Dustin Brown and what may have been for the Bruins

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Dustin Brown and what may have been for the Bruins

One cant help but watch Kings Captain Dustin Brown dominate the playoffs with his upstart Los Angeles hockey club, and wonder what might have been for the eliminated Bruins.

Brown is third in the NHL during the playoffs with 11 points, he leads all players with a postseason rating of plus-9 and hes tied for fifth in the league with 39 playoff hits. Hes also played at least two fewer playoff games than the players above him on the registered hits list proof positive of his pit bull nature when it comes to playing hockey.

He plays a punishing, blue collar in-your-face style that practically screams out Bruins.So where does the connection with Boston come in?

Peter Chiarelli had mentioned after the trade deadline that there was an additional winger the Bruins had been pursuing, but in the end he hadnt been able to close the deal. Several sources indicated at the time that the 27-year-old Brown was the player that Chiarelli and the Bruins were shooting for.

But the price was deemed too step for a Kings team that was only exploring Browns value on the market.

At the time Los Angeles was struggling offensively and looked like they might be on the outside looking in when the playoffs started, so they were listening to potential message-sending deals for their talented hockey club.

The Kings also wanted Milan Lucic in exchange for Brown, and who can blame them?

The Bruins werent going to entertain a deal for a player so important to their success, and so vital to their overall style of play. Looking back in hindsight at Lucics 0-for-the-playoffs performance against the Washington Capitals -- or the Full Thornton as my Boston Glove colleague Kevin Paul Dupont is fond of saying -- perhaps some Bruins fans would have been ready to press down on the plunger to do the deal.
The trade never got past the initial discussion stages, but it brings up a couple of natural questions.

How good would a fiery player like Brown have been for the Bruins after getting shipped out of Los Angeles in a blindside at the end of February?

How different would it have been for the Bruins with Dustin Brown skating on the top forward line while allowing Rich Peverley to switch down into the third line role that suited him so well during last years playoff run (thats assuming the Bruins could have made the deal without giving up Lucic)?

Nobody will ever know the answers to these questions, but Chiarellis admission he wanted to get another winger at the trade deadline lets everybody know he wasnt quite sure he had enough offensive ammunition entering the playoffs.

As it turned out the GM was exactly right.

The Bs offense didnt have enough horsepower when the intensity was lifted in the playoffs, and thats one area Brown clearly could have helped. With the Bruins out so early in the spring, everyone is left to ask there kinds of theoretical questions while Stanley Cup playoff hockey rolls on without them.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.