Men’s Ice Hockey Season Comes to an End
Michael Callahan Signs Entry Deal with Boston Bruins
Justin Bishop ’24
The Providence College Men’s Hockey team fell 4-2 against No. 11 University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday, March 12 in the Hockey East Tournament Quarterfinal after beating the University of Vermont 2-1 on Wednesday, March 9. The team entered the third period down 3-1 after Riley Duran ’25 scored his 10th goal of the year late in the second, but UMass put one in the empty net before Matt Koopman ‘21 potted his fifth of the year to cut the deficit to two with only 1:30 left. The Friars’ season comes to a disappointing end, and it seems they will just miss out on the NCAA Tournament again. Last year they were a COVID-19 bubble team but ended up not playing despite two teams dropping out due to positive tests. The team ended this season with a respectable record of 22-14-2 but finished 12-11-1 in conference play, putting them in seventh out of eleven in the Hockey East Conference. The Friars finished with the second most wins (22) in the conference next to Northeastern University which finished with 25 and were ranked first in the conference and No. 10 in the country. To put it simply, the Friars did not have a bad season; other teams in conference play just did better.
Bright spots this season for the team included winning 22 games. The Friars finished the season with both a top-10 Power-Play Percentage (PP%) and top 15 Penalty-Kill Percentage (PK%). Sophomore Brett Berard ’24 led the team in Goals (18), Points (38), and Penalty Minutes (37). Five Friars scored at least 10 goals this year, and 13 Friars had points in double digits. Jaxson Stauber ’23 had a stellar year and posted a 21-14-2 record while having a 2.10 Goals Against Average (GAA) along with a .921 Save Percentage (SV%) and put up four shutouts. The team defended Schneider Arena well with a 14-4-1 at home record.
However, the biggest news came out on Sunday, March 13, night as the Boston Bruins signed the captain of the Friars, Michael Callahan ’22, to a two-year entry-level contract. Callahan, who grew up in Franklin, MA, was a three-year captain of Providence and finished his college career with 73 points in 138 games. He was selected back in the 2018 Entry Draft where the Arizona Coyotes originally drafted him in the fifth round. The local kid will spend time in the Bruins American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins, so he does not have to get acclimated to a new city just yet.
This team has a bright future with a young core in Berard, Duran, Nick Poisson ‘24, Cody Monds ’25, Guillaume Richard ’25, and Chase Yoder ’24, who all were major pieces this past season. They will look to veteran leadership in Patrick Moynihan ’23, Jaxson Stauber, and Parker Ford ’23. The Friars will have at least eight drafted players on the team next year, and possibly more with the NHL Entry Draft occurring this summer. The Cowl will highlight the newcomers for next year’s season next fall, but names to keep an eye on this summer are Brady Berard, brother of current Friar Brett Berard from East Greenwich, RI; Chase DaFoe from Beverley, MA; and Cole Pelc out of Buffalo, NY. With a mix of experience from the current players along with the incoming talent, the team is preparing for a deep run next year to establish themselves as not only a Hockey East powerhouse, but also have a national presence.
Dark Storms Over the Capitol: Policing and Democracy After the Jan. 6 Insurrection
by Addison Wakelin ’22
Assistant News Editor
On March 2, the Board of Programmers and the Board of Multicultural Student Affairs hosted a panel of Providence College faculty to discuss the topic of the double standards in protest policing and the implications of the Jan. 6. attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. The faculty panel included Dr. Keith Morton of the public and community service and American studies departments; Dr. Jeff Johnson of the history and American studies departments, and Dr. Paul Herron of the political science department, all of whom gave diverse views on the events that occurred.
On Jan. 6, shortly before pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, Donald Trump spoke at the Stop the Steal rally, which his campaign helped organize. Projecting into an echo chamber of lies and conspiracies, Trump made various false claims about the presidential election being stolen, widespread voter fraud, and how he won by a landslide. Less than 30 minutes after Trump’s speech, the pro-Trump crowds had formed outside the Capitol, and the ensuing events occurred shortly after. Five people died in the aftermath, including U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
The talk on March 2 gave important insight into the different political and social implications of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Morton most notably detailed the stark contrast of policing during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and the Black Lives Matter protests this past summer.
The events that unfolded on Jan. 6 represent the deeply rooted institutionalized issues surrounding policing and race in the United States. The protests this past summer over the unjust murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd reflect larger issues of selective policing and deeply rooted racial inequality in this country.
“Our history of racialized violence by police influences all of the decisions and actions made in both the marches and in the insurrections and the ways in which we’re trying to interpret what those events mean,” stated Morton, reflecting on the distinct contrast of policing between the two events.
It has been close to two months since the assault on the Capitol took place. Of the thousands of participants in the attack, only 52 people were arrested on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., according to law enforcement officials. As of March 2, only 266 rioters have been formally charged.
In contrast, at the peak of the BLM protests this past summer, 427 protestors were arrested between May 30 and June 2, 2020, according to the metropolitan police department. The differences in police presence during the BLM protests over the summer versus the attack on Jan. 6 perpetuate those exact racial prejudices and issues with policing.
Johnson also provided insight into the ways in which history tends to repeat itself in American politics. Johnson described how much of the Jan. 6 attack mirrors past historical events, particularly the rhetoric surrounding the Burning of Washington on Aug. 24, 1814 and the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election.
Herron, who specializes in American political history and constitutional law, raised important questions about the role of American political institutions in confronting such assaults on democracy. One of the most important questions Herron posed was about the role of Congress and the vice president in counting electoral votes, especially in their participation in aiding in the peaceful transfer of power.
The participation of several members of Congress, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, and Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who all rejected the electoral college votes of key swing states and have been accused of inciting the attack, has led to calls for their resignations.
The three faculty members reflected on the importance of remembering such events as Jan. 6, especially in the magnitude of precedence for the future state of politics in the United States. The insurrectionist attempt has proven the necessity for U.S. democratic institutions to be protected, and that the restoration of democracy is essential for the future of both American politics and civil society.
Who Will Win The NHL Stanley Cup?
By Scott Jarosz ’21
With March Madness now over, it is the National Hockey League’s turn to take center stage with the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Featuring eight teams each from the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference for a total of 16 teams, this year’s playoffs are sure to provide excitement once again. Last year’s champion, the Washington Capitals, are yet again in the playoff field and looking to take home the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row. However, this season, the Capitals have some serious contenders to prevent them from winning a repeat title. One such team looking to take home the hardware is the Boston Bruins, the second-seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins are the team that will win the Stanley Cup this year.
At second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Bruins boast a regular season record of 49-24-9 and a total of 107 points. The Bruins’ record shows that they have been a powerhouse of a hockey team throughout the season, and head coach Bruce Cassidy feels confident that his team will maintain its success through the playoffs. According to 98.5 the Sports Hub, Cassidy said, “I like our team. We play hard. We were one of the better teams from start to finish I think in the National Hockey League, specifically the second half of the year. We’ve played well at the right times. We’ve earned our way…Guys should be excited to play.” Cassidy’s confidence in his team is not unfounded.
With one of the best lines in the NHL and two top-notch goaltenders, the Boston Bruins have all of the keys they need for a successful playoff run. The Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak line is a force that not many teams are able to reckon with. Marchand put up his first 100-point season; he is one of the six players across the league to reach at least 100 points and he tied in points with NHL-great Sidney Crosby. Pastrnak notched 38 goals and finished out the season with 81 points. Patrice Bergeron, a four-time Frank J. Selke Award winner and arguably the best defensive-forward the league has seen, claimed an impressive 32 goals and 79 points. Aside from the Bruins top line, center David Krejci is also going to be a key factor in the Bruins having a successful playoff run. Krejci is having one of his best seasons in a while this year and matched his career-high 73 points.
However, despite the individual player success on the team, one other reason why the Bruins will dominate the playoffs this year is because they can offer depth throughout their whole team. Every line that Cassidy puts out on the ice has a purpose, and all four lines have each seen success and contributed to the team, whether that be goal-scoring, keeping the pressure on the other team, or just playing physical.
And, while the Bruins have had their share of hardships this season (injuries—particularly those sustained by their defensemen), they have proved time and time again that they can come out on top, and a lot of that has to do with their coaching.
In addition to the tremendous success that the Bruins have had throughout the regular season, they have also proven to match up very well with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the past. For example in the 2012-13 NHL season, the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 4 games to 3 in the first round of playoffs, which featured a game 7 where the Bruins came back from a 4-1 deficit to win not only the game, but the series as well. The Bruins and Maple Leafs met in the first round of the 2017-18 playoffs, and the Bruins took that series 4 games to 3 yet again.
If the Bruins can stay healthy and get by the Maple Leafs, they are very capable of making a run and taking home this year’s Stanley Cup trophy.
What People Can Learn From Patrice Bergeron’s Career
By Meaghan Cahill ’20
Over the past week, the entire hockey community has been celebrating Patrice Bergeron as he reached yet another milestone in his career—playing in 1,000 games. Former players, coaches, family members, and fans have expressed their gratitude for all that Bergeron has done on and off the ice in a series of interviews and videos shared by the Boston Bruins organization. Upon reflection, these videos have brought to mind not what Bergeron has given of himself, but what people, athletes and non-athletes alike, can take and learn from him over the course of his 16 year career.
1. In the face of adversity, never give up.
In October 2007, Bergeron’s career almost ended when he suffered a grade-three concussion after a hit from behind during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers—there is no grade-four. His injury was so severe that in the months following the hit, the question was not “will he be able to recover and return to the game?” but “will his life in general ever be the same?” There was serious doubt that he would ever be able to play hockey again. Yet, Bergeron put all those doubts to rest when just over a year later he was back and scoring goals. Three more serious (but not as major) concussions later, Bergeron proved time and time again that when people think his career is finished they need to think again.
2. “We” not “Me” because selfishness gets you nowhere.
According to Boston Bruins announcer Jack Edwards, the media joke surrounding Bergeron is to see what it takes for them to get him to once refer to himself in the first person. It never happens. Bergeron’s main focus has always been, and always will be, his teammates and their contributions. It is a true sign of his leadership perhaps, or just his character in general, but Bergeron’s unselfish attitude is one that is known throughout the league and it is the one thing that players commented most about him. And to Bergeron, even when asked about his latest accomplishment of being the fifth Boston Bruins player to make it to 1,000+ games, he stated, “My best memories are always what we’ve accomplished as a team, and the friends I have made. It’s honestly that’s what I’m most proud of.”
3. Have courage to persevere in any situation.
Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks ended with the Blackhawks as the victors, but Bergeron a legend. Against medical advisement, Bergeron played alongside his teammates with a plethora of injuries: torn rib cartilage, broken rib, separated shoulder, and a punctured lung. On his more recent injury that would take Bergeron out of the game for a month, teammate Brad Marchand commented how he would not succumb to his injury until the final buzzer went off, “Essentially, his whole body was broken, the whole upper half. And he still comes back to play. It’s incredible.” His toughness has become a staple on his résumé as a player and proves time and time again why he is considered the best of the best.
Former Friars: Where Are They Now
Noel Acciari is Making His Presence Known on the Boston Bruins
By Meaghan Cahill ’20
Before fans entered Schneider Arena to watch the Friars skate to a 4-1 win over Northeastern University, they were gifted with free bobbleheads of former Providence College men’s hockey player and current forward for the Boston Bruins Noel Acciari ’15. Captain of the NCAA National Championship winning team (a first for PC), Acciari is one of the few former Friars who have made a statement within the National Hockey League as a solid fourth-liner.
A Rhode Island native, Acciari has played in 150 games with the Bruins over the course of his four years with the team. Originally undrafted, the Bruins picked up Acciari at the end of his junior year just after PC ousted Boston University for the National Championship with a 4-3 win. Acciari left PC to begin his professional career and on June 8, 2015 he signed a two-year entry-level contract as a free agent. However, Acciari would not see the NHL until March of 2016 as the Bruins assigned him to the Providence Bruins to develop his game.
Acciari’s NHL debut took place on March 1, 2016 against the Calgary Flames. For the remainder of that season, he would go on to play 19 games with the Bruins, totaling a single assist and a -4 plus/minus rating.
In his second season with the Bruins (2016-2017), Acciari appeared in a total of 29 regular season games, racked up two goals and three assists for a total of five points, and had a +3 plus/minus rating. His first NHL goal was scored on March 28, 2017 against the Nashville Predators, just over a year after his NHL debut.
It was at the end of this season that the Bruins re-signed him with a two-year contract extension.
Acciari saw an increase of playing time over the course of his third season with the Bruins, totaling 60 games played. Over the course of 2017-2018, he scored 10 goals and notched a single assist during regular season play. And despite his -6 plus/minus rating, his presence was surely felt on the ice.
Acciari’s third season influx of goal-scoring caught his former college coach’s eye.
“He takes the puck to the net hard, stays on the rebound and scores. That’s Friar hockey,” PC men’s hockey Head Coach Nate Leaman commented on his former player in 2018.
Over the course of his first three seasons with the Bruins, and even going back to his days as a Friar, Acciari gained the reputation of being a hard hitter along the boards.
“He can turn the tide of a game with the physicality part…You have to match [teams] hit for hit…and the Kevan Millers, Charlie [McAvoy], Noel, Z [Zdeno Chara]…give us some of that counterpunching we need,” Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy once commented on Noel’s physical style of play.
Of the 50 games played so far this current NHL season, Acciari has played in 42 of them; the eight missed games were due to healthy scratches. Unfortunately, Acciari’s scratches stem from the fact that he is not producing as much as the Bruins’s coaching staff would like. In the 42 games he has played, he has only notched one goal and three assists and has a -9 plus/minus rating. Yet, despite being scratched from multiple games and his low numbers in terms of points he is posting, Cassidy acknowledges that Acciari’s line, which usually consists of Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner, has been playing great and “working hard” in both games and practices.
The start of 2019 marks the last year of Acciari’s contract with the Bruins before he will once again become a free agent up for grabs. While the Bruins have made no indication on whether or not he will be offered another extension, going forward Acciari will need to start producing more on the ice and adding a bit more consistency to his game.
Boston Bruins Start Off Season With Devastating Loss
By Sam Scanlon ’19
October is finally here and the quest for the Stanley Cup is officially underway.
The Boston Bruins finished last season with a 50-20-12 record, but the year was abruptly ended by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This season, the Bruins have added several new faces to complement their veteran core and boost their young talent. Chris Wagner, a Walpole, Massachusetts native, and Joakim Nordstrom are the Bruins’ new acquisitions up front, who will fill the fourth line role left by Tim Schaller. Wagner is an undersized powerhouse who thrives in physical situations, and he will fit the Bruins’ style of play perfectly.
The Bruins have also picked up two new defensemen to fill the void left by long-time Bruin Adam McQuaid’s departure. The most crucial acquisition was John Moore. Moore’s ability to skate with the puck was especially attractive to the Bruins. His role will be similar to that of Torey Krug, who will be out for the first three weeks of the season due to another ankle injury. Moore will play an extended role in the absence of Krug and McQuaid.
