AHL Providence Bruins Recall Asselin From Atlanta

( Photo Credit: Dale Zanine / Atlanta Gladiators )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins announced earlier today that the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins has recalled forward Samuel Asselin from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Asselin, a 21-year-old 5′-9″ 181-pound undrafted centerman signed with Providence on a two-year AHL contract back in July of 2019 after an impressive QMJHL season with the Halifax Mooseheads where he led the league in goals with 48.

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The Repentigny, Quebec native was with the Providence Bruins for their annual training camp but was passed over for a roster spot to start the 2019-20 campaign. B’s General Manager John Ferguson Jr. had no choice but to send him down to the ECHL to begin his pro career. This was pure motivation for the young forward that @BruinsNetwork on Twitter describes as a hard-nosed, gritty two-way forward with an advanced defensive game and doesn’t shy away from contact and plays hard around the net.

The crafty forward didn’t use this demotion to hang his head and dwell but instead got right to work in game one of the 2019-20 ECHL campaign with Atlanta and would notch at least one point in every game ending his career-high streak at eight games. In those eight games, he would tear up the league producing one assist in his first four contests, then would release the goal fury in his next ultimately getting serious recollection from the higher Providence club posting 7-3-10 in his last four games before heading north to the state of Rhode Island.

The Providence Bruins have two big games coming up this weekend against the AHL’s Atlantic Division-leading Hartford Wolf Pack, who the Bruins faced earlier this week losing a 2-1 battle to the pack at the Dunk on November 10th. The second game of the home-and-home has the Providence club traveling to the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, to wrap up the weekend festivities. Providence sits in third place in the Atlantic with an 8-6-0-2 record with 18 points while the front running Hartford club sits comfortably in first with a 10-1-0-4 record earning a league-best 24 points.

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

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Bruins No Longer Playing “Lights Out” Hockey

Image result for bruins panthers power outage

(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Florida Panthers

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – Coyle

Bjork – Lindholm – Senyshyn

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Carlo

Vaakanainen – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Huberdeau –  Barkov – Dadonov

Vatrano – Trocheck – Malgin

Hoffman – Boyle – Connolly

Hunt – Acciari – Sceviour

Defense

Yandle – Ekblad

Matheson – Stralman

Pysyk – Brown

Goalies

Bobrovsky

Montembeault

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

First Period

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

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

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

Score: 0-0

Second Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 4-0 Boston

Third Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 4-4

Overtime

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

Shootout

Round one

Frank Vatrano: Miss

Chris Wagner: Miss

Round two

Vincent Trocheck: Goal

Brad Marchand: Miss

Round three

Jonathan Huberdeau: Miss

Charlie Coyle: Goal

Round four

Mike Hoffman: Goal

Charlie McAvoy: Miss

Final Score: 5-4 Florida (Shootout)

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

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Replacing the Bruins’ Big Man

( Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports Images )

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy recently shuffled his defensive lines to give some of his young stars a spark. The move sends Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins former 2016 first-round pick, to Matt Grzelyck’s right side. The long-time left-shot defenseman, Zdeno Chara, to play with Connor Clifton. Chara has been the Bruins’ staple on the blue line as their number-one defenseman, and the recent move begs the question: What we can expect for life after Chara?

Zdeno was drafted 56th overall in the 1996 NHL draft to the New York Islanders. The Slovakian possessed something NHL GM’s salivate over for their blue line defenders: size. Chara measures in at 6’9 and currently weighs 250 pounds. Any GM would love to have that monster be one of the first things the opposition sees entering the zone. The 20-year-old entered the professional hockey world in the Islanders’ farm system, beginning with the Kentucky Thoroughblades. A year and a half later, he played between New York and their next affiliate team, the Lowell Lock Monsters. Beginning in the 1998 season, Zdeno Chara made the Islanders’ opening roster where the future Hall of Famer’s career would begin.

