Tag: boston bruins

Eastern Conference Winners & Losers At The NHL Trade Deadline

The Eastern Conference has been the better of two divisions over the last few years. And looking at the division now with the Tampa Bay Lightning already at the 100 points 62 games into the season, the Eastern Conference has the biggest fish in the sea right now. Which means all the other contending teams have to go out and improve to make themselves compete vs Tampa Bay.

Winners: 

  1. Columbus Blue Jackets: No argument here. The Blue Jackets only have 3 draft picks this draft but they acquire a top-30 NHL player(Matt Duchene), an up and coming forward (Ryan Dzingel) who will need no time to adjust to the NHL as he has proven to be a top-six guy. In addition they add Keith Kinkaid who has had a rough season in New Jersey this year but a lot of that is due to the players in front of him. Never hurts to add a back up goalie. Finally, Adam McQuaid, depth is big in the playoffs and so is physicality and size. The playoffs are a different game and it gets more physical and guys like McQuaid who can kill a penalty and play the number six/seven role on Columbus is a perfect fit. In all honesty, with the way the Penguins and Capitals have looked this season, the Blue Jackets now have a legitimate shot at the Conference finals. As long as the Islanders do not upset them and Sergei Bobrovsky comes to play.
  2. Boston Bruins: The Bruins are well aware that they are not the top-dog in the East anymore. They have to make their roster especially their front end just as good if not better than Tampa Bay and Toronto. They did exactly that by adding Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. Johansson now slots in at line two with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk and Coyle is a third line center. Depth down the middle and on the wing is big. Johansson is not the biggest playoff performer but he is finally getting healthy and could hit his stride here for Boston.
  3. Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres back end is really their biggest concern they lack consistency and depth there is no denying that. Their offense can definitely be more consistent too but the Sabres are losing games 5-4 too often. With the addition of Brandon Montour it really helps bolster this blue line for a possible playoff push but also further down the road. Montour provide his worth at the NHL level last season and has 25 points this season already on pace to surpass his 32 points last season.

Losers: 

  1. Florida Panthers: They are out of a playoff spot perhaps but they needed to do something in my opinion, maybe they are waiting for the off-season but the Panthers have Mike Hoffman, Alexsander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadanov on the front end they should be a better team. Adding some depth up front or a goalie would have been smart but the Panthers again stay still and do not improve and miss the playoffs.
  2. Washington Capitals: Coming off a Stanley Cup and all you add is Carl Hagelin is not going to cut it. Sure, Hagelin has playoff experience and adds some depth but the Capitals have been a disaster on the back end, they needed add some defensive depth and not doing so really hurts them. I don’t think we see this team play the same way they did last playoffs come this playoff run. For sure losers by adding just a bottom-six forward.
  3. Carolina Hurricanes: Currently in a playoff spot, have not made the playoffs in nine years, so much talk about re-location. Give the fans something to look forward too maybe a playoff series that is? Not just the hopes of a playoff spot. The Hurricanes have so much cap room too that they are just not using or waiting to spend on Aho. They did Nino Niederreiter but they need a little more fire power on the front end. A guy like Kevin Fiala could of helped, Tanner Pearson, Derick Brassard, Marcus Johansson. I don’t know for a team that is playing well and has a chance to sneak in and make the playoffs to do nothing is not great. They may have been bounced in the first round but at least making the playoffs gets the fans excited and puts the Hurricanes some what back on the map.
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Wild Forward Charlie Coyle Traded To Boston

The news broke about 40 minutes ago, being that it was very vague at first I was hesitant to post the news. But Bob McKinzie did confirm that Coyle was sent to Boston.

The trade details are as follows. Bruins receive Charlie Coyle, Wild receive Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick.

Coyle played 479 games with the Wild amounting to 242 points (91G, 151A). Coyle was a first round 28th overall draft pick in 2010 by the Sharks until he was sent to Minnesota. Ryan Donato was a 2nd round 56th overall draft pick in 2014 for Boston. He played in 46 NHL games collecting 18 points (11G, 7A). Donato came on the scene last season in the final regular season games for the Bruins.

The Bruins add some offensive upside with Coyle and a much needed right handed shot. Coyle has the potential to play on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk or they can slot him as the 3rd line center. As of now it seems Coyle will be a second line right winger.

This means when David Pastrnak comes back the Bruins top-six will now be Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Coyle, DeBrusk, Krejci a sure upgrade. Donato will probably not see much NHL time with Minnesota this season but 22-years-old and the glimpses we have seen at the NHL level for him so far he has potential to be a second line center/left winger or at minimum a third line center.

Coyle is 26-years-old on a 3.2 million dollar AAV contract (6.4 cap hit) and will become a UFA in 2020 offseason. Coyle has 28 points in 60 games played this season (10G, 18A) and has collected 35+ points in every season since 2014 his best year came in 2016-17 when he tallied 56 points (18G, 38A).

 

Five Teams That Could Use Derick Brassard

Derick Brassard has been under performing a bit since coming to Pittsburgh, but his two years in Pittsburgh are not indicative of who Brassard is as a player nor what he can bring to a team. Brassard is center/left winger, not the fastest player but he holds his own in the quick nature of the game today. At 31-years-old Brassard has 90 playoff games and some Stanley Cup playoff experience.

Brassard started his career in Columbus where he played in 304 games with 169 points until he was shipped to the New York Rangers in 2012 where he made his name in the league. Brassard played 254 games with the Rangers collecting 174 points. Brassard had three seasons in a row with 45+ points until he was sent to Ottawa where he played 139 games with 77 points. Now he is in Pittsburgh bouncing back and forth between the third, second and fourth line. Brassard has spent 1.5 seasons with Pittsburgh 51 games and 22 points later and the Penguins are ready to move on from the aging forward.

Despite his struggles in Pittsburgh Brassard is still a potential 35-40 point player. The pressure in Pittsburgh has been a lot for the forward to handle and he is surrounded by so many great players that he may feel as if he is not getting his fair share. His confidence is surely low, he needs a shake up some new scenery to perhaps give his career one more shot until teams really start giving up on the tenured forward. At 31, 753 regular season games and 90 playoff games, these five teams could use Brassard.

  1. Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers are on a full-court press to make the playoffs. Brassard is not exactly what they are looking for but look at him as a piece to a puzzle, he will fit but they still need one more guy. The Oilers lack forward depth and scoring depth, plus anyone who plays with Connor McDavid is sure to revive their career. Brassard can still score, he has a good shot and is more of a grinding, defensive forward. Which he can come to Edmonton and probably score 25 points along side McDavid. Edmonton would also only need to give up Alex Petrovic, Matthew Benning or a Kyle Brodizak/Zach Kassian type player (one or two of these guys) The Penguins need defense and forward depth.
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are familiar with Brassard and so is John Tortorella. Not to mention the Blue Jackets could certainly use another left winger or center, they have a pretty deep line up but Brassard could slide in with Alex Wennberg/Anthony Duclair or Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno. Columbus could send Anthony Duclair or Josh Anderson over.
  3. Boston Bruins: The Bruins dealt with some injury issues early in the year and could have used Brassard down the middle in November. Still the Bruins are so solid in their top-three but their next two lines are not consistently productive. They have to do a lot of line-swapping to make things work. But Brassard can slide in on the second or third line easily in Boston. Boston can send over one of their bottom six forwards and a pick, the issue is the Bruins are probably weary to get another veteran winger after Rick Nash last year plus they only have 3.8 million in cap space.
  4. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets are a playoff team and a team on the cusp of a Stanley Cup run they need more depth and consistency on their line up. Plus a veteran like Brassard never hurts, his experience goes a long way in the locker room. Brassard can slide in on line three at center with Mathieu Perreault and Branden Tanev. The Jets have a slew of forwards to send, or maybe even Tyler Myers…
  5. Nashville Predators: Much like Winnipeg, Nashville’s is a Stanley Cup team. They are right there, and there time is fading away in my eyes. The Predators have very solid forwards, a good line one and amazing back end but from forward six to nine they could use some work. Brassard can fill in at line two to center Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith. Penguins could get Ryan Hartman or Colton Sissons in return as well.

 

 

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara makes young fans Christmas dream come true!

It was something unusual from a truly unusual person. Zdeno Chara is not just a casual hockey player, he is not only future NHL Hall of famer, or a former Stanley Cup winner. Chara has a big heart and is always ready to offer his everything in order to help the Bruins community.

One hockey fan wrote in November to Bruins fan page in Chara’s home Slovakia. It was a Dad of a young 10-year-old hockey player. Young guy was dreaming of one thing – being as good as Zdeno Chara one day, defenseman is his biggest idol.

Christmas was around the corner and the young guy asked his dad for a simple thing, yet very difficult to obtain. He wanted something with Zdeno Chara, maybe even the most little stuff on Earth with a signature of Big Zee. Dad knew it was going to be very, very tough to fulfil this dream, but eventually he has done it!

Sorry for spoiler, but you can sense the meaning of this great story right from the start and it was not to disappoint one big dream of the little man from Eastern Slovakia. Bruins fan page was there to provide help and wrote an email to Zdeno Chara.

His team was so kind that they responded within half-hour! They asked for the young guy’s address and name. One week before Christmas, Dad received a very nice notice from the post office, it was something from Boston, MA United States.

Zdeno Chara provided the young kid with four signed cards with his own signature and special greetings for the young boy. The promising hockey player could not believe it, he truly thought it was a Christmas miracle and he still thinks it.

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Now this young boy in Slovakia can continue to practice, play hockey and work hard knowing that there is someone, who knows him, and it’s no one bigger than Zdeno Chara (and that is true!). Nice gesture from Big Zee to find a little bit of his time to sign and sends some piece of papers, which mean a world to someone else.

Krejci still got it. How should the Bruins handle him with Bergeron back?

What have been a great sort of solution in the last 7 games for the Bruins might be a huge upcoming problem. David Krejci is back in his prime form we can say. So far this season a Czech center collected 30 points throughout 35 games with the Bruins.

His recent bettered play was mainly producted by his role with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Krejci rides an eight-game point streak, in which he recorded 5 goals and added 6 helpers. Before entering this succesful stretch Krejci had just two goals in his first 28 games this year, he added five tallies in the mean time.

Krejci scored last night against the Anaheim Ducks as well. Since Bruce Cassidy decided to resolve his team´s production with promoting Krejci to the top line, there has been no game without at least one of those guys recorded a point. Just once happened, that all those three players had a point, that was in the loss against the Sabres last Sunday, when Pastrnak went pointless.

That time, before the game against Toronto, the Bruins needed an offensive spark. Second line was not productive and Marchand with Pastrnak seemed lost without Bergeron. When Jake DeBrusk, stable partner for David Krejci, went out, head coach Bruce Cassidy did not hesitate a second, Krejci was centering Marchand and Pastrnak ever since.

Important question for the Bruins

Until now, that trio has received just the praise from everyone and nothing else. But there is one “problem”. Patrice Bergeron might be coming back to the line-up soon, and I mean really soon, maybe even tomorrow when the Bruins host the Predators. And the question is… What to do now?

Logically fans and media would assume that Bergeron will come back to center David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, don’t forget their terrific chemistry from before Bergeron went out this year and last season as well. But there is one even more important thing we got to know.

Boston Bruins Trade Rumors
Krejci has at least a point in 8 straight games, Marchand in 7 and Pastrnak has points in 7 out of his last 8 games

Chemistry is not the most important thing in hockey and even if Krejci has not played a lot throughout his career with Marchand for example, when you put together quality guys, they ought to deliver quality results.

So should the Bruins keep current top line together and play Bergeron as a center between… Backes and Nordstrom? Or play Krejci on bottom lines and get Bergeron back to his usual position? Those are some very tough and intriguing questions for Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff.

Maybe try to play Bergeron between Heinen and Donato as these two have ton of potential? Certainly Patrice Bergeron is better player than David Krejci, but Krejci has started to deliver with quality recipients, he needs to have better wingers than Nordstrom or Heinen (with all due respect, they are not better than Pastrnak or Marchand). Whether you go this way or that way, it’s always 50-50.

One thing might be very clear – doing an experiment for four or five games (at least until Jake DeBrusk comes back) with still not reaching midway point of the year (game number 41 is beyond Winter Classic against Calgary at TD Garden) would definitely not hurt. Until trade deadline there is a wide try-out period for the Bruins. They need to try to do everything possible to make a huge, huge run starting in March.

David Backes hit on Blake Coleman worthy of a suspension or not?

We are back on the suspension train talk here. This one deserves some attention though. In Thursday nights game of the Boston Bruins vs New Jersey Devils, David Backes of the Bruins came in pretty high on a defenseless Devils Blake Coleman. With the way the league has ruled these types of hits it seems it is inevitable that Backes is going to be suspended for at least one game, maximum two. The NHL Player Safety Department did in fact say that Backes will have a hearing for his hit on Coleman. After what happened to Erik Karlsson before Christmas break, Backes is probably getting two games for the hit alone and an additional tax onto that because he is considered a repeat offender for being suspended in March 2018.

As it seems here Backes will have a hearing and more will be announced either later tonight or tomorrow. At most we can see probably 5-6 games the Bruins go without Backes for this hit. Until we hear an official ruling here is the play live. What’s your call?

NHL Rankings; Lightning top the league, Columbus climbing, Nashville downfall

The 1st ranking period of the year! This is pretty simple, the best teams up to this point. But remember when doing these rankings, last weeks games and the last ten are factored into where each team stands. The record next to the teams names are their record in their last ten games. Next ranking period will be done January 20th. 

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (9-0-1) 

  2. Toronto Maple Leafs (6-2-2)

  3. Winnipeg Jets (8-2-0)

  4. Calgary Flames (6-3-1) 

  5. Washington Capitals (7-3-0) 

  6. Columbus Blue Jackets (6-3-1) 

  7. Nashville Predators (4-5-1) 

  8. San Jose Sharks (6-2-2) 

  9. Buffalo Sabres (4-4-2) 

  10. Boston Bruins (6-4-0)