Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 7 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week seven of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 8-6-0-2 (18 points), including 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Providence club is coming off a week they would rather forget. Our boys in black and gold were able to down the Sound Tigers 4-1, before falling to Hartford 2-1 and Bridgeport 2-0. With only two games this weekend, we hope the Bruins get back to their winning ways.

The hockey action starts on Friday, November 15, 2019, when the Hartford Wolf Pack invades Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Dunk. To end the weekend, Providence returns the favor and heads down to Hartford, Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center on Saturday, November 16, 2019. It is going to be an exciting week of hockey that you do not want to miss.

Friday, November 15, 2019 (HOME) Saturday, November 16, 2019 (AWAY) Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack

This weekend’s matchups will mark the second and third of 10 meetings the two teams will have this year. In the first meeting, the Bruins would fall 2-1. Providence got their lone goal from Jack Studnicka. Goalie Kyle Keyser was up to the task in net stopping 23 of 25 shots that were fired his way.

The home and home battle with the Hartford club is going to be challenging. The Rangers’ affiliate comes into the game 10-1-0-4 (24 points), including 6-1-0-3 in their last 10 games. This is good for first in the Atlantic Division and first in the Eastern Conference. Even though it’ll be a tough few games, there is hope for the Bruins.

Over the past five seasons, our boys in black and gold have gone 21-12-4-2, including 13-5-1-1 at the Dunk. The Wolf Pack has seen success this season thanks to a stifling defense. They’ve given up only 33 goals in 15 games. This means they’re giving up only 2.2 goals a game. Only one other team in the Eastern Conference has given up fewer goals.

To add to their defense, the New York affiliate has only given up six goals in 51 penalty kill opportunities. That’s an excellent 88.2%, which is good for third in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. They’ve also only given up two shorthanded goals.

To compare, the Providence Bruins have given up 10 goals in 74 penalty kill opportunities. That’s 86.5%, which is good for fifth in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. The spoked P has also given up a league-leading three shorthanded goals.

One area the Providence club needs to work on is the number of penalties they take. They are taking 4.62 penalties a game. They cannot be giving other teams that many power-play opportunities. When a team is on the penalty kill that often, it’s difficult to build offensive momentum. It’s going to be a hard-fought weekend series. Let’s hope our boys in black and gold are up to the task.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Hot

Jack Studnicka: Jack Studnicka has had an excellent start to his first full professional season. In 16 games, the young center netted four goals and dished out six assists for 10 total points. This includes netting four goals and dishing out three assists for seven points in his last 10 games. The OHL product has been a revelation on offense and is developing exactly how the team would want. Let’s hope Studnicka can keep up his high level of play.

Paul Carey: Paul Carey has been excellent for the Providence Bruins this season. The team’s captain in 16 games has netted seven goals and dished out six assists for 13 total points. This includes netting five goals and dishing out four assists and nine total points in his last 10 games. The former Boston College Eagle and NCAA champion has not only contributed to the scoresheet but also provided excellent leadership for a young team.

Not

Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald has been good overall this season, netting four goals and dishing out three assists for seven total points in 16 games. Despite this, he’s gone pointless in his last six games played. The former Boston College Eagle will hopefully break this slump soon. With players going up and down due to injuries in Boston, Providence needs Fitzgerald to pick up some slack.

Trent Frederic: Trent Frederic has had an up and down season. In 15 games, the former Wisconsin Badger hasn’t netted any goals and dished out five assists for five total points. The young forward hasn’t registered a point in his last five games. Frederic is one of the better prospects in the Bruins system. Hopefully, he can turn his season around.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Peter Cehlarik: Peter Cehlarik has been excellent in his time with Providence this season. In nine games, the native of Slovakia has netted six goals and dished out four assists for 10 total points. Also of note, in seven games against Hartford last season, he netted three goals and dished out two assists for five total points. Look for him to have a big weekend.

On The Blue Line

Alex Petrovic: Alex Petrovic has been excellent for the Providence Bruins this year. It’s his first season with the club, and in 15 games, he’s netted two goals and dished out 10 assists for 12 total points. The WHL product has also played excellent defense for our boys in black and gold this season. Look for him to continue his play against Hartford.

In Net

Max Lagace: Max Lagace has been excellent for the Providence Bruins net. The QMJHL product has gone 6-2-1 this season, with a 2.02 GAA and a .936 save percentage. He’s also had three shutouts this season. He’s provided leadership to the young goaltenders Dan Vladar and Kyle Keyser.

The Providence Bruins have had a superb start to their season. In previous years, they’ve started out slow and then came on hot the second half of the year. This year our boys in black and gold are bucking that trend. They have a wealth of talent and could go far this year. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!

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Bruins Issue Update On Senyshyn, Recall Frederic

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Photo Courtesy Of Yahoo Sports

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced this morning that forward Zach Senyshyn suffered a lower body injury in the B’s game against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night and will be reevaluated in four weeks. Sweeney also announced the team has recalled forward Trent Frederic from Providence. Senyshyn has skated in four games for Boston this season, posting two assists. He’s also appeared in 12 games for Providence, recording a goal and two assists. Frederic has tallied five assists in 12 games for Providence. This will be his first appearance in Boston this season.

Frederic appeared in 15 games in Boston last year, going scoreless and making his debut on January 29th against the Winnipeg Jets. Frederic skated in 55 regular season games for Providence last year, posting 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points. He also appeared in four playoff games, posting two assists. The St. Louis, Missouri native was originally drafted by the Bruins in the first round (29th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

On one end this is tough news for Senyshyn who seemed to be finding his footing at the NHL level on his second career call up but it’s obviously great news for Frederic who will make his second appearance in Boston since being drafted and may make his season debut tomorrow night in Toronto. The B’s continue to have the injury bug especially in their bottom six but it’ll be interesting to see what Frederic and bring to the table. Also here’s hoping Senyshyn can return to the NHL again this season after his return from injury.

Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 6 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week six of the AHL season has arrived, and the Providence Bruins are 7-4-0-2 (16 points). They are also 4-4-0-2 in their last 10 games. This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat the then-undefeated Utica Comets 2-0. The Providence club would follow that big win up with a loss to the Hershey Bears 5-3. Week six sees the Bruins end their current four-game road trip before coming home for two games to wrap up the weekend.

The weekend action starts out on Saturday, November 9, 2019, when the Providence Bruins wrap their road trip by invading Bridgeport, Connecticut, to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena. The hockey battles continue on Sunday, November 10, 2019, when the Hartford Wolf Pack make their way to Providence, Rhode Island to take on the Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Finally, the spoked P wraps up their week on Monday, November 11, 2019, when the Bruins take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Dunk.

Saturday, November 9, 2019, (AWAY) and Monday, November 11, 2019, (HOME) Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

The Providence Bruins bookend their week with the second and third of 12 matchups against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In the first meeting, the Bruins shutout the Islanders’ affiliate 4-0. The spoked P got goals from Peter Cehlarik, Cameron Hughes, Robert Lantosi, and Ryan Fitzgerald. Goalie Max Lagace was superb in net stopping all 30 shots he faced.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers provide a favorable matchup for the Providence club. The Bridgeport club comes into the weekend 3-7-2-1 (9 points) and 2-6-1-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for eighth in the Atlantic Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference.  Furthermore, the Bruins are 22-16-6-3 against the Islanders’ affiliate over the past five seasons.

The biggest key to Bruins’ victory in these two games is taking an early lead and keeping it. The Sound Tigers are 0-3-1 when trailing after one and 0-6-1 when trailing after two. To add insult to injury, the Bridgeport club in 13 games has only scored 25 goals while giving up 46. Not only is this a horrendous -21 goal differential, but they’re only scoring 1.92 goals a game while giving up  3.53. They are giving up almost double what they’re actually scoring. This isn’t a winning formula.

To compare, the Providence Bruins are 5-0 when leading after one period and 5-0 when leading after two periods. They’ve also scored 41 goals while giving up only 31 in 13 games. That means, not only do they have a plus-six goal differential, but they are scoring 3.15 goals a game while only giving up 2.69. These are two games that the Providence club has to win. You have to beat teams you’re supposed to beat if you want to succeed.

Sunday, November 10, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME)

Week six continues when the Hartford Wolf Pack take on the Providence Bruins in a Sunday afternoon battle. It will be the first of 10 meetings the two clubs will have. This is going to be a tough game for our boys in black and gold. The Rangers’ affiliate comes into the matchup 8-1-0-3 (19 points) and 6-1-0-3 in their last 10 games. This is good for first in the Atlantic Division as well as first in the Eastern Conference.

Despite this uphill battle, there is hope for the Providence Bruins. They have seen success against Hartford in recent years. Over the past five seasons, our boys in black and gold have gone 21-11-4-2, including 13-4-1-1 at the Dunk. The Wolf Pack has seen success this season thanks to a stifling defense. They’ve given up only 27 goals in 12 games. This means they’re giving up only 2.25 goals a game.

Only one other team in the Eastern Conference has given up fewer goals. To add to their defense, the New York affiliate has only given up five goals in 44 penalty kill opportunities. That’s an excellent 88.6%, which is good for second in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. They’ve also only given up one shorthanded goal.

To compare, the Providence Bruins have given up 10 goals in 59 penalty kill opportunities. That’s 83.1%, which is good for fifth in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. The spoked P has also given up a league-leading three shorthanded goals. It’s going to be a challenging game for our boys in black and gold. They’ll need to be on top of their game if they want the two points.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Hot

Paul Carey: Paul Carey has been excellent for the Providence Bruins since coming to them in a trade midseason last year. Coming into this season, the former Boston College Eagle was named the team’s Captain. The veteran forward has taken the captaincy and ran with it. In 13 games this season, he’s netted seven goals and dished out three assists for 10 total points. That includes points in eight of his last 10 games, scoring six goals and dishing out three assists for nine total points in that time frame.

Robert Lantosi: This is Robert Lantosi’s first professional season in North America. The young forward has spent his entire career playing in Sweden and Slovakia. He would play all of last season for HK Nitra of the Tipsport Liga, which is Slovakia’s highest hockey league. In 56 games with HK Nitra, he netted 20 goals and dished out 38 assists for 58 total points. So far this season, in nine games with Providence, the Slovakia native has netted three goals and dished out four assists for seven total points. This includes points in six of nine games this season.

Not

Urho Vaakanainen: Urho Vaakanainen came into the season one of the Bruins’ brightest prospects. The young defenseman had an excellent first season, last year. In 13 games this season, the Native of Finland hasn’t found the back of the net and has dished out two assists for two total points. This includes not registering a point in his last 10 games. He also doesn’t look as confident on the ice as he did last season. Let’s hope he shakes off the rust soon.

Pavel Shen: This is also Pavel Shen’s first professional season in North America. The young forward comes the Providence after spending the beginning of his career in Russia. The native of Russia has had mixed reviews since coming to Providence. In nine games so far this season, he hasn’t found the back of the net and has dished out two assists for two total points. Though it’s been a tough start, let’s hope he break out of his slump soon.

