Bruins Welcome Ovechkin & Co. | Game Preview-11/16

Image result for boston bruins vs washington capitals

(Photo Credits: NBC Sports)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

In their second game of a back-to-back, the Boston Bruins flew back home late last night as they ready themselves to face one of the league’s best teams. After snapping a four-game losing slump, the B’s are gearing up for a tough match-up when they play the Washington Capitals at the TD Garden.

Call it what you may, the Caps have been the Bruins kryptonite for a while now with Boston finally slaying that dragon when they narrowly defeated them 1-0 this past February. In the last 20 games played between these two teams,  the Bruins have only won four games. Today’s match-up will undoubtedly be a test for both teams as they each look to place another “W” in the win column.

Post-Game Notes

Washington will be traveling to Boston after losing to the Montreal Canadiens last night at home 5-2. Prior to the game, the Capitals had a 13-game point streak and much like the Bruins will be looking to start a fresh new one tonight. The loss against Montreal was the team’s first in regulation in over a month (their last loss was to the Colorado Avalanche on October 14th).  They are 7-1-1 when facing an Eastern Conference opponent this season so far.

After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens got on board, blanking out the Caps 4-0 at the end of the second period. Washington came up short on their comeback as they netted two goals in the third but never fully recovered. The Caps are now 11-1-2 in their past 14 games played.

Image result for boston bruins vs washington capitals(Photo Credits: Nick Wass/AP Photo)

Despite the four-game losing streak that halted a 10-game point streak for the Bruins, the team is currently the only one in the NHL that has not lost in regulation at home.  After getting the B’s onboard last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs,  forward Charlie Coyle has four points with one goal and three assists. Brad Marchand had quite the night in his 700th NHL career game as he notched two goals, which were the difference makers in a much-needed win for the team.

Quick Stats

The Bruins and the Capitals lead their respective Divisions with Washington having played two more games than Boston. With the loss, the Capitals are now 14-3-4 in 21 games while the Bruins are 12-3-4 in 19 games. Marchand is on pace to break his previous 100-point season. He has now leapfrogged over teammate David Pastrnak in the NHL leader-board with 32 points (third in the league).  Pastrnak still leads the league with 16 goals.

Marchand is fourth in the league with 19 assists; Zdeno Chara is tied for second in the league in plus-minus at 13. Washington goaltender Braden Holtby is tied for second in the league for wins (nine), while Tuukka Rask is tied for ninth with eight wins. John Carlson leads the Capitals team with 31 points and 23 assists. Alex Ovechkin leads with 14 goals.

In the last five games, John Carlson has notched eight points with seven assists. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has four goals. For the Bruins’ last five games, David Krejci has five points and four assists while Marchand has three goals. Expect Tuukka Rask (8-2-2) in net for the Bruins. The 32-year-old goaltender now has a 2.14 goals-against-average with a .927 save percentage. For Washington, expect Brayden Holtby (9-1-3) in net.  The 30-year-old now has a 3.06 goals-against-average with a .903 save percentage.

There was no morning skate for the Boston Bruins. Here are tonight’s projected lineups:

BOSTON BRUINS:

Marchand–Bergeron–Pastrnak

Bjork–Krejci–Coyle

Frederic–Lindholm–Heinen

Nordstrom– Kuraly–Wagner

Chara– McAvoy

Grzelcyk–Carlo

Vaakanainen– Clifton

Rask

WASHINGTON CAPITALS:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie

Vrana-Kuznetsov-Wilson

Stephenson-Eller-Hathaway

Leipsic-Boyd-Panik

Kempny-Carlson

Orlov-Gudas

Siegenthaler-Jensen

Holtby

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:00PM

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, ESPN+

Check out our new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 5 that we recorded on November 13th, 2019! Our BNG Prospects Pod can be found on the same RSS Feed as our original Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, which can be found on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Florida: 11/12/19

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Florida Panthers

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – Coyle

Bjork – Lindholm – Senyshyn

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Carlo

Vaakanainen – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Huberdeau –  Barkov – Dadonov

Vatrano – Trocheck – Malgin

Hoffman – Boyle – Connolly

Hunt – Acciari – Sceviour

Defense

Yandle – Ekblad

Matheson – Stralman

Pysyk – Brown

Goalies

Bobrovsky

Montembeault

Torey Krug was sidelined for this one with an upper-body injury and Urho Vaakanainen made his season debut with the Bruins in his place. Brett Ritchie and David Backes were also out with upper-body injuries. Jake DeBrusk sat for a second straight game in this one with a lower-body injury. Those injuries, on top of injury recoveries that John Moore and Kevan Miller continued to go through, forced the Bruins to roll with new second and third forward lines, as well as a new look on defense outside of the top pairing.

First Period

It was a weird start. There were just three shots on goal (2-1 Bruins) combined through the first 7:01 of the game. The first period was just a lot of back-and-forth. Some decent chances here and there, but nothing too crazy. Charlie Coyle did come very close to opening the scoring and notch his third goal of the season though.

Matt Grzelcyk saw two great chances come his way with around two minutes remaining. One was blocked by Mike Hoffman, the other was deflected out of his play. Neither team could get on the board.

Shortly after those chances, Charlie McAvoy caught Aleksander Barkov up high and went off for high sticking. Barkov was a bit shaken up on the play, and the Panthers had a power play with 13 seconds remaining in the period. A minute and 47 seconds of power play time bled into the second period for the Panthers. The final shots in the period were 7-5 Bruins.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Just 57 seconds into the period, 1:10 of total time into the power play, the lights briefly shut off at TD Garden and play was stopped as a result. The Panthers were understandably not happy as it disrupted the flow of their power play in the offensive zone.

Sean Kuraly nearly got the scoring going as he flew towards the net with the puck on his stick, crashed into Sergei Bobrovsky, and failed to score. It was a wild start to the second period, to say the least.

At the 15:38 mark, Patrice Bergeron went to the box for holding, giving the Panthers their second power play opportunity of the game. The Panthers failed to score and eventually, at the 8:05 mark, David Pastrnak finally opened the scoring.

Coming into this one, the Bruins were 9-2-1 when scoring first. That’s good for scoring first in 76.47 percent of their total games prior to tonight, and winning 75 percent of those games. Pastrnak’s 16th goal of the season was assisted by Bergeron (10).

Joakim Nordstrom decided to get amongst the scoring as well, making it 2-0. Nordstrom’s second of the season was assisted by Coyle (5). The man comes back from injury against Philadelphia on Sunday, then scores a big goal on Tuesday. Not a bad way to make an impression after a stint on injured reserve.

Things didn’t get much better for the Panthers afterward as Dryden Hunt took a holding penalty with 4:27 to go in the period. Need more secondary scoring? Just ask Anders Bjork too. Bjork’s sent a wrister on Bobrovsky that bounced off of him and in to give the Bruins a three-goal lead. Bjork’s third goal of the season was assisted by David Krejci (6) and Brad Marchand (19).

The fourth unanswered goal of the period, came from Zdeno Chara getting behind Bobrovsky and burying a loose puck. Chara’s third goal of the season was assisted by Krejci (7) and Heinen (4). Check out the whole sequence in three parts below. Four goals in seven minutes and 26 seconds.

What a wild period. The Bruins outshot the Panthers 16-7, bringing the games total shots to 23-12 Bruins. It was for sure one of the better periods that the Bruins have played all season. A huge lead was all of the sudden in their collective grasp after a scoreless first period.

Score: 4-0 Boston

Third Period

Bad news came during the intermission in the form of Zach Senyshyn’s presence on the team for much of the second period. It was eventually announced that he would not return the game with a lower-body injury, putting the Bruins down a forward for the third period.

Samuel Montembeault took over in net for the Panthers to start the period and they responded early in the form of an Aaron Ekblad one-timer. Nordstrom was at the defensive blue line attempting to play defense, and that threw everything off defensively for the Bruins – the Panthers capitalized and made it 4-1.

Shortly after the goal, Vincent Trocheck launched himself towards Pastrnak. Pastrnak eventually got up following the collision under his own power, but Marchand took exception and gave Trocheck a bit of a piece of his mind. Trocheck then went off for elbowing. The Bruins didn’t convert on the power play.

Chris Wagner then went off for slashing just about four minutes into the period. Old friend Frank Vatrano made Wagner pay on the power play, because of course it was a former Bruin that scored – that happens on occasion.

The revitalized Panthers responded early and often after being on the receiving end of a thrashing in the second period. The wild final two periods surely made up for a quiet first period in terms of entertainment value.

Another penalty for the Bruins turned into another goal for the Panthers. Sean Kuraly went off with 11:28 to go for hooking. Hoffman buried a backhander to make it 4-3 Bruins. Things got tense really quickly. After an excellent start to the season, it has been tough sledding for Tuukka Rask as of late.

Former Bruin Noel Acciari tripped his old linemate Sean Kuraly with 6:28 to go, but the Bruins didn’t score on the man advantage. This game went into the Ford F-150 Final Five with a 4-3 score. David Krejci then went off the ice slowly after blocking a shot late in the period – leaving the Bruins down another forward.

