Has Toronto Overtaken Montreal As The Bruins’ Biggest Rival?

( Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/AP Photo )

By: Jack McCarthy  |  Follow Me On Twitter @73johnnymac

Bruins vs. Canadiens Rivalry

The Boston Bruins have enjoyed a long and storied rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens, long considered their fiercest rival.  The rivalry dates back to December of 1924 and has seen the teams meet in 923 regular season games as well as 177 playoff games.  The animosity that has existed for almost a century including an NHL record 34 playoff meetings has lifted the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry into the upper echelon of the all-time great rivalries in sport.  Think Yankees-Red Sox, Celtics-Lakers, Manchester United-Liverpool.

Montreal has held the upper hand over the Bruins for much of their history.  Bruins fans growing up watching the Bruins in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were particularly frustrated as Montreal won 18 consecutive playoff series over the B’s between 1946 and 1987.  The streak was finally snapped when the Bruins defeated Montreal 4-1 at the Forum on April 26th, 1988.  The records have been much more even since the streak ended, the Bruins winning 7 of the last 12 series between the two clubs.

The rivalry has been fueled by frequency, both regular-season meetings as divisional opponents and through frequent playoff matchups  Classic games such as Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, better known as the Don Cherry, too many men game, to Mats Naslund’s game 5 dagger with 51 seconds remaining to give Montreal a 1-0 victory and a 3-2 series win in their 1985 Adams Division semi-final.  More recently, Nathan Horton’s game 7, overtime, series clinching goal which propelled the Bruins on their path to winning the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship stands out as a game that produced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for the respective fan bases.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Rivalry

As the Bruins prepare to do battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second consecutive opening round, and third time in 6 seasons, the question begs, has Toronto become a bigger rival than the Canadiens?

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The Bruins and Maple Leafs also have a long history.  The teams first met in the 1924-25 season and have faced off 750 times in the regular season as well as 76 times in the playoffs.  The Bruins and Leafs have not played as frequently as the Bruins and Canadiens, including over a hundred fewer playoff games, as Toronto resided in the Western Conference prior to the 1998-99 season.  In all, the current series marks the 16th all time playoff match-up between the Bruins and Maple Leafs with Toronto holding an 8-7 advantage.  The Bruins however, have won the last 5-playoff meetings. Toronto’s last playoff victory over the Bruins was in the 1958-59 season.

Toronto, as we know, is a hockey mad city, the self-proclaimed centre of the hockey universe.  It is also a city whose beloved Leafs have been deprived of playoff success for more than a generation.  It last paraded Lord Stanley’s silverware in 1967.  There are a few factors that have intensified the Bruins and Leafs rivalry over the past decade.

The first significant event that began to bring this rivalry to life was the Phil Kessel trade on the eve of the 2009-10 season.  Kessel was traded to Toronto for a package of draft picks and then the Maple Leafs proceeded to have a couple of poor seasons allowing the Bruins to draft Tyler Seguin in 2010 and Dougie Hamilton in 2011.  It became obvious fairly early on that the Bruins would benefit from that trade and when the Leafs visited the Bruins in Kessel’s return to Boston in December, 2009, the B’s faithful packed the Garden.  That game marked the beginning of a sell-out streak that is now approaching 10 years for the Bruins.

The next, and perhaps biggest contributing factor was the epic Bruins comeback against the Leafs in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.  Toronto led Boston 4-1 early in the third period of game 7, before Boston staged one of the most memorable comebacks in the history the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Bruins became the first NHL team to win a game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period, winning 5-4 in overtime.  Combined with last seasons’ seven game opening round series, also going the Bruins way in a third period comeback, the rivalry is alive and well.

The question is, has the rivalry with Toronto overtaken that with Montreal for the Bruins and their fans?  The answer depends entirely on whom you talk to.  Arguably, Boston and Toronto has become the ultimate rivalry for a new generation of hockey fans, those not old enough to recall Joe Thornton in the black and gold or Mats Sundin in the blue and white.  Those of us who are a little longer in the tooth however, likely still hold just a little bit more disdain for the Canadiens than we do the Leafs.  That said, the Canadiens had better hurry up and make their way back into the playoffs, after all, with every new chapter the Bruins and Leafs write, the gap is closing.

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Bruins Game 19 Preview: Dallas Stars

Rask Stars

(Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob

A Boston Bruins team that has lost four of its six starting defensemen to injuries is set to take on the Stars in Dallas on Friday night. Boston most recently dropped their date with the Colorado Avalanche. A 3-2 lead turned into a 6-3 loss, and the Bruins have most likely spent a fair share of their Thursday watching film.

Meanwhile, the Stars are coming off a loss of their own with the Columbus Blue Jackets claiming a 2-1 victory over the team. Dallas has not played since Monday so they will hope that their freshness can put an end to the two-game slide they a currently enduring.

Who’s Hot?

Jake DeBrusk notched two goals on Wednesday and now has four tallies in his last four games. Combined with his two most recent helpers, that’s six points in five games. David Krejci, who centers DeBrusk on the second line, is on a five-game point streak with seven assists in that span. Though he hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 23rd, with DeBrusk now finding his game, there is hope that Krejci will receive the same quality assists that he has dished out thus far.

Before his streak was broken against Colorado, Torey Krug had a four-game point streak with five assists to start the month of November. He is still searching for his first goal of the 2018-19 campaign, but with time on the top defensive unit this weekend, Krug will likely find the back of the net sooner rather than later.

Krug Stars

(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

Alexander Radulov is currently on a tear, ranked fourth on the team in production despite only appearing in eight of Dallas’ 18 games thus far. During that time he has notched six goals and six assists for 12 total points, more recently scoring three goals and two assists in his last five games.

Who’s Not?

Former Bruin Tyler Seguin is in the house which always comes with a hint of resentment for Boston fans – whether that is toward the player or the decision made years ago to trade him. Seguin has only managed three points in his last six games. The Bruins were able to keep him off the scoresheet in their first meeting with Dallas this season; a game the boys in black and gold won 2-1 in overtime.

Anders Bjork has continued to struggle. Though he clearly has the speed and offensive skill to contribute to Boston’s attempt to pressure their opponents, the youngster has lacked execution and thus only has three points in 16 games. The Bruins’ depth, in general, has been lackluster. A skilled young winger like Bjork could very well grab the shovel and starting digging Boston’s bottom-two lines out of the hole they’ve found themselves in.

Bruins vs. Stars Outlook

The Bruins are battered and bruised on the blue line. Jakub Zboril and Connor Clifton will be making their NHL debuts on Friday. Clifton will be getting minutes on the top pair with Krug while Zboril will be delegated third-pair duties with Steven Kampfer. This bumps Jeremy Lauzon up the second pair with Matt Grzelcyk.

The Stars need more production from their first line, especially Seguin who leads his team in assists and points so far this season. They will also need their depth to step up with a number of players out with injuries including John Klingberg, Marc Methot, and Devin Shore.

Meanwhile, Boston defense is a huge concern. Three rookies who weren’t expected to get much time – if any – at the NHL level this season now have a heavy workload on their shoulders. This means Tuukka Rask, who will be starting for the first time since his leave of absence, will need to bring his best performance of the season thus far.

 

Bruins Game 14 Preview: Dallas Stars

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PHOTO CREDITS: (STEVE BABINEAU/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES)

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

The 7-4-2 Boston Bruins will host the 8-5-0 Dallas Stars in TD Garden on Monday night. The Bruins, who are coming off of a 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night are looking to get back into the win column against Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars.

Dallas is riding a three-game winning streak that they have built up. With wins over the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and most recently the Washington Capitals, the Stars have looked quite good so far in the 2018-19 season. Tyler Seguin, John Klingberg, and Jamie Benn have been the key reasons for Dallas’ early success.

Who’s Hot

The Boston Bruins have not been the hottest team lately, losing 1-0 to Nashville on Saturday night. If anything, the top line of Pastrnak, Marchand, and Bergeron remains to be the best asset that Boston has right now and it is crucial that that line continues to find success this season. The trio has already accumulated a total of fifty points and will look to add to that total against the Stars.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Matt Stone)

Tyler Seguin has been a key player for Dallas since joining the team back in 2013 via a trade with the Boston Bruins. In thirteen games so far this season, the Brampton, Ontario native has racked up three goals and eleven assists for fourteen points. In ten games against Boston since joining Dallas, Seguin has nine points and he will look to add to that total on Monday.

Stars d-man John Klingberg has been tallying some impressive numbers early on as well. His twelve points in thirteen games this season ranks him second on the Stars scoring list and sixth in the entire league for points among defensemen. The 131st overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft will be looking to continue the success he has had this season so far and possibly set some new career highs.

Anton Khudobin is expected to start in goal for the Stars against Boston. The 32-year-old former Bruin has a 3-2-0 record so far this season with a GAA of 2.35 and a save percentage of .923%. Khudobin’s last start was a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last Thursday.

Who’s Not

To no surprise, the lack of depth scoring by the Boston Bruins is one of the biggest concerns in the early stages of the 2018-19 campaign. Aside from the first line and David Krejci, no forward on the Bruins roster has more than six points. The lack of goal scoring by Boston this season places them 24th in the entire league for most goals for per game, sitting at just above 2.84 goals per game.

