Former Bruin Colby Cave Passes Away At 25

GettyImages-1087357406-e1545981347948-1024x681.jpg

(Photo: Steve Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Edmonton Oilers forward and former Boston Bruin Colby Cave died on Saturday morning after being hospitalized for a brain bleed earlier this week. He was 25.

Cave’s wife, Emily, confirmed the news through a statement on Saturday morning, saying “Both our families are in shock but know our Colby was loved dearly by us, his family and friends, the entire hockey community and many more.”

Cave was put into a medically induced coma after being airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and having surgery to remove a colloid cyst, which was causing pressure on his brain. Earlier in the week Emily Cave said in an Instagram that the family could not visit the hospital due to the COVID-19 crisis and post that the family needed a “miracle.”

Cave skated in 67 career NHL games over four seasons with the Oilers and Bruins, posting four goals and five assists for nine points. In 11 games with Edmonton this season, Cave scored one goal.

With Boston, the Battleford, Sask. native tallied 1-4-5 totals in 23 games. Originally an undrafted free agent, Cave signed a three-year entry level contract with the Bruins in April 2015. His NHL debut came on Dec. 21, 2017.

Cave scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 17, 2018, in the Bruins 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Edmonton claimed him off waivers during the 2018-19 campaign.

Cave skated in 283 American Hockey League contests over six seasons between the Bakersfield Condors (2019-20), Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, and the Providence Bruins (2015-2019), Boston’s AHL affiliate, where he served as an assistant captain for three seasons.

This season with the Condors, he had 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 44 games. On his career, Cave posted 54-84-138 numbers in the AHL.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! 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!!

 

 

 

Former Bruins Forward Colby Cave Placed in Medically-Induced Coma

cut (54)

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

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

Today, April 7th, 2020, the Edmonton Oilers organization made an announcement that forward Colby Cave had suffered a brain bleed overnight and has been placed in a medically-induced coma in addition to being admitted to the critical care unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Cave, 25, was signed to an entry-level contract by the Boston Bruins exactly five years ago on April 7th, 2015. Cave had just come off four full seasons with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he scored 95 goals and 107 assists for 202 points in 286 games. Cave had also served as the captain of the team for the two years before signing with the Bruins, earning the team’s most valuable player award as well.

The North Battleford, Saskatchewan native only played a combined 23 regular-season games with the Boston Bruins, including 20 games during the 2018-19 campaign where he scored one goal and four assists for five points. It was with the Providence Bruins, the Boston Bruins’ AHL affiliate, where he had the most success in the franchise.

With Providence, Cave scored 43 goals and 72 assists for 115 points in 238 games including time as the assistant captain. However, on January 15th, 2019, the Bruins placed Colby Cave on waivers only for the Edmonton Oilers to pick him marking the end of Cave as a member of the Bruins organization.

Cave finished the year in Edmonton with 2-1-3 totals in 33 games and played 11 games in the 2019-20 season scoring only one goal. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound forward put up 11-12-23 numbers in 44 games with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL before the sporting world came to an abrupt pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We here at the blackngoldhockey.com website send our best wishes to Colby and his entire family during this time and we keep him in our thoughts as he fights to make a full and speedy recovery. The entire hockey community stands strong with Colby.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! 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 – The Departed

( Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports )

By: Scott Delano | Follow me on Twitter @Scottdelano3

 

In the 2018 -19 NHL season the Boston Bruins took the St. Louis Blues to game seven of the Stanley Cup Final, but ultimately came up short of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup as many already know. The Bruins returned the majority of their roster, but not everyone who started last season wearing the spoked B is still with the organization. Here’s a look at where former Boston Bruins players are and how they are doing a quarter of the way through the young season.

We can revisit this article deeper into the season to get a better understanding of how these former players are performing and if the Boston Bruins made the right choice by cutting ties with them.

Colby Cave

( Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images )

The first player the Bruins lost last year might have slipped your mind, but after being put on waivers with the hope of reassignment to Providence Colby Cave was claimed by the Edmonton Oilers. Cave got the call up to the Bruins because of injuries but played well enough to get picked up on the NHL’s waiver wire by the Edmonton Oilers before being sent down to Providence.

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins:

20 Games Played
1 Goal
4 Assists

2018 – 19 Edmonton Oilers

33 Games Played
2 Goals
1 Assist

2019 – 20 Edmonton Oilers

5 Games Played
1 Goal

Gemel Smith

( Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Photo )

We lost one to waivers but claimed another. Gemel Smith was claimed off waivers from the Dallas Stars. He only played 3 games for the Black and Gold but made a connection with Patrice Bergeron that goes much further than hockey.

2018 – 19 Dallas Stars

32 Games Played
4 goals
1 assist

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins

3 Games Played
1 Goal

2019 – 20 Tampa Bay Lightning

3 Games Played
1 Goal

Ryan Donato

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

The Boston Bruins made a deadline trade with the Minnesota Wild to get local product Charlie Coyle but had to give up Ryan Donato and a pick in exchange for him. This trade seemed pretty one-sided until Coyle put it all together in the playoffs. Donato is a solid hockey player but never caught stride in Boston.

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins:

34 Games Played
6 Goals
3 Assists

2018 – 19 Minnesota Wild

22 Games Played
4 Goals
12 Assists

2019 – 20 Minnesota Wild

22 Games Played
2 Goals
2 Assists

Marcus Johansson

( Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Photo )

 Acquired at the deadline from New Jersey Devils in exchange for picks and found immediate chemistry with Charlie Coyle on the third line left wing. Unfortunately, he sustained a concussion that limited him to 10 games but came back healthy for the playoffs.

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins:

10 Games Played
1 Goal
2 Assists

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins (Playoffs)

22 Games Played
4 Goals
7 Assists

2019 – 20 Buffalo Sabers

17 Games Played
4 Goals
6 Assists

Lee Stempniak

( Photo Credit: Brian Babineau / NHL / Getty Images )

A veteran presence that couldn’t crack the lineup. Brought over in a trade from the Devil’s a few years prior, Stempniak returned to Boston after two years in Carolina. He officially retired (Article by Max Mainville) from the game of hockey this year after 14 years in the NHL.

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins

2 Games Played
0 Points

Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson

( Photo Credit: Official Boston Bruins Twitter Account / @NHLBruins )

JFK played collegiate hockey with Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk at Boston University. The Boston Bruins drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2015 NHL Draft. His style of play was compared to Patrice Bergeron, but he never lived up to those expectations. He is still a member of the organization, but he left to be closer to his family and play in his home country of Sweden. He could return to Boston; however, there is the chance he doesn’t.

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins:

28 Games Played
3 Goals
6 Assists

Noel Acciari

( Photo Credit: NBC Sports )

The Johnston, Rhode Island native played 4 seasons with the Boston Bruins. He brought grit and determination to the fourth line. Even though he was a fan favorite, the business side of hockey led him to the sunshine state.

2018 – 19 Boston Bruins

72 Games Played
6 Goals
8 Assists

2019 – 20 Florida Panthers

21 Games Played
5 Goals
1 Assist

All stats are courtesy of https://www.hockey-reference.com/

CHECK OUT OUR NEW BLACK N’ GOLD PROSPECT PODCAST EPISODE 6 THAT WE RECORDED ON NOVEMBER 26TH, 2019! OUR BNG PROSPECTS POD CAN BE FOUND ON THE SAME RSS FEED AS OUR ORIGINAL BLACK N’ GOLD HOCKEY PODCAST, WHICH CAN BE FOUND ON MANY WORLDWIDE PLATFORMS SUCH AS APPLE PODCASTS, GOOGLE PODCASTS, IHEART RADIO, SPOTIFY, SOUNDCLOUD, AND STITCHER.

 

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 Colby Cave On Waivers

cutPhoto Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

The Bruins placed forward Colby Cave on waivers on Monday afternoon and he will return to the Providence Bruins if he clears waivers. Cave skated in 20 games for the black and gold this season, posting a goal and four assists for five points. With this move, the Bruins will have to make a move to add someone to their 23-man roster.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Cave has also skated in 15 games for Providence this season, scoring six goals and adding 12 assists for 18 points. The 24-year-old appeared in three games for Boston last season, going scoreless. Cave’s best professional season came in 2016-17 for Providence, as he posted 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points in 76 games. Cave was undrafted originally but signed a three-year entry level deal with Boston on April 4th, 2015.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Cave made his NHL debut last season, on December 21st, 2017 against the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden. He scored his first career NHL goal earlier this season against the Montreal Canadiens on December 17th at Bell Centre in a 4-0 Bruins victory.

The Battleford, Saskatchewan native can be claimed by any team in the NHL but only for the next 24 hours. If that time passes, he’ll return to Providence. Cave has looked like a solid fourth line player in his time with the B’s and more time in Providence could be useful for him.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

-> Click Here For 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com <- 

Bruins Colby Cave Representing Saskatchewan With Recent NHL Success

cut

PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

“Colby Cave gets his first career National Hockey League goal!” Jack Edwards’ legendary call during Monday’s win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night will play loudly in the Cave household in North Battleford, Saskatchewan for many years to come. While I have not personally been in a situation, (clearly), where I scored an NHL goal, against Carey Price of all goaltenders, in the Bell Centre. But you can see the amount of excitement imploding from Cave once the rubber puck crossed the red line.