My Players to Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Jack Studnicka: Jack Studnicka came into the season with a lot of hype. The young center is one of the Bruins’ best prospects, and he’s exciting the fanbase. In 13 games this season, the OHL product has netted two goals while dishing out six assists for eight total points. Not too bad for just starting his first full professional season. He also registered an assist in the first matchup against Bridgeport. Look for him this weekend.

On The Blue Line

Jakub Zboril: Jakub Zboril has had a great start to his 2019-2020 season. In 13 games, the young defenseman has netted one goal and dished out four assists for five total points. He’s also playing great defense. I believe he’s starting to look like the player they drafted. Also of note, in 18 games against Bridgeport and Hartford last season, he netted two goals and dished out five assists for seven total points. Look for him to have a big weekend.

In Net

Max Lagace: Max Lagace has had an excellent start to his first season in Providence. He’s 5-1-1 with a 2.15 GAA and a .930 save percentage. The veteran netminder leads the league in shutouts with three. Lagace was also in the net when Providence shutout Bridgeport earlier this season. With two games against the Sound Tigers this weekend, I’d expect him to have a big weekend.

The Providence Bruins have had an excellent start to their season. They’ve been hovering right around the top of the standings all year. One of the biggest positives I’ve seen this year is their ability to bounce back. Whenever they’ve had a rough loss, they seem able to put it behind them before the next game. We’ve also seen them come back in a few games this year as well. That is huge for such a young team. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!

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Report: Bruins Place F Nordstrom on IR, Recall F Cehlarik From AHL

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images)

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

While most Boston Bruins fans were asleep, the CapFriendly Transactions Twitter page, (@CF_Transactions) announced that forward Joakim Nordstrom has been placed on the injured reserve and forward Peter Cehlarik has been recalled from the American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

Joakim Nordstrom, 27, has missed the last two games for the Bruins with what is being determined an “infection in his elbow” and he needs to allow it to “cool down” according to numerous sources. On October 29th, Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said the following in a press conference about Nordstrom.

“He [Nordstrom] had an infection in his elbow. I don’t know what the timeline is, to be honest, but they have to let it calm down, so I’ll doubt we see him Saturday. After that, I’ll probably be able to give you a better update.” Cassidy goes on to say that he won’t necessarily rule Nordstrom out, “I shouldn’t even rule him out for Saturday, but I think that it was similar to what [David] Backes went through a few years ago.” – Bruce Cassidy via @nhlbruins on Twitter

Nordstrom has only played in four games so far in the 2019-2020 campaign after missing the first few games due to a broken foot sustained in the Stanley Cup Finals against the St. Louis Blues back in June. In those four games, the Stockholm, Sweden native has one goal and an even plus/minus rating averaging 13:33 minutes-per-game.

In practice on Friday, defenceman Connor Clifton was skating as the third-line right-wing while forward Brett Ritchie was absent. Cassidy later revealed that Ritchie’s absence in Friday’s practice was due to a maintenance day and he believes that the 26-year-old will play against Ottawa on Saturday, although, there was “some level of concern” with him missing practice.

Also on Friday, freelancing writer, Mark Divver (@MarkDivver on Twitter) tweeted that forward Peter Cehlarik had been recalled by Boston on a loan to the National Hockey League according to the AHL Transactions. The report of Nordstrom being placed on IR makes Divver’s report of Cehlarik’s arrival in Boston more understandable.

Cehlarik, 24, has one game under his belt for the NHL Bruins this season, playing 12:05 against the New York Rangers on Sunday night. Cehlarik finished the night with zero shots and a -2 rating before being sent back down to Providence due to the return of Chris Wagner against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

With the P-Bruins, Cehlarik has been lighting it up, scoring six goals and four assists for ten points in six games played. Cehlarik’s last game was a two-assist night against the Rochester Americans on Wednesday – a game Providence won by a final score of 4-3. Cehlarik re-signed with the Bruins organization this past offseason on a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 ($125,000 in minors) and will need a new deal come July 1st, 2020.

As of 2:00 am EST on Saturday, November 2nd, the Boston Bruins have not officially confirmed these transactions, they are strictly from the sites and sources provided above. The Boston Bruins play the Ottawa Senators in Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST from the TD Garden.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 151 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 5 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim Richardson| Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week five of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins are 6-3-0-2 (14 points). This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a rough week in which they lost 3-2 to Laval in a shootout. The Providence club would then fall to Belleville 4-3, before finally beating Rochester 4-3. The spoked P packs their bags and heads out on the road for both games this weekend. Let’s hope that it is a fruitful road trip for our boys.

The weekend action kicks off on Friday, November 1, 2019, when the Providence Bruins invade Utica, New York, to take on the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The weekend wraps up on Saturday, November 2, 2019, when the Providence Bruins make their way down to Hershey, Pennsylvania, to take on the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center. It should be an exciting weekend of hockey that you do not want to miss.

Friday, November 1, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Utica Comets (AWAY)

The Providence Bruins kick off their weekend against the Utica Comets in a Friday night matchup. It will be the first of two meetings the two clubs will have this season. Over the past five seasons, this has been a favorable matchup for the Providence club going 7-5, including 4-2 at Utica. Despite the record, this game may not be so easy. The Utica club enters the matchup 8-0 (16 points). This is good for first in the North Division and second in the Eastern Conference.

Utica has been doing it with a good offense and suffocating defense. The Vancouver affiliate has scored 39 goals in eight games. That’s an eye-popping 4.87 goals a game, which is by far the best in the Eastern Conference. That’s not all, the Comets have only given up 14 goals in their first seven games. That means they’re only giving up 1.75 goals a game.

