While there were no games last week, there was still news to cover with the Boston Bruins. In this edition of Bruins Weekly, another game is postponed, a prospect is sent back to the minors, and more.
Another Bruins Game Postponed, Changes in Upcoming Schedule
When the NHL shut down the Bruins through the Holiday break, the Boston Bruins lost four games on their schedule. On Sunday night, you can add a fifth and a sixth game to the list of games from the last week that the Black and Gold need to make up.
The Bruins were scheduled to play the Ottawa Senators on the road Wednesday night, but the league postponed the game after postponing Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That means Boston will be off until New Years Day when they host the Buffalo Sabres in an afternoon game at the TD Garden. The NHL announced that players will not be going to the Olympics in February, which will allow the league to find dates in arenas to make up some of these games.
Tuesday night, the NHL started announcing schedule changes when they announced that the Bruins game at the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 12 will now be played in Boston. Expect more changes to be announced in the coming days.
Bruins Will Get 2020-21 Feeling Again
It was in the middle of Jan. 2021 that the NHL began their 56-game shortened regular season with new realigned divisions for one year with limited travel because of the coronavirus outbreak. One full calendar year later, the Bruins are going to get the 2020-21 feeling all over again.
When the Black and Gold take the ice on New Years Day at the TD Garden against the Sabres, it will be the first of their 56 remaining games on the schedule, which right now, is scheduled to end on April 30. This time, however, the Bruins will be faced with a lot more travel than they did last season as they have an end of February, early March West Coast trip that will be a big part of their schedule. Earlier this month, they had a three-game Western Canada trip where they went 2-0-1 against the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames. We all know what happened after the game against the Flames. They had their own COVID-19 outbreak, followed days later by Boston’s.
It certainly won’t be an easy first five months of 2022 for the Bruins, who are tied with the Islanders with the most games remaining on their schedule. On the bright side, it appears that each Bruce Cassidy is getting some of his players back, which should go a long way in helping them remain in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Bruins Getting Healthy
When the Bruins season was paused on Dec. 18, their COVID-19 list was growing by the day. Since they returned to practice this week, they are getting more and more players back out of protocols. As of Wednesday morning, Brandon Carlo and Charlie Coyle were still in protocols, but Carlo was expected to be out ahead of the next game.
With no game until Saturday at the earliest, Cassidy and his coaching staff have plenty of time this week to use practices as a time to get players conditioning back. It also is a chance for the Black and Gold to work on their power play, something that will be a big key when they return to game action.
Steen Sent Back to Providence
Usually, when a prospect is called up to the NHL from the American Hockey League (AHL), there is a lot to be excited about for the player. That was not the case for Bruins forward Oskar Steen.
Steen was recalled from the Providence Bruins on Dec. 15 and traveled with the Black and Gold to Long Island to play the New York Islanders one night later. Unfortunately for Steen, he entered the league COVID-19 protocols 90 minutes before the game and joined the Bruins growing list of players.
Steen has played well in his three games this season in Boston, recording two assists, but also showing that his development in the AHL is coming along. On Monday, he was sent back to Providence as the Bruins had a handful of players that were in protocols return to the ice for practice. With 56 games still remaining this season, don’t be surprised to see the Bruins’ sixth-round selection in the 2016 Entry Draft return at some point this season.
The Week Ahead
- Saturday: vs. Buffalo Sabres, 1 p.m.
- Sunday: at Detroit Red Wings, 1 p.m.
- Tuesday: vs. New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.