Bruins

Zach Senyshyn finally getting his shot with Bruins, and so far, so good

Zach Senyshyn finally getting his shot with Bruins, and so far, so good

If everybody is being honest, there hasn’t been a whole lot to be excited about in Zach Senyshyn’s game in his first couple of seasons in the Bruins organization.

The 22-year-old has averaged 13 goals and 25 points in his first two seasons in the AHL and hasn’t dominated at any point after being a first-round pick for the B’s in the stacked 2015 draft, along with Jakub Zboril and Jake DeBrusk. He was a surprise pick back on draft night four years ago ahead of more heralded players that have gone on to stellar NHL careers, such as Mat Barzal, Brock Boeser, Travis Konecny and Kyle Connor. Senyshyn hasn’t been able to help the NHL team much when they’ve badly needed a top-six right winger the past few seasons.

But maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance that Senyshyn can help the Black and Gold, after all. The young winger was awarded a second assist after a change in scoring in the Tuesday night loss and tripled his career NHL output with the two-helper game in his 2019-20 debut. Senyshyn also could have had a third assist because it was his pass that set up Charlie Coyle for what appeared to be a pivotal third-period goal that was eventually overturned by a coach’s challenge. The third line of Anders Bjork, Coyle and Senyshyn was lauded as the team’s best after the loss in Montreal.

“Senyshyn pretty much played with Coyle and Bjork all night. They were arguably our most effective line. They had a good game,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I thought he handled it very well. He gave us 11 solid minutes. He and Bjork were on the puck, getting on pucks and turning pucks over to get on the attack. He drew a penalty by going to the net and getting inside, and that’s something we’ve asked him to do with his speed and body position. That was a great example of that. He had a lot to do with a couple of goals by getting to pucks first.”

Certainly, Senyshyn is going to have to play better than his numbers have borne out in Providence the past few seasons and he’ll need to turn his swift skating ability and 6-foot-1, 192-pound size into more than simple, unrealized potential.  

It looks as if he’s at least going to get that shot as the Bruins endure a wave of injuries to their forwards that have Joakim Nordstrom, Pavel Lindholm, Karson Kuhlman and Jake DeBrusk all on the shelf right now, and Senyshyn will get another look with Coyle and Bjork as a young, fast third line that was so effective against the Habs in their debut.

“Honestly, I felt really good out there. It’s pretty easy to play with a guy like Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork, who really pushes the play,” said Senyshyn, who had two goals and three points in 12 games with the P-Bruins to start this season. “I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and show them what I’ve learned down there. The reason why I got here is by bringing some of those little things into my game and bringing my speed, which I’m naturally good at. I was focusing on playing to my strengths and trying to show them that I’m able to play that complete game.”

Senyshyn will get another shot against Detroit on Friday night and potentially on Sunday against the Flyers and that’s really he can ask for at this point in his still-very-young pro hockey career after an unspectacular beginning.

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Jake Allen imitated Tuukka Rask to provide Blues with insight during Cup Final

Jake Allen imitated Tuukka Rask to provide Blues with insight during Cup Final

While St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen didn't get to play in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, he helped his team the only way he knew how...

By imitating Tuukka Rask.

"I'd try to act like Rask, skate like Rask, and try to imitate what he does that is different," Allen said, according to NHL.com's Kevin Woodley. "Just the way he holds himself and how low he looks, but his chest is forward and a lot of little things he does specific to his game. We'd go back on all the goals he let in, find tendencies, and try to imitate them to show guys a few clips that Dave could voice over and I'd be in net. ... We broke it down in very layman's terms, so I think everyone understood."

The whole idea of mimicking Rask was to provide the Blues with useful information beyond just watching video of the Boston Bruins goaltender. 

"You're looking at guys that play completely opposite styles of game, sizes, techniques, gear," Allen said. "So, I said, 'Why don't we try to implement something where we can show the boys what this guy does compared to that guy and ways we can potentially score?' The optical illusion each of those guys have, that they look bigger than they are in certain positions, is different in the net and I think that's what we were trying to create from an understanding standpoint for the players. If it caused a goal or two in the playoffs, then we did our job."

Allen was a big part of the Blues' goaltending situation before Jordan Binnington arrived. Brayden Schenn and Ryan O'Reilly found it especially helpful -- as they are two of St. Louis' best goal scorers. 

Schenn said he'd never seen anything like it, and it helped him understand Rask's tendencies. O'Reilly said it didn't make the series, but helped the team immensely in preparation for each game. 

Through the first three rounds --17 playoff games -- Rask had a .942 save percentage, in the Cup Final it dropped to .912. While the team in front of him was solid defensively, they failed to tally goals when it mattered, particularly in Game 7. 

So, it seems Allen's mimicry worked -- but it probably wasn't the reason why the Blues won the Stanley Cup. The B's did push the series to seven games, after all. 

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Bruins to open 2010-21 season in David Pastrnak's home country

Bruins to open 2010-21 season in David Pastrnak's home country

The Boston Bruins will be doing a bit of traveling in 2020. 

The NHL announced Friday that the Bruins will be headlining the 2020 NHL Global Series by opening the season in the Czech Republic against the Nashville Predators.  

Both the Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe with Boston also set to travel to Mannheim, Germany to faceoff with SC Bern in an exhibition game. 

B's President Cam Neely stressed the importance of team bonding on these long international trips.

"We have kicked off our season with international games twice in the past decade and both times the trips have proved valuable for our team building, so we feel that this trip to Germany and the Czech Republic will be beneficial for our team," Cam Neely said, according to NHL.com. "We are also looking forward to working with the NHL and the Nashville Predators to continue our collective efforts to grow the game of hockey in international markets."

The Czech Republic is where Bruins' stars David Krejci and David Pastrnak grew up, and they couldn't be more excited to be able to play in front of friends and family. 

"Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends and teammates," Krejci said. "It was the start of a year I'll always remember. Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it's great the league continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world."

Pastrnak actually had the opportunity to watch the Bruins play in Prague in 2010, he's now excited to be a part of the action from a player's perspective. 

"I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague," Pastrnak said. "I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I'll never forget - I can't wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim."

Pastrnak, who has 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) through 15 games this season and Krejci, who has five points (one goal, four assists) through nine games, will headline the festivities in their native country. 

This will be the third time Boston will play overseas -- the first since the team competed in the O.R.G. NHL China Games against the Calgary Flames in 2018-19. 

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