Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 65

NHL: MAR 03 Canadiens at Bruins

Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III (Icon Sportswire

By KG | Follow on twitter @kgbngblog | FanCred at K G


After a hit up high on Frans Nielsen last game, David Backes was suspended for three games. His absence along with Bergeron and McAvoy leaves the Bruins lineup looking a lot less intimidating than it was just a week ago. After going 9-0-1 starting back on February 8th, the Flyers have started to drop off going 0-3-1 since the start of March. Rask starts for Boston while Lyon protects the other end for Philadelphia.

What I Am Looking Forward To

Boston is going through a really rough injury patch right now and it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep their winning ways going with all of the key guys they have out. I expect a grinding, hitting old school kind of game tonight. Both teams desperately want these two points. Should be a great game.


The game really started a minute and a half into the game when Kevan Miller took a double minor penalty for high sticking Wayne Simmonds and drawing blood. The Flyers power play unit was incredibly efficient scoring only ten seconds into the power play on a great pass from Nolan Patrick to Jakub Voracek. Later, the Bruins got a power play after Rick Nash’s stick was slashed, where they had a lot of shot opportunities but didn’t get too much actually on net. But that did energize the team, so when Bruce Cassidy told the top line of Marchand/Nash/Pastrnak to hit the ice, they channeled that energy into a terrific display of skill and hard work that ended up with Riley Nash scoring on a wraparound rebound. After some great offensive shifts for him, Brad Marchand was given a tripping penalty for a low hit on Gostisbehere. The Bruins killed this off, and with less than a minute left on the clock Tommy Wingels made a great defensive play on the backcheck to get the puck to Chara where the captain made a great pass to Brian Gionta, of all people, who ended up scoring on a sweet little move all alone on a breakaway to end the period.


BOS – Nash (Pastrnak, Miller), Gionta (Chara, Wingels)

PHI – Voracek PP (Patrick, Giroux)


The start of the period kicked off with a pretty questionable penalty called on Torey Krug that the Bruins were able to kill off pretty easily. After some back and forth from the teams, Rick Nash drew yet another penalty when he was slashed again, sending the Bruins to their second power play. But just as the Bruins were starting to settle into a setup in the Flyers’ end, Philly sprung Oskar Lindblom on a two-on-one where he threw the puck into Rask’s open five-hole. The rest of the period was more physical play along the boards, with lots of chances with good puck movement from both teams.



PHI – Lehtera SH (Filppula, Gudas)


Another early period penalty put Boston on the power play just a minute thirty into the final period. Chara was set up for a one-timer during the man advantage, but no one other than the goalie wanted to be in front of it so Lyon had a clear view of it all the way in to make the stop. Chara really showed off his offensive abilities around the ten-minute mark. He was pinching into the zone and using his reach and massive body to sweep around the net and throw the puck in front of the net, and he did this more than once. Sean Couturier broke into the Bruins end, forcing Marchand to slash him up in the hand/wrist area in hopes that it would cause him to miss, which it did. But this meant that he was going to the box. The Bruins were once again successful in killing it off. In the dying seconds of the third period, the hero Brad Marchand swooped in on net when there was a massive pile-up where he smacked in the puck to put the Bruins up by one with 30 seconds left in the game. And that was how it ended. 3-2 the final score.


BOS – Marchand (Pastrnak, Chara)



The Bruins played decent, not great, this game. They did have some very arguable penalties called against them and key players missing though. If Boston can do this while missing their top centermen, top 4 defencemen and arguably top 6 wingers, they will do that much better when they are all back in action.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Brad Marchand – Yet another game winner for him. I guess that makes him relatively elite. Another complete game from him, even though there was some funny business with penalties. And that one time he kind of gave up on a backcheck that cost the team the one-goal lead. Oh well, he made up for it with that game winner.

2nd: Zdeno Chara – Chara had a great night. It almost seemed like he turned back the clock the way that he was galloping out there. With two assists, four shots and a +/- of +2, Chara was incredible. He also played 23:55 tonight, over four minutes more than the next guy (Marchand with 19:25).

