Bruins’ Options If Rask Decides To Retire After 2020-21 Season

( Photo Credit: The Athletic / theathletic.com )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewlindrothh

According to Matt Porter of The Boston Globe, in a recent interview with Boston Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask, he recently claimed he would not rule out the option of retiring after his contract expires in the 2021 off-season. With this being said, this could drastically affect the Bruins as their unstoppable goalie tandem of Rask and Jaroslav Halak, as Halak’s contract expires this upcoming 2020 off-season and now with the possibility of Rask retiring after the 2021 season. The Bruins could be looking at a completely different rotation of goalies in the near future, but what will that look like?

Jeremy Swayman

( Photo Credit: UMaine Athletics / GoBlackBears.com )

The 6’3, 187-pound goaltender, Jeremy Swayman, was Boston’s fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and since then committed to playing for the University of Maine. Swayman played for three years at the NCAA level and finished with an impressive resume, averaging a .930% save percentage and 2.40 GAA. He was lights out last this past 2019-2020 season, collecting 18 wins with three shutouts, 2.07 GAA, and an astounding .939% save percentage. Due to his stellar year, Swayman was named 2019-2020 Hockey East Player of the Year.

Swayman recently surrendered his senior year at the University of Maine and signed a three-year entry-level contract worth $925k a season with the Boston Bruins. If Swayman performs well during camp this year, you will most likely see him suit up for Bruins AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. The current goaltenders for Providence are Maxime Legacé and Daniel Vladar, but both goaltenders’ contracts will expire this upcoming off-season. There is no doubt Swayman will look to capitalize on this opportunity and prove to everyone that he is the future of the Bruins goal-tending.

Kyle Keyser

( Photo Credit: Atlanta Gladiators )

The 6’2, 179-pound goaltender, Kyle Keyser, is another young player just entering the Boston Bruins organization. Keyser signed an entry-level contract deal with the Bruins in 2017, but that contract did not begin until this past season when he made his professional debut with the Providence Bruins for six starts, and the Bruins’ 2019-2020 ECHL affiliate, Atlanta Gladiators, for one game. In his six-game stint with Providence, he only secured one win and maintained a .890% save percentage, and lost his only start with the Atlanta Gladiators making 18 saves.

Although he was off to a slow start for the Bruins’ minor-league affiliates, he stole the show when playing for Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2016-2019. In 2018-2019, Keyser appeared in 47 regular-season games and came up huge for the Generals with 32 wins and a 0.915% save percentage. Keyser is packaged with a ton of potential and will be with the Bruins organization until the 2022 off-season.

Daniel Vladar

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

The 6’5, 185-pound goaltender, Dan Vladar, was chosen as a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and has been with the Boston Bruins minor league affiliates Providence Bruins and Atlanta Gladiators since the 2016-2017 season. His entry-level contract expires this upcoming off-season. Vladar has been developing each year for an opportunity to start with the Bruins, and he proved he could be a reliable back-up in case Halak decides not to re-sign this off-season, or to help replace Rask if he decided to retire after this next season.

This past season with the Providence Bruins, he led the American Hockey League (AHL) with a 0.936% save percentage and 1.79 GAA. He played in 25 games and helped Providence with 14 wins, and collected three shutouts. Although his contract is up this off-season, I hope the Bruins take advantage of his restricted free-agent status and re-signs Vladar to a new deal as he could be part of the Bruins next unstoppable goalie tandem.

Although Halak’s status for a contract extension with the Bruins is unknown, it is also possible he re-signs with the Bruins for more than one year and takes over Rasks’ starting position as one of the other goalie prospects continues to develop and serve as a back-up to Halak. For now, it is safe to say the Boston Bruins have promising goalie prospects, and we can all look forward to watching them play soon.

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

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Philadelphia: 3/10/20

 

Unknown

Photo Courtesy Of NBC Sports Boston

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Home: Philadelphia Flyers (41-20-7)

Away: Boston Bruins (43-14-12)

Philadelphia’s Lineup

Forwards

Giroux-Couturier-Voracek

Farabee-Hayes-Konecny

Laughton-Grant-Pitlick

Raffl-Thompson-Aube-Kubel

Defense

Provorov-Niskanen

Sanheim-Hagg

Gostisbehere-Braun

Goalies

Hart

Elliott

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Ritchie-Krejci-Kase

Kuraly-Coyle-DeBrusk

Nordstrom-Lindholm-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Grzelcyk-Lauzon

Moore-Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

First Period

Neither team had much going offensively in the opening moments as few shots were put on goal on either side. The Bruins started to maintain an attacking zone rhythm toward the midway point of the period but the Flyers did as well as they drew a penalty with 13:40 left. The B’s killed off the man advantage thanks to a couple of monster saves by Tuukka Rask including a phenomenal stop on Travis Konecny. Rask continued to have a strong period as they got a number of quality chances after the power play. The Bruins continued to have trouble getting possession of the puck past the midway point of the period as the Flyers started to take control of the game.

Late in the period Boston went to the penalty kill yet again as Brad Marchand was called for holding in the neutral zone. Philadelphia didn’t manage much on the power play except for a couple shots that Rask stopped rather easily and the game remained scoreless going into the final moments of the period. The Bruins picked up a final minute power play as Ivan Provorov was called for a high stick.

Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

The Bruins began the period on the power play that was picked up at the end of the first. The Flyers killed off the penalty and even got a number of shorthanded opportunities on Rask. Bruce Cassidy seemed to shuffle the forward lines in the middle period to try to ignite some offense to get the B’s going. The Bruins started to find an offensive rhythm at the midway point of the period as they looked to be the more energetic team. Rask continued to be busy as the Flyers threw shots on goal from nearly every angle.

The Bruins continued to have trouble maintaining much of an offensive rhythm and as a result lagged behind Philadelphia in shots on goal. The Flyers picked up their third power play of the night as Marchand went to the box again with under six minutes left in the period. Boston killed off the penalty once again as Rask stood tall which to that point was becoming the story of the game. The B’s responded as they drew a penalty on Justin Braun immediately after, giving them an opportunity to take the lead. Matt Grzelcyk finally opened the scoring with a bomb from the point as the B’s took the late period lead.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Third Period

The B’s opened the period with some great energy as they looked to extend the lead in the early moments of the third. The Flyers continued to get shots on goal but Rask continued to come up big. The B’s looked like the aggressor in the final period as they pushed hard for another goal to take control of the game. The tempo of the game started to pick up past the midway point of the period as both teams started to get a bit desperate. Both teams traded chances down the stretch, going end to end a couple times but the score remained the same thanks to stellar goaltending. Patrice Bergeron doubled the Boston lead with a long wrist shot past Carter Hart with over five minutes to go.

Immediately following the goal, Scott Laughton was called for a high stick which resulted in a Bruins power play, giving them a chance to essentially put the game on ice. The Flyers killed it off despite some great puck movement by Boston and still had a chance to get back in the game. Philadelphia pulled Hart with about 2:30 to play as they looked for a couple of quick goals.

Final Score: 2-0 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Rask

Second Star: Grzelcyk

Third Star: Bergeron

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 169 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Tampa Bay at Boston: 03/07/20

cut (53)

PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

The NHL’s best team is back at home after going undefeated on a three-game road trip that saw wins over the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Florida Panthers. Boston holds a nine-point lead over the Lightning for the top position in the Atlantic Division with a 43-13-12 record with just over a month left of hockey to play. On Thursday, the Bruins took a tight 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers in overtime to extend their current winning streak to four games.

Tampa Bay lost to the Bruins earlier in the week, but enter tonight’s game following a convincing 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night as well. The Lightning have not been excellent as of late, going 5-5-0 in their last ten games played and with the loss of superstar Steven Stamkos for the remainder of the regular season and potentially somewhat into the postseason, wins are difficult to come by. Tampa is second in the Atlantic Division with a 42-20-5 record.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (43-13-12)

Away: Tampa Bay Lightning (42-20-5)

Bruins’ Last Game: 2-1 OT win vs FLA

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Boston Bruins defenceman Brandon Carlo (upper-body) will not play tonight after taking an elbow to the face from Florida Panthers forward Evgeni Dadonov. John Moore takes his spot alongside Torey Krug on the defensive pairing. Tuukka Rask gets the start in goal.

First Period:

Early in the game, the Bruins get some good offensive pressure and a couple decent chances from Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak who connected on a long pass for a 1-on-1 play for Pastrnak against Kevin Shattenkirk but the shot was stopped by Vasilevskiy. Roughly five minutes into the game, the Lightning had four recorded blocked shots.

5:01 into the game, Barclay Goodrow lands his elbow to the head of Ondrej Kase and the Bruins will go to their first power-play of the game. Only six seconds onto the man-advantage, however, Anthony Cirelli takes the puck and races down the ice to snipe one blocker side past Rask and the Lightning take a 1-0 lead off a shorthanded goal.

