What To Expect of The 2017- 2018 Bruins

Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins - Game Six

Photo credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images

Tonight hockey returns to Boston as the Bruins open their season against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the TD Garden. The Bruins did not make many additions this offseason as their biggest signing was the resigning of their young star David Pastranak who had a career high 34 goals last year. The Bruins were somewhat limited this offseason as they had 10 million in cap space. 6.6 million of that will go to Pastranak with his new extension that will keep him in Boston for the next six years. The Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney is hoping the younger players can step up and justify his choice to not bring in much outside help. Some young players the Bruins are counting on include Anders Bjork, Jake Debrusk, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlson. The Bruins are hoping these young players can be the Bruins future as veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are all in the latter part of their careers.

This Bruins team is predicted by many to make the playoffs and they certainly have the talent. They will need the young players to step up because if they don’t this offense will have a very hard time scoring. It also key for the Bruins that backup goalie Anton Khudobin builds on his exceptional ending to last season. The Bruins number one goalie Tuukka Rask posted a career high in wins last year however for the third straight season his save percentage dipped. In recent years Rask has been burdened with a heavy workload leading to a decline in some of his numbers. This has caused many to question if he still is one of the top goaltenders in the league. If Khudobin can give the Bruins 20-25 starts that will give Rask more rest and will allow him to return to his Vezina form which the Bruins will need come playoff time.

Bruins fans could be in store for a very exciting year if these young players play to their potential. If they do not it could be a long season and the Bruins may find themselves rebuilding by the end. Tonight is when he games start to count and the Bruins will be looking to start with a win and two points.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#NHL #Bruins

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Bruins Out To Prove Doubters Wrong

Torey Krug, Antti Niemi

Photo Credit: Joe Haggerty

The Boston Bruins enter today hanging onto the final wild card spot by three points with five games remaining. The team behind them the Tampa Bay Lighting has one more game left than the Bruins. The B’s have not made the playoffs in two seasons and have suffered disastrous collapses in both of those. As of late it looked like the Bruins were doomed to repeat that fate as they lost four straight from March 16th-23rd.  Not only were they losing but the games were not particularly close and starting goaltender Tuukka Rask pulled himself from the game against the Lighting causing head coach Bruce Cassidy to call out his goaltender.  Since that game that ended in a 6-3 loss to the Lighting this team has looked different.

After last night’s win the Bruins have won two straight and it all starts with the Bruins net minder Tuukka Rask.  After the Lighting game many people criticized Rask and called him out for not showing up for big games.  Last year Rask sat out the last game  due to sickness with the season on the line. Rask reminded people last night why he is so crucial to the Bruins as he recorded his seventh shutout of the season in the Bruins 2-0 win over the  Dallas Stars . In recent years the Bruins have struggled to find a capable backup to Rask meaning Rask has been forced to play more than he should. This has caused Tuukka to not be as fresh at the end of the season when the Bruins need him the most. Lately, Rask has been able to get that essential rest as since new coach Bruce Cassidy took over,  Rask’s backup Anton Khudobin has not lost a start.

With the standings so close every game down the stretch is crucial for this team. If they miss the playoffs after collapsing for a third straight year there will be a lot of changes for this roster and management heading into next season. This team is trying to avoid that and after looking flat in their previous four games they look more determined than ever. The Bruins play in a city that expects excellence and in which every other team is annually making the playoffs. They are trying to avoid being the team that doesn’t and if they can continue to win over these final games then playoff hockey will return to Boston.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#Bruins #Boston #DallasStars

Bruins Fire Claude

claudie

Photo Credit: Adam Stocker

On Tuesday the Boston Bruins fired head coach Claude Julien who has the most wins in franchise history. Julien won 416 games during his ten years with the franchise including seven postseason appearances. Julien also coached the Bruins to two Stanley cup finals including winning it all in 2011. The last two years have gone differently however as the Bruins have missed the playoffs and after a extremely disappointing 6-5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday the Bruins sit one point out of a playoff spot. Julien’s firing  is not because he is a bad coach. He is one of the best in the league and isn’t expected to be out of a job for long. There were however multiple factors that caused Bruins ownership to go in a new direction.

Some of the Bruins inconsistency so far this year is a result of key players who just haven’t lived up to expectations. These players include David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner, and David Backes. Krejci and Bergeron both began the season coming off injuries which could explain their slow starts. Even with that considered both have played well under expectations as they are projected to finish with numbers under their career norms. Last year Ryan Spooner had a breakout year however this year has been very different. At certain times this year the young center has been called out by Julien and the coaching staff for not playing to his potential. As a result he has been moved along different lines in order to get his game going but to no avail. The last underperforming veteran in this group is David Backes. The Bruins signed  him in the offseason to a 5 year 30 million dollar deal. Through 47 games this year however Backes only has 22 points. Backes has never been none as a high scorer however he usually finishes with about 60 points a season and he is  projected to finish this season  with only 34 points . As the Bruins offense struggles an improvement from any of these players would be a huge boost.

The Bruins also have had problems with their goaltending as the Bruins backup goalies have won one game this year. This has put a tremendous amount of pressure on Tuukka Rask as the Bruins ability to give him days off have been limited. Many point to these problems as a result of Julien however that is not the case. No coach makes seven straight postseason appearences based on luck. Julien has always been a defensive minded coach however the NHL is now faster paced and a person can only change their coaching tendenices so much. Julien is partly to blame for the Bruins fall from excellence however he is not the only one. Julien should be remembered fo all that he did for the Bruins as his accomplishments during his ten years in Boston far out way his failures.

Written by: Jamie Gatlin

 

The Emergence Of Pastranak

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins

Photo credit: Andrew Thompson

Twenty seven  games into the season the Boston Bruins forward David Pastrank appears to be in midst of a historic season. His 16 goals to this point of the season  place him third in the league in goals scored and put him on pace to score 5o this season. When Pastranak first made his debut all people would talk about was his size. The Bruins drafted the young forward in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft twenty fifth overall. He made his debut later that season and in 46 games recorded ten goals and seventeen assists for twenty seven points. Pastranak has never been the biggest body on the ice and during his rookie season many people questioned what would happen if he took a big hit. Three years later Pastrank  is showing why he is a key part of the Bruins future and he emphasized that on Monday with his overtime winner against the Florida Panthers.

In overtime Pastranak took a pass from David  Krejci and drove towards the net deking out the Panthers goalie and burying the game winner. On a play that would be difficult for most  Pastrnak made it look effortless. Pastranak has carried the Bruins offensively as they rank near in the bottom in most offensive categories. This is because the Bruins are not getting the usual production from key players such as Patrice Bergeron and Ryan Spooner who have struggled to put the puck in the net. Before the season all the talk was about Brad Marchand as he signed an extension with the Bruins after a breakout season  and an outstanding World Cup performance for team Canada. So far this season most of the talk for the Bruins  has been about Pastranak establishing himself as one of the best young stars in the game and the return to dominance of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. In Pastrnak’s first two years in the NHL the most goals he scored in a season was 15 and 27 games into the 2016-2017 Pastranak has already set a new career high with 16 and counting. If the Bruins are going to return to the playoffs this year they’ll need their young defenseman to keep maturing and Patrice Bergeron to return to his form as the best two-way forward in the NHL. Pastranak however  has shown early on that he can carry a team and is showing no signs of slowing down.

#Bruins

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

Young Bruins Goaltenders Will Need To Step Up

 

marchy

 

Photo Credit: Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Bruins ended this week on a high note with a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night. The previous games did not go as well as the Bruins  lost to the Minnesota  Wild 5-0 on Tuesday night and followed that up with another disappointing performance against the New York Rangers Wednesday night. In the game against the wild Malcom Subban got the start however he didn’t even finish the second period. With backup goaltender Anton Khudobin out for three weeks and Rask playing through an injury it will be time for the rookies to step up.

What Went Right: Very few things went well this week. The only bright spot was the return of Rask. Rask has been battling an undisclosed injury all year and this week was the first time in the young season he was forced to miss consecutive games.With Khudobin’s injury the Bruins goaltending depth becomes thin and it well be up to rookie Zane McIntrye to back up Rask. His play will be critical as with  Rask hurting the Bruins may lean on the rookie more than expected. Brad Marchand continued his hot start as he recorded an assist in the Bruins game against the Rangers.

What Went Wrong: The Bruins wont look back on their games against the Wild and Rangers this week proudly. The Bruins were plagued by defensive breakdowns which was their Achilles heel last year. The young goalies also did not perform well as in the game against the Wild Subban was pulled in the second period after allowing 3 goals on 13 shots. In Subbans only NHL start last year he was also pulled in the second period due to ineffectiveness. The Bruins will also be without David Pastrnak for another game after he received a 2 game suspension due to his illegal check to the head of Dan Girardi in the Bruins game against the Rangers. So far Pastrnak has been the Bruins second best forward.

Highlight: Rask returned to the Bruins on Saturday and showed why they missed him so much as he made 24 saves en route to his 31st career shutout. If Rask can play to his potential then there will be less pressure on the Bruins D. The Bruins cant let Defensive breakdowns occur as they showed on Saturday that when focused they can be a good defensive team. How the Bruins D minimizes those defensive breakdowns will determine how far this team goes.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#Bruins

 

Bruins Weekly

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Photo Credit: WINSLOW TOWNSON/USA TODAY SPORTS

In the second week of this young hockey season the Bruins played 3 games including their home opener. The Bruins went 2-1 beating Winnipeg and New Jersey but lost to their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens last night. The Bruins received a boost on Thursday as Patrice Bergeron made his season debut and came through in the clutch as always as he scored the goal that gave the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Devils. On Saturday the B’s struggled however as a poor second period doomed them for the rest of the game. Defenseman Torey Krug said, ” we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead”, Krug is right as having to comeback every game  is not a formula for success.

What Went Right: The Bruins got back a critical piece in Bergeron as he returned to the lineup and his place on the first line. As a result David Backes was moved down to the Bruins second line. Tuukka Rask started in net against the Devils and Jets. The Bruins won those games by a score of 2-1 and 4-1. Rask’s play is critical as if he can return to his form of a couple years ago then he may be able to carry this team as the young defenseman develop. Brad Marchand continued his hot start to the season as he had an assist against the Jets and a goal and assist against the Devils. With Bergeron returning from injury the Bruins top line could be one of the most dangerous in the league as the season continues.

What Went Wrong: Even though the Bruins looked good against the Jets and Devils the same cannot be said for their game against the Canadiens. The Bruins missed a couple chances and allowed a shorthanded goal. So far this team has showed its resiliency by coming back from early deficits however that is not a formula that will get them back into the playoffs. They must be more consistent on the defensive end however growing pains are expected this season as the Bruins are counting heavily on their young defenseman to step up.

Highlight: Bergeron returned with a bang on Thursday night. He showed why he was missed so much and came through in the clutch. With him back in the mix this potent Bruins offensive will only improve

Analysis: The Bruins are off to a good start however it is already obvious that improvements defensively will determine how far this team will go. They have the offense and goaltending to compete with any team in the East. Their next game is on Tuesday October 25th against the Wild and look for them to be highly motivated as they are coming of a very disappointing loss.

#Bruins

 

 

Boston Sports Back On Top

 

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Credit:Getty Images

Today Boston sports fans woke up in a pretty good place. The Red Sox are one game away from clinching their division and the injury riddled Patriots are 3-0. In the past sixteen years Boston sports team have won nine championships.They’ve also appeared in eleven championship games; That’s more than some sports fans see in a lifetime. This year Boston sports are poised to remind the world why Boston has taken on the name titletown. The Red Sox have already clinched a postseason berth and the Patriots are poised to go 4-0 before Brady’s return when many predicated them to go 2-2 without the franchise QB. However those are not the only Boston teams with high expectations. The Celtics have high expectations after the signing of center Al Horford. The signing of Horford changed the stigma that big free agents wouldn’t signed in Boston. Finally there’s the Bruins who just locked up forward Brad Marchnad to an eight year deal. Marchand is coming of a season in which he had a career high in points with 61 as he scored 37 goals to go with 24 assists. One could say that its pretty good time to be a Boston sports fan.

For many sports cities most people are content if one of their teams are competitive in Boston that’s not how it goes. Recent years have raised the expectations in Boston as every year one of these teams seems to be in the playoffs. That is due to tremendous front offices and star players such as Mookie Betts, Isiah Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, Tom Brady, David Ortiz, and many more. Over the past years these teams have also had an uncanny ability to make every year interesting no matter the situation. It all started with the Patriots winning three championships from 2002- 2005 in dramatic fashion. From their expectations only rose as the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 and the Celtics experienced high expectations  during the Big Three era. Boston sports teams however have not always been favored like the 2011  Bruins who weren’t predicated to win the cup, the 2004 Red Sox who stunned the world and came back from 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees in a best of seven series, and the 2013 Red Sox who rallied around the Boston Marathon bombings on their way to winning the World Series. One of the reasons players love playing in Boston is because the atmosphere is unlike any other. That tends to happen when every year your city’s sports teams find a way to shock the world and sports is like religion. With Red Sox having their postseason tickets booked the other Boston sports teams will be looking to follow suit and for the Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins expectations remain high as a couple championships may be on the way.

#RedSox #Celtics # Bruins #Patriots