Tuukka Rask has been anything but great for the Bruins so far, rocking a 3-3-0 record with a 3.15 goals-against-average along with a .902 save percentage, the Finnish tender needs to find his game as the month of November kicks into high gear. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced earlier in the day that Rask will get the start against Dallas, making for a good test for him.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (CBS Boston)

Like the Bruins, the Stars have not had much success with goal scoring aside from their big superstars. In the same amount of games played, Dallas only has three more goals than the B’s, while allowing four more goals against. With the injury to Alexander Radulov, who will miss the game against Boston due to a lower-body injury, the Stars lose out on a key scorer once again.

Bruins vs Stars Outlook

Until the Bruins can find some consistency with their depth, they will have to rely heavily on the top line in order to keep the wins coming. After going scoreless against the Predators on Saturday, the Bruins need to come out with an offensive vengeance and score some goals early and often.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

On the flip side, the Stars will be looking to do the exact same thing. Tyler Seguin seems to find success when playing against Boston and if he, Jamie Benn, and John Klingberg can continue their hot run, then the Bruins could be in trouble. The Stars have won three consecutive road games against difficult teams and they will be looking to do the same to Boston.

Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin will need to be solid in the net as the former teammates look to earn another win on the season. For Rask, a loss could mean less starts in the near future – with more being awarded to Jaroslav Halak. Khudobin is riding on a 31-save performance against Toronto that has given him a lot of momentum.

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Could Tyler Seguin Return To The Bruins One Year From Now?

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Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (Left) and Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (Right) battle in a game at TD Garden. PHOTO CREDITS: (Winslow Townson/AP)

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

Just over five years ago, the Boston Bruins traded away forward Rich Peverley, defenceman Ryan Button, and forward Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars for forward Loui Eriksson, defenceman Joe Morrow, forward Reilly Smith, and forward Matt Fraser.

The controversial trade had it’s speculated reasons as to why the deal went through, but no official word was released by any member from either party involved. The Boston Bruins recently won the Stanley Cup and reached the Cup Finals in the time Seguin was with the team, making him a very successful NHL player very early on in his career.

However, even before that, Tyler Seguin was nearly a Toronto Maple Leaf. His draft rights were sent to Boston along with a 2nd Round Pick in 2010 NHL Entry Draft (Jared Knight) and a 1st Round Pick in the 2011 NHL Draft (Dougie Hamilton) from Toronto in exchange for a scoring winger, Phil Kessel.

While the trade made sense at the time, the Bruins made the deal in hopes of landing Taylor Hall. But, as we know it, the Edmonton Oilers selected Hall with the first-overall pick in the ’11 Draft. Wanting to take the best player available, Boston chose Tyler Seguin, even with the depth they already had a center with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

In his debut season, Seguin posted 11-11-22 totals in 74 games, only averaging just over twelve minutes per game. In the next seven years, Seguin has averaged over eighteen minutes per game. Tyler also finished just shy of 50% on the faceoff dot in the 2010-2011 season, ending the year with a 49.5 percent.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Yahoo Sports)

Seguin got his big chance to perform in the big leagues during the 2011 Stanley Cup run. While sitting out as a healthy scratch for the first two rounds of the postseason, Head Coach at the time, Claude Julien, was forced to insert the 19-year-old into the lineup due to an injury to Patrice Bergeron in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Seguin would score a goal and help with an assist in the 5-2 Game One loss but would skate in only two shifts in the second period and was not used on the Bruins power play unit, the same power play unit that went 0-for-4 on the night. Due to his successful Game One with the lack of ice time considered, Seguin was a lock for the Game Two lineup, and he would make sure that the opportunity did not go wasted.

Boston dominated the first period, but it would be the Lightning scoring twice in the frame – starting the second with a 2-1 lead. The lack of games played thus far in the playoffs affected Seguin as stated in an ESPN article back in 2011.

“I don’t know if I told myself that. But definitely tough watching from above. I tried to take everything in and learned as much as I can. But it’s hard sitting there and not being able to help with the boys, but I wanted to take advantage of any opportunity I got,” Seguin said.

The Canadian would realize that the opportunity is huge not only for him but for the team as a win would tie the series at one-apiece heading to Tampa for Game Three. Less than one minute into the second period, Seguin would split the defense and backhand a beautiful goal by goaltender Dwayne Roloson, making this goal one of the most memorable goals of the 2011 playoffs.

Seguin would tally another goal later in the period, as well as two more assists, helping the Bruins score five goals in the second frame, enough to win the game 6-5.

Seguin would continue to be a threat for the Lightning and eventually the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs, finishing the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 3-4-7 totals in thirteen games – enough to hoist the Stanley Cup in a Boston Bruins sweater.

In his sophomore season, Seguin improved upon the rookie year, scoring twenty-nine goals and 67 points, the most points on the entire Bruins roster that season, along with a +34 rating – the second-best rating in the National Hockey League. Seguin would quickly become one of the best players in the league while being one of the youngest as well.

In the lockout season the year after, Seguin would still score 0.67 points-per-game, tallying thirty-two points in the 48-game campaign. Tyler would be present on the ice for the game-winning goal to complete the iconic comeback over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Seven of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.

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Boston Bruins Brad Marchand (Left), Patrice Bergeron (Center), and Tyler Seguin (Right) celebrate following Game 7 overtime winner vs Maple Leafs in 2013. PHOTO CREDITS: (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Even with the solid few seasons to begin his NHL career, Tyler Seguin would be shipped out of Boston in the deal listed at the beginning of this article. With an easy Google search or Twitter browse, you can find conspiracies to this very day as to why the Bruins management traded away a superstar in Tyler Seguin back in July of 2013.

Although, the past is in the past and there is no possible way Tyler Seguin returns to the Boston Bruins. Well, in the world of hockey and sports in general, the word “impossible” does not usually apply to many instances, and a Seguin/Boston reunion is definitely not impossible, just improbable.

In an article published by NHL.com writer Mark Stepneski back on July 27th, it was documented that Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill feels the process of extending Seguin’s contract is going to plan.

“We’ve had continued dialogue,” Nill said. “They’ve got where they think they should be and we’ve presented where we think we should be, and we just continue to discuss.”

When asked about the possibility of Seguin agreeing to a contract in Dallas before the 2018-19 season, GM Nill said the following.

“I hope so. But I think I have mentioned from Day 1 that I don’t want people to panic if he is not signed when the season starts,” Nill said. “I think the biggest thing is we need to have a good season — get off to a good start. I hope he is signed by then, but I know if he isn’t, we’ll get a good year out of him and go from there. But like I said, I am hopeful we can get it done. We’ll have to see.”

The belief at this moment in time is that Tyler Seguin will be returning to the Stars organization for many years to come. Jim Nill recognizes how special Seguin is and the importance he has on the Dallas team as they prepare for a future Cup run. Since joining Dallas back in the 2013-2014 season, Seguin has scored a minimum of seventy points in every single season.

Over the five seasons thus far in Dallas, Tyler has played in 387 games, totaling 173-211-384 numbers along with a +14 rating. Seguin has also skated in all 82 games the past two seasons, something he was unable to accomplish in his first three years in Dallas due to multiple injuries.

Seguin is entering the final year on his six-year, $34,500,000 contract he signed back in September of 2012. It is more than likely that Seguin fetches $10+ million on his new deal, especially when you compare his numbers to that of John Tavares who just agreed to a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs this past July.

According to Hockey Reference, Tyler Seguin averages 0.99 points-per-game since joining Dallas, while Tavares has a career 0.93 points-per-game average with his entire time with the New York Islanders. Seguin is also coming off of a 40-goal season, while Tavares only scored 37 this past year.

The comparisons are very similar between Seguin and Tavares, and once the new contract for Seguin is reported, it is very likely that the contract will also be very similar.

How Would He Fit On The Bruins?

Even with the statement from Stars GM Jim Nill about the contract negotiations he has had with Seguin, it does not mean that Seguin will remain in Dallas for the foreseeable future.

Back on June 23rd, 2016, Montreal Canadiens General Manager, Marc Bergevin stated that he would not trade away star defenceman, P.K. Subban in a Sportsnet.ca article.

“It’s not even listening to offers is I’m taking calls,” Bergevin said. “When a GM calls me, I don’t know who he’s calling me about, so I answer the phone. Yes, I’ve received calls on P.K., but I’m not shopping P.K. Subban. I can tell you that.”

But, as we know, Subban would indeed be traded to the Nashville Predators only six days after that statement was released in a one-for-one swap involving Shea Weber. The mistakes of management over the years may not be made again by other teams, but the possibility is there.

The only logical way that the Boston Bruins regain the services of Tyler Seguin is by free agency. The price to pay in a trade with the Dallas Stars would most likely be too hefty for the Bruins moving forward as the Stars would expect great value coming back if they were to part ways with him.

Once the 2019 NHL Free Agency rolls around, both David Krejci and David Backes will no longer have full no-move clauses on their contracts, as both will have limited no-trade clauses – meaning the B’s will have the opportunity to trade away both of those players. If Boston could hypothetically trade both of them to another team, they could free up over $13 million in cap space, enough to sign Seguin to a contract around the $11 million range.

Will it happen? Probably not. Seguin did win his first and only Stanley Cup to this date in a Bruins sweater, so the idea is still there. I personally do not see Tyler Seguin ever returning to the Boston Bruins, but it will be interesting to follow the contract negotiations heading into the 2018-19 NHL regular season.

If you wish to provide your opinions and/or insights, ask me on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

Top 5 Worst Trades In Bruins History

    (PHOTO CREDITS: Bay Area News Group-Josie Lepe )

By Liz Rizzo Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

As one of the oldest franchises in the NHL, the Boston Bruins have produced the leagues most legendary players from Orr to Esposito. In their long, storied history, there have been some stellar trades (Ray Bourque, anyone?) along with a few head-scratching moves made by the powers that be.  These very moves left quite a scar for the Black and Gold and continue to make fans imagine a different outcome if we had kept certain players:  *cough, Seguin, cough*. 

In no particular order, we take a look at some of the worst trades in Boston history.

1. Say It Ain’t So, Joe

Boston Acquires: Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau

San Jose Acquires: Joe Thornton

In 2005, the Bruins stunned the superstar center when then-general manager Mike O’Connell called him up on his cell phone to let him know he’d been traded. Thornton had just signed a three year, $20 million contract extension with Boston. At that time, the Bruins were one of the last place teams in the conference. In an effort to shake things up, Boston was willing to trade Thornton, who was supposed to be their franchise player. The brass felt that they couldn’t build a team around the young center: Boston’s loss was San Jose’s gain.

Both Stuart and Primeau were traded to Calgary soon after for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew (a good move for Boston). Sturm had a good run with Boston,  posting 193 points in 302 games in the five season he played. Thornton’s career exploded in San Jose. “Jumbo” Joe has potted 937 points in 914 games which is on par with two other stars in the NHL: Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

And yes, critics are quick to point out that Thornton has yet to win the Stanley Cup. However, you can’t deny that Boston missed the boat and let a superstar slip through their hands.

2. Doing It For Ray

Boston Acquires: Brian Rolston, Sami Pahlsson, Martin Grenier, and 1st Round Pick

Colorado Acquires: Ray Bourque, Dave Andreychuk

This was a tough one for Boston; Bourque had cemented his career in Boston, having played 21 seasons in the hub. But in all that time, the Stanley Cup had alluded the top defenseman. The 39-year-old was looking for his first championship, and Colorado offered just that. With a contract set to expire, Bourque was shipped to the Avalanche and in 2001 finally won the Cup. As for the Bruins, letting go of one of the NHL’s best defenseman in history proved to be a bit disastrous.

Brian Rolston played solid for four seasons in Boston (236 points in 338 games). Pahlsson, Grenier and first-round pick Martin Samuelsson played a combined 31 games and netted three goals. Yup, you read that right; three goals combined! At least Bourque finally got his cup though.

9 Jun 2001: Ray Bourque #77 of the Colorado Avalanche and teammate Patrick Roy #33 raise the Stanley Cup after they beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche take the series 4-3. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Allsport(PHOTO CREDITS: NHL.COM)

3. The One That Stings

Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin(PHOTO CREDITS: Jerome Mirron-USA Today)

Boston Acquires: Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser

Dallas Acquires: Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button

It’s been five years since the Bruins traded a young 21-year-old future superstar albeit rumors of hard partying. His playing was also affected: during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, Seguin played abysmally, netting one goal in eight games. Despite his soft play on the ice, this trade was still hard to swallow. On one hand, you have a young person who is acting like most 21-year-olds (honestly who hasn’t crushed beers when you turn 21). On the other hand, there’s a high level of professionalism that is expected while playing in the NHL. The Bruins were exasperated with Seguin’s lifestyle and had to make an unpopular move; trade a potential superstar who was on his way to squandering his talents. Or so they thought.

Seguin proved his worth in Dallas, became a media darling and turned out to be the superstar Boston was looking for. Being traded served as a wake-up call for Seguin and simply put: he grew up. Sadly, Boston’s loss was a huge win for the Stars.  He has made four All-Star appearances with stats that continue to climb: 162 goals with 357 points in over 365 games.

Eriksson, for his part, had a productive three years in Boston before being signed by Vancouver: 147 points in 224 games. Morrow played 65 games, while Fraser played 38 games, scoring five goals. Smith played 91 games before being traded for Jimmy Hayes. Fraser last played in Sweden and never did much in Boston. As the dust settled, Boston was left with nothing after the Sequin trade. Zero. Yikes.

4. Canadien Crush

Image result for The Game (Dryden book)(PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images)

Boston Acquires: Paul Reid and Guy Allen

Montreal Acquires: Ken Dryden and Alex Campbell

In a trade that proved to be a lopsided deal, the Bruins let go of a future Hall of Famer goalie in Dryden. The worst part of this move: both Reid and Allen played a total of ZERO games in the NHL. Dryden, on the other hand, dominated in net for Montreal in every Stanley Cup final starting in 1971.

