Since Bruce “Butch” Cassidy was handed the reins on February 7, the Bruins have played eight games, under his watch, winning seven and picking up 14 points in the process. His first day on practice ice he outlined his plan to his players: “I like to push the tempo more in practice because that’s one thing as a coach you can control is, generally, the condition of the players and their minutes on the ice. The reason our practices are going to be a little more intense with pace is because we want to play that way, too. That’s the way the league is going, and we’ve got to be able to sustain that for 60 minutes every night.” Message sent… message received!
What had looked like a definite third season in a row without making the playoffs was going to be the Bruins’ fate; suddenly took a pleasant turn. Now, three weeks later the Bruins are playing with renewed confidence. They are riding a three-game winning streak, and, they’ve finally been able to put the pedal to the metal and win four games in a row on Garden ice. The fact that the Bs are playing with confidence on Garden ice is important, since 12 of the last 19 games of the regular season will be played on Garden ice. As the Record went to press on Wednesday, Boston was tied for second place (72 points) with the Ottawa Senators (who still have two games in hand), and six points behind Claude Julien’s Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens (78 points), with Boston holding a single game in hand.
When the Record hits the streets on Thursday, the trade deadline will have passed, and while the Bruins are probably not expected to be involved, comments made recently indicate they will likely stand fast with this energized lineup, and not even pursue a ‘rental’ player – but as always, anything is possible. Positives right now have Brad Marchand leading the charge with a team high 28 goals and 38 assists for 66 points, almost a point-a-game, followed by David Pastrnak’s 26-26 (52 points in 56 games). Patrice Bergeron has heated up lately with 16 goals thus far, and the team’s ability to notch the first goal of the game has improved drastically, having done so seven times in the last eight games, playing their solid north-south game. Tuukka Rask is once again strong in goal, improving his record to 30-14-4, with a 2.27 goals-against-average, and a respectable .913 save percentage.
Boston will attempt to improve on their last ten game record of 7-3-0, as they will host the highly touted New York Rangers tonight (Thursday at 7:00pm), before taking on the bottom feeding New Jersey Devils on Saturday (Saturday at 7:00pm). Monday (3/6) will have Boston back on the road again for a single stop and a huge game versus the Ottawa Senators at 7:30pm, before returning to host the also, bottom feeding, Detroit Red Wings (Wednesday, 3/8 at 8:00pm). The Red Wings are presently in danger of ending their 25-season streak of making the playoffs (1991-2016).
Mark your calendars as Bruins Forward Patrice Bergeron is teaming up with 98.5 The Sports Hub and members of the 2016-17 Bruins roster for the 10th annual “Cuts for a Cause” event to raise money to fight pediatric cancer on March 27 from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (VIP session: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) at The House of Blues in Boston (15 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215). Members of the Boston Bruins will have their heads shaved by auction winners to show their support and raise money for children battling cancer. All proceeds will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
Bruins fans can bid on the opportunity to shave the head of their favorite participating Bruins player by visiting BostonBruins.com/CutsForACause. The bidding begins on Monday, March 13 at 10:00 a.m. and ends on Wednesday March 22 at 4:00 p.m. Auction winners will also receive admission to the VIP session from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. where they can mingle with team and have the opportunity to have one (1) item signed by members of the team.
Fans can also support the event, which will be hosted by Fred “Toucher” Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb of the Toucher & Rich show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, by purchasing a ticket to the event at BostonBruins.com/CutsForACause. VIP tickets are $200 and general admission tickets are $30 and provide entrance into the event and raffle tickets to win autographed Boston Bruins memorabilia. Ticket prices do not include processing fees. VIP attendees will have the opportunity to select from two different VIP options, which will allow them to meet half of the Bruins players who are participating in the event. Guests will only be guaranteed to see two specific players in the VIP session. Guests will be able to make their own selection of which two players they will get to meet at the time of purchasing tickets. The VIP Gold Session will be headlined Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand will headline the VIP Black Session. VIP attendees will be able to have one (1) item signed by members of the team.
Depending on availability, $30 tickets will be available at the door the day of the event. Door tickets must be paid in cash. Since 2007, Cuts for a Cause has raised $600,000 for charity.