Patrice Bergeron's offensive numbers have taken a dive.</p>
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The Las Vegas Golden Knights will join the NHL next season following an expansion draft.</span></p>
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David Pastrnak has already missed more time than he’d like.

David Pastrnak (upper-body) has been cleared to return to the lineup (Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports)

David Pastrnak (upper-body) has been cleared to return to the lineup (Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports)

David Pastrnak has already missed more time than he’d like.

Limited to just 14 games this season — out for two because of a suspension for his illegal check to the head of the Rangers’ Dan Girardi late last month and absent from the last three games with an upper-body injury — the 20-year-old returned as a full participant in a Wednesday practice at Warrior Ice Arena and downplayed any frustration with the roadblocks in an incredibly successful season so far, with 10 goals and 14 points in 14 games played.

“It’s part of hockey and you have to get through it,” Pastrnak said of the missed time lodged in between hot streaks. “Every player’s going to be get suspended, every player’s going to be injured, but hopefully now I can keep playing well and keep playing now.”

Back in his usual spot on the Bruins’ first line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Pastrnak will travel to Ottawa with the team for Thursday’s game against the Senators, though no there’s no official status put on No. 88 for that game like in the case of Zdeno Chara (who is out).

“He was cleared to have full practice today,” Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed. “Unless there’s a setback tomorrow, I would anticipate him to hopefully play. Again, there might be a setback, this was his first day of full practice here, so we’ll see.”

“I’m ready,” Pastrnak said. “And [we’ll] see if I’ll be in the lineup tomorrow.”

In five games without Pastrnak this season, the Bruins have scored just nine goals on 166 shots, including two on 41 shots on Jake Allen in last night’s defeat at the hands of the Blues, but the team’s leading goal scorer doesn’t feel any added pressure in his potential return to the lineup.

“Literally no pressure,” Pastrnak, who became the first Bruin to score 10 goals in the first 13 games of the season since Cam Neely accomplished the feat in 1994-95, said with a chuckle. “Every game you’re not gonna score five goals like as a team. Some games you’re going to win 1-0 and some games you’re gonna win 5-4, so we have to keep playing in our system.

“No matter if we win 1-0 or 6-4, and I’d rather win 1-0 anyways.”

Tomorrow will be the first of four head-to-heads between the Bruins and Senators this season.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

For the third straight season, a preview of Life Without Zdeno Chara has hit the Bruins.

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

For the third straight season, a preview of Life Without Zdeno Chara has hit the Bruins.

Injured in the second period of last night’s 4-2 loss to the Blues and absent from Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed via press release that Chara has suffered a lower-body injury that will keep him out of a Thanksgiving night tilt against the Senators.

It’s unclear how or where Chara sustained the injury (the best guess was a collision with the Blues’ Jaden Schwartz in the corner on his one, 52-second shift in the second period), but the Bruins will have to make do without their best defender for at least the Ottawa game, but perhaps the club’s signature Black Friday home game against Dougie Hamilton and the Flames also.

“He’s not coming on the road trip, obviously” B’s coach Claude Julien confirmed after practice. “From what I’ve been told, he’s day to day. Day to day to me I think it’s pretty doubtful for these next two games.

After that, we’ll see. So that’s where we are with him.”

The 39-year-old captain has been a rock on a top-pairing with 19-year-old rookie Brandon Carlo, with a team-leading 22:41 of time on ice per contest this season, and has chipped in with one goal and six points to go with his plus-12 rating. Chara also ranks 12th among defenseman with at least 300 minutes of five-on-five time on ice in Corsi-For%, at 53.0%, for a B’s club that’s currently leading the league in possession at five-on-five play. So his loss, even for a game, is noticeable.

“I think I’m going to answer it the same way the same way I answered it at the beginning of the year when you guys asked me about our d-corps,” Julien, whose team is allowing just 27.3 shots per game (the third-best mark in the league in that category), said of somebody else shouldering the load in Chara’s absence. “We’re going to have to do it by committee.”

Without Chara, the Bruins’ defensive committee reunited their training camp pairing with John-Michael Liles and Carlo, while the second pairing of Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid has become a de facto first pairing for the club. Joe Morrow remained on the left side of the team’s third pairing, and Kevan Miller, out for the first 19 games of the season with a fractured left hand that finished his preseason slate, has been cleared for action and skated to Morrow’s right.

This is not the first time the Bruins have to skate without their captain — Chara missed 19 games in 2014-15 and then the first two games of last season — but with a personnel group that’s changed drastically from 2014 to 2015, and even 2015 to now, Julien knows that there’s no quick-fix, plug-and-play option that’ll mask the loss of the club’s go-to shutdown talent.

“We just lost our best defender,” Julien admitted.

“There’s no individual that’s going to step up and do his job more than we’re going to have to do it as a group.”

The Bruins have gone 11-9-1 without Chara over the last two seasons, including an 0-2-0 mark last season.

 

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

The Bruins were riding high, with a 1-0 lead and feverish pace of play, early in the second period when the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara made his way to the bench, down the runway, and did not return.

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

The Bruins were riding high, with a 1-0 lead and feverish pace of play, early in the second period when the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara made his way to the bench, down the runway, and did not return. And by the time the rest of Chara’s team followed their captain’s lead and returned to the locker room following the third period and 41-shot barrage on the Blues’ Jake Allen, the Bruins had dropped a 4-2 final.

In one, 52-second shift in the middle frame, Chara’s probable and likely only cause of a potential injury came on a big collision the corner with Blues forward Jaden Schwartz.

“No,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, as expected, after the game when asked for an update on the team’s No. 1 defenseman. “I’ve got nothing on him yet.”

With Chara gone, the Bruins rotated five defensemen, including makeshift top pairings with Torey Krug and John-Michael Liles in Chara’s spot opposite the 19-year-old Brandon Carlo.

The Blues exposed that, too, with two goals in 2:12 late in the second period, both with Carlo on the ice.

“It’s the first time he’s played without his partner,” Julien admitted of Carlo’s struggles with No. 33 off the ice.

“It just goes to show how important Z is to our hockey club and to Brandon.”

An extended Chara absence would likely thrust Colin Miller, a healthy scratch for the last four games, back into the lineup, as Kevan Miller (fractured left hand) is inching closer to a return, but is still not fully set to go.

The 39-year-old Chara has scored one goal and added five assists in 19 games this year, and is averaging a team-high 22:41 of time on ice per contest this season. Chara has missed 21 games — 19 of which because a knee injury sustained in a collision with the Islanders’ John Tavares in Oct. 2014 — since the start of the 2014-15 season.

The Bruins are back in game action Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

The Bruins were riding high, with a 1-0 lead and feverish pace of play, early in the second period when the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara made his way to the bench, down the runway, and did not return. And by the time the rest of Chara’s team followed their captain’s lead and returned to the locker room following the third period and 41-shot barrage on the Blues’ Jake Allen, the Bruins had dropped a 4-2 final.

In one, 52-second shift in the middle frame, Chara’s probable and likely only cause of a potential injury came on a big collision the corner with Blues forward Jaden Schwartz.

“No,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, as expected, after the game when asked for an update on the team’s No. 1 defenseman. “I’ve got nothing on him yet.”

With Chara gone, the Bruins rotated five defensemen, including makeshift top pairings with Torey Krug and John-Michael Liles in Chara’s spot opposite the 19-year-old Brandon Carlo.

The Blues exposed that, too, with two goals in 2:12 late in the second period, both with Carlo on the ice.

“It’s the first time he’s played without his partner,” Julien admitted of Carlo’s struggles with No. 33 off the ice.

“It just goes to show how important Z is to our hockey club and to Brandon.”

An extended Chara absence would likely thrust Colin Miller, a healthy scratch for the last four games, back into the lineup, as Kevan Miller (fractured left hand) is inching closer to a return, but is still not fully set to go.

The 39-year-old Chara has scored one goal and added five assists in 19 games this year, and is averaging a team-high 22:41 of time on ice per contest this season. Chara has missed 21 games — 19 of which because a knee injury sustained in a collision with the Islanders’ John Tavares in Oct. 2014 — since the start of the 2014-15 season.

The Bruins are back in game action Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

At 39, 6-foot-9 captain Zdeno Chara is still every bit as important to the Bruins as he was when he first came to the team 10 years ago. Something the team learned — or better yet, were painfully reminded of — the hard way in a 3-2 Tuesday loss to the Blues at TD Garden.