|Video: Facebook live chat with Bruins’ Austin Czarnik||11.20.16 at 11:53 am ET|
WEEI’s Josh Dolan sat down with Bruins forward Austin Czarnik after Sunday’s practice to talk about Saturday’s win over Winnipeg, his rookie season, Thanksgiving and more. Watch it here:
|Defense remains a dominant force for Bruins in win over Jets||11.20.16 at 2:14 am ET|
A four-goal outburst from a Bruins team still without top-liner David Pastrnak was the story of the night in the club’s third straight home win, a 4-1 victory over the Jets at TD Garden on Saturday.
And perhaps rightfully so given the way the Bruins struggled to put pucks in the net during their three-game road trip (they had just four goals on 100 shots in three games, and one of those four goals was an empty-netter) in spite of some impressive puck possession.
It was a just reward for a B’s attack that’s put in its share of work.
But it was the defense — though subtle and understated, much like it’s been throughout the season — that remained as dominant as ever.
In what was the club’s most punishing defensive effort of the season, the Bruins held a high-powered Jets attack to just 12 shots on goal.
Yes, that same Winnipeg club that came to Boston with 56 goals, the sixth-most in the NHL through 19 games, and not the New York Jets of the National Football League, as one would expect when reading such a stat, had just 12 shots on net. It was the fewest shots by a Bruins opponent since Nov. 24, 2001 (a game that the Bruins somehow actually lost to the Maple Leafs by a 2-0 final) and the fewest shots taken by a visiting team in Boston since the Minnesota North Stars took just 10 on Jan. 12, 1981.
And finally, even without that longed-for defensive upgrade in town via trade or free agency, the Black and Gold have started to reap the rewards of the defensive tweaks made to their system with the help of new assistant coach Butch Cassidy.
|Reports: Former Bruin Craig Cunningham collapses on ice before AHL game||11.19.16 at 10:56 pm ET|
A scary moment took place in Tucson, Arizona, Saturday night, as former Bruin and current Tucson Roadrunner Craig Cunningham reportedly collapsed on the ice before his team’s American Hockey League game against the Manitoba Moose.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Cunningham appeared to convulse after hitting the ice and medics performed chest compressions before he was taken away in an ambulance. The game was postponed and no updates on his condition have been given as of 10:50 p.m.
Cunningham played 34 games for the Bruins over two seasons from 2013-2015 and spent parts of four seasons with AHL Providence.
Some of his former teammates took to Twitter to offer their well-wishes.
My prayers are with Craig Cunningham and his family. One of the best guys I’ve met on and off the ice . #prayers
— davidpastrnak (@pastrnak96) November 20, 2016
My prayers are with Craig Cunningham and his family tonight. One of a kind guy
— Tyler Seguin (@tseguinofficial) November 20, 2016
Prayers and thoughts are with Craig and the Cunningham Family tonight…
— Johnny Boychuk (@joboych) November 20, 2016
Praying for Craig Cunningham. One of the best guys I’ve played with.
— Michael Hutchinson (@mhutch34) November 20, 2016
|5 Things We Learned as Bruins dominate Jets in another Garden win||11.19.16 at 9:36 pm ET|
After a three-game road trip in which the Bruins scored just four goals on a combined 100 shots with stops in Arizona, Colorado, and Minnesota, it turns out that a return back to the TD Garden ice was all the Bruins needed for a quick fix to their recent scoring woes.
Back in Boston for the start of a two-game homestand and start of an eight-day stretch with four of five games played in their home barn, the Bruins made up for their lost goals with four against the Jets’ Michael Hutchinson, and did it in their first 27 shots of the night.
With David Pastrnak out for the second straight contest, the Bruins responded to the loss of their leading goal scorer with a feverish pace that eluded the team on Thursday night, and jumped out to a 1-0 lead behind Matt Beleskey’s second goal of the season, banged home on a one-time blast 2:01 into the second period.
Less than 10 minutes later, it was Brad Marchand, who has been snakebit in recent days, that decided to join the party, with a goal that just straight-up undressed Hutchinson and put the Bruins up by two midway through the period. And it was Marchand’s linemate, the equally snakebitten Patrice Bergeron, that wrapped up a dominant third period with his first point in six games, to put the Bruins up 3-0 through 40 minutes of play.
A lead that was extended to four early in the third period with Tim Schaller’s third goal of the season.
But while the goals were impressive, it was the Bruins’ relentless defensive effort that once again stole the show in the club’s third straight win on home ice, as the Black and Gold held the Jets without a shot on goal for the final 13:48 of the second period, and just two even-strength shots through the opening 40 minutes of play.
The Jets ultimately broke through with an Adam Lowry goal scored with 2:40 left to go in the third period, but it didn’t matter, as the Bruins stifled the Jets to just 12 shots on goal in 60 minutes of play, their lowest of the season.
Here are four other things we learned in the victory
|Bruins looking for home-ice advantage, scoring against high-powered Jets||11.19.16 at 3:17 pm ET|
When the Bruins struggled with back-to-back-to-back losses early in the year, head coach Claude Julien harped on his team’s inability to respect the system. It was a three-zone problem for the Black and Gold, too; If the defense wasn’t up to task, the offense suffered with a desperate, pressing approach. When the offense struggled, the defense and goaltending was left with absolutely no room for error.
The latter reared its head in the club’s last game, too, with a game-winning goal banked off Adam McQuaid’s shinpad and into the back of the B’s net with just 44.5 seconds left to go in a scoreless draw with the Wild. It was a just end to a 120-minute stretch of road hockey that saw the Bruins score just four goals on 100 shots, but somehow escape with four of a possible six points in their pockets.
But back home for after a week-plus away on the road — a theme of the season if there’s ever been one — the Bruins know it’s time for the rest of their offense to step up in defense of their defense in a tone-setting head-to-head with a quick-moving Jets attack.
|David Pastrnak to miss second straight game for Bruins||11.19.16 at 1:01 pm ET|
In a matchup of the league’s top goal scorer against the league’s third-best goal scorer at TD Garden tonight between the Bruins and Jets, the latter will have to watch from above, as Bruins winger David Pastrnak will miss his second straight contest for the club with what’s been termed an upper-body injury.
“Still day-to-day,” Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed of Pastrnak, who ranks 13th among NHL right wingers with 48 shots on goal this season, after the club’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena.
“[For] tonight he’s ruled out.”
This will be the B’s fourth game on the year without Pastrnak in the lineup — be it through injury or suspension — and though the Bruins have survived their brief glimpses of life without Pastrnak by way of a 2-1-0 record, there’s no doubt that the Black and Gold have struggled to generate offense without No. 88. In those three games, the Bruins have scored just two goals, both of which came in one game, too, a 2-1 squeak-it-out win against the Panthers on Nov. 1, and failed to score on 25 shots on Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk last game.
Pastrnak’s absence has also magnified the struggles of his linemates, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, two players that have combined for just one goal and three points (all from Marchand) over the last six games.
“It’s important not to get frustrated,” Julien said of the drought surrounding his one-two punch that’s totaled 123 goals since the start of the 2014-15 season. “You look at some of the scoring chances [against Minnesota] and I think Bergeron had maybe four of them. They’re there, and I think that’s the encouraging part, it’s just a matter of time before those two guys score again.”
The Bergeron line, with bottom-sixer Riley Nash expected to once again fill in Pastrnak’s spot on the wing, will be leaned on to stop and counterattack a quick-moving Winnipeg offense led by the contributions of the league’s aforementioned top scorer, as Patrick Laine, the No. 2 overall pick last summer, enters tonight’s tilt with an NHL-best 12 goals scored.
The Bruins beat the Jets in their only prior head-to-head this season by a 4-1 final on Oct. 17.
|Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin cleared, to start for P-Bruins||11.19.16 at 12:19 pm ET|
Absent from the last 12 games with an upper-body ailment, the road back to the B’s backup job begins with today for Anton Khudobin.
Present for the team’s three-game road trip last week and on the ice for practices all throughout, the 30-year-old has finally been officially cleared for game action and will start in goal for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League in their Saturday night contest against the Springfield Thunderbirds (the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers) at 7:05 p.m. at Springfield’s MassMutual Center, according to Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
Khudobin, who was seen skating in Boston last week but not yet with a stick in his hand, was injured in an Oct. 24 practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and has skated in two games for the B’s this season, with no wins and an .849 save percentage with 45 stops on 53 shots against.
With Khudobin in Providence on a rehab assignment, Zane McIntyre will remain Tuukka Rask’s backup for the fifth straight game tonight as the Bruins host the Jets at TD Garden.