Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers 1/16/2019

Image result for boston bruins vs flyers(Photo Credits: LEN REDKOLES/GETTY IMAGES)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

After Monday’s overtime loss to  the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins will be looking to grab two points tonight when they face the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. If they win,  Boston could potentially take over the second spot in the Atlantic Division as they currently sit one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

BRUINS COMINGS AND GOINGS

News came yesterday that forward Colby Cave, who had played 20 games this season with the B’s, was claimed off waivers by the Edmonton Oilers. In his time here in Boston, Cave notched a goal and four assists. Tuesday’s practice also marked a maintenance day for both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Jake DeBrusk was also absent from practice as he nursed a lower-body injury, while Chris Wagner dealt with a short illness. Coach Bruce Cassidy recently announced that both DeBrusk and Wagner will play tonight. David Backes will be healthy scratch up front, as is John Moore and Steven Kampfer.

Related image(Photo Credits: BostonPucks.com)

Forward Peter Cehlarik has been re-called from Providence and will suit up for tonight’s game, replacing Backes in the lineup. Per Cassidy, he will be slotted alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Cehlarik had previously donned the Spoke-B for the Bruins back in the 2016-2017 season where he played 11 games. Last season he made an appearance in six games for the club.

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers(Photo Credits: Rob Carr/Getty Images )

BY THE NUMBERS

Despite the loss Monday, the Bruins have been looking pretty good lately, having won three straight road games, however they have dropped two out of their last three. Boston’s record in the last 13 games has been a decent 9-3-1. The team remains second throughout the league in power play percentage at 27.9%, nestled right behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. They are now tied with Toronto for the penalty kill at 80.9%.

Winger David Pastrnak leads the team in both points (54) and goals (26). Brad Marchand isn’t too far behind and leads the team in assists (32) with 49 points. Forward David Krejci has netted a goal consecutively in three games. Tonight marks the second meeting between these two teams where Boston won the first game,  3-0.  In their last six games against the Black and Gold, the Flyers have dropped five games.

Related image(Photo Credit CSNPhilly.com)

The Philadelphia Flyers return back home as they are coming off winning two of their last three games and since December 1st, have earned points in six of their last nine games. The Flyers won their game this past Monday night, defeating the Minnesota Wild 7-4. Philadelphia has allowed only four goals on their penalty kill in their last 11 home games.  Much like Boston, the Flyers haven’t gone unscathed in the injury department as they continue to deal with goaltending issues. Tying an NHL record, Philly has had seven goaltenders in net, much like Boston having to dress 12 defensemen this season.

Left-winger James van Riemsdyk has netted goals in three straight games and will be looking to add another one tonight when he faces Boston. Van Riemsdyk has had multi-point games with five goals and seven points in his last three games. The Flyers signed Van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35 million-dollar contract this offseason. Centerman Claude Giroux leads the team in points (50) with 36 assists. He’s at a +4 so far this season. Sean Couturier leads the team with 16 goals and is at a -6 leading into tonight’s game.

BATTLE IN NET

20-year-old rookie Carter Hart is expected to make the start in net for the Flyers as one of the seven that have been used by the club.  He recently ended an eight-game losing skid when the Flyers defeated the Dallas Stars. Tonight will be his fourth straight start in net and has a .913 save percentage with a goals against average of 2.69. In the 10 games that he’s played, his record is now 4-5-1.

The Bruins will have 33-year-old Jaroslav Halak start in net, where he’s coming off a loss against the Washington Capitals on January 10th. In his last five games, he has posted three wins. Going into tonight’s game, his record is 13-7-2. He is currently tied for third in the league with goals against average of 2.39 and fourth for a save percentage of 0.924.

Enjoy some highlights below from the last game:

PROJECTED LINES

BOSTON:

MARCHAND-BERGERON-PASTRNAK

CEHLARIK-KREJCI-DEBRUSK

KURALY-ACCIARI-WAGNER

HEINEN-FORSBACKA KARLSSON-DONATO

 

CHARA-MCAVOY

GRZELCYK-MILLER

KRUG-CARLO

 

HALAK

RASK

 

PHILADELPHIA:

VAN RIEMSDYK-GIROUX-KONECNY

LINDBLOM-COUTURIER-VORACEK

LAUGHTON-PATRICK-SIMMONDS

LEHTERA-VARONE-RAFFL

 

PROVOROV-SANHEIM

GOSTISBEHERE-MACDONALD

HAGG-GUDAS

 

HART

MCKENNA

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:30 PM

WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN

 

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

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Bruins Recall Cehlarik From Providence

Boston Bruins v Anaheim DucksPhoto Courtesy Of CBS Boston – CBS Local

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today that the team had recalled forward Peter Cehlarik from the Providence Bruins. Cehlarik has yet to make an appearance in Boston this season but has had a successful season so far in Providence. The 23-year-old has posted ten goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 37 games which is tied for the team lead in points.

Cehlarik appeared in six games for Boston last season totaling a goal and an assist including his first career goal on November 18th, 2017 in San Jose against the Sharks. He also appeared in 35 games for Providence last season, scoring 11 goals and adding 12 assists. Cehlarik skated in 11 games for Boston in 2016-17, posting two assists. He scored 20 goals and had 18 assists for 38 points in Providence in 2016-17.

The Zilina, Slovakia native was drafted by the Bruins in the third round (90th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. With the Bruins struggling to score consistently, Cehlarik should be a welcome addition as he’s had 17 games of NHL experience. Expect him to see time on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk and perhaps even time on the power play.

Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 14 Preview

pbruinshartford

Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Heading into week 14 the Providence Bruins currently sit at 16-16-5 (37 points) and 5-5 in their last 10 games good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s have a full docket of games this weekend starting out with some home cooking on Friday, January 11th when the Hartford Wolf Pack invade the Dunk again.

Next up, as Yogi Berra would say “it’s like déjà vu all over again” when the boys wearing the spoked P travel to Springfield, Massachusetts to take on the home team Thunderbirds at The MassMutual Center on Saturday, January 12th. Finally, the weekend ends back where it started on Sunday, January 13th when the Springfield Thunderbirds follow our boys in black and gold back to the Dunk. One thing to keep an eye out for is both teams that the Bruins play this weekend are ahead of them in the standings. Win all three games, and we could see our boys climb the division and conference standings.  

