Opinion: Boston Bruins Will Not Make A Big Trade At 2019 Trade Deadline

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

PHOTO CREDITS: (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The 2019 NHL Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away and the anticipation of every fan in the National Hockey League is growing by the hour. Similar to every season, in the weeks and days leading up to the February 25th deadline, the trade rumors are through the roof. NHL insiders and analysts alike are scrambling to find the latest, most in-depth scoop on any team involving trade.

For the past couple of seasons, especially this one, the Boston Bruins are one of the main teams in the mix to make a deal at or around the deadline. It is well known that the core of the Bruins – Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, etc. – are not getting any younger and it would be a good send off for some of these players to get another Stanley Cup ring under their belts.

In addition to that, the Bruins have some holes on their roster that need to be filled. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has had an issue with the depth scoring since Opening Day back in October. In the two wins last weekend against the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche, Cassidy had star forward David Pastrnak on the second-line with Krejci and Cehlarik while Danton Heinen joined Bergeron and Marchand in an attempt to spread out the offence and spark offence on other lines than the top one.

Heading into the Trade Deadline, Boston is quite clearly going to push for a top-six winger, most likely to play with David Krejci, so Pastrnak can be reunited with Bergeron and Marchand, if they do end up making that push. With a quote coming from an article published on NHL.com by Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin on Twitter), General Manager Don Sweeney does indeed recognize that need.

“My feeling is that we would like to try and add without necessarily giving up what we know is a big part of our future,” Sweeney said in comments provided to NHL.com by the Bruins. “We committed assets last year to take a swing where we felt we needed to address an area of need and we will try and do a similar thing this year. I can’t guarantee that’ll happen. This time of the year, prices are generally pretty high, but we’re going to try. We’re going to try because I think we still need it.”

cut

PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

If the Boston Bruins want to be considered a Stanley Cup Contender this season or even just a really solid team coming out of the Eastern Conference, then Sweeney needs to pull the trigger and in my eyes – that is the move to make. Make a trade for a top-six winger who can score. However, even though I’d like to see a move made, I think for a few reasons that Boston will not make a big trade this Trade Deadline.

High Risk – High Reward, Maybe.

To make a trade, you have to send someone the other way – simple equation to all trades in every sport. The Boston Bruins appear to have a large pool of prospects in not only the AHL with the Providence Bruins, but across many different hockey leagues all throughout the world. With that said, the performance of these young players in the NHL this season may be a cause for concern for other General Managers on the other end of the phone call.

Ryan Donato and Jakub Forsbacka Karlsson were arguably the best prospects in the system as we closed in on the 2018-19 season, but with their lackluster performance in the NHL, resulting in their demotion back to Providence, it is a very good chance that the GMs across the league are worried that these prospects are “flops”, which could be completely false, but it is most definitely something they are discussing.

donato

PHOTO CREDITS: (CHARLES KRUPA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin is without a doubt, the number one player on the market. Boston Globe’s Matt Porter discussed what the idea of what Columbus may be wanting for the pending unrestricted free agent.

“The market for (Panarin) is reportedly a first-round pick, a player, and a prospect. It is a high price, especially for someone who could leave a team empty-handed on July 1. But the Bruins are interested, and they’re not alone,” Porter reported.

If I were a betting man, (I am not), I would imagine Jake DeBrusk having to go to Columbus as well as a Ryan Donato or Trent Frederic and the 2019 1st Round Pick. All that with the added dilemma on what happens to Panarin after the season ends, does he test free agency, or does he sign an extension in Boston? That is a high price for a rental player and it does not guarantee a Stanley Cup for Boston.

Even if it isn’t Artemi, players such as Mark Stone, Wayne Simmonds, Michael Ferland, or Kevin Hayes – the Bruins will have to give up assets that may or may not appeal to the future of this franchise. It has been mentioned that it is a buyer’s market right now, but teams with valued assets will most likely charge an arm and a leg for that player because they can most likely get those same assets back from one of the other 30 NHL teams.

Are the assets going out worth it? That is to be determined, but nothing is official.

Sweeney’s Trade History

Even though GM Don Sweeney expressed his interest in trading, he also said in the same quote that he wants to avoid moving a large part of their future for a possible rental player. When saying that, he wants to avoid a repeat of last year’s deadline acquisition with the New York Rangers.

Put in the same position as this year, the Bruins needed help on the top-six forward core. In what looks like now like a panic move, the Bruins sent forward Ryan Spooner, defenceman Ryan Lindgren, and Boston’s 2018 1st Round Pick (traded to Ottawa for D Jacob Bernard-Docker) to the New York Rangers for forward Rick Nash who played in eleven regular season games (3-3-6 totals) and another twelve playoff games (3-2-5 totals, -7 rating) and then retired this year.

Sweeney moved a lot of youth – mainly Lindgren and that 1st Round Pick for a player that played in a combined twenty-three games in a Spoked-B sweater. Don Sweeney has stated in the past that he does not want to move another first-rounder and if it is for a player that may decide on hitting the free-agent market come July 1st, the chances of him giving in are quite slim.

usatsi_11888891_0

PHOTO CREDITS: (USA Today Sports)

When considering that, there are teams, such as Toronto, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, or Nashville that would gladly trade their first-round selection because they believe that they can be a serious Cup contender and that their pick will be a late round pick and in that regard, would not be that hard of a price to pay. Sweeney does not want to make a mistake on a trade nor make a move just for the idea of making a move, leaving some bargaining power off the table.

Free Agency Class – UFAs and RFAs

One thing that a lot of the hypothetical trade targets have in common, is that their current contract expires on July 1st. If the Bruins management decides to make a move for one of these players, it does not guarantee that they will remain on the team for the 2019-20 season. That plus the fact that the B’s will have to trade some pieces, like I have already mentioned, that may not be in the plans of the future.

Here are 10 unrestricted free agent players that could fill the Bruins holes in the free agent market IF they do not re-sign with their current organization and they decide to sign with Boston:

  • CBJ LW Artemi Panarin – 52GP – 21-42-63 in 2018-19
  • OTT RW Mark Stone – 55GP 25-31-56 in 2018-19
  • OTT C Matt Duchene – 46GP – 25-28-53 in 2018-19
  • NYI RW Jordan Eberle – 51GP 13-13-26 in 2018-19
  • OTT C/RW/LW – Ryan Dzingel 54GP 21-20-41 in 2018-19
  • NYR C/W Kevin Hayes – 46GP – 13-25-38 in 2018-19
  • DET RW/LW Gustav Nyquist – 56GP – 14-33-47 in 2018-19
  • NYR RW Mats Zuccarello – 41GP – 9-23-32 in 2018-19
  • ANA LW/RW Jakub Silfverberg – 47GP – 12-8-20 in 2018-19
  • CAR LW/RW Micheal Ferland – 48GP – 15-16-31 in 2018-19

Of course, there is no guarantee that any of these players make it to free agency and if they do decline offers from their respective teams, then there is no guarantee that they are swayed enough by the Bruins management members to come to Massachusetts and join the Bruins. However, the same can be true if the Bruins trade an arm and a leg for these players for them to just leave at the beginning of July. If Boston fails to win the Cup with them, then it is another bad move.

In the same breath, the 2018-19 free agent class has one of the most-skilled RFA class of any year’s past. When sending an offer to an RFA that makes it past July 1st, you must not only get acceptance from the player, but from the team, who has the option to match your contract offer. If the Bruins can land a player that is under a restricted free agent status, then compensation picks that vary on annual salary amount will have to be paid to the team. Under every option, the Bruins right now, are able to offer any amount. It is important to know that all picks are for the nearest Entry Draft so in this case, 2020 NHL Draft unless the compensation is multiple picks from the same round, then it can be from numerous years. Check it out below via CapFriendly Offer Sheet Calculator:

  • $0 – $1,339,575 – No Compensation
  • $1,339,576 – $2,029,659 – One 3rd Round Pick
  • $2,029,660 – $4,059,322 – One 2nd Round Pick
  • $4,059,323 – $6,088,980 – One 1st Round Pick and One 3rd Round Pick
  • $6,088,981 – $8,118,641 – One 1st Round, One 2nd Round, One 3rd Round Pick
  • $8,118,642 – $10,148,302 – Two 1st Rounds, One 2nd Round, One 3rd Round
  • $10,148,303 – ∞ – Four 1st Round Picks

If Sweeney and the Bruins make a move that will most likely have to require that first rounder, it makes a RFA offer less likely because Boston will be without a pick in the first round for three years in a row. The options for Sweeney are a lot, but the questions that are being asked often are the following.

