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Bruins are early losers of Reilly Smith trade

03.24.16 at 12:58 pm ET
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Smith_Reilly_Jean-Yves Ahern_USAToday

Reilly Smith has 23 goals this season. (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today Sports)

When the Bruins traded Reilly Smith (along with Marc Savard’s contract) for the rights to Jimmy Hayes this summer, fans locally were probably happier to see Smith go than they were to see Hayes arrive.

A whipping boy for his lack of offensive consistency in his first two seasons with the Bruins, a potentially bad contract and, let’s face it, just being part of the Tyler Seguin trade, Smith’s time in Boston turned ugly before it mercifully ended on the opening day of free agency.

Well, Smith — who is still just 24 — is better than Hayes, and the move has worked out just fine for him.

“It’s a business. I didn’t really feel hurt when I got traded,” Smith said Thursday. “I think it’s just part of what happens in this league. You want to have a good season every year. I’ve been given a lot of opportunity here and it’s nice that I’ve been able to produce and help the team.”

Statistically, there really isn’t even a debate. In a nutshell: Smith does a lot more than Hayes despite having a much harder job.

The quick numbers: Smith has a career-best 23 goals, marking his second time in the last three seasons that he’s hit the 20-goal mark, while Hayes has 13. Much like Smith endured horrid slumps in Boston, Hayes has gone 12 games without a point and has just one goal in his last 19 games. Given that many of his goals are scored in front of the net, where more is left up to bounces, it should have been expected that Hayes’ goal output could have been in the low teens just as easily as it could have been in the low-20s.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jimmy Hayes, Reilly Smith,

Brandon Carlo to join Providence Bruins

03.24.16 at 11:34 am ET
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Defenseman Brandon Carlo will begin practicing with the Providence Bruins on Thursday, as the 2016 second-round pick’s season with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League has concluded.

The Bruins drafted the 6-foot-5 defenseman with the 37th overall pick of last June’s draft and signed him to his entry level contract in September. Carlo, a stay at home defenseman, had five goals and 22 assists for 27 points in 52 games with Tri-City this season, his third in the WHL.

Because the 19-year-0ld Carlo has a November birthday, he will be eligible to play next season in the AHL because he will turn 20 before Dec. 31.

Read More: Brandon Carlo,

5 things we learned as Bruins lose 4th straight with loss to Rangers

03.23.16 at 10:56 pm ET
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Frank Vatrano

Frank Vatrano

For the first time this season the Bruins have lost four consecutive games, as they lost to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden by a final of 5-2 on Wednesday night.

All four losses during the B’s skid have occurred on the road, where Boston once had the league’s best record. After Wednesday night’s defeat the Bruins’ road record fell to 23-11-3, now third best in the NHL in standings points per game generated away from home.

The Bruins will return to the friendly confines Thursday night, hosting the Panthers at TD Garden.

With the loss, however, Florida now has a game in hand on Boston while maintaining a three-point lead for third place in the Atlantic Division standings.

In addition, the Bruins are just three points ahead of Detroit — currently in a non-playoff position — with the Red Wings also now having a game in hand on the B’s.

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Bruins return Jeremy Smith to Providence

03.23.16 at 5:41 pm ET
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The Bruins sent Jeremy Smith to Providence on Wednesday, one day after recalling the goaltender from the AHL.

Smith was recalled for Tuesday’s practice and the team’s trip to New York because the team wasn’t sure of the status of Tuukka Rask. Boston’s starter missed Tuesday’s practice due to illness but made the trip. He is expected to start Wednesday night against the Rangers.

Bruins bring up Frank Vatrano, recall Jeremy Smith on emergency basis

03.22.16 at 10:54 am ET
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Frank Vatrano

Frank Vatrano

WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled forward Frank Vatrano from Providence. They also brought up goaltender Jeremy Smith on an emergency basis.

Vatrano, who had six goals in 30 games for Boston earlier this season, has scored 32 goals in 32 AHL games this season, making the first-year pro the AHL’s leading goal-scorer this season.

In bringing up Vatrano, the Bruins have now used two of the four callups allotted to teams following the trade deadline. The B’s recalled Noel Acciari the day after the deadline.

While Vatrano’s eventual return to Boston was expected, Smith’s recall might be the more intriguing of the two. Tuukka Rask was not on the ice for Tuesday’s practice, leaving Smith and Jonas Gustavsson as the only goalies practicing. Claude Julien said after the practice that Rask is sick, but will travel to New York with the team for Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers. Julien noted that all three goalies will make the trip.

Smith spent most of the season with the Iowa Wild after the B’s loaned him to Minnesota’s organization given their surplus of goaltenders in Providence. He has played in Providence of late, however, given the absence of Malcolm Subban. The 26-year-old had a .911 save percentage in 23 games for Iowa before posting a .932 save percentage for Providence over 11 games.

Speaking of Subban, the young goaltender, who remains out after larynx surgery that followed a puck to the throat during warmups on Feb. 6 for Providence, reportedly skated at the end of Providence’s practice Tuesday.

Vatrano practiced on the fourth line Tuesday, giving the B’s the following lineup in practice:

Marchand-Bergeron-Stempniak
Eriksson-Krejci-Pastrnak
Beleskey-Spooner-Connolly/Hayes
Ferraro/Vatrano-Acciari-Randell

Chara-Miller
Liles-Seidenberg
Krug-McQuaid
Morrow-Trotman

Read More: Frank Vatrano, Jeremy Smith,

Sunday Skate live chat: Tired edition

03.20.16 at 6:36 am ET
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Hockey? Good. We’re tired. Listen live.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: Tired Edition
 

5 things we learned as Bruins lose to Kings, get swept on California trip

03.20.16 at 1:07 am ET
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Tyler Randell

Tyler Randell

The Bruins will return from their three-game California road trip with as many points as they had going into it.

With a 2-1 loss to the Kings Saturday in Los Angeles, the Bruins dropped all three games of the trip, which included losses in San Jose and Anaheim. They finished the season series 0-6-0 against California teams.

After allowing the first two goals Saturday, the Bruins pushed back hard in the second and third periods (they allowed just two shots on goal in the third), but Tyler Randell’s sixth goal of the season was all the Bruins could muster offensively.

With the loss, the Bruins (86 points) dropped to third in the Atlantic Division. They trail both the Panthers (89 points) and Lightning (87 points) and have played 73 games to Florida and Tampa’s 72.

With a three-game regulation losing streak, the Bruins have tied their worst three-game stretch of the season, as they had three previous 0-3-0 streaks.

The Bruins next will play Wednesday night when they face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

POWER PLAYS A PLENTY

The Bruins didn’t score a power-play goal Saturday, but it wasn’t for lack of chances. Boston had four power plays, which was the most it had in a game since it had five back on March 5.

The Bruins were shorthanded twice on Saturday, making it the second game in Boston’s last seven that the B’s had more power plays than their opponent.

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