Annual Providence Bruins Fan Club Fundraiser

( Above Photo Credit:  The Pink Puck )

By: Mark Allred              Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

It’s that time of year again to get your tickets to the annual Providence Bruins Fan Club  Fundraiser! This year’s theme is “Peeps For A Purpose” and is an all-you-can-eat dinner at Wright’s Farm Restuarant and Banquet Facility in Hartsville, Rhode Island. Tickets are going fast for the Wednesday, April 11, 2018, event so if you want to dine with some of the Providence Bruins players, please call (401) 426-8277 to get involved in this great event where all proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics of Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

                           

Check out the flyer below for more information about this great event put on by the volunteers of the Providence Bruins Fan Club and the Providence Bruins Foundation

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence,  Rhode Island.  You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.

Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pbruinsfanclub

Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
401.426.8277

A Bruins’ Depth Dissection

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Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe

By: Spencer Fascetta                                                                           Twitter: @PuckNerdHockey

Much has been made in recent weeks about the Bruins’ supposed depth issues, and how they need to be addressed at the trade deadline. However, I believe that there is, in fact, a roster jam, the likes of which are quite difficult to manage. So, let’s figure this out.

The NHLers:

This group all belong in the NHL and have spent no time in the AHL this season. They are on 1-way contracts and are not waiver-exempt OR are on entry level contracts, and made the team out of training camp, but have yet to set foot in the AHL this season. For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that their spot in the lineup cannot be touched.

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Ryan Spooner
Tim Schaller Riley Nash David Backes
Noel Acciari

The Fringe:

Forwards:

Danton Heinen – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Exempt, Currently in Boston

Anders Bjork – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Exempt, Currently on IR

Sean Kuraly – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Eligible, Currently in Boston

Peter Cehlarik – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Exempt, Currently in Providence

Frank Vatrano – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Eligible, Currently in Boston

Austin Czarnik – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Exempt, Currently in Providence

Kenny Agostino –NHL Contract, Waiver Eligible, Currently in Providence

Jordan Szwarz – NHL Contract, Waiver Eligible, Currently in Providence

Matt Beleskey – NHL Contract, Modified No-Trade Clause, Currently buried in Providence

Bruins Senators Hockey

Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand

According to the table above, there are four forward spots on this roster that are relatively in flux. Two of those are easy. Danton Heinen is 4th in team scoring and should be receiving legitimate Calder Trophy consideration. He’s on the team, no question. Sean Kuraly has been part of the best 4th line the Bruins have had since the famed Merlot Line with himself, Schaller, and Acciari. I don’t foresee him going anywhere. That then leaves two forward spots for the remaining 7 guys that have played in the NHL this season. I don’t see Beleskey being recalled anytime soon, especially with the injury trouble he’s run into down in Providence. Unfortunately, that contract has the appearance of a sunk cost right now. Agostino has already been up and down this season and has cleared waivers every time. Although he has been good for the Baby B’s, he hasn’t done nearly enough while with the big club to indicate that he should be the next guy up. The same can be said for Jordan Szwarz, who I have never been tremendously thrilled with at the pro level. Just like that, we’ve pared the list down to four guys and two spots to be filled.

Frank Vatrano, Jonathan Bernier

Photo Credit: Mark J. Temill

These two spots are not going to be regulars at the NHL level, and that’s important to understand. Of the four remaining, Cehlarik and Bjork are still on their entry-level contracts – this means they are waiver exempt and will be for the remainder of their contracts. Austin Czarnik can spend literally a single day more on an NHL roster before he becomes waiver eligible – indeed, he was recalled specifically for the games he played in his most recent stint and promptly sent back to Providence immediately afterward so as to prolong his waiver-exempt status. Frank Vatrano is the only one who isn’t waiver exempt – because he likely would be claimed the second he gets placed on waivers, he gets the nod despite being underneath Bjork and Cehlarik in the pecking order. I don’t think Vatrano fits as a 4th liner, and he isn’t consistent enough to play in the Top 6. Unfortunately, this pigeonholes him to the point where it would be beneficial for Boston to explore what the trade market looks like for him. It’s always preferable to get an asset in return for a player rather than simply losing them on waivers. So, Vatrano is (currently) the 13th forward.

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Photo Credit: Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Much like Vatrano doesn’t fit as a 4th liner, I don’t think it behooves the Bruins to stick Anders Bjork in the bottom six and to give him zero powerplay time. In Providence, he can gain some confidence, and be a go-to guy. Unfortunately, Heinen has become what they thought Bjork would be much more quickly that Bjork has been able to. He has also had a few injury issues. He should spend the rest of the year in Providence unless multiple Top 6 forwards end up unable to play or injured.

Cehlarik is a little more nuanced. Based on this analysis, he would be the 14th forward, but I prefer to have him playing on a regular basis, not sitting in the press box every 3 out 4 games. He also has had a lot of poor injury luck throughout his career, so I’d like to see him get through a full season healthy before he makes the jump full time.

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins

Photo Credit: Steve Babineau

Defense:

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller

 

The Fringe:

Matt Grzelcyk – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Exempt, Currently in Boston

Adam McQuaid – NHL Contract, Waiver Eligible, 2 years remaining, Currently in Boston

Paul Postma – NHL Contract, Waiver Eligible, 1 year remaining, Currently in Boston

Rob O’Gara – Entry Level Contract, Waiver Exempt, Currently in Providence

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Photo Credit: John Wilcox/Boston Herald

Now, there are only 4 d-men who have seen the light of day this year who I feel are battling for position on the roster. Matt Grzelcyk has spent the least amount of time at the NHL level, yet he has been far and away the best of the group. He has done more than enough to force the Bruins to keep him not only in the NHL for the duration of the season but in the lineup on a night to night basis. That makes him the 6th defenseman. McQuaid isn’t going anywhere on this roster despite my hesitation with such decisions, so that makes 7.

Now, if you’ve been keeping count, that leaves a single roster spot available between Paul Postma, Rob O’Gara, Austin Czarnik, and Peter Cehlarik. Cehlarik and O’Gara are waiver exempt – they have a place in Providence, so that’s where they will be. Czarnik retains his waiver exempt status as long as he remains in Providence, so unless something changes drastically, I doubt we see any more of him this season apart from the occasional emergency loan recall (which allows for a recall for a brief period of time without having to pass through waivers in either direction). Now, I cannot confirm nor deny that Paul Postma still exists, but he appears to be that 21st skater on this roster, as he would likely be lost if placed on waivers. So, the three scratches would be (in an ideal world) McQuaid, Postma, and Vatrano.

 

Hopefully, this has cleared this up for anyone confused to why there seems to be quite a bit of roster shuffling as of late. I also hope that people can see that the Bruins do not and SHOULD not have to add anything at the trade deadline. They have plenty of depth as it is.

 

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Providence Bruins Czarnik Continues Outstanding Play

( Above Photo Credit:  Alan Sullivan Photography )

By: Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues All-Star Classic festivities are set to kick off tonight at 8pm with the Skills Competition from the Adirondack Bank Center, and All-Star Challenge set for puck drop in the four-team  3-on-3 round-robin tournament at 7pm tomorrow night. This is the second time in four-years the city of Utica, New York has hosted the event since pro hockey returned to the area in 2013. Providence Bruins forward Austin Czarnik was selected to represent the B’s and will participate in his first Mid-Season event of his young professional career.

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In tonight’s All-Star Skills Competition, the fast and skilled Czarnik will be involved in a few events such as event three and AHL Live sponsored Rapid Fire, event six and Turning Stone Resort Casino sponsored Pass and Score, and finally, event seven and Dunkin” Donuts sponsored Breakaway Relay. All events the crafty forward will be participating in tonight’s fun test of skills and speed will fit well as the 25-year-old is once again putting in a solid effort this season for the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins. The 5′-9″ 161-pound has had a tremendous career in the AHL, and with all of this solid play and league recognition, it remains to be seen where his talents bring him after this summer as he’s currently on his last season of his one-year extension he signed back in July of 2017.

