and Go Bruins!

Mark Allred – Founder & CEO

Boston Bruins Playoff Preview: Round 1 – Game 3

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PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

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

After a pair of games in Boston, the first-round matchup between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs officially makes its way to Toronto, Canada for Game Three. The Bruins tied the series on Saturday with a 4-1 victory after losing Game One by the same score on Thursday.

Game Three Information:

Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Home: Toronto Maple Leafs

Away: Boston Bruins

Series: 1-1

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 1-1-0 .937 SV% 2.02 GAA Last Game: 30 Saves in 4-1 win vs TOR

TOR: Frederik Andersen 1-1-0 .937 SV% 2.50 GAA Last Game: 37 Saves in 4-1 loss vs TOR

Projected Bruins Lineup:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Heinen – Coyle – Backes

Nordstrom – Acciari – Wagner

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Kampfer

Per reports from Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, forward Jake DeBrusk and defenceman Torey Krug will be in the lineup for Game Three. DeBrusk took a cross-check to the head by Nazem Kadri, who is facing an in-person hearing today and left the game while Krug left Game Two after taking a massive hit from Jake Muzzin. Connor Clifton (upper-body) is out, Kampfer to replace him and Marcus Johansson remains out with an illness.

Who’s Hot

Charlie Coyle scored the game’s first goal on Saturday, ultimately giving the Bruins the confidence to continue out the game, but his play has been consistent throughout the series so far. Even in the loss in Game One, Coyle had numerous chances and opportunities to score but just could not bury one and he continued that in the second game. With the loss of Leafs’ third line centre, Nazem Kadri, Coyle’s role could be all the more important.

kadri-nazem-190411-1180

PHOTO CREDITS: (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Frederik Andersen may have allowed four goals on Saturday night, but he was one of the only good things that came from Toronto in their Game Two loss. Andersen stopped 37 of the 41 shots Boston threw at him, making some big saves throughout the entire game in order to keep it within reach for the Maple Leafs. If Andersen can continue to be hot in the net at home in the Scotiabank Arena, then the Leafs could have the momentum moving forward.

Jake DeBrusk does not have a point in either of the two games, but his usual work-horse attitude and play were present in both games, but especially in Game Two. DeBrusk managed to get under the skin of Kadri, resulting in the terrible cross-check by the Leafs forward. Jake had four hits on the night and was a beast on the forecheck, as he often is during gametime. It is only a matter of time for when that first goal comes.

Mitch Marner was held to zero points in Game Two, but in Game One, it was all him, scoring a pair of goals including a short-handed penalty shot past Tuukka Rask. Marner played 20:28 on Saturday night with over six minutes of speciality team time as well. Mitch could arguably be the biggest threat for the Bruins defence for the entirety of the series.

Who’s Not

William Nylander has had a rough 2018-19 season in general, with all the contract issues and then the lack of production once he started to play again, but that was only amplified on Saturday night in Boston, as he found himself on the wrong end of too many negative plays, including a terrible mishap that led to Heinen’s 3-0 goal for the B’s. The young forward also had a team-high three giveaways during his 13:56 TOI. Nylander was skating down the middle on the Leafs’ third line, replacing Kadri.

For all of the players that were struggling on the Bruins after the first game, did much better for the second. Every single player on the Bruins roster played their part and did their job to ultimately get the win and tie the series at one apiece. Boston will look to continue that ideology moving forward into Game Three.

Jake Muzzin had a terrible night on the Leafs blue line and only had one good play – a huge hit that injured Torey Krug. Other than that, Muzzin turned the puck over twice (on the statsheet), and made a crucial error that led to Marchand’s first-period tally. When Torey Krug lofted a puck up the ice, Muzzin tried to grab it with his hand, missing, leading to a 2-on-1 for Pastrnak and Marchand, leading to one of the best goals so far in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Muzzin is supposed to be the best defenceman on the roster for Toronto and he needs to be better.

Bruins vs Leafs – Game Three Outlook

The script was flipped on Saturday when the Bruins came back from a dismal Game One to dominate for a 4-1 final score. A change from Game One, the Bruins were aggressive on the forecheck and made a successful hit on every Leafs player that moved at any place on the ice. Even players like David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk were throwing the body.

The physical play of Boston kept the Leafs weary and afraid to push into the zone further, as a lot of their shots on goal came from the point and far along the boards. Their only goal came off of a deflection from one of these point shots and that strategy could be evident in Game Three.

Boston’s shots came right around the net of Frederik Andersen, mainly due to the turnovers on breakout passes by the Maple Leafs defenseman. One of the best chances that did not cross the red line came off of a turnover in the slot, leading to a David Krejci shot and a rebound from Heinen that was robbed by Andersen.

Regardless, the goaltenders of both teams will need to be on fire once again and the defence will need to prevent chances. No matter how far this series goes, that narrative will be the case for both franchises. Toronto will also have the home-ice for the first time this postseason, so expect an energetic Toronto crowd.

Game Three puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Interested in going to any Boston Bruins 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff games or the last regular season contests for the Providence Bruins? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from SeatGiant. Click the links below and use discount code BNGP to save a little cash!

