Providence Bruins Week 7 Preview

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By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Providence Bruins enter this weekend with a significant challenge on their plate.  Friday night they will face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who not only sit third in the division at the moment but were the force that ended the Bruins run for the Calder Cup in 2018.  Saturday night the Bruins will face the Rochester Americans who currently sit in first place in the North Division. The question that we face is whether the improvement the Bruins have shown in the past weeks is enough to overcome these challenges.

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Friday, November 16th Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (HOME)

The Dunkin Donuts Center will be haunted by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the first time since April when they beat the Bruins 4-3 to win the first round of the Calder Cup Play-Offs and put an end to the season for Providence.

With that being the last meeting between the two teams and many of the same players being on the ice, I would expect tensions to be running a little higher than normal.  This year’s batch of players has been more penalty prone on a good day, so this will no doubt be the situation on Friday as well.

Last season these two teams had a regular season head to head record of Providence 2 – Lehigh Valley 4, the same as the previous season.  Post-season the record was Providence 1 – Lehigh Valley 3. Statistically and historically the deck is stacked against the Bruins this Friday, their best bet is to believe in themselves, keep a level head, and bring the team effort that we saw this last weekend.

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Saturday, November 17th Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (HOME)

Saturday night brings the Rochester Americans to Providence to face the Bruins for the first of their two meetings this season. The two teams lie in different divisions, the Bruins in the Atlantic and the Amerks in the North, so they only meet twice.

The past two years, this arrangement has worked well for the Bruins as they have walked away winning both games in each of the seasons.  With a perfect record against this team in the past it would be easy to get overconfident.  Give me one second to slow your roll. Providence currently sits in 7th place in the Atlantic division with 12 points. The Amerks, on the other hand, are standing atop the North Division with 21 points.  That is more than enough to give me pause and remind me that nothing is ever as easy as it appears at first glance.  So, just as with Friday’s uphill battle the boys in Black and Yellow will have to bring their A-game and keep their wits about them if they are to keep their record against the Amerks a perfect one.

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My picks to watch this weekend:

Up Front:

Colby Cave and Anton Blidh– Both of these players have provided the consistency and leadership the team has needed through the beginning of the season.  Coach Leach even described the pair as the heartbeat of the team.  This weekend will definitely put a strain on the heartbeat, let’s see how they do.

On The Blue Line:

Cody Goloubef – This man’s name came up several times last weekend for me, I will be keeping a close eye on him this weekend to see if I am in fact seeing the positives I thought I saw.

In Net:

Dan Vladar – Having played only one game last weekend and being called up to Boston on an emergency basis, I want to see how he feels coming back home to the Dunk.

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Cheers to week seven and best of luck to our Baby B’s. The Providence Bruins Fan Club is holding a winter clothing drive.  If you have any gently used winter clothing feel free to bring it along and drop it in the donation box near their booth behind section 104.  I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always, take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!

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Providence Bruins Player Profile: Jakub Zboril

( Photo Credit:  Boston Herald )

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

When Jakub Zboril was drafted 13th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft defense was a major need that Bruins wanted to address. By most accounts they had. Zboril was thought of as good left shot two-way defenseman. He was not elite in any one area, but he also did not have any glaring weaknesses. He drew comparisons to NHL defenseman Keith Yandle, a top 4 defenseman that could be slotted into your lineup for many years to come. With all this praise and upside, you might be asking yourself “where is this guy, and what’s happened since being draft?” I am glad you asked because I am here to tell you just that.

After being drafted in June of 2015, Zboril finished up his second season in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs. In 50 games had 6 goals 14 assists for a total of 20 points with a +/- rating of +10. The playoffs, however, is where he really turned it on. In 17 playoff games, he had 2 goals 8 assists for 10 total points and a +2 rating. Not a bad season for a young defenseman who had just been drafted. Zboril seemed to carry the momentum of the playoffs into the next season in 50 games with Saint John he amassed 9 goals and 32 assists for 41 total points with a rating of +19. In 16 playoff games, he continued his hot streak with 3 goals and 4 assists in 16 games with a rating of +10 which helped lead Saint John capture the 2016-17 QMJHL Championship.

The 2017-18 season was Zboril’s first the AHL. Entering his first full season in professional hockey with the Providence Bruins there were a lot of high expectations, but also some questions arose surrounding his work ethic. It was reported during his first few rookie development camps that he did not bring the necessary energy to compete at a high level. These first impressions while fair, or unfair have followed him throughout. The talent was never in question, it was just the work ethic and the ability to stay consistent. During the 2017-18 after starting off slow Zboril put together a nice season registering 4 goals and 15 assists for 19 total points and a rating of +12. He did not register a point and had an even rating in the teams 4 playoff games.

He did draw praise after his first full season with Providence. The Bruins wanted him to work on his defensive consistency during the season, and he did a pretty good job of that during the year. The offensive tools that were on display in the QMJHL were also evident during the year. Something else that came out of this year is by all accounts he adopted some good work habits on and off the ice. Zboril’s development seemed to be coming on nicely which is what you want to hear about your high draft picks.

Coming into this season the team still had high hopes for Zboril, but he may have been lost in the shuffle a little bit. 2016 first round draft pick Charlie McAvoy has played well since being drafted, and fellow 2015 defensive draft pick Jeremy Lauzon in some people’s eyes may have leaped ahead of Zboril with his play and development. To start off this year, Zboril battled a concussion in camp and had a slow start. However, recently he has played well and has 2 goals and 2 assists in his first 13 games this season. He still shows the offensive potential he had when drafted while also coming into his own defensively as well.

Zboril’s development may be coming along slower than some people and fans may like but easing a player into a role isn’t a bad thing. The Bruins have the luxury of playing the slow game with Zboril because of the play of guys like McAvoy and the development of Jeremy Lauzon. If the Bruins play this correctly and they do ease him into a role, I think it is something that will pay off huge dividends in the long run. In a year or two, the Bruins could have a young talented defense comprised of mostly players they developed on their own. When Zboril was drafted in 2015 that seemed like a pipe dream. However, if you’re patient and careful with Jakub Zboril’s development that pipe dream will be a reality, and it will be an absolute joy to watch.

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Bruins Recall Zboril, Miller Travels for Road Trip

Image result for jakub zboril

Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

By: Spencer Fascetta | Follow Me on Twitter @PuckNerdHockey

It appears that the litany of injury issues that have plagued the Boston Bruins is not going away any time soon. With Brandon Carlo being felled in Saturday night’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins recalled defenseman Jeremy Lauzon on an emergency basis for the second time this season. Lauzon proceeded to then tally his first NHL goal in Sunday’s victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The B’s have announced that Carlo will remain in Boston with his undisclosed injury for the duration of the upcoming road trip, leaving them with only 6 healthy defensemen on their NHL roster.

Image result for Brandon Carlo

Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

To remedy this, former 13th Overall Selection Jakub Zboril has been recalled to travel with the team. Zboril, 21, is in his second professional season with the AHL’s Providence Bruins. Through 13 games, he has 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points. His first season with the Baby B’s was rocky, to say the least, as he spent time both on the top defensive pairing and in the press box as a healthy scratch. His chances for breaking camp with the NHL team were slim, but he still looked reasonably comfortable in the games he played. This makes Zachary Senyshyn (15th Overall) the only player of the 6 the Bruins took in the first two rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft who has yet to see any time on the NHL roster. Zboril will not play this evening against Colorado, but could see action should Head Coach .Bruce Cassidy feel the lineup needs a shake-up or another injury occurs during the rest of the road trip.

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Photo Credit: Winslow Townsend/USA TODAY Sports

Should Zboril not be inserted into the lineup by the time the trip ends in Detroit on November 21st, he may not get a chance to this time around, as Kevan Miller is also traveling with the team. Miller has been out since early October with a hand injury that was expected to keep him sidelined until at least early December. The progression has come quickly enough for the B’s to take him with them, despite publicly stating that he will not play until the Detroit matchup at the earliest. If he were to play, one of Lauzon or Zboril would need to be returned to Providence in order to activate Miller off of the IR.

Both Charlie McAvoy (concussion) and Urho Vaakanainen (concussion) remain on the IR indefinitely.

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap – Week 6

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By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Week six is in the books, and the team is starting to show glimmers of the group we have been waiting for.  Consistent with previous years, the Providence Bruins have started out a bit of wreck, but as the weeks pass by, the boys tend to mesh together and start bringing the game we all know they have within.  This weekends two out of three game wins, with the loss being a very, very close overtime loss is evidence of just how far they have come.

Colby Cave and Anton Blidh have been standouts for this team providing what coach Jay Leach calls, “the heartbeat” of the team.   This may be just what they need as the team faces a merry-go-round of players back and forth to Boston to cover injuries, leaves of absence, and even some players coming back for more spit and polish.  The close relationship between these two teams is truly a blessing, but along with that comes the challenge of juggling that interdependency.  The stability, consistency, and leadership shown by Cave and Blidh all season has without a doubt contributed to the ability for the entire team to mesh and build to where they are now.

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Goaltender Performance:

Dan Vladar manned the net on Friday at home against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  Saving 27-28 shots on goal bringing his save percentage to .909.  Vladar was called up to Boston on an emergency basis Saturday and was released back to Providence on Monday.

Zane McIntyre manning the net on Saturday in Bridgeport. Saving 20-25 shots on goal in the highly contested match-up.  Taking the net on back to back days, this time back in Providence on Sunday. Zane Saved 20-22 shots on goal ending the weekend with a save percentage of .833.

This Weekends Scores:

FRI Nov. 9 HOME              Providence 2-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 WIN!!! 

SAT Nov.10 AWAY            Providence 4-Bridgeport 5 OTL!!!

SUN Nov.11 HOME            Providence 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 WIN!!! 

31932363958_0b4c2b79f8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

Friday, November 9, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME)

The Providence Bruins host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Dunkin Donuts Center for their first match-up of the year.  This low scoring game was packed with twelve penalties evenly split between the two teams.

The first period saw the penalties begin around the five-and-a-half-minute mark when penguins Czuczman was sent to the box for high-sticking.  Five minutes later the same teams Haggerty was called for tripping and thirty seconds into the power-play Providences Martin Bakos scored the first goal of the night with help from Kovar and Fitzgerald. Not satisfied with just contributing to a goal, Kovar went to the box for hooking to round out the period.

The second period was even lighter on the goal scoring, but they did take it up one notch on the penalty meter.  Penguins Hovart and Bruins Frederic started the penalties off at 6:49 seconds with a litany of charges.  Hovart went to the penalty box for a 2-minute minor (boarding), and a 5-minute major (fighting), but Frederic one-upped those with 2-minute minor (instigating), 5-minute major (fighting) and 10-minute misconduct (instigating).  The rest of the period was quiet save two more minors, one for the Penguins Summers (slashing) and the other for our very own Colby Cave (interference).

The third period was started off with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton player Summers being sent to the box for slashing two-and-a-half minutes in. Following this stint Providence skaters, Blidh and Johansson visited the penalty box for holding and cross-checking, respectively. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was not content with letting this game slip through their grasp without at least scoring one goal.  So, at 15:08 Lafferty with help from Haggerty found the back of the net to even the score in Providence. One final penalty from Providence from Fitzgerald for slashing and the lads were off to over-time.

Over-time came in like the other periods with an initial penalty from WBS near the two-minute mark putting Providence on the power-play.  This was to be the break the Bruins were looking for as Fitzgerald scored the second power-play goal of the night with the help of Goloubef and Kovar.  This game-winning goal saw Providence take the two points and the W in the first match against WBS this season.

31932364298_6da40ec2c1_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Saturday, November 10, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AWAY)

Traveling to Bridgeport to meet up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this weekend saw a much different game than Friday with a similar, but not as gratifying result.

The first period kicked off with Bruins Forward Fitzgerald being booked for interference at 1:18, putting Bridgeport on the quick power-play.  Not letting this opportunity slip away Toews assisted by Fritz and C. Bourque scored the first goal of the game.  A reversal of roles was coming soon as R. Bourque was booked for cross-checking and while on the power-play Bruins Forward Kovar scored the tying power-play goal assisted by Fitzgerald and Cave.  Bridgeport would not be kept down for long however as only a minute later Bellows scored for the Sound Tigers with help from Bernier and Fritz, putting them up by 1 with a score of 2-1. Three more penalties were handed out in the remainder of the period, one to Bridgeport’s St. Denis (holding) and two to Providence skaters Goloubef (tripping) and Fitzgerald (holding).

Beginning the second period down by one the Bruins were not thrilled when Bridgeport was the first to find the back of the net at 4:28 on a goal by C. Bourque assisted by St. Denis and Koivula.  This blow may have contributed to the roughing penalties handed out to Bruins Kovar and WBS Jones.  Not all who are down use their fists, in this instance Anton Blidh used his stick to score an unassisted goal at 5:39 to bring them back within one goal.  The next fifteen minutes were not so kind to the Bruins.  First, two penalties were handed out to him one to Zboril for Slashing and the second to Hughes for hooking.  Then to top off this rough period the Bourques strike again and put the Sound Tigers up by two for the second time this night.

A pep talk during the intermission, a snack, or a few swear words as Halak would suggest, whatever it was it appeared to work.  The third period saw the Bruins come out with a renewed fight. The first to score this period was Zboril with assistance from Senyshyn and Cave at 3:49 and the lead is again shrunk to one, Providence 3- WBS 4.  Trent Frederic took the penalty game seriously being called at 4:15 and 7:14 for hooking and then elbowing. Bridgeport may have been concerned that their penalty box was getting cold so Ho-Sang and Toews each took a turn warming it up at 8:48 and 9:12. This power play gave Donato space and time he needed to level the score with help from Fitzgerald and Goloubef he found the back of the net at 10:26.  The score now was a brilliant four all.  The period ended on a charging penalty for Bridgeport’s Bernier that resulted in a 5-minute major, 10-minute game misconduct, and a two-game suspension that was handed out on Tuesday.

Overtime was short and not so sweet for Providence as Bridgeport came up with a goal at 1:22, clinching the W and the 2-points for the night.

31962556378_f2025b11d8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Sunday, November 11, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME)

It’s Saturday, and the Bruins are back at the Dunk for a matinee game with the WBS Penguins.  Meeting up with this team for the second time this weekend and fired up from a very close loss the night before means the emotions would be running high for our hometown boys in Black and Gold.  This game would prove to be unlike any other we had seen this weekend.

The first period was the tale of two teams.  One who scored goals and one who sat in the penalty box.  Fortunately for the Bruins fans, ours was the team who scored goals.  The Penguins, however, were matching our goals with penalties.  The first penalty came at 2:00 when Grant was booked on roughing.  The second came at 10:34 when DiPauli was caught elbowing and the last of the period was at 13:42 to Grant for a delay of game.  This was when the scoring began.  At 14:17 Donato scored on the power-play with the help of Goloubef and Cave to give Providence a one-goal lead.  Three minutes later Cave and Blidh stepped up to feed one to Bakos scoring the second goal of the night.  The end of the first period came with a score of Providence 2- WBS 0

The second period began on a high for Providence.  At 3:32 Senyshyn took the feeder from Clifton and scored the third goal of the day.  The third goal apparently did not sit well with Penguin Haggerty as he and Cave got in a tussle at 5:35. Both were sent to the box with five minutes for fighting and Haggerty was granted an additional two minutes for roughing.  Once again on the power-play Providence was able to score.  This time it was Messner taking the assists from Cehlarik and Senyshyn to make the score a solid Providence 4-WBS 0.  Another ten minutes of the game passed by without any significant progress on either side.  Then at 18:25 Kovar was called for tripping, and the Bruins were now on the PK for the remainder of the period.  With twenty seconds left to go, the strangest call I have ever seen was issued, McIntyre was called for Holding.  You read that correctly, the goalie was called for holding.  Interesting.

The third period began, and the Bruins were able to kill what was left of the penalty.  Back to full strength but the Bruins appeared to not be as polished as they had been in the first two periods. They seemed somewhat scattered, and the Penguins did not hesitate to capitalize upon this.  Before they got going though, a few penalties had to come along. Bruins Goloubef was called for interference at 5:59 and Penguins Angello for slashing at 6:31. With the initial penalties on both sides out of the way, the Penguin’s Grant took assistance from Lindberg and O’Neill to score their first goal of the night and bring the score to Providence 4 – WBS 1.  Only a minute later the away team did it again.  This time Angello with the help of Blueger and DiPauli scored the Penguins second goal. Not to be shut-out of the goal scoring for the period Bruins forward Donato with an assist from Kovar scored the final goal of the night.  Ending a high-scoring runaway win for the Bruins with a final score of 5-2 and the only game of the weekend without an OT.

