Bruins Prospect Swayman Shines Despite Sweep From Providence College

Photo Credit:  Hero Sports

By: Josh B.   |   Follow Me On Twitter @ToCauseway

The verdict is in: UMaine Goaltender Jeremy Swayman considers a hot dog a sandwich.

The Boston Bruins’ 4th round selection in 2017 (111th overall) was in Providence this weekend with his teammates from the University of Maine to face-off against the Friars in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Despite an early lead in Game 1 of the best of 3 series, the Black Bears fell prey to a sneaky comeback from the Providence College squad. In a winner take all game the following night, the Friars took the early lead and nearly ran the Black Bears out of the building and back to Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine with 3 early goals and one waved off due to goaltender interference. The Black Bears surged in the second with 2 goals less than a minute apart, but the comeback would fall short.

Despite a sour note to end their hopeful season on, the UMaine Men’s Ice Hockey team has plenty of positive takeaways in the 2017-2018 campaign. With an 18-15-4 record, the Black Bears have had their first winning season since 2013-2014 where they went 16-15-4. This season also marks the deepest the Black Bears have gone in the playoffs since 2006-2007.

Fittingly, the Black Bears beat their cross-border rival New Hampshire Wildcats in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs advancing to their quarterfinal Providence showdown. UMaine snuffed out the UNH Wildcats on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday of last week by the score of 4-1 and 3-2 respectively.

Unfortunately, this year’s era of good feelings came to an end in the Ocean State.

In football they say “Defense wins championships”; in Hockey, the tender between the pipes can be the difference maker for your season. A hot goalie can carry you, while a cold one can sink you.

Jeremy Swayman knows this; he’s been the key to this year’s UMaine Men’s Ice Hockey season. Despite the losses in Providence, Swayman stopped 37 of 41 shots (0.902 SV%) Friday night, and 38 of 41 shots (0.926 SV%) Saturday night. Considering the jump the Friars came out with both nights, Swayman acquitted himself admirably with the amount of rubber he faced.

The Anchorage, AK native has plenty to be proud of this season: His 16 W’s are the most by any Freshman Maine goaltender since Ben Bishop in 2005-2006. From Dec. 2nd 2017 to Jan. 19th of this year, he had 8 consecutive games of 30+ saves. During the World Junior Championship, he was elected to represent his country in Buffalo with team USA. He has been named NCAA’s “Rookie of the Week” last November, this past January, and the previous week. On Dec. 11th of 2017, he was named NCAA’s “Player of the Week.” Swayman also helped break a multi-game losing streak at Boston University’s Agganis Arena dating back to January 28th, 2012; Not only did Swayman help secure the win, but he also blanked the Terriers for only the 5th shutout in 130 contests between the two clubs.

Bruins Nation was introduced to Swayman on Saturday, June 24th, 2017. When I spoke to him, he recounted the experience fondly. Because of the time difference between the Draft in Chicago, IL, and his home in Anchorage, AK, the news came down around 6 AM local time. “[The call] was pretty surreal…When you get called [in the Draft] let alone to the Bruins, an Original Six team, the great history behind it.” Surrounded by family, the first inkling he was drafted by the Bruins was friends texting him congratulations. “[It was] the best day of my life.”

July is a special month in the offseason for Bruins fans and media, as draft selections and prospects along with invitees attend Bruins Development Camp which is open to the public: a glimpse into the future of the Black and Gold. Jeremy Swayman appreciated the on-ice portions of the 4-day long event, where he was introduced to Bob Essensa, Bruins goalie coach. “He critiqued every little thing he saw” noted Swayman, who was grateful for the attention to detail. “I took it to heart, and still use it in my game today.” Swayman also spoke glowingly of the friendly but competitive environment of Development Camp under the watchful eye of the Bruins brass. He reminisced about hitting it off with fellow prospects Ryan Donato who reached out to him before development camp, Jesse Gabrielle, Trent Frederic, and ex-Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren (now a New York Rangers prospect). In Development Camp 2018, Swayman said he looks forward to working with the coaches, Bob Essensa especially, in a more one-on-one setting.

Swayman was a UMaine commit before he was drafted, but Development Camp brought him together with a future Maine teammate months before he took to the ice in Orono. Robert “Bub” McGovern was an invite to Bruins Development Camp, where he and Swayman got acquainted before the NCAA season began: “It was a surprise for both of us. When I got the call from a couple of the scouts, [they said] ‘Hey we’re actually bringing your goaltending partner in,’ It was great, I got to start the relationship before the season even started.” Upon arrival in Orono, ME, Swayman worked closely with assistant coach and former UMaine goalie coach Alfie Michaud. “He’s been tremendous. I can’t speak enough about him. He’s really more than a goalie coach, he’s been my mentor, he’s been my role model. If I have any problems, I go straight to him… I know we’re gonna have a great, long relationship together.”

Looking toward the future, Swayman is content to let Don Sweeney steer the helm of his development. “It’s absolutely a Sweeney decision. I firmly believe they have the best interests [in mind] for me. If they want me to develop here, I have no problem with that, I absolutely love it at Maine growing as a player and a person as well.”

Time will tell how soon Swayman makes it to Providence or Boston, but in the meantime, the University of Maine – Orono has a rising star in its midst.

Bruins Prospect Vladar Remains Hot In AHL Starts

Photo Credit:   Dan Vladar Official Twitter Account @danvladar

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Dan Vladar got the start last night in Laval, Quebec for the Providence Bruins after being recalled from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators on March 6, 2018. The B’s got the 5-3 road win against the first year Laval Rocket franchise, and 2015 third round selection Vladar was up to the task as he appeared in his 12th career American Hockey League contest earning his sixth career victory. This was the second and last game these two teams will play in the 2017-18 campaign and Providence swept the series 2-0 with one win in either stadium.

With the recent news of National Hockey League starter Tuukka Rask’s minor injury, adjustments had to be made with Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre staying close by in case of emergency to his apparent club, Vladar got the uncommon Wednesday night start and his 12th career appearance. The 6′-5″ 195-pound netminder has developed very well in my opinion in his short time playing in the minor-pro levels of developmental hockey. His ECHL career record of 19-25-2 record, Goals-Against-Average of 3.29, and a .902 Save Percentage in 52 appearances shouldn’t be a knock on his progression in his second season with the Gladiators but shows he can step up to a higher level even though his 12 career AHL games are small sample size. His record this season is not eye-catching at 14-16-0 with his Atlanta team, but his potential is all there even tho the Gladiators struggle with defensive zone coverage.

When called up to Providence, Vladar definitely steps up his game under a better defensive structure and was fed to the wolves in 2016-17 with a plethora of injuries to the NHL Bruins that year, the Czech Republic native had a 4-0-2 record when needed and this season in three games is 2-1-0. What’s very impressive to me for a 20-year-old netminder like him is his numbers at the higher level. In 12 games like I already mentioned in the AHL, Dan has a career 2.29 GAA and an impressive .923 Save%.

Baby B’s other netminder this season is Jordan Binnington who’s on loan from the St. Louis Blues organization and having a fantastic 2017-18 campaign with a 13-6-1 record, 2.02 GAA and .927 Save%. I was not on board with the loan agreement and still believe Vladar was ready enough for the jump up to join McIntyre to make a pretty sick Providence tandem this season. Regardless of my opinion about the Binnington loan situation, AHL Bruins General Manager John Fergerson Jr. and Assistant to NHL Bruins GM Don Sweeney know far more than I when it comes to a hockey franchises sustainability but I would like to see Dan make the jump for a full-time role with the B’s AHL top minor-pro affiliate next season.

Bruins goaltending Coach Bob Essensa has spent a tremendous amount of time with Vladar during the summer sessions such as the mid-year development camp and Rookie Camps held annually in September. With the addition of  Goaltending Development Coach and former NHL’er Mike Dunham who spent ten years with the New York Islanders, the goaltending depth is in good hands when guidance is needed. As for all goaltenders this year in their respects developmental leagues, Coach Dunham makes his rounds all over North America to help and show support for B’s prospects in the crease. Coach Essensa can’t be everywhere and get baffled why this type of coaching addition wasn’t done awhile ago.

McIntyre’s last year of his two-way deal is after the 2018-19 season and would make a fantastic role model and teammate for the young Vladar if that’s what the B’s want to do.  Honestly, cant see the Bruins agreeing to another loan scenario with the Blues keeping Binnington active with Providence after this season so this might be an excellent opportunity to see what Dan has to offer and get a better idea of where he fits in the goaltending scheme of the future when thinking about adding assets from the draft either this year or next.

He’s a big kid with solid attributes and has to be given a shot with luck he’s having in the AHL, but as a B’s prospect guy I will continue to follow him and report wherever he ends up playing.

Bruins Trade for Tommy Wingels

NHL: FEB 19 Kings at Blackhawks

Photo Credit: Robin Alam (Icon Sportswire)

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

At the deadline today, Don Sweeney and the Bruins organization made the deal to acquire Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional 5th round pick in 2019. Wingels is a UFA at the end of this season and a 29-year-old right shot winger. He has 7 goals and 5 assists in 57 games with the Blackhawks.

Wingels is a great addition to the depth that the Bruins have along with Brian Gionta. He may not play that much, but it’s always better to have someone that has the experience that Tommy has rather than needing to depend on a rookie in the AHL. The exchange for him was a bit high for the Bruins. They gave up a 5th round draft pick for a security blanket, but in all reality, it’s a rental player who’ll take on free agency in the offseason.

Wingels is also known for being a scrappy little fellow, which adds to the toughness of the Bruins roster

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

Boston Bruins Trade Frank Vatrano To Florida



Frank Vatrano #72 of the Boston Bruins heads up ice in the first period while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on February 6, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan.
(Feb. 5, 2018 – Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)

By Andrew Thompson | Follow on twitter @godwentwhoops

Earlier today, the Boston Bruins organization announced that they had traded forward Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick.

The writing was on the wall for this one. While a lot of people seem to love the story about the local boy who becomes a gritty winger, it doesn’t work out too well for the Bruins organization in general (Jimmy Hayes was the most recent example.).

That Bruins GM Don Sweeney got something out of nothing is rather outstanding. He solved the bottom-six log jam at the forward position, got the team a decent level draft pick, and even shaved a little room off the salary cap in one fell swoop.

In short, nobody lost out on this trade.

The Boston Bruins knew they had a player of limited value on their hands. Vatrano made the team by the skin of his teeth this season and fell by the wayside as younger and more exciting players fought their way on to this year’s roster. He had only played in 25 games this season. The rest of the time found the 23-year old Mass native injured or as a healthy scratch.

When it comes to forwards, the Bruins have an embarrassment of riches on their hands. With so many good players on the team, the Bruins organization would have had to eventually put him on waivers. Another NHL team would have quickly snapped him up, and Boston would have had nothing to show for it in the process.

The Florida Panthers could certainly use some bottom-six help right now, so they’re certainly not complaining about giving up a third-round pick for someone who can come in and help on day one.

As for Frank Vatrano, he gets to stay in the NHL.  Had Vatrano got passed waivers, he would have found himself playing in Providence against other players who had a strong chance to bypass him on their way up to Boston. That would have led to Vatrano turning into a career NHL/AHL swing player.

It’s certainly disappointing to see Vatrano go, but there was only so much he could offer the Bruins organization.

As I said, there are no losers in this one. The Boston Bruins win. The Florida Panthers (one of my adultery teams) win. Frank Vatrano wins.  Bruins fans should give a stick tap to Don Sweeney for making this little piece of magic work.

An Early Look at 2018 Free-Agency, And Who Could Be The Next Bruin


By Thomas Nyström | Follow on twitter @nahstrom

The front office of the Boston Bruins has shown that they have a strong grasp on the idea that the success of the franchise hinges on drafting and developing talent, retaining character individuals, and inserting capable veterans that fit their idea of roster needs with regards to maximizing roles. Part of that last bit comes with shrewd and thoughtful spending as one bad contract can set a franchise back for years in terms of cap flexibility and blocking youth from having a spot where they could potentially contribute on the NHL level.

That said, I feel it’s never to early to start looking at the 2018 free agent market. There will be a number of valuable assets to be courted by seasons end and in the spirit of staying ahead of the game, I have a short list of names General Manager Don Sweeney and company may target when the signing period begins this summer.

Here are some key veterans to keep your eye on, in no particular order:

Patric Hornqvist, RW

2017-18 Cap Hit: $4,250,000

Having watched him for a number of years with the Nashville Predators, Hornqvist has only scratched the surface when it comes to being recognized by the general NHL audience. Criminally underrated while being masked by his big-name counterparts in Pittsburgh these last few seasons, the right-winger has put together a body of work that many teams will no doubt find attractive this summer. While his name isn’t a ‘sexy’ addition for most fans, Hornqvist does all the little things that the Boston faithful would fall in love with. His willingness to shoot, hit, and get into the dirty areas and grind for possession always stood out to me. He’s an agitator on the ice and will draw penalties. He will get under the skin of the defensemen as he sticks his face in every cover-up the opposing goalie is forced into. Hornqvist is a hockey-player’s hockey player if you understand what I mean. His downside? His style of play puts in harm’s way often and at 31 years-old, injuries and general instances of getting banged up are commonplace. With youth behind him to fill gaps, Patric could find a valuable roll on a team that loves leadership and work-ethic.

Michael Grabner, RW

2017-18 Cap Hit: $1,650,000

30 year-old Michael Grabner is about as valuable a bottom-six winger can be in todays NHL. He possess above average speed and a strong level of hockey intelligence. Any coach appreciates his message being enforced night-in, night-out by a respected on-ice leader, and Grabner gives you just that. He’s very useful on the penalty kill, and is reliable in both 5-5 and 4-4 situations. Ultimately a ‘safe’ get for any potential suitor,  I would project him to look at going to a team that can contend quickly for reasonable money rather than go somewhere that a cup may be out of reach for a payday.

John Carlson, D

2017-18 Cap Hit: $3,966,667

Washington can’t let this guy go without a sizable effort to resign, can they? The Cap’s have had a tough stretch for their defensive unit as of late in losing Shattenkirk and Alzner last offseason. Add to that a handful of injury issues they’ve had to deal with this year, and Washington would appear to be borderline desperate to lock down Carlson to stabilize the blue line for a few more cup runs during Ovechkin’s tenure. While amassing above average minutes for a good amount of his season, Carlson has showcased his durability and value for his current team as well as a ton of potential suitors who will no doubt be slapping some chair-tops and waving him over in a few months. No brainer thing to say: Carlson is going to make a ton of money this summer.

Calvin de Haan, D
2017-18 Cap Hit: $3,300,000

This one won’t get many excited but a smart team will take a good look at him come July. Basically sheltered from the league playing in Brooklyn right now, de Haan has been a low-key favorite of the Islanders fans, and for good reason. He’s a worker, though nothing stands out about his play. Keep in mind that sometimes hearing little about a defenseman is a good thing. He keeps mistakes to a minimum, blocks shots, can possess the puck well, and is a reliable piece for any team in need. One reason he’s on this list is because everything you’d want in Nick Holden, who the Bruins recently dealt for, is actually there in de Haan. Additionally, if Boston moves a player like  Brandon Carlo at the deadline for a piece that may not be there next year, de Haan could be looked at to fill a role for the 2018-19 season and thereafter.

