By Joe Haggerty
NEW YORK CITY The Bruins didnt have quite as much to play for as a Rangers team bent on survival, and it showed in the third period. The Bs could have climbed to within two points of the top seed in the Eastern conference while reaching 101 points on the season, but they couldn't hold onto a 3-0 lead as the Rangers scored twice in the second period and three times in the third for a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over Boston.
Brandon Dubinsky tied it on a Tomas Kaberle blown coverage in front, and then Michael Sauer potted the game-winner when he trickled a puck past Tim Thomas.The Bs stormed out and made a resounding statement in the first period after looking half-asleep during their last opening period a week ago Saturday against the Rangers, and the point was well taken. Daniel Paille nearly scored on a breakaway, and then did score Bostons first goal later in the first period when he redirected a Johnny Boychuk shot pass from the right point.Nathan Horton made it a two-goal lead for the Bruins with his 25th goal of the season after he collected a loose puck in front of the net and fired it past a sprawled Henrik Lundqvist.Chris Kelly scored his first goal as a member of the Bruins on a short side softie in the second period to extend things to a 3-0 lead, but from there Vinny Prospal and a desperate New York bunch started to make their comeback bid. Both times the Rangers victimized the Andrew FerenceAdam McQuaid pairing that was experiencing a few issues clearing bodies from in front of the net and keeping Prospal away from the scoring areas.Derek Stepan added an empty-netter to salt it away for the Rangers. Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BUFFALO – The Bruins went off the board to make their second choice in the first round, and selected big, gritty center Trent Frederic from the U.S. National Team Development Program. Frederic was ranked 47th among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, and is ultimately viewed as a solid bottom-six two-way center with limited offensive ability.
A nice Bruins-style player to be sure, but also the kind of player that can easily be picked in the second, or third, round rather than with the 29thpick in the first round. It’s pretty clear the B’s were hoping to package up the 29th pick along with a prospect to acquire a top-4 defenseman, and that they didn’t have many designs on actually choosing a player.
That led to a surprised Frederic, who was happy to be a first round pick if not a little blown away by his good NHL fortune.
“I guess I was a little surprised. If you could hear my whole family's reaction then you get the gist of it,” said Frederic, who listed David Backes and Justin Abdelkader as the NHL players he most models his game after in his career. “They were pumped, and I am pumped. As a player I’m a two-way physical player that’s good with the puck.
“I’ve had some tournaments in Boston, and some family vacations there. I visited Boston University when I thought about going there, and I’ve been to Fenway Park and TD Garden. It’s one of my favorite cities.”
The Frederic pick might have been off the beaten path a bit, but it was a pretty special selection for a number of other reasons: Frederic was the record-setting 12th US-born player taken in the first round, and the fifth player taken in the 2016 first round from the St. Louis area. The Bruins have to hope that he develops into a more dangerous, effective player during his college hockey days at Wisconsin, and that he feels a little less like the Bruins reaching for players in the first round for the second draft in a row.
Photo via Joe Haggerty
Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.
The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.
I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.
As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.
BUFFALO – The Bruins took their highest-rated defenseman when the pick came to them at the No. 14 spot, and they selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who tore up Hockey East as the young player in college hockey last season.
The 18-year-old Charlie McAvoy had three goals and 25 points in37 games for the Terriers while skating in a pairing with Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk, and showed off the kind of elite skating and offensive skills that will play well at the NHL level. It was thought the Bruins would take McAvoy or fellow BU-recruit Dante Fabbro at the 14th spot when they held onto the pick, but that was perhaps shaken a little bit when Jakub Chychrun fell all the way down to their spot.
The Bruins stuck with their scouting instincts and took the offensively gifted McAvoy, who profiles as a next generation NHL player with his sturdy six foot, 208-pound frame and ability to skate like the wind. He was understandably excited, and even said that he’s come around from hating some of the Boston teams as a native New Yorker after spending the year at Boston University.
“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the Bruins. I’ve gotten close to [the Bruins] in the past year. I’m sure some of my friends back home aren’t happy I’m cutting the ties with New York sports, but Boston is an unbelievable city with great sports and great people. I’m glad to be staying there,” said McAvoy. “You grow up and taught not to like [Boston teams] because of the rivalry. But I've got a Red Sox hat and that’s the first step. Now I'm got that Bruins jersey and it’s pretty cool. I’ll just keep going, but I don’t know if I could ever be a Pats fan, but we’ll see."
Give McAvoy a little time and perhaps he’ll come around to the right side of the New England Patriots argument after some years spent with the Black and Gold.
Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs