Bruins

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game. 

Big payday expected for Torey Krug, whether it's from Bruins or someone else

Big payday expected for Torey Krug, whether it's from Bruins or someone else

While Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney managed to free up some cap space at the NHL trade deadline on Monday, Torey Krug has yet to ink a contract extension with the organization.

The 28-year-old defenseman said in September that he would be willing to take a pay cut to remain with the Bruins. Obviously, though, he's not going to take a massive discount, especially considering he's expected to be paid similarly to Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who makes $8 million per year.

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The latest report from The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun doesn't sound too promising for Boston. According to LeBrun, NHL agents believe that Krug will sign a deal from anywhere between $7.5-8 million per season -- noting that Boston will not be willing to pay Krug more than Pastrnak ($6.66 million AAV) or Bergeron ($6.875 AAV).

Here's what the agents said specifically:

“Boston won’t want to pay Krug more than Pasta ($6.66-million AAV) or Bergeron ($6.875-million AAV),’’ an agent said, according to LeBrun. “I think Krug could get $7-million AAV if goes free, maybe $7.5 million.’’

“I would value him between $7.5 million to $8 million," another agent said. "Call him what he is, a consistent 50-point offensive D-man and point a game guy in playoffs. “

What is LeBrun's prediction, though? Unfortunately for Boston, he believes Krug will hit the open market this summer.

Sweeney's latest update on contract negotiations with Krug also doesn't sound too promising -- noting that he has stayed in contact with Krug, but there is no timeline for a deal to be made.

Boston also needs to re-sign key free agents in Jake DeBrusk (RFA), Zdeno Chara (UFA), Jaroslav Halak (UFA) and Matt Grzelcyk (RFA) among others. So, they'd be in a very sticky salary cap situation if they were to give Krug between $7.5-8 million per year.

 

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron has some advice for Patriots' Tom Brady

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron has some advice for Patriots' Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron are more similar than you think.

Well, at least in the sense that both have spent their entire professional careers in Massachusetts.

But with the latest news that Brady is reportedly set to test free agency and may not re-sign with the Patriots, Bergeron noted that any athlete who is thinking of playing anywhere else but Boston should re-evaluate their decision.

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"I don't think there's many places like Boston to be honest with you," Bergeron said following Bruins practice Thursday morning, according to WBZ's Joe Giza. "All the teams are always very successful and in it every time, and the fans are special. It's been a lot of fun to be in this position, obviously, for me, myself, I got drafted here and kind of grew up here. So, it's been welcome from day one and it's a very special place.

"It seems like it's the feeling every time guys come here. They seem to be very happy to come here and play under the fans that love the game, that know the game, know their hockey and are behind us. But like you said, it's a sports town and there's rich history here."

It's been known for a while that Brady, number one, wants a raise and number two, wants the Patriots to give him some offensive talent to work with in order to help him win his seventh Super Bowl title. Oh yeah, and don't forget that thirst to prove he can win in another system other than Bill Belichick's.

While Robert Kraft is willing to dish out the big bucks to keep his star quarterback in New England, it'll be extremely difficult for the organization to sign any big-name receivers while still re-signing key talent in Kyle Van Noy, Matthew Slater, and Devin McCourty among others.

If Brady places any value on the "rich history" of Boston sports that Bergeron mentions above, maybe he'll remain in New England. Honestly, though, does anyone truly know which way he's leaning? Probably not.