|03.01.15 at 1:18 pm ET|
The Bruins are making room for potential trade acquisitions, as the team opened a roster spot Sunday by placing Craig Cunningham on waivers with the intention of assigning him to Providence, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported.
Waivers: Rene Bourque (ANA), Craig Cunningham (BOS), Paul Carey (COL), Keith Aulie (EDM), Tye McGinn (SJS).
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 1, 2015
This is the second time the Bruins have waived Cunningham this season, as the team successfully got him to Providence just before the start of the regular season. Cunningham’s removal leaves the Bruins with 21 players on their active roster, meaning the team has two open spots it can fill before reaching the 23-man limit.
The Bruins have been burned by waivers recently, however, as the Oilers picked up Matt Fraser when the B’s waived him in December.
Cunningham would seem to have a future with the Bruins should they keep him, as he would be an ideal fourth-line center for the team in the coming seasons. Chris Kelly is currently centering the fourth line at the moment, a luxury for the B’s as they try to solidify their bottom-six.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|03.01.15 at 6:42 am ET|
Where should the Bruins turn now that Antoine Vermette is a Blackhawk? How much should Peter Chiarelli be willing to give up at the trade deadline? Is one of the hosts best friends with a Parks and Recreation star now? Discuss that and more in this week’s Sunday Skate Live Chat with Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean and Joe McDonald.
To listen to the show, click here.
|02.28.15 at 11:39 pm ET|
The Blackhawks acquired Antoine Vermette Saturday night, sending a 2015 first-round pick and defenseman Klas Dahlbeck to Arizona for the 32-year-old center.
The move crosses off another trade deadline option for the Bruins, as Boston was believed to be interested in Vermette’s services. Vermette will be a free agent at season’s end.
Arizona had long held out for a first-round pick before trading Vermette. The Bruins have no plans to trade their first-rounder, according to a source.
|02.28.15 at 9:01 pm ET|
Antoine Vermette knows he just played his last game as an Arizona Coyote. It can’t be easy to not know what, or rather where, is next.
“I don’t know what I’m thinking,” he said after the Bruins beat the Coyotes Saturday. “It’s obviously a strange position, and it’s not a fun one. It’s not the way you see it. As a group here, it’s not the position you want to be in. It’s a little strange, to say the least.
“You’ve got to take it as a man, and it’s part of the game, unfortunately. It’s not easy.”
The veteran center is expected to be moved before Monday’s trade deadline, and though the asking price is high (reportedly a first-round pick), the Bruins are among the teams believed to be in on the 32-year-old free agent to be.
Vermette had no shots on goal and was a minus-1 on the day Saturday. He was matched up early against Patrice Bergeron‘s line and struggled.
Among the reasons why the B’s might be interested in Vermette is the Ottawa connection with Peter Chiarelli. Vermette played for the Senators from 2003-2009 and was a linemate of Chris Kelly‘s for three seasons.
Having been traded before, Kelly could understand Vermette’s postgame mood.
“Obviously it’s a difficult time. You guys love it, but it’s tough, especially for guys with families, to uproot midseason and things like that, but I played with Vermy for a few years in Ottawa and we’re still good friends,” Kelly said.
“He’s a great player. He plays every key position, he plays power play, kills penalties, last minute [whether] you’re up or down, he’s out there. Just a quality guy. He’s been around a long time, and any team that gets him, they’re going to be extremely happy with what they get.”
Asked whether he would like the Bruins to be that team, Kelly voiced his support for a potential Vermette acquisition.
“Yeah. Yeah, why not?” Kelly said. “I think if we have that opportunity and he comes, it would be great to see him and play with him again. We had a lot of great memories. We played together quite often in Ottawa and it was fun.”
|02.28.15 at 8:05 pm ET|
In the Bruins’ final game before Monday’s trade deadline, they delivered a message that they haven’t delivered enough this season: This group can be dominant.
The team needs reinforcements to go far, with a top-four defenseman rivaling consistency for the biggest thing standing between this Bruins team and a deep run. Still, Boston turned in a thorough performance Saturday and took an easy 4-1 victory against a bad Coyotes team (box) in an effort that was more promising than
Patrice Bergeron‘s line scored a pair of goals against potential trade targets, while Ryan Spooner’s line continued to show it has the offensive chops to make up for its defensive shortcomings. The team chased Arizona starting goalie Mike Smith after putting four of their first 20 shots past him.
Tuukka Rask, after finally getting a night off Friday, came 9:39 away from his third shutout of the season, with Martin Erat breaking it up late in the game.
The Bruins’ play of late – wins in three of four games – and their current standing in the final Eastern Conference wild card spot leaves management with a difficult decision regarding whether the Bruins should be big buyers in a season that’s seen injuries and subpar play prevent the team from getting any traction.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
VERMETTE LOOKS ROUGH IN LIKELY FINALE
Antoine Vermette may be the biggest name remaining of the players expected to be dealt, which probably says more about this trade market than it does about Vermette.
Nevertheless, Vermette being in town Saturday meant the Bruins, who are believed to be interested in Vermette’s services, got a chance to watch him on Garden ice. The takeaway: He isn’t going to dominate top lines, and he’s now gone six straight games without a point.
Matched up against Bergeron’s line early, Vermette was exposed Saturday night for a first-period Brad Marchand goal. Vermette was passive in the offensive zone, as Marchand broke the puck out cleanly with a pass through Vermette to Bergeron. The Bruins took the puck the length of the ice before Marchand took a feed from Reilly Smith and fired it in from the left circle.
Patrice Bergeron is as difficult an opponent as there is in the NHL and Saturday was in all likelihood Vermette’s final game with the Coyotes, so the environment and circumstances may have factored into the veteran center’s performance. Either way, the guy isn’t worth a first-round pick.
BRUINS BEAT YANDLE, TOO
The thought here has been that the Bruins shouldn’t give up much for Vermette unless defenseman Keith Yandle comes with him. Well, just in case the Bruins are interested in that, the Bergeron line did its best to lower his value, too.
Bergeron scored his 18th goal of the season thanks to Smith outbattling Yandle in front of the net. With the players fighting for position in front and Yandle’s stick elevated, Bergeron’s pass in front went off the Milton native’s skate and past Smith to make it 3-0.
Yandle has one more year remaining on his contract after this season at $5.25 million. He’s a terrific offensive player, but plays like Saturday’s will happen with him.
SPOONER LINE SCORING
As we’ve written before Ryan Spooner’s line with Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak is going to make defensive mistakes, and the Bruins can live with that as long as the line scores.
Four games into the experiment, the Bruins (relatively, given what this season has been) are alive and well. Members of the Spooner line have totaled three goals over the last two games and four in the four games they’ve been together, as Spooner netted the game-winner Friday night in overtime and Pastrnak scored on the shift following a power play in the second period.
Lucic scored his 13th goal of the season Saturday after Pastrnak chipped the puck into the zone, with the bouncing puck causing Mike Smith to leave his net and quickly retreat. This allowed Lucic to throw the puck off the goalie’s skate from behind the net for the game’s first goal.
The line had to be bailed out a couple times ‘ Dennis Seidenberg bailed out Pastrnak in the second and Rask bailed out Spooner after missing the puck in the neutral zzone on a third-period chance, but that’s to be expected. As long as the goals for outweigh the goals against, the Bruins can get away with playing the three together.
CHARA ON POINT LIKE A DECIMAL IS
Part of the Bruins’ recent revamp of their power play included a position change for Zdeno Chara. It worked out for the Bruins Saturday night.
After playing forward as the net-front man on the first power play unit since the beginning of last season, Chara was moved to the point on the second unit. Boston’s second group had a very rough go of it during Boston’s first power play, struggling with a pair of entries, the first of which resulted in a clear and the second of which saw Pastrnak go offsides.
The group made up for it in the second period, as Chara took a pass from Reilly Smith and stepped into a one-time from the top of the right circle that went flying past a screening Carl Soderberg and Mike Smith.
|02.27.15 at 9:47 pm ET|
Despite blowing a 2-0 lead to the Devils, the Bruins were able to come away with a victory in overtime, thanks to center Ryan Spooner’s first NHL goal.
The Bruins found the back of the net 8 1/2 minutes into the first period when Daniel Paille slapped home a Loui Eriksson pass for the first goal of the game.
In the third period, just moments after their own power play expired, the Bruins struck again. With Chris Kelly situated in front of the Devils net, rookie forward David Pastrnak fired the puck past Cory Schneider for his seventh goal of the season.
The Devils answered with two goals in two minutes to tie the game, and the teams went to overtime before Spooner ended the contest with his marker.
With the win, the Bruins improve to 30-22-9 and pull four points ahead of Florida in the Eastern Conference.
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
SVEDBERG STOPS 29
In his last three starts, the most recent of which was Feb. 10, Niklas Svedberg had only played the full 60 minutes for one of them. With Tuukka Rask out of the lineup due to illness, Svedberg was given a chance to start in net.
In just one period of play during his last start, Svedberg surrendered three goals to the Stars on 10 shots and was pulled for Rask. Prior to that, he shut out the Devils, 2-0, on Jan. 8, making 14 saves in the process, but was chased in the start before that after giving up three goals to the Blue Jackets on 15 shots.
Svedberg made 29 saves on Friday night and held New Jersey scoreless until the third period when the Devils scored twice in two minutes, tying the game.
Though the Bruins outshot the Devils, New Jersey’s two quick goals lit a fire and pushed Boston back into its own zone for a lot of the third, forcing Svedberg to make saves.
|02.27.15 at 1:33 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled goaltender Jeremy Smith from Providence on an emergency basis Friday.
Rask has not had a night off since Jan. 8. With Smith up, the Bruins have the options of sitting Rask and dressing Svedberg and Smith.