Bruins

Talking Points: McElhinney gets the better of B's

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Talking Points: McElhinney gets the better of B's

GOLD STAR: Mitch Marner finished with a goal and two points, a plus-2 and 10 shot attempts in 13:57 of ice time, and helped the Leafs get out to a fast lead with both teams looking to get off to a quick start. It was Marner that picked off an errant Brandon Carlo outlet pass, and immediately snapped a shot over the shoulder of Tuukka Rask to give Toronto a quick lead. Marner was again part of the combination that pushed the third goal past Rask in the third period as well, and that score essentially iced the game for Toronto. Marner has struggled for Toronto for large portions of the still-young season, but his game got healthy pretty quickly against the Bruins.

BLACK EYE: Brandon Carlo called himself the “Achilles Heel” after the game was over, and while it might have been a bit overly harsh, it certainly wasn’t wrong. Carlo blew the outlet pass up the middle on a gift-wrapped turnover that Mitch Marner turned into Toronto’s first goal, and it was his hooking call that almost immediately led to Toronto’s power play strike. To top it all off, Carlo screened Tuukka Rask on Toronto’s third goal before unintentionally redirecting the puck past the Bruins goaltender on a truly bad luck play. Carlo finished with a minus-2 rating in 15:17 of ice time, and should just be focused on bouncing back from a rough couple of nights against Toronto as quickly as possible. 

TURNING POINT: The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs by a 13-11 margin in the second period and were only down by a 2-1 score at that point, but they couldn’t get anything past Toronto backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney during the barrage. The best chance was a Patrice Bergeron lead pass to Brad Marchand in front of the net, but McElhinney was able to stuff Marchand’s backhanded bid and get the puck out of danger. Once the Maple Leafs managed to survive Boston’s big push in the second period, they snapped back with a third insurance goal that sealed any chances the Bruins had of getting back into the game. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Frank Vatrano was one of the few bright spots for the Bruins. He scored the team’s only goal in the first period, he threw three hits including a big one on Toronto D-man Nikita Zaitsev against the side boards and he even blocked a couple of shots while playing the 200-foot game for the Black and Gold. Vatrano also drew an interference call on Tyler Bozak in the third period to set up a Bruins power play that they weren’t able to score on. It all started with Vatrano scoring the goal and his confidence growing from there in the first game where he appeared to be truly engaged this season. 

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-3-3 – the Bruins record against Eastern Conference teams this season after dropping both ends of the home-and-home against Toronto. 

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Around the net they were better than us. So, we’re frustrated, but not...we’re not discouraged. I mean, we’re playing hard, just you go through these lulls where you need to be a little bit better." –Bruce Cassidy, of a Bruins team that’s lost three in a row for the first time all season and lost six of their last eight games. 

NHL releases 2018-19 regular season schedule

NHL releases 2018-19 regular season schedule

The Boston Bruins' schedule is set after the NHL released the 2018-19 regular season schedule on Thursday. Boston opens the season in Washington to take on the defending champion Capitals on October 3rd, and have their home opener against Ottawa on October 8th. 

Boston and the Chicago Blackhawks were announced as the opponents for the 2019 Winter Classic, which takes place on New Year's Day. 

The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, who they will meet again for the first time on December 6th. 

Other key games include an early season back-to-back at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Nights on November 10th and 11th. 

The full schedule can be found below.

OCTOBER:

Wednesday, October 3 @ Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 4 @ Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Monday, October 8 vs. Ottawa, 1 p.m.

Thursday, October 11 vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 13 vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 17 @ Calgary, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 18 @ Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 20 @ Vancouver, 10 p.m.

Tuesday, October 23 @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 25 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 27 vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 30 at Carolina, 7 p.m.

NOVEMBER:

Saturday, November 3 @ Nashville, 8 p.m.

Monday, November 5 vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 8 vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 10 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 11 vs. Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 14 @ Colorado, 10 p.m.

Friday, November 16 @ Dallas, 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 17 @ Arizona, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 21 @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 23 vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 24 @ Montreal, 7 p.m.

Monday, November 26 @ Toronto, 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 29 vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

DECEMBER:

Saturday, December 1 vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, December 4 @ Florida, 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 6 @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 8 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 9 @ Ottawa, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, December 11 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.

Friday, December 14 @ Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 16 vs. Buffalo, 5 p.m.

Monday, December 17 @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 20 vs. Anaheim, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 22 vs. Nashville, 1 p.m.

Sunday, December 23 @ Carolina, 5 p.m.

Thursday, December 27 vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 29 @ Buffalo, 7 p.m.

JANUARY:

Tuesday, January 1 @ Chicago, 2 p.m.

Thursday, January 3 vs. Calgary, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 5 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8 vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 10 vs. Washington, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 12 @ Toronto, 7 p.m.

Monday, January 14 vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 16 @ Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 17 vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 19 vs. N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 29 vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 31 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY:

Sunday, February 3 @ Washington, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 5 vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 6 @ N.Y. Rangers, 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 9 vs. Los Angeles, 1 p.m.

Sunday, February 10 vs. Colorado, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, February 12 vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.

Friday, February 15 @ Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Saturday, February 16 @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Monday, February 18 @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 20 @ Vegas, 10 p.m.

Saturday, February 23 @ St. Louis, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, February 26 vs. San Jose, 7 p.m.

Thursday, February 28 vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

MARCH:

Saturday, March 2 vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5 vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 7 vs. Florida, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 12 @ Columbus, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 14 @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 16 vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19 @ N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 21 @ New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 23 @ Florida, 7 p.m.

Monday, March 25 @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 27 vs. N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 30 vs. Florida, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 31 @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

APRIL:

Tuesday, April 2 @ Columbus, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 4 @ Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 6 vs. Tampa Bay, 12:30 p.m.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Haggerty: Bruins should pass on trading for Wayne Simmonds

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Haggerty: Bruins should pass on trading for Wayne Simmonds

DALLAS -- Interesting times for the Bruins as they head into NHL Draft weekend here, as a number of names have been bandied about as possibilities,. Things are fluid right now as far as targets and potential strategies go, what with the draft being held this weekend and free agency opening on July 1. 

One name that has popped up in recent days is Flyers power forward Wayne Simmonds, who is entering the final year of his contract at age 29. Simmonds was mentioned as a possible target by NBC Sports Boston way back in May, and has been kicked up in the last few days with The Athletic’s Michael Russo mentioning him as possible trade bait for the Minnesota Wild. 

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In a vacuum, Simmonds would be a terrific second-line fit for Boston. Despite battling injuries that culminated with him undergoing hip surgery, Simmonds scored 24 goals and 46 points last year. Just a couple of seasons ago he put up 32 goals and 60 points. At his best, the 6-foot-2, 183-pounder is a prototypical power forward capable of scoring goals around the net, throwing big hits and dropping the gloves with a ferocious level of intimidation when the situation calls for it. 

He’s very much in the mold of Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Jarome Iginla as the kind of power winger that’s been very good with David Krejci in the past, and would make the Bruins a little tougher and much harder to play against. 

So, clearly, as a player Simmonds would be “a great addition” for the Bruins, as Bruce Cassidy said about Ilya Kovalchuk, with all things being equal. 

Here’s the rub: The cost is going to be considerable for Simmonds. The Bruins will have to give up significant assets to get a full year of Simmonds ahead of his free-agent walk year, and then they’d need to pay up again to sign him to a big contract extension at some point next season.

Certainly the B’s would feel beholden to sign Simmonds if they gave up blue-chip prospects and draft picks to land him.

As with most trade discussions over the last year, Jake DeBrusk is a name that's been an ask from other team. Even if it's Danton Heinen or Anders Bjork involved in the discussions instead, the Bruins would need to give up a valued young winger in order to get the more established Simmonds. 

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They’d be doing all this for a big-bodied, 29-year-old player who's probably going to start slowing down, and breaking down, over the next few seasons.

A couple of years ago landing Simmonds would have been a master stroke move for the Bruins as they sought to replace Lucic’s hulking presence in the lineup. Certainly they could have used the offensive punch on their second line, where Rick Nash disappointed after arriving at the trade deadline last spring. 

But in this humble hockey writer’s opinion, the window should probably be closed at this point on acquiring Simmonds, given the cost in terms of both assets and future dollars.

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