Providence Bruins Weekend Recap – Week 6

31962550678_6e65d04b49_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

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

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

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

44890450565_64a36fe0e8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Goaltender Performance:

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

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

This Weekends Scores:

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

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

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

31932363958_0b4c2b79f8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

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

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

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

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

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

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

31932364298_6da40ec2c1_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

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

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

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

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

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

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

31962556378_f2025b11d8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

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

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

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

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

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

Check Out All The Providence Bruins Action In The Upcoming Weeks Live And In Person With Tickets From SeatGiant! Don’t forget to use discount code BNGP to save a little cash!!

45108775584_0a14212eb0_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Early Trade Targets for the Boston Bruins

( Photo Credit: Jeff Wilcox / Boston Herald )

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

The Boston Bruins are sitting at 10-5-2 and are tied for 4th in the NHL in points and are on pace for a 106 point season. Even though the Bs are well on their way to a successful season, there has been early talk about trade and according to Darren Dreger, “the Bruins might shake things up a bit. Now that could mean absolutely anything, so I’m going to go through some potential trades.

The Bruins main target at the deadline will be some sort of a top 9 forward. I don’t believe the Bs will go after a defenseman as they’ve shown to have incredible amounts of depth on the back end early in the season. With regulars Kevin Miller, Torey Krug, Charlie Mcavoy and even Matt Grzelcyk missings time this season, Stephen Kampfer, Urho Vaakanainen and Jeremy Lauzon have all been pleasant surprises when they have stepped in for the main guys, showing that the Bruins realistically have 10 defensemen that have proven that they can play in the bigs. Outside of the first line and some flashes from David Krejci, their offense has been dry. Now before I would make any trade, I would try breaking up the first line and try out some new line combos but that’s a story for a different day, in this article I list a few players for the Bruins to target at the deadline.

Kevin Hayes

kevin_hayes.jpg( Photo Credit: AP / New York Post )

Now calm down, I know we’re all a bit scared from the name Hayes in the past. Jimmy Hayes (Kevin’s older brother) was acquired by the Bruins in 2015 for Reilly Smith (oh boy what a good fit Smith would be in the top 6) and long story short, he was a failed experiment. Kevin is a much better player than his older brother. Playing for the New York Rangers, Hayes had averaged about 18 goals and 44 points a season with a career-high of 25 goals last season. He can play center or wing and can slot into the middle 6 quite nicely as a big body wing for Krejci or as a 3rd line center that the Bruins have been searching for this entire season. The price for Hayes would be something around a second round pick, similar to what the Rangers received for Michael Grabner and a step up from what the Edmonton Oilers received for Patrick Maroon who was traded for a 3rd round pick last season. Both players had similar stats to Hayes.

Chris Kreider

650872134.0.jpg( Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images )

Another Ranger UFA to be. A local kid from Massachusetts who’s style of play fits how the big bad Bruins want to play. He’s a better player than Hayes and would be a really good fit on the 2nd line with Krejci. He’s more of a goal scorer than Hayes, scoring over 20 goals three of the past four seasons and was well on pace to surpass 20 last season before getting injured. The price for Kreider will certainly be at least a 1st round pick, around what the Buffalo Sabres got for a similar player in Evander Kane

Artemi Panarin

usa_today_10722850.0.jpg( Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports )

This one is a toughy. Obviously, Panarin is one of the top wingers in the entire NHL, averaging just under a point per game and a UFA to be. The Bruins inquired on the young Russian in the summer, and apparently, the price was Charlie Mcavoy and Jake Debrusk for a sign and trade. If I’m the Bruins, I can’t give up Mcavoy in any deal, he’s already a game changer at 20 years old and will only get better as he ages. Obviously, at this point in the season till the deadline, Panarin’s price would go down a bit, but I would assume it would still be something like Debrusk, Carlo/ Vaakanainen, and a pick, probably a 1st rounder. It’s an incredible price to pay for an incredible player, I’m just not sure the Bs would be willing to give up all of that for one winger.