Friday, January 11th Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME) 

The Sunday game marks the seventh time the two teams have faced off this season. The first match-up saw the Wolf Pack beat the Bruins 4-2 with Providence getting goals from Austin Fyten and Mark McNeill while goalie Zane McIntyre was pulled in the first period after stopping 7 of 10 shots faced. Dan Vladar finished the game turning away all 8 shots he would see. The second meeting between the two teams saw a better result with Providence winning 4-3 in overtime. The Baby B’s got goals from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic, and Cody Goloubef (OT GW), and goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 15 of 18 shots faced.

The third leg of the season series saw the Pack come out victorious, winning 4-3. The Providence club got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Colby Cave, and Anton Blidh. Goalie Dan Vladar had a busy game stopping 26 of 30 he faced. In game four these two clubs both fought hard, but Hartford came out on top 4-3 in overtime. The boys wearing the spoked P got goals from Karson Kuhlman, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Kyle Cumiskey. Goalie Zane McIntyre turned away 18 of 22 shots faced in the losing effort. In the fifth meeting this year the New York Rangers’ affiliated blanked Providence 3-0. Goalie Dan Vladar played well in the game stopping 30 of 33 shots faced. More recently, the sixth meeting of the year could not have gone better for the spoked P, winning the game 5-1. The Bruins got goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Emil Johansson, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked excellent in net stopping 15 of 16 shots he faced.  

The seventh part of this season series should be a difficult task for the Baby B’s. The Wolf Pack come into the game 17-16-2-2 (38 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games good for sixth in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins have had a mixed back of luck against the Rangers’ affiliate overall this season going 2-3-1. However, the Providence club has been good against them historically going 12-4-1-1 against Hartford at home over the past five seasons and going 19-13-4-2 overall in that time frame. First-period scoring is going to be a major key in this game for clubs. When leading after the first period, Providence is 9-5-2 this season, and Hartford is 8-1. The other big key for the Bruins will be keeping center Peter Holland off the score-sheet. He is the leading scorer for the Pack with stats of 12-23-35. If our boys in black and gold can come out of the first period with a lead, while also keeping Holland from scoring they have a great chance of grabbing two points.  

Saturday, January 12th (AWAY) and Sunday, January 13th (HOME) Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds 

These games mark the fifth and sixth times the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net.

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The most recent installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced.  

The Springfield club comes into the two-weekend games with a record of 16-12-5-3 (40 points) and 3-4-3 in their last 10 games good for 5th in the Atlantic Division. You could say the Panthers’ affiliate has brought the lightning and the thunder against Providence this year. The Baby B’s are 1-3 against them so these two games will be anything but easy. Something that does bode well for our boys in black and gold is over the past five seasons they have records of 9-4 at home and 9-6-2 on the road for an overall record of 18-10-2. A major key to these games is going to be special teams.

The Thunderbirds have one of the best power plays in the league ranked first in the Eastern Conference and second in the entire American Hockey League at 25.3%. Meanwhile, the Bruins have one of the best penalty kill units in the league ranked second overall in the Eastern Conference and third overall in the entire American Hockey League. With both clubs being elite in the facet of the game it’s something that has the potential to turn a game over on its head quick. The other thing to look out for is Springfield’s balanced offensive attack. They have five players with 24+ points on the season. Playing an all-around good defensive game is something the Baby B’s must do if they want to win. 

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins 

Hot 

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith was acquired from Dallas via waiver claim by Boston earlier in the year. Since being sent down to Providence, he’s been excellent in 9 games with stats of 5-2-7 including 4-0-4 in his last three games. The former OHL product has a career AHL point per game average of 0.48 (40-53-93 in 195 games), but in his small sample with the Bruins, it’s 0.78. Let’s hope he continues his hot play throughout the rest of the season. 

Jordan SzwarzThe Bruins’ Captain has played very as of late. Especially over the weekend which saw him have stats of 2-1-3. Overall this season Szwarz’ point per game total is 0.63 (12-7-19 in 30 games) which is up from his career AHL total of 0.59 (102-131-233 in 394 games.) This has helped the spoked P greatly this year, and it is part of the reason why they named him captain in the first place.  

Not 

Zach SenyshynThe speedy forward did have stats of 1-1-2 over the weekend, however, they were his first points since December 12th. The OHL product has been a streaky player since coming to Providence. Sometimes it does take some time to adjust to the pro game. One positive note, the young forward’s point per game total this season is 0.47 (11-4-15 in 32 games) which is higher than his AHL career of 0.42 (23-18-41 in 98 games).  

Mark McNeill: The gritty forward found himself in the middle of a hot streak last week and was in the hot category, it seems as though he’s cooled off a little bit having not registered a point in his past four games. Though it should be noted, that the WHL product is still scoring at a higher point per game total this season 0.68 (4-13-17 in 25 games) than his AHL career of 0.57 (93-117-210 in 368 games), but it is closer to his WHL totals of 0.88 (97-146-243 in 276 games). 

My players to watch this weekend 

Up Front 

Peter CehlarikCehlarik has been excellent for the Providence Bruins this year with stats of 7-17-24. However, he’s been especially good against Springfield and Hartford in 10 games against the two clubs he has stats of 3-5-8 good for a point per game clip of 0.80. Look for him to have another big weekend.  

On the Blue Line 

Jakub ZborilThe young defenseman returned to the lineup last weekend after missing almost a month with an injury. Not only did Zboril play well defensively, but he also contributed offensively getting on the score-sheet with 0-2-2 numbers in three games. Look for him to continue to get stronger as he puts the injury behind him.  

In Net 

Zane McIntyre: This is a repeat from last week, but it cannot be stated enough how good McIntyre has been at home this season. Last weekend the young netminder improved to 7-0-1 at home with a .929 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average. With two of the games, this week at the Dunk look for Zane to have another big weekend. 

The Providence Bruins had a very good week 13. They were able to come away with four points and inch closer in the standings. With both teams they play this weekend ahead of them in the standings it’s another perfect opportunity to continue that climb. The Baby B’s have been good at home this season, and with two games at the Dunk, I would look for at least another four-point weekend. If they can pull that off, it would go a long way to climbing into playoff contention. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go! 

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 12 Recap

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Week 12 for the Providence Bruins brought three straight games to end the 2018 calendar year. The top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins certainly hope they can turn the 2018-19 campaign around and show better results in the new year. At about the half-way point of the current hockey season, the team from Rhode Island sits in the second to last spot in the seventh position in the Atlantic Division and outside the American Hockey Leagues, Calder Cup Playoff picture holding the 13th spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Providence club has a 14-15-5-0 season record after 34 games played accruing 33 points and 18 points away from catching division front-running Charlotte Checkers who have a 24-8-3-0 and 51 points. The B’s have given up 102 goals while scoring 105 needs to tighten up as a team and come to the rink with a 60 minute a night effort regardless of the up and down season thus far. The first game of 2019 is Friday night which ends a six-game road trip that saw the B’s go 2-4 and the club has gone 3-6-1-0 in their last ten games.

Hopefully, Providence is ready as the workload for week 13 isn’t going to be easy with another three-straight game schedule this weekend with two of those games at the Dunkin” Donuts Center in Providence where the B’s are 7-3-2-0. The one roadie of the weekend is in nearby in Springfield, Massachusetts against the Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center where the Bruins are 1-2 and have a season road record of 7-12-3-0.

Let’s take a look back at the weekend that was for the Providence Bruins and some key details to who got involved offensively in the three games that ended the season-long road trip.

Friday, December 28th, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Road Game)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The first of the three started at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania against the Phantoms who sit in the Atlantic’s third position. The Lehigh club owned a majority of the game scoring goals in the first and third periods being up 2-0 and outplaying the visiting Bruins team until the half-way point of the last frame where the B’s started showing signs of life. Bruins prospect forward Joona Koppanen scored his first goal of the season and third of his career at the 12:39 mark of the third period assisted by rookie forward Karson Kuhlman and veteran defenseman Chris Breen.

Koppanen who started the 2018-19 season with the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators took advantage of a Phantoms turnover in their own zone to come in on Lehigh Valley goaltender Alex Lyon all alone to wrist one home for the first and only Bruins goal of the contest. The Phantoms would put the dagger in the hearts of the visiting Providence club with a shorthanded empty-netter with 30 seconds remaining in the game to seal the 3-1 victory over the B’s. Bruins rookie goaltender Dan Vladar got the start in goal stopping 17 of 19 shots in the loss. Vladar is 6-7-2-1 on the season and holds a 2.67 goals-against-average, and .889 save percentage in 16 games in this his rookie campaign.

The Providence Bruins would outshoot the Phantoms in the game by a 34 to 20 margin and would go zero for five on the man advantage. The Bruins currently sit in the 9th position when talking about the leagues best powerplay at 20.8%. This was the first time in two previous games the B’s didn’t score on the man advantage but also have to mention the exceptional play on the other side of the special team’s spectrum concerning the penalty kill. The Bruins are ranked second in the league with an 86.6% and ranked third in the league on the road with a man down.

Saturday, December 29th, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. The Hershey Bears (Road Game)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The first of two games against the Hershey Bears would have the Providence club travel to the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania to play the division dwelling 14-18-0-2 Hershey Bears. As in most night’s this season, the Bruins would come from behind after the Bears scored the first goal of the game late in the second period. After being down one for the first forty minutes of play, It seemed the message in between the second and third intermission lit a fire under the asses of the Bruins squad.

During the last period of the game, the B’s would, in my opinion, have their best late game heroics of the year posting four straight goals to end the night against the team from the chocolate city. Veteran defenseman Cody Goloubef scored two straight in the period to leap over the Hershey team by the score of 2-1 notching his second and third goals of the season with his third of the year coming on the powerplay. Both of Goloubef’s goals on this night we assisted by forwards Peter Cehlarik and Mark McNeill. Late in the game Providence rookie forward Karson Kuhlman would take advantage of the empty net after the Bears goaltender was pulled to score his 5th of the year and a shorthanded tally.

After a 3-1 Providence lead late in the third, Hershey Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery would pull his netminder once again with pretty much the same results. Veteran forward McNeill would seal the win with his own empty net goal in the yawning cage for a 4-1 B’s victory. Zane McIntyre got the win in goal against the Bears stopping 23 of 24 shots for his eighth victory of the season. Zane now sits at 8-8-3 with a 3.02 goal-against-average, and .880 save percentage.

Sunday, December 30th, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. The Hershey Bears (Road Game)

  ( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The final game of the weekend and the seasons longest road trip thus far had the Providence and Hershey teams meet once again at the Giant Center, but on this night there would be different results. The Bruins continued the trend of coming from behind as the Bears got on the board at the 5:06 mark of the first period. In the second period, the B’s would get closer by tying the score at one on a sweet backhand goal from rookie Kuhlman who accepted a heads-up pass from Trent Frederic at the side of the net. A big part of this goal from Kuhlman was the hard work and forechecking abilities of prospect Cameron Hughes who turned over the puck and brought it back of the net where a fortunate Frederic was there and quick to read the play to the crashing Kuhlman at the 11:16 mark of the second period.

Almost as soon as the puck was dropped after Kulman’s sixth goal of the year in the second period, the momentum quickly changed for the Hershey team and instantly fired back over a minute later to go ahead 2-1. Providence just didn’t have what it took as the Pennsylvania team clamped down defensively not giving the Rhode Island club any offensive opportunities ending the game with the same score mentioned above. McIntyre got his second straight start of the weekend taking the 2-1 loss stopping 17 of 19 Hershey shots and suffering his eighth defeat of the season. This was the first time this season McIntyre started consecutive games in as many nights.

Honorable Mentions

F Peter Cehlarik – Peter the great has played very well as of late posting 2-9-11 numbers in his last 12 games.

F Mark McNeill – In the last seven games, the rugged AHL veteran has 2-6-8 numbers. He has a total of 17 points in 22 games in his first year as a Providence player.

F Karson Kuhlman – After going a season-long five game stretch without a point, the former NCAA National Champion has 3-1-4  numbers in a four-game point streak.

D Cody Goloubef – After missing a majority of the December 2018 month, the veteran defenseman came back from an injury on December 29th to score two goals and continue a six-game point streak to have that foiled in Sunday’s loss to Hershey where he went pointless.

Not So Honorable Mentions

F Ryan Fitzgerald – The Providence leading point getter has been off the scoresheet for the last three games. Not saying he’s playing bad but this is the longest pointless stretch since he went five games from October 19th to November 2nd, 2018.

F Anders Bjork – After going the first seven games since his demotion to Providence where he went 1-8-9 in that timeframe has only produced one assist in this last six games. In my opinion from the games I’ve watched him play this season in the AHL, his game hasn’t gotten much better than what Bruins fans saw from him in his limited time in the NHL.

F Trent Frederic – The former first-round selection of the NHL Bruins has 1-2-3 numbers in his last 16 games. In 26 games in his first full season in the AHL Frederic has contributed 6-2-8 numbers and would like to see him get a little more offensive numbers moving forward with the skill set he brings to the team.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 12 Preview

PBruins

(Photo Courtesy of Amanda Statland – The Sin Bin )

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

This weekend is the last leg of the 5-game road trip for the Providence Bruins. Our boys in black and gold currently sit at 7th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 13-13-5 (31 points) and 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. The team continues the aforementioned road trip on Friday traveling to Allentown, Pennsylvania to take on the home team Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center. The Providence club finishes up the road trip with two games against the host Hershey Bears in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday.  

Friday, December 28th Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AWAY) 

The Friday match-up marks the third time the Bruins have faced the Phantoms this season. In the first meeting, Lehigh Valley beat Providence 5-4 with the Bruins getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, Cameron Hughes, Colby Cave, and Wiley Sherman. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was off his game stopping 21 of 26 shots in net. The second meeting between the two teams saw a much better result for the Bruins. The Baby B’s beat the Philadelphia Flyers affiliate 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Austin Fyten (2), Cameron Hughes (2), Ryan Fitzgerald, and Jordan Szwarz, while goalie Dan Vladar looked much better in net stopping 18 of 21 shots.  

The third game of the season series will not be easy for Providence. Lehigh Valley comes into the game 18-9-1-2 (39 points) and 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games good for 3rd in the Atlantic Division with games in hand. To make matters worse, over the past five seasons the Bruins are 4-6-0-1 at Lehigh Valley and 8-11-2-1 overall in that time frame. A major key in this game will be the number of goals scored. On the year the Phantoms score 3.8 goals a game, and Providence is 3-12-5 when giving up 3+ goals in a game. Along those same lines, the Baby B’s are 10-5-2 when they score first. Grabbing the early momentum and keeping it will go a long way to shutting down the Flyers’ affiliate. Despite the uphill battle, the Baby B’s hope they can break through against the Phantoms and grab a much needed two points.  

Saturday, December 29th and Sunday, December 30th Providence Bruins vs. Hershey Bears (AWAY) 

The Saturday and Sunday games will mark the second and third time Providence has played Hershey this season. In the first meeting between the two clubs, the Baby B’s beat the Washington Capitals’ affiliate 6-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Jordan Szwarz (2), Cameron Hughes, Anton Blidh, Kyle Cumiskey, and Tanner Pond while goalie Zane McIntyre looked great in net stopping 19 of 21 shots he faced.  

These next two games are ones the Bruins should be looking forward to. Hershey comes into them 12-17-0-2 (26 points) and 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 games good for 8th in the Atlantic Division. On top of that, Providence holds a 4-4-2 record in Hershey over the past 5 seasons and a 12-6-2-1 record overall in that time frame. A few things to look at this weekend, Providence is 9-6-2 when playing on Saturday or Sunday this season, and are 10-3-2 when leading after two periods. If they can get an early lead, the home team from Hershey could melt from the pressure. These are two games the Baby B’s should win to grab a needed four points in the standings.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins 

Hot 

Jordan Szwarz: Over the past 5 games the Bruins’ captain has played very well, scoring three goals and tallying two assists for five total points. Leading by example is big for Szwarz who has stats of 10-5-15 overall this year. Something to start looking for as the season progresses, if Szwarz scores 20 goals this year, he would be the fifth player in Providence Bruins history with three 20+ goal seasons. One thing the OHL product does have going for him is that he’s scoring 0.625 points per game which is higher than his AHL career mark of 0.59.

Peter CehlarikOver his past 5 games Cehlarik has netted two goals while dishing out four assists for six total points. He has looked good recently, and overall on the season, he’s posted 5-15-20 numbers. If the young forward can keep up these numbers we may see him up in Boston before the season is through.

Not 

Tanner Pond: Pond has produced 1-0-1 numbers in his last 5 games. Hopefully, the center can pick it up this weekend for Providence and light up the score sheet. The gritty forward has 24 penalty minutes in 13 games in his time with the Providence Club as he’s spent most of the 2018-19 season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators. Over his career in the ECHL, the former Northeastern Husky has scored at a 0.69 point per game clip with stats of 16-28-44 in 64 games. Given a little time to acclimate himself to the AHL’s talent, Pond could find himself in the hot instead of the not category.

Karson Kuhlman: Kuhlman has found the back of the net once in his last 5 games of action. The former NCAA National Champion and 2018 Tournament MVP with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs has been a streaky player since joining the Providence club after his commitment to his college team was over. The former Bulldog is another player who may just need some time getting used to the skill level of the AHL before climbing out of the not category. With Providence, he’s scoring at a 0.33 ( 4-7-11 in 33 games) point per game clip which is less than his college days of 0.48 (39-41-80 in 166 games).

My players to watch this weekend: 

Up Front: 

Anders Bjork: Since being sent down to Providence, Bjork is scoring at a 1.00 point per game pace with 1-9-10 numbers in 10 games played thus far. Look for him to keep it up this weekend. If he plays well, we could see Boston call him up for the Winter Classic which is being played at his Alma Mater Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

On The Blue Line: 

Connor Clifton: Clifton has played well for Providence this year posting 3-6-9 numbers in 22 games. He even saw a call-up to Boston when they needed help with injuries. Look for him to keep up his play this weekend. The young defenseman’s uptick in scoring is not as surprising as one may think. While at Quinnipiac University he was scoring 0.36 points per game (19-37-56 in 156 games). This is much closer to this season’s 0.41 points per game than last’s of 0.24. 

