Bruins

Chara out, but Pastrnak back for Bruins in Ottawa

Chara out, but Pastrnak back for Bruins in Ottawa

The Bruins won’t have Zdeno Chara for the Thanksgiving night showdown with the Ottawa Senators and the Canadian Tire Center, but they will be getting back 20-year-old right winger David Pastrnak. 

Claude Julien confirmed his leading goal scorer will be back in the lineup after missing the past three games with an upper body injury. Pastrnak will bring his 10 goals back to a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand that could use his explosive finishing ability. 

In a corresponding move, the Bruins returned rookie forward Sean Kuraly to Providence after a couple of decent games with the Black and Gold. Kuraly has appeared in five games with Boston this season with zero points and two penalty minutes. He has played in 10 games for Providence with two assists and nine penalty minutes.

The Kuraly roster move also means that winger Jimmy Hayes somehow stays in the lineup despite not having scored a point in an NHL game since Feb. 24, a stretch of 33 games with zeroes across the board for a player brought to Boston for his net-front offense. Hayes has actually been more active with shots on net and registered hits and perhaps is feeling some urgency with Frank Vatrano inching closer to a return from his foot injury. 

The Kuraly move to Providence might also clear up a roster spot for Kevan Miller coming off the injured list and potentially jumping back into the lineup with Chara injured. Julien told reporters in Ottawa that Miller would be a game time decision after returning to regular practice for the past week plus.

Miller missed the first 19 games of the regular season with a fractured hand, but earlier this week was cleared by the B’s medical staff to play in games. 

Bruins' 'preference' is to leave Charlie Coyle at third line center

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Bruins' 'preference' is to leave Charlie Coyle at third line center

BRIGHTON -- There was some question as to whether Charlie Coyle might get a little time at wing this season for the Bruins after locking things down at the third line center position last season after coming over in trade from the Minnesota Wild.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Coyle brought two-way play, puck possession and offensive upside to the third line upon his arrival, and then he really stepped it up in the playoffs with nine goals and 16 points in his 24 games. So naturally, there is curiosity as to whether his size, strength and offense could move up to right wing on the second line where his game could be paired pretty comfortably with playmaking David Krejci.

Or even more radically, Coyle’s size and strength could make an interesting match on the right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

But it sounds like the Bruins are going to keep things strong down the middle with Bergeron and Krejci as their top-6 centers and Coyle and Sean Kuraly as the bottom-6 centers giving the B's depth and quality down the middle of the lineup. Coyle was centering Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen at practice on Wednesday afternoon and has played center throughout training camp.

It may be getting to a point now where they don’t want to fool around with things by switching Coyle’s positions on him as happened in Minnesota, and it certainly sounds like Cassidy’s preference is to leave him at center.

“Generally speaking the match-up is the D-pair and the centerman down low. The wingers obviously matter, but they are less of a factor. At least that’s what I think when I think match-ups. So to have Charlie [Coyle] in there [at center] now, and my intention is to keep him there unless the team would be better served with him on the wing,” said Cassidy. “Right now, we like the way we played last year and hopefully this year. It makes you a lot more comfortable in terms of defending.”

Cassidy reserved the right to change his mind if Trent Frederic really comes along as an NHL-ready center or if all of the top-6 right wing candidates end up dropping the ball in training camp. That doesn’t appear to be the case over the first week of training camp and that may just mean Coyle stays in his comfortable position at center where he gives the Bruins the lineup depth that helped catapult them to the Stanley Cup Final last spring.

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Bruins only have one player on ESPN's 'Top 100 NHL prospects' list

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Bruins only have one player on ESPN's 'Top 100 NHL prospects' list

The Boston Bruins weren't exactly well represented on ESPN's "Top 100 NHL prospects list" heading into the new season.

20-year-old Jack Studnicka was the only B's prospect to make the list, landing in the No. 61 spot. Here's what ESPN's Chris Peters had to say about the 2017 second-round pick:

"A free-wheeling forward who can do a little bit of everything, Studnicka will be put to the test early in the AHL. But he looks more than ready to make the most of it."

In 60 games between the Oshawa Generals and the Niagra IceDogs of the OHL last season, Studnicka tallied 83 points (36 goals, 47 assists). The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder also scored in a playoff game with the Providence Bruins. He'll continue to battle for a spot on the NHL roster throughout camp.

Some of the Bruins prospects left out of the top 100 include Urho Vaakanainen, Anders Bjork, Trent Frederic, Jakub Lauko, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Zach Senyshyn.

Unsurprisingly, Jack Hughes (Devils) and Kaapo Kakko (Rangers) topped ESPN's rankings.

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