Bruins

Bruins keep rolling with 3-2 win over Red Wings

Bruins keep rolling with 3-2 win over Red Wings

DETROIT – It doesn’t matter where they are or who they are playing, the winning just keeps on continuing for the Boston Bruins. 

This time it was a by-the-numbers 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesar’s Arena that gives the Black and Gold a ridiculous 11-1-2 record since the beginning of January.

The Red Wings actually got on the board first with Martin Frk connecting on a PP one-timer from the circle that found a hole on Tuukka Rask at the net. 

But that was really it for the Red Wings as the Bruins controlled play even if they weren’t quite dominant against a Detroit team with nothing to play for at this point. The fourth line stepped up in the second period in the form of Sean Kuraly stepping into a shot and firing one home off a slick feed from Matt Grzelcyk. 

David Krejci gave the Bruins the lead a couple of minutes later in the second period when he hammered home a loose puck rebound that bounced to him after a Ryan Spooner shot on net. That score was the crowning achievement in this game for a very solid night for the Boston second line with Krejci, Spooner and Jake DeBrusk all getting their chances before the three of them teamed together for the game-winning goal. 

The Bruins finally got the insurance marker midway through the third period as an aggressive Austin Czarnik fore-check turned into a Danton Heinen snipe to the top corner of the net. It capped off a two-point night for the Bruins rookie winger and gives Heinen an extremely solid 12 goals and 37 points on the season. 

The rest was up to Tuukka Rask, who was strong early when the Red Wings had a couple of pretty good scoring chances in the first period en route to his 26 saves for the game.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruins' Bjork out for season after undergoing shoulder surgery

bruins_anders_bjork_092517.jpg
File photo

Bruins' Bjork out for season after undergoing shoulder surgery

TORONTO -- Anders Bjork's up-and-down rookie season has come to an end, as the Bruins' left wing underwent left shoulder surgery this week that’s expected to keep him sidelined for the next six months. 

Bjork was knocked out of a Jan. 30 loss to the Anaheim Ducks when Francois Beauchemin caught him with a cross-check to the left arm, but it’s unclear whether he was already playing through some level of shoulder injury prior to that collision. According to the B’s release, the 21-year-old winger “underwent successful left shoulder arthroscopy and labral repair on Tuesday” at Mass General Hospital. Bjork had been spotted around the Garden in recent weeks wearing his left arm in a sling, but it was difficult to guess the severity of the injury based on what looked like a fairly run-of-the-mill hit from Beauchemin. 

The injury and season-ending surgery ends a bit of a lost year for Bjork, who cracked the Opening Night roster and finished with 4r goals and 12 points in 30 games.

He showed the speed and skill required to be a top-6 forward at the NHL level, but also appeared to need more development time when it comes to battle level and adjusting to the physicality level in the pro game. The former Notre Dame star never seemed to fully bounce back from getting steamrolled in the neutral zone by Matt Martin in the middle of November, and ended up spending time in Providence as well prior to his season-ending injury. 

Bjork’s injury certainly doesn’t rule him out completely as a trade asset ahead of Monday afternoon’s trade deadline, but it probably makes him less attractive to NHL teams looking for young, NHL-ready talent that can step into their lineups right now. With Bjork headed for the long-term injured list and Frank Vatrano traded to the Florida Panthers for a third-round pick, that certainly opens the door for both a) a deal to bring on a veteran rental winger ahead of the trade deadline and B) a spot to be opened up in the Bruins organization for Ryan Donato when the Harvard University star, currently at the Olympics, is ready to sign.

Those are both very good things despite the downer news about Bjork, who watched fellow rookies Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen live up to the expectations many had for him.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

Bruins trade Vatrano to Florida for third-round pick

Bruins trade Vatrano to Florida for third-round pick

TORONTO – The Bruins are making more moves well ahead of the Monday trade deadline as they shipped injured winger Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a 2018 third-round pick. 

The trade somewhat eases a crowded roster, essentially gives the B’s a replacement for the third-rounder they sent to the New York Rangers for Nick Holden earlier this week and gives them a solid return on an undrafted college hockey free agent that had fallen a bit this season on the B’s organizational depth chart.

Vatrano had two goals and a minus-3 rating in 25 games with the Bruins this season, but had typically been either a healthy scratch or strictly a bottom-six winger when he had been in the lineup this season. Vatrano, the East Longmeadow, Mass., native who turns 24 next month, had fallen behind Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen on the depth chart as two of the aforementioned three had locked down top-nine roles.

In that respect, it wasn’t much of a surprise to hear Vatrano getting moved as he’d hit a wall in his development with the Bruins after scoring 20 goals in his first 108 career NHL games and lighting up the AHL as a goal-per-game player. Now, Vatrano will get a chance to rekindle that goal-scoring ability with the Panthers and prove that he’s more than the one-dimensional player he appeared to be in three seasons with the B’s.

There was some thinking Vatrano might have served as a trade asset to be utilized in one of the potential deals that the Bruins have cooking for a rental wingers Patrick Maroon, Michael Grabner, Rick Nash or Thomas Vanek. Instead, general manager Don Sweeney scoops up a solid draft pick asset for a player that was sitting on the bench for the Black and Gold. That's a solid piece of asset management in a trade deadline period that so far is going very well for the GM.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE