Bruins

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

It might have caused a ripple when Ryan Donato wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis for Bruins practice on the day after his brilliant, three-point NHL debut for the Black and Gold. But the 21-year-old Donato was still back in the Boston area fulfilling some class requirements at Harvard University to help him close out the current semester properly, and not lose the credits that will keep him in line with fulfilling his junior year at Harvard University.

Believe it or not, the schoolwork is important to the newest member of the Boston Bruins and he intends to study and hit the books on his road trips, and also intends to take classes in the summertime to still graduate on time next season.

“I’m planning on finishing the semester academically. I want to finish the semester academically,” said Donato, after Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena prior to last night’s debut vs. Columbus. “Obviously it’s going to be something that’s difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. I’m putting that off a little bit, but I need to be able to finish this semester in order to have that opportunity, and not put it off for another couple of years. I want to finish out the semester.”

Donato is also still living in the Harvard dorms while “moonlighting” as an NHL hockey player for the rest of the season, but that isn’t all so uncommon among some of the college players that leave school early. Charlie McAvoy was similarly living in the Boston University dorms last spring through Boston’s playoff run, and didn’t clear out of his college living situation until after the Black and Gold had been eliminated by the Ottawa Senators last April.

Missing practices on an NHL schedule is certainly a new one with, Donato, however, and takes the student-athlete concept to a whole new level for somebody that's already turned pro. One has to expect this was one of the things being discussed in full when the Donato family, Ryan's agent and the Bruins discussed his contract terms over the weekend before coming to an agreement.

Along with Donato, who is scheduled to fly into St. Louis and play against the Blues on Wednesday night, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash and Torey Krug were all missing from the ice at Tuesday’s team practice ahead of a four game road trip against Western Conference opponents.

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Talking Points from the Bruins 3-0 win over the Ducks

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AP Photo

Talking Points from the Bruins 3-0 win over the Ducks

Here are my talking points from an excellent shutout win by the Bruins in Anaheim:

GOLD STAR: Excellent game for Jaroslav Halak, who made 30 saves for the Bruins, including a big stop toward the end of the first period where Torey Krug had thrown a blind pass to Max Jones right in the slot area. Jones got off a point blank shot at the Boston net, but Halak stood tall to turn away the premium scoring chance. He was just as good in the second period as he was in the first, with 11 shots against him in each of those periods, and then the Bruins cruised in the third period for the shutout win over Anaheim. Halak hasn’t been great over the last six weeks or so, but he was very good toward the end of the period as the B’s struggled a little bit.

BLACK EYE: A tough night for Adam Henrique, who was a minus-2 in 14:55 of ice time and had just a couple of shots on net in a generally ineffective performance overall. He was also 3-for-10 in the face-off circle as the Ducks forward really didn’t play well in any facet of the game, and instead looked like a Ducks hockey club that’s starting to mail in games given how far they are outside of a playoff spot. He certainly wasn’t alone on the Anaheim roster, though, as they really didn’t muster much in the way of offense while getting shut down offensively by the Bruins.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins simply needed to get off to a good start against the Ducks to get ahead and really discourage a team that’s in a bit of disarray. That’s exactly what the Bruins did when Noel Acciari jumped in front of the net to tip home a Brandon Carlo one-timer blast from the point, and continued when they scored a goal in each of the next two periods while big offensive players like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were kept off the scores sheet. It’s always a big deal when the B’s can find a way to scratch out some secondary offense, and that’s exactly what they did against the mighty Ducks on Friday night.

HONORABLE MENTION: Give it to Noel Acciari, who finished with three shots on net and three registered hits in his 14:55 of ice time. Acciari played heavy and physical against a big, strong and heavy Anaheim group, and he also filled in with the offensive side of things as well. He slid in front of the net as Brandon Carlo was winding up and blasting from the point, and his tipped puck got the Bruins ahead for good early in the game. Acciari was also a plus-2 rating and part of a Bruins fourth line that kicked in a pair of goals in the road win when you consider Chris Wagner’s empty net score in the final periods as well.

BY THE NUMBERS: 15-for-18 – Patrice Bergeron didn’t really factor into the scoring so much in Friday’s win over the Ducks, but he was a dominant 15-for-18 in the face-off circle as he did his part for Boston to dominate puck possession.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “You prepare to win every game, but you want to play your best hockey as you go along. It’s just a matter of consistency coming around. We’re starting to see our health coming around, so you can play the same groups every night and they’re getting a feel for one another.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN on a Bruins team that’s starting to play some pretty strong hockey. 

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Highlights from Bruins' 3-0 win over Ducks

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Highlights from Bruins' 3-0 win over Ducks

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 3, Ducks 0

IN BRIEF: In the first leg of a five-game West Coast road swing, the Bruins played fast and never got much of a threat from Anaheim, jumping out to a 1-0 first period league and never looking back. Goalie Jaroslav Halak was terrific in net, making some timely saves to pick up his third shutout of the season.

BOX SCORE 

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

Good reward for the Bruins fourth line, with Noel Acciari tipping home a Brandon Carlo point blast. It’s just the second goal of the season for Acciari, who has worked diligently and done the right things without the results always being there. But he was finally rewarded on Friday night with the hard-working goal just as the “fourth line” has been rewarded with more and more ice time as they’ve continued to play good hockey.

Excellent game for Jaroslav Halak, who made 30 saves for the Bruins -- including a big stop toward the end of the first period, where Torey Krug had thrown a blind pass to Max Jones right in the slot area. Jones got off a point blank shot at the Boston net, but Halak stood tall to turn away the premium scoring chance. He was just as good in the second period as he was in the first, and then the Bruins cruised in the third period for the shutout win over Anaheim. Halak hasn’t been great over the last six weeks or so, but he was very good toward the end of the period as the B’s struggled a little bit.

David Krejci continues to excel while filling in for David Pastrnak on that top Bruins power play unit. He made a couple of plays from that spot in the first game without Pastrnak on Tuesday night, and he once again dangled through the Ducks penalty kill to set up Jake DeBrusk for a tap-in power play goal in the second period on Friday night. He scored on a one-timer in the first game to show that his shot can be effective from the face-off circle, but it’s his hands and playmaking that could set him apart there as they did in the insurance marker for the Black and Gold. 

BRUINS RECORD: 33-17-8 (74 points), 3rd in Atlantic Division

⬇️ HIGHLIGHTS ⬇️

HALAK CAN'T BE BEAT

CARLO FIRES, ACCIARI GETS A PIECE

DEBRUSK CRASHES THE NET

WAGNER'S EMPTY-NETTER SEALS IT

UP NEXT
SATURDAY: at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
MONDAY: at San Jose, 10 p.m. (NESN)
WEDNESDAY: at Vegas, 10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

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