Author: Mike Halford

Trouble Bruin: B’s lose again, off to first 0-3 start in 16 years


The times, they are tough in Boston.

The Bruins continued their ugly start to the ’15-16 campaign on Monday, dropping a 6-3 decision at TD Garden to the defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning.

Brian Boyle led the way for Tampa Bay with a pair of goals, while captain Steve Stamkos potted the eventual game-winner on the power play, the 500th point of his career.

For some, the focus of today’s game will be on the Bolts, who once again looked impressive and kept their record at a perfect 3-0.

The reality, though, is that most will focus on the Bruins.

The loss was Boston’s third to start the season, marking the first time in 16 years the club’s started 0-3. The last team to do it, the ’99-00 Bruins, went on to finish dead last in the old Northeast Division, and missed the playoffs.

As has been the case throughout this season, Boston’s undoing on Monday was an inability to keep pucks out of the net.

After surrendering six in the opener against Winnipeg and four on Saturday against Montreal, the B’s watched as Tampa Bay pumped another six past Tuukka Rask, including this very suspect insurance marker from Jonathan Drouin:

Rask’s numbers on the year are now downright ghastly: 0-3 record, .846 save percentage and 4.66 GAA.

Today’s loss also comes with the Bruins in a state of potential upheaval.

Defenseman Matt Irwin, signed as a free agent this summer, cleared waivers after two bad performances and was shipped off to the club’s AHL affiliate in Providence.

Meanwhile, a report from CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty claims the front office is “quietly” gauging the trade market for veterans like Brad Marchand and captain Zdeno Chara.

Struggling Kings lose King (foot surgery) for at least two months

Dwight King, Henrik Lundqvist

A tough start to the season got tougher in L.A. on Monday, as the club announced power forward Dwight King would miss the next 8-10 weeks following surgery for a broken bone in his foot.

The injury occurred during the preseason. King had yet to appear in a game for Los Angeles this season, having opened the year on injured reserve.

Prior to getting hurt, King, 26, had been a pretty consistent and durable performer over the last two seasons, missing just six games while scoring a combined 28 goals.

He was also a key producer in the club’s ’14 Stanley Cup championship, with 11 points in 26 games.

At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, King is one of L.A.’s biggest skaters up front, so his absence will obviously hurt from a size perspective.

Losing King for an extended period of time is also another down note in what’s already been a disappointing start.

The Kings lost their first two games of the year — at Staples, to Pacific Division rivals San Jose and Arizona — by a combined 9-2 scoreline.

Backstrom (hip) takes line rushes with Caps

Nicklas Backstrom

Big week coming up for Washington and injured No. 1 center Nicklas Backstrom.

Backstrom, who underwent hip surgery this summer and missed the Caps’ season-opening win over New Jersey, took line rushes with his teammates on Monday and will meet with his surgeon this week about potential medical clearance.

Per the Post, Backstrom rotated in on the Caps’ second line with Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams today; he also wore a red jersey as opposed to a light blue non-contact jersey, so he could participate in some contact drills.

Originally, the club said Backstrom would miss the first 4-5 games of the season, which partly had to do with the schedule.

Beginning Tuesday, the Caps will embark on a busy stretch that sees them play six times in 10 nights, and three of those games come at home this week: Tuesday against San Jose, Thursday against Chicago and Saturday against Carolina.

After that stretch, the Caps then head west for a road trip through Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Ailing ‘Canes lose Nash to shoulder injury

Riley Nash, Trent Vogelhuber

It’s been a tough start to the season for Carolina.

Having already lost its first two games, and veteran d-man James Wisniewski to a torn ACL — an injury that could sideline him for the entire season — the ‘Canes will now be without the services of forward Riley Nash for 10-14 days.

Nash, 26, left Saturday’s game against Detroit with what was later revealed to be a shoulder injury.

The former Oilers draftee is a regular contributor in Carolina, so his absence will hurt. Nash scored a career-best 25 points last year, and was manning a third-line role in between Jeff Skinner and Chris Terry to start Satuday’s game.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: