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Bruins trade rumor: Blues' Schenn an intriguing possibility

Bruins trade rumor: Blues' Schenn an intriguing possibility

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins continue to look to add at least one more forward to their current group that begins the second half of the regular season with a big divisional tilt tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.

Don Sweeney has been very active on the phone with other GMs around the league trying to engineer a trade at a time of year when players don’t normally get moved. It’s clearly a byproduct of watching the Bruins continue to rotate through Joakim Nordstrom, Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Anders Bjork and now David Backes while looking for a match with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.

“[David Krejci’s] numbers are up and obviously, some of that is playing on the top line,” said Bruce Cassidy, who has done his best to juggle forwards in the first half, but clearly could use at least one more quality veteran NHL forward to add to the group. “But he’s got to find the missing piece over there [on the right wing] to help them out and really be a two-headed monster [with the top two lines].”

And there’s also the perpetual search for a third-line center as well with Colby Cave a healthy scratch for Saturday and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson showing improvement in dribs and drabs while getting a golden chance to lock down the job.

It’s why the Bruins have been linked to Weymouth, Mass., product and Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle in trade chatter in the first half of the season and it’s now why St. Louis center Brayden Schenn is being linked to the Black and Gold in rumors as well. James Murphy from CLNS Media tweeted Friday night that a couple of sources indicated to him that the Bruins and Blues were talking deal, and that the Schenn, 27, was involved.

Several sources had mentioned to NBCSportsBoston.com over Winter Classic weekend that Schenn might be on the radar for the Bruins and could be a trade deadline possibility, along with Coyle, Wayne Simmonds or even New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood.  

There’s some level of trepidation from this humble hockey writer that Coyle wouldn’t really make that much of an impact in coming to Boston, but Schenn would be an interesting pick-up for the B’s on a number of levels. His numbers are down a little bit this season with just seven goals and 22 points in 34 games for a mediocre Blues team, but Schenn is a player who's averaged 23 goals and 54 points the past five seasons. Even better the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder plays with a little bit of an edge to his game and would bring some veteran physicality, size and toughness to a forward group that could definitely use it.

His 19 career fights in the NHL show that he's also another player that will stand up for his teammates and the Bruins could always use a little more of that to add to a smaller, faster skill-oriented group. 

The cost is another factor for the Bruins, of course. It wouldn’t be cheap given that Schenn still has one more season at $5.125 million before he becomes a free agent. So, the Bruins would get a strong forward to add to the group, but the cost would be beyond a mere rental and could get into a first-round pick and a good prospect along with a contract to make the deal work. Could the Blues be interested in getting former captain David Backes back for a similar cap number to Schenn, or be looking to bring home Bruins center prospect and St. Louis native Trent Frederic?

There are some interesting fits between the Blues and the Bruins that could make something like this work and Schenn would obviously be a big upgrade to what the B’s have. It doesn’t magically make the Bruins a shoo-in to get Schenn, of course, but this is one rumor to keep an eye on the next weeks and months while the B’s are clearly going to pull the trigger on bringing in at least one forward.    

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Here's Bruins' first-round playoff scenario entering Sunday vs. Capitals

Here's Bruins' first-round playoff scenario entering Sunday vs. Capitals

The Boston Bruins' potential first-round playoff matchups are laid out for them as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals.

The Montreal Canadiens upset the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, thus eliminating the Pens from playoff contention. That means the B's will either begin their Stanley Cup run against the New York Islanders or the Carolina Hurricanes.

If the Bruins beat the Capitals on Sunday, they'll face the Islanders in the first round. If they lose, they'll face the Hurricanes.


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Carolina comes off three straight convincing wins over the New York Rangers in the Toronto bubble. As for the Isles, they took three out of four from the Florida Panthers.

Either way, the B's will have a tough test in Round 1, and their fate will be determined by their final round-robin matchup on Sunday.

Boston currently is 0-2 in Toronto, falling 4-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers and then 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In order to gain some momentum heading into the postseason, there's no doubt the Bruins will need to show more of a sense of urgency than they have in the bubble to this point.

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak miss Friday's practice

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak miss Friday's practice

Bruins players Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak were all missing from Friday’s practice in the Toronto bubble while “unfit to participate”, but all are expected to be back for Sunday’s round-robin showdown with the Washington Capitals.

Cassidy called it a “short-term thing” and expected all three players would be ready to practice on Saturday ahead of their final round-robin game this weekend.

“We anticipate [on Saturday] we’ll have our full group, but until we’ll just keep trying to make it work,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Obviously this whole training camp we haven’t had lines together consistently for different reasons. Will it affect us in the postseason? Time will tell.

“I’d like to see our group together to see what it looks like…all together. But until that happens we’re going to fit people in together for practices and games where they can best help us and then go from there.”

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It will be the first time the entire Bruins group will be healthy, ready and available to play and Bruce Cassidy indicated that both Ondrej Kase and defenseman Connor Clifton should get in their first game action of the last two weeks.

Clifton will likely play in place of rookie D-man Jeremy Lauzon in order to get him some game action prior to next week’s playoff games, and Kase will be expected to knock the rust off after being set behind while spending a month in quarantine at the beginning of the NHL’s Return to Play.

“He looks good. He’s making some plays. He’s got some jump,” said Cassidy of Kase in practice this week. “I think the first three days were tough on him for obvious reasons and now he’s been at it for a full week. You can see he’s a little more natural with everything he does. He’s got quick hands.

“My anticipation is he’ll have lots of energy and he’ll fight the puck like a lot of our guys early on in their first game back because of the speed. I anticipate he’ll get some shots because he’s been shot-first in practice and we could use a little more of that. We need him to play. Hopefully he can pick it up quick because he’s missed some time. We have every intention of using him in Game 1 [next week], we just have to see where he’s at [against the Capitals]. Hopefully he’s ready to go.”

With Kase and Clifton expected to play on Sunday, the Bruins will have everybody they expect to use on their roster with at least some game action under their belt and ready to play whoever their opponent ends up being whether it’s the Islanders, Penguins or Hurricanes based on the way things play out this weekend.