Bruins

Bergeron’s return also a boost for Bjork

Bergeron’s return also a boost for Bjork

BOSTON – Clearly, the return of Patrice Bergeron had a positive effect on all things Bruins up and down the lineup, but it might have individually done more for rookie Anders Bjork than anybody else.

The 21-year-old from Wisconsin and Notre Dame had his first breakout game for the Bruins with a couple of goals, three points and a plus-2 rating in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on Thursday night.

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It’s no coincidence that Bjork’s rookie breakthrough arrived in his first game lining up at right wing alongside Bergeron and Brad Marchand after the youngster skated with those two forwards pretty exclusively through training camp. Bjork jumped right out with the immediate chemistry when he hopped to the front of the net and smacked home the rebound of a Bergeron shot for the important game-tying score, and both Bjork and the Bruins were off and running.

“He’s an awesome little player, and you can tell he’s really finding his stride right now. You know, he had an awesome game tonight, and [he’s] so good at reading the ice, open areas and where to go,” said Brad Marchand, of his rookie linemate. “It takes a little bit of time to build chemistry, but I think we’re coming along.”

Bjork cashed in his second goal of the first period on the power play after getting a centering pass from David Krejci and then firing under the bar from the slot for his third goal of the season. He had a couple of chances at the hat trick in the first period but missed high and wide with a couple more scoring chances, and instead finished with a career-high four shots on net and seven shot attempts in 12:28 of ice time.

“[Bergeron] obviously brings a lot of skill and passion and he brings a lot of other things that you don’t really realize – in the locker room and on the bench and stuff. So I mean, you can definitely see why he’s one of the best players in the NHL, not just because of what he does on the ice, but in the locker room as well.

“These guys are so easy to read off of. They’re going right away and they’re in the right spot all the time, so it makes it easy for me to get open and receive a puck like I did [on his first goal]. [The two] of them just playing the right way and also with that much skill…it’s pretty deadly.”

The Bruins hope Bjork continues to be a deadly combo for other teams when paired with Bergeron and Marchand now that things are starting to look like they were drawn up in training camp. 


 

NHL releases 2018-19 regular season schedule

NHL releases 2018-19 regular season schedule

The Boston Bruins' schedule is set after the NHL released the 2018-19 regular season schedule on Thursday. Boston opens the season in Washington to take on the defending champion Capitals on October 3rd, and have their home opener against Ottawa on October 8th. 

Boston and the Chicago Blackhawks were announced as the opponents for the 2019 Winter Classic, which takes place on New Year's Day. 

The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, who they will meet again for the first time on December 6th. 

Other key games include an early season back-to-back at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Nights on November 10th and 11th. 

The full schedule can be found below.

OCTOBER:

Wednesday, October 3 @ Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 4 @ Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Monday, October 8 vs. Ottawa, 1 p.m.

Thursday, October 11 vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 13 vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 17 @ Calgary, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 18 @ Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 20 @ Vancouver, 10 p.m.

Tuesday, October 23 @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 25 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 27 vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 30 at Carolina, 7 p.m.

NOVEMBER:

Saturday, November 3 @ Nashville, 8 p.m.

Monday, November 5 vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 8 vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 10 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 11 vs. Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 14 @ Colorado, 10 p.m.

Friday, November 16 @ Dallas, 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 17 @ Arizona, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 21 @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 23 vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 24 @ Montreal, 7 p.m.

Monday, November 26 @ Toronto, 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 29 vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

DECEMBER:

Saturday, December 1 vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, December 4 @ Florida, 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 6 @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 8 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 9 @ Ottawa, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, December 11 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.

Friday, December 14 @ Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 16 vs. Buffalo, 5 p.m.

Monday, December 17 @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 20 vs. Anaheim, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 22 vs. Nashville, 1 p.m.

Sunday, December 23 @ Carolina, 5 p.m.

Thursday, December 27 vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 29 @ Buffalo, 7 p.m.

JANUARY:

Tuesday, January 1 @ Chicago, 2 p.m.

Thursday, January 3 vs. Calgary, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 5 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8 vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 10 vs. Washington, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 12 @ Toronto, 7 p.m.

Monday, January 14 vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 16 @ Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 17 vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 vs. N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 29 vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 31 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY:

Sunday, February 3 @ Washington, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 5 vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 6 @ N.Y. Rangers, 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 9 vs. Los Angeles, 1 p.m.

Sunday, February 10 vs. Colorado, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, February 12 vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.

Friday, February 15 @ Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Saturday, February 16 @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Monday, February 18 @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 20 @ Vegas, 10 p.m.

Saturday, February 23 @ St. Louis, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, February 26 vs. San Jose, 7 p.m.

Thursday, February 28 vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

MARCH:

Saturday, March 2 vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5 vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 7 vs. Florida, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 12 @ Columbus, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 14 @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 16 vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19 @ N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 21 @ New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 23 @ Florida, 7 p.m.

Monday, March 25 @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 27 vs. N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 30 vs. Florida, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 31 @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

APRIL:

Tuesday, April 2 @ Columbus, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 4 @ Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 6 vs. Tampa Bay, 12:30 p.m.

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Haggerty: Bruins should pass on trading for Wayne Simmonds

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Haggerty: Bruins should pass on trading for Wayne Simmonds

DALLAS -- Interesting times for the Bruins as they head into NHL Draft weekend here, as a number of names have been bandied about as possibilities,. Things are fluid right now as far as targets and potential strategies go, what with the draft being held this weekend and free agency opening on July 1. 

One name that has popped up in recent days is Flyers power forward Wayne Simmonds, who is entering the final year of his contract at age 29. Simmonds was mentioned as a possible target by NBC Sports Boston way back in May, and has been kicked up in the last few days with The Athletic’s Michael Russo mentioning him as possible trade bait for the Minnesota Wild. 

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In a vacuum, Simmonds would be a terrific second-line fit for Boston. Despite battling injuries that culminated with him undergoing hip surgery, Simmonds scored 24 goals and 46 points last year. Just a couple of seasons ago he put up 32 goals and 60 points. At his best, the 6-foot-2, 183-pounder is a prototypical power forward capable of scoring goals around the net, throwing big hits and dropping the gloves with a ferocious level of intimidation when the situation calls for it. 

He’s very much in the mold of Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Jarome Iginla as the kind of power winger that’s been very good with David Krejci in the past, and would make the Bruins a little tougher and much harder to play against. 

So, clearly, as a player Simmonds would be “a great addition” for the Bruins, as Bruce Cassidy said about Ilya Kovalchuk, with all things being equal. 

Here’s the rub: The cost is going to be considerable for Simmonds. The Bruins will have to give up significant assets to get a full year of Simmonds ahead of his free-agent walk year, and then they’d need to pay up again to sign him to a big contract extension at some point next season.

Certainly the B’s would feel beholden to sign Simmonds if they gave up blue-chip prospects and draft picks to land him.

As with most trade discussions over the last year, Jake DeBrusk is a name that's been an ask from other team. Even if it's Danton Heinen or Anders Bjork involved in the discussions instead, the Bruins would need to give up a valued young winger in order to get the more established Simmonds. 

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They’d be doing all this for a big-bodied, 29-year-old player who's probably going to start slowing down, and breaking down, over the next few seasons.

A couple of years ago landing Simmonds would have been a master stroke move for the Bruins as they sought to replace Lucic’s hulking presence in the lineup. Certainly they could have used the offensive punch on their second line, where Rick Nash disappointed after arriving at the trade deadline last spring. 

But in this humble hockey writer’s opinion, the window should probably be closed at this point on acquiring Simmonds, given the cost in terms of both assets and future dollars.

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