DJ, Joey Mac and Pete Blackburn are back for another season of Sunday Skate! The guys discuss the Winter Classic disaster that took place nine days ago at Gillette Stadium before getting into the current state of the Bruins. The guys think this team is exactly where they thought they would be at this point of the season, but would maybe like to see some more fire and emotion from key players.

Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Joe McDonald and Pete Blackburn is back and so is the interactive live chat. Ask questions, make Photoshops, do whatever. Listen to the show here from 8-9 a.m.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: ‘The First Hour’s the Only Hour’ edition
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI

The Bruins dropped a close game in Ottawa Saturday, falling to the Senators by a 2-1 score at Canadian Tire Center to allow Ottawa to gain ground in the Atlantic Division.

David Pastrnak scored the only for the Bruins, who dropped to 2-5-1 in their last eight games.

The Bruins dropped a close game in Ottawa Saturday, falling to the Senators by a 2-1 score at Canadian Tire Center to allow Ottawa to gain ground in the Atlantic Division.

David Pastrnak scored the only for the Bruins, who dropped to 2-5-1 in their last eight games.

Loui Eriksson had two Grade-A chances in overtime but was unable to bury them. The first came when Ryan Spooner forced a turnover in the defensive zone that led to a breakaway for Eriksson. Craig Anderson came up big, however, stopping Eriksson’€™s bid. Later in overtime, Eriksson hit the post on a 2-on-1 with Spooner.

After Eriksson hit the post, the play went the other way, leading to a Mark Stone wraparound bid that Tuukka Rask robbed with a stick save. Given the space allowed by the 3-on-3 overtime format, Stone was able to bury the rebound to secure the win.

By getting a point, the Bruins were able to stay ahead of the Senators in the Atlantic, but the B’€™s still sit fourth in the division with 47 points on the season. Boston does have games in hand on the top three teams in the division, however.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

MARCHAND RETURNS

Brad Marchand made his return from a three-game suspension that had kept him out of game action for 10 days.

The 27-year-old was well-behaved against the Senators (it was against Ottawa that Marchand hit Mark Borowiecki to earn the suspension) as he slotted into his usual spot to the left of Patrice Bergeron. In addition to putting in the grunt work on the Bruins’€™ only regulation goal, he turned on the jets in overtime to beat Patrick Wiercioch to create a scoring chance in overtime.

With David Krejci out, Marchand had worn the Bruins’ second ‘A’ on his sweater in the game that earned him his suspension. Upon returning to the lineup, that ‘A’ was still being worn by Eriksson.

PASTRNAK SCORES

David Pastrnak’€™s second game back from a foot injury and a trip overseas saw him return to the score sheet, as the 19-year-old redirected a Zdeno Chara wrist shot past Craig Anderson 41 seconds into the second period to tie the game at one goal apiece.

The goal came as a result of Brad Marchand winning a battle along the wall in the offensive zone. The offensively gifted Pastrnak has long appeared to be a good fit for Patrice Bergeron and Marchand’€™s line, and the trio’€™s performance Saturday provided a good case as to why.

RASK KEEPS THEM IN IT

Tuukka Rask had to be on his A-game on Saturday and he was. As Ottawa generated ample chances throughout the game, Rask allowed only a first-period Mika Zibanejad breakaway goal that came as a result of a blocked shot followed by outstanding skating and playmaking from Erik Karlsson.

Rask stopped 31 of the 32 shots he saw in regulation before stoning Karlsson from the left circle in overtime. Stone’€™s goal probably wouldn’€™t happen in 5-on-5, as someone would be there to clear out the rebound.

CONNOLLY SITS

Marchand’€™s return to the lineup figured to bump Brett Connolly to the fourth line, but Claude Julien opted to keep Randell in the lineup and scratch Connolly.

Connolly is slumping badly offensively, as he has just one goal in his last 29 games and has gone 17 consecutive games without a goal. Considering the amount of time he’€™s been given with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the lack of scoring from 23-year-old is alarming.

Saturday marked the second time this season that Connolly has been made a healthy scratch, as he was also given press box duty on Oct. 17 in Arizona. Zac Rinaldo and Joe Morrow were Boston’€™s other scratches Saturday.

