Bruins

Morning Skate: Team USA's medal dreams dashed

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Morning Skate: Team USA's medal dreams dashed

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while disappointed at the whimper that Team USA went out with during a shootout loss to the Czech Republic.

*Here’s the aforementioned rundown on the Team USA loss just ahead of the medal round with the Americans going 0-for-5 in the shootout after battling to a 2-2 tie. Team USA had their chances and Ryan Donato scored another goal, but it’s clear they weren’t one of the more talented teams in the tournament with no current NHL representation.

*Marc Savard is back with another one of his DIY stick-taping videos where, this time, you can learn how to do a candy cane-style tape job just like Phil Kessel on your hockey stick.

*Down Goes Brown has the most annoying things that NHL GMs will say or do around the NHL trade deadline.

*Brad Treliving insists that it was just a coincidence that the Flames’ trip to Las Vegas coincided with the players’ mothers visiting for a road trip.

*Ryan Suter might be getting up there in terms of age and games played, but he is still every bit the workhorse he’s always been while in Minnesota.

*Braden Holtby is going through a tough stretch for the Washington Capitals as the losses are stringing together against him.

*For something completely different: MC Hammer has still got it after all these years.

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Talking Points from Bruins' shootout loss to Blues

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Talking Points from Bruins' shootout loss to Blues

Here are my Talking points after the Bruins concluded an otherwise excellent five-game road trip Saturday afternoon . . .

GOLD STAR: Credit Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington for continuing to ride a hot streak for St. Louis where he’s been playing lockdown between the pipes. Binnington stopped 31 of the 32 shots that he faced during the 65 minutes of regulation and overtime, and then he outdueled Tuukka Rask in the shootout while stopping Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk and Patrice Bergeron among others in securing the two points for the Blues. Binnington‘s best probably came in the second period when he shut down a wide open David Backes chances from the slot with a lightning quick glove save. Consistency has been a weak spot for the St. Louis goalies over the years, but they’re getting good play from Binnington right now.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins are showing some faith in Peter Cehlarik by keeping him in the lineup after trading for Charlie Coyle, but he had a tough afternoon in St. Louis. It was his turnover that led to the first period goal for St. Louis as he just blindly threw a puck at the legs of a teammate, which turned into Alex Steen steaming into the Bruins zone and snapping one short-side against Rask. Cehlarik didn’t really do much offensively on the afternoon, either, and took a couple of big, heavy hits from the Blues later on in the game without really responding with any physical play of his own.  

TURNING POINT: The Bruins looked tired, made some really decisions with the puck and generally looked like a hockey club at the end of a long five game road trip after the opening 20 minutes. They were a Vladimir Tarasenko crossbar away from being down 2-0 at the end of the first period and it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for the Black and Gold. But they bounced back in the second period and played with a lot more energy while getting back into the game and making it competitive when all looked lost early. In the end it earned them a point in their 13th straight game in the shout-out loss.  

HONORABLE MENTION: Chris Wagner was the best player on the ice for the Bruins. He had the only scoring chance for the B’s in the first period when Sean Kuraly fed him a pass from behind the net that Jordan Binnington stopped, and then Wagner scored the B’s lone goal of the game in the second period. It was Kevan Miller with a big rush and then diagonal cross-ice pass to Wagner for the wide open chance. Wagner registered a goal, a plus-1 rating, two shots on net, three shot attempts, a hit and a couple of blocked shots in the first two periods. He finished with three goals on the five-game road trip for the Bruins, and has really come on in the second half of the season for the Black and Gold. 

BY THE NUMBERS: 3-for-12 — a rare Patrice Bergeron off-night in the face-off circle as he really struggled against the St. Louis Blues center. 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We make everyone feel welcome and a part of the family.” —Zdeno Chara in bringing new guys like Charlie Coyle into the B’s fold.

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Highlights from Bruins' 2-1 shootout loss to Blues

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AP Photo

Highlights from Bruins' 2-1 shootout loss to Blues

FINAL SCORE: Blues 2, Bruins 1 (SO)

IN BRIEF: Tuukka Rask stood on his head in net with some resilient play late -- including three incredible saves in the final minute of overtime -- and took it to six rounds of shootout before Sammy Blais beat him with a no-angle bar-down to snap Boston's seven-game win streak. The Bruins come home from their five-game road trip having won nine of a possible 10 points, and now have six straight at home.

BOX SCORE 

BRUINS RECORD: 36-17-9 (81 points), 2nd in Atlantic Division

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

That was a pretty decent first couple of periods for Charlie Coyle in his first game as a member of the Bruins. Coyle was on the ice for the goal against after Peter Cehlarik turned a puck over in the neutral zone, but he also had a shift where he was out with Brad Marchand where the Blues couldn’t get the puck off his stick. He threw a big hit at the end of the shift, and kicked off a couple of shifts where the Bruins started cycling the puck and generating some momentum. They just couldn’t keep it going, though, and it looks like they’ll have difficulty sustaining energy in this one. Coyle didn’t have any shots on net, but was one of the few B’s players having a good day on the draw with 6-of-8 faceoff wins.  

Chris Wagner was the best player on the ice for the Bruins in this game today. He had the only scoring chance for the B’s in the first period, when Sean Kuraly fed him a pass from behind the net that Jordan Binnington stopped, and then Wagner scored the B’s first goal in the second period. It was Kevan Miller with a big rush and then diagonal cross-ice pass to Wagner for the wide open chance. Wagner had a goal, a plus-1 rating, two shots on net, three shot attempts, a hit and a couple of blocked shots in 7:44 through the first two periods. He also now has three goals on the five game road trip for the Bruins, and has really come on in the second half of the season for the Black and Gold.

There was some really nice defense from Charlie McAvoy in the second period. He wrestled Ivan Barbashev out of the crease at one point without allowing him to get a good shot on net, and then he made a diving play to break up an Alex Steen pass to Barbashev wide open in front on a Bruins penalty kill later on. McAvoy obviously gets plenty of credit for his offense and puck-moving, but he was showing some quality defense today as well. That’s what he needs to do to become a true No. 1 defenseman, and he really looks like he’s beginning to make that transition for the Black and Gold. He’s not filling up much on the stat sheet, but he’s been a difference-maker with the way that he’s playing away from the puck.  

⬇️ HIGHLIGHTS ⬇️

TUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKK!

WAGNER TIES IT AT 1

👀 THIS CHARLIE COYLE SHOOTOUT GOAL . . .

UP NEXT
TUESDAY: vs San Jose, 7 p.m. (NESN)
THURSDAY: vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
SATURDAY: vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m. (NESN)

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