BOSTON – Matt Grzelcyk’s dad has been a Boston arena worker for decades, covering up ice for basketball games, uncovering it for hockey or prepping the building for concerts. Grzelcyk (pronounced “Grizz-lick”) was also drafted by his hometown Boston Bruins, so of course the city’s famous college hockey trophy would be decided on the blade of one of its own.
The Boston Bruins received some unfortunate news Monday – key veteran David Krejci will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with a knee injury – and it could be the small catastrophe that triggers major change within the organization.
Krejci suffered a partially-torn medial collateral ligament Feb. 20 against the St. Louis Blues that could keep the 28-year-old sidelined until April – and by that point, the inconsistent Bruins could have been overtaken by one or both of the Florida Panthers or Philadelphia Flyers for the final wild card berth in the Eastern Conference. If the Bruins fail to make the playoffs one year after finishing with the NHL’s best regular-season record, there will be significant alterations to the roster and management team of GM Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli. Read more
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has had his share of meltdowns prior to Sunday’s game against the Blackhawks. But when the star netminder snapped after surrendering a goal to Jonathan Toews late in the first period, his stick-swinging freak-out managed to take down Hawks winger Kris Versteeg with a nasty slash.
Rask had taken a penalty for playing the puck in the restricted area with eight seconds left in the first – and just six seconds after Chicago’s power play began, the Hawks capitalized with his 17th goal of the season with 1.4 seconds remaining. The veteran Finnish goalie was less than pleased: (via Reddit user Sunjot) Read more
Veteran Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is famous for his willingness to block shots. But it takes a special kind of NHLer to put his body in front of a slap shot from Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara. And as he showed Sunday by taking a shot from Chara directly in the stomach, Hjalmarsson is one of those special kind of guys.
Chara – who still holds the NHL All-Star record for hardest shot (108.8 km/hour) – wound up and fired toward the Hawks net, but Hjalmarsson was directly in the line of fire and took the puck right in his mid-section: (GIF via Reddit user ersal) Read more
New York Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski has a long history of head injuries over the course of his eight NHL seasons, and he had another incident to add to the list Thursday after absorbing a massive check from Nashville winger Eric Nystrom.
The Isles had a 1-0 lead approaching the midway point of the first period at Nassau Coliseum when Grabovski grabbed the puck deep in his own zone and took it to the top of the circle with his head down. That’s when Nystrom laid into him: (video via Somehockeyvideos) Read more
The once-mighty Boston Bruins find themselves in dire straits in the Eastern Conference standings. They’re clinging to the final wild-card playoff berth, with the Florida Panthers threatening to overtake them.
If that seems familiar, it’s because the Bruins were in similar circumstances in late-December. At one point they fell out of contention before an 8-1-3 performance in January combined with a Panthers slump vaulted the Bruins back into the playoff picture.
Since Feb. 1, however, the Bruins are winless in six of their last seven games. With the Panthers picking up points in five of their last nine, the Bruins have a tenuous grip on that wild-card berth. Read more
Goaltender Malcolm Subban, promising Boston Bruins prospect and brother of P.K., will start his first NHL game Wednesday, according to speculation from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Boston travels to Edmonton, and scuttlebutt suggests Subban, 21, will be showcased to an Oilers organization intent on acquiring him. Tuukka Rask has a day between games after playing Monday night, and backup Niklas Svedberg is perfectly healthy, so Subban’s call-up is interestingly timed. As of Tuesday afternoon he hadn’t been confirmed as the starter for the Edmonton game, however.
“If we’re bringing him back, which is what we had talked about at some point, it’s probably to give him an opportunity here along the way,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe this week.
Subban’s debut has been highly anticipated. He went 24th overall in the 2012 draft, he represented Canada at the 2013 world juniors, and he’s running out of things to prove with AHL providence, posting a .920 save percentage two straight seasons.
What other drafted prospects can we not wait to see in the NHL? Here are five debuts we await with bated breath.
To say the Calgary Flames have gotten their fair share of good bounces this season would be an understatement, and to call T.J. Brodie’s overtime winner against the Bruins Monday unusual wouldn’t be giving the bounce enough credit.
With seconds left in overtime of Calgary’s contest against Boston, Brodie drove down the wing and, from a sharp angle, threw a backhand towards the net. The puck deflected off of Brad Marchand’s stick, flipped up into the air, careened off the top of the net and back towards Tuukka Rask before striking the netminder in the back and skittering across the goal line. It was a magic backhander. See it for yourself. Read more