What A Canceled Season Could Do For The Boston Bruins

( Photo Credit: Dave Sandford / NHLI via Getty Images )

By Jack Cinquegrana | Follow me on Twitter: @bruinschewy

It has been over one hundred years since an epidemic or a pandemic has derailed the course of a professional hockey season. The Spanish Flu in 1919 caused the Stanley Cup to not be awarded for that season. Folks all over North America are struggling to fill the void of a hockey-less March and what could be a hockey-less April. But I do not believe it is all bad. 

The Boston Bruins have made the playoffs over the past 3 seasons and has had the best record in the league during this 2019-2020 season. They made it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final this past season and lost to the St. Louis Blues. After a short summer, they returned to training camp in September with a vengeance, but not completely healthy. 

Defenseman Kevan Miller has been out for the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign, after performing very well in my opinion during the 2018 playoff run and also the run in 2019. Having a player like Miller for the future is a valuable asset as a sixth or seventh defenseman.

( Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports )

There is, of course, the David Krejci conversation in which another year is burned off of his contract and Bruins fan debate trading him before he becomes an unrestricted free-agent in 2021-2022. Will we see the most out of Krech next season coming back fully healthy?

Patrice Bergeron has played some tough years and played through some awful injuries. Zdeno Chara is forty-two years old. Say if the Bruins went into the playoffs this year, guys would be tired and it would lead to a possible early exit, I am just speculating but there is always a chance that we do not make it back to the final. 

Beginning next season, in the case that the season is canceled, the Bruins would finally have had some rest going into a full 82-game season juiced up and healthy. I think this could be a blessing in disguise for our Boston Bruins, fully healthy and ready to tear up the league again in 2020-2021.

( Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports )

What does that mean for Boston? Hopefully, we can still get Torey Krug to sign, being that he may take a cut because of the pandemic, or we can lose him to a team with a lot of space still coming up like the Colorado Avalanche or the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins still need to sign DeBrusk, Grzelcyk, and Chara. The owners do not want teams buying out many players because that is bad for the league, so the owners may have to move some money around and give teams a little more flexibility if they want the league to stay relatively the same

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 171 that we recorded below on 3-23-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

 

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Bruins Superfan Jill Murphy Recognized By Upper Deck Hockey

(Photo Credit: @jmurphx11)

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

“I’m going to think of you yelling at me on TV when I turn the puck over.”

That’s what Bruins superstar Brad Marchand said to his superfan Jillian “Jill” Murphy after visiting her at Boston Children’s Hospital last March. And as the rest of the season — and now a full year — unfolded, so too did their relationship, both in person and on Twitter, as documented by B’s writer Eric Russo in a heartwarming and entertaining feature story he shared with the Black N’ Gold fanbase.

Now, Murphy needs more than just Marchy to help her earn an even more prestigious recognition: Upper Deck’s #UltimateMVP award!

That’s right, she needs YOU — the fans of the Boston Bruins, and hockey in general — to show her some love just like he did AND like she does on a daily basis for the B’s:

Speaking of likes… that’s what it will take to make her UD’s top fan! People need to click on the tweet she shared from @UpperDeckHockey, LIKE IT by clicking on the “heart” button and then telling others via shares and comments to do the same!

As Russo pointed out in his feature piece on Murphy, she suffers from a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which limits her mobility and requires the use of a wheelchair. And it was Marchand who sent her plenty of hearts when he invited the Murphy’s to not only experience the B’s up close and personal on TD Garden Ice, but also in the locker room post game one year ago this week:

Now, with the calendar flipped to 2020, Murphy has her sights set on another goal (and perhaps Marchand, too, if he can stop “the turnovers” she so comically chirped him about online): becoming OUR Boston Bruins MVP online! And as you can see from her very inspiring and supportive Twitter account, she’s definitely more than qualified for the job.

So, what say you Black N’ Gold brethren? Can we help Murph MARCH to the top of the #MyMVP competition at Upper Deck Hockey? I most certainly think we can. After all, the puck stops here!

Image(Photo Credit: Upper Deck Hockey)

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Bergeron Joins Elite Bruins Company

Image result for patrice bergeron bruins goal(Photo Credit: YouTube)

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

“Patrice Bergeron. That’s it. That’s the tweet.”

