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Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers

The Bruins’ historic regular season has come to a close and as the weather warms up in New England, they have their sights set on another deep playoff run. The B’s have seen their share of positives over the final couple weeks of the regular season, including the 100th career victory for their Vezina-worthy netminder and a career-best points streak for one of their leaders. The team also handed out their individual end-of-season awards, set a franchise record for consecutive road victories and became the first team in the league to clinch their division. This is Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers.

Chad Johnson is congratulated by Loui Eriksson after the Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division title.

Chad Johnson is congratulated by Loui Eriksson after the Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division title.



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1: The B’s became the first team in the league to clinch their division title as they locked up the Atlantic with the 4-2 win over the Capitals on March 29.

1: According to Dan Cagen of the MetroWest Daily News, Jarome Iginla became the first player to join the Bruins via free agency and go on to score 30 goals that season.

1: Iginla was also named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for March.

1: The Bruins topped the Flyers, 5-2, on April 5 to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

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B’s Beat: The Struggles Of Reilly Smith

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Despite winning NESN’s Seventh Player Award during yesterday’s matinee game against the Philadelphia Flyers; Reilly Smith’s season has been one big roller coaster.

Smith really flew out of the gate for the Bruins and made the lack of production from Loui Eriksson (due to two concussions) a non-factor in justifying the controversial Tyler Seguin trade on July 4th of last year. His performance was good enough to earn him a spot on Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand’s line.

It was with Bergy and Marchy that Smith’s game really flourished. In the first half of the season, before the Olympics, he performed excellently with 42 points in 57 games. Since the Olympic break; Reilly Smith has 8 points in 31 games.

I am not going to sugar coat it for the young winger, he has been completely ineffective and invisible for the past 31 games. In fact; it has gotten to the point where I am only noticing the guy when he blows a glorious scoring opportunity. His crossbar during yesterday’s game being a perfect example.

I am not hear to get down on the guy, because he does play well in all three zones thanks to tutelage from Bergeron, and he still makes good plays under pressure. To me he is trying too hard and constantly forcing plays to his linemates. He is also guilty of one of biggest pet peeves in all hockey… too many moves that results in a turnover.

There have been a number of Bruins who have done this very thing over the years; Brad Marchand is guilty of it often, Phil Kessel used to do it too (remember how many times he went off-sides because of that one extra move at the blue line?). Reilly has been doing it a lot lately in search of his confidence.

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Celtics Tweets of Interest: Jeff Green Prays For Rich Peverley; Kelly Olynyk Enjoys St. Patrick’s Day

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The fans of Boston sports are enjoying a bountiful of riches. Currently, the Bruins are on a 10-game winning streak. The New England Patriots are reloading for another championship run with the signings of All-Pro cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner as well as wide receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. The Red Sox are preparing to defend their 2013 World Series championship. Then there are the Celtics.

At this point, Celtics’ fans are eagerly anticipating the NBA Lottery in May. Co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently said,”there will be fireworks” in the off-season. Certainly, there will be fireworks on the Fourth of July, but there are many questions on how the Celtics proceed during this upcoming summer.

Jerryd Bayless, Avery Bradley, and Kris Humphries will become free agents. Bradley will be a restricted free agent, which means the Celtics have the opportunity to match any offer from another team. The biggest uncertainties will be whether the Celtics move point guard Rajon Rondo, who has a year left on his contract after the 2013-’14 season. Rondo stated that he is willing to test the market. Will Danny Ainge ship Rondo to another team or will the two sides come together on an agreement? Every player on the roster, including Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, could be used as trade chips. There are many high-caliber players entering the last year of their deals in 2014-’15, especially power forward Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving. The Celtics will have the room both financially and roster openings to bring these stars to Boston. It already happened in 2007 when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

The Celtics also potentially have 10 first-round picks over the next five years. This year’s draft class is loaded with prospects such as Duke’s Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. The Celtics own the sixth worst record in the NBA. The Celtics could hold onto these selections and rebuild with a young roster like the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

We do not know whether “fireworks” will explode in the Celtics organization, but the summer of 2014 will play a big role in the Celtics future.

Here are the tweets:

This was a scary incident that affected every sports fan, especially Boston fans. Peverley was a key player for the Bruins 2010-’11 Stanley Cup championship and Peverley nearly helped the Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. On July 4th, the Bruins traded Peverley and Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. Peverley’s collapse had an effect on Green because Green was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. The Celtics’ forward was forced to miss the 2011-’12 lockout-shortened season while he underwent surgery. While Green was able to come back to the court, it is unknown whether Peverley will be back on the ice. If Peverley is able to play again, he will have a huge fan in Green.

Olynyk wished his followers a Happy St. Patrick’s Day on Monday. The Celtics wore special uniforms this weekend for the occasion. They wore green-sleeved jerseys for three games during the weekend. The shirt had gold trim around the neck. Also, the team name on the front of the jersey and the players’ numbers were written in gold. While the players’ last name and the shamrock logo on the back of the shirt were designed in white. Meanwhile the shorts were green with gold on the sides and the shamrock logo was within the gold coloring. These jerseys were worn in recognition of the 1946-’47 team who wore similar-style uniforms.

B’s Beat: Leave Loui Eriksson Alone

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I’ve gotten pretty tired of all of the various fans, radio stations, and media outlets complaining about Loui Eriksson. We get it, Tyler Seguin is having a great year in Dallas right now. We get it, Eriksson hasn’t lit the scoreboard on fire since arriving here.

In short; here is what I hear on a daily basis in regards to #21: “wah wah, piss and moan, Tyler Seguin, wah wah, why don’t we trade this guy? Wah”.

I don’t think people realize that value of having a guy like Eriksson in the lineup. He is a surefire top 6 forward on any team in the NHL, and he’s currently playing on the Bruins’ third line right now. Is that a waste? Nope, that is some pretty outstanding depth. Seriously; do you realize how fortunate the B’s are to have someone of his caliber on the 3rd line? Do people even comprehend how sick that is?

Okay, Loui hasn’t put up the numbers we all thought he would, but there are legitimately good reasons as to why this has happened yet. For starters; Eriksson has suffered two pretty brutal concussions this season. Show me one player who was able to come back from two concussions in a season who has played better than Loui has this season. You will be hard pressed to do so.

Let’s not forget the fact that he completely had his teeth re-arranged in a game earlier this season too. Oh, and let us not forget the fact that he is playing for a completely new team after spending his entire career in Dallas. Those transitions can be hard on players.

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Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers – 1/18/14

Like the January weather, the play of the Bruins has cooled down in the past couple weeks and not even a trip to sunny California could really get it going. As has been the case for what seems like most of the season, another member of the team made his NHL debut, Loui Eriksson returned to Dallas where he spent seven years and the B’s became just the second team to beat San Jose at home in regulation. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.

Justin Florek filled in nicely on the Merlot line for a couple of games.

 1: Justin Florek became the latest Bruin to make his NHL debut on Jan. 4 against the Jets.

1: He picked up his first NHL point in his second game with an assist on Daniel Paille’s goal on Jan. 7 against the Ducks and his first goal two nights later in Los Angeles.

1: Rookie, Kevan Miller, recorded the first fight of his NHL career when he took on Mike Brown of the Sharks on Jan. 11.

1:04: Gregory Campbell totaled 1:04 of power-play time on Jan. 4 against the Jets with Zdeno Chara in the box multiple times early in the game.

1.94: Boston is tied with L.A. having allowed the fewest goals per game in the league with 1.94 a night.

2: The Bruins became just the second team to beat the Sharks at home in regulation joining the Canucks, who did so on Nov. 7, but Boston has not given up nine goals in a game yet.

2: Against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 14, the Bruins allowed two power-play goals for the fourth time in their last seven games.

2.11: Tuukka Rask has fallen to seventh in the league with a 2.11 goals against average.

3: Adam McQuaid was plus-3 against the Jets on Jan. 4 for the first time in the regular season since being plus-4 against the Canadiens on Feb. 9, 2011.

3: Torey Krug was plus-3 in the same game for the first time in his career.

3: His three points against the Jets came after recording just three points in his previous 11 games combined.

3: McQuaid had fights in three straight games from Jan. 4-9 against the Jets, Ducks and Kings.

3: The Ducks scored goals on all three of their power play opportunities on Jan. 7.

3: Phil Kessel had three assists Tuesday against the Bruins, giving him his first three-assist game since April 18 of last year.

3: Campbell had points in three straight games from Jan. 4-9 for the first time since April 8-11 of last season.

3: Three Bruins – Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Milan Lucic – had multi-point nights against the Stars.

3:03: Just 3:03 into his first game back at the Garden on Thursday, Shawn Thornton was in the box for fighting.

Shawn Thornton squares off with Frazer McLaren of the Leafs.

Shawn Thornton squares off with Frazer McLaren of the Leafs.

4: Paille scored four goals in his first six games back after returning from a concussion on Dec. 27.

4: Carl Soderberg’s four-game point streak ended on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs.

4: The Bruins are 4-5 since losing Dennis Seidenberg for the season on Dec. 27.

4.0: Krejci scored his 10th goal of the season with 4.0 seconds left in the second period to give the B’s the 1-0 lead over Dallas on Thursday.

5: Five members of the Bruins were names to their respective Olympic teams this past week: Bergeron, Eriksson, Krejci, Rask and Zdeno Chara.

5: Paille had five shots on goal against the Ducks, his most of the year and most in a game since March 25 of last season.

5: Soderberg was 0-for-5 on faceoffs against the Sharks.

5: Rask picked up his league-leading fifth shutout of the season on Jan. 11 against San Jose.

6: Florek became the sixth Bruin to make his NHL debut this season. The six debuts are the most the team has had since the 2006-07 season, when Krejci was one of the six to play in his first game.

6: McQuaid and Krug combined to be plus-6 against the Jets two weeks ago.

6: Winnipeg goalie, Ondrej Pavalec, fell to 0-6-1 all-time at TD Garden with his team’s 4-1 loss to the Bruins on Jan. 4.

6: Winnipeg, who had only scored six power-play goals on the road coming into the game on Jan. 4, was 0-for-3 on the power play in their first meeting of the season against the Bruins.

6: Lucic, Krejci and Jarome Iginla were a combined minus-6 against the Kings.

6: Krejci’s goal in Dallas was his first point in six games after recording 20 points in his previous 18 contests.

6: Johnny Boychuk was officially credited with six blocked shots against the Stars.

6: Reilly Smith scored his sixth goal in seven games against the Jets, but since then, he has not found the back of the net.

6:51: Paille played just 6:51 against the Leafs, easily his lowest ice time total of the season. It was his lowest total since playing just 45 seconds against the Panthers on Dec. 8, 2011.

7: Soderberg and Ryan Spooner were a combined 0-for-7 in the faceoff circle against L.A. on Jan. 9.

7: Kessel had gone seven straight games against the Bruins without recording a single point.

7: Of Boston’s eight penalties against the Stars, defenders committed seven of them.

7: The Bruins have allowed at least four goals in each of their last seven losses.

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BST&N’s Top 5 Boston Bruins Moments Of 2013 (VIDEO)

What a year it was for the Boston Bruins. Big games, big comebacks, and heartache. All in all, it was another excellent year for the B’s. Here are my top 5 moments from 2013.

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5. First Game After The Boston Marathon Bombings: The bombings that occurred on April 15th, 2013 will never be forgotten by anyone. It hit every single person hard. On April 17th, the Bruins were able to provide a small distraction from the horrible events that had transpired just days before. They welcomed the rival Buffalo Sabres into the TD Garden for the first game since the attack, and what transpired was nothing short of spectacular. The Garden faithful barely let Rene Rancourt singe the National Anthem, as they filled the entire stadium with a singular voice, a Boston voice. The Bruins ultimately lost the game, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to show that life would still go on, and everyone would overcome the adversity presented upon the city. At the end of the game both teams raised their sticks in salute to the fans in attendance, to close out what was arguably the most emotional night in TD Garden history.


 

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