The Bruins should make a deal for Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog.</span></p>
<div class=



Zdeno Chara feels the Bruins let down Milt Schmidt's family with Thursday's effort. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Zdeno Chara feels the Bruins let down Milt Schmidt’s family with Thursday’s effort. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The night began with a sellout crowd giving the departed Milt Schmidt, who passed away at the age of 98 Wednesday night, one final standing ovation. It ended with a familiar scene: the Bruins booed off the ice in what was the club’s 10th loss in 19 home games this season, this time by a 4-3 final against Connor McDavid and the visiting Oilers.

It was not how B’s defenseman Zdeno Chara, sitting in his stall with his equipment still on long after the game ended, as if he was hoping for one more shift in search of the game-tying goal, saw the night going for the team he’s captained for the last decade.

“It was a night where it was dedicated to Milt [Schmidt] and what he has done and I felt that we let him and obviously his family, including the fans down,” a visibly frustrated and emotional Chara said after the loss. “I was obviously close to Milt and it would be nothing better than winning the game in his honor and for what he has done.”

The truth is just Thursday was just the latest frustration for a Bruins team that can’t seem to get out of its own way in search of some consistency, with just five wins in their last 16 games, and just one winning streak over that stretch.

As has been the case most of this season, the Bruins won the shot battle and outshot the Oilers 36-to-25. But the shots don’t matter unless they go in, and the B’s were ultimately dropped by two third-period goals from the Oilers, including the third of the night from Patrick Maroon. And by the time the Black and Gold answered with a David Krejci power-play goal with 2:56 left, it was much too late and could not tie things up against Cam Talbot before the clock ran out.

“A wasted good effort,” B’s coach Claude Julien said. “I thought we played hard, we played well, we had lots of chances, and we didn’t give them much. But every breakdown we seemed to have ends up in the back of our net. So, those are frustrating nights; they’re frustrating losses, especially when you need to win. So, definitely that’s how I look at it.”

“We were the better team, there’s no questions there,” Julien continued, “we just gave them too many gifts.”

“We have to keep working on things, keep working hard and be committed to do it better,” said Chara. 

The loss put an end to the organization’s 16-game point streak (13-0-3) against the Oilers.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

The World Junior championship game between the United States and rival Canada somehow exceeded expectations, as the U.S. beat Canada in a shootout after twice coming back from two goals down.

The World Junior championship game between the United States and rival Canada somehow exceeded expectations, as the U.S. beat Canada in a shootout after twice coming back from two goals down.

Hockey fans in general had plenty to be excited about, but Bruins fans in particular had to like what they saw. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins’ first-round pick last summer and a current sophomore at Boston University, was one of the best players on the ice, as he registered a pretty goal and an even better-looking assist.

His goal came 3:04 into the second period and cut Canada’s lead to 2-1. McAvoy took a pass in the high slot, walked in and fired a shot glove-side past Canada goalie Carter Hart.

McAvoy jumpstarted another comeback early in the third when he faked out a Canadian defenseman and made a beautiful backhand pass through the slot to set up BU teammate Kieffer Bellows for a one-time goal that made it 4-3 Canada.

On the other side of the ice, another Bruins defense prospect also scored. Jeremy Lauzon, a B’s second-round pick in 2015, scored Canada’s second goal of the game when he collected a loose puck in the slot and ripped a shot high blocker.

In addition to the goal McAvoy assisted on, Bellows (an Islanders first-round pick) also scored the Americans’ second goal of the game when he deflected in a point shot from Harvard defenseman Adam Fox (Flames third-round pick), who had three assists in the game after notching just one point in the first six games of the tournament.

Boston College’s Colin White (Senators first-round pick) joined in on the fun, as he scored the US goal that tied the game at 4-4 midway through the third when he tapped in a nice pass to the doorstep from Fox. The goal was White’s seventh in seven games this tournament, putting him second behind Russia’s Kirill Kaprizov.

BU’s Clayton Keller (Coyotes first-round pick) also assisted on that White goal and finished the tournament with a team-high 11 points. Fellow Terrier Jordan Greenway (Wild second-round pick) had an assist as well and finished with eight points total.

Ducks prospect Troy Terry was the shootout hero, just as he was in the semifinals against Russia. After each side’s first three shooters failed to score, Terry beat Hart to put the US ahead. Flames prospect Tyler Parsons, who made 46 saves in the game, then came up with two more stops to seal the win.

The gold was the United States’ fourth overall and first since 2013.

The BU and BC stars are expected to return to their college teams in time for Saturday’s Frozen Fenway games. BU takes on UMass at 1:30 p.m., while BC faces Providence at 5.

And while we’re talking about Bruins prospects and college hockey, 2015 second-round pick Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scored three goals, including the overtime winner, to lead BU to a 5-4 win over Union Thursday night while several of his teammates were battling for gold.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin
Zdeno Chara fights Patrick Maroon in the first period of Thursday's game against the Oilers. (Greg M. Cooper)

Zdeno Chara fights Patrick Maroon in the first period of Thursday’s game against the Oilers. (Greg M. Cooper)

It would have real bad had the Bruins no-showed against the Oilers.

Forget the fact that the night began with a thunderous moment of applause for the departed Milt Schmidt, a Bruins legend of 80 years, that passed away Wednesday night at the age of 98. Forget the fact that the Oilers came to Boston with losses in three of their last four games. But don’t forget the fact that the Bruins entered play on the heels of perhaps their worst loss of the season, a 3-0 loss to the Devils on Monday night and have been left to cling with a two-point lead for third place in the Atlantic Division and with the teams chasing them having multiple games in hand over the club.

In January, and with the memories of two straight fades out of postseason contention (though they came much later in the season each time) still fresh, the Bruins are in desperation mode.

It showed at different points in their head-to-head with the Oilers, too. Team captain Zdeno Chara answered the bell and dropped the gloves with the Oilers’ Pat Maroon, who scored the game’s first goal just 1:08 into play, after a high hit in the attacking zone. And though Chara’s fight resulted in an end to the B’s offensive-zone domination of the Oilers at that point, it became a theme of the period, and ultimately resulted in a tied game through 20 minutes behind Colin Miller’s third goal of the season.

Still, it was not enough, though, as a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins goal just 14 seconds into a tied third period broke the B’s backs, and the completion of a Maroon hat trick midway through the period served as a final nail in the coffin in a 4-3 loss to the Oilers.

At this point, you’re really out of things to say in regards to the Black and Gold’s struggles.

This was another night in which the Bruins really controlled the pace of play and frequently hemmed the opposition in their own zone. The Bruins carried a 13-to-8 shot advantage through 20 minutes, but skated to a 1-1 tie. Then they carried a 28-to-17 shot advantage into the second intermission, but again were tied, this time by a 2-2 score. Then, of course, came the disastrous third, and when that happened, and when the third Maroon goal was challenged by the Bruins in hopes of an offside that would call the tally back fell short, the Bruins were looked too jarred to make any sort of real comeback.

Gifted with a 5-on-3 for over a minute, the Bruins once again made things interesting behind a David Krejci power-play goal, but could not find the 6-on-5 game-tying tally before the clock once again ran out of time.

In what finished as another shots on goal win for the Bruins, the B’s failed to get the game-tying goal when their deficit was only one in the third period, and fell to their sixth one-goal loss during a 16-game stretch in which they’ve gone just 5-8-3.

Given the loosening of their grip on third place in the division, and the year-long frustrations in the timely goals department, the Bruins are long beyond the point or moral victories — and this loss didn’t even have one of those. And you have to imagine that the patience from an already antsy front office that’s watched this team struggle here all year long is undoubtedly wearing thin.

Frustrations that can only compound after a loss to a club littered with former Bruins and led by their old GM Peter Chiarelli.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
The Bruins will honor Milt Schmidt before tonight's game against the Oilers. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins will honor Milt Schmidt before tonight’s game against the Oilers. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins lost an icon on and off the ice with the passing of Milt Schmidt at the age of 98 Wednesday night.

And while it’s hard to truly honor a player that devoted nearly eight decades of his life to the Bruins, the B’s will do their best when they play host to the Oilers at TD Garden Thursday night.

First, the Bruins will honor Schmidt’s legacy with a pregame tribute prior to tonight’s game. In addition, two on-ice graphics with Schmidt’s retired jersey No. 15 have been painted behind both nets and will remain there for the entire month of January.

The Bruins will also wear a commemorative patch on their jerseys featuring Schmidt’s number 15 for the rest of the 2016-17 season.

The B’s have also lowered Schmidt’s retired number banner down closer to the ice down from its usual post with the other nine retired jerseys.

Schmidt, who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, is the only person in Bruins history to have served the club as a player, captain, coach and general manager. He won more Stanley Cup Championships with Boston than any other person, capturing two as a player in 1939 and 1941 and two more as the club’s general manager in 1970 and 1972. Schmidt was a four-time All-Star, won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP in 1951 and the Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion in 1940.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

The Bruins know they need high-end scoring. The entire league knows the Bruins need high-end scoring, for that matter.

Gabriel Landeskog may be on the trade market, and the Bruins have interest. (Roy Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

Gabriel Landeskog may be on the trade market, and the Bruins have interest. (Roy Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins know they need high-end scoring. The entire league knows the Bruins need high-end scoring, for that matter. And the Bruins have made their first real push at landing such a talent with a reported call to Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic on Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog, according to Adrian Dater (Bleacher Report).

The worst team in hockey, at 12-25-1 on the year, the time for a legitimate culture change in Colorado seems upon the Avalanche, and it’s landed names like Landeskog (and Matt Duchene) on the trade market. Landeskog, the team’s captain since Sept. 2012, is an immense talent, and while he’s struggled with just six goals and 12 points in 28 games this year, is a bonafide superstar on any team in this league.

So, to pull off a trade for No. 92 would take an awful lot. The price, or rather the centerpiece of the price the Bruins would have to pay? First-year pro and B’s top-pairing defenseman Brandon Carlo. A native of Colorado Spring, Colo., the Avs’ interest in Carlo is an obvious one given his local connections, but also his play as the Bruins’ undeniable No. 2 defenseman behind (er, beside) captain Zdeno Chara and Colorado’s major need for defense.

Averaging 21:58 of time on ice a night, which ranks second on the B’s and NHL rookies as a whole, Carlo has chipped in two goals and eight points, and averaged 3:09 of shorthanded time on ice per game for the NHL’s second-best penalty killing team.

Speaking to a source close to the team, Carlo has been described as ‘nearly untouchable’ for the Bruins. And according to Dater, Carlo was a non-starter for the Bruins in these talks, and they instead countered with Jakub Zboril. In later tweets, Dater went on to mention that the Bruins could build a package centered around Zboril, NHL defenseman Joe Morrow, 2015 first-round draft pick Jake DeBrusk, and the team’s first-round pick in this year’s upcoming draft to entice Sakic and the Avs into a deal.

Landeskog, who is under contract with a $5.571 million cap hit through 2021, has been a 20-goal scorer in all four of his full NHL seasons since coming into the league in 2011, and recorded a career-high 26 goals and 65 points for the Avalanche in 2013-14.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Bruins forward David Backes, who has been a full participant in the on-ice portion of the last two B’s skates, a Wednesday practice and Thursday morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena considers himself a quick healer.

David Backes has missed the last two games with a concussion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

David Backes has missed the last two games with a concussion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Bruins forward David Backes, who has been a full participant in the on-ice portion of the last two B’s skates, a Wednesday practice and Thursday morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena considers himself a quick healer. At the same time, and working through the recovery process of what he figured to be his fourth diagnosed concussion, Backes knows there’s more to his recover than just feeling OK.

And that’s why that the 32-year-old will sit out for the third straight game Thursday when the Bruins play host to the Oilers at TD Garden.

“Feeling better again today, but not quite where I need to be to play in the best league in the world quite yet,” Backes, who stayed on the ice for extra work along with the healthy scratches, admitted.

In his second straight day on the ice, Backes did take line rushes with his normal grouping, and even skated in some special team drills, but did not feel that his body was able to keep the pace he wanted.

“The speed of everything,” Backes said when asked of what’s telling him he’s not ready. “It’s a fast game and trying to get back up to speed, you don’t want to put yourself in vulnerable positions to take another hit to the head and get that compounding effect again.”

A week since suffering the concussion on a late hit from the Sabres’ William Carrier, Backes has said that all of his concussions in the past have usually taken about ‘seven to 10 days’ to heal, and that he hopes another 48 hours of rest will have him ready to go when the Bruins embark on a four-game road swing starting with a Saturday road head-to-head with the Panthers.

The Bruins are 4-3-0 with Backes out this year, but have been outscored 18-to-11 in those games.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson