There are a lot of words that could be used to describe the 2014-15 season of the Boston Bruins. ‘Successful’ would not be one of them. Coming off of a Presidents’ Trophy a season ago, big things were expected from the Black and Gold, but they never got to showcase their full potential as injuries to several key players derailed their season and now there is only one team from the Garden that is playoff bound. Whether Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli return in 2015 is still up in the air, but the team did announce Monday that it will be parting ways with longtime fourth-liners and unrestricted free agents, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, as they look to improve in the goal-scoring department for next season. Before we completely turn the page to next year, however, let’s look back at the final two weeks of play, which featured a teenaged rookie setting a Bruins’ record and joining some pretty impressive company in the process, the first NHL goal for one young defenseman, the team’s most shots on goal in two years, a dismal scoreless streak against one playoff-bound team, a woeful piece of all-time history relating to a particular season series and Boston becoming the first team to miss the postseason the year after earning one of the league’s most impressive trophies. For the final time in 2014-15, this is Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins head off the ice after a disappointing end to the 2014-15 season.
0: The Bruins did not allow the Rangers (this year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners) to have a power-play opportunity in their 4-2 win on March 28. It was the first time since Nov. 10 against the Devils that the Bruins’ opponent did not have a single power play and just the second time this season.
1: Zach Trotman scored his first career NHL goal – the game winner – to beat the Red Wings late in the third period on April 2.
1: The Wings led the Bruins, 1-0, after two periods in that game before the B’s rallied to win with three goals in the third. It marked the first time this season that the Wings lost a game in regulation in which they led after two periods (21-1-4).
.167: The Bruins had a .167 winning percentage this season when Torey Krug committed a penalty – the lowest of any regular player on the team. Zdeno Chara (.214) was the next lowest.
1.85: New York’s Henrik Lundqvist came into the March 28 meeting against Boston with a 1.85 goals-against average in 36 career appearances against the B’s before surrendering four goals in the loss.
With the All-Star Break encompassing seven of the last nine days, the Bruins have played just four games in the last two weeks while continuing to jockey for playoff positioning. Aside from Patrice Bergeron, the team’s lone representative in Columbus, the B’s enjoyed their eight days off and look to pick up where they left off to begin the unofficial second half of the season. The last two weeks have included a theme of very late Colorado goals, a milestone point for a Bruins’ centerman and the first NHL brawl for one young defenseman. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Patrice Bergeron had a very impressive All-Star Game debut for Team Toews.
0.3: Jarome Iginla scored a goal with 0.3 seconds left in the first period to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead on Jan. 21. It was the second straight period the Avs scored a goal with under a second remaining against the Bruins as Daniel Briere scored with 0.4 remaining in the game to win it for them on Oct. 13.
1: Craig Cunningham notched the first career assist (third point) as he recorded the primary helper on Gregory Campbell’s goal in Dallas on Jan. 20 in his 24th career game.
1: David Pastrnak recorded his first NHL penalty (a slash) on Jan. 21 in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche.
Unlike in seasons past, the Bruins have led fans on an up-and-down ride so far in 2014-15. Just when they are able to string a couple of strong wins against quality teams together, it seems they are followed with a shootout defeat and then a 6-2 loss. As the calendar turns to 2015, the Black and Gold will certainly need to find that element of consistency that has been eluding them this season, but for now, let’s take a look at the numbers from the last couple of weeks. They include a season high in shots on goal, a look at the goal output with and without one of the team’s best players, a first for one Boston defenseman and everybody on the ice getting into the act against Detroit. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins are glad 2014 is over and know they need to battle to make up ground.
0: The fourth line of Matt Fraser, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille combined for zero shots on goal on Dec. 21 against Buffalo. They were the only Boston forwards to be held without a shot on net.
1: Matt Bartkowski picked up his first career fighting major on Dec. 21 in the 4-3 overtime win over the Sabres as he dropped the gloves with Buffalo’s Marcus Foligno after No. 43 laid a questionable hit on Brian Gionta for which he was given a game misconduct.
1: The Bruins are now 1-0-0 in Sunday games this season after their win over Buffalo.
It has not been the prettiest of starts for the Boston Bruins in 2014-15 as they look to rebound from their early playoff exit last spring. With a fair share of injuries in the first two weeks, the B’s have struggled through their first nine games, but have shown signs of improvement after putting up a dismal four goals in their first four. Some of their most reliable offensive weapons have gotten off to slow starts and a lot of guys have had to learn to play with new linemates. Here is a deeper look at how Boston has fared statistically through the first two weeks of the season with some interesting nuggets on player, team and opponent stats.
Boston’s Carl Soderberg falls to the ice in an early-season shutout loss to the Washington Capitals.
0: The 4-0 loss to the Capitals on Oct. 11 was Boston’s worst shutout loss since falling, 6-0, to the Sabres on Feb. 8, 2012.
0.4: Danny Briere’s goal with 0.4 seconds left on the clock gave the Avalanche a 2-1 win over the B’s on Oct. 13.
1: Bobby Robins picked up a fighting major in the second period of his first career NHL game on Opening Night – nine days shy of his 33rd birthday. He took on Luke Schenn of the Flyers.
The Boston Bruins announced yesterday the signing of prospect Matt Fraser to a 1 year 2-way deal. The financials of the deal were not disclosed. Fraser was one of the many pieces the Bruins acquired in the Seguin trade, and is expected to make the team this season as a bottom six forward.
Fraser saw limited time with the team last season, but made a big impression with the team in the postseason by scoring an overtime goal in his first career playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens. He showed terrific chemistry with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson in just a short time, and one has to believe that he will find himself on that line in the upcoming season.
Fraser was one of just a few important free agents the B’s needed to get under contract in time for the start of the team’s training camp. Not to beat a dead horse here, but we are still awaiting the contracts of Torey Krug and Reilly Smith to be announced.
With camp on the horizon, you can expect to see a fury of activity around the hub, as the team hopes to get all of it’s players under contract, so they can have a full camp.
While there is no official deadline for the Bruins to get a deal done with the two crucial restricted free agents, it would still be wise to get them done. Hopefully this small signing of Matt Fraser will get the ball rolling on the others. Keep in mind though, that the B’s have to make a few cap-cutting moves for it all to work.
Coming into the postseason, the Bruins were expected to make another deep run and possibly contend for their third Stanley Cup in four seasons. Unfortunately for them, however, they ran into the red-hot Canadiens and saw their offense go cold at the worst possible time. Despite a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 at the Garden, there were still a lot of memorable moments in the series and, like always, plenty of interesting stats and facts to go around (and, yes, there are a lot). This series featured a record number of Game 7 meetings for the B’s and Habs, one Boston rookie doing something only one other player had done in the last 75 years, a new NHL record concerning consecutive seasons with a Game 7 appearance and Montreal’s netminder joining a goaltending legend as the only two to accomplish one particular feat. This, for the final time in 2013-14, is Boston Bruins: Eastern Conference Semifinals By The Numbers.
The Canadiens frustrated the Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and earned a series win in seven games.
0: The Canadiens had zero players with a positive rating through Game 2.
0: The Merlot line had zero shots on goal in Game 4. And Game 6. And Game 7. Brutal.
0: Boston’s first line scored zero five-on-five goals in the series.
1: P.K. Subban’s game-winner in Game 1 was the first overtime goal of his postseason career.
1: Matt Fraser made his playoff debut in Game 4 after being called up from Providence earlier in the day. He scored his first postseason goal in the game and it was a pretty big one. In doing so, he became the first player in history to score an overtime goal in both the AHL and NHL playoffs in the same season, according to Elias Sports.