In Net:  

Dan VladarI would look for Vladar to have a good weekend for Providence, especially with the games against Hershey. The Bears have had a rough go of it this season, and Vladar could shine against them. Something to look for, the young goalie is 4-3-1 on the road this year stopping 212 of 234 shots for a .906 save percentage and  2.51 goals against average.

I am optimistic that the Baby B’s will find some magic this weekend before they return home. The game against Lehigh Valley will be tough. However, the two games against Hershey are ones they should absolutely win. If our boys in black and gold can skate away from the weekend with at least four points, it would go a long way to helping them climb the Atlantic Division standings. We will catch you up next week and let you know how the team fared but feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and Go, B’s, Go!

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 11 Recap

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Providence Bruins wrapped up their weekend games going one-for-one in games two and three of the current six-game road trip. The top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins won’t return to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island until after the new year when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms come to town on Friday night January 4th, 2019. If you happen to be in the Providence area or in a city where the B’s play on the road and would like to see the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins club in action to end 2018 and in the new year, please either CLICK HERE and use discount code BNGP or go to the bottom of this article to view ticket availability from our partners over at SeatGiant!

The Providence Club started the weekend traveling to the  Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, New York to take on the Binghamton Devils. The Bruins entered the Friday, December 21st, 2018, matchup against the top minor-pro affiliate of the New Jersey Devils winning only once in the last six games. The Bruins who sit in the in the seventh position in the AHL’s Atlantic Division were desperate to get a victory to set off the weekends action nicely, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case the Devils trounced the B’s by a score of 6-3.

Remaining on the road, the B’s headed to the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts to wrap up the weekend’s action before the holiday break to play the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday, December 22nd,2018. On this night in South Western Massachusetts, the team from Rhode Island faired better in the second game of the weekend with a 5-4 win over the host Thunderbirds. The players will take a break to be with family and friends ready to return to the ice when the Providence club gets back to work on Friday, December 28th, 2018, as they continue their road trip in Lehigh Valley against the Phantoms to finish the six-game roadie with three-straight games next weekend in the final days of 2018.

Friday, December 21st, 2018, The Providence Bruins vs. The Binghamton Devils (Road Game)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Bruins owned the first period from start to finish with defenseman Connor Clifton getting things started just 16 seconds into the opening frame scoring his second of the year. New Providence forward Gemel Smith got his first goal of the season on the power-play at the 18:26 mark of the opening 20 minutes entering his second game since being placed on waivers from the NHL Bruins team. Besides an unassisted goal for forward Anton Blidh who scored his sixth of the season in the second frame, the Binghamton club was too much to handle as the Devils would go onto own the last 40 minutes of the contest especially in the third period were the team from New York would go onto score four straight ending the game with the home team winning 6-3

Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre got the start in goal on this night in Binghamton and continues to show signs of struggling the 2018-19 roller coaster season. He stopped 17 of 22 Devils shots taking the loss while taking the loss. The 2010 sixth-round selection of the Bruins is 7-7-3 on the year with a 3.20 goals-against-average, and .875 save percentage in 17 appearances this season.

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 The Providence Bruins vs. The Springfield Thunderbirds (Road Game)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

After a tough loss in Binghamton the night before, The Providence club looked to wipe away the memory or lack of effort to the hands of the Devils to focus on the game and better results in Springfield, Massachusetts. Once again the Bruins got off to a good start with a man advantage goal from veteran forward Mark Mcneill who scored his third of the season at the 14:45 mark of the first period. Almost a minute later in action, the Thunderbirds club would tie the game at one which seemed to get the attention of the Bruins team when they got a late first frame goal by Karsons Kuhlman who scored his fourth of the year to get the B’s to a 2-1 lead.

The second period was owned by the Providence team scoring three straight starting with B’s Captain Jordan Szwarz netting his 10th of the season on the power-play at the 6:38 mark to make the score 3-1 B’s. Peter Cehlarik scored his fifth of the year at the 16:26 mark of the second to pull the Bruins away from the home Thunderbirds team with a 4-1 advantage. B’s defenseman Clifton would finish the middle period scoring his third of the year and second goal in as many nights with his own power-play goal giving Providence a 5-1 lead with 20 minutes to go.

With a significant lead over the Thunderbirds, the Bruins seemingly didn’t show up in the last frame giving up three straight but held on to win the game by the score of 5-4. Rookie goaltender and NHL Bruins third-round selection in 2015, Dan Vladar got the start in goal against the Birds on this night stopping 22 of 26 shots that came his way. Like his netminding partner McIntyre, the 21-year-old Vladar has struggled in his first year of AHL action appearing in 15 games in the 2018-19 campaign posting a record of 6-6-2 with a 2.71 GAA and .899 Save%.

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Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Peter Cehlarik

(Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Peter Cehlarik was drafted in 3rd round 90th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. When he was drafted, he was known as a big skater who was powerful on the ice. He has the ability to shield the puck from opposing players. He also had good vision on the ice and was able to pass the puck accurately to his teammates. When he was drafted then Bruins, GM Peter Chiarelli compared him to Michal Handzus. This is high praise. Handzus had a solid 15-year career in which he had multiple seasons of 40+ points, while also being able to contribute in the defensive end as well. Let’s take a look at how Cehlarik has done since being drafted.  

The 2013-14 season was Cehlarik’s first since being drafted. He was only 18 playing for Lulea HF of the Swedish Hockey League which is Sweden’s high league. He played in 32 games for Lulea netting 2 goals and helping with 2 assists for 4 total points and +/- rating of –4. He also appeared in 2 playoff games for the club where he didn’t register a point and had a rating of 0. Overall as an 18-year-old playing his first full year in a new league he showed some flashes of good play offensively while also showing he had room for growth. I would call Cehlarik’s first season in Sweden a successful one.  

The 2014-15 season was a year in which the Bruins hoped Cehlarik would grow and develop more. It was his full second season playing for Lulea in Sweden, and the hope was that he had grown more comfortable over the year and that his play would show that. This absolutely seemed to happen as Cehlarik improved greatly in his second season. In 46 games with Lulea Cehlarik netted 6 goals while tallying 13 assists for 19 total points and a rating of +1. He also was able to help in 8 playoff games potting 1 goal and dishing out 1 assist for 2 total points and a rating of –1. It was an extremely positive season for Cehlarik in which the Bruins were pleased with his progress. He was still a year or so away from playing in North America, but it was a season he could build upon.  

