Interesting development regarding the Bruins and young goalie prospect Malcolm Subban — per the Providence Journal, Subban is set to rejoin the B’s today on a recall from AHL Providence.
Which is leading to all sorts of speculation.
The Bruins are in the midst of a Western Canada road swing and the recall would leave Providence short — per the Journal, the club’s strength coach is dressing as the backup goalie for today’s matinee against Manchester — so the timing of Subban’s move is curious.
Especially in light of recent reports.
TSN’s Darren Dreger said B’s GM Peter Chiarelli had received calls on Subban, the club’s first-round pick (24th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Subban’s played well in the American League this season — posting a .921 save percentage — and, per an earlier report from Friedman, the Sabres inquired about trading for Subban, but were shot down.
Boston has four games remaining on its current road trip, which began with an ugly 5-2 loss in Vancouver on Friday. The B’s play tonight in Calgary, Wednesday in Edmonton, Friday in St. Louis and Sunday in Chicago — four games in six nights, a packed schedule which could give Subban a shot at making his NHL debut.
That said, this recall could be much ado about nothing. Boston could simply be giving Subban a look in place of the struggling Niklas Svedberg, who has been pulled in two of his last three starts.
The Boston Bruins have dropped four of their last five games, but tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks was particularly troubling.
Boston’s defense was on display in a bad way in this contest, with Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg executing ugly passes that Canucks forward Shawn Matthias was able to capitalize on:
Matthias had a hat trick as he also accounted for Vancouver’s opening goal. He has 13 goals in 52 games this season, with five of those markers coming in his last four contests.
This was the opening tilt in an important five-game road trip for the Bruins. With a 28-20-7 record, their hold on the second Wild Card spot is tenuous and Hamilton recently noted that there’s “a lot of negativity in the room.” Certainly this defeat won’t do anything to help that.
Vancouver has now won three of its last four contests to improve to 31-20-3. The Canucks needed these two points to keep pace with San Jose tonight in the battle for second place in the Pacific Division. The victory also gives the Canucks a four-point cushion in the fight for a postseason berth.
They’ll head to Calgary for another important game Saturday night.
With three regulation defeats in their last four, including last night’s 5-3 home loss to Dallas, “negativity” has crept back into the Boston Bruins’ mindset — just in time for a five-game road trip that starts Friday in Vancouver, before stops in Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis and Chicago.
“You’re feeling so good, and everything is positive, and it kind of all goes the other way again… a lot of negativity in the room, I guess, this last weekend,” said d-man Dougie Hamilton, per CSN New England. “That’s what happens when you’re losing, and we have to find a way to change that obviously on this road trip.”
Not even two weeks ago, the B’s were ending the month of January on an 8-1-1 run. At the time, they had themselves a comfortable nine-point playoff cushion.
Today, that cushion has dwindled to just four points over the Florida Panthers, who also hold two games in hand.
“It is disappointing,” captain Zdeno Chara said after the Stars game, in which the B’s surrendered two short-handed goals and went 0-for-3 on the power play.
“We know that it was our last game for a while at home and now we have a long road trip.”
Boston might have a cheaper solution in its search for a goalscoring winger, as ESPN reports the club has Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson on its radar.
Atkinson, 25, is hardly a household name but has been a solid contributor in Columbus over the last two seasons. A pending RFA with a $1.15 million cap hit, Atkinson scored a career-high 21 goals and 40 points last year and is averaging over 17 minutes a night this season (another career-high).
The Bruins have long been tied to Buffalo’s Chris Stewart, who carries a $4.15M hit, but Atkinson could be a better fit — in addition to being younger and cheaper than Stewart, he also has ties to the area, having spent three years at Boston College.
After losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 2014 playoffs, the Boston Bruins couldn’t weren’t able to get revenge at any point during the 2014-15 campaign. Montreal earned a 3-1 victory against Boston tonight to complete their 4-0-0 sweep of the regular season series.
As was the case in the previous two meetings, Carey Price stood tall against the Bruins. He kicked out 34 of 35 shots, frustrating Boston’s shooters all game. It wasn’t until 15:29 of the third period that 18-year-old David Pastrnak just barely beat the Canadiens goaltender by knocking the bouncing puck towards the crease.
That ended Price’s shutout streak against the Bruins at 159:25 minutes, per Boston’s Twitter feed. It gave the Bruins hope in the final minutes of the game, but Boston couldn’t even things. Instead, Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov fired on the empty net with 31 seconds left in regulation time to give Montreal all the insurance it needed.
Max Pacioretty also came up big for the Canadiens tonight with an assist and the game-winning goal on a breakway.
Although the books are closed on the regular season meetings between Boston and Montreal, we might not have to wait much longer to view the next chapter of this rivalry. It’s entirely possible that the Bruins will end up facing the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. Of course, for that to happen, Boston needs to hold onto its postseason spot. With a 28-18-7 record, the Bruins have a six-point cushion in the Wild Card race.