Boston Bruins, There’s No Better Time To Go Young.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (zimbio.com)

The National Hockey League is always evolving and changing as the years go on. For the Boston Bruins, they have continually found themselves with older, slower players then the rest of the league. This unfortunate statistic has made it difficult to see success during the regular season and ultimately the postseason, especially in the past three years or so.

However, the future is finally looking promising and it’s long overdue. After firing former Head Coach Claude Julien, and hiring new Head Coach, Bruce Cassidy, it could very well mean that the Bruins organization is ready to become a younger team.

HC Cassidy was the main bench boss for the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins for five consecutive seasons, leading them to the playoffs four out of the five times. The experience in the AHL for Cassidy meant he was able to get to know some of the young prospects in the system. Giving him the opportunity to learn their style, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

Mike Babcock was fully willing to play the rookies of the Toronto Maple Leafs, knowing they had a deep prospect pool. Even though the first year, he missed the playoffs with a dismal 29-42-11 record. This season, he rebounded with the key addition of Auston Matthews and the emergence of Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and company, Mike Babcock lead the Maple Leafs to a 40-27-15 record and good enough for the second wild card spot and a berth in the 2017 playoffs. Although they were eliminated in six games to the Presidents trophy winning Washington Capitals, they gained experience that will be so valuable in the years to come. The fact that the team that everyone counted out brought the Capitals to five overtimes, is a feat in itself.

So, that point was brought up to prove that young players can bring you places and strive in these high-pressure situations. Boston had an example of a rookie coming up clutch in this year’s postseason as well. Sean Kuraly replaced David Krejci in Game 5 of the first round against the Ottawa Senators. Kuraly tied the game up at two a piece in the second period and eventually scored the game-winner in double overtime to extend the series going back to Boston.

Even a player like Charlie McAvoy, the fourteenth pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, who made his National Hockey League debut in Game One of the playoffs to replace injured blueliners. McAvoy quickly became one of the best players on the team during the series and proved that he is the real deal. Putting up three points in the six games including one of the game-winning assists on the Sean Kuraly double OT winner back in Game 5. Charlie also showed precision passing and excellent skating along with the pressure of Boston fans, media, and management to succeed. He overcame the pressure with ease and gave excitement and promise to the struggling defensive lineup.

Heading into another off-season, the Bruins need to stay away from signing veteran players in free agency like they have had a tendency to do so. This year, the Bruins should look to sign more of their prospects deep in the system already. However, issues could arise with the already-signed veteran players with high salaries such as David Krejci and David Backes taking up room for the young players to enter the lineup in Boston.

If the management staff can somehow free up some roster spots including buying out Jimmy Hayes, trading Matt Beleskey, or even Kevan Miller and/or Adam McQuaid either to Vegas or to the trading block at sometime. I’m a big fan of having the tough grit and attitude that McQuaid and Kevan Miller bring to the team, but they can sometimes become a defensive liability and in a new era where speed and skill often overtakes the toughness that used to rule the National Hockey League.

Nonetheless, the Boston Bruins are in a reasonable situation regarding their future and this season. Even though they didn’t make it far in the playoffs, it gave a great experience to many players including Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, and many other players. Let’s look forward to the 2017-18 season Bruins fans.

 

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Bruins Lack Players From Tuesday’s Practice, Cassidy Releases Update

 

New York Rangers v Boston Bruins

PHOTO CREDITS: (boston.com)

 

The injury-riddled Boston Bruins continue to face scares and worries throughout the season and heading into the postseason. Today, the practice lines for the black and gold showed more players absent then originally expected. However, Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy released some positive news about the situation.

As talked about for the past few days, the Bruins have three injuries to some key players heading into the playoffs. Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, and Noel Acciari are unlikely to play in the first game against the Ottawa Senators and now you can wonder about David Krejci and Dominic Moore.

Thankfully, Cassidy thinks both play tomorrow night in the Canadian Tire Centre at 7pm EST. Dominic Moore has become a key part of that fourth line. Moore, Nash, and whoever else is slotted into that bottom line because it seems like it changes every game. In a full 82 game season this year, Moore put up 11-14-25 totals with a +2 rating.

David Krejci has turned his season around after a slow start. Along the year, Krejci has seemingly taken over some of the scoring from Patrice Bergeron’s struggles. In his second full NHL season in eleven year in the league, the Sternberk, Czech Republic native put up 23-31-54 totals, even though he had a -12 rating. David’s 54 point season was good enough for third on the roster, behind only Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

Along with Moore and Krejci staying in the lineup, forward Brad Marchand returns to the ice after serving a two-game suspension following a spear to the groin of Jake Dotchin.

It is also quite possible that 2016 first rounder, Charlie McAvoy will make his National Hockey League debut in Game One. The Bruins recently signed the 19-year-old to his entry level contract and he proceeded to wear #73 during practice.

Game One is shaping up and it’s only one day away. The postseason officially begins Wednesday at 7 pm EST for the Boston Bruins, with all of the challenges and struggles still in full force.

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It’s Playoff Hockey In Boston – What Now?

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After a long two years that felt like a decade, Bruins fans will get to cheer on the black and gold past April 12th. A season full of doubts and challenges including new coach, players, and injuries has come to an end, but the difficulties have yet to stop. Both Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo now face injuries that hit them in the final few games as well as fourth liner Noel Acciari.

Even though these three injuries seem to sting the Bruins, the team has had to face adversity throughout the entire season. New Interim Head Coach (should be head coach), Bruce Cassidy has kept the team somewhat composed in big games and has added confidence to many players. Especially backup goaltender, Anton Khudobin, who is 6-0-0 with Cassidy as bench boss*.

*Khudobin was pulled in the final game against Washington due to illness.

To see the season recap from February 15th and before, CLICK HERE. For Boston’s entire season recap, keep reading.

TEAM STATS: 

  • The Bruins finished the 2016-2017 campaign with a 44-31-7 record which is good enough for 95 points.
  • Boston left the year with a 23-17-1 record in the TD Garden and a 21-14-6 on opposing ice.
  • The B’s finished 3rd in the Atlantic, 7th in the Eastern Conference, and 13th in the league.
  • In 82 games, Boston had a goals for per game of 2.83 (13th in NHL) and a goals against per game of 2.55 (9th in NHL).
  • Specialty teams were big for Boston. Power play percentage of 21.7% (7th in NHL) and penalty-kill percentage of 85.7% (1st in NHL).
  • Finally, Boston continued to dominate on the faceoff dots, completing the season with a 53.2% (3rd in NHL).

PLAYER STATS: 

  • Brad Marchand finished with career-high 85 points and 6th best in the NHL.
  • Marchand also had a career-high in goals (39) ranking him 5th in the NHL.
  • Once again, Marchand has a career-best in assists (46) slotting him 17th best in the NHL.
  • Captain Zdeno Chara lead the team in best +/- rating (+18), along side Marchand who also had a +18.
  • David Pastrnak set a career-high in points (70), goals (34), and assists (36) as well as his second-best +/- rating (+11).
  • Pastrnak was 22nd in the National Hockey League in power play points (24).
  • Patrice Bergeron had 302 shots on goal, to put him 3rd in the league.
  • Bergeron ranks 3rd in the NHL in face-off percentage with a minimum of 70 games played (60.1%)

Below are the full stats for the players and goaltenders courtesy of NHL.com.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

The Boston Bruins edged out a postseason berth and claimed back what they should have had for the past few seasons. Now comes the second season. Only sixteen teams get to experience this second season every year. The Capitals, Senators, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Rangers, Predators, Blackhawks, Blues, Wild, Sharks, Ducks, Oilers, Flames, and your Boston Bruins will represent their individual fanbases for at least another four games.

Here are the official round one matchups in both the Western and Eastern Conferences.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

As you can see above, the Bruins get set to play the Ottawa Senators. The same franchise that ended the hopes of the playoffs last season with little games left. Boston has yet to win a game this season against Canada’s capital city, going 0-3-1 throughout the four contests.

On November 24th, the Sens beat the Bruins 3-1, on March 9th, Ottawa won 4-2 and 3-2 on March 21st, and finally, in the closest game all season long, Boston barely lost a 2-1 shootout game in the second last game of the season.

The best-of-seven series begins Wednesday, April 12th in the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario at 7pm EST. Game two will take place in Ottawa once again on April 15th, game three heads to Boston on April 17th, game number four is held in TD Garden on April 19th. For the rest of the series and other games throughout the first round, CLICK HERE.

I can say myself, that I am beyond exciting to watch playoff hockey once again and I will be cheering full force with all my Bruins gear. Get ready hockey fans, it’s about to get exciting.

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The Longest Playoff Streak In The “Big Four”

Last night, two streaks in the National Hockey League came to an end. The Detroit Red Wings’ twenty-five season consecutive playoff streak came to an end after a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. On the other end, former Bruins General Manager, Peter Chiarelli has made many additions to end the ten-season drought of no playoffs for the Edmonton Oilers.

Streaks in sports are just another thing that adds to the suspense and drama of any sport. The Red Wings dominance throughout the past twenty-five years has been ended, but it just shows that they need to make some much needed changes to get back, a cycle each and every team goes through at sometime during their existence. From 1990-91 to 2015-16, Detroit won four Stanley Cups, (1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2007-08), further cementing that long-lasting streak.

However, the Red Wings’ streak wasn’t the longest in NHL history. That title is owned by the Boston Bruins. The twenty-nine year streak was held from 1967-68 to 1995-96, with two Stanley Cup wins as well, (1969-70, 1971-72). Ray Bourque was apart of those good time for 17 of the 29 years including five 90+ point seasons in that time span.

Not only does the streak top any other in the National Hockey League, but it also ranks second in the North American major professional sports, behind the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos 34 straight years. Boston does take the cake for the “Big Four” sports. The Bruins have the longest streak in the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB. An impressive feat for sure.

So whether or not the Bruins make the post-season this year, we will always have the 29 consecutive playoff streak. So B’s fans, stay hopeful, even though it may be hard and it may look hard to get out of this slump, but there will most likely be another day where the golf clubs don’t come out as early.

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Bruins Sign Prospects To Entry-Level Deals

 

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (letsgobruins.net)

 

The Boston Bruins have announced on Friday that they have signed forward prospect Ryan Fitzgerald and defensive prospect Emil Johansson per Joe Haggerty.

As Haggerty stated, Fitzgerald is coming from Boston College, who finished the year with a record of 21-15-4.

Ryan Fitzgerald was drafted by the Bruins back in the fourth round (#120 overall) back in the 2013 draft. The 22-year-old centerman had 12-19-31 totals in 34 games this season to go along with a +14 rating. Below is an analysis of Fitzgerald courtesy of Hockey’s Future.com 

“Fitzgerald is a small, offensively gifted forward. An instinctive scorer who is quick and knows how to find the open areas in the offensive zone, he uses his skating ability to avoid trouble or put pressure on opposing puck carriers. Despite his size he does not shy away from physical play — though undisciplined penalties can detract from his game at times. After making his debut in college hockey as an 18-year-old, Fitzgerald is still maturing physically and should continue to develop the supplementary aspects of his game. The Boston College program has churned out several talented forwards under coach Jerry York in recent years and Fitzgerald has the skill level to add to that legacy.”

From that in-depth write up on Fitzgerald, it seems to fit the new Bruins style that Cam Neely insisted on following the disappointing Game 7 loss in round two of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The speed of the Montreal Canadiens in that series made Neely want to become that team and change from the good ol’ tough Big Bad Bruins that we were known for. If Ryan can continue to perform this well in the NHL, he might very well get a chance to play with guys like David Pastrnak which could be deadly for any goalie.

