Hayes hoping to get opportunity and 'make the best of it'


Hayes hoping to get opportunity and 'make the best of it'

BOSTON – The Bruins played a couple of “must win” games on the road in St. Louis and Chicago last weekend, and 6-foot-6 forward Jimmy Hayes was scratched for both of them. That should paint a fairly accurate picture for the frustration level with the massive winger and Dorchester, Mass. native given the equally massive lack of production Hayes has provided for the Black and Gold recently.

The 26-year-old finished the month of March with zero points and a minus-6 in 13 games, and had also been scratched in the California road finale against the Los Angeles Kings as well. Instead the Bruins have opted for Landon Ferraro, Noel Acciari and Seth Griffith on the fourth line where the Providence call-up didn’t do much with a couple of games to show his stuff either.

With Brett Connolly out of the lineup with a lower body injury, it will likely come down to either Griffith or Hayes again on Tuesday night against the Hurricanes. Hayes said that he’s hoping it’s him, but his voice didn’t sound nearly as confident as the words he was using.

“When you can help the team and contribute then it’s tough to do that when you’re being scratched, but you’ve got to stay positive, continue to work hard and find a way to get back into the lineup,” said Hayes, who hasn’t scored a goal since Feb. 24. “When you get the opportunity, you make the best of it and stick.”

It’s a little far-fetched to think Hayes is suddenly going to carry the Bruins in the last three games after posting 13 goals and 29 points in 74 games this season, but he can be a factor if he can move his big 221-pound frame toward the net. He’s always proven to be a streaky player at the NHL level that perhaps needs reminders like healthy scratches every once in a while, and seems to be picking up the message that Claude Julien is sending in the last two games.

“It’s definitely a message, and you definitely need to continue moving forward,” said Hayes. “I think it’s all about hard work, being consistent and finding a way to contribute. You can get out of these funks by working hard and going to the net, and hopefully get a greasy one to get going in a positive direction.”

At this point should Hayes draw back into the lineup, he just needs to do something to be a factor out on the ice. Nobody as big and physically strong as Hayes should have stretches of games where he’s not even noticed on the ice, and Hayes has produced a few too many of those while his team needs his best down the stretch.

Now he’s only got three games to change that if he gets another chance to “make the best of it, and stick” in the lineup for the B’s. 

Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

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Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

GOLD STAR: Jaden Schwartz stepped up and won the game for the Blues with a couple of really good plays in the third period and overtime. He took advantage of a line change and a lax Bruins defense to snap a shot past Anton Khudobin from the face-off circle in the third period that tied up the game, and then went on a one-man rush in overtime before blasting a puck past Khudobin for the game-winner on a beautiful individual play. Schwartz finished with the two goals that represented all of the St. Louis offense, four shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in 20:02 of ice time while logging a plus-2 rating as well. The Blues clearly needed somebody to step up to the plate with Vladimir Tarasenko and the Schwartz was with St. Louis on Wednesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins were quite literally black and blue after a physical, punishing game with the St. Louis Blues. A number of players took heavy hits against a St. Louis team that felt free to throw hits and take runs with Zdeno Chara and David Backes out of Boston’s lineup among other players, and that culminated with Brayden Schenn drilling David Krejci in the second period. It was a hit that earned Schenn a two minute penalty for charging midway through the period, but shouldn’t result in anything more for the Blues forward. The hit wasn’t late, his skates were on the ice when he made contact, and Krejci was crouched down when Schenn made impact on a heavy check with his elbows tucked in, so it looked like a relatively clean hit that isn’t going to be on the radar of the NHL’s Player Safety Department. That physicality for the Blues really seemed to slow down the Bruins a little bit as things went on over the 60 plus minutes of the overtime game.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually only got outshot by a 15-13 margin in the second period, third period and overtime, but it was clear that they slowed down in terms of attacking and creating chances as things moved on in the game. By the latter half of the game the Bruins were simply trying to hang on to their one-goal lead, and then after that simply trying to hang in there for the point earned by getting to overtime. They managed to do it, but it was a different wave of momentum in the game once the Blues tied things up in the third period on Schwartz’s first goal. After that the Bruins were scrambling and hanging on, and did just enough to hang in there for a single overtime point for the second game in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato made it two goals in two games when he stepped into a loose puck created by an Alex Pietrangelo turnover that bounced off referee Brad Watson after he attempted to throw a puck up the middle of the ice. Donato pounced on the fortuitous bounce and rocked a puck on edge past Jake Allen for the game’s first goal and another affirmation that the 21-year-old can both shoot and score. Donato was pretty quiet after that goal, of course, with a couple of shots on net, but it seemed like a big, heavy hit on him by Dmitri Jaskin in the second period kind of quieted the youngster down a little bit. Still, you’ve got to love the production from a player just getting his feet wet at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The number of points for the Bruins after falling in overtime by a 2-1 score to the Blues, and in getting to the century mark the B’s clinched a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s step one. Going into the season we wanted to make the playoffs and be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now we got in and we’re going to be a contender, right? Now it’s about being in the best position possible going forward.” –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters in St. Louis about clinching the playoff spot on Wednesday night.


Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

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Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

With a playoff berth in-hand, the Boston Bruins celebrated on Instagram with a playful video about their fans.

The short video put their fans into categories: the hugger, the faithful, the screamer, the loose cannon, the comfortable commentator and the emotional trainwreck.

No matter how the devotees enjoy Bruins games, they can all unit over their hockey team. Here's the vide for your enjoyment.

It's playoff time. Diehards unite. #InOurBlood

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