|Sunday Skate Live Chat: 30 Kisses edition||02.21.16 at 5:55 am ET|
Pucker up, because Sunday Skate is live from 7-9 a.m. Among today’s topics: Brad Marchand scoring (and trying to kiss opponents), the trade deadline and the Bruins actually beating a playoff team. Click here to listen live and chat below.
|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|
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.
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:
Omg Marchand tried to kiss Eaves’¦I’m crying pic.twitter.com/nOfjOtWnkX
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 21, 2016
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 »
|Chat Bruins, NHL trade deadline, whatever else at 1 p.m.||02.19.16 at 11:25 am ET|
Are the Bruins going anywhere this season? Are they buyers or sellers? What’s happening with Loui Eriksson? Are the Canadiens dumb enough to trade P.K. Subban? Discuss all these things and whatever else you want with DJ Bean at 1 p.m.
|5 things we learned as Bruins get shut out by Predators in another loss vs. West||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
|5 things we learned as Loui Eriksson gives Bruins overtime win over Blue Jackets||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.
|Bruins activate Adam McQuaid from IR, send Colin Miller to Providence||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.
|5 things we learned as Bruins lose divisional battle to Red Wings||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.