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His three and a half year tenure in New York was nothing to write home about, and the Islanders didn’t offer much support finishing last in their division those three straight years. In the 2001 offseason, the Islanders struck a deal with the Ottawa Senators, sending Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and a first-round draft selection (which turned into Jason Spezza at second overall) for Alexei Yashin. Muckalt only played one year in Ottawa and Spezza is still playing out his seventeen-year career. Many in the NHL felt the Islanders gave up too early on Chara, and they were right. Chara quickly found his game in Ottawa. He posted 23 points and a plus 30 in his first year with the Senators, almost tying his three and a half year point total in New York. Each of his four years in Ottawa, Chara surpassed his previous season’s point total, netting 146 points in 299 games. The success he had in Ottawa did not go unnoticed, as he was named first-team All-Star and a Norris Trophy finalist (Best NHL Defenseman) in his third year with the Sens. Ottawa allowed the fewest goals in 2005-2006 and the big man played an immense role in that. In the 2006 off-season, Chara was an unrestricted free agent and the Bruins were desperately searching for an elite two-way defenseman.

Entering the 2006 off-season, the Bruins constructed a massive overhaul of their blue line. Hall of Famer Brian Leetch retired and they cut ties with Nick Boynton and the hometown 6’7 veteran Hal Gill. The Bruins had some cap room to fill and Chara was their number one target. The Black and Gold signed the big man to a five-year, $37.5M contract. Not only did Chara bring size to Boston, but he also brought a thorough work ethic and mentorship that is a staple on and off the ice to this day. It’s the reason he’s well-respected throughout the league.

Chara became the Bruins’ 18th captain in their history. He brought his leadership, 100-mph-plus slap shot, and defensive stinginess to Boston where it would change the Bruins’ vision for years to come. He maintained 40-plus-point seasons in his first six years in Boston, two of which he reached the 50-point plateau. Chara continued to be selected as a first-team All-Star and became the 56th winner of the Norris Trophy in 2008-2009, with 50 points and a plus-23 rating. He was the leader of the team on and off the ice, and an integral part of the teams’ sixth Stanley Cup to Boston in 2011. Chara didn’t score a lot of points those playoffs, but he did shine where his team needed him most. He averaged a hefty 27:39 time on ice and a plus-16 rating. One key play that comes to mind is in Game 6, Chara used his seven-foot wingspan to make a game-changing play:

A four-goal lead feels as though the game is out of reach, but every hockey player knows it takes just one goal to change a game. The Bruins desperately needed a win to send the series to a heart-pumping Game 7 and once again, Chara was there to save the day when his team needed him most.

Game 6 ended in A 5-2 Bruins victory, sending the Bruins and Canucks back to Vancouver for any sport’s most exciting two words: Game 7. The Bruins took an early 1-0 lead at 14:37 in the first from the stick of another future Hall of Famer: Patrice Bergeron. That goal proved to be the game-winner, as the Bruins scored three more times, and on June 15, 2011, the Bruins were Stanley Cup Champions. Bruins fans around the world can still hear Dave Goucher’s legendary call: “Get the duck boats ready, the Boston Bruins are 2011 Stanley Cup Champions.” The Stanley Cup was raised the highest it had ever been, over Chara’s 6’9 stature. Chara ended the game with a game-leading 41 shifts, team-leading 27:12 time on ice, and a plus-2 rating.

( Photo Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File )

The Stanley Cup was the cherry on top of Chara’s incredible career. Recently, it’s clear the Bruins have been drafting and developing their players for life after Chara. Following the 2017 season, he became the next athlete to take on the TB12 method to keep Father Time at bay. He no longer eats red meat and has switched to strictly plant-based and organic foods. “I can tell I’m feeling better,” said the 40-year-old Bruins captain and tallest player in NHL history. “I know for a fact I’m playing with a lot more energy and I’m recovering faster.”

General Manager Don Sweeney hasn’t taken his renewed time for granted, though. The Bruins spent three draft picks on blue-line defenders in 2015 selecting Jakub Zboril, Brandon Carlo, and Jeremy Lauzon. Zboril and Lauzon (both left-shot blue-liners) are still developing in the American Hockey League, and Carlo is one of the Bruins’ most important and consistent defenders, playing alongside Torey Krug. The Bruins drafted McAvoy 14th overall in 2016 and he’s been launched into first-pairing duties from the start. The Bruins also drafted young Finnish defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, who most believe to be the man to fill the big man’s skates with his ability to play long minutes and defensive stinginess.

Urho was drafted 18th overall in the 2017 draft, one year after McAvoy. Where the Bruins will miss Chara’s contributions the most is the penalty kill (PK). The Bruins have historically had great success on the PK due to Chara, Bergeron, and Brad Marchand. Zdeno’s long reach gives him an uncanny ability to intercept passes and clear the puck from danger. Sweeney has been spending the past two off-seasons signing bottom-six role players who can contribute effectively to the PK. Par Lindholm, Joakim Nordstrom, Chris Wagner, Brett Ritchie, and John Moore have all been part of this movement.

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One of Chara’s finest qualities that fly under the radar is his ability to shadow the opposition’s best players. Chara and the Bruins have executed Bill Belichick’s approach in neutralizing the opposition’s most lethal weapon. Chara has always been the mainstay in limiting players like Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, and Alex Ovechkin. These world talents have all had the tall task of facing-off against Chara and haven’t had much success. According to Natural Stat Trick, when both Chara and Ovechkin were on the ice together in a 5v5 situation, Ovechkin was held to only four goals from 2013 and 2016. Stamkos was held to three, and Crosby held to one. This type of shutdown ability will be extremely hard to replicate. Cassidy has faith in players like Bergeron and Charlie Coyle to handle the load, but it will probably be more of a group effort moving forward.

Chara hasn’t definitively said which year will be his last. If we know anything about the big man, his work ethic will not let him go quietly. His motivation throughout the years has awarded him tremendous honors. The Stanley Cup, Norris Trophy, and Mark Messier Leadership Award are just pieces of a successful resume for this seven-time All-Star. He recently reached an amazing plateau of 1,500 NHL games played.

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The Bruins don’t have just one player to solve the missing puzzle piece. But they do have a plethora of defensemen in their system, all of whom bring something unique to the table. McAvoy is one of the NHL’s brightest young stars. Carlo is a stay-at-home defenseman with a long reach and whose big body has been a key piece of what the Bruins do best in their zone and limiting the opposition. Torey Krug is the quarterback on their powerplay. Matt Gryzelck is statistically one of the best D-men breaking the puck out of the D-zone efficiently. Connor Clifton is a scrappy, hard-hitting defenseman who isn’t intimidated by the opposition’s size. The Bruins will miss having one player bring all of that to the table and alleviate pressure from others. But with some help from the men upfront, the current Black and Gold D-men should be able to replicate what the big man has done with great success.

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

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

Bruins Game 18 Preview: Florida Panthers

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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

Boston’s strong start of the 2019-2020 season has taken a recent downward spiral with the Bruins losing three consecutive games to the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, and Philadelphia Flyers (SO), bringing their record to a still-respectable 11-3-3. Two of the three losses have been by one goal and the loss to Detroit required an empty-net goal as well. Boston is fifth in the league standings with 25 points.

Following a big free-agent acquisition of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the Florida Panthers are having a decent start to the campaign. Florida has a 8-4-5 record and while the wins have not been coming early on, they have been able to earn at least a point in 13 of their 17 games played and have positioned themselves in the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 7-2-1 1.99 GAA .933 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 4-2 loss vs DET

FLA: Sergei Bobrovsky (Likely) 6-3-4 3.39 GAA .884 SV% Last Game: 34 Saves in 2-1 loss vs NYI

Who’s Hot:

Aleksander Barkov has been the main superstar on the Panthers since he was drafted second-overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, accumulating 140-227-367 numbers in his 430 career NHL games. This season, Barkov has been on another level, scoring five goals and 17 assists for 22 points in 17 games – leading the Panthers in assists and points. The 24-year-old is also on a five-game point streak with four of those five games being two-point nights.

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are always on fire, even though the duo is combined for only two points in the last three games. Marchand scored in the last game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but Pastrnak was left off the score sheet. Pastrnak did have a secondary assist against the Red Wings that was later taken away due to a scoring change, ending his point streak at 15 games. Don’t expect these two to stay off the score sheet for much longer.

Jonathan Huberdeau has been with Florida since the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and with the emergence of Barkov, he too has seen point increases and has been one of the top players in the league. The 26-year-old forward has 9-12-21 totals in 17 games and is riding on a five-game point streak as well. Huberdeau leads the Panthers in goals with nine.

