Bruins Look For Third Win in the Big Apple

With tonight being Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semi’s between the Boston Bruins, there are two possible outcomes of the game. The first (and obviously the best) is that the Bruins can go up three games to zero and have a chance to clinch the series on Thursday. The second is the Rangers get their long overdue second win and get their first win of the series, meaning there would definitely be a game five. So now you can see why I’m so pro option one!

Will Krug have another big game? (Credit: Flickr/ Slidingsideways)

Both teams started off today with an optional skate, with most of the Bruins taking part in the skate. Claude Julien had some time with the media this am and let it be known that though Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg have been skating with the team, they will not be in the lineup tonight. Seidenberg, on a positive note, seems like he’ll be ready to go soon enough.

Be Better Bruins (well some of you):
As we know there have been some stars of this series thus far cough cough Torey Krug, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask cough cough. But there’s been a few that just haven’t shined so bright and I’m looking at you Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley, and Tyler Seguin when I say that. The third line struggles seems to be a common theme this season for the Bruins but the playoffs are not the time for that.

On his line, Kelly said:

“We want to stay positive and stay up; obviously it’d be nice to contribute”  (Via Bruins Twitter)

Both Kelly and Peverley have continued to be great faceoff wise but are losing ice time due to every line being a little bit better. And then there’s Seguin. Seggy has had a lot of chances to score during these playoffs but has yet to hit the back of the net. A little more push from this line and I think we’ll see some scoring.

Digging out the Rangers:
When you’re down two games, the only way to go is up right? At least that’s what Coach John Tortorella thinks about his team. He notes that though they lost on Sunday, that they played a lot better from Game One. This is the second series in a row that the Rangers have gone down two. But they came from behind in the last series to beat the Washington Capitals so I expect us to see a new team tonight in New York.

Goalie Showdown:
Though he’s not a Vezina finalist, Rask has been the star for the Bruins thus far. While the team gave up turnover after turnover, Rask stood strong in his net stopping puck after puck. The reason the Bruins were able to hold onto to their lead is due to the tremendous effort in net from Rask. On the other side IS a Vezina finalist who’s finding himself in a strange position. Sunday was the first time in 151 games that Henrik Lundqvist gave up five goals. He also appeared to  have injured his shoulder but in the playoffs everyone gets bumped up. Lundqvist is a goalie goal there’s no disputing that so expect him to shake off Game Two and be back in fighting shape for tonight.

Rookies Rookies Rookies:
The odds are that once again the rookies will be getting the start for Game Three for the Bruins. But this is no longer something to be concerned about as these three rookies are outshining some of the vets. Krug as I mentioned before has scored two goals in two goals, and the only current B’s player to have done that in his rookie year was Seguin. Then there’s Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton. All three defensemen have contributed to scoring in some way in this series and as they get more comfortable on the playoff ice, so does their confidence.

Puck drops tonight at 7:30 and you can check out the action on NBCSN!
For the New York side of things check out Black and Blueshirts!

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Bruins By the Minute

So Monday was hands down one of the most amazing days to be a Boston Bruins fan. With the Bruins moving onto the next round of playoffs, there’s a ton of news that comes along with it. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled it all here in this easy to read post!

CONGRATS QUAIDER!

1: Bruins/ Rangers Schedule:
Now that the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals are over, the B’s are moving onto the semis against the New York Rangers. Here’s the schedule for you to plan your life around.
Game One: Thursday May 16, 7:30pm Rangers @Bruins
Game Two: Sunday May 19, 3pm Rangers @Bruins
Game Three: Tuesday May 21, 7:30pm Bruins @Rangers
Game Four: Thursday May 23, 7pm Bruins @Rangers
Game Five: Saturday May 25, TBD Rangers @Bruins
Game Six: Monday May 27, TBD Bruins @Rangers
Game Seven: Wednesday May 29, TBD Rangers @Bruins

2: Quaider Masterton Finalist
Today the finalist for the Masterton award were announced and Adam McQuaid was one of the three. The finalists are selected by the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association (PHWA). The Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. For Bruins fans it should come as no surprise that McQuaid got the nod considering how his 2013 season went.

Quaider came back to the ice after facing potentially life-threatening blood clots, that stem from a condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Most athletes miss an entire season but McQuaid overcame that and throw perseverance he returned to the team in time for the start of the season.

McQuaid appeared in 32 games where he notched one goal and three assists with 60 penalty minutes and a plus-four rating. He has skated in all seven Bruins postseason games so far, where he has recorded one goal with a plus-three rating, which is second among B’s defensemen.

3: Bergeron Selke Finalist
For the second year in a row Patrice Bergeron has been nominated for the Frank J. Selke Award. Given how Game 7 went Monday night, this nomination is a given. He won last year and this year could make it two-for-two.

Bergeron finished the 2013 regular season leading all NHL players in faceoff percentage. winning puck drops at a 62.1% (549/884) rate. In general, Bergeron is an ideal player to have on any team and the Bruins are very lucky to have him. He finished the regular season with 32 points in 42 games. His 22 assists rank second on the team.

4: Krug Called Up
Torey Krug of the Providence Bruins was recalled and is expected to join the lineup in Game 1 on Thursday night. The young defenseman will have big shoes to fill as many veteran d-men are currently day-to-day with injuries.

Krug skated in 63 regular season games with Providence this season and registered 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points with 37 penalty minutes. He led the defensemen in all of the above stats. This isn’t Krugs first time with Boston but it’s his first playoff wise.

On the playoffs Krug Said:

“This is going to be amazing; looking forward to whatever I can do to help the team” (Via Bruins Twitter).

And that’s all the news we have! Check back tomorrow for a Game 1 preview for the Bruins/Rangers series.
BELIEVE IN BOSTON!

 

 

Providence Playoffs: Heading Down to Hershey

Ryan Spooner at the face off against the Worcester Sharks (Photo Credit: Stephanie Vail/Flickr)

Ryan Spooner at the face off against the Worcester Sharks (Photo Credit: Stephanie Vail/Flickr)

The Providence Bruins currently sit down two games to the Hershey Bears in a 5-game series. For Providence, tonight is do or die.  Despite finishing first in the league with 105 points and 50 wins, statistics mean nothing when it comes to the playoffs.

Throughout the series the Bruins have struggled to find their rhythm and a large part of that is due to team inexperience when it comes to the postseason. There’s no question, when playoffs hit, a switch is flipped and the dirty,gritty game that originated back in the 1800’s comes to light. For the young Providence Bruins squad, this is a feat that many have yet to endeavor unlike their opponent Hershey Bears.

The Hershey Bears have been contenders in the AHL consistently for years. The Bruins haven’t been a factor since 2009. The expectations set forth on a team when they enter the postseason is a completely different mindset, one that the Hershey Bears were prepared to face at the drop of the puck in the first period of Game 1.  For the Bruins it took until the last game to fully understand what they were up against. While they put forward a better effort in Game 2, they still fell short losing in overtime.

Of the six goals the Bruins have scored this season, four of the scorers have appeared in the AHL playoffs before. The veteran presence is attempting to keep the team alive while the rookies who flourished in the regular season, flounder and try to stay above water. The Bruins can’t afford to have guys like Ryan Spooner, Craig Cunningham and Torey Krug ‘find their game’ in a five game series that could easily end in Saturday’s game.  They need to kick it into high gear and fast.

While the Bruins were able to turn things around and make major improvements, there are still plenty more to be made.  Their focus needs to be on containing the veteran AHL forwards that make up the offensive lines for Hershey and finding a way to break through them. If the Bruins can force the turnovers and create breakaway plays, they should be able to break down the Bears young defense and get to the net.

Like Svedberg, the Bears goaltender Phillip Grubauer is also making his playoff debut. The difference between the two, one is making saves while the other one isn’t (obviously).  Svedberg has been a brick wall all season long and is falling short when it comes to keeping his team in games. With the lack of faith and confidence in their goaltending, the Bruins are apt to fall apart. He, like the rest of the playoff-rookies on the team, need to get their heads in the game and push it to the next level if they plan on staying alive.

It’s do or die time for Providence as they head to Hershey to take on the Bears Saturday night.

Providence Playoffs: Weekend Review

ProvidenceThis weekend the Providence Bruins began their journey in the Calder Cup Playoffs against the Hershey Bears. After being deemed the 2012-2013 regular season Champions, they now fight to remain in the running for the Calder Cup, dropping the first two games of the series to the Hershey Bears.

Friday night the Bruins debuted against the Bears at home with Michae Hutchinson between the pipes, resting Niklas Svedberg for the first game of the series.  However, the ‘resting’ was short lived as Svedberg came in to replace Hutchinson after he let in three goals.  Combined the two netminders stopped 30 shots on the evening while Jamie Tardif and Christian Hanson scored the two goals for Providence.

Much like their major league affiliate, penalties killed the Bruins in their first game of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Bears getting an early lead int he first and running away with it through the next forty minutes. Despite a late effort from Providence, the deficit was too much to overcome and they ended up falling 5-2 in game 1.

Game 2 was played Sunday afternoon, this time Svedberg getting the start. In much of the same fashion the Hershey Bears got on the board first, when Stoa put a backhander past Svedberg just 3:14 into the frame. However, despite being down a goal, the Bruins dominated the play and after twenty, led the shots 25-8. Unfortunately, despite full-team efforts they headed into the locker room down 2-1, their best efforts coming from Camper and Tardif ringing the puck off of the post.

1:09 into the middle frame, the Bruins tied up the game with Jordan Caron being on the receiving end of a neutral zone turnover and zipping it up ice to a rushing Craig Cunningham.  Cunningham then fed a pass over to Carter Camper who was able to get the puck across the goal line to give the Bruins a boost of confidence and a fighting chance.  Just past the half way marker the Bears regained the lead, but not for long. Just 20 seconds later Chris Bourque blasted a shot from the blue line and lit the lamp, tying the game once again.

Through the final twenty of regulation the two battled hard for the deciding goal, resulting in each team scoring, sending the game into overtime.

It would be a penalty once again that killed the Bruins as Garnet Exelby took a high sticking call, putting the Bruins at a disadvantage large enough to sway the momentum into Hershey’s favor for Jon DiSalvatore to score the game-winning goal in the remaining 13 seconds of the powerplay.

Both teams now head to Hershey, the Bruins in dire need of a victory to stay alive otherwise they’ll be packing their golfing bags earlier than expected. Their next game is Saturday, May 4 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

Jordan Caron Assigned To Providence

Jordan Caron(Credit:Bridget Samuels/Flickr)

Jordan Caron(Credit:Bridget Samuels/Flickr)

Today the Boston Bruins announced that they have reassigned forward Jordan Caron to the Providence Bruins.  The reassignment is likely due to the anticipation of Patrice Bergeron returning to the lineup, Brad Marchand being cleared for contact and the welcoming of Swedish player Carl Soderberg.

Jordan Caron has had a rocky season, but has been a pivotal piece to the Bruins puzzle in the absence of Bergeron and Marchand. He suited up with Boston for 17 games this season after returning from injury and managed to post a goal and two assists.

Prior to his time in Boston, he began this season with the Providence Bruins, starring in 44 games.  With the minor league affiliate he notched 10 goals, 5 assists and 38 penalty minutes.

Throughout his career in Boston Caron has suited up for 71 games recording 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points.

Bruins Sign Dartmouth College Free Agent

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has just announced that the B’s have signed free agent Matthew Lindblad from Dartmouth College to an entry-level contract. Lindblad will report down to Providence to play for the P-Bruins in the AHL.

Dartmouth forward Matthew Lindblad (Credit: Dartmouth Sports/ Doug Austin)

The Illinois native has just finished up his Junior year at Dartmouth and signing with the Bruins means that he will forgo playing for Dartmouth. Lindblad played in 30 games for Dartmouth (ECAC) this year and registered 10 goals and 18 assists with two penalty minutes. Those 28 points ranked him second on the team.

In three seasons with the Big Green, Lindblad played in 89 games for 29 goals and 51 assists.

Before playing in Dartmouth, Lindblad played for the United States Hockey League with Sioux Falls and Chicago. In his time with the Sioux Falls Stampede, he was at the top of the league in terms of scoring (24 goals, 46 assists).

Scoring wise it looks like the 23-year-old could be an asset to both the Providence and Boston organizations. It’ll take a few years in the system but someday we could see Lindblad playing in Boston.

Bruins Trade Deadline Transactions

Welcome to trade deadline day for the NHL! While the Boston Bruins signed Jaromir Jagr earlier this week in exchange for Lane MacDermid not much else went down for the Black and Gold (I refuse to speak about the trade gone bad). But with today being the end of any sort of player trading, Peter Chiarelli and Co. cracked down and made some moves that’ll hopefully help with the B’s quest for the cup!

Welcome to Boston Wade! (Credit: Flickr/ CS Smith)

At one pm today it was confirmed that the Boston Bruins had traded Providence Bruins player Max Sauve to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Rob Flick. Flick has most recently been playing for the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate the Rockford IceHogs. He has played in 51 games this season for the IceHogs and has registered three goals and two assists with 97 penalty minutes.

The London Ontario native was drafted in the fourth round (120th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. While Flick hasn’t contributed much scoring wise, he’s 6-foot-2 and over 200 pounds and has no problem throwing his weight around. In his first two AHL seasons alone, he’s racked up over 100 PIMs.

Flick will most likely head to Providence for the next few years to build but there’s no doubt that he’ll most likely be there if the Bruins are looking for a call up.

In a late trade, the B’s also acquired defenseman Wade Redden from the St. Louis Blues  in exchange for a conditional seventh round draft pick in 2014. However, if Redden plays in one or more games during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Bruins, that draft pick will change to a sixth round.

Redden is a former teammate of Captain Zdeno Chara and center Chris Kelly. He will serve as a strength defenseman that could come in handy as the Bruins head towards playoffs. This year, Redden appeared in 23 games with the Blues, scoring two goals and three assists with 11 penalty minutes. The 35-year-old has skated in 1017 NHL games between the  Ottawa Senators (1995-2008), New York Rangers (2008-2010) and the St. Louis Blues (2012-2013).

Overall it wasn’t the trade that’ll make headlines, but these are deals that could help the Bruins with the rest of this season  and in the future.