Bruins

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 2-0 win over the Hurricanes

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 2-0 win over the Hurricanes

GOLD STAR: Charlie Coyle was the best player on the ice for the Bruins on Tuesday night, so it was fitting that the big center ended up with the winning goal in the third period. Coyle had most of the rest of the scoring chances for the Black and Gold as well, including a rebound chance in the first period off a Matt Grzelcyk point shot. But it was the third-period play where Coyle went to the net and redirected a Brad Marchand pass that got the Bruins on the board with 4:05 left and injected some life into the team. Coyle finished with six shots on net, two hits, two blocked shots and a takeaway in 17:14 of ice time and played the kind of big boy game that the Bruins could use more of from one of their biggest forwards.

BLACK EYE: Sebastian Aho is usually a Bruins killer of the highest magnitude, but he was invisible on Tuesday night in a game where most of Carolina’s big guns were neutralized. Aho finished with a shot on net, two shot attempts and not much in the way of noticeable chances in 20:24 of ice time. Actually, Carolina scoring threats Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen were also kept from making many plays or creating too many chances. Obviously, that’s what led to the shutout for Jaroslav Halak, but it was less about the goaltending and more about the strong, hard-checking defense being played all over the ice.

TURNING POINT: The third period is the Bruins' turning point this season. That's where they've outscored opponents 39-20 this season. It’s the period where they enjoy the biggest goal differential with a plus-19 and it’s by far the period where they have scored the most goals (39) this season while routinely pulling away from opponents as they've done over their most recent homestand. On Tuesday night, it was the final five minutes where the Hurricanes finally cracked and Coyle was able to turn a good hustle play and a wild pass off the boards into a strong scoring play going to the net. Then the Bruins followed with another goal from David Krejci 68 seconds later to put away the 2-0 win - their eighth victory in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brandon Carlo has played very well this season and that continued in a defensive grudge match against the Hurricanes. Carlo was immense in the defensive zone and did all of the little things while finishing with four shots on net, five hits and three blocked shots in 22:11 of ice time. He also finished with a plus-1 rating, but it’s his play as a defensive warrior that stands out. The biggest reason Carolina’s big forwards were shut down against the Bruins is that Carlo and Zdeno Chara decided they were going to do some shutting down, along with Charlie McAvoy, too. Carlo has flown under the radar because he’s not a big points guy, but he’s been sneaky excellent this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 500 – number of career games for Jaroslav Halak, who recorded a 24-save shutout, the 49th of his career, in the milestone effort against the Hurricanes.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It shows that we’re conditioned, and we have will, both. We know how to play when the game is on the line.” –Bruce Cassidy on the B’s tendency to pull away from opponents in the third period.

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Julian Edelman has dinner with David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, Charlie McAvoy

Julian Edelman has dinner with David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, Charlie McAvoy

It looks like Julian Edelman is enjoying his offseason by hanging out with a few of his friends from the black and gold. 

David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, and Charlie McAvoy joined Edelman for dinner at Monica's Trattoria in the North End before their matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

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Oh, and did we mention some members of the Golden Knights were there ahead of their Tuesday night clash with the Bruins? Talk about a popular restaurant.

It's always nice to see members of the Boston teams intermingle, especially when it brings guys like Edelman and Pastrnak together. We just have one question, though... did Pastrnak order the pasta?

Haggerty: These blown leads are concerning

 

Positive news for Kevan Miller as he skates on his own for first time

Positive news for Kevan Miller as he skates on his own for first time

The Bruins got some encouraging health news this week as injured B’s defenseman Kevan Miller was able to skate on his own for 15 minutes Sunday at Warrior Ice Arena while the rest of the team was in Pittsburgh.

The 32-year-old Miller has been out all season while trying to return from two different kneecap injuries suffered last season that kept him out of the entire postseason and limited him to just three games since the beginning of March. Miller underwent a procedure to assist in the healing process last month when he underwent a setback while trying to return earlier this season, so Sunday’s twirl was his first chance to get back on the ice and skate.

For a player that hasn’t played in almost a year now like Miller, any news is good news.

“That’s step one,” said Bruce Cassidy. “That’s a positive.”

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Certainly, it’s good news, but it’s also the very beginning of a recovery process that Miller has already experienced setbacks to a couple of times. Given the normal timetable for players just returning to the ice from an injury, it would be at least 7-10 days before Miller would be anywhere close to returning to game action.

The Bruins will have their All-Star break and bye week over the next 10 days, so it would be at least a few weeks before Miller would be ready to return barring the kind of setbacks that have plagued him since suffering the kneecap injuries.

It remains very much an uphill battle for the rugged D-man in the last year of his contract with the Bruins, but he’s also a tough-minded player that the B’s have absolutely missed during last year’s playoff run and this season. Some of the perceived ability to push these Bruins players around on the ice is because they don’t have the hardnosed 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller out there to protect his teammates.

Given Zdeno Chara’s age and Charlie McAvoy’s inconsistency this season, Brandon Carlo has ably carried a very heavy load for the Bruins as a big-bodied shutdown defenseman that’s playing big minutes and in all situations for the Black and Gold. Adding Miller to the Bruins group would Carlo some company in the tough guy category and would also limit the amount of ice time they have to give to John Moore, who has been inconsistent for the Black and Gold since returning from shoulder surgery last month.

Haggerty: B's blown leads are concerning