Bruins DeBrusk Returns To Lineup As Club Gets Healthy For Playoff Run

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( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images )

By: Cam McCusker | Follow Me On Twitter @CSthinks

Jake DeBrusk made his return to the Bruins’ lineup on Saturday after missing five games due to a lower-body injury he sustained against Carolina. An injury that, after sustaining, DeBrusk played with en route to scoring a goal and setting up the overtime winner with an incredible pass to linemate David Krejci.

 

Until Saturday, the Bruins had gone 2-3-0 since DeBrusk’s injury and had lost three straight entering their tilt against Columbus. This was the second time that the Black and Gold squared off against the Jackets in less than a week, and Columbus had handled the B’s in their matchup on March 12th, with Boston reeling from injuries.

In their first meeting, the Bruins went down 5-1 fairly early in the contest and, despite a solid push to even the score, ended up falling 7-4. While the game displayed the amount of compete that lives within the walls of the Boston locker room, it unfortunately also showed how shorthanded they were. Their weakened offensive punch failed to measure up to a healthy Columbus team.

Saturday’s game was a different story. While it was certainly a game that featured many fewer goals and better team defense and goaltending, the impact that DeBrusk made on the game was palpable.

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( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images )

The Obvious Benefits

Quite frankly, Jake The Snake rejoining the lineup is a horrible sign for teams in the East. Not only because he alone makes the Bruins lineup more effective in myriad ways, but because his return is the first domino to fall (or stand up again) in a series of key players on the Bruins that are coming back from injury.

DeBrusk’s return to the first powerplay unit not only adds skill and finishing to said unit, but it also moves a skilled player in Heinen back to the second powerplay unit, improving PP2 as well.

DeBrusk’s return to the second line moves players that play a more natural bottom-six role down to the third line, which makes the Bruins deeper throughout their entire middle six.

DeBrusk’s presence on the forecheck puts significant pressure on defensemen and eliminates their ability to beat him with skating. He shuts down the opponent and has a knack to aggressively hunts down pucks.

DeBrusk’s ability to stretch the ice with his own speed opens up the neutral zone for the Bruins and facilitates offensive-zone entries with possession.

DeBrusk’s ability to handle the puck down low extends offensive zone possession time and wears down the opposition. This lightens the load of the makeshift third line that will then likely be playing against worn down opponents, thus mitigating the possible negatives of players that are unfamiliar with one another. More time in the O-zone means more rest for the Bruins’ defensemen. This means fresher legs and better d-zone coverage.

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( Photo Credit: Elise Amendola/ AP )

The Pending Danger

Yep. DeBrusk brings a ton to the Bruins’ lineup when he’s playing at full capacity. Look at the tear he was on before he got injured. Look at his playoff performance against the Leafs last year. The kid is an absolute gamer, and you can see the intensity with which he approaches each game in the celebrations that, without fail, follow all of his goals. I would say he is made of pure energy, but there’s quite a bit of skill thrown in there as well.

So the obvious benefits of him being back are beyond beneficial (great alliteration by me, don’t mention it). But the tacit implications of his return to the lineup stretch much farther than his own individual impact on hockey games.

As DeBrusk was one of 6 Bruins to be sidelined with injuries diagnosed with short-term recovery periods, his resurgence only indicates that there is more firepower making its way back to the Black and Gold lineup. Accompanying DeBrusk are 2 more top-six forwards, in David Pastrnak (PastrBack? I’ll see myself out) and Marcus Johansson. While admittedly these two don’t carry the same weight in their respective impact on the Bruins attack, when the Bruins’ top two lines are healthy they are among the most effective in the league. In my opinion, they are the deepest top-six in the league when fully healthy.

 

But also in the current short-term injury crew are Kevan Miller, Matt Grzelcyk, and Torey Krug. In other words, a tough and reliable yet strong skating stay at home defenseman in Miller; an expectation-exceeding, smooth skating puck mover (Grz); a powerplay quarterback who makes a strong first pass (Krug). These three defensemen are all entities that have proven just how effective they can be to a healthy Bruins lineup. DeBrusk’s return from injury only signals that they are all that much closer to coming back themselves.

When the Bruins’ forward unit is whole, and their D-core is similarly healthy, then they are deep enough up front to bring it to the best in the league, and solid enough on the back end to stifle explosive offenses. We were able to see glimpses of the team’s potential against San Jose and Tampa Bay before the B’s got bit by the injury bug.

With the return of DeBrusk, comes the depth that the Bruins’ roster has not benefitted from in many years. Opponents haven’t needed to ready themselves for a Bruins team so well-rounded, and it’s my expectation that few teams, if any, will be able to adequately match up.

 

Simply put, DeReturn of DeBrusk is a big one for DeBruins.

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UFC Fighter Conor McGregor To Drop Ceremonial Puck At Bruins Game Tonight

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Fox Sports)

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

A report earlier today by The Athletic writer, Joe McDonald (@JoeyMacHockey), Former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor will be in TD Garden tonight to drop the ceremonial puck prior to the actual puck drop for the Bruins vs Blue Jackets game tonight.

While it may seem odd to have one of the top superstars in the entire Ultimate Fighting Championship today drop a puck for an NHL game, especially a Boston Bruins game, this all adds together and has some good meaning behind it. Tonight, the Bruins are going to be celebrating the Irish Heritage – with St. Patrick’s Day rolling through tomorrow.

Conor McGregor is, well of course, from the country of Ireland and he has often showcased his Irish pride in his UFC fights. Before his emergence under the bright lights, the fanbase of fighting in Ireland was not as prevalent as the United States, Canada, or Japan. Today, however, Ireland is home to one of the largest, (and loudest) groups of fans in the entire industry – a big reason for that is Conor McGregor.

In addition to that, the city of Boston, Massachusetts has Irish history that dates back a few hundred years. In fact, people of Irish descent are “the largest single ethnic group in Boston”.  According to the Boston Globe, 22.8% of residents in the Boston metropolitan area from 2014, said they were from Irish descent. As I personally am not from Boston, I had to do some Google searches on why the Irish force is so strong in Boston and the answer appears quite clear.

Between the years 1845 and 1855, over 1.5 million people fled the country of Ireland to the eastern shores of American due to the Potato Famine, a mass starvation period where disease negatively affected the potato farms across the country, resulting in millions of casualties in a very short amount of time. Frustrated with the lack of help from their British neighbours, the Irish people travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to cities such as Boston and New York. Times in the American cities were not easy, but as the years went on, the presence of the Irish faithful only grew in America – especially the Massachusetts and New England areas.

Moving away from the history aspect, this will not be the first time that McGregor is involved with the city of Boston personally. The 30-year-old Dublin, Ireland native fought Dennis Siver back in January of 2015 in the TD Garden, securing a second-round TKO stoppage.

Also, in the fall of this past year, McGregor made an appearance at the Boston Fire Department Engine 33 Ladder 15 on Boylston Street to hand over Boston Red Sox World Series tickets to the on-duty firefighters – a way to thank the everyday heroes for their acts of bravery on a day-to-day basis. McGregor seems to love the city of Boston and to have the chance to drop the ceremonial puck tonight, it’s an opportunity he just can’t pass up on.

As for the Bruins, tonight is a big game in general. The B’s return home after losing their last three games in a row, just after an incredible 19-game point streak that lasted the majority of 2019. Boston faces a Columbus Blue Jackets team that beat them on Tuesday by a final score of 7-4 and the Bruins will be on the lookout to avenge that loss and start another streak.

Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that goaltender Jaroslav Halak will start and forward Jake DeBrusk is expected to be back in the lineup after missing the last few games with a foot injury. Without question, the return of DeBrusk will be huge for a team that is still dealing with injuries to David Pastrnak (thumb), Torey Krug (concussion), Marcus Johansson (lung bruise), Kevan Miller (upper-body) and Matt Grzelcyk (arm). Cassidy also gave updates on all those players listed and returns of them seem to be right around the corner.

The Boston Bruins are only two points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division and a win would extend that to four points – a near must if the Bruins want to have home-ice advantage in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Official puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7pm EST at the TD Garden.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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Spin Zone: The Bruins’ Injuries Might Be The Best Thing For Them

( Photo Credit: Winslow Towson/ USA TODAY Sports )

By: Cam McCusker | Follow Me On Twitter: @CSthinks

 

There are no typos in that title. I typed all of those words on purpose.

David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, Kevan Miller, Marcus Johansson, and most recently Matt Grzelcyk have been sidelined with injuries during the Bruins’ impressive stretch of hockey over the last month and a half. While thankfully none of these injuries are all that severe, they did leave the Bruins shorthanded.

Certainly, many human beings with brains will look at the short term impacts that these injuries have on the roster and say it made the Black and Gold a weaker team. To those people, I offer this: Duh. But as a Bruins homer and a semi-rationally-thinking hockey fan, these injuries have been a blessing. They are perfect injuries, and I love them.

“But Cam, tell us why! We want to know!”

Relax. I’m getting to that. Don’t interrupt me.

As I was saying, I am truly proud of the Bruins’ ability to get injured in just the right ways. When compared to the severity of injuries that Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug underwent in the tail end of last season, the Bruins’ have learned from their mistakes and are getting injured in a much smarter way.

All of the Bruins that have been injured in the last month or so have done so in a way that only sidelines them for at most a month. The use of the expression “at most” is misplaced here, but I really enjoy the expression. Obviously, David Pastrnak has been out for a month already so he might have singlehandedly (nice) voided the credibility of my use of the expression. But he’ll be back soon, so I’ll allow it.

Here are the three reasons why these injuries, to important pieces of the Bruins lineup, are crucial to the team’s playoff success.

1. Secondary Scoring/Depth

David Pastrnak’s injury in the second week of February effectively removed the Bruins’ leading scorer at the time. For a team that had been plagued by a lack of depth until recently, this loss might have seemed more grave at the time than it ended up being. Pastrnak’s absence (his Pastrnabsence, if you will) thrust the responsibility of scoring onto the rest of the lineup. And the rest of the B’s, since his injury, has not only added key deadline pieces to address their secondary scoring but have answered the bell and then some (see: ridiculous point streak). A team that can survive, and even thrive without debatably their most lethal offensive threat, will only be that much stronger when they get him back. Very nice (Borat voice).

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images )

2. Saving Legs

While the injuries come to key cogs in the machine that is the Bruins’ lineup, their ability to keep the machine running effectively in the absence of these cogs has been impressive. The aspect of so many key players being out for brief hiatuses is that despite being injured, they are also saving their legs for the playoff stretch. While some rust can certainly be expected from each Bruin upon their respective returns, they will have just enough time to dust off the cobwebs and get back to midseason form come postseason time.

The timing of this “rest” is auspicious given that it is coming in the dog days of the season when the Bruins begin a stretch where they essentially play every other day for a month. If the team can keep winning while some of your top dogs lick their wounds, then expect to win more when they rejoin the pack (I got really into dog metaphors for a minute).

3. Accountability

Undoubtedly, injuries bring added pressure to the regulars in the lineup, as they are subsequently tasked with shouldering the load that their fallen comrade might have been expected to carry. This is true of any team. But what Bruce Cassidy has done in the absence of Pastrnak, DeBrusk, Johansson, Miller, and now Grzelcyk has been interesting—he’s shortened the bench even more.

While the injuries to the aforementioned Bruins already shorten what would be a healthy bench, Cassidy went even further in a few games by sitting players like Peter Cehlarik, Charlie Coyle, and John Moore.  While none of them had been playing all that poorly, Cassidy sent a clear message that if players weren’t putting their best effort or product on the ice, then they were no longer going to see the ice. Fortunately, it seemed like these instances of Cassidy sitting guys down paid off, and the Bruins found ways to win with their shortened bench.

While there is certainly a school of thought that might scrutinize players having too short of a leash, Cassidy has proven time and again that he knows how to get the best out of his players. The heightened responsibility created by the Bruins injuries has placed many of the remaining healthy B’s under the microscope. The focus on their play in the absence of important players has only worked to make them more accountable as a unit and as individuals.

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images )

So there’s your spin zone. Obviously, most players will play better in the short term if their lungs aren’t bruised, or their hands aren’t broken, blah blah blah. And a healthy team will be better in the short term with healthier players. But in the case of the Bruins, I think it’s reasonable to expect that this most recent period of success combined with adversity will be looked back on as a turning point in the season.

All the teams in movies have one.

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Bruins Recall Lee Stempniak On Emergency Basis

photo credit: SI.com

By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced this morning that the team has called wing Lee Stempniak up from their AHL affiliate in Providence. Stempniak has practiced with the NHL squad all season, earned himself a PTO (professional tryout) with Providence, and officially began his second tour of duty with the Bruins when they signed him on February 24.

Presumably, the 36-year-old Stempniak has been called up due to injuries to wings Marcus Johansson (lung contusion) and Jake DeBrusk (lower body). Johansson will be re-evaluated next week, and DeBrusk is reportedly nursing a very minor injury, but now it looks like he may be missing his second consecutive game.

Since playing in the AHL for Providence, Stempniak has scored two goals and notched three assists for a total of five points in seven AHL contests since re-signing. The Seneca, NY native has thirteen NHL seasons seasons under his belt, and is known as a journeyman, as he has played for ten teams, which is tied for second most in league history.

The versatile forward has played 909 NHL games, had scored 203 goals, and has assisted on 266, for a total of 469 points. If inserted into the Bruins’ lineup, Stempniak will likely be skating alongside David Krejci and Slovak rookie Peter Cehlarik. The veteran wing can still be an effective player in the National Hockey League, and will be able to help the Black and Gold if he is in the lineup. Judging from his time in Providence, Stempniak has not lost his scoring touch, and is eager to return to NHL action.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Florida: 3/7/19

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Florida Panthers

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen

Cehlarik – Krejci – Kuhlman

Nordstrom – Coyle – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Moore – Grzelcyk

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Huberdeau – Barkov – Dadonov

Vatrano – Trocheck – Hoffman

Hunt – Sheahan – Brouwer

McGinn – Borgstrom – Hawryluk

Defense

Matheson –  Ekblad

Yandle – Weegar

Pysyk – Brown

Goalies

Luongo

Reimer

First Period

The Bruins came into this one with a point or more in their last 17 games. They looked to continue that streak against a struggling Panthers team. The big pre-game news was that Karson Kuhlman would sub in for Jake DeBrusk who is dealing with a lower-body injury. Not much really happened of significance early on until Matt Grzelcyk took a hooking penalty, but it ended with a fairly routine penalty kill for the Bruins.

It was a pretty cut-and-dry period all around. The shots were 10-9 Florida.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Things got interesting early with a near goal by Brad Marchand, and a tripping penalty called on Brandon Carlo. Florida converted on an Aleksander Barkov tip to make it 1-0 early on in the power play. David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom nearly connected for the equalizer almost immediately afterward.

Misfortune continued for the Bruins when Jonathan Huberdeau scored early on in the power play that resulted from Zdeno Chara’s delay of game penalty. The goal was reviewed for a high stick, but the call on the ice stood.

A little more than halfway through the period, the Bruins finally found their way on to the scoreboard thanks to a really nice give-and-go between Danton Heinen and David Krejci. His 17th goal of the season was assisted by Heinen (16) and Backes (10).

Krejci stayed in the fray of things when he drew a high sticking penalty within the final two minutes of the period. The Panthers lead in shots again, 7-5 in the period, 17-14 overall, but the Bruins made some headway towards a comeback.

Score: 2-1 Florida

Third Period

Florida’s two goals on the night to this point came on the power play, and they got an opportunity for another when Chris Wagner went off for tripping. Their power play didn’t last long as Barkov went off for a trip of his own to make it 4-on-4. A Marchand breakaway highlighted the 4-on-4, but no one scored.

It was all about the penalties early on in the third as Torey Krug was the next culprit for hooking. Tuukka Rask made some huge saves on the penalty kill on some of Florida’s top players. Then, who else but Patrice Bergeron to even things up, and whilst shorthanded. 2-2 with around 11 minutes to go. Bergeron’s 24th of the season was assisted by Charlie McAvoy (15) and Marchand (51).

The tie didn’t last long as Huberdeau gave Florida the lead back with his second goal of the game.

Krejci drew yet another penalty in the last three minutes of regulation, giving the Bruins a huge opportunity to tie the game. With just around a minute to go, Rask was pulled for the extra attacker. That move proved fruitful as Matt Grzelcyk picked an ideal time to end his 48-game goal drought and tie the game. Marchand and McAvoy tallied their second points of the game on the assist of Grzelcyk’s second goal of the season.

Remember what I said about Bergeron? Oh yeah, he scored another clutch goal. Seven seconds left, puck on his stick, game over. This Bruins team is something else.

The point streak extends itself to 18 games. Brad Marchand’s third assist of the game was the lone one on the goal. The shots in the period were 14-7 Bruins, and 28-24 overall. Next up for the Bruins are the Ottawa Senators at home at 7 PM on Saturday.

Final Score: 4-3 Boston

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Bruins DeBrusk Out With Undisclosed Injury

NHL: Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins

( Photo: Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images )

By: Thomas Nyström | Follow Me On Twitter @nahstrom

Boston Bruins F Jake DeBrusk was seen wearing a walking boot on his left foot after yesterday’s practice and was also noticeably uncomfortable while running drills with the team Wednesday. It is unclear at this point what exactly DeBrusk may be battling but this is obviously a concern to the red-hot Bruins who are currently on a 17-game point streak.

The injury has yet to be announced and would appear that DeBrusk would be considered day-to-day at this point. We last saw DeBrusk with his brilliant steal and assist on the David Krejci game winner in OT on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Unless he was injured in that sequence it would be logical to assume that whatever is hampering him either happened or was aggravated in an off-ice incident.

As for tonight’s game with the Florida Panthers, DeBrusk was not on the ice for warm-ups and the Providence call up Karson Kuhlman will get the nod.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Tampa Bay at Boston: 2/28/19

cutPhoto Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (37-17-9)

Away: Tampa Bay Lightning (49-11-4)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen

DeBrusk-Krejci-Johansson

Nordstrom-Coyle-Backes

Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Moore

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

Palat-Stamkos-Miller

Johnson-Point-Kucherov

Killorn-Cirelli-Gourde

Erne-Paquette-Joseph

Defense

Hedman-Girardi

McDonagh-Cernak

Sergachev-Stralman

Goalies

Domingue

Vasilevskiy

First Period

The game got out to a fast start as the tempo got both teams involved right from puck drop. David Backes and Adam Erne wasted no time as they dropped the gloves after a scrum in front of the Tampa Bay net.

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The Bruins seemed ready to go right from the start as they got a few chances in the attacking zone. The Lightning seemed to own the possession as the period went on but weren’t able to find any great opportunities. The Bruins started to pile up some opportunities as Noel Acciari and Charlie McAvoy put pucks on Louis Domingue. The Bruins began to take the play to the Lightning towards the end of the period as they set up shop in the attacking zone.

The Bruins physical play was a positive in the first period as they didn’t give an inch. Mathieu Joseph nearly gave Tampa Bay the lead but rang the iron with a shot from the circle. The Bruins peppered Domingue with 17 shots on goal in the period but were unable to solve the Lightning goaltender.

Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

The Bruins continued to move the puck effectively in the offensive zone which kept the Lightning on their heels. The third line continued their nice game with another good shift which nearly resulted in the game’s first goal. The Bruins went to the penalty kill as Chara was called for cross checking giving Tampa their first power play. The B’s killed the penalty as the Lightning failed to get any shots on goal.

The Bruins would go to the power play for the first time as Victor Hedman was called for a penalty nearly eight minutes into the period. Jake DeBrusk got the B’s on the board as his pass in front was redirected off a stick and into the net at the 8:43 mark of the period.

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The B’s continued to be quick to the puck as they looked to be hungry for a larger lead. The Bruins also kept a lot of the possession in the middle period as the Lightning looked to be gassed in their own end. Tuukka Rask continued to have a relatively quiet night as the Bruins were seemingly in the offensive zone all period long.

The Lightning started to get their skating game going in the final moments of the period but still were unable to get any significant scoring chances against Rask and the Bruins defense.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Third Period

The Lightning began the period with a strong shift in the Boston end but thanks to Rask the Bruins maintained the lead. Joakim Nordstrom nearly doubled the lead but Domingue made a spectacular glove save to keep it a one goal game. The Bruins continued to great sone grade A scoring chances but couldn’t solve Domingue to extend the lead. Sean Kuraly would head to the locker room after a high hit by Brayden Coburn.

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The Bruins started to struggle defending their own zone as the Lightning made a push for the tying goal. Hedman was called for another penalty, this time for tripping which resulted in another Boston power play. The Lightning killed the Bruins man advantage as they only got a couple good scoring chances. Immediately following the power play, Acciari slammed home a rebound in front to double the Boston lead.

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Patrice Bergeron buried a feed from Danton Heinen to triple the Bruins advantage in just 45 seconds which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

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The Bruins opened the floodgates as Brad Marchand broke free for a breakaway to make it 4-0 less than a minute after the Bergeron goal.

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Anthony Cirelli stopped the bleeding as he deflected a shot past Rask shortly after the fourth Bruins goal.

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The Bruins picked up another man advantage as Hedman went off yet again for hooking Charlie Coyle. A penalty to McAvoy canceled out the power play which resulted in a four on four. The B’s killed the penalty as the Lightning failed to find the back of the net. Immediately following the man advantage, Matt Grzelcyk was called for a cross check as the B’s went to the penalty kill yet again.

The Lightning pulled the goalie which resulted in a six on four with less than two minutes remaining. The Bruins killed it off, making it 15 straight games with at least a point.

Final Score: 4-1 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Acciari. The fourth liner and the whole line set the tone from the start and were rewarded with a couple points.

Second Star: Rask. While not very busy, Tuukka was solid in goal and kept the Bruins in the game in the first two periods.

Third Star: Marchand. The winger was all over the place in this one, getting a goal and playing just an incredibly solid game.

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Bruins Held Buyer Mentality In A Division Full Of Sellers

Image result for marcus johansson bruins

(Photo Credit: (Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

By: Mike Cratty  |  Follow Me On Twitter @Mike_Cratty

The trade deadline came and passed on Monday, and the Bruins found themselves in a unique company amongst their divisional foes. In acquiring Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, the Bruins were certainly buyers.

The only other big buyer moves in the division came in the form of the Sabres acquiring defenseman Brandon Montour from the Ducks. Other minor moves came in the form of the Red Wings acquiring defenseman Madison Bowey from the Red Wings, and the Canadiens acquiring forward Jordan Weal from the Coyotes.

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Major pieces were sold off in the Atlantic division such as Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingel, and Gustav Nyquist. In every trade comes the selling off of pieces, but the Bruins, in this case, gave up one prospect in Ryan Donato, and some draft picks in the next two drafts. The Bruins’ acquisitions of key pieces moving forward in Coyle and Johansson separated them from the rest. Coyle and Johansson are set to play large roles in Boston’s top-nine forward core, while other Atlantic division teams were sellers and/or didn’t make quite the splash that the Bruins did on the buyers market.

These acquisitions not only make the Bruins a better team but give them a variety of options in which to shape their lineup. It also gives them the potential to try out different looks on their special teams’ units as they did last night. The two newest Bruins forwards saw power play time for the Bruins last night, both with 2:27 of it.

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Both Coyle and Johansson have played the wing and center in the past, which is important in a league in which teams seem to be more appreciative of versatile players as time goes on.

Coyle has looked solid in two games so far as a Bruin, but Johansson made an immediate impact last night in a wild game in San Jose. Despite only tallying two shots on goal in 14:49 of ice time, Johansson was certainly impactful in the offensive zone with puck possession and had one high danger chance that was thwarted by Martin Jones. The highlight of his night for Johansson came from his assist on a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal by Jake DeBrusk, with David Krejci also in the mix on the goal.

So far being buyers is certainly paying off for the Bruins. Don Sweeney capitalized on valuable assets without giving up a ton due to his team being in a position to compete for a Stanley Cup. The next step is finding long-term comfortability for the rest of the season and potentially beyond for Coyle and Johansson, as well as the team as a whole as they pursue a deep cup run.

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Boston Bruins: Marcus Johansson Is Not A Bad Consolation Prize

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images-Mike Stobe

By: Michael DeRosa | Check me out on Twitter @michael_derosa4

He may not be Mark Stone or Artemi Panarin, but Marcus Johansson is a solid addition to the Boston Bruins. At the final minutes of the Trade Deadline, the Bruins finally brought in their much needed forward. To secure Johansson’s services, the  Bruins parted ways with this season’s second-round pick, as well as their 2020 fourth-round pick. This is a pretty small price for a player of Johansson’s caliber. In 48 games this season, Johansson has 12 goals and a fairly impressive 27 points.

One important factor to note about Johansson is that he has been playing on a Devils team that has struggled immensely to put up any offense. This is displayed by the fact that they are in the bottom portion of the Eastern Conference standings. However, Johansson truly could see his offensive numbers spike, especially with him expected to join the second-line. This may change when David Pastrnak comes back, but that is not expected to occur for at least another two weeks. That is a major reason why a trade for Johansson needed to happen now.

