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Boston Bruins Playoff Talk: Team Is Falling Apart Just Like The Previous Two Seasons

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Boston Bruins Playoff

Boston Bruins Playoff Talk: Team Is Falling Apart Just Like The Previous Two Seasons

The Boston Bruins playoff potential is all but slipping down the drain with the team now losers of three straight games after losing to the Ottawa Senators on home ice on Tuesday. For this team the game against Ottawa was a must win, but a 3-2 loss the night after a 4-2 loss against Toronto is not the way this team needed to play down the stretch here.

The game against Ottawa was pivotal as the Bruins entered the game being down 2-0 in the season series against he Sens and had the chance to get close that gap and move two points closer to Ottawa in the Atlantic Division standings. But instead of moving within one point of Ottawa the Bruins dropped to five points behind the second seed and they remain just one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bruins fans wanted one thing to go differently this year and that was for the B’s to not choke down the stretch, this was an issue they had suffered in the previous two seasons and caused them too miss the playoffs in both of those years. With nine games to go in their season the Bruins seem all but on the edge of spiraling out of control once again, but defenseman Torey Krug says the epic collapse of the previous two seasons will not happen this year.

“I haven’t thought about it, I haven’t talked about it. It’s a different feeling this year. [A collapse] is not going to happen this year. I know we’ve got a lot of pride in this room,” said Krug,  “The guys that have been through it. There’s no other option except making sure we stay on course and take care and do our jobs.

“You feel like you played pretty well and things didn’t go your way. You make a big mistake and it cost you. You got to realize what’s done is done, and we have an important task on Thursday [vs. the Lightning]. We’ve got to come to the rink with no other option except winning that game. That’s the mindset we’ve got to have.”

Despite Krug’s words, it is tough not to make the connection between this years team and last years team considering the roster is almost identical for the most part. Plus last season the Bruins seemed like a lock to make the playoffs but failed to pick up points in the last several weeks leading to a must win against Ottawa in the last game of the year where their star goaltender sat out with an illness.

I do believe however this years Boston Bruins team will make the playoffs, despite their one point lead over Toronto you have to feel relatively confident in the majority of the nine games remaining. The toughest games remaining are matchups with the Blackhawks, Senators, and potentially the Capitals who the B’s face in the last game of the year but the Cap’s are unlikely to be playing for something in that game with their playoff spot locked up.

If the Bruins for some reason miss the playoffs and continue to lose hockey games you will see a shakeup of epic proportions. Cam Neely would likely be fired, and for better or worse Don Sweeney could also be gone. Bruce Cassidy would be an interesting case though with Cassidy looking like a solid coach so far for Boston and may warrant the Jacobs family to keep him around in the near future.

But let’s not overreact yet, they haven’t missed the playoffs yet, but if they do there should be hell to pay.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Rookie Anders Bjork Out Six Months

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The Boston Bruins and Team Physician Dr. Peter announced on Thursday that Anders Bjork will be out for the rest of the season.

Bjork underwent a successful left should arthroscopy and labral repair on February 20, 2018. The surgery was performed by Dr. Peter Asnsi at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Peter states that the expected recovery time is approximately six months.

The 21-year-old left winger has appeared in 30 games this season for Boston and recorded 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points with 6 penalty minutes with a plus-2 rating.

The injury and the timeline mean that Bjork’s season is over.

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Boston Bruins Trade Forward Frank Vatrano

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Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins announced on Thursday that General Manager Don Sweeney had traded forward Frank Vatrano to the Flordia Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick.

Vatrano who is now 23-years-old played in 25 games this season for Boston racking up just two goals and 22 penalty minutes. Vatrano did show promise last year with a career-high 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points with 14 penalty minutes in 44 games.

Vatrano has played in parts of three seasons for Boston with his debut season taking place in 2015-16 with the forward playing in 39 games with eight goals and three assists for 11 points with 14 penalty minutes.

He was a hot prospect for Boston and even led the American Hockey League in goals back in 2015-16 by averaging one goal per contest with 36 goals in 36 games. That season he also had three hat tricks and an outstanding 6 multi-goal games at the AHL Level. That year he earned First-Team All-Star honors for Providence.

Vatrano who is a Massachusetts native was originally signed as a free agent by Boston out of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on March 13, 2015.

Vatrano was not seeing a whole lot of success for Boston this season and was clearly expendable as showcased in this trade.

At this time it is unclear what the logic was behind the move but we should find out more with Sweeney hosting a media availability on Saturday at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, ON.

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Boston Bruins Make Championship Caliber Type Of Move

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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced on Tuesday that the team had acquired defensemen Nick Holden from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Rob O’Gara and a third-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Now I know what many of you are likely thinking. Nick who? Where is the big move? But pace yourself Bruins fans, this is the type of depth acquiring move that many Stanley Cup contenders do in order to bolster their squad.

Holden is a 30-year-old d-man who has played in 55 games for the Rangers in 2018-18 with three goals, nine assists, for 12 points with 14 penalty minutes. Holden had a career year last season playing in 80 games with career highs in all offensive categories with 11 goals, 23 assists, for 34 points with a plus-13 rating. In addition to having a stand out 16-17 regular season Holden added two goals and two assists in 11 postseason games for New York.

Holden played his first three professional seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets before being traded to the Rangers on June 26, 2014, in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft.

O’Gara who the Bruins traded away is 24-years-old and has played in 11 NHL games with Boston over the course of the last 2 seasons. O’Gara played in 43 games with the Providence Bruins in 2017-18 with two goals and six assists with a plus-five rating. He was Boston’s 151st overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The move straight up for Holden is a solid one for Sweeney. It provides the Bruins with the defensive depth they need while keeping them flexible moving forward with Holden playing on an expiring contract.

It sures up their left side defensemen depth with a player that can play the penalty kill to reduce some of the high minutes that Zdeno Chara is racking up. This deal seems to take Boston out of the running for landing Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh or any other type of blockbuster trade for a d-man

Holden, a left-shot, has the ability to play either the left or right side adding some flexibility to the roster for Head Coach Bruce Cassidy when making the lineups or even Sweeney if he wanted to move a defensive piece out. Acquiring Holden fixes the depth issue Boston had without giving up anything off of their NHL roster, an impressive feat for Sweeney who opted to make an early trade to avoid paying the NHL trade deadline price.

In theory, Holden will likely pair up with Charlie McAvoy with the potential reunion of Chara and Brandon Carlo possible. But the good thing about Holden is the flexibility, so in theory, Cassidy will have plenty of options to fool around with to find what works and doesn’t work.

This certainly wasn’t the flashy move many were calling for, but it was the smart one. Credit to Don Sweeney.

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