What’s Next For Bruins Austin Czarnik?

cutPhoto: nhl.com

By Thomas Nyström | Follow on twitter @nahstrom

Twenty-five-year-old Austin Czarnik has seen his share of I-95 in his young career. Having signed a one-year two-way contract on July 17, 2017, Czarnik knew what he would likely be asked to do — and to his credit, he has handled his role in the organization with class as well as production. In his 10 games with Boston this season he has 4 points off of 4 assists. During his most recent call-up in early February, he registered two assists in a total of 43:21 of ice time thru 59 shifts in games against Toronto, Detroit, New York Rangers, and Buffalo. His short stay with Boston ended with a -1 rating for the stretch. Comparatively, Czarnik has played 44 games thus far in Providence this season with 14 goals, 33 assists for a +/- rating of +20.

Czarnik has benefited greatly from stable playing time at the AHL level and therefore has been serviceable in his NHL call-ups. His value is arguably higher than ever, and the 5’9 C/RW will likely make himself more on his next contract than the $675,000 he’s currently signed for. An RFA at year’s end, Czarnik is out of options for his two-way deal this season, and the acquisitions at the deadline of Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels will certainly play into whether or he see’s another call-up this year.

Should Czarnik resign with the organization this off-season there is a good chance he cracks the Bruins’ top nine, the question is for how long. There are other center prospects in the pipeline with arguably higher ceilings such as Ryan Fitzgerald and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson both of whom are younger and likely to get NHL minutes. Behind that comes even more prospects at the position worth a good look such as Ryan Donato who will almost certainly see time in Boston next season.

Though a longshot at this point, Jack Studnicka has been lighting it up in the OHL for the Oshawa Generals to the tune of 60 points in 58 appearances this season. The 19-year-old will likely see Providence time at the very least. Trent Frederic was a piece the Bruins didn’t want to move at the deadline. This doesn’t even include the wingers in the system as Czarnik has also lined up at RW and there is youth behind him there as well: Jordan Szwarz, Zach Senyshyn, Alexander Khoklachev, Peter Cehlárik, the list goes on. This team is as deep in the system as it has been in a long time.


Regardless of where he lines up, the future at forward appears crowded, and Czarnik may find himself the odd man out unless the minds monitoring his development see improvement on some of the downsides of his game. This includes his attempted shot totals as he sits around 10 attempts per 60 minutes. While he inserts himself well in playmaking situations, he is more of a possession center than a true goalscorer.

Ideally, the team retains him with 2-3 year contract at a reasonable cost and should Bruce Cassidy find himself struggling to find him a consistent spot then Don Sweeney will be in a better position to address his future (or lack thereof) with the organization. Make no mistake: they made the right decision to send him down to Providence before the contract got more complicated and risked having some level of control at year’s end regarding free agency.  He is without question a valued asset, and many (including myself) would be disappointed to see him go elsewhere, but this is crunch time for Austin Czarnik if he wants to stick with the club going forward.

Thomas Nyström, Contributor.
Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

Could The Bruins Be Better Off Pumping The Brakes At The Deadline?

(Photo Credit: Associated Press)

By Mike Cratty                             Twitter: @Mike_Cratty

For the past month or so, there has been no shortage of speculation surrounding the Boston Bruins. Whether it’s about there recent surge over the past 25+ games or trade rumors, the Bruins have sure been in the mill. But what about free agency? Staying put at the deadline may be a smart option if making a splash, to some degree, is in the cards. On the subject of free agency, the Bruins have plenty to work with internally, with $13,266,668 in cap space, as of now (refer to the second image).

(Source: @bruinscapspace on Twitter)

With their internal matters being the main priority, the next step would be to decide how to approach an interesting free-agent pool. There aren’t a ton of huge names in the free-agent market, but a few interesting names. These names stick out to me with the defense and not the forward department. There are names that I like in the forward free-agent pool, but I don’t see a screaming need to add to the forward core in free agency, or at the trade deadline. The Bruins have an absurd amount of capable depth forwards, many on the cusp of NHL readiness. Take Peter Cehlarik for example, or possibly Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson.

Ryan McDonagh has been the main name in trade rumors as of late. Despite the fact he has missed the last six games with an upper-body injury. We’ll have to wait and see if he is the guy, but regardless of where he goes, if anywhere, New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton is going to want a haul for him. He has good reason to. McDonagh is a top-pairing caliber defenseman on a pretty reasonable $4.7 million/year contract that is set to expire two summers from now.

Save trade assets including roster players, prospects, and draft picks and head into free agency instead? Control negotiations with your own players and approach the frenzy how you want to. That’s the decision Don Sweeney has to make in the next week.

Although the Bruins’ defensive core has been stellar this season, for the most part, bolstering it within reason is a no-brainer.

Three players that stick out to me on defense in free agency are John Carlson, Calvin de Haan, and John Moore. When considering the free agency route, one needs to account for the current cap situation of the team going forward.

John Carlson’s name is the most tantalizing of the bunch. A player who has been the number one guy for the Washington Capitals for quite some time, Carlson would be a massive addition to the Bruins’ top-four defensive core. Some players would have to be let go, and maybe some contracts would need to be moved to make his contract work, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities, although complicated. Currently is making $3,966,667 per year, he will be paid handsomely due to the progression of his game, likely in the $6-7.5 million range.

Here are some of the top defensive contracts in the NHL currently: http://www.spotrac.com/nhl/rankings/cap-hit/defenseman/ (Source: www.spotrac.com)

In my eyes, something like Kevin Shattenkirk’s $6,650,000 cap hit would be reasonable. Fairly similar production, outside of this season, similar age as well, both right-shot defensemen. Seems pretty reasonable to me. It’s no secret that free-agents need to be overpaid for a bit at times, especially when you’re on pace for a career year like John Carlson is. In the 2014-2015 season, Carlson finished with 55 points in 82 games, this year, in 58 games, he already has 45 points. If he keeps his pace up, he should break 55 points. Perfect timing for a big-time payday. Seeing him making more than a guy like Kevin Shattenkirk wouldn’t surprise me, approaching $7 million cap territory.

Calvin de Haan and John Moore fly under the radar more than a player of John Carlson’s status as one of the NHL’s better puck-moving defensemen. With the eye test, this is displayed due to their drastically different point outputs. But, all three defensemen possess the capability to move the puck effectively, with Carlson’s ability just leading to more offensive output than the others.

Starting with Calvin de Haan of the New York Islanders, who is set to make $3.3 million this season before he possibly hits the open market. At just 26-years-old, de Haan wields a strong defensive game with good skating ability and smarts. Unfortunately, a season which he could make a case for a nice free-agent payday has been cut short. Calvin de Haan has been out of the Islanders lineup since December 16 and will miss the rest of the season after shoulder surgery. Making his free agency case an interesting one without a huge sample size from a contract year. Before his injury, de Haan played in 33 games, tallying a goal and adding 11 assists, good for 12 points.

John Moore boasts a very similar defensive mold to Calvin de Haan, but with the New Jersey Devils. Keeping a pretty consistent point pace this season, John Moore adds a fresh face to the New Jersey’s defensive core. Currently, with seven goals, 10 assists and 17 points in 58 games, it’s reasonable to think he’ll want a raise in his next contract if he stays on this trajectory. Moore is set to make $1,666,667 before hitting free agency in the summer.

Calvin de Haan and John Moore could be second pairing guys with the Boston Bruins. Pushing Torey Krug for minutes on the left side, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Torey Krug could play on the third pairing with Matt Grzelcyk, Brandon Carlo, Adam McQuaid, or Kevan Miller and hold down top power play minutes. Their styles would fit well in a system implemented by Bruce Cassidy centering in on puck-movement, good skating, and good transition game.

Holding on to trade assets and using cap space instead could be beneficial for the Bruins long-term while holding on to important pieces in case of injury, or moves down the road. There could also be the case where one, multiple, or all of the free-agents mentioned sign elsewhere. What the Bruins decide to do at the trade deadline and beyond will be an intriguing storyline to follow in the future.

Boston Bruins Remain Out Of Playoff Picture Early On

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins

Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper (USA Today Sports)

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

The Bruins have shown that they can play with the top teams in the league, beating teams like New Jersey and L.A, who are at the top of their respective divisions currently. But the inconsistency at the start of the season along with the four-game losing streak in early November has held the Bruins out of a playoff spot for some time. Here’s a look at some promising facts that could help the Bruins rise up the ranks.

After a slower than expected start from the B’s, they have come back to be one single point out of a playoff spot. And when you take into account that they have only played 25 games instead of the average of 27/28 games played, you realize that they have a potential of 4/6 more points they could gain in the standings. That would send them up one point behind Toronto for second in the Atlantic. That is something that the Bruins haven’t been close to since the first couple of weeks into the season. The games in hand should come in handy, if (And that’s a big ‘IF’) the Bruins can win those games that they have in hand.

The Bruins and their fans have seen so many “Should Khudobin Be The Number 1 Goalie Over Rask” headlines that you’d think that they would have a terrible goal differential, but they actually aren’t that bad at -4. While that is in the bottom half of the rest of the NHL, it’s third best in their Atlantic division. Thir largest losing differential in the score this season was their second game, a 4-0 loss to Colorado, and they have just two losses of three goals. With teams like Detroit losing games 10-1, the Bruins are considerably better with not letting the games get out of hand. This helps them stay in contention more games, and the fewer goals the other team has, the more likely your team can make a comeback. Pretty simple math.

*To explain this tweet, many people were taking Haggerty’s take on how he believes that Khudobin should play more as a call for Anton to be the new Number 1 goalie. This may not have been the case in this tweet/article, but a lot of journalists implied that a shift of power in the net could be coming soon if Rask did not play better. This is also from October 23rd, so quite a bit of time has passed since then. Just an example of the fighting in the Bruins Twitter world while Rask wasn’t winning*

The Bruins are now 7-4-2 at home, giving them 62% of the total points they could have got while playing 13 games. This ties them with Toronto for second best home points percentage in the Atlantic, only trailing Tampa who is at an incredible 82%. This is a positive for Boston because they have only played one more game at home than away. This means they’ll have more opportunities to play in a building that they are familiar with and comfortable in. Hopefully, they can get even better at home so visiting teams know that it’ll be an extra difficult game to play.

The early injuries have been a curse, but also a blessing in disguise. It has given the Bruins management an opportunity to see who could be NHL call-up material, like Danton Heinen or Peter Cehlarik, and who they should depend on when the going gets tough. The injuries also let the Bruins sneak away with going 1-3 while playing four divisional games. When people look back, they’ll say that the lineup was a mess, etc. So when the Bruins play 5 Atlantic division games in their last six, they should hopefully be healthy enough and willing to put up a better fight than before.

The Bruins are close to the playoffs but need to be in a better position by the Christmas break. As I referenced in a previous article, if you are in a playoff position at the holiday break, your team has a really good chance of staying in that position come April.



ESPN.com, NHL.com

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

Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast #73 11-27-17

By: Mark Allred    Follow Me/Us On Twitter @BlackAndGold277  @BlackNGoldPod

Welcome back for episode 73 in partnership with the Grandstand Sports Network. On this week’s show, we talk about the games of last week and schedule ahead as the month of November continues to be a challenging one for this team. We touch on some interesting topics as we use the great folks of social media to set the tone of our show agenda. We had the return of our Patreon What Ya Bruin Mailbag questions this week and the popular Weekly Prospect Update is back giving you all the info from the Bruins developing youth.

Please follow our new partners over at Grandstand Sports Network Twitter: @Grandstand_SNgrandstandsportsnetwork.com

If you’d like to support the show and are an Amazon or Fanatics, shopper, we ask that you, please use our blackngoldhockeyblog.com advertising partner banner located to the right of the screen in our affiliation link area. By going through our website every time you shop we get a commission.

You can also financially support our show by donating $1 and have exclusive access to our new “What Ya Bruin” Mailbag segment where paying contributors get their questions answered with the highest priority. Go to patreon.com/blackngoldhockeypodcast for another way to cut the operating costs.

Follow us on Twitter at:
Mark Allred @BlackAndGold277
Rob Tomlin @Rob40bruins
Court Lalonde @courtlalonde
Podcast Account @BlackNGoldPod

Have a question or a comment for the hosts? Please send us an email at blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com

Thanks for tuning in and all the support! We’ll be back next week for another show of Bruins Hockey related material. Take Care and GO Bruins!!

Bruins Cehlarik Out Four Weeks

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred         Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

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


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

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


Four Providence Bruins Players Off To Great 2017-18 Starts

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred              Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins are off to a great start to the 2017-18 season beating the Springfield Thunderbirds twice in a week. With the 2-0 record, the Baby B’s look to stay perfect on the season as they host the Toronto Marlies tonight when the puck drops at 7:05 from the Dunkin” Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Although the fantastic start can be directed to a total team effort, four players currently with the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins deserve honorable mentions.

Kenny Agostino

After being demoted to the AHL Providence team after not impressing the Bruins Brass at camp last month, the 25-year-old left winger made the best of the situation with his new club in a league he’s very familiar with. Although his numbers at the NHL level aren’t mind-blowing only contributing five points in 17 games, his game at the AHL level continues to be strong posting 188 points in 199 games played.


Drafted in the fifth round in 2010 by the Pittsburgh Penguins the 6′-0″ 203-pound forward has made stops playing with the Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues organizations before landing in Boston via free agency back in July of this year. So far in two games with the Baby B’s. Kenny has fit in well surrounded by a plethora of talent and has 1-4-5 numbers scoring his first goal last night in the 3-2 win over Springfield.

Peter Cehlarik

The 6′-2″ 203-pound Slovakian native is currently playing in his second full season in the AHL and has made the jump to the NHL Bruins club last season posting two points in 11 games. Last season was Peters rookie year and first playing in North America, but the difference in rink size and international play didn’t seem to affect the left winger as he contributed 39 points in 49 games.


This year the big power forward is tied for the team lead posting 2-3-5 numbers and seemingly not affected by the injury he sustained in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs where the Providence team went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Syracuse Crunch in a best-of-seven game series 4-1.

Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson

Often compared to Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron for having a complete two-way game, the 20-year-old center and Stockholm, Sweden native has played quite well in the AHL after his demotion straight out of Bruins training camp. This season with Providence he’s scored in each of his two career games and has three points (2-1-3) in those two games. After a successful colligate career at Boston University where the 6′-1″ 183-pound forward posted 63 points in 78 games the Bruins saw enough from the talented center and signed him to a three-year entry-level contract and got him his first taste of NHL action at the end of last season.


Look for the creative and skilled Forsback-Karlsson to have a good year in the minor-pro ranks of developmental hockey and wouldn’t be shocked if he makes a return to the NHL sometime this season barring injuries on the current club but might make a full appearance in the NHL next season as he continues to improve his game with the Baby B’s this year.

Zane McIntyre

The 2010 sixth round selection of the B’s took a serious step forward in his development in his second year of minor-pro hockey and surpassed his average rookie season when he went 14-8-7 with a goals-against-average of 2.68 and .898 save percentage in 31 games. Last season as mentioned the 25-year-old Grand Forks, North Dakota native played in 31 and posted a 21-6-1 record, a 2.03 GAA and .930 save%.

This season so far McIntyre seems to be on the right track to do better than his past years with Providence as he remains unbeaten in his first two games. Both games Zane’s played against Springfield this week he’s given up 2 goals and has an impressive .930 save% in those contests. His game at the NHL level has not been great but did show signs of promise even tho he had an 0-4-1 record and GAA hovering around four in the eight games he got to play when the current Bruins backup Anton Khudobin was sent down after his terrible start to the 2016-17 year.

Providence Bruins Start Playoff Race Tomorrow Night

( Above Photo Credit:  Sports Logos . Net )

By Mark Allred       Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

As the Boston Bruins cling to life being down in the seven-game series 3-1, their top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins are set to start the 2017 American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Playoffs tomorrow night with a best-of-five series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Baby B’s ended the 2016-17 regular season in the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with a 43-23-6-4 record posting 96 points but drew the heavily favored Penguins team after going 0-3-1 to end the year. Wilkes-Barre ended the year winning the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the team with the most points during the year with 107 and a stellar 51-20-3-2 record.


These two franchises aren’t strangers when it comes to the playoffs lately as this will be the fourth time in five years the Bruins and Pens have done battle in 2012-13 losing the series 4-3 in the second round with the same results in 2013-14. Last year the Penguins team swept the best-of-five series 3-0 but the B’s look to change the past and throw a wrench in the gears of their opponent that’s made the playoffs for 15 straight years. The 2016-17 regular season series went 4-2 in favor of the powerful Pens team who’s the top affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Providence Bruins – WilkesBarre/Scranton First Round Best-Of-Five Series Schedule

Friday, April 21, 2017, @7:05 pm         Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island

Sunday, April 23, 2017, @3:05 pm      Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island

Thursday, April 27, 2017, @7:05 pm  Mohegan Sun Arena Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Friday, April 28, 2017,  @7:05 pm      Mohegan Sun Arena Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Sunday, April 30, 2017,  @3:05 pm   Mohegan Sun Arena Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Players To Watch From Regular Season Meetings


Danton Heinen  3-3-6

Alex Grant  0-5-5

Peter Cehlarik  2-2-4

Jordan Szwarz  2-2-4

Zane McIntyre       4 GP   2-2 Record   2.25 GAA  .870 Save%

Malcolm Subban  2 GP   0-2 Record   2.00 GAA  .963%


Oskar Sundqvist   3-1-4

Dominik Simon   2-1-3

Josh Archibald   2-1-3

Jarrett Burton    2-0-0

Tom Kostopoulos  1-4-5

Casey DeSmith   3 GP   2-1 Record   2.33 GAA  .903 Save%

Tristan Jarry       3 GP   2-1 Record   3.00 GAA  .916 Save%


Boston Bruins 18″ x 44″ Deluxe Framed Panoramic – $199.99
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Providence Bruins 2016-17 Season Awards

By Mark Allred       Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Before today’s 3:05 puck drop at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island between the Providence Bruins and visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins the Baby B’s organization held their annual team awards recognizing the individual efforts from another great season. Below is a list of Tweets from Providence Journal Bruins beat writer Mark

Below is a list of Tweets from Providence Journal Bruins beat writer Mark Divver’s verified account. All photos below are courtesy of the Providence Bruins Official Facebook Page.











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Peter Cehlarik, Making A Name For Himself


(Photo by AP)

By Court Lalonde (follow @courtlalonde)

When the Boston Bruins drafted Peter Cehlarik in the third round of the 2013 entry draft, we all probably thought nothing of it. The scouting report on him was high offensive potential, can score but not a sniper, makes his linemates better, and hockey sense was above average. We see scouting reports on players that look very similar that never crack an NHL line-up. Cehlarik made his National Hockey League debut on February 11th, 2017 against the Vancouver Canucks. He was on a line with David Krejci, David Pastrnak and right from the drop of the puck looked like he had played with them all year. Krejci finished that game with two assists, Pastrnak with a goal but Cehlarik was held pointless on the scoresheet.

Cehlarik started the season with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League and was a key component to his hockey club’s success. In 40 games with Providence, he has 18 goals, 15 assists, 33 points, and a plus-nine rating. Any Providence fan would tell you they’re happy he is up with the big club but misses watching him in Providence. That’s the grind of being a fan of a farm team, you start to connect with a player and then he is gone. If he continues to play well with the big club, the odds are they have seen the last of him in Providence.
He broke out against the hated Montreal Canadiens with two assists, one of those coming on the power play. That was a huge statement game for the Bruins and Cehlarik; he let his team know that he deserved to be in the NHL with his play on the ice. The Bruins made a statement by shutting out the Canadiens, a bitter division rival and coming together as a team to win a hard game at home. That game we got to see his confidence grow every time he had the puck on his stick by not just dumping the puck but skating with it. He was making the players around him better and was complementing both Krejci and Pastrnak by creating scoring chances.

His defensive game could be improved upon, but he is getting better every game. It was painfully obvious against the Anaheim Ducks when he gave away the puck a couple of times. We also could tell by the fact that he lost some ice time. He has averaged about 13:58 minutes a game so far but only played 11:35 against the Ducks. It’s a learning curve for him, but I believe he will get better because he has the intangibles to do so. Bruce Cassidy played him less when the game got tight last night, which is ok because he is learning. He is only 21 and has a lot of growing and maturing to do with his NHL game.

Last night we all thought he had scored his first NHL goal, only to have it called back because the play was ruled offside. It must have been a disappointment to believe you have scored your first goal and then have it taken away from you. It didn’t seem to faze him, he continued to make crisp passes and almost completed a great play over to Pastrnak, but Peter Budaj just got is leg out in time. We all have the feeling that he will score any game now but it sure is nice to watch him play.