Tuukka Rask has been the Bruins’ franchise goaltender for just about a decade. The 31-year-old is quickly approaching 500 games played, and with that in mind, the Bruins have brought in Jaroslav Halak from the New York Islanders. Halak will serve as a backup goalie to Rask who can be comfortably relied on when Rask takes time off.
With the core of the team still in tact after last year, the Bruins are still in a great position to make yet another deep postseason run. Boston is home to one of the NHL’s deadliest offensive lines in Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand, who are capable to combining for well over 200 points this season. Veteran center David Krejci will begin the season playing in the middle of two sophomores, Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk. Along with Ryan Donato, Heinen and DeBrusk broke out in the second half of their rookie seasons and will look to continue production through the start of this season.
Charlie McAvoy is another Bruins young stud. His offensive prowess as a defenseman is a main reason why top forwards are able to produce. As he skates with the 6’9” captain Zdeno Chara, he is able to make plays for the Bruins offensively. He will play a large role on the power play during the first month while Krug rehabs his injury.
The Bruins looked to put all of their summer transactions and training to the test in their first game on Oct. 3 against the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Washington Capitals. It was also Opening Night for the Caps and the Cup holders were celebrating with their June victory one last time with their city by raising their very first Stanley Cup Champions banner. However, they were unable to take away from the celebratory night for the Caps—the momentum of the night was just not on their side.
Rask was put to the test right away and not even 25 seconds into the game, T.J. Oshie was able to snipe one past him. And from there, the flood gates opened wide for the Captials and while the Bruins did all that they could to stay afloat, it was just not enough.
They headed into the second period down 2-0 after Evgeny Kuznetsov snuck one in 1.23 minutes after Oshie. Not even five minutes into the second, Rask let three unanswered goals hit the back of the net within a span of just over three minutes. Alex Ovechkin, Nic Dowd, and Kuznetsov all rallied their team to a 5-0 lead not even halfway through the second period.
Head Coach Bruce Cassidy decided to take action then and yanked Rask from the net to give newcomer Halak a chance. However, not even he could stop the Caps, as John Carlson fired one right over his shoulder from the top of the face-off circle, making the score 6-0 Caps.
The third period consisted of a single goal scored by Lars Eller, giving the Caps a 7-0 win over Boston on Opening Night. However, despite the obvious defeat on the score board, Boston did not end the night totally defeated; they out hit the Caps 28-16 and dominated in the face-off circle 41-19.
Obviously the Bruins still have a lot of work to do in preparation for the season based off of their lack of defense and offense against the Caps and they will have to recover quickly for their Oct. 4 game against the Buffalo Sabres.
NHL Expanding to Reach New Fans
By Sam Scanlon ’19
The National Hockey League is in the midst of a long-term campaign in the hopes to broaden the game of hockey and the NHL globally. Their plan to expand includes playing in a series of games overseas in order to attract the attention of more fans and players to help the game grow. European countries with an already strong hockey and NHL presence will be visited, as well as China.
China, a country with virtually no hockey community, is where the NHL will spend most of its time and energy on growth. Its efforts started with the 2018 NHL O.R.G. China Games, a series between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames earlier this month. Game 1 was held at the Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, before they went up north to Cadillac Arena for Game 2 in Beijing. The Bruins took both games by scores of 4-3 and 3-1.
The trip was a great experience for fans in China to be introduced to the game of hockey by watching some of the best players in the world compete in their country. Watching NHL players is not as easily accessible for Chinese fans as it is for North American fans, so this was a great opportunity for fans to experience the highest level of hockey firsthand. However, the NHL is taking this expansion a step further, and it signed a five-year contract with their broadcast partner, CCTV, to broadcast NHL games and content. Now fans in China will have a lot more exposure to high end games.
The NHL is not only trying to expand their league, but also expand the game of hockey while in China. They plan on helping to develop youth teams to build the community across the country, as well as assisting in the development in the Chinese National team in hopes they will be able to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Additionally, the Boston Bruins made an effort of their own to promote Chinese players as they offered a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO)to Derek Dun, a Chinese Canadian goaltender who was playing with the Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League. Dun told the Bruins’ website that it was “a surreal moment to step out on the ice and practice with some of the best players of the world.”
Aside from China, the NHL will participate in a series of games across Europe. The Global Series games include the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils’ season opener in Gothenburg, Sweden on Oct. 6. Nov. 1-2 will bring another series of games featuring the Florida Panthers and the Winnipeg Jets in Helsinki, Finland.
Prior to their season opener in Sweden, the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils will each play a game against European professional teams. The New Jersey Devils will face off against SC Bern of the Swiss National League at their home arena in Bern, Switzerland on October 1, 2017. First overall draft pick, Nico Hischier, will make his return home to Switzerland to represent the NHL in his home country.
On Oct. 3, the Oilers will take on Kölner Haie, a team in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Like Hischier, the Oilers 2014 3rd overall draft pick, Leon Draisaitl, will be making a return home to Germany. Interestingly enough, Kölner Haie, the Oilers’ opponent, is coached by his father, Peter Draisaitl.
The NHL is continuously making an effort to expand the league as well as the game of hockey around the globe. Their relationship with countries overseas is imperative to the league as they hope to generate a larger fan base, but also as they attempt to attract the best players in these countries to sign with NHL organizations to improve the quality of the league.
Bruins Rally to Eliminate Leafs
By Jeremy Perrigo ’18
The Boston Bruins failed to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second-straight game Monday night, as the team from the hub of Canada’s hockey world forced Game 7 with a 3-1 win at Air Canada Centre.
The final game of the best-of-seven series headed back to TD Garden Wednesday night, drawing eerie similarities to a first-round meeting between these two Original Six rivals five years ago.
In 2013, as most Bruins fans remember, Boston had a 3-1 series lead over Toronto in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The B’s went on to lose the following two games and were forced to face the Maple Leafs in Game 7, similar to their matchup this postseason.
In that game, two goals from Cody Franson, followed by goals from then-teammates Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri, propelled the Leafs to a 4-1 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining in the third period.
As the saying goes, the rest is history. Goals from Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, and Patrice Bergeron brought the game back to even with 51 seconds remaining.
Bergeron would go on to score an emotional game-winning goal 6:05 into overtime to propel the Bruins into the second round. From there the team would defeat the New York Rangers in five games and sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins in four, before falling to the Chicago Blackhawks on home ice in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Now, many hockey-educated fans are quick to point out that this Toronto Maple Leafs team is not the team of 2013. Sure, they were the underdog team coming into this series, as they were back then, but their current roster looks dramatically different.
Then goaltender James Reimer has since moved on to Florida, and Frederik Andersen has won the starting role for Mike Babcock’s Maple Leafs. Kessel, after the organization spent years trying to build a team around him as their star player, has moved on to Pittsburgh, where he has won two Stanley Cups in a supporting-cast role to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Drafting Auston Matthews first overall in 2016 has been the biggest improvement for the Maple Leafs over the last two years. In his freshman and sophomore seasons Matthews lived up to the hype, recording 69 and 63 point seasons, respectively.
The Scottsdale, Arizona native and Toronto phenom remained mostly silent throughout the series, recording only one goal (albeit a beautiful one) and an assist leading up to Game 7, where he would be held off the board yet again.
That was perhaps the most troubling fact for Bruins fans, heading into the final game of the series. While it felt at times like Toronto had narrowly escaped destruction with at least two of their three victories in the series, they managed to do so largely without the help of their star player.
William Nylander, largely considered to be Matthews’ right hand man, as he literally played right wing on a first line centered by No. 34 for most of the season, went through a similar drought of postseason success. He recorded only one goal and one assist over the first six games of the series, which bounced him down to Toronto’s fourth line for games five and six. He would add two assists to his resume in Game 7.
Players noticeably absent from the scoresheet for the Bruins during those same two games when Nylander was on the fourth line, were David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Bergeron, who are better known as the components of Boston’s first line.
To put it even more into perspective as to how important these three are, in the Bruins’ first three wins of the series, they combined for 23 points. In the team’s three losses, they had zero.
Enter, Game 7.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs combined for five goals in the first period alone, as veteran Patrick Marleau opened the scoring with his third goal of the season just 2:05 into the game.
Bruins rookie Jake DeBrusk would tie the game before Marleau would put his team back ahead with his second of the night with a wrist shot from the right circle.
Two goals from Danton Heinen and Bergeron would give Boston a 3-2 lead heading into the second frame.
Despite outshooting the Maple Leafs 13-6 in the second period, the Bruins would allow the only two goals of the period, one to Travis Dermott, and another, a heart-breaking short-handed goal to Kasperi Kapanen.
Heading into the third, Boston’s season was on the ropes.
Only 1:10 into the period, Torey Krug fired a shot from the center of the blue line off the faceoff that rocketed past Andersen and into the net, tying the game 4-4. Just 4:15 later, DeBrusk would power to the net with a strong cut to the inside, sliding another puck past the Toronto netminder to give Boston the go-ahead goal.
From here, the rest is history.
Pastrnak would add another from the slot off a smart feed from Bergeron, and Marchand put the icing on top with an empty-net goal from center ice.
Boston would cruise to a 7-4 Game 7 victory, with seven points from its first line and six from its second line of DeBrusk, David Krejci, and Rick Nash.
And, for at least a night, the Bruins have reason to celebrate. After all, this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Tampa Bay Lightning wait rested at home as they open the second round against Boston Saturday at Amalie Arena.
Stay tuned, and if the regular season matchups were any indication, hockey fans should be in for another electric series between the B’s and Bolts.
PCI: The Boston Bruins Will Win the Stanley Cup
By Jeremy Perrigo ’18
The first round of the National Hockey League playoffs is underway, and as opponents have begun to compete in eight different best-of-seven series, it is starting to become clear as to which teams are be poised for a long postseason run.
Favorites heading into the first round of action ranged from the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators in the Western Conference, to the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning in the East. Each of these teams has lived up to expectations early on in the first round, as all four teams are leading their respective match-ups through three games.
However, one of these teams stands out among the rest.
No other team has managed to put forth an on-ice performance equal to that of the Boston Bruins. The Bruins won Games 1 and 2 of their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs by scores of 5-1 and 7-3 respectively.
In Game 2, 21-year-old Boston winger David Pastrnak recorded a point in six of his team’s seven goals, capping off the night with a hat trick and three assists.
Also in Game 2, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made huge saves to keep the Maple Leafs from mounting a comeback, stopping 30 of 33 shots en route to victory.
While Rask’s save percentage of .917 and goals against average of 2.36 appear to be, well, average over three games, the quality of the big saves he does make at key times in games is a large part of the reason why Boston finds themselves up 2-1 in the series heading into Game 5 Thursday.
Toronto is notoriously a high-powered offensive team lead by generational talent Auston Matthews. It speaks volumes that it took Matthews until Game 3 to record his first point; a goal that ended up becoming a game-winner in the Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory Monday night.
While the Bruins took a step back in their third meeting with the Leafs, it is important to notice that the other Stanley Cup favorites that rival Boston have struggled as well.
After winning Games 1 and 2 of their series, Winnipeg traveled to Minnesota only to drop Game 3 by a score of 6-2. The Jets had only allowed three goals to the Wild in their first two games.
Nashville defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 and 5-4 at home before traveling to the Mile High City to lose 5-3 to an Avalanche team that only managed to qualify for the playoffs in their final game of the regular season.
After it looked as though Tampa Bay would cruise to an easy series win over the New Jersey Devils, taking the first two games of the series by scores of 5-2 and 5-3, the Eastern Conference Champions, the Lightning traveled to Newark only to surrender four third period goals en route to a 5-2 Devils win.
