Bruins

Boston Bruins to play 12 nationally televised games next season

Boston Bruins to play 12 nationally televised games next season

The bright lights of national television will be shining on the 2019-20 Boston Bruins as they vie for another shot at the Stanley Cup. 

The first time the Bruins will play on national TV will be on Saturday, October 26 in a rematch with the defending champions St. Louis Blues. The home game is sure to rile up Bruins fans and the remaining animosity between the teams will make for must-watch programming. 

The Blues matchup is the first of 12 nationally televised broadcasts, the sixth-most in the league. All national broadcasts will be aired on NBC or NBC Sports. Other dates to mark down on your calendars include a home matchup against the 2019 Western Conference finalist Dallas Stars on February 27 and a road tilt against last year's Presidents' Trophy winner Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Two other teams — the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals — are tied with the Bruins with 12 national games. The five teams ahead of them include the Rangers (13), Blackhawks (14), Blues (15), Penguins (16) and, surprisingly, the Flyers (20). 

Below is a full list, in order, of the Bruins nationally televised games for the 2019-20 season (regional games air on NESN): 

Saturday, October 26: Blues at Bruins, NBCSN, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 5: Bruins at Canadiens, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 29: Rangers at Bruins, NBC, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, December 11: Bruins at Capitals, NBCSN, 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 19: Bruins at Penguins, NBC, 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 5: Bruins at Blackhawks, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 9: Bruins at Red Wings, NBC, 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 12: Canadiens at Bruins, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 16: Bruins at  Rangers, NBC, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 27: Stars at Bruins, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3: Bruins at  Lightning, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10: Bruins at Flyers, NBCSN, 7 p.m.

The Bruins kick off the regular season on October 3 in Dallas against the Stars. Joe Haggerty will once again provide complete coverage of the defending Eastern Conference champion Bruins online, on air and on the MyTeams app.

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.

Sean Kuraly, Bruins fourth line 'trying to get back to what makes them a good line'

sean_kuraly_chris_wagner_bruins.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

Sean Kuraly, Bruins fourth line 'trying to get back to what makes them a good line'

BRIGHTON, Mass. — While there are obviously plenty of things that have gone right for the Bruins given their standing in first place in the Atlantic Division, their fourth line hasn’t really been one of them.

A big part of it, obviously, is the number of injuries suffered early in the season with left winger Joakim Nordstrom out of the mix for 11 games, so the continuity wasn’t there early in the season with a number of different faces on Boston’s energy line.

But the regular trio has been together for the last few weeks, and still hasn’t completely found the footing that made them one of the most effective fourth lines in the NHL last season. They have combined for just four goals in the first 20 games this season, and both Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly have been minus players this season.

The good news is that some offensive opportunities are beginning to come their way, enough so that Wagner has been unsuccessfully tapped for the shootout in each of the last two instances where the Bruins made it to the extra season.

But it’s also clear to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy that his fourth line needs to get back to basics and do what they do best in playing with speed and physicality, shutting down top lines and occasionally popping in secondary offense when chances present themselves. Right now they are doing some of that, but clearly haven’t hit the high levels they were at a little more often last season.

“I think [Kuraly] is losing sight a little bit of what makes them a good line, and what makes him a good player. He’s visibly frustrated when he’s not finishing, which I get. Guys want to score. But that shouldn’t then affect the rest of his game, and I think it has a little bit. We’ve pulled them aside as a line, especially the assistant coaches, and have gone through things when they’re solid,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think the puck is finding Sean and the rest of their line; they just have to finish. But he really has to make sure what his primary role is and that’s been our message to him.

“That’s being a shutdown guy and making life miserable for one of their top two lines, and then get the job done on the penalty. I don’t want to say the offense is gravy, but you’ve just got to play through that part of it and not let if affect you mentally.”

Kuraly himself admitted that it hasn’t been an easy go of it this season and understands exactly what needs to be done to get them back to their high level of play.

“My details can be better and that’s my focus. I want to be top end at the little things and the details,” said Kuraly, who has been a minus-3 with just five shots on net in the last five games for the Bruins. “I think some of that might have slipped lately and my focus is going to be getting that back to what it was. It’s realizing when I do that, I give the team a good chance to win — and when I don’t, it can hurt us. A lot of that can fall on me.”

Maybe what the B's fourth line needs is simply to play crash-and-bang hockey with some responsible defense thrown in for a couple of games. Once they have become difficult to play against once again, then the offense will follow afterward.

It remains to be seen exactly when the B’s energy line is going to make the expected turnaround, but it sounds like everybody is on the same page as to how exactly that’s going to happen, when it does happen.

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.

Bruins' Jake DeBrusk, Brett Ritchie trending toward return vs. Devils

spark_debrusk_ritchie.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photos

Bruins' Jake DeBrusk, Brett Ritchie trending toward return vs. Devils

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins should get at least a couple of pieces of their team back from injuries for Tuesday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

Jake DeBrusk (lower body) and Brett Ritchie (upper body) both skated without restrictions in Monday morning’s practice at Warrior Arena, and it sounded like they would play against the Devils barring any setbacks following practice. For DeBrusk, it will be a welcome return after a five-game absence and he’ll hope to pick up where he left off with goals in each of the two games before he got hurt early in the first period against the Canadiens on November 5.

“I’m feeling good,” said DeBrusk, who has three goals and six points in 15 games this season. “I’ve obviously been missing the game, so it was great skating with the boys today. I scored in back-to-back games before Montreal, so I used the time [out with injury] to reflect on things and rejuvenate myself in a way. It was different things that were getting to me a little bit. I used the time to be more mature with my approach [to the game] coming back whenever that is going to be.”

Patrice Bergeron (lower body) didn’t skate with the Bruins on Monday and will be a game-time decision against the Devils while planning to travel with the team to New Jersey. Torey Krug (upper body) skated ahead of practice on Monday and could be nearing a return to the lineup as well, but he won’t be playing against the Devils.

“Ritchie and DeBrusk both skated and no residual effects right now, so we anticipate they’re going to play,” said Cassidy. “We’ll put them as game-time decisions. “Krug skated. He’s not available [against the Devils] so he’ll be available a little later as well.”

As far as other injured Bruins are concerned, Kevan Miller has had a couple of days off the ice, “won’t play this week” but is looking at a possible return to game action next week after he was not on the ice with the team on Monday morning. John Moore (shoulder surgery) did skate with the main group and continues to make progress in his recovery from offseason surgery.

Tuukka Rask will get the start against the Devils on Tuesday night, and both Brendan Gaunce and Urho Vaakanainen were called up to the Bruins ahead of Tuesday’s trip to New Jersey. It didn’t look like Gaunce will be playing against the Devils, however, unless somebody expected to play isn’t able to at game time.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings for Tuesday night’s game vs. the Devils based on practice:

PROJECTED LINES

Brad Marchand David Krejci David Pastrnak
Anders Bjork Charlie Coyle Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk Par Lindholm Brett Ritchie
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk Brandon Carlo
Urho Vaakanainen Connor Clifton

STARTING GOALIE

Tuukka Rask

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.