Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Toronto: 10/19/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS)

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

After their first post-regulation loss of the new season, the Boston Bruins look to rebound right away with a win in the first game of the home-and-home series against the Maple Leafs. Boston managed to force overtime and eventually a shootout with a late third-period goal from David Pastrnak, (8-5-13) in their 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In Toronto’s last outing, they took a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals, just one day removed of their win over the Minnesota Wild. The Leafs will be without forward John Tavares (finger) for the next few weeks and will miss both games against the Bruins.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Home: Boston Bruins (5-1-1)

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3-1)

Bruins Last Game: 4-3 loss vs TBL (SO)

Bruins Gameday Lineups:

Boston Bruins forward David Krejci (upper-body) and Joakim Nordstrom (upper-body) did not make the trip to Toronto and according to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, are considered day-to-day at this moment. Forward Patrice Bergeron missed practice yesterday after blocking a shot against Tampa Bay, but he will be in the lineup tonight.

First Period:

In the early three minutes of the game, the Bruins are taking control of the road-building with pressure, forecheck, and four shots on goal in the opening three minutes. Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock immediately made sure Matthews did not play against the Bergeron line due to the defensive shut down. Good start for Boston.

The great start for Boston was stopped by a goal by the Maple Leafs roughly six minutes into the period. Morgan Rielly took a shot from the point that hit Brandon Carlo right in the chest and bounced down, between the legs of Jaroslav Halak and Toronto takes a 1-0 lead at home. Tough break for the Bruins who were playing good all-around.

After the goal, there was some pushing and shoving around the benches between Andreas Johnsson, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand that settled itself out. At almost the same time, Alex Kerfoot gets a breakaway chance that is shut down by Halak, setting up Jake DeBrusk the other way for a breakaway of his own that Andersen stops. Good action continues for both teams.

Toronto began to pick up the pace and momentum after the opening goal, getting more rushes into the zone and more chances on Halak. Bruins still hold a lead in the shot department, 11-10, but it is clear that the first goal was a big one for the Leafs. Boston needs to get a goal back before the end of the period to slow down the momentum.

That is the complete opposite of what happens as Sean Kuraly fails to clear the puck out of his own zone and it goes right to Dmytro Timashov who makes a subtle fake before sniping it past Halak, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead late in the first period. The goal is the first career goal of Timashov’s NHL career, a big one for the Leafs.

Needing a big goal before the intermission, the Bruins switch up the lines, resulting in a second-line of DeBrusk, Coyle, and Wagner. The hard forecheck behind the Leafs net eventually leads to Coyle taking the puck and finding Jake DeBrusk wide-open in the slot. DeBrusk finally buries his first of the 2019-20 season and the Bruins cut into the Toronto lead, it’s 2-1. The period ends after that.

Note: Before the Bruins’ goal, Jake DeBrusk took a hard slapshot towards the net that hit what appears to be the inside of the foot of Karson Kuhlman who showed clear pain and went off the ice and did not return. However, there were only less than two minutes left to tick away before intermission, but it is something to keep an eye out for.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 18 TOR: 15

Score: 2-1 Maple Leafs – Goals: Rielly (1) Assists: Marner (7), Johnsson (3); Timashov (1) Assists: Gauthier (1); DeBrusk (1) Assists: Coyle (2), Wagner (2)

Second Period:

As the play starts up again following the intermission, it is worth noting that Kuhlman is on the Bruins bench to begin the second period. A scare for Boston who needs his speed and threat, but he seems to be alright.

The first penalty of the hockey game comes less than two minutes into the middle frame as Ilya Mikeyev takes a holding penalty on Jake DeBrusk and the Bruins head to the power-play that is 8-for-21 to start the season. However, Boston did not have the best man-advantage that they could have had, with some decent chances shorthanded by Toronto. The B’s do get a couple shots from McAvoy and Heinen late on the power-play, but the Leafs ultimately kill it off and we return to 5-on-5.

Roughly eight minutes into the frame, the Bruins have one of their best shifts of the game. They did a great job cycling the puck around Toronto’s zone, generating some great chances to tie the game. Brett Ritchie did a nice job tossing the puck towards the crease for an open Patrice Bergeron, but he narrowly missed a wide-open net. Later on, Par Lindholm keeps it in the zone and skates it further in before drawing a tripping penalty – Boston to their second power-play.

Power-play ends without a goal for the B’s, but they had some good chances that were either stopped or missed the net. The best chance was off of a brilliant passing play that created a great chance for DeBrusk who hit the side of the net. Boston now 0-for-2 on the man-advantage tonight with some improvements from the first one.

With 3:19 left in the second, David Backes tries to drive the puck towards the net but collides hard with Frederik Andersen. The whistle blows and the referee calls for a penalty, assuming it is goaltender interference, but it turns out to be coincidental minor penalties due to roughing by Marincin after the play, 4-on-4. Right away on the 4-on-4, Kuraly makes another bad turnover that leads to a great chance for Toronto – but Halak makes a big save.

In the dying seconds, the Bruins have yet another strong shift that draws a hooking penalty and the Maple Leafs are back on the penalty-kill. The second-period ends before Boston can capitalize. Either way, a much-better period for the Bruins, just could not score a goal. It’ll come with that play, though.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 33 TOR: 18

Score: 2-1 Maple Leafs

Third Period:

The Bruins finally strike on the power-play. Brett Ritchie does a nice job passing it across the zone to find Danton Heinen who rips one top-shelf past Andersen for his second goal of the season and the Bruins equalize the game. Heinen becomes the first Bruin aside from the first-line to score two goals in 2019-20.

The tie was short-lived, only 61 seconds after Boston’s power-play marker, Alex Kerfoot finds the puck in the slot and backhands an odd shot past Halak who was off-balance in the crease and the Maple Leafs take back a one-goal lead in the third period. Charlie Coyle did a poor job staying on Kerfoot, leading to the goal against.

The Bruins have had a few good chances to tie it up once again in the final regulation period, but Andersen has been stellar between the pipes and the Leafs are starting to play better defense while getting some good offensive opportunities as well. Just over eight minutes to go and the Bruins have reached the 40-shot mark.

At the 15:34 mark of the period, Marchand makes a nice neutral zone dangle to bring the puck into the zone, feeds it to Bergeron whose shot gets partially blocked. Bergeron does a good job working for the puck back, allowing him to pass it to Marchand who quickly gets it off to Pastrnak for a blistering one-timer that beats Andersen. Quick offense and we are tied 3-3.

After an incredibly entertaining period of hockey, this game heads to the always-exciting 3-on-3 overtime.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 44 TOR: 27

Score: 3-3 – Goals: Heinen (2) PPG Assists: Ritchie (1), Pastrnak (6); Kerfoot (3) Assists: Muzzin (3), Mikheyev (4); Pastrnak (9) Assists: Marchand (8), Bergeron (6)

Overtime:

The Maple Leafs have the best chances to win the game in overtime throughout the first couple of minutes. Charlie Coyle has been poor defensively tonight and that came out in the overtime session, making poor judgements but fortunately, the Bruins and Halak are able to save him.

Late in the 3-on-3 OT, the Bruins are stuck on the ice, showing clear signs of exhaustion in the defensive end. That only allows Auston Matthews to set up Mitch Marner in the high slot for a one-timer that beats Jaro Halak, Leafs win in overtime by a final score of 4-3. Great game, but Bruins just got caught.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 45 TOR: 29

Final Score: 4-3 Maple Leafs

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: TOR G Frederik Andersen – 42 Saves, .933 SV%

2nd Star: TOR F Mitch Marner – 1 Goal (Game-Winning), 1 Assist, 4 Shots

3rd Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 1 Goal (Game-Tying), 1 Assist, 23:58 TOI

Boston returns home to the TD Garden for the second-consecutive game against Toronto to end the home-and-home series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST on Tuesday.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 8 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

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PHOTO CREDITS: (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

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

One of the biggest rivalries in the National Hockey League – the Boston Bruins vs the Toronto Maple Leafs makes it’s the debut of the 2019-2020 season tonight in Toronto. The Bruins are coming into the game with a 5-1-1 record, losing in a shootout to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a close game.

For Toronto, they boast a 4-3-1 record, giving them the first wild-card spot. The Leafs have been off to a slow start – often trading wins and losses so far this season bringing them to the record they have. In their last time out, Toronto took a 4-3 defeat to the Washington Capitals in Washington.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 2-1-0 1.69 GAA .951 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 4-2 win vs ANA

TOR: Frederik Andersen 4-2-0 3.14 GAA .893 SV% Last Game: 27 Saves in 4-2 win vs MIN

Who’s Hot:

David Pastrnak is virtually unstoppable right now. The 23-year-old winger has eight goals, five assists for thirteen points in seven games so far and is currently riding a five-game point streak with two consecutive games now with three or more points. Against the Lightning, Pastrnak scored two goals and added an assist including the game-tying goal that eventually forced a shootout. Pastrnak has had great success against the Leafs, scoring 11-8-19 numbers in 15 regular-season games against Toronto.

Fresh off his brand new contract with the Maple Leafs, Mitch Marner is picking things right up from his 94-point campaign in 2018-19 with now nine points in the opening eight games played. Marner has scored three goals and helped with six assists on the scoresheets – leading the Maple Leafs in points. Marner was held pointless against the Capitals but had a three-point game the night before against the Wild.

Morgan Rielly is tied with Mitch Marner in points, however, all of them are assists. Rielly has been the number-one defenceman in Toronto for the past couple of seasons and it seems each year he finds improvements. Against Minnesota, Rielly put up four assists in 21:44 of ice time followed up by a pointless night against Washington in over 27 minutes of time on the ice. Four of his nine assists were on the power-play.

Who’s Not:

Jake DeBrusk is still of his game and it may be a little bit concerning for the Bruins who are struggling to find depth scoring, even more so now with the absence of David Krejci on the second line. DeBrusk played 17:11 in Thursday’s game, finishing the night with a -1 rating, two shots on goal, and zero points. In the first seven games, DeBrusk has only one assist. Jake only has one goal in six regular-season games against the Maple Leafs.

The entire depth charts at the forward position can be listed for the Boston Bruins in this category. Aside from the first-line, only Sean Kuraly has more than one point (2), while seven forwards have only a single point this season. Without the power-play and the top line, the Boston Bruins likely would not be as high in the standings as they are right now. The B’s cannot rely on David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to carry the workload for all 82 games.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is three assists away (497) from 500 career NHL assists
  • F David Pastrnak is three points away (297) from 300 career NHL points

Toronto Maple Leafs:

  • F Auston Matthews is five points away (95) from 100 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Leafs Outlook

The first of two meetings in the next four days between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs goes down tonight in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The rivalry between these two Original Six franchises has seemingly never been so competitive nor entertaining for that matter. After the Bruins eliminated the Maple Leafs in both the 2018 and the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Toronto is looking to come back and finally get revenge over Boston.

Both teams will be without big players in their lineup as well. Newly-named captain John Tavares is out for at least a couple of weeks due to a broken finger suffered from blocking a Morgan Rielly shot. On Boston’s side, forward David Krejci is out once again with an injury and forward Joakim Nordstrom is also not travelling with the team to Toronto.

