|5 things we learned: David Krejci injured, Malcolm Subban pulled and Bruins could be toast||02.20.15 at 10:37 pm ET|
Both Malcolm Subban and David Krejci left Friday’s game in the second period. Subban’s night was disappointing. Krejci’s could end up being the final nail in the coffin for the 2014-15 Bruins.
Krejci left the ice and needed help down the tunnel after colliding with Alexander Steen at the blue line in the second period. He did not return to the game. His injury appeared to be of the lower-body variety.
The injury came amidst a three-goal stretch for St. Louis to open the period and chase Subban, who was making his NHL debut, from the game. Subban was brought back into the game in the final minutes of the third period with the Blues holding a 5-1 lead, which would stand as the game’s final score (box).
Should Krejci’s injury cost him significant time, this season is toast for the Bruins. If it costs him any time, Boston’s chances of piecing things together and holding down a playoff spot (they have just a one-point lead over the Panthers for the last Wild Card spot; Florida has a game in hand) still take a big hit.
In losing Friday’s game, the Bruins have lost the first four games of their current road trip. They have lost six straight games (0-2-4).
Here are four more things we learned Friday.
SUBBAN’S GLOVE DOESN’T CUT IT
Subban faced only three shots in the first period. He let the next three in.
Whether as a result of rookie jitters, the fact that he was a 21-year-old goalie playing in an NHL game or anything else, Subban struggled mightily with his glove. Petteri Lindbohm’s slapshot in the first minute of the second period went off Subban’s glove and in, while Alex Pietrangelo’s shot from the left circle snuck under the netminder’s glove. T.J. Oshie beat Subban glove-side high from a tough angle less than a minute after Pietrangelo’s goal, giving the Blue three goals on three shots in 4:21.
Subban was not happy as he left the game, slamming his stick down as he reached the bench.
NO REST FOR RASK
Tuukka Rask didn’t look much happier as he got ready to take the ice following St. Louis’ third goal. Rask tossed a chair down the tunnel, looking more dejected than angry as he did so.
With Friday’s game, Rask has now played in 16 straight games and 25 of the Bruins’ last 26. He allowed a pair of goals, the first of which was on a St. Louis power play and the second of which came on a 2-on-1.
This is not good for the Bruins. It would be one thing if the Bruins had to ride Rask to victories while they worked things out solidified their postseason position. Yet by playing Rask and playing as poorly in front of him as they have, they’re both wearing down their No. 1 goalie and making the possibility of missing the playoffs very realistic.
FIRST PERIOD NOT ENOUGH
The Bruins played a strong first period, which despite their struggles this season shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise given that they’ve played well against the Blues in recent seasons.
Part of that was probably the fact that Subban was in net. When a team knows that it doesn’t have a sure thing like Rask behind them, it naturally tends to tighten up and limit chances. That was the case when they held St. Louis without a shot until 12:14 into the period. The B’s took a 1-0 lead into the intermission thanks to a Brad Marchand goal, but things unraveled quickly.
CHARA BACK TO POINT
The Bruins only got one power play in Wednesday’s loss and they scored on it. A new-look first unit played about a minute and a half and scored, so the second unit was not revealed.
That finally happened Friday, and the changes included Zdeno Chara moving back to the point after playing in front of the net since the beginning of last season. Chara and Reilly Smith manned the points on the second unit, with Milan Lucic, David Pastrnak and Carl Soderberg up front.
The first unit remained Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, Patrice Bergeron, Krejci and Loui Eriksson.
|Malcolm Subban, Brian Ferlin to make NHL debuts, Daniel Paille to sit amidst Bruins’ lineup shuffle||at 1:27 pm ET|
Malcolm Subban reportedly was the first goaltender off the ice in Friday’s morning skate, indicating the 2012 first-round pick will make his NHL debut against the Blues. Right wing Brian Ferlin also will make his NHL debut.
Subban, who is in his second recall of the season, spent a four-game stretch with the B’s earlier this month but did not play. He was recalled again this week, with the B’s opting against starting him Wednesday against the Oilers. Despite starting Tuukka Rask in the game, the B’s still lost to Edmonton in a shootout.
Should Subban play the entire game Friday, it will break up a stretch of 15 straight games played for Rask, who has also played in 24 of the Bruins’ last 25 games.
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters that both Ferlin and Jordan Caron will play Friday. Both players took line rushes with Gregory Campbell on the fourth line in morning skate, according to the Boston Herald. As such, Daniel Paille and Craig Cunningham will be healthy scratches.
According to Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, the lines in morning skate were as follows:
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|5 things we learned as Bruins play Tuukka Rask over Malcolm Subban, still lose to Oilers in shootout||02.19.15 at 1:09 am ET|
The Bruins opted against starting Malcolm Subban Wednesday night, further underscoring the importance placed on getting two points against the second-worst team in the NHL.
They still lost.
After coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period, the Bruins held even with the Oilers through the third period and overtime before losing in a 12-round shootout that saw Boston fail to score once. Tuukka Rask finally surrendered the shootout’s only goal to Martin Marincin on the 24th overall attempt.
The loss was Boston’s fifth straight (0-3-2) and sixth in the last seven games (1-4-2). The Bruins have two more games on their current road trip, as they’ll play the Blues Friday and the Blackhawks Sunday. Rask has now played in 24 of the Bruins’ last 25 games, so the Bruins, entering must-win mode each night, may face more tough decisions regarding whether to risk burning out their best player.
Here are four more things we learned Wednesday night:
REVAMPED POWER PLAY SCORES
Claude Julien hasn’t been afraid to tinker with his forward lines, and on Wednesday that extended to the power play.
When Andrew Ference went off for tripping Brad Marchand late in the first period, Julien sent out a unit that featured Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug at the points, with David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron up front and Loui Eriksson in front of the net. The group stayed out there for all 91 seconds of the power play until Eriksson tipped a Hamilton shot past Ben Scrivens. The goal was the group’s sixth shot on goal of the power play.
|Bruins shouldn’t make Malcolm Subban a trade chip yet||02.17.15 at 7:36 pm ET|
If this callup for Malcolm Subban is a “showcase,” it had better not have anything to do with this season.
Subban is a goaltending prospect, which means you can flip a coin as to whether he’ll be a Vezina winner or just another guy, but he’s a highly regarded prospect nonetheless. Tuukka Rask is signed at a very reasonable $7 million for six more years after this season and Subban will be NHL-ready before that. For a team that’s set at goaltender, he’s a great chip to have if they are so inclined to move him.
But not for a two-month rental. If the Bruins want teams to have some video of Subban in case they talk trade in the offseason, fine. Airplanes exist and scouts are allowed to watch AHL games, but sure. By all means. Let teams watch him play in an NHL game against the second-worst team in the NHL (and one of the nine that scores less than the Bruins).
We’ve already outlined that the Bruins should absolutely not move anything of significant value at the trade deadline. They should take their chances as is in a weak Eastern Conference this postseason with the understanding that this has turned into a transition year. If guys start performing like their usual selves in April and May, they’re capable of beating any Eastern Conference team that doesn’t a C and an H on their sweaters, but they’re better off waiting until the cap goes up and they aren’t paying nearly $5 million in overages before they go out and start trading good young guys.
What would the Bruins even move Subban for this season? The Sabres reportedly asked for him in exchange for Chris Stewart, which they must have known was a ridiculous request. Stewart, an inconsistent right wing whose motivation probably hasn’t matched his talent over the last three years, might be the type of addition the Bruins should make at the deadline, but only because he realistically should only cost a mid-round pick and/or a mid-level prospect.
The team’s needs (if they go for it, which again, they probably shouldn’t) are a top-four defenseman, a potential first-line right wing and anything that can fix the fourth line. Subban maybe gets you one of those things in this seller’s market. Unless there’s an affordable player at one of those positions that’s controllable beyond this season, there’s really no point in using such a good piece now while the prices are high.
Playing Subban Wednesday could bring something the Bruins need as much as anything else: a win. You’d certainly hope the Bruins would be able to beat the Oilers on any night anyway, but the Bruins have been positively dreadful in front of Tuukka Rask the last four games. Playing a backup goaltender can be an effective means of getting a team to pay better attention defensively, and right now Subban might be better than Niklas Svedberg, who has been pulled from two of his last three starts.
Subban might not be a big part of the Bruins’ 2014-15 season, but he can impact future ones far more than he would by fetching a rental over the next couple months.
Hockey Night in Canada NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Bruins recent struggles, the recall of goaltender Malcolm Subban, and if he could start as soon as Wednesday against Edmonton. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Subban, a second-year pro whom the B’s drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft, is coming off a stint in which he spent four games with the B’s as Tuukka Rask‘s backup while Niklas Svedberg was in Providence on a conditioning loan. Subban did not play during the stretch, but was officially recalled again Monday night.
It seems likely Subban will be in net Wednesday night when the Bruins take on the Oilers, as Edmonton has shown interest in the second-year goaltender.
“I don’t believe in coincidences, I don’t,” Friedman said. “When he gets called up and it is for this particular game, and you know [Claude] Julien, he doesn’t like to tell the media which goaltender is playing, this one is kind of odd. I have been told to expect him to play. I mean you never know until he actually shows up at the rink and skates out there as the starting goaltender, but there certainly is — and there was report last night that he was going to play and I believe that is true. Things can change, but I don’t believe in coincidences.
“We have been hearing all year that teams have been asking a bit about Malcolm Subban and I 100 percent believe that Buffalo, which is an organization that is really on goaltending, asked about him when they were talking about Chris Stewart and/or Drew Stafford, which was another player the Sabres kind of looked at and they were flat out rejected. Edmonton is another team that is going to be trying to change their goaltending mix this offseason.
“I think there is some degree of showcase here and I am sure Edmonton wants to see him against NHL shooters. I think it is very dangerous though to make a determination on a player based on one NHL start. There is no question that the Oilers want to see what they could be potentially trading for here.”
|Bruins recall Malcolm Subban from Providence||02.16.15 at 2:36 pm ET|
[UPDATE: 6:45 p.m.] The Bruins have recalled goaltender Malcolm Subban from Providence. He will join the team for practice Tuesday in Edmonton. Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reported the news of Subban’s impending callup earlier in the day.
Hearing that Malcolm Subban is about to be called up by Boston. Strength coach Paul Kenny to dress as backup goalie for PBruins today.
‘ Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) February 16, 2015
Subban, a second-year pro whom the B’s drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft, is coming off a stint in which he spent four games with the B’s as Tuukka Rask‘s backup while Niklas Svedberg was in Providence on a conditioning loan. Subban did not play during the stretch and has yet to play in an NHL game.
In 24 games for Providence this season, Subban is 10-10-3 with a .920 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average.
Svedberg has struggled in the scarce playing time he’s received. Though he recorded a 14-save shutout on Jan. 14, the performance was bookended by outings in which he was pulled early. He was removed from a Dec. 27 loss to the Blue Jackets in the second period and lasted only a period last Tuesday against the Stars. Svedberg was yanked after allowing three goals in each of those outings.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Tuukka Rask: ‘Nobody’s told me otherwise, so I’m sure I’m playing’ vs. Canadiens||02.07.15 at 10:57 pm ET|
After stopping 39 of the 40 shots he faced against the Islanders Saturday, Tuukka Rask said he is ready to go again Sunday against the Canadiens.
“Nobody’s told me otherwise, so I’m sure I’m playing,” Rask said Saturday night. “If I play, hopefully we’ll get a win so I don’t ever have to answer [the] questions again.”
The questions to which Rask refers are those of whether he and the Bruins can beat the Canadiens. Boston has dropped all three of its meetings vs. the Habs this season, with Rask getting yanked in one of his two starts against Montreal.
In his career, Rask is 3-12-3 against the Canadiens in the regular season. While he shut out the Habs in one of his three postseason victories against them last year, Rask acknowledged that the Canadiens have been a problem for the Bruins.
“We try to approach it as any other game, but the fact is that we haven’t been able to beat them that many times in the past,” he said. “We have to change it because another fact is most likely we’re going to face them in the playoffs this year, so we have to learn to play against them.”
Rask has already played in both games of back-to-backs four times this season. The possibilities to start for the Bruins if Rask doesn’t start are Niklas Svedberg and Malcolm Subban, the latter of whom is currently up with the Bruins. Subban hasn’t started a game in over two weeks, however, and playing him against the Canadiens in both his first NHL game and his first game at any level in a while would be a very challenging assignment.
Svedberg did not start Saturday in Providence, leaving open the possibility that he could be available for the B’s. Svedberg played most of the third period in Montreal in relief of Rask on Oct. 16 and allowed five goals to the Habs on Nov. 13 at the Bell Centre.
Claude Julien did not answer when asked who would be in net Sunday. The Bruins will not have a morning skate Sunday, so its likely that Boston’s starter will not be revealed until warmups at 7 p.m.
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