Bruins

Talking Points from Bruins' 4-1 Game 7 loss to the Blues

Talking Points from Bruins' 4-1 Game 7 loss to the Blues

GOLD STAR: For my money, Alex Pietrangelo should have won the Conn Smythe Trophy rather than Ryan O’Reilly. Pietrangelo scored the winning goal after cruising into the offensive for a backhanded attempt from the slot and played 25 plus minutes of quality hockey for a Blues team that rode him like a workhorse throughout the Stanley Cup Final.

Pietrangelo finished with a goal, two points and a plus-3 in 25:56 of ice time, three shots on net, two hits and four blocked shots while once again finishing as the best D-men on the ice for either team. The Stanley Cup win on his resume and the way he played at the key moments of this series should absolutely raise his profile a bit from the lofty place it already held across the league. Pietrangelo was money in Game 7 for St. Louis.

BLACK EYE: David Pastrnak finished as a minus-7 in the Stanley Cup Final overall and was a zero once again in the biggest game of the series at TD Garden. Pastrnak finished with zero points and a minus-2 to go along with three shots on net and four giveaways and didn’t show up nearly enough in this series against a team that wasn’t afraid to rough him up. 

Certainly, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron deserve criticism as well for not stepping up and producing when the team needed them to most in the biggest game of the postseason. But Pastrnak never really got going in these playoffs and truthfully never fully regained his mojo after injuring his thumb toward the end of the regular season.

TURNING POINT: There’s no doubting it was Brad Marchand turning over a puck in the final few moments of the second period and then watching as the Blues ended up scoring with the Pietrangelo backhander with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first period.

That back-breaking goal gave the Blues a 2-0 lead headed into the first intermission and truly killed Boston’s chances of making it a game once St. Louis opted to pack it in defensively starting in the second period. The Bruins truthfully never recovered from that gut punch after controlling play in the first and failing to score on 11 shots on net against Jordan Binnington.

HONORABLE MENTION: Binnington was shaky in parts of the Stanley Cup Final and he looked like he’d cracked under the pressure in the third period of Game 6 when he allowed three goals in a 5-1 loss. Binnington was fighting the puck very early in Game 7, but gained confidence as the Bruins couldn’t fight their way to the front of the net for any of the rebounds that the Blues goaltender was giving up.

Then. Binnington made saves on Marchand and David Krejci on Boston's first-period power play and that was it for the Blues goalie. He stopped 32 of 33 shots, including a massive save on Joakim Nordstrom in the third period that directly preceded the third goal of the game for St. Louis. Once that two-goal swing happened it was all over for the Bruins and Binnington had outplayed Tuukka Rask in a Game 7 where it all mattered.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 – The number of points from the Perfection Line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak) in a Game 7 where Boston’s best players needed to step up if the Bruins were hoping to win.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Devastated.” –A very quiet Charlie McAvoy asked to describe his emotions after being 60 minutes away from his lifelong goal and then falling short in the end.
 

NHL Rumors: Did Devils GM hint at wanting to acquire a defenseman?

NHL Rumors: Did Devils GM hint at wanting to acquire a defenseman?

The Boston Bruins have been linked to New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri for a while now.

However, the Devils don't appear eager to trade their veteran top scorer at the deadline. Still, if Bruins GM Don Sweeney gives the Devils an offer they can't refuse, then Palmieri very well could suit up on David Krejci's right wing.

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What would it take to land Palmieri? Well, our Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty noted that he could be had for a first-round pick, a young cost-controlled player such as Anders Bjork, and a top-notch prospect. Devils interim GM Tom Fitzgerald had some interesting things to say regarding how his organization would approach the trade deadline.

"We've all underperformed this year. We're in this sell mode right now because of our Octobers, Novembers, Decembers and January. So, there's not one player that feels really good about what the season looks like. Underperforming is really where we're at that drove this situation," Fitzgerald said on SiriusXM's NHL Network. "Certain players, I believe, they will get better. I believe that they can find their games and get it back to where it's normal. We don't need P.K. Subban being a 25-minute-a-night guy. We need to find support for him so he can play at his best -at minutes that will allow him to do what he does well."

Did Fitzgerald just hint at the Devils wanting to acquire a defenseman at the deadline? Maybe. If so, the B's have plenty of defensemen they could send to New Jersey. For example, John Moore, at this point, has been expendable for the Bruins. Prospects such as Jakub Zboril and Urho Vaakanainen may be able to improve New Jersey's defensive situation and ease the life of Subban.

While it's just speculation, it would make some sense considering the Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders in exchange for a defensive prospect and Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for an offensive prospect and first-round pick over the weekend.

If the Bruins were to land Palmieri, the Devils would acquire some pretty solid assets in return.

Former Bruin Milan Lucic contemplated retirement after benching by Flames

Former Bruin Milan Lucic contemplated retirement after benching by Flames

Calgary Flames winger Milan Lucic isn't the player he once was with the Boston Bruins.

Lucic, traded by the Bruins to the Los Angeles Kings before the 2015-16 season, notched 50-plus point seasons with  L.A. in 2015-16 and with the Edmonton Oilers in 2016-17, but since then has seen his numbers take a turn for the worse.

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In his first season with the Flames, Lucic has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) through 59 games, and is on pace to surpass his 20-point total through 79 games with the Oilers last season. But while he's performing better than last season, the 31-year-old was benched by the Flames in November for not meeting expectations -- and he wasn't happy about it.

“The first time we played St. Louis here on a Hockey Night in Canada game, I got benched in the third period," Lucic said, according to SportsNet's Elliotte Friedman. "Nothing was said to me by anyone. I wasn’t really happy about it, and I even started questioning whether I should hang them up because it just wasn’t fun for me anymore. It had nothing to do with James Neal having success — I just think for myself it was just really hard and especially when you’re getting benched and no one is saying anything to you.”

Lucic played a major role in the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup victory, tallying 12 points (five goals, seven assists) on a line also powered by David Krejci and Nathan Horton. While some fans want to see a Krejci-Lucic reunion in Boston, it unlikely that Bruins GM Don Sweeney would be looking to add a player who can't add much to the second line for a deep run into the playoffs.