The 5′-9″ 161-pound has had a tremendous career in the AHL, and with all of this solid play and league recognition, it remains to be seen where his talents bring him after this summer as he’s currently on his last season of his one-year extension he signed back in July of 2017.  Czarnik, a Washington Township native has worked hard to become a solid 200-foot player going back to his colligate days with the University of Miami (Ohio) where he posted 169 points in 159 games played.  Signed as an undrafted free agent out of college at the end of March in 2015, the offensive-minded versatile forward transitioned his point-per-game style nicely as an undersized talent to the AHL where he’s very close to being a point-per-game career AHL’er with 126 points in 130 games all with the Providence team.

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This season Czarnik has 11-29-40 numbers in 37 games played and leads the team in overall points, assists, and is fourth in goals, one behind veteran Kenny Agostino who has 12. He also leads the team on the power-play with five goals as he plays that Ryan Spooner style game on the man advantage being the pivot man between the forwards near or behind the net and defensemen along the point. His leadership and willing to learn even though he’s spent a few seasons in the highest developmental league has instilled a lot of trust from first-year Head Coach Jay Leach to be a key voice on and off the ice to younger players who recently started minor-pro hockey.

Last night Providence suffered an unfortunate 5-2 loss to the surprisingly hot Springfield Thunderbirds and after the B’s went 11-2-1-0 in the final month of 2017, the transition to the new year has been somewhat concerning as the games in January 2018 have produced a 4-6-0-1 record which is the worse of the current 2017-18 campaign. Regardless of the “teams” struggles, Czarnik remains to put a solid individual effort together this season, and with a goal in last night’s loss, he has goals in his previous two games and accrued points in his last six appearances which is a career and 2017-18 season high.

I believe Austin has, in fact, earned consideration for at least another one-year deal. His presence continues to be a valued in the minor system when it comes to “depth players” and could be heavily considered as one to recall if a position needs to be filled up the middle or on the right side. Czarnik’s career NHL numbers of 14 points in 55 games shouldn’t be a knock on him nor his NHL potential, as most players like him take the longer road to higher-level careers. For me, I see value in a players role above immediate top-level pro success as an NHL franchise can’t continue without the facilitating franchises in the lower leagues of development and training. Regardless, I look forward to seeing what Czarnik can do in the remaining 32 games and the process over the summer when it comes to his restricted free-agent status.

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As a fan that pays close attention to all levels of the Bruins organization, gauging his first full NHL career season is not an easy thing at all when drafted players from the team may hold higher value. Depending what happens to players like Sean Kuraly, Riley Nash, Fran Vatrano, Tim Schaller, and Ryan Spooner and their individual contract status, Czarnik would most likely be passed over for a player like Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson for his stronger 200-foot two-way game but might find space in other areas of the top 12 offensive structure. Also can’t neglect the fact that he could have a faster climb to NHL success with another NHL franchise who might also want to add a player like Austin on the cheap if the Bruins don’t see a potential future as both sides went into the 2015 entry-level signing on the cheap and worth the gamble.

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence,  Rhode Island.  You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.

Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pbruinsfanclub

Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
401.426.8277

Bruins Prospect Gabrielle Adjusting Nicely In WHL Return

( Above Photo Credit:  Photographer Keith Hershmiller )

By: Mark Allred                 Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect Jesse Gabrielle entered his first year of professional hockey in October of 2017 with the B’s top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins, but after a four-point effort in 21 games in Rhode Island, the B’s organization felt his development would benefit him greatly with a return to the Western Hockey League. His career in one of the top major-junior leagues in Canada has been impressive so far for the 20-year-old forward as he’s contributed 214 points in 254 games.

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Gabrielle, a Moosomin, Saskatchewan native was drafted in the fourth round of the National Hockey Leagues Entry Draft in 2015 and Bruins scouts saw something in him for a mid-round selection as a player with grit, speed, and uncanny offensive attributes. That is still true today as he continues to develop and his demotion should not be a question of character or draft bust. Moves like these from NHL clubs happen quite often for those who follow players in the prospect rankings on a regular basis, and most turn out successful as an act of continued learning. His offensive talents can’t be denied as he posted 130 goals as a bantam in 117 games as a 13-year-old to move up to be a fifth-round selection of the Brandon Wheat Kings to start a four-year career in the WHL to score 113 goals.

The Hockey Writers Bruins contributor Brandon Share-Cohen wrote a solid piece about Jesse back in September of 2017, mentioning that the rugged winger could be in the mix of cracking the NHL B’s roster as his “dark horse” pick. Although Brandon’s thoughts didn’t come to fruition, that doesn’t mean he won’t be in the mix next season during the 2018 Development Camp, Rookie Camp, or NHL training camp from the Warrior Ice Arena during the Bruins events in the summer offseason. Even if he doesn’t make the NHL roster next season, he’ll still be a valuable asset to the Bruins depth with two remaining years left on his Entry-Level contract that he signed in December of 2016.

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This year, the City of Regina, Saskatchewan was selected to host the 100th Anniversary of the Memorial Cup which today is sponsored by Mastercard. This is a great opportunity for Gabrielle to not only be an agitator and offensive threat but his experience and WHL veteran leadership will be heavily relied on regardless of what line he plays on. With the City of Regina hosting the popular four-team round-robin tournament from May 17th – 27th 2018, a return to the Providence Bruins isn’t out of the realm if the B’s make a deep Calder Cup Playoff run.

So far this season the Regina Pats are sitting in the first position in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings with a 24-19-4-0 record (52 Points) in 47 games played and are on a four-game winning streak since the Gabrielle was returned to the area he grew up around. From the video provided above from the Pats official Twitter account, he looks happy to be bad and has a positive attitude regardless of the current situation. One of his key attributes is his eagerness to help any team no matter what level as in the short time with the Pats so far in his return with 3-2-5 numbers in those four games.

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Bruins Photographer Alan Sullivan Needs Your Help

By: Mark Allred              Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

I’ve known for some time that my friend and Bruins photographer Alan Sullivan has been struggling with diabetes and recently found out some terrible news over the holiday season and could use some help from the many folks that he’s meet in the past and touched through his work covering the Boston Bruins, Providence Bruins, and other sports-related events. I meet Alan three years ago at the annual Bruins Development Camp at Ristuccia Memorial Arena where the Bruins used to hold team camps and practices before upgrading to the new Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Alan has always been a class act when I need permission to use an image for any articles and always up to meet at Bruins related events to have a friendly discussion about life and whats going on throughout the organization. He’s still going strong with the no quit attitude after his recent diagnosis and I had the pleasure to talk for awhile as he was in attendance at last night’s Boston Bruins – Montreal Canadiens contest at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts doing the thing he loves as the B’s beat the Habs 4-1 in front of a sold-out crowd.

I’m asking all the readers of the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog to please take a moment and read up on the struggles my friend Alan is going through and even consider donating to his cause to not only save his foot/leg but ultimately help save his life.

Below is Alan Sullivan’s message from his GoFundMe Page. Details to donate are provided below.

For over 6 years I have been in a severe battle with Diabetes.  In this battle, there have been many fights and it has come to pass that I have lost most of those fights.

All the toes on my right foot have been amputated, through several surgeries. This is the result of Osteomyelitis (bone infections) and other diabetic related issues.

Today, I am in a new fight:  to save my foot and leg from being amputated just below the knee due to another bone infection currently in my heel.

This news came to me as I was recently hospitalized again.   I had a feeling things were not going well because of a blister from a few months ago. It began to hurt and that is not a good sign for me as I am now aware of what it feels like to get Osteomyelitis.  On December 26, a visit to the emergency room confirmed my suspicion. I was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital and treated for 5 days. Doctors confirmed that I do have Osteo again and that I am in danger of losing the foot & leg up the knee if treatment does not work yet again.

As most of you know, I have been in some form of walking boot for the last 6 years.  I am probably more recognizable with the boot on (and sometimes my scooter!)  but I still smile every day and I never let it or these battles beat me down.

However, there is another battle on this front which has finally caught up to me: medical bills.  Costs ranging from medications, treatments, doctor visits (I have been paying $60 co-pays almost weekly for over a year) and hospital stays – many of which are not fully covered my insurance – have been a major concern for me.

These new bills for this new treatment to save my foot & leg will be devastating, as I am only one man and make one salary and I am going to be out of work for up to 6 weeks along with already being out for almost 8 weeks this past summer. I simply cannot catch up with all the bills that are coming in and today I am asking for your help.

I’ll be honest, I hate to be the person that needs a Go Fund Me page. However, after much consideration, I feel as if this is my only option and I am truly humbled to be doing such a thing.

I want to be back up again and taking photos at the Bruins games   –  please help me save my foot and donate to my cause.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please consider making a donation  –  of any amount, as anything would be a tremendous help!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely yours,
Alan Sullivan

Below is a link to donate and help my friend and a classy gentleman.

https://www.gofundme.com/9×824-save-the-foot

Bruins: Making the Oddsmakers Sweat With Recent Winning Ways

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( Above Photo Credit:  Getty Images )

By: Thomas Nyström              Follow Me On Twitter @nahstrom

At the end of the Stanley Cup finals last year, the hockey world was buzzing about the Nashville Predators and their astoundingly rabid fanbase, and the loathsome Pittsburgh Penguins were preparing to raise yet another banner. Meanwhile, Vegas was just starting to put it all together. No, not just the Golden Knights… I’m talking the other team: the Vegas oddsmakers. When NHL betting lines began to come out in June of 2017, The Boston Bruins were given just 33-1 odds to win the cup in the 2017-2018 season (according to bovada.lv). That put them at 17 in the league, and essentially a fringe wild-card team at best.

Well, Vegas isn’t always right, and I’d venture a guess that we all are wishing we’d put just a few bucks down because the Bruins appear to be very much in the hunt. As of writing this, the Bruins sit 2nd in the Atlantic Division just 3 and 9 points behind Washington and Tampa Bay, respectively in the conference. Boston has also played fewer games than both teams.

According to hockeyreference.com, the Bruins now possess a 17.8% chance to reach the Stanley Cup finals, and a 10.1% chance to win the whole thing. This is a far cry from their preseason betting odds and any logical analyst looking ahead at the season prior to opening the 2017-2018 regular season. This percentage is second highest of all teams behind the Lightning. Yes, higher than the Capitals, Vegas, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. Above any other original six team which is obviously a victory for the organization and it’s die-hard fan base, albeit usually an unspoken one. Statistical analysis is backing up the buzz behind Boston who are now on a 13 game point streak and haven’t suffered a regulation loss in what seems like an eon.

The production coming out of the youth on this team have exceeded expectations, the coaching staff has handled any and all adversities quite well, and the organization may have a little more depth down in Providence than originally thought. The P-Bruins sit 8th in the AHL in win percentage despite a roster who has been the victim of call-ups and injuries. The last three months of the regular season will inevitably test that depth, and it may be a big part of how we look back on this season in Boston when all is said and done.

Perhaps the depth will be addressed as the trade deadline, where the Bruins could likely use a defenseman, and a right winger at the NHL level, and I could certainly make an argument for goaltending depth in Providence. As of right now, I find myself trusting the organization to make the right moves more than I have in recent memory. Time will tell if I change my mind on that one — and believe me when I say, you’ll hear about it on my twitter if I’m left eating my words.

As we approach the all-star break next weekend, Boston fans have a lot to be happy about. The last half of the season will no doubt be as exciting as it’s been since 2013, and certainly more so than what was thought back in June.

Writers note: 33-1 odds for the Bruins may have brought a nice return, but could you imagine if someone took a shot and hit on the Vegas Golden Knights at 150-1? Dear Lord Stanley.

Thomas Nyström, Contributor.
Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

Old Trade Baffles Boston’s Fans, Team Has Moved On – So Should You

 

2010 NHL Draft - Round One

(Above photo credit: CBS Boston . com)

By: Chris Nosek              follow me on Twitter: @cnosek6342

On Monday, January 15th, our favorite boys in black and gold dropped their 5th game at home and only their 8th in extra time this season. This game had a former friend now foe, 25-year-old Tyler Seguin, at the other side of the faceoff dot.

At 2:59 in the extra action, the former Bruin netted the game-winner as David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, and Matt Grzelcyk were tiring from a long 3-on-3 shift, and as you can see in the video, their fatigue was the Achilles heel.

Ever since this goal went in, I had seen the non-stop lamenting of Boston fans at the loss of Tyler Seguin in the infamous July 4th trade back in 2013.

To all of you whining about “which deal was worse” (Seguin, Thorton, Bourque, or add in your own selection) and “why can’t  we get players like that?” Just stop. Stop focusing on the past – I will remind you later of that past and you will see that although the Seguin trade set this team back, they are better off now for the long term than they would have been had they kept him.

Instead of looking back, I encourage you to look forward. Neeley turned the page when he let Don Sweeney and his crew take over for Peter Chiarelli in the front office. Allowing Sweeney to focus on his strength of drafting and developing, this team as more youthful talent and depth than it ever had while Tyler Seguin was in town.

Let’s start with the fact that David Pastrnak is filling in nicely for Seguin on that RW alongside Bergeron and Marchand. While showing an ability to play alongside both top centers, Pasta and Krejci still haven’t found the LW replacement from Krejci’s heyday with Milan Lucic.  Pasta is only 21 years old and he is a natural wing finding his game and working into a nice leadership role on this team at the perfect time.

Also turning heads, which is no surprise after his heroics in the playoffs last season, is 19-year old Charlie McAvoy. The 14th overall pick out of Boston University gave just a small preview of what his pairing with Zdeno Chara could bring to this team, and lets not even talk about the puck movement on the powerplay. Now the youngster is flirting with 25 minutes of ice time per night (sometimes closer to 30), he is showing his maturity and will become a leader on this team in no time. Sharing a line with one of the hardest working players in the league, the hard work that he see’s Zdeno Chara put in is definitely rubbing off on him.

Image result for charlie mcavoy and david pastrnak

(Above photo credit: Boston Herald .com)

With McAvoy and Pastrnak getting the bulk of the attention, a guy like Danton Heinen has been flying under the radar for most of the season. The 22-year-old natural centerman is making his own case for a solid run at the Calder Trophy. With 10 goals and 21 assists, Heinen has 31 points in just 38 games this season. He is showing that he can come off the bench as needed and provide physicality while showing the skill that isn’t usually seen on the third line. By seasons end, he could see some action ahead of Jake DeBrusk and get some minutes with Pasta and Krejci.

This teams youthful depth goes so far that you can’t even go to Providence to see all the baby B’s who you should be excited about. Sure you will catch; Czarnik, Agostino, Forsbacka-Karlsson, Senyshyn, Cehlarik, Zboril, Bjork, Grzelcyk, Johansson, and Lauzon, but what about the guys getting big minutes overseas. Look for Ryan Donato, Joona Koppanen, Urho Vaakanainen, and Dan Vladar to log some minutes in Providence in 2018-2019 and keep this youthful movement coming up the Mass Pike.

For more details and breakdowns on each of these prospects, follow along with @BlackAndGold277 and his weekly prospect update.

Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast #79 1-8-18

By: Mark Allred           Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Welcome back to episode 79 of the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast in partnership with Grandstand Sports Network the best view in sports. This week we welcomed to the show CBSBoston.com, NHL.com Bruins writer and author of the book 100 Things Bruins Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, Matt Kalman to the show for a fun discussion of interesting Bruins topics in kind of a Q&A session.

Also, added a great discussion with Heroes Cup Hockey Tournament Founder and Sudbury Mass. FireFighter Mike Matros on the show to share some information about the upcoming festivities being held at the eight-rink New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Massachusetts during the weekend of April 20th-22nd 2018. For more information on this great event, please go to heroescuphockey.com

Also joining the show for some Bruins fan interaction, I had the pleasure of talking to Ian Kelly about the state of the Bruins from a fans perspective. Thanks for the time Ian!

Please follow our new partners over at Grandstand Sports Network Twitter: @Grandstand_SNgrandstandsportsnetwork.com

If you’d like to support the show and are an Amazon or Fanatics, shopper, we ask that you, please use our blackngoldhockeyblog.com advertising partner banner located to the right of the screen in our affiliation link area. By going through our website every time you shop we get a commission.

You can also financially support our show by donating $1 and have exclusive access to our new “What Ya Bruin” Mailbag segment where paying contributors get their questions answered with the highest priority. Go to patreon.com/blackngoldhockeypodcast for another way to cut the operating costs.

Follow us on Twitter at:
Mark Allred @BlackAndGold277
Rob Tomlin @Rob40bruins
Court Lalonde @courtlalonde
Podcast Account @BlackNGoldPod

Have a question or a comment for the hosts? Please send us an email at blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com

Thanks for tuning in and all the support! We’ll be back next week for another show of Bruins Hockey related material. Take Care and GO Bruins!!

You can also check out last week’s episode #78 below!

Report: Bruins Return Gabrielle To WHL

( Above Photo Credit:  DobberProsepcts )

By Mark Allred             Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Word out of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island last night during the Providence Bruins and Hartford Wolf Pack game was the Boston Bruins are expected to send 2015 fourth-round draft pick Jesse Gabrielle back to the Canadian Juniors. The 5′-11″ 205-pound left winger has struggled in his first professional season in the American Hockey League only producing four points in 21 games played. Speculation of the Gabrielle move came yesterday when his rights with the Western Hockey Leagues Prince George Cougars were traded to the Regina Pats where Jesse spent some time after being traded from the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2014-15 season.

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As mentioned above, the gritty Gabrielle is no stranger to the Canadian Junior ranks in the WHL appearing in 250 contributing 209 points. His best seasons in the tough western developmental league came in 2015-16 when he contributed 40-35-75 numbers in 72 games, then followed those efforts up with a 35-29-64 year in 2016-17. The trade and placement back in the WHL with Regina is an interesting move because the team and city are to host the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup an end of the year four-team round-robin tournament featuring the Ontario Hockey Leagues J. Ross Robertson Cup winner, Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leagues President’s Trophy winner, and the WHL’s Ed Chynoweth Cup. The city that is fortunate enough to host this popular event automatically gets involved in this tournament and this will be the second time since the inception of the four-team event in 1982 that Regina, Saskatchewan will host the festivities.

This year marks the 100th year of the Memorial Cup and in an article published shortly after hearing the great news by the official Regina Pats website, Shaun Semple, President and CEO of the Brandt Group of Companies and Chair of Regina’s Host Organizing Committee said “Our local team worked hard to put together a great bid, and we are extremely excited, and honoured, to be able to host the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup,” also adding “We’ve got some great ideas and plans, and we look forward to the opportunity to engage with junior hockey fans across the country, as we celebrate this historic centennial year.”

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Regardless of the festivities being held in Regina this year, this opportunity for Gabrielle should be a positive move for both organization and player as developing kids for the professional ranks has never been more important. Although Jesse might be disappointed with the return to a lower-level of play, I expect him to carry a high level of professionalism and cease the opportunity at hand to work hard and prove to the Bruins Brass that he should be a factor in returning to the AHL as a better all-around asset that can contribute offensively with more consistency that many folks that follow him close know he can do. I wish nothing but the best for the young talented player and will do my best to keep folk updated with any news made in his return to the WHL.

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Bruins Bjork Makes AHL Debut Tonight

( Above Photo Credit:   NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred          Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

On Wednesday the Boston Bruins announced that the team has moved forward Anders Bjork to the American Hockey League to work on his game with the top minor-pro affiliate Providence Bruins. This move from an organizational standpoint is the best way to deal with a struggling player in his first-year of professional hockey as a way to light a fire under the young player and get his head back in the game to where it was at the start of the 2017-18 National Hockey League campaign.

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Brandon Share-Cohen is a very talented writer covering the Bruins organization for the popular The Hockey Writer website and mentioned in his article many keywords such as “consistency” and “dominance” in his insightful article above, but I believe the most important word at least for me after reading Brandon’s thoughts was the mention of the word “opportunity”. The Providence team is in first place in the Atlantic Division and also at the top of the Eastern Conference and clicking on all cylinders when it comes to the developing youth and teamwork at the minor-pro level.  When you look at all the positives from the outstanding job that this team has done thus far in the 2017-18 season, and the collaborative efforts from first-year Head Coach Jay Leach and Assistants Spencer Carbery and Trent Whitfield, the addition of Bjork to an impressive developing depth may fix the recent struggles on the man advantage.

As the NHL Bruins have the best line in the league as mentioned by many top hockey personalities and writers with Patrice Bergeron centering long-time linemate Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, the AHL team in Rhode Island also has one of if not the best trio’s in the minor-pro level. Austin Czarnik centering veteran’s Kenny Agostino and Jordan Szwarz have been one of the most dynamic lines this season offensively but the struggles on the power-play and the fact that the Providence team has only one goal in the last 26 chances dating back about a month ago is quite concerning regardless of finding ways to win.

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Not only is this movement to the AHL a good move for both player and organization, but it’s a great time of the season to address this particular area of special teams regardless of how long Bjork actually stays with Providence. I believe that addressing the need on the man advantage now gives the Baby B’s the opportunity to create chemistry and work on this specific part of their game for a long AHL Calder Cup Playoff run. Also, firmly believe that not being able to put the puck in the net might’ve been one of a few reasons why the B’s couldn’t beat the Syracuse Crunch in a seven-game series to advance to the 2017 Calder Cup Finals. Last spring in the extended season the Bruins took on the Wikes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and won the best-of-five first round series 3-2 and went 6 for 22 on the power-play but declined after meeting the Hershey Bears in a best-of-seven series winning 4-3 but only had one goal on 21 chances.

The 2017 Conference Final against the Crunch the B’s were clearly outmatched but went 2 for 14 on the man advantage losing the best-of-seven round 4-1. The Providence Franchise hasn’t seen the final round since the 1998-99 season when the B’s put together a 56-16-4-4 record and marched on to win the Calder Cup beating the Rochester Americans.

When looking at the Providence power-play in AHL league rankings, the B’s are 5th from the last place scoring 18 goals in 137 chances so far this year in 32 games played giving then a 13.1 percent. That has to change to be successful no matter what league you play in.

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Providence Journal Bruins beat writer Mark Divver reported in a tweet above that the Boston Bruins talents prospect forward will not only make his debut tonight in a game at the Dunkin” Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island but he will also split the best line in hockey having veteran Agostino drop down to the second line on the left to make room for Bjork on the first. Puck drops tonight at the dunk for the first time in a long time as the club has been on the road for an eight-game trip lasting close to a month so the home barn will be buzzing with excitement for the hometown teams return.

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence,  Rhode Island.  You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.

Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pbruinsfanclub

Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
401.426.8277