Speciality teams have always played a big factor in this rivalry and it should again tonight. The Bruins come into the contest with the second-best power-play percentage in the NHL (38.1%), while the Leafs have the 8th-best man-advantage at 26.9%. On the penalty-kill, the Bruins have killed off 85.7% of their penalties compared to Toronto’s 80.8% success rate while short-handed.

With both teams coming off a loss earlier in the week to strong Eastern Conference teams, it should make for a back-and-forth, entertaining hockey game – as it usually is between Toronto and Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from Toronto, Canada.

Projected Lineups:

Boston Bruins:

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Six Thoughts From The Bruins First Six Games

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Photo Courtesy Of WCVB Boston

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

It’s a good time to be a Bruins fan. The hometown team is 5-1-0 in their first six games of the 2019-20 campaign and look every bit the squad that came within a game of winning the Stanley Cup last season. The B’s began the season 3-0-0, their best start in nearly 20 years back when Joe Thornton was in black and gold. The team has earned 10 of a possible 12 points to open the season and lot of it is due to the superb goaltending combination of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. The B’s first line has picked up where it left off last season with all three players off to great starts including David Pastrnak who scored four times on Monday against the Anaheim Ducks. There have been a few interesting developments in the first few games of the season and below I’ll take a look at six storylines I’ve noticed in the B’s first six games.

Goaltending Has Been Phenomenal

As I previously mentioned, the Bruins goaltending has been the main reason the team is off to their best start in years. Rask and Halak have each started three games and have looked very strong and look every bit the part of the elite tandem they were a season ago. Rask has started the season especially strong after having his fair share of issues in the early parts of the last few years. He’s 3-0-0 with a sparkling .957 save percentage and a minuscule 1.33 goals against average. Halak, meanwhile has been just as good and has already made a seasons worth of spectacular saves especially in his first start of the year against the Arizona Coyotes, a 1-0 shutout victory. It’s very clear that yet again the B’s have another elite goaltending tandem that is showing no signs of slowing down.

Pastrnak Scoring In Bunches

As evidenced by his four goal outburst the other day, David Pastrnak is an elite goal scorer. At 23, Pastrnak seems to top himself every season and perhaps his next feat is 50 goals in a season. Despite not scoring in his first two games of the season, Pasta has found the net six times in his past four contests and is now tied for second in the entire league in goals scored. The great thing about Pastrnak‘s game is it seems to get better and better by the season and there’s no reason to expect anything less in 2019-20.

Second Period Woes

Unfortunately it’s not been all positive for the B’s to open the year as a familiar monster has reared its ugly head. A common theme for the team in the early going of the season has been second period struggles as the Bruins seem to lose momentum and not play with the same intensity. For whatever reason it’s been a common issue for the team under Bruce Cassidy which certainly isn’t a knock on the coach but it’s something that happens pretty consistently. One could argue the B’s are still in search of their first win playing a full 60 minutes.

Kuhlman Doesn’t Look Out Of Place

I’ll preface this by saying Karson Kuhlman is not the ideal fit on the Boston second line. However, I do believe he’s the best they can do at this point in time. Kuhlman’s energy is pretty clear watching the first few Bruins games of the season, the guy is always hunting the puck and making plays utilizing his straight line speed. Because of that speed, he’s gotten numerous scoring chances and unfortunately hasn’t found the back of the net yet but the ability is clearly there. The B’s second line has been off to a bit of a slow start but Kuhlman is certainly not the reason why.

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Krug Limiting Turnovers

I’ll probably get serious heat for this but I’ve noticed Torey Krug has been pretty good in his own end in the early part of the season. Now certainly he’s not perfect and has made some mistakes but often he’s in the right place at the right time. The Bruins entire defense group do a great job denying scoring chances with their sticks and this is an area Krug has greatly improved in. He may never be an elite defensive defenseman but Krug does do a lot of things especially in his own zone that often go unnoticed.

Scoring Depth Needed

Perhaps the B’s biggest strength can also be categorized as a weakness in a way. With how dominant the first line is, it often masks issues the team has in getting consistent scoring from other players. It’s pretty clear that this may be the case this season if this continues. The Bruins are counting on the likes of Jake DeBrusk, Kuhlman and Danton Heinen to provide consistent goal scoring especially five on five. It’s a great thing that the first line is so dominant but it remains to be seen whether the team can get goal scoring from other places.

Bruins Game 6 Preview: Anaheim Ducks

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA TODAY Sports)

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

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian Bruins fans (including myself) and a Happy Columbus Day to all of our American Bruins fans. To celebrate, the Boston Bruins have their first matinee game of the 2019-20 season – a home game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Bruins were victorious, 3-0 over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night and look to win their second consecutive game today.

On the other side of the rink, the Ducks will be equally ready. The Ducks matched the best start to a season in franchise history with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday. To begin the year, Anaheim is 4-1-0 and is 2-1-0 on their four-game road trip that ends today against the Bruins.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 1-1-0 1.53 GAA .957 SV% Last Game: 32 Saves in 4-2 Loss vs COL

ANA: John Gibson (Likely) 3-1-0 1.26 GAA .961 SV% Last Game: 26 Saves in 2-1 Loss vs PIT

Who’s Hot:

Another game, another strong performance for Brad Marchand and his season-starting hot streak is continuing full steam ahead. In Saturday’s win over the Devils, Marchand scored the eventual game-winning goal in the first period while adding in an assist later in the game for his second multi-point game of the year. Marchand now has 4-3-7 numbers in five games.

After five games played, there is one lone player atop the Anaheim Ducks player stats – 23-year-old winger Ondrej Kase. The 205th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has one goal and three assists this season and continues to look to play better and better, especially considering the fact that he missed a large portion of the 2018-19 campaign after undergoing shoulder surgery. The former 20-goal scorer can be a threat in this league and has done well throughout ’19/’20 thus far.

Patrice Bergeron scored his first goal of the season against New Jersey, extending his point streak to four games. Bergeron has been apart of the dangerous first line of the Bruins and has been dominant on the faceoff dot as well – to no one’s surprise, winning 55.77% of faceoffs taken this season. On the season now, the 34-year-old has 1-3-4 numbers in five games and will look to extend it against Anaheim today.

Who’s Not:

At one point in his career, Adam Henrique was a 50-point scorer in the National Hockey League, most recently hitting the plateau in the 2015-2016 season. Last season, the 29-year-old scored 42-points for the Ducks but has only one goal to begin the 2019-20 campaign – keeping him on a three-game pointless streak. Henrique has seen a jump in ice time over the past two games, so a breakout is possible soon.

Charlie Coyle was brought to the Bruins roster at the Trade Deadline last year and had himself a playoff run to remember, scoring big goals and adding depth scoring to the Boston team that helped push them to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Unfortunately this season, Coyle has only one assist in five games and has not found great chemistry at this point in time. We are still early on in the year, but the lack of offensive production should hopefully end soon.

Other than those two, not too many players on either roster are struggling. Both teams are near the top of the NHL right now and both teams bring their own style and strengths – looking good early to cap it all off.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is one assist away (495) from tying Rick Middleton (496) for 6th-most assists in Bruins history

Anaheim Ducks:

  • F Adam Henrique is playing in his 600th NHL regular-season game
  • F Ryan Getzlaf is one even-strength goal away (176) from tying Paul Kariya (177) for 3rd-most even-strength goals in Ducks history

Bruins vs Ducks Outlook

Being in opposing conferences, the Bruins and Ducks only meet twice a year, but each game brings a different story and usually produces an entertaining hockey game. In 36 games between the two franchises, the Bruins have a 15-18-2-1 record against the California team – winning both games (3-0 and 3-1) in 2018-19.

On the official NHL standings today, both the Ducks and the Bruins are in the top-six in the league in points and with identical records, have the same amount of points. The Ducks have a better goal differential in comparison to Boston, scoring eleven goals while only allowing six against. Boston has scored twelve goals but allowed eight against over five games played.

Anaheim is known for being a big, physical team who, when hot, can be a hard team to pick up a win against. Goaltender John Gibson is expected to get the start, even though he has not been confirmed to be the starting netminder as of 11:45am EST, making it a tough matchup for the B’s. Gibson has a 3-1-0 record with a 1.26 goals-against-average and a .961 save percentage.

Specialty teams are a big factor in hockey games throughout the past few seasons and this game is evidence of that as well. The Bruins boast a 23% success rate on the power-play, (17th in NHL), and a 78.6% success rate on the penalty-kill (17th in NHL).

Anaheim is one of four teams to have yet to score a power-play goal, coming up short on all ten man-advantages presented to them. However, that is balanced out somewhat by their third-ranked penalty-kill percentage, killing off 93% of the penalties that they take. It should be interesting to see the battle of the strong Bruins power-play to Anaheim’s strong PK.

Bruins Lineup:

Bruins forward Brett Ritchie will lace up the skates against his brother, Nick Ritchie, today as well. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:00pm EST from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Colorado: 10/10/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

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

Putting the finishing touches on a four-game road trip to start off the 2019-2020 NHL season, the Boston Bruins are in Denver, Colorado for a game against the undefeated Colorado Avalanche who have not played since last Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. The Bruins have won all three games thus far, most recently beating the Vegas Golden Knights by a final score of 4-3 on Tuesday.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: Pepsi Center – Denver, Colorado, USA

Home: Colorado Avalanche (2-0-0)

Away: Boston Bruins (3-0-0)

Bruins Last Game: 4-3 win vs VGK

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Bruins forward Joakim Nordstrom will make his season debut for Boston tonight after dealing with an injury that dates back to the Stanley Cup Finals. In relation, forwards Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm are the healthy scratches for the B’s. In Colorado, forward Colin Wilson and defenceman Mark Barberio make their season debuts while forward J.T. Compher (lower-body) and defenceman Ian Cole (hips) deal with injuries.

First Period:

In the early minutes of the game, both teams came out with some physical hits from Connor Clifton, Nikita Zadorov, and pretty much the entire squad of both teams. Colorado was able to get some offensive zone time in the first five minutes, using solid passing plays to keep the Bruins defensive units moving in their own zone while getting shots on Halak – who stops them all thus far.

Boston’s top line gets the first good chance of the game on a David Pastrnak-to-Patrice Bergeron bid in tight but Grubauer makes the stop. Seven minutes into the first period and the Avalanche are overwhelming the Bruins with speed and skill on rushes and periods of time in the zone.

Just under eight minutes into the hockey game – the Boston Bruins get the game’s first goal. In the middle of a line change that saw David Krejci briefly with Pastrnak and Marchand, the trio get the puck in deep where Marchand cycles the puck down low, feeding it to a wide-open Pastrnak in the slot – his second of the season. Assists go to Marchand and Krejci.

It should also be noted that the Kuraly line did a great job shutting down the dangerous MacKinnon line on their shift, allowing for the mismatch to occur when the Bruins top-line came out onto the ice. Great work by one of the hardest working fourth lines in the National Hockey League.

Following the game’s first goal, the Bruins start to get the better of the chances. Brad Marchand makes another solid play to leave the puck for Torey Krug who takes the shot right into Grubauer’s glove. Later in the frame, the first line continues solid puck movement in the offensive zone to give Bergeron a short chance in tight to the net that is also stopped.

