BOSTON – The demise of the Boston Bruins at the end of the regular season will be Team Canada’s gain as Brad Marchand has been asked, and agreed, to play in the World Championships in Russia later this spring. It’s the first Marchand will be playing for Team Canada in this particular international tournament, and perhaps opens the door for the Bruins agitating winger to be invited to the World Cup of Hockey roster for Team Canada in the fall as well.
Marchand was invited to the Hockey Canada orientation camp prior to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, but hasn’t played for Team Canada since his stint on the World Junior team way back in his pre-Bruins days. So it’s a nice little bonus for Marchand after his career year in Boston that fell short of the playoffs, and it should be a good boost for a talented Canadian team overseas.
“It’s a bittersweet thing. To have that opportunity is obviously a huge honor, but I think first and foremost my heart belongs with this team. I’d prefer to be in the playoffs,” said Marchand, who finished with 37 goals and 61 points in his finest NHL season to date. “But it’s a big opportunity every time you get to play with Team Canada, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
One player that won’t be making the trip for Team Canada is linemate Patrice Bergeron, who will stay behind in North American to enjoy his first summer as a new father while also nursing a sprained ankle suffered in a fight with Blake Wheeler that nagged at him in the final months of the regular season. David Krejci will clearly be out for world championships as he readies for hip surgery, and Dennis Seidenberg said he was on the fence about whether or not he was going to play for Team Germany. Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson, Tuukka Rask, Torey Krug and David Pastrnak are all also possibilities for the World Championships after finishing up their NHL seasons completely healthy.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the Bruins are going into troll mode.
*Here is the aforementioned “troll mode” for the Bruins now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth. They came out with a marketing campaign where they’re dragging FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Felger for his early season take that the Bruins season is over. He also ripped the young players at the beginning of the year as well, so they used the sound from “Felger and Mazz” with video clips of David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy dominating for the Black and Gold, and shots of the young players mean mugging at the camera. It definitely shows that the Bruins perhaps care a little too much about what the media thinks about them, but it’s also a fair bit of clap-back toward a take that was a little too harsh on the B’s early in the season.
*What a great piece on the Stoneman Douglas hockey team as they embark on a national hockey tournament after winning at the state level in the weeks after the Parkland shooting.
*Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says the Hawks aren’t shaken even as they’ll be missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time. What a disappointing season.
*Despite a great season, Taylor Hall may end up missing the playoffs with the New Jersey Devils amidst his Hart Trophy-type season.
*Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Auston Matthews is returning from injury ahead of the playoffs.
*For something completely different: This new, updated version of the Karate Kid web series looks awesome with Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio.
Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.
MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues
The Bruins currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.
If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.