Bruins

Cassidy, B's prideful of 18-game streak, but "it's not going to go on forever"

Cassidy, B's prideful of 18-game streak, but "it's not going to go on forever"

BOSTON – It was magical while it lasted, but the Bruins dominance finally ran out against a heavy, tough Anaheim Ducks bunch that didn’t given the B’s an inch.

Instead the Bruins trailed for the entire game before falling to Anaheim by a 3-1 score on Tuesday night at TD Garden, and in doing so ended an 18-game point streak during which Boston put together a 14-0-4 record. The B’s were beaten on the ice in the scoring column, and they were bulled by a Ducks bunch that meted out plenty of abuse over the 60-minute hockey game.

It was bound to happen sooner or later after the Bruins hadn’t been beaten in regulation since a Dec. 14 home loss to the Washington Capitals. So it’s probably fitting the ending came at the hands of a Ducks hockey club the Bruins have not beaten in a good, long time, but even so Boston still had a chance to at least push for overtime thanks to Ryan Spooner’s goal in the closing minutes.

The Bruins might have been down after their first regulation loss in about six weeks, but they were also proud of matching the second-longest point streak in the long, Original Six history of the Black and Gold.

MORE BRUINS: Two B's injured in Black and Gold loss

“It was nice to be on it, don’t get me wrong. I take a lot of pride in it. We try to win every night, and it’s a credit to the guys,” said Cassidy. “It’s not going to go on forever; we all know that. It’s too good a league. It certainly put us in a good position in the standings to get on that roll, but we’ll have to start a new [point streak] now.”

As Cassidy alluded to, the Bruins hold a ridiculous 20-point cushion for an Atlantic Division playoff spot and losses like the Tuesday night setback against the Ducks have become the exception rather than the rule. The chasm between the B’s and a really substandard Atlantic Division pack really became monstrous as the Bruins embarked on their last six week burst of blowing out opponents, and they’re hoping to continue that as the schedule picks up in the second half of the year. They’re certainly going to need to start by actually playing well from the first drop of the puck through the final buzzer, and perhaps they have another streak in them.

“We can’t be looking back; we’ve got to be ahead and that’s very important for us, to make sure that…this part of the season everybody’s really playing desperate hockey. They’re chasing every point for either a better position into the playoffs or trying to get to the playoffs,” said Zdeno Chara. “We’ve got to realize that every team we’re going to play, they’re going to fight for their lives. We’ve got to match that intensity – the emotional part of the game – and make sure that we are ready to play from the first puck drop. [We’re] not waiting for the other team to set in play and then we respond. We’ve just got to be more engaged right from the start.”

The Bruins will get their chance to start another point streak with Thursday night’s home game against the St. Louis Blues, and a Saturday night showdown with the Maple Leafs as both teams vie for home ice advantage in a postseason that’s still more than two months away.    

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DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

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DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

TORONTO – Jake DeBrusk has heard about the trade rumors. Heck, the 21-year-old has actually been traded before in his hockey career as he was dealt in junior hockey from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels in his final season. It’s a little different, however, when DeBrusk hears his name involved in trade rumors with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and reports indicate that DeBrusk is a name that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton wants included in any deal. 

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It makes perfect sense with DeBrusk off to a strong start to his NHL career with 11 goals and 29 points in 54 games while playing a top-6 role next to David Krejci, and just scratching the surface of how good he can be with the Bruins. Brandon Carlo has likewise been mentioned prominently as well as a young NHL player being sought after in trade talks. 

But the bottom line for all the Bruins youngsters is that they don’t want to go anywhere, and are doing their best to block everything out while preparing to go out and do their best. 

“I got traded in junior, so I know a little bit about it…but it’s a little different when it’s the magnitude of the NHL,” said DeBrusk. “We’re just focusing on getting wins, and doing everything I can do to help the team win. At the same you’re keeping an eye out and looking [at the rumors] secretly. But it is what it is. You can’t control it. You can only control your play, and do anything I can to help the team win now. You can only take it day by day. 

“I love being with these guys and we’re a pretty tight group. So whatever happens is going to happen, but at the same time whoever is on the ice we’ll go to battle with them.”

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Clearly DeBrusk wants to stick with the team that selected him 14th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the Bruins would do well to keep a talented, likable and bright youngster that could be a meaningful member of the organization for a long, long time. But he’s also drawing whatever positive that he can out of the situation, and the biggest one is that other NHL teams are clearly taking notice of what he’s done this season as a rookie. 

Being the primary name mentioned in a deal for a player like the captain of the New York Rangers means you must be doing a lot of things right. 

“When you’re a rookie with your name being thrown around and the other guy has some pretty high stature in the league, it’s a compliment. But I don’t look too much into it,” said DeBrusk. “I love being a Bruin. I just want to continue to get better, continue to improve and I’ve got lots of room to grow. I’m just taking it shift-by-shift.”

That’s a smart kid with a good answer as he focuses on his game on the ice, and learns on the job to navigate through his first NHL experience that’s now included being at the heart of a juicy trade rumor for the Black and Gold.

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Holden 'very excited to get started' with Bruins

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Holden 'very excited to get started' with Bruins

TORONTO -- Nick Holden suited up wearing No. 44 at his first official Bruins practice on Friday morning at the Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies, but it remains to be seen exactly how things are going to shake out with the 30-year-old defenseman.

Holden mixed into the bottom pairing with a crowded back end of Matt Grzelcyk, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and Paul Postma, and it sounded like he might not be breaking into the B’s lineup immediately. Bruce Cassidy might go with the same defensemen group that’s won two straight in Calgary and Edmonton, and then simply revisit with each passing game as the Bruins play a whopping 24 games in the final 44 days of the regular season.

“He’s big, he’s long,” said Cassidy. “I watched some of his shifts against us and Philadelphia . . . [he's] a good defender and [has] a good first pass. I think he’s going to help us.

"I know the next question is ‘when?’ We’re going to talk about that today. I don’t know when he’ll go into our lineup, to be honest with you. I don’t know if it will be tomorrow or Sunday (in Buffalo), with the reason being that we’ve liked the seven guys that we’ve used over the last two months.

“We can’t forget about that, or not have the loyalty to the guys that have got us here. We talked about it with him directly. We’ve played the guy that deserves to play this year, and once he’s in it’s his job to stay in. That’s about it.”

As it stands this weekend, the Bruins have nine healthy D-men on their roster and Holden is excited to get a chance to suit up in Black and Gold with his new team.

“I kind of knew I was getting traded, and when I found it was the Boston Bruins I was really excited,” said Holden. “Obviously they’re having a great year and it’s a really good team, so I’m very excited to get started. It worked out good that I was able to get in two days ago and go out with the team to dinner [in Toronto] and kind of meet everybody right away. It’s been great.”

Holden admitted it will be a change for him going more zone defense than man-to-man as it’s been in the past with the Rangers and the Avalanche, but those things tend to work themselves out in short order.

Otherwise it was a full group for the Black and Gold on Friday morning with Kevan Miller (upper body) fully healthy, and Tuukka Rask named as the starting goalie for Saturday night’s big game vs. the Maple Leafs.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Maple Leafs based on Friday’s practice session:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Spooner
Heinen-Nash-Backes
Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Grzelcyk-McQuaid
Holden-Miller
Postma

Rask
Khudobin

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