As the period begins to come to an end, I continue to notice Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman for the Bruins. Clifton has been making good defensive plays to shut down chances from Colorado while Kuhlman has made good plays in his own end, stole the puck in the Avs’ zone and beat an icing call with his blazing speed. Good game for the young players of Boston.

Boston doesn’t stop there – with less than five minutes left to tick away in the frame, captain Zdeno Chara winds up from the point to take his patented slapshot that took a deflection off of Gabriel Landeskog’s stick in the high slot to beat Grubauer, giving the B’s a 2-0 lead in the first period of action. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron credited with the helpers.

Throughout the course of the opening twenty minutes, goaltender Jaroslav Halak has been excellent, stopping some quality chances by Colorado including several cross-crease shots that the netminder stretched across to save. Halak looking great in his second game of the 2019-2020 season.

The first period of play has gone by pretty fast due to the lack of whistles but we do get another one – a Boston penalty – two minutes for too many men on the ice and the Avalanche will get 1:32 of power-play time to end the first frame. On the first good rush of the man-advantage, Landeskog rips a shot off the post only for Nathan MacKinnon to tap it home in the crease to cut Boston’s lead to one goal again. Not a pretty sight for Carlo and Bergeron who simply let Landeskog walk past them into the zone.

And that’ll wrap up the first period. Slow start, great middle, poor penalty that led to the goal. Overall a decent period for the Black and Gold heading into the middle twenty minutes.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 15 COL: 11

Score: 2-1 Bruins – Goals: Pastrnak (2) Assists: Marchand (2), Krejci (1); Chara (1) Assists: Pastrnak (3), Bergeron (3); MacKinnon (1) PPG Assists: Landeskog (2), Makar (3)

Second Period:

Right at the start of the second period, the Bruins second-line of Krejci, DeBrusk, and Kuhlman come flying into the zone with the puck, leading to a Kuhlman snipe from the faceoff circle that beats Grubauer off of the far-side post and into the net. DeBrusk did an excellent job to beat the defenceman on the race into Colorado’s zone. However, after a challenge by the Avalanche bench, the goal was reversed due to goaltender interference. Take what you want from it – no goal.

At the 6:19 mark of the frame, David Backes gets whistled down and sent to the penalty box for tripping. Bruins head to their second penalty-kill of the game so far, currently 0-for-1 tonight as the Avs’ only goal has come on the man-advantage. Much better PK for the B’s, only allowing one shot against and they had some good blocks from Kuhlman and Nordstrom. Back to even-strength.

Halfway into the game, Brad Marchand is stripped of the puck in his own zone, allowing Matt Calvert to bring it towards Jaro Halak. Calvert tosses the puck across the crease, eventually hitting the stick of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, tying the game for Colorado at two apiece. Lone assist to Matt Calvert on the play – sloppy breakouts and passes by Boston costing them here.

With the momentum of the home crowd in Denver, the Avs are starting to push the pressure on Boston in the second half of the second period. Jaroslav Halak makes three saves on the same play on numerous rebound opportunities to keep this game equal, doing his part to keep Boston in it.

It has been a close, back-and-forth period for a good portion of the twenty minutes, but one of the top chances for Boston came with just around three minutes to go. Charlie Coyle did a terrific job to dive and poke the puck up the ice for David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk on a 2-on-1. DeBrusk’s one-timed shot is met by a great reaching Grubauer who seems to be in his element tonight, the game remains tied.

In the final thirty seconds of the period, the Avs take an interference minor – more specifically, Nikita Zadorov, and Boston will start the third period with 1:42 of power-play time. Not the best period considering the goal against, but they got through it with some high-quality chances of their own.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 29 COL: 23

Score: 2-2 – Goals: Bellemare (2) Assists: Calvert (3)

Third Period:

Another great start for the Boston Bruins at the beginning of a period, even considering they start on the man-advantage. Right in front of the net, David Pastrnak makes a gorgeous backhand pass to Jake DeBrusk on the other side of the crease who waits for a split second and roofs it above the glove hand of Grubauer – Bruins take a 3-2 lead in the third. Until it is reviewed for offside. It is determined that the play was offside – no goal. Two goals overturned for Boston tonight.

Not looking to give up, the Bruins get a great chance to take the lead again on a beautiful 2-on-1 play from Pastrnak and Marchand, however, Marchand’s one-timer is stopped by a brilliant stretching save by Grubauer. On the ensuing faceoff, a Torey Krug shot takes a deflection in front right to Marchand who’s backhand shot rings off the iron and stays out. Back the other way, the Avalanche come mere inches from taking the lead of their own, but Halak makes a great save himself.

In continuation of that goaltending dual, Jaroslav Halak is the sole reason Colorado didn’t score on an offensive zone control that most likely nearly reached two minutes in length. Boston’s defense looked off and lost in their own zone. Heinen made a huge block from a point shot that evidently stung, but he stayed on the bench.

With 7:06 left to go, the Avalanche break the deadlock and take a 3-2 lead. Andre Burakovsky takes a wrist shot with a Joonas Donskoi screen in front of Rask and the shot rings off the post and into the net. Still, there is time left to equal the score, but considering how hot Grubauer has been, it is not going to be an easy feat.

Colorado buries the empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining in the hockey game. Avalanche win the game and hand the Bruins their first loss of the 2019-2020 season – 4-2 the final score.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 41 COL: 36

Final Score: 4-2 Avalanche

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: COL G Philipp Grubauer – 39 Saves, .951 SV%

2nd Star: COL F Gabriel Landeskog – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 5 Shots, 19:24 TOI

3rd Star: BOS G Jaroslav Halak – 32 Saves, .914 SV%

The Boston Bruins end the road trip with a 3-1-0 record and now look ahead to their home-opener on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 148 that we recorded on 10-6-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 4 Preview: Colorado Avalanche

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL on YouTube)

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

The Boston Bruins have had a pretty solid start to the 2019-2020 campaign, winning all three games against the Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes and most-recently, the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. It is the first time since 2002 that the Bruins start a regular season with a 3-0-0 record and to do it all on the road nonetheless.