Playing against arguably the best Bruins team that was led by Bobby Orr, it was 23-year-old rookie Dryden that would lead Montreal to a cup. During the 1977 and 1978 Stanley Cup final versus the Bruins, Dryden was an unstoppable force. In just seven seasons, Dryden won the Vezina Trophy five times and the Stanley Cup six times.

He would face Boston in a few Stanley Cup finals and won each time. The Bruins would once again be on the sidelines, watching a former player enjoy wild success with another team.

5. Sealing The Deal

Image result for reggie leach bruins(PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images)

Boston Acquires: Carol Vadnais and Don O’Donoghue

Golden Seals (California) Acquires: Reggie Leach, Rick Smith, and Bob Stewart

While it may be true that Vadnais would become a solid defenseman for the Bruins after playing three seasons, (he would end playing five seasons for Boston) what puts this trade on the list is a player named Reggie Leach. Even though he was traded to the California Seals, his shining moment would be his career playing in Philadelphia.  With 372 goals and 640 points, Leach would play for the both the Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings. Philly would face Boston in 1976 for the Stanley Cup, defeating them four games to one. Leach would score nine goals in five games. That same year, he won the Conn Smythe trophy.

As for O’Donoghue: he didn’t dress for a single NHL game. Both Smith and Stewart continued to play solid for their teams respectfully (Smith would return to Boston in 1976 and played there until 1980).

Moral Of The Story

Any time you have a team who has been around for as long as the Bruins, you’re bound to have some great trades and a few dumpster fires. As for the Sweeney Era, some honorable mentions would be the Matt Belesky contract debacle and the Jimmy Hayes/Reilly Smith swap. Both came at the time when Sweeney took over the GM position, so we’ll chalk it up to a learning experience. Still, one would not blame fans for being nervous anytime Boston has an unsigned stud, a la Pastrnak in 2017. After a bizarre standoff that included a KHL threat, Sweeney got a steal in signing the Czech superstar: six years for $40 million.

After the 2018-2019 season, there will be a few young players that will become restricted free agents. Many have already proven to be legit superstars after the end of this season. Will the front office secure DeBrusk, McAvoy, and Carlo? We’ll just have to nervously wait and see.

Old Trade Baffles Boston’s Fans, Team Has Moved On – So Should You

 

2010 NHL Draft - Round One

(Above photo credit: CBS Boston . com)

By: Chris Nosek              follow me on Twitter: @cnosek6342

On Monday, January 15th, our favorite boys in black and gold dropped their 5th game at home and only their 8th in extra time this season. This game had a former friend now foe, 25-year-old Tyler Seguin, at the other side of the faceoff dot.

At 2:59 in the extra action, the former Bruin netted the game-winner as David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, and Matt Grzelcyk were tiring from a long 3-on-3 shift, and as you can see in the video, their fatigue was the Achilles heel.

Ever since this goal went in, I had seen the non-stop lamenting of Boston fans at the loss of Tyler Seguin in the infamous July 4th trade back in 2013.

To all of you whining about “which deal was worse” (Seguin, Thorton, Bourque, or add in your own selection) and “why can’t  we get players like that?” Just stop. Stop focusing on the past – I will remind you later of that past and you will see that although the Seguin trade set this team back, they are better off now for the long term than they would have been had they kept him.

Instead of looking back, I encourage you to look forward. Neeley turned the page when he let Don Sweeney and his crew take over for Peter Chiarelli in the front office. Allowing Sweeney to focus on his strength of drafting and developing, this team as more youthful talent and depth than it ever had while Tyler Seguin was in town.

Let’s start with the fact that David Pastrnak is filling in nicely for Seguin on that RW alongside Bergeron and Marchand. While showing an ability to play alongside both top centers, Pasta and Krejci still haven’t found the LW replacement from Krejci’s heyday with Milan Lucic.  Pasta is only 21 years old and he is a natural wing finding his game and working into a nice leadership role on this team at the perfect time.

Also turning heads, which is no surprise after his heroics in the playoffs last season, is 19-year old Charlie McAvoy. The 14th overall pick out of Boston University gave just a small preview of what his pairing with Zdeno Chara could bring to this team, and lets not even talk about the puck movement on the powerplay. Now the youngster is flirting with 25 minutes of ice time per night (sometimes closer to 30), he is showing his maturity and will become a leader on this team in no time. Sharing a line with one of the hardest working players in the league, the hard work that he see’s Zdeno Chara put in is definitely rubbing off on him.

Image result for charlie mcavoy and david pastrnak

(Above photo credit: Boston Herald .com)

With McAvoy and Pastrnak getting the bulk of the attention, a guy like Danton Heinen has been flying under the radar for most of the season. The 22-year-old natural centerman is making his own case for a solid run at the Calder Trophy. With 10 goals and 21 assists, Heinen has 31 points in just 38 games this season. He is showing that he can come off the bench as needed and provide physicality while showing the skill that isn’t usually seen on the third line. By seasons end, he could see some action ahead of Jake DeBrusk and get some minutes with Pasta and Krejci.

This teams youthful depth goes so far that you can’t even go to Providence to see all the baby B’s who you should be excited about. Sure you will catch; Czarnik, Agostino, Forsbacka-Karlsson, Senyshyn, Cehlarik, Zboril, Bjork, Grzelcyk, Johansson, and Lauzon, but what about the guys getting big minutes overseas. Look for Ryan Donato, Joona Koppanen, Urho Vaakanainen, and Dan Vladar to log some minutes in Providence in 2018-2019 and keep this youthful movement coming up the Mass Pike.

For more details and breakdowns on each of these prospects, follow along with @BlackAndGold277 and his weekly prospect update.

Why Do The Boston Bruins Keep Losing First Rounders?

SweeneyNeely.jpg

Photo Credit: Ted Fitzgerald

By: KG                   Follow me on Twitter: @kgbngblog

The former first-round pick Malcolm Subban (24th overall, 2012) was placed on waivers yesterday and claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights earlier today. Vegas now has three goalies on their roster. Fleury, Pickard and Subban will make quite the tandem in nets for them. For the Bruins, they will now use Daniel Vladar and Zane McIntyre as the goalies in Providence. Vladar played 8 games in the AHL last year, and 18 in the ECHL. He will now have a better opportunity to play with Subban gone. This should also make Zane McIntrye the starting goalie, as he and Subban split starts last season in Providence.

This marks yet another Bruins first-round pick leaving the team for less value then he was worth. He was one of the nine first round players from 2005-2013 picked by Boston to leave the Bruins. Some of those names include elite players like Phil Kessel (5th overall, 2006), Tyler Seguin (2nd overall, 2010) and Dougie Hamilton (9th overall, 2011). There is a really bad pattern of Boston losing high-value players for weird reasons. Sometimes alleged off-ice reasons (Seguin) or the player just not panning out like they were scouted to be.

 

Matt Lashoff – 2005 (22nd Overall) TRADED – Tampa Bay

Matt played 36 games over three years with the Bruins. He totaled one goal, seven assists for 8 points with the Bruins. He had a lot of points in juniors and the minors but never translated that to the Bruins in the NHL. He was traded with Martins Karsums to Tampa Bay for Mark Recchi and a 2nd overall pick which was then turned to Florida. Recchi ended up being a great addition for the Bruins.

Phil Kessel – 2006 (5th Overall) TRADED – Toronto

Phil Kessel was a very good, and almost immediately made an impact in the NHL. He scored a lot of goals and contributed to the team. He was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 1st/2nd round picks in 2010, along with Toronto’s first round pick in 2011. Those picks turned out to be Seguin, Jared Knight, and Dougie Hamilton. Phil was then traded to Pittsburgh where he is now a two-time Stanley Cup champion. He has excelled with the Penguins, finally finding a system that fits him really well.

Zach Hamill – 2007 (8th Overall) TRADED – Washington

Zach Hamill played a total of 20 games over three years with the Bruins and hasn’t played a game in the NHL since. He totaled four career assists in the NHL. He was traded to Washington, then Florida and then moved around the AHL. He last played in 2012.

Joe Colborne – 2008 (16th Overall) TRADED – Toronto

Joe Colborne didn’t play a single regular season game for the Bruins. He was traded three years after he was drafted to Toronto with picks for Thomas Kaberle (Which kind of worked out since they won the Cup that year) He played six games with Providence. So a first-round pick played six games in the AHL before trading him.

Jordan Caron – 2009 (25th Overall) TRADED – Colorado

Caron played 134 games with the Bruins over five seasons, totaling 12 G, 16 A for 28 points. One of the longer first round picks careers with the Bruins, but in the end, Caron was traded to Colorado for Max Talbot and Paul Carey. Paul didn’t play for the Bruins at all, but Talbot ended up playing 56 games. Caron continued his career with Colorado and St. Louis. He was one of the few first-rounders that I’ve reviewed that have actually had a fair amount of time as a Bruin.

Tyler Seguin – 2010 (2nd Overall) TRADED – Dallas

Tyler Seguin was one of the highest drafted Bruins at 2nd overall only behind Taylor Hall. They had been thought of as one of the closest top two picks in years. In his first year with the Bruins, Seguin played 73 regular season games and even played in 13 playoff games on route to the Bruins win. He played two more seasons until he was traded in the offseason for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser, who all don’t play for the Bruins anymore. Peter Chiarelli traded Seguin due to his “Party Life”.

Dougie Hamilton – 2011 (9th Overall) TRADED – Calgary

Hamilton was a solid defenceman and overall really good player. He played three seasons with the Bruins, improving point totals every year. He was set up to take over Chara’s position on the team as the top defencemen until he was traded to the Flames for a first and two 2nd round pick in the 2015 draft that resulted in Zachary Senyshyn, Jakob Forsbacks-Karlsson, and Jeremy Lauzon. None of those players have played in an NHL regular season game yet. While the picks exchanged for him develop in the minors, Hamilton has become one of Calgary’s top defencemen. Yet another talented, promising pick that was traded away.

Malcolm Subban – 2012 (24th Overall) WAIVED – Vegas Golden Knights

This was a weird pick, considering the history that people with the last name “Subban” have in Boston. But he was a great goalie in junior, and the Bruins felt that they couldn’t pass on him. After playing only two NHL games (And losing both) Subban was put on waivers after the 2017 preseason. He was picked up by VGK and ended his career as a Bruin. He was a solid enough AHL goalie, but never turned into the backup for Rask that the Bruins hoped he would.

 

With the Bruins having seven first round picks in the last four years, there might be a better oppertunity for those players to stay with the team and find a regular spot. Some of those players include David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy, who seem to have NHL roles at this time. The trades could have been made possible thorugh a weird combonation of Peter Charelli making odd descions about signings and trades and Claude Juliens’ media imposed hatered towards young players. But no matter what it actually was, the drafting in the years 2005-2012 were not very good, in the first round at least.

Sources:

Hockey-reference.com, HockeyDB.com, Dan Bahl (@danbahl on Twitter)

 

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When The Bruins Came To Belfast

( Above Photo Credit:  BBCSports )

By: Cameron Benson                               Follow Me On Twitter @NIBruinsFans 

With the Boston Bruins recently in China as part of Bruins global, it gave us the chance to look back at other times the NHL has traveled outside of North America. Such as when in 2010 six NHL teams played in Europe. This involved the Bruins who played two games against the Coyotes, (splitting the series one a piece) game against HC Liberec of the Czech Republic along with a trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland to play a Belfast Giants selects the hockey team.

This was something new for the city of Belfast. A city that throughout history has become known for its trouble. Their local team, the Belfast Giants, thrive on being neutral. So much that they play in the color teal; a cross between blue and green that represents both sides of the country. The arrival of the Bruins showed not only how far the city had developed but how they could host one of the NHL’s biggest teams. Something that hadn’t happened in the UK for three years and never before in Northern Ireland. The city hosting such an event would have seemed impossible just a few years beforehand.

The match was played at the Odyssey Arena, (now SSE Arena) home of the Belfast Giants since their formation in the year 2000. The Belfast Giants Select team were made up of players from the Elite Ice Hockey League (the highest form of competitive hockey in the UK). The home team was captained by Giants’ own Colin Shields, a native of Scotland. He lined up against Zdeno Chara of Boston while Stephen Murphy battled Tuukka Rask in goal. Jade Galbraith put the Giants into the lead by shooting top shelf in the second period. However, the Bruins fought back, taking a 2-1 lead moment later with goals from then-rookie Tyler Seguin and Captain Zdeno Chara. 20 seconds later Marchand put the visitors up by two. The second period finished with Boston leading 3-1. Eight minutes into the third Lucic made it four, showing the difference between the two sides. Before the buzzer, Seguin was hooked and awarded a penalty shot. It was converted for the final goal of the night and a 5-1 win for the boys in black and gold.

( Above Photo Credit:   belfastgiants.com )

So why was this 5-1 pre season friendly important?

For the Bruins, it was another in a long list of preparation for the upcoming NHL season. They had been eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup the season before. And of course, would eventually go on to win the cup in 2011. The European tour provided a unique experience for the players, especially Shawn Thornton, whose mother was from Belfast and moved to Canada at a young age. The chance to play in the city gave him the opportunity to not only bring his mother back to see her family but a chance to see where his grandparents grew up while creating some new, modern memories in Northern Ireland.

Today, the legacy of the Bruins still lives in the SSE Arena. Jerseys presented by the Bruins to the Giants are on display, while huge images painted into the arena screen moments from the match. Hockey has become more popular in the city, and average crowds have risen to over 4,000 a game. Since 2016 the Belfast Giants have hosted the Friendship Four, a NCAA event which invites universities (mainly those near Boston) to compete over Thanksgiving weekend. Meanwhile, many fans ask “Will we ever see an NHL team in Belfast again.” While we may not know the answer, Stanley Cup winners such as Kevin Westgarth and Jim Vandermeer have called Belfast home in recent years. All part of the legacy created by a visit from the Boston Bruins.