|Drew Stafford gets chance to David Krejci’s left vs. Red Wings||03.08.17 at 6:35 pm ET|
Acquired from the Jets less than a week ago, new Bruins winger Drew Stafford has probably yet to settle in off the ice. On the ice, although not as chaotic as packing a two-month suitcase, it’s not much different.
In 28:56 of total time on ice between two games, the 31-year-old Stafford has bounced around the lineup as Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy attempts to figure out his best fit. That bounce has landed Stafford on the B’s second line tonight as the left winger on a line with David Krejci at center and David Pastrnak on the right.
“We’ve discussed this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it didn’t certainly to Drew,” Cassidy said when asked about Stafford’s move from the right side to the left. “We talked about him maybe playing the left side and moving up the lineup, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
|Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes expected back in lineup vs. Red Wings||03.08.17 at 5:57 pm ET|
As it has so many times in just two seasons in his hometown, the numbers game has worked against Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes of late, with a healthy scratch designation to his name in two straight contests.
“You always gotta have a good attitude, but you don’t want to be taken out of the lineup,” admitted the 6-foot-5 Hayes, who has two goals and five points in 48 games this season. “Sometimes [the coaches] need to see what different combinations work, but you gotta keep your head up and be a good teammate and keep working hard.”
A healthy scratch 17 times this season, Hayes is used to this line of questioning by now, and there’s not much more that can be said.
But Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, who is not exactly one to let players rot in a press box as a permanent scratch, will give Hayes another crack tonight, as the big-bodied No. 11 is expected to skate on the right side of the club’s third line with Frank Vatrano and Austin Czarnik.
It’s the same line that Hayes was given a fresh start under Cassidy with — the lone change is that the 5-foot-9 Czarnik is now in over Ryan Spooner, who was diagnosed with a concussion on Tuesday — and one that Hayes felt had their moments.
“I felt like our line was creating some pretty chances offensively, so we gotta continue to bring that tonight.” Hayes said, “Being a bigger guy on the line, you gotta find ways to get to that net and put home pucks more. Obviously they haven’t been falling like the way I want them to fall this year. Hopefully I’ll get one off the foot, off the shinpad, I’ll take it however now.”
In nine games under Cassidy, Hayes recorded two assists, eight shots on goal, and chipped in with 13 hits. It’s production that could be better, of course, but something the embattled in-again, out-again winger from Dorchester will take as a stepping stone.
“You just continue to build on it,” Hayes said. “You gotta find ways to produce.
“If you’re producing, you won’t be taken out of the lineup.”
That’s something Hayes knows all too well.
|Austin Czarnik back with Bruins, will center third line vs. Red Wings||03.08.17 at 5:07 pm ET|
The Bruins had a number of in-house pivot options when Ryan Spooner was diagnosed with a concussion on Tuesday.
Between David Backes, Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, the Bruins are not short on centers currently playing on the wing. And with both of the high-priced Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes sitting as healthy scratches in recent games, this was almost expected to be the case.
Instead, the Bruins made a call to Providence, and recalled forward Austin Czarnik from the P-Bruins.
And it’s Czarnik — who has tallied one goal and five points in five AHL games since his assignment to the minors on Feb. 23 — who will immediately step right in for Spooner on the third line when the Bruins skate against the Red Wings at TD Garden.
In a (natural) position that Czarnik has seldom skated in this year, too.
|Bruins fans now have the chance to live in Patrice Bergeron’s condo||03.08.17 at 12:52 pm ET|
He may not be the most popular athlete in town, but one step into his house would probably tell you that Patrice Bergeron is one of its most decorated and accomplished professional athletes.
Between a Stanley Cup, multiple Olympic Gold medals, a World Cup, and three Selke Trophy wins, everything Bergeron touches seems to turn to gold (quite literally), and it has not gone unnoticed.
But if those awards and honors didn’t do enough to win you over, Bergeron’s numerous charitable endeavors — from the Patrice’s Pals suite at every home game to his Cuts For A Cause event held every year (Bergeron took that charity cause over from Bruins that either retired or left as free agents) — have earned Bergeron the St. Patrice moniker among Bruins fans. His other nickname (Perfect Patrice) should also give you an idea as to how much B’s fans love their top-line center.
Now what if I told you that you could live in the same condo as the 31-year-old Bergeron?
|Bruins center Ryan Spooner out indefinitely with concussion||03.07.17 at 6:20 pm ET|
It turns out that the Bruins lost more than the game on Monday, as B’s center Ryan Spooner has been diagnosed with a concussion sustained in the third period of the 4-2 loss to the Senators and will be out indefinitely, according to Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
The indefinite tag comes with the Bruins simply following the league’s concussion protocol, and is not necessarily a commentary on the severity of the concussion, which at this points remains unknown.
Moved back to his natural center position and on a third line with Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes (although Hayes’ spot has since been seized by deadline pickup Drew Stafford), the 24-year-old Spooner has been back to his normal self of late, with four goals and three assists, including the game-winning goal scored last Saturday, in 11 games under Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy.
In 65 games between Cassidy and Claude Julien this season, Spooner has recorded 11 goals and 34 points.
Down an offensive-minded center — unless the Bruins wanted to go with a one-game fill-in such as Riley Nash, David Backes, or Tim Schaller and plugging one of Matt Beleskey or Hayes into that player’s spot on the roster — for tomorrow’s game against the Red Wings, the Black and Gold have recalled forward Austin Czarnik from the Providence Bruins.
The 5-foot-9 Czarnik has recorded one goal and five points in five P-Bruins games since his assignment to the AHL on Feb. 23.
Czarnik, a Michigan native, has skated in 47 games for the Big B’s this season, with five goals and 13 points to his name.
|NHL will not change offsides rule on Coach’s Challenge||03.07.17 at 5:21 pm ET|
The NHL is unlike any other pro sports league for a number of reasons.
I mean, their annual lockout every decade or so is as unique as it is embarrassing among the United States of America’s big four sports.
But in between collective bargaining agreements, and on a year to year basis, the league seems to look for tweaks and fixes to increase scoring and the speed of play… while also implementing rules and ideas that prevent the league from accomplishing those goals.
Nothing embodies this more than the still fresh Coach’s Challenge.
In its second year, the challenge has given NHL bench bosses the ability to challenge goals on the ice just moments after they happen — without the use of a weird red flag tucked away in socks like in the NFL — and includes the coach’s ability to challenge whether or not a player was offside on the zone entry that came before the goal.
It is the grinding halt that the game does not need. And it’s (unfortunately) not going away anytime soon.
|Brad Marchand hits another milestone in losing effort vs. Senators||03.07.17 at 5:27 am ET|
The Bruins struggled to do much of anything offensively in their 4-2 Monday night loss in Ottawa. That’s not the first time that’s happened this year, and it won’t be the last. But one constant remained, even in defeat, and that’s the excellence of Bruins winger Brad Marchand.
In a 17:54 night, the crafty winger was held to just two shots on goal, but made one count in a big way with a power-play goal for the Black and Gold. It was the goal that brought the Bruins back within one, but ultimately did not matter in what finished as a two-goal defeat to the Sens for the second time in as many contests this season.
That’s not to say that it did not matter to Marchand, though, as the goal counted as his 30th of the season, scored in just 66 games this season.
The goal was more than just No. 30 for the 28-year-old, too.