Should The Bruins Re-sign Rick Nash?

(Photo credit: Mike Penhollow/Boston Bruins)

By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29

Rick Nash has been a welcomed addition to the Boston Bruins since arriving in late February but with plenty of young talent on the rise will the Bruins retain the power forward?

Nash was the most significant acquisition for the Bruins this trade deadline the deal was as follows.

Pretty big price to pay for a rental player as Ryan Spooner was having the best statistical year of his career posting 0.69 points per game which is a 0.08 increase from his career high season in 2015-16. Spooner then went on to score sixteen points in twenty games with the New York Rangers to end the season and finally seems to thrive at a top six center position which the Bruins could never offer.

Rick Nash, on the other hand, was brought in to give a brand new winger to longtime Bruin centermen David Krejci as fans may remember the constant roulette wheel of wingers Krejci has had to deal with over the last few seasons.

Now Krejci has finally gotten consistent linemates this season finding great chemistry alongside rookie Jake DeBrusk and newly acquired Rick Nash so a case must be made to why the Bruins should at least look into the options of seeing this trio play for a full NHL season.

Rick Nash was drafted 1st overall in 2002 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. While playing for the Jackets, Rick was named the captain of the squad and remained the leader until being traded to the Rangers in the summer of 2012. In his 15 NHL season, Rick has hit the forty goal mark three times and reached over thirty goals five times. Nash also won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy in the 2003-04 season as the league’s top goal scorer. Nash is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada.

Since arriving in Boston Nash has posted six points in eleven games. The power forward had flashes of brilliance which were short-lived when he suffered a concussion on March 17th in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nash has since returned to the Bruins line-up for the start of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and has not missed a beat so far. While he only has one goal, Nash has been a presence with his physical play and really sets the pace for the Bruins second line giving them more offensive depth throughout the line-up.

Here is what Boston cap situation looks like heading into the offseason.

With over 9 million dollars in cap space, it will be interesting how Don Sweeney evens out the money this offseason. Players due for a raise include Riley Nash, Tim Schaller, Matt Grzelcyk, Sean Kuraly and Anton Khudobin. While Rick Nash will not be getting a raise based on recent years of performance and age, it would be interesting to see if he is willing to take a two-year deal at around 4 to 4.5 million dollars per season to remain in Boston.

Time will tell Rick is not getting any older and rumors for him to return to the Rangers in the offseason continue to rise. So fans should not be surprised if Rick packs his bags and returns to the big apple next season, but one would think if he wants to compete for a Stanley Cup Boston would be a great option.

With such a small sample size of what Rick Nash can do look for this playoff run to be a pivotal part of how the Bruins go into these negotiations. Rick has been known as a playoff passenger for his entire career if he can somehow be a crucial part of this run look for Don Sweeney and his team to be more engaged in trying to get a deal done before July 1st, 2018.

If Rick Nash does not resign Bruins fans should forget about him as many fans seem to have forgotten that Anders Bjork will return next season from shoulder surgery and should be the leading candidate to replace Nash if he does decide not to return.

Playing most of his minutes alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to start his NHL career Anders Bjork seemed to have all the skills to develop into a top-six forward. A loss of confidence gave him a one-way ticket to the AHL where Anders could work on his skills before being brought back to the parent club. After returning to the NHL and playing a few games, Anders suffered an injury against the Anaheim Ducks which ended his season.

Next season Anders should be more motivated to stick into the Bruins lineup having a taste of what it takes to play in the NHL. Moving him alongside Krejci and DeBrusk if needed could open up more scoring opportunities for him, his high hockey IQ and elite shooting ability should make him lethal with a playmaker like David Krejci and the grinding machine that is Jake DeBrusk.

Ryan Donato should be looked at as a potential candidate to put alongside Krejci. Many options could be seen at that spot, but fans should expect if both Nash’s do leave Donato could be looking at the third line center position when the puck drops next season.

Other potential dark horse candidates include Zach Senyshyn and Peter Cehlarik.

So the Bruins do have options going into next season. The best option would be to try and resign Rick Nash for at least a few more seasons considering the price Don Sweeney paid. A full year of DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash would be a lot of fun to see, Rick looks like a player that was born to wear the black and gold and the fans should be rewarded with a few more years of Rick Nash.

If the Bruins fall short in resigning him, it should not seem like the end of the world for Bruins fans, while the price will sting even more the talent coming up from Providence should have fans smiling in no time.

Should the Bruins Resign Rick Nash or let others a chance to shine next season? Let us know what you think.

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 78: 4/5/18: Boston at Florida

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Boston Bruins
(GREG M. COOPER/USA TODAY SPORTS)
By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97
Home: Florida Panthers: 41-30-8, 90 points, fourth in the Atlantic Division
Away: Boston Bruins: 49-18-12, 110 points, first in the Atlantic Division
Florida’s Lineup
 
Forwards
 
Dadonov-Barkov-Sceviour
Huberdeau-Trocheck-McGinn
Vatrano-McCann-Bjugstad
Haley-Mackenzie-Mamin
 
Defense
 
Yandle-Ekblad
Matheson-Pysyk
Weegar-Petrovic
 
Goalies
 
Luongo
Reimer
 
Boston’s Lineup
 
Forwards
 
Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Donato
Heinen-Backes-Acciari
Schaller-Cave-Gionta
 