Jordan Eberle

JordanEberle.jpg( Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/AP )

Someone we’ve seen in Bruins rumors for a few years now, dating back to his days in Edmonton. When the Oilers were testing the market for Eberle in 2014, apparently they were looking for Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, Malcolm Subban (or another young prospect), and draft picks from the Bruins. This obviously seems like a slam dunk now, but it’s a different time. A couple years after that, Boston offered them Ryan Spooner, Joe Morrow and a 1st and it was rejected (which surprises me considering they traded Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome) Eberle is a consistent 20+ goal scorer and 55 point guy who would help even out the top 6. The Islanders have been a good story to start the year and are playing very well, but they weren’t supposed to be a good team, if they slide, expect the pending UFA Eberle to be shipped out for a 1st +.

Mark Stone

mark stone senators_1509706997390_10902011_ver1.0_1280_720.jpg( Photo Credit: Ana Chytilova//Getty Images )

The Ottawa Senators are a team that started off really hot but have tailed off as of late. Both Matt Duchene and Stone are UFAs at the end of the season. Stone would fit perfectly with the Bruins, he an incredible defender, a big bodied wing who is a shoo-in for a 60 point year, he actually averaged above a point per game last year in 58 games. In my opinion, Stone would be the perfect guy for the Bruins to go after, a sign and trade is an option, I’m assuming they would want Debrusk if there were a contract added, without it, the price would likely be a 1st and a prospect.

Jeff Carter

34304ec8887e442692062530f06c6646.jpg( Photo Credit: AP/ Boston Herald )

This one has sprung up pretty recently. With the Kings struggling heavily and Bruins looking for some veteran forward help, the concept certainly fits. Outside of an injury-plagued season last year (he still totaled 22 points in 27 games) he had three straight 24+ goal and 60+ point seasons. On top of that, in the Kings deep playoff runs he has proven that he has a lot of playoff success. What isn’t a fit is the contract and the age. Carter is 33 and makes $5.272 million a year for another three years; with players like Mcavoy, Carlo, Heinen and other young players looking for raises in the next couple of years, the cap wouldn’t really work. If a trade were to happen, the cap would have to be eaten by the Kings and a player like David Backes may have to go the other way. Maybe Danton Heinen and a pick go the other way. I love the player, but considering the contract and age, I doubt we’ll ever see Carter in the spoked B.

Other forwards the Bruins could target: Mats Zuccarello, RW (NYR), Brock Nelson, C (NYI), Ryan Dzingel, C/W (OTT), Wayne Simmonds, RW (PHI), Gustav Nyquist, RW (DET)

The Week Ahead: Bruins Go West

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers

photo credit: Claus Andersen/Getty Images

By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney

The last week was an eventful one for the Bruins, which included three wins (DAL, TOR, and VGK), a loss (VAN), some line shuffling, a leave of absence, and the fabled two home games on consecutive days. It was a crazy home stretch on Causeway Street.

There are three games this week. Hopefully, the Bruins are able to gain some more of the momentum they built with consecutive wins against Toronto and Vegas this weekend.

Defenseman Brandon Carlo will not return to the lineup Wednesday. Kevan Miller may be back by the end of the road trip. Tuukka Rask has rejoined the team after a quick personal leave. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is doing well centering the third line, and David Backes appears to be a decent fourth line right wing these days. Jakub Zboril has been called up from Providence. This just might be a fun trip for the Bruins.

 

Wednesday, November 14th: @ Colorado

The Colorado Avalanche have a record of 8-6-3 and are sitting in fifth place in the NHL’s strong Central Division. People are saying their top line, consisting of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen, is the best line in hockey, but those people would be wrong. They’re close, though: the three have combined for 69 points (nice) in 17 games, their other 9 forwards have combined for a total of 53 points. They’re a little top heavy, but they’re having an easier time with secondary scoring than the Bruins have been.

The Avs’ power play is seventh in the NHL, converting at 25.4%. Their top line of Landeskog, Rantanen, and MacKinnon has combined for 17 points on the man advantage. If the Bruins can neutralize this trio and puck moving defenseman Tyson Barrie, the Avs are not going to have a good night. The same can be said for the effect the Avalanche shutting down the actual best line in hockey would have on the Bruins, though. This is a game that can go either way, though the Avalanche should probably be forced to forfeit for thinking they had the right to retire Ray Bourque’s number.

BONUS FOOTAGE:

Old buddy Carl The Dread Pirate” Soderberg one times a beauty of a game-winner home to beat Edmonton Monday night The Quebec Nordiques Colorado Avalanche are 3-2-1 at home this season.

