|Missing stars create Winter Classic opportunities for Bruins’ young players||12.31.15 at 3:08 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Growing up on a farm in Alberta, hockey for Joe Morrow was outdoors. The idea of playing in the Winter Classic this season was a dream, but not one that he necessarily thought would come true.
With the Bruins having a revolving door of young defensemen this season, any one (or two) of Morrow, Colin Miller and Zach Trotman have found themselves susceptible to multiple-game press box duty. With the Winter Classic on this season’s schedule, Boston’s young defensemen could only play their hardest when put in the lineup and hope that door stopped in their favor on Jan. 1.
With Thursday’s moves, Morrow appears to be the winner. Brad Marchand‘s injury forced the B’s to demote Colin Miller to Providence in order to call up forward Alexander Khokhlachev. With Dennis Seidenberg playing the right side as Zdeno Chara‘s partner, the left-shooting Morrow practiced on Boston’s third pairing with righty Kevan Miller on Thursday.
Having played so many times outside over the years (including the 2013 AHL Outdoor Classic), Morrow said he “couldn’t be more grateful” for the opportunity to potentially play on Thursday.
“It’s a game that you mark on your schedule right from Game 1. Right from training camp, it’s something that you look forward to and you hope you’re on the roster and you hope you’re playing in it,” Morrow said. “To be able to get that opportunity is something that’s pretty special. I’m pretty grateful for it. I didn’t really see it coming, but now that it’s here and going to happen, I’m pretty excited for it. It should be a good time.”
Morrow knows it’s taken bad luck for his teammate in order for him to play. Colin Miller, who has played more games (28) than Morrow (13) or Trotman (16) had to be sent down because he was the only one of Boston’s eight defensemen who could be sent to the AHL without requiring waivers. Having become fast friends with the former Manchester Monarchs defenseman, Morrow feels for Miller. Read the rest of this entry »
|Bruins activate Joe Morrow from IR, send Seth Griffith to Providence||10.23.15 at 3:49 pm ET|
The Bruins activated defenseman Joe Morrow from injured reserve Friday and sent forward Seth Griffith to Providence.
Morrow missed the last three games due to a flu bug that cost him to lose weight. The Bruins sent Tommy Cross, who had played three games in his place, back to Providence on Thursday. The 22-year-old defenseman skated in Boston’s first three games of the season, averaging 19:38 of ice time per game. Should he play Friday against the Islanders, it’s likely that he will be paired with either Kevan Miller or Colin Miller.
Griffith, who played 30 games for the B’s last season, sprained his left MCL during the preseason. Though he has remained on the NHL roster, he has been skating with the Providence Bruins recently.
With Friday’s moves, the Bruins are back at the 23-man roster limit.
|Uphill climb continues for Bruins’ Seth Griffith||09.21.15 at 10:56 pm ET|
Seth Griffith received bad news when he learned that the knee injury he suffered in Sunday’s preseason opener is an MCL sprain that will end his training camp. Of course, he’s been getting bad news for months now.
Last training camp, the second-year pro was skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Though Griffith was on the Bergeron line because the Bruins were waiting for Reilly Smith to settle for the contract Boston was offering, he was on his way to becoming David Krejci‘s right wing. Because Jarome Iginla was gone and David Pastrnak wasn’t ready, Griffith was Boston’s best option.
Fast forward a year, and though the 22-year-old Griffith came to camp older and more experienced than he was a season ago, his chances of making the NHL club were slim even before his injury. Why? Because dating back to the Brett Connolly trade in March, the B’s have positioned themselves to have plenty of right wings. It’s not a good time to be a fringe guy.
With Pastrnak now an NHL regular, Connolly healthy, Jimmy Hayes in for Reilly Smith, Loui Eriksson coming off his best year as a Bruin, Brian Ferlin continuing to push and both Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo capable of playing wing, the Bruins are more than set on the right side. In fact, guys like Hayes or Eriksson may end up playing left wing just because the B’s have so many right wings.
Given Boston’s plethora of right wings, Griffith, a former 45-goal-scorer in the OHL, was likely headed to Providence to begin the season. Though he played 30 games for Boston last season (6 G, 4 A), the majority of his time last season was spent in Providence, where he served as Alexander Khokhlachev’s right wing.
Griffith was a first-line player in the AHL last season who totaled 31 points (12 G, 19 A) in 39 games, but his game appeared to drop off down the stretch. He scored just three goals over 24 games to finish the regular season in Providence. He’d add two goals in the playoffs to end the season on something of a high note.
“I want to go out there and I want to score almost every shift, or at least get a good chance. When I’m not getting those chances it’s a little bit frustrating for me,” he said prior to his injury. “[Providence coach Bruce Cassidy] helped me a lot through that and eventually I found my game. It was better late than never. I don’t want that to happen again, but I think it was just a learning point for me.”
If Griffith makes it back to Boston, it might not be in the role he had last season. Griffith was underwhelming in the NHL when he wasn’t with Krejci; he’ll need to prove to the Bruins that he could play in the bottom six and work his way up if he wants to eventually carve out a job in Boston.
“It’s going to be a little tougher, but I think if you want to play any line on the Bruins, you’ve got to have that gritty side of your game there,” he said. “I don’t [have] to change a whole lot; it’s just a matter of getting pucks deep and not trying to be fancy all the time. I think it’s just [being] more of a straight-line guy than fancy.”
Griffith’s bid to impress the B’s will be on hold for now. He was a longshot to make the Bruins out of camp anyway, but he’s shown enough promise at points that perhaps the young wing could someday overcome the logjam that is the Bruins’ group of right wings.
|Seth Griffith out 3-4 weeks with sprained MCL||at 1:32 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Monday that right wing Seth Griffith will miss three to four weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee.
Griffith suffered the injury in Sunday night’s preseason game against the Devils. The 22-year-old faced an uphill climb to make Boston’s roster out of training camp, a scenario now eliminated by the injury.
In 30 games for the Bruins last season, Griffith scored six goals and added four goals for 10 points. He had 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 39 games for Providence.
Griffith is the second player to be hampered by an injury this fall. Dennis Seidenberg has yet to take the ice during training camp due to an upper-body injury.
|Providence Bruins headed for Game 5 of first-round series with Hartford||04.28.15 at 9:24 pm ET|
PROVIDENCE — The Providence Bruins’ first-round series with the Hartford Wolf Pack will come down to a decisive Game 5, as the Baby B’s suffered a 2-1 Game 4 loss at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Tuesday to leave the series knotted at two games apiece.
Seth Griffith scored his second goal in as many games as he fired a shot from the point past Yann Danis during a third-period man advantage, but it wasn’t enough on a night in which Providence squandered five of its six power plays.
Mat Bodie scored Hartford’s first goal, scoring off the rush in the second period following the expiration of Providence’s fourth power play of the game. Bodie’s shot, which came at 3:06 of the second, was just the fourth shot that Malcolm Subban faced on the night. Providence’s early power plays allowed them to outshoot Hartford, 8-2, in the first period. While that prevented Hartford from scoring early, it also left Providence’s goaltender cold.
“It’s pretty tough,” Subban said of not facing shots early. “You’re not really in the game and you’re trying to get in the game and they get a three-on-two. It’s kind of tough. Obviously the first goal, maybe if I’m in the game I make the save. It’s not that I can’t make it when I’m not in the game, it’s just it’s a really tough save to try to get into the game on.”
After a good chance for the Bruins during a late second-period power play, Joe Morrow took a cross-checking penalty to leave the sides playing four-on-four late in the period and give Hartford an abbreviated power play to open the third period. Less than a minute after that power play ended, Tyler Brown tipped a point shot past Subban to give Hartford a two-goal lead.
Minutes later, Providence forward Zach Phillips was assessed a double-minor for butt-ending, forcing the B’s to spend the next four minutes shorthanded. Providence survived the double-minor and eventually cashed on its next power play with Griffith’s goal with 7:06 remaining in regulation.
Providence was unable to find the equalizer in the final minutes, pulling Subban with about 90 seconds to play but failing to tie it.
“We’re going to put this behind us,” Providence coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “It wasn’t awful; it’s just we had the chance to finish the job and we didn’t. It’s that simple.”
David Pastrnak did not play in the game. He left Sunday’s Game 3 with a lower-body injury suffered on a hit from defenseman Dylan McIlrath. Pastrtnak’s status for Friday’s game is still unclear, Cassidy said.
Claude Julien was among those on hand, watching alongside assistant coach Doug Jarvis. Julien is still Boston’s head coach, but that could change once the Bruins hire their next general manager. Assistant GMs Don Sweeney and John Ferguson were also in attendance.
The Baby B’s finished the game with a 29-17 edge in shots on goal. Game 5 will be played Friday in Hartford.
|Bruins send Seth Griffith to Providence||01.11.15 at 1:44 pm ET|
The Bruins sent forward Seth Griffith to Providence after Saturday’s victory over the Flyers.
Griffith has played in 30 games this season for the Bruins, many of which have seen him play on the right wing of David Krejci‘s line. With David Pastrnak currently serving in that role and the rest of Boston’s forwards healthy, he was a healthy scratch on Saturday for the second straight game.
Pastrnak, who has played seven NHL games, can play two more without accruing an NHL season on his contract. If he plays 10 games, the first year of his three-year entry level pact will be burned. If Pastrnak performs like he did Saturday, when he netted the first two goals of his NHL career, it would appear a good bet that he’ll stick with the B’s.
Jordan Caron is now the Bruins’ 13th forward with Griffith in Providence.
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|Top to bottom: Bruins’ strange usage of Seth Griffith||12.15.14 at 4:29 pm ET|
When players get called up to the NHL, it’s typical for them to play in lesser roles before working their way up to higher lines. It’s been the opposite for Seth Griffith.
With only three goals through their first three games of the season, the Bruins recalled Griffith from Providence to play on their first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Griffith, a second-year pro, has been Krejci’s right wing in all 11 of Krejci’s games this season.
Yet Krejci, who may be nearing a return to the lineup, has missed a lot of time due to injury and the Bruins haven’t been as confident in Griffith as a first-line player when No. 46 hasn’t been centering him.
The last two games, Griffith has been on Boston’s fourth line in place of the absent Simon Gagne. Griffith, who scored as many as 45 goals in a season in his junior days, is not a prototypical fourth-line grinder. Prototypical or not, however, he’s a fourth-liner.
“For now,” Claude Julien said Monday. “We don’t have any extra forwards and we’d still like to be able to see our fourth line be able to bring some offense, so that’s why we put him there. That line was actually pretty good with Simon Gagne, and Simon Gagne’s been a top-line player his whole career.”
With all due respect to Julien, that line was not pretty good. The trio of Gregory Campbell between Daniel Paille and Gagne struggled in much of its time together, though it turned a corner on this month’s California trip.
Going from a top-line to a bottom line can be quite the adjustment. For one, you have to deal with playing fewer minutes. In most cases, you’re also working with less skilled players around you and opposing different types of players. Elite scorers who skate on top lines can be easier to oppose when you have the puck, as many top-liners are there mostly on offensive merit. The bottom-six is a working man’s game.
Guys like Brad Marchand in 2010-11 had to hone their craft in such roles before graduating to higher lines.
“I think it’s just going to help me,” Griffith said. “It’s my first year in the league. You look at this whole lineup; everybody plays hard. It’s not like it’s really a fourth-line role. You’re playing the same.
“You’re just trying to play hard every shift. If you want to be in this league a long time, you’ve got to learn to do little things like that. It’s just something that can help improve my game, if anything.”
The Bruins’ attempts at changing their fourth line from the Merlot Line days have been unsuccessful so far, and Griffith has been unsuccessful without Krejci so far. The 21-year-old has five points (three goals, two assists) when Krejci’s been in the lineup and two points (both goals) in 11 games without Krejci.
The Bruins have used Krejci on a couple different lines in practice over the last week, but Griffith hasn’t been a part of them. His return could either return Griffith to the first line or move him out of the lineup altogether (Craig Cunningham is more of a prototypical fourth-liner), but for now, Griffith will take whatever minutes he can get.
“Griff is a pretty smart player,” Julien said. “It’s not the same definition as what we had before – bang and crash and that kind of stuff – but that’s where he fits right now.”