Bruins’ Top-Six: Best Regular Seasons Of All-Time

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Will Montanez | Follow me on Twitter @Willfro3

The B’s sealed a tightly contested win over with a shutout effort on Tuukka Rask’s 33rd birthday on March 10, 2020. With that win, they summited the 100 point threshold for the third season in a row, the sixth time in the past decade and the 24th time in their illustrious 95 years of competition. With the NHL’s hiatus in response to coronavirus fears, the team remains the only franchise to post that many points in the current season that finds itself in jeopardy. In honor of the team’s achievement, we’ll take a look at the top-six best regular seasons in franchise history.

The NHL’s schedule has changed through time as teams have been added to and dropped from the League. The points awarding scheme has also changed, progressing from different formats to the current two-point system that features the dreaded loser point. To avoid controversy, it is best to consider points percentage as the key indicator of dominant seasons since it normalizes for games played and how points are doled out to teams in the case of overtime, ties, shoot-outs and the like. With this criteria in mind, let’s see how the current iteration of the Black ‘n’ Gold compares to the great teams of yore.

6.) 2013-14 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .713

( Photo Credit: Steve Babineau | Getty Images )

This is the position that Bruce Cassidy’s 2019-20 squad would claim if the season had officially ended today. The regular schedule has not yet played through and may be canceled or altered in some way, so it must be omitted from the all-time lists until the dust settles. The sixth-best season in B’s history, therefore, goes to Claude Julien and his post-Seguin-trade roster.

That controversial blockbuster brought in Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson from Dallas and then General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, further bolstered the win-now group by signing Jarome Iginla, Carl Soderberg. The coaching staff identified two talented young defensemen from the franchise’s system to add to the back-end when Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug proved they were ready for the Show after strong training camp and playoff appearances respectively.

In spite of an injury-riddled season for many of the team’s regulars, indicated by their 202 man-games-lost, the Bruins remained competitive throughout the season. The team went on a 12 game run, with only one game going beyond extra time while outscoring the opposition 47 to 17 late in the campaign. When all of the games were wrapped up, the Bruins found themselves atop of the League in points with 117 and in the top three of both Goals-For and -Against. Aside of team success, Tuukka Rask captured the Vezina Trophy and Patrice Bergeron was awarded the Selke Trophy as he posted his first 30+ goal season since his concussion in 2007.

5.) 1973-74 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .724

( Photo Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame | http://www.hhof.com )

After capturing their second Stanley Cup title in three years, the Bruins’ organization saw a widespread change. Gone were names like Gerry Cheevers and Derek Sanderson as they left the organization in favor of the NHL’s competitor, the World Hockey Association. In spite of those departures, the team still held star players like Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and John Bucyk who helped post stellar offensive numbers throughout the season. Backstopped by the tandem of young Gilles Gilbert and veteran Ross Brooks, the team finished with the third-best save percentage in the League helping to maintain a complete team.

The ’73-74 Bruins went on a tear from November 8, 1973, to December 20, 1973, during which they posted a 16 game unbeaten-streak that featured two ties. Bruins finished their regular season first in the league with 113 points and saw several individual awards earned by their players. Most notably, Phil Esposito captured the Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsey awards and would have clinched the Rocket Richard had it been doled out at the time.

4.) 1971-72 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .763

( Photo Credit: sportsecyclopedia.com )

The beginning of the decline for the Big Bad Bruins core and they finished first in the league with 119 points. Again led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, the Bruins were an offensive juggernaut finishing first in the league in goals-for. While there were not any lengthy win- or unbeaten-streaks, the team finished with the fewest losses among the active teams.

Numbers seven and four finished top-two in scoring among skaters and received individual accolades. Orr has bestowed the honors of both the Hart and Norris in the same season while Esposito finished with the most points in the League culminating in his third Art Ross.

3.) 1938-39 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .771

( Photo Credit: sportsecyclopedia.com )

This Bruins team featured ten Hall-of-Famers, three of which have their numbers hanging in TD Garden’s rafters. As geopolitical tensions rose in Europe and the Pacific, the Boston Bruins ran roughshod in their newly donned black and gold uniforms. The team managed to upgrade in the net when previously acquired Frank Brimsek supplanted Tiny Thompson in the crease passing the baton from one Bruins great to the next.

The team finished first in overall League standings, goals-for, and goals-against. Roy Conacher finished first in goals and Brimsek won the Calder and Vezina for rookie of the year and best goaltender in the League. The famed Kraut line began to grow into their potential and helped propel the Bruins into a winning streak of eight games over the last eight tilts of their regular season to secure the team’s position atop of the leader boards.

2.) 1970-71 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .776

( Photo Credit: Boris Spremo | Getty Images )

The peak of the Orr era, this squad set multiple offensive records and saw several notable players register career highs. One such mark is Phil Esposito’s 76 goal, 152 point effort, which still stands as the highest for both metrics in franchise history. Those efforts fueled a season where the Bruins logged a total of 399 goals, 108 more than the second most accumulated tallies by the Montreal Canadiens.    

With the League’s most potent offense and solid defense and goaltending, the Bruins dominated during the regular schedule. This dominance was exemplified by a 13 game winning streak between February 23, 1971, and March 20, 1971. Further, they did not lose a game by more than three goals during the entirety of the season. Individually, Bobby Orr claimed his second consecutive Hart trophy and third straight Norris while Esposito collected his second Art Ross.

1.) 1929-30 Boston Bruins; Pts Percentage: .875

( Photo Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame | http://www.hhof.com )

This Bruins team is the granddaddy of them all and represents the single best regular season in franchise history and the highest winning percentage on League record. With the legendary coach Art Ross at the helm, dominating offensive contributions form Cooney Weiland and Dit Clapper and a Vezina-winning performance from Tiny Thompson the Bruins laid waste to the League for the entire regular season. During their rampage, they lost a piddling five times and posted a 17 game unbeaten streak with their lone tie of the season included. That streak was good for 39% of the entire schedule.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 170 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 at Philadelphia: 3/10/20

 

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Photo Courtesy Of NBC Sports Boston

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Home: Philadelphia Flyers (41-20-7)

Away: Boston Bruins (43-14-12)

Philadelphia’s Lineup

Forwards

Giroux-Couturier-Voracek

Farabee-Hayes-Konecny

Laughton-Grant-Pitlick

Raffl-Thompson-Aube-Kubel

Defense

Provorov-Niskanen

Sanheim-Hagg

Gostisbehere-Braun

Goalies

Hart

Elliott

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Ritchie-Krejci-Kase

Kuraly-Coyle-DeBrusk

Nordstrom-Lindholm-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Grzelcyk-Lauzon

Moore-Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

First Period

Neither team had much going offensively in the opening moments as few shots were put on goal on either side. The Bruins started to maintain an attacking zone rhythm toward the midway point of the period but the Flyers did as well as they drew a penalty with 13:40 left. The B’s killed off the man advantage thanks to a couple of monster saves by Tuukka Rask including a phenomenal stop on Travis Konecny. Rask continued to have a strong period as they got a number of quality chances after the power play. The Bruins continued to have trouble getting possession of the puck past the midway point of the period as the Flyers started to take control of the game.

Late in the period Boston went to the penalty kill yet again as Brad Marchand was called for holding in the neutral zone. Philadelphia didn’t manage much on the power play except for a couple shots that Rask stopped rather easily and the game remained scoreless going into the final moments of the period. The Bruins picked up a final minute power play as Ivan Provorov was called for a high stick.

Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

The Bruins began the period on the power play that was picked up at the end of the first. The Flyers killed off the penalty and even got a number of shorthanded opportunities on Rask. Bruce Cassidy seemed to shuffle the forward lines in the middle period to try to ignite some offense to get the B’s going. The Bruins started to find an offensive rhythm at the midway point of the period as they looked to be the more energetic team. Rask continued to be busy as the Flyers threw shots on goal from nearly every angle.

The Bruins continued to have trouble maintaining much of an offensive rhythm and as a result lagged behind Philadelphia in shots on goal. The Flyers picked up their third power play of the night as Marchand went to the box again with under six minutes left in the period. Boston killed off the penalty once again as Rask stood tall which to that point was becoming the story of the game. The B’s responded as they drew a penalty on Justin Braun immediately after, giving them an opportunity to take the lead. Matt Grzelcyk finally opened the scoring with a bomb from the point as the B’s took the late period lead.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Third Period

The B’s opened the period with some great energy as they looked to extend the lead in the early moments of the third. The Flyers continued to get shots on goal but Rask continued to come up big. The B’s looked like the aggressor in the final period as they pushed hard for another goal to take control of the game. The tempo of the game started to pick up past the midway point of the period as both teams started to get a bit desperate. Both teams traded chances down the stretch, going end to end a couple times but the score remained the same thanks to stellar goaltending. Patrice Bergeron doubled the Boston lead with a long wrist shot past Carter Hart with over five minutes to go.

Immediately following the goal, Scott Laughton was called for a high stick which resulted in a Bruins power play, giving them a chance to essentially put the game on ice. The Flyers killed it off despite some great puck movement by Boston and still had a chance to get back in the game. Philadelphia pulled Hart with about 2:30 to play as they looked for a couple of quick goals.

Final Score: 2-0 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Rask

Second Star: Grzelcyk

Third Star: Bergeron

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 169 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 Superfan Jill Murphy Recognized By Upper Deck Hockey

(Photo Credit: @jmurphx11)

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

“I’m going to think of you yelling at me on TV when I turn the puck over.”

That’s what Bruins superstar Brad Marchand said to his superfan Jillian “Jill” Murphy after visiting her at Boston Children’s Hospital last March. And as the rest of the season — and now a full year — unfolded, so too did their relationship, both in person and on Twitter, as documented by B’s writer Eric Russo in a heartwarming and entertaining feature story he shared with the Black N’ Gold fanbase.

Now, Murphy needs more than just Marchy to help her earn an even more prestigious recognition: Upper Deck’s #UltimateMVP award!

That’s right, she needs YOU — the fans of the Boston Bruins, and hockey in general — to show her some love just like he did AND like she does on a daily basis for the B’s:

Speaking of likes… that’s what it will take to make her UD’s top fan! People need to click on the tweet she shared from @UpperDeckHockey, LIKE IT by clicking on the “heart” button and then telling others via shares and comments to do the same!

As Russo pointed out in his feature piece on Murphy, she suffers from a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which limits her mobility and requires the use of a wheelchair. And it was Marchand who sent her plenty of hearts when he invited the Murphy’s to not only experience the B’s up close and personal on TD Garden Ice, but also in the locker room post game one year ago this week:

Now, with the calendar flipped to 2020, Murphy has her sights set on another goal (and perhaps Marchand, too, if he can stop “the turnovers” she so comically chirped him about online): becoming OUR Boston Bruins MVP online! And as you can see from her very inspiring and supportive Twitter account, she’s definitely more than qualified for the job.

So, what say you Black N’ Gold brethren? Can we help Murph MARCH to the top of the #MyMVP competition at Upper Deck Hockey? I most certainly think we can. After all, the puck stops here!

Image(Photo Credit: Upper Deck Hockey)

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Bruins Champion 8-Spoked Salute!

8Spoke(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

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

Giving appreciation to our military heroes and veterans is something the Boston Bruins organization not only takes pride in, but also champions year after year and season after season. And for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season, the franchise is looking to recognize local and New England-area Armed Forces members –Active Duty, Guard or Reserve — who are exactly those champions!

And *YOU can nominate them by doing the following, per the Bruins website:

The Bruins and the Massachusetts State Lottery are proud to salute the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. At select games throughout the 2019-20 season, a member or members of the Armed Forces [Active Duty, Guard or Reserve] will receive the 8-Spoked Salute for their service to our country. Selected winners will receive four (4) complimentary tickets to a Bruins home game and a live welcome on Garden HDX (video scoreboard). If you would like to nominate a Service Member of the Community, fill out the form below. Entries for selection must include a valid reason as to why an individual should be selected for this honor. Last year, the Lottery gave back over $1.1 billion to the Commonwealth, providing essential local aid for all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

The B’s and the MA Lottery have partnered up before to salute our nation’s heroes, with the Black N’ Gold tipping their helmets to those who wear navy, green, tan, camouflage and of course red, white & blue! The video below shows just how up-close-and-personal our service members can get to the players during such games as Military Appreciation Night and the 8-Spoked Salute:

 

The Bruins’ organization also has a proud history during the 8-Spoked-Salute games of honoring those service members we’ve lost while fighting for our freedoms. The team has even surprised military families with reunions on TD Garden ice:

It’s one of those occasions where sport and sacrifice intertwine to form a bond that is honored by all — no matter your politics, passions or pursuits. And, in the case of the Bruins, that intertwining involves 8 spokes, bringing even more value, sentiment and meaning to the beloved and bespoked B’s!

*Again, YOU can send in your nominations here: https://www.nhl.com/bruins/community/8-spoked-salute   

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 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 Dominate The Month Of February

( Photo Credit: The Hockey News | thehockeynews.com )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The Boston Bruins were red-hot in February, winning 11 games and only losing three. The Bruins faced off against eight Western Conference teams and played five original-six match-ups. They were also dominant in regulation, forcing only two games into overtime and not a single shootout. The Bruins also had to endure the challenge of four back-to-back games and won six out of eight games. To conclude the month of February, David Pastrnak ended up being named NHL’s 3rd Star of the Month.

Bruins’ Stars Of The Month

No surprise here, the ‘Perfection Line’ was incredibly impressive in the 14 games played in February, combining for 23 goals and 48 points. Brad Marchand is currently riding a nine-game point streak, had six multi-point games, and finished the month with six goals and 17 points with a +8 rating. Patrice Bergeron tallied seven goals, 12 points with a +10 rating, and averaged over 50% in face-off-wins. Pastrnak led the Bruins with 10 goals and 19 points.

Charlie Coyle showed off his versatility in February, scoring a goal on the power-play as well as the short-handed unit, which ended up being the game-winning goal. He was also dealt with the challenge of having several different wingers in-and-out of his line and playing a new role on the central power-play unit. Coyle finished the month with seven goals and a +6 rating.

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The Bruins’ fourth-line were very effective in shutting down other teams’ top lines and found ways to chip in to help their team win. Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner were the matching partners, with the third forward spot rotating between Par Lindholm, Anton Blidh, and Joakim Nordstrom. Kuraly and Wagner brought energy and power to the lineup every game, both players combined for three goals, seven points, and 73 hits with a +4 rating.

It’s safe to say Charlie McAvoy’s’ best month of the season was February, starting with breaking the curse and finally scoring his first goal of the season. He has maintained a strong physical presence and continues to eat up over 20 minutes of on-ice time per game. For the month, he tallied four goals and 13 points with a whopping +13 rating.

There is no doubt that the heroes for February are Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Having the ability to utilize both goalies, especially during a back-to-back game situation, really gives the Bruins an advantage late in the season to pick up those difficult two points. Rask collected six wins, two shutouts, and a .929% save percentage. Halak finished the month with five wins and a .912% save percentage.

Stepping It Up

The Bruins’ second line struggled to find their offensive touch this past month, and Bruce Cassidy decided to change it up last game by moving Nick Ritchie up to David Krejci’s’ left-wing and Ondrej Kase to his right-wing. Jake DeBrusk, Krejci’s’ usual left-wing partner, managed only two goals and four points with a -4 rating. David Krejci didn’t do so hot either, managing only one goal and six points with a -3 rating. With the addition of Ritchie (who recently scored his first goal as a Bruin) and Kase, Krejci will have more options on the wing and have the potential to develop consistent chemistry.

The young guns, Karson Kuhlman and Anders Bjork have a lot to prove before the end of the season because there is a line of players fighting for their spot. Kuhlman was unsuccessful at sparking the offensive for the second-line and scraped away with one goal and three points with a +2 rating. Recently, Cassidy relocated him to the third-line with Coyle and Bjork. Bjork went cold as well, scoring one goal and four points with a +2 rating. Kuhlman and Bjork were both healthy scratches for one game in February, and they will need to generate some offense soon to cement their spot in the line-up for the playoffs.

Looking Ahead

The Boston Bruins are first in the league, but that does not mean they can sit back and let any points slide by. There are 16 games left in the season, which means 32 points are up for grabs, and anything can happen at this point. They do not have an easy road to the playoffs, as their journey continues in Tampa on Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST. The Bruins are off to a great start, but they will need to restore their scoring depth and continue to play the full 60-minutes each game.

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 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 Need Strong “Finish” All Around

Image result for boston bruins(Photo Credit: WCVB Boston)

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

The Boston Bruins need a big finish to the schedule this season. Or, in the case of Tuukka Rask, a big Finnish

And I mean all around, in every aspect of the game: from taking care of lackluster low-pointers like the Red Wings & Rangers to tight tie-breakers like the Penguins & Lightning to just properly putting points up by building up and protecting leads and shutting down opponents.

Because unlike the ALMOST-Cup-clinching season of yesteryear, the B’s road to playoff success in 2020 will undoubtedly go through more qualified, consistent and competitive match-ups than Toronto, Columbus and Carolina.

Yes, if the B’s truly want to win the Atlantic Division, hold off Tampa Bay, win a few rounds against the likes of the Capitals and Penguins and then return to the Stanley Cup Finals, they’re going to need everything in the tank — and then some!

What exactly does that entail? Well, for starters, no “off” days or “bad” games. The Bruins need to treat each and every contest between now and April 4th like the playoffs have already started. The team’s recent 9-out-of-10-games win streak is a great way to get this mindset going.

But with the Bolts truly bolting their way to the top of the division and league (and perhaps even past the Bruins by Leap Day), that could mean a loss of home ice or being seeded against an unfavorable team come this Spring. That’s not the kind of “finish” the B’s are looking for.

Speaking of which, Dealin’ Donny Sweeney must learn to finish off one of his myriad trade proposals before the pickens are slimmer than Slim himself! As pointed out by numerous Black N’ Gold bloggers and podcasters recently, the B’s are thus far standing pat as all their competitors pick up potential targets that could bolster an already strong Bruins’ lineup.

It “bears” no repeating how badly Boston needs a top 6 RW for the second line to play alongside David Krecji and consistently put the puck in the net and/or set-up his linemates. Perhaps this is the reason the B’s didn’t “finish” off the Blues in the Cup finals last year — no depth or secondary scoring!

But ruminations and repudiations aside, here’s what we ALL want to see down the scheduling stretch and into the second season for the B’s: a fighting finish. Literally and figuratively. Throw the gloves down when necessary. Put teams away whenever you can. Make Tampa and Pittsburgh and Washington work as hard as humanly possible to catch you in the standings. Seamlessly integrate new players via trade or call-ups.

In short, play Bruins hockey. The kind of hockey we all know, love and remember from 2011. Now wouldn’t that be a way to FINISH!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 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!!

Boston Bruins Place Forward David Backes on Waivers

David Backes

PHOTO CREDITS: (nbcsports.ca)

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

As per numerous reports on social media, including from The Athletic’s Joe McDonald (@JoeyMacHockey on Twitter) and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC on Twitter), the Boston Bruins have placed forward David Backes for assignment to the Providence Bruins.

David Backes, 35, has played in 16 games this season for the Bruins, scoring one goal and two assists for three points and a -2 rating. Backes has not played a game since Boston’s 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets on January 9th where he skated for eleven shifts totalling 8:35 of ice-time. He has not scored a point since December 5th against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Boston signed the Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA native to a five-year, $30,000,000 contract ($6 million AAV) on the opening day of free agency back in the 2016 off-season. Prior to the signing, Backes had been the captain of the St. Louis Blues, totalling 727 career regular-season games with the Blues, scoring 206-254-460 numbers in that span. It was a tough move for him to make, but he felt he had a better shot to hoist the Stanley Cup if he signs with the Bruins.

Since the signing, Backes has not turned out to be what Boston expected. In 217 regular-season games for the Black and Gold, Backes scored 29-55-94 numbers along with 12 points in 39 playoff games dating back to the 2016-17 campaign. Backes scored two goals and three assists during Boston’s 2019 Stanley Cup Finals run as well.

The move to send Backes down is an interesting one, considering the move to put Brett Ritchie on waivers earlier in the week (he cleared). With players such as Karson Kuhlman and even Anton Blidh pushing for more consistent spots on the roster, older veterans like Backes simply don’t have the space on the team anymore. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy re-iterated that in a much simpler way.

The likelihood of Backes getting claimed by one of the other 31 NHL franchises is slim, but there is a benefit to him going to the Providence Bruins as well. As Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork on Twitter) stated, if the 35-year-old clears waivers, the Bruins will free up $1 million in salary. With the trade deadline looming around the corner, every dollar counts and Backes’ $6 million cap hit right now is a lot to continue paying if he continues to be in the press box.

For the latest breaking news, updates, and injury reports, make sure to check back on blackngoldhockey.com and follow on Twitter (@BlackNGoldPod). The Boston Bruins play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, January 19th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30pm EST.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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 Place Forward Brett Ritchie on Waivers

brett_ritchie_100319.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (nbcsports.com)

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

According to insider Elliotte Friedman, the Boston Bruins have placed forward Brett Ritchie on waivers with purpose of assignment to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. This comes one day after Ritchie played 10:27 over 14 shifts in Boston’s 3-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road.

Last offseason, the Boston Bruins signed Ritchie to a one-year contract that will pay him $1 million for the 2019-2020 campaign. Prior to signing with the Bruins, the 26-year-old forward played 241 career regular-season games with the Dallas Stars. Highlighted by his 2016-17 season where he put up 16-8-24 numbers in 78 games played, Ritchie finished his five-year tenure in Dallas with 33-21-54 totals.