The other prospect is Emil Johansson, drafted by the Bruins in the seventh round (#206 overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Johansson played the last three seasons in the Swedish Hockey League as a defenceman. In 49 games this past year, Emil put up 7-10-17 totals with a -1 rating. Once again, here is another analysis from none other, than Hockey’s Future.com 

“Johansson is a good-sized blueliner who is only getting bigger. He has decent puck-possession instincts and can make a solid first pass. In the defensive zone he looks to cut off oncoming forwards along the boards and in the corners. Johansson will use his weight to dish out checks in front of his own goal. When he is playing cool and collective, he’s a heady player who shows a good understanding for the game. Johansson is not projected to be much of an offensive defenseman, as he tends to get into trouble when being too active or creative from a puck-rushing standpoint, even if he does have good mobility. He could shoot more from the point and seems to generally have shied away from taking too many chances.”

When it comes to Emil Johansson, he might end up being a solid stay-at-home blueliner. A hole that has been in Boston’s roster for the past couple seasons now.

Whether or not either Fitzgerald or Johansson makes the Providence Bruins roster this season, we don’t exactly know for sure. But we do know, is that the Bruins organization realizes that we are an old team now and the young guys will need to become crucial to this organization.

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BREAKING NEWS: Bruins Player Diagnosed With Concussion

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The Boston Bruins have announced on Tuesday, March 7th, that Bruins forward Ryan Spooner will be out indefinitely due to a concussion. The team will be putting Spooner through the standard concussion protocol to see the severity of the injury.

As Joe Haggerty and other Bruins media stated, the injury came in the third period of Monday night’s loss to the Ottawa Senators. Boston lost 4-2 in a game where points really matter in the oh-so-close Eastern Conference playoff race.

At this point of the year, Spooner has 11-23-34 totals in 65 games this season, but has really seemed to build confidence and momentum since the Interim Head Coach, Bruce Cassidy took over.

We at TheRealBruinsBlog wish a successful and speedy recovery to Ryan Spooner.

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Moves To Make At The Trade Deadline

 

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The Trade Deadline. A time for teams to make small or blockbuster trades to either try to make a push for the postseason or make a trade that would classify them as a “rebuilder”.

As many already know, the Boston Bruins are on the fence when it comes to the postseason topic. As of February 15th, at 11:06 am CST, the black and gold have the third place seed in the tight Atlantic division. They sit a mere one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs and is tied, (but four games behind), the Ottawa Senators for second in the division. With a record of 29-23-6 and 64 points so far, it will probably remain close until the final few games. Seems like deja vu from the previous two seasons.

In the player’s mindset, this week break is needed. A busy schedule thus far has really taken the toll on some of the players, especially goaltender Tuukka Rask. The problem is, is that the break is coming at a time where points are so, so valuable and a time where the Bruins are really finding their groove with Interim Head Coach, Bruce Cassidy.

When does Boston hit the ice for a game next? Sunday the 19th is when. Against the San Jose Sharks for the second time for Cassidy as the bench boss. In that time span, Toronto has two games and one on Sunday as well. Their first game takes place tonight as they battle the Blue Jackets in Game Two of back-to-back games. However, the Leafs are rolling after a 7-1 victory over the New York Islanders. The Leafs then play the Senators in an oh-so-important game for the Atlantic division this Saturday.

Speaking of Ottawa, they also have two contest in Boston’s break. Against the Devils on Thursday and the Leafs on Saturday. Like Toronto, they also join Boston and play on Sunday. The B’s need to hope that both Ontario squads lose all their games and need to probably hope for an Ottawa win on Saturday.

Now that you have an idea on Boston’s current situation, what should the B’s do when the phones start ringing on March 1st?

My answer to that is absolutely nothing. The Boston Bruins are this close to the playoffs because they have a good enough team to contend for the postseason, not the Stanley Cup, but the playoffs nonetheless. Also, the team has their chemistry in place. A trade would most likely take a place of a rookie and mess up some line combinations that were succeeding.

Another very important reason is that the trade would most likely be for a veteran, a veteran who is at the last few ends of his career. Along with that, we would probably trade away a prospect and/or some picks in the future years. I don’t know if you have noticed yet, but the National Hockey League is being ruled by the young players. Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Mitch Marner, Patrik Laine, and the list goes on and on. Speed and finesse are too dominant in today’s game, while fighting and toughness are slowing being eradicated.

If the trade isn’t for a veteran, it would be a blockbuster. One that would involve too many valuable assets leaving the Bruins, for a possible failure. Discussions about trading Brandon Carlo don’t make too much sense considering the fall of legend Zdeno Chara. Why would we trade away a promising, young defender that could very well become the next main top-2 d-man? But, that is still a little while into the future, so we shouldn’t get too ahead with that.

In the comments section, please let me know what we should do at the Trade Deadline. Should we try to snag up a rental player for some picks in hopes to make the playoffs? Or should we just roll with what we have right now and maybe make the postseason that way? Let me know!

 

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2017 Bruins Report Card (So Far)

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (letsgobruins.com)

 

The Boston Bruins are currently riding a three-game winning streak after an impressive shutout at home against the Montreal Canadiens. Starting the season off on the fence with one side being the playoffs and the other a disappointing mid-round draft pick. Then the Bruins made an announcement that surprised everyone. Former Head Coach Claude Julien was fired. However, the move has revitalized the team in pretty much every way possible.

Bruce Cassidy has lead the Bruins to 3 wins, making him 3-0 while being the bench boss. An impressive feat all things considered.

Now, the Bruins find themselves still on that fence. Wondering if a birth in the postseason is still a valid possibility. Unfortunately, Boston now has a five-day break at a time where they seem to be finding their groove. So, with the spare time, let’s review the overall statistics of the Boston Bruins as a whole as well as some individual stats.

1: Scoring

The Boston Bruins are in the middle of the road when it comes to goals for per game. As of February 14th, Boston sits 17th in the league with a goals-for-per-game of 2.67. In comparison, the Pittsburgh Penguins lead the league in this stat, scoring an average of 3.54 goals per game. Bruins are a little better in total amount of goals scored in the season, with 155. Boston also has an average power play as well. Through the 58 games that the Bruins have played this year, they have a 20.1% with the man-advantage. Boston does indeed lead the league in the average amount of shots taken per game, with an average of 34.4 shots.

2: Defense

When it comes to goals against, Bruins are a tad-bit better than they are in the goals for category. As of this point, the black and gold have a GA/GP of 2.64, giving them a 0.03 more goals per game. Far from great, but it’s getting them wins. Boston has also allowed 2 fewer goals than they have scored, allowing 153 goals so far. When it comes to the penalty kill, Boston ranks top of the league when it comes to the PK%, killing off 86.3% of the power plays that they have faced. The blueliners have seemingly done their job well, as Boston currently ranks second in the National Hockey League when it comes to the least amount of shots against on average. Bruins’ opponents manage to put on 26.5 shots upon Boston goaltenders. This ranks only behind the Los Angeles Kings (25.7).

Now on two the individual stats for the Bruins roster.

FORWARDS:

Brad Marchand: 24-34-58 | 58 GP

David Pastrnak: 25-23-48 | 51 GP

David Krejci: 14-25-39 | 58 GP

Patrice Bergeron: 14-19-33 | 55 GP

Ryan Spooner: 8-21-29 | 57 GP

David Backes: 12-14-26 | 50 GP

Dominic Moore: 8-9-17 | 58 GP

Tim Schaller: 7-7-14 | 51 GP

Austin Czarnik: 5-8-13 | 47 GP

Frank Vatrano: 8-5-13 | 24 GP

Riley Nash: 3-7-10 | 58 GP

Matt Beleskey: 2-5-7 | 33 GP

Jimmy Hayes: 2-2-4 | 43 GP

Peter Cehlarik: 0-2-2 | 2 GP

Noel Acciari: 0-2-2 | 19 GP

Anton Blidh: 1-1-2 | 19 GP

Danton Heinen: 0-0-0 | 18 GP

Sean Kuraly: 0-0-0 | 18 GP

NOTES: Frank Vatrano is silently under the radar. 13 points in 24 games this season. Lack of games due to injury. Jimmy Hayes has only 4 points throughout 43 games played, can you say “bust”? Brad Marchand’s hot streak raised him to a point-per-game status, an important feat for the All-Star, Marchand is fifth in the league for total points, Pastrnak is tenth in the league for goals, Marchand is eleventh, Bergeron is tied for third in most game-winning goals, and Marchand has the second most short-handed goals (3) and short-handed points (5).

DEFENCEMAN:

Torey Krug: 5-31-36 | 58 GP

Zdeno Chara: 5-11-16 | 51 GP

Brandon Carlo: 4-9-13 | 58 GP

Colin Miller: 4-5-9 | 42 GP

Kevan Miller: 2-5-7 | 34 GP

Adam McQuaid: 2-5-6 | 53 GP

John-Michael Liles: 0-5-5 | 30 GP

Joe Morrow: 0-1-1 | 17 GP

Rob O’Gara: 0-0-0 | 3 GP

Matt Grzelcyk: 0-0-0 | 2 GP

NOTES: Torey Krug does have offensive skill, leading all Bruins d-men in points this season. John-Michael Liles missed 20 games with a concussion, has been a healthy scratch almost every game since Jan.10.

GOALTENDING:

Tuukka Rask: 27 W – 13 L – 4 OTL | 46 GP | SV%: 0.912 | GAA: 2.27 | 6 Shutouts

Anton Khudobin: 2 W – 5 L – 1 OTL | 9 GP | SV%: 0.888 | GAA: 3.05 | 0 Shutouts

Zane McIntyre: 3 W – 4 L – 1 OTL | 8 GP | SV%: 0.858 | GAA: 3.97 | 0 Shutouts

NOTES: Backup goaltending is obviously a problem for Boston and Tuukka Rask is third in the league for most shutouts.

One statistic that hasn’t been too kind to the Boston Bruins is the plus/minus statistic. Only seven players that have played a minimum of 19 games for the Bruins this season have a plus rating, (D. Pastrnak, B. Marchand, Z. Chara, P. Bergeron, D. Moore, B. Carlo, A. McQuaid). John-Michael Liles and Noel Acciari remain at an even rating, while every other player on the squad, is currently at a minus rating.

There’s the recap on the Bruins season through this amount of games. With the firing of Claude Julien and the replacement by Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins management have lit a match underneath the players of the organization. So far, three big wins over the Sharks, Canucks, and Montreal. Proving that they don’t need Julien to be a good team. Hopefully, this week off does more good for the players than it does badly. Especially for guys like Tuukka Rask, who has been overplayed this season thanks to the underperforming backup goalies.

So prepare for the rest of the year Bruins fans, because it’s about to get even more interesting. Considering the March 1st trade deadline is right around the corner.

 

 

 

 

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A Big Weekend For The Bruins Coming

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Gregory J. Fisher – USA Today Sports)

The Boston Bruins have began their run in the Bruce Cassidy era with a brilliant 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. David Pastrnak added two goals, David Backes scored the first one, Patrice Bergeron netted one, Tim Schaller buried his 7th of the season, and Brad Marchand scored an empty-net goal to put the nail in the inevitable coffin. Following the result, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are now tied with 24 goals on the year. Also in the game, goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 23 of the 26 shots that faced him, while the Bruins managed to chase Martin Jones out of the cage following the third goal against. Aaron Dell allowed the other two goals against for the Sharks.

