|Bruins recall Frank Vatrano, send Alexander Khokhlachev to Providence||11.06.15 at 3:06 pm ET|
The Bruins have recalled left wing Frank Vatrano from Providence and sent forward Alexander Khokhlachev back to the AHL, the team announced Friday.
Vatrano, an East Longmeadow native who played his college hockey at UMass Amherst, has 10 goals in 10 games this season. A first-year pro, Vatrano signed with the B’s as an undrafted free agent last March after deciding he would forgo his final two years of college eligibility.
Recalled on Tuesday due to David Pastrnak’s foot injury, Khokhlachev skated in two games for the Bruins during his callup. Khokhlachev, who was tied for the AHL lead in points at the time of his callup, skated with Loui Eriksson and David Krejci in Pastrnak’s absence.
|Pierre McGuire on OM&F: Zac Rinaldo hit on Sean Couturier was dirty||10.22.15 at 1:53 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance on Ordway, Merloni and Fauria on Thursday to look back at the Bruins’ overtime loss to the Flyers Wednesday night. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
During the game Bruins forward Zac Rinaldo hit Flyers forward Sean Couturier from behind against the boards at the end of the first period. He was given a game misconduct for the hit. McGuire said it was a dirty play.
“It’s against a defenseless player,” McGuire said. “It’s against a guy who isn’t making a play on the puck. I didn’t like the play at all. I didn’t like it at all.”
“I like Zac Rinaldo as a guy, I really do,” he added. “I’ve gotten to know him over time watching him play junior hockey up in the Toronto area and he’s had to scratch and claw to make it to the professional level, especially at the NHL level. He always plays to the line and I didn’t like that last night. He went over the line last night. He really did.”
Although the Bruins blew a two-goal third period lead and lost 5-4 in overtime, McGuire said it wasn’t all bad for the home team.
“There were some very good things in that game last night for Boston, too. It wasn’t all doom and gloom,” McGuire said. “But, this is a much different team. This is a much different team that Bruins fans have become used to since about 2010.”
Tuukka Rask is 1-3-1 this season and McGuire noted how important it is to get the Bruins’ goaltender back on track.
“You need goaltending. There’s no question,” he said. “It is a very important part of the game and confidence is an issue. I know it was a great shot from Wayne Simmonds, that was Wayne Simmonds’ 101st goal in 290 games as a member of the Flyers last night. I can tell you this right now, if Tuukka is on the angle, that is high glove side from a right-hand shot coming down the left-hand side of the ice, that is a stoppable puck for a guy that is on the angle. He was off the angle. He was cheating short side and he got beat long side. He’s got to be more square and I think he would be the first person to tell you that.”
|Pierre McGuire on OM&F: ‘Really, really critical’ Bruins get off to good start||10.08.15 at 1:06 pm ET|
McGuire said with so many players being added to the team in the offseason, patience is going to be key for coach Claude Julien, as well as getting off to a hot start.
“Well, he’s going to have to be because that’s patience is going to be part of his job to make sure these players learn how to play,” McGuire said. “Dougie Houda, the other assistant coach who works mostly with the defense, he’s going to have to do some pretty patient work with those young players as well on defense. The expectation in Boston is so high, obviously, and it should be. It is a strong franchise and an original six franchise. I love the intensity. The fan base is obviously rapid.
“It’s an important franchise in the league, but it’s really, really critical that they get off to a good start because this is the kind of thing that confidence is going to be a premium. If they get off to a bad start, the confidence starts to wain, it would be a tough year.”
With the team already dealing with a number of injuries to open the year, health is a concern.
“They will have to start getting some people healthy, especially Big Z (Zdeno Chara) No. 1, and No. 2 [Dennis] Seidenberg injury sets them back a little bit,” McGuire said. “They also have Kevan Miller and Colin Miller with Colin Miller coming over in the [Milan] Lucic trade, who can really step up his game. I thought there was some moments in preseason where he was very good. The Bruins clearly know him well from his days in Manchester and his days at [Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds]. They have to hope he can get it going and obviously Torey Krug takes another step forward.
“This is going to be interesting. It is going to be interesting to watch. The one thing I would caution Bruins fans on is I would never bet against a team that has Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara in their leadership core. I never would just because I respect those guys so much.”
|Bruins live chat at 2 p.m.||10.08.15 at 10:09 am ET|
Discuss the start of the Bruins season and everything else with DJ Bean at 2 p.m. In the meantime, here’s some required reading:
|Barry Melrose on D&C: ‘It’s going to be a tough year for the Bruins’||10.08.15 at 9:39 am ET|
ESPN NHL hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined Dennis, Callahan & Minihane on Thursday morning to look ahead to the 2015-16 NHL season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
With the Bruins’ disappointing season last year, he feels coach Claude Julien is under pressure right away.
“I think he is. I don’t think he should be,” Melrose said. “I think Claude is a heck of a coach, won a Stanley Cup in Boston. They had a long drought, there was no Stanley Cup winners and he comes in and gets the job done and the team is good every year. I think he’s under pressure. Boston is a team that expects to win. They expect the Red Sox to win, the Patriots to win, the Celtics to win and they expect Boston to win. It’s going to be a tough year for the Bruins. They are not the dominant Bruins they once were. Everybody got a little bit better in the East and it is going to take Claude’s best coaching job he’s ever done in his life to make this a playoff team and give them a chance of winning.”
This past offseason the team lost a number of key players, including Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic. Melrose says their margin for error is very small.
“Are they as good today as they were last year? I don’t think so,” he said. “I think what has to happen for the Bruins now is they don’t have any margin anymore. The Bruins used to be able to overcome an injury or overcome maybe a struggling player here or there, but I don’t think they can anymore. I think the Bruins have to get plays from their kids, they have to get great games from [Patrice] Bergeron, [David] Krejci and [Zdeno] Chara. They can’t afford any injuries to key players. Tuukka Rask probably has to play the best he’s ever played and they just don’t have any margin for error anymore with their lineup.
“If all those things happen they are a playoff team, but if all of a sudden Bergeron misses six weeks or Krejci, who has been hurt a lot lately, misses six weeks, Chara is already starting the year hurt, [Dennis] Seidenberg is already gone for two months, so that’s going to be tough. They’ve been able to overcome those before, I don’t know if they will be able to overcome those now.”
|Bruins finish preseason with shootout loss||10.03.15 at 12:24 am ET|
The Bruins concluded their preseason schedule with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center.
Loui Eriksson’s first-period tally was the game’s only goal until Alexander Ovechkin tied the contest with less than three minutes to play in regulation. Ovechkin’s goal came against Jeremy Smith, who spelled Tuukka Rask in the third period.
Rask played the first two periods of the game, stopping all 15 shots he faced. Smith stopped 13 of the 14 shots he saw before letting in both shots he faced in the shootout.
The Bruins will open the regular season Thursday when they host the Jets at TD Garden.
|Bruins drop preseason game to Rangers||09.30.15 at 9:57 pm ET|
The Bruins fell to the Rangers, 3-2, in preseason action Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The game was followed by a mandatory 3-on-3 session that yielded no scoring.
The Bruins got a pair of goals from Brett Connolly, the first of which came on Boston’s first shot of the game. Connolly took a feed from Jimmy Hayes and tapped it past Henrik Lundqvist to give the B’s a 1-0 lead early in the first period. With the Bruins trailing by two goals late in regulation, Connolly scored with an extra attacker on to bring the B’s within one.
Jonas Gustavsson, who remains on a professional tryout with the B’s, got the start in net for Boston. He stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced, first getting beaten at 16:27 of the second period on a Ryan McDonagh shot through traffic. The goal, which was credited to Viktor Stalberg, was followed by a J.T. Miller tally in the final minute of the second. The Rangers then took a 3-1 lead on a power play goal from Rick Nash.
The Bruins will conclude their preseason schedule when they face the Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center.