Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins First Round Playoff Update

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By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

A new week of playoff hockey is upon us and the Providence Bruins are right in the middle of their first-round series with the Charlotte Checkers. After splitting the first two game in Providence, the two teams traveled down to Charlotte, North Carolina to continue the series at the Bojangles’ Coliseum. Game three was a tough game for the Providence hockey club and the Hurricanes’ affiliate took the ever so important 2-1 series lead with game four on Friday, April 26, 2019. The baby B’s hope they can steal game four and push the series to a game five where anything could happen. It’s going to be an exciting finish to the series that you do not want to miss.

First Round Calder Cup Playoffs: Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers

Game One

Despite the slow start, game one was the one that got away for the Providence Bruins. The Checkers started off hot, less than two minutes into the game Morgan Geekie netted a goal that was assisted by Nick Shilkey and Andrew Poturalski. Then, a little more than two minutes later it was like deja vu all over again when Morgan Geekie netted another goal assisted by Andrew Poturalski and Nick Shilkey to make it 2-0 Charlotte less than four minutes into game one. After this, however, the Providence Bruins would come storming back. Captain Jordan Szwarz got the baby B’s on board netting a goal that was assisted by Anton Blidh. A few minutes later, on the power play, Cooper Zech took a feed from Zane McIntyre and tied the game up at two!

The Bruins would pull ahead less than a minute later when Anton Blidh scored on a feed from Trent Frederic and after the first period, it was 3-2 good guys! The second period was one that Providence would probably like back. was one that Providence would probably like back. It started out with Charlotte’s Tomas Jurco tying the game up at three on a goal that was assisted by Martin Necas and Jake Bean. Later in the second period, Julien Gauthier would put the Checkers up 4-3 on goal that was assisted by Nicolas Roy and Dennis Robertson, and that would be the score at the of the second period.

Now, during my preview one of the stats I pointed out was that the Hurricanes’ affiliate was 38-0 when leading after two periods in the regular season, this didn’t bode well for our boys. The Bruins would show signs of life in the third period, and almost seven minutes the Jordan Szwarz would get his second goal of the game assisted by Kyle Cumiskey and the game would be tied at four. However, later in the period, Bobby Sanguinetti would put the Checkers up for good on a goal that was assisted by Nicolas Roy. Checkers win 5-4 and lead the series 1-0. Zane McIntyre had a rough night in net for Providence stopping 22 of the 27 shots fired his way.

Game Two

Game two was the next day, and the Providence Bruins looked to even the series at one apiece. The Providence hockey club came out hot when Cooper Zech would net his second goal of the series. It was assisted by Jordan Szwarz and Paul Carey and the Boston affiliate took an early 1-0 lead. Then with a little over a minute left in the first period, Jack Studnicka would net his first professional goal on a feed from Lee Stempniak and Ryan Fitzgerald to make the score 2-0 and that would be the score at the end of the first period.

The score remained 2-0 for most of the second period, but with a little over two minutes left Andrew Poturalski would get the Checkers on the board on goal that was assisted by Trevor Carrick and Nicolas Roy. With under a minute to play in the second Charlotte would tie the game up at 2 with a goal from Dan Renouf that assisted by Andrew Poturalski and Morgan Geekie. It would remain 2-2 at the end of the second period. The third period started off slow but ended up being eventful. Almost 10 minutes into the period Peter Cehlarik would put Providence up 3-2 on a goal assisted by Jack Studnicka and Trent Frederic.

It would stay that way until the very end of the game when Chris Breen would add an empty net goal with one second left to make it a 4-2 game. Bruins win and tie the series up at 1-1. Dan Vladar was great in net stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced. At the end of the game as the empty net goal was being scored a scrum broke out and two Bruins players (Jordan Szwarz and Lee Stempniak) and three Checkers players (Trevor Carrick, Tomas Jurco, and Bobby Sanguinetti) were given game misconducts. This is significant because Bobby Sanguinetti was suspended one game for his role in the scrum and Trevor Carrick has been suspended three games for leaving the bench during an altercation.

Game Three

Both teams packed up and set sail for Charlotte, North Carolina where the rest of the series will be played at the Bojangles’ Coliseum. The Checkers came out strong in the first period and about halfway through Andrew Poturalski scored his second goal of the series which was assisted by Aleksi Saarela to put them on top 1-0. About four minutes later Charlotte would go up 2-0 when Morgan Geekie scored his third goal of the series which was assisted by Jake Bean and Andrew Poturalski and the period would end with the Hurricanes’ affiliate up 2-0. Both teams would put up a goose egg in the second period and at the end of two, it was still 2-0 Checkers.

Again, going back to game one the Charlotte hockey club including regular season play was now 39-0 when leading after two periods. About a minute into the third period Andrew Poturalski would net an unassisted goal his second of the game and third of the series to put Charlotte on top 3-0 and that would go on to be your final with the Carolina affiliate now up 2-1 in the series. Goalie Zane McIntyre was adequate in net stopping 25 of the 28 shots he faced. Something else of note, Dan Vladar was set to start game three but an injury during the pre-game skate forced Zane McIntyre into the lineup.

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

Hot

Cooper ZechCooper Zech has been great for Providence this series. In the three games, he netted two goals and has two total points. He came over to Providence in March signing as an undrafted free agent after his freshman year at Ferris State. While there, he led the team in scoring netting eight goals and dishing out 20 assists for 28 total points in 36 games. That’s a point per game total of 0.77. In 12 regular season games with Providence, the young defenseman didn’t find the back of the net but did dish out four assists for four total points. That’s a 0.33 point per game total in a limited sample. Hopefully, Zech can keep up his hot play and provide both offense and defense for the Bruins the rest of the series.

Jordan SzwarzThe Captain has been great for Providence this series. In the three games, he has netted two goals and dished out one assist for three total points. Szwarz had another great season for Providence in 68 games he netted 23 goals while dishing out 23 assists for 46 total points. That’s a point per game total of 0.67. The OHL product will need to continue to play well if the Bruins hope to take games four and five in Charlotte.

Not

Zane McIntyre: Zane had a pretty good regular season for Providence. He was 25-14-7 with a GAA of 2.59 and a save percentage of 0.898. This series, however, has been bad for the North Dakota alum. In two games the veteran netminder is 0-2 with a GAA of 4.14 and a save percentage of 0.855. With the injury to Vladar before game three, and the severity of it unknown, the Bruins need McIntyre to pick up his play if they hope to move on to the second round of the playoffs.

Zach SenyshynZach Senyshyn had an up and down regular season. The speedster showed some flashes of being elite, and at times looked a little lost. In 66 games with Providence, he netted 14 goals and dished out 10 assists for 24 total points. That’s a point per game total of 0.36. The young winger did get a call up to Boston and in two games netted a goal for his only point. That was something I was hoping would catapult him into a big playoff series, but in three games against Charlotte he has yet to register a point and if the Bruins want to advance to the next round, they need more offense.

Outlook for the rest of the series

A couple of things I said in my preview for the series that were important were overall team defense and would the Bruins get enough offense to win games. Both points seem to be rearing their ugly head as the team defense in game one as well as game three were suspect, and the Bruins just didn’t get enough offense especially in game three. Providence only had 20 shots on net in the game three loss and that just is not going to cut it and if the baby B’s hope to move onto the second round they need to generate more opportunities.

Before Wednesday night’s contest at Bojangles Coliseum, Providence rookie goaltender Dan Vladar went down with a lower body injury which is rumored to be a hamstring issue. With Zane McIntyre spending time with Boston as the “black ace” third goaltender, another rumor floating around the Boston Bruins organization is B’s goaltending prospect Kyle Keyser “could” get his first AHL start in goal in his first Calder Cup Playoff game. The 20-year-old Keyser recently ended his year with the Oshawa Generals a team who was eliminated in the  third  round of OHL playoffs to the hands of the leagues best Ottawa 67”s.

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I think that the boys in black and gold can win two in a row and still take this series. They proved earlier in the year that they could beat Charlotte on the road. Like I stated earlier game four will be Friday, April 26, 2019, and it will be one you do not want to miss. If Providence can come out on top, then the deciding game five would be Saturday, April 27, 2019. Let’s hope they can take game four Friday night! We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the series and Go, B’s, Go!

Bruins’ Senyshyn Seny-shines in NHL Debut!

NHL: Boston Bruins at Minnesota Wild(Photo Credit: USA Today Sports)

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

And so it began… an NHL career on one hand and cell phones constantly posting to Twitter on the other — two separate and disparate occurrences coyly (and perhaps even Coyle-ly) connected thanks to the new No. 19 in Boston, Zach Senyshyn:

So, what SHOULD folks know about the B’s prized prospect both lauded & lamented simultaneously for what he’s never done yet and still yet to do in a Black N’ Gold sweater?

  • He was the 15th Overall Pick in 2015 NHL Draft
  • He was a scoring stud in the OHL
  • He was constantly scrutinized in the AHL
  • He was never given a chance in the NHL… until now

And in the hallowed hockey history of memorable Bruins’ debuts, I’d call Senyshyn’s nothing to shun. In fact, he shined in the limited but productive ice time he was given by head coach Bruce Cassidy.

What does “played pretty well” translate to, especially when paired with fellow newbie B’s Charlie Coyle & Marcus Johannson for most of the night? Well, outside of solid stick handling, puck possession & body positioning… how’s about scoring your first career NHL goal in game number numero uno in front of your fanning-out folks! Here’s a look from multiple angles from multiple tweets:

You down with ENG? Yeah, you know me! Or, at least him now. Him being Zach Senyshyn, all Seny-suited up following his memorable Minnesota debut, proudly profiling a picturesque puck of perfectly positioned portraiture seen below:

So, what does the future hold for a young man who now holds a more impressive one-game statistical resume than a certain other notable ’15 draftee, sarcasm set aside so we can slyly celebrate before reality sets in?

I bet we’re all hoping for something surreal… something that reminds us of other talented & promising B’s prospects who matured late and blossomed in the spoked-B despite the hate, hype & hyperbole directed their way before they even played an NHL game. I know Senyshyn’s teammates are already tickled pink for their baby-faced brother, as you can see from their smiles & sentiments on the ice & off (himself included)!

It’s reassuring to know he, too, is taking it all in stride, with laughter, graciousness & gratitude at the forefront of a hockey skillset and mindset just waiting for even more chances to Seny-shine in Boston.

(Photo Credit: Boston Bruins)

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Bruins Recall Frederic, Senyshyn From Providence

430b74a297e8b2eca1709318e09ce873Photo Courtesy Of Yahoo! Sports

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today that the team has recalled forwards Trent Frederic and Zach Senyshyn from Providence on an emergency basis.

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Frederic has skated in 13 games for Boston this season, going scoreless. He made his NHL debut on January 29th against the Winnipeg Jets at the TD Garden. He has skated in 51 games for Providence this season, posting 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points. He also posted five goals and three assists for eight points in 13 appearances for Providence last season. The St. Louis, Missouri native was selected by the Bruins in the first round (29th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Senyshyn has skated in 62 games for Providence this season, posting 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points. Last season, he posted numbers of 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 66 games in Providence. Prior to turning pro, Senyshyn spent three seasons in the OHL with the Soo Greyhounds posting 114 goals and 63 assists for 177 points in 195 career games. The Ottawa, Ontario native was drafted by the Bruins in the first round (15th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Senyshyn will likely make his NHL debut tomorrow night in Minnesota as this could be a showcase for him to show what he has in his first career call up. Frederic should also see some playing over the next two games probably on the third line. Senyshyn should see time on the second line perhaps with David Krejci and potentially even time on the power play. Both guys have the ability to truly impress over these next two games and could develop some momentum into the next season when they attempt to make the big club in Boston.

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 24 Preview

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( Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 24 of the AHL season is upon us, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 32-22-8-3 (75 points) and 4-3-1-2 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. Even though the Baby B’s sit firmly in a playoff spot, with a little help they could move up in the standings if they have a good weekend. With only 11 games left in the regular season, now is the time for our boys in black and gold to make their big push in the playoff standings. The weekend hopes to be fruitful as the Providence club comes home for two games before embarking on another three-game road trip.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, March 22, 2019, when the Belleville Senators invade the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The hockey action continues Saturday, March 23, 2019, when Binghamton Devils roll into town hoping to conjure up a W at the Dunk. After the weekend of home cooking, the Providence Bruins head out on the highway and take on the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. It should be an exciting weekend of hockey that you are not going to want to miss.

Friday, March 22, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Belleville Senators (HOME)

The Friday showdown will mark the second time the Bruins take on Belleville this season. The Senators are in the North Division, so because of that they only play each other twice a year once at home and once on the road. In the first match-up, the Bruins fell 3-2 getting goals from Connor Clifton and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Dan Vladar was adequate in net turning away 20 of the 23 shots that were fired his way. The Belleville Senators come into the match-up 33-25-3-5 (74 points) and 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the North Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Over the past five seasons, the two teams have not played each other very much because of being in different divisions, but the baby B’s are 1-1-1 against the Ottawa affiliate in that time frame.

As with most games, situational scoring is going to be very important to whoever wins this game. When leading after two periods, the Belleville Senators are 23-0-0-1. Meanwhile, when losing after two periods, the Ottawa affiliate is 5-21-0-2. The Providence Bruins, on the other hand, are 25-3-2-2 when they have a lead after the second period, and a record of 4-18-3 when down after two. Speaking of situational scoring, special teams will also play a major role in the game. The Sens have a power play percentage of 19.2% this is good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. They’ve scored 53 power play goals and 211 goals overall on the season. This means 25.1% of their goals have come with the man advantage. On top of that, they’ve only given up three shorthanded goals on the year. Meanwhile, the Baby B’s have the third-best penalty kill in the Eastern Conference at 85.7% and have scored 10 shorthanded goals, which is fifth in the East.

The Boston affiliate, meanwhile, has a power play percentage of 17.2% which is good for 12th in the East. They’ve also given up the second most shorthanded goals in the East at 13. The Senators’ penalty kill is at 75.9% this is last in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve had eight shorthanded goals. If the Bruins can manipulate these scoring situations in their favor, they will have a fantastic chance of coming out of this game with a victory. With the Belleville hockey club sitting in eighth place in the conference, a win here would absolutely help pad the lead the baby B’s have over them.

Saturday, March 23, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Binghamton Devils (HOME)

The Saturday battle marks the second time the Bruins have played the Devils this season. The first match-up saw the Binghamton hockey club come out on top 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Connor Clifton, Gemel Smith, and Anton Blidh. Goalie Zane McIntyre had a game that he would probably like to forget stopping 17 of the 22 shots that were fired his way. Despite the bad game earlier this year, the baby B’s have had great success against the New Jersey affiliate over the past five years going 13-6-1-1 during that time span including 9-2 at the Dunk.

The Binghamton hockey club has had a rough go of it this year. They skate into the contest 24-35-6 (54 points) and 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for eighth in the North Division and 16th in the Eastern Conference. Team defense will be a major key in this game. The Binghamton Devils have given up 233 goals on the year. This is not only the worst in the Eastern Conference, but it is the worst in the entire AHL. This is 3.58 goals a game that they are giving up. Our boys in black and gold, on the other hand, have given up 181 goals on the season which is 2.76 goals a game. Only three other teams in the East have given up fewer goals on the year.

On the other side of the puck, the New Jersey affiliate has one of the worst offenses in the East scoring 170 goals on the year which is 2.61 goals a game. Meanwhile, the spoked P has scored 196 goals on the year which is 3.01 goals a game. These stats bode well for the Providence hockey club in this game. Despite the tough year, the Devils are 15-1-1 when they are leading after the second period. If the Bruins stingy defense can keep Binghamton from scoring, they have a fantastic chance of coming out on top.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins (AWAY)

The Wednesday match-up will mark the sixth time that these two teams have played each other, and Providence has had their way with the Pittsburgh affiliate thus far. The first battle saw the Bruins beat the Penguins 2-1 in overtime getting goals from the now departed Martin Bakos, and Ryan Fitzgerald (OT). Goalie Dan Vladar was superb in net denying 27 of the 28 shots that came his way. The second installment saw the Baby B’s route Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5-2 getting goals from the now traded Ryan Donato (2), Martin Bakos, Joel Messner, and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stoning 20 of the 22 shots he faced.

The third match-up saw the boys in black and gold win 4-2 getting goals from Ryan Fitzgerald, Peter Cehlarik, Ryan Donato, and Jakub Zboril. Goal Zane McIntyre was excellent in net stopping 32 of the 34 shots that were fired his way. The fourth match-up saw the Bruins lost 2-1 in a shootout getting their goal from Chris Breen. Goalie Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 39 of the 40 shots that came his way. The most recent battle saw the Bruins fall 2-1 in overtime getting their lone goal from Ryan Fitzgerald. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stoning 26 of the 28 shots that were fired his way.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins come into the game 30-23-7-3 (70 points) and 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games played. This is good for fifth in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. The Providence Bruins have not only played extremely well against the Pittsburgh affiliate this year going 3-0-1-1, but over the past five seasons, the Baby B’s are 13-6-3-3. A major key for the boys in black and gold will be how their offense plays. The Penguins have given up a total of 185 goals on the year. Only four other teams in the Eastern Conference have given up less. Meanwhile, the Bruins have scored 196 goals this year which is the 11th most in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully, the offense is up to that task.

Special teams will also be a key in this game. The Providence Bruins are not only fourth in the Eastern Conference in goals given up with 181, but they are also third in penalty kill at 85.7%. That coupled with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton having the 13th ranked power play in the Eastern Conference at 17.0% means that if the spoked P can play their game and hold their ground, it bodes well for the overall outcome. Another major key for the Pittsburgh affiliate is whether they outshoot their opponent when they do, they are 18-14-2-2 but are 7-8-4-1 when being outshot. On the other side, the Baby B’s are 9-6-3-2 when being outshot and 21-14-5-1 when outshooting their foe.

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

Hot

Jordan SzwarzThe Providence Bruins Captain has been very good all season. On the year, the veteran forward has found the back of the net 19 times while dishing out 16 assists for 35 total points and a point per game total of 0.60. This includes netting one goal and dishing out five assists for six points in his last seven games. The next goal that the OHL product scores will be his 20th on the year and it’ll be his third season in a row with Providence with 20+ goals on the year. Szwarz would be the fifth player in Providence Bruins history to do that. It’s something to look out for coming up.

Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald had found himself in the not category last week, but he’s slowly starting to find the rhythm he had at the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year, the former Boston College Eagle was arguably the best forward for Providence. An injury partway through the season derailed his momentum, but he’s slowly starting to find his stride again. In 51 games he has found the back of the net eight times while dishing out 25 assists for 33 total points and a point per game total of 0.64. This includes netting one goal and dishing out three assists for four points in his last six games played. It’s nice to see the young forward find his scoring touch for the playoff push.

Not

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith has been excellent since coming over to Boston in a trade with Dallas back in December. For a little while, it seemed like the OHL product found himself in the “hot” category every single week. Recently, it seems like the gritty forward has found his first real cold streak of the season. Over Smith’s last nine games he has found the back of the net once and dished out three assists for four total points. Despite the cold streak, in 37 games since joining the baby B’s he has netted 13 goals and dished out 18 assists for 31 total points and a point per game total of 0.83. Hopefully, as Providence gets closer to the playoffs, the young forward will find his scoring touch again.

Mark McNeill: Mark McNeill has proven to be streaky for Providence this season. Over his past 18 games, he’s registered three points dishing out three assists and has not scored a goal since January 26, 2019. This means the WHL product netted seven goals while dishing out 14 assists for 21 total points and a point per game total of 0.65. Since then his point per game total has plummeted to 0.48 (7-17-24 in 50 games played). Hopefully the gritty forward can find his scoring touch as the baby B’s push towards the playoffs.

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Zach SenyshynZach Senyshyn has proven to be very streaky for Providence this season. In 57 games this season he has netted 14 goals and dished out 10 assists for 24 total points and a point per game total of 0.42. Despite this, last weekend he scored his first goal since January 26, 2019. Sometimes, all you need is one to break the floodgates open and go on a scoring streak. I am hopeful that the young speedster is going to do just that and get back on a role. Though, many are disappointed that the young forward hasn’t gotten the opportunity to showcase his skills in Boston, if he sticks with it and continues to work hard it’ll be only a matter of time before that happens.

On the Blue Line

Cooper ZechCooper Zech recently signed a deal with Providence and played in his first professional games. In his first two games, he played around 20 minutes each game and looked very good. The 20-year-old defenseman comes to Providence from Ferris State as an undrafted college free agent. In his freshman season with Ferris State, he was the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) top-scoring freshman, the top scoring freshman defenseman, WCHA Rookie of the Year, and the first freshman to lead Ferris State in scoring since 1987-88 netting 8 goals and dishing out 20 assists in 36 games played for the Bulldogs.  The former Bulldog also recorded his first point on Wednesday against Laval getting the primary assist on a goal. After the season he’s had, there certainly are some lofty expectations moving forward. Hopefully, he has a big weekend for Providence.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: Zane McIntyre has had an up and down season this year. On the year the veteran netminder has a record of 22-10-7 with a 2.51 goals against average and a save percentage of .901. The University of North Dakota alum has been a lot better at home than on the road this season, and when the Bruins went on their crazy point streak, he was a large reason for that. With two games at the Dunk, look for Zane to have a big weekend.

The Providence Bruins are currently sitting in playoff position by four points. A good weekend and they could pad that standing and possibly move up a spot in those standings. With 11 games remaining the team’s magic number is 20. The magic number is the number of points needed to clinch the playoff spot. The magic number goes down when it earns points either with victory, or overtime/shootout losses. The magic number also goes down when the team with the highest possible point total that isn’t currently in playoff position, loses. This means the baby B’s are sitting in a good position right now and can hopefully make that magic number dwindle down this weekend. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 21 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 21 is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into the weekend 28-20-7-1 (64 points) and 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference clinging to that final playoff spot. This past weekend the Baby B’s had an up and down one getting three out of a possible six points going 1-1-1. Even though the boys in black and gold are sitting in that last playoff position, they are only three points behind the fifth-place Marlies of Toronto. That means a lot of ground can be made up in a short period of time. Let’s hope they start to make up that ground this weekend.

The jam-packed three-game weekend starts out on Friday, March 1, 2019, when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins skate into Providence, Rhode Island to invade the Dunk. The weekend continues Saturday, March 2, 2019, when the Bruins take their show on the road to battle the home team Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Finally, the weekend comes to a close on Sunday, March 3, 2019, when the Springfield Thunderbirds fly into Providence, Rhode Island to take on the Baby B’s at the Dunk. It is going to be an exciting weekend of must-see hockey.

Friday, March 1, 2019 Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME)

The Friday match-up will mark the fourth time that these two teams have played each other, and Providence has had their way with the Pittsburgh affiliate thus far. The first battle saw the Bruins beat the Penguins 2-1 in overtime getting goals from the now departed Martin Bakos, and Ryan Fitzgerald (OT). Goalie Dan Vladar was superb in net denying 27 of the 28 shots that came his way. The second installment saw the Baby B’s route Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5-2 getting goals from the recently traded Ryan Donato (2), Martin Bakos, Joel Messner, and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stoning 20 of the 22 shots he faced. The most recent match-up saw the boys in black and gold win 4-2 getting goals from Ryan Fitzgerald, Peter Cehlarik, Ryan Donato, and Jakub Zboril. Goal Zane McIntyre was excellent in net stopping 32 of the 34 shots that were fired his way.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins come into the game 26-22-5-2 (59 points) and 4-4-1-1 in their last 10 games played. This is good for sixth in the Atlantic Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference. The Providence Bruins have not only played extremely well against the Pittsburgh affiliate this year going 3-0, but over the past five seasons, the Baby B’s are 13-6-2-2. A major key for the boys in black and gold will be how their offense plays. The Penguins have given up a total of 164 goals on the year. Only six other teams in the Eastern Conference have given up less. Meanwhile, the Bruins have scored 172 goals this year which is the 11th most in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully, the offense is up to that task.

Special teams will also be a key in this game. The Providence Bruins are not only second in the Eastern Conference in goals given up with 157, but they are also second in penalty kill at 86%. That coupled with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton having the 11th ranked power play in the Eastern Conference at 17.6% means that if the spoked P can play their game and hold their ground, it bodes well for the overall outcome. Another major key for the Pittsburgh affiliate is whether they outshoot their opponents when they do, they are 17-13-1-1 but are 4-7-3-1 when being out-shot. On the other side, the Baby B’s are 9-5-3 when being out-shot and 17-13-4-1 when out-shooting their foe. It should be an exciting game of hockey and one that the Bruins could easily win.

Saturday, March 2, 2019 (AWAY) and Sunday, March 3, 2019 (HOME)

The weekend series will mark the 10th and 11th times the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net.

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The next installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced. Part five of the season series was a good one for the boys in black and gold. The Bruins beat the Thunderbirds 4-3 getting goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre continued to play well as he turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced.

The sixth part in the season series saw the Panthers’ affiliate beat the spoked P 3-2 in overtime. The Baby B’s were able to get goals from Gemel Smith, and Cameron Hughes with Dan Vladar giving a tremendous effort in net stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced. The seventh showdown saw the boys in black and gold win 2-1 in a shootout getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, and Trent Frederic netted the winning shootout goal. Zane McIntyre was excellent in net turning away 23 of the 24 shots he faced. The eighth throw-down between the two clubs saw the Providence hockey club win 3-2 getting goals from Mark McNeill, Gemel Smith, and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stopping 22 of 24 shots that came his way. The most recent chapter in the long season story saw the Thunderbirds win 5-1 with the Bruins getting their lone goal from Jordan Szwarz. Goalie Zane McIntyre had a rough game in net stopping 21 of 26 shots that were fired his way.

The Springfield Thunderbirds come into the weekend home and home series 22-23-6-5 (55 points) and 2-7-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. Despite having a rough season against the Panthers’ affiliate this year, the Baby B’s have played well against them over the past five years going 21-11-3. They also have almost identical records at home and on the road in that time frame. This bodes well for the weekend series. Defense again will play a major role in who wins this game.

The Thunderbirds have scored 182 goals in the 56 games they’ve played this season which is 3.25 goals a game their problem is they’ve given up 186 goals in that time frame as well which is 3.32 per game. Providence’s defense, on the other hand, is quite good giving up only 2.80 goals a game. Their offense is no slouch either scoring 3.07 goals a game. The other big key is again who had the lead after two periods. Despite their position in the standings the club from Springfield Massachusetts is 17-1-1 when leading after two periods and 0-21-1-2 when down after two periods. Meanwhile, the Baby B’s are 22-3-2-1 when leading after two and 4-16-2 when trailing after the second period. It should be an exciting home and home series to end the weekend.

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

Hot

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith makes his way into this category for another week, and he is on fire. He has netted a goal in each of his last three games and has scored points in 11 of his last 13 games. The 24-year old forward has netted six goals and dished out nine assists for 15 total points in that time frame. Since being traded from Dallas in December, the OHL product has been on the Bruins best players. In 28 games played he has potted 12 goals while tallying 15 assists for 27 total points. That’s almost a point per game player. Hopefully, he keeps up his scorching pace this weekend.

Lee StempniakLee Stempniak has had a long successful career in the NHL scoring 203 goals and dishing out 266 assists in 909 games. That’s a point per game total of 0.52. The veteran forward was in Providence on a player tryout and played well in the four games he’s played in. In those games, he has netted two goals while also dishing out two assists for four total points. The former Dartmouth College Captain recently signed a contract with Boston and will likely spend the rest of the year in Providence barring any injury. Hopefully, the veteran forward can continue his solid play for the Baby B’s this weekend.

Not

Mark McNeill: Mark McNeill has proven to be streaky for Providence this season. On the year he does have stats of 7-16-23 in 43 games played. This is a point per game total of 0.53. This is a bit lower than his AHL career of 0.56 (96-120-216 in 386 games played), as well as his WHL days of 0.88 (97-146-243 in 276 games played). Despite having a decent year, the gritty forward has only registered two points in his last 11 games dishing out two assists. The WHL product also hasn’t scored a goal since January 26, 2019. Hopefully, the McNeill can find his scoring touch this weekend.

Zach SenyshynZach Senyshyn is one of the most talented players on the Providence Bruins roster. His potential is sky high. However, since coming to Providence, he has proved to be a very streaky player. Currently, on the year, he has netted 13 goals while dishing out nine assists for 22 total points in 48 games played. That is a point per game total of 0.45. This is much lower than his OHL days of 0.91 (114-63-177 in 195 games played). To top it off in his last eight games played he has dished out two assists for two total points and hasn’t scored a goal since January 26, 2019. The young forward can be dynamic and has shown flashes of brilliance. Hopefully, he can find the back of the net a few times for the Bruins this weekend.

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Zach SenyshynDespite being on a cold streak, Senyshyn is one of my players to watch this weekend. He has played well against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Springfield this season. In 11 games against the two clubs this season he has netted four goals and dished out two assists for six total points. That means that almost a quarter of his goals have come against these two teams this season. On top of that, I believe that the young forward is extremely motivated to do well. He really wants to see a call-up to the big club and Boston. I have a feeling we may see the beginning of a hot streak this weekend.

On the Blue Line

Jakub ZborilJakub Zboril is having a pretty good season for Providence. Not only playing good defense, but he has potted four goals and dished out 11 assists for 15 points in 37 games this year. That is a point per game total of 0.40. This is much higher than his pace last season which was 0.27 (4-15-19 in 68 games played). On top of that, the young defenseman has registered a point in three of his last five games netting a goal and dishing out two assists for three points in that time frame. I would look for him to have a big weekend.

In Net

Dan VladarDan Vladar has had an up and down season this year but has also had the short end of the stick for part of it. He is 8-11-4-2 with a 2.73 goals against average, and a save percentage of .902. Having six games end in overtime or shoot out loss is a lot of tough luck. The young goaltender has played better on the road than he has at home this season. So, he is likely to only play one game barring any injury, but I would look for him to have a good game and bring home two points for Providence.

The Providence Bruins have had a rough couple of weeks since their 12-game point streak was snapped. They dropped a few spots in the Eastern Conference but remain right in the middle of the playoff picture. That being said, with the two teams they face this weekend below them in the standings, this is the perfect time for them to pad their playoff spot and possibly gain grown on teams ahead of them in the standings. I would look for the Baby B’s to get at least four out of six points. Anything less would be a major missed opportunity.  We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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Bruins 2015 NHL Draft: Grading Sweeney’s Selections

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @lucaspearson_

After taking a look at every trade by Bruins GM Don Sweeney, we now dive into his draft history. We begin with his first and most controversy draft, the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In grading the picks, I’ll look at: where they were projected to go, what they have done so far, what players before and after have done so far, their fit to the Bruins at the time, among other aspects. These grades can easily change in a years time, some prospects take longer to groom before being. This entire grading as a whole is still way too early, you can really only grade a draft a decade down the line and see what impact (or lack thereof) the players have made.

Round 1, 13th Overall: Jakub Zboril

Grade: D+

It was well documented that the Bruins wanted to flip a couple of picks and move up in the draft to select the slick two-way defender Noah Hanifin. Obviously, they weren’t able to do that, and the Bruins also ended up missing out on similar D in Ivan Provorov and Zach Werenski to take the rains from Chara. Rather than go for a more offensive guy in Thomas Chabot (hindsight is 20/20) the Bruins ended up picking a more reliable, hard-working defenseman in Zboril. The young Czech D has slowly been developing in the AHL and has grown both offensively and defensively. While he didn’t play much (averaging 10:56 in his two games), he didn’t look out of place in his brief stint with the big club. He’ll carve a role the NHL at some point, there’s no questioning that, it’s just a matter of when and where.

(sportingnews.com)

Round 1, 14th Overall: Jake Debrusk

Grade: B+

Already a fan favorite in just his second season with Boston, Debrusk has been exactly what the Bruins’ management wanted him to be. The 22-year-old shows his work ethic every single shift he’s on the ice and is really starting to develop into a big goal scorer. If he wasn’t injured earlier on, he had a very good shot of hitting the 30 goal mark on the season. You can compare him to guys like Matthew Barzal or Brock Boeser who were drafted behind him, but Debrusk had embodied what it means to be a Bruin from the get-go.

Round 1, 15th Overall: Zachary Senyshyn

Grade: D

I like Senyshyn a lot. Despite being behind in development compared to some of his fellow draftees, he’s the type of player that the Bruins need. He’s got great speed, solid size, and being a right shot power-forward, it’s exactly the kind of player that would look great on the right side of David Krejci. My biggest problem with this pick is that the Bruins didn’t trade down in the 1st round to get him. Because he was projected to go early to mid 2nd round, you would think that if the Bruins wanted the player so badly, they could’ve moved down in the draft with one of these picks similar to what Toronto did in trading their 1st rounder (24th overall) to the Flyers for a 1st rounder (29th overall) and a 2nd rounder (61st overall). With all of the talent in the 1st round, there were bound to be other teams with the wish to move up in the draft to select a guy like Matthew Barzal or Kyle Connor. I have no problem with the player, I think at some point he will certainly become a consistent middle-six forward, but if Sweeney managed his assets a little better, maybe they come out of the draft with another talented prospect along with Senyshyn.

 

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Round 2, 37th Overall: Brandon Carlo

Grade: A

The Bruins hit a home-run with this pick. After playing just seven games in the AHL in the previous season, Carlo made the jump to full-time NHLer in 2016 as a 19-year-old. He played the entire 82 game season but definitely looked shaky at times. Since then, Carlo has really started to carve out a role on the Bruins back-end. I think he’s the Bruin that has improved the most since last season. He’s been an outstanding penalty killer and overall great shutdown defenseman while adding a lot more grit to his game. If Carlo could work on his offensive skills a bit more (just three points in 41 games this year), I can see him on the top pair for the Bruins for many years to come.

Round 2, 45th Overall: Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson

Grade: B+

Now while calling him “Patrice Bergeron 2.0” is a bit far-fetched at this point in his career, there’s no doubt that the young Swede has the skill-set to be a full-time NHLer. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance both offensively and defensively in his 28 games with the Bruins, but the consistency just isn’t quite there yet. At times, JFK looks a bit lackadaisical and not giving his full effort, but if he can work out his quirks, his two-way prowess will allow him to be a very good NHL player.

 

(Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

Round 2, 52nd Overall: Jeremy Lauzon

Grade: B+

With the ridiculous amount of injuries the Bruins’ D-core had, we got to see a lot of Lauzon in the NHL. He looked very comfortable in his 15 games in the NHL, there was nothing not to like. His 6’1, 205 lbs frame, combined with his puck-moving ability, makes him a two-way threat from the back-end. I’d say he deserves to be a regular NHLer next season, although he’s is unlikely to be that with the amount of depth the Bruins already have on D.

Round 3, 75th Overall: Daniel Vladar

Grade: B-

Goalies are always hard to judge after they’re drafted. So many of them are busts, but so many of them are late bloomers. Only two goalies (Mackenzie Blackwood and Adin Hill) have seen an NHL game from the entire draft. Vladar has been solid in the AHL but not outstanding. I’d expect him to challenge for the Bruins backup goalie position after Jaroslav Halak’s contract expires but the 6’5 Czech-man will have to wait a while until he gets his shot with the Bruins.

 

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(dobberprospects.com)

Round 5, 105th Overall: Jesse Gabrielle

Grade: C

Gabrielle is a very confusing player. After the Bruins drafted him in 2015, he went on to have two very good seasons in the WHL, lighting the lamp a total of 75 times in those two seasons. He’s got a bit of snarl to his game and some silky hands, but it just hasn’t clicked for Gabrielle in his pro career as of now. This year, he has a -22 rating in the ECHL and hasn’t even been given a look in the AHL. I’m not ready to call the player a bust just yet because he’s still just 21 years old, but something needs to change, whether it’s mentally or physically, if he wants a shot at making the NHL.

Round 6, 165th Overall: Cameron Hughes

Grade: B

A really good find late in the draft by the Bruins. After a so-so draft year at the University of Wisconsin, he progressed very nicely, upping his goal total each following season and eventually being named “captain” in his senior year in the NCAA. He’s continued on this path and has been a really solid player in the AHL this year, totaling 10 goals and 25 points in 45 games.

 

(Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)

Round 7, 195th Overall: Jack Becker

Grade: C+

Now the chances of a 7th rounder making the NHL are slim, but there’s actually quite a bit to like with Becker. Now at the University of Michigan, Becker has had a decent year with 10 points in 25 games. He plays the game hard, but the best thing about Becker is his size. He’s 6’3, and with that frame, I won’t be surprised if he’s able to challenge for a bottom 6 role in the NHL at some point down the line.

So even with the controversial 1st round, there’s no questioning that the Bruins came out of this draft with a lot of talent. Many of the players have already sniffed the NHL and have very good chances to be everyday players with the Bruins. Sweeney’s average grade on this draft is just under a B- which is fairly accurate in looking at this draft. I do want to say again that these draft picks really can’t be properly judged until many, many years down the line but it was a fun thing to do as I’m continuing grading Don Sweeney’s tenure with the Bruins so far.

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 17 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 17 is upon us for the Providence Bruins. They come into it with a record of 22-16-6-1 (51 points) and 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 meetings. That includes a nine-game point streak in which the Baby B’s are 7-0-1-1. This has catapulted them into fourth place in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. That spoked P is playing great hockey right now which is backed by the outstanding play of Karson Kuhlman and Zane McIntyre. They have another short weekend playing just two games for the second week in a row. I can assure though; these games are ones you will not want to miss.

The action kicks off on Friday, February 1, 2019, when the Providence Bruins travel down to Charlotte, North Carolina to take on the home team Eastern Conference-leading Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The weekend the wraps up on Saturday, February 2, 2019, with the Baby B’s staying in Charlotte to invade the Bojangles’ Coliseum once again to take on the Checkers for the second night in a row. It’ll be a tough test for the boys in black and gold, but I think they will be up for the challenge.

Friday, February 1, 2019, and Saturday, February 2, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (AWAY)

The weekend series will mark the six and seventh times these two teams have faced each other, and things haven’t gone the Providence club’s way. In the first installment of the season series, the Carolina Hurricanes’ affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-3 with the Bruins getting goals from the now departed Jan Kovar, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie, Dan Vladar had a rough night in net turning away 20 of the 24 shots he faced. The second meeting did not yield better results for our boys in black and gold as the Checkers won 3-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Peter Cehlarik and Ryan Fitzgerald while goalie, Zane McIntyre played valiantly stopping 17 of 20 shots in the loss.

The third match-up between the two clubs saw the spoked P finally break through winning 2-1. They got goals from Peter Cehlarik and Jordan Szwarz. Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 25 of the 26 shots that were fired his way. More recently the Baby B’s fell in OT to Charlotte 3-2 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz and Trent Frederic. Zane McIntyre was great in net again, turning away 44 of the 47 shots he faced, and he pitched in with the rare goalie assist. The last meeting between the two clubs saw the spoked P beat the Hurricanes’ affiliate 5-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Trent Frederic (2), Gemel Smith, Paul Carey, and Karson Kuhlman. Zane McIntyre was very good in net turning away 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

The Charlotte Checkers come into the weekend 31-11-4 (66 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for first place in the Atlantic Division as well as first place in the Eastern Conference. The Checkers moved to Charlotte in 2010 from Albany, NY where they were the River Rats. Since making North Carolina their home, the Hurricanes’ affiliate has a record of 5-3-0-1 against our Bruins including a 3-0-0-1 record at the Biscuit. It should be a big test for the Baby B’s who have played extremely well recently. Their nine-game point streak has seen them jump into a playoff spot. These games could measure how far the Providence club has come since the start of the season.

There are a few major keys to the games this weekend that we should keep a lookout for. First, as with most match-ups, special teams are going to be key. The Providence Bruins boast the fifth best power play unit in the Eastern Conference with 20.7%. On top of that, they have the second-best penalty kill unit in the Eastern Conference at 86.6%. The Checkers, on the other hand, have the 13th best power play unit in the Eastern Conference at 17.6% and the third-ranked penalty kill at 84.2%. Another key is going to be which team is going to be able to out-shoot the other. The Baby B’s are 15-11-3-1 when they out-shoot their opponent and Charlotte is 15-7-3.

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

Hot

Zach SenyshynSenyshyn has had an up and down season. He’s been streaky ever since coming to Providence from the OHL. Recently though, he’s played a lot better and has really been able to show his speed and play-making ability. Over his past four games, he has netted two goals while dishing out two assists for four points. Overall on the season, he has stats of 13-7-20 in 40 games played. This is a point per game average of 0.50 which is down from his OHL career of 0.91 (114-63-177 in 195 games played), but it is up from his career AHL total of 0.43 (25-21-46 in 106 games played).

Gemel Smith: Smith was acquired by Boston and sent down to Providence back in December. Since then he has been excellent for the Baby B’s. He has played in 17 games and netted eight goals while dishing out 8 assists. That’s 16 points in 17 games for a point per game total of 0.94. This includes two goals and two assists in his last four games. The young forward’s point per game total is closer to his OHL playing days of 0.77 (89-114-203 in 264 games) than it is to his AHL career of 0.50 (43-59-102 in 203 games played)

Not

Austin FytenFyten has skated into a bit of a cold spell recently. The gritty forward has not registered a point since January 5, 2019. So far on the year, the WHL product has netted three goals while dishing out six assists for nine total points in 40 games. This is a point per game total of 0.22. This is much lower than his WHL days of 0.63 (55-67-122 in 193 games played). It’s also much lower than his ECHL days of 0.72 (32-45-77 in 107 games played). Hopefully, the veteran forward can pick up his play and find himself in the hot category sometime soon.

Dan VladarThe young goalie has had an up and down season for Providence. He seems to be a streaky goalie who is on a cold streak right now. In his last five games, he has a record of 1-2-2. In the time frame, he has turned away 123 of the 140 shots he faced for a .878 save percentage and goals against average of 3.33. With Zane McIntyre up in Boston because of injury, the Baby B’s may need to rely on Vladar to find his game for the near future.

My players to watch for the Bruins

Up Front

Paul Carey: Carey has had an excellent season in the AHL this year. He was acquired from Ottawa on January 12, 2019, and the former Boston College Eagle and two-time NCAA Champion has not disappointed. In seven games with the Baby B’s the veteran forward has netted five goals and dished out three assists for eight total points. He has been especially good against the Charlotte Checkers this year. He has played in five games against them this season. The first four were for the Ottawa Senators’ affiliate, Belleville. In those five games, he has netted two goals and dished out three assists for five points. This includes one goal and one assist for Providence their last meeting with Charlotte. Look for him to have a big weekend.

On the Blue Line

Jakub ZborilZboril has had a pretty good season for Providence thus far. He has stats of 3-8-11 on the year while playing good defense. In the team’s last game against Springfield, he dished out two assists getting on the score sheet for the first time January 6,2019. That game against the Thunderbirds is the type of game that can catapult players into a hot streak. I have a feeling with how Zboril has played this season for the Baby B’s that it will do just that. Look for him to have a big weekend.

In Net

Dan VladarWith Zane McIntyre in Boston on an emergency basis because of a Tuukka Rask concussion we may see Vladar in both games this weekend. As stated earlier his last five games have not been pretty going 1-2-2 with a .878 save percentage and 3.33 goals against average. If these Bruins want to continue their point streak, Vladar is going to have to find his game and play well against Charlotte. Luckily this year, the young goalie has been better on the road than at home.

The Providence Bruins have a tough task ahead of them this weekend playing the Eastern Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers in back to back games on the road. It will be a chance for the team and our fans to see where the Baby B’s truly are in terms of being contenders for the Calder Cup. I think if the boys in black and gold can come out of the weekend with at least one win then it will bode well for their chances moving forward. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 16 Recap

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins had two games this weekend with both events held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The 2019 calendar year continues to be a successful time for the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins. With points in the last nine of ten games in the month of January and losing only one of those games in regulation, the club from Rhode Island is really playing well and climbing up the Atlantic Division standings.

After a 5-7-2-0 month of December in 2018, hovering around the basement of the eight-team division and out of the Calder Cup playoff picture, the B’s have improved their postseason odds going 7-1-1-1 in the last ten games and currently sit in the sixth position in the Eastern Conference. Their 22-16-6-1 record in 45 games played thus far in the 2018-19 regular season campaign, and the recent unbeaten streak has them listed as one of the hottest teams in the AHL.

This weekends action started on Friday night with the Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers in town who are having an impressive campaign sitting at the top with 66 points and a 31-11-4-0 record in 46 games played. The Bruins are 2-2-1 on the season against the Checkers, and both teams meet three more times before the season ends in April with one at the Dunk and two on the road in Charlotte.  Saturday night’s action once again from the Dunk had the division rival Springfield Thunderbirds came to town as both of these teams have already played in eight of fourteen games on the year.

The B’s swept both games on the weekend beating the powerful Checkers 5-3 on Friday night and a 3-2 victory over the Thunderbirds in the last game before the AHL’s All-Star festivities from MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The All-Star event kicks off tonight with the Skills Competition and game on Monday night. Both events can be seen on the NHL Network and AHLtv. We wish Providence Bruins captain Jordan Szwarz well as he’ll represent the B’s on the Atlantic Division roster sitting in for the injured Ryan Fitzgerald who’s just not healthy enough to participate.

Anyway, Let’s get to the important stuff and provide our readers with how these weekend games unfolded with a little more detail. Hope you all enjoy!

Friday, January 25th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Charlotte Checkers (Home)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Checkers came into the Dunk with an 18-5-2 record on the road and 6-3-1 record in their last ten games looking to take the lead over the B’s in the regular season series. After being down to the Checkers 2-0 after the first six minutes of the opening frame Bruins Prospect Trent Frederic got the B’s on the board with his ninth goal of the season with the lone assist going to Paul Carey at the 9:02 mark.

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Later in the first period, Gemel Smith scored his seventh of the year on the powerplay assisted from veteran forward Mark McNeill and Frederic at the 14:07 mark of the first period. Smith who’s playing in his 16th game since clearing waivers from the parent NHL Bruins club on December 19th, 2018. Gemel was picked up off the NHL waiver wire by the B’s on December 6th,2018 and after only playing three games was then reassigned to the AHL Providence team. The 24-year-old has been playing very well and is one of the team leaders on the bench and in the room behind Captain Jordan Szwarz. He has 16 points in 16 games this season with Providence to this point in the weekend.

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The second period the Bruins were on a mission to play strong and contain the powerful Checkers club and got to work quickly with the only goal of the middle frame to take a 3-2 lead on a Paul Carey shorthanded goal at the 2:33 mark from veteran defenseman Kyle Cumiskey and second-year pro Connor Clifton.  Carey who came to the Providence club via a trade with the Ottawa Senators has been a valued addition to the forward core of this B’s team as they look to be in the mix of the playoff picture. In seven games this season with the AHL Bruins the 30-year-old Weymouth, Massachusetts native has 5-3-8 numbers and recently had a hat trick in a game against the Hartford WolfPack a week ago.

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In the third period, Trent Frederic would get his second goal of the game and Providence 4-2 lead with his 10th of the year assisted by fellow University of Wisconsin Badger alum Cameron Hughes who got the lone helper on Frederic’s 15th career goal in his first full season of AHL play. Trent got his first 13 games of pro hockey in with Providence after his NCAA commitment was through with Wisconsin. In those games in the 2017-18 campaign, the former first-round pick of the B’s had 5-3-8 numbers to end the regular season and got one assist in three Calder Cup Playoff games.

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Ending the Providence scoring on this night and sealing the 5-3 victory was red hot AHL rookie Karson Kuhlman who scored his 10th of the year at the 16:03 from linemate Jordan Szwarz and defenseman Cumiskey. Kuhlman’s 10th extended his point streak to five games and tied his career/season high. The 23-year-old Kuhlman was a member of the NCAA Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs team which he captained to a National Championship and Tournament MVP before turning pro. So far in 44 games this season the undrafted free agent who signed back in April of 2018 has 10-13-23 in his rookie season and 7-7-14 numbers in his last 14 games.

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( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre was sensational in the victory over Charlotte on this night stopping 24 of 27 shots. This was the 15th win of the season for the 26-year-old who was selected in the sixth round back in 2010. This was Zane’s seventh straight game with a win and is certainly deserving for consideration if NHL Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask’s head injury continues to bother him. Many reports have Rask ready to go as they get back to work after the bye week ends on Tuesday night at TD Garden against the Winnipeg Jets. So far this season.

Saturday, January 26th, 2019 Providence Bruins Vs. The Springfield Thunderbirds (Home)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

To end the weekend festivities and prepare for the All-Star break the Bruins were once again engaged with a battle against state border rival Thunderbirds team. The motto of  2019 so far is once the opposition gets a lead did down deep and get it back, and that’s exactly what happened twice in this game. The no-give-up attitude started with a goal from Mark McNeill at the 9:27 mark of the first period scoring his seventh of the season and points in the last two games. The 25-year-old forward has 21 points in 32 games this season and has played well in his first year with the Providence club as another leader around a plethora of Bruins prospects. This powerplay goal below was assisted by Gemel Smith and Zach Senyshyn.

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After ending the first period down 2-1 and no scoring in the second frame, the B’s would eventually tie the game at two on a goal from Gemel Smith who netted his eighth of the season on the man advantage early in the last period of play at the 1:17 mark of the third. This was Smith’s second goal in the last two games and ended this night with a goal and two assists. In the last 12 games, Smith has 7-6-13 numbers and is jumping in on the offense quite nicely at a very appropriate time for this Bruins team.

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With the game deadlocked at two, it was Providence forward Zach Senyshyn who got the first Bruins lead of the game at 3-2 and the eventual game-winner at the 12:30 mark of the final period. Senyshyn’s 13th of the season was assisted by Smith and Jakub Zboril who earned his first multi-point game of the year with two assists against the Thunderbirds which snapped a six-game pointless streak. In the last ten games, Senyshyn has 3-4-7 numbers and continues to be a valued asset up and down head coach Jay Leach’s lineup and in all situations.

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( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Providence netminder McIntyre got the start in goal for the second time in as many nights stopping 22 of 24 Thunderbird shots for his eighth straight victory and 16th win of the season. Zane has been outstanding in the early parts of 2019 and could be a key member to finish the season strong and possible workhorse in the upcoming postseason which starts in April of this year. His goals-against-average has dipped below three per game sitting at 2.74 but his .887 save percentage remains somewhat of a concern moving forward. With this win, McIntyre now has a 2018-19 season record of 16-8-3. His 16 wins are good enough for 5th in the league, his goals-against-average is ranked 19th, and save percentage out of 53 goaltenders in the league ranked 46th.

The Providence Bruins get back to work this week starting on Friday, February 1st when they travel to the mid-Atlantic for two games in as many nights against the Charlotte Checkers for the weekend series. The Bruins are only two points from third place Lehigh Valley Phantoms and 15 points from Division-leading and Conference-leading Checkers Club.

Mark Allred’s Providence Bruins Top-Three Goals of The Week!

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 15 Recap

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins have really taken a turn for the better after struggling in the first half of the 2018-19 season. So far the 2019 calendar year has fared better for the Providence club earning points in seven of the last nine games in the month of January. With compiling five of a possible six points in the three games over the weekend, the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins are moving up the standings at a very appropriate time.

With 33 games remaining in the 2018-19 AHL regular season the B’s have a record of 20-16-6-1 and now sit in the fifth position in the Atlantic Division and a three-way tie for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Point consistency in a tight division is going to be needed as only five points separate the ninth place Providence club and second place Bridgeport Sound Tigers team.  Seventeen points separate the B’s from conference-leading Charlotte Checkers who have 64 points in 44 games. The Playoffs for this Rhode Island team are not out of reach at all regardless of the early season speed bumps with the lineup being dismantled on many occasions.

In the last ten games, the B’s are 6-2-1-1 and have a streak of 5-0-1-1 without a regulation loss.  I believe mother nature was on the AHL Bruins side as they were scheduled to play their fourth straight weekend with three games in a row bust a snowstorm came through putting the kybosh on that idea. The game against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday afternoon got postponed to an afternoon contest on Martin Luther King Day at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Monday getting a big win with an extra day of rest.

Anyway, here’s how everything unfolded for the Providence team over the extended weekend!

Friday, January 18th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Springfield Thunderbirds (Home)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

This was an intense battle at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to start the weekend from these bitter division rivals. These two teams face each other 12 times a season, so it doesn’t take long to figure each other out jockeying for position in the Atlantic Division. After a scoreless first period that saw both teams, netminders see 10 shots apiece the defensive breakdowns and quick transition out of the zone made for an interesting back and forth 20 minutes.

At the 18:21 mark of the second period it was a Bruin that would break the ice on the scoresheet when the eventual goal scorer Karson Kuhlman used the boards to gain entry and Thunderbirds goaltender Montembeault fumbled the puck with a miscommunication behind the net with his defenseman. Gritty forward Anton Blidh was at the right place and the right time to take advantage as he tracked the puck down and pushed it forward to Kuhlman for pretty much a give and go for his eighth of the season.

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While Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre was fantastic in this game, he couldn’t stop shot from a three on two coming into his zone. He was ready and square to the puck even though he was moving north to south while the three on two was coming from west to east. Unfortunately, the puck was disrupted on the way and went over McIntyre’s glove for a goal on the deflection at the 10:06 mark of the third period. To be honest, both goaltenders on this night were really putting on a show and one of the major reasons this game would need extra time.

The overtime period was pretty exciting going back and forth with the advantage in shots in the five-minute period going to Springfield 5-4. This game would then go to a shootout for the first time this season. The Bruins and Thunderbirds would go six full rounds before B’s forward Trent Frederic scored the only goal to seal the game and the extra point with a wide skate in and out faking the sliding goaltender Montembeault. With this shootout victory, the Thunderbirds are now 0-4 on the season in shootout games, and these two clubs face each other five more times before the end of the regular season. So far both teams are 3-3-1 on the year.

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Saturday, January 19th, 2019 Providence Bruins Vs. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Road)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

This was another long night that needed everything to pull out two points on the road. On the second game in as many nights over the weekend the Providence Bruins traveled down to the Webster Bank Arena to play the aforementioned Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Tigers have struggled recently, and with both teams so close in the Atlantic in points,  this game certainly wasn’t going to be easy.

Bruins Captain Jordan Szwarz got the B’s on the board with the first goal of the game as all forward linemates were at the top of the crease trying to get a shot off and at the 5:59 mark of the first frame Szwarz wrists it home. Jordan’s 14th of the season came from Karson Kuhlman, and Urho Vaakanainen snapped a three-game pointless streak.

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Fast forward to the second period, veteran forward Mark McNeil buries his sixth of the season from newcomer Paul Carey (via trade with Ottawa for defenseman Cody Goloubef) and Kyle Cumiskey.  Zach Senyshyn also got involved in the scoring in the middle frame with his 12th of the year from Cumiskey who had his fourth multi-point game of the season. Cumiskey had the timing and vision to send a stretch pass to the young Senyshyn who broke in all alone for the 3-1 lead. That would do it for the Bruins as per scoring for the remainder of the game. Bridgeport practically owned the B’s in the third period with two goals from Sound Tigers forward Holmstrom who started and finished the last frame with two goals to tie the game at three.

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As mentioned it was a long night that would not see any score in the overtime session even though the Bruins outshot the Tigers 8-1 with some quality chances. A shootout would be needed to figure who gets the extra point for the second straight night, but goals from former Boston Bruins player Chris Bourque and teammate Tanner Fritz were enough to pull seal the victory. Trent Frederic had the only Bruins shootout goal giving him two for the weekend.

Dan Vladar got the start in goal and did what he needed to do to help earn that point from the backend. His numbers aren’t great this season, but I still believe he will have a lot to offer in the next year or two as he continues to develop. Against the Thunderbirds, he didn’t exactly see a lot of shots which makes me believe the lack of action in his own zone may have gotten the best of him as he’s used to more shots per game. Regardless, the rookie and 21-year-old Czech Republic native gave up three goals on 12 shots and went 2-4 in the shootout. Vladar now has a season record of 6-8-4-1 with a 2.80 goals-against-average and .896 save percentage in 19 games thus far in the 2018-19 campaign.

So far this season the Providence team has not been beaten in regulation by the Sound Tigers. The B’s have a 3-0-3-1 record with these two teams meeting five more times before the season ends on Sunday, April 14th, 2019.

Monday, January 21st, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Hartford Wolf Pack (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Providence Bruins took their 3-3-1-0 record against the Hartford team and broke seasons tie with a significant victory on home ice at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Monday afternoon. As mentioned, this game was scheduled for the day previous, so with a day rest the B’s were ready to fire on all cylinders, and they didn’t disappoint.

Veteran newcomer Paul Carey and rookie Karson Kuhlman owned the Wolf Pack offensively in the first period with Carey scoring his seventh of the year at the 8:56 mark from Senyshyn and Chris Breen and Kuhlman with his ninth of the season at 9:26 from Jordan Szwarz. Carey would get the scoring started once again in the second frame with his second of the night from Conor Clifton and Urho Vaakanainen at 5:33. The next two goals of the second period belonged to the Wolf Pack as they gained some steam in an effort to tie the game at three.

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Carey would get the hat trick goal at the 11:22 mark of the third period on a nifty play from the back of the net by fellow forward Trent Frederic who was forechecking hard enough to get the puck up the boards to Carey who went completely around a Pack defender to rifle the puck home for his third of the game. Defenseman Clifton would seal the deal with an empty net goal at the 18:20 mark of the third period as the Sound Tigers head coach pulled the goaltender trying to create late-game heroics but to no eval.  Clifton’s fourth of the year came from Captain Szwarz and Kuhlman.

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Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre got the victory in net stopping 23 of 25 Wolf Pack shots. Zane is now 14-8-3 on the season with a 2.76 GAA, and .885 save% in 25 games so far in the 2018-19 campaign. McIntyre is also on a six-game winning streak and in his last ten, AHL games he has a record of 8-2-0 with a 2.21 GAA and .895 save%. With the NHL Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask potentially on the shelf for a while with a concussion, I have to believe that McIntyre with the way he’s been playing recently gets the call to back up Jaroslav Halak.

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 11 Preview

Senyshyn

(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

This weekend kicks off a five-game road trip that won’t see the Providence Bruins return to the Dunk until January 4th, 2019 when they play the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Baby B’s currently sit 6th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 12-12-5 (29 points) and are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. The team starts the aforementioned road trip on Friday traveling to Binghamton, New York where they play the home Binghamton Devils at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The Providence club finishes up the weekend on Saturday by playing the host Springfield Thunderbirds in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Bruins hope they can find some road magic this holiday season.

Friday, December 21st Providence Bruins vs. Binghamton Devils (AWAY) 

The Friday match-up marks the first time the Bruins have played the Devils this season, and it’s one that they should be looking forward to. Over the past 5 years, the Baby B’s have a 13-5-1-1 record against the New Jersey affiliate, including a 9-1 record in Binghamton during that time and a 4-0 overall record last season. Providence hopes to carry that success into this season. Binghamton has had a rough go of it thus far. They come into the game with a record of 12-16-3 (27 points) and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. This is a game that Bruins should absolutely win, especially if they want to climb the standings and make their way into playoff contention.  

Saturday, December 22nd Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY) 

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

The third game of the season series won’t be much easier for Providence. Springfield comes into it 15-8-2-3 (33 points) good for third in the Atlantic Division with games in hand and is 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games. Despite their struggles in two games this year, something that bodes well for the boys in black and gold is that they have an 8-5-2 record in Springfield over the past 5 years and a 17-9-2 record overall in that time frame.

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

Hot: 

Anders Bjork: Since being sent down to Providence Bjork has been great. Over his past 7 games, he has netted 1 goal and dished out 7 assists for 8 total points. This is exactly what you want to see from a player who was sent down to work on their game. 

Zach Senyshyn: Senyshyn’s last 7 games have been fruitful seeing him score 5 goals. His speed and scoring ability has been on full display, and it has been great to see. Keep an eye out for it this weekend. 

 Not: 

Austin FytenOn the flip-side, the last 7 games for Fyten have been ones he’d like to forget. The left wing has 0 goals and 1 assist, and on top of that, he was suspended for the last game because of a slashing incident. Hopefully, he can put all that behind him and have a good road trip.

Trent Frederic: Frederic has tallied 0 goals, and 1 assist over his past 7 games. Hopefully, the young center can pick things up for the Bruins. They need a spark offensively, and if Frederic can provide that, it would do a lot for the team this weekend. 

My players to watch this weekend: 

Up Front: 

Zach SenyshynSenyshyn seems to have found the scoring touch netting 5 goals in his last 7 games. This is great news for the Bruins and their fans. There are people that were worried his development was taking too long, but it looks like being patient is going to pay off.  

On The Blue Line: 

Jeremy Lauzon: He was recently sent back to Providence from Boston. In his mini stint with the big club, the defenseman looked good in both ends of the ice. I expect him to take what he learned in Boston and use it to develop more in Providence.  

In Net: 

Zane McIntyre: I would look for him to have a good weekend for the Baby B’s. It is an excellent chance for the goalie to make up for the losses against Springfield and come up huge for the club.  

Overall, it could be an up and down weekend for Providence playing in a game they should win and a game that could go either way. Hopefully, the Baby B’s can take care of business against Binghamton while also breaking through against Springfield. It would be a big 4 points for the club and would go a long way to helping them climb the Atlantic Division standings. I will catch you up next week and let you know how the team fared but feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and Go, B’s, Go! 

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