Providence Bruins Weekend Recap

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins

By: Josh B.   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway

Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:

3/16/18 Providence (36-20-5) vs. Rochester (30-17-16) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 28 of 31 shots, 0.903 SV%; Adam Wilcox, 35 of 38 shots, 0.921 SV%, Replaced by Jonas Johansson, 9 of 10 shots, 0.900 SV%.

Box Score W/Scoring Summary:

PVD 5-3 Regulation W, Improves to (37-20-5), RCH drops to (30-18-16)

3/17/18 Providence (37-20-5) @ Lehigh Valley (40-16-8) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 31 of 34 shots, 0.911 SV%; D. Tokarski, 33 of 33 shots, Shutout.

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 3-0 Regulation L, Drops to (37-21-5), LV Improves to (41-16-8)

3/18/18 Providence (37-21-5) vs. Bridgeport (31-24-8) 3:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 44 of 45 shots, 0.977 SV%; Kristers Gudlevskis, 39 of 44 shots, 0.886 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 4-1 Regulation W, Improves to (38-21-5), BRI drops to (31-25-8).

Game Summaries:

Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (3/16/18)

Rochester’s only trip to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence ended in a thumping for the visiting team. After surrendering an early goal in the first two minutes, the game took on a goal-for-goal tradeoff for almost 30 minutes of regulation. Rochester’s Adam Krause tipped a point shot from teammate Zach Redmond past Zane McIntyre 1:17 into the first period. It took Providence almost the entire first to solve the Rochester defense, but Adam Payerl popped the Rochester netminder’s bottle off a rink-wide feed from teammate Kenny Agostino to knot the score 1-1.

Almost 6 minutes into the second period, Alex Nylander tapped in a second rebound, as teammates Colin Blackwell and Hudson Fasching were both stoned by McIntyre. The tap from Nylander lazily slid over the goal line, but the score was now 2-1. This time, Providence wasted no time to tie the score. Rochester goalie Adam Wilcox fought off two initial Providence riflemen, but played the puck into dead ice, away from teammates, and into an easy spot for RHD Conor Clifton to skate in off the blue line and blast a hard, accurate shot past the resetting Wilcox for the equalizer. Providence took the lead for the first time with 11 minutes and change remaining in the 2nd as Austin Czarnik scored his first of three goals with help from Ryan Fitzgerald and Tommy Cross.

Providence entered the 2nd intermission up 3-2, but less than 5 minutes into the 3rd period, Rochester tied the game. After a flurry in front of McIntyre’s net, Rochester’s Danny O’Regan slammed the puck home on a frantic backhander to tie the game. Powerplay phenom Austin Czarnik would again pull the Bruins ahead by one with another goal on the man advantage. With Rochester’s goal empty in the dying minutes of the game, Czarnik found the empty net on a 200-foot bid for the net, completing the hat trick and a 5-3 win in regulation.

Providence Bruins @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3/17/18)

Saturday night, Providence skated against Atlantic Division leader Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Their second matchup of the season ended worse than the first, with the Phantoms blanking the Bruins. Despite a spirited first period and the goaltenders making unbelievable stops, it was a second period Providence powerplay where Lehigh Valley struck first. Tyrell Goulbourne created a turnover by his team’s bench, carried the puck behind the Providence defense, and fed teammate Radel Fazleev in front who sniped a shot over Jordan Binnington’s right shoulder.

The embarrassment of special teams would not end there, however. Later in the period, down by only a goal, Providence drew another penalty. In an eerily reminiscent situation, Phil Verone picked the puck off a Providence skater and took off toward Jordan Binnington, beating the goaltender on a great individual effort. Providence failed to put pressure on Lehigh Valley and Dustin Tokarski in net during the third period and surrendered a third goal for the final nail in the coffin. Colin McDonald made an initial bit for the net, but teammate Steven Swavely finished off the rebound to put the Phantoms ahead by 3. Tokarski turned away all 33 shots he faced, blanking the Providence Bruins who had scored 5 the night prior.

Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3/18/18)

After getting blanked by Lehigh Valley, Providence closed out its weekend with a statement game on short rest after a ~ 500-mile commute back to Rhode Island and a 3PM matinee start time. From the opening faceoff, Providence made its presence known, swarming Bridgeport on the forecheck and scoring an early goal 40 seconds into the game. Off an offensive zone draw, newcomer Trent Frederic won the puck back to Tommy Cross who slipped the puck to his partner Conor Clifton. The latter scooped up the puck and made a back foot snap-shot beating the Bridgeport goaltender.

Initially it was credited to a Blidh tip, however, Clifton would later be credited with the goal and Frederic would pick up his first professional point as his faceoff win begun the sequence. Half a period later, Providence struck again in quick succession to build a staggering three-goal lead. On the powerplay, Paul Postma held the puck in at the blue line and fed it up the left wing boards to Kenny Agostino. He dished cross-crease to Austin Czarnik who delayed a shot waiting for a lane to open and the goalie to bite, and Czarnik’s patience was rewarded with his 4th goal of this 3-in-3 weekend.

A few minutes later, Jordan Szwarz misplayed a cross-ice pass as he and Czarnik sped in over the Bridgeport line, but as the Sound Tigers attempted to clear the puck, the trailing Ryan Fitzgerald held the puck in the attacking zone, sending the disc floating through the air. Czarnik caught it, dropping it in front of him, and sliding it a few feet to Szwarz who cycled the zone and ripped the puck up over the blocker of the Bridgeport goalie. To begin the second period, Bridgeport broke McIntyre’s bid for a shutout. Steve Bernier held the puck behind the Providence net, passing along the dasher to teammate Mitch Vande Sompel at the left point. He fired a booming slap shot that was initially saved by McIntyre, but the rebound popped up and onto the stick of John Stevens camped at the far post for an easy tap-in.

Providence battled back and regained their three-goal lead off the stick of rookie Jakub Zboril. After some extended time in the attacking zone for Providence, Cameron Hughes collected a rebound off a Chris Breen slap shot and protected the puck enough along the boards to slide the puck to teammate Josh Hennessy behind the net. Hennessy turned and picked up Jakub Zboril purposefully drifting into the slot and threaded a perfect pass to the rookie defenseman. Zboril collected the puck calmly with the Bridgeport goalie scrambling and wound up a perfectly released wrister for his second goal of the season. Despite 20 shots from Bridgeport in the third period, they weren’t able to solve McIntyre again, and the Bruins won by a final score of 4-1 to end the week on a cheerful note.

Plus / MinusPlus:

+ Austin Czarnik had an offensive explosion: 4G, 1A complete with a Hat Trick against Rochester. Trent Frederic and Cameron Hughes both tallied their first professional point after signing ATO’s to finish off the 2017-2018 season. Jakub Zboril was rewarded for his development and work with the 2nd goal of his pro career. Ryan Fitzgerald and Kenny Agostino earned 3A each this weekend.

+ Providence scored 3 goals on the Powerplay this weekend and only gave up one goal on the kill.

+ Zane McIntyre had one of his best games of this season, turning away a pile of rubber against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After losing several in a row to the Bridgeport squad, Providence’s record is now 5-4-1 against them this season, pulling ahead on the win column.

+ In each of the past 3 weekends, Providence has won 2 of 3 games, continuing to solidify their playoff berth and slowly work toward better seeding. If they win their next 2 matchups against Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins, they can overtake the Baby Pens for 2nd in the Atlantic, and home ice advantage in the playoffs.

+ Zach Senyshyn didn’t have a point this week, but he passed the eye test with flying colors. With Zach’s blazing speed, his line would help set up in the offensive zone to wear down the defense and goalie for teammates to finish the scoring change.

Minus: – Providence gave up two ugly shorthanded goals to Lehigh Valley on Saturday night, losing for the second time in a row against the Atlantic Division’s best team.

– Zane’s shaky start against Rochester was reminiscent of earlier in the season when his numbers weren’t that great and the offense had to compensate for him letting in soft goals.

– Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has yet to return from what’s mysteriously been dubbed “Upper Body Injury”. Speculation abounds it’s a concussion.

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap (3-7-18 to 3-10-18)

Photo Credit:  Official Providence Bruins Twitter Account

By: Josh B.   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway 

Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:

3/7/18 Providence (34-19-5) @ Laval (22-28-8) 7:30 PM
Goalies: Dan Vladar, 23 of 26 shots, 0.887 SV%; Michael McNiven 11 of 14 shots, 0.785 SV%, Replaced by: Zach Fucale, 14 of 16 shots, 0.875 SV%

Box Score W/Scoring Summary:

PVD 6-3 Regulation W, Improves to (35-19-5), LAV Drops to (22-29-8)

3/9/18 Providence (35-19-5) @ Rochester (29-15-15) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 23 of 24 shots, 0.958 SV% ;Linus Ullmark 27 of 29 shots, 0.931 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 2-1 Regulation W, Improves to (36-19-5), RCH Drops to (29-16-15)

3/10/18 Providence (36-19-5) @ Toronto (40-16-2) 4:00 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 34 of 38 shots, 0.897 SV%; Calvin Pickard, 23 of 26 shots, 0.884 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 4-3 Regulation Loss, Drops to (36-20-5), TOR improves to (41-16-2)

Game Summaries:

Bruins De Providence @ Rocket De Laval (3/7/18)

In their second and final matchup of the season, Providence faced off against the Montreal Canadiens affiliate in Laval, QC to begin this week’s sequence of games. Starting in net for Providence was a rare sighting of Dan Vladar who usually has starting goaltender duty for the Bruins’ ECHL affiliate Atlanta Gladiators. Zane McIntyre had been held back in New England in the event Tuukka Rask was unable to perform backup duties for the NHL Bruins Tuesday night against Detroit. Providence wasted no time in taking control of the game, with strong forecheck and tight gap control on defense. The result was a lead less than 6 minutes into the game, as Senyshyn fed Colby Cave, who fed Colton Hargrove, who returned the puck to Cave. As the centering feed came in, one of the Laval defense hooked Cave to the ice, however, Colby had the presence of mind to tip the puck past the Laval goaltender for the 1-0 lead.

Despite 3 powerplay opportunities in the first for Providence, they would not convert and headed to the locker room up by one. During the second period, Providence would cash in for 3 goals, including 2 on the powerplay. Early in the 2nd, the Providence powerplay took only a few seconds to strike. Austin Czarnik won the faceoff cleanly, passed out to Hargrove below the goal line, who tapped right over to Jordan Szwarz waiting in the slot for a pass he buried for the 2 goal lead. After being denied a goal earlier, Anton Blidh put the Bruins up by three after what looked like a sloppy zone entry by linemate Adam Payerl. The latter passed out to Blidh in the left wing circle, who beat Laval goalie McNiven from a sharp, seemingly impossible angle. With three goals on 14 shots, Laval elected to pull McNiven in favor of Zach Fucale.

The change seemed to spark the Laval squad, as Chris Terry put one past Vladar a minute and change after the Blidh goal. Providence took this as a challenge and restored a 3 goal cushion at 18:26 of the 2nd period with another powerplay goal. In the final frame, Anton Blidh added insult to injury with his second goal of the night early in the third period. Adam Payerl again made a zone entry, rushed behind the net, close to Gretzky’s office, and passed out to Blidh streaking into the slot for a quick tap in goal past the blocker side of Fucale. Newly minted Canadien property Kerby Rychel struck twice in the third period to bring the Rocket back to within 2 goals, however, a final empty-net goal off the stick of Austin Czarnik iced the win for Providence who opened this week with the same score as they opened the previous week, 6-3.

Providence Bruins @ Rochester Americans (3/9/18)

In their only game visiting Rochester, New York, the Bruins skated against the Americans in a battle of quality defense at both ends of the ice. In the first period, play between the two clubs was an even give and take. Scoring chances were low-danger events, and the only penalty call to Providence was suffocated quickly and efficiently. Entering the period scoreless, the Bruins drew a penalty midway through the second frame, however, Josh Hennessey would negate most of the powerplay with a high-sticking double minor that handicapped Providence for 4 minutes. Energized by the kill, Ryan Fitzgerald finished off a chance that began as a Paul Postma point-blast, putting the Bruins up by one.

Entering the third up by one goal, Rochester turned up the intensity early and were rewarded with an equalizer off a bomb by Sahir Gill. The game remained tied through the third, as Providence regained the momentum and took it to the Amerks, but Linus Ullmark held steady. Finally, in overtime, Providence registered all 7 shots taken in the extra frame, taking it to a gassed Amerks team. As was the case in the second, Postma made the initial shot that was finished off by a Ryan Fitzgerald backhander up over the pads of Ullmark. Ironically, Fitzgerald would be the Providence goal scorer on the Americans’ Irish Heritage night.

Providence Bruins @ Toronto Marlies (3/10/18)

In the only visit to the capital of Ontario, the Providence Bruins ended this weekend on a sour note, falling 4-3 to the AHL’s leader in the standings. Despite an early 2 man advantage for the Providence club, they failed to capitalize on the 5v4 and 5v3against the best PK in the AHL by percentage. Toronto did an excellent job of holding the puck outside the box created by the four faceoff dots in the attacking zone and held Providence to low-danger shots for the duration of the shorthanded bid. The Marlies struck first, on a controversial goal where McIntyre emphatically believed there was goaltender interference.

A point shot came in, and one of two Marlies skaters finished off the rebound while another crashed into Chris Breen in front of the net, knocking into McIntyre. Between Zane and Providence captain Tommy Cross, the Bruins were able to wipe the goal off the board, despite no “challenge” existing in the AHL for goaltender interference. A minute later, however, McIntyre was beaten cleanly, as a sharp angle shot leaked through the five-hole off the stick of Colin Greening and the Marlies took an early lead.

Early in the second, Toronto opened a worrisome 2 goal lead. Timothy Liljegren took a sharp angle shot from the goal stripe reminiscent of his teammates, but McIntyre redirected this shot so well, it almost rebounded out of the zone. Calle Rosen barely held the puck in at the line and skittered a pass out to Mason Marchment in the slot who managed to snap the puck in past McIntyre despite Providence skaters harassing Marchment. Toward the end of the middle frame, Colby Cave took it on himself to storm back and tie the game headed into the third. After Colby Cave crossed the blue line, he left the puck stationary for teammate Anton Blidh a step or so behind him. Blidh threaded the needle with a pass through two Marlies, finding Cave curling into the slot. Evading a defender, Cave went down to a knee to find more leverage as he whipped a short shot side high on Calvin Pickard’s blocker.

Not even a full minute later, Colby Cave and Anton Blidh worked their magic again. Blidh carried the puck into the zone this time, dropping for Cave who fired a changeup shot that slid underneath Pickard. The final period began tied at 2 apiece, but Toronto broke in for a third goal while Providence was killing off a penalty. Kenny Agostino tied the score on his 15th goal of the season while Providence had a man-advantage of its own to retie the score. Paul Postma was guilty of a slashing minor in the waning minutes of the game.

Toronto passed the puck around the powerplay formation, with Ben Smith taking a shot hoping for a rebound. Instead, as McIntyre went down to take away the bottom of the net, he didn’t seal the far (glove-side) post entirely. The puck rolled along his pads as it slowed, but had enough energy to leak over the goal line by the far unsealed post. Providence tried, but failed to mount a comeback with the remaining minute left in regulation but came up short.

Plus / Minus

Plus: + Austin Czarnik went 2G 1A, Jordan Szwarz went 1G, 2A, and Anton Blidh went 2G 0A, during Wednesday night’s thumping of Laval; Friday night, Ryan Fitzgerald earned 2G, while Paul Postma packed on another 5A total to add to last weekend’s outing. Colby Cave earned 3G in 3 nights, while Zach Senyshyn has been snapping out of his cold streak to the tune of 2A.

+ Speaking of Austin Czarnik, his five points this week at one point elevated him to 2nd in league-wide total points. Laval’s Chris Terry edged him out before the week ended, however.

+ Providence opened this week’s games with 2 PPGs against Laval and added another Saturday against Toronto.

+ Providence swept the season series with MTL affiliate Laval Rocket beating them in both matchups this season.

+ Providence fought the AHL’s best club to a draw for 59 minutes, almost forcing overtime. The game had a playoff feel to it, and while they came up short, Providence looked like they could hang with the best.

+ Jakub Zboril made his return to the lineup after a UBI sidelined him the previous week.

+ Dan Vladar, called up from Atlanta, made 23 of 26 saves against Laval for his 2nd win of the season. His only loss this season came during a 1-0 loss where the Providence offense dried up. His career totals in the AHL are a healthy 6-1-3 with a 2.41 GAA, and 0.923 SV%.

Minus: – Providence surrendered a goal against while killing off a Tommy Cross penalty in Laval, and two more while playing against the Marlies in Toronto Saturday night.

– Providence dug an early hole for itself falling behind 2-0 to the Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon.

– The final goal against McIntyre was ugly, leaking past him when he wasn’t sealed against the post. Had he stopped the shot, the Bruins would have forced OT with a shot to steal a game from the Toronto powerhouse.

– Providence was swept in its season series with Toronto, getting no points out of neither the home nor away game.

– Going into Saturday’s matchup, the Marlies were on a skid, going 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. Providence could have capitalized on that, however, the Marlies were well-rested coming into the contest.

What’s Next For Bruins Austin Czarnik?


By Thomas Nyström | Follow on twitter @nahstrom

Twenty-five-year-old Austin Czarnik has seen his share of I-95 in his young career. Having signed a one-year two-way contract on July 17, 2017, Czarnik knew what he would likely be asked to do — and to his credit, he has handled his role in the organization with class as well as production. In his 10 games with Boston this season he has 4 points off of 4 assists. During his most recent call-up in early February, he registered two assists in a total of 43:21 of ice time thru 59 shifts in games against Toronto, Detroit, New York Rangers, and Buffalo. His short stay with Boston ended with a -1 rating for the stretch. Comparatively, Czarnik has played 44 games thus far in Providence this season with 14 goals, 33 assists for a +/- rating of +20.

Czarnik has benefited greatly from stable playing time at the AHL level and therefore has been serviceable in his NHL call-ups. His value is arguably higher than ever, and the 5’9 C/RW will likely make himself more on his next contract than the $675,000 he’s currently signed for. An RFA at year’s end, Czarnik is out of options for his two-way deal this season, and the acquisitions at the deadline of Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels will certainly play into whether or he see’s another call-up this year.

Should Czarnik resign with the organization this off-season there is a good chance he cracks the Bruins’ top nine, the question is for how long. There are other center prospects in the pipeline with arguably higher ceilings such as Ryan Fitzgerald and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson both of whom are younger and likely to get NHL minutes. Behind that comes even more prospects at the position worth a good look such as Ryan Donato who will almost certainly see time in Boston next season.

Though a longshot at this point, Jack Studnicka has been lighting it up in the OHL for the Oshawa Generals to the tune of 60 points in 58 appearances this season. The 19-year-old will likely see Providence time at the very least. Trent Frederic was a piece the Bruins didn’t want to move at the deadline. This doesn’t even include the wingers in the system as Czarnik has also lined up at RW and there is youth behind him there as well: Jordan Szwarz, Zach Senyshyn, Alexander Khoklachev, Peter Cehlárik, the list goes on. This team is as deep in the system as it has been in a long time.

Regardless of where he lines up, the future at forward appears crowded, and Czarnik may find himself the odd man out unless the minds monitoring his development see improvement on some of the downsides of his game. This includes his attempted shot totals as he sits around 10 attempts per 60 minutes. While he inserts himself well in playmaking situations, he is more of a possession center than a true goalscorer.

Ideally, the team retains him with 2-3 year contract at a reasonable cost and should Bruce Cassidy find himself struggling to find him a consistent spot then Don Sweeney will be in a better position to address his future (or lack thereof) with the organization. Make no mistake: they made the right decision to send him down to Providence before the contract got more complicated and risked having some level of control at year’s end regarding free agency.  He is without question a valued asset, and many (including myself) would be disappointed to see him go elsewhere, but this is crunch time for Austin Czarnik if he wants to stick with the club going forward.

Thomas Nyström, Contributor.
Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

An Early Look at 2018 Free-Agency, And Who Could Be The Next Bruin


By Thomas Nyström | Follow on twitter @nahstrom

The front office of the Boston Bruins has shown that they have a strong grasp on the idea that the success of the franchise hinges on drafting and developing talent, retaining character individuals, and inserting capable veterans that fit their idea of roster needs with regards to maximizing roles. Part of that last bit comes with shrewd and thoughtful spending as one bad contract can set a franchise back for years in terms of cap flexibility and blocking youth from having a spot where they could potentially contribute on the NHL level.

That said, I feel it’s never to early to start looking at the 2018 free agent market. There will be a number of valuable assets to be courted by seasons end and in the spirit of staying ahead of the game, I have a short list of names General Manager Don Sweeney and company may target when the signing period begins this summer.

Here are some key veterans to keep your eye on, in no particular order:

Patric Hornqvist, RW

2017-18 Cap Hit: $4,250,000

Having watched him for a number of years with the Nashville Predators, Hornqvist has only scratched the surface when it comes to being recognized by the general NHL audience. Criminally underrated while being masked by his big-name counterparts in Pittsburgh these last few seasons, the right-winger has put together a body of work that many teams will no doubt find attractive this summer. While his name isn’t a ‘sexy’ addition for most fans, Hornqvist does all the little things that the Boston faithful would fall in love with. His willingness to shoot, hit, and get into the dirty areas and grind for possession always stood out to me. He’s an agitator on the ice and will draw penalties. He will get under the skin of the defensemen as he sticks his face in every cover-up the opposing goalie is forced into. Hornqvist is a hockey-player’s hockey player if you understand what I mean. His downside? His style of play puts in harm’s way often and at 31 years-old, injuries and general instances of getting banged up are commonplace. With youth behind him to fill gaps, Patric could find a valuable roll on a team that loves leadership and work-ethic.

Michael Grabner, RW

2017-18 Cap Hit: $1,650,000

30 year-old Michael Grabner is about as valuable a bottom-six winger can be in todays NHL. He possess above average speed and a strong level of hockey intelligence. Any coach appreciates his message being enforced night-in, night-out by a respected on-ice leader, and Grabner gives you just that. He’s very useful on the penalty kill, and is reliable in both 5-5 and 4-4 situations. Ultimately a ‘safe’ get for any potential suitor,  I would project him to look at going to a team that can contend quickly for reasonable money rather than go somewhere that a cup may be out of reach for a payday.

John Carlson, D

2017-18 Cap Hit: $3,966,667

Washington can’t let this guy go without a sizable effort to resign, can they? The Cap’s have had a tough stretch for their defensive unit as of late in losing Shattenkirk and Alzner last offseason. Add to that a handful of injury issues they’ve had to deal with this year, and Washington would appear to be borderline desperate to lock down Carlson to stabilize the blue line for a few more cup runs during Ovechkin’s tenure. While amassing above average minutes for a good amount of his season, Carlson has showcased his durability and value for his current team as well as a ton of potential suitors who will no doubt be slapping some chair-tops and waving him over in a few months. No brainer thing to say: Carlson is going to make a ton of money this summer.

Calvin de Haan, D
2017-18 Cap Hit: $3,300,000

This one won’t get many excited but a smart team will take a good look at him come July. Basically sheltered from the league playing in Brooklyn right now, de Haan has been a low-key favorite of the Islanders fans, and for good reason. He’s a worker, though nothing stands out about his play. Keep in mind that sometimes hearing little about a defenseman is a good thing. He keeps mistakes to a minimum, blocks shots, can possess the puck well, and is a reliable piece for any team in need. One reason he’s on this list is because everything you’d want in Nick Holden, who the Bruins recently dealt for, is actually there in de Haan. Additionally, if Boston moves a player like  Brandon Carlo at the deadline for a piece that may not be there next year, de Haan could be looked at to fill a role for the 2018-19 season and thereafter.

Antti Raanta, G

2017-18 Cap Hit: $1,000,000

Raanta is only 29, which is a good age for netminders in terms of experience and longevity for his next suitor. Also at that age teams know what they’re getting when it comes to skill level. Raanta is developed and could be a stable and afforded back-up behind Tuukka Rask. While Arizona is toiling this year, one bright spot has been the consistent play of Raanta. His numbers are among the best of his career and he has shown himself worthy of a job next season for a number of net-needy organizations. This move could be an affordable and sensible way to go should Anton Khudobin’s asking price be too high for Boston to bring him back.

Key Bruins free-agents this offseason include RFA’s: Ryan Spooner, Sean Kuraly, and Austin Czarnik as well as UFA’s: Riley Nash and Tim Schaller. It would be great to see Spooner and Nash back but their play has likely priced themselves out of Boston’s spending intentions. Additionally, while I would personally hate to lose him, Czarnik has doubled his value and deserves a shot as an NHL roster mainstay and unfortunately as things look right now on paper, it may not be in Boston.

In time we will see these storylines develop. For now it’s just all something we need to keep in the back of our minds, although undoubtedly the front office is way ahead of us all.


Thomas Nyström, Contributor.
Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

A Bruins’ Depth Dissection


Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe

By: Spencer Fascetta                                                                           Twitter: @PuckNerdHockey

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

The NHLers:

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

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

The Fringe:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bruins Senators Hockey

Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand

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

Frank Vatrano, Jonathan Bernier

Photo Credit: Mark J. Temill

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


Photo Credit: Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

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

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

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins

Photo Credit: Steve Babineau


Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller


The Fringe:

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

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

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

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


Photo Credit: John Wilcox/Boston Herald

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

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


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


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Providence Bruins Czarnik Continues Outstanding Play

( Above Photo Credit:  Alan Sullivan Photography )

By: Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

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

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


Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940

Bruins Bjork Makes AHL Debut Tonight

( Above Photo Credit:   NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred          Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

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

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


Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940

Two Providence Bruins Players Added To 2018 All-Star Roster

( Above Photo Credit:  SportsLogos .net )

By: Mark Allred           Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

This year the American Hockey League’s All-Star game will be played in Utica, New York at the Adirondack Bank Arena which is the home of the North Divison Utica Comets. As announced by the official AHL website today, the rosters for the event have been released and can be seen HERE. Representing the Providence Bruins the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins are St. Louis goaltender on-loan Jordan Binnington and forward Austin Czarnik.

( Above Photo Credit:  Flickr / Providence Bruins  )

Jordan Binnington

Loaned to the Providence organization at the beginning of the 2017-18 season, the 2011 draft pick and the prospect of the St. Louis has had an impressive year thus far and a reliable addition to the goaltending tandem sharing time with Zane McIntyre. In 11 games played this season the Richmond Hills, Ontario Canada native has a record of 9-1-1 with a league-best (Minimum, 10 Games) 1.59 goals-against-average and second-best .938 save percentage.

The AHL veteran is currently on a career-high seven-game winning streak and has a goals-against-average of 1.10, and .953 save percentage in that timeframe. This will be the 24-year-olds first appearance in an All-Star Game dating back to when he turned pro on a full-time basis back in the 2014-15 season.

( Above Photo Credit:  HFBoards )

Austin Czarnik

The 25-year-old Detriot, Michigan native has had an impressive AHL career since joining the Boston Bruins organization as an undrafted free-agent. The former Captain of his University of Miami (Ohio) team signed a three-year entry-level contract back in March of 2015 after playing four-years and contributing 46-123-169 numbers in 159 games for his NCAA RedHawks team. His point-per-game style of plays hasn’t been all that different transitioning from the collegiate level to the professional ranks. In 119 career  AHL games all with the Providence team, he’s posted 35-19-114 numbers. In his first-year of pro hockey with Providence, the 5′-9″ 163-pound versatile forward was selected as the AHL’s 2015-16 All-Rookie Team and earned the AHL Most Points by Rookie when he notched 61 points.

This season with Providence he leads the team with 28 points in 26 games played and is the second point-per-game player with an average of ten games played on the team behind AHL veteran Jordan Szwarz who leads with a 1.12 average. With a little more than have of the 2017-18 season remaining and how vital Czarnik’s been in the success thus far, It’s not out of the realm of thinking he could surpass his career high of 61 points at the end of this year. In his last 15 games as a top-line skater, he has 4-12-16 numbers. Austin is currently under a one-year two-way contract so he’s playing well for a surging Bruins team auditioning for a future contract somewhere in the B’s organization.

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

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

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


Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940


Bruins Prospect Update – Week Of Dec. 24th to Dec. 30th 2017

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred          Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Bruins Prospect Update – Week Of Dec. 24th to Dec. 30th, 2017

Providence Bruins – American Hockey League

The Providence team wrapped up the final three games of the season-long eight-game road trip last week and went 2-1 to end the 2017 calendar year. The week started in Utica, New York on Wednesday, December 27th at Adirondack Bank Center against the Utica Comets and the B’s walked away with a 5-4 shootout victory. B’s goal scorers were Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson with his 10th assisted by Austin Czarnik and Kenny Agostino at the 4:09 mark of the second period to tie the score at one apiece. Jumping to the third period Adam Payerl ties the score at 2-2 with his second goal of the season at the 6:28 mark assisted by Colby Cave and Colton Hargrove.

Providence forward Justin Hickman got his 4th of the year at 9:40 of the third assisted by Chris Porter and Payerl and were down to Utica by the score of 4-3. At the 18:47 mark of the third period recently demoted Matt Beleskey got his second of the year unassisted to tie the score at 4-4 to force overtime. There was no scoring in the extra frame which resulted in a shootout that was won from the effort of Kenny Agostino who had some quick hands and shoulder movements to fake Comets goaltender Thatcher Demko out of his skates for the 5-4 victory.
Zane McIntyre got the start on the rare mid-week contest and stopped 26 of 30 shots for his 11th win of the season.

