Bruins

Sweeney on B's deadline: "We're cognizant of not giving up our good [young] players"

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Sweeney on B's deadline: "We're cognizant of not giving up our good [young] players"

TORONTO – There’s no doubt that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is engaged in an abundance of trade talks ahead of Monday afternoon’s trade deadline, and that other teams are trying to pry away some of Boston’s best and brightest young players. Don’t expect the Bruins to give any of those young NHL roster players up despite any urgency that the B’s might be feeling at this point, however, as Sweeney reiterated on Saturday that he’s “pretty protective” of young guys like Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy among others.

Based on Boston’s draft-and-development mantra that’s worked so well over the last three years, that sentiment would seem to extend to their prospects in the AHL, Europe, junior hockey and the collegiate level as well.

"I've been pretty protective of our young players in general. We set on a path and plan a few years ago to grow it the right way and incorporate it with our core players. Our core players are having terrific years this year, but we’ve got a long way to go,” said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “We’ve got a pretty difficult march, so it’s safe to say that some of our young players are going to go through a [tough] stretch. But it's safe to say we've been cognizant of not giving away our real good [young] players and to continue to grow with that.”

Clearly NHL teams have to give up something to get something, and if they want to be in the running for a Ryan McDonagh-type player then they’d have to give up one of those young players from their roster, with reports indicating it might be Brandon Carlo, or more unlikely Jake DeBrusk. If that were done to upgrade the NHL roster for both the short term and the long term then it would be an understandable price to be paid, but it sounds like the Bruins are a long way from making that happen with less than 48 hours to go until the trade deadline.

Much more likely is that the Bruins are waiting for the prices to go down a bit from young players they are unwilling to part with, and putting together some alternate plans just in case the right deal doesn’t come together ahead of Monday afternoon.

Instead of a blockbuster deal, Sweeney indicated the Bruins were in the market for “one piece”, which would indicate that’s the heavy, veteran winger capable of potentially playing a top-6 role, and perhaps skating on a line with David Krejci while bringing a little more size and strength to a B’s team that could use more of that along their wing.

“Maybe something fits…we have to be pretty target-specific for us,” said Sweeney. “We're a club that maybe would like to add a piece, but we just don't know between now and [Monday’s trade deadline].”

This is by far the most important trade deadline of Sweeney’s three years running the Bruins where he could make a deal that could theoretically set the Bruins up for potential Cup runs, or possibly impact a team negatively that’s the best in the NHL over the last three months. It’s certainly not an easy place to be for the Bruins management group, but it also means the stakes are rising for the Black and Gold as they ascend back into true contender status.

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Talking Points from the B's 3-2 win over the Golden Knights

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Talking Points from the B's 3-2 win over the Golden Knights

Here are my Talking Points from another dramatic Bruins win that had most of its thrills while most of us in Boston slept . . .

GOLD STAR: David Backes responded to the physicality that the Golden Knights were throwing at the Bruins during the game, and then he responded when he was a surprising choice deep in the shootout against Vegas. Backes scored on a straight wrist shot against Marc-Andre Fleury to secure Boston’s seventh win in a row, and responded to the challenge as perhaps an unlikely choice in the shootout. Backes also finished with five shot attempts, four hits and a blocked shot in 12:31 of ice time along with 3-of-4 face-off wins in a solid all-around game for the veteran. Backes got the winner in the sixth round of the shootout.  

BLACK EYE: It was not a great night for Noel Acciari, who finished a minus-1 with just a couple of hits in 16:34 of ice time. Normally Acciari is more of a physical presence for the Bruins, but it wasn’t as much the case on Wednesday night with Chris Wagner and David Backes really bringing the physicality for the Black and Gold. In addition he just had a single shot on net and lost 5-of-7 draws in the face-off circle in an overall blah game for the fourth line energy player. All’s well that ends well obviously for a Bruins team that ended up taking the decision in the shootout, but the fourth liner has been better most nights this season

TURNING POINT: Credit Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy for going the unconventional route in the shootout and choosing David Backes after Marc-Andre Fleury had turned aside shot attempts from guys like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Most of the Bruins players were trying to attack MAF with a speedy attack that didn’t have much luck, and Backes seemed to change all of that up. He skated toward the net at his own pace and then snapped a wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury for the game-winner to secure the two points for the Bruins.

🏒BRUINS TRADE FOR CHARLIE COYLE

HONORABLE MENTION: So that’s goals in five straight games for Jake DeBrusk, who is very clearly feeling it confidence-wise right now. He took a David Krejci pass from the sideboards, spun off Shea Theodore in the slot and then roofed a shot past Fleury for his 19th goal of the season. DeBrusk is now one goal short of putting up 20 goals for the first time in his career, and has two shots on net in five-plus minutes of ice time while working pretty well together with his usual trigger man in Krejci and the hard-working Karson Kuhlman on the other wing. DeBrusk then scored again in the shootout with a nasty shot off the post, though his score was cancelled out when William Karlsson scored at the other end for Vegas.

🏒BRUINS 3, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (SO)

BY THE NUMBERS: 12 – the number of consecutive games where the Bruins have points as they continue to roll and climb up in the playoff standings while heating up at the right time of year.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was one of those games where it’s getting around that time, and getting toward the trade deadline. So it’s time to pick it up.” –Jake DeBrusk to NBCSN, on the playoff vibe around a 3-2 shootout win over Vegas. 

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Highlights from Bruins' 3-2 shootout win over Golden Knights

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Highlights from Bruins' 3-2 shootout win over Golden Knights

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 3, Golden Knights 2 (SO)

IN BRIEF: David Backes scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout to deliver the Bruins their seventh straight win, and fourth straight win of this five-game road trip that started in Southern California and concludes this weekend in St. Louis.

BOX SCORE 

BRUINS RECORD: 36-17-8 (80 points), 2nd in Atlantic Division

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

So that’s goals in five straight games for Jake DeBrusk, who is very clearly feeling it confidence-wise right now. He took a David Krejci pass from the sideboards, spun off Shea Theodore in the slot and then roofed a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury for his 19th goal of the season. DeBrusk is now one goal short of putting up 20 goals for the first time in his career, and has two shots on net in five plus minutes of ice time while working pretty well together with his usual trigger man in Krejci along with the hard-working Karson Kuhlman on the other wing.

Danton Heinen had four shots on net in the second period alone after the Bruins as a team had only six shots on net in the first period. Heinen continues to be active and in the middle of everything offensively for the Black and Gold while skating with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on Boston’s top line. It was Heinen that carried the puck into the offensive zone and threw a cross-ice pass to Brad Marchand for a top corner blast from the slot for a go-ahead goal in the third period. 

It was a pretty clean game for the Bruins, with just a tripping penalty for Heinen in the first period. Otherwise, there were a couple of chances for Boston’s vaunted power play without it actually leading to any offense for the Bruins. In fact, the Bruins had just one shot on net in three power play chances against the Golden Knights, and that’s been a big part of Vegas holding down Boston’s offense to this point.

⬇️ HIGHLIGHTS ⬇️

DEBRUSK STRIKES AGAIN

HALAK STANDS TALL

MARCHAND LETS IT RIP

BACKES' SHOOTOUT WINNER

UP NEXT
SATURDAY: at St. Louis, 4 p.m. (NESN)
TUESDAY: vs San Jose, 7 p.m. (NESN)

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