Here’€™s how the lines and pairings looked with Marchand’€™s return and Connolly’€™s benching:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
Beleskey-Spooner-Eriksson
Vatrano-Kemppainen-Hayes
Ferraro-Talbot-Randell

Chara-Trotman
Seidenberg-Colin Miller
Krug-Kevan Miller
Rask

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
DJ Bean and Ken Laird discuss Friday night's 4-1 road win in New Jersey to start off their five-game road trip

[0:00:11] ... Washington game Tuesday was was not real good. They start this long road trip six games in nine nights no martian know Craig cheek. They would tonight 41. I guess the big story coming in Italy ...
[0:06:27] ... not need to play drew well Politico gave it. And yielding the road trip continues here tomorrow night got a little B of a more emotional game and get martian backcourt so look forward to some more fireworks tomorrow night. Thought you feel. You're well aware of which are plague that would give it can't do tomorrow Andre technically that. Boards yet ski right the pronunciation it's more if he's got a got a bit Rick back Derrick Todd do. Like yeah DJ being tailored to be I don't come a close game but yes we are presented by AT&T. ...




The Bruins began their five-game road trip with a 4-1 win over the Devils Friday night at the Prudential Center.

The Bruins began their five-game road trip with a 4-1 win over the Devils Friday night at the Prudential Center.

The B’€™s got a goal and an assist from both Ryan Spooner and Colin Miller and Jonas Gustavsson stopped 19 of the 20 shots he saw on the night for the Bruins’€™ second win in their last seven games.

Friday saw the return of David Pastrnak, who played in just his 11th game of the season after going down with a foot injury in late October. Pastrnak skated on the Bruins’€™ first line with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson. The 19-year-old finished the game with no points and one shot on goal.

The Bruins will continue their road trip Saturday when they face the Senators in Ottawa. Here are four more things we learned Friday:

SPOONER SETS NEW HIGH IN GOALS

Ryan Spooner scored eight goals in 24 games after his late-February callup last season, a key reason why both he and the Bruins were eager to reunite on a two-year deal this summer. On Friday, he surpassed that goal total amidst what’€™s been a promising offensive stretch for him.

Spooner scored from the top of the zone in the second period Friday to give him nine goals on the season. With a goal and an assist, Spooner extended his points streak to four games (one goal, five assists).

Now at 28 points through 39 games, Spooner is on pace for 59 points this season. As Twitter follower ETD51 pointed out, that total would have led the Bruins last season.

VATRANO GETS BACK TO SCORING

Frank Vatrano had registered points in just three of his first 24 games. He’€™s now at four in 25.

Vatrano picked up his sixth goal of the season Friday by putting a rebound of a Colin Miller shot past Cory Schneider. Speaking of Colin Miller’€¦

POINTS COME BACK FOR MILLER

Colin Miller scored his first goal since late November and picked up his second multi-point performance of the season.

Adam McQuaid’€™s absence should lead to a bit more lineup consistency on the back end, as the Bruins usually have eight defensemen when everyone is healthy, resulting in guys going in and out. Miller has been deserving of a full-time job, and he should be able to have that if he keeps producing.

MARCHAND’€™S SUSPENSION UP

Friday marked the third and final game of Brad Marchand‘€™s three-game suspension. He is eligible to return to the lineup Saturday against the same Senators team against whom he committed his infraction late last month.

Because Marchand was still on the Bruins’€™ roster during his suspension, the Bruins will not need to send anybody down for him to return to the lineup.

Marchand’€™s return to the lineup could bump David Pastrnak to Joonas Kemppainen’€™s line and Brett Connolly down to the fourth line. Connolly has gone 17 games without a goal.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The family of Boston Pride forward Denna Laing, who suffered a serious spinal injury the Outdoor Women’€™s Classic at Gillette Stadium last Thursday, has issued a statement on the status of the player.

The family of Boston Pride forward Denna Laing, who suffered a serious spinal injury the Outdoor Women’€™s Classic at Gillette Stadium last Thursday, has issued a statement on the status of the player.

Jerilyn and Dennis Laing revealed that the 24-year-old Marblehead native and Princeton product has limited use of her arms and no use of her legs.

“Denna was thrilled to be taking part in the inaugural season of the National Women’€™s Hockey
League and was absolutely delighted to be one of the pioneers in a breakthrough moment for
her sport — the Outdoor Women’€™s Classic. Tragically, Denna suffered a severe spinal cord injury
playing the sport she loves,”€ Jerilyn and Dennis Laing said in a statement. “As of today, Denna has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs. Our prayer going forward is that Denna can be moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a Rehabilitation Center and continue to fight everyday with her trademark grit and resolve.

“With respect to her long term prognosis, right now there are more questions than
answers. We have received an incredible outpouring of love and support from countless friends
and family members while we try to navigate this overwhelming situation. We are eternally
grateful to everyone who continues to offer support as we take on this challenge together.”

The NHL also weighed in on the status of Laing as a number of statements were released simultaneously on Friday evening.

“Everyone at the National Hockey League, including the Boston Bruins and Montreal
Canadiens
, joins Denna Laing’€™s coaches, teammates, friends and fans in wishing Denna the
very best as she confronts the challenges ahead,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “While we are certain Denna will be served well by the tenaciousness that is her trademark, we also will work with the Laing family to rally the support of the hockey family during Denna’s rehabilitation.

