Boston Bruins

Video: Bruins score twice in less than 30 seconds

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The Boston Bruins have been striking quickly so far against the Pittsburgh Penguins … at least when the goals are counting on Monday.

Boston had two possible goals disallowed on Monday (more on that in a future post), but the game is currently tied 2-2 thanks to two goals in 28 seconds during the second period.

Update: the Penguins beat the Bruins 3-2 in overtime. Read more about it here.

The first one was especially pretty, as Carl Soderberg made some great moves to send the puck to Loui Eriksson, who set up Milan Lucic for a big tally.

The second score was one of vindication: Joe Morrow scored his first NHL goal (and point) against the Penguins, aka the team that drafted him, but ultimately decided he was expendable enough to be traded:

Sooner than later? Bruins GM hopes Chara can return in 10-14 days

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Earlier today, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien dampened some of the optimism regarding Zdeno Chara skating again, but GM Peter Chiarelli bumped it right back up.

Chiarelli “hopes” that Chara can return in 10-14 days, according to what he told 98.5 Sports Hub (the official radio network of the Bruins).

Do note that this is by no means an official timeline, although it’s certainly promising considering it comes from the team’s GM.

Again, as this post shows, Julien seemed pretty hesitant to get anyone too excited.

“It’s a start . . . yeah, it’s a start,” Julien told CSNNE.com. “He’s certainly not close to being ready yet. It’s his first time in a long time. It’s always encouraging to see your player back on his skates, that’s for sure.”

The best news is that there’s no word about the 37-year-old going under the knife, at least so far. The Bruins have been impressive without him (they hope to add a win to their 9-4-0 mark since he went down), but it’s no secret that they’d be more comfortable with “The Big Z.”

Bruised Bruins get Marchand back, Pastrnak debuts

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The Boston Bruins remain banged up, but at least they’ll get some reinforcements back as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.

Brad Marchand looks ready to return from his mystery injury (which kept him out since Nov. 15) while David Pastrnak seems primed to make his NHL debut.

Will that be enough for head coach Claude Julien to believe that his team no longer needs to be nearly flawless to win? Maybe, maybe not … but Boston is likely in a better position to keep up with Pittsburgh with Marchand back in the lineup.

Marchand, 26, has 11 points in 19 games so far this season. Pastrnak, 18, has 18 points in 17 AHL games. The Bruins selected him 25th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Here’s a handy graphic of all the issues the Bruins have dealt with:

Chara skates, but ‘not close’ to ready; Bruins send Griffith to AHL

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From CSN New England:

In perhaps the best Bruins news in weeks, Zdeno Chara was spotted skating on the TD Garden ice Monday for the first time since tearing the PCL in his left knee at the end of October. The 6-foot-9 defenseman was skating on his own while a charity event was going on around him, continuing a recent progression that has the Bruins more optimistic about his eventual return to the lineup.

While encouraging, don’t expect Chara to be back in the lineup anytime too soon.

“It’s a start . . . yeah, it’s a start,” said coach Claude Julien. “He’s certainly not close to being ready yet. It’s his first time in a long time. It’s always encouraging to see your player back on his skates, that’s for sure.”

When Chara was hurt on Oct. 23, the estimate pegged his return sometime between late November and early December. Given it’s already Nov. 24, it’s going to be the latter estimate. Maybe even later than that.

At any rate, the Bruins have done well without their big d-man, going 9-4-0 in 13 games.

Boston also announced today that it has assigned forward Seth Griffith to AHL Providence.

Brad Marchand, meanwhile, has been taken off injured reserve, and he’ll be a game-time decision for tonight’s clash with the Pens.

Related: Chara updates rehab progress, calls its ‘such a slow process’

Strome, Nelson giving Isles that all-important cheap production

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Prior to the start of the season, much was written about the New York Islanders and the many changes they’d made to their roster.

Looking back, hopes were understandably high that the additions of goalie Jaroslav Halak, forwards Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, and Cory Conacher, plus Stanley Cup-winning defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy could turn a team that already had a superstar in John Tavares into a contender in the Eastern Conference.

But you know what way less was written about? The potential of youngsters Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome to make as big an impact as they’ve made.

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As much as anything else, it’s the contributions from Nelson, 23, and Strome, 21, that have given the Isles the chance they’ve got tonight, which is to take over first place in the Metropolitan Division from Pittsburgh. (The two teams are currently tied with 28 points. The Isles host Philly; the Pens are in Boston.)

In a way, what Nelson and Strome have done this season is reminiscent of the boost that Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson gave the Kings in the 2014 playoffs. Remember that, prior to last season, the jury was still out on those two young L.A. forwards. Each had shown they could produce in the AHL; the question was, could they do it at the NHL level? They sure did in the postseason, centered by veteran Jeff Carter. At times, they were the Kings’ best line.

The combined cap hit of Toffoli and Pearson? A mere $1.795 million.

The combined cap hit of Nelson and Strome? Just a hair over $1.76 million. (Not including bonuses, but still.)

This is what the best teams in the NHL have in the cap age — at least one or two young players on cheap contracts who are making significant contributions. Think Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw in Chicago in 2013, Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin in L.A. the year before that, and Boston’s Brad Marchand the year before that.

That’s not to say the Isles are going to win the Stanley Cup, but when a team’s two youngest players on the active roster are in the top four in club scoring, good times are quite often ahead.