Bruins

Ritchie returns to B's lineup vs Avs, brings size and toughness

Ritchie returns to B's lineup vs Avs, brings size and toughness

At a time when David Pastrnak is getting knocked around a little bit with teams targeting him physically, the Bruins will get a little bigger, stronger and nastier in their own lineup with Brett Ritchie returning to good health.

Ritchie will draw back in on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche, but Bruce Cassidy said the Bruins still aren’t sure about who might be coming out of the lineup for the Black and Gold as they battle through some illness issues.

“Ritchie is going to go in. Right now we’re not sure because we’ve got a game time decision to make. One of the guys is not feeling well. I don’t want to get ahead of myself right now, but that’s the decision,” said Cassidy. “The reason Donnie [Sweeney] brought him in is that we were looking to get some size, get a guy that can get inside and help us score some goals that way. Be a presence. Unfortunately for Brett it’s been a stop-and-start sort of season for him. We don’t have a great evaluation on him right now. At times he’s looked the part and other times we don’t know because he’s been getting up to speed. That’s what he’ll be doing [against Colorado].”  

Perhaps Ritchie can bring a willingness to police any liberties taken against Pastrnak as well if that continues to be trend going against the NHL's leading scorer. 

Ritchie has missed the previous seven games with a nagging infection issue and has missed 14 of Boston’s 29 games already this season while still looking to establish himself among the B’s forward group. He’s got two goals and four points in 15 games for the Black and Gold this season, but certainly has to be looking for a healthy stretch where he can bring his 6-foot-3, 220-pound size, his toughness and his inside offensive presence to a top-9 role for the Bruins.

Cassidy also mentioned that Jaroslav Halak will be getting the start for the Bruins against the Avalanche as they prepare for a four game road trip through a number of Eastern Conference opponents next week. Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings without a confirmation on who might be coming out of Boston’s lineup:

Marchand-Krejci-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Coyle-Heinen
Bjork-Kuraly-Ritchie
Nordstrom-Lindholm-Wagner

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Moore-Grzelcyk

Halak

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David Pastrnak named MVP of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

David Pastrnak named MVP of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

The Atlantic Division may have come up just short in their quest to win their first NHL All-Star Game title since the league moved to a 3-on-3 tournament format for the big event. But David Pastrnak still took home one of the biggest accolades of the evening.

Pastrnak was named the All-Star Game MVP thanks to his strong performance on the ice.

Pastrnak edged out Leon Draisaitl, Matthew Tkachuk, and Anthony Duclair for the award which was voted on by NHL fans. Here's a look at the NHL's poll, courtesy of their official Twitter account.

Of course, a notable name is missing from that list: the San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl, who scored five total goals including the game-winner for the Pacific Division. Nonetheless, Pastrnak is going home as the MVP and become the first Bruins player to take home the award since Bill Guerin in 2001.

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Pastrnak had a hat trick in the Atlantic's first game, a win over the Metropolitan Division, and finished the night with four goals and two assists in the two games. Certainly, his performance was MVP worth even if there were a couple of other deserving candidates.

Hopefully, Pastrnak playing in the All-Star Game helps to keep him locked in moving forward. He has been one of the league's best scorers this year and is on pace to shatter his career-high in goals and points if he stays healthy.

The Bruins will need him to keep producing if they want to hold on to win the Atlantic Division.

David Pastrnak nets a beautiful All-Star Game goal on excellent backhand

David Pastrnak nets a beautiful All-Star Game goal on excellent backhand

The 2020 NHL All-Star Game was an offensive showdown, as usual, and throughout the night, the NHL's best players made some excellent plays and scored some beautiful goals.

But were any of them better than David Pastrnak's backhand score during the 3-on-3 championship between the Atlantic and Pacific divisions? That's debatable.

The Boston Bruins forward notched a breakaway opportunity in the first half of the championship with the Atlantic holding a 2-1 lead. On the play, Pastrnak had an incredible forehand/backhand move and was able to quickly launch the goal into the top shelf.

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Here's a look at the play courtesy of the NHL on NBC's official Twitter account.

That's a nice, nice move. And it shows off the skills that have made Pastrnak the NHL's leading scorer (37 goals) through the first half of the season.

As beautiful as that goal from Pastrnak was, Bruins fans will have one qualm with it. It didn't come in a shootout.

Perhaps Pastrnak will try to pull that out in a shootout situation during the second half of the season. A move like that could possibly be enough to give the B's their first shootout victory of the season.