Stars of the game for the B’s against the Comets were Austin Czarnik with the third star, and first star honors went to Jakob-Forsbacka-Karlsson.

The second to last game of the road trip had the Providence team staying in the city of Utica, New York on December 29th with another tilt against the Comets and the B’s played much better on this night only giving up one goal to the opposition leading to a 3-1 victory. B’s goal scorers were defenseman Connor Clifton with his 2nd of the season at the 4:53 mark of the first period assisted by Zach Senyshyn and Kenny Agostino. Moving to the second period with ten seconds remaining in the middle frame Austin Czarnik nets his 9th of the year assisted by Jordan Szwarz and Agostino.

The Comets pull goaltender Richard Bachman late in the third period, but with six seconds remaining in the third frame, Anton Blidh scores an empty-net goal for his 6th goal of the season which went unassisted.
Goaltender on-loan Jordan Binnington got the start on this night stopping 21 of 22 Utica shots for his 9th win of the season and 7th straight victory in a row. The 24-year-old Binnington is undoubtedly putting in an All-Star effort this season coming from the St. Louis Blues organization and should get recognition for his efforts in the All-Star game being held in Utica this year. Jordan has a league-best goal-against-average of 1.59, and second-ranked .938 save percentage.

Bruins stars of the game against the Comets were Kenny Agostino with the 3rd Star and Connor Clifton with the 1st Star.

The third game of the week and final of the month-long road trip had the Providence team crossing the border into Ontario, Canada on December 30th against the new AHL franchise the Belleville Senators but unfortunately, the B’s could not hold off the pesky Sens and lost 3-2 in overtime. After the Bruins went scoreless and down 2-0 in the first period, they made a courageous effort to make a game of it with a goal from big defenseman Chris Breen who scored his first of the season at the 17:44 mark of the middle frame assisted by Kenny Agostino and Jordan Szwarz. Tying the game at two a piece at the 12:26 mark of the third period, scrappy forward Anton Blidh scored his 7th and second goal in as many nights to eventually force the two teams to overtime.

Belleville would only need 1:47 into the extra session to take advantage of a discombobulated Bruins defense which left the B’s goaltender out high and dry to end the game and the forever long road trip.
Zane McIntyre got the start in this nights game stopping 29 of 32 and looks to get back on track with his efforts from last season as the new 2018 calendar year has turned.

No Bruins factored in the three stars of the game against the Sens.

The Providence Bruins end 2017 with a 21-8-3-0 record earning 45 points good for first in the Atlantic Division and first in the Eastern Conference. Also, the team is currently on a three-game unbeaten streak and 7-2-1 in last ten.

East Coast Hockey League

The Atlanta Gladiators played in three games last week, and Boston Bruins third-round pick in 2015 goaltender Dan Vladar got to see action in two of those contests between the pipes. The first game was at home on Wednesday, December 27th when he stopped 42 of 46 shots taking a 4-0 shutout to the hands of rival Florida Everblades and suffering his 8th loss of the year. The second game of the week came on Saturday, December 30th on the road against the South Carolina Stingrays and made 27 of 30 shots for a 3-1 loss and 9th defeat of the season.
Vladar has now appeared in 18 games for the “AA” Premier League Gladiators and has a record of 7-9-1-0 with a 3.06 goals-against-average and .907 save percentage.

Ontario Hockey League

The Oshawa Generals played in two games last week after the 2017 Holiday stoppage and b’s prospect forward Jack Studnicka was ready to get back to work with two assists at home on Thursday night December 28th in a 4-2 win over the Erie Otters. The second game of the week was on Friday night December 29th on the road against the Ottawa 67’s and got another two helpers in a 4-3 win in the Canadian Capital City. In 37 game played this season for the Gens the 18-year-old 2017 B’s second-round pick leads his club in assists and overall points with 10-27-37 numbers.

Staying with the Generals team is Bruins goaltending prospect Kyle Keyser who was in net for both victories last week improving his season record to 11-6-0 with a 2.98 goals-against-average and .901 save percentage. With the two wins last week the Bruins free agent signing from Coral Springs, Florida is now on a four-game winning streak.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

The Saint John Sea Dogs appeared in three games after the holiday break and Bruins prospect forward Cedric Pare factored in two of the three contests. The 2017 sixth-round B’s draft pick scored a goal at home against Cape Breton on Thursday night December 28th and added an assist on Friday night December 29th at home against Moncton to get his season and career-high point streak to six games. Unfortunately, that impressive streak was snapped against rival Moncton this time on the road when the top-six forward failed to get on the score sheet to end the 2017 year.

Western Hockey League

The Brandon Wheat Kings played in four games after the mandated holiday break last week, and Bruins 2017 7th round pick Daniel Bukac manned the blue line in all of them. The big defenseman who had offseason surgery returned to action at the beginning of December last year, and after going pointless in his first six contests of the 2017-18 season, he has an assist in three of the four games played last week and is currently on a two-game point streak.