The Orangeville, Ontario, Canada native scored four goals and two assists for six points in 53 games during the 2018-19 season, but when his contract expired, the Stars opted to let him walk, allowing the Bruins to sign him in free agency. Boston did not have the available cap space to sign some of the more well-known free agents, so the organization settled on depth players with Ritchie being one of those players.

Ritchie scored the first goal of the 2019-2020 season for the Boston Bruins, half of his entire goal output in 27 games skated for the Black and Gold. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has tried Ritchie all over the place, seeing minutes with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci on the second-line, to minutes on the third and fourth lines as well. Unfortunately for him and the Bruins organization, he has not been able to find his game offensively whatsoever.

Now, if Ritchie does indeed clear waivers, he will report to the AHL’s Providence Bruins, who are third in the Atlantic Division with a 22-15-1 record through the first 40 games of the season. In the case that Ritchie joins Providence, his $1 million salary will still be on the bill for the Boston Bruins, where as if he is claimed, he is off the books and no longer apart of the B’s at all.

The big question with this transaction is what it means for a possible future transaction. With the injury of goaltender Tuukka Rask last night in Columbus and the recent losses on their record, changes were expected and predicted – this just brings up that question about what exactly this new change will be. Within the next 24 hours, we will know the next stages of Brett Ritchie’s future with the Boston Bruins.

For the latest breaking news, updates, and injury reports – make sure to check back to blackngoldhockey.com and give all of the excellent writers a follow on Twitter including myself (@tkdmaxbjj).

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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’ Rask Suffers Concussion In Loss At Columbus

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(Photo: Jamie Sabeu / National Hockey League / Getty Images)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Just 1:12 into the first period of Boston’s 3-0 loss at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask took a punch to the side of the head from Columbus forward Emil Bemstrom, who did not receive a penalty on the play. Rask had to leave the game and did not return; following the contest, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Rask sustained a concussion from the play.

Rask has a history of dealing with concussions and migraine issues. This instance comes almost a year (360 days, to be exact) after the 32-year-old suffered a concussion after taking the worst of a hard collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil in a game at TD Garden last season.

This season, in 28 appearances, Rask has a 17-4-6 record to go along with a 2.27 goals-against average (fifth-best in the league) and a .925 save percentage (fifth-highest) en route to being selected to the Atlantic Division All-Star team. On Monday, the Finn announced that he would forgo All-Star Weekend in order to get some extra rest and time with his family.

While no announcement has been made as to who the Bruins might call up, Providence Bruins netminder Maxime Lagace, who has a record of 14-6-2, five shutouts, a 2.49 GAA, and .915 save percentage in the AHL this season, seems like the most likely option. Providence’s, Dan Vladar, who is 6-5-0 with two shutouts, a 1.94 GAA, and a .935 save percentage, is also an option. Goaltending prospect Kyle Keyser, who is with the Atlanta Gladiators Boston’s ECHL-affiliate, is out with a concussion.

The Bruins will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 16, as they will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden. Puck-drop is slated for 7:00 pm.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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’ Rask To Forgo 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend

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(Photo: Winslow Townson / AP Photo)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will not participate in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, as announced by NHL Public Relations. Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevsky will replace Rask at the festivities on All-Star Weekend.

Rask spoke to the media on Monday evening before Boston’s visit with the Philadelphia Flyers, saying it was a tough decision that he put a lot of thought into. While the goaltender noted that it was an honor to be selected to the Atlantic Division All-Star team, he emphasized that he made his decision in order to get extra rest and time with his family.

“I had to be kind of selfish, thinking how much hockey we played last year, the short summer, wanting to play into June again, and [All-Star Weekend] falling right in the middle of our bye week.” Rask said to the media. “It was a selfish decision to go spend time with my family and get the mind and body rejuvenated.”

As is the case with players who decide to forgo All-Star Weekend after being voted in, Rask will be mandated by the NHL to serve a one-game suspension in the Bruins’ last game before the break or the first game following the break. Rask acknowledged the suspension during his media availability, saying it will probably be after the break.

The 32-year-old Finn also said that the organization supported his decision. In 27 appearances this season, Rask holds a 17-4-6 record to go along with a 2.27 goals-against average (fifth-best in the league) and a .925 save percentage (fifth-highest).

The Bruins will take on the Flyers on the road on Monday night at 7:00 pm before visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Jaroslav Halak will get the nod in goal on Monday, while Rask is expected to start in Tuesday’s contest, per head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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!!