One-minute-and-two-seconds later, Mihkail Sergachev is fed the puck in the slot and wrists one past Rask again to give Tampa Bay a two-goal lead off two shorthanded goals. Not a good start for the Bruins who just seem to be lacking on the smaller details of their game early on.

Not long later, Chris Wagner lands a hard hit on Mikael Sergachev behind the Bruins net and then proceeds to drop the gloves with Goodrow for the hit on Kase. Both Wagner and Goodrow get offsetting unsportsmanlike conducts for dropping the gloves and it heads to four-on-four. As soon as the penalties end, Wagner and Goodrow meet at center ice to drop the mitts and Wagner’s fight brings some much-needed life back into the TD Garden.

Another good span in the offensive zone for the Bruins from the Kuraly-Coyle-DeBrusk third line as Kuraly came from behind the Tampa Bay net to nearly feed DeBrusk in the slot. Just moments before that, Charlie Coyle’s one-timer was stopped by Vasilevskiy. During the zone time, Cedric Paquette takes a hooking minor and Boston goes to the power-play again. A bit of a better man-advantage this time around, but nearly all of Boston’s shot attempts were blocked before they even got close to Vasilevskiy. Back to even-strength.

Bruins got a few high-volume shots towards the Lightning net in the time after the pair of Tampa goals but failed to score on any of them. With 45.7 seconds left to tick away in the frame, Jeremy Lauzon gets whistled down on an interference minor and Boston goes to the penalty-kill. Period ends, Lightning will have 1:15 of power-play time to begin the second.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 14 TBL: 5

Score: 2-0 Lightning – Goals: Cirelli (16) SHG Unassisted; Sergachev (10) SHG Assists: Gourde (18)

Second Period:

Down two goals, the Bruins need some spark offensively to cut into Tampa’s lead but early on, Zach Bogosian takes the puck into Boston’s zone and around the net before finding Cedric Paquette for a tap-in goal and a 3-0 lead for the Bolts. Poor defense for the B’s here and now have a tough three-goal deficit to come back from.

Not long after the goal, Bruins forward Brett Ritchie lays a big hit on Brayden Point in the corner of the boards which brings some noise to the Bruins crowd. Ritchie has not been afraid to use the body since his arrival to Boston on Trade Deadline day. That physicality will likely be huge in the postseason if it continues.

Near the end of the period, David Pastrnak takes a shot on Vasilevskiy, leading to a potential Marchand rebound attempt. Marchand took another clean swipe at the puck before getting pushed by Cirelli and then Marchand gets attacked by numerous Lightning players along the boards, but somehow Marchand and Cirelli get matching minors.

On the 4-on-4 session, Jake DeBrusk does a fantastic job driving hard to the net, allowing Charlie McAvoy to snap a gorgeous shot past Vasilevskiy to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to only one goal. This goal does not happen if DeBrusk doesn’t stay strong on the net drive to make the defense stay honest and providing a small screen for the McAvoy shot. 3-1.

All of a sudden, with the home Boston crowd roaring, the Bruins keep coming back with tons of pressure on the Tampa defense. Unlike the beginning stages of the second period, the Bruins have their skating legs and are hard on the board battles. A net-front battle eventually leads to Sean Kuraly tapping in what looks to be a goal, but it is waived off on the ice. As the play goes back the other way, the siren sounds meaning Toronto likely saw a goal and after review, it became apparent that Kuraly scored and now it is a 3-2 game.

Then, all hell breaks loose. The Bruins and Lightning engage in a line brawl with multiple fights breaking out and a ton of pushing and shoving. At the end of it all, here are all the penalties including some at the horn:

BOS F Sean Kuraly – 10-minute misconduct
TBL F Blake Coleman – 10-minute misconduct
BOS F Brett Ritchie – 10-minute misconduct
TBL F Erik Cernak – 10-minute misconduct
TBL F Patrick Maroon – 5-minute major (fighting)
BOS D Zdeno Chara – 5-minute major (fighting)
BOS F Brad Marchand – 2-minute minor (slashing)
TBL Bench Minor – 2-minute minor (delay-of-game) – assistant coach barking at the refs, was ejected from the game

And the second period ends emphatically there.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 28 TBL: 15

Score: 3-2 Lightning – Goals: Paquette (7) Assists: Bogosian (6), Coburn (3); McAvoy (5) Assists: Coyle (21), Grzelcyk (17); Kuraly (6) Assists: McAvoy (27), Kase (17)

Third Period:

The final regulation period starts with a brief 4-on-4 session that sees no goals. However, on Tampa’s shortened power-play off of Marchand’s slashing minor during the intermission, Sergachev takes a point shot that was tipped in by Alex Killorn and the Bolts regain their two-goal advantage just over one minute into the third period.

After some good chances on both ends for either team, Nikita Kucherov gets called on a minor penalty and the Bruins are going to another power-play opportunity. On an offensive zone faceoff win, Torey Krug skates backward towards the point and makes a cross-ice pass to David Pastrnak who unloaded a cannon from way downtown to make this one a 4-3 hockey game. Pastrnak takes sole possession of the league-lead in goals with his 48th of the season.

And once again, the two teams get into a scuffle after a whistle roughly nine minutes into the game. In the mix of it all, Bergeron gets sent to the box for two minutes for a delay-of-game penalty (puck over the glass) and now the Bruins go to a very important penalty-kill. During the possession time, McAvoy, Chara, and Tyler Johnson were engaging in a hard battle with cross-checks in front of Tuukka Rask that leads to another post-whistle scrum. Bruins make the kill.

Just around seven minutes to go, David Pastrnak receives a great pass to be sent alone on a breakaway but his fantastic shot is shut down by Vasilevskiy who keeps this a one-goal contest. Moments later, as Ondrej Kase stickhandles the puck through the neutral zone, Tyler Johnson’s stick interferes with him and takes him down, however, the officials call both the stick infraction and embellishment on Kase so we go to 4-on-4 for two minutes.

With 1:02 remaining, Nikita Kucherov picks up a loose puck from a falling David Krejci and buries it in the empty-net. Tampa Bay wins this one, 5-3 and win the season series over the Bruins.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 38 TBL: 25

Final Score: 5-3 Lightning

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: TBL G Andrei Vasilevskiy – 35 Saves on 38 Shots, .921 SV%

2nd Star: TBL D Mikhail Sergachev – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Hits, 29:05 TOI

3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 4 Hits, 25:45 TOI

The Bruins now only have a seven-point lead on Tampa Bay for first in the Atlantic Division and look to their next game on Tuesday against the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers who have won nine consecutive games.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Boston Bruins Defeat Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1

Image result for jake debrusk vs lightning(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It was going to be a physically fast game and the Boston Bruins came out victorious as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 tonight at the Amalie Arena.

GAME RECAP

The Bruins were more than ready to face the Bolts and with the start of the first period underway, the boys in Black and Gold kept momentum on their side. Shots favored the Bruins 13-to-9  and despite some push back from the Lightning, Boston would get on board first. With 55 seconds left in the period, Brad Marchand (who was a game-time decision) would tip in his 28th goal of the season, putting the B’s up 1-0.  Both teams each drew a penalty in the first period and had many golden opportunities to score (including a potential short-handed goal from Boston).

Continuing with the fast pace, Boston pushed hard towards the net with many missed chances early in the second period, forcing Andrei Vasilevskiy to make multiple saves.  As the Bruins tried to keep momentum on their side, Tampa Bay’s Yanni Gourde would score. However, Boston would challenge for an offside and the goal was reversed, stomping out hopes for a tie.  Moments after, the B’s would draw a penalty but the Lightning limited Boston’s shots on goal. With ten minutes left in the second period, Boston’s Jake DeBrusk would net the second goal of the night, ending a personal 10-game point-less drought.

As frustration grew for the Lightning,  Tampa Bay persisted with their game plan and was able to cut the lead in half as Mitchell Stephens scored his third goal of the season. With mere seconds left in the period, tempers flared between the teams as both Joakim Nordstrom and Yanni Gourde traded shots.

In the final period, the Bruins slowed the pace down in order to keep control of game-flow. The Bolts had a potential goal on a breakaway but were unable to capitalize as Tuukka Rask blocked their attempts.  With the Lightning hot on their heels, Boston had a hard time clearing the puck out of their zone. With time winding down,  the Bolts continued to put pressure on Boston but were unable to mount any sort of comeback. In the final minutes of the game, the Bruins kept the Lightning at bay. Boston would go on to win their third game in a row.

With the victory over the Bolts,  the Bruins widen the gap in the Atlantic Division with nine points over Tampa Bay. They improve their record to 42-13-12 while the Lightning are second in the league with a respectable 41-20-5 record.

FINAL SCORE: BOS -2, TBL- 1

TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS- 35, TBL- 21

NEXT UP FOR THE BRUINS: Thursday, March 5th vs. Florida Panthers with puck drop at 7:00 PM.  Watch on: NESN, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

 

Bruins Dominate The Month Of February

( Photo Credit: The Hockey News | thehockeynews.com )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The Boston Bruins were red-hot in February, winning 11 games and only losing three. The Bruins faced off against eight Western Conference teams and played five original-six match-ups. They were also dominant in regulation, forcing only two games into overtime and not a single shootout. The Bruins also had to endure the challenge of four back-to-back games and won six out of eight games. To conclude the month of February, David Pastrnak ended up being named NHL’s 3rd Star of the Month.

Bruins’ Stars Of The Month

No surprise here, the ‘Perfection Line’ was incredibly impressive in the 14 games played in February, combining for 23 goals and 48 points. Brad Marchand is currently riding a nine-game point streak, had six multi-point games, and finished the month with six goals and 17 points with a +8 rating. Patrice Bergeron tallied seven goals, 12 points with a +10 rating, and averaged over 50% in face-off-wins. Pastrnak led the Bruins with 10 goals and 19 points.

Charlie Coyle showed off his versatility in February, scoring a goal on the power-play as well as the short-handed unit, which ended up being the game-winning goal. He was also dealt with the challenge of having several different wingers in-and-out of his line and playing a new role on the central power-play unit. Coyle finished the month with seven goals and a +6 rating.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Bruins’ fourth-line were very effective in shutting down other teams’ top lines and found ways to chip in to help their team win. Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner were the matching partners, with the third forward spot rotating between Par Lindholm, Anton Blidh, and Joakim Nordstrom. Kuraly and Wagner brought energy and power to the lineup every game, both players combined for three goals, seven points, and 73 hits with a +4 rating.

It’s safe to say Charlie McAvoy’s’ best month of the season was February, starting with breaking the curse and finally scoring his first goal of the season. He has maintained a strong physical presence and continues to eat up over 20 minutes of on-ice time per game. For the month, he tallied four goals and 13 points with a whopping +13 rating.

There is no doubt that the heroes for February are Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Having the ability to utilize both goalies, especially during a back-to-back game situation, really gives the Bruins an advantage late in the season to pick up those difficult two points. Rask collected six wins, two shutouts, and a .929% save percentage. Halak finished the month with five wins and a .912% save percentage.

Stepping It Up

The Bruins’ second line struggled to find their offensive touch this past month, and Bruce Cassidy decided to change it up last game by moving Nick Ritchie up to David Krejci’s’ left-wing and Ondrej Kase to his right-wing. Jake DeBrusk, Krejci’s’ usual left-wing partner, managed only two goals and four points with a -4 rating. David Krejci didn’t do so hot either, managing only one goal and six points with a -3 rating. With the addition of Ritchie (who recently scored his first goal as a Bruin) and Kase, Krejci will have more options on the wing and have the potential to develop consistent chemistry.

The young guns, Karson Kuhlman and Anders Bjork have a lot to prove before the end of the season because there is a line of players fighting for their spot. Kuhlman was unsuccessful at sparking the offensive for the second-line and scraped away with one goal and three points with a +2 rating. Recently, Cassidy relocated him to the third-line with Coyle and Bjork. Bjork went cold as well, scoring one goal and four points with a +2 rating. Kuhlman and Bjork were both healthy scratches for one game in February, and they will need to generate some offense soon to cement their spot in the line-up for the playoffs.

Looking Ahead

The Boston Bruins are first in the league, but that does not mean they can sit back and let any points slide by. There are 16 games left in the season, which means 32 points are up for grabs, and anything can happen at this point. They do not have an easy road to the playoffs, as their journey continues in Tampa on Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST. The Bruins are off to a great start, but they will need to restore their scoring depth and continue to play the full 60-minutes each game.

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins’ Salary Cap Outlook: 2020 Off-Season

( Photo credit: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

With the trade deadline in the past and the playoffs starting in a few weeks, everyone’s focus is in the moment, but it’s essential to look ahead and see what the future holds, starting with the 2020 off-season. The Bruins are known for their tight salary cap situation, but thanks to the Bruins’ GM, Don Sweeney’s most recent trade deadline deals open up a significant amount of cap space, but who will the Bruins re-sign?