The 2015-16 season was one that again the Bruins were hoping that Cehlarik could develop and progress with his play. Cehlarik absolutely did just that. In 46 games for Lulea, he netted 11 goals while dishing out 9 assists for 20 total points a rating of +7. In a deep playoff run for Lulea, he netted 3 goals while adding 2 assists for 5 total points and a rating of +3 in 11 games. The Bruins were extremely pleased with this season. So much so that they signed him to a 3-year entry level contract. He showed that he could potentially be a good mid-line player with the ability to put the puck in the net. This is something that every team needs to be successful.  

The 2016-17 season was a big one for Cehlarik. It was his first season in North America, and he started out playing for the Providence Bruins. In 49 games with the Providence Bruins Cehlarik netted 20 goals and helped with 18 assists for 38 total points and a rating of +11. He also got in 2 playoff games with Providence registering 0 goals and dishing out 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of 0. He was playing so well that he got a look with the Boston Bruins. In 11 games with the big club, he didn’t register a goal but dished out 2 assists for 2 total points and a rating of 0. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury derailed the end of his first season in Providence, but overall it was a very successful season for Cehlarik to build upon. 

The 2017-18 season was one in which the Bruins and Cehalrik hoped he could contribute with the big club more. Unfortunately, this did not happen, but despite that, he still had a very good year in the AHL for Providence. In 35 games for Providence, he netted 11 goals while helping with 12 assists for 23 total points and a rating of +7. He also was in 3 playoff games for Providence potting 2 goals and 0 assists for 2 total points and a rating of 0. Cehlarik also managed to play in 6 games for the big club in Boston registering 1 goal, and 1 assist for 2 total points and a rating of +2. This was a good season for Cehlarik who started the year coming off of off-season shoulder surgery. He has shown his strength and scoring ability off and has developed nicely for the Bruins. 

Coming into this season, the Bruins had a good amount of depth at the wing position. As a result of this Cehlarik has started the year in Providence and is playing very well. In 16 games for Providence, he has netted 2 goals while dishing out 8 assists for 10 total points and a rating of 0. When a young player spends time in the AHL, it is easy to get discouraged when you’re not being called up. This doesn’t seem to be happening to Cehlarik, If he continues his good play in Providence, we could potentially see him get another shot with the Bruins this year. Especially if injuries continue to pile up. Overall, I think Cehlarik can be a very good player who contributes to a contending team in the NHL. I just hope that happens with Boston.

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Do the Bruins need to make a trade?

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photo credit: NHL.com

By: Mandi Mahoney  |  Follow Me On Twitter @phoneymahoney

Bruins fans have been clamoring for Boston brass to make a trade. Some think a defenseman is needed, some think a second line wing will do the trick, and others think a third line center will cure what ails the Bruins. The Black and Gold opened the season up with a 7-0 loss to the defending Cup champs and have looked inconsistent since. Are the Bruins really in need of a roster shake up, though?

It had seemed to most people that the Bruins were planning to pick up a scoring wing during the offseason, but that didn’t pan out. At this point, the only Bruins forwards with more than three points in the first dozen games are Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and David Krejci – surprise, surprise. By the looks of things, the Bruins may have been expecting either Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson or Trent Frederic to skate in the third line center position. By the end of the preseason, neither player had made a convincing — never mind compelling — argument that he should center the third line. This forced the Bruins to try Sean Kuraly, David Backes, and others as their third line pivot. Kuraly has mostly looked out of place on the third line. Backes is getting old and isn’t very durable, so he’s not really ideal to play center.

Since then, we’ve seen a couple of players who have played all over the lineup in Danton Heinen and Joakim Nordstrom. To a lesser extent, Anders Bjork has also slotted into multiple roster spots, as well. Out of the three, Bjork has the most top six potential, but he hasn’t been getting much ice time, averaging 11:34 per game. Only Noel Acciari and Urho Vaakanainen are averaging less.  Nordstrom is seemingly the best player to fill in at the moment, as he hasn’t been a liability in any position he’s played. Heinen is one of the Bruins’ few “Swiss Army Knife” utility-type players, and while the second line’s advanced stats were good when he played with Krejci and DeBrusk, Cassidy has been more eager to play him in a third line role.

Once Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Kevan Miller return to action, the Bruins may have decisions to make as far as the defense goes, as they’re bordering on being overstocked. Matt Grzelcyk has been their second highest scoring defenseman, behind only McAvoy, and he has been reliable defensively. Aside from a few rough shifts, Brandon Carlo is beginning to look like a very good NHL defenseman. Jeremy Lauzon will likely be sent back down to Providence soon enough, but his first stint on the big Bruins has been impressive, as he’s been positionally sound and hasn’t made any scary mistakes.

Another potential third liner, Ryan Donato, was assigned to Providence earlier today. The rotating cast on the line has looked sloppy in general, but part of that is presumably because they haven’t been able to build much chemistry. The Bruins bottom six hasn’t had a consistent composition at all this season. Taking all of that into consideration, it sounds like the third line and depth scoring need to be addressed. However, it has only been twelve games, and things really aren’t so bad.

The Bruins are tied with five other teams for fourth in the league with 16 points. Their power play is also fourth, converting at 29.7%. The penalty kill could use some help as it has only killed 76.3% of the Bruins’ penalties, but when you’re winning and your power play is as good as the Bruins’, you don’t make big trade simply to bolster your PK.

Goaltending does not need to be addressed; Rask may have had a tough start, but Jaroslav Halak has been fantastic. Halak’s save percentage is .947, good for second best in the league. This ridiculous number will definitely not hold up over the whole season, but there’s absolutely no need to make any kind of move for a goalie. Team defense has been solid, as the team has only given up 29 goals, tied for fourth-best in the league, which is very impressive since puck-moving ace (and second best defenseman) Torey Krug has only played one game.

If the Bruins’ bottom six still isn’t gelling after David Backes returns from injury and they’ve reached the 25 game mark, it may be time to call up wing Peter Cehlarik, who by all accounts is having himself a good season in Providence. Cehlarik was wonderful at training camp and in the preseason, and many fans have been vocal about his not making the team.

Depending on what Forsbacka-Karlsson and Frederic are in the AHLdoing at that point, calling one of them up could be a possibility, or former KHL forward Jan Kovar, if he turns out to be a good fit with Providence. If this happens and the third line still hasn’t gotten its footing, maybe then the Bruins explore their options and make a few calls, but when injuries and youth are taken into consideration, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to make a move so early in the season. The not-so-short answer on the question of whether the Bruins need to make a trade right now seems to be “no”.

 

 

 

Bruins And Backes Hit Critical Moment

(Photo Credit: Rich Gagnon)

By: Chris Nosek | Follow me on Twitter: @cnosek6342

Coming into this season, there were only a couple of question marks when it came to who would be on this Bruin’s roster. One player, in particular, David Backes was primed to play a key role for the Bruins as he is taking up $6 million of the cap space allotted for the black and gold. With the top line solidifying their positions from last season, Jake Debrusk and David Krejci played themselves to another “must keep together pairing” last year as well.

With many players going to get a chance to play next to them, it was clear after a miserable opening night against the defending champion Washington Capitals that solving the open line spots would prove to be a difficult test. It did not improve much improvement the next night in their game against Buffalo when it became clear that center Sean Kuraly was overmatched being on the third line and that as versatile as Noel Acciari has been he is best suited for the right wing role on the fourth line – not at center.

After being on the right wing during the first two games, where he has played for much of his career, Backes was slid over to the third line center role to start off the third game of the season when Boston faced off against Ottawa. Backes was slotted into this role for the next five games, before taking a hit from Edmonton’s Matt Benning. During these five games, he proved to be proficient in the faceoff dot while failing to get himself on the scoreboard. The question about Backes now is how effective he will be upon his return to the lineup? With his season last year ending because of a concussion suffered from a hit by J.T. Miller hit, Backes has a history of injuries and in particular head injuries.

With Backes now missing time, newcomer Joakim Norstrom – whose performance had him placed on the Krejci line – is now being forced into third line center duties. To his credit, wherever they have played the 26-year-old veteran, he has given the Bruins solid play and looks like he will be their next Riley Nash. The question now remains about David Backes for when he returns from injury.

To his credit, Backes re-evaluated his game and body structure during the offseason and took it upon himself to slim down and get quicker as he shed about 10 pounds in the offseason. During the preseason, anyone could see he was quicker and slightly more agile – however, during those games he was on the right wing. At this point, we have enough of a sample size to know that David Backes should not be playing center. The only remaining question is; when he gets fully healthy is he still one of their best options on the right wing? Although this remains to be seen, the Bruins have reached a point that it is critical that Backes start putting points on the board as the secondary scoring on this team is lacking in so many ways. If his streak of games without a point continues upon his return, then Don Sweeney will quickly be looking at the waiver wire for the 34-year-old.

Although exposing such a veteran player and leader to the waiver wire sounds like a very risky move, especially this early in the season, in this case of Backes there is, in fact, little to no risk for Boston. To begin with, there are only 14 teams currently with enough cap space to even take on the $6 million albatross contract that comes with Backes and most of those teams would rather spend their cap money on their own soon to be RFA’s or one of the big name UFA’s who hit the free agent market after this season. Should he get claimed, then it solves Sweeney’s longer-term question about what to do with him next season, but when he makes it through to Providence, he will free up another $6 million bringing them to almost $10 million in usable cap space for the remainder of this season.

Image result for david backes hurt (Photo Credit: nhl.com)

Sending the underperforming veteran down to Providence (or letting him get picked up by another team), opens the door for his roster spot to be taken by one of the younger players who is still working towards hitting their peak performance. As much as I too want to see the turnstile of wingers next to David Krejci stop turning, Danton Heinen is much better suited for the third line and seeing if either Cehlarik or Senyshyn can fill that void could really help the secondary scoring this team is lacking. Sweeney has shown that he is not afraid to put a veteran like him on notice as he did so with Matt Beleskey back in 2017. Backes does deserve a chance to come back from this injury. However, that doesn’t mean that Sweeney and Cassidy should give him a long leash for underperforming.

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap

Team(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

By: Jen Stasio Coombe  |  Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

In the first 3-in-3 weekend of the season, the Providence Bruins took away 2 points for their lone win.  These blessed two points keep them from being relegated to last place in the division, the conference and the league.  That honor, or lack thereof, is currently being held by the Hershey Bears.  One of the areas we are not close to last place is PIMS.  We are smack in the middle with 57, made up of 16 minor, 3 major, and 1 10-minute misconduct penalties.  We can thank Anton Blidh’s improving English skills for that last one as he garnered an abuse of officials penalty in the game against Springfield this past Sunday.

Breaking down the numbers from this season there are a few areas that we can see need improvement.  Of the 13 goals Providence has scored, 9 of them came in the third period and always after trailing.   If the object is to win, we need to score earlier, bring our A game to all three periods and not wait until crunch time.  That is and has been a recipe for disaster.  The other and less tangible item is that we are outshooting our opponents at an average rate of 28 to 24 yet they are scoring an average of 4 goals to our 2.9.  This is a clear sign that our defense needs to do a better job of reading what their offense is setting up and putting a stop to it. Yes, the goalie is the ultimate keeper of the gate, but the defense needs to be there to support him, and right now, they are not.

Two goalies(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Goaltender Performance:

Zane McIntyre has stopped 36 of the 48 shots taken on him in the 3 games he has played.  Including the first game where he was pulled midway through the first period.  His current Save% is .750 and fingers crossed has nowhere to go but up.

Dan Vladar has stopped 65 of the 72 shots taken on him in the 3 games he has played, including the one in which he took over for Zane in the first period.  His Save% is a bit better at .903.

This Weekends Scores:

FRI Oct.12 AWAY              Providence 4-Hartford 3  WIN!!!

SAT Oct.13 HOME            Providence 3-Hartford 4

SUN Oct.14 AWAY           Providence 3-Springfield 6

3-in-3(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

Friday, October 12, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)

Friday Night at the XL Center had an overall better ending for the Bruins than last week but in all honesty not much better play from our B’s.  The first period saw Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson score 6 minutes in, but the haphazard defensive effort being put up by our blueline saw Hartford’s Andersson answer back only 5 minutes later sneaking one past goaltender Zane McIntyre to bring the score level.  The first period only saw one penalty issued and that was a minor for interference to the home team’s Bigras at 11:16.   The Wolf Pack successfully killed off what they could of the penalty in the 1st and the remainder of it at the beginning of the second period.

While the first period saw more goals than penalties, there was a different storyline for the second.  Here we saw 6 penalties and only 1 goal.  That lone goal of the period came at 5:41 when Hartford took the lead on a swift one by Butler assisted by Holland. This did nothing to steady the already worn nerves of the Baby B’s or their jacked-up opponents as the penalties began flying on the regular; 5:59 Providence Penalty for hooking Clifton, 11:23 Hartford Penalty for holding Hajek, 12:46 Providence Penalty for hooking Szwarz, 13:24 Providence Penalty for slashing, and the 5th and 6th penalties of the 2nd period at 17:08 for roughing go to Providence’s Fitzgerald and Hartford’s Andersson.

The third period appeared to be that leveling force that the Providence fans were looking for.   The B’s stepped up their offensive game taking 12 shots on goal during the period, a 50% increase from the second period, and the defense, while still a bit squirrely, seemed to be getting things together for a bit.  Hartford took the first goal of the period at 7:01 bringing them to a 2-goal lead and it wasn’t long after that their Mr. Andersson was called once again for a penalty (8:29 holding). If there was to be a comeback, it was time Providence made their move.  At 12:16 Anton Blidh had help from Cave and Fyten to bring the B’s to within one goal and only a minute and a half later Kulhman and Cehlarik gave Frederic what he needs to find the back of the net and even the score.  Hartford was called for one last penalty at 19:32. This time a bench penalty for too many men on the ice.

Into overtime and it did not take long.  With 1:03 having ticked down on the clock Goloubef took a shot and was awarded mightily with not just a goal, but the game-winning goal assisted by Fitzgerald and Lauzon.  The Providence Bruins eked it out in Hartford this time, finishing it up in OT with a score of 4-3 and taking home the 2 points necessary to keep them from the bottom of the stack.

Saturday, October 13, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME)

ProvidenceBruins and Hartford Wolf Pack played follow the leader back to Rhode Island and settled in, ready for Saturday’s rematch.  The pack came out of the gates on fire, unlike the Providence Bruins who looked like they had never really woken up from their pre-game nap.  The first saw the Wolf Pack pepper rookie goalie Vladar with shots that none of the defense seemed inclined to read ahead and intercept.  Of the 9 shots, they landed on net 2 of them found the back putting them up solidly in the first without any significant difficulty.  Providence appeared plagued by open ice passes, uncontrolled passing and just all around poor puck handling.  They did not seem to be able to hold onto the puck once they got it and were easily moved off it in a skirmish.  They did manage to get 10 shots on goal, but none of them made it through the Wolf Pack keeper to provide a Providence point on the board.  The only penalty in the first was issued to Hartford’s Bigras late in the period at 17:35 for cross-checking.

The second period did not look any better for Providence and only 5:22 into the period Blidh took exception to Hartford’s Andersson and both were sent to the box with 5 minutes for fighting.  If it was an attempt to fire up the team, Blidh did not succeed where he had intended. The only team that scored for the rest of the second was the Pack at 14:47 bringing their lead to 3.  The period ended without another score or scuffle.

The third period started the same as the first two. A disheveled and ragtag Bruins team fought harder against themselves than they did to win.  At 4:52 when Hartford scored yet another goal, it appeared they had all but sealed the deal.  Three penalties followed, two to Providence minors to Lauzon and Pond, and a third was a bench penalty handed out to the Pack for, once again, having too many men on the ice.  The B’s were not able to capitalize on this powerplay.  However, I don’t know what was said in the 16th minute, but Providence decided to no longer hit snooze, finish their coffee, and kick it in gear.  Two goals were scored in the 17th minute, one by Zach Senyshyn and the other 15 seconds later by Colby Cave.  This giant burst of scoring must have thrown them for a bit of a loop as it took a whole 2 minutes for them to score their 3rd.  This time finding a way past the goalie was Anton Blidh.  It was a solid rally, but just too late to claim a victory as the Wolf Pack Came out on top this time with a 4-3 win at the Dunk.

Sunday, October 14, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY)

The first matinee of the year was hosted by the Springfield Thunderbirds and was the final game of the 3-in-3 for the Providence Bruins.  Unfortunately, while more consistent throughout the game, the Bruins have just not meshed as a team yet.  The first period saw the Bruins on the board first with a goal by Zach Senyshyn at 7:11 with assists by Cehlarik and Vaakanainen.  While the T-Birds failed to fly past Zane McIntyre even once in the first.  There was no shortage of penalties though.  They came rolling in, hot and heavy, as they often do when these teams meet.  The T-Birds had two penalties on the board within the first five minutes, and the Bruins took the rest of the period but managed to rack up three more. A 5-penalty period to start the day off right.

The second period was livelier at the net with Springfield starting the period literally 1,2,3 as they scored goals at 1 minute, 2 minutes and a 3rd at 3 minutes, causing Zane to bow his head in dejection following the last of these.    Apparently, this goal at three minutes broke something in Anton Blidh’s filter as he was sent to the box with a 10-minute misconduct penalty for abuse of officials.  Seeing him sitting there must have inspired Colby Cave as he came out with a Providence goal at 6:22 assisted by McNeill and Clifton.  Not to let the Box get cold, Breen and Turgeon took up arms and were each sent to the box for fighting at 13:09.  Still feeling feisty Providence took two more penalties, Goloubef at 14:31 for Cross-checking and Senyshyn at 17:17 for high-sticking and to finish off the period T-Bird Still was sent to the pokey for Interference.  A 6-penalty period in the books.

The third was nearly a repeat of the second with Springfield coming out sending three goals past McIntyre, though they did spread them out this time taking almost 11 minutes to score all three.  The only non-bench penalties called were against the T-Birds, three in total and one bench penalty to Providence for too many men on the ice.  (As the Pack wasn’t here the B’s took care of it for them.)  In the last-ditch effort, Fitzgerald sent a zinger by the T-bird goaltender to bring them within 3-points, but it was too little too late again, and the Bruins walked away with a second loss for the weekend.