Milestone Night for Bruins’ Marchand

Image(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

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

Seven hundred NHL games under his Black N’ Gold belt, the Bruins’ Brad Marchand was asked on Hockey Hall of Fame Night in Toronto a pretty on the nose postgame question after helping his team snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs: You ever think you might be in the HHOF?

The man once known as the Nose Face Killah had a telling response: “No, No I don’t… To be honest, I don’t really think about it.”

Well, there’s many people thinking about it now. Because 700 wasn’t the only numerical accolade highlighted on Marchand’s milestone night north of the border (and earlier this week). To wit:

Speaking of highlights, the right-off-the-faceoff third period tally that gave the B’s an all-important 2-1 lead (and subsequently set “Marchy” up for the above historic record) just 11 seconds into the final frame was both indicative and illustrative of No. 63’s top-notch talent and work ethic.

Go strong to the net with speed and skill then truly put the stick to stick-to-itiveness — that’s a Brad Marchand specialty order. Thankfully for the B’s, he had one more order up his sleeve. And that proved pivotal (and point-ful) in that it became the game-winning goal later in the third. In fact, it was almost the same recipe for success: a strong shot on net, a dogged perseverance to get the rebound, then a deft finishing touch!

Like him or not, Marchand is quickly (if not so quietly) becoming one of the best players in the league this year. But, that’s not surprising for an all-star who consistently puts up big points season after season. What else is not surprising? How no matter the stage, he always finds a way to stick his nose out after a powerful performance.

Seven hundred games into his salty and successful NHL career, there’s one thing for sure about Brad Marchand. He’s not changing how he plays or who he is. And that’s definitely deserving of a few honors, be it in Boston or Toronto, right now… and perhaps even (hall of) famously later.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Replacing the Bruins’ Big Man

( Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports Images )

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy recently shuffled his defensive lines to give some of his young stars a spark. The move sends Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins former 2016 first-round pick, to Matt Grzelyck’s right side. The long-time left-shot defenseman, Zdeno Chara, to play with Connor Clifton. Chara has been the Bruins’ staple on the blue line as their number-one defenseman, and the recent move begs the question: What we can expect for life after Chara?

Zdeno was drafted 56th overall in the 1996 NHL draft to the New York Islanders. The Slovakian possessed something NHL GM’s salivate over for their blue line defenders: size. Chara measures in at 6’9 and currently weighs 250 pounds. Any GM would love to have that monster be one of the first things the opposition sees entering the zone. The 20-year-old entered the professional hockey world in the Islanders’ farm system, beginning with the Kentucky Thoroughblades. A year and a half later, he played between New York and their next affiliate team, the Lowell Lock Monsters. Beginning in the 1998 season, Zdeno Chara made the Islanders’ opening roster where the future Hall of Famer’s career would begin.

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His three and a half year tenure in New York was nothing to write home about, and the Islanders didn’t offer much support finishing last in their division those three straight years. In the 2001 offseason, the Islanders struck a deal with the Ottawa Senators, sending Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and a first-round draft selection (which turned into Jason Spezza at second overall) for Alexei Yashin. Muckalt only played one year in Ottawa and Spezza is still playing out his seventeen-year career. Many in the NHL felt the Islanders gave up too early on Chara, and they were right. Chara quickly found his game in Ottawa. He posted 23 points and a plus 30 in his first year with the Senators, almost tying his three and a half year point total in New York. Each of his four years in Ottawa, Chara surpassed his previous season’s point total, netting 146 points in 299 games. The success he had in Ottawa did not go unnoticed, as he was named first-team All-Star and a Norris Trophy finalist (Best NHL Defenseman) in his third year with the Sens. Ottawa allowed the fewest goals in 2005-2006 and the big man played an immense role in that. In the 2006 off-season, Chara was an unrestricted free agent and the Bruins were desperately searching for an elite two-way defenseman.

Entering the 2006 off-season, the Bruins constructed a massive overhaul of their blue line. Hall of Famer Brian Leetch retired and they cut ties with Nick Boynton and the hometown 6’7 veteran Hal Gill. The Bruins had some cap room to fill and Chara was their number one target. The Black and Gold signed the big man to a five-year, $37.5M contract. Not only did Chara bring size to Boston, but he also brought a thorough work ethic and mentorship that is a staple on and off the ice to this day. It’s the reason he’s well-respected throughout the league.

Chara became the Bruins’ 18th captain in their history. He brought his leadership, 100-mph-plus slap shot, and defensive stinginess to Boston where it would change the Bruins’ vision for years to come. He maintained 40-plus-point seasons in his first six years in Boston, two of which he reached the 50-point plateau. Chara continued to be selected as a first-team All-Star and became the 56th winner of the Norris Trophy in 2008-2009, with 50 points and a plus-23 rating. He was the leader of the team on and off the ice, and an integral part of the teams’ sixth Stanley Cup to Boston in 2011. Chara didn’t score a lot of points those playoffs, but he did shine where his team needed him most. He averaged a hefty 27:39 time on ice and a plus-16 rating. One key play that comes to mind is in Game 6, Chara used his seven-foot wingspan to make a game-changing play:

A four-goal lead feels as though the game is out of reach, but every hockey player knows it takes just one goal to change a game. The Bruins desperately needed a win to send the series to a heart-pumping Game 7 and once again, Chara was there to save the day when his team needed him most.

Game 6 ended in A 5-2 Bruins victory, sending the Bruins and Canucks back to Vancouver for any sport’s most exciting two words: Game 7. The Bruins took an early 1-0 lead at 14:37 in the first from the stick of another future Hall of Famer: Patrice Bergeron. That goal proved to be the game-winner, as the Bruins scored three more times, and on June 15, 2011, the Bruins were Stanley Cup Champions. Bruins fans around the world can still hear Dave Goucher’s legendary call: “Get the duck boats ready, the Boston Bruins are 2011 Stanley Cup Champions.” The Stanley Cup was raised the highest it had ever been, over Chara’s 6’9 stature. Chara ended the game with a game-leading 41 shifts, team-leading 27:12 time on ice, and a plus-2 rating.

( Photo Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File )

The Stanley Cup was the cherry on top of Chara’s incredible career. Recently, it’s clear the Bruins have been drafting and developing their players for life after Chara. Following the 2017 season, he became the next athlete to take on the TB12 method to keep Father Time at bay. He no longer eats red meat and has switched to strictly plant-based and organic foods. “I can tell I’m feeling better,” said the 40-year-old Bruins captain and tallest player in NHL history. “I know for a fact I’m playing with a lot more energy and I’m recovering faster.”

General Manager Don Sweeney hasn’t taken his renewed time for granted, though. The Bruins spent three draft picks on blue-line defenders in 2015 selecting Jakub Zboril, Brandon Carlo, and Jeremy Lauzon. Zboril and Lauzon (both left-shot blue-liners) are still developing in the American Hockey League, and Carlo is one of the Bruins’ most important and consistent defenders, playing alongside Torey Krug. The Bruins drafted McAvoy 14th overall in 2016 and he’s been launched into first-pairing duties from the start. The Bruins also drafted young Finnish defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, who most believe to be the man to fill the big man’s skates with his ability to play long minutes and defensive stinginess.

Urho was drafted 18th overall in the 2017 draft, one year after McAvoy. Where the Bruins will miss Chara’s contributions the most is the penalty kill (PK). The Bruins have historically had great success on the PK due to Chara, Bergeron, and Brad Marchand. Zdeno’s long reach gives him an uncanny ability to intercept passes and clear the puck from danger. Sweeney has been spending the past two off-seasons signing bottom-six role players who can contribute effectively to the PK. Par Lindholm, Joakim Nordstrom, Chris Wagner, Brett Ritchie, and John Moore have all been part of this movement.

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One of Chara’s finest qualities that fly under the radar is his ability to shadow the opposition’s best players. Chara and the Bruins have executed Bill Belichick’s approach in neutralizing the opposition’s most lethal weapon. Chara has always been the mainstay in limiting players like Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, and Alex Ovechkin. These world talents have all had the tall task of facing-off against Chara and haven’t had much success. According to Natural Stat Trick, when both Chara and Ovechkin were on the ice together in a 5v5 situation, Ovechkin was held to only four goals from 2013 and 2016. Stamkos was held to three, and Crosby held to one. This type of shutdown ability will be extremely hard to replicate. Cassidy has faith in players like Bergeron and Charlie Coyle to handle the load, but it will probably be more of a group effort moving forward.

Chara hasn’t definitively said which year will be his last. If we know anything about the big man, his work ethic will not let him go quietly. His motivation throughout the years has awarded him tremendous honors. The Stanley Cup, Norris Trophy, and Mark Messier Leadership Award are just pieces of a successful resume for this seven-time All-Star. He recently reached an amazing plateau of 1,500 NHL games played.

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The Bruins don’t have just one player to solve the missing puzzle piece. But they do have a plethora of defensemen in their system, all of whom bring something unique to the table. McAvoy is one of the NHL’s brightest young stars. Carlo is a stay-at-home defenseman with a long reach and whose big body has been a key piece of what the Bruins do best in their zone and limiting the opposition. Torey Krug is the quarterback on their powerplay. Matt Gryzelck is statistically one of the best D-men breaking the puck out of the D-zone efficiently. Connor Clifton is a scrappy, hard-hitting defenseman who isn’t intimidated by the opposition’s size. The Bruins will miss having one player bring all of that to the table and alleviate pressure from others. But with some help from the men upfront, the current Black and Gold D-men should be able to replicate what the big man has done with great success.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Mark Your Bruins Calendar 2020 Update: Prague, Czech Republic

(Photo Credit: NHL)

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

The Boston Bruins are going global. Again.

The NHL recently announced its 2020 Global Series and the B’s are international headliners for the third time in the last decade. The Black N’ Gold will open the ’20-’21 season on the road in Prague, Czech Republic facing off against the Nashville Predators at O2 Arena.

The B’s most recently opened abroad in 2018-’19 playing the Calgary Flames as part of the NHL China Games, an experience I wrote about for the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog last Fall.

It was an experience highly regarded by both players and management, much the same way Bruins’ veterans Zdeno Chara and David Krejci remember opening the season in Prague for the first time back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere Series. Krejci shared his thoughts about this trip in a team press release touting its return to familiar territory:

“Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends and teammates,” said Krejci. “It was the start of a year I’ll always remember. Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it’s great the League continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world.”

Later in that same release, the B’s forward with the hottest release in the league right now (15G, 15A – 30PTS) shared what playing in Prague means to him since he wasn’t apart of the 2010 trip. Here’s what David Pastrnak had to say about the Global Series against the Preds:

“I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague,” said Pastrnak. “I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I’ll never forget – I can’t wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim.”

The presser also notes the Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe and will each play in an exhibition match as part of the Global Series Challenge. As Pastrnak mentioned, the B’s will report to Mannheim, Germany and play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena.

Image result for bruins prague(Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder)

As you can see from the near-decade old photo above, the B’s are no strangers to Prague. Current players on the Bruins roster who grew up in the Czech Republic include forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak, as the B’s press release notes.

Krejci was born in Sternberk and played junior hockey for HC Kladno. He has represented his home country in international play on several occasions, including the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, and was awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic in 2013. Pastrnak was born in Havirov and played junior hockey with AZ Havirov. He has represented the Czech Republic in international play on several occasions and has been awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic each of the last three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For more information on the upcoming B’s season, stay tuned to the BN’G Hockey Podcast & Prospect’s Podcast!

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Bruins Remain Atop NHL’s ‘Super 16’ Power Rankings for Fourth Straight Week

bruinspowerrankings

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

Halloween is here which means the first month of the 2019-2020 NHL season is coming to a close with the Bruins as arguably the best team in the league thus far. The Bruins head into November atop the Atlantic Division and the NHL.com’s “Super 16” Power Rankings list for the fourth straight week.

You read that right, the Bruins have remained at the top of the NHL’s weekly power rankings for the fourth straight week after the Bruins came flying out of the gates to start the season. This week the Bruins were just one vote away from being a unanimous number one when twelve out of the thirteen NHL.com writers voted for the Bruins to be the top spot on the rankings.

The Bruins are coming off a 12 game month of October with a 9-1-2 record for 20 points in the standings. This is good for the Bruins’ best start in their first 12 games since the 1929-1930 season – a year in which they made the Stanley Cup Finals. They are tied in points with the Buffalo Sabres for the top spot in the Atlantic Division but the Bruins have the slight edge in regulation and overtime wins with nine to break the tie.

The Bruins have been clicking as of late offensively as they have the second-highest goal differential in the NHL at +16. Part of their high flying offense has been the play of David Pastrnak who has 24 points in 12 games by way of 12 goals and 12 assists. His linemates have been right there with him in terms of production offensively with Marchand scoring 12 goals and adding seven assists for 21 points and Bergeron burying five goals and seven assists for 12 points. Along with their depth at forward and defense as well as strong goaltending from Rask and Halak, it is no surprise that the Bruins have been number one on the power rankings the whole month of October.

This week the Bruins are ahead of the Washington Capitals who climbed up from the third spot into the second because of their 6-0-1 record in their past seven games. Bruins division rivals Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning also made the sweet 16 power rankings with the Leafs coming in at 12 and the Lightning at 14.

The Lightning were slotted at number one on the power rankings before the season started on October 2nd with the Bruins at number four before the puck dropped on the season. The Lightning hold a 6-4-2 record for 14 points and currently sit a point out of the last wild card spot held by the 6-5-3 Toronto Maple Leafs. Granted it is extremely early with a ton of hockey left this season, it is not the start that Leafs and Bolts fans wanted to see out of the gate this year.

While the recognition of being the best team in the league every week in October is good, the Bruins are just getting started, however. With only 12 games down and 70 to go, the Bruins have a lot of work to do. Odds are Tampa Bay and Toronto will figure out their struggles, as well as Buffalo could continue their strong start and along with the Joel Quenneville coached Florida Panthers, the Bruins are going to be battling all season for a top spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at TD Garden to kick off the month of November.

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!

 

Happy Halloween from the Boston Bruins!

IMG_4529(Photo Credit: Zdeno Chara’s Instagram)

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

No tricks.

This may be the greatest Boston Bruins team photo of all-time! I mean, do the B’s do Halloween right, or what? Every year. Even before the 31st… when they dress up for area children’s hospital visits!

And if you visited any of the player’s social media sites this spooktacular season, you’ll see they’re loving the costume creativity just as much as we are. From Toy Story to Wayne’s World (The Bergeron’s)! From Dodgeball to Dumb and Dumber (Danton Heinen / The Backes’)! And from Stranger Things (The Marchand’s) to “strange behavior” (Kampfer as a waffle?), the Black N’ Gold went ALL IN on becoming the Black N’ GHOULD.

And we need to thank them. Tonight. Tomorrow. Everyday for the rest of the season. You can’t make Halloween any happier (or kookier & spookier) than this.

Dare I say, what a treat!

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 Off to One of Best Starts in Franchise History

boston-bruins-celebrate

( Photo Credit: TSN )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Boston Bruins are absolutely rolling out of the gate for the 2019-2020 season. They currently sit atop the Atlantic Division and have won four straight games after a 5-1 thumping of the San Jose Sharks and even have an eight-game point streak going dating back to the 12th of October. As a result, the Bruins are off to a historic start with no desire of slowing down.

After losing on home ice in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in June, Bruins and hockey fans were curious to see how the Bruins would come out of the gate. After a long hard-fought season and long series against the Blues, the Bruins had a shorter summer with shorter time to recover from injuries. With virtually an identical team with few departures and additions to the 2019-2020 lineup for Bruce Cassidy’s B’s, they have come out of the gate flying.

The Black ‘N Gold hold a 9-1-2 record as of October 30th which is good for 20 points and the top spot in the Atlantic Division as well as the second spot in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Alex Ovechkin and the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. The Bruins have 11 points in 12 games which give the Bruins the tie for the best 12-game stretch to start a season since the 1929-1930 Bruins. That year, the Bruins made the Stanley Cup Finals but fell to rival Montreal Canadiens.

Part of the strong start has been the outstanding play of the first line consisting of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak. David Pastrnak has racked up 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in just 12 games played. Pastrnak has no doubt been the NHL’s MVP for the month of October and is likely motivated this year, not only because of the way last season ended for the team but more importantly for how Pastrnak missed time due to an off-ice thumb injury that hindered his production late into the season and the playoffs.

His linemates haven’t been too shabby as well with Marchand posting seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 12 games and Patrice Bergeron posting five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 12 games.

Tuukka Rask has also been a huge part of the Bruins’ hot start with a 6-0-1 record in seven games played with a 1.52 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage and two shutouts. Him and Jaroslav Halak have been splitting most of the games thus far and the best goaltending tandem in the league is picking up exactly where they left off last year as Jaro is supporting Rask with a 3-1-1 record in five games played.

But Can They Keep It Up?

That is the biggest question. Can the Bruins keep up this incredible play all season? The short answer is probably not. There is always high’s and low’s in the long NHL season but it is certainly an incredible start for the Bruins to rack up points early instead of playing catch up like their division rivals Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Montreal Canadiens who have all had slow starts to the year.

With the Bruins playing into June last season, it was interesting to see how the Bruins would be out of the gate but it has certainly been everything you can ask for as a Bruins fan so far this season. It will be interesting to see if the Bruins can gear up for another long playoff run after last year’s Stanley Cup Final and keep up this incredible start throughout the 2019-2020 season.

Boston Bruins Defeat New York Rangers 7-4 | Game Recap

Image result for boston bruins vs new york rangers(Photo Credits: Mary Altaffer/ Boston Herald)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It was a Sunday night match-up between two Original-Six teams and each was coming into tonight’s game on a high note, as both the Rangers and Bruins won their last games.  However, it would be Boston who would come out the victor as they defeated New York on their home ice.

GAME RECAP

With the puck drop at Madison Square Garden, the Bruins would start the first period on a power-play after Patrice Bergeron was tripped by Rangers Brady Skjei.  As both teams continued their physical play and Boston having missed chances on Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, it would be New York that would strike first. In what would be Mike Haley’s first career goal with the Rangers, he would get a backhand off a rebound at 10:19 to give the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead.

After a tough collision with Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, Rangers center Mika Zibanejad suffered an upper-body injury and did not return for the remainder of the game. Eleven seconds into the second period, Patrice Bergeron would grab the rebound after David Pastrnak was tripped into Lundqvist.

With the puck loose in the crease, Bergeron would tap one in net. Amid the confusion, the goal would be upheld as officials reviewed the play. With the ruling on the ice standing, Boston would be tied at 1-1 and the game would subsequently shift into the Bruins’ favor.

In what would prove to be a frustrating second period for the Rangers,   Brad Marchand would find enough space to squeeze in a backhander past Lundqvist, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 1:08 in the second.  Playing with speed around the net, Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy would send a feed to Charlie Coyle who nailed a quick wrist shot in the Rangers’ net. With seven minutes left in the period, Marchand would snipe a wrist shot on the glove side of Lundqvist, making the score 4-1.

Goaltender Alexander Georgiev would take over Lundqvist in net for the Rangers at the start of the third period. Bruins’ Par Lindholm did not return to the game. In the first few moments in the third, Captain Zdeno Chara would send a rocket past Georgiev, making the score 5-1.

As both teams traded hits and giveaways, New York would battle back and with a beautiful set-up by Artemis Panarin, the Rangers would get on board as Pavel Buchnevich tucked one by Halak.

Boston would strike again as Bergeron sent one in net after a feed from linemate Brad Marchand, making the score 6-2. With the Bruins once again on the penalty kill, the Rangers’ Chris Kreider would find the loose puck to send it past Halak.

Seconds later and with a little over a minute left, Brady Skjei would find the rebound, sending a quick shot in the Bruins net. With 44.7 seconds left in the third, Patrice Bergeron would nail his third of the night.

FINAL SCORE: 7-4 Boston

SHOTS ON GOAL: 43-BOSTON; 29-NEW YORK

TONIGHT’S STATS

Boston went 0-2 on the power-play and New York went 1-5 on the power-play. Lundqvist made 27 saves on 31 shots before being pulled at the end of the second.  Alexander Georgiev made nine saves on 11 shots. Bruins Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves on 29 shots and is now 3-1 in five games played.

With Bergeron’s hat-trick, the top line had 13 points combined: Marchand had two goals with three assists. Pastrnak had five assists and continued his game point-streak.

The Bruins are now 8-1-2 and have won three straight games. New York is 3-5-1 and is seventh in the Metro Division. Boston is currently second in the Atlantic Division.

BRUINS NEXT GAME: Tuesday, October 29th, BOSTON vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS @ TD GARDEN, puck drop 7:00 PM

RANGERS NEXT GAME: Tuesday, October 29th, NEW YORK vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING @ MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, puck drop 7:30 PM

 

 

 

 

Former Bruins D-Man Dennis Seidenberg Retires

Image(Photo Credit: NHLPA)

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

The Boston Bruins, in early 2010, made a “bits and pieces” trade with the Florida Panthers. Scratch that… Bitz and pieces, with the non-Dafoe Byron and somebody called Craig Weller going to the Sunshine State for a solid German blueliner (and others) known only to die-hard hockey fans.

About a year later, all hockey fans –especially those in Boston– knew his name. In fact, that trade became one of the best in recent team history when the B’s beat Vancouver to capture their first Stanley Cup in four decades primarily because that tough-as-nails D-man paired up with Zdeno Chara to form the most formidable back-end tandem in the game.

And now, after 859 career NHL games (nearly half in a Black N’ Gold sweater — 401 to be exact), Dennis Seidenberg is hanging up his skates.

“Seids,” as he was affectionately known to his teammates, coaching staff and the fanbase, was a beast for the B’s, shutting down not only the game’s best offensive players, but doing it when it counted the most — against Montreal, Philly, Tampa and the aforementioned Canucks during that magical Cup run of ’11. And let us not forget his spirited and inspiring play during the near-Cup run of ’13 and Presidents’ Trophy campaign of ’14 that further endeared him to the region and to many other players league-wide.

He was respected just as much off the ice, as well, often leading by example with his rigorous training and constant practicing (something young guys named Bergeron and Marchand took note of and learned from).

 

Speaking of his off-ice actions, did you know Seids was a culinary connoisseur, art appreciator, festive family man and social stud? It wasn’t until the very entertaining Door To Door series came out from the Boston Herald five years ago that I realized just how “chill” of a guy he was (and still is). If you didn’t like him enough already, this video put it over the top:

 

And since he truly is going out “on top,” having reached the pinnacle of hockey’s heroic mountain and doing it for an Original 6 franchise no less, Dennis Seidenberg can fondly and favorably reflect back on a successful career that millions in the area will forever be grateful for. Dare I say, he certainly didn’t play a Bitz part in Boston (or did he?)!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 150 that we recorded on 10-20-19 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 David Pastrnak Named NHL’s First Star of the Week

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

NHL Public Relations, (@PR_NHL on Twitter) officially announced that Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak has been named the first star of the week for October 14th to October 20th. Washington Capitals defenceman John Carlson and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton were awarded the second and third star respectively.

Pastrnak led the National Hockey League with seven goals and two assists for nine points this week, all coming in only three games played this week. Pastrnak’s highlight moment of the week was his four-goal game against the Anaheim Ducks on October 14th. The Bruins forward has been lights-out to start the new season, scoring 9-6-15 numbers in the first eight games.

This is the second time that Pastrnak has been named as one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week in his young career as he was named the 1st Star back in the week of November 12th in the 2018-2019 NHL season. He is also the most-recent Bruin to win the weekly award since Patrice Bergeron was named the 2nd Star of the Week back on February 10th of last season. The 23-year-old winger has only seen constant improvements throughout his young season, setting a career-high in goals (38) and points (81) last year and he is on pace to break that in 2019-20.

John Carlson of the Washington Capitals is breaking records of his own, scoring 1-7-8 totals in four games played this past week, extending his season numbers to 3-15-18 in ten games played. Carlson leads the entire league in assists and points and has put himself in rare company among NHL defensemen. He became only the third defenceman (Bobby Orr x2, Paul Coffey) to score 18+ points in his team’s opening ten games of a new season. The Capitals are fourth in the league standings (6-2-2) and have a meeting with the Calgary Flames on October 22nd.

The Buffalo Sabres are first in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and third in the overall league standings with a combined record of 7-1-1 through the first nine games. Leading them to that record, goaltender Carter Hutton who finished both games this week with shutouts – stopped a grand total of 72 shots in two games. Hutton has won five straight games in net and has a goals-against-average of 1.40 with a save percentage of .953%. The Sabres have a game against the San Jose Sharks, looking to win their third-straight.

Back to the Bruins, they look to rebound against the Toronto Maple Leafs on home ice tomorrow after losing in overtime on Saturday in Toronto. Pastrnak will look to stay hot, building off of the two-point night he had against the Maple Leafs. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start in net, marking the 500th time in his NHL career that he gets such a job.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 150 that we recorded on 10-20-19 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!!

Boston Bruins: The Importance Of The Upcoming Weeks Schedule

jaroslav halak bruins

( Photo Credit: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images )

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

After beginning the season on a tough Western road-trip against three playoff teams (the Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights, and Colorado Avalanche) and a promising young Arizona Coyotes team, you would think the Bruins would catch a break and get to a bit of an “easy” part of their schedule. Well, after a couple of home games against the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils, the Bruins are about to enter their toughest challenge yet. Within the next week or so, the Bruins face have four massive games that, could really show what kind of Bruins team they really have this season.

( Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/AP )

The Bruins begin this stretch of games tonight at home against the all too dangerous Tampa Bay Lightning. This Lightning team is lead by one of the best first-lines in the league that consists of three bonafide superstars in Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point. In three games since Point returned from his injury, the trio has had a combined six goals and nine assists in those games. Touting an incredible defense lead by Victor Headman and Ryan McDonagh and Vezina winner Andrei Vasilevsky between the pipes, it will certainly be a tough start to this already challenging string of games. (To read more about tonight’s game, check out the preview by fellow Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast writer Max Mainville here.)

After playing Tampa at home, they take a trip to their rivals in Toronto to play the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena and then turn around to play those same Leafs at home three days later. Austin Matthews has been on a tear as of late, reaching the back of the net a whopping seven times in the Leafs eight games. Unlike the Bruins, secondary scoring has been the Leaf’s biggest strength this season with 14 players at or above a point every other game and they’ve had 12 different players notch a goal. The high-flying Leafs will be a little less potent without captain John Tavares, who went down with a broken finger, but it will certainly be a tough two games regardless.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins

( Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports )

They end this stretch against the team that crushed all of Boston’s dreams last season in the Stanley Cup Finals, the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have maintained essentially the same roster we saw last playoffs aside from the departures of Joel Edmundson and Patrick Maroon, and the addition of Justin Faulk. The Blues are still the same hard-nosed team Boston saw all too much of in the Finals and have started the season well with eight points in six games. Much of the team has continued to build on their playoff success; Brayden Schenn already has five goals, Ryan O’Reilly has seven-point in six games and youngster Sammy Blais has three goals and five points to go along with a +4 rating. As we know all too well against the Blues, just because it’s a home game doesn’t mean it’ll be easy (that joke hurt to make).

So after all of this, what would really make this a successful couple of weeks for the Bruins? Well, to start,  if the Bruins were able to snag six points out of these four games, that’s a pretty big win. But the biggest win would be to overwrite the continued narrative of seemingly the past four seasons (at least) and that is to get some more secondary scoring.

Image result for david krejci jake debrusk

( Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images )

While the Bruins have had a great start to the season, sitting at fifth in the league with a 5-1-0 record, goal scoring, and especially secondary scoring, has been abysmal. The top line of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have been great as they always are and have combined to score 11 goals in the B’s first six games. Well, the rest of the team has combined for just FIVE.

Jake Debrusk, David Krejci and Charlie Coyle have had just one assist apiece. Danton Heinen has looked good this season but has just one goal to his name. Karson Kuhlman, who has also looked good, has a goose egg in his points column and the revolving door of other wingers in the top-nine haven’t done much to help either. Whether it’s calling up someone from Providence (ahem, Anders Bjork) shaking up the lines (splitting up the top line) or eating some extra Wheaties in the morning, the Bruins need to figure out their scoring problem if they want to have some success in this tough group of games. The outstanding goaltending from Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak can’t last for the entire year, this stretch is going to say a lot about this Bruins team going forward.

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!!