To compare, the Providence Bruins have scored 36 goals in 11 games, which is 3.27 scored a game. Our boys in black and gold have given up 30 goals in 11 games. This is 2.72 goals given up a game. It’ll be a tough matchup, and the Providence club will need to be on their game if they want to come out with a win.

Saturday, November 2, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Hershey Bears (AWAY)

The weekend ends with a matchup at the Hershey Bears. It’s the second of six meetings the two clubs will have this season. In the first showdown, the Bruins came out on top 2-1 in overtime. They got goals from Ryan Fitzgerald and Brendan Gaunce. Netminder Dan Vladar was superb in net stopping 21 of 22 shots he faced.

The Hershey Bears come into the game 4-3-1-1 (10 points). This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Providence has had success against the Washington affiliate going 15-8-1-1 over the five seasons. This includes 6-6-1 at Hershey. Whichever team can grab an early lead and hold onto it will likely win this game.

The Providence Bruins are 4-0 when winning after the first period. When up after two, they are also 4-0. The Providence club is 1-3-0-1 when trailing after one period. When down after two periods, they are 0-1-0-1. The Hershey Bears are 1-0 when leading after one. When leading after the second, they are 2-0. The Hershey club is 1-1-1-1 when down after one. They are 0-3-0-1, when down after two. Expect the Bruins to win if they can grab that early lead.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Hot

Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald has had a great start to his season. In 11 games this season, he has netted four goals and dished out three assists for seven total points. The former Boston College Eagle has also registered a point in four of his last six games, which includes three goals and two assists for five points. With Anders Bjork being called up to Boston, Fitzgerald has picked up the slack on offense.

Trent Frederic: Trent Frederic finally finds himself in the hot category for the first time this season. In 11 games this season, he doesn’t have a goal but has dished out five assists for five total points. All five points have come in his past six games. The former Wisconsin Badger has picked up his game since the start of the season. Let’s hope the young center can keep up his play.

Not

Jeremy Lauzon: Jeremy Lauzon has had a rough start to the year. He’s playing decent enough defense but offensively hasn’t been great. In 11 games, he doesn’t have a goal and dished out three assists for three total points. The former Rouyn-Noranda Husky only has one point in his last five games. The Bruins hope the young defenseman can get out of his cold streak.

Cooper Zech: Cooper Zech jumped onto the scene last season after his freshman year at Ferris State University. The young defenseman signed an AHL contract and looked really good in limited time. That really hasn’t translated much this season. In seven games, he hasn’t scored a goal and dished out one assist for one total point. Let’s hope he can put the slow start behind him.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Jakub Lauko: Jakub Lauko came to Providence after having an excellent season with Rouyn-Noranda of the QMJHL last season. The young forward has had some growing pains, but overall looked good this season. He’s netted three goals and doesn’t have an assist for three total points in 11 games this year. I expect him to continue to develop and have an excellent season.

On The Blue Line

Alex Petrovic: Alex Petrovic has been excellent this season for Providence. In 11 games, he’s netted one goal and dished out nine assists for 10 total points. This includes one goal and six assists for seven points in his last six games. The veteran defenseman has done this all while playing good defense. Look for him to keep up his hot season.

In Net

Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser has played pretty well since being called up from Atlanta. In three games, he’s 1-1-1 with a 2.58 GAA and a .910 save percentage. The young netminder was called up because of injury, but he may stay in Providence if he continues this play. Look for him this weekend. He’s arguably the most talented goalie in the system.

Despite the rough week, the Providence Bruins have had a successful start to the season. Though they face some tough competition this weekend, I still think that they could come out on top in both games. This team has me excited. I think they could end up being one of the best Providence teams we’ve seen in a very long time. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!

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Providence Bruins Fall 4-3 To Belleville To Close Out Disappointing Weekend

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(Photo: Providence Bruins via Flickr)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

PROVIDENCE – The Providence Bruins fell to the Belleville Senators by a final score of 4-3 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon. The loss came as the second in a row for Providence as the team fell in a shootout to the Laval Rocket at the Dunk on Saturday night during Pink in the Rink Weekend. Maxime Lagace got the start in net for Jay Leach’s group while Filip Gustavsson went for Belleville.

“It’s certainly disappointing,” Leach said of only getting one point out of the weekend after the loss. “We’ve certainly got our work cut out for us moving forward.”

The P-Bruins got out to a hot start in this one as Jakob Lauko took a feed from Zach Senyshyn, who danced though a couple Sens defenders, and shoveled a shot from the high-slot past Gustavsson, giving Providence a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the opening frame. Alex Petrovic, who had himself a solid night, picked up the secondary assist.

Belleville answered quickly, though, as Jonathan Aspirot beat Lagace from long-range for his first professional goal to tie things at one apiece about three minutes after Lauko’s third of the year. Aspirot’s tally accentuated what was already a strong start for Belleville as the Sens had their way with the P-Bruins on the forecheck during the early proceedings of the first period.

Ryan Fitzgerald broke the tie for Providence with 8:10 to go in the first as Chris Breen’s shot with a purpose found Fitzgerald’s stick for the redirect into the back of the net. The Baby B’s were not able to enjoy the lead for long as a breakdown in coverage led to Michael Carcone blasting a one-timer into the wide open cage to tie things at 2-2.

Stuart Percy went to the box, giving Providence a power play late in the period, but the Bruins’ inability to capitalize was a huge lift for Belleville as Drake Batherson drove into the Providence zone on the rush after the penalty kill and zipped a slapper passed Lagace to give Belleville a 3-2 lead. It was the third goal Lagace had given on just six shots.

“I’m not going to blame Max on all of it, but I’m sure he’d like to have one or two of those back,” Leach continued. “Sometimes in these games we need a bit of a wakeup call, so he was more of a sacrificial lamb for us today.”

“[The decision to pull him] was almost like ‘look, this guy’s been great and he just had two shutouts for you–he’s now pulled–so it’s time to wake up.’ Certainly not going to put it on him.”

Kyle Keyser would get the nod in the second period after a shaky first from Lagace. About midway through an evenly-matched second, Providence forward Robert Lantosi went down in quite a bit of discomfort and eventually would head to the dressing room holding a towel to his face–he would return to finish the game, though.

Even though Lantosi would appear to be fine, his injury certainly was not ideal for the P-B’s as the team was already shorthanded up front as Anders Bjork and Peter Cehlarik are with the big club in Boston while Brendan Gaunce is out with a concussion.

The Bruins would ratchet up the pressure in the second as Keyser held the fort in his own end, highlighted by a sprawling save to keep Providence in it. With 4:00 remaining in the middle stanza and with Providence on a 5-on-3 power play, Petrovic sent a nifty cross-ice saucer pass to captain Paul Carey, who one-timed his fifth of the year by Gustavsson to bring the game back to even.

The tie would stand after two periods, but not before Lauko almost gave Providence the lead as his snapper found its way through Gustavsson’s paraphernalia before a Belleville defender was able to sweep the puck off the goal line.

Early in the third period, Trent Frederic and Robert LaBate would exchange pleasantries and eventually, fists in what was a spirited bout. LaBate may have had the advantage during the early going of the fight, getting Frederic to do his best headless horseman impression in the spirit of Halloween as his sweater was pulled over his head, but after the officials, surprisingly, did not step in, Frederic landed several haymakers, earning the knockout on LaBate.

The tempers and animosity would flare following the fight as Urho Vaakanainen would take exception to a Sens forechecker after a stoppage in play and Cooper Zech would take a hard cross-check from Vitalii Abramov later on.

Keyser would be tested frequently during the third as he made an impressive save on a point-blank one-time bomb look easy. However, after two initial saves from the Bruins’ goaltender, Abramov had the puck squirt out to him in front as he jammed it into the yawning cage to put the Sens up 4-3.

“On that last [goal] Keyser made about two real good saves at first before it even goes in, so we can’t really expect much more out of him on that,” Leach noted.

Although the P-Bruins had a solid push late in the game, Abramov’s tally would prove to be the game-winner. Keyser made 20 saves on 21 shots in relief of Lagace while Gustavsson came up with 28 saves in his own right.

“[Since the call-up] Keyser’s been real good,” the Providence bench boss spoke of his rookie goaltender. “He’s real athletic and he fights to see every puck . . . He’s given us a chance to win every night.”

The overall result is certainly disappointing, but there were still some impressive individual performances for Providence in this one, starting with Keyser. Senyshyn easily had his best game of the season while Petrovic had a two-assist night. With his goal, Fitzgerald now has five points (3G, 2A) over his last five contests, too. Also, Carey extended his point-streak to four games.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Leach said of Senyshyn’s performance. “If he can play like that it’s a great stride. [It’s] great for us and certainly great for him.”

Keyser was called up early on in the year for Providence after Dan Vladar went down with an injury. The goaltender in his first professional season was supposed to start the year in Atlanta, Boston’s ECHL-affiliate, but was pulled back to the Baby B’s before he even got a game in with the Gladiators.

“That’s pro hockey for you. You have to expect the unexpected at all times,” Keyser described. “You have to be ready to run whenever they call your name.”

“For me, it’s about staying focused and staying in the present. Whenever I’m called upon, I’ve just got to go out and do my own thing.”

Providence will return to action this Wednesday as the team will travel to Rochester for a tilt with the Americans, Buffalo’s AHL-affiliate. The action is slated to get underway at 7:05 pm–stay tuned for Tim Richardson’s preview for the week!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 003 that we recorded on 10-23-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Prospect Beecher Notches First NCAA Goal For Wolverines

( Photo Credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins 2019 first-round draft pick John Beecher is off to a fantastic start to his collegiate hockey career. In five games thus far for the University of Michigan, the 18-year-old Elmira, New York native has four points in five games to begin his freshman year in the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Big Ten Conference. After posting his first career point with an assist in last Friday’s 4-0 victory over Lake Superior and a double helper the following night against the same Lakers club he went into last night’s contest against Western Michigan on a two-game point streak and thirsty for his first career goal.

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As seen in the official University of Michigan Wolverines Twitter Account above, at the 5:25 mark of the first period in a non-conference game against Western Michigan the wait for his first was finally over. With his first of many in last night’s contest at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan the B’s prospect extends his career-high point streak to three games and tied for first in the Wolverines team points at four. Fellow linemate and Bruins prospect Jack Becker who leads Michigan in goals is off to a great start to his Junior year also streaking in points with numbers in his last three games.

Both Wolverine forwards Becker and Beecher have worked well together to start the 2019-20 NCAA campaign after third-year Michigan Head Coach Mel Pearson put the pair together on the third line. Below is a Michigan Hockey official Tweet of an interview with Wolverines Assistant Coach Kris Mayotte and his thoughts after the former Bruins first-rounder got his first goal of the season.

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I know some Boston Bruins fans and prospects enthusiasts are frustrated to see Beecher playing a bottom 12 role but he’s a freshman with a lot to learn as he grows and develops. Having the will to do what it takes and learn what all forward lines can bring at any part of a hockey game is instrumental in today’s progression and climb to higher levels. For instance, Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko is a highly-touted prospect in the system and is currently playing in his first year as an American Hockey League rookie with the Providence Bruins and has constantly seen time on the third and fourth lines.

If you think about how recalls work in certain situations especially when it comes to an injury with the parent NHL Bruins club, it creates an upshift with the recalled player often seeing time slotted in the bottom six. Preparing players for these types of roles comes from the lower levels of the organization’s system and their roles on those same lines with the minor-pro affiliates. Now I know the NCAA and American Hockey League coaching styles are seemingly different but what Assistant Coach Mayotte said in the interview above (Pharaphasing Here), Beecher has time to grow and with that time he’ll earn bigger roles as he continues to develop.

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The Wolverines are back at it with another non-conference game against Western Michigan this time on the road tonight in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Lawson Arena. Michigan has an overall season record of 3-1-1 with a .700 winning percentage and scoring 14 goals in those games while giving up seven

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 003 that we recorded on 10-23-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Reportedly Recall F Anders Bjork

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(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Update: Don Sweeney officially announced the transaction this morning.

Just after midnight early Friday morning, Mark Divver reported that the Bruins have recalled forward Anders Bjork on an emergency basis from the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL-affiliate, as the move appeared in the AHL’s transaction list. This move was expected after Bjork was sent down in what was likely a paper transaction for salary cap reasons.

Bjork made his season debut on Tuesday in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 23-year old was a minus-one on the night, totaling four shots on goal in 13:17 of ice time. While his box score numbers did not pop, he certainly seemed to pass the ice test for head coach Bruce Cassidy, saying he thinks the young forward earned another look.

“He didn’t hurt us defensively, so that’s a good thing and that bodes well for him, and we’ll see if we find a spot for him on Saturday. But it’s looking that way,” Cassidy said.

The Notre Dame product has had quite the start with Providence as he looks to complete his first full professional season after his first two were cut short due to shoulder surgeries. So far, the winger has posted three goals and five assists for eight points in seven games with the P-Bruins to go along with a plus-five rating and a shooting percentage of 14.3% to start the season in the AHL.

Since the Bruins will not return to action until Saturday night as the St. Louis Blues return to town, it remains unclear if Bjork’s spot in the lineup will change. However, the injury to Karson Kuhlman will make things a little more interesting heading into the tilt.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 002 that we recorded on 10-8-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Can The Bruins Solve Their Secondary Scoring Issues?

Boston Bruins vs Calgary Flames

(Photo Credit: Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

By Joe Chrzanowski  |  Follow Me on Twitter @jchrz19

If you spend any time following Bruins fans on Twitter and other social media outlets (and I do), you might think the team had started out 2-6-1, instead of their actual record of 6-1-2. Losing two of the last three games to Tampa and Toronto in extra time was a little frustrating, but I thought the Bruins were the better team Saturday night against the Leafs and Andersen won the game for them. I’m not one of those “doom and gloom, the sky is falling” types to begin with, but even less so when the B’s have taken 14 out of a possible 18 points with Krejci missing most of the games.

That said, one of the things that was a problem early in the season last year was a lack of secondary scoring. Unfortunately, it has reared it’s ugly head again early this year. The Bruins have scored 26 goals as a team through nine games. The first line has accounted for 17 of those goals (Pasta has ten, Marchand five, and Bergeron two). The only two players not on the first line that have multiple goals this season are Danton Heinen and Brett Ritchie, the two guys that scored in the opening night win against Dallas.

As optimistic as I am, I don’t believe that relying on one line to score and having your goalies stand on their heads nightly is a sustainable model for success. You can get away with it during the regular season for a time, but eventually, it will catch up with you. It also tends to become even more of a problem in the playoffs. I’m not sure exactly why, but secondary scoring and more specifically the RW2 position seems to have been an issue since Jarome Iginla left.

So, what realistic moves can the B’s make to fix this issue? I’m here to tell you that it can be done “in-house” with three relatively painless moves. You want some additional good news? I’m going to tell you how the Bruins can do it without requiring you to pay for a subscription to our site.

Pasta Celly

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Move David Pastrnak Down

The first move in rebuilding the B’s sparse secondary scoring is to slide Pastrnak down to the second line. Before anyone starts wailing, yes, I am well aware of how good the Bruins first line is. And yes, after they move Pasta down with Krejci and DeBrusk, I will miss all the headlines about the Bruins having the best line in hockey, but it will be worth it. I won’t miss teams being able to largely shut down the Bruins offense in the playoffs by containing one line.

At the ripe old age of 23, Pastrnak has officially reached “carry a line” status in my opinion. After last night’s two-point effort, he has 17 points in the first nine games. This is the best start to a season by a Bruins player since Adam Oates in 1993-94. He’s going to produce no matter who he’s with, so if the Bruins can find a competent guy to replace him on the first line, they will definitely have at least two scoring lines. Which brings us to Step Two…

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(Photo Credit Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Put Danton Heinen On The First Line

Danton Heinen only has two points so far this season. This is not indicative of his overall play. He’s been more assertive and he’s shooting more while still giving the Bruins a high level of defensive play. He showed last season that not only could he hang on the top line, but that he could contribute there as well. During the 16 game span, while Pastrnak was out of the lineup with a wrist injury, Heinen had one goal and twelve assists over that time. In addition, the first line’s advanced and defensive numbers were significantly better than when Pasta was there.

I am in no way suggesting that Heinen is a better or more explosive player than David Pastrnak. What I AM saying is that he brings a different dynamic to the line. When he’s there, he allows Marchand and Bergeron to take more chances and be more creative because they know he will get back and cover. When Pasta is on the first line, I believe he becomes the focus of his linemates. They both will pass up scoring opportunities to get him the puck. When Heinen is in that RW1 position, those two become a bit more selfish and shoot more. When you have two players of that caliber firing the puck more often, it’s not a bad thing. With Heinen and Pasta now in the Top Six, Charlie Coyle needs a buddy on the third line that can take advantage of his puck possession skills. Enter the third and final step of my diabolical master plan…

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(Photo Credit: Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

Call Anders Bjork Up From Providence

Tuesday night we got our first taste of Anders Bjork in the B’s lineup and I thought he acquitted himself quite well. In 13:17 TOI, he had four shots, one giveaway and takeaway, and one block. He was a minus one, but also created a nice scoring chance and hit the crossbar. He also showed that he could play a Bottom 6 checking role effectively. The biggest takeaway for me was that he didn’t look out of place. The speed and physicality of the NHL game was not an issue.

Bjork was an “emergency recall” when David Krejci was placed on IR and had to be sent back down to Providence. This was done so a roster player would not have to be sent down and clear waivers. Given that, it would appear that Krejci is close to returning. I expect Bjork’s stay in PRO to be brief. With Karson Kuhlman out for at least four weeks (and probably longer) with a broken tibia, Bjork will likely be recalled again as soon as Kuhlman is placed on IR.

The only “fly in the ointment” is that it appears the Bruins want to keep Bjork on the left side. In the past, he played a lot of right-wing, but he looks more comfortable on his natural side. There was also some speculation that his tendency to get hit in the middle of the ice was partly due to playing the off-wing. Playing the left side should allow Bjork to come out of the Boston end much easier. This doesn’t appear to be a huge issue because Ritchie has been playing better and Heinen is capable of playing on the right side.

When Krejci returns, my forward lineup would be:

Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen

DeBrusk – Krejci – Pastrnak

Bjork – Coyle – Ritchie

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

That should give Boston two legitimate scoring lines and a third line that can contribute some offense as well. You can still keep Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak together on the man advantage. The powerplay is a pretty large part of their production and would remain unaffected. The best part of my plan is that it doesn’t require any outside personnel moves. This means that if it doesn’t work, Cassidy can always reunite the first line.

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Hopefully, Bruce reads my article, adopts my foolproof plan and massive improvements in the Bruins secondary scoring follows. Once that happens, I may not be writing as much, as I would expect Boston to offer me a coaching job. Unrealistic? Of course, but let a man dream.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 002 that we recorded on 10-8-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 4 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week four of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins have a record of 5-2-0-1 (11 points). This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a successful week. They fell to Laval 3-2. The Providence club would bounce back to beat Belleville 7-4, before shutting out Bridgeport 4-0. Week four sees the spoked P come back to Providence for the Pink in the Rink weekend at the Dunk to support breast cancer awareness. It’s an excellent weekend to catch a game.

The heart-stopping hockey action begins on Saturday, October 26, 2019, when the Laval Rocket travels to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Dunk. The weekend continues on Sunday, October 27, 2019, when the Belleville Senators invade the Dunkin Donuts Center. Finally, week four wraps up on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, when the Providence Bruins march to Rochester, New York, to take on the Rochester Americans at the Blue Cross Arena. It’s going to be an exciting week you don’t want to miss.

Saturday, October 26, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Laval Rocket (HOME)

The Providence Bruins kickoff their Pink in the Rink weekend with a game against the Laval Rocket. It’s going to be the third of four meetings between the two clubs. The Providence club lost the first meeting 5-4 in a shootout. They got goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Paul Carey, and Brendan Gaunce. Goalie Max Lagace was less than stellar in net, turning away 14 of the 18 shots he faced. Our boys in black and gold didn’t fare much better in the second meeting, losing 3-2. They got goals from Ryan Fitzgerald and Alex Petrovic. Goalie Max Lagace was better in net, stopping 27 of 30 shots fired his way.

The Montreal affiliate has started the season 3-5 (6 points). This is good for sixth in the North Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. Despite this, the Bruins have had trouble with Laval in the past. They’ve gone 2-2-0-2, including 1-1 at the Dunk. Even with the rough luck, I still believe our boys in black and gold should win this matchup.

Team defense and goaltending will be the two keys for Providence against Laval. The Laval club is giving up 3.12 goals a game. Their offense is scoring 2.50 goals a game. This means the Montreal Affiliate is giving up a little more than half a goal a game more than they’re scoring. Their two goalies have started out on opposite ends of the spectrum. Cayden Primeau is having an excellent first season so far, going 2-2 with a 2.03 GAA and a save percentage of .933%. Charlie Lindgren has had a rough start, going 1-3 with 3.24 GAA and a .881% save percentage.

To compare, the Bruins are giving up 2.50 goals a game. They’re also scoring 3.37 goals a game. This means our boys in black and gold are scoring .87 more goals a game than they’re giving up. Veteran goalie Max Lagace has had an excellent start, going 3-1-1 with a 1.93 GAA and a .935% save percentage with two shutouts. Dan Vladar has gone 1-1 with a 2.57 GAA and a .897% save percentage. Youngster, Kyle Keyser is 1-0 with a 4.02 GAA and a .867% save percentage.

