Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Vegas: 1/21/20

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Alex Tuch (89) and Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) chase after a loose puck during the second period at TD Garden.

Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

 

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Vegas Golden Knights

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Bjork

Heinen – Krejci – Kuhlman

Blidh – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Lauzon

Goalies

Halak

Vladar

Vegas’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchessault – Stephenson – Smith

Pacioretty – Stastny – Stone

Carrier – Eakin – Tuch

Nosek – Roy – Reaves

Defense

McNabb – Schmidt

Holden – Theodore

Hague – Engelland

Goalies

Fleury

Subban

David Krejci returned to the lineup after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury, centering Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman. Anton Blidh slotted into the lineup for the first time this season, as he has been sidelined since September due to shoulder surgery.

Jeremy Lauzon jumped right into the lineup after being called up earlier today. He suited up once for the Bruins earlier in the season on New Year’s Eve against the New Jersey Devils. The Vegas Golden Knights, now led by head coach Peter DeBoer, stood in the way of the Bruins.

First Period

The Bruins came out of the gate with plenty of intensity, but Mark Stone put the Golden Knights on the board first just a minute and 24 seconds in, on their first shot of the game. Nicolas Hague took the first penalty of the game for the Golden Knights, 15 seconds later for interference. Luckily for them, they killed the penalty and held onto their lead.

Later in the period, Stone found his way to the box for tripping with 12:45 to go in the period. The Bruins couldn’t beat Marc-Andre Fleury despite playing with such intensity and generating some high-quality chances. Through the first ten minutes, they held a 9-3 advantage in shots.

Lauzon loves playing against the Golden Knights. Last season, he scored his first career goal against them. This time around, he sent a shot through traffic and past Fleury to tie the game 8:20 remaining in the period. His first of the season was assisted by David Krejci (22) and Karson Kuhlman (3).

Zdeno Chara sat for two minutes for tripping with 4:05 remaining. A solid penalty kill from the Bruins kept the game tied. Jake DeBrusk nearly broke the tie off of a great pass from Krejci not too long after the penalty expired, but was stopped by Fleury. The final shots through an entertaining first 20 minutes were 14-8 in favor of the Bruins.

Score: 1-1

Second Period

An early Bruins power play came when William Carrier went off for interference just a minute and 42 seconds in. The Golden Knights killed the penalty, but were caught with too many men on the ice just 25 seconds after Carrier’s penalty expired. Despite taking four penalties very early on, they managed to kill them off successfully.

Brandon Carlo took the second Bruins penalty of the game for high sticking with 10:45 remaining. Hague made it hurt on a booming one-timer from the point for his first career NHL goal. With 9:01 remaining, the Golden Knights regained the lead. Hague’s goal magnified how the struggles on the power play that the Bruins were experiencing can really sting.

Charlie McAvoy went pretty hard into the boards head first following contact with Chandler Stephenson. As a result, Stephenson sat for two minutes for boarding and McAvoy surprisingly remained on the bench, but in some pain, understandably.

Power play chances came and went, but the Bruins couldn’t convert on their fifth power play. They went into the third period 0-for-5 on the man advantage for the game with just three shots. Through 40 minutes, the total shots 23-16 overall and 9-8 in the period, both in favor of the Bruins. Converting on their opportunities was the problem, and they needed to fix it fast if they want a chance to win.

Score: 2-1 Vegas

Third Period

DeBrusk saw some good opportunities come his way throughout the game and was rewarded for his efforts in the third. His 15th goal of the season came in the form of a sweet snipe to tie the game. Charlie Coyle’s 18th assist helped set it up, as did Jaroslav Halak’s second assist of the season with 15:34 remaining.

Matt Grzelcyk made his way down the tunnel after a collision with Cody Eakin. Not good, although he eventually returned to the bench. Krejci’s goal was good though. A great effort by Kuhlman began to establish offensive zone time and with some help from Carlo, Heinen, and the hand-eye coordination of Krejci, the Bruins took the lead. The goal marked Krejci’s 12th of the season, plus Carlo and Heinen’s 12th and 14th assists respectively. The Bruins led for the first time all night.

Fleury was pulled for an extra attacker and Stone made an incredible effort to thwart Krejci’s bid for an empty netter, but it wasn’t enough for Vegas to tie it up. The Bruins held the advantage in shots at 14-13 in the final frame, bringing the grand total to 37-29 in their favor. They really had to grind to earn two points ahead of the long break that awaits. Halak made 27 saves in the win. Next up are the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 31 at MTS Centre at 8:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 29-10-12.

Final Score: 3-2 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Are The Bruins Showcasing A Defenseman?

lauzon

( Photo Credit: Paul Rutherford )

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

Another day, another Bruins trade rumor.  Elliotte Friedman is a seasoned hockey reporter for Canada’s Sportsnet and NHL insider.  He is known to have credible sources and news when it comes to NHL rumors.  Friedman is a weekly guest on the “Oilers NOW with Bob Stauffer” podcast, where he piqued Bruins fans’ interests with the latest story.  “Tyler Toffoli is a name that’s been out there a while.  Boston has expressed interest.  The price for Toffoli is a second-rounder and a prospect.”

It’s no secret the Bruins have been searching for years for their top-six forward to pair with David Krejci.  They have plenty of in-house options, but most haven’t been consistent enough for the opportunity.  Some have even had the misfortunate of untimely injuries (Anders Bjork and Karson Kuhlman).  When nothing in the system works, teams look for outside help.  Don Sweeney, current Bruins General Manager, has reportedly been on the phone since day one of the 2019 season.  He recently sent David Backes and Brett Ritchie down to the American Hockey Leauge for cap relief, which will help in a potential future trade.

The Bruins also recently called up Jeremy Lauzon from Providence.  The current Bruins defensemen are not hurt, so it’s reasonable to think Lauzon’s call up is to showcase his skills for a trade.  If Tyler Toffoli genuinely nets a second-round pick and a prospect, Lauzon could fit the mold.

Jeremy Lauzon, a left-handed shot defenseman, was the Bruins’ 52nd overall draft choice in 2015.  He was coming off of a career year as captain of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 50 points and a plus-40 in 46 games.  He was drafted for his size (6’1, 205 pounds), his physical presence, and offensive ability.  In his four years in the QMJHL, he finished with a plus-81 rating and 130 points in 200 career games.  He made his AHL pro debut in the 2017-18 Providence season.

In Providence, Lauzon had a tough time finding the same scoring touch he had in the QMJHL but was able to continue his defensive tenacity.  Through the first 15 games in his rookie season, he was among the top defenseman in plus/minus with a plus-8 rating.  Unfortunately, he sustained a concussion and missed the majority of that season.  He returned at the end of January 2018 and made a lasting impression on the Providence Bruins fans and writers.

He would only finish the year with seven points but looked to regain some of his confidence, which is immense for a young defenseman.  A year later, he would receive the call up to the Bruins for 16 total games, one of which he will remember forever.

Lauzon has the makings of a solid NHL defenseman because he is useful in all three zones.  He has the scoring ability but has been untapped up to this point.  He’s nearly doubled his first two seasons point total this year in Providence and still has a plus-rating.  The Bruins may be showcasing him to the Los Angeles Kings to help with their depleted blue-line.  The Kings have been heading toward a massive roster rebuild for over a year.  They’ll need to unload some of their aging stars (Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown) and expiring contracts (Tyler Toffoli) to jump-start the rebuild.  A second-round pick and Lauzon could be great a complimentary piece for the Kings’ future plans.

Tyler Toffoli is a 27-year old right-winger for the Los Angeles Kings.  He has been with the Kings organization since the 2010 draft, where he was selected 47th overall.  He made his NHL debut in 2012, where he scored five points in 10 regular-season games and six points in 12 playoff games.  He was even part of Los Angeles’s 2014 Stanley Cup-winning season.  Toffoli has surpassed the 30-goal total once and currently has 27 points on an abysmal Kings team.  Bruins fans may remember Toffoli for his heroic game-winning goal in overtime in the 2017 season.

Toffoli has the resume to play alongside Krejci for the remainder of the year, but will that be his only time in a Bruin uniform?  Tyler is an unrestricted free agent after this season.  Rentals are a significant trade risk because their future is uncertain.  Sweeney and the Bruins may show Toffoli the benefits of playing in Boston, but players’ mindsets are always unknown.  He has the pedigree and the fantastic shot release to be a long-time contributor for Boston.  At 6’0, 197 pounds, Toffoli has Stanley Cup experience and currently plays on the top line of the Kings with Anze Kopitar and Alex Iaffalo.

Backes and Ritchie’s demotions to the AHL also fit a trade mold because the Bruins are trying to clear cap space for a potential player.  The Bruins started off the year with thousands of dollars in cap space, but have since been able to move money around for a current-day $1.3M in cap space.  If the Bruins wait to trade for Toffoli until the February deadline, his in-season cap hit would be much lower than it was at the beginning of the season.

The second-round pick is probably the hardest ingredient to send.  Sweeney has been very mindful and frugal with his draft picks.  He has been on record saying he wants a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. He won’t part ways with a high draft selection unless it nets him an unbelievable long-term player. He would have to be quite confident to send a draft pick that Toffoli will help his team get over the hump to a Stanley Cup win or that Toffoli would sign long-term.

It’s a risky business, but in this day and age, NHL teams need to give the talent to receive the talent.  It just so happens, the Kings have plenty of it and require a new direction.  Toffoli would be a beneficial addition to the Bruins, who are searching for the last few puzzle pieces for their seventh Stanley Cup.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!! 

Boston Bruins Week In Review Jan 6th-12th

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders

(Photo Credit:Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

There we go, THAT’S Bruins hockey. After a brutal stretch of hockey that saw the Bs go 4-5-6, the Black and Gold are back to their winning ways. Here’s everything you missed from this week’s action.

Jan 7 Boston Bruins @ Nashville Predators

The Bruins were able to acquire some help for their trip to Nashville to face the Predators. No, it was not Tyler Toffoli or Chris Kreider, but it was actually a the Bruins’ moms. This was the Predator’s first game after parting ways with Peter Laviolette, so the Preds were certainly going to bring their A-game with new coach (and former Devils’ coach) John Hynes. 

The first period started off with a bang as the NHL’s leading goal scorer David Pastrnak came down the wing and blew a shot past Pekka Rinne just 1:36 into the game to give the Bruins the lead. The Bs continued their strong play throughout the period, testing Rinne for the full 20 minutes. A good period from top to bottom for the Bruins, where they were able to outshoot the Preds 13-8.

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Just a minute into the second period it seemed the Predators scored after a bizarre play. Charlie McAvoy was knocked into the net, taking it off its pegs, while Nick Bonino proceeded to put the puck in the net. After it was originally called a good goal (because the puck would’ve gone in regardless of the net being off) it was then called back due to the Pred’s Rocco Grimaldi causing McAvoy to knock off the net. Confusing, I know. At the 11:39 mark, Danton Heinen finished off a pretty passing play from Charlie Coyle and Matt Grzelyck with a rip from the slot, making it 2-0 Bruins. Nashville finally got their goal back after Filip Forsberg converted on a five on three PP for the Preds. Late in the period, Boston was able to regain their two-goal lead after Patrice Bergeron finished a nice feed from Jake Debrusk on the powerplay.

The Bs nearly added yet another goal seconds into the third, but Pekka Rinne shut the door on the top line. It wasn’t long after that chance when the Bruins did tack on yet another goal when a Par Lindholm shot went in off of Chris Wagner in front. You could tell it just wasn’t Nashville’s night after Tuukka Rask STONED Viktor Arvidsson midway through the third. Nashville found a little life late after pulling within two on the powerplay, but it was all for not after a David Krejci empty netter and a late Charlie Coyle goal.

Jan 9 Winnipeg Jets @ Boston Bruins

The moms made the trip back to Boston with the team and it paid dividends in a back-and-forth game against the Jets. We aren’t going to mention the 2015 draft, at all, but the 17th overall pick Kyle Connor put Winnipeg on the board first after dipsy-doodling past Torey Krug and roofing one on Jaroslav Halak. A good shift by the second line and a semi-break for Chris Wagner both amounted to nothing, so the Bs remained without a goal. That was until the duo of Sean Kuraly and Joakim Nordstrom connected with David Pastrnak in the slot to tie the game. After a great play from David Backes, Danton Heinen and Charlie Coyle wouldn’t go, the period closed, knotted at one. 

Exactly six minutes into the second, the Jets were able to retake the lead on the powerplay after Andrew Copp collected his 7th goal of the season. That lead didn’t hold for much longer as who but the league’s leading goal scorer, David Pastrnak, sent an absolute rocket past Laurent Brossoit on the powerplay, 2-2. Chris Wagner was inches away from giving the B’s their first lead of the game as he rattled one off the post, but the game remained tied. That 2-2 tie wouldn’t last the period as Jake Debrusk came in on a breakaway and buried one past Laurent Brossoit with 1:11 left. What should’ve been an easy final minute to kill off for the Bs, ended up being the opportunity for the Jets to tie it up,  when Neil Pionk scored on the powerplay with just seconds left on the clock

NHL: Boston Bruins vs Winnipeg Jets

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

After about eight minutes of stalemate, the Jets were able to regain their lead after Mark Schiefele banked a shot in off of Jaroslav Halak. When Jake Debrusk took advantage of a poor change from the Jets by driving to the net, David Krejci collected the rebound and fed Pasta in front of the net, queuing the hats to start flying down from the rafters. If you thought you had time to run to the bathroom before the lamp was lit once again, you missed the Bs take the lead. Just 30 seconds after the tying goal, Krejci won a faceoff clean to Matt Grzelyck, who fed McAvoy for a one-timer that Jake Debrusk tipped in, and topped it off with a beautiful celly. That proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Jets, as they were not able to muster up anything to come back.

Jan 11 Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders

The mom-less Bruins headed to New York for their next game with a couple of players hitting milestones along the way (Torey Krug and Sean Kuraly playing their 500th and 200th games respectively). It was all Islanders early in this game, with Tuukka Rask forced to make save after save until the Isles were able to breakthrough. Scott Mayfield’s shot from the point snuck past Rask, giving New York the lead. Rask continued to battle after a bad period from the Bs and made 13 saves in the first. 

A couple big saves by Rask opened the second period until the Bruins were able to knot the game up at one.  A clean breakout led to Charlie McAvoy joining the rush, and the ensuing traffic in front of the net lead to Jake Debrusk’s equalizer. The rest of the period showcased the two goaltenders battling it out, and the game continued into the third, tied 1-1. 

That was until a seeing eye shot from John Moore found its way through Semyon Varlamov to give the Bruins their first lead of the night. That, unfortunately, didn’t silence Barclays Center for too long after Josh Bailey fed Matthew Barzal in front, who tucked it past Rask to tie the game. Some big saves from both Varlamov (namely two on David Krejci) and Rask sent the game into OT.

The Bruins were gifted a powerplay early into OT after Brock Nelson tripped up Brad Marchand, and that ended up being the demise for the Isles. “Mr. Perfect” Patrice Bergeron was able to collect a pass from Torey Krug in the slot, looked off the defense and wrist a shot past Varlamov to give the Bs the victory and complete the 3-0 week.

Roster/Injury News

  • Zdeno Chara missed the Bruins’ game in Winnipeg due to a jaw injury but played their next game in New York with no problem.
  • Joakim Nordstrom missed the game against the Predators due to an illness but has played in every game since.
  • Matt Grzelcyk left the game against the Islanders early and never returned. He played the next game in Philly.
Boston Bruins v New York Islanders

(Photo Credit:Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

My Three Stars of the Week 

A lot of contenders for this week’s honors. A few guys who just missed the cut were Danton Heinen (one goal, two assists, +3 rating), Charlie Coyle (one goal, two assists, +4 rating) and a trio of defensemen (Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, and Matt Grzelyck) who all picked up three assists in the week.

  1. Jake Debrusk

The second line has regained life and so has Debrusk. The Edmonton native had a point in every game and ended with a statline of three goals, two assists, and a +3 rating. 

  1. David Pastrnak

The Bs’ main dish of choice this week was Pasta, who put up four goals in three games. His hockey IQ was on full display and he showed why he’s leading the league in goals.

  1. Tuukka Rask

Take that Rask haters. Tuukka was incredible this week, going 2-0 with a .944 save percentage and a sub 2.00 goals allowed average. He single handedly kept the Bruins in both games and without him, there was not a chance the Bruins go 3-0.

Play of the Week – David Pastrnak Goal

Gotta be this shot by Pastrnak. The video would be a whole lot better with sound.

Final Notes

  • Anders Bjork has made the 2nd line FAR more dynamic. While he only had one point, it was clear his playmaking ability gelled very well with Jake Debrusk and David Krejci. I think we’ll see a big uptick in points from the Notre Dame product
  • Joakim Nordstrom took a few shifts next to Krejci and Debrusk despite Bjork’s solid play. I’d hope that doesn’t continue to happen. 
  • Tuukka Rask is awesome.
  • Danton Heinen is getting his confidence back. He looked good this week, making skill and power moves while tacking on three points in the process. 
  • This big week proved that the Bruins can take a little more time to find the winger they need. I still think they need some help in the middle-six, but Bjork, Heinen and Debrusk’s play this week proved the Bruins still have a lot to work with on their roster.
  • Oh, and Pekka Rinne has more goals than Charlie McAvoy, that is all.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Game Recap | Boston Bruins Defeat Winnipeg Jets

Image result for david pastrnak winnipeg jets"(Photo Credits: NHL.com)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It was the perfect ending to the Boston Bruins Moms Trip and suffice to say, the ladies brought some much-needed luck as the boys in Black and Gold rallied from behind, beating the Winnipeg Jets 5-4.