It was a nice goal too, not some lucky bounce off of three legs and just happened to bounce off the eventual goal-scorer, but a solid one-time goal. David Pastrnak circled the puck around the blue line, made a quick pass to Charlie McAvoy down near the faceoff circle, who sauced the puck to Cave in the slot for a sweet goal. Cave’s celebration after is something that easily puts a smile on your face.

Undrafted, Cave made his big impression on the Boston Bruins during his time in the Western Hockey League with the Swift Current Broncos. In 2011-12, Cave debuted with 6-10-16 totals in 70 games played. Just one year later, Cave quickly boosted his scoring numbers, hitting forty-one points (21 goals, 20 assists), in 72 games. He also tallied four points in five playoff games that season as well.

When then-captain Adam Lowry left the Broncos to the American Hockey League to play for the then-Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate, the St. John IceCaps, Swift Current stitched on the “C” on Cave’s Bronco jersey. Cave said the following when he was awarded the captaincy.

“It’s a true honour to be named the captain of such a respectable organization,” says Cave.  “This organization goes back a long way. Just seeing some of the former captains and their names up on the wall, guys like Adam Lowry and Zack Smith, it’s quite an honour to be put into the same group as them. I hope to prove everyone right and keep this team on the right track and win some games.” 

And prove everyone right was indeed what Colby did. In the seventy-two regular-season contests during the 2013-14 season, Cave scored 33 goals and 37 assists for 70 points as well as a +20 rating. Once again in the following season, in 2014-15, Cave scored a WHL career-high 75 points (35 goals, 40 assists) in 72 games. The numbers led Swift Current in assists and second on the team for goals and points. The only player ahead of Cave in goals and points was fellow-Bruin, Jake DeBrusk, who had 81 points in 72 games.

While the Broncos never made it out of the first-round when it came to the playoffs, his regular season production was something that caught the eye of the Bruins organization. On April 7th, 2015, ex-Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli signed Cave to an entry-level contract, sending him to the Providence Bruins immediately.

In the 239 career AHL games with Providence over the course of over three seasons, Cave has produced 43-72-115 totals while being the assistant captain for the team for the last three consecutive seasons. The 2016-17 season was the best season for Colby in terms of production, scoring 35 points during the course of the campaign.

The entry-level deal that the Bruins signed Colby to back in 2015 expired over the offseason, but the Bruins re-signed the six-foot-one, 201-pound Saskatchewan native to a two-year, two-way deal. 

Following three NHL games last season, Cave’s true chance to get that first goal would be this season – during the middle of the Bruins’ injury bug. When Patrice Bergeron was placed on the injured reserve in mid-November, the Bruins were forced to call-up Colby Cave to the NHL team on November 20th. The number of injuries on the forward core left the organization almost no choice.

According to Frozen Pool by Dobber Sports, Colby Cave has seen the majority of his ice time with David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom (28.39%) as well as time with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak (24.37%). Cave tallied his first career NHL point with an assist against the Detroit Red Wings on December 1st, followed by another helper two games later against Tampa Bay.

All of Cave’s hard work through the juniors, minors, and big leagues eventually led to that goal that was showed at the beginning of this article. In addition, Cave pitched in with an assist, his first career multi-point night in the NHL.

boston-bruins-colby-cave-canadiens-first-nhl-goal-121718.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (USA TODAY Sports)

Now, Patrice Bergeron was on the ice for Bruins practice on Wednesday, December 19th, making his inevitable return to the roster even closer. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy will most likely go back with the Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak line that dominated the league before Bergeron’s sternoclavicular/rib injury. David Krejci will probably be brought back down to the second-line, so where does Cave go?

At one point during the season, the simple answer would be to man the middle of the third line. However, the line of Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Danton Heinen has been finally finding their groove, thriving on each other’s growing confidence of playing alongside one another. In the same idea, it would seem wrong in a sense to demote Cave to the Providence Bruins, but the fourth-line is essentially set – leaving no other real option.

Unfortunately, when the Boston Bruins are, for the most part, injury-free on the forward core, Colby Cave will most likely be demoted to the American Hockey League to re-join the Providence Bruins until his services are once again required in the big leagues. Cave’s two-way contract allows Boston to send him down without the fear of waivers and while Donato and JFK also have two-way deals, their recent success should keep them on the NHL roster.

Nonetheless, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is proud to see Cave find success in the National Hockey League, even if it may be short-lived. Having been to North Battleford on many occasions and living only 2.5 hours away from the small Saskatchewan city, I can appreciate the efforts Cave and every other NHL player had to go through to make it to the position he is in today.

When Boston eventually becomes injury-free, does/should Colby Cave be the odd-man out, getting a trip to Providence or should it be another Bruin forward currently on the roster? Let me know via Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You & Happy Holidays!

Click Here For 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com

Timing May Be Right For Bruins

Image result for bruins canadiens(Photo Credit: AP Canada/The Day)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @Evan007onTV

They say timing is everything.

In life, most definitely and in sports, most assuredly. This holiday season, the gift of timing may be ticking in the Bruins favor for a change, as the team’s most recent spirited play against the “keystone cop Canadiens” and the celebrated return of co-captain Patrice Bergeron are coinciding at, figuratively and literally, just the right time!

 

First, you have the above highlights which for all intents & purposes entertainingly highlight just how solid of a road game the B’s played at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Especially coming off consecutive losses to Buffalo & Pittsburgh that were not only winnable well into each 3rd period for Boston, but also filled to the brim (like a Christmas Eve stocking) with scoring chances. Second, and perhaps most important, you have the tweet below which reads as gloriously and miraculously as a “Night Before Christmas” storytime yarn beside the fireplace:

Hold onto your Santa hats, indeed! Because with the Ducks, Preds & Whalers (yes, I’m refusing to call that team by that other name since players will be sporting my favorite non-B’s jersey ever for the captivating contest in Carolina) all set to skate against the Bruins leading up the 25th of December, NOW is exactly “the time” for the team to be playing successful hockey with a passion & purpose. Personally, there’s no one better to help that trend continue than the perennially point prolific Patrice B. Sure, Boston bench boss Bruce Cassidy will have some important, and dare I say timely, decisions to make when it comes to the roster…

…But I’m confident players, fans, media, bloggers and everyone else will be a-ok with the updated look if the B’s keep up the good timing and rekindle some chemistry on more than just the top line or two. Anyone who thinks the return of No. 37 will hinder that instead of help it along is in need of a good help-ing of holiday coal. The rest of us cheerful chirpers will gladly enjoy the “through the glass” view of healthier Bruins hockey as if we were frozen in time in a Norman Rockwell painting.

Speaking of, let me paint you a picture of what the “Bergy’s back” Bruins could look like, if you have the time (and factor in the young Mr. DeBrusk is still recovering and that the coaches don’t want to break up the current 1st line):

MARCHAND – KRECJI – PASTRNAK

DONATO – BERGERON – HEINEN

NORDSTROM – JFK – BACKES

KURALY – CAVE – WAGNER

Of course, there are a multitude of other line combos that can be arranged, and rearranged, between lines 2-4. But I’m most intrigued by the blending of youth, skill, veteran savvy and toughness from the above — at least for now when using my projected imagination. While on that topic, imagine Bergy getting the best out of both Donato & Heinen: two legitimate scoring threats who were starting to show their skill consistently when aligned as a line with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson aka JFK, but who now have the smartest player in modern-day hockey centering their abilities with his own uncanny ability & talent. Oh, the possibilities!

Image result for bruins donato heinen bergeron(Photo Credit: NBC Sports)

I also think it’s promisingly possible for JFK to center the likes of Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes. You’d have a younger, confident playmaker providing opportunities for a now confident-as-can-be Backes who is playing his best hockey of the season. Add in the fact that the skillful Nordstrom just got off the scoring schneid (shnide?) and onto the score sheet versus the hated Habs and you have a spoked-B bunch on the 3rd line who are all eager to keep the momentum going time after time, as Cyndi Lauper once sang.

And who wouldn’t sing the praises of a 4th line featuring a hungry-for-more-goals Colby Cave in-between an energetic Sean Kuraly and tough as nails Chris Wagner (sorry Noel Acciari for the untimely scratch at the moment)? For what it’s worth, this is a creative combo that could be filled with more holiday “hits” than a Bing Crosby collection!

Related image(Photo Credit: USA Today Sports)

But this is all speculation, with a side of curiosity and wishful thinking. It’s a fun game to play at the moment because the B’s, for the time being, are finally having some fun playing THEIR game. At least it feels that way in the wake of a big bounce back performance for the Black N’ Gold against the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge. Will it continue, and what will it look like with Bergy coming back? Well, those are the big, bold questions all wearing a spoked-B right now.

If any of it can turn out to be as timeless as the B’s logo from the video above, then I think all of Bruins Nation will be grateful this holiday season.

Then again, timing is everything.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You & Happy Holidays!

Click here For 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com 

How Do the Bruins Survive Without Patrice Bergeron?

Image result for David Krejci

Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

By: Spencer Fascetta | Follow Me on Twitter @PuckNerdHockey

The frustrating part for Bruins fans about losing Patrice Bergeron for at least a month is the loss of the most dominant 200-foot line in hockey. David Krejci between the two feels like the natural fix, but that decision is made more complicated by the lack of a defined #3 center on the roster. This has lead to a myriad of bizarre line combinations, including seeing Joakim Nordstrom, a career left-winger, centering a Top 6 line, Colby Cave, an undrafted career minor-leaguer, between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and completely splitting Marchand and Pastrnak and rolling out a Frankenstein-esque amalgamation of forwards in their Top 6. I decided to take a deeper look at how the Bruins have fared with different line combinations in their Top 6, and attempt to determine what the best setup they have tried it thus far.

Using the data provided by Corsica.hockey’s line tool, I gathered every line the Bruins have iced this year. As I am looking at 5-on-5 data only, and the typical limiter of 50 minutes of on-ice time together only gave me five total line combinations, I expanded the parameters and limited lines to having spent at least 10 minutes of 5-on-5 time on ice as a group. That gave me the following lines:

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen, David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk
Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci, Joakim Nordstrom
Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari
Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly, David Backes
Anders Bjork, David Backes, Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Danton Heinen
Brad Marchand, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen, David Krejci, David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci, Ryan Donato
Anders Bjork, Joakim Nordstrom, Chris Wagner
Brad Marchand, Joakim Nordstrom, Jake DeBrusk
Anders Bjork, David Backes, Ryan Donato
Brad Marchand, Colby Cave, David Pastrnak
Noel Acciari, Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork
Anders Bjork, Joakim Nordstrom, Ryan Donato
Joakim Nordstrom, Colby Cave, Noel Acciari
Anders Bjork, Sean Kuraly, Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari
Joakim Nordstrom, Chris Wagner, Noel Acciari
Brad Marchand, David Krejci, David Pastrnak
Anders Bjork, David Krejci, David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Noel Acciari
Joakim Nordstrom, David Backes, Noel Acciari
Ryan Donato, Sean Kuraly, David Backes
Brad Marchand, Sean Kuraly, David Pastrnak

Here is a breakdown of the time on ice spent together as a line for each combination.

Time on Ice

 

Of the 27 different combinations, here is what I can conclude:

Goals For vs Expected Goals For

When looking at the difference between each line’s expected goals for percentage and their goals for percentage (the total goals scored by the team while that line is on the ice as a percentage of all goals scored while that line is on the ice), a few things stand out. For one, Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci are really good together, but having Ryan Donato ride with them is really not a good idea. As much as Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson may eventually be a good middle 6 center, he was a decidedly BAD fit between Marchand and Pastrnak. Surprisingly, having Colby Cave in that spot instead of JFK has produced excellent results so far, bordering on the line underperforming their expected numbers.

The key to this chart is actually how the rest of the lineup should be structured based on the numbers. Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly, and David Backes have been very good when put together as a line, and realistically should be able to handle 3rd line minutes if necessary. Wagner with Joakim Nordstrom and Anders Bjork has been an even better line in fewer minutes, but with how effective Wagner is with the Kuraly/Backes duo, I would suggest this is a place where you play Ryan Donato in the middle, heavily shelter his zone starts, and let him and Bjork learn the defensive side with Nordstrom and be available for the second powerplay unit.

This allows you to see whether or not Donato can realistically be an NHL centerman, and gives you Nordstrom as a faceoff option if Donato struggles in the dot. That leaves Danton Heinen as the 3rd member of the Krejci/DeBrusk line, which has been the best combo the Bruins have had on the second line, and it isn’t incredibly close. The trio actually is out-performing the Bergeron line in fewer minutes.

PDO vs Expected PDO

How lucky have they been? Krejci in the Bergeron spot has been extremely lucky in a small sample, so I don’t put a ton of stock into their performance. Likewise, JFK in that spot wasn’t lucky and bordered on unlucky. Again, though, Cave there is a conundrum; that grouping has outperformed their EXPECTED PDO a ton, but have a very low expected PDO, which tells me their results are RIDICULOUSLY lucky.

Shots For Differential per 60

What about the shot differentials? I accounted for time on ice in this case, which gives a better approximation of individual impact as a line. In this case, Cave shows extremely well as a Bergeron replacement, and we see that Heinen/Krejci/DeBrusk and the original Bergeron line are both very good. Nordstrom between DeBrusk and Marchand has been decidedly bad, and putting Krejci between Marchand and Pastrnak has produced plenty of offense, but have been disastrous in terms of shot suppression. Nordstrom/Acciari/Kuraly have interesting numbers, and the Bjork/Wagner/Nordstrom line has been REALLY good. Granted, so has Wagner/Kuraly/Backes, so I think the real trick will be deciding where to slot Ryan Donato into the bottom 6. Once again, this allows for the sheltered 3rd line theory proposed above.

COOL. NUMBERS. YAY.

BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Well, let’s boil this down a bit. I think that, if the lineup is fully healthy, it should look something like this:

Marchand                                             Bergeron                                 Pastrnak


Heinen                                                   Krejci                                       DeBrusk


Bjork                                                      Donato                                     Nordstrom


Wagner                                                  Kuraly                                      Backes


 

So, this presents a few questions. For one, you now have a $6 million right winger. Backes’ contract was an albatross when it was signed, and that doesn’t change now. I’d rather put him in a position where his skill set is best utilized rather than attempting to jam a square peg into a round hole. His foot speed has diminished to the point where he is no longer an effective center, and he doesn’t fit as an offensive player in the Top 9. Additionally, the third line should get almost no defensive zone starts. Focus on playing them in the offensive zone, allow Bjork and Donato to go wild and be creative, and Nordstrom is there to make sure the line isn’t a complete black hole defensively. This allows you to make sure Donato can or can’t be an NHL centerman without a ton of stress on him to produce.

Image result for Colby Cave

Photo Credit: NHL.com

But what about Bergeron not being there? Well, for now (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), I think leaving Colby Cave there for a bit wouldn’t hurt. Realistically, he isn’t an NHL scorer, so he is there to win faceoffs, be defensively responsible, screen the goaltender, and allow Marchand and Pastrnak to be magicians. This is only 5-on-5 so I would not use him in overtime (Bruce…), and he wouldn’t get a sniff on the man-advantage. This allows the other three lines to try and get rolling and find some chemistry for when the Bergeron line is fully healthy. That way, when Bergy returns, secondary scoring doesn’t return to being a massive problem for the team.

Want to SEE these lines in action? There’s plenty of options, but I recommend that you check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

—> Click Here for 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com <—

Providence Bruins Week 8 Preview

45108775584_0a14212eb0_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

The Providence Bruins enter Thanksgiving week with three away games on tap.  Wednesday the team travels to Hartford to play the Wolf Pack. Thursday and Friday, they will presumably be consuming immense amounts of turkey and recovering from the tryptophan hangover.  Saturday they will be back in action facing the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allenstown, Pennsylvania.  They will round out their weekend by traveling to Mohegan Sun Arena for a matinee game Sunday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  After the challenge they faced this past weekend and the performances they put in, I think they are more than ready.

Providence_Bruins_Playoffs_Hershey_Bears_28.0(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Wednesday, November 21st Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)

The Wolf Pack and the Bruins have met three times already this season, twice in Hartford and once in Providence.  The Wolf Pack has won two of those three games with Providence winning one of the games played in Hartford.  The fifty percent average while away at Hartford is very telling as it has historically been the record over the past two years.  In addition, the teams both sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and have similar recent win/loss records. All things considered, this game is truly going to be a toss-up and a matter of who brings their best game that day.

Rob O’Gara a previous Bruin now plays for the Wolf Pack, so expect to see some interesting interactions between former teammates and friends.

 

Lehigh Valley(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Saturday, November 24th Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AWAY)

The Lehigh Valley rematch will be a rough one.  The game this past weekend was a hard fought and emotional game for both teams.  Each team walked away feeling they had been wronged at some point during the night, but one did walk away the victor.

With a forty percent win record against Lehigh Valley last year and the impressive showing last Friday it is not impossible to imagine Providence pulling out this game on Saturday night.  If they keep up the coordinated effort we saw this past weekend and work a little bit harder on keeping a level head they can easily come away with the win this weekend.

31962550678_6e65d04b49_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Sunday, November 25th Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AWAY)

For the first time this season the eighth-ranked Bruins will be meeting the fifth-ranked Penguins away from home.  The first two games of this season were victories for Providence. However, over the past five years, the overall season record for these two teams has been right about fifty percent.  The record doesn’t change a whole lot when we break out home and away.  Providence won 8 of 12 matches at home and 4 of 10 away.  With all records and standings considered the odds are slightly in the Bruins favor for the Sunday Matinee and I look for it to be a tight and highly contested game.

My picks to watch this weekend:

Up Front:

Colby Cave – He was robbed of his Gordie Howe Hat-trick this past weekend when his fight was recorded as “roughing”.  However, his effort and exemplary performance has not faltered.  Keep an eye on Colby.

On The Blue Line:

Wiley Sherman – As I have begun to call him the great “Wall” of Sherman.  This kid has and does put his tall frame in the line of so many pucks in a game that I lose count.  You don’t need to keep an eye on the puck keep an eye on where the wall is and where he is placing his body and that will tell you all you need to know.

In Net:

Dan Vladar – Having a falling save percentage can get to a goalie. I want to see Dan pull himself out of this and rise above.

Cheers to week eight and best of luck to our Baby B’s. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving.  I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always, take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGaint for your next Providence Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

—> Get Your Providence Bruins Tickets Here! <—

Providence Bruins Week 7 Re-cap

Header(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Week seven was a mixed bag for the Providence Bruins.  The massive challenge that the weekend presented Providence would not see them shrinking away, but rather standing tall and ready for battle.  They were barely held off from a victory on Friday night and continued their winning streak against the top-ranked Rochester Americans on Saturday.

Goaltender Performance:

Dan Vladar got the start in net on Friday at home against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.  Saving 21-26 shots on goal bringing his save percentage down to .897.

Zane McIntyre was your Saturday night starter at home against the Rochester Americans. Saving 27-29 shots on goal making his save percentage .848.

This Weekends Scores:

FRI Nov. 16 HOME              Providence 4-Lehigh Valley 5 Loss 

SAT Nov.17 HOME             Providence 3-Bridgeport 2 WIN!!!

Picture(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

Friday, November 16, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (HOME)

The Providence Bruins host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the Dunkin Donuts Center for the first time since their Calder Cup ending match-up in April.  This action-packed game was filled with ups and downs for our Baby B’s.

The first period saw the Providence Bruins looking stronger than they have all season.  They were coordinated and composed, with good passing, solid puck-handling skills and the level heads that were required to out-think the Phantoms.  The first three goals of the game went to the Bruins at 2:00 Cameron Hughes scored with the help of teammates Fitzgerald and Cehlarik. Six-and-a-half minutes later Colby Cave fed Wiley Sherman what he needed to score the second goal of the night.  Already having the assist, Colby wanted a goal of his own.  So, at 13:01 with the help of Goloubef and Johanssen he satisfied this want and put the third goal on the board for Providence. At this point, the wheels started to come off.  The penalties began to roll in, and Lehigh Valley started to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

The first penalties of the night were minors at 15:09 awarded to Bruins’ Fyten (High Sticking) and Phantoms’ Connor (Hooking).  After returning to full strength from the 4-on-4 play, Lehigh Valleys Bunnaman was able to sneak a puck in behind Dan Vladar and put the first goal on their first goal on the board.  Karson Kuhlman took only one minute to answer this with a Providence goal to return the Bruins to a three-point lead.  Perhaps the three-point lead is not a good thing for Providence as in the last minute of the period the Bruins were slammed with two penalties.  Szwarz was called for slashing at 19:16 and Goloubef for roughing at 19:53.

The second period began with Providence leading 4-1 but Lehigh Valley with nearly two whole minutes of 5-on-3 play to work with.  The Phantoms would not let this 5-on-3 go to waste when at only twelve seconds Connor scored the power-play point bringing Lehigh Valley to within 2 points.  To add to the misery, the Providence team that appeared on the ice in the second was a completely different team that started the game, not literally of course.  Their puck handling was poor.  They were continually being stripped of the puck and were passing to phantom players, not reading or setting up well for plays.

Lehigh Valley continued to press the Bruins, once again sneaking a puck around the back of Vladar at 11:03.  Varone had noted that during the first period that Dan Vladar was sliding a bit farther out of the net than normal tonight and leaving room to sneak the puck in between his skates and the pipe, just as his teammate Bunnaman had in the first.

Heading into the third period the score was Bruins 4 – Phantoms 3.  There was still hope that the Bruins would beat the team that had ended their run for the Calder Cup earlier this year.  That hope was severely damaged at 4:55 when Lehigh Valley’s Twarynski rushed the goal and slammed into goaltender Dan Vladar.  Twarynski was awarded a goal and goaltender interference.  Vladar was visibly shaken and took a significant amount of time and a visit from the trainer before recovering enough to get up and get moving again.  Twarynski’s goaltender interference call was officially recorded as roughing, but either way, the goal was somewhat questionable and definitely rattled the team.

The level heads that prevailed at the beginning of the game were nowhere to be found now, as both Sherman and Donato were called for minor penalties in the next ten minutes.  Lehigh Valley capitalized on Donato’s penalty to score a power-play goal giving them their first lead of the day Bruins 4 – Phantoms 5 and securing their victory.

44113739180_41578294a4_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Saturday, November 17, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Rochester Americans (HOME)

The Rochester Americans came to Providence ready to show the Bruins what a first ranked team looked like.  The Bruins, on the other hand, were ready to prove that they were not the team that the numbers are claiming and continue their streak of wins against Rochester.

The first period was a battle of wills between the two teams.  Each team doing their best to get the puck through the neutral zone and into enemy territory.  The effort seemed nearly futile from time to time as the puck would ultimately be turned over and back it would go.  Only six shots on goal for Providence and eight for the Amerks in the entire period, but in contrast to recent games, both teams were able to keep relatively composed with only three penalties being called. Entering the locker room, the score was 0-0.

Both teams came out fired up to hit the back of the net in the second period.  The first to finish the race this time was the Amerks Bailey, he was able to find a way past Zane McIntyre twice in the first twelve minutes two put the visitors up 2-0.  Shortly after that, however, Guhle was called for interference, and Providence was suddenly on the power-play.  Capitalizing on the power-play has not been the Bruins strong suit, but Jordan Szwarz on his first weekend back from injury decided to change that. Scoring his first goal of the weekend with the help of Donato and Galipeau he brought the Amerks lead down to one.  The teams traded minor penalties back and forth to the end of the period and headed to the locker room this time with a score of Providence 1- Rochester 2.

The third period was the fight for the finish.  Providence came out showing some steeled nerves and renewed confidence.  Their passing was controlled, and the defense was well above par.  First out of the gate this time was the pair we have come to see often, Cehlarik and Cameron.  At two minutes Cehlarik fed Cameron the perfect puck to sneak by the Rochester goaltender and level the score at 2-2.  The rest of the period was much like the first, a lot of back and forth a couple of minor penalties but no goals for either side.  The resulting tie score sent this game into overtime.

Overtime was not to last long.  Rochester took the first shot on goal, but Zane defended his post not allowing the puck to find its way in.  Only a minute in the Bruins found their opportunity.  Colby Cave was able to pass the puck Ryan Donato who was in the perfect position to score the game-winning goal and capture the two points for Providence!

Lehigh Valley(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGaint for your next Providence Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

—> Get Your Providence Bruins Tickets Here! <—

Boston Bruins Call Up Colby Cave

(Photo Credits: Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sport)

By Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

With the news that Patrice Bergeron will be out and reevaluated in four weeks, the Boston Bruins have announced the recalling of Providence forward Colby Cave to help round up some more scoring depth.   The 23-year-old currently leads Providence in scoring, netting six goals with 12 assists for 18 points.

In the past three seasons with the P-Bruins, Cave has served as Alternate Captain. During the 2017-2018 season, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound center played in 72 games, garnering 11 goals with 22 assists for a total of 33 points.  The Battleford, Saskatchewan native also made his NHL debut last season with the Black and Gold, playing alongside former Broncos Junior teammate Jake DeBrusk in a game against the Winnipeg Jets on December 21, 2017. The Bruins won in a 2-1 shootout at the TD Garden; Cave returned back down to Providence after the game.

Image result for colby cave(Photo Credits: Alan Sullivan)

Cave started his junior career playing locally for the Battleford Stars in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League from 2009-2011. He was drafted by the Kootenay Ice Junior Hockey team in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2009 and was later traded the Swift Current Broncos in 2011. He made his debut at the end of the 2010-2011 season playing one game. He was named team captain in his third year with the Broncos.  Listed 157th overall by ISS Hockey, Cave would be eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft but was passed over.

In his final junior season with the team, Cave was signed to a three-year entry-level contract by the Boston Bruins in 2015.  He ended his WHL career with 95 goals and 107 assists in 287 games.  Cave would play the remainder of the 2014-2015 season in the AHL with Providence.  In his first full season in the AHL,  he played in 75 games where he recorded 13 goals and 16 assist for 29 points. During the 2016-2017 season with Providence, he netted 13 goals with 22 assists for 35 points.  During the AHL Playoffs, Cave had one goal with five assists in 17 games.

Colby Cave(Photo Credits:  Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

This past October, Cave was called up on emergency basis for the Boston Bruins along with Jeremy Lauzon.  He joins a fractured Bruins team that has had to dig deep into their Providence roster. Along with Cave, the Black and Gold have called up Jeremy Lauzon, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Jakub Zboril and Connor Clifton. In recent games, Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy has had to shuffle lines and with Bergeron out for a few weeks, the team will once again look to the “young guns” and remaining veterans.

Cave, for his part, has been having an impressive early start in Providence, which will hopefully bode well for an injured Bruins team. While it was mentioned earlier  that he leads the P-Bruins in scoring, one thing that’s been noted about Cave is his hockey sense. While not flashy,  he has been able to turn plays into scoring opportunities and like fellow teammate Jordan Szwarz, has continued to be slotted up front in the center/wing position.  For Cave, the call up to the big leagues will once again be a huge opportunity for the young 23-year-old. As for the Bruins, they’ll need every abled-bodied player to step up in a HUGE way.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partners SeatGiant for upcoming Boston Bruins games. Click the link below and use discount code BNGP to save a little money.

–>Boston Bruins 2018-2019 Regular Season Schedule and Official SeatGiant Ticket Info<–