Boston Bruins: The Worker B’s Have They Finally Found Some New Merlot?

 

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders

Source: Mike Stobe/NHLI

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

Have the Boston Bruins finally found a new consistent fourth line?

Since the separation of the legendary “Merlot Line” which included Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, and Shawn Thornton the Bruins have never really had another dominant fourth line, that was until this season when a new line was formed.

Sean Kuraly, Tim Schaller, and Noel Acciari have formed an incredible fourth line this season and have made opponents lives a pure nightmare when they have been on the ice. As this line can become a speed, physical, or shut down unit depending on the other teams playing style. This line has produced a combined 28 goals and 47 points as a unit together which in today’s NHL where everyone needs to be productive it is excellent to see these guys excel together as a group.

Let’s compare the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins fourth line to the 2018 version.

The Merlot Line

Daniel Paille

Regular Season:  43 GP, 6 G, 7 A, +3, 28 PIM

2011 Playoffs:  25 GP, 3 G, 3 A, +2, 4 PIM

Gregory Campbell

Regular Season:  80 GP, 13 G, 16 A, +11, 93 PIM

2011 Playoffs:  25 GP, 1 G, 3 G, -2, 4 PIM

Shawn Thornton

Regular Season:  79 GP, 10 G, 10 A, +8, 122 PIM

2011 Playoffs:  18 GP, 0 G, 1 A, -1, 24 PIM

 

Combined Totals 

Regular Season 

202 GP, 29 G, 33 A, +22, 243 PIM

2011 Playoffs 

68 GP, 4 G, 7 A, -1, 32 PIM

This line was incredible and was for a long time known as the best fourth line in hockey. The heart and determination that was shown between these three guys were magical. No one would work harder than them they were the Boston Bruins heartbeat for many years. Who could forget such iconic moments like Gregory Campbell breaking his leg off of an Evgeni Malkin slapshot and finishing his shift, or Shawn Thornton incredible penalty shot goal against the Winnipeg Jets. The difference between all the lines that came after Merlot was that they never really jelled together as a unit that was until this year when “The Worker B’s” were brought together.

The Worker B’s

Tim Schaller

Regular Season: 82 GP, 12 G, 10 A, -5, 42 PIM

Playoffs Career: 6 GP, 1 G, 0 A, +2, 2 PIM

Sean Kuraly

Regular Season:  75 GP, 6 G, 8 A, -5, 40 PIM

Playoffs Career: 4 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 0, 4 PIM

Noel Acciari

Regular Season: 60 GP, 10 G, 1 A, -6, 9 PIM

Playoffs Career: 4 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 0, 2 PIM

 

Combined Totals

Regular Season

217 GP, 28 G, 19 A, -16, 91 PIM

Playoffs Career

14 GP, 4 G, 0 A, +2, 8 PIM

Seeing a 15 point difference between these two lines does not paint the full picture. They are obviously different, no question fans shouldn’t expect Noel Acciari to be dropping the gloves every night like Shawn Thornton did. But what they can expect is that this line will give one hundred percent of their effort whenever they are on the ice.

This has been for so long what the Bruins have been missing. This trio really is the perfect energy line and an absolute heartbeat to what this Bruins team has been able to accomplish this season. On the video, under Noel Acciari performance you will see a perfect example of what kind of effort this line brings on every given night.

While they may not wow you with incredible talents like teammates Brad Marchand or David Pastrnak, they will go out and shut down opposing teams best units and can step up in various situations if needed. It is the closest they have had to the complete fourth line since the “Merlot Line” fans should see “The Worker B’s” as a modern-day version of the “Merlot Line.” Look for “The Worker B’s” to be a vital part of this years playoff run and should be an X-factor against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Post a comment let us know what you think!

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 81

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Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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

PREGAME NOTES

After a deep playoff run last spring, the Ottawa Senators are looking towards the draft lottery after a disappointing season, while Boston has its sights set on the next few weeks. The depleted Ottawa defense and goaltending will have their hands full with this Bruins lineup who will be hungry to get two points tonight. Danny Taylor gets the call tonight in his first appearance with the Sens, while Anton Khudobin is in nets for Boston.

What I Am Looking Forward To

Tonight’s game gives Boston another chance at sweeping the season series of yet another Atlantic division team, the first being Montreal. But more importantly, this game gives them an opportunity to get the top spot in the Eastern Conference. While Boston has already clinched a playoff spot, there is still the question of seeding and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs. And with Tampa also playing tonight, we’ll have a better look at what it’ll be like after tonight. It should be a shooting gallery tonight since Ottawa always gives up a lot of shots and Taylor hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2013 season.

PERIOD ONE

After a somber opening with a touching tribute to the Humboldt Broncos hockey organization, the game got underway. Boston came out hard and got some good zone time to start off the game, but couldn’t convert early. The Bruins were given a power play after a pretty weak call on Zack Smith and only got one shot on net during the two-minute advantage. The Sens struck first after Boston had some bad defensive play inside their own blueline. Ottawa continued to get good chances with their speed. The game started to get more physical around the five-minute mark. The teams headed to the dressing rooms with Ottawa leading by one. Boston was getting chances throughout the opening period but just couldn’t get anything solid going.

Scoring

BOS – N/A

OTT – Dzingel (Duchene, White)

PERIOD TWO

Boston came out of the intermission on a mission. While only minutes into the period, the Bruins looked like a team trying to force OT late in the game. Desperation plays at the offensive bluelines and pile-ups in front of the net. The Bruins also played well on the penalty kill. After a dangerous hit by Mark Borowiecki on Jake DeBrusk, the Bruins headed to the power play which didn’t last long. Pastrnak scored less than ten seconds after the puck was dropped to kick off the power play after a great cross-ice pass. Right after the game-tying goal, the Bruins were right back at it in Ottawa’s end. The line of Schaller, Acciari, and Wingels were buzzing around the zone, hitting anything that moved. This resulted in a turnover where Tommy Wingels walked into the slot and wired a shot that bounced around after the initial contact and was eventually knocked into the net by Taylor himself. 2-1 Boston. After some good defensive play, the Bruins sent the puck out of their own end to their blueline where Thomas Chabot was waiting for the puck, but it bounced through his feet which led to a two-on-one which ended with Danton Heinen picking the far corner with his great shot. 3-1 Boston at the end of two.

Scoring

BOS – Pastrnak PP (Bergeron, Krug), Wingels (Unassisted), Heinen (Gionta, McQuaid)

OTT – N/A

PERIOD THREE

Bobby Ryan started off the period by running Anton Khudobin over, but no penalty was necessary because it wasn’t called a goal. Boston continued to get chances, but Taylor was solid the first five minutes. Ottawa clawed their way back into the game after Ryan Dzingel walked around Anton Khudobin and tucked it in to close the gap to one goal. Backes was called for a trip with 7:22 left to play, but this would be uneventful. Noel Acciari would seal the game with a great breakaway move that went five-hole on Taylor. Backes would add an empty-netter to end the game at 5-2.

Scoring

BOS – Acciari (Chara, Schaller), Backes EN (Heinen)

OTT – Dzingel (White)

POSTGAME

With most of the Bruins defense finally healthy, it’ll be hard to say which one will be the odd man out this playoff season. While the Bruins brass may not be looking too far into these stats, you have to think that it’ll be a difficult decision when it comes down to it.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Anton Khudobin – Without the play of Khudobin, the Bruins wouldn’t have been in this too long. Only needing to face 28 shots tonight, Khudobin came up big on power plays and was stellar in the final minutes when the Sens brought the heat.

2nd: Patrice Bergeron – Bergeron was great as usual tonight. He drew a penalty and had three shots on net with a 60% win percentage in the faceoff dot. He was also credited with two takeaways and assisted on the Bruins first goal. He may not have been on the scoresheet too much, but he played a great game defensivly and creating oppertunites in the offensive zone.

3rd: Danton Heinen – The only Bruins player to get two points tonight, including the game-winner and an assist on the empty net goal. A great game for the rookie tonight, or as captain Zdeno Chara wants them to be called, first-year player Danton Heinen.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): The Forth Line – I couldn’t decide who was the stand out on this line tonight. They all battled and mucked up the corners every shift. It’s great to see Tommy Wingels fit in so well with this line with Sean Kuraly out of the lineup.

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

NEXT GAME

Sunday, April 8th in Boston vs Florida

 

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

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

 

Boston Bruins: Defining Resilience

BABY B's

Photo Credit:    Forbes / Boston Bruins / YouTube

By: Anastasia Zolides | Follow on Twitter @azolides

Resilience. Described by Merriam-Webster as the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. History has had its share of resilient feats, and the 2017-2018 Bruins team is one in the making.

It’s safe to say that the Boston Bruins are no strangers of misfortune or change. By the end of the 2016-2017 regular season, the Bruins had relieved head coach Claude Julien after 10 seasons, earned a total of 95 points, and a shot at the playoffs, only to fall to the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round.

Flash forward a year later, and the B’s are 47-17-11,  and in 2nd  place in the Atlantic Division, with a chance to top the long-reigning Tampa Bay with a win at home Thursday. They have surpassed last season’s point total by 10 points, clinching the second playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, coming in third overall in the league. But it’s been a long road to the top.

Bruised, but not broken.

As we know, the Black and Gold have been plagued by injuries this season, David Backes is a recent addition with a leg laceration during the last match against the Tampa Bay Lightning. At its worst, the Bruins injury list included Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Torey Krug, Rick Nash and Anders Bjork, who is out for the remainder of the season.

With a growing roster of injured players, head coach Bruce Cassidy has relied on the youth to step up and get the job done without hesitation. Guys like Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Danton Heinen, and Sean Kuraly have all risen to the challenge of filling the noticeable void left by the fallen B’s. The newest acquisition, Ryan Donato, has stepped up in a big way, scoring three goals in his NHL debut against Columbus (click the link to check out what fellow writer Andrew Thompson had to say about that).

The Bruins have been notorious for allowing the other team to score first this season, but that hasn’t necessarily been a death sentence for the B’s, with their win against Dallas being the most recent example. Trailing the Stars 2-0 going into the final 20 minutes of the game, Brad Marchand, Tim Schaller, and David Pastrnak rallied to put the Bruins on top by the final 11 seconds.

 

With the regular season coming to an end, there’s no question that Cassidy and the B’s have exceeded all expectations and reignited our passion and faith in Boston’s team. You’re lying to yourself if you say this team hasn’t been exciting and refreshing to watch, and as they make their way into this year’s playoffs, this team is definitely living up to their “Big, Bad” name.

Through and through, the Bruins have proven that with hard work and dedication, injuries and other misfortunes are inevitable, and it’s about how you handle those trials. “You take the situation in front of you, and I believe that it’s 20 percent of what happens to you and 80 percent how you respond to it,” Backes said, speaking on his recent injury. Not only is that true of any injury, but his statement is a perfect example of how Cassidy has taken his roster of young guns and veterans and created an impressive and resilient team; one that doesn’t quit and definitely keeps fans on the edge of their seats.

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

BFR1 – Game 56 – Twilight Zone – VAN 6, BOS 1

BFR1 - Game 56 Pic

By: Spencer Fascetta                                                                           Twitter: @PuckNerdHockey

 

Well, that was a poor showing. In one of the longest BFRs of the season, I had a few thoughts on the shocking showings the Bruins have had in the last week, and the asinine trade deadline rumors surrounding the team.

Providence Bruins Czarnik Continues Outstanding Play

( Above Photo Credit:  Alan Sullivan Photography )

By: Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues All-Star Classic festivities are set to kick off tonight at 8pm with the Skills Competition from the Adirondack Bank Center, and All-Star Challenge set for puck drop in the four-team  3-on-3 round-robin tournament at 7pm tomorrow night. This is the second time in four-years the city of Utica, New York has hosted the event since pro hockey returned to the area in 2013. Providence Bruins forward Austin Czarnik was selected to represent the B’s and will participate in his first Mid-Season event of his young professional career.

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In tonight’s All-Star Skills Competition, the fast and skilled Czarnik will be involved in a few events such as event three and AHL Live sponsored Rapid Fire, event six and Turning Stone Resort Casino sponsored Pass and Score, and finally, event seven and Dunkin” Donuts sponsored Breakaway Relay. All events the crafty forward will be participating in tonight’s fun test of skills and speed will fit well as the 25-year-old is once again putting in a solid effort this season for the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins. The 5′-9″ 161-pound has had a tremendous career in the AHL, and with all of this solid play and league recognition, it remains to be seen where his talents bring him after this summer as he’s currently on his last season of his one-year extension he signed back in July of 2017.

The 5′-9″ 161-pound has had a tremendous career in the AHL, and with all of this solid play and league recognition, it remains to be seen where his talents bring him after this summer as he’s currently on his last season of his one-year extension he signed back in July of 2017.  Czarnik, a Washington Township native has worked hard to become a solid 200-foot player going back to his colligate days with the University of Miami (Ohio) where he posted 169 points in 159 games played.  Signed as an undrafted free agent out of college at the end of March in 2015, the offensive-minded versatile forward transitioned his point-per-game style nicely as an undersized talent to the AHL where he’s very close to being a point-per-game career AHL’er with 126 points in 130 games all with the Providence team.

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This season Czarnik has 11-29-40 numbers in 37 games played and leads the team in overall points, assists, and is fourth in goals, one behind veteran Kenny Agostino who has 12. He also leads the team on the power-play with five goals as he plays that Ryan Spooner style game on the man advantage being the pivot man between the forwards near or behind the net and defensemen along the point. His leadership and willing to learn even though he’s spent a few seasons in the highest developmental league has instilled a lot of trust from first-year Head Coach Jay Leach to be a key voice on and off the ice to younger players who recently started minor-pro hockey.

Last night Providence suffered an unfortunate 5-2 loss to the surprisingly hot Springfield Thunderbirds and after the B’s went 11-2-1-0 in the final month of 2017, the transition to the new year has been somewhat concerning as the games in January 2018 have produced a 4-6-0-1 record which is the worse of the current 2017-18 campaign. Regardless of the “teams” struggles, Czarnik remains to put a solid individual effort together this season, and with a goal in last night’s loss, he has goals in his previous two games and accrued points in his last six appearances which is a career and 2017-18 season high.

I believe Austin has, in fact, earned consideration for at least another one-year deal. His presence continues to be a valued in the minor system when it comes to “depth players” and could be heavily considered as one to recall if a position needs to be filled up the middle or on the right side. Czarnik’s career NHL numbers of 14 points in 55 games shouldn’t be a knock on him nor his NHL potential, as most players like him take the longer road to higher-level careers. For me, I see value in a players role above immediate top-level pro success as an NHL franchise can’t continue without the facilitating franchises in the lower leagues of development and training. Regardless, I look forward to seeing what Czarnik can do in the remaining 32 games and the process over the summer when it comes to his restricted free-agent status.

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As a fan that pays close attention to all levels of the Bruins organization, gauging his first full NHL career season is not an easy thing at all when drafted players from the team may hold higher value. Depending what happens to players like Sean Kuraly, Riley Nash, Fran Vatrano, Tim Schaller, and Ryan Spooner and their individual contract status, Czarnik would most likely be passed over for a player like Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson for his stronger 200-foot two-way game but might find space in other areas of the top 12 offensive structure. Also can’t neglect the fact that he could have a faster climb to NHL success with another NHL franchise who might also want to add a player like Austin on the cheap if the Bruins don’t see a potential future as both sides went into the 2015 entry-level signing on the cheap and worth the gamble.

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence,  Rhode Island.  You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.

Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pbruinsfanclub

Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
401.426.8277