3rd: Brian Gionta – Surprisingly “Gio” played a really good game in a limited timeframe. He scored the Bruins second goal of the night and played an old school kind of grind-it-out game.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Tuukka Rask – Right off of the start, Rask was bombarded with shots all night. He stopped 31 out of the 33 he faced and came up big when they needed him and this is all while he is supposedly still a bit hurt.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game


Saturday, March 10th vs Chicago in Boston


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

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 60


Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer (AP Photo)

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


Boston has been making some serious deals the past couple of days, moving lineup regular Spooner along with Matt Beleskey and assets to the New York Rangers in exchange for Rick Nash. The new addition and looming Trade Deadline give yet another reminder that Boston should be getting into that end of season grind mentality. Former Bruin Chad Johnson will face off against Anton Khudobin, who has started to look like a regular back up goalie again.

What I Am Looking Forward To

After the trade for Rick Nash, I want to see how he fits in with this team. He will basically be meeting the rest of the gang for the first time on the ice, so it’ll be interesting to see what the coaches have told him to do. He’ll be on a line with DeBrusk and Krejci. He reminds me a lot of the Horton/Krejci combo that the Bruins ran so much a couple years ago. Krejci has been looking for the winger to fit with him, and hopefully Rick Nash is just that.


The new look Bruins got off to a physical start with the line of David Krejci, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk playing using great body position to move around the offensive zone. Boston continued to get good offensive zone time but couldn’t get anything done on a Baptise penalty. The PP units will need more time to get adjusted to Rick Nash’s play style on the man advantage. The Bruins got into some penalty trouble and gave up two power-play goals to Benoit Pouliot and Kyle Okposo on penalties from Marchand and Chara. Boston as a whole looked pretty sluggish, but that was expected with this early start the day after a hard game last night against Toronto but against a team like Buffalo, there should be no slow starts for a team like Boston, especially since Buffalo also played last night. One thing to note was the absence of Patrice Bergeron for some of the first period after what seemed like a high stick to the face. He was reportedly back on the bench to end the first.



BUF – Pouliot PP (Antipin, Baptise) Okposo PP (O’Reilly)


Patrice Bergeron was back to start the second, and after some good play along the boards, Marchand was sprung out of his own zone to go down the ice on a one-on-one that led to cycling the puck down low until David Pastrnak found Charlie McAvoy moving in from the point for the pass-and-shoot that ended in a McAvoy goal. The one goal lead didn’t last for long. Rodrigues popped one just a couple minutes after McAvoy, which brought the Bruins two goals back. But then they started to go to work in the offensive end. Time after time they would enter and get shots, and one of those ended up with 1:52 straight of zone time that included a broken stick and a line change by Boston. Even with all of this time and all those shots, the Bruins couldn’t get one by Johnson. The Bruins need to start converting and scoring if they want to give themselves a chance to tie it up.


BOS – McAvoy (Pastrnak, Marchand)

BUF – Rodrigues (Reinhart, Ristolainen)


In a period where the Bruins needed to be near perfect to get back in the game, Kevan Miller took a penalty which turned into a simple goal from Marco Scandella. Anton Khudobin seemed to be out of it tonight. The defensive play of the Bruins didn’t help that much either, but it just was an off night for him. He only stopped 19 shots of the 23 on the net. The Bruins went 0/4 on the power play, but remember that one of those was for only four seconds. The rest of the game seemed to lack the intensity that was shown in the second period, even though they still had 11 shots in the second period. They gave up near the end, something that shouldn’t happen when you are a playoff team like they are.



BUF – Scandella PP (Pominville, Antipin)


Boston has been known to play down to opponents, and this needs to change if they want to go far in the playoffs. The little things that led to goals for a team like Buffalo will be taken advantage of even more by teams like Vegas or Tampa. Cassidy is a great coach, and Bruins fans shouldn’t be worried about the team losing that special something they had during their crazy points run. And just to remind people, when the deadline is in the past, the team will be more confident and ready to go.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Charlie McAvoy – The only goal scorer of the game, McAvoy played just as well defensively as he did offensively. He was great at sending in the puck when he had pressure on him when he was skating along the blueline. What a great young player he is.

