|Bruins recall Joonas Kemppainen from Providence||02.12.16 at 8:08 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled center Joonas Kemppainen from Providence on Friday, a move likely associated with the potential availability of Patrice Bergeron for Saturday’s game against the Wild.
Bergeron missed time early in the third period of Thursday’s win over the Jets after fighting Blake Wheeler in the second period. He returned to the game, however, scoring his second goal of the night. The veteran center did not practice on Friday, however, with coach Claude Julien telling reporters that Bergeron is questionable for Saturday.
The B’s sent Kemppainen to Providence last week, where he has played three games with no points. Kemppainen posted one goal and two assists in 35 games prior to his demotion.
|5 things we learned: Patrice Bergeron fights, Brad Marchand keeps scoring as Bruins beat Jets||02.11.16 at 10:46 pm ET|
The Bruins wanted a win Thursday. They did not want an injury to perhaps their best player. Fortunately for them, they got the former and, despite a scare, avoided the latter.
After a second-period fight with former teammate Blake Wheeler, Patrice Bergeron missed time in the opening minutes of the third period, but returned to score his second goal of the night as the Bruins opened their six-game road trip with a 6-2 win over the Jets in Winnipeg.
Bergeron would stay in the game as the team cruised to the win, which was capped by a Jimmy Hayes empty-netter. The B’s also got goals from Eriksson, David Pastrnak and the red-hot Brad Marchand.
The night got off to something of an underwhelming start after Tuesday’s 9-2 loss to the Kings, as the B’s took first-period leads on goals from Bergeron and Eriksson but relinquished the lead after each one. A breakaway goal late in the period from Marchand gave Boston the lead for good.
The road trip will get more difficult from here, as the B’s will face a tricky back-to-back of Minnesota on Saturday and Detroit on Sunday. The Bruins and Red Wings are currently tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with 64 points apiece.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
CONNOLLY CHIPS IN FOR 3
Brett Connolly has had a woeful showing for the Bruins offensively this season, but he led the way with three helpers on Thursday. Though he has just seven goals on the season and has squandered some really good opportunities, the Bruins like his forechecking on the Bergeron line and he’s stayed there as a result.
Thursday he provided a reminder that he is capable of points, as Connolly registered the first three-point game of his career. He now has 19 points in 51 games on the season. The restricted free agent-to-be could use a strong second half to make sure he stays in Boston. Read the rest of this entry »
|Bruins’ Malcolm Subban out at least 8 weeks after surgery on fractured larynx||02.11.16 at 4:25 pm ET|
Goalie Malcolm Subban is expected to miss at least eight weeks after undergoing successful surgery on his fractured larynx, the Bruins announced Thursday.
Subban suffered the injury when he took a puck to the throat during the Providence Bruins’ game against the Portland Pirates on Feb. 6.
“Malcolm underwent successful surgery on February 8 at Mass Eye & Ear Hospital in Boston to repair his larynx fracture,” the team said in a statement. “He is doing well and has been released from the hospital. While there is no definitive timetable for his return at this time, he is expected to be out a minimum of eight weeks.”
Subban has a 14-8-5 record and .911 save percentage in Providence this season.
|Road trip could determine whether Bruins buy or sell||02.10.16 at 2:55 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins will spend the next 11 days on the road as the clock continues to tick toward the Feb. 29 trade deadline. How the Bruins fare on this trip could very well influence the path Don Sweeney and Cam Neely ultimately choose for this team.
Right now, the Bruins are tied for the second-most points in the Atlantic Division, making them a No. 2 seed at best and a wild card at worst. Non-playoff teams such as Montreal, Ottawa and New Jersey are picking up steam as they try to find their way into the top eight.
We already know this team isn’t going to win the Stanley Cup. Last season, they chose not to sell on Carl Sodeberg because the general manager was trying to save his job. That concern isn’t there this season. Sweeney is prepared to move Eriksson if he feels he has to.
The Bruins shouldn’t be buyers (not of any sort of glossy rental, anyway), but if things go badly enough — a disastrous road trip, an injury or two, etc. — the tough decision of what to do with this team might become a little easier. The players don’t want to see that happen.
“You always want to prove that you’re a playoff team and that you’re capable of winning hockey games,” Torey Krug said. “If you don’t do that, then the GM has to do what he has to do. It’s his job to make sure that the team’s getting better. For us, we’re trying to prove that we can win hockey games and we can take a step and go for a run.”
The Bruins are 16-5-3 on the road this season, so there isn’t too much reason to believe that they will fall apart here. If they did, they wouldn’t be faced with the issues they faced last season (Peter Chiarelli trying to keep his job) that prevented them from moving Soderberg. In addition to Eriksson, the Bruins have Kevan Miller, Max Talbot and Jonas Gustavsson as unrestricted free-agents to be. Krug, Brett Connolly, Tyler Randell, Landon Ferraro, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman and Colin Miller will all be restricted.
If the Bruins were to sell, they’d be wise to do so with the intention of getting young, cheap players. They should prefer players to picks after stockpiling first-and-second-rounders in 2015 and 2016 drafts. The idea of the team moving Eriksson for a young top-four defenseman is a pipe dream given that teams now place a gigantic emphasis on having good, young controllable players.
The market has yet to be truly set for this trade deadline, but consider this: Twenty three of the 30 teams in the league are either in a playoff spot (16 teams have to be, duh) or within four points of one. The Bruins are among a large list of teams that’s vying for the postseason. If they are to ever change their minds, they might find themselves in quite the seller’s market.
Should they hope for that? As has been written plenty in this space, the Bruins shouldn’t be afraid of an honest rebuild if it comes to that. The issue there is that they want to make the playoffs, yet if they trade Eriksson, they’re going to be taking enough of a step back anyway given that they already have major depth issues on the right side.
As for the possibility of adding, last season’s Connolly trade hasn’t turned into goals (not for Connolly at least, though it has for Brad Marchand), but a hockey trade like that — flipping some of the picks they have for a young player should one be available — is a decent template. If a trade for a young player that could help more next season than this season is there, it would be an avenue worth pursuing.
Nobody likes lost seasons, but if you come away with something to show for it — more developed players, added pieces — it can be worth it.
|Bruins tweak lines ahead of 6-game road trip||02.10.16 at 12:24 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — A day after getting crushed by the Kings at home, the Bruins tweaked their lines in anticipation of a six-game road trip.
The biggest change to the lines is a left-wing flip of Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey that reunites Eriksson with Ryan Spooner. The two performed very well together when David Krejci was out with an upper-body injury last month, but they’ve both seen their production slow down of late.
On defense, it appears that Kevan Miller will remain in the lineup and Colin Miller will remain out for now. Adam McQuaid will make the trip with the team.
Here’s how the team’s lineup looked in practice:
|Bruins make it ‘special’ night for Milan Lucic, allow most shots in 51 years||02.10.16 at 1:47 am ET|
The most goals allowed by the Bruins in a game since 2008.
The most shots allowed in a game by the Bruins since 1965.
That’s 1965, 51 years ago, the year civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama, were attacked by state troopers. Lyndon Johnson was president. Johnny Bucyk was in his prime at 29 years of age.
To say that former Bruins winger Milan Lucic and L.A. did a number on Boston Tuesday night at TD Garden in a 9-2 Kings victory would be quite the understatement.
“You’re here win a game, you know?” Lucic said with a chuckle when asked if it felt awkward to beat his former mates so decisively. “You win by one, you win by seven it doesn’t matter, a win’s a win. I guess you can’t feel too bad. You come in here and try to get those bragging rights and have it over your former teammates. It was a full team effort from the net out and I was glad to get that win.”
|Zdeno Chara: Bruins ‘got absolutely embarrassed’ by Kings||02.09.16 at 10:23 pm ET|
The Bruins allowed 57 shots on goal — the most they’ve given up in a game since 1965 — in an ugly 9-2 loss to the Kings Tuesday. After the game, the team hardly sounded like a group pushing for the second spot in the Atlantic Division and more like a fledgling team chasing the prowess it had in years past.
“We got absolutely embarrassed,” Zdeno Chara said. “They played a really good game, but we had nowhere near the game that we needed to play. It was embarrassing.”
The B’s allowed seven straight goals after taking a 1-0 lead in the first period. The loss dropped them to 1-7-0 against Western Conference playoff teams this season.
“There are things that obviously are going to stay inside this locker room, but we just need to be better,” Chara said. “We need to perform better. We’ve had a few stretches where we’ve played well, we won some tight games and some big games and we were facing some challenges or teams on top of the league and we didn’t follow up with the performances that we had previous games. That’s again tonight’s case. It was embarrassing.”
Said David Krejci: “The way we lost, especially the second and third period, it’s just unacceptable. You should go out there even if you’re losing 6-1 after the second period and show some pride, you know? Try to show fans that we respect them coming here. We don’t want to get booed in our own building. We didn’t respond. It was embarrassing.”