Boston arguably has the hardest match-up of any of the powerhouse teams mentioned above, yet they have managed to score in big numbers, while maintaining reliable goaltending at the other end of the ice.
If the Bruins are able to sustain a steady scoring pace, and at the same time remain sound on the back end, then they should be a shoe-in to win the Stanley Cup regardless of their opponent.
Bruins Go on Mid-Season “Hot Streak”
by Jeremy Perrigo ’18
In a National Hockey League season full of feel-good stories and teams that have played above expectations, the Boston Bruins have made a name for themselves once again as one of the league’s best.
In 46 games, Boston has accumulated a record of 28-10-8 and sits in third place overall. The Bruins have gotten at least a point in their past 17 games (13-0-4) and won their most recent match up last Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils by a score of 3-2.
The team’s success cannot be attributed to just a handful of players. Up and down the lineup, the Bruins have received strong play from nearly every single forward, defenseman, and goaltender on their roster.
Brad Marchand leads the team in points with 50 (21G, 29A) while linemates David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron follow closely behind with 45 (20G, 25A) and 40 (20G, 20A) points, respectively.
Rookie forward Danton Heinen has been a pleasant surprise for Boston. He sits at fourth on the team in points with 32 (10G, 22A) and plays alongside veteran David Backes and 28-year-old Riley Nash. While the trio acts as a third line, they have had few difficulties providing scoring for the team in timely situations. The line has combined for 41 points during the team’s 17-game hot streak.
Boston’s fourth line, which is centered by former Miami University of Ohio forward Sean Kuraly, has also seen success this year. Kuraly is flanked on either side by Providence College alumni: Noel Acciari ’16 on the right and Tim Schaller ’13 on the left. This line is less known for its scoring, though it does have 26 points this season and more known for its ability to provide depth and stability. This line also gives the top lines the ability to catch their breath while not becoming a liability for the team defensively.
On the back end, Boston has seen a rejuvenated Zdeno Chara lead a young defensive core to success early on in the regular season. Rookie Charlie McAvoy has stepped in and become everything the Bruins have expected him to be and more. The former Boston University star has found himself right at home on the right side of Chara.
The veteran’s defensive style has allowed McAvoy to take advantage of his offensive tendencies. This stability has also permitted McAvoy to work through growing pains that come with jumping into the NHL at only 19 (now 20) years of age.
Unfortunately, the team announcd Monday that McAvoy has undergone a procedure to “treat an abnormal heart rhythm,” and the expected time of recovery is two weeks. McAvoy has 25 points (5G, 20A) in 45 games and his absence on the blue line will undoubtedly be noticed.
Perhaps no other position has received more attention for the Bruins this season than their goaltending. To start off the season, Boston suffered a variety of injuries to key players such as Bergeron, Marchand, Backes, Acciari, Ryan Spooner, and David Krejci, and that is just to name a few. This created struggles for the team early on both offensive and defensively. Defensively the team played poorly at times in front of their own net, and often players were unable to clear out loose pucks, resulting in bad goals.
When bad goals start to go in on a regular basis, the goaltenders are typically the first players to blame, whether that be with or without actual fault.
This was the case for the Bruins early on in November during a California road trip where backup Anton Khudobin temporarily won the net from starting goaltender Tuukka Rask after a poor performance against the Anaheim Ducks.
Khudobin won four consecutive games before eventually forfeiting the net back to Rask. After a loss to Edmonton in his return, Rask has posted a record of 15-0-2 with a goals against average (GAA) of 2.16 and save percentage of .923.
Overall, the team has seen more success over 46 games than most would have predicted. Fans look to see how Boston adjusts without McAvoy in the lineup. If the Bruins are as good a team as their play over the last month and a half has indicated, they should be able to find a way to forge onward until his return.