Projected Cap Space

According to CapFriendly, the Bruins are projected to have around $22.2M-$23.75M in cap space for the off-season, as it looks like there will be a bonus overage of $1.5M (TBD). At first glance, it seems like the Bruins have plenty in the bank to negotiate with, but players like Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, and Jaroslav Halak, may demand a pay rise that will put more than a dent into their salary cap for next season. With that being said, the Bruins will need to prioritize.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Jaroslav Halak (UFA)

There is no doubt that the Bruins have one of the best goalie tandems in the league between Tuukka Rask and Halak. Both goalies sharing the starting duties have been a recipe for success starting in the 2018-2019 season, with Halak starting in 37 games, collecting 22 wins, and a .922% save percentage. Sharing starting positions allowed Rask to remain fresh entering the playoffs, where he had a historic playoff run leading the Bruins to a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Even though Halak didn’t start in a single game during the 2019 playoffs, if called upon, Halak would be the Bruins’ best option going forward in case of an injury to Rask. So far this season, Halak has started in 28 games, collecting 17 wins and a 0.917% save percentage. He will be a UFA at the end of this season, and will likely desire a pay raise worth $3M-$4M per season. Although Halak is 34 years old, he still has plenty of hockey left in the tank and will continue to be a valuable piece for the Bruins.

Torey Krug (UFA)

Torey Krug, the quarterback of the Bruins’ central power-play unit, will be one of the Bruins’ main priorities in the off-season. Krug is a vital piece to the blue-line and activates an offensive spark, especially on the man-advantage, and so far this season has two power-play goals and 24 power-play points, only four short of his career-high of 28 from the 2018-2019 season. During the 2019 playoffs, he continued to be an absolute force on the power-play, tallying two goals and 10 points.

Krug’s current cap hit stands at $5.0M per season, and with him setting up to become a UFA in the off-season, the Bruins’ management should not be stingy with the defenceman’s asking price. The recent deals made before the deadline have made enough room in their cap space for the Bruins to re-sign Krug no matter the asking price. So far this season, Krug leads all Bruins’ defenders with eight goals and 45 points. It is a no-brainer that the Bruins need to re-sign Krug, but at what cost? I believe Krug’s price range for the Bruins will be between $7M-$8M per season.

 

Jake DeBrusk (RFA)

The 14th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Jake DeBrusk, will be the most interesting contract negotiation this off-season. DeBrusk is known for his elite scoring ability and speed, but has shown to be inconsistent at times and is facing a regression this season.

Playing in 70 games his rookie season in 2017-2018, DeBrusk produced 16 goals and 43 points with a +16 rating. He carried that success over to the following 2018-2019 season, producing 27 goals and 42 points with a +2 rating in 68 games played. So far this season though, DeBrusk has suffered several cold-streaks off the score sheet, and currently has one goal, one assist and a -5 rating in the past 11 games.

Despite having only two points in his past 11 games, DeBrusk is only two goals away from having his second 20-goal campaign and is only nine points short of his career-high of 43. Because of his recent inconsistencies, Cassidy has moved DeBrusk down to the third-line with Charlie Coyle. DeBrusk can use this time to build chemistry with Coyle and regain his offensive touch again. His entry-level contract is about to expire, and I predict the price to re-sign DeBrusk will be between the $3M-$4M range.

Zdeno Chara (UFA)

Yes, the 43-year old Iron Man, Zdeno Chara. Even though fans were very reluctant to bring the Bruins’ Captain back on board last season, Sweeney has made it very clear that Chara has the right to play in Boston. “I think he’s earned the right to determine [his future here] and when his career will end,” Sweeney said back on Bruins Media Day. “As long as his game aligns with his pride and preparations that he wants to put forth to keep it at the level he’s accustomed to having it to then we are going to explore having him as part of our group. He’s an impactful player.”

Chara continues to be an impactful player, registering five goals and 13 points with a +24 rating so far this season. He also provides a wealth of leadership and continues to build on the legacy he’s been building with Boston since 2006-2007. Chara also continues to be one of the Bruins’ most reliable players on the penalty-kill unit and maintains over 20 minutes of average time-on-ice per game. If Chara believes he is fit for another season, it would be in the Bruins’ best interest to re-sign him for another year between $1M-$2M.