Antti Raanta, G

2017-18 Cap Hit: $1,000,000

Raanta is only 29, which is a good age for netminders in terms of experience and longevity for his next suitor. Also at that age teams know what they’re getting when it comes to skill level. Raanta is developed and could be a stable and afforded back-up behind Tuukka Rask. While Arizona is toiling this year, one bright spot has been the consistent play of Raanta. His numbers are among the best of his career and he has shown himself worthy of a job next season for a number of net-needy organizations. This move could be an affordable and sensible way to go should Anton Khudobin’s asking price be too high for Boston to bring him back.

Key Bruins free-agents this offseason include RFA’s: Ryan Spooner, Sean Kuraly, and Austin Czarnik as well as UFA’s: Riley Nash and Tim Schaller. It would be great to see Spooner and Nash back but their play has likely priced themselves out of Boston’s spending intentions. Additionally, while I would personally hate to lose him, Czarnik has doubled his value and deserves a shot as an NHL roster mainstay and unfortunately as things look right now on paper, it may not be in Boston.

In time we will see these storylines develop. For now it’s just all something we need to keep in the back of our minds, although undoubtedly the front office is way ahead of us all.


Thomas Nyström, Contributor.
Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

Ryan Donato – Boston’s Captain America

451382010.0[1]Image Courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

By: Aaron Chisling     Follow me on Twitter at @achisling

On a Boston Bruins team that is getting league-wide recognition regarding it’s Stanley Cup contender status. Many have marveled at Boston’s ability to manage their core of playoff-proven players in Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, David Backes and Zdeno Chara with unproven rookie phenoms like Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly and Charlie McAvoy. Don Sweeney and Bruce Cassidy have cooked up a successful recipe it seems.  Most would assume that based on this influx of youth that the Bruins are enjoying that their cupboard of prospects would be bare of upcoming, high-end talent. Boy, are they wrong.

Ryan Donato, son of Ted Donato who spent nine seasons with the Boston Bruins and played for Team USA in the 1992 Olympic Winter Games,  was selected by the Bruins in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He was selected in the 2nd round and 56th overall. He projected to be a long-term project, and it seems that the Bruins Brass’ patience will bear fruit. He looked outstanding at the 2017/2018 Bruins Development Camp. His performance at camp was right on par with Anders Bjork, if not better at times. He returned to Harvard where Teddy Donato is the Head Coach. He’s been scoring at a torrid pace, playing 23 games on the season while tallying 21 goals and 10 assists, with 1.35 points per game average. Each year he’s played with the Crimson, he’s had a definite improvement in his production. Take a look at the marked improvement each year below.

2018-02-16 07_50_17-Ryan Donato Career Statistics _ College Hockey NewsStatistics courtesy of

In addition to skyrocketing up the Bruins prospect rankings, Donato has attracted some international competitive attention this year. With Gary Bettman and the NHL’s Board of Governors electing to forego Olympic participation during the Pyeongchang Games, Team USA was forced to dip into the non-NHL-contracted player pool to assemble its roster. Ryan Donato was named to the team and has played a prominent role thus far. He’s been put on a line with 2017 WJC shootout hero Troy Terry and former NHL player Mark Arcobello. The trio has already developed some impressive chemistry and will be relied upon to do much of Team USA’s damage on the scoreboard. Last night’s close victory over Slovakia was a demonstration of just that. Check out this filthy goal which was Donato’s second of the night and the eventual game-winning goal.

If Team USA is to overcome the adversity and challenge ahead of them and eventually medal, Bruins prospect Ryan Donato will have a significant part in the performance. How crazy would it be to win Olympic Gold and potentially a Stanley Cup in the same season? It’s unlikely, but it’s looking more and more possible every day that the Bruins continue on the path that they’re on right now. If Ryan Donato keeps up the pace he’s at, Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney will have no choice but to make a spot for him. Having too many good players is a significant problem to have, and I know Sweeney would feel the same way. Ryan Donato and Team USA face the Olympic Athletes from Russia at 7:10 AM ET on Saturday. I’ll be watching. You should know too.

For more Bruins live reaction, follow me on Twitter @achisling. I promise you’ll only regret it part of the time.

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



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

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                    Twitter: @godwentwhoops

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

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

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

So, what should the Bruins do?

Answer: Absolutely nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Except for the Tuukka haters.

A Look At The Bruins Season So Far


Photo Credit: Mary Schwalm (AP Photo)

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

The Bruins are on their five-day break this week, so no B’s game until they play their bitter rivals, Montreal, on Saturday the 13th for the first time in the regular season this year. But while the Boston players are getting some well deserved Rest and Relaxation, everyone else is left to watch old highlights and count down the hours until the next game. While you wait, here’s a list of some of the biggest news topics so far this year for the Bruins, with links to other Black N’ Gold articles on the subjects to give you even further insight.

Pre-SeasonPart One, Part TwoStuds & DudsStuds & Duds Vol. 2

After coming off of a decent pre-season, the Bruins looked like they could make a run at returning to the playoffs for the second year in a row. And hopefully this time with a healthier roster than last spring. The Atlantic division isn’t playing as tough in the standings as previous years (Five of eight teams take up the bottom five spots in the Eastern Conference), but with the Metropolitan taking both Wildcard spots currently, the Bruins will have to make sure they stay in the top three of their division.

Official Start of The Season

After the emergence of the rookies in the first game (A win over defending Western champs Nashville) fans were ready to go all in on this team. Unfortunately, the next few games weren’t great for Boston, going 1-3 after that win at home against the Predators.

Boston Waives Subban, Vegas Claims SubbanBoston’s First Round Pick Troubles

At the time, Subban had looked like the backup of the future, for some optimistic fans. But when looking at Subban rationally, he did take a longer time to develop than the Bruins wanted. His success in Vegas can easily be credited to a change of scenery or knowledge that the team had confidence in him by picking him up.


Injuries were a major concern for the team early in the year, with Backes missing extended time due to diverticulitis and the needed surgery on his colon because of it, Bergeron hurting something in the lower body area and Noel Acciari being out for potentially six weeks. Both Cehlarik and McQuaid went on the IR later in the season

Rask’s Slump

Tuukka Rask is the number one goalie for the majority of NHL teams when compared to their top guy, but some fans/media members brought up the idea that Rask had lost his touch. Thier argument was that while Rask was losing the majority of games, Khudobin was winning, and they felt like the hot hand should be played. It was a rash decision to almost abandon a stellar goalie, but eventually, Rask turned it around and started to play like the star he is. Here is some of the proof of what he has been able to do since the barrage of hot takes.

Depth Comes Through For Boston

Because of the ridiculous amount of injuries to the main roster so far this year, players have been called up from the minors to fill their spots, and have done very well while doing so.

Award Contention

Last spring, Charlie McAvoy stepped up to the NHL for his first game. In Game One of the series against Ottawa. Not many rookies could do that and play the way that he did. Now, in his first real season with the team, he plays top pairing minutes alongside veteran captain Chara. He has made his way into the heated Calder discussion, along with forwards like Brock Boeser, Mathew Barzal, and Clayton Keller. He has shown his value and seems to be a player the Bruins can build around in the years to come. Another potential award winner is Patrice Bergeron, who’s always in the Selke conversation. He has shown in the games getting closer to the break just how good his line is, offensively and defensively.

Bruins’ ECHL Affiliate Could Be Moving To Maine

Pretty self-explanatory, but important news about the affiliate team of the Bruins.

Don Sweeney’s Vision Starts To Show Results

After some questionable trades/contracts, many Bruins fans were worried about what Sweeney was doing with the team. But after only three seasons, it looks like the roster is finally becoming what Sweeney had tried to make it.

Tuukka Turns The Corner

After a pretty slow start, Rask has made his way back into the category of feared goalies. He has shown that he knows what he needs to do to win, and visible tries hard every single night he is in the crease. He is one of the reasons that Boston has risen in the standings to the spot they are at now.


It has been a rollercoaster ride so far this season, and the Bruins are still a game away from playing half of their 82 games. Hopefully, the second half is even better than the first. Huge thanks to all of our dedicated writers on the site. Make sure to check in regularly for game reactions, think pieces and prospect updates that show Bruins prospects from the ECHL all the way to the CHL and overseas.

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Bruins GM Sweeney’s Patience Persists

( Above Photo Credit:  Sportsnet .ca )

By: Chis Nosek                             Follow Me On Twitter @cnosek6342 

Coming into this 2017-18 season, the Boston Bruins roster had a wide variety of questions and what fans thought were gaping holes. Some of the most significant issues included how GM Don Sweeney would fill the many gaps fans felt this team had left coming out of a disappointing 2016 campaign. Many fans were calling for Sweeney to trade the rights of restricted free agent, and mostly disappointing center, Ryan Spooner. Questions were being asked about starting goaltender Tuukka Rask, and many questions were being brought about the team’s depth at the wing positions.

During the offseason, Sweeney showed patience and did not panic when looking to come to a deal with Spooner and his agent. He allowed the process to work and for the negotiations to go to arbitration. This brought Spooner and the Bruins to a very fair one-year contract for $2.825 million. This has proven to be the right move as Spooner has been filling in now on multiple occasions for a banged up David Krejci.

Sweeney’s patience in this instance would prove to prevail despite many fans questioning his ability to do the job. His patience would also prevail in filling the apparent open winger spots. With big names on the market at the time like; Patrick Marleau, Chris Kunitz, Thomas Vanek, and Justin Williams, it would’ve been very tempting to try to overspend and pair one or two of these guys with the likes of Krejci and Bergeron – especially knowing that Pastrnak and Marchand would be on the opposite wing.

The unexpected play of the young guys like Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, and Danton Heinen have not been the only reason this Bruins team has shown significant improvement from the 2016 season. Sweeney and Bruce Cassidy had to show extreme patience with starting goaltender Tuukka Rask as he started this season 5-11 with his back up going 7-4 and earning four-straight victories against teams like the Los Angelos Kings, San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils, and Pittsburg Penguins with two of his losses coming while earning a point by forcing overtime.

Aside from not being able to move Rask because of a No Trade Clause, Sweeney made the correct decision in holding onto the 30-year-old Finnish goaltender despite many cries to move on from his remaining four-years of an eight-year deal carrying a cap hit of $7 million.  He is now playing like he did during his Venza winning season and has the Bruins on a major hot streak that is currently at 10-0-1 over the past 11 games.

Don Sweeney has shown less panic and more patience than anyone could have asked for and now he has the Bruins unexpectedly in a second place position of the Atlantic Division and 4th place in the Eastern Conference. More importantly, for this team, than their place in the standings is the way they are playing and chemistry the youngsters are creating with their mix of veterans. With nine players up for new contracts at seasons end, Sweeney should show patience as he looks to have a rebuild that will allow for long-term playoff contention instead of just a couple years of a flash in the pan.

Bruins Cehlarik Out Four Weeks

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred         Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced before today’s game against the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts that forward Peter Cehlarik will miss the next four weeks with an injury sustained to his left leg during a game against Pittsburgh on Friday, November 24th. B’s General Manager Don Sweeney mentioned in the team official twitter account below that the 6′-2″ 203-pound forward will be reevaluated after he gives the injury more time to heal.

Cehlarik, a Zilina, Slovakia native was selected in the third round of the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft and had played in 16 career NHL games contributing 1-3-4 numbers. Spending a majority of his professional time with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League he’s appeared in 55 games posting 23-21-44 numbers, and 20-18-38 of those numbers were accrued in his first year of North American hockey as an AHL rookie in 2016-17.

Below is a video courtesy of New England Sports Network and the Stanley Cup of Chowder Twitter account.