2nd: David Pastrnak – The guy who always generates offensive did just that tonight as he was flying up and down the wing. He played well from behind the net and played an important part of the Bruins cycle game.

3rd: Rick Nash – For a guy who skated with the team for the first time in the warmups, Rick Nash played pretty well. His front of the net presence seems to fit nicely with the Bruins play style. He generated a team-leading five shots. Once he gets to practice with the team and get to know people, he’ll be even better.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Sean Kuraly – It was a real nose-to-the-grindstone kind of game for Kuraly, playing physical as always and putting pucks on net. Always a great option to put out when you need to generate some energy.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game


Tuesday, February 27th vs Carolina in Boston


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

Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron And The Triple Fifty Line



Patrice Bergeron #37 and Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins react in the first period against the New York Rangers during their game at Madison Square Garden on February 7, 2018, in New York City.
(Feb. 7, 2018 – Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                        Twitter: @godwentwhoops


The Boston Bruins earned themselves another two points with a solid 5-2 drubbing of the Calgary Flames Tuesday night.  Overall it was a great night for Bruins fans. The TD Garden hosted the legendary Don Cherry and members of the Bruins 1977-78 squad (the only team in NHL history to have 11 20-goal scorers).

The Bruins got on the board early, and they got on the board often. Once again, the Black and Gold came from behind to make life difficult for the opposing goalie. Riley Nash put in the first two goals of the night for the B’s, and B’s captain Zdeno Chara put in the empty-netter to seal the deal late for Boston.

But once again, the player of the game was B’s alternate captain Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron scored the third and fourth goals of the game, putting the game out of reach and stealing the heat from the Flames.

Patrice Bergeron has been on fire these last few weeks. Since the start of 2018, the four-time Selke winner (and obvious first ballot into the Hockey Hall of Fame) has made NHL goalies his playthings by putting in 16 goals for the Black and Gold (including two hat tricks). Four of those goals were game-winners and he tallied an obscene 65 shots on goal.

So what does one of the hottest players currently in the National Hockey League think about being a one-man shooting gallery?

“I’m trying not to think about it,” said Bergeron with his usual honest humility. “I’m trying just to go out there, play, and stay focused…push myself to be better from one night to another and learn and watch video. Whenever it’s on the power play, [studying] my positioning and trying to find openings and things like that. To be honest with you, I’m trying to stay focused and be in the moment.”

Bergeron’s two goals helped him eclipse the 50-point plateau this season. Bergeron has hit this mark or higher every year for the last five seasons.  He’s the last of the Bruins top line to hit that mark. David Pastrnak crossed that line last week against the New York Rangers. Boston’s Little Ball of Hate Brad Marchand passed that mark in late January against the New Jersey Devils.

The Bruins top line has been one of the strongest lines in the entire league this season. It’s impossible to find a line in the league that has let in as few goals as they have. In his long career, Bergeron has been a remarkable leader and teacher to the rest of his line. He’s helped turn Marchand from a fourth-line grinder to an All-Star, and Pastrnak from a raw rookie to a future All-Star.

There’s also that small matter of putting Bergy’s name in the conversation for the Hart Trophy.

Look at the numbers Marchand and Bergeron have put up in their respective careers in Boston.  43 goals in 2010-11. 50 in 2011-12. 28 in 2012-13(but that’s because the owners wanted to stick it to the players and thus gave up half the season). The numbers are high and they stay high.

Now add in David Pastrnak and the numbers just get silly. 69 goals (10 of them game-winners) between the three of them. 156 points. 440 shots on goal and nobody on that line hits less than 14% of the time.  It’s as close to Bruins hockey perfection without mentioning the name ‘Orr’.

Patrice Bergeron is only 32. He still has five-plus years in the league. Marchand’s just 29. This power trio will be one of the dominant lines in the NHL until the mid-2020s.  Guess Bruins Nation owes a big debt of gratitude for Claude Julien for putting them together.






Game Preview: Bruins vs. Rangers Has No Shortage of Storylines

Photo credit: Yahoo Sports

By: Thomas Nystrom           Follow Me On Twitter @nahstrom 

Despite the New York Rangers season having fallen off the rails, there is no shortage of things to watch for in tonight’s match-up.

Tonight the Boston Bruins take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden featuring the return of Brad Marchand. The embattled winger finished his suspension and will look to get right back into the unmistakably dominant flow that the first line had been on. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Marchand are arguably the best two-way line in hockey and prior to his suspension for an elbow to New Jersey Devils forward Marcus Johansson, they were lighting up opponents at a record pace. It will be interesting to see the reaction from Ranger fans and players alike, perhaps trying to goad Marchand into making another costly mistake. The NHL offices will no doubt be watching #63 with a close eye tonight in New York.

A compelling dynamic to tonights rivalry game is the idea that the Rangers appear to be sellers at the upcoming trade deadline, and perhaps a number of players are auditioning for their potential future teams, Boston included. Names like defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and forwards Michael Grabner, Rick Nash, David Desharnais, and fan favorite Mats Zuccarello have been floated out there as potentially available. Zuccarello and McDonagh both have time past the end of this season left on their contracts and are signed through the end of next season.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in January that the Rangers are preparing to take calls regarding players up and down the roster, regardless of contract status.

One more interesting thing to know is that AHL affiliates of both organizations play one another the night before the February 26th deadline. Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR) head to Providence to take on the Bruins for a Sunday matinee at 3:05. Any indications of a potential deal between New York and Boston could possibly make itself apparent in that contest in the form of a healthy scratch for one or more Providence prospects. That will be something to monitor as the game approaches.

Boston Bruins (32-11-8) vs. New York Rangers (25-23-5)
Madison Square Garden
8:00 pm on NBCSN

Projected Lineups:

Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ryan Spooner
Danton Heinen – Riley Nash – David Backes
Tim Schaller – Sean Kuraly – Austin Czarnik

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Adam McQuaid

Anton Khudobin getting the nod in goal.

New York Rangers

Rick Nash – Mika Zibanejad – Mats Zuccarello
JT Miller – David Desharnais – Jesper Fast
Michael Grabner – Kevin Hayes – Vinni Lettieri
Cody McLeod – Peter Holland – Paul Carey

Ryan McDonagh – Nick Holden
Brady Skjei – Steve Kampfer
Brendan Smith – Anthony DeAngelo

Henrik Lundqvist expected in net for the Rangers.

Thomas Nyström, Contributor.
Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 50

NHL: NOV 11 Maple Leafs at Bruins

Photo Credit: Michael Tureski (Icon Sportswear)

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


The Leafs are on a hot streak right now, winning their last four games while outscoring their opponents 16-3 over those four games. Charlie McAvoy returns to the lineup for the first time following his heart surgery along with Austin Czarnik, while Kevan Miller and Noel Accari both step out of the lineup. Rask and Andersen will be in nets for their respective teams. Longtime captain Zdeno Chara is set to play the 1,400th game in his historied career tonight.

What I Am Looking Forward To

Two words. Playoff. Atmosphere. These are two teams that have an incredibly high possibility of being a first-round matchup. It’s going to show in the intensity of the play tonight.


The game started off with some pretty typical back and forth, with both teams getting good rushes into zones. Bergeron opened up the scoring with a textbook shot from the high slot that easily beat Andersen. Shortly after, Boston gave up a breakaway that almost turned into a goal, and right after that, Carlo took a bad penalty that resulted in McAvoy tipped it directly into the net. The two teams continued to trade chances and use their speed, but no one could break the 1-1 tie by the end of the first period.


BOS – Bergeron (Heinen)

TOR – Marner PP (Rielly, Kadri)


The Bruins had some good chances to start off the second by getting the puck into high scoring areas, but Pastrnak took a lazy goalie interference penalty and that seemed to slow down the Bruins pace. Then everything went crazy. Rask made one of the best saves of the year, along with shots that hit posts at both ends of the ice with Bergeron wiring the puck off the crossbar, Rielly took a tripping penalty and Boston got a bit of a break. Then the Boston power play started. That was even more hectic, with shots from every angle you could think of, and rebounds for everyone. The Bruins wouldn’t convert there, but moments later the Bruins would get another opportunity on the power play where David Pastrnak roared down the wing and snuck the puck in on the short side, extending his point streak to eight straight games. Toronto was sent to the penalty kill yet again on a weak interference call, where the Bruins continued to work the Leafs in the offensive end, which turned into an absolute blast of a shot from Krug to make it 3-1. Things started to get chippy at the end of the period, with Leo Komarov taking a shot at Bergeron, but that ended pretty quickly when Chara stepped in and asked if there was a problem.


BOS – Pastrnak PP (Krug, Heinen), Krug PP (Czarnik, Krejci)



Boston decided to keep up the offensive pressure by changing their entry strategy to more of a dump-and-chase rather than their usual tendency to carry it in and look for openings. After this went on for ten minutes or so, Backes made a risky hit on Dermott that was called a knee-on-knee but seemed to be more of a knee-on-groin, but the refs had to call it. The man advantage was unsuccessful, and this caused Kadri to try and take things into his own hands after he and McQuaid had an on-ice scuffle and throw his hands to his face in hopes of a penalty. The ref didn’t fall for it. With the clock just north of three minutes, Mike Babcock pulled Andersen in the hopes that his players could close the gap, but Rask made sure that the only goal that he gave up tonight was the one in the first period. Tim Schaller threw a deep, looping shot at the Leafs empty net, and got it. 4-1 final.


BOS – Tim Schaller EN (Rask, Chara)



From what the media, including myself, was saying about how this could be a playoff matchup, you would think that it would come down to the final few seconds, but with the Bruins dominating defensive play, it seemed like it was wrapped up halfway through the second period. If a team can shut down a player as explosive and offensively gifted as Matthews, they can shut down pretty much anyone. Something that is key in playing series against superstars like Stamkos or Tavares.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Patrice Bergeron – Not only did Bergeron get a goal, but he also got six shots and shut down the Matthews line. Can’t ask too much more of him. Just a classic Sleke kind of game from #37.

2nd: Tuukka Rask – Stopping 23 of 24 shots alone isn’t a crazy game for most goalies, but with the Bruins being so effective at shot suppression, the shots that Rask did face were incredibly tough. He had to make stops in very clutch moments, including a couple on the penalty kill. Like the saying goes, “Your best penalty killer is your goalie”. He also added an assist on Schaller’s EN goal. What can’t he do?

3rd: Torey Krug – A great offensive game for Krug, racking up a goal and an assist in a great game. He played his role very effectively tonight, opening up the ice with great passes and taking smart shots.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): The Fourth Line – I may need to rename this award The Merlot Line Honourary Award because it seems like almost every game they show up in big times. They play a gritty, fourth line kind of game, but they have great speed. You can’t ask for much more from them in games like this.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game



Tuesday, February 6th @ Detroit vs the Red Wings


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

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 45


Photo Credit: Charles Krupa (AP Photo)

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


The Bruins are facing Montreal for the third time in 8 days after Claude Julien had some aggressive words following their loss on Wednesday. The Bruins are playing their best hockey of the season in the past month, and are looking to add to their 15 game point streak, while the Habs try to make it two straight wins after their win last night in Washington.

What I Am Looking Forward To

It’s always interesting to see how a team plays against their former coach, but I’m more interested in how Montreal tries to shut down the 63/37/88 line. They have been incredibly dominant lately, and dominant is the only word to describe them.


The Bruins were great on the defensive pressure, forcing Montreal to recoil in their end and try to re-exit their own zone multiple times. The Bruins started to step up on the Montreal defensemen at their blueline, causing them to cough up the puck. One thing I noticed was that Carey Price was pretty aggressive when he played the puck in the first. Bergeron stopped a 2-1 on the power play on a great hustle play. Both goalies looked good in the opening period.





Boston seemed to be more on their heels at the start of this period. This resulted in a Max Pacioretty goal mid-way through the period after a costly McAvoy turnover. But the Bruins answered back by popping a quick one a couple minutes later off of a Pastrnak shot from the corner that banked off of Price’s skate and in. Then Boston started to get some momentum and ended up getting another one from Krug on a great shot that phased Price. The Bruins looked solid on both the power play and the penalty kill


BOS – Pastrnak (Krug, Bergeron), Krug (Pastrnak, Marchand)

MTL – Pacioretty (Byron)


Montreal had struggles trying to fend off the aggressive forecheck of the Bruins but the Canadiens were still able to get some quality shots on Rask. After the Petry penalty, it had seemed as though Bergeron had scored to make it 3-1, but as it turned out, the play was called offside after Boston’s old bench boss Claude Julien challenged the play. After some back and forth where it looked like the Canadiens were taking the momentum, Boston came back and scored off of a Krug shot rebound from Pastrnak, his second of the night. Julien was forced to pull his goalie with less than two minutes left in the game to attempt to tie it, but this just ended up giving Riley Nash his 6th goal of the season, giving the Bruins a 4-1 victory over their bitter rivals.


BOS – Pastrnak (Krug), Nash (Backes, Marchand)



The Bruins are currently playing up to their potential. They have a great roster and an even better gameplan. They have figured out what works and will try to continue to take opportunities when given to them.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: David Pastrnak – It was a great game for Pastrnak offensively. He had two goals and an assist. Neither one of his goals were pretty as they usually are, but they all count the same on the score sheet. He contributed to defense as well, something that he’s been doing more since joining Marchand and Bergeron’s line.

2nd: Patrice Bergeron – Bergeron has been great all season, but even better during this streak. He has really been doing well, being so effective on both offense and defense.

3rd: Torey Krug – Krug had a great night offensively, making good, solid passes and taking high-percentage shots, as well as playing a big portion of the power play. He did have one big turnover that I can remember, but he had way more good plays than bad plays tonight.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Tuukka Rask – Tuukka has been one of the biggest factors in this hot streak that the Bruins have been on. And tonight wasn’t any different. Even though he only needed to face 25 total shots, he needed to stop them all late when the Habs tried to make a comeback. Solid game for him.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game


Tuesday, January 23rd in Boston vs New Jersey


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

Old Trade Baffles Boston’s Fans, Team Has Moved On – So Should You


2010 NHL Draft - Round One

(Above photo credit: CBS Boston . com)

By: Chris Nosek              follow me on Twitter: @cnosek6342

On Monday, January 15th, our favorite boys in black and gold dropped their 5th game at home and only their 8th in extra time this season. This game had a former friend now foe, 25-year-old Tyler Seguin, at the other side of the faceoff dot.

At 2:59 in the extra action, the former Bruin netted the game-winner as David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, and Matt Grzelcyk were tiring from a long 3-on-3 shift, and as you can see in the video, their fatigue was the Achilles heel.

Ever since this goal went in, I had seen the non-stop lamenting of Boston fans at the loss of Tyler Seguin in the infamous July 4th trade back in 2013.

To all of you whining about “which deal was worse” (Seguin, Thorton, Bourque, or add in your own selection) and “why can’t  we get players like that?” Just stop. Stop focusing on the past – I will remind you later of that past and you will see that although the Seguin trade set this team back, they are better off now for the long term than they would have been had they kept him.

Instead of looking back, I encourage you to look forward. Neeley turned the page when he let Don Sweeney and his crew take over for Peter Chiarelli in the front office. Allowing Sweeney to focus on his strength of drafting and developing, this team as more youthful talent and depth than it ever had while Tyler Seguin was in town.

Let’s start with the fact that David Pastrnak is filling in nicely for Seguin on that RW alongside Bergeron and Marchand. While showing an ability to play alongside both top centers, Pasta and Krejci still haven’t found the LW replacement from Krejci’s heyday with Milan Lucic.  Pasta is only 21 years old and he is a natural wing finding his game and working into a nice leadership role on this team at the perfect time.

Also turning heads, which is no surprise after his heroics in the playoffs last season, is 19-year old Charlie McAvoy. The 14th overall pick out of Boston University gave just a small preview of what his pairing with Zdeno Chara could bring to this team, and lets not even talk about the puck movement on the powerplay. Now the youngster is flirting with 25 minutes of ice time per night (sometimes closer to 30), he is showing his maturity and will become a leader on this team in no time. Sharing a line with one of the hardest working players in the league, the hard work that he see’s Zdeno Chara put in is definitely rubbing off on him.

Image result for charlie mcavoy and david pastrnak

(Above photo credit: Boston Herald .com)

With McAvoy and Pastrnak getting the bulk of the attention, a guy like Danton Heinen has been flying under the radar for most of the season. The 22-year-old natural centerman is making his own case for a solid run at the Calder Trophy. With 10 goals and 21 assists, Heinen has 31 points in just 38 games this season. He is showing that he can come off the bench as needed and provide physicality while showing the skill that isn’t usually seen on the third line. By seasons end, he could see some action ahead of Jake DeBrusk and get some minutes with Pasta and Krejci.

This teams youthful depth goes so far that you can’t even go to Providence to see all the baby B’s who you should be excited about. Sure you will catch; Czarnik, Agostino, Forsbacka-Karlsson, Senyshyn, Cehlarik, Zboril, Bjork, Grzelcyk, Johansson, and Lauzon, but what about the guys getting big minutes overseas. Look for Ryan Donato, Joona Koppanen, Urho Vaakanainen, and Dan Vladar to log some minutes in Providence in 2018-2019 and keep this youthful movement coming up the Mass Pike.

For more details and breakdowns on each of these prospects, follow along with @BlackAndGold277 and his weekly prospect update.

Bruins Mid-Season Stat Prediction Check-Up


Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara (USA TODAY Sports)

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

My first article on this site was a prediction piece on who I thought would lead the Bruins in stat categories at the end of the year. Well, we’re halfway there and it seems like most of them are holding up decently, but I’ll admit I have a couple ones that are way off. Here’s an update and look back at what I thought would happen at the start of the year. (Here’s the link to the original article)


My Prediction: Brad Marchand (40-43)

Current Leader: Brad Marchand (18)

I believe that Marchand can hold onto the lead. He has also played 8 games less than David Pastrnak and has one more goal than him. My darkhorse for this category is Patrice Bergeron. His four-goal game against Carolina helped him leap into the solo third spot with 16 goals.


My Prediction: Torey Krug (44-47)

Current Leader: Brad Marchand (23)

Torey Krug has struggled at times this season and has looked like he’s having a worse season offensively compared to some of his other seasons. Marchand, on the other hand, is taking over almost every offensive category. He’s really evolved over the years into an offensive star.


My Prediction: Patrice Bergeron (18-21)

Current Leader: Zdeno Chara (21)

Chara and McAvoy have one of the best line Goals For/Goals Against as a defensive pairing with 25 goals for and 11 goals against. Chara looks like he isn’t letting a decreasing speed slow him down defensively. Bergeron is just two behind Chara, so my original prediction still has a pretty good chance of coming true. And with the Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak line playing as well as they are now, Bergeron has a great opportunity for adding to his +/- total.


My Prediction: David Backes (220-230)

Current Leader: Charlie McAvoy (96)

This one is tricky since Backes has only been able to play 25 games this year. But from what we have seen so far from McAvoy and his style of physical yet skilled play, he could be the leader come the last game of the season. But with both Chara and Miller close on his tail, I’d say that this is going to come down to whether or not Miller gets more Time On Ice than he is now.

Faceoff Win %

My Prediction: Patrice Bergeron (57.5% – 59.75%)

Current Leader: Patrice Bergeron (57.3%)

As expected, Bergeron is leading the Bruins in FOW%. Again. He should hold onto the lead the rest of the season.