Bold Predictions

Other Bruins players who will be looking to extend their contracts at the end of the season are; Matt Grzelcyk (RFA), Joakim Nordstrom (UFA), Anders Bjork (RFA), Karson Kuhlman (RFA), and Kevan Miller (UFA). If the Bruins were to re-sign Halak, Krug, DeBrusk, and Chara at my predicted amount(s), they would have about $5M-$8M left in cap space. Does this leave room for Sweeney to make a trade, or sign other depth-players with expiring contracts?

I predict the Boston Bruins will re-sign Halak, Krug, DeBrusk, and Chara. I also believe the Bruins will look to come to terms with Grzelcyk, Bjork, and Kuhlman, but I believe they will let Nordstrom walk and because of injuries, will not re-sign Miller. If you were the GM of the Boston Bruins, what moves would you make this off-season?

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Calgary: 2/25/20

NHL: Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins

Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Calgary Flames

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Ritchie – Coyle – Bjork

Kuraly – Lindholm – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Lauzon

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Calgary’s Lineup

Forwards

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm

Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk

Lucic – Ryan – Dube

Bennett – Jankowski – Rieder

Defense

Brodie – Stone

Hanifin – Andersson

Forbort – Gustafsson

Goalies

Rittich

Talbot

Last time the Bruins and Flames played, it was a wild one in Calgary. The Bruins came out on top by a score of 4-3. This time around, it’s Rask vs. Rittich, as opposed to Halak vs. Talbot in net. The Flames added Derek Forbort from the Los Angeles Kings, as well as Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks, both for a conditional draft pick each in trade deadline moves.

The Bruins added Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie in separate deals with the Anaheim Ducks. Ritchie was made his Bruins debut, Kase did not, as he continues to get acclimated. Flames captain, Mark Giordano was a game-time decision and didn’t end up playing due to a hamstring injury.

The celebration for Jaroslav Halak hitting the 500-game milestone was held before puck drop. The ceremony featuring a tribute video and a series of gifts took place on the ice. Congratulations to Jaro on this remarkable milestone. Additionally, Par Lindholm suited up for his 100th career game. Congratulations to him as well.

First Period

Brad Marchand forced the first power play of the game in the form of a hooking penalty on T.J. Brodie. Despite a few great looks, two of which were blocked by Flames defensemen, Michael Stone and Derek Forbort, the Bruins couldn’t convert on the man advantage.

A turnover at the offensive blue line by Charlie McAvoy springboarded a sequence that eventually led to Matthew Tkachuk sending a backhand chance past Tuukka Rask. Despite being outshot early, Calgary got on the board first with 8:25 remaining in the opening period.

To make things worse, Marchand took an interference penalty just over three minutes later with 5:10 remaining. The Bruins killed it off and the lead stayed at one for the Flames into the first intermission. The Bruins held a 9-7 edge in shots on goal, but trailed on the score sheet.

Score: 1-0 Calgary

Second Period

Zdeno Chara took a stinger late in the first period off of a shot from Tkachuk and went off limping, but returned to the ice to start the second period – a huge sigh of relief for the Bruins. Things got off to an eventful start for Rask to begin the second period.

Karson Kuhlman took a slashing penalty with 11:14 remaining. Marchand scored on a partial break, picking up his 27th career shorthanded goal and 25th goal of the season. After the fact, he decided to talk some smack to Mikael Backlund. McAvoy had the lone assist on the goal, his 23rd of the season. The game was tied with 9:52 remaining.

Calgary responded with a goal of their own just three minutes and 17 seconds later. This time it was Sean Monahan putting the Flames ahead. It was 2-1 Flames with 6:35 remaining.

Not too long after, Matt Grzelcyk retaliated in response to a hit from Dillon Dube on McAvoy and sat for roughing. Monahan added his second of the game just a minute and 12 seconds after his first, putting the Bruins behind by two with 5:23 remaining. The goal came just five seconds into the power play. The coaching staff decided it was time for a change after falling behind quickly.

Things got out of hand and the Bruins trailed by two after 40 minutes. They were outshot 13-12 in the second period, but held the advantage at 21-20. The Flames weren’t shaken by Marchand’s shorthanded goal and didn’t waste much time when it came to turning the game around.

Score: 3-1 Calgary

Third Period

The third period was a weird one. Through the first eight minutes, the Bruins had the only shot on goal between both teams. That’s definitely problematic when you’re down by two goals. In what was a frustrating period for the Bruins for quite some time, Chris Wagner broke through and found the back of the net amongst a scrum out in front of it. Wagner’s seventh goal of the season and second in as many games was assisted by Sean Kuraly (17) and Par Lindholm (3). The fourth line was rewarded in what had been a great game for them.

Rask made a huge save on Johnny Gaudreau with just around two minutes remaining to keep the deficit at one. Shortly after, Backlund decided to do it all himself and ended up sending one past Rask. Backlund also added the empty netter.

It was 5-2 Flames with 49 seconds to go, and that ended up being the final. Rough way to lose the undefeated regulation home record for Rask. The Bruins just didn’t have it. Although the Wagner goal really seemed to give the team a spark late in the third, they couldn’t complete the comeback.

The Flames converted some prime chances and didn’t give up a ton of high danger chances. Shots on goal in the third period were 11-7 in favor of the Flames, giving them a 31-28 advantage overall. Next up are the Dallas Stars on Thursday at TD Garden at 7:30 PM ET. The Bruins are 39-13-12.

Final Score: 5-2 Calgary

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Post-Game Recap | Boston Bruins Lose To Vancouver Canucks, 9-3

Image result for boston bruins vs vancouver canucks(Photo Credits: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

You could say the Bruins were due for a big loss and tonight Boston could not get over the mental and physical hump as they dropped the final series game against the Vancouver Canucks, losing in spectacular fashion. After playing three games in four nights, barring from it being an excuse, the team looked gassed going into the second period.

GAME RECAP

Hot off the trails from last night’s win over Calgary, the Boston Bruins initially had no hesitation against Vancouver as soon as the puck dropped. There was strong zone time down the Canucks end early in the period as Boston forced goaltender Jacob Markstrom to make some early quick saves. The Canucks pushed towards Boston’s end and would find space between the traffic to bury one in past Rask. Troy Stecher scored his fourth goal of the season at 4:14.

Vancouver has multiple flurry of chances but was unable to capitalize. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk sent a quick puck up to  David Pastrnak,  allowing the sniper to score his 44th goal on a breakaway, tying the game at 1-1. Momentum switched back and forth between the teams throughout the first period. After Danton Heinen’s stick inadvertently went through the mask of Markstrom, play stopped as the goaltender dealt with lingering vision issues. Thatcher Demko would take over in between the pipes for Vancouver. After a brief medical check-up. Markstrom was back in net.

Oct 20, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter (20) and Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (37) face off during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports(Photo Credits: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today)

After drawing a penalty on Boston, Vancouver would take advantage as they scored the second goal of the evening.  Bo Horvat would net his 19th goal of the season, putting the Canucks up 2-1. Boston would draw their first power-play of the night, however, after a drive to the net, the Bruins were assessed with a penalty to Patrice Bergeron. Despite high pressure from Vancouver, neither team was able to score on the man advantage as the first period ended.

With the second period underway, both teams continued to put pressure on either end, but Boston would start to lose control of their play.  After a puck redirection, Vancouver’s Adam Gaudette would score his 11th goal of the season, making it 3-1. A shift in play worked for Vancouver as Rask lost sight of the puck, leading to a goal by Tanner Pearson, putting the ‘Nucks up 4-1. Lots of traffic in front of the Bruins net would lead to another Vancouver goal moments after, making the score 5-1. In the last few seconds of the period, the Bruins made a push towards the net but were unable to score.

Oct 20, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (63) shoots the puck against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) and defenseman Alexander Edler (23) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports(Photo Credits: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today)

Vancouver would score their sixth goal of the night seconds into the third period. With the game being lost, the Bruins would go on the power-play and Pastrnak would score his 45th goal. Jaroslav Halak would take over goaltending duties. Chris Wagner would net his fifth goal of the season.  As the Bruins tried to mount a comeback, Tyler Toffoli would net his first goal as a Canucks making it 7-3. After a few minutes, Toffoli would net his second goal of the night. Jake Virtanen would nail the final goal, making the final score 9-3.

FINAL SCORE: BOS: 3, VAN-9

TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS: 37, VAN: 35

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BRUINS: Tuesday, February 25th versus the Calgary Flames. TD Garden with puck drop at 7:00 pm.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Boston Bruins Defeat Edmonton Oilers 2-1 In Overtime

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

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

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

GAME RECAP

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

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

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

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

FINAL PERIOD

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

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

FINAL SCORE: BOS-2  EDM-1 (OT)

TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-31  EDM-29

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

In case you missed this father/son duo:

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

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

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher!

 

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

 

 

.

 

 

 

Bruins Need Strong “Finish” All Around

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 166 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!