“We have withheld comment to this point out of respect for the wishes of the Laing family and
will continue to honor those wishes going forward.”

Following are other statements on Laing that were released Friday:

NHL Commissioner Dani Rylan:

“The players, teams, coaches, management and staff of the National Women’€™s Hockey League
are united in their support of Denna Laing and her family. To reflect our admiration for her as a
player and our appreciation for her contribution to the NWHL’€™s first season, we are working with
the Laings, our business partners and others to respond compassionately and appropriately to
her injury. We will announce further details as soon as plans are formalized. Denna’s drive to
excel has inspired teammates and coaches alike; in honor of that attribute, I have directed our
teams to wear a helmet sticker bearing her uniform number, 24.’€

Cam Neely:

“On behalf of the Jacobs family I would like to extend the full support of the Boston Bruins to
Denna and the Laing family. The New England hockey community is an incredibly strong group, and we know the assistance that will be provided to Denna and her family will be unwavering both in the immediate future and throughout the various stages of treatment.”

The Kraft family:

“The Kraft family and entire Gillette Stadium community were deeply saddened to learn of the
extent of Denna Laing’€™s injuries. Our prayers remain with Denna and her family in the hope that
she will soon be able to transition to a rehabilitation center that will enable her to continue to improve. We will keep Denna and her family in our prayers throughout her rehabilitation
process.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

It looks like the Bruins are going to use David Pastrnak the right way.

After recalling the 19-year-old scorer from Providence, the Bruins skated Pastrnak on the right wing of Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line in Thursday’€™s practice. Loui Eriksson was at left wing, as Brad Marchand will serve the final game of his three-game suspension Friday night.

The line is extremely intriguing. Playing Pastrnak on Bergeron’€™s line has always seemed to make sense (see: Tyler Seguin‘€™s 29-goal 2011-12 season), but “the Bergeron line” usually means “the Bergeron and Marchand line.” Bergeron and Marchand have pretty much been a package deal since midway through the 2010-11 season, and for good reason. They’€™re among the best duos in the NHL.

Yet having Eriksson at left wing could have an interesting impact on Pastrnak. Both Eriksson and Marchand are scorers — they have 15 and 14 goals, respectively — but Marchand is more of an electric player with the puck on his stick than Eriksson. Bergeron, a very good scorer in his own right with 15 goals, can pretty much just dish to Marchand, count to three and be part of a scoring chance.

Eriksson does a lot of things, but he isn’€™t the skater or offensively ambitious player that Marchand is. With the exception of the 2011-12 season, when Seguin scored 29 goals, Marchand has always scored more goals than his line’€™s right wing.

Having Eriksson on the line could open up the door for the Bergeron line’€™s right wing to be more of a scorer.

“Brad creates a lot by having the puck and by me trying to send him with his speed,” Bergeron said. “I think Loui’€™s more territorial and possession and kind of slowing the play down a little bit more. They’€™re different in their own rights.

“Me being a righty, my tendency is to go to my left side a little bit more, so maybe my righties are not as happy with me, but we’€™re trying to use both sides. Brad’€™s got the puck a little bit more than Loui would. Loui likes to kind of send it and chip it and dump it a little bit more.”€

Speaking after Thursday’€™s practice, Pastrnak seemed thrilled by the idea of playing with Bergeron. After not playing since Oct. 31 due to a foot injury and a lengthy rehab tour that took him to Finland for the World Junior Championships, he was probably just relieved to be back with the B’€™s.

Pastrnak played a little with Bergeron and Marchand last season, but most of his season was spent on David Krejci‘€™s line. When Krejci got hurt, Pastrnak played with Ryan Spooner and Milan Lucic.

Skating with both Eriksson and Bergeron will be a new experience for the young forward, but based on what Bergeron would want in a right wing on a line with Eriksson, Pastrnak sounds like a good fit.

“I think the righty needs to go a little bit more and use his speed more and try to [have] us find him,” Bergeron said.

Brett Connolly, who has spent a lot of time on the right wing of Bergeron’€™s line this season, has had both Marchand and Eriksson as his left wing.

“Obviously Marchy’€™s more gritty, in your face,” Connolly said. “Loui’€™s more [about] using his hockey sense to make some plays. He seems to always be in the right areas. Two good players. Two smart players.”

If Eriksson’€™s presence allows for more facilitating, Pastrnak could be beneficiary for at least a game. One would think Marchand and Bergeron would be reunited once Marchand’€™s suspension is up, but for now Claude Julien has an interesting line at his disposal.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean