Bruins

Charlie McAvoy 'doesn’t want to go anywhere' as he prepares for restricted free agency

Charlie McAvoy 'doesn’t want to go anywhere' as he prepares for restricted free agency

Charlie McAvoy was one of the best players on the Boston Bruins throughout their run through the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. And it appears that he wants to stay with the team long-term.

Per our own Joe Haggerty, McAvoy, who is a restricted free agent this offseason, saying that he "doesn't want to go anywhere."

McAvoy is echoing sentiments expressed by many of his fellow defensemen. Torey Krug expressed that he would like to stay with the team forever as he enters the final year of his contract in the upcoming season.

And shortly after McAvoy made his comments, Brandon Carlo, another defenseman set to hit restricted free agency this offseason, said that he wanted to stay with the Bruins long term, per Marisa Ingemi of The Boston Herald.

The Bruins seemingly have a chance to lock up the younger members of their defensive core given their statements about wanting to remain with the team. Of course, finances will come into consideration, but the fact that they all have stated that they want to return is certainly good news.

If the Bruins can retain McAvoy and Carlo, they will have their top two defensive pairs back for at least next year, as Zdeno Chara agreed to a one-year extension with the club during the regular season.

Click here to see Haggerty's latest NHL Mock Draft>>>

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Bruins' Kevan Miller 'getting closer' to return, says Bruce Cassidy

Bruins' Kevan Miller 'getting closer' to return, says Bruce Cassidy

Kevan Miller hasn't appeared in a game for the Bruins since April 4 due to a fractured kneecap, but there's finally some encouraging news regarding the defenseman's recovery.

On Wednesday, B's head coach Bruce Cassidy told Bruins.com's Eric Russo that Miller is "getting closer" to joining the team although there still is no projected return date.

“I don’t know if it’s two (days) on, one off, or what they’ve got him on,” Cassidy said. “But he’s getting closer. Until he’s with the team, it’s hard to project (a return date). Let’s get him with the team, get him in a normal sweater, get some contact and I’ll probably have a better timeline of when he can return. So far so good, he’s working hard on the drills he’s been given.”

With fellow defenseman John Moore also missing time as he recovers from shoulder surgery, Miller would be a welcome addition to the Bruins' blue line.

For now, though, the Bruins will be tasked with taking on a couple of tough Atlantic Division foes in their next two matchups. They'll host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET, then visit the Toronto Maple Leafs for a Saturday night matchup at 7 p.m. ET.

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Bruins HC Bruce Cassidy: Poor second periods are 'going to bite us in the ass'

Bruins HC Bruce Cassidy: Poor second periods are 'going to bite us in the ass'

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Bruce Cassidy is obviously pleased that the Bruins have jumped out to a 5-1-0 start this season, but the B’s head coach also knows the team is playing with fire when it comes to their lackluster second periods.

Sure, the Bruins are outscoring opponents by a 4-3 margin in second periods this season, so it doesn’t appear to be a big deal statistically. But the B’s have also scored first in five of their six games thus far this season, and that plays into a bit of the middle 20-minute malaise that has been one of Boston’s weak spots in an otherwise encouraging start to the season.

Cassidy went so far as to call the second period effort “exceptionally poor” in Monday’s win over the Ducks as they were outshot 16-6, and admitted after Wednesday’s practice that they’ve been able to get away with the lollygagging as of late against less dangerous teams like the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks. Certainly the superior play of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak in the early going has saved them as well, but that isn’t going to be sustainable against a higher caliber of competition.

In fact that’s going to change with Atlantic Division rivals in the Lightning and the Maple Leafs on the docket over the next week.  

“We could probably fall behind [on the scoreboard] and then we’d see a better second [period]. I don’t want to go down that road if we can help it because we pride ourselves on starting on time. [It’s about] the details of the game and getting their attention,” said Cassidy. “This might happen [against Tampa Bay] or on Saturday. We may start seeing teams that aren’t as offensively challenged as the last few that we’ve had to let them off the hook.

“We might learn just because of the competition that we’re playing. I don’t think it’s anything that they’re not aware of. They lose their focus, they lose their details, the line changes are slower and the puck management is softer. Some of these things they kind of lose their way a little bit. Some of it is on us to get their attention, but some of it is on them that it’s part of their responsibility as well when they step on the ice. I’m not losing my mind over it, but I know it’s something that’s going to bite us in the ass at some point.”

Will the Bruins tighten up their second period issues, or will it be the fatal flaw that sinks them in some ultra-important games against Tampa Bay and Toronto over the next few days? We’ll soon find out as the real regular season begins to get going with Boston’s traditional rivals that can expose weaknesses that have been masked over the first few weeks of the regular season.

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