Now, the challenge wasn’t the first game. As many expected the black and gold to come out with a fire underneath them, which they had. The challenge will be whether or not they can continue to use this momentum to possibly string together some important wins. The next few games will be interesting to follow, as they can predict the future when it comes to making the 2016-17 postseason. Let’s now go over the next three games on the radar for the Bruins.

1. Vancouver Canucks (24-24-6; 54 pts.; 6th in Pacific)

The Vancouver Canucks have become a rival team to the Boston Bruins ever since their seven-game series in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. A time where Canucks fans took it hard, and so did the streets of Vancouver. However this season, the Canucks are a struggling team, as showcased above. During the offseason, Vancouver signed former Bruins winger, Loui Eriksson. The signing hasn’t really paid off. The 31-year-old Swede has 11-11-22 totals in 54 games with a -7 rating.

The game is a Saturday matinee game, starting at 1 pm EST in the TD Garden. With the rivalry that has grown over the course of the past six years, it should make for an interesting matchup. This is the first of two games between the two teams, with the other coming on March 13th in Vancouver.

Also, it is now announced that Zdeno Chara should “be good to go” against the Canucks as stated Friday afternoon.

2. Montreal Canadiens (31-17-8; 70 pts.; 1st in Atlantic)

Ah, the good ole’ Boston/Montreal rivalry. Every hockey fan, (and sports fan), knows about the storied hatred for the two Original Six teams. After the 2016 Winter Classic disaster, the Bruins have been pushing for redemption. The season began with 2 losses to the Habs, however, Boston took the last win 2-1 in overtime back in December thanks to a key game-winning goal by Ryan Spooner. This is the final meeting this season unless they manage to meet in the postseason. A win would tie the season series, a big accomplishment for the B’s.

Not only is the game important due to the rivalry, it also has implications on the postseason that was mentioned before. Montreal currently stands in 1st in the Atlantic division, a whole ten points ahead of Boston. If the Bruins can secure a victory Sunday night in Boston, they can ride the rest of the season on some high momentum for sure.

3. San Jose Sharks (33-18-4; 70 pts.; 1st in Pacific)

As talked about at the beginning of the article, the Bruins kicked off the Cassidy era with a big win over the Sharks. Well after a long 6-day break, the Bruins will hit the ice again to begin the dreaded California trip, starting on February 19th. The Sharks will obviously be looking for redemption on the black and gold due to Thursday’s 6-3 loss. San Jose also needs some wins in order to hold the throne in the Pacific division. The Anaheim Ducks sit just two points behind them currently, while the Edmonton Oilers sit just four points back of the Sharks.

A problem for the Bruins heading into this contest, is that San Jose has been lights out when inside the SAP Center, holding an impressive record of 18-7-2 while being 15-11-2 on the road. Compare that to the Bruins, it’s almost the total opposite. Boston is 13-13-0 at home while they are 14-10-6 while visiting other teams this season. Following this game, Boston has a one-day break before play back-to-back late games against Anaheim then Los Angeles right after. Both of the back-to-back games begin at 10:30 pm EST.

So, will the Boston Bruins roll on the recent momentum from the Sharks and take these next three games? Or will they end up falling back to Earth?

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BREAKING: Bruins Release Update On Injured Players

PHOTO CREDITS: (rantsports.com)

After a rough game on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins have released an official announcement on the status of the two players who suffered injuries in the contest. Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask.

This is the best possible news for the Bruins here. Bergeron was injured after taking a Matt Niskanen slapshot to the inside of his knee. He left the game after trying to return soon after the shot. Rask on the other hand, was shaken up after a spectacular cross-crease robbery on Alex Ovechkin late in the contest. Below are both injuries.

Head coach Claude Julien didn’t rule out the possibility of both playing in Boston’s next game.

Boston prepares to play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday in an important Atlantic division showdown at 7pm EST in the TD Garden.

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