Or, in this case, story. And further adding to his storied Spoked-B career, No. 37 for the Black N’Gold just joined an ELITE group of Bruins scorers.

Because Bergeron accomplishes so much so often, it’s easy to forget just how amazing some of his milestone moments truly are (New England community & league leadership notwithstanding) — from the overall number of games played to the oftentimes player of the game status. But his most recent accolade BEARS some highlighting and not just for the illustrious company he now keeps with names like Neely & McNab, Espo, The Chief and Nifty.

It’s for the workmanlike — dare I say, yeoman-like — way Bergeron has earned his sixth 30-goal season that we should tip our caps (or should I say helmets). Without the above tweet, I don’t think many of us would have even blinked an eye when we heard it. And that’s because Bergy is ALWAYS at his consistent best, whether he’s scoring goals, setting up others or shutting down his fellow forwards.

 

Here are the five previous seasons where No. 37 eclipsed the coveted 30-goal plateau:

PATRICE BERGERON SEASON GOAL TOTALS:

2005-2006 – 31 goals

2013-2014 – 30 goals

2015-2016 – 32 goals

2017-2018 – 30 goals

2018-2019 – 32 goals

And notice the near-decade gap in between season’s one and two of his historic marker! Lest we all forget that Bergeron began his Bruins career as a babe — only 18 years old. And then had nearly three playing seasons combined taken off his tally sheet due to injury and concussion concerns over the next few years.  So LONGEVITY goes hand-in-hand with consistency when it comes to the courageous B’s co-captain.

Speaking of consistency, Bergeron is only a “hat trick” away from accomplishing yet another career achievement — most goals in a season. And “B”-lieve you me, when he’s putting up goals AND assists, then watch out competition.

This is exactly how he hopes to reward the B’s — and in turn how his teammates hope to reward him… by producing on the ice and hoisting up ONE MORE CUP to round out an incredible decade of two-way dominance!

Check out our latest Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast!

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at New York Islanders: 2/29/20

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Photo Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

Home: New York Islanders (35-20-8)

Away: Boston Bruins (40-13-12)

New York’s Lineup

Forwards

Lee-Barzal-Eberle

Beauvillier-Nelson-Brassard

Dal Colle-Pageau-Bailey

Martin-Clutterbuck-Komarov

Defense

Greene-Pulock

Toews-Mayfield

Leddy-Boychuk

Goalies

Varlamov

Greiss

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Ritchie-Krejci-Kase

DeBrusk-Coyle-Kuhlman

Kuraly-Lindholm-Nordstrom

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Lauzon

Goalies

Rask

Halak

First Period

Neither team got much going offensively in the early moments thanks to strong defensive play. The B’s struck first as David Pastrnak scored his 47th goal of the season after Patrice Bergeron had a good net drive that took Semyon Varlamov out of the play.

The Bruins continued to be very strong especially in the attacking zone as they looked to extend their lead. The Islanders had a hard time getting the puck out of their zone as the Bruins seemed to be dominating every facet of the game. Boston made it two goals in the period as a shot by Matt Grzelcyk took a big deflection off a body and past Varlamov with about seven minutes to go.

Nick Ritchie took a penalty shortly after the goal as the Islanders got an opportunity to stop the bleeding. The B’s killed off the man advantage as they got a number of good blocked shots and a couple of key stops by Tuukka Rask. The Islanders seemed to get a bit of a jump from the power play as they started to find their skating legs. Pastrnak was called for tripping with about a minute left in the period as the Islanders got another opportunity on the power play. Boston killed the remainder of the period with New York still on the man advantage.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Second Period

The Bruins killed off the rest of the penalty despite some very good puck movement by the Islanders. The Bruins continued to move the puck incredibly well in every area of the ice as they took the play to the Islanders. New York began to build a bit of momentum with some attacking zone chances but that stopped pretty quickly as the Bruins went to the power play for the first time in the game. The Islanders were called for a high stick during the man advantage which resulted in a five on three situation. New York killed off both penalties despite the Bruins moving the puck fairly well.

Zdeno Chara was called for a slash late in the period as the Islanders got yet another chance to get back into the game. The B’s killed it off yet again as they continued to have a very strong defensive game. Ritchie took another penalty, this time for a cross check as New York got another power play opportunity. The B’s were able to kill off the remainder of the period as the Islanders would only have two seconds of power play time in the final period.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Third Period

The Islanders had a good push to start the period as they looked to cut into the Boston lead. Rask continued his strong game with a number of big saves to keep New York at bay. The Bruins began to have a lot of trouble manufacturing any offense as New York started to take the play to them. Brad Marchand made it 3-0 for Boston on a wrap around goal about midway through the period.

After a bit of scrum, Pastrnak was called for roughing resulting in a power play for New York as they got another opportunity to score on the man advantage. The Islanders were called for a penalty midway through the power play, resulting in a four on four. Charlie McAvoy made it a four goal lead with a bomb from the point on the man advantage with under four minutes left.

Jeremy Lauzon was called for a penalty with about a minute to go as he went off for holding. As a fitting end to the game, the Bruins killed off the remainder of the period as Rask picked up his fourth shutout of the year.

Final Score: 4-0 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: McAvoy

Second Star: Rask

Third Star: Pasternak

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 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.


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Bruins’ Charlie Coyle: One Year Later

( Photo Credit: Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The 2020 trade deadline has come to a close, but since Bruins GM Don Sweeney took over in 2015, it is a no-brainer picking out the best deal he has made before any deadline; the Charlie Coyle trade. At the time, it may have seemed like an underwhelming trade, especially with giving up a promising prospect, but looking back one year later, Coyle has exceeded expectations and is now the future of the Bruins offense. 

Welcome Home Charlie

Charlie Coyle, the 6’3 200-pound forward, was acquired in 2019 from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional 5th round pick. Fans were reluctant to the trade at first and rightfully so, as Donato appeared to be the Bruins’ most promising prospect during the 2017-2018 season when he played in his first 12 NHL games, quickly racking up five goals and nine points with a +2 rating. The following 2018-2019 season, though, Donato struggled to find the magic he had in his first dozen NHL games, scoring only six goals and nine points with a -11 rating in 34 games played. The Donato experiment then ended, sending Coyle back home to his native state. After his impressive playoff performance, the Bruins rewarded Coyle with a six-year contract extension worth $5.25M a season.

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2019 Playoff Clutch

When Charlie Coyle arrived in Boston, there were many expectations and unfortunately, was off to a sluggish start with the Bruins, only producing 2 goals and 6 points with a -2 rating through 21 games played. Then the 2019 playoffs commenced, and his point production skyrocketed as he tallied nine goals and 16 points with a +8 rating through 24 playoff games. In those 24 games played, he also had an astounding shot percentage of 23.1%.

The Weymouth native lived his childhood dream moment in TD Garden when he scored the overtime winner in game one against the Columbus Blue Jackets. When it mattered most, Coyle stepped up and found ways to help his team win games, which lead the Bruins to a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals.

One Year Later

So far this season, Coyle has racked up 15 goals and 34 points with a +9 rating in 64 games played. For the majority of the season, he has had Anders Bjork on his left-wing, establishing chemistry between the two players has strengthened the 3rd line and improved the Bruins scoring depth. Coyle is an extremely versatile player that plays a strong two-way game, serves a role on the second power-play unit, and is very effective on the penalty kill.

Coyle is a valuable piece to the Bruins penalty kill, which currently ranks 3rd in the NHL at 84.0%. With Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron usually leading the pack in shorthanded offense, Coyle has taken advantage when being a man-down and currently leads the Bruins’ with two shorthanded goals already this season. Coyle also has 8 takeaways on the kill this season, tying his career-high from 2017-2018.

 

Charlie Coyle is not only a productive player but provides leadership to the team as well and is currently one of the assistant captains on the Bruins. He generates a huge spark to this team and will be ready to help lead the Boston Bruins back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 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!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Calgary: 02/21/20

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

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

In tonight’s first game of a back-to-back, the Boston Bruins face the Calgary Flames in game three of their three-game road trip. On Wednesday, the Bruins defeated the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in overtime to secure their fourth consecutive victory and improved their record to 9-1-0 since returning from their week-long break. The Bruins are first in the league standings with a 38-11-12 record, three points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

For Calgary, they come into tonight’s game following a 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks on home-ice earlier in the week. The Flames are currently engaged in a tight battle in the Western Conference playoff picture, sitting only two points out of a potential playoff spot as of right now. However, a win over the Bruins tonight would put them in the second position in the competitive Pacific division.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Home: Calgary Flames (31-24-6)

Away: Boston Bruins (38-11-12)

Bruins Last Game: 2-1 OT win vs EDM

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Not much has changed from the Oilers game earlier this week, however, the roles of Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman have switched. Jaroslav Halak gets the start and Anton Blidh enters the lineup for Joakim Nordstrom.

Ondrej Kase, the acquisition of the Bruins today, will not play tonight or tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks. The former Ducks forward will join the team back in Boston next week.

First Period:

Not a good start for the Bruins as only twenty seconds into the game, the Flames bring it into the zone and fire it at Halak. The opening shot missed the net wide, setting up a brilliant chance for Rasmus Andersson who’s in-tight shot gets stopped by Halak. However, the rebound goes right to Mikael Backlund who buries it past the Bruins goaltender to give the Flames an early 1-0 lead.

Only a few minutes later, the Flames do an excellent job turning a defensive stop into an offensive 2-on-1 that ends up leading to a blast of a shot from Backlund that beats Halak clean for his second of the game and the Flames explode for a two-goal lead in this game.

Only 24 seconds after that, however, a dump-in by the Bruins bounces right into the slot in front of Cam Talbot where Patrice Bergeron picks up the loose rubber and buries it past the former Oilers netminder to cut into Calgary’s early lead. Bergeron’s 28th of the season makes this a 2-1 hockey game.

Did you think the goal scoring was done there? Nope. Only seconds after Bergeron’s tally, Johnny Gaudreau enters the zone on a rush, tossing the puck towards the middle of the ice. The puck takes an odd bounce and confuses Halak, giving the Flames a two-goal lead almost immediately after the Bruins scored themselves.

The two teams play for another three minutes before the Bruins start to cycle the puck around the Calgary defensive zone. Marchand feeds the puck back to McAvoy on the point who makes a quick feed to Pastrnak in the high slot for a one-timer. Pastrnak’s shot was stopped, but the rebound went directly to Bergeron in front and he scores his second of the game to make this one a 3-2 game.

With a lot of these high-scoring games, the intensity of each and every play increase immensely. Flames forward Tobias Rieder skates through the neutral zone only to meet Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk who finishes his check. The on-ice officials didn’t like the collision and send Grzelcyk to the box for elbowing. Bruins successfully make the kill on the first penalty of the game.

Later in the frame, Anders Bjork blocks a shot in his own end, allowing Karson Kuhlman to make a great pass up the ice to Charlie Coyle who finds himself all alone on a breakaway. After a few nifty moves, Coyle roofs the forehand past Talbot for his 15th goal of the campaign and this crazy game is equal at three apiece.

Mere shifts after the tying goal, Charlie Coyle gets put on another partial breakaway but cannot bury the puck around Talbot and neither can Heinen on a pair of rebound chances. Bruins have taken the momentum of this game and are running with it through the ending minutes of the period.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 12 CGY: 7

Score: 3-3 – Goals: Backlund (11) Assists: Andersson (15), Hanifin (14); Backlund – 2 (12) Assists: Rieder (6), Tkachuk (31); Bergeron (28) Assists: Pastrnak (42), McAvoy (22); Gaudreau (15) Assists: Lindholm (22); Bergeron – 2 (29) Assists: Pastrnak (43), McAvoy (23); Coyle (15) Assists: Kuhlman (5), Bjork (10)

Second Period:

Less than a minute into the second period of play, the Bruins get early possession in the Flames’ zone leading to Brandon Carlo throwing a shot on goal. Brad Marchand managed to twist his body and deflect the puck past Talbot to give the Bruins their first lead of the game and it’s 4-3. The goal is Marchand’s 24th of the season, giving Carlo his 14th assist and Krug his 33rd assist of 2019-20.

Later on in the period, the Bruins are getting the better of the offensive chances as Wagner takes a rocket of a shot towards the open cage off of a great pass from Charlie McAvoy but it bounces around off of the Flames in front of Talbot before hitting the outside of the net. Extremely close opportunity for the Bruins to take a two-goal lead in this now quite defensive game.

Just past the halfway mark of the game we see the intensity boil over between Jeremy Lauzon and Matthew Tkachuk. Throughout the game thus far, the two have been barking at each other until finally, off of a faceoff, they agree to drop the gloves. Lauzon managed decently to land a couple shots on the now-familiar NHL tough guy before getting taken down. Tkachuk was standing up for Mangiapane, but both Lauzon and Tkachuk get five minutes in the box for fighting.

A much, much better period for the Boston Bruins while the Calgary Flames looked behind the B’s for the majority of the frame. Bruce Cassidy must have calmed the players down following the first intermission because there were noticeable improvements on defense for Boston.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 17 CGY: 11

Score: 4-3 Bruins – Goals: Marchand (24) Assists: Carlo (14), Krug (33)

Third Period:

Boston came out with some good chances again to begin the final regulation period but all of a sudden, Cam Talbot is playing solid goaltending in between the pipes for the Flames. Just under six minutes into the frame, Derek Ryan carries the puck through the neutral zone, cutting aggressively towards the center of the ice.

Patrice Bergeron ends up getting his stick caught in his skates and Boston’s number-one penalty-killer will sit in the box for two minutes for tripping. Flames passed the pucked around the zone quite a lot but failed to get any real chances other than a bomb of a one-timer that was blocked by Lauzon. Back to even-strength.

Calgary’s urgency to tie this game as the minutes tick away has become more and more apparent. Gaudreau had a great chance on a speedy rush down along the boards but thanks to a combination of Jaroslav Halak and great backcheck from Charlie McAvoy, Gaudreau was never able to get the shot off and the Bruins hold onto the one-goal lead.

And that will do it, Bruins will a wild one, 4-3.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 23 CGY: 21

Final Score: 4-3 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS F Patrice Bergeron – 2 Goals, 3 Shots, 68% Faceoffs, 15:59 TOI

2nd Star: CGY F Mikael Backlund – 2 Goals, 3 Shots, 17:22 TOI

3rd Star: BOS F Brad Marchand – 1 GWG, 1 Assist, 5 Shots, 18:36 TOI

Boston is right back at it tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 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!!

Boston Bruins Defeat Edmonton Oilers 2-1 In Overtime

Image result for boston bruins vs edmonton oilers(Photo Credits: Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It was a tight battle between the two top teams in their respective divisions and Boston came out the winner in the first game of their Canadian road-trip.

GAME RECAP

Both teams came out in the first period looking to extend their winning streak as each side had multiple missed chances. Despite back and forth play,  Boston’s Patrice Bergeron would score his 27th goal of the year after a feed from fellow linemate Brad Marchand. The Bruins would draw the first penalty of the night but were unable to capitalize.

Boston would open up the second period with seconds left on a power-play but were unable to score. Both teams continued to push forward and the Bruins would have missed chances as they drew their third power-play of the night. The Oilers would draw a penalty with 13 minutes left to the period. Edmonton buzzed around Boston’s end as they sent a flurry of shots towards Tuukka Rask, but were unable to score with traffic in front of the net.  Boston had a hard time clearing their zone, however, they were able to keep the game scoreless during the Oiler’s penalty.

Image result for boston bruins vs edmonton oilers(Photo  Credits: NHL.com)

Special teams were tested throughout the entire game as both teams are in the top of the league when it comes to the power-play. The Oilers would once again draw a penalty, but the man advantage was short-lived as Boston drew their fifth power-play of the night. The trend continued as both teams were unable to score. Play continued to be stingy as the second period drew to a close with neither team scoring.

FINAL PERIOD

With the start of the third period underway, the Oilers would draw their fourth power-play of the night and were finally successful. Sam Gagner would tip the puck in to score his fifth of the season, tying the game 1-1. Edmonton were caught with too many men on the ice and the boys in Black and Gold were assessed another power-play (no score). After a rough tussle down the Bruins end, Boston found themselves in the penalty box again, but it would be the Black and Gold taking advantage. Charlie Coyle would steal the puck as he raced towards the Oiler’s net with a  possible scoring chance but instead drew a slashing penalty.

As the clock ticked down, both teams continued to battle for the puck as shots rang the post. Once again, Edmonton drew a penalty in the last minutes of the third period but did not score as the game went into overtime. Bruins forward David Pastrnak notched the game-winning goal on a breakaway (his 43rd goal of the season). Boston remains first in the league as they win their fourth game in a row.

FINAL SCORE: BOS-2  EDM-1 (OT)

TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-31  EDM-29

Bruins were 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Oilers were 1-for-6. Boston has now won 10 out of their last 11 games played and improve to 38-11-12 while Edmonton’s record is now 32-21-7.

In case you missed this father/son duo:

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE B’S:  Friday, February 21st versus Calgary Flames with puck drop at 9:00 PM.

WHERE TO WATCH: ESPN+, NESN, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 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!!

 

 

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Bruins Need Strong “Finish” All Around

Image result for boston bruins(Photo Credit: WCVB Boston)

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

The Boston Bruins need a big finish to the schedule this season. Or, in the case of Tuukka Rask, a big Finnish

And I mean all around, in every aspect of the game: from taking care of lackluster low-pointers like the Red Wings & Rangers to tight tie-breakers like the Penguins & Lightning to just properly putting points up by building up and protecting leads and shutting down opponents.

Because unlike the ALMOST-Cup-clinching season of yesteryear, the B’s road to playoff success in 2020 will undoubtedly go through more qualified, consistent and competitive match-ups than Toronto, Columbus and Carolina.

Yes, if the B’s truly want to win the Atlantic Division, hold off Tampa Bay, win a few rounds against the likes of the Capitals and Penguins and then return to the Stanley Cup Finals, they’re going to need everything in the tank — and then some!

What exactly does that entail? Well, for starters, no “off” days or “bad” games. The Bruins need to treat each and every contest between now and April 4th like the playoffs have already started. The team’s recent 9-out-of-10-games win streak is a great way to get this mindset going.

But with the Bolts truly bolting their way to the top of the division and league (and perhaps even past the Bruins by Leap Day), that could mean a loss of home ice or being seeded against an unfavorable team come this Spring. That’s not the kind of “finish” the B’s are looking for.

Speaking of which, Dealin’ Donny Sweeney must learn to finish off one of his myriad trade proposals before the pickens are slimmer than Slim himself! As pointed out by numerous Black N’ Gold bloggers and podcasters recently, the B’s are thus far standing pat as all their competitors pick up potential targets that could bolster an already strong Bruins’ lineup.

It “bears” no repeating how badly Boston needs a top 6 RW for the second line to play alongside David Krecji and consistently put the puck in the net and/or set-up his linemates. Perhaps this is the reason the B’s didn’t “finish” off the Blues in the Cup finals last year — no depth or secondary scoring!

But ruminations and repudiations aside, here’s what we ALL want to see down the scheduling stretch and into the second season for the B’s: a fighting finish. Literally and figuratively. Throw the gloves down when necessary. Put teams away whenever you can. Make Tampa and Pittsburgh and Washington work as hard as humanly possible to catch you in the standings. Seamlessly integrate new players via trade or call-ups.

In short, play Bruins hockey. The kind of hockey we all know, love and remember from 2011. Now wouldn’t that be a way to FINISH!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 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!!

Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast Episode 166

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Hosts Heather Ingerson and Mark Allred got back in the studio to talk Boston Bruins and a few other hockey-related topics. We started recording this episode 166 before the afternoon tilt against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Bruins continue to roll post the All-Star/Bye-Week break and have a tough test ahead of them with a four-game road trip which started in New York and heading out west to play Canadian teams such as the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Please give a listen to our Bruins banter below in episode 166 as Heather and myself talk about last week’s games and the upcoming week for our beloved National Hockey League Boston Bruins. Below is a timeframe of when the discussion changes to a new hockey related topic.

 

Intro – 00:00
Last Weeks Games – 6:33
Upcoming Weeks Schedule – 22:30
Talking About the Jay Bouwmeester Collapse & Update – 38:30
Chara Fined By Player Safety 5K – 46:30
Charlie McAvoy Emergence After Scoring First Goal – 1:05:00
Bergeron Notches 3 Straight 25+ Goal Seasons – 1:13:55
Cassidy Gets 200th Career NHL Coaching Victory – 1:20:45
Jeremy Lauzon Signs Two-Year Contract Extension – 1:27:30
Time Is Now To Pull The Trigger On A Toffoli Trade With LA – 1:37:00
General Discussion – 1:49:10
End Of Show – 2:07:40

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at New York: 2/16/20

Image result for bruins rangers madison square garden 2019

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: New York Rangers

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Bjork – Coyle – Heinen

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Lauzon

Goalies

Halak

Rask

New York’s Lineup

Forwards

Kreider – Zibanejad – Buchnevich

Panarin – Strome – Fast

Di Giuseppe – Chytil – Kakko

Lemieux – McKegg – Howden

Defense

Skjei – Trouba

Staal – Smith

Lindgren – Fox

Goalies

Georgiev

Lundqvist

First Period

After a feeling-out process to start the game, things got going when Brad Marchand and former Bruins prospect, Ryan Lindgren found themselves in a scrum in front of the Rangers bench. Lindgren sat for two minutes for roughing as a result – giving the Bruins the first power play of the game with 8:29 remaining. Despite a few good chances, the Bruins couldn’t get one past Alexandar Georgiev.

It appeared the game was going to be scoreless heading into intermission, but a series of bounces following a shot from Charlie McAvoy sent the puck over Georgiev and in.

The goal was originally credited to Chris Wagner, but it was eventually changed to Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy’s third goal of the season was unassisted with 42 seconds remaining in the period. A pretty even period overall ended with an 11-9 advantage in shots on goal for the Bruins.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

The Bruins held an early advantage in shots, 5-1 through the first five minutes of the period. Things got interesting when David Krejci inadvertently high-sticked Lindgren and drew blood, warranting a four-minute power play for the Rangers as a result. The Bruins managed to kill it off and maintain their lead.

A big scrum in front of the Rangers net and some cross-checking led to Marchand sitting for two minutes. It didn’t hurt the Bruins much, as Charlie Coyle forced a turnover at the defensive blue line on the penalty kill and made no mistake in burying it in shorthanded fashion. Coyle’s 14th goal of the season was unassisted with 1:18 remaining.

Mika Zibanejad took a tripping penalty with 27 seconds remaining. No one scored before time expired in the second period. The Bruins held a 13-8 shot advantage this time around, bringing the total to 24-17 in their favor. Jaroslav Halak was having a very solid game in net.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Third Period

A minute and thirty seconds of power play time remained for the Bruins to start the period. Ahead of the Karson Kuhlman interference penalty at 15:37, we saw a similar trend to the one we saw to start the second period, a 5-1 shot advantage. Halak made a big save on Ryan Strome early in the Rangers power play. The remainder of the power play was much calmer after that, and the Bruins killed it off.

Torey Krug took a tripping penalty with 10:55 left. Zibanejad made it hurt when he roped a wrist shot from the point off the post and in. It was a 2-1 game with 9:52 remaining. The screen from Pavel Buchnevich in front of Halak on the goal was key.

The goal gave the Rangers a very noticeable spark as a result. The crowd was into it and they generated a series of dangerous chances. The Bruins were forced into their own zone for much of the final five minutes of the game.

Georgiev was pulled for an extra attacker with around 1:30 remaining, and Rangers head coach David Quinn called a timeout with 35.5 seconds remaining. Patrice Bergeron put the game out of reach with 12.2 seconds remaining, following a nice interception in the neutral zone. Bergeron’s goal was his 26th of the season, Marchand’s helper was his 51st.

Shots on goal were even at nine in the third period, bringing the total to 34-26. Halak was instrumental in the win, making 25 saves. Things got a bit dicey at the end, but the Bruins came out with the win. Next up are the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday at Rogers Place at 8:30 PM ET. The Bruins are 37-11-12.

Final Score: 3-1 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 164 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.

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