|02.18.16 at 10:51 pm ET|
Thursday provided the Bruins an opportunity to score a whole bunch of goals against a bad goalie. Guess what they didn’t do at all?
Rinne stopped all 29 shots he saw, with Boston’s best chances coming from Torey Krug, David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner. The game marked the second time this season that the B’s have been shut out.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 3-2-0 over the first five games of their six-game road trip. The B’s will finish up the trip Saturday night against the Stars.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
THE PROSECUTION WESTS
The Bruins can’t beat good Western Conference teams, a fact of which they’re reminded whenever they… play a good Western Conference team.
With Thursday’s loss to the Predators — their second in two meetings this season — the Bruins are now 1-8-0 against Western Conference teams currently in line for a playoff spot. They’re 10-5-0 against Eastern Conference playoff teams, with the former probably painting a more accurate image of the team than the latter.
TEAMS SCORING VS. CHARA
Doing the whole ‘Player X was on the ice for X amount of goals against’ thing can be dicey given that, like the dumb stat that some dumb people use called plus-minus, it leaves out too much: how the goal was scored, how they got in the zone, whether Player X did something wrong that allowed the goal to be scored, etc. Still, it’s worth noting that the Bruins’ best defenseman has been on the ice for a lot of goals of late.
In being out there for both of Nashville‘s first-period goals, Zdeno Chara has now been on the ice for the Bruins’ last six even-strength goals against dating back to the Red Wings game. He was also on for two power play goals against in the Red Wings game and provided the hook that led to a penalty shot goal for the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
While Chara obviously isn’t responsible for every goal for which he’s on the ice, those numbers are still staggering given that once upon a time, teams weren’t even in the offensive zone enough against Chara to score goals. If the fact that teams are scoring often against Boston’s No. 1 defender doesn’t highlight the team’s need for defensive help, nothing will.
After a pair of second-period penalties for Jimmy Hayes, Claude Julien took the 26-year-old wing off Ryan Spooner’s line. Hayes took just two shifts in the third period, both of which came on the fourth line. Landon Ferraro moved up to replace Hayes on the third line.
Speaking of Hayes, it’s worth considering that despite his 12 goals this season, the former Panther hasn’t made much of a case to replace the struggling Brett Connolly in the top six, something that might have happened by now had the Bruins felt it was a viable option. Here’s a comparison of Hayes’ and Connolly’s seasons, courtesy of Own The Puck.
CONNOLLY SURVIVES THIS
Speaking of Connolly…
Not great, Brett Connolly… pic.twitter.com/O5tJ6mMHSY
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 19, 2016
|02.16.16 at 9:51 pm ET|
Brad Marchand did not score Tuesday, but the Bruins’ other streaking winger picked up the slack.
With the Bruins at risk of losing to on of the worst teams in the NHL after managing only one goal through regulation against the Blue Jackets, Loui Eriksson converted off a pass from Torey Krug in the opening minutes of overtime to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games and give the Bruins a 2-1 victory.
The goal was Eriksson’s 20th of the season as he joined Marchand (28 goals) and Patrice Bergeron (22) among the Bruins’ 20-goal scorers. This is Eriksson’s second consecutive 20-goal season and the sixth of his career.
Marchand’s goal-scoring streak came to an end after seven games. He had scored 13 goals over 12 of 13 games entering Tuesday.
The Bruins will play two more games on their road trip, as they’ll face the Predators Thursday before concluding the trip on Saturday in Dallas.
RASK STAYS IN, KEEPS BRUINS IN
Tuukka Rask had an injury scare in the final minute of the period when Matt Beleskey crashed into the net and caught Rask in the face with an elbow. Trainer Don Del Negro left the bench to tend to Rask, who stayed in the game.
Tuukka shaken up after taking an elbow to the head from Beleskey. (also, good defense Kevan Miller) pic.twitter.com/OAtgnT0nIp
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 17, 2016
It’s a good thing Rask didn’t leave, as he awfully good on Tuesday. His biggest saves came on a pair of shorthanded breakaways for Brandon Saad and then Matt Calvert in the first and second periods, respectively. He also stopped Wennberg on a breakaway during a third-period Columbus power play.
