Bruins

Neely on winning as Bruins exec: 'If you can't win it wearing skates, it's OK in a suit'

Neely on winning as Bruins exec: 'If you can't win it wearing skates, it's OK in a suit'

BOSTON – One of the biggest regrets of Cam Neely’s Hall of Fame career with the Bruins is that he wasn’t able to win a Stanley Cup as a player. The same most certainly could be said of B’s general manager Don Sweeney as well after more than 1,000 games with the Black and Gold over the course of his NHL career.

It was through no fault of theirs as the Bruins were on some good-but-not-great teams during their playing careers in Boston, and they ran head-long into the legendary Edmonton Oilers in both 1988 and 1990 when they did make it to the Cup Final. In both instances they lost to better hockey teams, but it certainly was a bitter pill in Boston that Bruins teams headed by Neely and Ray Bourque in the 1980’s and 1990’s were never able to hoist the Cup.

So now the Bruins President has one Stanley Cup under his resume as Bruins club President back in 2011, and adding another one would be just as sweet regardless of the capacity he’s filling for the organization.

“If you can’t win it wearing skates, it’s okay in a suit. You know, obviously, as a player that’s what you want to do. You want to win a Stanley Cup, and we had a couple of opportunities,” admitted Neely. “Unfortunately, we fell short. So, you learn from those experiences and hopefully we can take some of that experience and apply it in the jobs we have now.

“We’re very fortunate to be in a city like this that has had success with all the teams in the past dozen years or so. You know, hockey has been a big part of this region for many years. I mean, obviously, an Original Six franchise, so there are roots that are deeply set, but nothing beats winning. Everybody likes to watch good hockey or good sports, and they love a winning team.”

Certainly a win in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues and a second Cup in eight years would significantly elevate Neely’s tenure running the organization. And in many ways it would be different for Neely, having handpicked the general manager in Sweeney, and holding a coach Bruce Cassidy in place that was also their choice rather than the hold-over Claude Julien from the Peter Chiarelli era.

This Cup would validate all of the choices that Neely and Sweeney have made over the last four years, some more controversial than others, and mark their tenure an unquestioned success in four seasons working together as President and GM. 

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Bruins vs. Hurricanes schedule: 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs dates and times

Bruins vs. Hurricanes schedule: 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs dates and times

The Boston Bruins will begin the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a first-round matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes.

You probably remember these teams meeting in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, a series the B's won in a sweep before losing to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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This year's series should be much more competitive because the Hurricanes are not only better than they were in 2019, they're also riding the momentum of a qualifying round sweep of the New York Rangers.

While the Hurricanes enter the playoffs playing some of their best hockey of the season, the Bruins come into Round 1 after three lackluster performances in the NHL's round robin. Boston went 0-3-0 in the round robin and was outscored 9-4. The power play didn't score once, and the Bruins' top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak tallied only one point (a Bergeron assist) in the three games. 

Boston's top line scored six goals against the Hurricanes in last year's East Final, and another strong effort from that trio would go a long way in helping the Bruins achieve a similar outcome versus Carolina this season.

This first-round matchup will be the fourth playoff series between these teams:

--1999 Eastern Conference quarterfinals: Bruins win 4-2
--2009 Eastern Conference semifinals: Hurricanes in 4-3
--2019 Eastern Conference Final: Bruins win 4-0

Here's the complete schedule for the Bruins vs. Hurricanes first-round playoff series. All games will be played at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto (all times ET):

Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at noon
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD
*if necessary 

The Bruins will be the home team in Game 1, Game 2, Game 5 and Game 7, so they will get last change in those matchups.

NHL round robin, qualifying series schedule 2020: Dates, scores for every game

NHL round robin, qualifying series schedule 2020: Dates, scores for every game

The NHL is officially returning to play.

The league and NHLPA ratified the Return to Play Plan and a new CBA deal Friday, paving the way for the 2019-20 season to finish. The regular season is over, but the league is not yet jumping into the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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The top four teams in each conference will determine their seeding for the first round by playing a round robin format. The teams ranked No. 5 through No. 12 in each conference will square off in a qualifying round that will use a Best-of-5 series format. The four winners of the qualifying series in each conference will be matched up against the top four teams for the first round based on seeding.

These games will take place in two host cities. The Eastern Conference games will be played at Scotiabank Place in Toronto, and the Western Conference matchups will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Here's the schedule for every round robin game and qualifying round series. Check back to this article after each game for scores and updated schedules.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers 4, Bruins 1
Monday, Aug. 3: Lightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning 3, Bruins 2
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flyers 3, Capitals 1
Sunday, Aug. 8: Flyers 4, Lightning 1
Saturday, Aug. 9: Capitals 2, Bruins 1

QUALIFYING ROUND
(No. 5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (No. 12) Montreal Canadiens
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Canadiens 3, Penguins 2 (OT)
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Penguins 3, Canadiens 1
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Canadiens 4, Penguins 3
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Canadiens 2, Penguins 0
Canadiens win series 3-1

(No. 6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (No. 11) New York Rangers
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Hurricanes 3, Rangers 2
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1
Game 3, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1
Hurricanes win series 3-0

(No. 7) New York Islanders vs. (No. 10) Florida Panthers
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Islanders 2, Panthers 1
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Islanders 4, Panthers 2
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Panthers 3, Islanders 2
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders 5, Panthers 1
Islanders win series 3-1

(No. 8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (No. 9) Columbus Blue Jackets
Game 1, Sunday, Aug. 2: Blue Jackets 2, Maple Leafs 0
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Maple Leafs 3, Blue Jackets 0
Game 3, Thursday, Aug. 6: Blue Jackets 4, Leafs 3 (OT)
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Game 5, Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: Avalanche 2, Blues 1
Monday, Aug. 3: Golden Knights 5, Stars 3
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche 4, Stars 0
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights 6, Blues 4
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars 2, Blues 1 (SO)

QUALIFYING ROUND
(No. 5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (No. 12) Chicago Blackhawks
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks 6, Oilers 4
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Oilers 6, Blackhawks 3
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Blackhawks 4, Oilers 3
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Blackhawks 3, Oilers 2
Blackhawks win series 3-1

(No. 6) Nashville Predators vs. (No. 11) Arizona Coyotes
Game 1, Sunday, Aug. 2: Coyotes 4, Predators 3
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Predators 4, Coyotes 2
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Coyotes 4, Predators 1
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Coyotes 4, Predators 3 (OT)
Coyotes win series 3-1

(No. 7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (No. 10) Minnesota Wild
Game 1, Sunday, Aug. 2: Wild 3, Canucks 0
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Canucks 4, Wild 3
Game 3, Thursday, Aug. 6: Canucks 3, Wild 0
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks 5, Wild 4 (OT)
Canucks win series 3-1

(No. 8) Calgary Flames vs. (No. 9) Winnipeg Jets
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Flames 4, Jets 1
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Jets 3, Flames 2
Game 3, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Flames 6, Jets 2
Game 4, Thursday, Aug. 6: Flames 4, Jets 0
Flames win series 3-1