It was once 4-0 Bruins, then it became 4-4. Four unanswered goals from each team. I definitely don’t remember ever seeing such an obscure feat accomplished in a hockey game. Keith Yandle tied the game with 1:39 to go. Overtime commenced. The shots were 12-9 Panthers, bringing the regulation total to 32-24 Bruins.

Score: 4-4

Overtime

Marchand, Pastrnak, and Coyle had premium chances, but no dice. It was an entertaining overtime period that became very stressful at the end. Hoffman found himself alone, but Rask stoned him. Rask then made a follow-up save to send the game to a shootout in the dying seconds of overtime. The shots in ovetime were 6-5 Bruins, 38-29 overall.

Shootout

Round one

Frank Vatrano: Miss

Chris Wagner: Miss

Round two

Vincent Trocheck: Goal

Brad Marchand: Miss

Round three

Jonathan Huberdeau: Miss

Charlie Coyle: Goal

Round four

Mike Hoffman: Goal

Charlie McAvoy: Miss

Final Score: 5-4 Florida (Shootout)

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Replacing the Bruins’ Big Man

( Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports Images )

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy recently shuffled his defensive lines to give some of his young stars a spark. The move sends Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins former 2016 first-round pick, to Matt Grzelyck’s right side. The long-time left-shot defenseman, Zdeno Chara, to play with Connor Clifton. Chara has been the Bruins’ staple on the blue line as their number-one defenseman, and the recent move begs the question: What we can expect for life after Chara?

Zdeno was drafted 56th overall in the 1996 NHL draft to the New York Islanders. The Slovakian possessed something NHL GM’s salivate over for their blue line defenders: size. Chara measures in at 6’9 and currently weighs 250 pounds. Any GM would love to have that monster be one of the first things the opposition sees entering the zone. The 20-year-old entered the professional hockey world in the Islanders’ farm system, beginning with the Kentucky Thoroughblades. A year and a half later, he played between New York and their next affiliate team, the Lowell Lock Monsters. Beginning in the 1998 season, Zdeno Chara made the Islanders’ opening roster where the future Hall of Famer’s career would begin.

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His three and a half year tenure in New York was nothing to write home about, and the Islanders didn’t offer much support finishing last in their division those three straight years. In the 2001 offseason, the Islanders struck a deal with the Ottawa Senators, sending Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and a first-round draft selection (which turned into Jason Spezza at second overall) for Alexei Yashin. Muckalt only played one year in Ottawa and Spezza is still playing out his seventeen-year career. Many in the NHL felt the Islanders gave up too early on Chara, and they were right. Chara quickly found his game in Ottawa. He posted 23 points and a plus 30 in his first year with the Senators, almost tying his three and a half year point total in New York. Each of his four years in Ottawa, Chara surpassed his previous season’s point total, netting 146 points in 299 games. The success he had in Ottawa did not go unnoticed, as he was named first-team All-Star and a Norris Trophy finalist (Best NHL Defenseman) in his third year with the Sens. Ottawa allowed the fewest goals in 2005-2006 and the big man played an immense role in that. In the 2006 off-season, Chara was an unrestricted free agent and the Bruins were desperately searching for an elite two-way defenseman.

Entering the 2006 off-season, the Bruins constructed a massive overhaul of their blue line. Hall of Famer Brian Leetch retired and they cut ties with Nick Boynton and the hometown 6’7 veteran Hal Gill. The Bruins had some cap room to fill and Chara was their number one target. The Black and Gold signed the big man to a five-year, $37.5M contract. Not only did Chara bring size to Boston, but he also brought a thorough work ethic and mentorship that is a staple on and off the ice to this day. It’s the reason he’s well-respected throughout the league.

Chara became the Bruins’ 18th captain in their history. He brought his leadership, 100-mph-plus slap shot, and defensive stinginess to Boston where it would change the Bruins’ vision for years to come. He maintained 40-plus-point seasons in his first six years in Boston, two of which he reached the 50-point plateau. Chara continued to be selected as a first-team All-Star and became the 56th winner of the Norris Trophy in 2008-2009, with 50 points and a plus-23 rating. He was the leader of the team on and off the ice, and an integral part of the teams’ sixth Stanley Cup to Boston in 2011. Chara didn’t score a lot of points those playoffs, but he did shine where his team needed him most. He averaged a hefty 27:39 time on ice and a plus-16 rating. One key play that comes to mind is in Game 6, Chara used his seven-foot wingspan to make a game-changing play:

A four-goal lead feels as though the game is out of reach, but every hockey player knows it takes just one goal to change a game. The Bruins desperately needed a win to send the series to a heart-pumping Game 7 and once again, Chara was there to save the day when his team needed him most.

Game 6 ended in A 5-2 Bruins victory, sending the Bruins and Canucks back to Vancouver for any sport’s most exciting two words: Game 7. The Bruins took an early 1-0 lead at 14:37 in the first from the stick of another future Hall of Famer: Patrice Bergeron. That goal proved to be the game-winner, as the Bruins scored three more times, and on June 15, 2011, the Bruins were Stanley Cup Champions. Bruins fans around the world can still hear Dave Goucher’s legendary call: “Get the duck boats ready, the Boston Bruins are 2011 Stanley Cup Champions.” The Stanley Cup was raised the highest it had ever been, over Chara’s 6’9 stature. Chara ended the game with a game-leading 41 shifts, team-leading 27:12 time on ice, and a plus-2 rating.

( Photo Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File )

The Stanley Cup was the cherry on top of Chara’s incredible career. Recently, it’s clear the Bruins have been drafting and developing their players for life after Chara. Following the 2017 season, he became the next athlete to take on the TB12 method to keep Father Time at bay. He no longer eats red meat and has switched to strictly plant-based and organic foods. “I can tell I’m feeling better,” said the 40-year-old Bruins captain and tallest player in NHL history. “I know for a fact I’m playing with a lot more energy and I’m recovering faster.”

General Manager Don Sweeney hasn’t taken his renewed time for granted, though. The Bruins spent three draft picks on blue-line defenders in 2015 selecting Jakub Zboril, Brandon Carlo, and Jeremy Lauzon. Zboril and Lauzon (both left-shot blue-liners) are still developing in the American Hockey League, and Carlo is one of the Bruins’ most important and consistent defenders, playing alongside Torey Krug. The Bruins drafted McAvoy 14th overall in 2016 and he’s been launched into first-pairing duties from the start. The Bruins also drafted young Finnish defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, who most believe to be the man to fill the big man’s skates with his ability to play long minutes and defensive stinginess.

Urho was drafted 18th overall in the 2017 draft, one year after McAvoy. Where the Bruins will miss Chara’s contributions the most is the penalty kill (PK). The Bruins have historically had great success on the PK due to Chara, Bergeron, and Brad Marchand. Zdeno’s long reach gives him an uncanny ability to intercept passes and clear the puck from danger. Sweeney has been spending the past two off-seasons signing bottom-six role players who can contribute effectively to the PK. Par Lindholm, Joakim Nordstrom, Chris Wagner, Brett Ritchie, and John Moore have all been part of this movement.

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One of Chara’s finest qualities that fly under the radar is his ability to shadow the opposition’s best players. Chara and the Bruins have executed Bill Belichick’s approach in neutralizing the opposition’s most lethal weapon. Chara has always been the mainstay in limiting players like Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, and Alex Ovechkin. These world talents have all had the tall task of facing-off against Chara and haven’t had much success. According to Natural Stat Trick, when both Chara and Ovechkin were on the ice together in a 5v5 situation, Ovechkin was held to only four goals from 2013 and 2016. Stamkos was held to three, and Crosby held to one. This type of shutdown ability will be extremely hard to replicate. Cassidy has faith in players like Bergeron and Charlie Coyle to handle the load, but it will probably be more of a group effort moving forward.

Chara hasn’t definitively said which year will be his last. If we know anything about the big man, his work ethic will not let him go quietly. His motivation throughout the years has awarded him tremendous honors. The Stanley Cup, Norris Trophy, and Mark Messier Leadership Award are just pieces of a successful resume for this seven-time All-Star. He recently reached an amazing plateau of 1,500 NHL games played.

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The Bruins don’t have just one player to solve the missing puzzle piece. But they do have a plethora of defensemen in their system, all of whom bring something unique to the table. McAvoy is one of the NHL’s brightest young stars. Carlo is a stay-at-home defenseman with a long reach and whose big body has been a key piece of what the Bruins do best in their zone and limiting the opposition. Torey Krug is the quarterback on their powerplay. Matt Gryzelck is statistically one of the best D-men breaking the puck out of the D-zone efficiently. Connor Clifton is a scrappy, hard-hitting defenseman who isn’t intimidated by the opposition’s size. The Bruins will miss having one player bring all of that to the table and alleviate pressure from others. But with some help from the men upfront, the current Black and Gold D-men should be able to replicate what the big man has done with great success.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Mark Your Bruins Calendar 2020 Update: Prague, Czech Republic

(Photo Credit: NHL)

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

The Boston Bruins are going global. Again.

The NHL recently announced its 2020 Global Series and the B’s are international headliners for the third time in the last decade. The Black N’ Gold will open the ’20-’21 season on the road in Prague, Czech Republic facing off against the Nashville Predators at O2 Arena.

The B’s most recently opened abroad in 2018-’19 playing the Calgary Flames as part of the NHL China Games, an experience I wrote about for the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog last Fall.

It was an experience highly regarded by both players and management, much the same way Bruins’ veterans Zdeno Chara and David Krejci remember opening the season in Prague for the first time back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere Series. Krejci shared his thoughts about this trip in a team press release touting its return to familiar territory:

“Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends and teammates,” said Krejci. “It was the start of a year I’ll always remember. Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it’s great the League continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world.”

Later in that same release, the B’s forward with the hottest release in the league right now (15G, 15A – 30PTS) shared what playing in Prague means to him since he wasn’t apart of the 2010 trip. Here’s what David Pastrnak had to say about the Global Series against the Preds:

“I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague,” said Pastrnak. “I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I’ll never forget – I can’t wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim.”

The presser also notes the Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe and will each play in an exhibition match as part of the Global Series Challenge. As Pastrnak mentioned, the B’s will report to Mannheim, Germany and play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena.

Image result for bruins prague(Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder)

As you can see from the near-decade old photo above, the B’s are no strangers to Prague. Current players on the Bruins roster who grew up in the Czech Republic include forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak, as the B’s press release notes.

Krejci was born in Sternberk and played junior hockey for HC Kladno. He has represented his home country in international play on several occasions, including the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, and was awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic in 2013. Pastrnak was born in Havirov and played junior hockey with AZ Havirov. He has represented the Czech Republic in international play on several occasions and has been awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic each of the last three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For more information on the upcoming B’s season, stay tuned to the BN’G Hockey Podcast & Prospect’s Podcast!

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

 

Happy Halloween from the Boston Bruins!

IMG_4529(Photo Credit: Zdeno Chara’s Instagram)

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

No tricks.

This may be the greatest Boston Bruins team photo of all-time! I mean, do the B’s do Halloween right, or what? Every year. Even before the 31st… when they dress up for area children’s hospital visits!

And if you visited any of the player’s social media sites this spooktacular season, you’ll see they’re loving the costume creativity just as much as we are. From Toy Story to Wayne’s World (The Bergeron’s)! From Dodgeball to Dumb and Dumber (Danton Heinen / The Backes’)! And from Stranger Things (The Marchand’s) to “strange behavior” (Kampfer as a waffle?), the Black N’ Gold went ALL IN on becoming the Black N’ GHOULD.

And we need to thank them. Tonight. Tomorrow. Everyday for the rest of the season. You can’t make Halloween any happier (or kookier & spookier) than this.

Dare I say, what a treat!

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

 

Boston Bruins Defeat New York Rangers 7-4 | Game Recap

Image result for boston bruins vs new york rangers(Photo Credits: Mary Altaffer/ Boston Herald)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It was a Sunday night match-up between two Original-Six teams and each was coming into tonight’s game on a high note, as both the Rangers and Bruins won their last games.  However, it would be Boston who would come out the victor as they defeated New York on their home ice.

GAME RECAP

With the puck drop at Madison Square Garden, the Bruins would start the first period on a power-play after Patrice Bergeron was tripped by Rangers Brady Skjei.  As both teams continued their physical play and Boston having missed chances on Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, it would be New York that would strike first. In what would be Mike Haley’s first career goal with the Rangers, he would get a backhand off a rebound at 10:19 to give the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead.

After a tough collision with Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, Rangers center Mika Zibanejad suffered an upper-body injury and did not return for the remainder of the game. Eleven seconds into the second period, Patrice Bergeron would grab the rebound after David Pastrnak was tripped into Lundqvist.

With the puck loose in the crease, Bergeron would tap one in net. Amid the confusion, the goal would be upheld as officials reviewed the play. With the ruling on the ice standing, Boston would be tied at 1-1 and the game would subsequently shift into the Bruins’ favor.

In what would prove to be a frustrating second period for the Rangers,   Brad Marchand would find enough space to squeeze in a backhander past Lundqvist, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 1:08 in the second.  Playing with speed around the net, Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy would send a feed to Charlie Coyle who nailed a quick wrist shot in the Rangers’ net. With seven minutes left in the period, Marchand would snipe a wrist shot on the glove side of Lundqvist, making the score 4-1.

Goaltender Alexander Georgiev would take over Lundqvist in net for the Rangers at the start of the third period. Bruins’ Par Lindholm did not return to the game. In the first few moments in the third, Captain Zdeno Chara would send a rocket past Georgiev, making the score 5-1.

As both teams traded hits and giveaways, New York would battle back and with a beautiful set-up by Artemis Panarin, the Rangers would get on board as Pavel Buchnevich tucked one by Halak.

Boston would strike again as Bergeron sent one in net after a feed from linemate Brad Marchand, making the score 6-2. With the Bruins once again on the penalty kill, the Rangers’ Chris Kreider would find the loose puck to send it past Halak.

Seconds later and with a little over a minute left, Brady Skjei would find the rebound, sending a quick shot in the Bruins net. With 44.7 seconds left in the third, Patrice Bergeron would nail his third of the night.

FINAL SCORE: 7-4 Boston

SHOTS ON GOAL: 43-BOSTON; 29-NEW YORK

TONIGHT’S STATS

Boston went 0-2 on the power-play and New York went 1-5 on the power-play. Lundqvist made 27 saves on 31 shots before being pulled at the end of the second.  Alexander Georgiev made nine saves on 11 shots. Bruins Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves on 29 shots and is now 3-1 in five games played.

With Bergeron’s hat-trick, the top line had 13 points combined: Marchand had two goals with three assists. Pastrnak had five assists and continued his game point-streak.

The Bruins are now 8-1-2 and have won three straight games. New York is 3-5-1 and is seventh in the Metro Division. Boston is currently second in the Atlantic Division.

BRUINS NEXT GAME: Tuesday, October 29th, BOSTON vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS @ TD GARDEN, puck drop 7:00 PM

RANGERS NEXT GAME: Tuesday, October 29th, NEW YORK vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING @ MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, puck drop 7:30 PM

 

 

 

 

Former Bruins D-Man Dennis Seidenberg Retires

Image(Photo Credit: NHLPA)

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

The Boston Bruins, in early 2010, made a “bits and pieces” trade with the Florida Panthers. Scratch that… Bitz and pieces, with the non-Dafoe Byron and somebody called Craig Weller going to the Sunshine State for a solid German blueliner (and others) known only to die-hard hockey fans.

About a year later, all hockey fans –especially those in Boston– knew his name. In fact, that trade became one of the best in recent team history when the B’s beat Vancouver to capture their first Stanley Cup in four decades primarily because that tough-as-nails D-man paired up with Zdeno Chara to form the most formidable back-end tandem in the game.

And now, after 859 career NHL games (nearly half in a Black N’ Gold sweater — 401 to be exact), Dennis Seidenberg is hanging up his skates.

“Seids,” as he was affectionately known to his teammates, coaching staff and the fanbase, was a beast for the B’s, shutting down not only the game’s best offensive players, but doing it when it counted the most — against Montreal, Philly, Tampa and the aforementioned Canucks during that magical Cup run of ’11. And let us not forget his spirited and inspiring play during the near-Cup run of ’13 and Presidents’ Trophy campaign of ’14 that further endeared him to the region and to many other players league-wide.

He was respected just as much off the ice, as well, often leading by example with his rigorous training and constant practicing (something young guys named Bergeron and Marchand took note of and learned from).

 

Speaking of his off-ice actions, did you know Seids was a culinary connoisseur, art appreciator, festive family man and social stud? It wasn’t until the very entertaining Door To Door series came out from the Boston Herald five years ago that I realized just how “chill” of a guy he was (and still is). If you didn’t like him enough already, this video put it over the top:

 

And since he truly is going out “on top,” having reached the pinnacle of hockey’s heroic mountain and doing it for an Original 6 franchise no less, Dennis Seidenberg can fondly and favorably reflect back on a successful career that millions in the area will forever be grateful for. Dare I say, he certainly didn’t play a Bitz part in Boston (or did he?)!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 150 that we recorded on 10-20-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

 

Can The Bruins Solve Their Secondary Scoring Issues?

Boston Bruins vs Calgary Flames

(Photo Credit: Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

By Joe Chrzanowski  |  Follow Me on Twitter @jchrz19

If you spend any time following Bruins fans on Twitter and other social media outlets (and I do), you might think the team had started out 2-6-1, instead of their actual record of 6-1-2. Losing two of the last three games to Tampa and Toronto in extra time was a little frustrating, but I thought the Bruins were the better team Saturday night against the Leafs and Andersen won the game for them. I’m not one of those “doom and gloom, the sky is falling” types to begin with, but even less so when the B’s have taken 14 out of a possible 18 points with Krejci missing most of the games.

That said, one of the things that was a problem early in the season last year was a lack of secondary scoring. Unfortunately, it has reared it’s ugly head again early this year. The Bruins have scored 26 goals as a team through nine games. The first line has accounted for 17 of those goals (Pasta has ten, Marchand five, and Bergeron two). The only two players not on the first line that have multiple goals this season are Danton Heinen and Brett Ritchie, the two guys that scored in the opening night win against Dallas.

As optimistic as I am, I don’t believe that relying on one line to score and having your goalies stand on their heads nightly is a sustainable model for success. You can get away with it during the regular season for a time, but eventually, it will catch up with you. It also tends to become even more of a problem in the playoffs. I’m not sure exactly why, but secondary scoring and more specifically the RW2 position seems to have been an issue since Jarome Iginla left.

So, what realistic moves can the B’s make to fix this issue? I’m here to tell you that it can be done “in-house” with three relatively painless moves. You want some additional good news? I’m going to tell you how the Bruins can do it without requiring you to pay for a subscription to our site.

Pasta Celly

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Move David Pastrnak Down

The first move in rebuilding the B’s sparse secondary scoring is to slide Pastrnak down to the second line. Before anyone starts wailing, yes, I am well aware of how good the Bruins first line is. And yes, after they move Pasta down with Krejci and DeBrusk, I will miss all the headlines about the Bruins having the best line in hockey, but it will be worth it. I won’t miss teams being able to largely shut down the Bruins offense in the playoffs by containing one line.

At the ripe old age of 23, Pastrnak has officially reached “carry a line” status in my opinion. After last night’s two-point effort, he has 17 points in the first nine games. This is the best start to a season by a Bruins player since Adam Oates in 1993-94. He’s going to produce no matter who he’s with, so if the Bruins can find a competent guy to replace him on the first line, they will definitely have at least two scoring lines. Which brings us to Step Two…

Bruins vs Hurricanes

(Photo Credit Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Put Danton Heinen On The First Line

Danton Heinen only has two points so far this season. This is not indicative of his overall play. He’s been more assertive and he’s shooting more while still giving the Bruins a high level of defensive play. He showed last season that not only could he hang on the top line, but that he could contribute there as well. During the 16 game span, while Pastrnak was out of the lineup with a wrist injury, Heinen had one goal and twelve assists over that time. In addition, the first line’s advanced and defensive numbers were significantly better than when Pasta was there.

I am in no way suggesting that Heinen is a better or more explosive player than David Pastrnak. What I AM saying is that he brings a different dynamic to the line. When he’s there, he allows Marchand and Bergeron to take more chances and be more creative because they know he will get back and cover. When Pasta is on the first line, I believe he becomes the focus of his linemates. They both will pass up scoring opportunities to get him the puck. When Heinen is in that RW1 position, those two become a bit more selfish and shoot more. When you have two players of that caliber firing the puck more often, it’s not a bad thing. With Heinen and Pasta now in the Top Six, Charlie Coyle needs a buddy on the third line that can take advantage of his puck possession skills. Enter the third and final step of my diabolical master plan…

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(Photo Credit: Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

Call Anders Bjork Up From Providence

Tuesday night we got our first taste of Anders Bjork in the B’s lineup and I thought he acquitted himself quite well. In 13:17 TOI, he had four shots, one giveaway and takeaway, and one block. He was a minus one, but also created a nice scoring chance and hit the crossbar. He also showed that he could play a Bottom 6 checking role effectively. The biggest takeaway for me was that he didn’t look out of place. The speed and physicality of the NHL game was not an issue.

Bjork was an “emergency recall” when David Krejci was placed on IR and had to be sent back down to Providence. This was done so a roster player would not have to be sent down and clear waivers. Given that, it would appear that Krejci is close to returning. I expect Bjork’s stay in PRO to be brief. With Karson Kuhlman out for at least four weeks (and probably longer) with a broken tibia, Bjork will likely be recalled again as soon as Kuhlman is placed on IR.

The only “fly in the ointment” is that it appears the Bruins want to keep Bjork on the left side. In the past, he played a lot of right-wing, but he looks more comfortable on his natural side. There was also some speculation that his tendency to get hit in the middle of the ice was partly due to playing the off-wing. Playing the left side should allow Bjork to come out of the Boston end much easier. This doesn’t appear to be a huge issue because Ritchie has been playing better and Heinen is capable of playing on the right side.

When Krejci returns, my forward lineup would be:

Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen

DeBrusk – Krejci – Pastrnak

Bjork – Coyle – Ritchie

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

That should give Boston two legitimate scoring lines and a third line that can contribute some offense as well. You can still keep Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak together on the man advantage. The powerplay is a pretty large part of their production and would remain unaffected. The best part of my plan is that it doesn’t require any outside personnel moves. This means that if it doesn’t work, Cassidy can always reunite the first line.

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Hopefully, Bruce reads my article, adopts my foolproof plan and massive improvements in the Bruins secondary scoring follows. Once that happens, I may not be writing as much, as I would expect Boston to offer me a coaching job. Unrealistic? Of course, but let a man dream.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 002 that we recorded on 10-8-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask Set to Play in 500th Career Game

tuukka-rask-500

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter @yanlatz

The Bruins are gearing up for a big matchup against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. There will certainly be a buzz in the building as the Boston and Toronto rivalry writes another chapter but there will also most likely be much louder “TUUKK” chants coming from the Black ‘N Gold faithful as well.

That’s because Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes for the Bruins and it will be his 500th game in the National Hockey League. On November 24, 2007, Rask got his first win against the Maple Leafs with a 30 save performance in a 4-2 win for the B’s. Twelve years later it all comes full circle as Rask will skate in the milestone game against the very same team that drafted him and that he got his first NHL victory against.

Bruins head coach, who started coaching Rask in 2008, has rotated starts between Rask and Jaroslav Halak who have arguably been the league’s best goaltending tandem for the past two seasons. The lesser workload for Rask has allowed him to play better and more consistently all season long. Last season, Rask played in 46 games which allowed him to be fresher for the Bruins long playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Rask and Halak have picked up right where they left off last season and the Bruins hope the goaltending tandem can emulate their success from last season.

“They say it’s like 1,000 games for players, he said after practice on Monday when asked about his upcoming milestone game. “It’s a big milestone. I think you play 500 as a goalie, it’s going to take some years. Just goes to show how old I am, that’s about it.”

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara also weighed in on his longtime goaltender’s achievement: “I think it’s a great achievement. It just shows his durability and the way he takes care of himself and we are certainly happy for him. He deserves the accomplishment and whatever it comes with.”

Tuukka Rask was drafted 21st overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, his opponent for his 500th career game, but has only played for the Boston Bruins. His rights were traded to the Bruins on June 24, 2006, for goaltender Andrew Raycroft and he then signed a three-year contract in May of 2007. He played most of his early career for the Bruins backing up Tim Thomas and won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 but still has not yet won the Stanley Cup as a starter – failing to beat the Blackhawks in the 2013 Cup Finals and the Blues in the 2019 Cup Finals.

The Bruins goaltender has posted a 3-0-1 record this season in four starts posting a 1.72 goals-against average to go along with a .946 save percentage. The Bruins look to bounce back on Rask’s big night on home ice against the Leafs after falling to them on Saturday night in overtime 4-3.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

NHL20 Predicts A Bruins Championship

Image result for nhl20 bruins(Photo Credit: EA Sports – NHL20)

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

It’s “game” time for hockey fans everywhere. And I’m not just talking about the NHL’s 2019-2020 season dropping the puck for Opening Night.

Rather, EA Sports’ NHL20 video game, which has made a Bruins prediction as bold as some of our recent BN’G blog posts: that the B’s will win it all this year. Huzzah!

Pretty impressive right? The B’s will beat the Leafs (no surprise there) in the opening round, then the Lightning in round two and then the Caps in the Eastern Conference Final before dethroning the Golden Knights in six games.

And, get this: everyone’s favorite productive pest Brad Marchand will win the Conn Smythe, con artists be damned, with a nearly point-plus per game proficiency. That’s a prediction that’s not only bold and gold, but truth be told, I’m sold on!

However, I know what some of your are already saying / thinking / posting / tweeting: “what a jinx!” Or, perhaps, “where was this last season?” Or, better yet, “the odds of that actually happening are absurd.”

Be it in real life or the gaming world, prognostications of simulations can lead to recreations of imaginations. Simply put: it ain’t easy to predict a Stanley Cup winner — on the ice with talent, or on the screen with cheat codes.

Yet, not cheating ourselves, how fun is it to speculate on the official eve of Bruins puck drop? I mean, now that you know the team’s Stanley Cup Runner-Up history, why not have a little fun playing a game about the B’s potential game play this season? So far, the social media world seems to be enjoying it… especially the fact that Boston takes down Toronto in yet another first round Game 7 match up (this alone makes the NHL20 Sim worth it).

What else is worth a lot? Hope. At least the hope of another entertaining hockey season in Boston. Sure, losing the Cup really sucked (and still hurts), but we sure as hell went along for the ride up until mid-June! Now, if we’re to put our fanatical faith, and perhaps even some frivolous finances, into another form of entertainment — NHL20 — it looks like we’ll experience a SIMilar Summer run of perspective Cup fun.

I’ll hit “PLAY” on that B’s button all day long!

 

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 147 that we recorded on 9-30-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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