Who’s Not:

Fresh off his brand-new contract extension, defenceman Charlie McAvoy is still yet to break out in the ’19/’20 season so far and it may be time to wonder what is going on. McAvoy has 0-4-4 totals in the opening seventeen games this year, but has seen his defensive partners change throughout the game due to his struggles. McAvoy is still averaging 20+ minutes-per-game and now with Torey Krug out of the lineup for Tuesday’s game, Bruce Cassidy and the Bruins need McAvoy to step up in a big way.

For a player who is making $10 million per season until the 2025-26 season, Sergei Bobrovsky has not met the high expectations early on in the season. The 31-year-old netminder has a 6-3-4 record this season with a 3.39 goals-against-average and a .884 save percentage. Bobrovsky allowed five goals two games ago against the Capitals in an overtime loss and has not been at the level that earned him the large payday last summer.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Brad Marchand is playing in his 699th career NHL regular-season game
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one power-play goal away (99) from 100 NHL power-play goals

Florida Panthers:

  • F Evgenii Dadonov is three assists away (97) from 100 career NHL assists
  • F Aleksander Barkov is two goals away (140) from tying Nathan Horton (142) for 5th-most goals in Panthers history
  • F Aleksander Barkov is two assists away (227) from tying Robert Svehla (229) for 4th-most assists in Panthers history

Bruins vs Panthers Outlook:

In the history of both franchises, the Boston Bruins have a combined record of 54-35-6-5 in 100 games against the Florida Panthers, including a 2-2-0 record in the 2018-19 season. Boston took a 7-3 win on March 23rd and a 4-3 win on March 7th from the Panthers while Florida won a 5-0 game on December 14th and a 4-1 game on March 30th.

As mentioned, the Bruins come into tonight’s game on a three-game losing streak – the longest of the new season and will look to end that streak tonight. Boston has been close to winning games against the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers, but were unable to come away with the two points. It has not been just one thing that has caused the losses, but just a combination of injured players, slow starts, and mistakes that can be fixed.

For Florida, they are still looking to gain traction to become a more-dominate team in the Atlantic Division and even the Eastern Conference. If goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky can play like he did with the Columbus Blue Jackets at the end of last season and into the postseason, this Panthers team can be a true challenge for the other 30 franchises.

Boston still has the best power-play in the entire league, scoring at a 29.8% rate while on the man-advantage. Florida will look to compete against that with their 12th-best penalty-kill in the NHL, killing off 83% of the penalties they take. On the power-play, the Panthers have a 22.6% success rate – going against Boston’s 84.6% penalty-kill (9th in the NHL).

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that defenceman Torey Krug will miss tonight’s game with an upper-body injury while Urho Vaakanainen comes in the lineup for his third NHL game as a replacement.

It is Military Appreciation Night in the TD Garden tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST.

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

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

Providence Bruins Post-Game Recap Vs. Bridgeport 11/11/19

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

The Providence Bruins faced off against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the third time this season on Monday afternoon, with Providence leading the season series two games to none. The Bruins came into the game ranked second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 8-5-0-2. Providence was looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Hartford on Sunday but would have to play without defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, as he was called up to Boston this morning due to an injury to Torey Krug. Bridgeport entered Monday’s game on a two-game losing streak and ranked last in the division.

Starting Lineups

Providence:

Hughes – Frederic – Steen

Zboril – Didier

Lagace

Bridgeport:

Bourque – McDonald – Kubiak

Burroughs – Wotherspoon

Gibson

Game Recap

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First Period

The Bruins started slowly, unable to establish an attacking rhythm or challenge Sound Tigers goalie Christopher Gibson.

Bridgeport’s Arnaud Durandeau scored the first goal of the game at 6:31, assisted by Mason Jobst and Sebastien Aho. There wasn’t much that Max Lagace could do about the well-played rush, letting in just his second goal in three games.

Despite one power play for each team, the rest of the period was scoreless. Bridgeport outshot Providence 11-8.

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Second Period

The Bruins began the second period with a few seconds of carryover power play time. They were given their second man-advantage of the game 2:05 in as Sound Tigers Hickey was called for elbowing but were unable to convert. Bridgeport was whistled for yet another penalty just one second after they killed off the previous one. This time, the power play was cut short, with Robert Lantosi heading off for a trip 46 seconds in. Yet another penalty was called seconds before Kieffer Bellows exited the box, and Bridgeport headed to a 5-on-3 advantage. Providence did a good job killing the penalties off and had a shorthanded scoring chance that they weren’t quite able to convert.

Providence was nabbed for their third offensive-zone penalty of the game at 10:19 of the second. The penalty kill stayed perfect, with Lagace looking solid in net.

Simon Holmstrom scored with 4:57 remaining to put Bridgeport up 2-0. Rookie Oliver Wahlstrom provided the primary assist, his second point in two games against Providence.

Frederic was sent to the box for slashing five seconds after the center-ice face-off following Holmstrom’s goal. The Providence penalty kill remained strong, and after failing to convert on a late power play, the Bruins went to the second intermission down by two.

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Third Period

The Bruins seemed to have a jump in their step at the beginning of the third period. After largely failing to generate offense in the first 40 minutes, Providence was able to spend more time in the Sound Tigers’ zone, leading to their fifth power play of the game when Trent Frederic was tripped up on a rush to the net. They were unable to get one past Gibson.

Both goalies were excellent in the third. Lagace made some challenging saves from in close, and Gibson robbed Frederic twice on a breakaway. After mustering just 15 shots through the first two periods, Providence peppered Gibson with 17 shots in the third.

Providence had one more chance on the power play with just under 8 minutes remaining in the game as Steen was hauled down while trying to exit the Bruins zone. It proved to be short-lived, with Oskar Steen committing a penalty of his own 44 seconds later. Despite pulling Lagace for an extra attacker with over 4 minutes left, the Bruins couldn’t convert and were shut out. It was the first time they were unable to score so far this season.

The Bruins are now 8-6-0-2. Their next game is this Friday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center against the Hartford Wolf Pack

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

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Bruins Recall Urho Vaakanainen on Emergency Basis

urho

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins announced that the team has recalled defenseman Urho Vaakanainen from Providence on an emergency basis and joined the team for practice today, November 11, at practice at Warrior Ice Arena following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday Night.

Urho Vaakanainen has played in 15 games for the Bruins AHL affiliate Providence Bruins this season tallying two assists and four penalty minutes. The 20-year old defenseman has played in two NHL games during the 2018-2019 season but has yet to record a point in the NHL. His last NHL game was October 23, 2018 in Ottawa when Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki elbowed Vaakanainen and injured the young defenseman with a concussion. The 6’1″ defenseman from Joensuu, Finland was drafted in the first round, 18th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins.

This call-up by the Bruins is most likely due to the Bruins losing Torey Krug in Sunday nights game against the Flyers. After the game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said that Krug left the game prior to the start of overtime with an upper-body injury. If Krug is unable to go on Tuesday when the Bruins host the Florida Panthers, it is likely that Vaakanainen will draw into the lineup.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller was also skating Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena wearing a normal black practice jersey which is a good sign for the 31-year-old defenseman who has played just three NHL games since February.

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

 

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Philadelphia at Boston: 11/10/19

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Photo Courtesy Of MICHAEL DWYER / AP

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (11-3-2)

Away: Philadelphia Flyers (9-5-2)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Heinen-Krejci-Coyle

Bjork-Lindholm-Senyshyn

Nordstrom-Kuraly-Wagner

Defense

Chara-Clifton

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-McAvoy

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Philadelphia’s Lineup

Forwards

van Riemsdyk-Giroux-Farabee

Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny

Twarynski-Hayes-Voracek

Andreoff-Raffl-Pitlick

Defense

Provorov-Niskanen

Gostisbehere-Braun

Sanheim-Myers

Goalies

Hart

Elliott

First Period

The Bruins appeared to be a little disjointed early in the period, giving up a few turnovers in their own zone but despite that were able to get some scoring chances down the other end. The Flyers began to establish quite an attacking zone rhythm toward the middle stages of the period as the B’s looked to be a step slow. The Bruins responded with a few shifts in the Philadelphia zone as they tried to manufacture some scoring opportunities. The Flyers drew first blood as Travis Konecny banged in a rebound after an odd man rush with about six minutes to go in the period.

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The Bruins would get their first man advantage opportunity shortly after the goal as Joel Farabee was whistled for a penalty. The Flyers were able to kill off the power play despite the Bruins getting a few good chances. Philadelphia doubled their lead with just over two minutes left in the period as Philippe Myers found the back of the net.

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Score: 2-0 Flyers

Second Period

The Bruins appeared to cut the lead in half on a scramble play in front of the Philadelphia net but the call on the ice was inexplicably ruled no goal and the B’s were left still looking to get back in the game. The Bruins continued to have trouble getting anything going in the offensive end as the Flyers dominated the possession game in early moments of the period. The Flyers would go to their first power play in the middle of the period as David Pastrnak went to the penalty box for hooking. The B’s were able to kill off the penalty despite the Flyers getting a few opportunities.

The Bruins responded with a couple rushes into the Philadelphia zone but still had a hard time completing plays. The Bruins followed up with a number of shifts deep in the Philadelphia zone to try to manufacture something but were still left searching for their first goal. Philadelphia responded with a few glorious scoring chances including a partial breakaway but it was stopped by Jaroslav Halak.

Score: 2-0 Flyers

Third Period

The Bruins had some good jump to open the period and nearly cut into the lead but Patrice Bergeron was denied by the skate of Myers in front the Flyers net. The B’s tried to follow it up but Carter Hart made a few key stops to keep them scoreless early in the final period. Danton Heinen cut the Philadelphia lead in half with a nice move in front of the net with 14 minutes to go in the game.

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The Bruins responded after the goal with flying colors, putting together a couple impressive shifts in hopes to tie the game. The Flyers answered back with a few attacking zone shifts, forcing Halak to make a few saves. Brad Marchand fired a wrist shot past Hart to tie it with 7:38 to play, sending the crowd into an absolute frenzy.

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Pastrnak drew a penalty shot after a great feed by Marchand with just under five minutes to go. Pastrnak was easily denied by Hart on the penalty shot as he failed to get enough elevation on the shot. Marchand drew another penalty with 3:20 to play as Oskar Lindblom was called for tripping. Philadelphia killed off the penalty despite the B’s getting some good looks.

End Of Regulation: Tied 2-2

Overtime

The B’s were called for too many men at the tail end of the period as the Flyers got a tremendous opportunity to clinch the game. The Bruins were able to kill off the remainder of the overtime session to get the game to a shootout.

Shootout

The Flyers scored the only goal of the shootout as Farabee beat Halak on their first attempt. Pastrnak was denied by Hart again with a chance to tie it.

Final Score: 3-2 Flyers

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Hart. The Flyers goaltender wasn’t overly busy but he made a number of key stops especially in overtime and the shootout to preserve the victory.

Second Star: Halak. The B’s backup kept them in the game all night with a couple big saves including a stop on a Giroux breakaway.

Third Star: Marchand. The Bruins winger was buzzing in the third period and was credited with the tying goal in this one.

Mark Your Bruins Calendar 2020 Update: Prague, Czech Republic

(Photo Credit: NHL)

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

The Boston Bruins are going global. Again.

The NHL recently announced its 2020 Global Series and the B’s are international headliners for the third time in the last decade. The Black N’ Gold will open the ’20-’21 season on the road in Prague, Czech Republic facing off against the Nashville Predators at O2 Arena.

The B’s most recently opened abroad in 2018-’19 playing the Calgary Flames as part of the NHL China Games, an experience I wrote about for the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog last Fall.

It was an experience highly regarded by both players and management, much the same way Bruins’ veterans Zdeno Chara and David Krejci remember opening the season in Prague for the first time back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere Series. Krejci shared his thoughts about this trip in a team press release touting its return to familiar territory:

“Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends and teammates,” said Krejci. “It was the start of a year I’ll always remember. Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it’s great the League continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world.”

Later in that same release, the B’s forward with the hottest release in the league right now (15G, 15A – 30PTS) shared what playing in Prague means to him since he wasn’t apart of the 2010 trip. Here’s what David Pastrnak had to say about the Global Series against the Preds:

“I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague,” said Pastrnak. “I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I’ll never forget – I can’t wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim.”

The presser also notes the Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe and will each play in an exhibition match as part of the Global Series Challenge. As Pastrnak mentioned, the B’s will report to Mannheim, Germany and play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena.

Image result for bruins prague(Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder)

As you can see from the near-decade old photo above, the B’s are no strangers to Prague. Current players on the Bruins roster who grew up in the Czech Republic include forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak, as the B’s press release notes.

Krejci was born in Sternberk and played junior hockey for HC Kladno. He has represented his home country in international play on several occasions, including the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, and was awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic in 2013. Pastrnak was born in Havirov and played junior hockey with AZ Havirov. He has represented the Czech Republic in international play on several occasions and has been awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic each of the last three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For more information on the upcoming B’s season, stay tuned to the BN’G Hockey Podcast & Prospect’s Podcast!

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Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers 11/10/19

Image result for boston bruins vs philadelphia flyers(Photo Credits: Getty Images/NBC Sports)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

After being fed a full plate of humble pie this past Friday in Detroit, the Boston Bruins are back home as they face the Philadelphia Flyers at the TD Garden. Boston has lost its last two games and will be looking to get back on track.

TEAM UPDATES

Knowing full well they played a lackluster game against Detroit, the boys in Black and Gold were back to work this morning at the Warrior Arena. Both Joakim Nordstrom and Par Lindholm, who have been nursing injuries and infections are back in the lineup tonight. Peter Cehlarik, who has been filling in, will be sent back down to Providence. Steven Kampfer will be a healthy scratch. John Moore was also seen skating in a red non-contact jersey. Brett Ritchie was not seen skating this morning, while Jake DeBrusk continues to be out, as he is nursing a lower-body injury. Charlie Coyle will be playing wing alongside David Krejci.

 

HARD STATS

Despite dropping their last two games, the Bruins currently lead the Atlantic Division with an 11-3-2 record, while the Flyers are 9-5-2. In their last 10 games, Boston is 6-2-2 while Philadelphia is 7-2-1. The loss to Detroit marks the first time that the Bruins have lost consecutive games in regulation this season so far. David Pastrnak saw his 13-game point streak end Friday night after having an assist removed from his record.

The Bruins will have a chance to get their legs and mojo back as they face a Flyers team, who are trying to extend their winning streak to four games. Boston’s Pastrnak is tied for first in the league with 30 points; he also leads in goals (15) and in power-play goals (9). Brad Marchand is third in the league with 18 assists, while Captain Zdeno Chara is also third in the league for plus-minus at 13.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask is now third in the league for goals-against-average (1.99) and is tied at third with a 0.933 save percentage. Expect Jaroslav Halak in net for the Bruins tonight. The 34-year-old goaltender is 4-1-1 with a 2.83 goals-against average and a 0.917 save percentage. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. Expect Carter Hart in net for the Flyers. Hart has a 2-0 record against Boston and is 5-3-1 with a 2.82 goals-against-average and has a 0.889 save percentage.

Image result for boston bruins vs philadelphia flyers(Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Boston is still first in the league on the power-play, however, Philly is slightly better at the penalty kill and is ninth in the league, compared to the Bruins 12th position. Flyers’s Sean Couturier has six points in the last six games, while Boston’s Patrice Bergeron has nine-points in six games. Defenseman Torey Krug has points in his last five games while Brad Marchand has 28 points in his last 15 games.

The Flyers Travis Konecny leads the team with 17 points and assists (10), while Oskar Lindblom leads the team with eight goals. Pastrnak leads the Boston teams in goals (15) and in points (30); Marchand leads the team with 18 assists.

PROJECTED LINEUPS-BOSTON

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – Coyle

Bjork – Lindholm – Senyshyn

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

 

Chara – Clifton

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – McAvoy

 

Halak

Rask

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS -PHILADELPHIA

Riemsdyk —  Giroux —  Farabee

Lindblom — Couturier — Konecny

Twarynski –Hayes –Voracek

Andreoff –Raffl — Pitlick

 

Provorov –Niskanen

Gostisbehere — Braun

Sanheim — Myers

 

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

 

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

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, ESPN+, NBCSP