The Colorado Avalanche made a name for themselves last season with their powerhouse first line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. The Avs and Bruins were neck-and-neck in the competition for the best line in the NHL. Colorado managed to get into the playoffs as a Wild Card team and eliminated the Calgary Flames in five games before losing to the San Jose Sharks in seven.

In 2019-20, Colorado boasts a 2-0-0 record heading into tonight’s game against Boston, winning 5-3 over the Flames and 4-2 over the Wild last week. The Avalanche are coming into tonight’s game with four days of rest, having last played on Saturday, October, 5th.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 1-0-0 0.00 GAA 1.000 SV% Last Game: 1-0 Win vs ARI

COL: Phillip Grubauer 2-0-0 2.50 GAA .918 SV% Last Game: 4-2 Win vs MIN

Who’s Hot

Brad Marchand has been a force to be reckoned with for the Boston Bruins to start the season and he showed that with a two-goal performance in the 4-3 win over the Golden Knights on Tuesday night. It was Marchand’s second and third marker of the year, adding to the lone goal against the Coyotes last Saturday. The 31-year-old has 3-1-4 totals in three games so far.

As previously mentioned, the first line of the Avalanche is a scary threat to any team and Mikko Rantanen, fresh off his brand new six-year contract extension with Colorado, has showcased that so far. The Finnish winger has three goals and one assist for four points in only two games played for the Avs and he has 1-4-5 stat-sheet in seven career games against the Bruins.

Second in points for the Bruins so far this season is none other than linemate David Pastrnak. Even after many suggestions to place the young winger on the second-line alongside David Krejci, Bruce Cassidy has kept the dangerous first line together to start the season and it has paid off. Pastrnak currently has one goal and two assists for three points in the opening three games of ’19/’20 – all three of them coming in Tuesday’s win over Vegas.

Who’s Not

During the off-season, one of the bigger moves was the trade that sent Toronto Maple Leafs veteran Nazem Kadri to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenceman Tyson Barrie and forward Alexander Kerfoot. So far with the Avs, Kadri has zero points in the opening two games and is playing just around 15 minutes per game. Kadri saw a decrease of about three minutes of ice time in Saturday’s win over Minnesota compared to Thursday’s win over Calgary.

Brandon Carlo is arguably one of the top defensive blueliners on the Boston Bruins right now and may have the potential to grow into one of the league’s best as well considering his young age. However, he has not had the greatest start to the new season, especially Tuesday versus the Golden Knights. On numerous occasions, Carlo made poor choices on pinches in the offensive zone that led to turnovers or chances for Vegas the other way. It is a small poor stretch, but expect this to end fast – even by tonight.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Brad Marchand is two assists away (298) from 300 career NHL assists
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away (52) from passing Rick Middleton (52) for 6th-most game-winning goals in Bruins history

Colorado Avalanche:

  • F Gabriel Landeskog is one goal away (178) from passing Matt Duchene (178) for sole possession of 7th-most goals in Avalanche history.
  • F Nathan MacKinnon is one assist away (150) from passing Matt Duchene (150) for sole possession of 10th-most assists in Avalanche history.

Bruins vs Avalanche Outlook:

You do not want to miss this one. Two of the most dangerous lines in the National Hockey League today battle it out early in the season while both remain undefeated. Last season, the two teams played only a pair of games because they’re in opposing conferences. In the two games, the Bruins finished with a record of 1-1-0, losing 6-3 on November 14th and picking up a 2-1 overtime win in February.

As already stated, the Bruins and Avalanche are among a small group of teams still without a loss on the year, but after tonight, only one of these franchises will have a zero in the loss column. Colorado is averaging the third-most goals-for-per-game at roughly 4.5 goals scored. On the flip side, the Bruins are second in the NHL for the least amount of goals allowed (4), tied with the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to the morning rushes prior to the game, forward Joakim Nordstrom will make his season debut for the Bruins after dealing with an injury that dates back to the Stanley Cup Finals series. In response, forward Brett Ritchie (1-0-1 in 3 games) will be the healthy scratch for Boston.

For Colorado, forward J.T. Compher will miss tonight’s game (lower-body) while forward Colin Wilson and defenceman Mark Barberio will make their season debuts as well. Defenceman Ian Cole has been cleared for practice but he remains on the team’s injured reserve list (hips).

Finally, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in attendance for tonight’s game – just an additional piece of fun information.

Puck drop is scheduled for 9:00pm EST in the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 148 that we recorded on 10-6-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Vegas Golden Knights 10/8/2019

Image result for boston bruins vs vegas golden knights(Photo Credits: NESN)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The Boston Bruins continue their road trip when they face the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at the T-Mobile Arena. Both teams are off to a hot start with each posting a 2-0 record thus far early in the season.  Offensively, the Bruins team will be looking to dust off the cobwebs as they’ve had to relay mainly on the back end. Both goaltenders have been outstanding in helping the Bruins stay afloat in these past two games. Tonight’s game will  hopefully be the beginning of the team getting over some bad habits:

“…I don’t think we’re  playing the way we need to right now to score, not generating enough, lets start with that. We’re not playing off an original shot, we’re trying to make plays through sticks that  maybe aren’t there…It’s a lot to do with how you play in August. It’s not really live, you’re always trying to make that nice play instead of maybe a play that will generate a loose puck situation and if you go.”

-Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy

Image result for boston bruins vs vegas golden knights(Photo Credits: AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Between The Pipes

Boston has allowed only one goal so far with both Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak minding the net. Halak had a shutout the other night against the Arizona Coyotes while Rask made 28 saves against the Dallas Stars. Rask (0.966 save percentage) will get the start in net for the Bruins.

Cassidy offered an update on Joakim Nordstrom and reported that he had been medically cleared but will not participate in tonight’s game. There may be a chance forward David Backes will see some ice time tonight. Recently the Bruins opted to have Par Lindhom on the fourth line in the game against Arizona.

Nordstrom is inching closer to returning to the lineup and has traveled with the team. The 27-year-old winger has been practicing and will need a few more before getting back on the ice.  Coach Cassidy explained that with Nordstrom  “there’s a little bit of rust:”

“What we want to be careful of is the guys that didn’t practice a lot, we threw them right in…He  (Nordstrom) didn’t play any exhibitions games. We’re gonna try to approach that one differently…His target date now becomes Thursday.”

Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game (provided Krejci plays)

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Heinen – Coyle – Ritchie

Wagner – Kuraly – Backes

 

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

 

Rask

Halak

Knight Time In Vegas

For Vegas, expect Marc-Andre Fleury, who currently has a 0.965 Save Percentage,  in net tonight when they face the Bruins. The Knights are coming off to a great start; so far Vegas have tallied up three short-handed goals in two games. 32-year-old right winger Ryan Reeves leads the NHL with 14 hits in two games with Fleury stopping 55 of 57 shots on goal.

Tomas Nosek posted three points in the teams recent 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. In his 800th career NHL game, Fleury made 34 stops. Defenseman Nate Schmidt continues to be monitored and will be out week-to week with a lower-body injury.

This will be the first meeting for Vegas against an Eastern Conference team as they look to continue their momentum. Here are the projected lineups for tonight:

Smith – Marchessault – Karlsson

Pacioretty  – Glass – Stone

Zykov – Stastny – Pirri

Carrier – Nosek  – Reaves

 

Holden – Merrill

McNabb  – Theodore

Engelland – Hague

 

Fleury

Subban

 

WHEN TO WATCH:  Tonight with puck drop at 10:00 pm

WHERE TO WATCH: ESPN+, ATTSN-RM, NESN

Bruins New Rinkside Reporter, Sophia Jurksztowicz, Making “Name” For Herself

Image result for sophia jurksztowicz bruins(Photo Credit: NESN)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

“What’s in a name,” mused William Shakespeare while soliloquizing a certain Juliet in his very famous star-crossed story from yesteryear. Well, this year for the Boston Bruins, a new name is joining the broadcast team in the role of rinkside reporter.

And for Sophia Jurksztowicz, it’s one that the players have been talking about (and trying to pronounce) since her preseason debut in September:

It’s only fitting that nearly every Bruins player from Europe in the video above expertly nailed the pronunciation of Jurksztowicz’s Polish surname down to the syllable (Zdeno Chara, Jaroslav Halak, Tuukka Rask… even David Pastrnak who “grew up 20 minutes from Poland”). Their American & Canadian counterparts & linemates, however, fared embarrassingly not as well. Specifically, Brad Marchand who campaigned for his 8th-try-at-pronouncing-her-name-correctly to be the official version: “I like the way I said it better.”

Here’s how Sophia, who’s had previous experience simplifying things for former Bruins coach (and one-time player) Don Cherry on Coach’s Cornerphonetically broke it down for the B’s, with the soft “j”, the hidden “v”, and the -ch-sounding “z”:

Yurk-shto-vitch!

Related image(Photo Credit: Hockey Night in Canada)

As the official press release from NESN stated earlier this Summer:

Since 2007, Sophia has worked with various sports broadcasting companies, including theScore, Rogers Sportsnet, CBC News Network and Hockey Night in Canada. She has served as a sports reporter and performed live updates in-studio and in-the-field reporting covering NHL, NBA and MLB stories.

Sophia was recently a host for the NHLPA’s special features with NHL players in collaboration with other NHLPA partner brands. As a broadcaster, journalist and producer at Rogers Sportsnet, Sophia was a social media expert for Hockey Night in Canada. Last month, she served as a reporter for CBC’s national coverage in Canada for the FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

“We’re very excited to have Sophia join NESN,” said NESN vice president Rick Jaffe. “She brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and understanding of the game to our broadcasts.”

That’s someone who’s already made a name for herself, both on and off the ice. Now, that’s she’s joined the Black N’ Gold, she plans on keeping it up — and making sure all the “Romeos” on the team know exactly who they’re dealing with!

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 147 that we recorded on 9-30-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

00Evan: Bold Predictions For The 2019-2020 Bruins Season

Image result for boston bruins celebration(Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

Bold is defined as being courageous and taking risks, but it also describes a color with a strong or vivid appearance. As a result, I’ll be making a few “Bold Gold predictions for the upcoming B’s season that are most likely way out there on the risk spectrum and definitely glaring on the brightness spectrum — potential new third jerseys aside that resemble an all too unBEARable one from yesteryear. Here we go:

Tuukka Rask & Jaro Halak Win “William Jennings Trophy”

Image result for tuukka rask jaroslav halak(Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

I predict handshakes like the one above will be few and far between for Tuukka Rask & Jaroslav Halak this season — just like their Goals Against Average. As a result, I’m pulling for a “William M. Jennings Trophy” award for Boston’s creased cohorts in ’19-’20. To remind the supporting-Vezina-only crowd, the William M. Jennings Trophy goes to “the goaltender(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it … based on regular-season play.”

Say what you want about their stats from last year, but Rask & Halak were definitely an elite tandem in net for Boston. Not only did they split time pretty evenly, but they bailed each other out when the other was in a slump (early for Rask) or hurting a bit (later for Halak).

 

With the B’s D-core all coming back–and I’d say even stronger after a long playoff run which saw both Carlo & Clifton log solid playing time–you can best believe they’ll be even tougher to play against in front of the fighting Fin and steely Slovak. That can only benefit both Boston goalies and perhaps pad their padding even more to the tune of some hefty hardware that hasn’t been lifted in town since 2008-’09 when Tim Thomas & Manny Fernandez stole the regular-season show between the pipes!

Brad Marchand Scores 40+ Goals, 100+ Points & Gets “Hart Trophy” Accolades

Image result for brad marchand scores

(Photo Credit: SB Nation)

After a career year for points (100) and a near career year for goals (36) in ’18-’19, this will be the season Brad Marchand puts up more point production than pest protocols. He’s almost dented the 40-goal plateau once with 39 three seasons ago so I don’t think it’s beyond expectation to have him net anywhere between 44-46 this season… especially if Boston keeps the top line together (even if they don’t, his skill with Bergeron will accrue plenty of points if he stays healthy and plays 90% of his games). Heck, how’s this for a Bold Gold prediction: he’ll net 50!

Either way, that means he’ll also break the 100-point barrier for the second consecutive season.  And since he was a Top-5 finalist last year for the NHL’s MVP Award, “The Hart Memorial Trophy,” it’s a good bet he’ll be back in consideration — perhaps even ahead of perennial candidates like Crosby & McDavid. Like a fine red wine, Marchand seems to only get better with age and if he stays surrounded by talented linemates with a penchant for finding him the puck in the scoring areas, then next year could very well be his BEST year yet (which the B’s will need to stay in contention in a loaded Eastern Conference).

 

Bruce Cassidy Wins “Jack Adams Award”

(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

If there’s ever such a thing as trending in the right direction when it comes to coaching accomplishments, then beloved B’s bench boss Bruce Cassidy is not only on the right track, but perhaps the conductor of this crazy train. A “Jack Adams Award” finalist for the NHL’s Coach of the Year recognition just two seasons ago (and a snub if you ask me last year), Cassidy can take home the trophy this upcoming season by merely repeating what he did in ’18-’19.

That is: successfully juggle injuries, find production from unexpected sources, expertly manage his goaltenders time and keep the team positively motivated. To say he’s been one of the best B’s coaches would be an understatement… he’s been one of the best coaches in the NHL since he took over from Claude Julien in 2016.  So, why not pull that successful coaching train right into Vegas at the conclusion of the ’20 campaign to take home what he undoubtedly deserves (we just hope he avoids any further collisions like below lol).

 

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 146 that we recorded on 9-22-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

 

Bruins Jaroslav Halak: Staying Sharp Between The Pipes

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Goaltender Jaroslav Halak #41 of ...(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter: @pastagrl88

Training Camp has officially started and as the team comes together on the ice, the focus will turn to re-amping their efforts as the boys in Black and Gold look to once again reach the Stanley Cup Finals. As Butch Cassidy and his Sundance Kids look to shake off last season’s tough end, many of those players are ready to start fresh. While some are working to get a spot on the Varsity team, Bruins back-up goalie Jaroslav Halak is ready to continue his journey in between the pipes.

TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE…

It’s something every professional NHL team wants and needs when it comes to having great goaltending: the perfect tandem. Last season, both Tuukka Rask and Halak acknowledged that their chemistry on and off the ice was the perfect combination of a winning duo. Halak’s calm demeanor in net allowed Cassidy more freedom in his choices, especially when it came time to give Rask much needed rest.

Image result for jaroslav halak(Photo Credits: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

When the 32-year-old Finnish native needed to time resolve a personal matter back in November, duties fell on Halak. Rask missed the games against the Toronto Maples Leafs and the Vegas Golden Knights. With Jaro in net, the Bruins won both match-ups. When Rask returned to the team, Boston, unfortunately, fell to the Vancouver Canucks 8-5 with Halak in net (Rask would come in as relief but the damage was already done).

As the Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time counting 2011, one of the biggest observations was just how well Coach Bruce Cassidy was able to manage both goaltenders during the regular season. As noted in past performances, Rask faltered a bit when having to play a heavier workload. However, when the 34-year-old Halak signed with the Bruins (replacing Anton Khudobin), things were looking to balance out in favor of Rask. During the 2018-2019 regular season, Tuukka played 46 games and went 27-13-5 with a 2.48 goals-against average, while Jaro appeared in 40 games going 20-11-4 with a 2.34 goals-against average.

Image result for jaroslav halak tuukka rask(Photo Credits:  Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

Having a successful back-up goaltender made it easier for Cassidy to shift responsibilities between the two, thus allowing Rask to stay fresh-something important especially when we’re talking Playoffs. It certainly allowed Tuukka to play phenomenal during Boston’s extended postseason run. As Bruins President Cam Neely noted:

“The way that Jaro played for us this year really helped Tuukka get some rest… We’ve seen when Tuukka’s workload gets too high he really starts to break down. I think the fact Jaro had such a great year and we were able to rely on him, and even (Anton Khudobin) had a great year the year before, that really allows us to maybe reduce Tuukka’s starts a little bit. We could keep him a little fresher this year and I think it made a really big difference in the playoffs.”

With the new season fast approaching, both Rask and Halak are poised to once again share the wealth. As Boston Globe’s Marisa Ingemi recently reported, Rask is feeling just as healthy now as he felt towards the end of the last season. For Jaro, he’s looking to move forward this upcoming year:

“I just want to help the team, any way I could , same thing this year…get the win, get the points..we still have the same goal..we wanna win the cup.”