|04.07.17 at 2:00 pm ET|
The Bruins had near perfect attendance at their final practice before the conclusion of their regular season slate. But the absences of those not on the ice — 51-point top-four defenseman Torey Krug and fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari — were certainly noticeable, and should continue to be when the B’s take on the Capitals tomorrow.
“Lower-body. He’ll be out tomorrow, that much we know” Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed of Krug, who was reportedly seen leaving TD Garden on crutches last night, and his status for tomorrow’s season finale. “And then from there, day-to-day.”
Cassidy and the B’s medical team made the same decision on Acciari, who had one shot on goal and five hits in 12:55 of time on ice last night against the Senators, but because of an upper-body injury.
The loss of Krug, who has put together the most consistent season of his pro career this season, with eight goals and 51 points (the sixth-most among NHL defenders this season), is a gigantic one for the Bruins. Next to losing Zdeno Chara, it might just be the most devastating loss that the B’s blue line could take on this season.
Cassidy actually straight-up admitted that there’s no way for the B’s to replace what he brings to the ice, too.
“He’s a special talent; Power play, first pass on the breakout, neutral zone transition, all those things,” Cassidy said of Krug following Friday’s practice in Brighton. “We’re gonna miss his ability to get going on offense in a hurry. Having said that, we have good puck-movers back there. It’s the way it is this time of year. You get injuries, next man up’s gotta get in there and get the job done. Play to his strengths without being something he’s not, so that’s what we’ll ask of them.”
The Bruins rolled through practice with John-Michael Liles, who took Krug’s spot on the first power play unit and as the de facto No. 2 left-shot defender behind Chara last night, in Krug’s usual spot to Adam McQuaid’s left, which put Colin Miller back in the rotation on the left side of the B’s third pairing opposite Kevan Miller.
With the exception of the injured, and goaltender Tuukka Rask (rest), Cassidy is not expected to rest any of his star players for tomorrow’s finale, as the Bruins are still playing to avoid falling into the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
|04.07.17 at 2:59 am ET|
David Pastrnak is amazing. He’s fun. He’s multidimensional. He’s an elite talent. What he is not, however, and regardless of what the end results of the fan vote conducted by NESN.com visitors tell me, is the proper recipient 7th Player Award for the 2016-17 season.
In case you’re unaware, NESN’s 7th Player Award is an annual award presented to the Bruin who exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans for that season. And this is the second time Pastrnak has received NESN’s 7th Player Award, as he also won the award in 2015.
See, that alone I have a problem with.
If Pastrnak surpassed your expectations as an 18-year-old in 2015 — when he scored 10 goals and 27 points in 46 points — then you should have seen the natural trajectory leading him to 30-goal status by year three. His sophomore season, with 15 goals and 26 points in an injury-shortened 51-game year, showed more of that potential. And you should have known that Pastrnak was entering this season as the club’s top right winger — be it with Patrice Bergeron on the B’s first line or with David Krejci on the second line — which meant that goals and opportunities were going to be there. (It’s the same logic that should have been applied to Brad Marchand a year ago, too, when he won it for the second time in his career.)
So if you didn’t see this Pastrnak production coming, it’s because you simply weren’t paying attention.
In other words, somebody else was robbed. But who?
|04.07.17 at 2:12 am ET|
In a battle for playoff positioning against the Senators at TD Garden on Thursday night, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug’s night came to an end after just three shifts and 2:32 of time on ice. It was probably the absolute last thing the Bruins wanted to hear against an Ottawa team that loves to stifle teams into bad passes from their point, too.
It’s bad enough that Krug went down the tunnel. But it was even worse when Krug was almost immediately ruled out for the rest of the night.
For the Bruins to determine that Krug’s night was over that quickly means that whatever it was, was pretty bad for the B’s best puckmover.
“All I got is lower body,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krug’s status. “Obviously he couldn’t return, so you know, that’s never good. But, I imagine it will be released at some point but I don’t have any information for you, sorry. We missed him.”
Down Krug, the Bruins deployed their five defensemen on a mix and match basis, and no defender logged less than 21 minutes in the shootout loss to the Senators. John-Michael Liles, who finished the night with three shots on goal in 21:12 of time on ice, took on Krug’s role as the club’s No. 2 left side defender behind Zdeno Chara and skated in Krug’s spot on the B’s top power-play unit.
But the Bruins missed Krug’s vision on the first pass out of their end, which was a 65-minute nightmare for the Bruins.
“These are the games where he sees the ice very well in the neutral zone and it only takes a few seams when all the sudden you’re in, and even on the forecheck spring a guy,” Cassidy said of Krug’s loss in this game. “He – listen, he does it once or twice a game; he gives us opportunities to attack with numbers, keeps pucks live, even the offensive blueline play, he’ll find a play or two.”
“I mean, anytime you lose someone like Torey, it’s never easy. He’s just so dynamic and sees plays that other people don’t see,” Liles admitted. “It was more just everybody trying to step up and kind of fill that void a little bit, and beyond that, it was just a matter of trying to keep shifts short and having forwards help us out because we were a little bit undermanned, and, it just takes a toll on the defense as a whole going down to five, and, anytime the bench is short like that, it’s not easy.”
