Bruins Post-Game Recap: Washington at Boston: 11/16/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

Less than 24 hours removed from their 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 12-3-4 Boston Bruins are right back at it tonight against the Washington Capitals who have the best record in the National Hockey League but felt short last night against the Montreal Canadiens.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (12-3-4)

Away: Washington Capitals (14-3-4)

Bruins Last Game: 4-2 win vs TOR

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is out with a lower-body injury, he is considered day-to-day. Forward Paul Carey will play in his 100th career NHL game as a replacement.

First Period:

The opening minutes of this hockey game starts out pretty even, but it seems that the Capitals are getting a bit more zone time and a few more chances in Boston’s end. That said, the Bruins seem to be playing responsible hockey on the defensive side and they are holding their own against a solid Washington team.

Not long after the Bruins successfully killed off David Pastrnak’s hooking minor, Danton Heinen makes a slick pass from right near the boards to Charlie Coyle in the slot who taps the puck five-hole past Braden Holtby – Bruins score first, it’s 1-0.

This game has been entertaining so far, with both teams getting bids on either goaltender. However, only three minutes after Coyle’s game-opening tally, Travis Boyd scores his first goal of the 2019-20 season off of a couple deflections near the net and Washington ties the game.

In the final minutes of the period, the action amped up even more when the Bruins get their first power-play of the contest with just around 38 seconds remaining. Boston fails to get any chances on the reduced man-advantage due to Pastrnak turning the puck over and allowing the Capitals a shorthanded bid that gets stopped by Halak, but they will start the second frame with over a minute of power-play time.

Not the best period for Boston because of the lack of really good offensive chances, but they did strike on 5-on-5 and are in a tie with one of the top teams in the NHL.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 9 WSH: 18

Score: 1-1 Goals – Coyle (4) Assists: Heinen (5), McAvoy (5); Boyd (1) Assists: Carlson (24), Leipsic (5)

Second Period:

Bruce Cassidy must have said something in the locker room during the first intermission because shortly after the penalty on Washington expired, the Bruins set up a beautiful tic-tac-toe play for Charlie McAvoy who misses the net wide, however, Pastrnak on the goal line buries it on what seemed like an impossible shot, Bruins take a 2-1 lead early on in the second.

Danton Heinen takes a penalty a few minutes after Boston’s goal – another hooking minor. It seems like the officials are calling these stick infractions a lot tonight, Bruins need to be more careful or it may come back to haunt them. Regardless, the penalty-kill looks great and it is back to even-strength.

With 9:55 remaining in the second frame, John Carlson gets his stick caught in the skates of forward Paul Carey who was called up early today and Boston goes to the power-play. They are unable to capitalize and then Washington comes back with a long, dangerous time in Boston’s zone including a one-timer shot that beats Halak, but not the post. Bruins survive the onslaught for now.

The remainder of the period was a good one, but Washington has been the better team offensively – a direct result of the shot department. Bruins ahead by one heading into the final regulation period.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 15 WSH: 30

Score: 2-1 Bruins – Pastrnak (17) Assists: McAvoy (6), Krejci (9)

Third Period:

The third period starts off just as the rest of the game has been – back-and-forth hockey for a good majority of the opening period and the Bruins have been looking solid on both sides of the puck. It does, however, seem like Boston is content playing more of a defensive game to keep their one-goal advantage, but they have to be careful to not get too defensive.

After Tom Wilson absolutely destroys Chris Wagner with a massive body-to-body hit, the Capitals get a good offensive chance to score on an odd-man rush but Charlie McAvoy makes a tremendous effort to backcheck and he manages to disrupt the shooter enough to prevent a shot altogether, a great move from the young defenceman.

As tensions rise with the minutes ticking away, Alex Ovechkin nails McAvoy along the end boards, only for McAvoy to lay a heavy hit on Tom Wilson when the play went the other way. Wilson didn’t like the hit and grabbed McAvoy’s stick. As the two begin to scuffle, captain Zdeno Chara comes to the aid of McAvoy and grabs Wilson. Chara and Wilson each go off for roughing, four-on-four hockey coming up.

Just around halfway into the 4-on-4 session, Charlie Coyle makes a great neutral zone play to steal the puck and get in on a rush towards the net, becoming a breakaway, but Holtby follows Coyle brilliantly to make the pad save. Chara and Wilson’s penalties expire with 3:53 remaining in the third period.

Washington comes just inches away from equalizing the hockey game when Halak attempts to play the puck from behind his net that goes to Wilson and eventually to John Carlson. Carlson’s bomb from the point makes the identifiable “ding” off the post and stays out, 3:04 left to go.

The Capitals pull the goalie with a little over a minute remaining in the game and with the extra man, bury the tying goal. Evgeni Kuznetsov takes the puck behind the net and throws it out front for T.J. Oshie who slaps it home, 2-2 with 58 seconds left in regulation.

This game is going to 3-on-3 overtime.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 21 WSH: 41

Score: 2-2

Overtime:

As soon as the puck is dropped for overtime, Tom Wilson takes a stick up high from Brad Marchand with no call made and then Kuznetsov gets a breakaway in on Jaroslav Halak but Halak somehow manages to make a save to keep it tied for now.

Washington has had the majority of puck possession halfway through overtime, making smart passes and zone entries but on two shots – one from Alex Ovechkin and one from T.J. Oshie missed the net way wide when they tried to snipe it. Boston has not had any chances to bury the game-winning goal yet.

Capitals get another great chance on an outlet pass but Urho Vaakanainen does an amazing job staying strong on Kuznetsov, making it pretty easy for Halak to read the play and make the save. This play from Vaakanainen came moments after he nearly buried it. A great shift for the young prospect. Overtime ends there, the always-loved shootout will end this entertaining affair.

Shootout:

WSH T.J Oshie – NO GOAL

BOS Charlie Coyle – GOAL

WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov – NO GOAL

BOS David Pastrnak – NO GOAL

WSH Nicklas Backstrom – GOAL

BOS Brad Marchand – NO GOAL

WSH Alex Ovechkin – NO GOAL

BOS David Krejci – NO GOAL

WSH Jakub Vrana – GOAL

BOS Chris Wagner – NO GOAL

Final Score: 3-2 Capitals

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS G Jaroslav Halak – 42 Saves, .955 SV%

2nd Star: WSH F T.J. Oshie – 1 Goal (Game-Tying), 6 Shots, 21:03 TOI

3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 2 Assists, 23:23 TOI

Boston falls to 12-3-5 with the shootout loss, but take 3-out-of-4 possible points in this back-to-back weekend. Up next, New Jersey Devils on Tuesday in New Jersey.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Place Torey Krug on IR, Recall Paul Carey from Providence

krug

( Photo Credit: USA Today Sports )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins announced that the team has placed defenseman Torey Krug on injured reserve and has recalled forward Paul Carey from the Providence Bruins. The news comes after the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in Toronto 4-2 on Friday night and ahead of the club’s big tilt against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden tonight.

Torey Krug left the game before the start of overtime in the Bruins 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on November 10th. Krug has missed the last two games against the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs and will be out tonight against the Capitals. In 17 games this season, Krug has two goals and 11 assists and a minus-four rating with all of his assists coming on the potent Bruins power-play. Krug adds to the list of banged-up Bruins including Brett Ritchie, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, and Karson Kuhlman.

Paul Carey leads the Providence Bruins in scoring with seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 17 games. The 31-year-old forward is a Weymouth, MA native and has played 99 career NHL games notching eight goals and eight assists for 16 points.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Milestone Night for Bruins’ Marchand

Image(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

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

Seven hundred NHL games under his Black N’ Gold belt, the Bruins’ Brad Marchand was asked on Hockey Hall of Fame Night in Toronto a pretty on the nose postgame question after helping his team snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs: You ever think you might be in the HHOF?

The man once known as the Nose Face Killah had a telling response: “No, No I don’t… To be honest, I don’t really think about it.”

Well, there’s many people thinking about it now. Because 700 wasn’t the only numerical accolade highlighted on Marchand’s milestone night north of the border (and earlier this week). To wit:

Speaking of highlights, the right-off-the-faceoff third period tally that gave the B’s an all-important 2-1 lead (and subsequently set “Marchy” up for the above historic record) just 11 seconds into the final frame was both indicative and illustrative of No. 63’s top-notch talent and work ethic.

Go strong to the net with speed and skill then truly put the stick to stick-to-itiveness — that’s a Brad Marchand specialty order. Thankfully for the B’s, he had one more order up his sleeve. And that proved pivotal (and point-ful) in that it became the game-winning goal later in the third. In fact, it was almost the same recipe for success: a strong shot on net, a dogged perseverance to get the rebound, then a deft finishing touch!

Like him or not, Marchand is quickly (if not so quietly) becoming one of the best players in the league this year. But, that’s not surprising for an all-star who consistently puts up big points season after season. What else is not surprising? How no matter the stage, he always finds a way to stick his nose out after a powerful performance.

Seven hundred games into his salty and successful NHL career, there’s one thing for sure about Brad Marchand. He’s not changing how he plays or who he is. And that’s definitely deserving of a few honors, be it in Boston or Toronto, right now… and perhaps even (hall of) famously later.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Welcome Ovechkin & Co. | Game Preview-11/16

Image result for boston bruins vs washington capitals

(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

In their second game of a back-to-back, the Boston Bruins flew back home late last night as they ready themselves to face one of the league’s best teams. After snapping a four-game losing slump, the B’s are gearing up for a tough match-up when they play the Washington Capitals at the TD Garden.

Call it what you may, the Caps have been the Bruins kryptonite for a while now with Boston finally slaying that dragon when they narrowly defeated them 1-0 this past February. In the last 20 games played between these two teams,  the Bruins have only won four games. Today’s match-up will undoubtedly be a test for both teams as they each look to place another “W” in the win column.

Post-Game Notes

Washington will be traveling to Boston after losing to the Montreal Canadiens last night at home 5-2. Prior to the game, the Capitals had a 13-game point streak and much like the Bruins will be looking to start a fresh new one tonight. The loss against Montreal was the team’s first in regulation in over a month (their last loss was to the Colorado Avalanche on October 14th).  They are 7-1-1 when facing an Eastern Conference opponent this season so far.

After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens got on board, blanking out the Caps 4-0 at the end of the second period. Washington came up short on their comeback as they netted two goals in the third but never fully recovered. The Caps are now 11-1-2 in their past 14 games played.

Image result for boston bruins vs washington capitals(Photo Credits: Nick Wass/AP Photo)

Despite the four-game losing streak that halted a 10-game point streak for the Bruins, the team is currently the only one in the NHL that has not lost in regulation at home.  After getting the B’s onboard last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs,  forward Charlie Coyle has four points with one goal and three assists. Brad Marchand had quite the night in his 700th NHL career game as he notched two goals, which were the difference makers in a much-needed win for the team.

Quick Stats

The Bruins and the Capitals lead their respective Divisions with Washington having played two more games than Boston. With the loss, the Capitals are now 14-3-4 in 21 games while the Bruins are 12-3-4 in 19 games. Marchand is on pace to break his previous 100-point season. He has now leapfrogged over teammate David Pastrnak in the NHL leader-board with 32 points (third in the league).  Pastrnak still leads the league with 16 goals.

Marchand is fourth in the league with 19 assists; Zdeno Chara is tied for second in the league in plus-minus at 13. Washington goaltender Braden Holtby is tied for second in the league for wins (nine), while Tuukka Rask is tied for ninth with eight wins. John Carlson leads the Capitals team with 31 points and 23 assists. Alex Ovechkin leads with 14 goals.

In the last five games, John Carlson has notched eight points with seven assists. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has four goals. For the Bruins’ last five games, David Krejci has five points and four assists while Marchand has three goals. Expect Tuukka Rask (8-2-2) in net for the Bruins. The 32-year-old goaltender now has a 2.14 goals-against-average with a .927 save percentage. For Washington, expect Brayden Holtby (9-1-3) in net.  The 30-year-old now has a 3.06 goals-against-average with a .903 save percentage.

There was no morning skate for the Boston Bruins. Here are tonight’s projected lineups:

BOSTON BRUINS:

Marchand–Bergeron–Pastrnak

Bjork–Krejci–Coyle

Frederic–Lindholm–Heinen

Nordstrom– Kuraly–Wagner

Chara– McAvoy

Grzelcyk–Carlo

Vaakanainen– Clifton

Rask

WASHINGTON CAPITALS:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie

Vrana-Kuznetsov-Wilson

Stephenson-Eller-Hathaway

Leipsic-Boyd-Panik

Kempny-Carlson

Orlov-Gudas

Siegenthaler-Jensen

Holtby

 

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

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, ESPN+

Check out our new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 5 that we recorded on November 13th, 2019! Our BNG Prospects Pod can be found on the same RSS Feed as our original Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, which can be found on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Toronto: 11/15/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (@MapleLeafs on Twitter)

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

On the hands of a devastating 5-4 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers earlier in the week, the Boston Bruins are coming in tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs before another game tomorrow against the Washington Capitals in hopes of ending their current four-game losing skid.

For Toronto, they are coming into the game losing each of their last two meetings with a 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders fresh in their mind only two nights ago. Toronto will be without forward Mitch Marner and Alexander Kerfoot due to injuries that will keep them out for the next few weeks. The Leafs are currently out of a playoff spot and will look to rebound here tonight against their biggest rival.

Tonight, the six most-recent inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame will be present in the stands as the NHL celebrates it’s annual Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Home: Toronto Maple Leafs (9-7-4)

Away: Boston Bruins (11-3-4)

Last Bruins Result: 5-4 SO loss vs FLA

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 7-2-2 2.16 GAA .926 SV% Last Game: 25 Saves in 5-4 SO loss to FLA

TOR: Frederik Andersen 9-3-3 2.72 GAA .912 SV% Last Game: 25 Saves in 5-4 loss to NYI

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Bruins forwards Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn, Brett Ritchie, Karson Kuhlman, and David Backes are all out with injuries while defensemen Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, and John Moore remain out of the gameday lineup. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said on Thursday that Brett Ritchie is the only one that has a chance to play tomorrow against the Capitals.

First Period:

Following a great ceremony to honor the Hall of Fame inductees, the two teams get underway. In the opening five minutes or so, the Bruins had the better of the puck possession even though the Leafs took an early lead in the shot department. Just about seven minutes in, Andreas Johnsson manages to get around Charlie McAvoy for a partial breakaway, but Rask makes the pad stop. Less than a minute after, Pastrnak gets a brilliant chance right in front of the net but is robbed by Andersen – we got a game ladies and gentlemen.

Halfway through the opening frame, both teams are going back-and-forth still. The puck seems to be taking bounces and deflections off of bodies on either side of the ice and the physicality is through the roof. Chris Wagner landed a big hit on Trevor Moore in the neutral zone and Trent Frederic has landed numerous hits of his own already. Connor Clifton too:

With about seven minutes left in the period, the Maple Leafs get the best few chances of the game so far with a couple really close shots that were towards an open Bruins net but the shot either missed or was blocked by a Bruin in front. Boston manages to recover and get it out of the zone.

Right after that, Matt Grzelcyk had the puck behind Frederik Andersen and makes a slick pass to Charlie Coyle who was open in that bumper spot that Patrice Bergeron has had success in and buries the game’s first goal, 1-0 Bruins. Great sequence from Boston who dealt with the onslaught of Toronto for a few minutes to bring the play right-back against a tired Leafs line and capitalize, taking some momentum away from the home Toronto crowd.

With 5:51 remaining in the first, the Bruins take the first penalty of the game as David Pastrnak gets sent to the box for two minutes for interference. Toronto needs a tying goal here on the power-play before the buzzer sounds. However, Boston says no to that idea and make a strong kill, back to five-on-five. Leafs fail to get even a single shot on the man-advantage.

3:23 shows on the score clock in the Scotiabank Arena and the Toronto Maple Leafs take their first penalty. Nic Shore gets called on a holding minor. Unlike the Bruins, they struggle to get any momentum at all on the power-play and just looked out of sorts, failing to move the puck around enough and the Maple Leafs successfully kill it off late in this period.

The first period ends after a couple icings by the B’s. Fairly competitive twenty minutes of hockey that sees Boston holding a one-to-nothing lead over Toronto. Solid two-way hockey and much of the same is needed for a full 60-minutes.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 9 TOR: 8

Score: 1-0 Bruins – Goals: Coyle (3) Assists: Grzelcyk (4), Bjork (1)

Second Period:

Again in the opening minutes of the period, the Bruins are showing really good focus and confidence in their game and it has been working out well. Patrice Bergeron has been fantastic on the defensive side of the puck and after each whistle, there seems to be more and more shoving. Tensions are running high as usual with Boston and Toronto.

Toronto is still getting their brief moments of attacks as they have become known for in the past few seasons, but Tuukka Rask has done his job in between the pipes with some big saves. Rask hasn’t been great as of late but looks dialed in thus far.

As Toronto builds momentum, they manage to cycle the puck from behind the Bruins net to Jake Muzzin who one-times it towards the net. Auston Matthews gets his stick on the puck, deflecting it past Tuukka Rask. The on-ice officials reviewed the play for a potential high-stick on the deflection, but after a short review, the goal stands and the Maple Leafs officially ties the game at one.

Boston has a great chance to sway the momentum back to them immediately after the tying marker after a brutal hit by Charlie McAvoy that resulted in a breakaway for Sean Kuraly only moments later. However, Kuraly tries too hard to find a corner on Frederik Andersen and ends up missing the net high and wide.

Later on in the period, Boston gets their second opportunity on a man-advantage when Andreas Johnsson gets caught tripping Charlie McAvoy near the offensive blueline and he goes to the box for two minutes. Boston gets a few really good shots including a great chance for Bergeron off a rebound chance that hits the outside of the post, penalty comes to an end – back to even-strength.

Within the final few minutes of the middle regulation period, Boston makes a few bad turnovers that leads to a wide-open John Tavares with a chance to snipe one past Rask, but he takes a slash from Bergeron that makes him miss the net. Boston to the penalty-kill again. Tuukka Rask made two key saves on a pair of Matthews one-timers, giving Boston the chance to make the kill and they indeed do, five-on-five once again.

Not nearly as good as a period for Boston, but they manage to make it to the intermission tied at one.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 19 TOR: 25

Score: 1-1 – Goals: Matthews (14) Assists: Muzzin (8), Nylander (9)

Third Period:

No time wasted. Boston wins the opening faceoff of the period and they bring it in with Brad Marchand. Marchand takes a wrist shot on net and Andersen leaves a rebound right there for Marchand who shoots it again, this time crossing the goal line and the Bruins take a 2-1 lead eleven seconds into the third period of play.

Boston’s lead does not last long as less than four minutes into the third, the Bruins have a terrible miscommunication in their own zone, resulting in Kasperi Kapanen being all alone and he beats Rask with the shot. This hockey game is tied at two goals apiece with sixteen minutes left to play.

That does not last long either, Charlie Coyle works hard along the end boards behind Andersen, feeding Marchand in the slot. Marchand fakes a wrist shot as he gathers the puck, shoots a shot that’s blocked, but gets his own rebound to bury it again. Three goals in 4:57, Bruins score 1:12 after Toronto’s goal, 3-2 Bruins.

The B’s continue their offensive opportunities shortly after the midway mark of the third period as the first-line of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak gets more than one really good chance to score, but Andersen stops it. Boston is putting a lot of shots towards the net, creating rebounds from the puck hitting either Andersen or the traffic in front of the net.

As the game is winding down, the Leafs are clearly trying for a hail mary play to tie this hockey game. They have iced the puck on numerous occasions in hopes of getting a long-distance pass for an odd-man rush. Boston has done a solid job thus far limiting speed in the neutral zone in the final regulation frame.

With 1:30 left to tick away, captain Zdeno Chara buries the empty-net goal to give Boston a two-goal advantage. Leafs captain John Tavares shatters his stick across the post in frustration and Boston will end their four-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 34 TOR: 31

Final Score: 4-2 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS F Brad Marchand – 2 Goals (GWG), 7 Shots, 1 Hit, 18:21 TOI

2nd Star: BOS G Tuukka Rask – 29 Saves, .935 SV%

3rd Star: BOS F Charlie Coyle – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 3 Shots, 1 Block, 19:13 TOI

Boston is right back at it tomorrow against the Washington Capitals in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins are now 12-3-4 on the season.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 19 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

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PHOTO CREDITS: (CHARLES KRUPA/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

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

Only a few days removed from one of the worst third-periods in recent memory, the Boston Bruins are back against their Original Six rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, in game one of a back-to-back this weekend. Sunday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers marked the fourth-consecutive loss by the Bruins, dropping their record to 11-3-4, but still hold the first place position in the Atlantic Division.

Toronto is not doing so hot as of late, either, losing two consecutive games and falling out of a playoff spot early on in the season. Not long after the return of captain John Tavares, the Leafs lost forward Mitch Marner for the next four weeks due to a high ankle sprain. Toronto also recently saw the return of forward Zach Hyman, but still lost a 5-4 game to the New York Islanders. The Leafs are ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 9-7-4 record.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 7-2-2 2.16 GAA .926 SV% Last Game: 25 Saves in 5-4 SO loss to FLA

TOR: Frederik Andersen (Likely) 9-3-3 2.72 GAA .912 SV% Last Game: 25 Saves in 5-4 loss to NYI

Who’s Hot:

Auston Matthews is one of the lone players not injured right now on the Maple Leafs so he is being tasked with the majority of the workload and he has stepped up to the plate. The superstar forward has points in five-straight games, improving his season numbers to 13-13-26 totals in 20 games played. Matthews has not scored a goal in the last three games, but has tallied seven assists in those games including a four-assist effort against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 10th.

Surprisingly, Danton Heinen has been really good for the Bruins as of late. The 24-year-old forward only has 4-4-8 numbers in 18 games in 2019-2020, but has scored points in each of the last two games. The Athletic’s Joe McDonald, (@JoeyMacHockey on Twitter), wrote an article on Friday about the recent play of Heinen and how even though he hasn’t come big on the score sheet, he still has played a great game – improving his net-front play and strength along the boards. Heinen has become a great versatile player and that article highlights that.

David Krejci has dealt with some early-season injuries that has halted his play, but yet the veteran center still has 2-7-9 numbers in 12 games and has six points in his last five games. Against the Panthers, Krejci played 17:34 of ice-time and tallied two assists on Anders Bjork’s power-play marker and Zdeno Chara’s third of the year. Both assists were primary helpers.

Who’s Not:

Kasperi Kapanen is going to be relied on a bit more with the absence of Mitch Marner and for the Maple Leafs, that production is going to need to come sooner rather than later. The Kuopio, Finland native has five goals and six assists for eleven points in 20 games on the campaign, but only has one point in his last five games – a goal scored against the Islanders. Kapanen, 24, signed a three-year contract extension with Toronto worth $3.2 million per season last summer.

Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said recently that defenceman’s Charlie McAvoy’s play as of late has not been bad, but the production levels are just not there right now. Without power-play quarterback Torey Krug in the lineup, McAvoy needs to put up more points than his 0-4-4 numbers show now. It may be a lot to ask of him to play better offensively when he has been decent on the defensive side, but successful teams have showed that offensive threats on the blueline can pay off in the long and short term.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Brad Marchand is playing in his 700th career NHL regular-season game
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one even-strength goal away (214) from passing Cam Neely (214) for sole possession of 6th-most even-strength goals in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one power-play goal away (99) from 100 career NHL power-play goals

Toronto Maple Leafs:

  • F John Tavares is three assists away (397) from 400 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Leafs Outlook:

It is only November 15th and this is the third meeting of four between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2019-2020 NHL regular-season, with the fourth and final game taking place on March 14th in Boston. So far this season, the Bruins are winning the season series with a regulation win and an overtime loss back in October.

Friday’s contest in Toronto will be another battle of two teams dealing with injuries. For Boston, they will be without forwards Jake DeBrusk (lower-body), David Backes (upper-body), Zach Senyshyn (lower-body), and Karson Kuhlman (leg) as well as defensemen Torey Krug (upper-body), Kevan Miller (lower-body), and John Moore (upper-body). Forward Trent Frederic has been called up to the NHL and will play tonight as well. The Maple Leafs will be without forward Mitch Marner (ankle) and forward Alexander Kerfoot (face).

Boston’s power-play fell to third in the league at 30.5%, but still has a dangerous man-advantage along with their 82.1% penalty-kill percentage (13th in NHL). Toronto’s power-play needs work at 17.6%, while their penalty-kill is not much better at a 75.3% success rate so far this season.

The six most recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductees will be in attendance tonight as the Bruins and Maple Leafs host the annual Hockey Hall of Fame Game in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Boston’s Goaltending Strategy Extending Into The Playoffs

( Photo Credit: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images )

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

 

After Tim Thomas solidified a championship-winning run for the Boston Bruins in 2011, he took a longer than expected sabbatical from the NHL leaving Tuukka Rask the keys to the kingdom. Rask has been the Bruins sole beneficiary to their successful season since 2012. A recent question to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy by The Athletics’s Fluto Shinzawa has made Bruins fans wonder, how long until teams are using the same goalie tandems they’re using in the regular season in the playoffs?

Fluto Shinzawa’s question to Cassidy centered around how goalie tandems are so heavily used in the regular season, but perish in the playoffs entirely. Fluto asked if and when we will see the same regular-season timeshare used in the playoffs. “I don’t know if it will be this year. But I think eventually, if they’re structured that way during the regular season, then why would you necessarily change it in the playoffs? So I could see it happening, definitely. Absolutely,” Cassidy said during one of his pressers. For years, the NHL has relied heavily on one goaltender to carry a team throughout a playoff run. Martin Brodeur led his New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups; two of which he had played over 70 games in the regular season.

Dominik Hasek had played in 65 games before his first cup with Detroit. Jonathan Quick led his Los Angeles Kings to two cups, playing in 69 and 49 regular-season games in their respective years. Tim Thomas played in 57 regular-season games in 2011, before hoisting the cup in June 2012. Starting goaltenders have always been expected to play most of the regular season, and continue that regularity into the playoffs. Recently, the NHL has seen goalies’ workload split almost evenly between starter and backup in the regular season. Teams have been focusing on finding reliable backups who can give rest to their star keeper. It’s only a matter of time before we see this continue into the postseason.

Andrei Vasilvesky is Tampa Bay’s young promising goaltender, who has already won the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender in the regular season) at the age of 24. He was part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s historic run last year when Tampa roared through the entire NHL racking up 128 points. The 2018-2019 Lightning won 76% of their games, in large part due to their lethal offense and stingy defense and goaltending. Vasilevsky played in 53 games last season. The Lightning were not only heavy favorites to sweep the Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs, but was predicted to walk into the Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning (and the rest of the NHL) were stunned to see the Columbus Blue Jackets sweep the series four games to none. Vasilevsky’s regular-season timeshare was questioned and many wondered if he was overused.

The 2019 Stanley Cup Final was represented by two goalies: Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington. Binnington at one time played for the Bruins’ farm system as an emergency loan before ultimately starting for the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were at the bottom of the standings by Christmas and were viewed as heading for a rebuilding year and sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. Jordan Binnington received the call-up because their current goalie, Jake Allen, sported a 2.83 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Binnington sparked a winning streak in the Blues and appeared in 32 regular-season games and eventually carried his team to the Final. Binnington’s usage during the regular season had been a unique situation, but the message stays the same: goalies who have more rest during the regular season enter the playoffs fresh. They fare extremely well the deeper the playoff run extends.

Tuukka’s situation was more common. He had never had a strong backup who could handle a larger workload. They swung and missed on numerous back-ups including Malcolm Subban, Zane McIntyre, and Nicklas Svedberg. Anton Khudobin seemed to handle the backup role quite well, but was given a two year, $5 million raise from the Dallas Stars and the Bruins were unwilling to match for a perennial backup. In the 2018 off-season Don Sweeney, current General Manager of the Boston Bruins, signed former New York Islander starter Jaroslav Halak to take on Rask’s backup duties. He was signed to a $5.5 million deal over two years, which exceeds Khudobin’s raise.

The difference here is that Halak was a long-time starter for the Canadiens, Blues, and Islanders. He had the resume that could withstand a long season with dependable starting opportunities, which is something the previous backups lacked. Halak most recently guarded the Islanders’ goal from the 2014-2017 seasons. The Islanders had a strenuous 2017-2018 season allowing the most shots on goal in the entire NHL, making Halak’s job harder than it already was. He posted a weak 2.80 goals-against average on Long Island. Halak came into Boston giving Rask something he wasn’t used to a reliable backup who can handle a substantial amount of starts appearing in 40 games in the 2018-2019 season. Halak was back to his old form in the black and gold posting a 2.34 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

 

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Halak’s reliable play put Tuukka in a fantastic situation to tend the twine deep into the playoffs. It, unfortunately, did not gain the Bruins a championship, but Rask was often the best player on the ice throughout the playoffs, which can be attributed to his regular-season rest. The closest we’ve seen to a team using a goalie tandem in the playoffs was the Pittsburgh Penguins during their historic run winning back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Marc-Andre Fleury was one of the team’s biggest stars, which is a high accolade playing alongside Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Kris Letang. Fleury played in 58 games in the regular season, with a promising young goalie prospect, Matt Murray, only providing rest for 13 games.

Jeff Zatkoff played in the remaining 11 games. Fleury, a three-time Cup winner, was injured in the second game of the playoffs, ceding the crease to Murray. Behind some impeccable offensive firepower, Murray and the Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup championship. The following season the two net-minders split time almost evenly. The Penguins gave Fleury the starting nod come playoff time. Fleury was a force in the first two playoff series, ensuring his team won both. He was eventually pulled in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals after allowing four goals on nine shots. Murray started the rest of the way, earning the franchise’s fifth championship.

The goalie tandem is not unheard of in the NHL but has not been viewed as best practice. Certain circumstances have shown that it is necessary. If a goalie in the regular season benefits from a reliable backup, what’s stopping that same philosophy in the playoffs? The Bruins are set up to be one of the best teams to test this theory, given they essentially have two starting-caliber goalies and a coach who is not afraid to play the hot hand, regardless of a player’s salary. These upcoming playoffs could come with an interesting twist if Cassidy decides that Halak and Rask can co-exist in the sport’s most crucial time of the year.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins 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 No Longer Playing “Lights Out” Hockey

Image result for bruins panthers power outage

(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

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

On Military Appreciation night at TD Garden, all the accolades went to those who were suited up in the stands. And rightfully so.

Because what happened to those in Black N’ Gold who suited up on the ice, especially from the 3rd period onward… well, it was woefully void of anything appreciatory, celebratory or congratulatory.

In short, the lights literally and figuratively went out on the Boston Bruins.

On a night everyone was supposed to remember for all the right reasons — sacrifice, duty, service — the Bruins gave us a performance we’ll remember for all the wrong ones. Ironically, it involved the team lacking all of the aforementioned qualities during a stretch of hockey that was easily the worst I’ve ever seen in my *lifetime.

*(I’m not counting the forgettable fiasco YouTube’d below since I only heard the expletives shouted from the other room by family members and was told later that everyone was seeing “Stars” — and not the kind I should be dreaming about. Then again, how can you dream when nightmare scenarios like this happen as a hockey-loving kid…)

 

Speaking of things that will keep you up all night… up 4-0 with twenty minutes of hockey left to play on home ice — and in major need of a win after losing three uninspired games in a row — the B’s treated all their fans, and those in uniform let’s not forget, to one mistake and mishap after another.

This led to four unanswered goals from a truly powerless Panthers club and pulled the plug on any electricity Boston originally brought to the game, TD Garden grids aside (not to be confused with the ol’ Boston Garden grid that flexed some series outage awesomeness during the ’88 Stanley Cup Finals against Edmonton).

 

You know who also had an outage of epic proportion in this grotesque game? Tuukka Rask. The “Big O” we were all hoping for was supposed to be on the scoreboard, not the switch board. And after the first two periods, it looked pretty pretty pretty good. Talk about enthusiasm being curbed shortly thereafter.

From everyone rooting for a shutout, the B’s were soon heading for a SHOOTOUT — Rask letting in at least two soft goals in the interim. And since it’s an NHL rule that Boston can never win after OT, you could see the extra point evaporating as quickly as Coach Cassidy’s lackluster line-up of would-be scorers (who are all bereft of breakaway abilities, never mind shootout sureness).

Thank goodness it’s only November. If there is such a thing as a “Stanley Cup Hangover,” then it may be cured for the B’s by the holidays as opposed to February or March when it could be too late to recover. But unlike simply flipping a switch to restore power, these beleaguered Bruins will now have to work harder than they have since the postseason to get all the energy back from their hot start.

After four consecutive losses, with the fourth coming as a result of blowing a four-goal lead to a team from Florida, things are indeed looking dark in Bruins Nations right now. Maybe it’ll LIGHT a fire for a team in desperate need of a spark!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Florida: 11/12/19

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Florida Panthers

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – Coyle

Bjork – Lindholm – Senyshyn

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Carlo

Vaakanainen – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Huberdeau –  Barkov – Dadonov

Vatrano – Trocheck – Malgin

Hoffman – Boyle – Connolly

Hunt – Acciari – Sceviour

Defense

Yandle – Ekblad

Matheson – Stralman

Pysyk – Brown

Goalies

Bobrovsky

Montembeault

Torey Krug was sidelined for this one with an upper-body injury and Urho Vaakanainen made his season debut with the Bruins in his place. Brett Ritchie and David Backes were also out with upper-body injuries. Jake DeBrusk sat for a second straight game in this one with a lower-body injury. Those injuries, on top of injury recoveries that John Moore and Kevan Miller continued to go through, forced the Bruins to roll with new second and third forward lines, as well as a new look on defense outside of the top pairing.

First Period

It was a weird start. There were just three shots on goal (2-1 Bruins) combined through the first 7:01 of the game. The first period was just a lot of back-and-forth. Some decent chances here and there, but nothing too crazy. Charlie Coyle did come very close to opening the scoring and notch his third goal of the season though.

Matt Grzelcyk saw two great chances come his way with around two minutes remaining. One was blocked by Mike Hoffman, the other was deflected out of his play. Neither team could get on the board.

Shortly after those chances, Charlie McAvoy caught Aleksander Barkov up high and went off for high sticking. Barkov was a bit shaken up on the play, and the Panthers had a power play with 13 seconds remaining in the period. A minute and 47 seconds of power play time bled into the second period for the Panthers. The final shots in the period were 7-5 Bruins.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Just 57 seconds into the period, 1:10 of total time into the power play, the lights briefly shut off at TD Garden and play was stopped as a result. The Panthers were understandably not happy as it disrupted the flow of their power play in the offensive zone.

Sean Kuraly nearly got the scoring going as he flew towards the net with the puck on his stick, crashed into Sergei Bobrovsky, and failed to score. It was a wild start to the second period, to say the least.

At the 15:38 mark, Patrice Bergeron went to the box for holding, giving the Panthers their second power play opportunity of the game. The Panthers failed to score and eventually, at the 8:05 mark, David Pastrnak finally opened the scoring.

Coming into this one, the Bruins were 9-2-1 when scoring first. That’s good for scoring first in 76.47 percent of their total games prior to tonight, and winning 75 percent of those games. Pastrnak’s 16th goal of the season was assisted by Bergeron (10).

Joakim Nordstrom decided to get amongst the scoring as well, making it 2-0. Nordstrom’s second of the season was assisted by Coyle (5). The man comes back from injury against Philadelphia on Sunday, then scores a big goal on Tuesday. Not a bad way to make an impression after a stint on injured reserve.

Things didn’t get much better for the Panthers afterward as Dryden Hunt took a holding penalty with 4:27 to go in the period. Need more secondary scoring? Just ask Anders Bjork too. Bjork’s sent a wrister on Bobrovsky that bounced off of him and in to give the Bruins a three-goal lead. Bjork’s third goal of the season was assisted by David Krejci (6) and Brad Marchand (19).

The fourth unanswered goal of the period, came from Zdeno Chara getting behind Bobrovsky and burying a loose puck. Chara’s third goal of the season was assisted by Krejci (7) and Heinen (4). Check out the whole sequence in three parts below. Four goals in seven minutes and 26 seconds.

What a wild period. The Bruins outshot the Panthers 16-7, bringing the games total shots to 23-12 Bruins. It was for sure one of the better periods that the Bruins have played all season. A huge lead was all of the sudden in their collective grasp after a scoreless first period.

Score: 4-0 Boston

Third Period

Bad news came during the intermission in the form of Zach Senyshyn’s presence on the team for much of the second period. It was eventually announced that he would not return the game with a lower-body injury, putting the Bruins down a forward for the third period.

Samuel Montembeault took over in net for the Panthers to start the period and they responded early in the form of an Aaron Ekblad one-timer. Nordstrom was at the defensive blue line attempting to play defense, and that threw everything off defensively for the Bruins – the Panthers capitalized and made it 4-1.

Shortly after the goal, Vincent Trocheck launched himself towards Pastrnak. Pastrnak eventually got up following the collision under his own power, but Marchand took exception and gave Trocheck a bit of a piece of his mind. Trocheck then went off for elbowing. The Bruins didn’t convert on the power play.

Chris Wagner then went off for slashing just about four minutes into the period. Old friend Frank Vatrano made Wagner pay on the power play, because of course it was a former Bruin that scored – that happens on occasion.

The revitalized Panthers responded early and often after being on the receiving end of a thrashing in the second period. The wild final two periods surely made up for a quiet first period in terms of entertainment value.

Another penalty for the Bruins turned into another goal for the Panthers. Sean Kuraly went off with 11:28 to go for hooking. Hoffman buried a backhander to make it 4-3 Bruins. Things got tense really quickly. After an excellent start to the season, it has been tough sledding for Tuukka Rask as of late.

Former Bruin Noel Acciari tripped his old linemate Sean Kuraly with 6:28 to go, but the Bruins didn’t score on the man advantage. This game went into the Ford F-150 Final Five with a 4-3 score. David Krejci then went off the ice slowly after blocking a shot late in the period – leaving the Bruins down another forward.

It was once 4-0 Bruins, then it became 4-4. Four unanswered goals from each team. I definitely don’t remember ever seeing such an obscure feat accomplished in a hockey game. Keith Yandle tied the game with 1:39 to go. Overtime commenced. The shots were 12-9 Panthers, bringing the regulation total to 32-24 Bruins.

Score: 4-4

Overtime

Marchand, Pastrnak, and Coyle had premium chances, but no dice. It was an entertaining overtime period that became very stressful at the end. Hoffman found himself alone, but Rask stoned him. Rask then made a follow-up save to send the game to a shootout in the dying seconds of overtime. The shots in ovetime were 6-5 Bruins, 38-29 overall.

Shootout

Round one

Frank Vatrano: Miss

Chris Wagner: Miss

Round two

Vincent Trocheck: Goal

Brad Marchand: Miss

Round three

Jonathan Huberdeau: Miss

Charlie Coyle: Goal

Round four

Mike Hoffman: Goal

Charlie McAvoy: Miss

Final Score: 5-4 Florida (Shootout)

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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