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Category Archives: Boston Bruins

Islanders point streak snapped in 3-1 loss to Bruins

The Islanders had a 2-1 lead in the third period. Then they didn’t.
Then the Boston Bruins had the lead, and eventually a 3-1 win over the Islanders at TD Garden on Tuesday night. The game-winning goal for Boston came less than two minutes after they had successfully challenged what would have been the go-ahead goal for New York.
Cal Clutterbuck scored at 4:52 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy challenged the play on the grounds that Devon Toews was offsides which led to the three-on-two rush and the goal.
Boston’s Kevin Miller managed to keep the puck in the Islanders zone moments later and fire a shot on Robin Lehner. The Islander netminder made the initial stop, but Peter Cehlarik was able to sneak the rebound by Lehner at 6:34 of the third period.
Patrice Bergeron, appearing in his 1,000th career NHL game, scored his second of the night on an empty net goal at 19:05 to seal the game.
The loss snapped the Islanders eight-game point streak (6-0-2) and prevented them from picking up crucial points in the standings. The Islanders remained in first place following Tuesday’s loss, but the Washington Capitals’ 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks pulled them within two points of the Isles.
Lehner made 24 saves in the loss to Boston, which was his eighth defeat of the year.
Specials teams had a mixed night in Boston. The Islanders PK unit was a perfect 3-for-3, with all three kills coming in the first period.
The Power play had a rather sluggish night, going just 1-for-5 and failing to convert on a four-minute power play that could have changed the course of the game.
The power play had been a bleak 0-for-8 in their previous three games.
The Bruins were first to jump on the board on Tuesday as Patrice Bergeron cleaned up a loose puck in the crease at 2:32 of the second period. The Islanders managed to even the game at one at the 16:40 mark off a Jordan Eberle power-play goal.

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Wild unable to generate any momentum in lackluster 4-0 loss in Boston

An extra cup of coffee, perhaps a soda during lunch which is something you do when you’re trying to keep your eyes open after a rough night of sleep.  No doubt, the 2nd day of two long days of work always is a bit more taxing physically let alone your mental focus.  For NHL teams in a back-to-back you toss in time spent traveling.  While the flight from Montreal to Boston is a mere 1 hour and 20 minutes, there is the ordeal of going through customs which certainly can turn into a headache.  This is exactly what the Wild have endured before tonight’s game against Boston.
The Bruins have been sitting back and patiently waiting for the Wild to arrive after a few days off.  Beyond spending some time for film study and practice, what else do you think they’ve done with that extra time?  Hopefully they’ve tired themselves out chasing around their families or stayed out a little too late the night before.  Can Minnesota get a victory against the Bruins?
1st Period Thoughts: Well, we’re less than a minute into the game, and we already have an excuse in the making. That being that the Wild arrived in Boston late last night while the Bruins were at home and asleep in their beds. But at least we have chances on both ends of the ice. With the way things were looking in that first minute, I was worried that we were going to spend the entire night in our own zone. So far, the Wild have been finding ways of not only getting the puck into the offensive zone, but have even managed a couple of shots on goal. It also seems like Alex Stalock is looking to play a mobile game, which I am not comfortable with. The Bruins have some players where it seems like they can score whenever they want (think of the 25 goals by David Pastrnak), with that in mind, I would be far more comfortable if Stalock would remain in his crease as much as possible. Yet even that wish isn’t enough, because even when he does stay in the goal, a nice screen and a deflection gets Danton Heinen on the scoreboard for the first goal of the night. Yet while it seemed early on that Minnesota was going to be able to get decent shots on goal, after they got the first three shots of the game, they hadn’t been able to tally any more. And as the old adage goes, you can’t score if you don’t shoot. The first power play of the night would go to Minnesota after Zdeno Chara interfered with Jordan Greenway. But like the limited shots on goal have been, they didn’t get one shot on goal during the man advantage. The longer this period continues with Minnesota’s limited shots on goal, it feels like it’s just allowing Boston to give a speed demonstration: skating, passing, and shooting. This of course forces the Wild to just try to hold on and try to keep up. I’m tired of playing catch up. And there’s more catch up to be had, with a goal by Brad Marchand which he was able to get by grabbing a rebound off of the back boards. Unfortunately for all involved, there’s still over eight minutes remaining in the period. This makes me wonder if we’ll see Devan Dubnyk at some point during the night. Sadly, even when the Wild get the puck into the offensive zone, they’re being kept to the perimeter, and they’re not even allowed to get a low percentage shot. So far, the two Wild skaters who have tried to make things happen, are the two guys with Boston connections, Greenway and Charlie Coyle. Both have had their chances, and it’s imperative that someone makes something happen, so why not one of them. Boston’s Kevan Miller would take the next penalty for holding Nino Niederreiter. Again like the rest of the game, Minnesota is finding it difficult to set anything up. The power play would be short-lived, with Eric Staal getting called for tripping goaltender Tuukka Rask. That power play would prove deadly, earning Jake DeBrusk the first power play goal the Wild have given up on this road trip. As the Wild head into the locker room down 3-0, you have to wonder if they have anything left in the tank, heck even to just keep more goals from being scored.
2nd Period Thoughts: Again, the Wild got the first three shots on goal in the period. They get those shots, and then Boston is able to either break up the passes or get them back to the perimeter. It’s a very effective way to stop any attempts by Minnesota to tip the momentum their way. Like a friend of mine said, should the Wild lose this one (which seems likely with how things are going and how they look in general), this is still a 3-1 road trip. It’s a win all around, and at this point, we need to take those small steps forward where we can get them. It looked like the Wild were going to have just a hope with a shot by Jared Spurgeon and then Luke Kunin deflecting the puck to then Coyle standing near the crease hoping to get the puck as it trickled between Rask’s pads. Unfortunately, Rask was up to the task and didn’t allow any puck movement. Minnesota would head back to the penalty kill, with Zach Parise getting called for tripping. The Bruins wouldn’t waste time, with Patrice Bergeron making it 4-0 Boston. So as you can probably tell, I’m already thinking about this road trip being over. Yes, it’s been successful, but it’s time to get back home. Time go get back to game starting in Central Time. I do like the occasional Eastern Time start, but it also takes away a little time between work and start time. Minnesota would get the next power play after John Moore got called for interference after shoving Kunin into the goal. And just like Minnesota’s previous two power plays, it looks like they’re not going to be able to get anything set up, which is funny because they’re so slow and deliberate with anything they do. When you take so much time to get things done and then have nothing to show for that time, that’s when the frustration sets in. With just over two minutes remaining in the period, again I’m feeling like I can’t wait to get out of this period. Thankfully we didn’t allow more goals than the Bergeron goal.
3rd Period Thoughts: I guess if there’s a silver lining early in this period, the Wild have almost evened up the shots on goal. But then when you look at the shots, very few of them have been of any decent quality. With the exception of the fourth line, it feels like everyone else is still back in Montreal. They haven’t looked ready (or interested) in playing much of the night. To add insult to injury, when this team is tired (from both the road trip and a back-to-back), they look even slower. Heck, not just look slower, they are slower. It would be nice if the team and its management would decide on an identity for this team. When this team had speedy wingers like Jason Zucker, Erik Haula, and even Jordan Schroeder, this team could get things done. Of course the problem then, is that they were too soft. Now we’ve added size and lost speed, but I can’t say that we’ve really gained physical players. Sure Greenway and Nick Seeler can be physical, but there are still other bigger players who continually don’t play their size well. It would be nice if this team could figure out what they want (and find a nice balance) and then actually buy in and execute that style. One sad side effect to this game, is that after the great work in the first three games of the road trip, and getting back into the playoff picture last night, they’re most likely going to lose that wild card spot in the next day or so. While both Anaheim and Vancouver are off tonight, either one can easily leapfrog Minnesota. The only ace up the Wild’s sleeve are the games in hand that they possess. Time to get back to Minnesota. Time to get some rest. Time to regroup.
Wild Notes:
~ The Wild roster tonight was as follows: Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin, Marcus Foligno, J.T. Brown, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Greg Pateryn, Nick Seeler and Nate Prosser. Alex Stalock got the start with Devan Dubnyk serving as back up.
~ The 3 Stars of the Game were: 1st Star, Tuukka Rask; 2nd Star, Patrice Bergeron; 3rd Star, Brad Marchand
~ Attendance was 17,565 at TD Banknorth Garden.
Iowa Wild Report:
Record (20-8-4-3)  47pts  1st in AHL Central
20.3% Power Play (12th in the AHL)
84.8% Penalty Kill (6th in the AHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #25 Justin Kloos ~ 12G 15A = 27pts
2. #9 Cal O’Reilly ~ 5G 22A = 27pts
3. #23 Mason Shaw ~ 3G 18A = 21pts
4. #42 Kyle Rau ~ 8G 12A = 20pts
5. #36 Colton Beck ~ 12G 7A = 19pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #17 Mike Liambas ~ 75 PIM’s
2. #37 Hunter Warner ~ 42 PIM’s
3. #21 Carson Soucy ~ 38 PIM’s
Top Goaltenders:
1. #34 Kaapo Kahkonen (10-4-4)  2.28GAA  .922%SP  5SO
2. #35 Andrew Hammond (9-4-1)  2.92GAA  .907%SP
Recent Score: Iowa 2, Rockford 6
YouTube Highlights

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Spitballing to find a Cup winner

How many times have you heard it? It’s nearly impossible to win a Stanley cup two years in a row. It’s hard just to be a viable contender two years in a row, really. Playing those extra few months that a team like the Devils don’t have to play takes a lot out of a team. Thus, it behooves a team that successful the year before gets out to a very hot start before time catches up to them.
It’s still possible, of course, to circle back and make a late season run if your team had been deep into the playoffs the year prior, but as injuries and fatigue catch up, it becomes increasingly difficult to bounce back. The real contenders for the Cup this year are the teams that were good last year that are off to good starts this year.
The most obvious contender this year would be the Tampa Bay Lightning, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference this year. They have a couple of the best players in the league in Stephen Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, all while Brayden Point is leading the team in scoring. The team is good, young, and well positioned to recuperate through the middle of the season.
Of last year’s semifinalists, there isn’t anyone off to the start Tampa is. Neither of the Stanley Cup Finalists from 2018 are even in playoff position, with both Vegas and Washington well on the outside and looking in. Winnipeg would be a Wild Card in the west. One has to like the younger, slightly fresher Winnipeg in an attempt to recapture their magic.
If we expand our search to the quarterfinals from 2018, the potential field of threatening teams grows a little bit. Boston is snuggled into third in the Metro, while San Jose, the Western Conference Champ three years ago, and Nashville, the Western Conference Champ 2 years ago, are in third and first in their respective divisions. If you wanted me to pick this years potential Champion, and you gave me five options, those would be them. Tampa, Winnipeg, Boston, Nashville or San Jose.
Knowing my history, though, you are probably better off taking the field.

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The Most Deserving Hockey Hall Of Famer

After a puck smacked him in the face at age 19, blinding his right eye, he remained close-lipped regarding his impairment so no doctor would deem him unfit to play.
He was attacked by a throng of racist fans at Madison Square Garden who attempted to jerk him into the stands after they pulled his jersey over his head.
”People were grabbing at me, yelling at me, using all the old, ugly words, I was punching, kicking. I wasn’t going to let them pull me into the stands.”
The Boston Bruin forward had gone hard into the boards in the defensive zone of the Rangers. The wire mesh, which protected the fans from the puck and the players from the fans, had given way, and he was fed to an angry mob.
The New York Times tells us:
“The racial epithets burned in his ears. Beer ran down his neck. And a lot flashed through his mind before his teammates and opponents finally hauled him back through the fallen barrier.”
”I don’t even like to think now what might have happened had they got me up there. I just came to the conclusion at the time that the only safe place was on the ice.”
Who is this NHL player?
A black man from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada named Willie O’Ree.

O’Ree, the NHL’s first black player will be inducted into the HockeyHall of Fame on Monday as a member of the 2018 class.
He’ll join New Jersey Devils legendary goalie Martin Brodeur,  former Tampa Bay Lightning face of the franchise Martin St. Louis, Russian star Alexander Yakushev, Canadian women’s hockey standout and Canadian Women’s Hockey League Commissioner Jayna Hefford and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman as the Hall’s newest inductees.
O’Ree becomes the third black person enshrined in the Hall of Fame, joining Edmonton Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr and Angela James, a Canadian women’s hockey superstar who is regarded as the female Wayne Gretzky.
He ultimately played just 45 games in the NHL, and 13 years would go by before anyone followed in his trailblazing footsteps.

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The climate O’Ree played in was an intolerant one. Hockey games were attended almost exclusively by whites. The NHL and its minor league teams played a game that promoted violence, especially against a man of color.
After being released by the Bruins in 1961, he never played another NHL game. But his pro career was not finished.
O’Ree spent 14 seasons in the Western Hockey League where he earned two scoring titles, netting 30+ goals four times, with a high of 38.
He played 50 games with the American Hockey League’s New Haven Nighthawks in 1972-73, scoring 20 goals and dishing 24 assists.
At 43 years old, O’Ree played his last game with the San Diego Hawks of the Pacific Hockey League where he scored 21 goals, 23 assists in 53 games.
He will be enshrined because of his work off the ice. O’Ree is responsible for the propagation of minority players and the diversification of the NHL and the sport of hockey itself.
Before Willie O’Ree, only the puck was black.
The NHL has intentionally ignored diversity from its inception and O’Ree has boldly challenged the old white guard.

The NHL can’t erase its racist past, but because of O’Ree, over 45,000 minority kids are enjoying the greatest sport on earth.
It is for these reasons that 83-year-old Willie O’Ree deserves induction more than anyone else.
“This is about the highest award that I’d ever get as far as playing hockey and my work with the ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ program,” O’Ree said.  “I’m blessed.”
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Oilers Gameday – @ Boston

It seems like it has been forever, but the Edmonton Oilers are finally back tonight. They’ll play their second game of the season in Boston as they make their lone visit to the TD Garden. This is the first of two meetings between the teams this season, who will finish the series next Thursday night in Edmonton.
The Oilers had won five straight against the Bruins prior to last season’s 3-2 loss in February when the Oilers blew a 2-0 lead in the third period. In Boston, the Oilers have won three straight games, including the last two in regulation time.
Cam Talbot gets the start for Edmonton, while Jaroslav Halak gets the nod for the home team.
Keys To The Game:
Edmonton: Urgency. The Oilers absolutely need to show some urgency tonight and prove that they weren’t just talking the talk all camp to take the heat off. They need a strong effort tonight and have to push this strong Boston team from the opening faceoff. Show something tonight, because this Boston team hasn’t exactly been playing great hockey so far.
Boston: Assert your speed and skill game. The Bruins aren’t usually known for playing a fast and skilled style, but that’s exactly what they do under Bruce Cassidy. If the Bruins can get rolling early against a weak Edmonton defense, they should be able to create ample scoring chances and, by extension, goals.
Players To Watch:
Edmonton: Milan Lucic scored a goal and tallied an assist in the season opening loss Satruday afternoon. He looked pretty good overall, and I thought he was the best forward not named McDavid for the Oil. Lucic has said all the right things, and you know he’ll be amped up to return to Boston and play against his old team.
Boston: Charlie McAvoy is one of the best young defenders in the NHL today, and will likely be tasked with shadowing Connor McDavid in this hockey game. McAvoy burst onto the scene with a very strong rookie campaign, and the hype surrounding him here in Boston is amazing. He’s a player worth your time, and Oiler fans should keep an eye on him tonight.
The Lines:
Todd McLellan sent Twitter ablaze yesterday with the line combinations he tossed out during practice. It doesn’t sound like all those changes will stick, however. What will is that Kyle Brodziak is a healthy scratch, while Jujhar Khaira shifts to center. Jason Garrison, skating on the third pairing in practice, will once again sit along with Alex Chiasson.
Edmonton Oilers Lines:
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Ty Rattie
Milan Lucic – Leon Draisaitl – Kailer Yamamoto
Drake Caggiula – Ryan Strome – Jesse Puljujarvi
Tobias Rieder – Jujhar Khaira – Zack Kassian
Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning
Kris Russell – Evan Bouchard
Cam Talbot
The Bruins will also be trying some new line combinations tonight, as free agent addition Joakim Nordstrom jumps into the top-six. Ryan Donato will take a seat tonight as a result, while the B’s will also be without Torey Krug, who is on IR.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Joakim Nordstrom
Danton Heinen – David Backes – Anders Bjork
Chris Wagner – Sean Kuraly – Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
John Moore – Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller – Matt Grzelcyk
Jaroslav Halak
Game Notes:
The Oilers have won three straight games in the TD Garden, their longest streak in the building since it opened in the 1990’s. The club is trying to win their sixth game against Boston in seven tries. That would be their best regular season stretch against the Bruins in franchise history.
Jaroslav Halak is making his Bruins home debut tonight. He’s appeared in two games so far, shutting out Buffalo last Thursday night after appearing in relief for Tuukka Rask on opening night. Boston signed him from the New York Islanders on July 1st.
The Oilers are looking to avoid their first 0-2-0 start since 2015-16, when they lost to St. Louis and Nashville in each of their first two contests, also on the road.
Enjoy the game!

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