B's rout punctuates season-long dominance of Leafs

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B's rout punctuates season-long dominance of Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins' dominance of the Leafs this season reached epic proportions on their sixth and final meeting.
The Bruins poured in four goals to get things started in the first period and just kept right on sprinting to an 8-0 blowout TKO Monday night.

The Bruins put together a perfect 6-0-0 record against Toronto, outscoring them by a ridiculous 36-10 margin. And on Monday they beat the Leafs literally as well as figuratively, with Gregory Campbell and an uppercut-throwing Milan Lucic winning fights during the victory.
Boston's players have too much class to actually call the Maple Leafs out for a lack of heart, but admitted that Toronto has caught them at the absolute wrong time.

"It seems like everything has kind of gone right since we've played them," said Lucic. "Looking at all the games that we've played them so far this year, they've all been pretty big games . . . especially in our eyes. So we've been a pretty good team when it comes to rising to the occasion. The occasions have been big in all the meetings this year.
"Fortunately for us we've been able to bring out 'A' game every time against them."

What probably confounds the Leafs even more is the tale of Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel from this season. Kessel had a single goal in six games against the Bruins this years and was a minus-11. Seguin, on the other hand, picked up a pair of points Monday night and finished off the season series against the Leafs with 7 goals and 4 assists.

Lucic (12 points), Seguin, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara all ended up with double-digit point totals against the Leafs this year. If you can't stop Boston's biggest and baddest players, then you've got little shot at success.

Meanwhile the 13 shots on net allowed by Boston's defense Monday was the lowest amount in nearly 10 years.

"I don't know. I have never seen anything like that," said shell-shocked Leafs goalie James Reimer, who was pulled after allowing the first four goals. "There have obviously been teams that you have seen in the past that are good . . . and match up well. But I'm not sure why one team has an advantage."

Here's why: One team won the Stanley Cup last year and has gone 23-5-5 over the last five plus years in their head-to-head matchups. The other is the Maple Leafs.

It's pretty simple, and the lesson was laid plain once more Monday night.

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft. 

Pare 'brings energy' as big-bodied, sixth-round Bruins pick

Pare 'brings energy' as big-bodied, sixth-round Bruins pick

CHICAGO – The Bruins aren’t ever going to shy away from big, strong centers with a willingness to play on the physical side, so it was no surprise they selected big French-Canadian center Cedric Pare in the sixth round of the NHL Draft Saturday at the United Center.

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The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Pare was described as “a project” by Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley, who said that he’s looking forward to the big-bodied forward playing a top-six role in the QMJHL next season. Pare had five goals and 16 points in 64 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs before posting three points in 18 playoff games. Bradley said the Bruins hope to see more offense as he gets more exposure as a player.

“Pare is a developed kid that we got in the sixth round. He went to the Memorial Cup and we’ve seen good things from him. We think we got good value there,” said Bradley. “He plays with a lot of energy and I think his skating is undervalued. Over the course of the year he really picked it up with his skating, and his stride has lengthened a little bit. We just like that he plays with energy and he scored in the Memorial Cup despite playing a limited role.

“He was playing on the fourth line last year. I think this year he’ll be playing on one of their top lines as a top-six forward and he’ll get a lot of ice time...hopefully get some good development there.”

Pare indicated that the Bruins had shown interest in him throughout the season and he had an idea the Black and Gold might call his name in the later rounds. While there’s always room in the B’s prospect cupboard for a big-bodied center that plays with plenty of energy, it remains to be seen if Pare was worth using a sixth-round pick on when there are plenty of big-bodied hockey players out there willing to play with energy and aggressiveness.