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Looking Back and Ahead at the Bruins

By on May 3, 2017 at 4:04pm

Playoff hockey returned to Boston this spring and boy it felt good.

The Boston Bruins returned to the Stanley Cup playoffs this season after a two-year absence and although they were knocked out in six games by the Ottawa Senators, the B’s accomplished what many wanted from the onset of the campaign:

Playoff hockey. Continue reading Looking Back and Ahead at the Bruins »

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(rantsports.com)

Last night the Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 in what many would call their best outing of the season. Goals from Brad Marchand (2), Frank Vatrano, Torey Krug, and Brandon Carlo paced the offense for the B’s and put the game out of reach against a Blues squad that looked flat for most of the evening.

After losing a tightly contested game against the Carolina Hurricanes two nights prior, it looked as though this matchup verse St. Louis, who is considered a better team than Carolina, would be a rough game for the Black and Gold.

Yet, the B’s came out strong and put up a four spot before the second buzzer sounded, all but sealing their fate for the night despite a sloppy final couple minutes of play.

Continuing their Jekyll and Hyde trend this season, just when you think you can tell what you’re going to get from this team, they go out and shock everyone. Continue reading Inconsistency Will Continue For Bruins Unless A Change Is Made »

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Generated by  IJG JPEG Library (gettyimages.com)

This year’s 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship will be one to watch for Bruins fans looking to get a glimpse into the future roster on Causeway Street.

In the annual post-Christmas Day tournament, the B’s boast five prospects from three different countries that all will be competing for a gold medal.

The yearly World Junior Championship showcases the most talented hockey players, 20 years old and under, in an Olympic-like atmosphere. There are two groups, Group A and Group B. Each team will play the other four teams in their group in round-robin play and the four teams with the best record in each group will move on to the medal round. Then its single elimination with a gold and bronze medal game at the conclusion. This year’s tournament is being held in Canada, with games being played at the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The Bruins have stockpiled draft picks over the past couple seasons, with some of them making immediate impacts (read as: Brandon Carlo) and others are starting to inch closer and closer to professional hockey, meaning good things are in store for the Black and Gold.

Here are the five players representing their countries and the Bruins in this years Junior Championship:

Jeremy Lauzon — CAN

Daniel Vladar — CZE

Jakub Zboril — CZE

Ryan Lindgren — USA

Charlie McAvoy (Assistant Captain) — USA

Four of the five are defensemen while Vladar will be jousting for time in the crease as one of the three goalies for the Czech Republic. McAvoy and Lindgren lead a stacked blue line for the Americans, Zboril returns for his second tournament hoping to improve upon the Czech Republic’s fifth place finish last year and Lauzon enters the tourney in a similar spot aspiring to contribute to a Canadian team that underachieved last year who finished in sixth place.

Zach Senyshyn, the controversial pick 15th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was a notable cut from Team Canada as he’s put up impressive numbers posting 17 goals and 28 points in 25 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this season.

Team USA begins play today with their opener against Latvia, then plays Slovakia on Wednesday and wraps up round-robin play with two high-powered matchups with Russia and Canada, with the latter coming on New Year’s Eve.

Happy Holidays hockey fans!

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Bruins Quick Hits

December 7, 2016 at 2:07pm in Bruins, Featured, NHL, Rumors, Top Story
Pastrnak after scoring game-winner vs Panthers (host.madison.com)

Drafting David Pastrnak 25th overall back in 2014 is looking more and more like a steal after each passing game.

Pastrnak scored a pair of goals in the Bruins 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers Tuesday night, including an overtime game-winner that put Cats goaltender Roberto Luongo’s jock-strap to the rafters, and sent B’s fans into pandemonium at the TD Garden thus lifting his total to 15 on the season.

Pastrnak’s rise from a skinny hopeful to a scoring machine is just one of a few things I want to discuss here while also hitting on some other Bruins takes from the past week or so. Let’s get started: Continue reading Bruins Quick Hits »

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Two of the key cogs in this years Bruins teams: Tuukka Rask, and David Pastrnak. (Getty Images).

Despite what the standings may show before the Thanksgiving break, this years Bruins team is on the right track. As of Nov. 23 the B’s currently hold the second Wild Card spot with 22 points and have been playing inspired hockey as of late. Let me speak for the majority of Bruins fans here when I say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised thus far since I wasn’t expecting this team to be as competitive as they are at this point.

My biggest concern entering this season, along with almost everyone who’s followed the B’s the past couple years, was their dull defensive group. On paper, they are one of the worst units in the entire NHL but so far, they’ve managed to not completely sink the teams and fans postseason aspirations. Granted they have had their moments where they look like they’re fishing for swordfish in their own end, however it hasn’t been as bad as it could be. Obviously, the white knight in this case has been the expected-unexpected emergence of Brandon Carlo.

The 19 year-old from Colorado Springs has stepped right into the top pairing alongside Zdeno Chara and has done just about everything that has been asked of him at this point. His big 6’5″ frame knows how to maneuver around the ice and his impressive poise combined with his simple, no-nonsense style of play has absolutely been a welcome addition to the Bruins backend. I will say that he certainly does look his age on the ice at times as he gets thrown around quite a bit and sometimes looks overwhelmed in the D-zone but all that comes down to inexperience and that will improve the more he plays. Basically, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say Carlo has been a huge reason this team has been as successful as they are in the early-goings of the year.

Behind Carlo and the other five defensemen on the ice stands a man that was on the verge of being run out of Boston this fall in Tuukka Rask. However, after amassing one of the best starts of his career this season recording an 11-3-0 record in 14 appearances, it would be foolish to overlook the contributions Rask has made to the B’s 11-8-0 overall record. To keep it simple, every game Rask hasn’t started the Bruins have lost, and those games were missing the same feel to it with Rask on the bench. Not only that, but for the most part, Rask has been an imposing presence in the crease making the majority of his saves look very easy. If Tuukka can keep this up he’s going to be in contention for the Vezina Trophy at the end of the season, alongside my favorite goalie in the league in Carey Price (sarcasm, of course) and could single-handily lead the B’s to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

The last player I’ve noticed more than any other through 19 games has been David Pastrnak. I’m glad to be saying this because I really enjoy what Pastrnak has brought to the table since he’s been on the roster and I think he’s the true goal scorer the Bruins have missed since trading Tyler Seguin. Leading the team with 10 goals, Pastrnak has looked much more confident in the offensive zone stringing together some nice plays with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The one concern I have surrounding his game though is his health. Similar to Carlo, Pastrnak is a young kid still developing muscle and is more at risk to injury because he’s on the weaker side. It’s been an issue in the past and it has popped up already this season, so if anything will hold him back this year, it’ll be the injury bug. Other than that, it’s clear that his overall game is starting to show improvement as his back-checking alone has improved ten-fold, as well as his defensive game in general, and it’ll be critical once the big games roll around in February and March.

Like I said, while the B’s haven’t been tremendous so far, they also haven’t looked dreadful. This team really didn’t have much roster turnover and the new guys on the roster, with the exception of David Backes, are all young players still trying to fill a role so at least to me, it’s hard to be upset with the results we’ve gotten so far. As a team, they seem to be a lot more likeable than in years past and I feel like that comes from their tendency, at least until now, to not give up in games. Other than an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 25 and two 5-2 losses to the New York Rangers, every game they lost was a back-and-forth game that I felt they had a good chance to win.

Look at their most recent game against the St. Louis Blues, a couple bounces go their way and they more-likely-than-not walk away with a win against a predominantly top Western Conference team. A 3-2 loss at Montreal also comes to mind in this example as the B’s were the better team in this game, but just couldn’t muster a goal past Price. This could be the most important aspect to this years team because as we all know, part of the reason they’ve failed to make the playoffs was their inability to win big games down the stretch. If they are showing some heart now, I can’t imagine that’ll disappear once the games become even more important down the line.

When it all boils down to it in April, we’ll look back on this start and the towering play of Carlo, Rask’s extraordinary start, the superb play of Pastrnak, and the overall pride this year’s team possesses and be shocked. Hopefully it’ll be a positive shock because they didn’t get a higher seeding in the playoffs, and not a negative shock if they fail to make the postseason, again. Now that would be something I would not be thankful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Marcus Mariota a strong option this week?

The second of the dreaded bye-pocalypses is upon us as six of the better teams (fantasy-wise) have the week off. Running backs are getting hurt left and right and no one knows who will get the carries in a few contests. Here is my advice for Week 9 of the regular season:

Start ‘Em

Marcus Mariota (vs. San Diego): This game looks to be a contest in which Mariota will be throwing a ton and should find some favorable matchups for his wide receivers and tight ends. He might not get the win, but he should score fantasy points. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 9, 2016 »

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Should Alex Smith start on your team this week?

The midway point of the regular season in fantasy leagues is upon us and this could be the make or break week if you are on the 3-3 fence or belowe after the games end on Monday. Take heed of my advice below and lead your team to victory. (Or don’t, sometimes even the smartest people get some wrong).

Start ‘Em

Alex Smith (vs. Oakland): This game will likely turn into a shootout in the second half with Smith being the beneficiary of more throws down the field on a weak Raiders’ secondary.

Should Alex Smith start on your team this week?

Should Alex Smith start on your team this week?

Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 6, 2016 »

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