Bruins Jaroslav Halak: Staying Sharp Between The Pipes

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Goaltender Jaroslav Halak #41 of ...(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter: @pastagrl88

Training Camp has officially started and as the team comes together on the ice, the focus will turn to re-amping their efforts as the boys in Black and Gold look to once again reach the Stanley Cup Finals. As Butch Cassidy and his Sundance Kids look to shake off last season’s tough end, many of those players are ready to start fresh. While some are working to get a spot on the Varsity team, Bruins back-up goalie Jaroslav Halak is ready to continue his journey in between the pipes.

TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE…

It’s something every professional NHL team wants and needs when it comes to having great goaltending: the perfect tandem. Last season, both Tuukka Rask and Halak acknowledged that their chemistry on and off the ice was the perfect combination of a winning duo. Halak’s calm demeanor in net allowed Cassidy more freedom in his choices, especially when it came time to give Rask much needed rest.

Image result for jaroslav halak(Photo Credits: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

When the 32-year-old Finnish native needed to time resolve a personal matter back in November, duties fell on Halak. Rask missed the games against the Toronto Maples Leafs and the Vegas Golden Knights. With Jaro in net, the Bruins won both match-ups. When Rask returned to the team, Boston, unfortunately, fell to the Vancouver Canucks 8-5 with Halak in net (Rask would come in as relief but the damage was already done).

As the Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time counting 2011, one of the biggest observations was just how well Coach Bruce Cassidy was able to manage both goaltenders during the regular season. As noted in past performances, Rask faltered a bit when having to play a heavier workload. However, when the 34-year-old Halak signed with the Bruins (replacing Anton Khudobin), things were looking to balance out in favor of Rask. During the 2018-2019 regular season, Tuukka played 46 games and went 27-13-5 with a 2.48 goals-against average, while Jaro appeared in 40 games going 20-11-4 with a 2.34 goals-against average.

Image result for jaroslav halak tuukka rask(Photo Credits:  Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

Having a successful back-up goaltender made it easier for Cassidy to shift responsibilities between the two, thus allowing Rask to stay fresh-something important especially when we’re talking Playoffs. It certainly allowed Tuukka to play phenomenal during Boston’s extended postseason run. As Bruins President Cam Neely noted:

“The way that Jaro played for us this year really helped Tuukka get some rest… We’ve seen when Tuukka’s workload gets too high he really starts to break down. I think the fact Jaro had such a great year and we were able to rely on him, and even (Anton Khudobin) had a great year the year before, that really allows us to maybe reduce Tuukka’s starts a little bit. We could keep him a little fresher this year and I think it made a really big difference in the playoffs.”

With the new season fast approaching, both Rask and Halak are poised to once again share the wealth. As Boston Globe’s Marisa Ingemi recently reported, Rask is feeling just as healthy now as he felt towards the end of the last season. For Jaro, he’s looking to move forward this upcoming year:

“I just want to help the team, any way I could , same thing this year…get the win, get the points..we still have the same goal..we wanna win the cup.”

Bruins Charitable Events: Patrice Bergeron Edition

See the source image(Photo Credits: Lapresse.Ca)

By Liz Rizzo| Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

To describe the perfect athlete that not only has the utmost respect from his entire team but an entire league, you won’t have to think too hard to search for words.  While you could write for days describing the many ways this player continues to be an example of what a leader should be,  it’s what he does off the ice that really shows you what kind of person Patrice Bergeron is.

See the source image

(Photo Credits: Boston.com)

CHARITY STARTS AT HOME

Throughout his career here in Boston, the 34-year-old Center has been involved with many local charities that have brought awareness to causes that especially involve children. Since its development in 2005, “Patrice’s Pals” has hosted countless families and pediatric patients to a Bruins game at a luxury suite at the TD Garden, where they get to enjoy VIP treatment. Immediately following a game, Bergeron personally meets with every one of his guests, signing autographs and taking pictures. To date, children that have became “Patrice’s Pals” were from the Cam Neely Foundation, Children’s Hospital in Boston,  Franciscan Hospital for Children, Joslin Diabetes Center, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brother and Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay, Oak Square YMCA, Shriners Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

 

See the source image

(Photo Credits: NBC Boston.com)

For the past two seasons, Patrice Bergeron teamed up with radio sports personalities from the 98.5 Sports Hub for the “Pucks and Paddles” ping-pong tournament, in which fans bid to have a chance to play alongside their favorite Bruin. The event raises money for patients at the Floating Hospital for Children at the Tufts Medical Center and benefits the Boston Bruins Foundation  (which  partnered with the hospital).

This past Thursday and in it’s 11th year, Patrice Bergeron, along with Simon Gagné (who played for Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins) co-chair the annual Pro-Am Hockey Tournament held in Quebec City. The event features a match-up of professional and amateur hockey players from the area. To date, the charity tournament has raised over $1 million dollars which goes to organizations that help sick or disabled children. The fundraiser was held at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. Here listed are players that were slated to participate in the event:

GOALTENDERS

Louis Domingue, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings

DEFENDERS

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks

Samuel Girard, Colorado Avalanche

Mark Barberio, Colorado Avalanche

David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

FORWARDS

Paul Stastny, Las Vegas Golden Knights

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

Vincent Lecavalier, Former player Tampa Bay Lightning 

Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay Lightning

Cedric Paquette, Tampa Bay Lightning

Simon Gagné, Former player Philadelphia Flyers

Philippe Danault, Montreal Canadiens

Alex Chiasson, Edmonton Oilers

Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings

Samuel Blais, Blues of St. Louis

Mathieu Perreault, Winnipeg Jets

Maxime “Max” Talbot, former Boston Bruins member, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins

 

COACHES BRUINS

Joel Bouchard, Rocket of Laval

Philippe Boucher, general manager of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and former Remparts coach

Michel Picard (recruiter for the St. Louis Blues)

 

LIGHTNING COACHES

Benoît Groulx, Syracuse Crunch

Dave Morrissette, TVA Sports

Pierre Sevigny, former Montreal Canadiens player

FINAL THOUGHTS

2019 marked his 16th year playing for the Boston Bruins organization and Bergeron has distinguish himself amongst his peers as a role-model for professional-athletes in any sport, especially in the hockey community.  Hockey players are a different breed and giving back to the community has and will continue to be a vital part of the sport. And for any player, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your career, aspiring to be like Patrice Bergeron is well, pretty damn good.

Report: Boston Bruins Offer D Alex Petrovic a PTO Deal

Alex-Petrovic.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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

Earlier today, Alex Thomas of Boston Hockey Now wrote an article that highlighted the idea that the Boston Bruins have offered seven-year NHL defenseman Alexander Petrovic a Professional Tryout Contract.

Alex Petrovic is a 27-year-old defender from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that has spent the majority of his career to date with the Florida Panthers. The 36th overall draft selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Panthers has played in 263 regular-season games since the 2012-13 campaign and has accumulated five goals, 45 assists for 50 points total since his debut.

Petrovic’s tenure with Florida ended in December of 2018 when he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Chris Wideman and a conditional 2019 3rd Round Pick. After only playing nine games in 2018-19 with the struggling Oilers, Petrovic hit the free-agent market this past July 1st and has since been offered a deal.

Also included in Alex Thomas’ article for Boston Hockey Now, there is interest the Carolina Hurricanes and the Calgary Flames to sign the defenceman. It is unlikely that the Bruins use Petrovic for an NHL role when the season begins in October, so what is the purpose for the PTO?

For one, signing veterans to tryout contracts gives some more incentive to the younger prospects in the Bruins organization to play to their highest level during the NHL Training Camp that begins within the coming month. Petrovic may also be able to add some personal insight to these younger players and add some strength to the locker room in that regard.

If the Boston Bruins do like Alex Petrovic is some form, it would be likely that he is signed to an AHL contract only if he does indeed agree to a true contract. Bruins President Cam Neely discussed the issues they are having signing RFA defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo and in that case that it goes into the season, the Bruins will have to find some extra players to fill in those roles temporarily. Whether or not Petrovic is the right player for that replacement role, is yet to be seen.

According to Hockey Reference, the 6-foot-4, 216-pound Petrovic has a 49.9% Corsi For% (48.4% in 2018-19) and a 50% Fenwick For% (48.3% in 2018-19) all while at even strength. Not known whatsoever for his offensive talents, the big defenceman can bring some physicality and a defensive style to the depth defensive role.

Not great numbers, but someone who could maybe earn some minutes in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins if his upcoming training camp performance means anything to his future. In a lot of PTOs, the player does not sign a full contract with that team when the tryout expires. If this report indeed comes true as Alex Thomas is reporting, then I assume this is the case with Alex Petrovic as well.

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 139 that we recorded on 8-2-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Sticher.

Will Bruins Sign McAvoy or Carlo Before Camp?

NHL: Dallas Stars at Boston Bruins

(Photo credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By Carrie Salls | Follow Me on Twitter @nittgrl73

August is upon us. With only about a month remaining until the players and coaches begin returning to Boston and training camp gets underway for the 2019-2020 season, the Bruins still have not signed key restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo to new contracts. In fact, it doesn’t appear that team president Cam Neely and general manager Don Sweeney have done much at all since making a few unrestricted free agent signings on July 1, at least nothing that has been reported.

The first mention from team management about the status of talks with Carlo and McAvoy was not a particularly promising one, as vice president Cam Neely seemed to indicate Thursday that there is a chance that one or both of the blue liners may not be with the team at the beginning of camp.

Potential bridge deals aside, it stands to reason that the Bruins do not currently have enough cap space available to sign both young defensemen. A few other teams have found buyers for players who, like Boston forward David Backes, have expensive contracts but whose contributions to their teams have diminished. However, it appears the window may be closing, if it hasn’t already, on finding a team willing to take some or all of Backes’ contract off the Bruins’ hands.

There are a few issues that likely make moving Backes challenging, to say the least. One is that he has a no movement clause, so the Bruins would either have to make a deal with a team to which Backes has previously agreed or ask him to waive the clause. Teams may also be asking for a high draft pick to accompany the aging winger. After losing a first-round draft pick in the Rick Nash trade, general manager Don Sweeney understandably seems to be reluctant to go that route again. Boston also is not in a position to swap one expensive contract for another, like the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames did in their recent Milan Lucic for James Neal trade.

If freeing up space from Backes’ contract is not an option, it makes sense that the team would turn to a trade to find the money to come to terms with both McAvoy and Carlo. Potential trade pieces could include Torey Krug or David Krejci, most notably. Back-up goaltender Jaroslav Halak could also provide some cap relief if dealt, albeit not as much as Krug or Krejci.

Certainly none of these options are ideal for the Bruins. That, coupled with the team’s decided defensive depth, may be why Neely seems somewhat resigned to the reality that Carlo and McAvoy could start the season as holdouts.

The team has the most leverage in negotiating with McAvoy, as other teams cannot “offer sheet” the 21-year-old first-pairing defenseman. However, if McAvoy is looking at the contracts signed this summer by other young defensemen and asking the Bruins for most or all of the available cap space, that leaves the door open for Carlo to sign a potential offer sheet from another team.

The summer has been slow league-wide, with several bigger-name restricted free agents still un-signed. Offer sheets have also been in very short supply. So, it may not be just the Bruins who are taking their time in shoring up their rosters for the upcoming season.

It may be safe to assume at this point that neither player is willing to accept a bridge deal, especially given the going rate for future stars like McAvoy and Carlo. The Bruins front office definitely finds itself in a difficult position. The coming weeks will tell if a solution can be found.

Chris Kelly Rejoins Bruins Organization

Image result for chris kelly boston bruins(Photo Credit: CBS Boston)

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

“The Bruins are looking to bring back Chris Kelly…”

That statement caused a Causeway panic and made #BruinsTwitter go atwitter this week. And I would’ve probably jumped on the bash-the-B’s-brass bandwagon were it not for a skill I learned long before the age of social media clickbating and hackneyed headlines: read more than just the first sentence. 

“…in a player development role.”

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Now, that makes a lot more sense. In fact, I think it makes all the sense in the world, and so does the Bruins organization after officially announcing the move on–you guessed it, Twitter–just twenty four hours ago.

The press release didn’t include any of the reasoning behind the new hire, but it did wondrously remind us of Kelly’s resume, especially while wearing the spoked-B:

Kelly, 38, spent the 2018-19 campaign as the Development Coach for the Ottawa Senators. Prior to serving in that role with Ottawa, Kelly played 14 seasons as a center and left wing in the NHL, including six seasons with the Boston Bruins. Kelly appeared in 288 contests with the Bruins, scoring 43 goals and notching 58 assists for 101 points. Kelly was a member of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Over 25 playoff games in 2011, Kelly recorded five goals and eight assists for 13 points.http://www.bostonbruins.com

Image result for chris kelly boston bruins(Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

Of the five 2011 playoff goals mentioned in the article excerpted above, perhaps none was more clutch than Kelly’s Game 7 third period tally against the Montreal Canadiens at the roof-blown TD Garden. Without that beloved backhand breaking through Carey Price, the B’s might not have experienced such overtime heroics later in the game—or during the rest of the Stanley Cup (winning) playoffs for that matter, if you like to play the “what if” game.

 

As for the former No. 23’s game, it was all about the intangibles — working hard, skating hard, going to the dirty areas of the ice, banging around in the corners and in front of the net, and always being responsible in the defensive end.  Kelly, like Patrice Bergeron, led by example on the ice while he wore the Black N’ Gold, something that certainly wasn’t lost on Don Sweeney or Cam Neely when they were checking off attributes for a good Player Development Coordinator candidate. Now that he’s set to fill the shoes & skates of fellow NHL alumnus Jamie Langenbrunner, his predecessor in the PDC role in Boston since 2015, Kelly will no doubt bring his valuable expertise, leadership, accountability and hockey IQ to a system stocked with young prospects eager to impact the B’s depth chart. If they’re wise, these up-and-coming players will take a page out of the Kelly playbook and learn that you don’t always need to be a superstar or 50-goal scorer to positively impact your team.

After all, we know what happened the last time the B’s went after Chris Kelly in 2011. Wouldn’t it be nice to “bring back” that feeling again?

 

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Mark Your ’19-’20 Bruins Calendar: Part II

Bruins Schedule 2(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

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

ICYMI (aka Part I of this ongoing Summer series for the Black N’ Gold Blog)… the Bruins start the season with a grueling October schedule, including two stretches of hockey that could set them up for Fall success or put them behind the proverbial 8-Ball early. That being said/written, if the B’s can hold their own through Halloween, then a lighter and more playable lineup of games will arrive by Turkey Day celebrations in the states, including a marquee NHL Thanksgiving Showdown matinee versus the Rangers on NBC (a rematch from 2013 that featured a Rockwellian pie-off between Cam Neely & Mike Richter, as seen below).

 

November 4th & 5th: “Back-To-Back!”

The Bruins play their first “Back-To-Back” series of the season starting at home versus the always pesky Pittsburgh Penguins followed by a trip across the border to face off against their hated arch-rivals the Montreal Canadiens. It’ll be the first time Boston plays either of these competitive opponents on the year and will no doubt include plenty of penalties, power plays & pugilism, if history is any indicator. These are the kind of games that show, on full display, just how your team “measures up” to very similar competition, both in terms of skill & talent and strategy & coaching. If the B’s can make a statement in Boston versus the Pens, then perhaps the usual tired legs of next-day hockey versus the Habs will turn into two big Eastern Conference victories (and four big points).

November 15th & 16th: “Back-To-Back 2: Back At It!”

This Friday-Saturday sequel in the “Back To Back” series (within a series) features a rip-roaring road match-up with the Maple Leafs in Toronto followed by the Washington Capitals coming to TD Garden twenty four hours later. These two talented teams have played the Bruins up to and at their best almost every time on the ice over the last decade, particularly during the regular season. W’s are never guaranteed versus the Leafs & Caps and are as hard-fought as you can get in the East, especially when playing on consecutive nights. This weekend will either set the B’s up for a very fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday week or prove they need to give out the thanks to their hungry opponents.

November 26th & 27th: “Back-to-Back 3: Backed Up!”

And for your viewing & repetitive pleasure, Boston goes “Back-To-Back” for the third time in November just before the aforementioned Gobble Game on the 29th at home. This time, it’s a roadie twofer in the Great White North against those hated Habs again followed by the (most likely 4-16-2) inauspicious Ottawa Senators. Since the B’s will only have one off day after these two games (all holiday travel) before they’re served up on the national TV menu versus the Rangers, taking as many positives & points out of this quick Canadian kick would be highly beneficial and satisfying to all–especially against the senseless Sens.  It will also make it easier for everyone to digest what could be an uncomfortable post-Turkey-Day matinee, as the schedule over this short stretch for Boston is definitely stuffed.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel!  We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE For Link To Our YouTube Channel!

 

Bruins’ DeBrusk At Crossroads After Difficult Postseason

NHL: Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins

(Photo credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

By Carrie Salls | Follow me on Twitter @nittgrl73

There is no doubt that Jake DeBrusk is a Boston fan favorite, known just as much for his infectious off-ice personality as his puck-handling skills and scoring touch on the ice. Still, it was hard to ignore the fact that DeBrusk was a proverbial ghost in the last three rounds of the team’s 2019 playoff run.

Two issues arose in the first round of the playoffs that may well have contributed to DeBrusk’s noticeable decline in production, and both stemmed from the same incident. DeBrusk was the victim of a Nazem Kadri hit that shook the 22-year-old Bruins right wing and resulted in Kadri being suspended for the remainder of the Toronto/Boston series.

Although DeBrusk would return to game action in the series against the Maple Leafs, he later revealed that he had battled throughout the ensuing three rounds of the playoffs with concussion symptoms stemming from the Kadri hit. DeBrusk also said he was forced to delete the social media apps from his phone because he and his family were receiving death threats from Toronto fans who felt DeBrusk was not properly penalized for his role in the Kadri incident.

Even though it seems extenuating circumstances were at play, the fact remains that DeBrusk was quiet for the remainder of the postseason, contributing to the mediocre play of a much-maligned second line. Now, DeBrusk is heading into the final year of his contract, he will be a restricted free agent after the 2019-2020 season and needs to produce to maintain his spot on the second line and to convince the Bruins that he is worth a longer-term deal.

DeBrusk had a solid 2018-2019 regular season, scoring 27 goals in 68 games played. If he can continue to score goals at that pace, and it is quite possible that he would have potted 30 goals this past season if he had not missed 14 games, Bruins management should be happy enough with his output to offer him a new deal when his contract runs out next year.

That being said, DeBrusk contributed 42 points in the 2018-2019 regular season, one fewer than during the 2017-2018 campaign, which he finished with 16 goals and 27 assists. Although DeBrusk’s goal total increased from season to season, he had just 15 assists this past year, a decline of 12 from his rookie-year assist total.

Perhaps the decline in assists can be partially attributed to the fact that DeBrusk played on a line with veteran center David Krejci, who plays a pass-first game, and a revolving door of right wings. DeBrusk himself spent some time in the 2RW slot, although he struggled to produce playing his off wing.

It stands to reason that team president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney and head coach Bruce Cassidy are going to expect DeBrusk’s, or any young player’s, overall production to increase each year. In DeBrusk’s case, that did not really happen in the 2018-2019 season.

It’s quite possible that injuries, line changes, and the off-ice issues experienced during the Toronto series all combined to make this past season an exception to the norm for Jake DeBrusk. However, if he does not return to form in the upcoming season, the team will have a difficult decision to make regarding his future in Boston.

Potential Unrestricted Free Agents Worth A Look For Bruins

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues

(Photo Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports)

By Carrie Salls | Check me out on Twitter @nittgrl73

It’s certainly no secret that the Boston Bruins’ biggest hole to fill this offseason is second-line right wing. In fact, team president Cam Neely addressed that very issue himself recently.

Whether the right fit will come from a trade, free agency or a player already in the Bruins system remains to be seen. However, faced with difficult decisions regarding the future of free agents Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Marcus Johansson, and Danton Heinen, a solution may not be as readily available as management and fans would like.

In addition, questions still remained heading into the National Hockey League draft regarding the exact amount of cap space available to each team. Coupled with the fact that very lucrative contracts have already having been awarded to players like Kevin Hayes and an oft-injured Erik Karlsson, overspending looks to be a quickly developing trend.

As a result, it may behoove the Bruins to take a look at some potential unrestricted free agents that can boost the team’s forward depth without breaking the bank. While it would be great to see the front office figure out a way to keep key pieces such as McAvoy and Carlo and still sign a “bigger-name” forward to play alongside Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, there are a handful of players set to become free agents that could be diamonds in the rough.

Alex Chiasson

Chiasson played the 2018-2019 season with the Edmonton Oilers, a team that’s personal issues have been well-documented throughout a season during which former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was fired from that same role in Edmonton. Chiasson, who will turn 29 on Oct. 1, put up 22 goals and 16 assists for the Oilers this season, possibly providing the shoot-first mentality that Neely said he’d like to see more of on Krejci’s wing. Chiasson is coming off a $650,000 2018-2019 contract.

