Bruins

Holden "probable" to make his Bruins debut vs. Penguins

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Holden "probable" to make his Bruins debut vs. Penguins

BRIGHTON, Mass – After both new acquisitions Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels gave the Bruins an injection of life and energy on Tuesday night, it looks like the B’s will see if fellow trade deadline target Nick Holden can do the same Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy hinted that Holden will finally make his Bruins debut against the reigning back-to-back Cup champs after first meeting up with the team a week ago in Toronto prior to last weekend’s back-to-back losses. So that means the 30-year-old Holden, who the Bruins gave up D-man prospect Rob O’Gara and a third round pick for, has watched for three straight games while waiting for his chance to show what he can do.

“He’s trending to more probable [to play] than maybe yesterday,” said Cassidy of Holden.

It’s been a bit of an odd situation for Holden, who has been a top-4 NHL defenseman for most of the last handful of seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers prior to arriving in Boston. Certainly, he was well aware that he was entering a situation where the Bruins had been rolling for three established defensemen pairings over the last three months, and those groups had them ranked No. 1 in the NHL in defense for a good, long stretch.

But some of the young Bruins defensemen are coming back to Earth a bit lately as the schedule gets a little heavier, and that slippage has knocked them out of the NHL’s top spot for their defense. With all that being said and with the Penguins coming to town on Thursday, it sounds like Holden will finally get his first crack with the Black and Gold.

And it sounds like Holden isn’t going to be holding anything back as he wants to stick in the lineup once he wedges his way in there.

“Joining the team last week and not being able to get in, I’m chomping at the bit to play. I’m hopeful that I get [the call] on Thursday,” said Holden, who had three goals and 12 points in 55 games this season along with a minus-3 for the Rangers. “Everybody wants to play. Coming into this team I knew we had really good depth and I was going to be sitting at first.

“Once you got in you need to make sure that you’re playing well, and then hopefully you don’t come out. They went out and traded for me, and obviously what happened to them last year in the playoffs was a big factor in going out and getting a ‘D.’ For me I’d just like to play and get used to the system because it’s different than what I’ve played before. The last little piece [of being on a new team] is actually getting on the ice and playing, and sweating with them a little bit. Hopefully [Thursday] is that day.”

It looks like it will be that day for Holden, and the only slight uncertainty is which player might be coming out of the Bruins lineup. The most logical would be rookie Matt Grzelcyk in favor of the bigger, veteran player in Holden, but there are other candidates whether it’s Torey Krug (minus-2 in his last four games with just a couple of assists) or Brandon Carlo, who has been on the ice for six goals against in his last two games and was a minus-5 on Boston’s just-concluded road trip that ended with a healthy scratch in Buffalo.

It might not be all that encouraging of a sign that there’s more than one candidate to sit right now in favor of the new guy, and that’s more than likely part of the reason why Holden is finally going to get to show what he can do.    

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Zdeno Chara pays tribute to father in emotional Instagram post after Bruins' win

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Zdeno Chara pays tribute to father in emotional Instagram post after Bruins' win

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara knows a lot of people have helped him become a future Hall of Fame player in the NHL.

His father is right at, or near the top of the list.

After Chara made history by scoring the 200th goal of his career in Boston's 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, the B's defenseman took to Instagram to pay tribute to his dad and thank him for all the help he's provided. Check out the photo below: 

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Past few days has been overwhelming. First my birthday,then contract extension and last night clinching the play offs. As soon as I got to my locker I saw a text from my Father. My dad is an old school tough guy. He raised me with tough love and literally beat my ass at home and kick it in the gym.He showed me what hard work is and what it takes to get where you want to be. Never took it easy on me. I hated it then,but I am grateful for it,because hard work and discipline its part of who I am. I called him on the plane. To hear my Dad expressed his happiness and love felt good. He was bugging me about 200 for a while,so when I scored last it felt good cause that goal was for him. This is for you Dad. Love you. PS: Thanks for all the kicks in my ass ! LoL 😂 #dad #toughlove #200

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Chara also signed a one-year contract extension Saturday to remain with the Bruins through the end of next season. The 42-year-old veteran remains one of the better defensemen in the league, and his value to the B's during even strength, the power play and penalty kill is immense. His leadership on and off the ice sets a great example for the entire team as well.

The Bruins clinched a playoff spot with Saturday's win. It will be their ninth playoff appearance in the 12 seasons since Chara came to Boston, and he's been the driving force of the team's success over that span.

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Recapping milestones Bruins hit with playoff-clinching win vs. Panthers

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Recapping milestones Bruins hit with playoff-clinching win vs. Panthers

The Boston Bruins secured a Stanley Cup playoff berth with Saturday night's 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers, and they set, tied or extended a few milestones as a result.

Here's a recap of the notable Bruins milestones from the playoff-clinching victory.

--The Bruins will soon make their 72nd appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Only the Montreal Canadiens (83) have made more appearances.
--The Bruins will be the third team in NHL history to play in 100 best-of-7 playoff series.
--Boston improved its record to 46-20-9 for 101 points. It represents the Bruins' 23rd 100-point season in history, extending their own league record. The next closest teams are the Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers with 19 100-point seasons.
--The Bruins almost certainly will play the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens in Round 1. If that happens, it will be the seventh time in their last 10 playoff appearances that the Bruins have faced a Canadian team in the first round. Boston is 4-2 in the previous six matchups. There's about a 98% chance the Bruins will play the Leafs in Round 1 for the second consecutive year.

The Bruins cannot catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division, so their next goal is clinching home ice advantage in Round 1.

This is a very important objective for the B's given their success at TD Garden this season -- Boston owns a 28-7-3 home record. Home ice also proved to be a huge factor in the B's beating the Leafs in their 2013 and 2018 first-round playoff series, both of which ended with a Game 7 victory in Boston.

So, while the Bruins' first major objective of the regular season has been accomplished, there's still work to be done over the final seven games.

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