—–> Click Here To Get Your Boston Bruins First Round Stanley Cup Playoff Tickets From The Great Folks at SeatGiant! <—-

—> Click Here To Get Your Providence Bruins Regular Season & Calder Cup Playoff Tickets From The Great Folks at SeatGiant! <—

Boston Bruins Playoffs Preview: Round 1 – Game 1

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

It’s Stanley Cup Playoff time, baby.

For the 16th time in league history, the Boston Bruins will meet the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six, best-of-seven series in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coming into the postseason, the Bruins and the Leafs have been atop the regular season standings for much of the year, with the Bruins finishing second in the Atlantic division and third in the NHL. The Maple Leafs concluded the 2018-19 campaign third in the Atlantic but finished as the seventh-best team in the NHL’s league standings.

Game One Information:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (49-24-9)

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs (46-28-8)

Series: 0-0

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 27-13-5 .912 SV% 2.48 GAA Last Game: 16 Saves in 6-3 loss to TBL

TOR: Frederik Andersen 36-16-7 .917 SV% 2.77 GAA Last Game: 44 Saves in 6-5 loss to MTL

Boston Bruins Starting Lineup:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman 

Johansson – Coyle – Heinen

Nordstrom – Acciari – Wagner

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton 

Who’s Hot

Brad Marchand has had an incredible 2018-19 season for not only the Bruins but himself as well. The Nova Scotia native hit the 100-point plateau to become the first player in a Bruins sweater since Joe Thornton to hit such mark. Dating back to March 1st, Marchand has 10-15-25 numbers within those sixteen games and he looks to continue that dominance against Toronto.

bruins-score-on-andersen.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (tsn.ca)

In that same time span, it was offseason signing John Tavares that led the Maple Leafs in points since the beginning of March, scoring eleven goals, nine assists, for 20 points in 18 games played. Tavares finished the year with 47-41-88 numbers in a full 82-game season, the highest single-season point total in his entire NHL career that dates back to the 2009-10 season.

Patrice Bergeron has been quite hot for the Bruins all season – as usual. The 33-year-old Canadian set a new career-high with 79 points on the season. Bergeron has scored ten goals and helped out on eleven others for 21 totals points in the last 17 games since March 1st. Bergeron’s linemates David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand have been reaping the benefits from Bergeron’s stellar season offensively and defensively.

Mitch Marner will be the next Maple Leaf to have some serious contract issues to sort out once the playoffs conclude but in the meantime, Marner will continue to be a serious threat to the opposing defence and goaltenders for years to come. Marner tallied 4-15-19 numbers in the last fifteen games he played in, extending his season totals to 26-68-94 in all of the 82 games. Along with Matthews, Tavares, Nylander, Hyman, and so on, the Leafs possess a dangerous offensive core for the Bruins.

Who’s Not

Frederik Andersen has been one of the biggest question marks for Toronto’s playoff run in 2018-19. Numerous analysts and broadcasters of the sport agree that Andersen needs to be the best player on not only the Maple Leafs but on both teams if Toronto wants to advance to Round Two. However, since March 1st, Andersen is 6-3-4 with a .898 save percentage and a 3.40 goals-against-average. Those are well below the numbers required from him in this best-of-seven series against Boston.

The goalie on the opposite end of the arena tonight – Tuukka Rask – has not been fantastic either. Rask has a 6-5-0 record in his last eleven starts, possessing a .881 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA. Rask has had a good overall campaign for the B’s, but he too will need to be on the top of his game in order to win four games against the Leafs. Tuukka will be depended on in some of these upcoming games.

gettyimages-950491938-612x612.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Nazem Kadri has fallen down the depth charts in Toronto ever since John Tavares walked into the dressing room, but he is still depended on by the Leafs management in order to produce some depth scoring for the Maple Leafs. With that said, Kadri only has a single goal in the last 14 games played and has a -3 rating in that time as well.

Bruins vs Leafs – Game One Outlook

From the beginning of the season back in October, it was assumed that the Boston Bruins would once again battle the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While both franchises made changes in the offseason, they still did not match up well on paper to overtake the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top divisional spot in the Atlantic and that is exactly what turned out to be the case.

The Bruins finished second in the Atlantic, with Toronto only seven points behind in the third position. As we prepare to go to war for what is likely to be another seven-game series, it is important to remember that you may not have any fingernails remaining when one team eventually gets eliminated – this series is going to be close.

The Bruins will look to score first and keep it going from there as they have found previous success during the regular season when doing so, finishing with a combined record of 34-7-5 when scoring the game’s first goal. However, Toronto will look to do the same thing and quiet down the roaring Bruins home crowd in the TD Garden.

Either way, it will all come down to the men in between the pipes. Whoever plays the best in the crease will come out victorious tonight and most likely in the series as that is how it has been over the course of their history as Original Six franchises.

Nonetheless, we are oh-so-close to the 7:10pm EST puck drop in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Get ready, it’s about to get fun.

Interested in going to any Boston Bruins 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff games or the last regular season contests for the Providence Bruins? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from SeatGiant. Click the links below and use discount code BNGP to save a little cash!

—–> Click Here To Get Your Boston Bruins First Round Stanley Cup Playoff Tickets From The Great Folks at SeatGiant! <—-

—> Click Here To Get Your Providence Bruins Regular Season & Calder Cup Playoff Tickets From The Great Folks at SeatGiant! <—

A Look Back On The Boston Bruins’ 2018-19 Regular Season

ap-19001736794675

PHOTO CREDITS: (Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press)

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

With the final game on April 6th, the Boston Bruins officially ended their 2018-19 regular season and now look ahead to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, starting Thursday, April 11th in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against none other than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The regular season was a long, winding roller-coaster for the Bruins. Injuries, droughts, streaks, and points were all in the recipe that created the story that was this season and somehow, the fans of the Black and Gold did not fall to the ground numerous times throughout this time due to the constant breath-taking events.

Standings & Team Statistics

Looking at face value, the Boston Bruins ended the 82-game season with 49 wins, 24 losses and nine more losses in post-regulation play. Their 107 points earned them the third spot in the entire league, behind the Tampa Bay Lightning who dominated with an incredible 62-16-4 record – winning the President’s Trophy and the Calgary Flames, who finished with same points as Boston, but managed to finish with three more regulation plus overtime wins (ROW).

The Bruins scored the 11th most goals in the league, tallying a total of 257 goals for an average of 3.13 goals-for-per-game. On the other side of the puck, the goaltenders of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak helped the Bruins finish in the top 3 for least number of goals allowed in the entire season, allowing just 212 goals against, an average of 2.59 goals-against-per-game. More specifically, the Bruins trailed only the New York Islanders for least even-strength goals against (148).

Specialty teams were one of the biggest strengths for Boston and they remain that way heading into the post-season. Boston concluded the ’18/’19 campaign with a 25.9% success rate on the power-play, the third best in the National Hockey League. However, the B’s did allow a league-leading 15 short-handed goals against, tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The penalty kill was not terrific for a top-3 NHL team, but that could also be due to the large mass of injuries to the blue line that hindered the defensive consistency of Boston. The Bruins have the 16th-best PK percentage, killing off just under 80% of the penalties they took. Regarding on penalties, the Bruins took the second-highest penalties-per-game, averaging 9.7 penalty minutes during the course of the season, behind only the New York Rangers.

Player Statistics

Even with all of the injuries throughout the regular season, the Bruins still managed to do quite well on an individual basis as many skaters and goaltenders set new career-highs and played some of the best hockey of their NHL career. Players that are included within the following section are players that are likely to play in the first-round series or have had an impact on the team. AHL players and some rookies, as well as traded players, will not be included.

Forwards:

  • Brad Marchand – 79GP – 36-64-100
  • David Pastrnak – 66GP- 38-43-81
  • Patrice Bergeron – 65GP – 32-47-79
  • David Krejci – 81GP – 20-53-73
  • Jake DeBrusk – 68GP – 27-15-42
  • Danton Heinen – 77GP – 11-23-34
  • Sean Kuraly – 71GP – 8-13-21
  • David Backes – 70GP – 7-13-20
  • Chris Wagner – 76GP – 12-7-19
  • Noel Acciari – 72GP – 6-8-14
  • Joakim Nordstrom – 70GP – 7-5-12
  • Charlie Coyle – 21GP – 2-4-6
  • Karson Kuhlman – 11GP – 3-2-5
  • Marcus Johansson – 10GP – 1-2-3

Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron all set new career-highs in almost every category and that line proved that even with the absence of some of them, can produce at a high-level and they are truly one of the best lines in all of hockey today. Below that, David Krejci assisted on 53 goals and Jake DeBrusk nearly hit the 30-goal mark. Both of those two can add some much-needed depth scoring in the playoffs.

Trade deadline acquisitions of Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson have not been as amazing as may be hoped, but both have had to deal with a brand new system and brand of hockey in addition to Johansson missing games due to a lung contusion. Forward Karson Kuhlman has been great, scoring five points in eleven games and has been reliable for replacing the injured forwards on the roster.

Defencemen:

The devastating injuries ran hard through the defensive core of the B’s, forcing the club to use twelve different defenders throughout the year, with only one of them playing more than 70 games (Brandon Carlo – 72GP). Even heading into the best-of-seven series against the Maple Leafs, the Bruins will be without John Moore and Kevan Miller for a good portion of the series.

  • Torey Krug – 64GP – 6-47-53
  • Charlie McAvoy – 54GP – 7-21-28
  • Matt Grzelcyk – 66GP – 3-15-18
  • Zdeno Chara – 62GP – 5-9-14
  • John Moore – 61GP – 4-9-13
  • Brandon Carlo – 72GP – 2-8-10
  • Kevan Miller – 39GP – 0-7-7
  • Steven Kampfer – 35GP – 3-3-6
  • Jeremy Lauzon – 16GP – 1-0-1
  • Connor Clifton – 19GP – 0-1-1
  • Urho Vaakanainen – 2GP – 0-0-0
  • Jakub Zboril – 2GP – 0-0-0

Torey Krug has been what he has been for the last few years – a good offensive defenseman that is deadly on the power-play. Krug is the quarterback of the Bruins man-advantage and he knows how to feed the forwards on the ice, a characteristic represented by his 47 assists on the season.

Other than that, when the players have been healthy and on the ice, they have been pretty good for the most part. It seems that health will be the biggest deciding factor for the Bruins’ defense versus Toronto.

Goaltenders:

I recently wrote an article on the Black N’ Gold Hockey website about the work of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak and how the combination of the two could be the biggest advantage that the Bruins have against the Leafs for the postseason series. You can check out that piece HERE.

  • Tuukka Rask – 45GS – 27-13-5 .912 SV% 2.48 GAA 4 Shutouts
  • Jaroslav Halak – 37GS – 22-11-4 .922 SV% 2.34 GAA 5 Shutouts

Both Rask and Halak have statistics in the top ten of the league in all of the main goaltending categories including goals-against-average and save percentage. While Tuukka is the deserving starting man in between the pipes, Halak is a great second option if the play of Rask falters at all throughout the series.

Boston Bruins vs. NHL

With one win shy of 50 wins on the season, the Boston Bruins picked up victories over every single team in the NHL except for two – the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks. Other than that, the Bruins had at least one victory over everyone, with some of them being clean season series sweeps.

Boston won the season series over the Ottawa Senators (4 games), New York Islanders (3 games), Vegas Golden Knights (2 games), San Jose Sharks (2 games), Minnesota Wild (2 games), Los Angeles Kings (2 games), Chicago Blackhawks (2 games), Arizona Coyotes (2 games), and the Anaheim Ducks (2 games).

Boston found success over the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs, sealing 75% of the possible points in the season series when it was all said and done. In fact, Boston ended the season matchups with four of the five other Original Six franchises with an above .500 point percentage, with only the Detroit Red Wings beating Boston in the four-game series in 2018-19.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins scored the majority of their goals in the second period, tallying 93 total goals in the middle twenty minutes. Aside from that, they allowed the most goals in the third period (79).

When the B’s managed to score the game’s first goal, they found great success, finishing the season with a 34-7-5 record. Looking at the other side of the coin, Boston had a 15-17-4 record when the opposing team scored the first tally of the contest, something to be noted heading into the playoffs.

Injury Report (April 10th)

  • F Sean Kuraly – Hand – Will not play Game 1, could return later in series
  • D John Moore – Upper-Body – Will not play Game 1, could return later in series
  • D Kevan Miller – Lower-Body – Unlikely to miss the start of the postseason
  • F Chris Wagner – Lower-Body – Cleared for Game 1

Without further ado, that is the entire 2018-19 NHL regular season all wrapped up and finished. The Boston Bruins begin their road to their first Stanley Cup since 2011 Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. For a full preview on the best-of-seven series, check out fellow BNG Site writer, Yanni Latzanakis’ article HERE.

May the best team win.

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Game Preview: Bruins vs Lightning

See the source image

(Photo Credits: Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

 

The boys in Black and Gold are back home playing their final season matinee game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a win this afternoon, Boston can notch their 50th win for the second consecutive season and 11th in club history. The Bruins have won their past two games and both teams have punched their way into the Playoffs.

Boston defeated the Minnesota Wild this past Thursday, in which fans got to see the NHL debut of Providence’s Zach Senyshyn, who would go on to notch his first NHL goal. The Bruins are now at 107 points, tied with the Calgary Flames in the league and locked at finishing second in the Atlantic Division. The top line continues to dominate as all three players have tallied up points to lead the team, as well as being in the top five in the league.

See the source image

(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

Brad Marchand is fifth in the league with 100 points; Patrice Bergeron is fourth in the league with four short-handed goals; David Pastrnak is fourth in the league for power-play goals (four). Marchand leads the team in points (100) and assists (64), while Pastrnak leads the team with 38 goals. The 22-year-old Czech forward has also accumulated 13 points in his last eight games played.

 

Jake DeBrusk has six points in the last five games played, while David Krejci has seven in his last five games played. Defenseman Torey Krug has notched five points in his last five games. Charlie Coyle will be playing his 500th game in his NHL career. Marchand has eight points in the last five games played.

See the source image

(Photo Credits: NESN.com)

The Tampa Bay Lighting come into the TD Garden looking to nab the NHL record for most wins in a single season. Tampa Bay has 61 wins and is within one win away from tying the Detroit Red Wings record of 62 wins back in 1996. Forward Nikita Kucherov is one point away from tying Alexander Mogilny record of most points in a single season. Kucherov has 126, while Mogilny has 127–the most by a Russian-born player. Kucherov leads the team in points (126) and in assists (86).  Fellow teammate Steven Stamkos leads the team with 44 goals.

Kucherov leads the league in both points and assists; Stamkos is second in the league with 19 powerplay goals and has 16 points in his last nine games.  The Lightning have a regular season record of 61-16-4 while the Bruins are 49-23-9.

(Photo Credits: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)

The Bruins rested many players on Thursday, but some could return today. Defenseman Kevan Miller sustained a lower-body injury on Thursday but is expected to play this afternoon. Expect goaltender Tuukka Rask in net today and for the Lightning expect Andrei Vasilevskiy in between the pipes. Chris Wagner is still nursing a lower-body injury, John Moore has an upper-body injury and Sean Kuraly is still recovering from hand surgery. For Tampa Bay, Dan Girardi, Victor Hedman, and goalie Louis Domingue are all nursing injuries.

Here are the Projected lineups:

BOSTON

DEBRUSK-BERGERON-PASTRNAK

JOHANSSON-COYLE-SENSYSHYN

NORDSTROM-ACCIARI-BACKES

HENINEN-FREDERIC-KUHLMAN

KRUG-CARLO

GRZELCYK-MILLER

CLIFTON-KAMPFER

RASK

TAMPA BAY

PALAT-STAMKOS-JOHNSON

GOURDE-POINT-KUCHEROV

KILLORN-CIRELLI-JOSEPH

ERNE-PAQUETTE-CALLAHAN

COBURN-STRALMAN

MCDONAGH-CERNAK

SERGACHEV-RUTTA

VASILEVSKIY

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Today with puck drop at 1:00 PM, TD Garden

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, SUN

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Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets 4/2/2019

Image result for boston bruins vs columbus(Photo Credits: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The Bruins continue their road trip when they visit the Nationwide Arena as they face the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are looking to clinch a playoff berth with a win tonight.  Meanwhile Boston can clinch second place in the Atlantic Division; they are four points ahead of Toronto. After tonight’s game, the B’s will have two more  left in the regular season before facing the Maple Leafs in the first round of the Playoffs. Boston will hopefully bounce back tonight as they are 1-3 in their last four games.

SURGING TEAM

Columbus have won five straight games and are looking to win their sixth tonight. Meanwhile, the Bruins are hoping to clinch home ice advantage if they win against the Jackets. It will be their third and final meeting with Columbus winning 7-4 in their first tilt and Boston winning 2-1 back at the Garden on March 16th. After dropping two in a row, the Bruins are hoping to bring their energy in the Arena in what hopes to be a hue Playoff atmosphere.

“It will be good for us. We need it. We’ve been two games where we were at our best, so hopefully they bring out the best in us. That’s the style they tend to play anyway, kind of a playoff, heavier style. Should be good for us”—Bruce Cassidy

Related image(Photo Credits: USA Today – Russell LaBounty)

Coming back from a lower-body injury, expect Chris Wagner to be back in the lineup while Danton Heinen will sit out due to an illness.  Sean Kuraly is still recovering from a fractured hand. If the Bruins win tonight and the Maple Leafs lose against the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston would have home ice. If Boston comes away with one point and the Leafs lose, the Bruins can still get home ice. Here were this morning’s rushes:

Brad Marchand was named NHL’s Third Star of the Month for March as he is two points away from a career high of 100 points. This month alone he has tallied 23 points with nine goals and 14 assists. He recently set a franchise mark for most shorthanded goals after scoring off a sick feed from linemate Patrice Bergeron in this past Sunday’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. Expect Tuukka Rask in net tonight.  The Bruins are 47-23-9, while Columbus is 45-30-4. Marchand leads the team with 98 points and in assists (63). David Pastrnak leads the team with 36 goals.

Image result for boston bruins vs columbus(Photo Credits: Charles Krupa | AP)

The John Tortorella-lead team has surged lately, with the power trio of Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson. Panarin leads the team in points (83) and in assists (56). Columbus is in the wild-card with 94 points and could clinch a spot tonight with a win over the B’s. They are currently one point ahead of Carolina and two over the Montreal Canadiens. Expect goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in net. The Jackets have outscored their opponents 24-4 in their last fie games.

Here are their projected lineups for tonight:

Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson

Ryan Dzingel – Matt Duchene – Josh Anderson

Boone Jenner – Alexander Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand

Riley Nash – Brandon Dubinsky – Nick Foligno

Zach Werenski – Seth Jones

Markus Nutivaara – David Savard

Dean Kukan – Scott Harrington

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

 

WHEN TO WATCH:  Tonight with puck drop at 7:00pm

WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN, NESN

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How Will The Bruins Fare In Round One Of The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs?

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

With an overall record of 46-21-9, the Boston Bruins’ 101-point season thus far puts them in a tie with the Calgary Flames for the second-best franchise in the entire National Hockey League. An unexpected feat when the season began back in October, but this group of hard-working, tenacious players have battled through injuries, losses, and setbacks to be one of the best in the league today. If you were to track the Bruins’ progress throughout the season, you can see that they are now in the top three contenders for the Stanley Cup. They weren’t always in the top three so to see them where they are at now, it’s incredible.

On Saturday, the Bruins officially clinched a berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 7-3 crushing of the Florida Panthers. With that said, it only further confirms that the Bruins and Maple Leafs will meet in the opening round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Do these two match up the same or will new history be created this time around?

Scoring

On paper, both teams have the skill to not only score a few goals but to score a lot of goals. On the Bruins, the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have such amazing chemistry together that it almost seems that they know the exact position of each other on the ice at all times. All three of them reached the 30-goal plateau this season, and all three of them are having some of the best seasons of their NHL careers.

Following behind them, David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk also have chemistry together – to the point where they thrive off of each other, even though they are different players. Krejci tends to slow down the game and make smart, tape-to-tape passes to his teammate to set up a slick goal. To his left, Jake DeBrusk possesses a great shot with blazing speed and aggressiveness on the puck. Their two styles blend perfectly on most nights, and it has paid off.

Although the Bruins have and continue to have issues with consistent scoring from their entire bottom-six forwards, they do have one of the best fourth-lines in the league today. So much so, that the Acciari, Kuraly, Wagner line has seen third-line minutes quite often during the year so far. The three members of that line drive on rushes, make aggressive plays on the forecheck and even lay a few hits on the opposing team as well.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

Statistically, the Bruins are in the top half in the league for most goals for, but if the injuries were not a factor throughout the year, that number would be a lot higher.

With the offseason addition of John Tavares, the Maple Leafs are still a threat offensively as well. They are top five in the NHL for most goals for scored and they have depth scoring throughout all four lines. Mitch Marner leads the teams in points with 25-65-90 numbers in 76 games this season.

The biggest threat may be the center position with Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Nazem Kadri all down the middle. You have to expect that Tavares will try to be more dominant because it is his first playoff series with his new team and the playoffs are without a doubt the most important time to shine. Toronto has more depth and more consistent scoring the further down you go.

Both Boston and Toronto have the power to score five or more goals in a single 60-minute game, and it creates a true challenge for the opposing defense and goaltending. However, on paper and statistically speaking, Toronto takes this category, but it is a very close one.

Winner: Toronto Maple Leafs

Defense

The Boston Bruins have used an incredible twelve defencemen throughout the season thus far, compared to Toronto’s nine. Boston’s defense, when healthy, looks like Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller, and either Matt Grzelcyk or John Moore. More often than not, however, we have not seen this blue line core 100% healthy.

Out of those seven players listed for the Bruins, only one of them has a minus rating, (Torey Krug, -3), but Krug does have a team-high 48 points on the year from the back-end, and he is always a threat on the power-play. He is arguably one of the reasons why Boston currently has the third-best man-advantage success rate in the entire league and has been within the top five for the majority of the season.

The B’s d-men possess some solid offensive talents with Krug, McAvoy, Grzelcyk, and Moore, but they also bring a solid toughness and physicality with 6-foot-9, 250-pound captain Zdeno Chara and 6-foot-2, 210-pound Kevan Miller. Between those two men alone, fear can be set among other teams in the NHL and has done so when they are together on the ice. Brandon Carlo can fit into the physical spectrum as well, but can also add some extra points when needed to.

For Toronto, the defensive side of the puck has been a weakness for some time now, mainly due to the stacked offensive core that we have previously discussed. Morgan Rielly leads the defencemen with 20-48-68 numbers in 75 games played, followed by Jake Gardiner (29 points) and Ron Hainsey (22 points).

That is great, and all, but the blueliners on the Maple Leafs have been a liability as some of the Bruins have as well. Nikita Zaitsev, Ron Hainsey, and Jake Gardiner have had their questionable moments in a game before, some of which Bruins fans will remember as well, (Gardiner’s mistake led to DeBrusk’s game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 2018 Playoffs). That was and continues to be a concern for the Blue and White.

In January, General Manager Kyle Dubas traded for a d-man Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings, a move that made Toronto’s depth on defense a lot better. Muzzin has 5-11-16 numbers in 27 contests with the Leafs, averaging just over twenty minutes on ice per game.

The Bruins allow an average of 2.48 goals-against-per-game, third in the league while the Leafs allow an average of 2.97 goals-against-per-game, 16th in the league. For that and the depth that Boston has shown with the injuries faced, the defensive side of the equation goes to Boston.

Winner: Boston Bruins

Goaltending

The last of the three categories is the most crucial of them all. When all of the offense fails, and the two defenders on the ice cannot prevent the puck from advancing, there is only one man who can make a last effort to stop the puck from crossing the goal line – the goaltender.

Last season, during the 2018 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, it was an intense battle between Tuukka Rask and Frederik Andersen. Although this season, times may be different. Boston has seen success with both Rask and offseason acquisition Jaroslav Halak, who could be a possible winner for the annual 7th Player Award.

Boston Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has nearly split the games started between the two netminders with Rask starting 42 games and Halak starting 37 games before Monday’s game against the Lightning. Jaroslav Halak is fifth in the league for best goals-against-average (2.31 GAA) while Rask is 7th with a 2.35 GAA. The two are the second-highest ranked duo in the league, behind only Lehner and Griess on the Islanders. Rask and Halak are both also top fifteen in save percentage.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Global News)

Frederik Andersen has played 55 games this year and is 24th in the NHL for GAA (2.72), and 13th for save percentage (.918). Garret Sparks most likely will not get any starts in the playoffs as he boasts an 8-7-0 record with a 3.16 GAA and a .907 save percentage in 15 games started.

Rask and Andersen have had issues in playoff scenarios before, but the hope for Boston is that if Rask does struggle, Halak can keep the team going, as he has done in the 2018-19 regular season. That in addition to the on-paper statistics being in favor of the Bruins, this category goes to Boston.

Winner: Boston Bruins

2018-19 Season Series

Game 1: November 10th, 2018 – Bruins def. Maple Leafs 5-1 (BOS: Pastrnak x3, Bergeron, Nordstrom – Halak 41 Saves; TOR: Tavares – Sparks 29 Saves)

Game 2: November 26th, 2018 – Maple Leafs def Bruins 4-2 (BOS: Pastrnak x2 – Halak 27 Saves; TOR: Dermott, Hyman, Leivo, Ozhiganov – Andersen 38 Saves)

Game 3: December 8th, 2018 – Bruins def Maple Leafs 6-3 (BOS: Backes, Donato, Krug, Forsbacka-Karlsson, Krejci, Heinen – Halak 29 Saves; TOR: Dermott, Johnsson, Matthews – Andersen 6 GA, 22 Saves, Sparks 4 Saves)

Game 4: January 12th, 2019 – Bruins def Maple Leafs 3-2 (BOS: Krejci, Kuraly, Pastrnak – Rask 32 Saves; TOR: Marner, Johnsson – Hutchinson 26 Saves)

In the four games against the Maple Leafs this season, the Black and Gold won three of them and lost only one game. The Bruins outscored the Leafs 16-10 within those games, including a six-goal performance on December 8th. David Pastrnak scored six goals in four games versus Toronto by himself.

Boston failed to score more than two goals in that series only one time, and it was the sole game that they lost. In that loss, Frederik Andersen stopped 38 of 40 shots against to seal the deal for Toronto.

Each and every one of those games had a type of intensity and energy that is not as present when either team plays another team. The Bruins did take the season series this year, three games to one, but the Leafs can very well perform better or worse come playoff time, and the same can be said for the B’s.

Winner: Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins, on paper, win three of the four categories that I have listed here today. With that said, that can all essentially be thrown out the window once the puck drops to signify the start to Game One as both teams will gain a brand new intensity and momentum that the playoffs bring.

If you are planning on making a wager on this series, I would recommend a prediction of seven games, at least. Either one of them can take the series at any given time, but with the experience of the past games dating back to 2017-18, these two Original Six franchises have so many glaring similarities and yet, differences. The question is, is will those differences be enough to win four games? That is the main goal for either club.

It doesn’t stop there either. The Bruins have a tougher roster mentally, at least what has been shown this season and that will most definitely play a factor in who advances to the second round. Whether you are a Boston Bruins fan or a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, prepare for yet another nail-biting, entertaining, exciting matchup between the team we love to cheer for and the team we love to cheer against.

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 Game 77 Preview: New York Rangers

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Boston Globe)

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

The Boston Bruins’ 2018-19 regular season is just about over and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are around the corner, but the eyes need to stay in the present as the Bruins can still lose home-ice advantage against the Maple Leafs for the opening round of the post-season. The Bruins are reeling after a 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, but still have a five-point lead on Toronto for second in the Atlantic.

The New York Rangers are twelfth in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 29-33-13. The Rangers are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention this season, marking the second consecutive season they will miss the post-season after clinching the previous seven seasons. The Rangers are 2-6-2 in their last ten games with a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins being their most recent game on March 25th.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 20-10-4 2.31 GAA .924 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 7-3 win vs FLA

NYR: Henrik Lundqvist (Likely) 18-20-10 2.99 GAA .909 SV% Last Game: 27 Saves in 3-2 loss to DET

Who’s Hot

Brad Marchand is closing out his best season of his NHL career to date the way he has been all season, on fire. Marchand has seven points in just his last three games for the Bruins, including a two-goal performance in the loss to Tampa Bay. The recent success brings Marchand’s season totals to 34 goals, 60 assists for 94 points. With six games left to go, Marchand needs to average a point-per-game to reach the 100-point plateau and it is very well reachable.

Brad+Marchand+New+York+Rangers+v+Boston+Bruins+gjREyyREm5Zl

PHOTO CREDITS: (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

Kevin Shattenkirk was brought onto the Rangers a few seasons ago to strengthen their back-end and to make a push for a long post-season. Well in 2018-19 the Rangers are not a playoff team, but Shattenkirk is still having a decent season. The 30-year-old defenceman has twenty-seven points on the year, three of which coming in the last four games. 

David Backes has been struggling for the Bruins for the good majority of the season, but on this final push to the post-season, the 34-year-old forward has been doing quite well. Backes has 1-2-3 numbers in the last three games and has been one of the hardest working forwards on the bottom-six. I personally have been impressed with his play and I truly hope he can continue that heading into the first round.

Who’s Not

Jimmy Vesey was once a highly-touted forward that many teams wanted their hands on. However, in August of 2016 he signed with the New York Rangers. In 2018-19, Vesey has 16-18-34 numbers in 76 games but more recently, is on a terrible 12-game pointless streak and boasts a -5 rating in the last five games combined.

Not many Bruins are struggling or having poor performances as of late, but the entire team fell off in the final period against the Lightning. Almost every player on the ice made some error that led to Tampa erasing Boston’s two-goal lead to win the game in regulation time. The Bruins looked unenthusiastic and absolutely drained. If there is one thing to work on from that game heading into tonight’s, it is playing a full 60-minute hockey game.

Chris Kreider has been one of those players that teams are well aware of when you play the New York Rangers but like everyone in New York this season, he is struggling to play at a high level. The Boxford, Massachusetts native has 26-23-49 totals in 73 games played and has not found his name on the score-sheet in five straight. On March 13th, Kreider had 15 penalty minutes and against a dangerous Bruins power-play, he cannot do the same tonight.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (25) from passing Rick Middleton (25) for sole possession of most SHG in Bruins history

New York Rangers:

  • F Pavel Buchnevich is four points away (96) from 100 career NHL points

Bruins vs Rangers Outlook

The New York Rangers are one of only six teams in the NHL that Boston currently has a below-.500 point percentage against. The two Original Six teams have played twice before this season, both times going to the team from the Big Apple. On January 19th, the Rangers won 3-2 in regulation and won again a month later on February 6th in a 4-3 shootout. In that game last month, the two teams had a 3-on-3 overtime session that you just had to see.

Once again heading into tonight’s game, the specialty teams of the Bruins will most likely play a large role in the outcome. The Bruins have the third-best power-play at just over a 26 percent success rate, scoring 61 goals on the man-advantage this year. The Bruins penalty-kill has been solid as well. In the third against Tampa Bay, the B’s killed off a four-minute penalty brilliantly and was quite impressive. It is sitting at 81.5%, 10th-best in the league.

The Rangers aren’t as good, clearly. They have the 17th-best power-play, scoring 41 goals at just over 19% accuracy. On the penalty-kill, New York is the sixth-worst while short-handed, killing off only 78% of their league-high 10.1 penalty minutes-per-game.

Puck drop from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts is scheduled for 7pm EST. Below were the line rushes from morning practice for your Boston Bruins.

Forward Marcus Johansson and defenceman Torey Krug are likely to return to the lineup for the Bruins, some big pieces to get back for this contest. John Moore, injured in the last game against the Lightning, is week-to-week with an upper-body injury while D Matt Grzelcyk and D Kevan Miller are “probable for the weekend” according to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy.

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!  

-> Click Here For The Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com <- 

Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Image result for tampa bay lightning vs boston bruins(Photo Credits: Last Word On Hockey)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The Boston Bruns continue with their road trip down south as they look to extend their winning streak to five games as they face the league’s number one team. Boston is coming off a 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers, clinching their ticket into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In their third meeting of the season, Boston lost their first tilt 2-3 against the Lightning, however, the Bruins would avenge that loss and defeat Tampa Bay 4-1 on February 28th. With the recent win over the Panthers, the B’s would reach the 100-point plateau for the 23rd time overall (most for any team in NHL history). As the team continues to deal with the loss of Sean Kuraly, Coach Bruce Cassidy had had to tweak up his fourth line. The new combination of Joakim Nordstrom, David Backes, and Noel Acciari have bode well for the team-they have goals in their recent road trip.

“Just three guys that have been looking for a spot to fit and guys are willing to work hard, be tough to play against and be simple and predictable to each other”-David Backes

Image result for tampa bay lightning vs boston bruins(Photo Credits: David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

As the regular season winds down to a close, the Bruins team are looking to once again regain some healthy bodies back. Marcus Johansson, who had been nursing a contused lung, joins the team in Tampa Bay and will be a game-time decision for tonight. Johansson did participate during Sunday’s skate at the Lightning’s Arena alongside Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. 

Injured defenseman Torey Krug also skated Sunday in a gold non-contact jersey. Chris Wagner had a maintenance day on Sunday but is expected to play tonight. Both Matt Grzelcyk and Kevan Miller joined the team and did practice some skating drills.

Right-winger David Pastrnak is returning back to form and still leads the team with 33 goals. His linemate Brad Marchand is right behind with 32 goals and leads the team in assists (60) for 92 points. The top line has had a successful reunion as evident in their recent 7-3 win with all three netting a goal. The Bruins are now 46-20-9, second in the Atlantic Division and third in the league.

THE BOLTS

The Lightning are having a ridiculous season and have reached an unprecedented 120 points with their 58 wins-tied for the fourth most in NHL history. Tampa Bay have three players that are nearing the 40-goal mark this season: Brayden Point, Steve Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov. Incredibly Kucherov has the same amount of points as the team at 120 points.  He leads the team in both points and assists with 83. Point leads the team with 40 goals. Steven Stamkos was recently named NHL’s Second Star of the week.

Image result for tampa bay lightning vs boston bruins(Photo Credits: Mike Carlson/Getty Images North America)

Tampa Bay is looking to start a new winning streak as they fell to the St. Louis Blues 3-4. They begin a two-game homestead at the Amalie Arena.  The Lightning recently clinched the President’s Trophy. The Bruins are 17-3-1 in their last 21 games. Stamkos has accumulated eight points in the last few games while Marchand has 21 points in his last 13 games. Expect Tuukka Rask in net tonight for Boston and for the Lightning expect Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Rask is now 26-10-5 with goals against average of 2.35 and a save percentage of .918. Vasilevskiy is 26-9-4 with goals against average of 2.33 and a save percentage of .928. Here are the projected lines for both Boston and Tampa Bay:

BOSTON:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Johannson

Heinen-Coyle-Wagner

Nordstrom-Acciari-Backes

Chara-McAvoy

Carlo-Clifton

Kampfer-Moore

Rask

Halak

 

TAMPA:

Palat-Stamkos- Miller

Johnson-Point-Kucherov

Killorn-Cirelli-Joseph

Erne-Paquette-Callahan

Hedman-Sergachev

McDonagh-Cernak

Coburn-Rutta

Vasilevskiy

Domingue

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:30 pm, Amalie Arena

WHERE TO WATCH: ESNP+, SUN, NESN

 

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