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Torey Krug, Ryan Spooner set to play vs. Blue Jackets 02.22.16 at 11:59 am ET
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Torey Krug

Torey Krug

The Bruins appear to be back to full health for Monday’€™s game against the Blue Jackets, as both Torey Krug and Ryan Spooner participated in the team’€™s morning skate in their usual spots.

Krug, who left Saturday’€™s win against the Stars with an apparent right arm injury on a hit from Jason Demers, skated with Adam McQuaid Monday morning, with Claude Julien saying after the skate that the player was “fine.” Krug said that he didn’€™t see the hit coming, but that it might have looked worse than it actually was.

An offensive defenseman who has just three goals this season and has gone 33 straight games without a goal, Krug joked that perhaps the hit might have given him more offensive touch, a la kid pitcher Henry Rowengartner in the movie “Rookie of the Year.”

“Hopefully they’€™ll go in now,” Krug said with a grin.

Spooner sat out a game for the first time this season when he missed Saturday’€™s contest due to illness. Julien said that to his knowledge Spooner was able to play. The lineup looked as follows in morning skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly
Eriksson-Krejci-Pastrnak
Beleskey-Spooner-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot/Kemppainen-Randell/Ferraro

Chara-Kevan Miller
Morrow-Seidenberg
Krug-McQuaid

Gustavsson

What does Monday’s Maple Leafs-Sharks trade mean for Bruins with Loui Eriksson? 02.22.16 at 10:21 am ET
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Loui Eriksson

Loui Eriksson

It’€™s been tough to determine whether the Bruins should trade Loui Eriksson if they can’€™t sign him. While one would naturally think the inclination should be to get something for the asset, concern about potential lowered prices for rental players left some debate as to whether it would be worth it to punt on a playoff run for minimal return.

The trade market will take shape leading up to next Monday’€™s trade deadline, which should help to answer those questions. After Sunday’€™s trade of Shawn Matthias to the Avalanche for a fourth-round pick and Colin Smith, a slightly bigger domino fell on Monday, when the Sharks traded two second-round picks and Raffi Torres to the Leafs for defenseman Roman Polak and center Nick Spaling.

Now, the second-rounders aren’€™t in this year’€™s draft (they’€™re in 2017 and 2018), but Polak is best-served as a third-pairing defenseman and Spaling is a fourth-liner. Two second-rounders for those two is a pretty good haul, meaning the Bruins should be able to get a lot more than that if they were to move Eriksson. Not that they should ever be compared — and Polak is the prize of the deal — but just look at how much worse Spaling is than Eriksson, per OwnThePuck.com.

If Toronto got two seconds for Polak and Spaling, the Bruins should be able to get at least a first and a future second for Eriksson. Of course, the possibility still exists that the Bruins could use their own picks (they have San Jose’€™s first in addition to their own) to move Eriksson for a good NHL player.

It all depends on what a trade of Eriksson would fetch, but the best-case scenario with the player might still be to sign him. At the very least, Monday’€™s trade between the Leafs and Sharks — the latter of whom probably won’€™t see the pick they gave to Boston get too much worse as a result of this trade — should quell concerns that the B’€™s wouldn’€™t get much if they were to move the versatile wing.

Read More: Loui Eriksson,
5 things we learned: Brad Marchand hits 30, Torey Krug hurt, Bruins get rare win vs. Western Conference playoff team 02.20.16 at 11:10 pm ET
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The Bruins finished their six-game road trip in rare fashion, making a big comeback and defeating a Western Conference playoff team.

After a pair of first-period reviews worked against the Bruins, the B’€™s entered the second period facing a 3-1 deficit against the Stars. Six straight goals changed that and gave Boston a 7-3 victory.

The Bruins erased Dallas’€™ lead in the middle period with three second-period goals, including Brad Marchand‘€™s second of the night and career-high 30th of the season. The B’€™s added to that lead with third-period goals from David Krejci, Brett Connolly and Matt Beleskey.

In assisting Connolly’s goal (an empty-netter), Patrice Bergeron registered his 600th NHL point.

There was one injury concern to emerge from the game, however, as a hit from Jason Demers forced Torey Krug to leave the game with what looked to be an injury somewhere along his right arm. Krug was tended to by trainer Don DelNegro before leaving the game.

The Bruins were without the services of Ryan Spooner, who missed Saturday’€™s game due to illness. Spooner had played in each of the Bruins’€™ first 58 games, leaving Loui Eriksson as the only Bruin to play in each game so far this season.

The Bruins win was just Boston’€™s second against a Western Conference playoff team, as they are now 2-8-0 against such clubs this season.

The B’s went 4-2-0 on the road trip and will next play Monday, when they host the Blue Jackets at TD Garden.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

MARCHAND HITS 30, ERIKSSON REMAINS HOT

After finally getting to 30 goals, Marchand can set his sights on the next plateau. There are 23 games for Marchand to get to 40, and his current pace suggests he’€™ll get to 43. Again, he’€™s eligible to sign a new contract this summer. It will be interesting to see if the Bruins pay him big in July or wait another season in hopes that his numbers level off and so too does his price.

Marchand wasn’€™t the only player to keep up his scoring, as Eriksson’€™s second-period goal means he finished the road trip with goals in five of six games. Eriksson now has 21 goals on the season.

Also, Marchand did this:

CHARA BOUNCES BACK

Much had been made about Zdeno Chara being on the ice for a bunch of goals against of late, but the Bruins’ captain bounced back Saturday in a pretty difficult assignment.

Matched up against Dallas’ top line, Chara held Tyler Seguin without a shot on goal. Seguin’s only shot on goal in the game came on his first shift, when Chara was not on the ice.

Chara, who was paired with Kevan Miller, also finished with positive possession numbers against Seguin’s line and had a pair of assists.

REVIEWS NOT KIND TO B’€™S  Read the rest of this entry »

5 things we learned as Bruins get shut out by Predators in another loss vs. West 02.18.16 at 10:51 pm ET
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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?

Despite Pekke Rinne entering Thursday’€™s with an .884 save percentage in his previous 15 games, the Bruins were shut out by the Nashville netminder in a 2-0 loss to the Predators.

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 ‘€œPlayer 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.

HAYES DEMOTED

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…

5 things we learned as Loui Eriksson gives Bruins overtime win over Blue Jackets 02.16.16 at 9:51 pm ET
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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.

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.

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.

Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly
Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak
Eriksson-Spooner-Hayes
Ferraro-Talbot-Randell

Chara-Trotman
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Krug-Kevan Miller

Rask

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.

Bruins activate Adam McQuaid from IR, send Colin Miller to Providence 02.16.16 at 5:05 pm ET
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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.

5 things we learned as Bruins lose divisional battle to Red Wings 02.14.16 at 6:14 pm ET
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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.

On the other hand, a David Krejci faceoff loss to Pavel Datsyuk in the third period led to a Danny DeKeyser point shot that was redirected by Henrik Zetterberg on its way in.

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.

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