NCAA Men’s Hockey

Harvard University’s Ryan Donato continues to have his best year in the college ranks scoring a point-per-game in all in the 2017-18 campaign. Returning to action after almost a month off the talented forward got back to work offensively when his Crimson team appeared in the Catamount Cup Holiday Tournament that was held in Burlington, Vermont. The first Cup game was against Hockey East’s UMass-Lowell Riverhawks on Friday December 29th where he scored a goal in a 5-2 loss but was explosive in the second game on Saturday, December 30th against host and Hockey East’s Vermont Catamounts where he scored three goals and added an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games. The 2014 Bruins draft pick leads the team with 12-8-20 numbers and is ranked 39th in scoring in the country.

2018 World Junior Championship Tournament

Six Boston Bruins prospects are playing in the popular U-20 tournament in the Buffalo, New York area and at about the half-way point of the festivities below are some stats on how they are doing offensively.

Team USA
D – Ryan Lindgren   4GP 0 points
F – Trent Frederic   4GP 1-0-1
G – Jeremy Swayman Not Played As of Yet

Team Finland
F – Joona Koppanen   4GP 3-1-1
D – Urho Vaakanainen   4GP 0-1-1

Team Sweden
F – Oskar Steen   4GP 1-1-2

Bruins Prospect Update – Week Of Dec. 17th to Dec. 23rd

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred            Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Bruins Prospect Update – Week Of Dec. 17th to Dec. 23rd

Providence Bruins – American Hockey League

The Providence team played in two games last week to continue the season-long eight-game road trip. The first game of the week had the B’s in Hartford, Connecticut on Friday night December 22nd against the Hartford Wolf Pack and unfortunately lost 6-4 suffering their second loss of the month-long stretch on the road.

B’s goals scored by Justin Hickman who got his second of the season which went unassisted at 12:31 of the first period to tie the game at one apiece. Recently demoted Matt Beleskey got his first goal in his second game with Providence at the 14:52 mark of the first period assisted by Ben Marshall and Josh Hennessy. The only B’s goal in the second period came from Kenny Agostino who scored his 8th of the year just seconds into the middle frame assisted by Colton Hargrove and Austin Czarnik. The final B’s goal and second of the game came from Hickman who scored his third of the year assisted by Emil Johansson and Jesse Gabrielle who got his third point in 20 games and its currently on a career-high two-game-point streak.

Zane McIntyre stopped 34 of 39 shots and got his sixth loss of the 2017-18 campaign. Zane has not been himself in his last three games after going on a five-game winning streak to start the month of December. In the previous three appearances, he has a goals-against-average of 4.63, and .856 save percentage.

The second game of last week was on Saturday night December 23rd when the B’s traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts to play the Thunderbirds before taking the Christmas holiday break. This was an entertaining game between the two clubs that started quickly with the B’s getting on the board first in the opening period with a goal from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson his 9th of the season assisted by Kenny Agostino at the 1:09 mark of the opening frame.

The Thunderbirds would tie the score at one a little over two minutes later on the power-play. This was a defensive and goaltending juggernaut as both teams failed to put the biscuit in the basket for the next 40 minutes of action leading into the overtone frame where neither team could end the game. JFK got the shootout winner who gave the Providence team the 2-1 victory at the MassMutual Center. Goaltender on Loan Jordan Binnington got the win stopping 23 of 24 Thunderbirds shots and now has a season record of 8-1-1 with a 1.65 goals-against-average and .936 save percentage since joining the Providence team from the St. Louis Blues organization at the beginning of this season.

The Next games for the Providence team is on Wednesday, December 27th when the B’s play game six of the current road trip against the Utica Comets. To finish the long trip the B’s play Utica one more time on Friday, December 29th and they finish with a contest in Belleville, Ontario against the new AHL franchise the Belleville Senators.

Providence is currently in third place in the Atlantic Division when it comes to points (40) and has a record of 19-8-2-0 and is 8-2-0-0 in their last ten games.

Atlanta Gladiators – East Coast Hockey League

The Gladiators played in three games last week and Bruins 2015 third round goaltending prospect Dan Vladar appeared in one of those contests with a victory on Friday night December, 22nd at the North Charleston Coliseum against the South Carolina Stingrays. Vladar helped his Glads team to a 4-3 regulation win while stopping 28 of 31 Stingrays shots for his 7th win of the 2017-18 season. The big, athletic netminder is now 7-7-1-0 on the year with a 3.00 goals-against-average, and .907 save percentage in 16 games played for the Premier “AA” minor-pro affiliate of the NHL Bruins.

Due to the Holidays, there were no Bruins prospect games last week in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League, or the NCAA collegiate levels. Most of the leagues mentioned will be back in operation starting on December, 27th.

2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships

This years event will be hosted in Buffalo, New York in two different locations to maximize the number of games played during the week-long event. Games will be played at the KeyBank Center and the HarborCenter with one game being played outdoors at the New Era Field in Orchard Park,. New York featuring team Canada and team USA on December, 29th.

Boston Bruins prospects participating in this year event are defenseman Urho Vaakanainen and forward Joona Koppanen both of Team Finland. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, and forward Trent Frederic all playing for Team USA. Forward Oskar Steen of Team Sweden rounds out the B’s young players involved in this year’s festivities.