Can the Bruins afford to move the youth and prospects that they have built up for a rental? Will a trade for a longer-term player work out? Will the lack of 1st Round Pick(s) impact the team in a negative manner for the long-term? Should Boston make a real push with Chara, Bergeron, etc., getting older and their time for another Cup running slim?

cut (1)

PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

The questions continue from there but with the weeks and days counting down, only the B’s management know what they can get and what they want. We as fans just have to bite the fingernails off as we anticipate the breaking news, or lack thereof.

In one final conclusion, I do not think that the Boston Bruins will make a big, franchise-altering trade at the Trade Deadline this season. If there will ever be a big trade, it will be at the NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver or on the opening day of NHL Free Agency. Don Sweeney’s track record has not been pleasant nor will the assets going the other way for a player that may or may not stay with Boston next season all combined together with the simple fact that nothing guarantees a Stanley Cup. What do you think about the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline?

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!  

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

Bruins Cassidy Is Here To Stay As He Nears Two Full Seasons

Boston Bruins vs New Jersey Devils

PHOTO CREDITS: (Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

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

On Saturday, February 9th, Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy will be the main man on the B’s bench for his 164th game – exactly two full 82-game seasons. Recently, individuals around the fan base have been questioning the work of Cassidy and whether or not he is the right head coach for the team moving forward in the years and seasons to come. In the shootout loss to the New York Rangers, Cassidy chose not to put forward Patrice Bergeron in the player-vs-goalie period, once again bringing up the judgement on his decisions.

Then there is the David Pastrnak situation. The Bruins are very much a front-loaded roster when it comes to the offence. Aside from the first line of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak, the Bruins do not have much to fall back on when we are talking bottom-nine scoring forwards. David Krejci can put up numbers but always seems to be lacking good wingers at all times. Jake DeBrusk has more recently brought some life to the second line, but a hole remains on the right wing.

During the fast-paced action of a game, Cassidy may put Pastrnak with his fellow countryman, David Krejci and Canadian Jake DeBrusk to “spread out” the offensive firepower. However, not before long, the trio that is a true threat to any team in the NHL is back together and a large pool of centres and wingers are placed alongside Krejci to try and find that seemingly-rare chemistry.

We have yet to see multiple games of consistent Krejci-Pastrnak action unless it is on the power-play which, coincidence or not, is one of Boston’s strongest weapons of scoring opportunities. Krejci and Pastrnak have proven in the past that they can find that chemistry that has been discussed before on many occasions and build some good chances to put the puck past the goal line and into the back of the net.

Although, once they are on together, it brings along a weaker first line, where Marchand and Bergeron lose a highly-skilled scoring player who can make things happen on the ice. Recently in an interview prior to the Kings game on Saturday, Cassidy said that they are going to try out Danton Heinen on that top line. Heinen is not Pastrnak by any stretch of the imagination and has struggled this season after a strong rookie campaign in 2017-18. Cassidy did go on to say that Heinen is more a defensive player and the three of them will not have to worry too much about the top lines of other teams because all of them, especially Patrice Bergeron, are for the most part, responsible defensively.

The lack of depth scoring on the Boston Bruins in February 2019 can also be attributed to the lack of trades by General Manager Don Sweeney and with only a few more weeks until the NHL Trade Deadline at the end of the month, the clock is ticking to make that deal for another scoring player to play on the front end and bring some help to the top-six.

Either way, Bruce Cassidy has done well and continues to do well. In the past few games, the only line that has been reliable offensively has been that first line. In the three games of February so far, Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak have a combined eleven points. After them, David Krejci has two points, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and Peter Cehlarik have one, and the rest of the forwards are yet to score a single point in three games.

Dating back to January 1st, the dangerous first line has fifty-three points combined (22 Goals, 31 Assists) with Brad Marchand (7-13-20) leading the way in those 15 games. Only David Krejci has double-digits in points for 2019 and Jake DeBrusk is the next highest with only five points in fifteen games. It does not make the job of Cassidy any easier when they do not have a high quantity of quality players.

Look at the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Tampa Bay Lightning for examples. Both teams have many interchangeable parts on all four lines. Almost every forward on the roster can play on the first line with success and the team will most likely still win games. Do goaltending and defence play a large factor in that as well? One-hundred percent. But the flexibility of those four forward lines makes the job of Mike Babcock on Toronto or Jon Cooper on Tampa Bay a lot easier.

cut (31).jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

 

Just like the blame cannot be placed on individuals for a team effort, the blame cannot be solely placed on Cassidy for the position the Bruins are in. On April 26th, 2017, the Bruins named Cassidy head coach of the team – replacing long-time coach, Claude Julien who was fired earlier in the year.

Cassidy coached twenty-seven games for the Bruins, finishing with an 18-8-1 record and leading them to a first-round playoff matchup with the Ottawa Senators in the 2016-17 season, a series that they lost in six games. This led into last season, where Cassidy implemented his faith and passion for the young players of this league, helping lead the B’s to a 50-win season. Bruce was right behind the team for their first-round win over Toronto and stuck by them in the five-game loss to the Lightning. The year for Bruce led to him being one of the three nominees for the Jack Adams Award – awarding the best coach in the NHL for that season. While he didn’t take the award home, the honour of being nominated for it is a great accomplishment.

Again this year, Cassidy has done a great job. It has been a difficult road to manage the struggling youth that once succeeded for him not only in Providence but in Boston during 2017-18 as well, the goaltending challenges of Rask and Halak, and the whole offensive situation that I’ve discussed over.

With the older players such as Chara, Bergeron, Krejci, Marchand, and Backes, being surrounded by the younger players such as Pastrnak, DeBrusk, McAvoy, Carlo, and Heinen, Cassidy has had a challenge of who to play with who at what time and when. For a team that seems to have rough nights, still battles back and is able to fight their way to earn a point or at the very least, remain competitive in the ever-so-difficult Eastern Conference.

Bruce Cassidy has a 97-45-21 record with the Boston Bruins since 2016-17. According to BostonGlobe.com’s Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD on Twitter), Claude Julien, the man who won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011, had a 94-48-22 in his first 164 career games with the Black N’ Gold.

Julien and Cassidy are almost identical in their wins/losses and they have started almost a decade apart from each other (’07/’08 debut for CJ, ’16/’17 debut for BC). Bruce Cassidy is not only a good coach, but he should remain a coach for the Boston Bruins. He has had success and will continue to have success if the right players are on his lineup. Does he make mistakes time in and time out? Of course, not many coaches in any sport are perfect, (unless you’re Bill Belichick on New England) and it is how he can rally behind the team after a loss and turn it into a win. Bruce Cassidy can do that with the best of them.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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

Bruins Monthly Recap: January 2019

Bruins-Winter-Classic

PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

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

For the first time in the 2019 calendar year, we take a look at the highs and lows of the month of January. With the NHL Trade Deadline looming around the nearby corner, the Bruins were in a position in this past month to prove their worth and see where exactly these holes are that need to be filled. The thirty-one days had some good moments and some bad ones too and I’m here to recap all of it.

In this fourth installment of Bruins Monthly Recap, we will take a closer look at the surprises, disappointments, and positives of the eleventh calendar month including the best performances, worst games, injury report, and finally, a prediction of the month to follow. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

The Good Games

In twelve games, the Black n Gold went 6-3-3 – a big fall from the start of the month where they went 4-0-0. Even though some games went sour, here are the ones within the six wins that made Bruins fans a bit happier.

January 1st/19 – vs Chicago Blackhawks (Winter Classic)

Two Original Six teams battling it outside at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, United States is more often than not an entertaining hockey game and it sure was. The majority of the game was quite close, only one-goal leads took over the game and no team was really running away with the game.

Chicago opened the scoring in the first period, only for David Pastrnak to respond later in the frame to tie it at one. In the second period, Dominik Kahun buried a goal to give the Hawks the lead once again. The trend continued when Patrice Bergeron scored his thirteenth goal of the 2018-19 season, tying it once again.

The third period was very close for the majority, until Sean Kuraly buried a backhand shot past Cam Ward, taking the lead just past the halfway point in the final period. Brad Marchand put the nail in the coffin with just around thirty seconds left to play and the Bruins won the 2019 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic.

January 8th/19 – vs Minnesota Wild

After the Winter Classic win, the Bruins piled on two more wins against the Calgary Flames and the Buffalo Sabres ahead of their game against the Wild on the eighth of the month. In the previous game, the Bruins beat the Sabres 2-1, but it ended on a somewhat unfortunate note. The B’s were leading 2-0 for the whole game until Rasmus Ristolainen scored at the 17:22 mark to end Tuukka Rask’s shutout.

