Bruins

Bruins readying for 30 players, handful of goalies in training camp

Bruins readying for 30 players, handful of goalies in training camp

With Bruins players in Boston in greater numbers for the Phase 3 open of NHL training camp in mid-July, things are beginning to take shape.

Goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak were both at a voluntary practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning along with Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Matt Grzelcyk, Sean Kuraly, John Moore and Par Lindholm as NHL teams can now have up to 12 players on the ice all at once.

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Bruce Cassidy broke down where the Bruins are with the July 10 start date less than two weeks away and the B’s expecting roughly 35 players to attend a two-week training camp before heading to a hub city expected to be named by the NHL later this week.

“It looks like it will be 30 skaters. I don’t know if that’s been confirmed yet. We’ve got a list of 28 and of 30 [skaters] and four goaltenders. I think you’re unlimited with your goaltenders. The message will be, we’ll get together with [Patrice Bergeron] and [Zdeno Chara] first and see how these skating pods have gone,” said Cassidy, during a Monday morning Zoom call with Bruins reporters. “It’s just to make sure everybody is in a good place. It’s to just get a temperature of the guys and where they are at. Are they comfortable with the situation? Are they nervous? Are they excited to get going and that the group has done their work?

“The message for us hasn’t changed in terms of our goals haven’t changed with the unfinished business that our goal is to be Stanley Cup champions. Inside of that message is the unknown and how we need to be prepared to deal with that as it comes at us. It can be difficult because we don’t know how it's going to work out with players' families yet. How much time will they be away? Will they able to visit their families? Will their families be able to see them? That will be the most important thing outside of the obvious that is playing the games.”

Cassidy reeled off Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak, Max Lagace and Daniel Vladar as the four Bruins goalies set for training camp, and Kyle Keyser may also have an opportunity to take part after healing from an injury during the season. The NHL may cut down to 28 roster players plus the unlimited number of goalies when the teams travel to the hub city locale, so there may actually be a couple of cuts at the end of the two-week training camp.

Still, Cassidy wondered if the extra bodies might come in handy depending on COVID-19 positive tests within teams such as the five positive tests that shut down the Tampa Bay Lightning informal skate last week. Something like that once the NHL begins playing games could really begin to compromise a team when combined with the normal spate of injuries and illness associated with playoff hockey.

“What happens when a player tests positive, is asymptomatic and then gets cleared after a couple of negative tests? Whatever they determine it needs to be, should you have those [extra] players on site in case the [positive] players have to miss two weeks?” said Cassidy. “That's something I don’t know the final rules on. You’re going to need enough bodies. So that’s something the general managers are definitely discussing with the league, and I assume the [NHLPA]. I know they want to limit the number [of players] you do have for obvious reasons to limit interaction.”

A Return to Play agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA is expected in the coming days along with naming the hub cities, and perhaps an extension of the current CBA for a few more years as well. At that point, the Bruins will know exactly the parameters of what they are dealing with for training camp and the games to be played largely in August, September and perhaps October. 

The expectation is that young players like Jack Studnicka, Jakub Zboril, Urho Vaakanainen, Paul Carey, Trent Frederic, Steve Kampfer and Karson Kuhlman will be among the names included on the Bruins roster, but it will be interesting to see what other players are going to be included given the unknown that the Black and Gold will be skating into over the next few weeks.

Stanley Cup playoff schedule 2020: Dates, Times, TV Channel, scores for every game

Stanley Cup playoff schedule 2020: Dates, Times, TV Channel, scores for every game

The start of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs is just a few days away.

The NHL's round robin and qualifying round series concluded Sunday, setting up all eight of the first round matchups. 

The qualifying round was full of surprises. Four of the eight series resulted in upsets, including the No. 12 seeds in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference winning their matchups against the No. 5 seeds. 

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The round robin didn't lack unexpected results, either. The Boston Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy with the league's best record in the regular season, but they finished at the bottom of the East's round robin standings after three consecutive losses. The defending champion St. Louis Blues had the best record in the West during the regular season and also struggled in the round robin with a fourth-place finish (1-2-1 record).

Could we see a first-round upset involving one or both of last season's Stanley Cup finalists? Anything is possible in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here's the television schedule for every first-round series. Check back to this article each day for updated schedules and scores for all games (all times ET).

EASTERN CONFERENCE
FIRST ROUND

Philadelphia Flyers (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (12)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m -- MTL at PHI (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. -- MTL at PHI (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. -- PHI at MTL (NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. -- PHI at MTL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- MTL at PHI (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- MTL at PHI (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- MTL at PHI (TBD)

Tampa Bay Lightning (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9)
Game 1: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (5OT)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 3 p.m. -- CBJ at TBL (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. -- TBL at CBJ (NBCSN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. -- TBL at CBJ (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- CBJ at TBL (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- TBL at CBJ (TBD)
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- CBJ at TBL (TBD)

Washington Capitals (3) vs. New York Islanders (7)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 3 p.m. -- NYI at WSH (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. -- NYI at WSH (NBCSN, FX-CA, TVAS)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12 p.m. -- WSH at NYI (USA, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. -- WSH at NYI (NBCSN)
Game 5*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- NYI at WSH (TBD)
Game 6*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- WSH at NYI (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- NYI at WSH (TBD)

Boston Bruins (4) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (6)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. -- CAR at BOS (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. -- CAR at BOS (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 12 p.m. -- BOS at CAR (NBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. -- BOS at CAR (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- CAR at BOS (TBD)
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- BOS at CAR (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- CAR at BOS (TBD)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
FIRST ROUND

Vegas Golden Knights (1) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (12)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 10:30 p.m. -- CHI at VGK (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. -- CHI at VGK (NBCSN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. -- VGK at CHI (NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. -- VGK at CHI (NBCSN, SN1, SN360)
Game 5*: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at TBD -- CHI at VGK (TBD)
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- VGK at CHI (TBD)
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- CHI at VGK (TBD)

Colorado Avalanche (2) vs. Arizona Coyotes (11)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m. -- ARI at COL (NBCSN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. -- ARI at COL (NHLN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. -- COL at ARI (CNBC, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m. -- COL at ARI (NBCSN, FX-CA, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- ARI at COL (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- COL at ARI (TBD)
Game 7: *Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- ARI at COL (TBD)

Dallas Stars (3) vs. Calgary Flames (8)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. -- CGY at DAL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 10:30 p.m. -- CGY at DAL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 14 at 10:30 p.m. -- DAL at CGY (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. -- DAL at CGY (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at TBD -- CGY at DAL(TBD)
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- DAL at CGY (TBD)
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- CGY at DAL (TBD)

St. Louis Blues (4) vs. Vancouver Canucks (7)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 10:30 p.m. -- VAN at STL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. -- VAN at STL (NHLN, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 10:30 p.m. -- STL at VAN (CNBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 10:30 p.m. -- STL at VAN (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- VAN at STL (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- STL at VAN (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- VAN at STL (TBD)

*If necessary

Krug not changing his play style despite free agency looming

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy: 'We're disappointed we didn't get to play (Tuesday)'

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy: 'We're disappointed we didn't get to play (Tuesday)'

The Bruins knew going into this 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs that they were going to need to expect the unexpected, and they will get to live that reality right off the bat.

The Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes were forced to postpone their Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning/Columbus Blue Jackets game went to quintuple overtime before the two teams decided a winner six plus hours after they had dropped the puck. It was an epic game between the Bolts and the Blue Jackets that ended with Brayden Point winning it for Tampa Bay, and it pushed the Bruins and Hurricanes back to 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

The move will push the B’s and Hurricanes into back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday for the first two games of the best-of-seven series and provide the very unusual scenario of morning playoff hockey. Certainly, it will be unusual from the norm at Stanley Cup Playoff time, but in Bruce Cassidy’s estimation it wouldn’t have been fair to have an opening puck drop around 11 p.m. with ice already chewed up after over six hours of playoff hockey.

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“It’s obviously strange to wait that long and then learn that you may or may not play,” said Cassidy. “Then you ask [yourself] if it’s going to be productive to start playing at 10 at night and whether it’s going to be safe for the players. As a coach, you’re just thinking about how you’re going to prepare your players after they’ve been sitting for that long.

“The way this tournament is going, you kind of have to live with the scheduling including practice times and pregame skates not going the way that you’re accustomed to them."

Pushing through and playing the game no matter what Tuesday night wouldn’t have been the safest setting for the players, and it wouldn’t really have been fair in these most unusual of times. Given that the NHL crews need approximately 90 minutes between games to clean and disinfect at the bubble arenas, this might not be the last time this kind of thing happens in the first few rounds of the postseason.

“We want to play. Coming out of the round robin, we feel this is what we were getting ready for all season to be honest with you. It wasn’t just last week. We started in October building our game toward having another playoff run,” said Cassidy. “We put that out there openly and called it unfinished business. Now we’ve done the prep work over the last 10 days and the two weeks before that [in training camp] at Warrior, and we need to get going.

“It’s 16 teams, four rounds of seven game series…it’s your traditional playoffs. We’re disappointed we didn’t get to play tonight, but once the night drags on players start [asking] ‘are we going to play?’ and ‘Is this going to be happening?’ I think at 11 a.m. I think we’ll have the same emotion [on Wednesday]. I really believe that.”

So now everybody can get ready for two straight days of Bruins playoff hockey on Wednesday and Thursday, and another bizarre set of circumstances that the NHL is actively working through while trying to keep things as normal, and as fair, as humanly possible.