Kuraly snaps dry spell in big night for the Bruins

Kuraly snaps dry spell in big night for the Bruins

DETROIT – Sean Kuraly doesn’t score many goals at the NHL, so he makes certain to get every last bit of value in his on-ice celebrations when he does light the lamp. 

MORE - Talking Points: Kuraly steps up for B's

The 25-year-old fourth line center is perhaps overshadowed on many other nights by the host of talented rookies on Boston’s NHL roster, but Kuraly and his scoring celebration were front and center in the Bruins 3-2 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden. It was Kuraly that got things going for the Bruins by making the proper read when Zdeno Chara stepped up to pinch at the offensive blue line, and then he was in the right place at the right time when a Matt Grzelcyk pass found him in the high slot. 

Kuraly fired away and scored Boston’s first goal to things up at 1-1 in the second period, and the Black and Gold never looked back after that. It was Kuraly’s fourth goal of the season, and his first since way back on Thanksgiving when he scored in the Turkey Day eve win over the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. 

So Kuraly snapped his 29-game goal-scoring streak and gave it a vigorous fist pump and yell afterward as opposed to his trademark leap into the air a la last year’s playoffs. 

“I was worried about it because it had been so long [since scoring],” said a smiling Kuraly. “You can't really control [the celebration]. I didn't know what was going to come out of me, but it was okay. There was no leap today, but I was pretty excited to get it. 

“The point of the game is to score. It’s not my main job. There are other guys that do it, and I’ve got other main jobs and other responsibilities that I’ve got to do on a nightly basis while being consistent. But it always feels good to score…that’s why we’re all here.”

More than okay was Kuraly’s night where he scored the aforementioned goal in the second period, and also served up a perfect pass to Danton Heinen in the third for the eventual B’s game-winning strike from the slot. 

Kuraly finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 rating in just 9:42 of ice time, and had a couple of shots on net in an efficient, very effective performance from the fourth line pivot. It’s what his head coach has come to expect from Kuraly as the constant on the B’s energy line while he was working with new wingers in Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano.

“Some of the stuff we preach is about our ‘D’ keeping pucks alive, but our forwards have to reload or they won’t be comfortable doing it. He’s reloading, taking the ‘D’ spot and then all of a sudden we keep a puck alive and he’s the high forward getting rewarded with a goal,” said Bruce Cassidy. “That’s a ‘Bergeron Special’ and I think our guys are learning from it. That’s a really good spot to be in to find the puck, and it’s a really good spot to be in both offensively and defensive if things break down.”

Clearly Kuraly keeps learning and improving while bringing the trademark hustle and intensity required for his role, and it continues to make him into an even more effective player as the guy truly holding the energy line together on a nightly basis.


Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

File photo

Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

Former Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, a Bruins trade target who they once tried to trade up to get in the 2015 draft, has been traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames in a deal that includes former B's defenseman Dougie Hamilton going to Carolina.

The 'Canes sent center Eric Lindholm and Hanifin, both restricted free agents who rejected Carolina's most recent contract offers, to Calgary for Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland and prospect defenseman Adam Fox, who was a third-round pick in 2016 now playing at Harvard,

The Bruins have a longstanding interest in Hanifin that goes back to their efforts to trade up for him in when he was the fifth overall pick three years ago. The Canes likely sought Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk in the hefty package they were seeking for Hanifin. 




Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

DALLAS – On the second day, the Bruins finally got involved in the NHL draft at the American Airlines Center and made a few picks. The day started in the second round (57th overall) with the B’s selecting young Swedish defenseman Axel Andersson from Djugardens, a 6-foot, 183-pounder from the Swedish junior leagues who's put up pretty good offensive numbers with what’s said to be pretty good skating ability.

"It meant a lot to me and my family," Anderson said. "My mom is in tears right now, and we just hugged each other. It was a big day for me."

In the third round (77th overall), the Bruins took Czech center/left wing Jakub Lauko, who played for Team Czech in the World Junior tournament this past season. Lauko, 18, is 6-foot, 179 pounds and is a speedy, tenacious forward from the assorted scouting reports on him. Lauko was expected to be drafted higher than the third round and certainly didn’t lack for confidence in saying he’s one of the fastest skaters in the draft.

“My speed is my biggest strength. I think I’m one of the fastest players in the draft, so I want to use my speed to help a team like Boston,” said Lauko, who said he only spoke with the Bruins scouts at the NHL combine earlier this month in Buffalo. “[Detroit Red Wings'] Dylan Larkin is the same like me. He’s a really fast guy that likes the breakaways. I think in this way we are the same.”

Lauko compared himself to Larkin and the speed game is certainly one that the Bruins are continually interested in with their prospects.

There was a very funny moment when the Czech-born Lauko was asked what his parents do (for a living), and he misunderstood the question and answered: “I don’t know? Maybe they will drink tonight.”

In the fourth round (119th overall), the Bruins took big center Curtis Hall, a 6-foot-3, 191-pounder who's committed to Yale next season and who scored 13 goals and 31 points in 54 games last season for the USHL Youngstown Phantoms.  

In the sixth round with the 181st pick, the Bruins selected 6-2, 188-pound defenseman Dustyn McFaul out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. McFaul is considered a strong two-way D-men with good size and skating ability and is committed to play at Clarkson University. 

With their final pick (seventh round, No. 212), the Bruins selected forward Pavel Shen, 18, from Russia. The 6-1, 183-pounder got into 29 KHL games last season with 12 goals and 14 assists, which is impressive considering his age.