Friday, November 16th: @ Dallas Stars

On November 5th, the Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 in overtime when Brad Marchand beat old friend Anton Khudobin for the game-winner.  It was a relief as it has seemed like the Bruins have had a little trouble with Dallas since a player whose name shall not be spoken was sent to Dallas for pennies on the dollar. Quarters on the dollar, maybe? Perhaps a quarter, two dimes, and a nickel? Whatever that trade and its return added up to, it ruined a lot of people’s July 4th in 2013 – so much for celebrating America’s 237th birthday.

Anyway, Dallas lost its last game, 2-1 in Columbus. Their leading scorers are (you guessed it) Tyler Seguin with 17 points, Jamie Benn with 13, Swedish puck mover John Klingberg with 13, and Alexander Radulov with 12. Radulov is leading the way in Corsi, at 56.7% CF. Their goaltending duo is not as bad as expected as Bishop and Khudobin are having a decent start to the season – not telling how long either of those guys will hold up, though.

The Stars’ power play is 12th in the league at 22.4%, and they have killed 80.7% of their penalties, good for 17th in the NHL (Bruins are 18th at 80.3%). Dallas is currently holding fourth place in the Central Division, just ahead of Colorado with 20 points. The Bruins currently are at 22 points. This is likely to be another close one, as Dallas seems to rise to the occasion whenever they play the Bruins.

Saturday, November 17: @ Arizona

The three best things about the Arizona Coyotes are, in this order: Peyote Coyote, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Clayton Keller. That said, they’ve had a better start than expected this season, and are holding onto fifth in the Pacific Division with 17 points. It’s a tight race out West, as the division-leading Vancouver Canucks are only five points ahead, with 22.

The best thing happening in the Arizona hockey world:

The Coyotes’ scoring leader is Boston University alum and top ten pick Clayton Keller, who has scored five goals and assisted on 7, totaling 12 points so far this season. Second on the list is their best player, Swedish defenseman Ekman-Larsson with 2-9-11 totals. In the offseason, the Coyotes traded Max Domi for Montreal pariah Alex Galchenyuk, who has managed to score 8 points in 9 games with the Coyotes.

Fashionable Finnish goalie Antti Raanta has been solid in net, with a save percentage of .929, and surprisingly enough, the Coyotes have allowed the second fewest goals in the NHL, with 39. Nashville has been the stingiest, allowing only 36. On that note, Arizona’s penalty kill is tops – they are killing a ridiculous 91.8% of their penalties. No other is within 4% of them at the moment. Their power play cannot hold a candle to the Bruins’, and they’re at 19%/18th in the NHL, while the Bruins’ have been unstoppable on the man advantage at 30%, good for third in the league.

An important question for the Bruins in this game is going to be whether their secondary scoring can contribute, as Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak have been doing a ton of their damage on the power play. If the third line of Heinen, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Anders Bjork can keep coming up with the golden opportunities they’ve created for themselves during the last couple of games, the floodgates are going to open one of these days.

If you’re going to be in the Colorado, Dallas, or Arizona areas, check out SeatGiant.com and use discount code BNGP to save a little money! Click the appropriate links below to get the best seats available!

Colorado Area:   Boston Bruins vs. Colorado Avalanche 11-14-18 Pepsi Center Denver

Texas Area: Boston Bruins vs, Dallas Stars 11-16-18 American Airlines Center Dallas

Arizona Area: Boston Bruins vs. Arizona Coyotes 11-17-18 Gila River Arena Glendale

Boston Bruins: Let’s Talk David Backes

PHOTO CREDIT: Charles Krupa / Sportsnet

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

When the Boston Bruins signed David Backes to a five-year, $30 million deal during the 2016 NHL Offseason, it was met with mixed reviews. There is no question that the former Blues’ captain was expected to be a top-six forward for the team. He had been one of the best power forwards in the league for a number of years at that time. However, many analysts felt that the term on the deal would end up hurting the Bruins. As we are now in the 2018-19 season, it is now time for us to be a bit worried that this may end up being the case.

It is absolutely clear that the veteran has struggled this season so far. He has been held pointless in 12 games and already had another concussion scare this season. Injuries have definitely been hitting him frequently since he began his tenure with the team, but none more so than with his head. This could likely be what is behind his significant drop in production this season, as he received another concussion during the postseason last year.