BERGERON, MCQUAID RETURN, TALBOT SCRATCHED
Patrice Bergeron and Adam McQuaid returned from absences of two and eight games, respectively, with Bergeron scoring a first-period goal in his first game back from what might have been an injury suffered in last week’s fight against Blake Wheeler.
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 17, 2016
With Bergeron returning, the Bruins opted to scratch Max Talbot and keep Joonas Kemppainen in the lineup to center the fourth line. McQuaid’s return meant that Colin Miller was sent to Providence and Joe Morrow came out of the lineup.
CHARA HOOK LEADS TO PENALTY SHOT
Zdeno Chara had to hook Alexander Wennberg as the young forward sped towards Rask on a first-period breakaway. Chara was whistled for the infraction, leading to a penalty shot on which the Blue Jackets scored their only goal.
POWER PLAY STRUGGLING
In going 0-for-4 on the power play Tuesday, the Bruins are now 0-for-15 on the man advantage during their current road trip. That the B’s gave up two shorthanded breakaways wasn’t great either.
|02.16.16 at 5:05 pm ET|
The Bruins activated Adam McQuaid from injured reserve Tuesday and sent Colin Miller to Providence.
McQuaid is set to return from a concussion suffered on Jan. 5. Prior to his injury, he was being used as a top-four defenseman and frequent partner of Zdeno Chara.
Colin Miller is the odd man out because he is the only one of the Bruins’ eight defensemen who can be assigned to the AHL without requiring waivers. Such a situation is not ideal, as Miller is fifth among Bruins defensemen in games played and is one of the key players the team intended to develop at the NHL this season.
|02.14.16 at 6:14 pm ET|
The Bruins couldn’t manage without Patrice Bergeron for a second straight game as the suffered a 6-5 loss to the Red Wings that saw Boston give up two leads.
Tuukka Rask was pulled for the second time in his last three starts as the Bruins were unable to match Detroit’s pace in a high-scoring game. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg led the way for Detroit with two goals apiece.
The win allowed Detroit to leapfrog the Bruins and overtake second place in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings now have 67 through 56 games, while the Bruins are in third place with 66 points. The Panthers lead the division with 70 points in 56 games.
With the loss, the Bruins are now 2-1-0 at the halfway point of their current six-game road trip. The B’s will face the Blue Jackets Tuesday in Columbus.
Here are four more things we learned Sunday:
LEADS NOT WORTH MUCH
There were three blown leads between the two teams, with each team giving up a lead of two goals. The Bruins had jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first on goals from Brad Marchan, Zach Trotman and Loui Eriksson, but that lead was gone just 3:13 into the second period.
Detroit then built its own two-goal lead on on goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm, but the Bruins came back on goals from a pair of unlikely in Dennis Seidenberg and Joonas Kemppainen. The Red Wings got the lead back on Zetterberg’s second goal, however, and held on for the victory.
MARCHAND SCORES 13TH IN 13, SEIDENBERG SCORES FIRST IN 40
Not only did Marchand’s 28th goal tie his career high set back in 2011-12, his first-period tally came just eight seconds into the game, making it the fastest goal scored in team history. He now has 13 goals in his last 13 games.
Meanwhile, Dennis Seidenberg‘s goal was his first of the season. He wasn’t the only unlikely goal-scorer, as Trotman and Joonas Kemppainen each registered their second.
B’S MANAGE AT DOT WITHOUT BERGERON
Playing without the best faceoff man on the planet provides its disadvantages, but Bergeron’s line created a pair of goals off the faceoff without him. Marchand’s goal came off a Brett Connolly faceoff win, while Ryan Spooner drew the puck back to the point for a Dennis Seidenberg goal in the second period.
COLIN MILLER RETURNS
Joe Morrow was scratched Sunday as Colin Miller returned from a four-game absence. It will be interesting to see who the Bruins opt to sit once Adam McQuaid is ready to return, as Kevan Miller would figure to be a candidate despite the Bruins’ reluctance to scratch him.
|02.14.16 at 4:37 pm ET|
Brad Marchand didn’t take long to tie his career-high in goals, as he scored his 28th goal in the Bruins’ 56th game of the season.
Yet while Marchand made some personal history with Sunday’s goal against the Red Wings, the timing of it also made the tally a historic one for the franchise. Marchand scored the goal eight seconds into the game, making it the fastest goal in Bruins’ history.
The goal came when the Red Wings iced the puck at the start of the game to set up a faceoff in the Detroit zone. Brett Connolly drew the puck back to Marchand, who fired a wrister past Petr Mrazek to make it 1-0. The goal was Marchand’s 13th in the last 13 games. He sits fifth in the NHL with 28 goals with Alexander Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn sitting ahead of him.
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 14, 2016
|02.14.16 at 12:02 am ET|
Are the Bruins good or do they just play in a bad division? Is there anything that would make you want them to be buyers? Will Brad Marchand score one hundred goals this season? Discuss all that and more on this week’s Sunday Skate. Click below to join the live chat and click here to listen from 7-9 a.m.
|02.13.16 at 4:34 pm ET|
Given that Patrice Bergeron was out of the lineup and Jonas Gustavsson was given the start Saturday, the Bruins were better positioned to win on the second day of this weekend’s back-to-back than the first. The B’s managed the victory anyway, defeating the Wild as the penalty skill held strong throughout a special teams battle.
The Bruins killed off five Wild power plays and got a shorthanded goal from — you guessed it — Brad Marchand in a 4-2 win in Minnesota. The B’s will travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings Sunday in the third game of their current six-game road trip.
The Bruins’ power play didn’t fare much better than Minnesota’s with an 0-for-6 showing on the man advantage, but even-strength goals from David Krejci and Loui Eriksson allowed the B’s to outpace their opponent despite only attempting 10 shots over the game’s first 40 minutes. Zdeno Chara added an empty-netter from the defensive zone with just under two minutes remaining to seal the victory.
Now 2-0-0 on their road trip, the Bruins have sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division entering Sunday’s contest against the Red Wings. Detroit trails Boston by one point with both teams 55 games into their respective schedules.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
KEMPPAINEN RETURN PART OF BERGERON TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT
Bergeron being out of the lineup meant that Claude Julien had to shuffle his lines and special teams assignments. Among them: Ryan Spooner jumped up to center the first line, Joonas Kemppainen returned to the lineup and greater special teams assignments were given to David Pastrnak, who played on the first power play unit, and Kemppainen and Zac Rinaldo on the penalty kill.
Joe Morrow and Kevan Miller also remained in the lineup over Colin Miller, who sat for the fourth straight game. The Bruins used the following lineup:
MARCHAND MAKES IT 12 IN 12
With a shorthanded goal — his fourth of the season — Marchand continued his furious scoring pace to give him 12 goals in the last 12 games. He brought his total on the season to 27 goals, which puts him fifth in the NHL and one behind former linemate Tyler Seguin with four fewer games played.
Marchand is now on pace for 42 goals this season.
Boston’s second goal needed to be reviewed, as Krejci threw the puck on net off the rush as Nino Niederrieter was crashing into the Minnesota goal. A review confirmed that the play, which saw Krejci’s shot go off Niederrieter and across goal line, was a good goal. Following is the league’s explanation:
At 11:48 of the second period in the Bruins/Wild game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Minnesota net. The referee informed the Situation Room that it was a good goal, a decision supported by NHL Hockey Operations in accordance with Rule 63.6, which states: “In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, prior to the puck crossing the normal positions of the goal posts, the referee may award a goal. In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal.” Good goal Boston.
ERIKSSON HEATING UP
It’s tough to say how much longer Eriksson will be a Bruin. If these are some of his final games in Boston, however, he’s making them count.
Eriksson took a nice pass from Spooner in the third period and scored on a breakaway to give him three goals in the last four games. The goal was also the 200th of his career.
The free-agent-to-be had seen his scoring stall for a bit — zero goals in nine games leading into last Saturday — but he has recovered well. With an assist on Thursday as well, the veteran wing has four points (three goals, one assist) in his last four contests.