Bruins

Bruins in talks with another NCAA prospect, Anders Bjork

Bruins in talks with another NCAA prospect, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins have signed NCAA players Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Charlie McAvoy to entry-level deals over the past week, and both will be a part of their playoff run.

General manager Don Sweeney hopes to get Notre Dame junior Anders Bjork in the mix, as well, and indicated there are ongoing discussions with Bjork's representatives.

"We've had talks with Anders' advisors and we're letting him sort through things. It's his decision," said Sweeney. "We're just going through it just like we did with JFK and Charlie McAvoy."

The fear with a gifted player like the 5-foot-11, 183-pound Bjork is that he returns to Notre Dame for his senior year and potentially turns into a Jimmy Vesey-style free agent next offseason. Clearly there would be a great deal of interest in a speedy, well-rounded winger who finished with 21 goals and 52 points in 39 games for Notre Dame this season as a 20-year-old, after opening eyes last summer as the best forward at Bruins development camp.

"It's part of the CBA that exists, so we need to operate under those guidelines," said Sweeney. "We establish a very strong relationship with our players through the development process, and we're always hopeful that they want to play for the Boston Bruins. That's the ultimate goal."

Sources had indicated to CSNNE.com prior to the NCAA tournament that there wasn't expected to be much difficulty signing Bjork, who wants to play for the Bruins. But he also has strong ties to Notre Dame: His father Kirt was an All-American hockey player there and his cousin, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Erik Condra, also played for the Irish. So there might be real incentive for Bjork to return to Notre Dame for another chance at the NCAA title after falling a couple of games short this season.  

The most interesting aspect of the entire situation is that Bjork might be the most NHL-ready of any of Boston's potential NCAA signees. The former fifth-round pick could move into a top-6 spot on the left wing of David Krejci's line if he chooses to turn pro.

Talking Points: Rask's first period doesn't give B's a chance to win

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Talking Points: Rask's first period doesn't give B's a chance to win

The Bruins' Western Canada road trip got off to an uninspiring start Wednesday night in Calgary. Here are my talking points from the Bruins' 5-2 loss to the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome:

GOLD STAR: It’s got to be Micheal Frolik with two of the first four goals scored for the Flames early in the game when they took full control of the proceedings. Frolik scored the first goal at the end of a beautiful passing play where he was open at the front of the net, and then he connected with Michael Backlund on another score that gave Calgary some breathing room in the second period. In all Frolik finished with the two goals and a plus-3 rating in 16:07 of ice time, and three shots on net, one hit, one takeaway and a perfect 2-for-2 in the face-off circle. It was a nice turnaround for Frolik after he was a recent healthy scratch for the Flames, and exactly the kind of response that a coach is looking for from a player.

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BLACK EYE: Tuukka Rask can ill afford one bad goal in a game, and he had two bad goals allowed in the first period that really sunk the Bruins in this one. The first Calgary goal was a nice piece of passing that ended with an open shot in front, so there wasn’t much blame on that one. But Rask had an awful rebound on a Noah Hanifin tester that turned into a Johnny Gaudreau goal, and then seconds later he completely fumbled away a Juuso Valimaki point shot that he just plain missed with his glove hand. Those two soft goals put the Bruins down 3-0 in the first period, and essentially served as the difference in the game ,as the Bruins were down by two goals in the third period before the late empty netter made the 5-2 final score. Rask allowed four goals on 28 shots in total and was better later in the game, but he didn’t give the team a chance with the way he played in the first.

TURNING POINT: The turning point was the two Calgary goals scored within 48 seconds of each other in the first period when Tuukka Rask had a mini-meltdown in the middle of the game. Johnny Gaudreau scored his 100th career NHL goal after Rask gave up a juicy rebound in front of his own net, and then less than a minute later Rask whiffed on a Juuso Valimaki point shot that turned into that player’s first NHL goal. Once that flurry was over the Bruins were down by a 3-0 score and really didn’t have any chance of winning the game despite scoring a few goals and at least making a competitive game out of it. For all intents and purposes, the game was over after those two goals and the biggest surprise was that Rask didn’t get pulled out of the game at that point.  

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Highlights from Bruins' 5-2 loss to Flames

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File Photo

Highlights from Bruins' 5-2 loss to Flames

FINAL SCORE: Flames 5, Bruins 2

IN BRIEF: Michael Frolik scored two goals to lead the Calgary Flames, who led 3-0 after 16 minutes and never looked back en route to a 5-2 victory. Patrice Bergeron was brilliant in the second period, having a hand in both of Boston's goals. BOX SCORE 

THREE STARS
1
- Michael Frolik, Calgary (2 goals)
2 - Patrice Bergeron, Boston (1 goal, 1 assist)
3 - Jusso Valimaki, Calgary (1 goal)

HAGGERTY: Rask's first period doesn't give Bruins a chance to win

OUT OF THE BOX, INTO THE SPIN CYCLE

BERGY’S SIXTH SENSE

TIC . . . TAC . . . TOE . . . OH NO

FLAMES’ GAUDREAU REACHES MILESTONE

UP NEXT

THURSDAY: At Edmonton, 9 p.m. ET (NESN)
SATURDAY: At Vancouver, 10 p.m. ET (NESN)
TUESDAY: At Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. ET (NESN)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

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