Bruins

Brad Marchand's career stats entering B's-Devils couldn't be more fitting

Brad Marchand's career stats entering B's-Devils couldn't be more fitting

We all knew Brad Marchand was no angel, but this is downright freaky.

Marchand enters Saturday with 665 career games played, meaning his next contest will be his 666th. And guess who's coming to TD Garden on Saturday night? The New Jersey ... Devils.

Oh, and did we mention Marchand has accrued exactly 666 career penalty minutes (good for 35th on the NHL's all-time list among active players)?

Props to Reddit's r/Bruins page for finding this crazy coincidence, which of course happened to a once-described "little ball of hate" whose game easily could be characterized as devilish. (No word on if Miroslav Satan is coming out of retirement for this one.)

Serendipity aside, most of the focus at TD Garden will be on new Bruins winger Marcus Johansson, who faces New Jersey just five days after the Devils traded him to Boston ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

The B's also will look to extend their point streak to 16 games, as the hottest team in the NHL hasn't lost in regulation since January.

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Bruins sign Russian prospect Pavel Shen to entry-level deal

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Bruins sign Russian prospect Pavel Shen to entry-level deal

The Bruins made a couple of moves in the aftermath of last month’s development camp, and another one of those dominoes fell on Tuesday when they announced the signing of Russian draft pick Pavel Shen to a three-year deal.

Shen had to terminate his KHL/MHL contract with Tolpar Ufa in order to pave the way to come to Boston this fall for both rookie camp and NHL training camp.

The three-year entry level deal goes through the 2021-22 NHL season and will pay the young forward $809,167 per season as he gives North American hockey a try after playing in the KHL over the last couple of seasons. The 19-year-old has appeared in 49 KHL games over the last two seasons with a couple of goals and three points, and tore up the Russian Junior Hockey League (MHL) with 12 goals and 27 points in 34 games over the last two years.

Shen was a seventh round pick (212th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, and was a bright spot at this past June’s development camp in Boston showing both a playmaking flair and some pretty strong puck possession skills for a young player. The skating and goal-scoring were also pretty good, and the performance certainly merited a chance to see how good he can be at the AHL and NHL levels over the next few years.

Given Shen’s age, the transition from the KHL to North American hockey and the change in culture, it’s not expected that the 6-foot, 190-pound youngster is going to be in serious competition for a forward spot in Boston this fall. But bringing Shen over to Providence will be a better place for his development than his spot as a reserve player in the KHL over the last couple of seasons, and should accelerate the growth in a player who's got some offensive skills.

Here's what we had to say about Shen during last month’s development camp.

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Bruins' 2020 Stanley Cup odds, projected point total rank among NHL elite

Bruins' 2020 Stanley Cup odds, projected point total rank among NHL elite

Winning back-to-back championships is one of the most difficult feats in sports.

But perhaps just as hard is making it back to the championship after losing the season before.

That's the task ahead of the Boston Bruins, who look to rebound in 2019-20 after a heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Bruins have had a quiet offseason to date, losing Marcus Johansson to free agency but mostly keeping their squad from 2018-19 intact. That team finished second in the NHL with 107 points, and SuperBook USA in Vegas projects the B's to be another regular-season powerhouse this season.

Boston is tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the fourth-highest projected point total with 100.5, trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights.

The Bruins' odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup reflect those point totals, although the B's are listed below the Avs at 14/1.

Interestingly, the Bruins and Blues both have seen their odds decrease slightly from last month, when Boston was pegged at 10/1 and St. Louis was listed at 14/1.

The most notable free-agent names are off the board, so barring a trade, this is the core Bruins roster you'll probably see come October. And Vegas expects the B's, Lightning and Leafs to once again be the power players in the Eastern Conference, which should make for a very competive Atlantic Division.

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