According to CSNNE, Krug was seen leaving the Garden with a brace on his right knee and on crutches.
One of four Bruins to have played in all 81 games this season, Krug is in the midst of a career-year with the Bruins, with eight goals and 51 points, which has made him the first 50-point B’s d-man since 2008-09 (Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman).
|04.06.17 at 9:50 pm ET|
If you ever want to suck the life out of a game, just invite the Senators to your town, and tell them to leave Erik Karlsson behind.
One of the game’s most electrifying talents with the way he creates offense from the point with an upbeat transition game and otherworldly passing game, the Senators came into tonight’s season series finale down their captain, who is back to day-to-day status with a lower-body ailment, according to Sens coach Guy Boucher. The Bruins, meanwhile, were without their most dynamic offensive talent, winger Brad Marchand, thanks to his two-game suspension handed down earlier today for Tuesday’s spear to the Lightning’s Jake Dotchin.
The absence of both Marchand and Karlsson undoubtedly put a damper in what many logically considered to be a potential first-round matchup, with the Sens entering play in second in the Atlantic and the Bruins in third. The Bruins also lost defenseman Torey Krug early in the first period of a head-to-head that lacked any sort of a sizzle from that point on, as the Bruins and Senators mucked it up to a 2-1 shootout final for the Senators at TD Garden.
And if this was a playoff preview of what’s to be in the first round, get your blankets and pillows ready for a snoozefest.
|04.06.17 at 7:46 pm ET|
Bruins prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has finally been cleared.
Signed to a three-year, entry-level contract by the Bruins on Sunday night, the 20-year-old forward has spent all week practicing with the Bruins, but has been unable to suit up for any game action due to an immigration issue. A native of Sweden, Forsbacka Karlsson has lived in Boston for the last two years as a student at Boston University, where he recorded 24 goals and 63 points in 78 games for the Terriers, but obviously did that with a student visa, not the work visa he would need to officially make the jump to the pro game and earn a paycheck.
But after nearly a week in limbo, with Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy still unable to use the talented forward entering play tonight, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has announced that Forsbacka Karlsson has received immigration approval from the United States and is now an active roster player eligible to play in NHL games.
Forsbacka Karlsson, who will wear No. 23, was on the ice for the B’s pregame skate against the Senators.
|04.06.17 at 6:53 pm ET|
The Bruins have clinched a postseason berth and the Senators are just one point away — or some losses, one from the Lightning and one from the Islanders — from doing the same. Both teams come into play without their top scorer, Brad Marchand because of a two-game suspension handed down to him today and Erik Karlsson because of a lower-body injury, but there’s still plenty on the line for each club.
For one, the Bruins do not want to be swept by the Sens, who have the three prior head-to-heads between these Atlantic Division rivals, especially going into a potential playoff series. Also, the Bruins are definitely still in the market for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, with the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic bracket still in play.
“I’d rather play here, to be honest with you, but I think our road record indicates that we’re comfortable on the road,” Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy said after today’s morning skate. “We’re going to be fine however it plays out, but anytime you can be at home I think there’s advantages.
“Most teams would want home ice if they had the choice, and we’re not any different.”
Tuukka Rask gets the call in net for the Bruins. He’s en fuego of late, with four wins and a .972 save percentage in his last four starts, and he stopped all 28 shots thrown his way in his last outing, a 4-0 win over the Lightning. The 30-year-old Rask is winless with an .882 save percentage in three starts against the Sens this year.
Craig Anderson will be in the Ottawa crease. Anderson has been lights out this season, with 23 wins and a .925 save percentage in 38 decisions this season. Anderson stopped 34-of-36 shots in his last start against the Bruins, and has stopped all but five of 83 Boston shots faced this year, good for a .940 save percentage and perfect 3-0-0 mark against the B’s.
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson was on the ice for the pregame skate, but with work visa issues continuing to delay his ability to play, you can expect Frank Vatrano to take Marchand’s spot on the B’s first line with Patrice Bergeron and David Backes. Vatrano has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, and comes into play with 10 goals and 18 points in 42 games this year.
The Bruins have not been swept in any season series with the Senators.
Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins…
Frank Vatrano – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes
Drew Stafford – David Krejci – David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey – Ryan Spooner – Sean Kuraly
Dominic Moore – Riley Nash – Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles – Kevan Miller
|04.06.17 at 3:22 pm ET|
With the Bruins down leading scorer Brad Marchand for tonight’s game thanks to his new two-game suspension for spearing, the Senators have found a way to even the playing field for tonight’s head-to-head showdown at TD Garden, as captain and leading scorer Erik Karlsson will also miss tonight’s game, due to a lower-body injury.
For an Ottawa team still in search of a playoff berth, the loss of Karlsson, who has 17 goals and 71 points (second-most among NHL defensemen this season) in 77 games, is huge. And losing him for this matchup — Karlsson has three assists in three games against the B’s this season, and 21 points in 34 career games against the Bruins, which makes them the eighth-most torched team in his professional career — could be devastating for a Sens club going for the season series sweep.
Something that they weren’t denying ahead of this game.