Bruins

Zach Senyshyn forced out of Bruins' loss with a suspected knee injury

Zach Senyshyn forced out of Bruins' loss with a suspected knee injury

BOSTON – It didn’t sound like the news was particularly good for 22-year-old Zach Senyshyn as the young winger was forced out of the Bruins' 5-4 shootout loss to the Panthers on Tuesday night with a left leg injury.

The Bruins winger was done for the night after one shift when he was injured in the second period. It could leave the B’s short another forward with David Backes, Brett Ritchie, Jake DeBrusk and Karson Kuhlman already injured up front.

Bruce Cassidy said he didn’t have much of an update following the game, but a potential knee injury could be more of a long-term thing than some of the B's other injured bodies.

“They told me he left, lower body. Looked like a knee injury and that he wouldn’t return. Typically I don’t get it, unless a guy’s like, completely gone, I don’t get any updates on what the X-ray showed or didn’t show,” said Cassidy, following the loss where the Bruins blew a four-goal lead in the third period. “He’s trying to get a foothold on a job here while guys are injured and he’s been doing a good job for us. But it’s a bit of what’s going on here lately, it seems like we’re losing forwards this year.

“Last year, it was defensemen and now we’ll have to rely on someone else to come in the lineup and do the job. He’s played well for us, played hard, so you want him to stay healthy and put his best foot forward and get every opportunity. But that’s hockey sometimes. Hopefully, he’s not doing too poorly or too badly and he’ll get back in there when he’s healthy.”

Senyshyn finished with a shot attempt, a hit and a giveaway in 4:46 of ice time.

Senyshyn had a couple of assists in his four games with the Bruin while serving as an injury replacement himself. He’d combined with Anders Bjork to give the B’s a couple of speedy, skilled wingers on the third line once both were given the chance to get into the lineup, so it would be a shame if he can’t continue due to the injury.

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Sorry, Bruins fans: bigger doesn't always mean better

Sorry, Bruins fans: bigger doesn't always mean better

Before we begin: No, I have never gotten my ass kicked.

Celtics fans have a reputation for being sheep, but man, when it comes to predictability there isn’t a group of dummies easier to impress than Bruins fans.

Still haven't gotten my ass kicked. Probably getting closer, though.

All you have to do to win over the Bruin brigade is get someone tall and/or "physical." No one will be more willing to overlook actual effectiveness than B's fans. This is especially the case when swapping out a “softer” (though perhaps better) player.

Reilly Smith for Jimmy Hayes? Downgrade, but fans were ecstatic.

Use Loui Eriksson’s money to sign David Backes? Downgrade, catastrophic move, but fans were ecstatic.

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We got another installment this week on deadline day when the Bruins traded Danton Heinen to the Ducks for Nick Ritchie in a swap of disappointing 24-year-old left wings.  

The national reaction was not kind to Ritchie. The NHL Network's panel was particularly brutal in calling him in an overweight underachiever. 

But around here? Hoo boy, what a coup! We saw 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, 10th overall pick and a bunch of penalty minutes and dusted off Milan Lucic's 2011 jersey. 

I'll admit that as soon as I heard the Bruins traded for Nick Ritchie, I was confused. I remembered his name from the draft, but was unaware that he'd become a good player. And if he was a good player, why was he being traded? He was surely still young, unless I'd misremembered. 

Nope. He was drafted in 2014, same as Heinen. Had 14 goals as a rookie, but hasn't come close to that since. He does have eight goals in 41 games this season, but his shooting percentage this season is an absolute outlier for his career (11.4; his career shooting percentage prior was 8.3). His 19 points are aided by a four-point showing in his final game with the Ducks, the only multi-point game he's had this season. 

He does have 78 penalty minutes, but none of them are from fights. Just misconducts and tripping players who skate past him because they're faster. 

He was fifth on the Ducks in hits per 60, if you want to bring that up, but you shouldn't.  

The same people who like the "hits" stat are often the ones who discredit possession metrics. But "hits" is unquestionably a possession metric. It means you don't have the puck. There is a reason that eight of the top 15 teams in the league in hits are non-playoff teams. They are chasing the play. 

(And by the way, the Bruins are eighth in the league in hits. They absolutely don't need to "hit" more.)

So that's Ritchie in a nutshell; a not-so-good player, but I'm rooting for him. If his acquisition were met with an "eh, maybe he'll uncover something in Boston he hasn't been able to find before," this pretentious-ass column wouldn't be required.

But it wasn't, and here we are. 

And I'll say that I was totally cool with moving Heinen. That guy's arrow was pointing in the wrong direction after an impressive rookie year and so-so sophomore campaign.

So I would have traded Heinen and some combination of picks and prospects for a sure thing. If Nick Ritchie and some cap savings (which you could get anyway by trading Heinen in the offseason) was the best I could do, I would have probably passed. Heinen is not much of a loss (not the way he's played this season, anyway), but Ritchie isn't much of a gain. 

Maybe Ritchie does find new life in Boston. Maybe he becomes a good third-liner. Hell, maybe he scores early in Game 7 of the Cup Final when the other team's goalie is an absolute mess. That was the real reason the Bruins didn't win last year, not because they weren't tough enough. 

Nick Ritchie set to make Bruins debut tonight; Ondrej Kase sitting out

Nick Ritchie set to make Bruins debut tonight; Ondrej Kase sitting out

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins will get a look at one-half of the two new players brought in at the trade deadline as big, physical winger Nick Ritchie will be in the B’s lineup against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Ritchie got into Boston around 10 p.m. last night after a coast-to-coast flight from California and will play on the left wing alongside big-bodied Charlie Coyle and speedy Anders Bjork in a new-look third line.

The pairing of the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Ritchie with the equally big-bodied Coyle gives the third line a bruising, heavy dimension that they haven’t had as of late, and brings some interesting options to the table for Bruce Cassidy's club.

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“He’s a big-bodied guy that’s played in the league. He should be able to come in and contribute with a net-front presence, a good shot and better hands than he’s maybe gotten credit for,” said Cassidy of Ritchie, who scored two goals and four points in a Sunday night game against the Golden Knights. “We had some discussions with people in Anaheim about what he can bring and his best attributes, and we’ll try to get that out of him. He’s a tough guy, so he certainly takes care of that part of the game.”

While Ritchie is going to play in his first chance with the Black and Gold, right winger Ondrej Kase is going to sit out Tuesday night in favor of Karson Kuhlman as he continues to recover from a suspected concussion that’s had him out of the lineup since Feb. 7.

Kase may get back into the lineup on Thursday night in a tilt against the Dallas Stars, but Cassidy wanted the skilled 24-year-old to get into a few practices before suiting up for game action.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Flames based on Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena:

PROJECTED LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Karson Kuhlman
Nick Ritchie Charlie Coyle Anders Bjork
Sean Kuraly Par Lindholm Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Jeremy Lauzon

STARTING GOALIE

Tuukka Rask