When observing this roster all season, it has been clear that secondary scoring was desperately needed. Nobody has been able to slot into the second-line effectively, but Johansson should be able to do so. In a worst-case scenario, Johansson could end up playing on the third line with the newly acquired Charlie Coyle. That certainly would not look bad either, as it is clear that they have added a significant depth piece to this fine roster.

Johansson also is a player who has had a lot of playoff experience because of his tenure with the Washington Capitals. Although he was not part of the team during their Stanley Cup win last postseason, he played in them consistently since the start of his career. In 72 career playoff games, he has registered 30 points. That definitely does not scream clutch, but it is essential to remember that his playing time was limited throughout a lot of their postseason runs. His best postseason came in 2017 when he registered 8 points in 13 games, due to the fact that he had a much bigger role that year. Oh, and he scored the series-winning goal against the Leafs that postseason.

There is absolutely no question that the idea of adding a superstar to the team this Trade Deadline was one that many fans were yearning for. Although the Bruins are legitimate contenders, they have a serious uphill battle with teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning in their way. However, they clearly made the right call with this move. Instead of throwing away at least one top prospect, a roster player and their first-round pick for a rental, they kept the team together and made them far deeper. This is a trade that has far less of a risk factor than last year’s Rick Nash one as well.

At the end of the day, it is exciting that Johansson is part of the team. He has a wonderful chance to play with some spectacular players in Boston. There is no question that Jake DeBrusk will love to have another passer on his line. This will provide him with more scoring opportunities. When looking at this team now versus a week ago, they truly are far deeper and are poised to make some noise in the postseason. Overall, General Manager Don Sweeney does deserve some praise for this last-minute deal, instead of the harsh criticism that seems to be coming his way.

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The Bruins Miss Out On Gustav Nyquist

( PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images-Brian Babineau )

By: Michael DeRosa | Check me out on Twitter @michael_derosa4

Gustav Nyquist was one of the top-six wingers that the Bruins were linked to this Trade Deadline. However, it has been reported that he has been traded to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick, as well as a third-round selection. It is important to note that the third-round pick will turn into a second if the Sharks make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, or if he decides to re-sign there. However, even if that occurs, it is clear that this was not a large package for a very solid scorer.

The Bruins were reportedly close to making a deal happen with the Red Wings, but they ultimately decided to avoid trading within the division. This makes sense, as it could have been possible that Nyquist would have liked to stay in Boston after the trade. However, his services would have been greatly appreciated in Beantown. He would have been the perfect second-line winger, especially when seeing as how the Bruins likely would have been able to keep their first-rounder in a move.

When looking at Nyquist’s statistics, it is clear that he is a very effective forward at the NHL level. This season has been a particularly solid one for the veteran, as he has put up 16 goals and 49 points in 62 games. Keep in mind, he has been playing with an offensively weak Red Wings club. It is fair to assume that he would have slotted perfectly on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Yet, he will likely have a lot of fun in San Jose though with their stacked offensive core.

The list of players available is definitely decreasing, and this will continue to occur as the day progresses. In terms of an overall fit, Nyquist very well could have the been the perfect one. If Wayne Simmonds was the same player he was three years ago, he would be a great addition, but his offensive numbers are decreasing rapidly. The idea of acquiring Mark Stone is a very appealing one, but at the same time, it would end up costing the Bruins an immense amount. Nyquist, on the other hand, clearly would have been a solid gamble, even if his offensive numbers are a bit lower than Stone’s.

After the Bruins went on their seven-game winning streak, it became even clearer that they need to be buyers. There is definitely potential for them to have a deep playoff run, but if they are to succeed, it is absolutely essential that they bring in a top-six forward. They simply need to improve upon the lineup that they currently have. The addition of Charlie Coyle gave them the solid third-line center they were searching for, but more is needed. The Atlantic Division has become the best one in the NHL, so the Bruins need to keep up.

Losing out on Gustav Nyquist is not something that is going to sink the Bruins’ season. However, he definitely would have been a solid addition if a deal came into fruition. One cannot blame the Red Wings for deciding to go against trading with the Bruins, but man, bringing in a player of Nyquist’s caliber for that price would have been perfect. Alas, we will have to see what the Bruins end up doing in the upcoming hours.

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