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BOSTON — The Boston Bruins re-signed two local players on Wednesday afternoon, inking forwards Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner to multi-year extensions, according to an official release from the team.

BOSTON – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, November 27, that the team has signed forwards Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner to multi-year contract extensions.

Coyle, a Weymouth native, signed a 6-year deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.25 million per season. That extension will carry him through the end of the 2025-2026 season with the black and gold.

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Wagner, a product of Walpole, Mass., will be under contract with the Bruins through the end of the 2022-2023 season after signing a 3-year extension with the team. His deal is worth an AAV of $1.35 million.

The Bruins acquired Coyle, 27, at the 2019 trade deadline from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for fellow local Ryan Donato. Since his acquisition, Coyle has amassed 20 regular-season points — 14 of which have come in 24 games this season.

PREVIOUS: Bruins acquire Charlie Coyle for Ryan Donato in trade with Wild

His nine goals in last year’s Stanley Cup Final run were tied for the team lead. Coyle was set to become an unrestricted free agent at year’s end, but will now receive a significant pay bump from his $3.2 million in salary this season.

Boston Bruins

Wagner, 28, signed a two-year deal with the Bruins in July 2018 after spending four years with three different NHL teams. In his 99 games with Boston thus far, Wagner has 24 points (13-11–24) and led the team with 247 hits a season ago.

The forward’s current deal pays him $1.25 million this season, with his extension keeping him from hitting free agency at the end of the current 2019-2020 season.

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Expected to miss at least the next two games, the Boston Bruins announced they have placed defenseman Torey Krug on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. The team has recalled Paul Carey from the Providence Bruins of the AHL.

For Boston, the injury adds to the list of banged-up Bruins, as the team is also without David Backes, Kevan Miller, John Moore, Jake Debrusk, Brett Ritchie, Zachary Senyshyn and Karson Kuhlman.

Krug has been out since suffering the upper-body injury on Nov. 10 against Philadelphia. He had already been ruled out for both weekend games and with the injury having occurred almost a week ago, the team could activate him early next week if he’s ready.

Carey has been a solid addition to the Providence Bruins. The 31-year-old forward, who has mostly been a journeyman through the AHL, fared well last year with Providence, scoring 22 goals in 30 games. He has also played well this year with seven goals and 13 points in 17 games. He has played 99 NHL games over the course of his career. His most impressive season came in 2017-18 when he played 60 games with the New York Rangers.

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The Boston Bruins lost five games in a row for the first time under Bruce Cassidy. The middle-six right-winger is a big question mark, but Brett Ritchie doesn’t seem like an answer.
It is what it is. The Bruins have hit five straight losses for the first time under Bruce Cassidy. There was one obvious change Cassidy could have made headed to the back-to-back situation against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he refused to. Brett Ritchie did little to deserve staying in the lineup.

When a team loses four straight games, especially a demanding team like a Boston Bruins, they naturally look for a slight lineup shakeup. The onlu change Cassidy made was to replace Connor Clifton with John Moore.

St. Louis Blues Pros And Cons From Game 34 Vs.
Chicago

A few eyebrows were raised as Brett Ritchie stayed in the lineup and remained on the second line.

The Bruins have limited possibilities to address this problem. With Zach Senyshyn and Karson Kuhlman injured, the Bruins are short-handed. David Backes returned to the action, and he seemed to click in for a few games.

Backes scored a game-winner against the Canadiens and also looked lively during his next two games versus Carolina and Chicago. Since then, he has been a healthy scratch at the expense of Brett Ritchie. Is that a reason why the Bruins lost the four next games?

No, Backes is not as critical to the Bruins system. For them, it would the best option if the 35-year-old veteran forward was gone for good, and the B’s would clear the salary-cap space. But given the situation as it is, it’s mindblowing that Ritchie stayed in the lineup throughout all four regulation losses, including a back-to-back situation.

After scoring only seven goals in the last four regulation losses, the Bruins need offense, and Brett Ritchie is not bringing what they are looking for.

We also mentioned John Moore, whose place should be taken by Connor Clifton. Moore took two penalties on Thursday in Tampa, and the Bruins gave up goals on both occasions. However, Moore did bounce back with a goal of his own.

Moore managed to bring some offense even after significant shoulder-surgery recovery. On the other hand, Ritchie contributed exactly zero points.

The trade deadline nears. If the Bruins collect another similar five-game losing streak down the stretch, the pressure on acquiring a reliable second-line right-winger will only increase on Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney.

As for Ritchie, he scored in his first shift for the Bruins against his former teammate Ben Bishop. He only has one goal since then, so he doesn’t deserve a top-six spot.

Cassidy sees it too, as Ritchie played only 10:03 versus the Lightning, and averages only 10:36 of the ice-time per game, which is suitable for the fourth-line duties. The Bruins need to find a better and more consistent player to fill that second right wing spot.

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Marc-Andre Fleury plays when he’s told.

How much he plays has changed.

A decade ago, Fleury started 61 out of 82 games before backstopping Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup. He started 58 and 34 times on the Penguins’ 2016 and 2017 Cup runs splitting time with Matt Murray, then made 46 starts for Vegas and led the expansion Golden Knights to the final.

“As a player, I love being in there. I love playing the game,” Fleury said. “It’s tough to find like the perfect amount of games. Nowadays, I feel like we’re hearing more than ever how we’re going to manage two goalies and stuff.”

Consider it hockey’s version of “load management” that’s gained popularity in basketball. Don’t expect NHL teams to handpick games throughout the season to rest star players — except top goaltenders who are getting more nights off while their backups share the net with an eye toward playoff success.

Each of the past five Cup-winning goalies started fewer than 60 games in the regular season, along with three of the past five runners up. The days of Martin Brodeur starting 78 games are gone — only three goalies have 70-plus starts over the past five seasons — and teams think year-round about how to best prepare to play deep into June.

“The trend is definitely going the way that you split the net more,” said Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who carried the Bruins to Game 7 of the final last year after starting 46 times in the regular season. “It’s a tough thing because if your starter makes $8-9 million, you want him to play. But then you want to win the Cup, so you’ve got to think of it like, well, if this guy plays 70 games, is he going to play 25 in the playoffs at the same level? Versus OK we’re playing him 45, 50 really good games and then we got the other guy and the A guy’s going to play 25 really good (playoff games).”

Rask and Jaroslav Halak, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer in 2018 and Pittsburgh’s Murray and Fleury the previous two years are prime examples. Jordan Binnington didn’t make his first NHL start until January, but 32 games of work made him fresh to help the St. Louis Blues win the Cup last season.

It’s a delicate balance of having enough salary cap space to employ two capable goalies with playing time, plotting out the schedule for maximum rest benefits and collecting enough points to make the playoffs.

“It’s a collaborative discussion that all teams have,” Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “What we’re doing is trying to win hockey games during the regular season, trying to keep both of our goalies sharp and trying to have all our players at the top of their game come playoffs.”

The New York Islanders have alternated Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov for their first 24 games and allow the fourth-fewest goals in the league. Anaheim’s coaching staff pencils in both John Gibson or Ryan Miller for all 82 games and revisits incrementally to adjust for injuries and workloads.

“It has very little to do with games,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “It has more to do with how much work. We had a game earlier this year where we were overwhelmed in the game against Vegas. I think they put up 50 shots, and we were in our zone the whole time. That went down as one game for John, but he really played two, so that’s kind of how we look at it.”

Miller previously preferred to skip a game with a couple days off on each end for a mental break. He sees so many teams splitting back-to-backs and understands it but also thinks battling some old-school fatigue can be good for a goaltender.

“I don’t think there’s a strict recipe,” said Miller, whose career high was 74 starts in 2007-08 with Buffalo. “I think some adversity is good to keep your mentality in the right place. It’s not going to be a cake walk and then playoffs hit and it’s like (you’re) dialed in. You’ve got to go through some stuff and work through it and battle through the harder situations so that’s just your mindset every night.”

NHL goalies believe modern games are more difficult with higher shot totals than past decades. Teams are averaging 30 shots a game in 2019-20, while the schedule has more back-to-backs.

“Nowadays there’s a lot more work for a goalie: a lot less hooking and holding up for the D-men, so there’s a lot more chances or a lot more in-zone time that you’re actually working,” said Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott, who’s part of a successful tandem with Carter Hart. “Even if you’re maybe not getting shots, you’re looking through screens, you’re doing a lot of work.”

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant appreciates Fleury wants to play all 82 games, and he’s not alone in wanting to grab the net and not let go.

“I’ve felt a lot better every year I played a lot more games,” said Holtby, who led the league with 73 games played in 2014-15. “It’s a little more of a feel game instead of an analytics game just because of the speed of it. … It’s one of those things everyone’s probably different. It probably has a lot to do with how you practice and everything.”

Some goalies are going to play more than others; Florida’s $10 million man, Sergei Bobrovsky, or Montreal’s Carey Price, the highest-paid goalie in the league, could start 60 or more just because his team needs an elite level of play.

“We’d love to have (Price) in every game, but it’s not realistic,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “We give him some days off of practices because that’s not quite as important as him in games.”

The most important thing, of course, is the playoffs. It’s tough for starters who want to play all the time and it takes an adjustment, but the proof is in the names on the Stanley Cup that splitting the net works.

“Everybody wants to play,” Rask said. “The older you get, I think it becomes a little easier to realize that it’s not about me. I’m resting for the team.”

And resting with the hope that shouldering less of a load now makes a goalie more likely to raise a trophy over his shoulders at the end of the season.

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Bruins ended their four-game trip on a positive note.

David Pastrnak scored two goals and the Bruins snapped a five-game winless streak, beating the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Saturday night.

“It looks like we’re getting back to more Boston Bruins style of hockey the last three games,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Only one win to show for it, but if you play that way this week at home, I see good things for us, especially if all four lines are able to contribute.”

David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, and Torey Krug had two assists. Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots.

The Bruins return to home ice for their next four games.

“It hasn’t been what we wanted here on this road trip,” DeBrusk said. “Now, we’re going home not necessarily happy with how the road trip went, but you kind of go as your last game goes. Coming back home feeling good about ourselves is always a good thing.”

Keith Yandle and Mark Pysyk scored for the Panthers, who lost their third straight. Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves, including 21 in the first period.

“They came out hard. You could feel it in the first period when they got so many shots,” Bobrovsky said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who’s desperate, who’s not. It’s a hockey game. Unfortunately, we lose two points again.”

Florida’s Aleksander Barkov had to be helped off the ice by teammates late in the third period with an apparent leg injury after being forced into the boards by Boston’s Charlie McAvoy.

“He should be fine,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said.

Pysyk closed the score to 3-1 when he poked in a loose puck from in front at 2:46 of the third.

The Panthers trimmed the lead to 3-2 when Yandle shot from the point and the puck went over Halak’s glove and into the net with 10:47 left in the game.

Quenneville took little solace on the third-period comeback.

“We scored early and got a little excitement off that,” Quenneville said. “Then we got a second one and all of a sudden you’ve got plenty of time. We got a couple decent looks, but not enough. You can’t think that was good enough and accept it. That was tough to watch for the majority of the game.”

Pastrnak’s second goal was an empty-netter with 2:10 left.

The Bruins went ahead 2-0 on Krejci’s shot from the high slot that was initially blocked but trickled under Bobrovsky’s pads at 3:14 of the second.

Pastrnak’s power-play goal stretched Boston’s lead to 3-0. Brad Marchand passed from the left circle to Pastrnak on the right side of the crease for an easy tap-in at 7:30 of the second. Pastrnak has scored seven goals over the last 11 games.

Pastrnak was awarded a penalty shot at 13:31 of the third when Aaron Ekblad was called for hooking, but his attempt was blocked by Bobrovsky.

DeBrusk gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead after he got a loose puck in the slot and fired it over Bobrovsky at 14:41 of the first.

NOTES: Marchand leads the Bruins with 49 points — 18 goals and 31 assists. … Bruins F Brett Ritchie was scratched. … Panthers C Dominic Toninato was a healthy scratch. … In the teams’ last meeting, Nov. 12 at Boston, the Panthers recorded the first four-goal comeback in franchise history, with all four goals coming in the third period.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Panthers: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

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They would never admit it publicly, but the Bruins were feeling the stress of their five-game losing streak.

Veteran teams with championship cores don’t reveal when they’re losing their cool.

But coach Bruce Cassidy obviously felt he needed to take the heat off his team before they took on the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday.

It wasn’t a surprise that Cassidy gave his team off Friday in South Florida after their loss the night before in Tampa. But it was a mini shock that having not skated since that 3-2 defeat the Bruins still didn’t take the ice Saturday morning.

So the first time they skated after the final horn in Tampa was the opening shift in Sunrise. The Bruins had no excuses for not having their legs, and it showed. Right off the hop Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak put the heat on in the Florida zone for one minute.

The Bruins landed 22 shots on Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in that first period – the most shots on net they accumulated in any period this season – and Jake DeBrusk even got one of those shots to go past Bobrovsky, helping Boston get to the intermission up 1-0.

They never let the Panthers catch them in a 4-2 win.

The respite Cassidy gifted his team coming off not just the Lightning loss, but a similarly difficult 3-2 loss at Washington the night before, wasn’t the only reason the Bruins returned home with two points out of a possible eight on the road trip instead of one or none.

Pastrnak scored twice, including a power-play goal that might get that unit back on track. Boston’s power play had been 1-for-21 in the past six games. The Bruins were 1-for-3 against Florida.

Charlie Coyle moved up to the right side of DeBrusk and David Krejci, and that trio played like a legit second line that Cassidy could trust at both ends of the ice. They protected the puck well, defended well, and what do you know, Cassidy kept that line together for the duration of the game.

With Sean Kuraly moved up into Coyle’s usual spot at center between Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen, Cassidy suddenly had three lines he could believe in, and he even gave the new fourth line of Chris Wagner centering Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes some run. When it was crunch time, Cassidy reunited Nordstrom and Wagner with Kuraly.

There was still room left for improvement. The Bruins hung on for dear life during stretches of the third period, Florida cut the lead from 3-0 to 3-2 and Bergeron’s line and Jaroslav Halak bailed them out. Pastrnak, the NHL’s leading scorer with 28 goals, needs to polish up his breakaway moves. He failed on his second penalty shot of the season, which is just as ugly as his 0-for-3 shootout record this season.

But considering how close the Bruins were to at least getting one point at Washington and Tampa, they didn’t need style points in Sunrise, just standings points. We still don’t know how Cassidy would respond to a six-game losing streak, but we know how he handled his first five-game slump as Bruins coach. His decision to give his players some extra free time was one of those subtle coaching decisions that pays off over the course of a season that’s at least seven months long, and the Bruins hope will be nine months long again.

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For the first time since Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, John Moore will have a uniform waiting in his stall, as the 29-year-old will make his season debut after missing the first 28 games of the year due to offseason shoulder surgery.

“When you sit and watch almost 30 games, you understand and you’re reminded what a privilege it is not only to play in the NHL, but to play for such a great franchise,” Moore told the official team website. Moore, who totaled four goals and 13 points in 61 games with the B’s last year, also noted that he was “very fired up” for this contest.

The feeling is mutual throughout the room, too, with every Boston skater noting how excited they were to see Moore back in action after what’s been a difficult rehab process, and with Moore’s return making the Bruins that much closer to finally operating at 100 percent for the year.

And with Moore back, Connor Clifton will move to the press box as the team’s healthy scratch, joining No. 8 defenseman Steven Kampfer. Moore’s activation will also see his partner, Matt Grzelcyk, move from the left to the right on Boston’s third pairing.

“I think they’re both better on the left, [but] I think last year Grzelcyk played more on the right, more comfortable there,” said Cassidy. “I’ve actually discussed it with both of them because I don’t have a strong opinion either way.”

Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for the Bruins. Rask is a perfect 6-0-0 with a .943 save percentage over his last six starts, and is coming off a 28-of-29 performance against the Canadiens this past Sunday night.

The Bruins as a team, meanwhile, come into play riding an eight-game winning streak, and have captured points in all 16 of their home games to date this season by way of a 12-0-4 record.

It’s a much different story for the visiting Blackhawks, however, as they come to town with losses in six of their last seven contests, and have been outscored 26-13 over that stretch.

Here are the complete lines and pairings for the Bruins…

Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen

Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – David Pastrnak

Anders Bjork – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner

Joakim Nordstrom – Par Lindholm – David Backes

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo

John Moore – Matt Grzelcyk

Tuukka Rask

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Slowly but surely, the Bruins are climbing their way out of the hospital wing.

And while Thursday is headlined by the return of John Moore, who has missed all 28 games to date this year because of offseason should surgery, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy provided updates on every other walking wounded Bruin.

Top-line center Patrice Bergeron, who will miss his sixth straight contest with a lower-body injury, skated at Warrior Ice Arena earlier this morning, and is inching towards a return to action. The Bruins are taking it as slowly as they can with their first-line pivot (for obvious reasons), but there seems to be a belief that Bergeron will travel with the team when they hit the road next week.

Brett Ritchie, absent for five straight games and 11 of the last 15 overall due to an infection and its lingering side effects, could play if the Bruins need him to, but patience seems to be the name of game with the 6-foot-4 winger, too.

“Part of it is allowing him more practice time,” Cassidy offered. “In terms of medical, he could go play if we needed him to, we’re just not sure his conditioning is at an NHL level right now. So that’s part of the process of getting back into the lineup.

“Some of it has to do with the previous injury; he returned, [then went] back on the injured list. We want to try to make sure we do it right this time by giving him that extra time to get the conditioning right and make sure that whatever’s going on inside of him — because of the exertion — is not going to act up again.”

The Bruins are also expected to see Zach Senyshyn skate at Warrior on Friday, too, according to Cassidy. The 2015 first-round pick has missed the last 10 games due to a lower-body injury, but looked capable in his NHL showings this year, with two assists in four games.

But the updates did come with two downers, as Cassidy noted that Karson Kuhlman (right tibia fracture) is not close to getting back on the ice, and did not have any update of any sort on defenseman Kevan Miller.

“I have nothing on Kevan,” Cassidy offered. “Nothing to report, unfortunately.”

While you’re hoping for the best given his rugged style and presence in the room, it may be time to wonder if Miller is going to come back at any point this year, really, as he’s been completely absent from any on-ice work after suffering a setback last month. This was not the 32-year-old Miller’s first setback in his attempt to return from a twice-broken kneecap, either, and though the Bruins have been more than cautious with Miller’s rehab, the clock is officially ticking when it comes to both his own recovery (this injury and first setback happened over eight months ago) and the timeline for the B’s to work him back into the mix.

The Bruins enter tonight’s game with the Blackhawks with 137 man-games lost to injury on the year.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries

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Charlie McAvoy is the only Boston Bruins player without a goal yet this season. Why can’t McAvoy find the back of the net?

Charlie McAvoy started this season with sky-high expectations for the Boston Bruins. He was clearly the team’s best all-around defenseman, and consequently some people pegged him as an early Norris Trophy favorite.

Now, 23 games into the regular season, we all still wait for McAvoy to reach his peak, at least when it comes to his offense.

McAvoy is the only Bruins player without a goal this season. Everybody else, including fourth liners and bottom-pair defenders, scored at least one goal.

That’s not to say McAvoy hasn’t had many chances. In fact, he’s had a number of good looks, but he can’t snag his first.

All these chances seemed to culminate Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild when the Bruins had the ultra-rare three-on-zero opportunity. That’s right, three Bruins players with only the goalie to beat.

Brad Marchand skated down the left wing and then dished a pass to McAvoy out front. It looked like McAvoy had an easy one-time goal, but Wild goalie Alex Stalock somehow made the save.

After this denial, McAvoy had a couple more chances that all came up short. He finished with two shots on goal and a few that missed the net.

The game against the Wild pretty much sums up McAvoy’s season so far on the offensive front. Even when he has an straightforward opportunity, he can’t seem to score.

As the old saying goes, McAvoy can’t buy a goal right now.

Why doesn’t McAvoy have a goal yet this year? Honestly, a lot of it is puck luck.

McAvoy now has 25 shots and over 50 attempts without a goal. Based on his shooting percentage over the past two years, we’d expect him to have two or three goals. Instead, he has zero.

We have to consider McAvoy’s place in the lineup as well. Alongside Zdeno Chara, McAvoy faces tough matchups at even strength every night. We can’t expect him to score a lot when he consistently goes against top forwards.

That’s why McAvoy, even without a goal, still makes a big difference for the Bruins. He can negate opposing attacks, as we saw when he matched up against Alex Ovechkin last weekend.

Also, one last thing: think about McAvoy’s role on the power play. Torey Krug‘s presence in the lineup means that McAvoy plays on the second unit. He therefore doesn’t see a ton of power play time, and when he does, it isn’t with Boston’s best forwards.

McAvoy isn’t exactly a premier scorer from the blueline. He only had seven goals each of the last two seasons. He’s more of an all-around, two-way defender who goes out there to stop opposing attacks.

That said, McAvoy clearly has the skills to put up more points. Expect him to turn things around soon. He’s too good not to.

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The Boston Bruins will go as far as their best players take them. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak need to step up.
When the Boston Bruins take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday, they’ll be desperate for a win for the first time this season. The Bruins have yet to face a ton of adversity up until this point, but now they seriously need a victory to end this five-game skid.

Whenever a team goes through such a losing streak, we all try to find places to point the finger. We look at Brett Ritchie in the top-six as the reason for lack of secondary scoring. Or, we call out John Moore and his play on the backend.

Those guys certainly deserve some of the blame, but they’re depth players at the end of the day. For the Bruins to turn things around, they need more out of their stars: Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

It’s tough to call out Marchand and Pastrnak given their seasons so far. Marchand leads the team with 48 points in 33 games, while Pastrnak is right behind him with 46 points. Pastrnak even leads the league in goals with 26.

However, Marchand and Pastrnak cooled off lately, and this coincides with Boston’s losing streak.

Marchand is currently in the middle of an eight-game goalless drought. In those games, he only has five assists. Five assists in eight games isn’t enough for somebody who averages over a point-per-game.

Pastrnak was a little better over the past eight games, but not by much. He only scored three goals in those games, a far cry from his nearly goal-per-game average earlier in the season.

We can attribute some of this poor production to Patrice Bergeron‘s absence. He only came back to the lineup three games ago, and since then Marchand and Pastrnak already combined for six assists.

That said, the Bruins still needed more from Marchand and Pastrnak, who still got to play with a talented center in David Krejci. They’re the top offensive talents on the team, so the Bruins have to rely on them for something night in and night out.

Boston’s struggles when Marchand and Pastrnak don’t produce highlight the underlying problem: a lack of secondary scoring. The Bruins simply cannot count on the second line to consistently create offense and score.

Nonetheless, the Bruins need more than three goals and nine assists in eight games from their best scorers. At least until Don Sweeney brings somebody in to fill that vacant second-line right wing spot.

The Bruins, like any other team, will only go as far as their best players take them. Based on Marchand’s and Pastrnak’s play earlier this season, the sky was the limit. Now that both players cooled off, the Bruins came back down to earth.