With Rask back in net against Minnesota, the Bruins wanted to get him that shutout – and they did. The Finnish netminder stopped all twenty-four shots against en route to his 250th NHL victory – shutting out the Wild. Danton Heinen, Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk, and Patrice Bergeron scored the goals while both Bergeron and Marchand ended the night with a goal and two assists.

The win was also the fifth win in a row for the Bruins who were now making serious ground on the Toronto Maple Leafs within the NHL Eastern Conference Standings. Both goaltenders and the players surrounding them were playing well and the team looked to be rounding out their game.

January 17th/19 – vs St. Louis Blues

The Bruins had four games in the week of January 13th to 19th and before the game against the Blues, the Bruins had lost two games already – an overtime loss to the Canadiens and a tough 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Typically, the second game of a back-to-back is much more difficult to win due to the fact that you are playing hockey on consecutive days.

However in the game against the Blues, the Bruins turned it around almost entirely from the game against Philly. Neither team scored in the first twenty minutes, but in the second period, defenceman Torey Krug opened the scoring for Boston. The Blues answered back with goals from O’Reilly and Gunnarsson, only for former Blue himself, David Backes to tie it late.

The third period was all Boston even though they were out-shot 10-6. First, Chris Wagner scored his sixth goal of the year, followed by Marchand’s 18th and Kuraly’s sixth to bury the Blues and take a 5-2 win. Tuukka Rask made twenty-eight stops to tie Tiny Thompson for the most wins in Bruins franchise history with 252. David Krejci had a three assist night as well.

The Not-So-Good Games

After the four-straight wins to begin the month, the Bruins went 2-3-3 in the eight games played. Within that, the Bruins had some really poor games, games where management and fans alike want new bodies and new players heading into the playoffs. One thing that can be an accomplishment, is that the Bruins never lost a game in the month of January by more than two goals and they only lost by a two-goal margin once – against the Washington Capitals.

January 10th/19 – vs Washington Capitals

Just like I said, the only time the Bruins ever lost by two goals in the entire month of January was against the Capitals, the team that has had the Bruins numbers for the last few years, on that January 10th game.

Boston entered the game having won their last five games, four of which in January and things were running well as a whole. However, a quick goal from Jakub Vrana at the 6:38 mark of the first frame basically ended the night as the Bruins failed to take the lead on the Capitals. Ryan Donato tied the contest in the middle period, but less than a minute later, Alex Ovechkin scored, (surprise), and it became a 2-1 Washington lead.

Again, the Bruins answered back after the intermission. David Krejci scored within the first five minutes on the power-play, but just over a minute later, Niklas Backstrom scored the eventual game-winning goal for Washington. Ovechkin would pot his second of the night and Caps win, 4-2.

The biggest issue in this game, was that the Bruins dominated on the shots, but could not finish the opportunities past Braden Holtby. Boston out-shot the Caps 41-22, including a 17-5 shot-differential in the first period.

January 19th/19 – vs New York Rangers

It was not a terrible game for the Bruins against the Rangers, considering they only lost by a single goal but there were a couple reasons that made this a poor game for the Bruins.

First off, the Bruins failed to get a point at the least against a non-playoff team, an unfortunate trend for Boston as of late, leaving valuable points on the table against teams that are worse than them. Second, goaltender Tuukka Rask was injured, as we all know, on a driving play by Filip Chytil. We now know that Rask is okay and he has since played, but the image of him getting hurt makes this one a tough one.

Individual Performances

Good: Brad Marchand – 7 Goals, 9 Assists, 16 Points, 6 PPP in 12 Games

Unsurprisingly, the top line for the Bruins has been nearly unstoppable this season they have been a big reason to the position that the B’s are facing within the NHL standings. In January, Brad Marchand was the leader of that group, leading the team with 7-9-16 totals in the 12 games of the month.

Marchand now has 19-38-57 totals this season and is on pace for a career-high ninety-one point season. Marchand has had spans in past seasons where he struggles to score, but if he can avoid that in the second-half of this campaign, then I believe that it is possible for him to surpass the eighty-five points he racked up in each of the previous two seasons.

Bad: David Backes – 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points in 9 Games

One of the biggest struggles for the B’s is the lack of depth scoring and even though Backes is playing third-line minutes most of the time, he needs to produce more and be more of a influential role to the younger players that Boston has tried out. To be making $6,000,000 for the next two seasons after this one, Backes needs to be able to score more than three points in nine games.

The former St. Louis Blue has 5-8-13 totals with a -4 rating and that needs to be better if the Boston Bruins plan on going further than round two in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

Good: Tuukka Rask – 5-0-2, 1.91 GAA, .938 SV%, 1 Shutout

Tuukka Rask had his struggles early on in the year, but throughout the past month, Rask has been the clear, number one goalie for the Bruins and he is at the top of his game right now. Rask did not lose a single game in regulation and had a less than two goals-against-average.

Tuukka allowed fourteen goals on 226 shots against in the thirty-one January days, putting himself near the top of the NHL for most goaltender statistics in that time. Rask is proving right now that he can play at a high level, even coming back from a concussion. It has been a breath of fresh air when talking about Tuukka, especially considering that he can pass Tiny Thompson with one more win.*

*This article was written before Rask won against the Capitals on February 3rd, 2019. Rask is now has the most wins by a goaltender in Boston Bruins franchise history.

usatsi_11757016.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (USA Today)

Bad: Danton Heinen – 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points in 12 Games

Similar to David Backes, Danton Heinen has not done well this season, let alone this month. Scoring only two goals and an assist in twelve games after a forty-seven point rookie season last year is simply not good enough for the 23-year-old forward. Heinen has had many chances, most recently, an outstanding chance to score against the Flyers on January 31st, but he mis-handled the puck and failed to shoot at the wide open net.

Heinen’s two linemates, Jakub Forsbacka Karlsson and Ryan Donato were both demoted to the AHL’s Providence Bruins because of their lack of production. Heinen is on an expiring contract and will become a restricted free agent on July 1st, 2019. After his success last season, many people including myself wondered what he may be worth when he needs to sign on the dotted line, but so far this season, he is showing out to be a cheap player to bring back – if he even is brought back.

Good: David Pastrnak – 7 Goals, 6 Assists, 13 Points in 12 Games

Continuing on the hot-streak, for the fourth-straight month, David Pastrnak is the best player on the Bruins. Clearly. Pastrnak only had four games that he did not score a point, but made up for it with four multi-point games including a three-point game against the Jets on the 29th. Pastrnak scored his twenty-ninth and thirtieth goals of the 2018-19 campaign in the final game of the month as well. He is currently tied with Brayden Point and John Tavares for third-most goals in the NHL.

In addition, Pastrnak won the 2019 NHL Accuracy Shooting Event at the All-Star Skills Competition in San Jose, California – a great moment for him and Bruins fans.

Honorable Mentions:

Good: Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug, David Krejci

Bad: Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Donato, Jake DeBrusk

February Games

Sunday, Feb. 3rd – at Washington Capitals

Tuesday, Feb. 5th – vs New York Islanders

Wednesday, Feb. 6th – at New York Rangers

Saturday, Feb. 9th – vs Los Angeles Kings

Sunday, Feb. 10th – vs Colorado Avalanche

Tuesday, Feb. 12th – vs Chicago Blackhawks

Friday, Feb. 15th – at  Anaheim Ducks

Saturday, Feb. 16th – at Los Angeles Kings

Monday, Feb. 18th – at San Jose Sharks

Wednesday, Feb. 20th – at Vegas Golden Knights

Saturday, Feb. 23rd – at St. Louis Blues

Tuesday, Feb. 26th – vs San Jose Sharks

Thursday, Feb. 28th – vs Tampa Bay Lightning

The month of January had many games within the walls of the TD Garden, however, out of the thirteen games of February, the Bruins will be outside of Boston for seven road games including a five-game road trip that includes the often dreaded California trip. Boston will play the Kings and Sharks two times, the only two times all season.

Boston does not have an easy schedule coming up. Thirteen games in twenty-eight days this month and with the playoffs looming around the corner, each and every possible point on the line has implications on it, deciding who the Bruins will meet in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not only that, but the NHL Trade Deadline is also in February – on the twenty-fifth of the month, making the upcoming weeks all the more interesting.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

-> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule & Ticket Information From SeatGiant.com <-

Bruins Face Quite The 2nd-Half Fight For Playoffs!

Related image(Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

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

To say the Boston Bruins are going to need a lot of punch to their game during the second half of the season (which started this weekend with a big W over Buffalo), well… that would be an understatement. A punch to the gut, if you will (or to the head if you’re throwing down like Kevan Miller, as pictured above). That’s because in order to avoid being punched out of the playoffs come ticket-punching time in April, the team will need to fight, finagle & finish and skate, scrap & score up until the very last second of every game between now & then. Look no further than their last four games, and no, I’m not pulling any punches like a “frightened Frolik” would:

The Eastern Conference playoff picture right now, especially the B’s own Atlantic Division, is as tightly framed as an on-loan Picasso to Mass MoCA. It’s something you can keep looking at, yet you’ll come away with a different perspective after each viewing. In other words, it’s artfully maddening — just like the B’s oh-so-skilled scorers who all-too-often would rather razzle/dazzle us than shoot the puck (I’m looking at you, Brad Marchand). At least, that’s my interpretation…you know, because “art” can be subjective.

While on that subject, an almost-in-contention-for-the-ART-Ross-trophy David Pastrnak will need to –just like his top line mates– have zero “off games” down the stretch if the B’s are going to seriously stay in the hunt for either the third seed or a wild card berth. The B’s have been fortunate enough to make the most of secondary scoring during their recent 4-game winning streak (hats off to the spirited 4th line play of Wagner, Kuraly & Acciari), but as anyone who watches this team with even one eye open knows, Boston lives & dies by the play of the 1st line 88% of the time (that number was intentional). That doesn’t mean they won’t steal a few games 2-1 or 3-2 like they deservedly did against Buffalo both before & after the New Year (“4-point games” as we like to call them), but the B’s have THE BEST chance at going on a 2017-’18-esque run here in the second half of the season by the likes of Bergy, March & Pasta serving up their best play.

You know who’s also playing at his very best right now?

***WARNING: all members of the THC (Tuukka Haters Club), please log off your browser!

Mr. One-win-shy-of-250 Rask, who looks as calm, confident & composed between the pipes since that aforementioned epic run of games-with-points last season. If he can keep the good goalie vibes going AKA keep the B’s “in the game” up until the 3rd period, then you can expect the team to respond accordingly and tack on a few more historic wins for Tuukka.

The same can be said for Jaroslav Halak who despite letting in a few more goals than he’s used to in his last few starts has consistently been as dynamic of a netminder as you’ll see in the NHL this year. Look no further than my favorite but oft-forgotten goalie stat (GSAA) to see just how impactful he’s been between the pipes:

No matter who head coach Bruce Cassidy decides to start, he’s got the best 1-2, or perhaps better put 1A-1B, punch in the league right now. So quit your bashing, bemoaning & b!tching B’s social media (not all of you… just some), because the team needs both Rask AND Halak to stay where they are in the standings… and maybe even gain a bit of ground on Toronto.

Shifting gears to some on-ice shifts we’ll need to see more of here in the second half, the B’s must allow the “Kid Line” to develop, prosper & produce. Outside of the scenario where one or two of these guys may be traded, along with a pick, for a Brayden Schenn or someone similar, the trio of Donato-JFK-Heinen looked as solid as they have all season in the win over the Sabres. The line produced multiple chances, had some skillful puck movement & management, and even saw some PK time (well at least JFK did).

I thought for sure they’d eventually score, but if they are allowed to stick together and further develop that exciting, youthful chemistry, then more goals will be exactly what’s in store (and in the net) for all of them. After all, when you mix together hockey smarts & IQ (JFK), lethal sniping and goal-scoring ability (Donato) and solid two-way play (Heinen), you have a combo that’s destined to deliver (sound/look familiar?)!

So, what will the rest of the season’s second half deliver? Well, here are the guarantees: a tough-as-nails schedule where the B’s will spend a lot of time playing non-divisional opponents, a big West Coast kick (as featured in my Mark Your Bruins Calendar series), and 6 back-to-backs (3 of which feature teams who will also be playing for their playoff lives). Outside of those guarantees, here’s what you should expect: must-see hockey nearly every time the Black N’ Gold take the ice. Because, “B”-lieve me, there’s plenty to fight for ahead of everyone’s favorite season: the postseason — no punching-up needed!

*For more insight into the B’s second-half, check out this week’s puck-perfect podcast:

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

Click Here For 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com

New Year’s Resolution For All Bruins Players

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @lucaspearson_

New Year, new me, right? It’s that time of year where we all get those year-long gym memberships and give up in February. I thought it would be a cool idea to take a look at what each player might be looking to improve in the New Year. If you want to read a great piece by BNG writer Evan Michael about the New Year’s resolutions for the Bruins as a whole, check that out here! 

Patrice Bergeron– Health. We all know Bergeron is a warrior and will play through almost anything but man has his body taken a toll. Bergeron is a close to a perfect man as anyone in the world, all he can wish is to stay healthy.

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

Colby Cave– A true Bruin moment. Cave has gotten his fair share of hate this season from the Bruins’ faithful, while some Bruins (Debrusk etc) have become fan favorites because of goals, blocked shots, fights and other moments. It would be great for Cave to have a big moment like that to cement himself a role with the team and the fans.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson– A consistent top 9 spot. It’s been an up and down year for JFK, he was probably the front-runner to take the vacant third line center spot in pre-season but failed to take that spot. After starting the year in Providence, he was given a shot with the big club and was on and off. It seems Cassidy has liked what the young Swede has done recently as he’s giving him a shot on the 2nd line for the Winter Classic. 

David Krejci– Be able to play with any winger. We know what Krejci can do with great wingers, he played incredible when filling in for Bergeron on the top line. Now it’s time for Krejci to show that he can play great with whatever winger he’s put on a line with.

( Photo Credit:  Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

Sean Kuraly– Another huge goal to showcase the Kura-leap. You just love to see it.

Noel Acciari– A consistent role on the 4th line. While he brings his physicality every game, the offense is rarely there. With a healthy team, I think he should always be the odd man out if he can get more ice time, that will be a successful 2019 for Acciari.

David Backes– A great performance in the playoffs. In his time with St. Louis, Backes excelled in the playoffs. He’s the hard-nosed player everybody wants to have on their team. A couple of big goals, big hits, and big fights in the playoffs would be great for Backes and the Bruins.

Jake DeBrusk– No more concussions. The last thing any young player wants is a history of head injuries. Here’s to hoping DeBrusk can dial in and stay healthy for the rest of the year (and his career.)

( Photo Credit: Boston Globe )

Ryan Donato– Find a way into the top 6, stay there, and score goals. We’ve all seen what Donato can do, he’s had a lot of moments where he looks like a bonafide 30 goal scorer, we’ve also seen moments where he seems lost and weak on the puck. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy doesn’t seem to have a ton of faith in the kid but if he gets a shot with 46 or 37, he needs to take it and run.

Danton Heinen– Same as Colby Cave, a true Bruin moment. He was a great surprise last season but the start of the 2018 has been a mess for Heinen. He’s been all over the lineup but has yet to have a big moment for the Bruins, look for that to happen in the new year.

Brad Marchand– No more suspensions. He can still be a goal scoring pest without dishing out any elbows or slew-foots. As long as he sticks to getting points and licking, he’ll be good to go.

Joakim Nordstrom– A little more luck. Nordstrom is one Bruin that always gives his all every single shift he’s out there. There’s not much to dislike with what he brings to the table, maybe a couple more bounces go his way and his great season will start showing up on the stat sheet.

David Pastrnak– There’s not much more a 22-year-old point per game player could wish for, maybe a Rocket Richard?

( Mandatory Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports )

Chris Wagner– For him and his line to become the new Merlot Line. That is a high task as the trio of Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton, and Daniel Paille will go down in Bruins history but I see a lot of that line in Wagner.

Brandon Carlo– Get a little bit tougher. Carlo has looked great this year, I see a lot more tenacity and toughness out of him than the past. He needs to keep using his 6’5 frame and continue to amp up the grit in his game.

Zdeno Chara– Another picture just like the one above. There’s not much more the man can do, going out on top would be an incredible way to end his career.

Matt Grzelcyk– To get consistent top 4 minutes like he deserves. He’s been the unsung hero for the Bruins this season. I don’t know how many times I’ve been “wowed” by how much ice time he can take and his vision on defense may be the best on the team, he deserves a lot more recognition than he gets and a spot in the top 4 would be well deserved.

Steven Kampfer– A game in the playoffs. He’s done above and beyond what most thought he would bring to the team. A cherry on the top would be to find his way into the lineup in the playoffs and play well.

Torey Krug– Health in the playoffs. The theme of health continues. Krug had a great first rookie playoff but has been banged up in the past two seasons. A healthy postseason would be huge for the offensive D-man.

( Photo Credit: ESPN.com )

Charlie McAvoy– HEALTH, he has been banged up all year. For the Bruins to succeed (and for McAvoy to get paid this summer) the young defenseman needs to stay healthy for the rest of the season. He’s an important member of the defensive core and these first few years of his career are huge in his development as an NHL player.

