Bruins

Bruins ink center/forward Par Lindholm to a two-year deal

Bruins ink center/forward Par Lindholm to a two-year deal

The Boston Bruins made a handful of free agent moves on Monday. They added Maxime Lagace to provide goaltender depth to the squad. They also paid $1 million to acquire the services of the rugged winger Brett Ritchie, a former member of the Dallas Stars.

The team also made a move on Monday to add forward Par Lindholm to a two-year deal worth $850,000 annually to provide roster depth. They confirmed the signing on their official Twitter account.

Last year was Lindholm's first season in the NHL after spending time in Sweden and being a solid goal scorer. He played for briefly for the Winnipeg Jets and more extensively for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 65 games (61 with Toronto), Lindholm had 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists) and logged a plus-5 rating while serving as both a wing and a center.

Don Sweeney clearly sees more upside for Lindholm and praised the 27-year-old's scoring ability in a press conference on the first day of free agency.

"We only had one left-shot centerman, (Lindholm is) very good on faceoffs, also kills penalties, certainly in his previous years in Sweden he had 18 goals," said Sweeney. "Fifteen goals the year before that. I don’t believe he’ll score just one. We felt that same way with (Joakim Nordstrom) the previous year. So again, some of it’s speculation, some of it is just trying to work through the metrics of a guy on another team and how he’s going to come in and play on your team in a particular role that you envision him in."

And Lindholm seemed to be drawn to the Bruins from the start and lauded one quality in particular in a press conference of his own. The Bruins' toughness.

"I think it is the toughness," said Lindholm. "They have a tough team that has been like that for a long time. I think that is pretty intimidating. I know when we played the Bruins, it’s always hard to play against them. I think that is probably the key to winning playoff games."

And Lindholm will get a chance to prove himself after a first season in which he felt he could have done more.

"I think I played pretty good but couldn’t just score," said Lindholm. "I think the confidence went pretty low and I don’t know. I think have a lot more to give in this league, I really do."

Sweeney: Bruins done "for right now" on the UFA market>>>

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It's absurd people are worried about Bruins after losing glorified exhibition games

It's absurd people are worried about Bruins after losing glorified exhibition games

The panic level for Bruins fans entering this week’s playoff round after an admittedly limp performance in the round-robin games is bordering on the absurd.

There’s no doubting the B’s put pretty much zero import into the results during the three round-robin games against the Flyers, Lightning and Capitals, but instead focused on two things:

A) Building their game over the two weeks leading into the real Stanley Cup Playoffs.

B) Staying healthy headed into the games that actually matter after watching Victor Hedman potentially go down with an injury for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bruins averaged a paltry 1.33 goals per game in the round robins and went a putrid 0-for-9 power play, and the Perfection Line managed just a single point between Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak in the three round-robin games. But they accomplished the two main goals they had in round-robin games they comically viewed as “preseason games” rather than playoff games that count as such in the NHL record books.

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Brad Marchand said as much when asked about the round-robin games following Monday’s practice in the Toronto bubble.

“Collectively, we just have to improve with each game. With the way it was set up, it’s not like it was the playoffs and it was do-or-die. Obviously, each game [moving forward] means a lot more. The pride and the willingness to do the extra things that maybe we weren’t doing during preseason [will be there],” said Marchand.

“What we’ve gone through the last four games doesn’t mean anything. Those were preseason games. Let’s call it what it is, those [round robin] games were exhibition games for the playoffs. We were in the same position as other teams and it was hard to have the same mentality as a playoff series.”

Full disclosure, this humble hockey writer is getting a kick out of panicked fans going all Chicken Little about the Bruins pretty much sucking in the round robin. They may feel pretty silly once the President’s Trophy-winning B’s show up for the real playoffs starting Tuesday night against the Hurricanes.

The bottom line: Absolutely nobody is going to be talking about the round-robin results a couple of weeks from now in a scenario where seeding doesn’t even really matter.

The B's clearly didn’t care about the round-robin games and said as much publicly and privately as a veteran hockey club that knows they had nothing to prove aside from getting ready for what’s next. The Blues did the same thing in the West, so it’s pretty instructive the two teams that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last summer had absolutely no use for these glorified exhibition games.

Conversely, it makes sense that a team like the young, eager Flyers dominated the round robin. They have something to prove after getting back into the postseason this year, and their young, skilled group will ultimately be tested in the real playoff games.

Now the Bruins have a path in the Eastern Conference where they’ll face Carolina in the first round, potentially see the Flyers in the second round and might put off a difficult playoff series with Washington or Tampa until the Eastern Conference Finals based on being the No. 4 seed.

That’s actually as good as it could have worked out for the Black and Gold.

They stayed healthy, worked on what they needed to in practice and steadily improved their play as they went along. Their best performance was the Sunday loss to the Capitals in the round-robin finale where Braden Holtby stood on his head. That was their goal.

Getting mad about them treating round-robin games like the preseason is kind of missing the point when they’ve got much bigger fish to fry with a Stanley Cup window that’s quickly closing.

The other absurd fallacy is that a team like the Bruins can’t “flip a switch” and just turn it on once the actual Stanley Cup Playoffs begin.

How about just last season when the B's lost four of their last seven games, got whacked by the Lightning twice and the Perfection Line was playing awful hockey at the very end of the regular season?

Everybody assumed the Bruins were doomed to lose to the Lightning in the second round of the playoffs and instead they pushed all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. It certainly felt like they “flipped the switch” with a veteran group when it was put up or shut up time in the postseason, didn’t it?

The Bruins might even struggle a bit in the first period of Game 1 on Tuesday night as they acclimatize to the win-or-go-home intensity Carolina played with in the qualifying round series against the Rangers. There was no way to replicate that in the round robin.  

But anybody who thinks the real Bruins aren’t going to show up in the real playoffs after coasting through the round robin hasn’t really watched how this proven, grizzled Bruins team operates over the last 10 years. It’s too bad because you’re missing a pretty good hockey team that’s got a full tank of gas headed into another Stanley Cup playoff run.

Rangers win 2020 NHL Draft lottery, chance to select Alexis Lafreniere

Rangers win 2020 NHL Draft lottery, chance to select Alexis Lafreniere

The New York Rangers will have the No. 1 overall selection in this year's NHL Draft.

They were the winners of Monday night's draft lottery, which means they'll have the chance to select highly touted prospect Alexis Lafreniere.


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The Rangers finished the regular season with 79 points and were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes -- the Boston Bruins' first-round playoff opponent -- in their qualifying round series.

Lafrenière, 18, is almost unanimously considered the obvious pick at No. 1. While the Rangers are already in pretty good shape at left wing, it'll be hard to pass up the opportunity to draft a generational talent.

The NHL Draft is scheduled to take place Oct. 9.