David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

It’s a better start than last year’s 0-3 opening record (and with those losses all on home ice), but Boston’s 2016 record is back to an even 1-1 after a 4-1 loss to Toronto Saturday night at Air Canada Center.

The six-goal bounty displayed in Thursday’s contest was a distant memory as the Bruins were held to just one goal on 25 shots Saturday, and most of those attempts from outside of the prime-scoring areas.

The Bruins were again missing two veteran players as center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Adam McQuaid remained in Boston recovering from injuries. The line combinations stayed the same for coach Claude Julien, but the Brad Marchand – David Backes – David Pastrnak line was unable to carry the team in this one as it did in the opener.

Boston did a fine job limiting the league’s number-one overall draft pick Auston Matthews (entering the game with four goals) — holding him to no points and just two shots — but Toronto found plenty of offense elsewhere en route to the comfortable win.

The B’s next head to Winnipeg for an 8pm ET faceoff Monday.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:


Julien got his backup goaltender action in just the second game of the season, telling reporters before the game he didn’t want Anton Khudobin to be sitting too long. “The longer you sit him, the tougher it is to get back into it,” hinted Julien.

However, Khudobin’s start was somewhat of a surprise as Rask was the first goalie off the ice during Saturday morning’s optional skate, generally an indication of the night’s starter. Rask didn’t practice Friday in what was cited as a maintenance day,.

With Tuukka Rask starting the opener and the team’s final preseason game, Khudobin last played on October 6 with one period of action.

It was Khudobin’s first full NHL game since November 16, 2015, as he spent most of last season in San Diego of the AHL in the Anaheim organization where he compiled a 19-8-3 record with a 2.46 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

Taking the loss in a game that largely wasn’t his fault, Khudobin stopped 20-of-24 shots; three of the four goals scored against Khudobin came from close range. His finest save came with a sprawling glove on Toronto’s Mitch Marner after an own-zone Boston turnover four minutes into the third to keep it the contest from getting into total-embarrassment territory.


Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Boston in Thursday’s opener and Toronto followed suit Saturday, building a 3-0 lead on the Bruins in the first 13:13.

On Toronto’s first goal, a lost faceoff in the defensive zone by center Austin Czarnik led to a point shot that caromed off defenseman Colin Miller and fell to the ice in the slot. As Miller couldn’t locate the puck, Toronto’s Conner Brown beat Matt Beleskey to it from the point and put it home.

The Leafs’ second goal was the first NHL marker for Marner (the fourth-overall pick of the 2015 draft), a hard wrist shot from the right-wing circle after taking a pass on the fly in the neutral zone. Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo was back but left a gap for the shot to get loose; Khudobin saw the low wrister but was unable to stop it on the blocker side.

Toronto made it 3-0 after two cross ice passes had the B’s out of position in their own zone, leaving Miller to resort to an unsuccessful belly-first extension towards James van Riemsdyk on the left wing; van Riemsdyk avoided Miller’s stick and beat Khudobin with a backhand from between the circles.


Boston did manage its first power-play goal of the season after an 0-for-2 effort in the opener. Late in the first period, David Pastrnak made no mistake on a one-timer from the low left wing after a nifty drive and dish from defenseman John-Michael Liles to cut the deficit to 3-1. It was Pastrnak’s third goal of the season, with a secondary assist from Brad Marchand (his sixth point through two games).

The first-team Boston power-play started the night with Torey Krug and David Krejci at the points, and with Ryan Spooner and Austin Czarnik flanking David Backes down low. Later in the game, Danton Heinen replaced Czarnik on the half-wall.

The second-team unit had Colin Miller and Liles at the points, with Brad Marchand, Matt Beleskey and Pastrnak as the forwards.

The Bruins allowed an early power-play goal to Columbus on Thursday, but were much improved Saturday night as the blanked Toronto on three chances, allowing just one official scoring chance.

Riley Nash and Dominic Moore led forwards in shorthanded ice time, with David Krejci, Ryan spooner and Noel Acciari chipping in with PK minutes. Brad Marchand and David Backes were both in the penalty box and unavailable for the first two kill opportunities.


Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara came to the defense of his teammate Torey Krug, after Toronto’s Matt Martin leveled Krug in the Bruins zone on a clean hit. As the play made its’ way to the other end of the ice, Chara made his way straight to Martin in front of the net and forced a very one-way fight; Martin grudgingly dropped his gloves but wanted no part of the 6’9” Chara.

According to HockeyFights.com, Chara had just one brawl last year, that with Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner on March 18. Chara hasn’t had more than two fights in a season since the 2011-12 campaign. Time will tell if the captain has decided 2016-17 is a year he needs to be more protective of some young teammates around him.

David Backes also dropped the gloves, giving him two fights in two games in a Boston sweater. Backes took on Toronto’s Nazem Kadri in the first period, a continuation of a meeting between the two from last season when Backes was with St. Louis.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

The Bruins season got off to a good start. (Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports)Going into this season, I felt similarly about the Bruins as I did a year ago.

The Bruins trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-1 midway through the contest, but a magical night from Brad Marchand — along with his linemates David Pastrnak and David Backes — sparked a 6-3 Bruins comeback win in their 2016 season opener Thursday in Columbus.

Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

The Bruins trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-1 midway through the contest, but a magical night from Brad Marchand — along with his linemates David Pastrnak and David Backes — sparked a 6-3 Bruins comeback win in their 2016 season opener Thursday in Columbus.

Marchand, fresh off a championship with Team Canada in the World Cup and a new eight year, $49 million offseason deal, put together his second career five-point night with two goals and three assists.

Marchand’s two tallies came in the third period to break a 3-3 tie, the first following a Pastrnak breakaway chance at the 9:54 mark and the second at 15:25 on a brilliant individual effort. Marchand started the later sequence from his own blue line and up the right wing wall before dancing through Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara to roof one past Sergei Bobrovsky in the low slot.

A Pastrnak empty-net goal capped off the incredible 12-point night from the Bruins newly-formed top line.

The Bruins next play Saturday at 7pm in Toronto in what should be an electric atmosphere with the league’s top-overall draft pick Auston Matthews coming off a four-goal debut in his team’s opener in Ottawa Wednesday.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:


Alternate captain — and longtime Marchand accomplice — Patrice Bergeron didn’t make the trip to Columbus due to injury, so early plans to have Backes play with David Krejci were scrapped in favor of Backes taking Bergeron’s place on line one.

Backes scored two goals in the second to pull Boston out of a 3-1 deficit.

The first came at 13:36 of the frame on a hard rebound off the back wall from a Zdeno Chara blast. The cleanup goal capped an impressive sequence of zone time with Chara, Marchand and rookie Brandon Carlo chipping in with keep-ins at the attacking blue line.

Backes followed it up with a marker at 17:12 on a nifty deflection of a Pastrnak one-timer, slowing the puck slightly and pulling the puck inside the post and behind Bobrovsky. Winger Jimmy Hayes deserves credit for tilting the ice prior to the game-tying goal, providing excellent forecheck before getting off the ice for fresh troops.


It was far from a perfect night for Boston, with the team’s star players having to carry the action for much of the night.

It was a particularly tough opening period for rookies Austin Czarnik, Rob O’Gara, and Brandon Carlo. An O’Gara giveaway led to a quality Blue Jackets scoring chance, and a Czarnik penalty in the offensive zone led to a quick Columbus power-play goal as Carlo let a pass go through the crease for a tap-in by Cam Atkinson.

All three players appeared to settle down as the game wore on, with the finishing ice-times at 17:48 for Carlo, 15:11 for Czarnik, 12:59 for O’Gara; fellow rookie Danton Heinen finished with 11:25 of ice time playing alongside Krejci and Ryan Spooner.


Despite missing an elite faceoff man, the replacements held their own in the circle as newcomer Riley Nash won 10 of 13 draws and Krejci stepped up for 11 of 16 in the win column. Backes finished 9 of 23 while Czarnik was just 1 of 6.

Not surprisingly, the B’s top Corsi players were Carlo and Chara (+8 and +6), with Krejci (-6) bringing up the rear in a game he was placed in an obvious defensive role.


Bruins coach Claude Julien opened the season with more rookies on the roster than he’s ever had, with the 19-year-old Carlo, 21-year-old Heinen and 23-year-olds O’Gara and Czarnik.

According to NESN, it’s the first time the Bruins have had four NHL debuts in an opener since  Oct 10,1985 with Alain Cote, Kraig Niehuis, Dave Passin, and Michael Thelven.

Including backup goaltender Anton Khudobin, the B’s had eight new faces dressed with Backes, Heinen, Czarnik, Moore, Nash, Carlo, and O’Gara.

Here were the Bruins’ opening line combinations:

63 Marchand -42 Backes – 88 Pastrnak
51 Spooner – 46 Krejci – 43 Heinen
39 Beleskey – 27 Czarnik – 11 Hayes
28 Moore – 20 Nash – 55 Acciari

33 Chara – 25 Carlo
47 Krug – 44 O’Gara
26 Liles – 6 C. Miller


Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

The Boston Bruins’ 2016-17 opening roster was submitted to the league on Tuesday, but multiple injuries have made it a fluid document with the team’s first regular-season contest approaching Thursday in Columbus.

Boston initially placed blueliners Kevan Miller (fractured left hand, out six weeks) and Adam McQuaid (upper body, day-to-day) on Injured Reserve, in addition to winger Frank Vatrano (foot surgery, out three months). McQuaid will miss at least three games with the league’s mandated seven-day stay on IR.

The team then announced on Wednesday that top-line center Patrice Bergeron will be a scratch for at least the season’s first game with a lower body injury. Tim Schaller, a 25-year-old Providence College product, was recalled for roster insurance. Schaller signed a two-way deal with Boston in July after starting his career in the Buffalo organization.

For now, the teams’ 13 forwards are: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, David Krejci, David Backes, Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Dominic Moore, Riley Nash, Danton Heinen, Noel Acciari, and Schaller.

The seven healthy defensemen that begin the season with the big club are: Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, John-Michael Liles, Colin Miller, Brandon Carlo, Joe Morrow and Rob O’Gara.

Based on recent action, projected line combinations when Bergeron is healthy could be:

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Ryan Spooner – David Krejci – David Backes
Matt Beleskey – Austin Czarnik – Jimmy Hayes
Danton Heinen – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash / Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug – Rob O’Gara
John-Michael Liles – Colin Miller
7th: Joe Morrow

For Thursday’s contest, Backes may revert back to his natural center spot to fill for Bergeron, with Wednesday practice indicating Heinen may get a look at wing on the Krejci line.


The forward unit features seven players (Bergeron, Krejci, Backes, Spooner, Moore, Nash and Czarnik) in all that have played mostly center during their careers, a collection GM Don Sweeney described as a fortunate one.

“We look at it as a real positive for our hockey club,” said Sweeney. “Versatility that centers have to be able to go to the wing. Team Canada had 10 of their 12 players that were centers. Their ability to play down low, take draws on both sides — lefties, righties, depending on the situation; as a defenseman there’s really nothing better than knowing a center is their support-wise presenting for a pass. So we feel really good that our players are versatile enough to go to the wall, or if we have situations that call for it move back to the center of the ice.”

Top-line pivot Patrice Bergeron and his left wing Brad Marchand enter the season off the momentum of helping Team Canada win a World Cup of Hockey title, in addition to Marchand inking an eight year, $49 million deal. Marchand also comes off a season with a career best 37-goals, good for sixth most in the league.

“I’m feeling pretty good, things went well at the World Cup,” said Marchand. “It can hang over your head if you go into the season without a [contract], but now it’s all about playing a team game. It’s been a good start to the season already, but it’s time to put that behind us and look forward to having a big year here.

Marquee signee David Backes brings 727 games of NHL experience to the roster, not to mention 20-plus goals in each of his last five non-lockout seasons. The 32-year-old sheds the pressure of wearing the captain’s ‘C’ that he has in St. Louis, while adding the willingness to move between center and wing. “All the guys in this room have welcomed me with open arms,” Backes said. “You see why these guys have won in the past with all the character guys leftover from their Cup-winning team. That really translates into the play on the ice.”

David Pastrnak has reached his 20’s in age, and is hoping to follow suit in the goal department as he is getting first dibs at top-line wing with Bergeron and Marchand. This comes after compiling 15 last year over 51-games while dealing with multiple injuries over the course of the season.

Ryan Spooner, 24, is coming off his first full season in the NHL, finishing with 13 goals and 36 helpers over 80-games last season playing primarily at center between Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes. He begins this year at left wing, however, instead of that normal middle position.

“I felt a little bit better [Saturday],” Spooner said. “I watched some tape and found against Montreal [last Tuesday] I was lost in my own end a little bit. Felt like I was drifting to the middle of the ice. [But] it’s going to take some time.”

Joining Pastrnak and Spooner among the young guns, 23-year-old Austin Czarnik has cleared concussion testing after a hit Saturday, and appears to be back in the lineup in Spooner’s old position between Beleskey and Hayes.

“I think he’s a real smart player. I think he’s a headsy player. He’s got great hockey sense, great hockey vision,” Julien said. “He’s definitely a player who’s had a great camp, certainly opened a lot of eyes.” Last year in Providence, the 5-foot-9 Czarnik was third on the club in points with 61 (20 goals), and brings a playmaker’s skillset.

The physical Beleskey put in 15 pucks for goals last year over 80 games, while 26-year-old Dorchester native Hayes buried 13.

Joining the club in his first year out of college is the 21-year-old Heinen, a third-round pick of the Bruins in 2013. Heinen played two seasons at Denver University, leading his team in scoring last year with 48 points in 41 games.

“Every once in a while you look around and see all these great players and you do pinch yourself,” said Heinen. “But you’ve also got to stay focused, stay locked in and realize you’re here for a reason. I’m going to work as hard as I can and try to play the system as well as I can. I’ve been used to [thinking] offense a lot but to play in this league you’ve got to play all over the ice, that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Finally, offseason additions Riley Nash and Dominic Moore fill out the new-look ‘Merlot’ line with 24-year-old Noel Acciari in the mix for ice time at wing. “We try to be tough to play against,” said Acciari. “From practice we’ve showed some good chemistry already, and I think it’ll carry over to the games. [Moore] is a good guy, very helpful, talkative and great to have around.”

Earlier in the week, the Bruins had placed forwards Seth Griffith and Tyler Randell on waivers, with Randell clearing while Griffith was claimed by Toronto on Tuesday. The 23-year-old Griffith was second in the AHL in points (77) last season while earning two separate two-game call-ups.

Randell, 25, played in 27 games for the team in 2015-16 while not dressing for 51 others (due to coach’s decision).


Captain Zdeno Chara is back for his 11th season with the Bruins, again as the team’s captain at age 39 and coming off action in the World Cup as well on Team Europe. “I didn’t take the World Cup as a preparation for this season, because it was such a big stage everybody was ready for that. High stakes, high quality tournament.” Chara played 80 NHL games a year ago despite the 1,200-plus NHL games that have taken their toll on his body.

Chara looks to be paired early with Carlo, a 6’5”, fourth-round pick of Boston’s from 2015. The 19-year-old Carlo played seven games with AHL Providence last year after wrapping up his third season of junior hockey in Tri-City of the WHL.

“Pretty cool to look across the faceoff dot and see guys that you watch on TV when you’re not in this league,” Carlo said after playing in Saturday’s exhibition finale’ against Philadelphia. “I’ve been more confident in myself that I can play in this league, felt like I got better at puck-moving this camp. The leadership in the room has helped me, so that’s been great.”

Veteran defensemen Christian Ehrhoff decided to return to Germany after three exhibition games with the Bruins on a Pro Tryout Agreement, apparently unconvinced that he would be part of Boston’s top-six defense grouping.

Ehrhoff’s departure, coupled with the injuries to Kevan Miller and McQuaid, ensured that rookies Carlo and Rob O’Gara made the squad.

O’Gara is in his first full professional season after finishing his fourth year with Yale University. The 23-year-old O’Gara was a fifth-round pick of Boston’s in 2011 and earned two All-American nods at Yale while twice being named ECAC Defenseman of the Year.

Torey Krug, 25, and John-Michael Liles, 35, both re-upped with the Bruins in the offseason and may be counted on to groom young defensive partners like O’Gara this year. “I was a young guy at one point,” said Liles. “I had older players who walked me through certain situations and helped me both on and off the ice. Now I’m one of those older guys, hopefully I can pass on a little feedback.”

Colin Miller, 23, figures to get extended playing time with Kevan Miller on the shelf, getting a chance to build on his 42-games of action last year in the NHL. “The comfort is a little bit better,” Miller said. “Last year I learned a lot. Definitely want to play with pace.”


Tuukka Rask starts his 10th year in a Bruins’ sweater, coming off a 31-22-8 campaign in 2015-16 with a 2.56 GAA and a .915 save percentage. “Just trying to stay even-keel, patient,” said Rask of his season-opening mentality. “You want to be solid and just go out there and play. You play the best games when you’re not thinking.”

Rask’s backup in net will be 30-year-old Anton Khudobin, who signed a two-year, $2.4 million deal in July to return to Boston as a free agent. Khudobin started 15 games for the Bruins over two seasons from 2012 through 2013 before departing for Caroilna. After being traded to Anaheim in the summer of 2015, Khudobin played in nine games with the Ducks while spending the majority of last year in in the AHL, compiling a 19-8-3 record with a 2.46 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

“We have a great relationship,” Rask said of Khudobin. “He was here a few years ago before he went on a traveling spree. Happy to have him back, he’s a great team guy and great goalie. He’s Russian, so that says it all; almost as odd as a Finnish goalie.”

Goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban, the team’s 2012 first-round draft pick, will again begin the year in Providence where he’s spent the majority of the past three seasons. Subban last season had to recover from a fractured larynx after being in the throat by a puck in early February.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Brad Marchand scored a career-high 37 goals last season. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Brad Marchand scored a career-high 37 goals last season. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The NHL season is upon us, leaving Bruins fans wondering whether they’re in for a return to the playoffs or just another frustrating regular season.

Heading into Thursday night’s season opener against the Blue Jackets, B’s fans are probably leaning toward the latter, but an influx of youth into the lineup makes this a potentially exciting team to watch this season, even if expectations aren’t set particularly high.

We’ve done basically every type of season preview imaginable over the years, but Ben Rohrbach did one like this a while back and I want to copy that style, so here’s a bunch of lists to get you ready for the Bruins’ season:

Three questions you probably have:

Will they make the playoffs?

Maybe. Detroit is the only Eastern Conference playoff team from last season that looks like a safe bet to fall out of the playoff picture, and the Canadiens will fare better than they did a season ago. The third Atlantic spot would be a good goal for the Bruins, but their roster isn’t any better than it was when they missed the postseason a year ago.

Will Claude Julien get fired?

I’m not gaga about this team, but the schedule is pretty light early on (see below), so it’s hard to envision them stumbling so much out of the gate that they’d have to pull the plug. If they do struggle, however, he’s an easy scapegoat.

How will the defense be?

You know the answer to that.

Four rookies who are getting a shot:

Austin Czarnik: Of the Bruins’ four rookies, he’s the only who isn’t a first-year pro. Czarnik recently suffered a concussion, but returned to practice Wednesday. The speedy center was all but penciled in to be the team’s third-line center leading up to his injury, and should still get that spot.

Brandon Carlo: The 6-foot-5 righty is eligible for Providence, and while he’ll start the season in Boston, the team is high enough on him that he might have made the team otherwise. Still, he’s just 19, so if he gets squeezed out of the lineup he’ll be better off in the AHL.

Danton Heinen: After two years at the University of Denver, Heinen went pro with an outside shot of making the B’s. That became a reality when Frank Vatrano needed foot surgery and Heinen tied for the team lead with three preseason goals.

Rob O’Gara: Carlo isn’t the only tall rookie defenseman on the roster. The 6-foot-4 Yale grad’s best bet at getting into games early on would be if the team opted to sit Joe Morrow despite the injuries on the blue line.

Three new guys and one kind of new guy:

David Backes: He’s 32 and he’s on a five-year deal. The best-case scenario is that he’s the guy he was last postseason (seven goals and seven assists for 14 points) and sustains that for a few years.

Dominic Moore: Tied with old friend Lee Stempniak for most teams, the journeyman center is a logical fit centering the fourth line.

Riley Nash: When guys are healthy he’s a fourth-line wing. He can also play center if needed.

Anton Khudobin: If Tuukka Rask’s numbers aren’t the same with a lesser defense, banking on Khudobin to experience smooth sailing his second time in Boston might be an overestimation.

Two guys they’ll miss:

Loui Eriksson: The B’s chose David Backes’ mid-30s over Eriksson’s. We’ll see if that was the right decision, but the guess here is that it wasn’t.

Frank Vatrano: Well at least he’ll be back. After scoring 36 goals in 36 AHL games last season, Vatrano might end up scoring no goals in the first 36 NHL games this season due to foot surgery. He’s expected back sometime around late December.

Two guys who could be traded:

Adam McQuaid: The 30-year-old is a good third-pairing right defenseman, but the B’s already have one of those in the younger and cheaper Kevan Miller. McQuaid has three years left on his deal with an annual cap hit of $2.75 million. Moving him would allow the B’s to give a full-time job to Carlo should they feel he’s ready.

Ryan Spooner: This goes against the whole “developing young talent” thing, but the fact is they need a sure thing on defense and Spooner is rightfully one of their best chips because he’s a good young player. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

One guy they’ll have to bury in the AHL:

Zac Rinaldo: I’ll be maybe the first person to ever say “the poor guy” when referring to Rinaldo, but it’s true. He didn’t trade a third-round pick for himself.

One smart re-signing:

John-Michael Liles: They’ve got too many bodies on D (seven defenders are on one-way deals), but if the B’s do make moves, Liles has the flexibility to serve as a left or right defenseman on the second or third pairing. He also provides time for guys like Carlo to develop in the AHL if need be.

One happy stat:

– The Bruins are going to score because they pretty much always do. They finished fifth in goals last season and have finished in the top five in four of the last five 82-game seasons.

One sad stat:

– The Bruins had three 30-goal-scorers last year. They replaced one of them (Eriksson) with a guy (Backes) who has seen his goal total decline in each of the past two seasons, from 27 in 2013-14 to 21 last season.

One guy who will have better luck than last year:

Torey Krug: His four goals last season were surprising, but he had a career-high 244 shots on goal with an unbelievably unfortunate 1.6 shooting percentage. If that percentage bumps up to even 5 (it was 7.7 and 5.9 his other two seasons), he would have had 12 goals. Krug still managed to rack up 40 assists and a career-high 44 points. Between his performance and his health throughout his career (he’s missed a total of eight regular-season games in his three full seasons), there isn’t much to worry about with Krug.

Speaking of Krug, three guys who could get Chris Kelly’s ‘A’:

Torey Krug: The top choice here. Young guy who’s got his act together and, most importantly, hasn’t won. You won’t find complacency there.

David Backes: The longtime captain of the Blues has made himself comfortable in Boston.

Brad Marchand: Often times, you just give the letter to the best player. Marchand cares more than anybody, but it’s safe to assume he’s got at least three or four more suspensions ahead of him in his career.

Three dumb takes you might hear during the season:

Brad Marchand’s on pace for fewer than 37 goals. Did they sign him too early?

– No. He took a team-friendly deal. Even with something of a statistical regression, he still could have gotten that deal at the end of the season. It just wouldn’t be as team-friendly.

(After month) They’re in first place. Are they Cup contenders?

– Seriously, watch out for mid-November, because the B’s might be sitting pretty standings-wise at that point. Only six of their first 16 games are against teams that made the playoffs last season, including five straight against non-playoff teams to begin the season. By Nov. 13 (the end of another such five-game stretch), high standing would be encouraging, but not a sign that their problems are fixed.

(Probably at a lot of points when they lose) Julien’s the problem.

– He probably won’t be the problem that often.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller were already expected to miss the Bruins’ season-opener Thursday night, but general manager Don Sweeney announced on Wednesday that the team’s best player will be joining them on the sideline.

Patrice Bergeron will not travel with the team to Columbus after suffering a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day, according to Sweeney.

Patrice Bergeron

Patrice Bergeron

Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller were already expected to miss the Bruins’ season-opener Thursday night, but general manager Don Sweeney announced on Wednesday that the team’s best player will be joining them on the sideline.

Patrice Bergeron will not travel with the team to Columbus after suffering a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day, according to Sweeney.

David Backes reportedly moved to Bergeron’s spot at center between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak at Wednesday’s practice, while rookie Danton Heinen moved up to the second line with David Krejci and Ryan Spooner.

McQuaid is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Miller, meanwhile, will miss approximately six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture in his left hand.

Sweeney also announced that the team has called up forward Tim Schaller, who will give the Bruins some depth at either center or wing.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

The Bruins had Media Day festivities Tuesday in anticipation of the 2016-17 season launch, and longtime owner Jeremy Jacobs said he is planning on additional games at the end of the campaign.

Jeremy Jacobs

Jeremy Jacobs

The Bruins had Media Day festivities Tuesday in anticipation of the 2016-17 season launch, and longtime owner Jeremy Jacobs said he is planning on additional games at the end of the campaign.

“I share the expectations with everybody here that we’ll be in the playoffs,” said Jacobs, on a dais alongside CEO Charlie Jacobs, president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney, and head coach Claude Julien. “And I expect them to get deep in the playoffs. I think there’s a very good mix of young and old, experienced players. I’m looking forward to going into the playoff season.”

The Bruins are coming off missing the postseason for the second-straight year, with last season’s 93-point total falling just short of qualifying due to losing a tiebreaker with Detroit (greater number of wins, excluding shootout wins).

Pressed for a timeline for playoff success, Jacobs replied: “Yesterday.”

“I really think we’re so close to being truly a competitive playoff team and contender,” the elder Jacobs continued. “Who saw San Jose last year? It wasn’t me, that’s for sure. Circumstances evolve. We could well be a serious contender. Every day there’s that mandate. Whether or not they hear it is something else. Our expectations are high. I talk to Cam quite a bit, so I think we all share that.”

The B’s had made the playoffs for seven consecutive years before the current lull, which saw Sweeney replace Peter Chiarelli in April of 2015.

“The great thing that Don brings is intuition and knowledge of what [our] young players can be, and where they could go,” Jacobs said. “He spent so much time with them and so much a part of the draft. He’s been building more than harvesting. I’d like to see us build from within rather than from the outside, because you pay a price for it. That’s what you’ve seen over the last year, paying that price.”

Jacobs said he was impressed with what he saw from his roster in Saturday’s preseason finale, a 1-0 OT win against Philadelphia. Rookie defensemen Brandon Carlo and Rob O’Gara, as well as forward Danton Heinen, were featured in that game for Boston.

“What you’re seeing with these young players, we didn’t trade these guys,” Jacobs said. “We stayed with them. The game Saturday night was a real good indication of what we’re capable of. I really enjoyed it, thought it was very entertaining. There’s a lot of youth out there and I was seriously impressed.”

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird