A Rational Look at Injuries and the Remaining Boston Bruins Schedule

dm_180319_Donato_first_goal364Photo: ESPN
By Thomas Nyström | Follow on twitter @nahstrom

We were all warned. Hell, I even warned you that the upcoming schedule was daunting a few weeks ago: https://blackngoldhockey.com/2018/03/07/predicting-the-rest-of-the-season-bruins-final-record/

Here’s the updated remaining schedule:

Wednesday March 22 @ STL 8:00 PM ET
Friday March 23 @ DAL 8:30 PM ET
Sunday March 25 @ MIN 7:30 PM ET
Tuesday March 27 @ WPG 8:00 PM ET
Thursday March 29 vs TBL 7:00 PM ET
Saturday March 31 vs FLA 1:00 PM ET
Sunday April 1 @ PHI 12:30 PM ET
Tuesday April 3 @ TBL 7:30 PM ET
Thursday April 5 @ FLA 7:30 PM ET
Saturday April 7 vs OTT 7:00 PM ET
Sunday April 8 vs FLA 7:30 PM ET


My prediction in that previous article was the Bruins would end with 111 points. With 11 games remaining an sitting 12 points shy of my prediction at 99 points.. Boston needs to play .500 hockey to hit that mark. Looking at the remaining opponents, travel, and relentlessness of the ‘every other day’ nature of the calendar — I still believe that’s precisely what we will get.

The schedule lines up that they play every other day with exception to next weekend where they play back-to-back; Saturday @ Florida at 1:00 pm followed by an immediate northbound flight to take on Philadelphia for another early game with puck drop happening at 12:30 pm. After that comes the first of two key games against Tampa Bay — this one at home, the later date scheduled to be played in Tampa. Now before we even get to that, the Bruins have a troublesome road trip that they are currently in the midst of starting tonight in St. Louis. On tap after that is Dallas, Minnesota, and Winnipeg. Each team is playoff bound or at the very least in the hunt right now and will be putting forth playoff caliber efforts against a banged-up B’s lineup. I fully believe that despite the thin roster on this road trip, Boston has the ability to take 4 out of 8 points from these quality opponents. I expect Boston to split the two remaining games against Florida, because well, it’s the Panthers and we all saw the game last week. The back-to-back day games are very hard on the traveling team.. and I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop the Philadelphia game. While we know how unbearable ‘hockey-twitter’ can be after a B’s loss, we must take everything into account and not jump off the Zakim Bridge if Boston struggles against a very good team like Winnipeg.

That said, let’s take a rational look at what to expect with the injuries to this Bruins roster as we near the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Although there were reports that we may expect to see Patrice Bergeron return from injury on this current road trip that ends next Tuesday, a more reasonable expectation — or really, a hope would be he rejoins the line-up at home on Thursday March 29th when the Bruins host Tampa Bay. Boston themselves shared footage of Bergeron getting ice time in and running drills on his own just a few days ago. Regardless, a foot fracture is a substantial injury to any player, especially one like Bergeron who is arguably the best two-way forward in the sport.

No updates regarding Jake DeBrusk, or at least nothing of substance. The ‘upper-body’ designation does very little in the way of telling us anything about a) the injury b) his timeline. If this is a concussion he could be out the rest of the regular season as we’re winding down to single-digit games by the end of the weekend. Unfortunate timing for Jake as he was on a tear before his injury with 9 points in his last 8 games. The Bruins would certainly benefit if that switch can be flipped again entering the playoffs.

My goodness did David Backes have a rough couple of days last week. It seemed like the hockey gods were against David for a bit there and then to cap it off he suffered a nasty laceration from an errant blade to the thigh that required 18 stitches. While that will take some time to heal naturally and to be tended to incase of any set-back such as infection, Backes may be out of the line-up until the playoffs as well, although I feel as though we will see him for a few tune-up games in the final week of the regular season.

Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy have been sorely missed at times over the last stretch of games. Chara could be back by the end of the week although I would suspect that since Boston is on the cusp of clinching a playoff spot as early as tonight in St. Louis, head coach Bruce Cassidy may hold him out of the line-up an extra game. Remember that just prior to the injury there was debate on whether or not to give the big man a few games off to reset. Meanwhile, Charlie McAvoy has been quietly going about his work to get back on the ice. The severity of his knee injury wasn’t made entirely known, but all indications are that he will be ready to go come playoff time. Similarly to Backes, McAvoy may get on the ice in the final few regular season contests to ‘test the waters’, if you will. Seeing the defensive first line out there again would no doubt be a sigh of relief for Bruins fans.

dcbbaf89-2446-487f-949e-d459cda158ab_TVASPORTS_WEBSee? Isn’t this nice?
Photo: www.tvasports.ca/

Lastly and perhaps least concerning would be the injuries to Rick Nash and Adam McQuaid who are both considered day-to-day. Bruce Cassidy also hasn’t been shy about handing out ‘maintenance days’ which may be a contributing factor to the way he’s handling both individuals. He is fully aware that in two weeks it will be all hands on deck as his Boston Bruins look to start what we all hope will be a deep playoff push.

Thomas Nyström, Contributor.

Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

Newest Acquisitions Shine For The Boston Bruins



Rick Nash #61 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck during the first period of a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden on February 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts  (Feb. 26, 2018 – Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson | Follow on Twitter: @godwentwhoops


The Boston Bruins got to showcase the team’s newest arrivals at the TD Garden on Tuesday night. Second place in the Atlantic Division was on the line as the Black and Gold took on the Carolina Hurricanes. While the B’s had a rough first period, they kept it close and tied it up in the second. In the end, it took Charlie McAvoy to score the game winner in OT for Boston.

While it was certainly another excellent game for McAvoy, the Bruins latest arrivals stole the show in the B’s 4-3 win.

If we’re objective, the B’s weren’t going to be able to hold on to Ryan Spooner, so it made sense to move him while Spooner still had value. The B’s also moved Matt Beleskey, whose underwhelming season found him in Providence at the time of the trade.  The loss of the 2018 first-round pick and B’s prospect Ryan Lindgren seemed to anger fans more than the loss of Spooner and Beleskey.

Some people haven’t been thrilled with the Rick Nash trade. His early performance in the spoked ‘B’ should silence some of these critics.

Nash played in his second game in the spoked B, and again came up big for Boston. He put up a goal and assist in the game, and made a massive save for the B’s early on in the game. He’s only been in two games, and he’s already made a substantial impact for Boston.

The Bruins organization got off much lighter when they traded for Chicago Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels. Bruins fans were more than willing to add a player that only cost the team a fifth (or fourth if the B’s get into the second round of the playoffs and/or resign him next year) round pick in 2019.

The 29-year old Wingels came out of the box flying for the Black and Gold. He had a goal, an assist, seven shot attempts, a plus-2 goal differential, and a very positive 53.33 Corsi percentage.  That’s a rather solid debut for a player who put in just 15:06 of ice time for the Bruins.

Wingels got his first Boston start due to a hole in the lineup caused by the absence of Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins best all-around player will be out for the next two weeks due to a hairline fracture of his right foot.

“Whenever you played the Bruins, you knew you were in for a game,” said Wingels about his new team. “And I think that’s as good of a compliment as you can give, that those guys compete, those guys play hard, and they’re tough to play against. That’s what I saw from them, and that’s what I’m going to try to fit in here as well.

“If you get traded this is the kind of place you want to go to. A hungry team, a team that is capable of winning it all and a team with the skill and work ethic of the Bruins here. So, really happy to be here and just going to try to contribute any way I can.”

Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy was undoubtedly pleased with the work of Wingels and Nash this evening. “They’re both experienced players in the league, and I think they’re good people that want to help the team win,” said Cassidy of the team’s newest players. “We wanted them. They can help a good team be better, so I think that’s part of it, as well. Like anybody, you go to a new job, you want to impress…good first impression. I think that’s human nature, and they’ve done that.”

While it’s a little early to see what the players like Nash, Wingels, and Brian Gionta will do long-term for the B’s, they’re off to a strong start in the Black and Gold.

Boston Bruins Focus On Fixing Game After Rough Road Loss



Patrice Bergeron #37 and David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins celebrate after Bergeron’s goal put the Bruins up 3-1 against the New York Rangers in the second period at Madison Square Garden on February 7, 2018, in New York City.
(Feb. 6, 2018 – Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                        Twitter: @godwentwhoops

Well, that was an ugly one.  The Boston Bruins have been one of the best teams in the National Hockey League this season.  As good as the B’s have been playing, we all sort of knew that one of those games was going to happen. The Black and Gold got mercilessly drubbed by the Vancouver Canucks 6-1 the other night.

While the Canucks and their fans celebrated like it was game eight of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals (It was seven years ago, and you lost, get over it.), the Bruins knew they’d have to take a step back and analyze exactly what went wrong on Saturday.

The answer was simple. The Bruins defensive game had gotten sloppy. The team had gaps in their coverage. The team seemed a little slow on the draw as well.  When those factors were added to Tuukka Rask having an off night, it led to the B’s giving up four first period goals against Vancouver.

The B’s knew that the team had lost a little polish off their game, but they usually relied on their offensive firepower to get themselves out of trouble.  That also seemed to let them down on Saturday (although not through lack of effort).  So, the Bruins will take this loss on the chin and get back to work.

“It’s been creeping into our game,” said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron about their lack of defensive effort. “We’ve been getting away from what’s been good to us.” Our defensive zone coverage has been lacking a little lately. We’ve got to tighten that up and yesterday was a perfect example…when you don’t start on time, and you have holes defensively that you don’t take care of, and don’t play the proper way and respect the game plan, that’s what happens.”

Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy knows his team will bounce back from this disappointment.  Still, he scheduled a Sunday practice that focused on the B’s remembering their strengths in the defensive zone. While the team didn’t need to go back to the drawing board, they did get a few touch-ups on their three-zone game.

“We built into practice. That’s generally what we do after a video session, where we try to teach or get better in an area, we’ll try to translate it into practice,” said Cassidy on the focus of the B’s Sunday practice. “We play tomorrow, we play Tuesday, so we’ve got to be careful. It was a workday.”

Even with the tough loss, the B’s are still in great shape. They’re one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic with five games in hand. The team will likely make life interesting for Dougie Hamilton and the rest of the Calgary squad as they fight to get themselves back in the win column.

Bruce Cassidy – Boston’s Jack Adams Candidate

Townson_BruinsPC08_spt[1]Above Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/Boston Globe

By: Aaron Chisling                 Follow Me on Twitter @achisling

Gerard Gallant, the ex-Head Coach of the Florida Panthers and caller of taxis, has been garnering most of the Jack Adams attention this season and for a good reason. Expansion franchises historically have been write-offs in their first year. Their rosters are composed of castaways and pending unrestricted free agents, doomed to the basement of the NHL standings. Going into this season things looked no different for Vegas. Analysts and experts alike were clamoring for the NHL Trade Deadline to see where James Neal and the bevy of NHL caliber defensemen would be auctioned off too. In a stunning turn of events, it’s unlikely the Knights will sell at all as their bench boss has led his team to a staggering 35-13-4 record and the Knights reign over the entire Western Conference in their inaugural season.

Bruce Cassidy’s coaching performance is being overshadowed this year by Gallant’s achievements, but what Cassidy has done is nothing to shake a stick at. By most outside of New England, the Boston Bruins were being penciled in outside of the playoff picture, eclipsed by the stalwart Ottawa Senators who just suffocated them and eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs. They stood no chance against the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs and dazzling Tampa Bay Lightning. The would have to fight uphill and through a Carey Price-led Montreal Canadiens to have a sniff at an Atlantic Division playoff berth, never-mind fight through the maelstrom that is the Metropolitan Division and defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

They have done that, and more. Led by Cassidy’s willingness to let the youth play and in what seems like every role, the Bruins have shattered expectations. Boston sits second in the East, second in the entire league in goal differential, they boast the lowest goals against in the league and has one of the most productive crops of rookies in the entire league. Charlie McAvoy’s emergence as a bonafide top pairing defenseman in his rookie season has been one of the greatest things to watch as a fan. Danton Heinen’s return to the NHL lineup and has proved that he learned and improved with his time in Providence. He’s quietly put up 35 points in 45 games played this season. During Brad Marchand’s suspension, Heinen has taken his role on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, and they have continued their elite puck possession and offensive dominance. Jake DeBrusk has become a mainstay on David Krejci’s wing in the top six, putting 11 goals and 15 assists up so far this year. Cassidy lets the kids go out there, make a mistake, and learn.

617807664.0[1]Above Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Pair this shot in the arm of youth with a return to elite play by goaltender Tuukka Rask, the Slovakian tower of power Zdeno Chara and the league’s premier two way forward Patrice Bergeron’s most lethal scoring season of his career? Jackpot, baby. Slowly but surely, the Bruins are coming up in discussion around the league as one of the teams that could be standing tall when the final rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs arrive. Bruce Cassidy’s coaching has played a monumental role in this rapid change. If I had a vote for the Jack Adams, I know who I’d give it to.

Aaron Chisling – Contributor

Follow me on Twitter @achisling

Boston Bruins: At The Trade Deadline, No News Is Good News



Boston Bruins General manager Don Sweeney speaks to the media during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.
(June 24, 2016 – Source: Jen Fuller/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                    Twitter: @godwentwhoops

The Boston Bruins seem to be in control of their own destiny at the moment.  From an ugly beginning, the Black and Gold have earned points in 30 of their last 34 games. With their most recent win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the B’s sit comfortably in second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Boston Bruins seem to be in control of their own destiny at the moment.  From an ugly beginning, the Black and Gold have earned points in 30 of their last 34 games. With their most recent win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the B’s sit comfortably in second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins next big move (other than forward Brad Marchand’s return to the ice) is the trade deadline. Several teams have been sniffing around the TD Garden to see who could be made available for the right price. Several big named players have put up their trade lists as well. (To no surprise, Boston was on those lists.) Don Sweeney had mentioned that they could be looking for a top-six winger earlier in the season.

So, what should the Bruins do?

Answer: Absolutely nothing.

The 2017-18 Bruins roster have really put things together in the middle of the season. For the first time in a few years, the Black and Gold have four solid forward lines. (Including the Bergeron line which could be argued as being the best top line in the NHL at the moment.) The Bruins defensive pairs have done their job, and the goaltending duo of Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask are among the top in the league right now.

The B’s have always believed in the ‘next man up’ philosophy. With the loss of Brad Marchand to his suspension, the team just moved the best possible player up a line and brought home points in four of the five games. But the B’s are also totally committed to the team this season. There are no Black and Gold passengers this time around.

“It’s just another sign of what you’re seeing inside of our club, and in that particular case outside, but there’s a lot of that going on,” offered Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy (who should be seriously considered for the Jack Adams this year. “Guys are working hard for one another, have each other’s backs. I was asked a question a while ago about what came first, the chemistry or the winning? I think it was the chemistry.

“You could see it earlier in the year. It didn’t result automatically in wins, but you could see our guys pulling for one another, and when we got healthy and started playing the way we wanted to. You see that up and down the lineup. Guys are happy for each other.”

So, let’s wrap up the Bruins current assets. A great set of forward lines. Three defensive pairs that bring it every night. Outstanding goaltending (sorry Tuukka haters). A deep set of prospects from the AHL down. At the moment the B’s have everything they need to make a deep run in the playoffs or even another Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Why would the Bruins even contemplate fixing something that isn’t broken?

Unless I’m reading the terrain all wrong, they won’t. From Jeremy Jacobs on down, the front office has to be excited about this year’s team.  Unless the B’s suffer a string of serious injuries (or Brad Marchand hits a ref with his stick), the Boston Bruins will do absolutely nothing at the trade deadline.

Even if the B’s thought something was still missing, they really couldn’t go all in to get it. The B’s have just over $2 million in cap space, and that won’t be enough to grab a big name at the deadline, and it seems way too much to invest in a rental.

So we can all relax. Don Sweeney is too cagey to allow anything to disrupt the team he’s worked hard on putting together. The Boston Bruins will pass through the deadline unharmed and unchanged, and that’s how most of us want it.

Except for the Tuukka haters.

Boston Bruins: Is This Frank Vatrano’s Last Season With The B’s?



Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins directs Frank Vatrano #72 of the Boston Bruins during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on November 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
(Nov. 15, 2017 – Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                      Twitter: @Godwentwhoops


Frank Vatrano is currently the odd man out with the Boston Bruins. Vatrano hasn’t seen much action with the Black and Gold this season. He’s only played in 22 games, and he’s spent most of that time as a fourth line grinder for the B’s. In his last five appearances, he cracked the ten-minute ice time mark only once.

Vatrano’s limited action is due to the strength of the Bruins rookies. The B’s youth movement have earned themselves positions on the roster, and that forced players like Matt Beleskey (currently playing in Providence) and Vatrano on the sidelines. Vatrano is only seeing action due to the B’s injuries and the suspension of forward Brad Marchand.

Vatrano’s never really been a full time player for Boston. He’s played in 83 games in the last two seasons. He’s been moving up and down the lines as the situation (or the injuries) required. For his part, the 23-year old Mass native is trying to stay positive. He’s doing his best to be ready for whenever he gets to see action on the ice.

“It’s always difficult when you’re not playing, you’re always trying to get back into the lineup,” Vatrano said. “But when the team is as hot as it is right now you’ve got to tip your cap to everyone in the room, even if you’re not in the lineup you’re rooting for the guys.

“You want them to win, you always want to win. You’ve got to be a good teammate, whether you’re in the lineup or out of the lineup. For me, I just have to have the same mindset night in and night out.”

Vatrano was a point-a-game player during his AHL time. (A situation he may find himself in again come next season.) Now he’s a penalty minute a game player.  He’s now in the situation that Ryan Spooner found himself in last year.  It’s not that he’s a terrible player, but the current roster have been firing on all cylinders.

For Vatrano, it’s about staying positive and waiting for the next opportunity to show he can still be an effective player in the Boston organization.

“I actually felt pretty good,” offered Vatrano on his current condition. “I’ve been trying to stay on top of my conditioning, on and off the ice. I felt good, felt like I really didn’t miss a beat out there. My timing was good, so hopefully I can add some more finishing to it. Obviously in a different role right now, so trying to be reliable.”

Boston Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy has been satisfied with Vatrano’s reliability. Cassidy has been trying to find a use for Vatrano in the wake of the B’s youth movement. So far, Vatrano has adapted to his current role.

“With Frank, we’re going to continue to make sure that in those close games he does his part away from the puck, keep getting better defensively and hopefully the puck falls a little bit and he creates a little more on his own on that line,” said Cassidy of Vatrano’s current performance.

“He’s been good, he’s worked hard the last six weeks without playing. I give him credit for that, it’s not easy when you’re young.”

While Vatrano is trying hard to make a difference with Boston, it may be a case of too little, too late for him. The Bruins have too many prospects coming up. The B’s current roster is (for the most part) injury free, and it’s a case of too many players and not enough spots on the roster.

This will likely be the last season for Vatrano in the spoked ‘B’. Vatrano may end up back in Providence, but its more than likely that’ll end up in another organization.

Boston Bruins: Will Brad Marchand Ever Learn?



Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on January 18, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 5-2.
(Jan. 17, 2018 – Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                      Twitter: @Godwentwhoops


Brad Marchand is in trouble with the Department of Player Safety again. Marchand was given a five-game suspension by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday for elbowing New Jersey Devils forward Marcus Johansson during Boston’s 3-2 win on Tuesday.

Some fans will consider this a BS call. Marchand is trying to maneuver through two Devils players without running over the goaltender. Others will see it as Marchy being Marchy.  (And then there are the Canadiens fans who will want him banned from the league forever because of this.) Unfortunately for Marchand, he’s considered a repeat offender by the league.  Call it a reputation suspension or call it just desserts, Marchand will be out of action for the next two weeks.

The suspension will take him out of the line up until February 7 when he can play in New York against the Rangers.  “I let my teammates down. I know that,” said a dispirited Marchand to the media. “I let my organization down. I have to be better. There’s no question.”

There was a word missing in Marchand’s speech. The word is again.  He let his teammates down again. He let the organization down again. If the Bruins aren’t able to defeat Ottawa tonight, the Boston media (and a fair part of the fan base) will crucify him for being the reason why the Bruins point-streak ended.

This is Brad Marchand’s eighth run-in with the Department of Player Safety in his career.  This is his sixth suspension.  He has a lost of total of 19 games over the course of his suspensions. While he’s not Marty McSorley bad,  Marchand is entering Matt Cooke territory when it comes to being taken off the ice for bad hits.

Marchand will be participating in this weekend’s All-Star tournament. That’ll surely ruffle a few feathers. If he’s not careful, Marchand could find himself becoming the reason for a ‘Marchand rule’ about suspended players attending All-Star tournaments. (It’s bad enough he’s comparable to Matt Cooke [in the number of suspensions, NOT willfully engaging other players with a serious intent to injure], but he could end up joining John Scott.  The NHL made a rule to prevent another John Scott making the All-Star roster after he was traded and demoted to the AHL.)

“The last thing I want to do is anything to hurt the team,” said Boston’s Little Ball of Hate. “That’s obviously what I’ve done here. It wasn’t what I was trying to do.  We have a great team. They’re going to battle hard and do everything they can to win the games. I’ll be rooting them on. I put my team at a disadvantage again. I feel very bad about it.”

Boston Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy still supports his top scoring forward.

“I don’t believe there was any intent to injure Johansson,” said Cassidy to the media on Thursday. “But at the end of the day, Brad’s responsible for his actions on the ice. The league dealt with it.

“We’ll talk to him about it. Hopefully going forward, there’s no more incidents. Because I think Brad’s really earned respect around the league for how he plays the game. He plays hard every night. For the most part, I think he’s kept his nose clean.”

IMG_2052 (1)

Brad Marchand ‘tries’ to keep his nose clean. In his NHL career, he’s progressed from part-time agitator to an elite level player. He crossed the 50-point mark in just 38 games this season. (It’s Marchand’s third straight 50-point season.)  He’s currently tied for tenth place in points and is near the top of the list in almost every category.

For all his improvement, he always seems to play a little too over the edge. Tuesday night was just another example. Marchand wants to wear an ‘A’ on his chest. The only way he’s going to get that letter is if he stops making bad calls at inopportune times.  As fans, we want him to constantly get better and learn from his mistakes. I just wish Marchand would try a little harder to remember that.

McAvoy To Miss Two Weeks While Recovering From Surgery

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game One

Photo Credit: Jana Chytilova (Getty Images)

By: KG                   Follow me on Twitter: @kgbngblog and on FanCred at K G

Charlie McAvoy missed practice today because of a previously scheduled doctors appointment. It was routine, but earlier today the Bruins released a statement regarding McAvoy’s irregular heartbeat surgery. After a loss to the Edmonton Oilers on November 26th, McAvoy checked in with the training staff and informed them that he had experienced heart palpations during the game. He was later diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia and had to be monitored from then on out.

Irregular heartbeats are becoming something in the sporting world that is getting more and more attention. One example of this is Rory McIlroy, the former #1 golfer in the world who had been sidelined for a long period of time after finding that he had a minor heart issue. Another person that has been affected by heart issues is former Bruin Rich Peverley, who had an actual heart attack during a game but is better now.

Heart issues can be a very serious health issue, and while many athletes try to downplay the severity of it, your heart is pretty important to you. The team has said that it isn’t too severe, and Charlie is expected to make a full recovery.


Follow KG on Twitter @KGbngblog and on FanCred at K G Like, share and comment your takes on the article

Tuukka Tales: The Turnaround of the Boston Goalie

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Lauren Campbell           Follow Me On Twitter @lalalalaurrrren 

If someone told me back in late October that the Boston Bruins would have 53 points heading into their bye week, I wouldn’t believe them – but alas, here we are on January 11 and the B’s are 23-10-7 with 53 points, good for second place in the Atlantic Division.

The three months of this season have been quite the roller coaster – from fans calling for Tuukka Rask to get off this team, to not being able to win two games in a row in regulation until mid-November, it became increasingly difficult to watch this team.

However, through the sloppy play, the sluggish hustle and the soft goals given up by Rask, this team started to click on all cylinders – and I believe it all started after Bruce Cassidy benched Rask in favor of the number two goalie, Anton Khudobin.

Khudobin had some solid starts and it seemed as if he was giving Rask a run for that number one spot back in November. The team seemed to be playing better in front of their back-up – they scored more goals, the urgency was there and the defense looked close to perfect.

This sparked a lot of conversation that Rask was the problem and either he was unhappy with the team or the players didn’t like him so in spite of Rask, the team played worse when he was in net.