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45108775584_0a14212eb0_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Bruins Recall Lauzon From The AHL On Emergency Basis

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photo credit: providencebruins.com

By: Mandi Mahoney  |  Follow Me On Twitter @phoneymahoney

This morning, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced that the team has recalled 21-year-old defenseman Jeremy Lauzon up from their AHL affiliate in Providence on an emergency basis, as blueliner Brandon Carlo is questionable for tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Lauzon, a left-shot defenseman, was chosen by the Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. At the time, he was skating in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He played there for a total of four seasons and captained them in 2016-17. In 200 games in the Q, Lauzon totaled 130 points, with 35 goals and 95 assists. The 2017-18 season was his first in the AHL, where he played 52 games and served as an alternate captain for Providence. In those 52 games, he notched seven points, having scored one goal and assisting on six others.

The 6’3″ defenseman has the ability to play a two-way game and is currently at 4 points (one goal, three assists) in 8 AHL games this season, and he scored a goal against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 5-4 overtime loss. Lauzon was called up earlier in the season, making his NHL debut on October 25th against the Philadelphia Flyers. In his four games, Lauzon played well but was sent back down to Providence once Matt Grzelcyk and Torey Krug were both ready to go back in the Bruins’ lineup.

During his previous call-up, Jeremy Lauzon played four games for the Bruins: one win each over Philadelphia and Carolina, and a loss against both Montreal and Nashville. He played well positionally but was not able to get on the scoreboard while playing 48 minutes across four NHL games. He took two shots, both of which were blocked, but he blocked one himself. Lauzon also had zero giveaways, and two takeaways in those four outings. It’s a small sample size, but these are not bad numbers for a rookie defenseman in his first call-up from the minor leagues to the big show.

It is not guaranteed that Lauzon will be in the Bruins’ lineup against Vegas tonight, as Brandon Carlo may or may not be ready to go. Since Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller, and Urho Vaakanainen are all still injured, if Carlo cannot go tonight, it is possible that Matt Gzelcyk will be moving up to play alongside captain Zdeno Chara on the Bruins top pair, as the two played well together Saturday night against the Maple Leafs. If this is indeed the case, expect Lauzon to play on the third pair with usual seventh defenseman Steve Kampfer. This will leave the second pairing of Torey Krug and John Moore intact.

If Carlo’s injury is not long-term, and it doesn’t like it will be, Lauzon’s call-up probably won’t be very long. Charlie McAvoy has already resumed skating, and Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy says third pair defenseman Kevan Miller may be back in the lineup by the end of the Bruins’ upcoming road trip, which begins in Colorado this Wednesday, and will end November 21 in Detroit.

 

Bruins Call Up Vladar On Emergency Basis

                  (Photo Credit: @NHLBruins)

Written By: Chris Nosek  |  Follow Me On Twitter: @cnosek6342

On Saturday, November 10th the Boston Bruins announced that they are calling up 21-year-old goaltender Dan Vladar from Providence. A goaltender call-up was fully expected after the news of Tuukka Rask being granted a leave of absence for what the team is calling “a personal matter.”

With the timetable of only “the next few days,” the call-up of Vladar makes a lot more sense than bringing up 26-year-old Zane McIntyre. If the call had been for McIntyre, the Bruins would have to submit him to waivers upon Tuukka’s return to get back to Providence. Although he cleared the waiver process earlier this season, there is no guarantee he would make it through the second time. If the timetable for the return of the 2013 Vezina winner turns into a long-term need, then it would make more sense to swap the two prospect goaltenders so that Vladar can get the starting minutes that will prove crucial in his development.

Vladar got the start in yesterdays game for the Baby Bruins as they started a series of 3 games in 3 days with a 2-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The 21-year-old posted 27 saves while recording the team’s 4th victory of the season. Providence currently sits in 8th place in the Atlantic Division with 9 points. Providence has 4 wins on the season with McIntyre and Vladar each posting 2 victories. Vladar has posted the better goals-against average (2.52 to McIntyre’s 3.86) and the better save percentage (.909 vs. McIntyre’s .826).

 (Photo Credit: Gregory Vasil)

The P-Bruins have a game tonight in Bridgeport and another tomorrow at home against the same Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. McIntyre will start both of these games while Vladar will back up 33-year old veteran Jaroslav Halak as the big club takes on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight and the Vegas Golden Knights tomorrow night.

The promotion of Vladar has sent a ripple effect down the organization as it left the Baby Bruins with only 26-year-old Zane McIntyre to play goal during their current stretch of three games in three days. They have since called up another goaltender from the Atlanta Gladiators; Sean Bonar.

While Bruins brass and Tuukka’s teammates have been sticking to what seems to be a short-term timetable it appears the former 75th overall draft pick from 2015 will only spend the weekend with the big club. However, with 8 games over the next 14 days including 3 sets of back-to-backs AND a 4-game road trip with stops in Colorado, Dallas, Arizona, and Detroit one thing remains certain; Bruce Cassidy is going to need a goaltender not named Jaroslav Halak to play a game at some point in the next two weeks.

If Vladar gets forced into action because Tuukka takes more time than originally thought, the likely start that the top goaltending prospect will get would be in Arizona on November 17th. Should he see an NHL game or two, Vladar will have a chance show how his development is coming along and will be able to start giving Sweeney an idea of how he will want things to play out all of his goaltenders hit free agency over the next three seasons.

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“Bruins Ballot” Features Tough Choices

(Photo Credit: Enlight)

By: Evan Michael  |  Follow Me On Twitter @EVAN007onTV

Happy Election Day, Bruins Fans!

I hope you’re going to the polls, or have already voted, as it is the most important, essential and empowering democratic tool individually given to each and everyone one of us (although it did take a bit too long for the “everyone of us” part to finally kick in). Speaking of impactful votes, if the B’s were on the ballot this November, which way would your support lean? Would you be liberal with your praise and positivity, or more conservative when it comes to the team’s success so far? Or are you more down the middle with the Bruins’ record, play & consistency at the “Midterm” mark of the season?

Well, now’s your chance to “vote” on the following three Black N’ Gold referendums — all decisive (if not divisive) in terms of what could be in store for the B’s as the season progressively progresses!

1. Who Should Be The Bruins Third Line Center?

A. David Backes

B. Sean Kuraly

C. Joakim Nordstrom

D. OTHER

Image result for boston bruins third line(Photo Credit: Boston Globe)

The B’s tried Kuraly in this role to start the season and didn’t like what they saw. They even threw his 4th-line battery mate Noel Acciari in for a game. That didn’t work either. Then it was newbie Nordstrom who flashed some offensive capabilities for a few games but nothing consistent stuck so he didn’t stick. Now it’s been back to Backes but with zero results to back it up! As a result, I say VOTE OTHER in the hopes either Cassidy (in house) or Sweeney/Neely (trade) can fix this very glaring roster & ballot box issue that was recently bandied about by fellow BNG writer @phonymahoney!

2. Who Should Be The Bruins Number One Netminder?

A. Tuukka Rask

B. Jaroslav Halak

C. Goalie Platoon

Image result for rask halak(Photo Credit: NESN)

Why don’t you netMIND your own business, buddy!? Yeah, I get this is a sensitive topic… it’s one of those votes you cover with both hands because you don’t even trust the dividers to Steve Shields your answer from prying (Russian) eyes. BUT, it is a major issue right now in B’s nation with the early exit polls heavily favoring Halak for his consistently stellar play, and record and numbers and stats and attitude. However, as we’ve seen in previous administrations, a “Rask Revival” is always in the cards with bandwagon support quickly following. So, perhaps for the time being, I’d VOTE GOALIE PLATOON aka riding-the-hot-hand so as to give the team the best shot at getting on a roll ahead of the all-important Thanksgiving Day record indicator.

3. Who Gets The Next Call Up From Providence?

Image result for bruins prospects(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

A. Ryan Donato

B. Trent Frederic

C. Zach Senyshyn

D. OTHER

If you are a betting kind of voter, or one who consistently goes with “the favorite” on the ballot, then Donato would seem like the obvious choice since he was only recently sent down after his slow start to the season in Boston. But, perhaps a few solid weeks of play in Providence with no TD Garden cameos is exactly what the youngster needs. As a result, the likes of some Center depth being called up could look good for Frederic (especially if the B’s 3rd line keeps struggling–see referendum one again if you need a reminder), as well as a shake up on the wing, perhaps, for Senyshyn if the Heinen’s and Bjork’s of the B’s world don’t produce soon. Or, none of those names will cruise up to Causeway leaving the door open for another young D-man, and Z-man, like Jakub Zboril to make his debut mark. This is a tough choice. For me, I’m VOTING DONATO because I think he’s currently motivated as hell to prove he can consistently score in Providence and thus earn a promotion back to Beantown (and ideally just in time for the holidays as the BNG’s own @michaelderosa88 profiled recently).