Power Play Goals

My Prediction: David Pastrnak (9 – 11)

Current Leader: Brad Marchand/David Pastrnak (6)

I’ve said this before, but Pastrnak has really turned into an Ovechkin-like player on the power play, waiting near the top of the top left faceoff circle for that perfect one-timer. Marchand has also been very successful on the PP so far this year with his ability to move the puck effectively. The Bruins currently have the 11th best power play with 20.7%, and it looks like it will keep getting better and better with more time of practicing in the same system.

Time On Ice Per Game Played

My Prediction: Charlie McAvoy (21:50-23:00)

Current Leader: Zdeno Chara (23:23)

Chara continues to show that he deserves at least another year on the Bruins roster when his current contract is up. He is playing at a level where he can lead his team in both +/- and TOI, and do it all at 40 years old. A player comparison of ice time for Chara is Aaron Ekblad, the 21-year-old on the Florida Panthers. Ekblad won the Calder back in the 2014-15 season. He has an average TOI of 23:54. Chara is playing close to the same amount of time per game as someone half his age. I believe that with Boston now at a 99.56% of making the playoffs, Bruce Cassidy will let Chara take a shift or two off when it gets closer to playoff time to rest him, letting McAvoy take over as top spot of the TOI category.


My Prediction: Brad Marchand (84-87)

Current Leader: Brad Marchand (41)

Marchand leads in both goals and assists, so it’s pretty clear to see that he leads in points, and he should. He’s currently playing at 1.21 points per game, and on that pace, he’d easily hit my 84-87 point prediction, and maybe go over.

Power Play Points

My Prediction: David Pastrnak (26-28)

Current Leader: David Pastrnak (14)

As I was saying before, Pastrnak is great on the man advantage. He may even pass the original prediction and make it closer to 30-32 points.

Game-Winning Goals

My Prediction: Brad Marchand (9-10)

Current Leader: Jake DeBrusk (3)

This is the most surprising stat so far. Especially since DeBrusk only has 10 goals total. My original pick of Marchand isn’t too far off since he is only one away at two GWG. I don’t see DeBrusk’s lead holding up.

Overtime Goals

My Prediction: Sean Kuraly (2-4)

Current Leader: Brad Marchand (1)

This was the boldest prediction that I made. I’m wrong on the prediction because…

  1. The Bruins have only won one game in overtime this season and are 3-8 when games go to overtime/shootout
  2. Brad Marchand is the only Bruin to score in an Overtime period this season
  3. Sean Kuraly doesn’t play all that much when it does go to OT

Probably not my smartest prediction, but I’m sticking to it. Hey, maybe that’s why they don’t win as much in OT. Not enough Kuraly.


My Prediction: Patrice Bergeron (290-310)

Current Leader: Patrice Bergeron (137)

Bergeron is a master at getting opportunities to the net. Many players have great shots and seem to shoot a lot, but Bergeron just seems to get the puck into the goalie almost everytime. He has 24 more shots than the 2nd place player (Pastrnak) in five fewer games. Just great stuff from someone who is thought of as a defensive player.

Penalty Minutes

My Prediction: Brad Marchand (85-89)

Current Leader: Kevan Miller (56)

Marchand hasn’t been suspended, fined or even gotten into an actual fight this year. He seems to be a slightly changed man. Now he’s just an agitator instead of an agitator that gets penalized. On the other hand, Miller has stepped into the role of the designated fighter with four majors so far this season. I expect him to continue to lead the team in this category unless McQuaid comes back from injury with a grudge. He’s racked up 12 PIMs in only six games played, and even when he comes back he may not try to fight as much to avoid re-injuring himself.

Shorthanded Points

My Prediction: Riley Nash (6-8)

Current Leader: Brad Marchand (2)

Riley Nash hasn’t registered a single point shorthanded this season. It seems like shorthanded production as a whole is down for the Bruins this season, with only three SHG scored all season. Marchand will probably continue to lead this category like he does with the majority of the points/offensive categories.


So far I’m 6/14 on my picks this season. Not great. But then again, it wouldn’t have been much fun if I had just chosen Marchand for 10 of them. Oh well.



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