The above argument seemed asinine but the Rask haters would really force it…that was until December when number 40 seemed to all of a sudden turn a bad start to the season completely around and come up with some big wins.

The pessimists were suddenly quiet after Rask was named the NHL’s first star for the month of December after he completed the month with nine wins and two shutouts and led all NHL goalies with a .955 save percentage.

The netminder currently has a 14-8-4 record and the team has at least one point in his last 13 starts. Those are pretty good numbers for a goalie who started off the season not looking like a starter.

Rask was essentially non-existent for a month but has since led Boston to 22 points through 14 games in December. Before their mandatory bye-week, Rask blamed himself for the 6-5 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He didn’t make up any excuses or throw his team under the bus, he simply put the blame on him.


The second half of the season starts on Saturday and it will be a huge test for Rask (assuming he gets the start) against their rival and former head coach, Claude Julien and the Montreal Canadiens.

It will be interesting to see if Rask keeps up this hot streak he’s on or if he will fizzle out. One thing is for certain: the Rask haters are waiting for him to fail while the supporters are waiting for him to prevail.

Boston Bruins And The Future Of Matt Beleskey



Matt Beleskey #39 of the Boston Bruins forechecks during the game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 15, 2017 in Anaheim, California.
(Nov. 14, 2017 – Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                  Twitter: @Godwentwhoops

When the Boston Bruins placed forward Matt Beleskey on waivers last Thursday, the fan base was generally in favor of the move. He’s spent the majority of the season either on the bottom-six or watching the game from the ninth level. (In fact, many were saying that it was about time.) In the last two years with Boston, Beleskey has only put in three goals in 64 games.

It’s a shame that a player that had so much potential may never play as a Boston Bruin again.


“Matt [Beleskey] is very well liked in the room”, shared Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy to the media. “So, no one likes to see a player get waived. The way we look at it as an organization is, he hadn’t played much, and I think the best way for him to get back to helping the Boston Bruins is to get playing,” said Cassidy. “So, he goes to Providence, finds his game, what he did well before previously – from my end, we just thought there were some players in the lineup that outperformed him, plain and simple.

“We are trying to reward the players that earned it on merit and not look so much at maybe contract status, et cetera. You know, within reason. I think some of the young guys have pushed him. We’ve seen it at different positions and that’s as simple as I can make it. Like I said, I like Matt. He’s very respectful of the coaching staff of what we are trying to do. We just felt we had better in the lineup. The team is going well. The decision was made.”

Matt Beleskey was a polarizing figure for the Bruins fan base. While he had a strong first season with the Black and Gold, his performance fell off the radar after that. Two seasons of sub-par play, coupled with injuries gave the front office no choice but to put him on the waiver wire.

The Bruins likely knew that there wasn’t much chance of another team picking up Beleskey. Even the Anaheim Ducks (who are having their own front-end problems) to pick up their former forward. The 29-year old’s $3.8 million cap hit is just too extreme for any NHL team to pick up at the moment.

So where does Beleskey go from here?

Beleskey now finds himself on one of the hottest teams in the AHL right now. The Baby B’s are 18-7-2 and are near the top of the AHL’s Atlantic Division.  He’ll certainly get some playing time in Providence. The team will be able to use his skill and experience at the AHL level.

Beleskey (short of injuries in Boston) will likely finish the 2017-18 season in Providence. The talent pool in Boston is just crazy right now, and it would be very hard for him to break his way back into the NHL this year.  If he stays in Providence, the Bruins organization will get a refund of sorts.  ($1.025 million in savings on the salary cap.)

The Bruins won’t (or REALLY, REALLY shouldn’t) buyout his contract either. To do so would cost the B’s $4.6 million over the next four years. The team is already paying out for Jimmy Hayes (who seems to be doing alright with the Devils), and Dennis Seidenberg (who is happy to be playing with Johnny Boychuk on the Islanders). The Bruins organization can’t afford to be footing the bill for three players not suiting up in the spoked ‘B’.

Now it’s up to Bells. If he has a strong remainder of the season, he can become a trade piece of moderate to above-average value.  He may even fight his way back on the team next season. If he flounders at the AHL level (which seems very unlikely), then the B’s may just wash their hands of him.