|02.23.17 at 5:11 pm ET|
The Bruins are not keen on moving more assets for a short-term fix.
Not after moving two draft picks for Lee Stempniak, and another two draft picks and a prospect for John-Michael Liles last season. But it does remain an option for second-year Bruins general manager Don Sweeney just six days away from the NHL trade deadline.
And the first significant trade of trade season — a Thursday move that saw the Hurricanes send Ron Hainsey to the Penguins for a second-round draft pick and minor-leaguer Danny Kristo — has given the Bruins and the rest of the league an idea of the market’s prices.
Granted, the utter devastation to the health of the Pittsburgh defense corps upped general manager Jim Rutherford’s need to acquire a defenseman, but it’s still a sign of what it will cost your team to make an upgrade to your roster between now and Mar. 1.
|02.23.17 at 4:32 pm ET|
The second week of vacation is over for two B’s, and it’s Los Angeles to Providence for forward Austin Czarnik and defenseman Joe Morrow, who were reassigned to the Providence Bruins today.
The assignment for Czarnik is to get the 5-foot-9 forward back into game-shape after having missed the last five games with a lower-body injury. Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy noted that Czarnik, who was practicing with the club, was getting closer to a return. And with the P-Bruins having a weekend slate of games on deck Friday through Sunday, it can get Czarnik back into the mix without the pressure of meaningful NHL games through the stretch run.
The 24-year-old Czarnik has scored five goals and 13 points in 47 games for the Big B’s this season, and one goal and two helpers in three AHL games this season. And though the Michigan native had roles for the B’s this year on both the power play and fill-in winger, you have to wonder if the development of Peter Cehlarik and seemingly solidified revolving door of more natural-fitting bottom-six forwards have taken him out of an NHL job for the time being.
On a one-way contract, the assignment for Morrow has been labeled a conditioning one.
Morrow has not played in a game since Jan. 22, and has played just eight times since Dec. 1.
It’s unlikely that you will see Morrow draw back into NHL action any time soon, either, as he’s behind Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, and even John-Michael Liles on the club’s left-side defensive depth chart.
Morrow has one assist and a minus-4 rating in 17 games for the Bruins this season.
|02.23.17 at 4:33 am ET|
The Bruins really can’t afford to lose many more games.
But if they are going to lose, which is inevitable despite what the first four games of the Bruce Cassidy era told us, they’re going to have to figure out how to lose the right way. And just what is considered the right way? Taking advantage of the league’s ridiculous ‘loser points’ handed out like candy this time of year, which is something they haven’t done this year. Or any year of recent recollection.
Just take a look at Wednesday’s disaster at the Honda Center.
After the Bruins fought so hard to tie things back up, and did with Frank Vatrano’s goal scored just over the halfway mark of the third period, the Bruins were hemmed in their own zone and allowed the Ducks’ Rickard Rakell to score what would be the game-winning goal with just 2:34 left in the third period.
If there’s any consolation for the Black and Gold, it was the gutpunch that the B’s have been tagged with repeatedly in what’s become a rope-a-dope season. Flip-side: There’s no consolation to be had given what was at stake for the club in that game.
|02.23.17 at 2:05 am ET|
Bruce Cassidy’s late situation in-game management, which is something that was not really an issue for the Bruins in the first four easy street kind of games, was tested on Wednesday night.
And it came with the first loss under his watch, as the Bruins fell to the Ducks by a late 5-3 final at the Honda Center.
In a building in which they had not won in in almost five calendar years, the Bruins opened the game up with Brandon Carlo’s goal in the first period, and carried a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of action.
But it was in the middle period, as has often been the case this season, that the Black and Gold seemed to run into trouble at every turn.
The Ducks scored 2:03 into the second period behind Ondrej Kase’s fifth goal of the season and his first in 19 games. And the Bruins appeared to answer right away when David Pastrnak rifled a top-shelf shot upstairs on the Ducks’ Jonathan Bernier on the power play. But the goal was called off thanks to contact from B’s winger Brad Marchand at the front of the net, and after a Bruins challenge, that call was upheld and the Bruins lost their timeout.
Zdeno Chara scored a goal that counted just moments later, however, and it seemed like a bullet dodged, even down a timeout.
|02.22.17 at 6:21 pm ET|
Matt Beleskey will be more than a spectator tonight when he visits his old stomping grounds for a pivotal tilt between the Bruins and Ducks.
A healthy scratch in two of the club’s last three games, Beleskey was confirmed as a go and subbed in for Tim Schaller by Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy following the club’s well-attended optional skate at the Honda Center, and is expected to skate in Schaller’s spot on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Riley Nash.
After a career-high 37 points with the Bruins a year ago, year two in Boston as a whole has been a challenging one for Beleskey, who has struggled to duplicate his success, with just two goals and five assists in 33 games played along with 23 games missed with a right knee injury.
But the 28-year-old hasn’t sulked or moaned about his situation.
“I think that’s really all you can do when you don’t play, is just work hard, and try and get better,” Beleskey said. “I’ve been working with the coaches, trying to work on the foot speed, get back from missing a lot of games – it’s taken me a bit to get going, but hopefully tonight I can make some strides and hopefully stay in the lineup.”
And the Bruins have to hope that a head-to-head against his former team could provide a lift, too.
A member of the Ducks for seven seasons, with 57 goals and 112 points in 329 games for Anaheim, Beleskey is trying to keep his eyes on the task at hand for his (somewhat) new club versus enjoying the memories made back then.
“We had a lot of fun here,” Beleskey, who left the Ducks for the Bruins two summers ago, admitted. “But I’m looking forward to getting two points tonight, hopefully coming back in the lineup and being able to contribute and play my game.”
|02.22.17 at 5:18 pm ET|
Here’s something weird: According to MoneyPuck.com, there are 15 teams that have a better chance to make the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs than the Bruins, who are currently given a 72.14 percent chance of making the 16-team dance.
But that’s not the weird part.
Of the 30 teams and their chances at lifting the Stanley Cup this June, only the Capitals, currently given a 10.9 percent chance, have a higher number than the 8.7 percent given to the Bruins by MoneyPuck.com’s scale.
It’s also probably worth noting that the Bruins, who have not made the playoffs since 2014 by the way, would not make the playoffs if the season ended today.
At the same time, it’s just the latest model that speaks to how the Bruins are viewed as a team that’s been better than their luck and win-loss record has indicated through the first three legs of their season.
|02.21.17 at 7:11 pm ET|
Those of you still waiting for the blockbuster trade between the Bruins and Avalanche to go down can probably find something else to do.
In what’s been nearly two months of rumors linking the Bruins and Avs in talks for a major swap (with the Bruins targeting Colorado captain and former No. 2 overall pick Gabriel Landeskog), all has gone quiet on the trade front. That’s because each party seems fed up with the other’s unwillingness to either come up or down on their desired prices.
By now, it’s obvious what the Avalanche want from the Bruins, and it’s centered around first-year pro defenseman Brandon Carlo and more.
A 20-year-old native of Colorado Springs, Colo., the Avs’ interest in Carlo is obvious given the fact that the team is in dire need of a defensive upgrade and Carlo’s ability to compete at a top-pairing level as a rookie.
But a 6-foot-5 defenseman that can defend and skate as well as Carlo has in just his first season in the greatest league in the world do not grow on trees. And at less than $800,000 per year for two more years after this one thanks to his affordable entry-level contract, there’s no rush from Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to move that out of Boston.
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic is not the first general manager to try, either.