GAME RECAP

With the first period underway, both teams had decent shifts with Boston outshooting Winnipeg early in the period. As the Bruins continued to push the puck towards the Jets net, it would be the other team who would strike first. Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor would net his 22nd goal of the season as he scored off a backhand at 7:35. Boston would be playing from behind and had multiple chances with a potential goal on a 2-on-1 on goaltender Laurent Brossoit. Zdeno Chara would be out for the game, reportedly due to issue with his jaw: he did not speak to the media after this morning’s skate.

Image result for boston bruins vs winnipeg jets"(Photo Credits: Charles Krupa/AP)

Boston would fire back and with minutes left in the first period, it would be number 33 for David Pastrnak as he scored, tying the game at one-a-piece. The 23-year-old right-winger extends his game-point streak to 12 games.

SCORE: BOS- 1, WPG- 1

SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-12, WPG-6

Boston would draw a  penalty in the first few minutes of the second period, however, they were unable to muster a goal down Winnipeg’s end. The Jets would go on the power-play on a “too many men on ice” call. At :23 seconds left to the man advantage, the Jets would score one past Jaroslav Halak, making it 2-1. Center Andrew Copp would notch his seventh goal of the season.

The Jets were down a man as the Bruins drew a tripping penalty that quickly led to a goal by (you guessed it) David Pastrnak.  The Czech-native blasted a one-timer rocket past Brossoit. In a back and forth effort, both teams have a good amount of zone time on either end of the ice. At 1:11 left in the period, Jake DeBrusk took full advantage of a Jets line-change and scored, putting the Bruins ahead for the first time. Winnipeg would get one last opportunity to even the score as they went on a power-play and unfortunately for Boston, their lead would be short-lived. Jets’ defenseman Neal Pionk scored his 4th goal of the season.

Image result for boston bruins vs winnipeg jets"(Photo Credits: Sports Night)

SCORE: BOS- 3, WPG- 3

SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-24, WPG-14

The third period saw the Bruins go on the power-play but they were unable to score despite some really good missed chances. After some miscues down Boston’s end, Winnipeg’s center Mark Scheifele would pot his 22nd of the season, making the score 4-3.

Jake DeBrusk took the puck to the net on a self pass that would bounce off Brossoit, creating a rebound opportunity that saw David Krejci setting up a play, allowing Pastrnak to notch his seventh career hat-trick in regular season, tying the game 4-4. Seconds later DeBrusk would score his 13th and second of the night as he tipped the game-winning puck in Winnipeg’s goal.

Boston would draw a penalty, however, they were unable to score. The Bruins continued to play heavily down the Jets zone, keeping the momentum on their side. Winnipeg had chances as the clock ticked down to the final minutes of the game and in a nail-biter, Boston held on to win in regulation 5-4.

The Bruins are now 26-8-11 while the Jets are 24-17-4, with Boston leading the Atlantic Division.

SCORE: BOS- 5, WPG 4

TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-36, WPG-21

NEXT GAME FOR BOSTON: Saturday, January 11th vs New York Islanders, Barclays Center with puck drop at 7:00pm.

WHERE TO WATCH: NHLN, MSG+, NESN

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 161 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Boston Bruins Week In Review Dec 30th-Jan 5th

Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33) defends against Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (29) during the second period on an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

( Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer )

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

As this new year begins, I’d like to start pumping out these weekly update articles. These will feature quick game recaps, roster and injury news, three stars of the week, a play of the week and my general thoughts on the week that transpired. If you missed anything Bruins related, here’s where to go.

Dec 31st Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils

After a rough start to December, the Bruins rattled off three wins in a row coming into New Jersey. Despite losing former MVP Taylor Hall after sending him to the Arizona Coyotes, the Devils were starting to play better hockey. Leading into their matchup with the Bruins, the Devils went 2-0-1. Even with both teams’ respective recent success, this was a game against a bottom-feeder was a game the Bruins needed to have.

The game started as well as one could think for the Bruins after Devils defenseman was sent to the box 1:17 into the game. The Bs were able to capitalize early on the powerplay after Brad Marchand buried a rebound off of a David Pastrnak shot with Matt Grzelyck (who did a very solid job filling in for Torey Krug) picking up the secondary assist.

New Jersey Devils Vs Boston Bruins At TD Garden

( Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe – Getty Images )

The Bs were able to tack on another goal after Joakim Nordstrom lit the lamp just over four minutes into the second period and with a 2-0 lead, you’d think the Bruins would be able to hang onto the lead. Well, after trading chances for much of the period, the Devils were able to score after Nikita Gusev and Blake Coleman finished off a nice give and go to cut the Bs’ lead in half.

The third period was an absolute mess for the Bruins. The Devils were able to pull even after Jesper Bratt deflected a PK Subban shot. In all honesty. The black and gold were lucky to make it out of the period after getting outshot 19-5. There wasn’t much going on in overtime outside of a Matt Grzelcyk shot that rang off the crossbar, so to the shootout it went.

With all the success the Bs have had in shootouts, you can all probably see where this one went. After four rounds of nothing from either side, Jack Hughes and Chris Wagner traded goals. To open the sixth round, Damon Severson put a nifty move on Jaroslav Halak and Mackenzie Blackwood stoned Patrice Bergeron, giving the Devils the 3-2 win.

Jan 2nd Columbus Blue Jackets @ Boston Bruins

After what I’m sure was a splendid New Years’ Eve and a January 1st full of recovering, the Bruins came back home to face an injury-riddled Columbus Blue Jackets team. This game had a very similar narrative to the Bruins last one. Gustav Nyqvist seemed to score very early into the game, but to me and many others’ surprise, a goal review HELPED the Bruins. A couple of big saves from Tuukka Rask and Elvis Merzlikins kept the first half of the game scoreless. 

boston-bruins-tuukka-rask-blue-jackets-31219.jpg

( Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports photo )

The tie was broken after a Bruins’ powerplay saw David Pastrnak rip his 30th of the year. The Blue Jackets were able to tie the game up with 17:54 left in the 3rd Period after Sony Milano wheeled the puck towards the net and got a fortuitous bounce off of Matt Grzelcyk. The save of the night belonged to Merzlikins soon after that when he made a save off of an Anders Bjork partial break, and denied Par Lindholm on the rebound attempt.

