Bruins

Riley Nash 'looking good' for likely Game 3 return

Riley Nash 'looking good' for likely Game 3 return

BOSTON – It looks like the Bruins could be getting Riley Nash back for Game 3 at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night as they look to really put a stranglehold on the best-of-seven series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

MORE - Haggerty: B's-Leafs series to end much sooner than expected

Nash missed the final five games of the regular season and the first two playoff games after catching a Torey Krug shot in the right ear that took 40-plus stitches to attach the ear that was hanging off, and then needed some additional time to calm down concussion-like symptoms that were also part of the injury. Nash has skated over the last handful of days with the Bruins at practice, and it sounds like he could finally be ready to get into his first playoff action centering Danton Heinen and David Backes on the third line. 

“Riley Nash is looking good, he’ll be a guy that could go into the lineup tomorrow,” said Bruce Cassidy, speaking to the media on a Sunday off/travel day for the Black and Gold. “I think Riley playing that center ice third spot, if he’s healthy then there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be in there. He’s been pretty much a constant for us all year.”

Nash posted career highs of 15 goals and 41 points along with a plus-16 rating this season while providing the Bruins with a higher offensive ceiling when he’s in the middle, as well as strong down-the-middle face-off and two-way play capabilities. Tommy Wingels skated again at Warrior Ice Arena on Sunday morning and could be healthy enough to be available, but it sounded like Nash rather than Wingels would be the guy definitely returning to the lineup. That would then allow Cassidy to return Noel Acciari to his customary spot on the fourth line, and really help the Bruins strengthen both of their bottom-6 lines. 

MORE - Bean: Why B's-Leafs is over. . . and why it isn't

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Maple Leafs in Game 2 based on Cassidy’s Sunday comments: 

 

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

 

Rask

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Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

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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. 

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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. 

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