It is also clear that last season he had a decent amount of success playing on the third line. With 33 points in 57 games, it is fair to state that he was providing the team with some very solid secondary scoring. Although the numbers did not necessarily replicate the $6 million cap hit he possesses, it did show that he was a valuable part of this lineup. So with that being said, it is pretty concerning seeing the extremely cold start he has had this season. One has to wonder if he could turn it around.

However, for that to occur, he has to fight his way back up the depth chart. With the promotion given to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Backes now finds himself on the fourth line right wing. This definitely is not ideal for the veteran, as his chances to provide offense are significantly lower playing on this defense-first line. JFK has also noticeably given the third-line better speed up the middle, so Backes is in a pretty rough spot if it translates to more offensive production from that line.

Another significant reason behind his drop in production is the loss of Riley Nash. There is absolutely no question that the two worked exceptionally well together. However, with Nash signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Danton Heinen occasionally being promoted to the second-line, Backes has been given an array of different linemates all season. In fact, he has been forced to be back at center, a position that he just does fit well in anymore.

Playing on the fourth line is just not the best situation for him to be in. Now, with his struggling play, it is justifiable that he is there. Yet, as soon as he finds his game again, he should be given more chances. In fact, with the looming questions in the top-six, perhaps the team should give him a go on the second-line if the lack of scoring continues. Although his speed has clearly gotten slower over the years, David Krejci has had a lot of success playing with power forwards.

It is fair to state that everyone in the lineup is rooting for the veteran to improve. Although it may seem unlikely to some, it is possible for him to find his game again. Twelve games without a point is very concerning, but that does not mean that he can never turn it into a hot streak. However, for him to see results, he does need to be given more opportunities to shine.  Now is not the time to close the door on Backes completely. He has had a fantastic career up to this point and could easily become a factor in the lineup again under the right circumstances.  

Bruins Recall Lauzon From The AHL On Emergency Basis

3-387848f1b6

photo credit: providencebruins.com

By: Mandi Mahoney  |  Follow Me On Twitter @phoneymahoney

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bruins Game 17 Preview: Vegas Golden Knights

Chara Vegas

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob

After defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 on Saturday night, the Boston Bruins will tackle the Vegas Golden Knights just 24 hours later. Since their historic Stanely Cup push, the Golden Knights have struggled. They are 7-9-1 to start the 2018-19 season and are 2-4-0 in their last six games.

Meanwhile, the Bruins proved their worth against a talented Toronto team and should capitalize on that confidence as they take on Vegas. They will be looking to win two games in a row for the first time since October 25th when they shutout the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

Who’s Hot?

Jake DeBrusk caught fire against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday when he potted two goals in addition to his assist on Matt Grzelcyk’s first goal of the season. This was despite that fact that DeBrusk only received 15:27 of ice time. Though he was held stagnant in the game against the Maple Leafs, it is Boston’s hope that he can find that fire once again when the Bruins take on a lackluster Golden Knights team.

DeBrusk’s linemates have also been hot. Joakim Nordstrom tallied a goal against the Maple Leafs on Saturday and an assist against Vancouver. Meanwhile, David Krejci rests at 12 assists on the season having registered five helpers in his last three games. Nine of those dozen assists have come during five-on-five play.

Jaroslav Halak has remained a force to be reckoned in Boston’s crease. With Tuukka Rask currently on a leave of absence due to personal issues, Halak will carry the load as he already has been in the early stages of the 2018-19 campaign. On Saturday, the netminder improved his record to 5-1-2 and made 40 stops on 41 shots. He currently has a .941 SV%, 1.86 GAA and two shutouts.

The Golden Knights have been led by Jon Marchessault and William Karlsson thus far. Marchessault has tallied eight goals and seven assists to start the campaign while Karlsson has inked four goals and 10 assists. Each forward has been averaging just over 20 minutes per game and will aim to slice their way through a battered Bruins defensive unit.

Who’s Not?

Even Halak has registered more points than both Noel Acciari and David Backes. The two forwards, who are usually the backbone of Boston’s bottom-six in terms of physical play, have been shutout to start the 2018-19 season. Acciari was scratched for the game against Toronto and Bruce Cassidy announced he will once again be sidelined in the Bruins’ matchup with Vegas on Sunday.

But Boston’s depth has continued to struggle across the board. However, there is hope on the horizon. With Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson now skating on the Bruins’ third line alongside Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen, there is the potential for this line to really take off. They played well against Toronto but simply lacked execution. I would look for them to come up with something against the struggling Golden Knights.

Heinen Vegas

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of depth, Vegas has had a similar problem with their bottom-nine. After Karlsson, who has 14 points, Alex Tuch is ranked third amongst the Golden Knights’ producers with eight points. The Golden Knights currently have five starting forwards with less than three points. Much like Boston’s opponents have been able to get away with thus far, the Bruins will only need to focus on Vegas’ top line if their depth continues their cold streak on Sunday.

Bruins vs. Golden Knights Outlook

Brandon Carlo is a question mark on Sunday. He reportedly suffered an upper-body injury against the Maple Leafs on Saturday and “probably won’t play” according to Cassidy. Jeremy Lauzon has been recalled on an emergency basis and will replace Carlo if need be.

Vegas will look to take advantage of Boston’s broken-down defense that is already missing key pieces in Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller. Halak will once again get the start on Sunday and could make up for the injury-plagued blue line. However, this means Halak will be appearing twice in 24 hours. We’ll see if the quick turnaround has any effect on his play.

Willie O’Ree, Bruins Legend, Inducted Into HHOF

Related image(Photo Credit: HHOF)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @Evan007onTV

When the NHL celebrated its “Centennial Memories” campaign with 100 of the greatest moments in hockey history last Spring, many of the clips featured highlight-reel goals & saves, Stanley Cup championships & champions, and unforgettable interviews with living legends of the game. But one very specific clip — a tribute if you will — resonated not only all throughout the city of Boston, but also most of Canada & Southern California as well. And that clip, that tribute, that truly inspiring story featured a player who literally & figuratively changed the face of the game, breaking the NHL’s color barrier in the process — Bruins No. 22, Mr. Willie O’Ree:

To say O’Ree had a ground-breaking moment in the history of hockey, as well as the history of a racially-charged Boston, would be an understatement, especially when you consider the era of his playing debut and the overall culture of a sport as white as the ice it’s played on. Look no further than the wonderfully insightful article written by friend of the Black N’ Gold Blog Scott Burnside from The Athletic, who interviewed an emotional O’Ree shortly after the now 83-year-old got the life-changing call he was headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame:

“O’Ree’s first NHL game was a Saturday night, Jan. 18, 1958, in Montreal. He and his Boston teammates then took a train to Boston for a return engagement against the powerful Canadiens the next day.

O’Ree overcame the barriers, both physical and societal, to become an NHL player at a time when there were but six NHL teams, and he did so having lost his sight in one eye courtesy of a deflected puck in the mid-1950s. He also had to face the kind of prejudice that has sadly driven many boys and girls from the sport over the years….

If this was how it was going to be in the NHL, the taunts, the violence, the hatred, maybe he wasn’t cut out for it, he thought.”

Many fans, players, coaches, managers & leaders throughout the game are certainly glad he thought wrong. So was O’Ree, despite his NHL playing career only lasting a mere 45-games (although he continued playing professionally until his early 40’s in the Western & Pacific Hockey Leagues, respectively).

Yet, looking back, O’Ree’s legacy wasn’t about what he did on the ice — although overcoming both societal (being the game’s first black player) & physical challenges (being legally blind in one eye) to actually have a successful hockey-playing career was about as impressive of an athletic accomplishment as anyone could endure during that time frame. It’s about all that he did for the game off the ice. Going back to Burnside:

“The search was on for someone to help become the face of the NHL’s diversity task force, someone who could be a conduit to communities where hockey was not a given…

O’Ree always wanted to get back in the game, and when [it was] proposed that O’Ree work with the league and USA Hockey visiting girls and boys at rinks, schools and even correctional facilities around the country, talking about his journey and the game, O’Ree thought that might be a good fit.

Little did he know that this wouldn’t be just a job but also a labor of love.”

A labor of love he’s continuing to this day, and one that continues to be recognized by people in all facets of hockey, sport & society as a whole. Ten years ago, O’Ree sat down with CBS (where I anchored & reported for the better part of a decade) to talk about everything he had endured, accomplished and what he still wanted to do for hockey. It was intimate, revealing, and emotional but above all, it captured the essence of why the man is so revered all the way from Revere to San Diego to now Toronto, Ontario:

This aired just after O’Ree had celebrated the 50th anniversary of breaking hockey’s color barrier. Now, with the 60th anniversary celebrations continuing throughout 2018, O’Ree’s career & contributions to the game are being shared even more, especially with social media having such a lasting & profound reach.

O'Ree 60.jpeg(Photo Credit: NHL)

So, how will O’Ree’s outreach impact the game, the NHL, Boston and countless young players all across the United States & Canada moving forward for the former forward? I think it’s a safe bet to assume he won’t be too far away from a rinkside view, especially in Allston where the B’s Foundation, team and community went “all in” to dedicate a special rink to O’Ree this year!

Just like Burnside discovered, O’Ree’s presence, personality & penchant for always finding the time to talk hockey with anyone, anywhere, will be remembered even more than his spirited play, which goes to show how genuinely affable, relatable & altruistic he was and continues to be to everyone he encounters:

“Even during his playing days, O’Ree was always the last one on the team bus, always taking time for one more picture, one more autograph, one last bit of conversation with fans young and old.

O’Ree would like to see more coaches of color, more executives, scouts, the gamut. And beyond the rink…

…there’s something more than a little comforting in knowing that O’Ree isn’t going anywhere but to his next stop as he makes his way past those flags and back to a car that will take him to an airport and to another meeting with young people eager to hear his story.”

And this is a story that will be told long after O’Ree has left us and left behind his legacy — one that rightfully will now always be remembered, and enshrined, in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Image result for willie o'ree hockey hall of fameImage result for willie o'ree hockey hall of fame

(Photo Credits: HHOF)

Don’t forget to visit www.seatgiant.com and use promo-code BNGP to get your tickets to see the Bruins live at the TD Garden!

Bruins Bergeron on Pace for Career Year

NELA8854.JPG(Photo Credit: Nancy Lane)

By: Ian Smith | Follow me on Twitter @IanMalcolmSmith

Patrice Bergeron has been arguably the best two-way player in hockey for the last handful of seasons. He has won four Selke Trophies in the previous seven years and possesses the playmaking abilities to consistently generate offense for himself and his teammates. The energy and skill it takes to be such a stalwart on the defensive end of the ice while also serving as an important source of offensive production is truly remarkable. Bergeron’s value to this team is immeasurable, and it looks like he might be in the midst of the best offensive season of his career.

It’s amazing that he is averaging well over a point per game to start this season at age 33 and with over 900 games under his belt, especially because it looks like he might be entering new territory. Bergeron has never averaged a point per game throughout a season. The closest he came was last season when he registered 63 points in 64 games. Heading into the 2018-19 season, Bergeron had played 14 years in the NHL, and his career-high point total was 73 back in 2005-06. He did that as a 20-year-old, and he’s on pace right now to surpass that previous best as a 33-year-old with a lot of mileage on his skates. Through 15 games this season, Bergeron has 21 points, which ranks him tied for fifth in the league in points scored.

There are numerous reasons to believe that Bergeron is going to score more points this season that he ever has before in his career. For one thing, he’s durable. He missed a chunk of time last season with a broken bone in his foot, but it was the first season in a while where he had missed significant action. He had appeared in at least 79 games in each of the previous six non-lockout shortened seasons before last year, and he has appeared in all 15 Bruins games so far.

Playing on a line with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand is going to provide him with ample opportunities to either set those two up for goals or capitalize himself on chances created by them. Pastrnak looks like he’s going to compete for the Rocket Richard Trophy this season, and Marchand is the only player in the league who has scored at least 34 goals in each of the previous three seasons. That line is going to continue scoring at an impressive rate, meaning Bergeron is going to keep racking up points.

Bergeron has 51 shots on net through 15 games this season. That’s an average of 3.40 shots on goal per game. He has averaged 2.96 shots on goal per game for his career. When he had 73 points in 2005-06 he averaged 3.83 shots on goal per game. When he scored 63 points in 64 games last season, he averaged 3.50 shots on goal per game. He is averaging fewer shots on goal per game this season, but he has a shooting percentage of 15.7% this year so far. That’s well above his career total of 10.3% and his 2005-06 total of 10.0%. It’s also higher than his 13.4% put up in 2017-18. Even if Bergeron slips in his shots on goal per game to something like 3.30 and his shooting percentage to something like 13% from this point forward, that would still come out to about 38 goals by the end of this season if Bergeron plays in 80 games. If Bergeron can stay healthy this season, he’s very likely going to set a career high in goals. Pastrnak and Marchand are also going to provide him with plenty of opportunities to rack up assists, so Bergeron is really in a great position.

During his career, Bergeron’s lowest scoring month in terms of points per game in months where he has played at least 100 career games is the month of November at about 0.70 points per game. His second lowest points per game for a month is 0.72 for October. Bergeron tends to pick up his scoring rate after the first two months of the season, so the fact that he has started off this strong bodes well for him to keep it up for the rest of the season. There are definitely a lot of indicators that Bergeron is in the midst of what’s going to end up being one of his most statistically impressive seasons.

Bruins Game 16 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mandi Mahoney | Follow Me On Twitter: @phonymahoney

At 7:00PM, the Boston Bruins will play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time since defeating them in seven games during the first round of last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 25. The 11-5-0 Maple Leafs are second in the Atlantic Division with 22 points, behind only Tampa Bay.

The Leafs have scored 58 goals this season, again, second only to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Their goal differential is +16, good for third in the NHL, behind (you guessed it), Tampa Bay and Nashville. The Leafs’ special teams are very effective this season; their power play is fifth in the league at 27.3%, and their penalty kill is fourth, at 84.8%. Toronto will be playing on consecutive games, as they beat New Jersey 6-1 at home Friday night.

The Bruins are 8-5-2 with 18 points so far this season and are tied with Buffalo for fourth in the Atlantic Division. Thursday, they lost 8-5 to the Vancouver Canucks in an absolute gong show of a game.  Boston’s power play is third in the NHL, converting at 30.6%, and their penalty kill is less impressive, at 21st in the NHL, or 77%. The Bruins will be looking to make up for lost points tonight, and Toronto will be hoping to rack up more points in hopes of staying near the top of the Atlantic Division, as it will pay off come playoff time.

Who’s Hot?

The second line left wing Jake DeBrusk had been having trouble lighting the lamp this season, but he scored two power-play goals and assisted on another against the Canucks on Thursday. He now is at five goals so far this season. DeBrusk’s center, David Krejci, also notched three assists Thursday night. Hopefully, the two can gain some confidence after getting back some of the scoring they’ve been struggling to find this season.

Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey, who is a bit long in the tooth at 37 years old, hasn’t been playing very well this year, but he tallied two goals and two assists last night against the New Jersey Devils in what might possibly be the Leafs’ strongest game this season. Center Nazem Kadri scored a goal and an assist last night, and Connor Brown scored a goal and played a great defensive game on Thursday.

Who’s Not?

The Bruins’ bottom six has been, for lack of better adjectives, ugly and disjointed this season. There is very little chemistry between Danton Heinen, David Backes, and Anders Bjork. Maybe it’s due to Backes’ injury issues, maybe it’s because playing the three of them on one line is like choosing one of each player type on Nintendo’s Ice Hockey. Maybe one of them drank Jobu’s rum. Whatever it is, they cannot get into a grove, but they have seemed to be able to get into quite a funk.

As for the Leafs, Frederic Gauthier and Nikita Zaitsev haven’t had a good start to the season, and have been looking invisible for the most part. Toronto’s lineup is pretty strong, though so this may not have too much of a bearing on the game.

Bruins vs. Leafs Outlook

Tuukka Rask has been granted a leave of absence by the Bruins, and Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller are still out with injuries. Daniel Vladar has been called up from the Providence Bruins to play backup to Jaroslav Halak, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to presumably center the third line. The Bruins bottom six will likely look a little wacky as a result, as it is believed that David Backes will play right wing on the fourth line, and the third will consist of Heinen, JFK, and Noel Acciari.

The Leafs are pretty hot at this point in the season, even without dynamic center Auston Matthews. It helps to have a world class player like John Tavares centering their second line. Despite the new look to the third and fourth lines, wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the Leafs’ offense to take full advantage of the Bruins’ troubled bottom six. The Leafs definitely have something to prove after last spring, so they should be very engaged at the Garden tonight.

 

Bruins Call Up Vladar On Emergency Basis

                  (Photo Credit: @NHLBruins)

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

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

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

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

 (Photo Credit: Gregory Vasil)

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to visit www.seatgiant.com and use promo-code BNGP to get your tickets to see the Bruins live at the TD Garden!