Kevan Miller– No more injuries. As the most physical guy on the Bruins, he’s taken a lot. He’s improved his puck skills a ton as well, everything you want in your number six defenseman he just needs to stay healthy.

John Moore– To stay in the lineup. I think Moore should be the odd man out when every Bruin is healthy but he has proven he can do a lot on the back-end. We’ve yet to see a fully healthy team so Moore should do a little more (haha) than he has been to keep a spot in the top six.

Jaroslav Halak– Start a playoff game. How great for Halak would it be to come into a backup role and play so well that he’s able to steal a start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs from a bonafide starter like Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask– Win a Stanley Cup, as the starter. There’s not much more Rask can do to shut up all of his haters, this would certainly do the trick.

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

Happy New Year to all!!!

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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

Can Bruins David Pastrnak Win The Rocket Richard Trophy?

boston-bruins-david-pastrnak-100th-goal-101318.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo)

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

Without a doubt in anyone’s mind, David Pastrnak is the best goal scorer on the Boston Bruins in 2018-19 and he will most likely retain that title for many years to come. With that in mind, how good of a goal scorer exactly is Pastrnak?

The National Hockey League has had the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy since 1999 and was first established at the end of the 1998-1999 season, where Teemu Selanne was awarded the trophy. The award was named after Richard, who spent the entirety of his eighteen-year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens. “Rocket” was the first NHL player to reach the 500-goal milestone and was the first NHL player to hit 50 goals in a single season, doing so in only 50 games back in 1944-45.

For over a decade, the Rocket Richard Trophy has gone to one man seven times – Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. From the 2012-13 season to the 2015-16 season, Ovechkin won the trophy every single season, until Sidney Crosby broke that streak in 2016-17, only for Ovi to reclaim the trophy last season. Ovechkin’s best trophy-winning season was his 65 goals in 2007-08, the most by a winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy.

9f732f70-e4a3-4c63-a78e-baa17abedcc7_TVASPORTS_WEB.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (AFP)

Since then, however, the winner of the trophy has scored less than fifty goals – Crosby with 44 and Ovechkin with 49 last year. In the history of the trophy, no Boston Bruin has ever won it. David Pastrnak is considered to be one of the best young scorers that the Bruins have had in recent memory, can he be the first Bruin to win the prestigious winner?

At the end of December 2018, Alex Ovechkin still leads the NHL in goals with 29 in 37 games played. Six goals behind him in seventh place, David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins. The 22-year-old winger is scoreless in his past three games (CAR, NJD, BUF) and if he scores a few times during that stretch, he could find himself within the top five for goals.

It is somewhat hard to look at the future of a hockey season when you are not even past the halfway point. In the past eighty-two regular season games dating back to the 2017-18 season, including Boston’s most recent game against the Buffalo Sabres, Pastrnak has scored 43 goals. In comparison to Ovechkin’s league-leading forty-nine tallies last season, Pastrnak would only be six goals away from leading the National Hockey League – the exact distance he is apart from the lead right now.

With that stat, it is fair to note that Pastrnak had some rough patches when it came to scoring goals last season. From December 14th, 2017 to January 2nd, 2018, Pastrnak failed to score a single goal in ten consecutive games. If only he scored on six of those, he would have tied Ovechkin’s tally from last year. Of course, that includes the 23 goals this year that Pasta has scored.

usa-david-pastrnak_0.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (USA Today Images)

Already this season, the Bruins have struggled with injuries – including hard injuries to Pastrnak’s well-known linemates, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Although, when Marchand has been healthy, he has not been as effective at putting the puck in the back of the net, scoring only twelve times in thirty-eight games. On the flip side, Marchand leads the team for assists with twenty-nine helpers.

When the Bruins’ first line is fully healthy and they are clicking offensively, the numbers can truly skyrocket. Bergeron already has a passer’s touch and if Marchand continues to have the vision to send the rubber to the piece of tape on Pastrnak’s stick, Pastrnak can rake in the goal numbers.

Is it possible for David Pastrnak to score more goals than any other player in the entire National Hockey League? Of course, it is. The Bruins are finally going to have a healthy roster, *knocks on wood* and can have the opportunity to finally gain some ground on the NHL standings. However, goals have been an issue for the players further on down the lineup.

When Patrice Bergeron was out for multiple weeks with a sternoclavicular/rib injury earlier this season, centre David Krejci filled in on the top line. Pastrnak did not seem to have issues scoring alongside Krejci. Krejci, an above-average passer is able to find his fellow Czech on the ice and create scoring opportunities.

In fact, Pastrnak is in the middle of his best goal-scoring season, scoring an average of 0.59 goals-per-game. His next highest came in the 2016-17 campaign when he averaged 0.45 GPG. If he continues his current pace, Pastrnak has the chance to hit 48 goals this season and that very well could contend for the league-lead. This is barring no injuries and for Pastrnak to continue at this very same pace. It is very possible that David can score more or less than that average moving forward.

If I were a betting man, which I am most definitely not, I would not bet money on David Pastrnak winning the Rocket Richard Trophy THIS season. I do, however, think he can contend for the trophy and within the next five years, he will win the award. Since being drafted twenty-fifth overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by Boston, Pastrnak has done nothing but improve in nearly all assets of his hockey game.

If the trend continues, he will only score more goals. But with predictions and future events, the only true answer is in the hands of one thing – time.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGaint for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

-> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule & Ticket Information From SeatGiant.com <-

Why A Wildcard Spot May Not Be The Worst Scenario For The Bruins

Image result for boston bruins

Photo Credit: Christopher Evans/Boston Herald

By: Spencer Fascetta | Follow Me on Twitter @PuckNerdHockey

We are midway through December, and there is plenty of panic in Boston.

“We need an enforcer!”

“Our goaltending sucks!”

“We can’t score!”

OK, can everyone just take a deep breath, please? By having the injury bug eviscerate this roster early, the Bruins may just have stumbled into their best-case scenario come the playoffs. Also, the goaltending hasn’t been the problem, and ENFORCERS ARE NEVER THE ANSWER. So, what do I mean?

Well, the Bruins are currently 5th in the Atlantic Division. Before you get your pants in a knot, let’s put some context into the equation. While they are 5th in the Atlantic, they have played one game fewer than fourth place Montreal, and are trailing the Habs by only a point. They are a significantly better team than the Canadiens, whom I am unconvinced can maintain their current level of play. That’s not even the interesting part. Despite having played two more games than the Bruins, the 6th place Detroit Red Wings trail the B’s by 5 points. Ottawa has played the same number of games like Detroit, and are 6 points behind Boston. Boston has played one more game than the Florida Panthers, but they sit dead last in the division, a full eight points behind the Bruins. They aren’t going to get caught from behind in the Atlantic.

Atlantic Standings

They should inevitably pass the Canadiens, so that begs the question – how close are they to the guaranteed divisional playoff spot? At the moment, the Bruins have a game in hand on every team above them in the Atlantic Division and trail the 3rd place Buffalo Sabres by 5 points, the Toronto Maple Leafs by 6, and the Tampa Bay Lightning by 13. Nobody is catching Tampa. In any division. That team is well on its way to a President’s Trophy. If you had said Buffalo would be only a point behind the Maple Leafs in third place in the Atlantic at this point in the season, well, please get in contact with me, I could use the services of someone who can see the future.

So, the Bruins are fifth in their division. But they currently occupy the 2nd wildcard spot. As it stands, it is pretty clear that Tampa Bay is going to be the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and will, therefore, host the second wildcard team. As previously noted, there is no reason to think that Boston won’t finish the season ahead of the Canadiens. They are not in danger of dropping out of a wildcard spot either. Currently, the Bruins sit with 38 points in 32 games. That is 5th in the Atlantic Division, but would be SECOND in the Metropolitan Division. No, that is not a typo. The Bruins are 5th in the division, but only 6th in the conference. Believe it or not, they are actually a Top 10 team in the entire league. They just happen to play in one of the most stacked divisions in recent memory.

League Standings

So, why should they WANT to finish in the first wildcard spot? Well, they almost certainly would need to face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in the first round. That’s no easy task. But finishing in a divisional spot means they have to face two of Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Buffalo to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The current Metropolitan Division playoff teams are Pittsburgh and Columbus (who isn’t on board for ANOTHER Pittsburgh/Columbus throw-down), either of whom is a significantly easier matchup than the juggernauts in the Atlantic. Currently, Tampa Bay is #1 in the league, Toronto is 5th, and Buffalo is 7th. Washington is 6th, but Columbus is 15th, and Pittsburgh is 17th. That’s a pretty simple bit of math.

Wildcard Standings

What killed the Bruins when they got to Tampa Bay last postseason was the 7-game death-match that was their First Round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They were exhausted, beat-up, and could not keep up. They are guaranteed to have a similarly difficult matchup if they finish in either 2nd or 3rd in the Atlantic Division this year. Don’t do that. This team is good enough to be in the playoffs and do some damage once fully healthy, so don’t rush anyone back. Let Bergeron and Chara take as long as they need to be fully healthy. Use this time to experiment with line combinations, and see what you have in some depth pieces. Acclimate Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to the NHL game, as the kid line with JFK between Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato has begun to look good the last few games. You still have Anders Bjork shredding the American Hockey League. Don’t make a massive trade for a short-term piece. Stay the course, finish fourth, take the easier path to the Stanley Cup Final. You may be thanking me if you do.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You & Happy Holidays!

Click here For 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com 

Mainville’s Full 2018-19 Boston Bruins Predictions

cut (10).jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: (MHL.com)

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

Predictions and sports pretty much go hand-in-hand in today’s world. Not only are predictions fun to make when the season is a little under a month away, but they are fun to look back on at the end of the season to see how accurate your predictions were.

Normally, I make my predictions in a Boston Bruins Facebook fan group, but since my arrival on the Black N’ Gold Podcast website in March of 2018, I am able to provide my predictions on the entire season from lineup predictions to statistics to standings to possible trades and playoffs. This will be a fun ride, let’s get into it.

Lineups

This one is a fun one considering the amount of young talent that the Boston Bruins have available and a good portion of that prospect pool could get a chance in the NHL this season. On the flip side, the Bruins still have a large number of veterans that deserve a spot on the lineup, some due to their experience and skill value to the team, others just because of their contract. So, here are my predictions for the Bruins opening day lineup as of September 1st.

Forwards

Marchand  –  Bergeron  –  Bjork

DeBrusk  –  Krejci  –  Pastrnak

Donato  –  Frederic  –  Heinen

Nordstrom  –  Kuraly  –  Backes

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Miller

Goaltenders

Rask

Halak

As many people throughout the community have been saying, I see David Pastrnak getting second-line minutes to start the season. Although the line of him, Marchand and Bergeron are one of the best in the entire league, the Bruins showed in the regular season that they lack deep scoring depth. Placing Pastrnak on the second-line alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk could add some additional scoring threats to the Bruins offensive core.

gettyimages-511768042.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Another key position the Bruins are undecided on is the third-line center position. Numerous player on the roster could indeed fill that spot, but no official player has been given that role. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said in an article published by the Boston Globe’s Matt Porter that the third-line center spot will have some competition come training camp.

“Studnicka, [Trent] Frederic, and JFK [Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson], our three center icemen. [Chris] Wagner played some center. Is it ideal for him? But that’s what he’d like. He wants to move up in the lineup. So you’re creating a bit of competition, but you’re also creating opportunity. I think if you go into the year and think, “We’re going to have five guys,” that’s a stretch. But what we’ve done, I think, and Donnie feels, it’s legit for us to stay more than competitive.”

Jack Studnicka seems to be one of the main guys that most fans and media members want on the third line, but I feel that Trent Frederic could get the job come October. I recently wrote an article about Frederic and you can check it out HERE. 

Individual Statistics

As mentioned previously, the Boston Bruins have many top players that can find ways to rack up the points and in turn, hopefully, help lead the B’s to some victories on the ice. In fact, in Sportsnet’s recent Top 100 NHL Players article that was released on August 31, there were six Bruins players, tied with the Nashville Predators for the most players in the list. Boston’s players that were on the list were Charlie McAvoy (96th), Zdeno Chara (92nd), Tuukka Rask (80th), David Pastrnak (36th), Patrice Bergeron (18th), and Brad Marchand (17th).

When a team has a lot of star talent that can put up some high numbers, it isn’t very often that you see above point-per-game totals once the season ends. Connor McDavid on the Oilers and Taylor Hall on the Devils show that when a team lacks depth, the superstar player gets high point totals.

Brad Marchand

PHOTO CREDIT: (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Top Three Scorers (Forwards)

Brad Marchand 40G – 45A – 85P

David Pastrnak 39G – 42A – 81P

Patrice Bergeron 27G – 41A – 68P

Top Three Scorers (Defense)

Torey Krug 18G – 43A – 61P

Charlie McAvoy 8G – 31A – 39P

Matt Grzelcyk 5G – 25A – 30P

Prior to writing this article, I figured making statistic predictions would be a piece of cake, but rather, it is quite difficult. I figured Pastrnak would have a lower assist total than last year because I have him playing with Krejci, meaning he would not be the one passing the puck the most.

However, I do think that the trio of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak will be one, two, and three in the Bruins scoring race at the end of the year, even if they are separated throughout the campaign.

For defensemen, I think Krug will continue to be the main offensive threat, but McAvoy and most of all, Matt Grzelcyk will gain great strides offensively while Chara and the rest of them will not be as productive offensively in my mind. Obviously, there is room for debate and I would love to hear your thoughts as well.

Regular Season Standings

The Boston Bruins will not have an easy trip to the playoffs at all. With the already stacked Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tavares, I mean, Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins may have to settle for third in the Atlantic division.

cut (11).jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

Aside from the Lightning and Maple Leafs being evident threats in the division, the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres could find themselves in the mix as well. The Panthers missed the playoffs by only a single point last year and with the addition of Mike Hoffman this offseason, they could have improved the roster enough to secure a position.

The Buffalo Sabres may have finished last in the NHL last season, but with the acquisition of Jeff Skinner and 2018 1st Overall Pick Rasmus Dahlin, the Sabres could find themselves higher in the division then they were last year.

Of course, the division does have the bottom-feeding teams such as the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, and Montreal Canadiens that the Bruins do not have to stress too much over but they will still need to pick up key victories against them in order to secure that divisional playoff spot.

The Metropolitan division is still one of the best in the league and could very well contend for the two Wild-Card positions in the Eastern Conference, leaving only the three division spots. If the Leafs and Bolts are already locked in that spot and the Panthers and Sabres are fighting their way into the postseason as well, then every single game could play out to mean a lot for the B’s.

Nonetheless, in my own personal opinion, the Boston Bruins will make the playoffs, finishing in the third seed behind Tampa Bay and Toronto. While Florida makes a strong case, I’m not sold on the fact that they will make it in the top three of the Atlantic division teams, but rather sneak into the postseason via a wild card.

Winter Classic vs Chicago

I’m making this prediction in a completely separate category because the 2019 Winter Classic between the Bruins and the Blackhawks may be a tad bit underrated. The Bruins did not have the success they were looking for back in the 2016 Winter Classic against the Montreal Canadiens, losing 5-1 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Personally, I feel like there is a little bit of redemption wanted by the Bruins who were on that roster, especially Brad Marchand, who was suspended for three games for clipping Ottawa Senators player Mark Borowiecki. Many believe that the lack of Marchand at the January 1 outdoor game was the reason for the loss, as the locker room was left without one of their top players.

Not only will it be redemption for the Winter Classic, but this is arguably the biggest meeting between the Hawks and Bruins since the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, where Chicago won in six games. Of course, at the end of the day, it is only a normal regular season game with no added benefits from winning the contest, except for bragging rights — and Boston would love to have some bragging rights.

Putting injuries, (and suspensions) aside, the Bruins are in the lead to win the game. Chicago finished last in the Central division last season and failed to make any big offseason moves. Jonathan Toews only scored 52 points in the 74 games he played in last season while goaltender Corey Crawford dealt with a suspected head injury that forced him to miss the final 47 games of the 2017-18 season.

If the Bruins can have a strong start to the season, I believe they will win the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic held at Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana, improving their Winter Classic record to 2-1.

Playoffs

After making it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Boston Bruins will return to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in a rematch against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. The only difference is that Toronto will have the home-ice advantage.

As good as Toronto may have become with the acquisition of John Tavares, they are not quite as experienced defensively compared to the Lightning, who will win the division once again this season.

So, we have Toronto vs Boston for the second consecutive year. Unfortunately, I see the Maple Leafs winning this series, advancing to the second round against Tampa in seven games. The series will be another close battle but with the newly improved offense of Toronto, they will come through and Boston will enter the offseason after a first-round exit.

Well, that does it for this prediction article. Once again, these are all my predictions and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on every category listed. Make sure to check out the Bruins Pump-Up video made by myself and follow me on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj!

 

Boston Bruins: Expiring Contracts Have Something To Prove

ryan-donatodanton-heinen-4c4bee4ad514a121.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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

Throughout the course of a season, many players on a team will have that invisible monkey on their back. Sometimes it’s to break a goalless drought or to prove their worth to doubters in the fan base or management. For the Boston Bruins in the upcoming 2018-19 season, many players on the roster will look to impress the front office and possibly lock in an improved contract for years to come.

F — Danton Heinen

Danton Heinen had an impressive rookie campaign in the 2017-18 season, scoring 47 points over the course of 77 games while being bounced around the Bruins top nine. Going into the upcoming season, Heinen could land himself a spot on the top-six of the Boston forward core, if he can turn in a solid season.

Although Heinen had a successful first full season in Boston, he was still doubted when the playoff season came around, as he was scratched by head coach Bruce Cassidy in Game Six of the 2018 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs ended up winning that game, forcing a Game Seven, but Heinen would indeed come through in that do-or-die game, scoring the goal that tied the game at two apiece.

Let’s say Heinen manages another successful season and finds a permanent home on the Bruins top six. A new contract could find its way to Heinen’s wallet and would most likely keep him in Boston. Danton was a fourth-round selection by the B’s in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — the same draft as David Pastrnak, Anders Bjork, and Ryan Donato. His entry-level contract expires at the end of the upcoming season and if he can produce at the same level or better than last year, he could be asking for a decent pay raise when contract negotiations begin.

D — Charlie McAvoy

Charlie McAvoy may be highly regarded as the future franchise defenseman for the Boston Bruins for many years to come, and after a solid first full season in the NHL, McAvoy is on his way to that title.

In 63 games this past season, (missed 19 games due to abnormal heart rhythm and sprained MCL), McAvoy was second on the Bruins for most points by a Bruin defenseman with 32 points behind only Torey Krug. McAvoy also logged the second-highest time-on-ice average, averaging 22:09 minutes on the ice, behind only Zdeno Chara.

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game One

PHOTO CREDIT: (JANA CHYTILOVA/GETTY IMAGES)

As with every good player, they deserve top dollar once their contract is complete and that thought seems to stay true when talking about younger players on expiring entry-level deals — specially young players who have the potential to become a superstar on their respective team or even the entire league.

McAvoy’s season earned him a spot on the NHL All-Rookie 1st Team. He was one of only two defensemen to get the honor, (Devils D-man Will Butcher was the other). Charlie finished fifth in the Calder Memorial Trophy voting — the highest defenseman on the list.

In today’s NHL, finding a bright talent on the blue line can be a rare commodity and most teams will make sure they do not lose that talent by offering them a somewhat lucrative contract. If Charlie McAvoy can avoid missing a large portion of games this season while producing possible career-high numbers, he too could be asking for a solid pay raise during the upcoming offseason.

F — Ryan Donato

Heading into his first full NHL season, Ryan Donato already has a lot of hype built up around him mainly by the Boston sports media. However, the hype is not quite undeniable, as he is a solid talent to have on any roster.

The exact role of Donato for the 2018-19 campaign is uncertain at this moment in time. Some say he may play on the wing or he may skate at his natural position of center. The most practical theory is that he will be flipped-flopped around until a position that works successfully is found.

Donato played in 12 regular season games for the Bruins last year, producing 5-4-9 totals, but he was held off of the score sheet in three playoff games for the Black and Gold. The Bruins signed Donato to a two-year entry-level contract back on the 18th of March and due to the 10+ games he played in, a year was taken off his deal — thus meaning he has only this year remaining on contract.

Donato is able to bring more offensive threats and it will be interesting to see his results after a full season with the club. Although, even if he has a really impressive season, it’s unlikely he’ll sign a long-term deal worth a large amount of money. It’s more likely he signs something along the line of a two or three-year contract with an annual salary around the $3.5 million mark. Of course, that all depends on how he performs this season.

Either way, if Donato wants a big contract in the future sometime, then this season would need to be productive.

D — Brandon Carlo

Bruins fans have something to look forward to when it comes to the future of the Bruins blue line. With the already mentioned Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, the Boston Bruins may just have a solid one-two punch on the backend.

Logging nearly 20 minutes of ice time back in 2016-17 and just over 19 minutes of average time on ice in 2017-18, Brandon Carlo is one of those defenders that strives for the longer minutes during a game. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has been that main man that logs minutes for the B’s, but with only one year signed on contract and him being at the age of 41, Chara may not be able to continue playing well over 20 minutes per game effectively.

Carlo is not the most offensive defenseman in the league, but with guys such as Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk, and Charlie McAvoy, the offensive aspect of the defensive core is basically taken care of. Brandon Carlo, however, will bring a more shutdown defense than the others mentioned and is willing to play a lengthy amount of time in one game.

brandon-carlo-4f43212a02a78923.jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

In both seasons in Boston, Carlo has had a Corsi For % of above 50%, (52% in ’16/’17, 51.5% in ’17/’18), essentially meaning the Bruins were controlling the puck more than they weren’t while Brandon was on the ice. While this can be a result of a plethora of contributors, it is better to have a positive Corsi For than a negative Corsi For.

While he does tend to make errors on both sides of the puck, many rookies throughout any sport are expected to make a few mistakes here or there, but it is how they recover and play for the games to come that makes the real difference. Clearly, the Bruins management has trust in Carlo — playing him the majority of the time somewhere in the top four, often with Torey Krug.

In back-to-back playoff years, however, Brandon has been unable to join the team for the postseason, dealing with injuries in both. Most recently, Carlo suffered a broken ankle in one of the final few games of the regular season that sidelined him for the entirety of the playoffs.

Carlo has lately stated that he expects to be fully healed and ready for full contact once training camp rolls around this upcoming September.

If a healthy Carlo can have a successful season and playoff run, then a solid new deal could be coming his way.

There are also names such as Noel Acciari, Zdeno Chara, and Adam McQuaid that have expiring contracts on July 1, but the four free agents listed above are the most valuable come contract negotiations and could very well be the future of the Boston Bruins for many years to come.

If these players, including Chara, McQuaid, and Acciari, want a new, improved deal by the Bruins organization, then you can expect their very best hockey to be played in order to prove their worth to the franchise. For a player such as Chara, a poor season could spell the end of his career in general, let alone him returning to Boston. McQuaid and Acciari can most likely be replaced in free agency or with up-and-coming prospects like Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Urho Vaakanainen.

To finish off, I ask you this – will the likes of Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and the three unrestricted free agents prove their worth and earn a larger contract this summer? Let me know via my Twitter @tkdmaxbjj.

Side Note: Check out my Bruins Pump-Up video that I recently released!

Boston Bruins: The Origin Of The Core

Bruins-Celebrate-2017.jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

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

Every professional team in any sport has a group of players on their roster that is named the “core” of the team. The National Hockey League is no different and for a veteran organization like the Boston Bruins, the core is arguably the best group of players on the team. The core of a team normally remains intact until they retire. Very rarely do you see or hear about a trade involving a core player of the team.

If someone asks, “Who is the core of the current Boston Bruins?” it would not be too difficult to reply. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, and Tuukka Rask are just the most common names that come up. Recently, however, names like David Pastrnak, Torey Krug, and Jake DeBrusk have been added to the mix of near-untouchable players on the Bruins roster.

Between the years of 2008 and 2014, the core of the Boston Bruins was a threat every time they took the ice, and the entire league knew about each and every one of those core players. A Stanley Cup win in 2011, a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2013, a President’s Trophy in 2014, and six straight Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, (seven when including the 2007-08 season) had the Bruins well known. Unlike some teams, the core of the Boston Bruins for that near-half-decade were not all “good players.”

Of course, guys like Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Chara, and Rask were still there and striving, but the group was even larger than that. Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton, Nathan Horton, and Marc Savard had some important, franchise-changing moments throughout their time with the club, especially between ’08 and ’14. Moments such as these:

Nearly every Bruin fan is quite aware of these moments, especially due to the fact that they happened so recently in the history of the franchise. But not every one of these infamous moments came to the Bruins via the NHL Entry Draft. In fact, a few of the players mentioned below were traded for or signed in free agency.

The following players listed were considered a key part to the Bruins team between 2008-09 and 2013-14:

Patrice Bergeron

Washington+Capitals+v+Boston+Bruins+Rt2firZU17Hl.jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)

Need I say anything else? Patrice Bergeron is a near-guaranteed Hockey Hall-of-Famer and will most likely have his No. 37 up in the rafters at TD Garden. His four career Frank J. Selke Trophies are tied with Canadiens legend Bob Gainey for most in NHL history.

Bergeron is only 37 games away from being the sixth Bruin of all-time to play in 1,000 career NHL regular season games, and he still shows great skill offensively and defensively at the age of 33. Bergeron scored 63 points in 64 games this past season while finishing as a finalist for the Selke (won by Kings forward Anze Kopitar).

There is no question that Bergeron was and still is an important player to the Boston Bruins organization, but his route to Boston is fairly unknown. Patrice was drafted the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins’ 45th overall selection. However, it was not just a normal pick for the Bruins.

According to Pro Sports Transactions, back in 2003, there was such a thing as unrestricted free agent compensation. Different players from across the league would be categorized into different groups with certain criteria to be included in that group. Going back even further, on November 15th, 2000, the Boston Bruins completed a trade that would send Bill Guerin to Boston while Anson Carter, a 2001 first-round pick (Ales Hemsky) and a 2001 second-round pick (Doug Lynch) would head to Edmonton.

Guerin would spend only two seasons in Boston, putting up 69-60-129 totals in 142 career games, as well as six points in as many playoff games for the team. However, the B’s would not re-sign Guerin when his contract expired in the 2002 offseason. Due to the UFA compensation rules and Bill Guerin being a Group III free agent, (age 31 or older with at least 4 years of NHL experience), the National Hockey League itself would have to give Boston a draft pick in the following draft.

Unlike in today’s NHL where, if an RFA signs with a new team, that new team has to hand over a draft pick to the original team, the league itself had to fork over the draft pick instead. The Bruins would be awarded the 45th overall pick, which became Patrice Bergeron.

Brad Marchand

Brad-Marchand-Boston-Bruins-half-featured.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Did you know that Brad Marchand was nearly an Arizona Coyote AND a New York Islander?

The back-to-back 80+-point scorer clearly has made a name for himself in this league and not always because of his goal-scoring talent. Marchand is commonly hated throughout the league and for Bruins fans, we expect a suspension or a fine at some point during the season, especially over the past 2-3 years.

However, Marchand was pretty much forced to use the feisty style of hockey early on his career in order to become a regular member on the Bruins roster. Brad was drafted in the third round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft following a decent season with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL.

Once again according to Pro Sports Transactions, the 71st overall pick that eventually became Brad Marchand was originally owned by the Arizona (then Pheonix) Coyotes. On March 9th, 2006, the Coyotes traded the 71st overall pick to the New York Islanders for Oleg Kvasha and a conditional 2006 fifth-round pick.

Then on draft day, June 24th, 2006, the Islanders would move that third-round pick (#71) to the Bruins in exchange for the 98th overall pick (James Delory) and the 126th overall pick (Shane Sims). The Bruins clearly wanted Marchand and did not want to risk the wait.

Marchy went on to be one of the best players in the 2011 Stanley Cup run, scoring 19 points in the 25 playoff games that year.

David Krejci

David Krejci was one of the top players in the 2011 Cup run as well, leading the team with 23 points during the postseason. He has played all of his 769 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins and amassed 570 career points over that span.

Like the other key players already mentioned, Krejci was not just a simple draft selection by the Bruins in the 2004 NHL Draft. As per Pro Sports Transactions, the San Jose Sharks originally had the 63rd draft pick that the Bruins used to draft Krejci, but on June 26, 2004, the Bruins traded three picks (2004 3rd, 2004 4th, 2004 9th), for that pick.

In only his second full season in the NHL, Krejci scored a career-high 51 assists and 73 points in an 82-game season. Krejci also had a +37 rating in that 2008-09 campaign — truly solidifying his two-way game. He would follow up with a 52-point year in 2009-10 and a 62-point year in 2010-11. Krejci’s 12 goals, 4 game-winning goals, and 23 points in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs lead the NHL.

Recently, Krejci has found chemistry with Jake DeBrusk on his left-wing, scoring 44 points in 64 games.

Marc Savard

Marc Savard was one of those players that were loved greatly while in Boston. He played the final five seasons of his NHL career in Boston, playing in a Black N’ Gold sweater more than any other team in the league. From 2006-07 to 2008-09, Savard scored 62-200-262 totals in only 238 regular season games — one of the best scorers in the league at that time.

Savard’s best year came in the 2006-07 season, his first as a Bruin, where he scored 22 goals and added 74 assists for 96 points. His 74 assists were the third-most in the entire league that season. While his success was incredible during the first 3 years in Boston, the dreaded injuries started to pile up.

Seven games into the 2009-10 season, Savard blocked a shot that broke his foot during a game. He was placed on long-term injured reserve on the Oct. 21, 2009. After returning to the lineup, Savard and the Bruins agreed to a 7-year deal worth $28.05 million. Unfortunately, only 28 seconds into a January 7, 2010 game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Savard collided with Jonathon Toews, giving him a minor MCL tear in his right knee.

Following two concussions in the next 10 months, Savard was told by Bruins management to take the year off. Turns out, he would not play another NHL game again. GM at the time Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Bruins petitioned to get Savard’s name on the Stanley Cup, even though he failed to play a single game in the ’11 Playoffs.

All that was because of the 2006 offseason, when the Boston Bruins signed Savard to a four-year, $20 million contract.

Milan Lucic

During his prime, Milan Lucic was a force to be reckoned with. At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Lucic was a wrecking ball on skates and it was often hard to knock him off his feet. Just his presence alone made opposing players think twice about hitting the best player on the Bruins roster.

In only his second NHL season (2008-09), Lucic finished first on the team and sixth in the entire league for most hits landed with 256. Lucic made an impact on the Bruins roster, but he wasn’t a grinder or enforcer-type hitter. Like Cam Neely in a way, Lucic could be considered a power-forward — a physical player who can put up some decent numbers offensively as well.

In the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons combined, Lucic laid 368 hits as well as 65-67-123 totals. Lucic often found his home alongside David Krejci but could be a versatile winger. Milan made some big plays in the 2011 Stanley Cup run with the Bruins as well as in the Game 7 comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The intimidation factor alone made Lucic a great player for the Bruins organization at the time of the best success in recent B’s history.

We know today that Lucic plays with Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, but at the beginning of his career, before he was even drafted, Lucic could have very well been an Oiler. On March 9, 2006, the Bruins traded former No. 8 overall pick Sergei Samsonov to Edmonton for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny, and a 2006 second-round pick that turned out to be 50th overall. The Bruins used that selection to draft the Vancouver native.

Zdeno Chara

bruins-red-wings-chara-smith-042014-ap-ftr_4t9pbwx9nhpn1ezhgm2wlry4z.jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: (AP Photo)

Captain Zdeno Chara is easily a future Hall-of-Famer and will have his number retired one day to be remembered with the best to wear the Spoked B. Similar to Lucic, Chara brings a physical style that is quite difficult to match — mainly due to his 7-foot tall frame on skates and the workout intensity that few players can replicate.

Chara has been a Bruin captain since joining the team back in 2006, the same year Savard came to town and the same year Lucic and Marchand were drafted. The acquisitions of both Chara and Savard proved to not only the players but most importantly the fans of Boston that the Bruins organization was not okay with losing. The season prior to the ’06 offseason, Boston finished dead-last in the Northeast division with a 29-37-16 record.

Chara came into the picture and impressed everyone. His physicality in addition to his on-ice skill made his captaincy even more deserved. Since the Bruins signed Zdeno to the five-year, $37,500,000 contract in July of 2006, Chara has accomplished the following accolades.

  • 1x Stanley Cup (2011)
  • 1x James Norris Memorial Trophy (2008-2009)
  • 1x Mark Messier Leadership Award (2010-2011)
  • 3x NHL First All-Star Team (2003-04, 2008-09, 2013-14)
  • 4x NHL Second All-Star Team (2005-06, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2011-12)
  • 5x All-Star Game Participant (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12)
  • 3x Golden Puck Winner as Best Slovakian Player (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12)
  • 2x Silver Medal at IIHF Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships with Slovakia (2000, 2012)
  • Hardest Slap Shot as of June 7, 2018 (108.8 mph set at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game)

Honorable Mentions

  • Goaltender Tuukka Rask has been the starting goaltender for the Bruins since the 2013-14 season. He was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goaltender Andrew Raycroft in June 2006.
  • Forward Shawn Thornton brought grit and toughness to the Bruins bottom-six. Thornton was signed by Boston in July 2007.
  • Nathan Horton scored clutch, game-winning goals all throughout the 2011 Stanley Cup win with the Bruins. Horton was traded to Boston along with Gregory Campbell in exchange for Dennis Wideman, a 2010 first-round pick, and a 2011 third-round pick.
  • Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg brought some underrated defense alongside Zdeno Chara. The Bruins acquired him and Matt Bartkowski for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller, and a 2010 second-round pick.
  • Goaltender Tim Thomas led the Bruins in the net to the 2011 Cup, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. Thomas signed with the Bruins in August of 2002.

The Boston Bruins have had some great players in recent years and each and every one of them has had an impact on the organization. If I missed anyone or you would like to know more about a specific player, message me on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj.