Bruins

Here's the reported referee crew for Bruins-Blues Game 7 of Stanley Cup Final

Here's the reported referee crew for Bruins-Blues Game 7 of Stanley Cup Final

Officiating has been a controversial topic throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, and that is unlikely to change in Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues.

Wednesday night's showdown at TD Garden will feature the same referee duo assigned to Game 6 in St. Louis, per Sportsnet's John Shannon. The NHL has not officially announced the Game 7 referees and linesmen.

Gord Dwyer and Chris Rooney also were the referee tandem in Game 2 and Game 4 of this Cup Final. Boston lost both games, but it did have a 7-6 edge in power plays over those two matchups. Rooney and Dwyer did a pretty good job in Game 6, where both teams had four power plays.

Kelly Sutherland and Steve Kozari are the other ref duo in this series, and they were next up in the rotation, but the controversy surrounding Game 5 might have played a factor in them not getting the call for Game 7. The Blues got away with a blatant trip late in the third period of Game 5, but no penalty was called despite Sutherland standing right behind the play. St. Louis scored seconds later to take a 2-0 lead, and the Blues ultimately won 2-1 for a 3-2 series advantage. Sutherland's no call was one of the worst Cup Final gaffes in recent memory.

Game 7s typically feature less penalties, which is good because the players should decide a matchup of this magnitude. Fewer whistles does favor the Blues, though. The Bruins have the more potent power play, and the unit showed signs of improvement in Game 6. 

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NHL Power Rankings: Supposed Atlantic Division powers struggling early

NHL Power Rankings: Supposed Atlantic Division powers struggling early

A season ago, the Atlantic Division featured three of the best teams in hockey, at least during the regular season: the Lightning, Bruins, and Maple Leafs.

But while the Bruins have shaken off a potential Stanley Cup Final hangover to pace the division this season, Tampa and Toronto have struggled out of the gate.

Neither team is above .500, and both find themselves out of the playoff picture through a quarter of the season.

While it's way too soon to tell if their struggles will continue, it's opened the door for some unexpected teams to make some waves in the standings.

Click here for Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings.>>>>

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Injured Bruins star Patrice Bergeron 'progressing well' with Sabres looming

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USA TODAY Sports

Injured Bruins star Patrice Bergeron 'progressing well' with Sabres looming

Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has missed the last couple of games with a lower body injury, but he continues to track for a return very soon.

The 34-year-old center isn’t confirmed to suit up for Thursday night’s big divisional game against the Buffalo Sabres, but he skated during a lightly attended practice on Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena with all signs pointing toward him playing.

But he’s “pretty close” according to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, which he also was on Tuesday before ultimately sitting out a second straight game after tweaking a lower body issue in the weekend win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Both Bergeron and Torey Krug skated the morning after Boston pulled out a 5-1 road win over the New Jersey Devils, but Krug isn’t expected to return from his injury until the weekend. Bergeron was scratched from Tuesday night’s game in Jersey after he didn’t suit up for warm-ups, but he’s skated two days in a row.

“I’m feeling better. It’s progressing well. Today was a pretty good skate, so I’m feeling good,” said Bergeron, who has eight goals and 19 points in 19 games played this season after a slow ramp-up in training camp following groin issues that dogged him for most of the summer. “It’s a minor issue, but we want to make sure it doesn’t linger for too long. So, we’re being cautious and making sure it’s 100 percent before I get back out there.”

The Bruins did well in Bergeron’s absence on Tuesday with David Krejci racking up two assists and a plus-3 rating while centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and Charlie Coyle ably stepping in for Bergeron at the bumper position on the top power play unit.

HAGGERTY: Ranking the NHL's Top 10 right wings>>>>>

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