Bruins

Morning Skate: Ex-Bruin tough guy lands on his feet in Calgary

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NBC Sports Boston illustration

Morning Skate: Ex-Bruin tough guy lands on his feet in Calgary

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while really needing to see the Shape of Water at this point.
 
-- Taylor Hall is firmly in the Hart Trophy conversation, and so is Nathan MacKinnon. It’s too bad that Patrice Bergeron no longer will be now that he’s shelved with the fractured right foot, but those are the breaks sometimes. It’s clear other players are stepping up as their teams battle for playoff position.

-- I think Brian McGrattan might legitimately be the scariest dude the Bruins have ever had in their NHL dressing room since I’ve been covering the team. He obviously didn’t catch on with the B’s, as they had Shawn Thornton at the time, but it’s good to hear that he’s caught on in a player development role with the Calgary Flames after retiring following a stint playing hockey in England.
 
-- Good on alum Shayne Gostisbehere meeting with the Stoneman Douglas hockey team during a recent Flyers trip through the Sunshine State. It’s a small gesture, but certainly one that will be meaningful for those kids.
 
-- Reading into what Bob Nicholson has planned for the Edmonton Oilers, and how it did not include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins getting traded. So maybe get off of that, okay?
 
-- Mike Babcock bluntly explains the difference between the Sabres and Maple Leafs, and why “tanking” is an oversimplification for what Toronto did while getting Auston Matthews.
 
-- For something completely different: It’s hard to believe that the wonderful John Candy has been gone for 24 years. Here his kids remember him and what it was like to grow up with him as their father.

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Bruins recall Peter Cehlarik, assign Trent Frederic to Providence

Bruins recall Peter Cehlarik, assign Trent Frederic to Providence

Ahead of the 2019 NHL trade deadline, the Boston Bruins are continuing to make moves. Shortly after trading for Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild, the team made an internal move. On Thursday, the Bruins recalled winger Peter Cehlarik from the Providence Bruins while sending Trent Frederic down to Providence.

The move was somewhat odd, as Cehlarik had been sent down to Providence the previous night. However, the team needed to make roster space for Coyle to make the trade official, but they also couldn't operate without their third-line center, Frederic. That may explain why they sent Cehlarik down just to call him back up after the game against the Vegas Golden Knights. They just needed to hang onto Frederic for one more outing.

Cehlarik, 23, has split time between Providence and Boston over the course of the past few seasons. This year, he has skated in 13 games while logging six points (four goals, two assists). Before being sent down, he had been with the team since his season debut on Jan. 16 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Frederic, 20, made his NHL debut on Jan. 29 when he notably got into a fight with Winnipeg's Brandon Tanev. Frederic ended up playing in 11 games for the Bruins but failed to log a single point while averaging less than 10 minutes on ice per game.

This decision should further solidify the notion that the recently acquired Coyle will be the team's third-line center. Coyle, 26, has 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games this season.

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How good are the Bruins compared with their previous playoff runs?

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How good are the Bruins compared with their previous playoff runs?

The Bruins have been on quite a tear lately, winning seven straight games, and nine of their last ten.

The B's overcame David Pastrnak's missed time due to his injured thumb, and have battled their way up to second place in the Atlantic Division, behind the first place Tampa Bay Lightning.

If the postseason began today, the Bruins would open the Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to ESPN.

Boston recently traded for former Minnesota Wild forward and Boston native Charlie Coyle, and many fans are hoping for additional help before the trade deadline.

But how does this Bruins team's performance compare with prior B's playoff runs?

The Bruins are currently 36-17. At this time last year, the Bruins were 37-13 according to historical sports data site ShrpSports, and got to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, where they lost to Tampa 4-1.

Both of these performances are better than where the team was at this point in 2017, when the team was 30-24, and ended up falling to the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs.

To go back to the last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, in 2011, the team was 34-19.

Former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas had a career year that season, with a save percentage of 93.8 on the season, via hockey-reference.com. This season Bruins goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask have save percentages of 92.4 and 91.8 respectively.

The biggest obstacle for the Bruins' playoff aspirations this season is not necessarily statistical—it's a team. The Eastern Conference once again runs through Tampa, who are 11 wins in front of the second place Bruins.

If the Bruins hope to advance further in the playoffs this year, regardless of stat lines, they will need to find their way past Tampa, which is a tall order for any team.

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