Sunday, October 27, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Belleville Senators (HOME)

The Pink in the Rink weekend wraps up in Providence when The Belleville Senators come to town. It’ll the second and final meeting between the two clubs this season. In the first meeting, the Providence club came out on top 7-4. They got goals from Oskar Steen, Jakub Lauko, Robert Lantosi, Cameron Hughes, Peter Cehlarik, Jack Studnicka, and Paul Carey. Goalie Kyle Keyser was up to the task in net, stopping 26 of the 30 shots he faced.

The Belleville Senators have started the season 2-4 (4 points). This is good for eighth in the North Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have had success against the Ottawa affiliate recently. They’ve gone 3-1, including 2-0 at the Dunk. Five on Five play is going to be the biggest key to victory for our boys in black and gold.

During their first matchup, the Bruins penalty kill was horrendous, giving up four goals in five opportunities. The power-play wasn’t much better, scoring only one goal in three chances. A deep-dive reveals that special teams are a real problem for the Providence club. Our boys in black and gold have given up nine goals in 36 penalty kill opportunities. This is only good for 75%. They’ve also given up two shorthanded goals.

The Bruins have also only converted on five of 34 power-play chances. These means at five on five, the Providence club has scored 22 goals, while only giving up nine. Belleville meanwhile has scored nine goals and given up 20, in the same situation. If the spoked P can keep their special teams off the ice, they should dominate the game. In their previous matchup, they had a six to nothing advantage when it was five on five.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (AWAY)

Week four wraps with a game against the Rochester Americans. It’ll be the final of two meetings these two clubs will have this season. In the first matchup, the Providence Bruins came out with a win 3-2. They got goals from Jakub Lauko, Anders Bjork, and Oskar Steen. Netminder Max Lagace was excellent, turning away 30 of 32 shots he faced.

The Rochester Americans have started out the season 4-2-0-1 (9 points). This is good for third in the North Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Providence Bruins have had the Buffalo affiliate’s number in the past. They’ve gone 8-1 over the past five seasons, including 3-1 on the road. Shots on goal will end up being key in this game and not in the way you may expect.

The Rochester Americans are 3-2-0-1 when outshooting their opposition. This means they’ve had the shot advantage in every game they’ve played. To combat this, the Providence Bruins are 2-0 when being outshot by the team they’re playing. This includes the game they played against each other earlier this season. Something else to watch out for is team defense.

The Rochester club has given up 20 goals on the year while only scoring 19. This is a minus-one goal differential. Our boys in black and gold have scored 27 goals and given up 20. This is a plus-seven goal differential. When a team gives up more than they score, they aren’t able to sustain success. I expect Providence to come away with two points in this game.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Hot

Jack Studnicka: Jack Studnicka is one of the top three prospects in the Boston Bruins’ system. The young center came to Providence after an excellent season in the OHL, which saw him net 36 goals and dish out 47 assists for 83 total points split between Oshawa and Niagra. He’s scored one goal and tallied four assists for five points this season with Providence. He’s registered a point in five of eight games, including four of his last five. Let’s hope he keeps this hot streak up.

Peter Cehlarik: Cehlarik almost seems like a permanent fixture here in the hot category. This is because the young forward has had an excellent start to the season. In five games, he’s found the back of the net five times while also tallying two assists for seven points. He’s registered a point in four of the first five games he’s played.  With injuries starting to pile up in Boston, we may see Cehlarik called up before long.

Not

Cooper Zech: Zech is a player that I was really excited about going into the season. The young defenseman was coming off an excellent freshman season at Ferris State University, which earned himself an AHL contract with Providence. He’s a smaller offensive-minded defenseman who I expected big things from. To start the season, he’s played in five games and only registered one assist for one total point. Hopefully, Zech bounces back and can figure it out in Providence. I still expect good things from him.

Zach Senyshyn: Senyshyn seems to be a permanent fixture in the not category to begin the season. The former first-round pick has had a less than stellar start to the 2019-2020 season. In seven games he’s played in the young speedster has yet to register a point. His scoring has been down overall since joining the AHL. He has a .36 point per game total with Providence. This is much worse than the .91 point per game total he had in the OHL. The young forward did miss a game this year with an upper-body injury, so maybe that is playing a factor early on.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald is a guy who may get lost in the shuffle when talking about prospects, but he’s had a great start to the 2019-2020 season. In eight games this season, he’s netted three goals and dished out three assists for six total points. The former Boston College Eagle is also on a three-game point streak, which has seen him score two goals and tally two assists for four total points. Look for him this weekend.

On The Blue Line

Alex Petrovic: Alex Petrovic initially came to Boston on a PTO during training camp as a free agent. The Bruins liked what they saw and signed to a one-year two-way contract. The veteran defenseman has been great for Providence. In eight games, he’s netted one goal while dishing out five assists for six total points. The former Edmonton Oiler has also played well on defense. Let’s hope he keeps it up for Providence.

In Net

Max Lagace: Max Lagace has been excellent for Providence to start the season. The veteran netminder is 3-1-1 with a 1.93 GAA and a .935% save percentage. He’s also recorded two shutouts, including one in the team’s game Tuesday night against Bridgeport. No other goalie has that many shutouts so far this season. The Bruins’ deciding to sign Lagace was an excellent move. I think he will have a great year while being a mentor to Keyser and Vladar.

The Providence Bruins have started out hot in their first eight games of the season. With the amount of talent, our boys in black and gold have, this is not surprising. I still fully expect that the spoked P will come out with at least four of six points from this week’s games. All three games are winnable. One characteristic that all good teams possess is that they beat the teams that they should. If the Bruins want to prove they’re a good team, they need to win at least two of these next three games. Feel free to send me any questions or comments on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!

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