No return for Krug, Carlo or McQuaid for Bruins' do-or-die Game 5

No return for Krug, Carlo or McQuaid for Bruins' do-or-die Game 5

BRIGHTON, Mass – It looks like the Bruins won’t be getting any additional defensemen help as they head into a do-or-die Game 5 vs. the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday night.

Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy said on Thursday that he isn’t expecting Adam McQuaid (upper body), Torey Krug (lower body) or Brandon Carlo (upper body) to recover in time to play with the B’s down 3-1 in the series. That means at least one more game where the B’s are down three of their top-four defensemen from the regular season.

Carlo is the closest to returning while skating on his own over the past week or so, but he hasn’t reached the point where he’d even be a game-time decision.

“There are guys progressing [from their injuries] certainly, but to say in 24 hours that you could have some people available? I would say no,” said Cassidy, who had Colin Miller, Tommy Cross, Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson practicing at Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday morning. “Guys realize [Game 4] was another game that could have gone either way, and they just made one more play than us. Going forward we have a game [on Friday night] where we need to be a little better in certain areas, and make that extra play. It’s the one game at a time stuff that we do around here; we’ve kind of had that mentality all year.”

Clearly, defense hasn’t been a huge issue with Boston surrendering only 10 goals in the four games against Ottawa, and each of their three losses to the Sens in the playoffs have been by a single goal. Still, D-men Carlo and Krug played big minutes all season for Boston, and helped the group move the puck up the ice in situations like Game 4 where they struggled with just 10 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.  

The loss of Carlo and McQuaid also greatly impacts Boston’s ability to block shots in crucial moments and kill penalties that have allowed Erik Karlsson to wheel and deal for Ottawa on the man-advantage. D-men Joe Morrow and John-Michael Liles are being counted on as key players for Boston after being extra bodies all season and 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy and 40-year-old Zdeno Chara are at both ends of the spectrum logging big minutes for the Black and Gold.

It’s resulted in breakdowns from time-to-time and certainly played into the Bruins slogging through quicksand vs. Ottawa in the neutral zone in the second and third period of Game 4 after getting their chances early in the game. It’s perhaps surprising that Ottawa hasn’t been able to get more separation from such an undermanned B’s unit for the bulk of this series, but it’s also true that the Senators are looking to apply the 1-3-1 sleeper hold on their opponents pretty much as soon as they gain an advantage over a wounded opponent in these playoff games.  


Morning Skate: Pronger on his way to a GM job?

Morning Skate: Pronger on his way to a GM job?

*Chris Pronger takes a job in the front office of the Florida Panthers and wants to be a GM in the NHL someday.

*It sounds like Alex Radulov is playing contract chicken with the Montreal Canadiens while demanding pretty massive term and salary demands.

*Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has a top-nine winger on his wish list after dealing away Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.

*A good look from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jon Rosen into what the draft outlook is for the Los Angeles Kings entering this weekend.

*Ryan Strome is ecstatic about moving on from the New York Islanders and heading to the Edmonton Oilers where he’ll get a chance to fully utilize the skills that went under the radar in Brooklyn.

*Even without a high pick, the Buffalo Sabres and Jason Botterill will be making some moves at the NHL Draft.

*You want some talk about the Bruins prospects and their potential draft targets for the Black and Gold this weekend. Here’s FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke on with a podcast up in Maine called the Bruins Diehards talking all of that good stuff just a couple of days ago.

*Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall is going searching for another goalie after once again deciding that Philly needs more help between the pipes. This seems to be a perpetual situation for this group, doesn’t it?

*Jeff Marek has his final 2017 NHL Mock Draft up and running, and he has St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling headed to Boston with the No. 18 pick.

*Apparently Linda Cohn wants to push out Gary Bettman and take over as NHL Commissioner when her contract is up with ESPN. Well, okay then.

*It was a little emotional and totally uplifting to see Denna Laing getting saluted at the NHL Awards ceremony. I’m so glad that my daughter has strong role models like Denna that show young women what courage and character are all about.

*The rumor mill is getting worked up at NHL Draft weekend, and it sounds like the Minnesota Wild are going to be busy potentially dealing Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella or Jason Pominville in the next week or two. Certainly, the Bruins have been front and center in those discussions, but it remains to be seen if something gets done.

*For something completely different: The glowing reviews are coming in for the new Netflix series, GLOW, and it doesn’t sound like a fun concept.


Report: Bruins among several teams interested in Wild's Scandella

Report: Bruins among several teams interested in Wild's Scandella

CHICAGO – The Bruins missed out on the first flurry of defensemen traded on Friday morning, but they may be in on the second wave of quality D-men expected to be made available around the NHL Draft.

The Bruins are one of several teams actively in discussions with the Minnesota Wild about defenseman Marco Scandella, who fits the profile of what the B's are looking for to fill a top-four role. TVA’s Ren Lavoie was the first to report the latest interest but the Bruins have long been watching the Minnesota back-end situation waiting for one of their defenders to become available.

Scandella, 27, is big, at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, he’s got a few years of NHL experience, he’s a left-handed shot and he’s already proven he can be a top-four defenseman in the NHL. Scandella is coming off a so-so season with the Wild where he posted four goals and 13 points along with a minus-2 rating in 71 games. and for the first time in three seasons, he averaged under 20 minutes of ice time for the first time in the past three seasons.

RELATED: Haggerty's Mock Draft 4.0: Expect a frenzy of pre-draft trades 

Scandella would be a good potential fit on the left side in a top-four role playing in a pairing with Charlie McAvoy as the B's look for a good, mobile partner that can play at both ends of the ice. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they are clearly not the only team in the running for the Montreal-born Scandella. One of those teams is his hometown Montreal Canadiens, who are hungry for a few D-men after losing several in the past couple of weeks.

There are other names filtering out of Chicago as the draft gets underway tonight. One of the more interesting D-names is Massachusetts native Noah Hanifin. The former Boston College standout is rumored to be available as the Carolina Hurricanes look to bring some star power in at the forward position. He was the player Boston initially wanted in the draft a couple of years ago before standing pat and selecting Jakub Zboril as one of three consecutive first-round picks.

There doesn’t seem to be a match for Hanifin with David Pastrnak as the only realistic option to be going to Carolina in return and that’s not something the Bruins are going to entertain with one of their cornerstone roster pieces. Still, it’s encouraging that so many quality D-man names are emerging on the trade market with Don Sweeney and the Bruins looking to get down to business this weekend.