Brett Connolly

OK, hear me out, Bruins fans. Yes, Connolly already played a somewhat average 25-point year for the Bruins during the 2015-2016 season, in addition to two assists in five games the season before, but a case can definitely be made for a second look at the 27-year-old forward. He is coming off a career year with the Washington Capitals, potting 22 goals and 24 assists with an impressive plus-13 rating.  Connolly’s most recent contract with the Caps featured a relatively low $1.5 million cap hit. Granted, with teams seemingly willing to pay bigger bucks for players of Connolly’s caliber and given the fact that he had a stellar year and won a Stanley Cup in 2018, it’s likely Connolly could be too expensive for the Bs. If not, he’s an intriguing option.

Wayne Simmonds

Simmonds’ name came up often as a potential fit for the Bruins before the 2019 trade deadline in February. Although Simmonds was instead dealt by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Nashville Predators, he still remains a possible candidate to fill a second-line right wing spot in Boston. Simmonds is a bit older than the other possible signings listed here, he’ll be 31 in August, and his cap hit last season was higher than the others at $3.975 million. Still, Simmonds is almost certainly not going to be a Predator when October rolls around. Talk of late has the Pittsburgh Penguins extremely interested in Simmonds. If he is still available on July 1, he could be a good short-term investment for Boston in an attempt to make another run at the Cup while the Bruins’ veteran core is still intact.

Riley Barber

Although admittedly a dark-horse contender, Barber has spent the past four seasons in the Washington Capitals organization, primarily with the team’s Hershey Bears American Hockey League affiliate. After scoring 30 goals and amassing a total of 60 points for Hershey in 2018-2019, the 25-year-old Barber made it known at the end of the season that he did not plan to re-sign with the Capitals after being called up for only two brief stints in the NHL in his professional career and only seeing playing time in one of those call-ups. Barber may be taking the lead of former Miami University teammate Austin Czarnik, who chose to sign with the Calgary Flames following the 2017-2018 season after seeing only sporadic playing time with the Bruins.

If NHL General Manager of the Year Don Sweeney follows the usual Bruins storyline of looking for solid value rather than overspending on a superstar, he could well have a few decent under-the-radar options when free agency rolls around.

Check out this week’s Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 132 below!

Bruins & Canes Share A “Whale” Of A Playoff History!

Image result for bruins canes whalers(Photo Credit: WGME)

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

Call them the Canes. Call them the Whalers. Call them the Jerks! But, whatever you do, don’t call them inexperienced when it comes to battling the B’s in pivotal playoff match-ups. Hartford-turned-Carolina and Boston have had a healthy history of clashing for the Cup (even regional recognition if you want to really surge up a storm). Let’s take a look back at all the times these two talented teams have met up in the postseason aka the NHL’s most exciting season:

Bruins vs Whalers: 1990

 

Almost ten years after the Hartford Whalers officially became an NHL franchise in 1979 (they were originally the New England Whalers of the defunct WHA), the team finally met the Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs — or as it was called at the time the Adams Division Semifinals. The series went the distance with the Bruins overcoming what could have been a devastating 3OT game six loss to emerge victorious in game seven. Craig Janney scored what would become the series-clinching GWG in a 3-1 win, with Andy Moog outdueling the inimitable Peter “El Sid” Sidorkiewicz in net.

Image result for bruins whalers 1990(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Bruins vs Whalers: 1991

 

In a rematch of the 1990 Adams Division Semifinal, the B’s and Whalers again played a hard-fought series. This time, the Bruins’ offense proved just too much to handle for Hartford with the Black N’Gold taking down the White, Green N’Blue in six games. Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Craig Janney led the way for Boston while Andy Moog proved to be the ultimate puckstopper again between the pipes. These two meetings really showcased how the Bruins’ best players, when playing at their best, could change the course of a game and a series — exactly what will need to happen NOW for Boston to continue its playoff success.

Image result for bruins whalers 1991(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Bruins vs Hurricanes: 1999

 

When the franchises met for the third time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a lot had changed: Hartford had moved to Carolina and became the Hurricanes (the team was playing in Greensboro then before moving to Raleigh); and the NHL had changed its division & conference structure, as well as playoff seeding, so the number three ranked Canes who won the Southeast Division wound up playing the sixth-seeded Bruins from the Northeast Division in the Conference Quarterfinals aka Round One.