Defense
 
Chara-McAvoy
Krug-McQuaid
Grzelcyk-Miller
 
Goalies
Rask
Khudobin
 
First Period
 
Tuukka Rask got into the game early with a nice kick save on Aleksander Barkov on the game’s opening shift. The Bruins looked into the game from the get go as Jake DeBrusk nearly gave the B’s the lead but hit the post on a chance from the slot.
Barkov broke the scoreless tie 7:44 into the first period after a beautiful passing sequence. The goal marked Barkov’s 100th career strike and his 27th of the season.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Dadonov hits <a href=”https://twitter.com/Barkovsasha95?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Barkovsasha95</a&gt; with a beautiful pass and it’s 1-0. <a href=”https://t.co/q6AzzTkejP”>pic.twitter.com/q6AzzTkejP</a></p>&mdash; NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHLGIFs/status/982044617779613696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 5, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Old friend Frank Vatrano added to the lead less than two minutes later after a turnover behind the net. The tally was Vatrano’s fifth of the season, third with the Panthers.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Look who it is.<br><br>Frank Vatrano beats Rask to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead over his former team. <a href=”https://t.co/zCRFxabY3V”>pic.twitter.com/zCRFxabY3V</a></p>&mdash; Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/982045227836993536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Michael Matheson took a holding penalty with about five minutes to play as David Krejci was able to sell it pretty well. Ryan Donato worked quickly as he potted a rebound just 15 seconds into the powerplay.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Ryan Donato 😍 <a href=”https://t.co/PRHMYT9bpC”>pic.twitter.com/PRHMYT9bpC</a></p>&mdash; Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) <a href=”https://twitter.com/PeteBlackburn/status/982048994359676930?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Score: 2-1 Florida
 
Second Period
 
The Bruins knotted it up early in the period as a Florida turnover in their own zone resulted in a Danton Heinen goal. Heinen’s 15th of the year came from DeBrusk and Krejci at 2:11 of the period.
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>DANTON HEINEN TIES IT FOR THE BRUINS! <a href=”https://t.co/ufi1ld86qi”>pic.twitter.com/ufi1ld86qi</a></p>&mdash; NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHLDaily365/status/982062099257024512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The Panthers held much of the possession in the period and most of the chances but were unable to solve Rask who looked much improved from the first period.
Adam McQuaid went to the box with 6:15 to play in the period for a questionable interference penalty. The Bruins killed off the penalty thanks to some big blocks by the defense and Rask.
Score: 2-2
Third Period
The Bruins went on the penalty kill with 15:42 to go in the game as Charlie McAvoy went off for hooking. Thanks to some solid play in their own end, the B’s killed off the penalty which kept the game scoreless.
As the period wound down, the Bruins started to tilt the ice in their favor as the Panthers looked to be a big fatigued. Colby Cave got involved with a big hit on Barkov with seven minutes remaining.
The Panthers got new life as Jared McCann tipped in a shot from the point with just 5:37 to go. McCann’s ninth of the season gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead.
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>JARED MCCANN TIPS ONE HOME AND KEEPS THE PANTHERS SEASON ALIVE! <a href=”https://t.co/jlzQpl5irO”>pic.twitter.com/jlzQpl5irO</a></p>&mdash; NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHLDaily365/status/982080761896484864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Nick Bjugstad got loose for a breakaway after a turnover in the offensive zone by the Bruins but Rask came up big with a glove save to keep it a one-goal game.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Another big save by Tuukka Rask on Nick Bjugstad getting behind the Bruins defense again. He’s got 31 saves &amp; counting tonight and definitely hasn’t been the issue with the B’s in this one.</p>&mdash; Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) <a href=”https://twitter.com/HackswithHaggs/status/982076175341182976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Not to outdo himself but Rask again stopped another breakaway this time by Vincent Trocheck as the Panthers forward tried to slip it five-hole.
Rask skated to the bench with about a minute to go as the Bruins looked to tie the game. Luongo and the Panthers stood tall, preserving their slim playoff hopes.
Final Score: 3-2 Panthers
Worth noting that Roberto Luongo played in his 1000th career game Thursday night. Big congratulations to him!

 

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 77: 3/31/18: Florida at Boston

Image result for bruins 2018

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins: 48-17-11, 107 points, second in the Atlantic Division

Away: Florida Panthers: 39-29-8,  86 points, fourth in the Atlantic Division

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Donato

Heinen-Riley Nash-Backes

Schaller-Acciari-Wingels

Defense

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Holden-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Dadonov-Barkov-Bjugstad

Huberdeau-Trocheck-McGinn

Mamin-Borgstrom-McCann

Haley-MacKenzie-Sceviour

Defense

Yandle-Ekblad

Matheson-Pysyk

Weegar-Petrovic

Goalies

Reimer

Luongo

First Period

First off, it was announced that Charlie McAvoy was voted the winner of the 7th player award. BNG writer Lauren Campbell’s scoop on it can be found here.

Back-and-forth action came and went at the start of the game. This was of course until Jamie McGinn notched his 13th goal of the season in a mad scramble in front of Tuukka Rask. Advantage Florida early with 15:01 to go.

Trailing didn’t phase the Bruins too much. Nick Holden tallied his first as a Bruin and fourth of the season on a tip from a turnaround David Krejci shot with 8:45 to go in the first period.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

A little less than three minutes later, Jake DeBrusk cashed in for his 14th of the season. The puck was misplayed behind the Florida net by Alex Petrovic, Ryan Donato picked it up, immediately dished it to Jake DeBrusk, throwing James Reimer off and giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

It was a productive first period for the Bruins. They pushed the pace often and kept Florida on their heels enough to hold a one-goal lead going into intermission.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Second Period

Ryan Donato picked up right where he left off, picking up his third goal of the season on a laser from the high slot. He has made the NCAA to NHL transition looks effortless. It’s remarkable. Micheal Haley then hit the ice looking for a fight, and boy did he get one. To keep things short and sweet, Adam McQuaid rag dolled him.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

Not too long after the fight, Riley Nash took a fluttering puck up high off the stick of Torey Krug and left the ice. Just as Jake DeBrusk comes back, the Bruins may lose another forward. David Krejci then took a shot off of his foot and was shaken up, but returned to the ice after shaking it off. He came back to generate some nice scoring chances, helping in continuing to push the pace against a desperate Florida team.

A skirmish then came up involving Jonathan Huberdeau, Brad Marchand, and Vincent Trocheck between the benches a little more than halfway through the period. This ended in Marchand throwing some face jabs at Trocheck and getting four minutes in the box. Danton Heinen joined him to serve the double minor, and Trocheck got two on Florida’s side of things. Nothing wrong with a good little muck.

This is the best GIF that I’ve ever seen.

(Via @NHLBlinn on Twitter)

With 7:10 remaining, Micheal Haley went back to the box for roughing, giving Boston a golden opportunity to pour it on. Fast forward 50 seconds into the power play for a goal due to David Backes and Patrice Bergeron crashing the net hard and stuffing the puck under James Reimer and in. Bergeron got credit for the goal, his 29th of the season.

Bob Boughner challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was ruled in favor of the Bruins as a good goal with 6:20 remaining.

Jake DeBrusk clearly missed scoring goals while he was sidelined, so he decided to score again. His 16th of the year extended the lead to 5-1 Bruins with 3:28 to go. The puck sat idly on the goal line under James Reimer after a shot from Kevan Miller for a few seconds, that’s easy money for Jake DeBrusk.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

Score: 5-1 Boston

Third Period

During the second intermission, it was ruled by the team that Riley Nash would not return to the game after taking a puck to the face in the second period.

Leading into the early portion of the third period, it had been one of those games where the Bruins wear their opponent down in a multitude of ways. Mainly, making their defense run around and look silly.

The Panthers did get some life with 16:06 to go when Matt Grzelcyk went to the box for hooking. Evgenii Dadonov nearly scored early on into the power play but nailed the crossbar. The score remains 5-1 Bruins.

Get this, more injuries. Brandon Carlo went down with 9:32 left in the third. Not ideal! Joining Sasha Barkov in the corner, he tried to reposition himself and awkwardly twisted his ankle and went down hard in an ugly sequence. The stretcher came out in response to Carlo’s injury. You hate to see things like that.

**Below is a clip of the injury, I wouldn’t recommend watching if things like this can make you squeamish.**

(Via @Tashville401 on Twitter)

Noel Acciari finally fought someone. He’s tough as nails, I’m surprised he waited this long. Poor MacKenzie Weegar challenged the buzzsaw known as Noel Acciari.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

“We want the cup!” chants are back. Cup fever is real in Boston, and it feels so good. Things were quiet on the score sheet. It was that obligatory period where one team has a huge lead and cruises to a degree. More goals are nice, but they’re not urgently needed. It’s ok though because Tuukka Rask earned his 34th win of the season in another great winning effort.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

Agreed, Marina. Thanks for the GIFs!

Lastly, congratulations to long-time NHL referee Tom Cowell on reffing over 1100 NHL games. Quite the accomplishment.

Final Score: 5-1 Boston

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 76: 3/29/18: Tampa Bay at Boston

Image result for bruins 2018

(Photo Credit: Stuart Cahill)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins: 47-17-11, 105 points, second in the Atlantic Division

Away: Tampa Bay Lightning: 51-21-4, 106 points, first in the Atlantic Division

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Donato-Krejci-Gionta

Heinen-Riley Nash-Backes

Schaller-Acciari-Wingels

Defense

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Holden-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

Miller-Stamkos-Kucherov

Gourde-Point-Johnson

Palat-Cirelli-Killorn

Kunitz-Paquette-Conacher

Defense

Hedman-Stralman

McDonagh-Girardi

Coburn-Sergachev

Goalies

Vasilevskiy

Domingue

First Period

The first three minutes or so were quiet until Adam McQuaid was blatantly interfered by Adam Killorn at the Bruins’ defensive blue line. That got the blood flowing for both teams. Some consistent chances came from the Bruins along with some solid, extensive offensive zone pressure.

With 11:48 in the first came the first power play of the game for the Bruins after Brayden Point took a holding penalty. The chances were there but the Bruins failed to score on the power play. Most notably David Pastrnak sending a rocket at the net that almost led to a goal on a rebound for Ryan Donato, but Andrei Vasilevskiy swallowed up the scoring chance.

Things went quiet again after the first Bruins power play until Kevan Miller high sticked Brayden Point at the 5:34 mark. Brayden Point nearly directed a Yanni Gourde shot past Tuukka Rask, but the Bolts ended their power play shotless. Come to think of it, things stayed quiet until the final minute.

Tim Schaller redirected a Tommy Wingels shot on net into the net with his left foot with 57.8 left for his 12th goal of the season. The net was then toppled over after the fact by Schaller as he was being pushed by Ryan McDonagh.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

Oh wait, there’s more!

David Pastrnak gets the past from Torey Krug, throws it on the net, where Ryan Donato deflects the puck in with 27.8 left for his fourth goal of the season. Patrice Bergeron also got a piece of the puck on the way. Two goals in the final minute within 30 seconds. Unreal.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

Although relatively quiet at times, the Bruins managed to put a lot of lumber on Andrei Vasilevskiy.

(Via @GlobeKPD on Twitter)

So yeah, the Bruins dominated the Lightning in the first period.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Second Period

Brian Gionta took a boarding penalty from behind with Anthony Cirelli on the receiving end at the 18:42 mark. J.T. Miller potted one 26 seconds into the power play after Patrice Bergeron broke his stick on the draw. It was quite the pass from Nikita Kucherov that set up the goal. The score goes to 2-1 Boston after Miller’s 21st goal of the season.

Fast forward to the 11:19 mark and a Bruin is heading to the box again. This time it’s Ryan Donato for high sticking. Momentum began to build for the Lightning after the goal from Miller. Steven Stamkos whistled his patented off-wing one-timer past the net early, but that was the main chance on the power play. The Bruins successfully kill the penalty.

Oh no! That’s Tuukka Rask’s music. Cory Conacher throws Brandon Carlo onto Tuukka Rask and Rask proceeds to pummel him. Andrei Vasilevskiy came from the other side of the ice to say hi to Tuukka. Tuukka Rask tooled on Cory Conacher, absolutely tooled on him, and it was fantastic. Conacher gets called for goalie interference and roughing, Rask gets called for roughing.

(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

The playoff atmosphere is real in this one. I don’t remember the last time a moment in a Bruins game fired me up that much. Adam McQuaid went to the box with 3:49 for hooking. Judge it how you will. The Bruins successfully killed the penalty.

(Via @RealJayKenney on Twitter)

Noel Acciari picked up two massive blocks on the power play, looking like Gregory Campbell out there. In the end, the Bruins got out of a hectic period with a one-goal lead, setting up for a wild third.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Third Period

Things got physical to start the third period for both teams. They traded chances until Alex Killorn scored with 13:58 to go in the period. Controversy followed as Anthony Cirelli was in the crease at the time of the goal right behind Tuukka Rask. Due to Cirelli’s presence in the crease, the goal was nullified and the Bruins still held their 2-1 lead over the Lightning.

Shots were 22 to 22 after the fact. Remember when they were 16-3 in favor of the Bruins?

If you thought Tuukka Rask fighting was surprising, how about seeing David Pastrnak go toe-to-toe with Dan Girardi? The fight was in response to Girardi lighting up Bergeron at center ice.

A little bit later, Cedric Paquette shoves David Backes for some reason, starting another scrum. Backes and Paquette both went to the box for roughing in response about halfway through the period. Paquette ended up on the bench punching Backes. so there’s that.

Move forward a bit and Tuukka Rask makes a huge save to keep the lead. Some cycling, with Marchand and Bergeron, Bergeron ends up on his off-wing back door, Marchand, to Krug, to Bergeron. A clockwork goal, Patrice Bergeron’s 28th of the season.

(Via @PeteBlackburn on Twitter)

Victor Hedman spoils the fun with 6:06 left, a minute and 55 seconds after the Bergeron goal, just squeaking one past Tuukka Rask to make it a 3-2 game. The goal was Hedman’s 15th of the season.

Tim Schaller nearly got his second goal of the night with less than three minutes left. Back-and-forth, high octane action in the final minutes. I said it once and I’ll say it again, the playoff atmosphere was real. Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled with about 1:30 to go in the third. Shortly after came one of the more intricate empty-net goals from Brad Marchand. It was a product of all three members of the top line for Marchand’s 34th goal of the season.

As the clock bled out, “We want the cup!” chants came down in the Garden before the second to last skirmish of the night with 5.8 seconds to go in the game. One more skirmish came as the clock expired. Tuukka Rask gets the win in net with 28 saves, another great performance. Game over, Bruins win and hold first place in the Eastern Conference.

See you Tuesday, Tampa Bay.

Final Score: 4-2 Boston

 

Bruins Week That Was: B’s Pass A Huge Road Test Despite Numerous Trials

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 2.33.13 PMPhoto:Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP
By Thomas Nyström | Follow on twitter @nahstrom

In my ongoing series of columns surrounding the remaining Bruins regular season and expectations, today I’m going to dive into their most recent stretch of road games. As stated in the previous installment, this past week was a sizable test for the banged-up B’s as they traveled to St. Louis, Dallas, Minnesota, and Winnipeg. All of whom have playoff aspirations and  as such, quite a lot to be playing for.

“On tap after that is Dallas, Minnesota, and Winnipeg. Each team is playoff bound or at the very least in the hunt right now and will be putting forth playoff caliber efforts against a banged-up B’s lineup. I fully believe that despite the thin roster on this road trip, Boston has the ability to take 4 out of 8 points from these quality opponents.”

Thomas Nyström, 03/21/2018
https://blackngoldhockey.com/2018/03/21/a-rational-look-at-injuries-and-the-remaining-boston-bruins-schedule/

Lets take a look and see how the Bruins did, comparatively.

Wednesday, March 22 @ STL
2-1 OT Loss, 1pt.
Goal for Ryan Donato (2), Anton Khudobin takes a tough L.

Friday March 23 @ DAL
3-2 Win, 2pts.
After allowing the first two goals of the contest the Bruins fired back with tally’s from Brad Marchand (32), Tim Schaller (11), and David Pastrnak (29). Marchand also had assists on both goals.

Sunday March 25 @ MIN
2-1 OT Win, 2pts.
Goals for David Pastrnak (30) and Brad Marchand (33). Other than Marchand scoring his 5th OT winner of the season the story was the return of Patrice Bergeron who got credited with two assists in the game. Tuukka Rask played brilliantly all night.

Tuesday March 27 @ WPG
5-4 SO Loss, 1pt.
Goals for Ryan Donato (3), Danton Heinen (14), David Pastrnak (31), Torey Krug (14). Marchand collected two assists. In the shootout the Bruins marched out Donato, Pastrnak, Marchand, and Heinen with Donato getting the only tally. Anton Khudobin in net.

Results for the trip: 2-0-2, 6 points.

A wildly successful road trip as the Bruins took points in every contest despite playing without many key players. The team showed tenacity and had no quit in them. This grueling schedule has had little impact on their on-ice performance although the injuries have continued to pile up. Outside of the fire that we’ve all seen within the Bruins roster, one thing we will all look back on this road trip and remember is the numerous amount of errors in officiating and, in some cases, the subsequent disciplinary lapses on behalf of NHL Player Safety. Without getting into that in the way I probably should — the NHL has undeniably let down the Boston Bruins far too many times as of late. Be it the goal call that dumfounded even the most intelligent and respected NHL analytical minds, or the complete imbalance as far as hits, penalties and especially those that should or could be considered suspension-worthy. The truly unfortunate thing is that it is becoming a big part of the narrative surrounding the team.

The organization (and fans) have to move on quickly and concentrate on what is ahead. The players, however, are without a doubt putting their grievances on their shoulders and playing with more and more edge each night. The old adage being “don’t poke the bear”. Well, consider it poked. With reinforcements on the way in Zdeno Charra, David Backes, Charlie McAvoy, ect.. this team is about to get even more dangerous.

To take 6 of 8 possible points from the quality opponents they just faced this past week, and on the road for that matter, is especially encouraging. Perhaps even more important points lay ahead of them on Thursday. The Atlantic Division’s first place Tampa Bay Lightning come to TD Garden at 7:00 pm et and the Bruins have to be salivating at the thought that a regulation victory will give them first place in the division and only 6 games remaining after Thursday night. The game will also mark the first time since the start of the season that the Bruins will have evened their games played totals to Tampa Bay as the recent schedule for Boston has claimed their games at hand advantage, or disadvantage depending on how you look at it. Boston still has one more contest lined-up against the Lightning and it’s in Tampa, so taking advantage of home-ice tomorrow night is incredibly vital.

To say that it’s crunch-time is borderline redundant. Bruins fans around the world are staring a first-place finish in the face and home-ice for the playoffs would be a huge accomplishment for a team that has far surpassed even the most optimistic expectations set in off-season.

Speaking of which, let’s take another look at the BNG predictions made March 7th;

Thomas Nyström: 111 points
Court LaLonde: 116 points
Lauren Campbell: 112 points
Spencer Fascetta: 110 points
Mike Cratty: 113 points
KG: 113 points

Current Bruins record: 47-17-11, 105 points.

7 Games left, a possible 14 points. It would appear that they’re going to surpass my expectations. Again. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to tell you I’m wrong.


Thomas Nyström, Contributor.

Follow me on Twitter @nahstrom

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 72

Brad+Marchand+St+Louis+Blues+v+Boston+Bruins+sdAHqV1Qq5Jl

Photo Credit: Rich Gagnon (Getty Images)

By KG | Follow on Twitter @kgbngblog | FanCred at K G

PREGAME NOTES

Torey Krug steps out of the lineup tonight after a very physically demanding game for him on Monday, leaving players like Miller and Carlo to anchor the defense tonight. Jordan Szwarz comes into the lineup along with Paul Postma. Anton Khudobin heads into the goal countering Jake Allen at the other end.

What I Am Looking Forward To

Nick Holden/Brandon Carlo is written as the first pairing, but I’d be cautious to not let them play all the big minutes when you have a solid pair of Grzelcyk and Miller waiting on the bench. David Krejci will be the center for two rookies tonight, something that has worked in the past with DeBrusk, but with two it may be a different story.

PERIOD ONE

Krejci woke everyone up a minute and a half into the game as he rang the outside post with his shot after some simple, yet effective, moves. Boston would play the majority of the first five minutes in the Blues’ zone because of their ability to cycle the puck and keep possession of the puck. The Bruins headed to the power play after a textbook crosscheck from Todd Bortuzzo that was pretty dangerous. Boston went right to work, but were slowed down when a pileup of players pinned the puck along the boards, which killed off some extra time but when St. Louis was trying to clear it, the puck went off of a referee’s skate and into the slot, where the Boy Wonder Ryan Donato was powering into where he took a one-timer that beat Jake Allen. The B’s continued to keep up the aggressive pressure in the offensive end. Anton Khudobin looked very shaky in nets but he was able to stay in position and keep the puck out of the net. With 00.4 seconds left in the period, some extracurricular activities started after a big hit from Shosnikov on Riley Nash. Boston would head into the dressing room with a one-goal lead.

Scoring

BOS – Donato PP (Pastrnak)

STL – N/A

PERIOD TWO

The teams started off 4-on-4 after the two minor penalties from the first period. This would result in a lot of odd-man chances for the Blues, but Khudobin continued to stand strong. Boston had some trouble entering the zone when they didn’t have the numbers advantage early on but adjusted on the fly. Anton Khudobin continued to make clutch saves that kept the Bruins in the game. David Krejci was hit directly in the head as he came up the boards with the puck. This would result in only two minutes, which the Bruins players didn’t like. As the Bruins started to set up in the Blues’ zone, Danton Heinen was assessed a minor penalty for a one-handed slash which brought the game to 4-on-4. The teams would continue to get chances at both ends, but St. Louis got more of them in the last few minutes, making Khudobin work extra hard in net. Boston would hold onto their first-period lead going into the third period.

Scoring

BOS – N/A

STL – N/A

PERIOD THREE

Boston continued to have issues breaking through the St. Louis’ defencemen but would still try and try again until they could find a lane. Anton Khudobin continued to bail out the Bruins’ defensive play. The St. Louis defense did a great job of holding their offensive line and extending plays and getting pucks on net. Boston’s bad defensive play would eventually catch up to them when they let Jaden Schwartz walk in over their blue line and wire a shot that finally beat Khudobin. St. Louis would then take the momentum that they had from the goal and channel it into offensive pressure. But once again, Anton Khudobin stepped up and made the plays he needed to put the Bruins in a position to win the game. Boston would get some decent chances at the other end, but couldn’t get another one past Allen. In the dying seconds of the third period, the Bruins started to scramble in their own end, leading to a diving back-handed shot on net that Khudobin dove to get as he was sitting on the ice and knocked it away from the open net. And for the second year in a row, the Boston Bruins are headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of the point they were guaranteed from going to OT.

Scoring

BOS – N/A

STL – Schwartz (Steen, Schenn)

OT

The Blues didn’t want this going too long. It only took 30 seconds for Jaden Schwartz to score his second of the night on a simple wirst shot. But on the bright side, both teams got what they needed for playoff implications.

Scoring

BOS – N/A

STL – Schwartz (Parayko)

POSTGAME

While injuries are common to all team in the NHL, the Bruins seem to be dealing with far too many, even for a team that plays the fast-paced, hard-hitting style they do. Tonight was statistically the hardest game for them with injury losses. If the Bruins want a shot at the top spot in the East and potentially the NHL, they’ll need to get healthy. And quickly.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Ryan Donato – After his incredible first game, Donato was bound to have an average game. And while he did play average, he also scored the Bruins only goal of the game after he made a heads-up play to follow the puck instead of heading to the place everyone else was looking. He was also one of the two players to get a point tonight (Pastrnak was the only assist on the goal). He has a bright future on this team as long as they don’t overplay him.

2nd: Anton Khudobin – The Bruins clinched tonight because of Khudobin. And while both goals he gave up weren’t the best shots ever, he kept them in the game all night. Specifically, in the dying seconds when he threw what parts of his body he could in front of the sprawling emptiness of the net to keep the Blues from scoring.

3rd: Kevan Miller – Miller was given the task of stepping up to replace players like Krug, Chara, and McAvoy, and he did a pretty solid job. He played 24:17 tonight, the second most on the team only behind Nick Holden. While he didn’t make it on the scoresheet, he did leave an impression on the St. Louis players. He was physical as he usually is and created offense with his skating. A very under-rated part of the core defencemen.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Sean Kuraly – Every time I saw him in the offensive zone, he was mucking it up in the corners or battling in front of the net. This is the kind of guy that you want on your team, and the Bruins are lucky to have him.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game

NEXT GAME

Friday, March 23rd, in Boston vs the Stars

 

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

Bruins Bleed Crimson, Sign Sherman to ELC

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Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY

By: Spencer Fascetta | Follow me on Twitter @PuckNerdHockey

The Bruins really like all of these good Harvard boys… The team announced today that they signed their second Harvard player to an Entry-Level Contract in less than a week, as 2013 5th Rounder Wiley Sherman inked his 2-year ELC just days after teammate Ryan Donato signed his. Sherman’s contract does not begin until the 2018-19 season, and will report to the Providence Bruins on an Amateur Try-Out contract for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

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Photo Credit: John Connolly/Boston Herald

Sherman, 22, was originally drafted by the Bruins out of the Hotchkiss School, in Lakeville, Connecticut in the 5th Round in the 2013 NHL Draft, 150th Overall. The towering 6’7″ defenseman lives up to his name, as Wiley weighs in at a mere 220 pounds despite his massive frame. The Connecticut native has spent the last four years patrolling the blueline for the Harvard Crimson, posting a career high of 13 points (all assists) in his junior season. Overall, Sherman recorded 7 goals and 26 assists for 33 points to go along with 60 career penalty minutes in 137 career games for the Ivy League juggernaut. The entry-level deal, beginning next season, is expected to be a 2-year commitment, adding to an already stacked defensive depth chart within the organization. Sherman joins a deep Providence team for the stretch run as they look to make yet another deep run in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Ryan Donato Cuts His Teeth on TD Garden Ice

 

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Ryan Donato meets his team after being drafted #56 by the Boston Bruins on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(June 27, 2014 – Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                   Twitter: @godwentwhoops      The Boston Bruins found themselves in a pickle last Monday night. They were taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets who were fighting to hold on to their wild-card playoff slot. The Bruins were down no less than seven players and had to dig deep in order to earn points against the Jackets.

This led to the saw debut of Ryan Donato. Donato is a junior at Harvard. Once Harvard was eliminated from the NCAA playoffs,  the 21-year old Donato junior made the decision to waive his fourth year of NCAA eligibility.  (Donato had been drafted in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He was a second-round pick (like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand) and was the 56th pick overall.) He then signed with the Black and Gold the very next day.

 

This was a big opportunity for the Mass native to showcase some of his skills. By and large, he succeeded. Donato earned his first NHL goal, and his first assist as well.

In the end, Donato ended up with a three-point night and found himself all over the ice. Coach Bruce Cassidy had Donato on the power play and even gave him some ice time during the overtime period.

Current members of the team were certainly pleased with Donato’s debut in Boston. “Ryan played a good game,” said Bruins forward David Krejci on Donato’s first game in the spoked ‘B’.  Donato’s third point of the season came from Krejci’s goal in the middle of the third period. That goal opened the way up for the B’s to take the see-saw game to overtime.  “Good for his confidence to get the first one. That is always the hardest, but he’s got to keep playing the way he played today. I thought he played well and he made some good plays. He easily could have got a couple of more, but that’s a good start for him.”

This was a fantastic debut for the Scituate native.  Even in the loss, Donato was excited to don the spoked ‘B’ and carry on another father-son tradition in Boston. The Donatos are the sixth family in Bruins history to carry on the Black and Gold legacy from father to son.

“I mean, it was fun,” said Donato of his first game for Boston. “Obviously it ended tough, but at the end of the day I was excited and I think it all went well personally, but I’d say it’s still bitter because of the loss.”

Donato’s arrival is certainly a good sign for Boston. Even with some of their best players out of action, the depth of this team is incredible. They’re competitive with other playoff teams and are even capable of shutting out some of the best teams in the NHL. Donato’s strong play once again validates Boston’s “next man up” philosophy.

In the end, Donato and the B’s weren’t able to pull off the win, but they did get that important OT point. This gives the Bruins 99 points for the season. The Black and Gold should find themselves holding onto an automatic playoff spot the next time they earn any kind of point in their next eleven games.

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 71

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Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara (AP Photo)

By KG | Follow on Twitter @kgbngblog | FanCred at K G

PREGAME NOTES

David Backes was hurt last game after taking a skate to the thigh and will be out for some time. Newly signed Ryan Donato comes into the lineup for his first career NHL game. He was supposed to be on the third line, but since Rick Nash didn’t take warmups due to an upper-body injury, Donato will fill in his spot tonight. Korpisalo and Rask will get the starts in nets tonight, Rask is coming off of a shutout down south in Tampa.

What I Am Looking Forward To

Ryan Donato has been one of the most talked about Bruins prospect since he was drafted in 2014, and tonight he gets a shot at playing with David Krejci. Once again, injuries will play a big part of this game with Backes and Rick Nash coming out of the lineup from last game both due to injuries.

PERIOD ONE

Ryan Donato kicked off the game after he shot off down the left wing and battled for the puck, getting the first shot on net of the game. But just as Boston started to look like they were going to start to control the pace, The Blue Jackets pressured Carlo into turning over the puck that led to a Boone Jenner tip-in goal infront of Rask. Boston had a chance soon after to tie it back up when they went on the power play. Ryan Donato had three incredible chances and with great team puck movement, the Bruins managed to get six total shots on the man advantage, but couldn’t convert. But this did sway the momentum of the game as Boston started to click and get good shots on net. Kevan Miller was called for a “Closing Hand On Puck” penalty and while the Bruins did kill it off, they looked like chickens running around with their heads gone in their own zone. In the final two minutes, The Bruins got another oppertunity on the power play and even though they got some great chances they still couldn’t convert.

Scoring

BOS – N/A

CBJ – Jenner (Vanek)

PERIOD TWO

Columbus is known as 1st period team, and the Bruins came strong, resulting in an amazing first career goal by Ryan Donato off of a great one-timer. Right after that, the very elite Brad Marchand took the game into his hands as he froze Korpisalo with a deke and roofed a backhand shot to go up 2-1. After some more great chances down low, the Bruins headed back to the power play after another Ian Cole penalty. On this try, they finally converted. Riley Nash slapped home a rebound to put the Bruins up by two, but that wouldn’t hold for long. Less than thirty seconds later, Sonny Milano tipped in a Ryan Murray slap-pass to get it back to a one goal game. That took all the energy right out of the building, and Bosotn would head to the locker room holding a one goal lead.

Scoring

BOS – Donato (Krug, Heinen), Marchand (Pastrnak, Miller), Riley Nash PP (Donato, Marchand)

CBJ – Milano (Murray, Foligno)

PERIOD THREE

Kevan Miller made sure that the Blue Jackets knew that he wasn’t planning on slowing down as he started off the period with a great chance that rung off the crossbar and out. Columbus would tie it up again after Thomas Vanek made a great redirection play to get one in. Boston continued to make good standup defensive plays at their own line, stopping Columbus almost every time. But after an icing, Panarin rifled a shot past Rask right off of the faceoff to go up 4-3. But just twenty seconds after that happened, the David Krejci line scored once again to make it 4-4 with Krejci getting the goal from a great pass by Donato. This gave Boston a shot of pure energy that resulted in many chances, like a Ryan Donato breakaway, free pucks infront of the net and hit posts. Rask and Korpisalo both had to come up big in the final few minutes, and because of that we are headed to OT.

Scoring

BOS – Krejci (Donato, Heinen)

CBJ – Vanek (Nutivaara, Jenner), Panarin (Foligno)

OT

The usual OT game winner Brad Marchand broke free with a Krug pass, but couldn’t convert with a Blue Jackets player drapped all over him. Rask came up huge with some great saves at the other end. After some conterversial non-calls, the Bruins let Cam Atkinson sneak in behind them and sniped a shot low glove on Tuukka to continue the Blue Jackets winning streak.

Scoring

BOS – N/A

CBJ – Atkinson (Murray, Weenberg)

POSTGAME

With injuries dropping Bruins players like flies, Donato is exactly the type of player that Boston needs. An effecient player that gives it 110% every shift. Even when people start to come back from IR, I think he’ll find a spot in the lineup.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Ryan Donato – Wow. What a game by a guy who was just signed yesterday. A goal and two assists with six shots is incredible. A great signing so far for the Bruins and will continue to be in the lineup with this kind of play. He could have a great career here in Boston if he plays as hard as he did tonight.

2nd: Brad Marchand – A textbook Brad game where he scored a highight reel goal, had eight shots on net, had an assist and was a monster in OT. If there was, for some odd reason, a chance that you didn’t believe that Marchand was elite, this is one of his many games that tell you different.

3rd: David Krejci – When the Bruins need a clutch goal, he’ll be there. If there’s a second line that needs to be productive and cycle the puck for a full shift, he’ll be there. David Krejci has stepped his game up after what people called a down year last season, and is doing great with this never-ending rotation of wingers he gets played with.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Riley Nash – This is the second game in a row where I have Riley Nash as the MUP of the game. This is because he is doing such an incredible job while replacing future Hall of Fame-er Patrice Bergeron on the top line where he plays elite, top notch guys every night. He had 22:09 TOI tonight, along with another goal to add to his ever growing total this year.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game

NEXT GAME

Wednesday, March 21st in St. Louis vs the Blues

 

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

Bruins Sign Donato To Entry-Level Deal

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 28: Ryan Donato meets his team after being drafted #56 by the Boston Bruins on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced earlier this evening that they’ve signed prospect and Harvard University forward Ryan Donato to an entry-level contract.  This year was a career season for the Crimson Junior as he posted 26-17-43 numbers in in 26 games and was the ECAC Player of The Year and a nominee for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award given to the best NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Athlete annually. The 21-year-old was also selected to the United State hockey team that played at the 2018 Winter Olympics and played very well with six points in five games (5-1-6).

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Donato, a second-round selection of the B’s in 2014 has really taken a huge step in his development over the past year and deservingly generated a great deal of hype from those professional opinions down to the fans that pay close attention to the developing youth on a yearly basis. Although I knew Ryan was going to be signed at some point in 2018, my projection of when was way off as I had him coming to the National Hockey League during the offseason as I believed the Bruins would go with the roster that’s had so much success in 2017-18. Regardless of my projected timeline, I’m very excited to have him with this team and look forward to seeing him when he makes it on the roster with 12 games remaining in the regular season and upcoming playoff schedule.

This is what Ryan had to say shortly after signing his entry-level deal with his beloved Boston Bruins…..

“I am excited to announce that today I have fulfilled a lifelong dream, signing a NHL contract to play for the Boston Bruins,” Donato said in a statement. “While I am beyond thrilled for this next opportunity, it comes with a bittersweet feeling, as my time as a student-athlete at Harvard comes to a close. I am so thankful for every day I have spent at Harvard and the remarkable people I have met along the way, from the classroom, to the ice, and beyond. It has truly been a privilege to wear the Harvard jersey and represent my school alongside such incredible teammates and coaches. My time in the Harvard hockey program has provided me with some of my closest friends and fondest memories, and I will strive to continue representing Harvard well from afar as I enter this next stage of my life.

“While no longer on campus, I am so proud to consider myself a member of the greater Harvard community, and I am still fully dedicated to working towards another lifelong dream of mine: a degree from the university that has given me the best three years of my life.”

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With the current injuries on the Bruins coming down the stretch, this is a solid depth move for the organization with players like David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, and Jake DeBrusk returns up in the air with a dozen games to go before the Mid-April Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, the addition of the young Donato wasn’t exactly shocking. Regardless of how much action he gets into, he has to be a serious candidate at this point to make a full-time NHL player next season as current players that will be unrestricted free agents this summer might not be coming back and creating a permanent spot for him in 2018-19.

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I’ve seen many games that Ryan’s played at the NCAA level and every Bruins development camp that he’s attended and in my opinion, he’s got the skills of an NHL player now, and the pedigree is there with his father and former Crimson coach for the last three seasons Ted Donato who spent several seasons in Black and Gold cannot be denied. The way this kid can skate and stickhandle in traffic is second to none, and he does possess an NHL release. Now his development has brought him to the highest level in the world and can’t wait to see him play NHL opponents shortly as he’s been rumored to get his first taste of the top tomorrow night when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to the TD Garden in Boston. I have to go with a few professional analysts and say I doubt he plays against the Jackets tomorrow night without practicing with the team. Wednesday on the road in St. Louis is a better opportunity in my opinion as he’ll be more acclimated to his new club.