Of course, all votes will be kept confidential–hanging Chad Johnsons not included–and tallied by puck drop of the next game! Or, we’ll just pretend to do that since this was an exercise in civic (center?) entertainment as opposed to civic duty. Nevertheless, IT IS your duty to stay on top of all things Boston Bruins and between the BNG Blog, The Athletic BOS (click on the link to save 40% on your subscription) and our friends at Seat Giant below, we’ve truly got you covered this Election Day AND every day!

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Boston Bruins: Ryan Donato Will Be Back

PHOTO CREDIT: Amy Irving / The Hockey Writers

By: Michael DeRosa | Check me out on Twitter @michael_derosa4

Earlier this week, the Boston Bruins assigned Ryan Donato back down to Providence. The move seemed to be inevitable, as David Backes is returning to the lineup and Donato has noticeably been struggling. From the very start of the year, the team just has not seemed to find a good spot for Donato in the lineup. As a result of this, his offensive statistics have been truly lacking.  In 11 games for the Bruins, he has only scored one goal and is a -4.

There is no question that Donato simply did not perform to the standards that the team had hoped he would. When looking at his amazing short stint with the team last season, it is fair to state that the team expected more from him now. In twelve regular season games, he had five goals and nine points. For a 22-year-old rookie, that truly was impressive. The excitement for him this season was very high, especially when looking at his collegiate success as well. Yet, it just did not click this time around.

However, even with all of this being the case, we have not seen the last of Donato. Younger players sometimes go through cold streaks. In all fairness, this move is entirely warranted by the team. In Providence, Donato will have the chance to be a top-six forward again and work on honing his offensive skills. At times this season with the big club, he looked invisible on the ice. A lot of this can be blamed on the fact that his line simply was unable to find chemistry together.

The biggest obstacle the Bruins have faced this season is their lack of secondary scoring. Donato is not the only player who has struggled for the team, but it is clear that he needs some time to refine his game altogether. It is better for him to play a lot of minutes in the AHL and find success. He simply is not a player who would have been able to fit on the fourth line. The team needs more defensive players with grit in those situations.

Donato’s time in Providence is going to carry a lot of significance moving forward. It is absolutely clear that the 2018 Hobey Baker finalist is still one of the top prospects that this team has. However, he was treading in the wrong direction with the limited amount of playing time he was receiving. With more chances to succeed in Providence and less overall pressure, this could be the best move for his career right now. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has even stated that he wants the youngster to work on becoming a complete player down there.

It is easy to point the finger at the player in a situation like this, but now is not the time to give up on Donato completely. One rough patch in the league does not mean the end of his career. Many prospects end up going through something like this and then develop into top-notch players. After the way he started off his NHL career, there is no reason to believe that he cannot reach that level of success. Yet, like Cassidy said, he needs to develop an all-around game.

PHOTO CREDIT: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

It is only a matter of time before Donato will be back in Boston. He is clearly the first forward they will call up with an injury, and of course, they occur quite often. However, when it comes to the long-term, this is a player who still has a bright future. Hopefully, his time in Providence will wake him up and spark a whole new level of confidence. The Bruins could use that immensely.

Bruins Assign F Ryan Donato To Providence

Ryan-Donato-Boston-Bruins-featured.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: ( Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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

On November 1st at roughly 4:00pm Eastern Standard Time, the Boston Bruins have announced that forward Ryan Donato has been assigned to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.

The 22-year-old Boston, Massachusetts native was the subject of high praise during the offseason, but the 2014 2nd Round Selection has only scored one goal in eleven games for Boston this season. Donato has not been able to find his groove offensively, especially considering the nine points in twelve games he had at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Since the season began, Donato has been rotated all throughout the Bruins lineup by Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, playing anywhere from the second to the fourth line, with many different line combinations, but to no avail thus far, even with some decent games where the opportunities came in numbers. Against the Canadiens on October 27th, Donato had a goal waived off due to an offside call that was discovered via a Coach’s Challenge.

The Bruins are mainly looking for some help offensively as well. Aside from the first line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak, the Bruins have struggled to consistently score goals. David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk have done a decent job tallying points, but the remainder of the forward depth has gone dry.

Clearly, the Bruins want Donato to build his confidence a bit more down in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins and maybe call him back up to the big leagues once his play improves – at least that is the hope.

Another reason for the assignment could be the return of David Backes, who has missed the last five games due to an illness. Bruce Cassidy said in an interview today that Backes “should be ready to go” for Saturday’s road game against the Predators. Even though Backes was pointless in the games before his illness, his contract makes it difficult for Boston to scratch him.

Donato will join the Providence Bruins, who are currently dead-last in the AHL’s Atlantic Division with a record of 3-5-1. Providence will be in need of some goal-scoring as well, as they rank 16th in the league for goals for, scoring thirty goals to date. Colby Cave leads the P-Bruins with 5-5-10 totals in eight games so far in the 2018-2019 regular season.

The Baby B’s are in preparation for a pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers on Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd. Both games will be a good test for Donato and hopefully, the time in the AHL with the P-Bruins can help him as his young career progresses. Ryan has some things in his game that needs to be fixed, but it should not be a move of concern at this point. Boston is most likely wanting Donato to fix those mistakes before they get too large to fix.

Should the Boston Bruins have sent Ryan Donato down to Providence or should they have left him up in the NHL and fix his game there? Let me know on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj. 

Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Gladiators Week 4 Preview

( Photo credit: atlantagladiators.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

The Gladiators return from their weekend on the road with a point after a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Jacksonville Icemen and a frustrating 4-3 loss to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Atlanta fought hard and perhaps deserved more from the weekend, but what have we learned? Well, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, the southern division is going to be very tough this year. Atlanta started the season with bags of optimism, but have been dealt some tough losses against divisional opponents, they currently sit 6th.

Against the Swamp Rabbits, Atlanta controlled large chunks of the game and created more chances, out-shooting them with 30 attempts on goal to 24. Despite this, Greenville put 4 past the Sean Bonar, punishing every mistake the Gladiators made. I think it’s fair to say that they could do with some luck, but the ECHL is an unforgiving league, the Glads will have to iron out the errors in order to start climbing up the league.

Jeff Pyle continues to tweak the roster as he tries to build the best team possible. The Gladiators have shown their intentions are still very much on success, spending the cash and making a huge trade for goaltender Colton Phinney and forward Shane Eiserman who join from league leaders, the Adirondack Thunder. Shortly after the trade was announced, Phinney was named as the ECHL goaltender of the week after going 2-0 with a .968 save percentage for the Thunder in his last 2 games. Following the departure of Miroslav Svoboda, I expect the second-year pro to slot straight into the starting role for Atlanta and will be a boost to the team.

Forward Shane Eiserman impressed in his 2 professional starts, bagging himself a goal and 2 assists. The Newburyport, MA native has represented the United States in competition, most notably at the U18 World Junior Championships. Tyler Moy also rejoined the Glads after a spell with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. The forward scored in Atlanta’s season opener and after a stint in the AHL registered an assist against Greenville. In order to make room on the roster, the Gladiators confirmed the release of forwards Andrew Schmit and Luke Sandler as well as goalie Ian Sylves.

The Gladiators will face the Norfolk Admirals 4 times over the next 2 weeks. The series starts in Atlanta, with 2 games at the Infinite Energy Arena as the Gladiators look to bounce back from last week and leap-frog their divisional rivals. The Admirals will be confident heading into the series with 11 goals from their last 3 games, though they did also concede 9 times, so the Gladiators will be excited to get at them, especially on the power play which has been productive so far. If anything, you can expect a lot of goals. Back to back games against the same opponent almost gives this stretch a playoff vibe, I’m sure we’ll see the gloves come off as these divisional rivals clash. I hope that the Gladiators can thrive on the intensity. Whatever happens, we’re in for a good series against the Admirals.

This Week’s Gladiators To Watch:

Shane Eiserman: The rookie forward arrives in Atlanta carrying bags of potential. After scoring 3 points in his first 2 games as a pro, he’ll want to hit the ground running for the Gladiators. Coach Pyle likes what he sees from the 23-year-old, he’ll be given the freedom he needs to create and score chances.

Joona Koppanen: The Boston Bruins prospect has had a few games to adjust to life in the ECHL. As time goes on, his chemistry with the team is only going to improve. Don’t be fooled by his towering frame, he brings European flair to the ice, and as his confidence grows, he’ll be more than a handful for opposing defensemen.

Brett McKenzie: The rookie finally bagged his first ECHL goals against the Swamp Rabbits and had a really strong game. His first goals will no doubt give him added confidence. He enters the series against the Admirals in good form, now that the floodgates have opened, keep an eye on him.