The game remained knotted at one going into overtime. The duo of David Krejci and David Pastrnak were oh so close to winning the game less than a minute into OT, but that missed chance proved to be the Bruins’ demise. After the chance, (and a very poor defensive play from Pastrnak) Seth Jones was able to scoop up the puck and dish over to Pierre-Luc Dubois who ended the Bruins’ night on a sour note. That marked the second game in a row the Bruins had blown a lead to a team outside of the playoffs

Jan 4th Edmonton Oilers @ Boston Bruins

Another game, another early lead for the Bruins. Who but David Pastrnak was able to capitalize on the powerplay to give Boston a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the hockey game, but that was all the offense the Bruins could muster up. Jaroslav Halak was certainly the best thing going for the Bruins early in this game. The netminder made a massive save off of a one-time shot from Connor McDavid later in the 1st, keeping the Bruins lead. 

There was some back and forth action in the second until Jake Debrusk muffed a pass through the middle of the ice, allowing Gaeton Hass to snag the puck, and sneak it five-hole on Halak. The second period ended on a tough note for the Bruins when Darnell Nurse threw the puck on net from the corner and it found twine with just seconds left in the period.

Something began to click early in the third period as the Bruins 1st and 4th lines were able to generate a couple of scoring chances but that was ultimately thwarted when the Zack Kassian capitalized on a defensive breakdown and fed McDavid for the goal. The Bruins failed to score the rest of the game, and after an empty netter from Draisaitl, Edmonton picked up the 4-1 victory, capping off a poor weak from the Bruins.

( Photo Credit: Steve Babineau/ NHLI – Getty Images)

Roster/Injury News

  • David Krejci missed the game in New Jersey but played the remaining two games this week.
  • Charlie McAvoy also returned after missing a pair of games against Buffalo and one against New Jersey
  • Matt Grzelcyk missed the game against Oilers because of illness
  • Connor Clifton missed all three games this week, and will not travel to Nashville for the Bruins next game
  • Torey Krug returned to action in Columbus after missing the previous three games
  • Joakim Nordstrom will also miss the game in Nashville due to illness
  • Jeremy Lauzon was recalled for the Bruins game in New Jersey but was returned to Providence after playing
  • Both Karson Kuhlman and Zach Senyshyn were assigned to the AHL and look to be healthy

( Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports )

My Three Stars of the Week

  1. David Pastrnak

Not really much to choose from this week, but Pasta was able to score half the Bruins goals this weekend. I wasn’t super impressed by much, and his lackluster defense against the Blue Jackets lead to the Bs losing the game, but he did have a great goal in that same game. Pastrnak had two goals, one assist, and a -3 rating during the week.

  1. Tuukka Rask

He let up one goal in regulation that ricocheted off of his teammate’s skate and a one-timer goal on a two on one in OT. He played very well and was far from the reason the Bruins lost in Columbus. 

  1. Jaroslav Halak

So he went 0-1-1, but just like Rask, but he wasn’t at fault for either of the losses. He made 42 saves against the Devils in their shootout loss and kept the Bs in the game from the start. Against Edmonton, he gave up one soft goal and the other two were when an Oiler was in alone on him. He made a lot of big saves in both games.

Play of the Week – Jaroslav Halak save on Connor McDavid

If you were asked to pick two players to go in on a two on one in an NHL game, I’m sure Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl would be towards the very top of the list. After Draisaitl shuffled past Brandon Carlo, he dished the puck to McDavid who got good wood on a one-timer but was greeted by a slick left pad by Halak.  It’s a shame the Bs went on to lose that game because this save would’ve been looked back on far more.

NHL: SEP 25 Preseason - Devils at Bruins

( Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire – Getty Images)

Final Notes

  • Despite not recording a point, I really liked Anders Bjork’s game this week. He generated a plethora of high-quality chances and continues to improve each and every game. It seems he’ll get rewarded from his play by getting a shot in the top-6 with Krejci and Jake Debrusk.
  • The Bruins need a jump in their offense, something isn’t clicking. Maybe calling up a guy like Zach Senyshyn or Jack Studnicka who both looked good in their previous call-ups will help. Maybe the Bs look elsewhere and make a move for a guy like Tyler Toffoli or Kyle Palmieri. Maybe all it takes is a shuffle of the lines, putting David Pastrnak with David Krejci or something of the sort.
  • The biggest key is to not overreact. Yes, it has been an awful stretch for the Bruins, but there is still a lot of time left in the season. Their lead in the Atlantic has diminished, but they still hold a six-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs with a game in hand. Let’s see how this next week goes.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 161 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Forward David Krejci Injured, Will Not Travel To New Jersey

(Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

By: Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

In a post-practice press conference on Monday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy stated that forward David Krejci will not travel with the team to New Jersey on Tuesday.

Krejci is dealing with a lower-body injury, presumably sustained during last night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. Krejci finished the game and logged 14:17 of ice time. He was credited with the primary assist on Jake DeBrusk’s game-winning goal just under three minutes into the third period.

Krejci has skated in 34 games for the Bruins so far this season, recording 8 goals and 20 assists and a plus-16 rating. He has centered the second line for most of the year, but has also played first-line center in Patrice Bergeron’s absence. The loss of Krejci is a significant one for the Bruins, both on and off of the ice, as he provides leadership and experience as one of the longest-tenured Bruins and an alternate captain.

The Bruins have not yet given details on Krejci’s injury. Bruce Cassidy stated on Monday that it is possible that Krejci will be playing on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but did not give any guarantees. According to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Par Lindholm is expected to fill in for Krejci as the second-line center.

The Bruins will face the Devils in New Jersey on Tuesday at 1:00 pm. This will be the third and final time this season that these two teams play each other. Boston will be seeking to sweep the season series, having defeated New Jersey 3-0 on October 12th and 5-1 on November 19th.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 160 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Brad Marchand’s Newest Award, A Callback To His Journey To The NHL

(Photo Credit: AHL.com)

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

Just a week or so after receiving the First Star of the Week award, Brad Marchand has added yet another accolade to his already long list. Ten days ago, the American Hockey League announced that the Bruins’ winger was selected as the Ephesus/AHL Graduate of the Month for November.

In the 14 games he played throughout November, Marchand tallied 11 goals and 11 assists, good for 6th in the league within the month. The five players ahead of him? Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Leon Draisaitl. Of those five players, just Leon Draisaitl had gotten a taste of the AHL, where he played six games in 2015.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - JUNE 09: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal during the first period of Game Six of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on June 09, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

I was curious and did a little research on what other AHL alumni have had major impacts this season. Maybe it’s not all that surprising, but just four of the top 15 scorers in the NHL have played in the American Hockey League. Those four are Marchand’s teammate David Pastrnak, Capitals defenseman John Carlson, the aforementioned Draisaitl and of course Marchand. The little ball of hate has more games in the AHL than all three combined, lacing them up in the AHL for 113 games in his career. It’s not incredibly normal that a player with an extended stay in the AHL makes a big mark in the NHL, but Marchand is anything but normal. Marchand’s years in Providence were a major part of what has made him so damn good today, so let’s take a look at his journey.

In his time in the AHL, Brad Marchand was able to make quite the name for himself. Coming off of a big season in the QMJHL and a promising World Juniors showing, the grind to make it to the NHL began for the Halifax, Canada native. In his first season with the Providence Bruins, Marchand portrayed what made him so good in juniors. He maintained his strong playmaking ability and added the snarl we all know and love by putting up 59 points (41 of which were assists) and 67 penalty minutes.

Image result for BRAD MARCHAND ROOKIE

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org)

The next season was a massive one for Marchand’s development. He bounced between the minors and the big leagues throughout the season, not able to find any sort of consistency at the NHL level. For a Bruins team that was looking for scoring, Marchand went goalless with just a single assist in the 20 games he played in the NHL. Despite the very minimal success with Boston, Marchand still managed to put together a successful AHL season with 32 points in 34 games with Providence.

During that season’s playoff run, Marchand was apart of the Black Aces. When a hole seemingly opened up for the skilled forward when David Krejci went down with an injury, the Bruins elected to give NHL journeyman Trent Whitfield the shot over the young Marchand. That choice did not work out for Boston, as Whitfield failed to record a point in the four games he played and the Bruins suffered one of the franchise’s biggest collapses in team history, blowing a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Following the infamous 2010 collapse, Brad Marchand made quite the promise in the annual exit meetings with the then Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien. Despite failing to reach the back of the net once in 20 NHL games AND not reaching 20 goals in either of his two seasons in the AHL, the former 3rd rounder promised to hit 20 goals in the 2010-2011 season. So naturally, the undersized forward who was never a prolific goal-scorer faltered and had a bust of a season, right? Well, you all know that isn’t the case. Marchand scored 21 goals and helped lead the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup victory, ending their nearly 40-year drought.

Brad Marchand

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Year after year following his rookie season, Marchand’s role with the Bruins continued to evolve. He’s steadily progressed from a 40 to 50, to 60, to 80 and now 100 point player. Playing in the AHL was just the first step out of many for Brad Marchand to cement himself as one of the best players in the entire NHL. By winning the AHL Graduate of the Month Award, it seems Marchand has had a bit of a “come full circle” moment.

I feel it is worth adding that the Bruins took their time with Marchand and it paid off. Not every player can skip straight past the AHL and jump to the NHL and just because they have the skill, speed or size that doesn’t always mean success. This is important to the Bruins’ system that is filled with players with great potentials. Just because guys like Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril, and Trent Frederic have spent their first few pro years in the AHL, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the chance to become true NHL players.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Game 29 Preview: Chicago Blackhawks

1129258766.jpg.0.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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

The Boston Bruins are one of the best teams in the National Hockey League during this eight-game winning streak, putting them in the second-overall position in the league standings, only two points behind the Washington Capitals with a 20-3-5 record and two games in hand on the Caps. Boston is 9-0-1 in their last ten games and have still not lost in regulation on home ice.

After being one of the most dominate teams of the 2010s, the Chicago Blackhawks are now one of the bottom teams in the NHL with a sub-.500 record of 10-12-5, good for 27th in the league standings. Chicago has lost each of their last three games and are 4-5-1 in their last ten contests. The Blackhawks most-recently lost 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues on Monday in Chicago.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 13-2-2 2.04 GAA .933 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 3-1 win vs MTL

CHI: Robin Lehner (Not Confirmed) 5-5-3 2.69 GAA .929 SV% Last Game: 9 Saves in 7-3 loss vs COL

Who’s Hot:

Tuukka Rask is getting the starting job tonight against the Blackhawks and in the process, he will be putting his six-game winning streak and seven-game point streak as starting goaltender on the line. Rask has been one of the top goalies once again this season, sitting near the top of the league in nearly every category. Out of goaltenders with a minimum of 15 games played, Rask is third in save-percentage (.933%) and second in goals-against-average (2.04) with two shutouts (tied for 2nd).

Even though he was kept off of the scoring sheet for the first time in a remarkable 15 games, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is on fire this season, putting up 14-19-33 numbers in 27 games. Before the loss to the Blues, Kane scored 11 goals and 13 assists over the course of 15-consecutive games. Kane has 8-8-16 totals in 18 career regular-season games against the Bruins.

David Krejci has really come into his own with the absence of Patrice Bergeron in the Bruins lineup as he has been on the scoresheet in each of the last three games, including the insurance goal in the third-period that secured the Bruins a 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. Krejci has 6-15-21 totals in 22 games in ’19/’20 and will look to keep up that momentum against the Hawks.

Who’s Not:

Once known as one of the league’s best two-way forwards, Jonathon Toews has not had the best campaign so far into December, scoring only four goals and ten assists for 14 points in 27 games. Toews has only two points in his last five games and has been a minus rating in the last three. Toews has been averaging around 17-18 minutes per game on the ice and the Hawks need to see more production from the 31-year-old.

As of 11:00am EST, we do not know the starting goaltender for the Blackhawks, but either option – Corey Crawford or Robin Lehner, are not having good seasons and have struggled to start the campaign. Crawford got the start against the Blues and proceeded to allow four goals on 30 shots against, bringing his season record to 5-7-2 with a GAA of 3.04 and a save-percentage of .909. Lehner’s last game resulted in him getting pulled after allowing five goals on 14 shots in 25 minutes against the Avalanche, leading to a 7-3 loss.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Charlie Coyle is one goal away (99) from 100 career NHL goals
  • F Jake DeBrusk is three points away (97) from 100 career NHL points
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away (55) from tying Cam Neely (56) for 5th-most game-winning goals in Bruins history

Chicago Blackhawks:

  • G Corey Crawford is one win away (249) from 250 career NHL wins*
  • D Duncan Keith is one goal away (99) from 100 career NHL goals
  • F Zack Smith is two points away (198) from 200 career NHL points
  • D Erik Gustafsson is one point away (99) from 100 career NHL points

*Only applicable if he gets the start in goal.

Bruins vs Blackhawks Outlook:

Two of the most historic franchises in NHL history get ready to lace up the skates against one another for the 591st time in the regular-season. Due to the reality that they are in opposing conferences, the Bruins and Blackhawks only play twice per season. Last year, the Bruins won both meetings including the 4-2 win in the 2019 Winter Classic. Brad Marchand scored two goals and three assists for five points in the two games last season against Chicago.

This year, the Bruins remain one of the best teams but not just in the standings. Boston has the second-best power-play in the NHL with a 30.9% success rate, trailing only the Edmonton Oilers (31%). At home, the Bruins have an even better power-play percentage at 32.7% and have scored 25 goals on the man-advantage – 3rd in the league. On the opposite scale, the Blackhawks have the 19th-best penalty-kill at 79.8% and the tenth-best PK on the road at 82.8%.

Looking at the other end of the spectrum, Chicago has the fifth-worst power-play in the league, scoring only 11 goals on 82 chances for a 13.4% success rate. Boston’s penalty-kill is the seventh-best in the entire NHL, killing off just under 85% of the penalties against. The B’s special teams have been a big reason to their dominate record as we begin the final calendar month of 2019.

Bruins Lineup News:

Defenceman John Moore is going to make his season debut for the Bruins tonight while Connor Clifton gets the scratch. Moore is likely going to play alongside Matt Grzelcyk on the defensive core. Moore underwent shoulder surgery during the off-season and after a brief conditioning stint in the American Hockey League, he plays in his first game tonight. Don’t expect any additional lineup changes, although, things could of course chance by puck drop.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 156 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Carolina: 12/3/19

Jan 6, 2018; Boston, MA: Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly controls the puck in front of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin during the third period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Carolina Hurricanes

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Heinen

Bjork – Kuraly – Backes

Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Carolina’s Lineup

Forwards

Svechnikov – Staal – Foegele

Niederreiter – Aho – Teravainen

Dzingel – Wallmark – Martinook

McGinn – Bishop

Defense

Slavin – Hamilton

Edmundson – Pesce

Gardiner – van Riemsdyk

Fleury

Goalies

Reimer

Mrazek

The Bruins stayed at home for a third straight game with hopes to win their eighth straight game. The Hurricanes came to TD Garden winners of seven of their last ten games. This one marked number 500 in the career of Jaroslav Halak, and what a goaltending battle it was.

First Period

The Bruins played with good pace early on, outshooting Carolina 6-0 through the first 2:51 of the game. Also within those first three minutes came the first penalty of the game, as Jake Gardiner went off for two minutes for tripping. Despite playing well to start the game, the Bruins couldn’t sneak one past James Reimer on the power play.

After a fast-paced 2:51 of the game, the Bruins didn’t record a shot for 8:16 after that. Jordan Martinook took the second Canes penalty of the game in the form of a holding penalty with 9:14 to go. No dice.

Just over four minutes later, Jake DeBrusk went off for tripping. No dice for the Hurricanes either. Even in a good back-and-forth first period, both teams had trouble finding the back of the net. David Pastrnak took a rare penalty as it became apparent he was sick of Warren Foegele, so he yanked him to the ice by his collar. He sat for two minutes for roughing as a result with 1:26 to go.

Both teams went into intermission unscathed, but the Hurricanes had 34 seconds of their power play remaining to start the second period. The final shots for the period were 10-9 in favor of the Hurricanes. It was anyone’s game from here on out.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Pastrnak’s penalty was killed and the stalemate continued into the second period. This was in large part due to Halak was locked in early on and making saves like this. He wasn’t messing around for game number 500.

Reimer was solid as well on the other side of things. Some of his best work in the second period came when he made a big stop part on a great chance from Brad Marchand just around the 11-minute mark, as well a series of chances not too long after that. The new second and fourth lines were responsible for these chances. Reimer and the team defense of the Hurricanes kept the Bruins off the board.

The opportunities were there, but it was just a matter of puck luck to start the scoring. It appeared that Jaccob Slavin had broken the scoring, but the shot went through the side of the net.

That’s not something you see every day. The first two periods were truly a grind and the stalemate lived on. The Bruins held a 13-8 advantage in the shot department this time, bringing the total to 22-18 in their favor. Again, it was still anyone’s game.

Score: 0-0

Third Period

Nothing too crazy in terms of scoring chances throughout the first half of the period, outside of a near David Krejci goal as he approached Reimer with speed. There haven’t been many games like this for the Bruins this season, it had a much different feel to it, in my eyes.

A few scrums came and went, good chances, not a whole lot of physicality, it was a weird one. David Backes nearly had his second goal in as many games, as well of the season as a whole.

That all changed as Marchand fielded the puck off the boards from Danton Heinen to his left and sent it to Charlie Coyle who buried it out front. Coyle’s sixth goal of the season was assisted by Marchand (26) and Heinen (8) with 4:05 to go. It was quite the sequence from all involved.

Heinen made it all happen from the start, forcing a turnover from Jake Gardiner at the Bruins’ defensive blue line, and then capping off the sequence with a secondary assist. An effort like that can go a long way in close games like this one.

David Krejci followed it up with a sixth goal of the season of his own a minute and eight seconds later, deflecting a Charlie McAvoy shot past Reimer. McAvoy’s assisted was his eighth of the season and Pastrnak’s secondary assist was his 18th. That was one way to add to the obscurity of this game. It was 2-0 Bruins with 2:57 to go.

The 500th game of Halak’s career was the 49th shutout of his career and his seventh as a Bruin. What a night for him. Krejci’s goal was the 200th of his career as he built on what has been an excellent season for him.

Shots were 12-6 in favor of the Bruins in the final frame, 34-24 overall. Grit and persistence got it done in the end. Next up are the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on Thursday at 7:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 20-3-5, winners of their last eight games, and the first time in the NHL to reach the 20-win mark.

Final Score: 2-0 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 156 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Game 28 Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

topplay-hockey.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Getty Images)

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

Seven-consecutive wins and an undefeated (regulation) home record is the story of the Boston Bruins right now and it is showing on the standings. As of December 3rd, the Bruins are first in the overall league standings with a record of 15-3-5, tied with the Washington Capitals in points, but have an edge in ROW (regulation plus overtime wins). Boston won their last game 3-1 over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday after trailing the game 1-0 for nearly the entire first two periods.

After surprising the league by making it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Carolina Hurricanes are aiming to prove that it was not a coincidence, but that they deserved to be there. Carolina is in the top-ten in the league with a record of 16-10-1, including a 7-3-0 stretch in their last ten games. The Canes last defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 3-2 on November 30th.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 6-1-3 2.35 GAA .930 SV% Last Game: 26 Saves in 3-2 OT win vs NYR

CAR: Petr Mrazek (Not Confirmed) 11-6-1 2.68 GAA .901 SV% Last Game: 25 Saves in 3-0 loss vs NSH

Who’s Hot:

On Sunday against Montreal, David Pastrnak unleashed a rocket of a slapshot as he entered the zone that not only beat Carey Price, but started the three-goal onslaught that would later secure a Bruins victory. Pastrnak’s goal was his 25th of the 2019-20 season, reaching the halfway point to 50 goals and it is only December 3rd. Pastrnak has a five-goal lead on Capitals’ forward Alex Ovechkin for the most goals in the league while playing in one less game than the scoring legend.

Former Boston Bruins defenceman Dougie Hamilton has seemingly finally found success with a team over in Carolina. The 26-year-old leads all defensemen in the NHL with ten goals in his 27 games played this season while adding 18 assists for 28 points. Hamilton is on pace to crush his season totals for 2018-19 where he scored 18-21-39 numbers in a full 82-game season. The 9th-overall pick by Boston in the 2011 Entry Draft has 1-4-5 totals in his last five games including a two-assist night against Tampa Bay.

With Patrice Bergeron dealing with a nagging injury lately, the Bruins have had to fall back on David Krejci to man the first-line center as well as the first power-play unit and he has done great. The 33-year-old Krejci has 5-15-20 numbers in 21 games this year and has seven points in his last five. Krejci has been seeing around eighteen minutes of ice-time per game for the last three games and has not failed to come up big. Krejci will look to continue that success tonight against the Hurricanes.

Who’s Not:

Nino Niederreiter was acquired by Carolina in January of last season and went on to dominate, scoring 14-16-30 numbers in 36 games played, adding another four points in fifteen playoff games. However, this season, the 5th-overall selection in the 2010 NHL Draft only has 3-7-10 numbers in 27 games and is pointless in each of his last six contests and has seen decreases in his playing time during this bad stretch.

There has not been a whole lot of negative pieces to the Boston Bruins puzzle on this seven-game winning streak. The team has done a great job staying in games and playing to their style, performing numerous comeback wins against the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens. When a player does make an error, such as Heinen against the Rangers or Chara against the Canadiens, the rest of the team comes around them and it doesn’t happen again.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • G Jaroslav Halak will play in his 500th career NHL game
  • F David Krejci is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Charlie Coyle is two goals away (98) from 100 career NHL goals
  • F Jake DeBrusk is three points away (97) from 100 career NHL points

Carolina Hurricanes:

  • F Jordan Staal is three assists away (297) from 300 career NHL assists
  • D Dougie Hamilton is five assists away (195) from 200 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Hurricanes Outlook:

For the first time since their Eastern Conference Finals series, the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes will play one another. Last year, the Bruins won the season series over the Canes, winning two out of the three games they played. In the playoffs, the two met in the Conference Finals, where the Bruins swept the Hurricanes in four-straight games to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Tonight’s game will not only be the first time that these two teams meet again, but it will also be a big test as both squads are within the top-ten teams in the NHL – with Boston taking the number one position right now. Boston is coming into the game as the best team defensively, averaging the lowest goals-against-per-game on average, allowing 2.26 goals against. The B’s are also second in the NHL for goals-for, scoring at a rate of 3.67 goals-for-per-game. Boston also has the best goal-differential in the league at +34.

Carolina has also been putting up goals, averaging 3.22 goals-for-per-game – 11th best in the National Hockey League. On the defence side of things, the Canes are no slouches either. They have the 8th-best goals-against-per-game at an average of 2.81 and they have a goal-differential of +12, fifth in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the league.

Speciality teams is still a hot topic for the Bruins, as they continue to score on the man-advantage with a 31.6% success rate (2nd in NHL). In Sunday’s win over Montreal, David Backes scored the eventual game-winning tally on the power-play in the third-period. Boston also has the seventh-best penalty-kill in the game – thriving at a 84.5% kill rate. Carolina has the ninth-best power-play (21.2%) and the eighth-best penalty-kill (84.4%).

Bruins Projected Lineup:

According to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, forward Patrice Bergeron will not play tonight but he said that he can see him playing on the upcoming trip if there are no setbacks. Defenceman John Moore remains out of the lineup, but could return on Thursday and forward Brett Ritchie will be a scratch. Halak gets the start in goal.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 156 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!