Image result for bruins hurricanes 1999The B’s dispatched Carolina in six games with none being as memorable as the 2OT game five affair. Anson Carter scored the game-winner on a beautiful feed from Jumbo Joe Thornton after the B’s rallied from two down in the third period (see above).

Boston would close it out at home (another change as it was The FleetCenter in ’99) for the third consecutive playoff series win between their once-local now coastal rivals.

(Photo Credit: Ebay)

Hurricanes vs Bruins: 2009

 

It’s been exactly a decade since the B’s and Canes last faced off in puckdom’s perennial postseason. And it was a painful one so apologies for the ’09 reminder. Coming off a near President’s Trophy-winning season with 116 points and a Northeast Division Championship, the B’s made quick work of the hated Habs in Round One before moving on to face Carolina in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Canes had narrowly defeated the New Jersey Devils in seven games so the match-up heavily favored Boston. It showed in game one but it was all Carolina after that. With the B’s facing a 3-1 series deficit, they routed the Canes at home (now TD Banknorth Garden) before winning game six on the road. That set up a winner-take-all game seven back on home ice before a raucous Gahhhhden crowd (I remember it well). The B’s were trailing 2-1 in the third when old friend Milan Lucic tied things up and sent the game to OT. But that’s when the flukiest of Carolina players scored the flukiest of goals — Scott Walker’s whiffer off a rolling rebound that eluded a tired Tim Thomas — to send the Canes onto the ECF. This was their first playoff series win against Boston in franchise history… and it still stings today!

Image result for bruins hurricanes 2009(Photo Credit: NBC Sports)

Bruins vs Hurricanes: 2019

As I alluded to earlier, in order for the B’s to best the Canes and continue their winning ways this year, their best players — namely Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Pastrnak & Rask — will need to keep the momentum going from the Columbus series and produce, produce, produce. If there’s one thing the 2019 Carolina Hurricanes / Hartford Whalers are good at, it’s playing UP to their opponent and, as we’ve seen from recent playoff history, better than their opponent (to wit: the defending Cup Champ Capitals and the energetic Islanders of Brooklyn). BN’G colleague @tkdmaxbjj will have more on what this series could mean for both teams right here so check back in with your Black N’ Gold squad soon — after all, it’s #InOurBlood!

*Bonus B’s/Canes History:

Image result for bruins whalers(Photo Credit: Canes Country)

There are some moments in hockey that even if they’re not from the playoffs, they still belong in a team’s shared history/story together. These are a few of those unforgettable moments!

The Boston Brawl of ’90

Don’t mess with Cam Neely. Or Craig Janney. Or Glen Wesley. Or Chris Nilan. Or Jim Wiemer. Or Lyndon “off the bench” Byers for that matter (yes, stay watching until that moment — don’t let Byers pass you by, dare I say).

The Czerkawski Crosscheck of ’96

Much the same way Bobby Orr got trailblazed after scoring (although this incident was not on nearly as grand or momentous of a stage), one time B’s legend Marius Czerkawski got Czer-cross-checked after his timely tally back in ’96. The B’s didn’t have a lot to fight for during those years so at least they stuck up for each other when the Whale wanted to wallop!

The Shorty Shellacking of ’10

 

I don’t think this will ever happen again in the NHL. And man oh man was it a pleasure to watch (especially after what had happened the year previous): three shorthanded goals in just over a minute on the same Hurricanes powerplay. Talk about being swept away!

Feel free to let us know what YOUR favorite Bruins/Canes/Whalers memories are by commenting below or sharing on social media using the #BruinsFam hashtag!

Fanatics Authentic Line Of Boston Bruins Hand Signed Memorabilia

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

If you’re a diehard Boston Bruins fan and either want to start a personal fan cave or already have a shrine that you’d like to add to, please take a look at the fantastic officially licensed items below from the National Hockey League. All items to come with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic.

If you’d like to find other Bruins related items or fan memorabilia from other major sports such as the NBA, MLB, NFL, Nascar, NCAA, and other NHL teams, please click the official Fanatics Banner to the right of our website. All purchases through our connected links from our partnership with the Fanatics company are commission based without any extra charges to the customer. We are simply a middle person looking for alternative ways to cut our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast and affiliated blackngoldhockey.com which is being viewed now. We thank all who’ve used our connected links in the past and continue to do so. We enjoy what we do and can’t do it without the overwhelming support from our listeners and readers.

Fanatics Shopper Quick Links: Boston Bruins  |  Red Sox  |  Celtics  |  Patriots |  NBA  | MLB  |  NFL  |  Nascar  |  NHL 

(Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Phil Esposito Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ White Jersey Skating Vertical Photograph – $79.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Phil Esposito. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Phil Esposito Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ White Jersey Skating Horizontal Photograph – $79.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Phil Esposito. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 8″ x 10″ Raising Cup Photograph – $79.99

This 8″ x 10″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 8″ x 10″ White Jersey Horizontal Skating Photograph – $79.99

This 8″ x 10″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Raising Cup Photograph – $89.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Mini Stick with “HOF 2005” Inscription – $149.99

This mini stick has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely with the inscription “HOF 2005.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Vintage Goalie Stick With HOF 85 Inscription – $119.99

This stick has been personally hand-signed by Gerry Cheevers with the inscription “HOF 85.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Bobby Orr Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Logo Hockey Puck – $189.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Bobby Orr. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Logo Puck With HOF 85 Inscription – $44.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Gary Cheevers with the inscription “HOF 85.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Phil Esposito Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 90th Anniversary Logo Puck – $69.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Phil Esposito. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2017-18 SP Authentic #18 Card – $49.99

This highly collectible trading card has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. The card is then encapsulated in a tamper proof acrylic case which also includes an ID tag and hologram to guarantee the authenticity of the item. This will make a great addition to the collection of any true sports fan. Please note that autographs may vary.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey #13 Card – $39.99

This highly collectible trading card has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy. The card is then encapsulated in a tamper proof acrylic case which also includes an ID tag and hologram to guarantee the authenticity of the item. This will make a great addition to the collection of any true sports fan. Please note that autographs may vary.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2011 Stanley Cup Champions Logo Hockey Puck – $79.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Mini Goalie Mask with “HOF 85” Inscription – $69.99

This goalie mask has been personally hand-signed by Gerry Cheevers with the inscription “HOF 85.” It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Black Mitchell & Ness Jersey – $499.99

This jersey has been personally hand-signed by Cam Neely. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Brandon Carlo Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey #17 Card – $19.99

This highly collectible trading card has been personally hand-signed by Brandon Carlo. The card is then encapsulated in a tamper proof acrylic case which also includes an ID tag and hologram to guarantee the authenticity of the item. This will make a great addition to the collection of any true sports fan. Please note that autographs may vary.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Deluxe Tall Hockey Puck Case – $99.99

This puck has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud. Each case is made of 1/8” thick acrylic and features a black acrylic base. It has a clear acrylic removable lid engraved with the team logo and a collage of images. This product is officially licensed by the National Hockey League. The display case measures 10” x 5” x 5.5.”

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Deluxe Framed Autographed 16″ x 20″ Black Jersey Shooting Photograph – $249.99

This 16” x 20” photograph has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud. It measures 26.5” x 27.5” and comes ready to hang in any home or office.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Deluxe Framed Autographed Black Adidas Authentic Jersey – $637.49

This jersey has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. Each framed jersey comes double matted in a black wood fame, has two photos, and has two engraved team logos. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud. It measures 36” x 44” x 2” and comes ready to hang in your home or office.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Goal vs. Winnipeg Jets Photograph – $59.99

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed Official Game Puck – $59.99

This hockey puck has been personally hand-signed by David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Goal Celebration Photograph – $52.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Charlie McAvoy & David Pastrnak Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Spotlight Photograph – $112.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Charlie McAvoy & David Pastrnak. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Brandon Carlo Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ White Jersey Skating with Puck Photograph – $37.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Brandon Carlo. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.

( Photo Credit: Fanatics )

Brandon Carlo Boston Bruins Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16″ x 20″ Black Jersey Skating Photograph – $37.49

This 16″ x 20″ photograph has been personally hand-signed by Brandon Carlo. It is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and comes with an individually numbered, tamper-evident hologram from Fanatics Authentic. To ensure authenticity, the hologram can be reviewed online. This process helps to ensure that the product purchased is authentic and eliminates any possibility of duplication or fraud.